Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Beauty’

Life Coaching

“We all need a sacred witness in life, a person who can listen without judgment while knowing the right questions to ask that continually illuminate our path.” – Caroline Myss – This quote is the essence of Life Coaching.

In Life Coaching people work on their goals, dreams and desires for their life. Within an environment of non-judgment, clients create action steps toward their goals and learn to identify and remove any obstacles in the way of moving forward.

The International Coach Foundation offers this definition of Life Coaching: “Professional Coaching is an ongoing professional relationship that helps people produce extraordinary results in their lives, careers, businesses or organizations. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life.

In each meeting, the client chooses the focus of conversation, while the coach listens and contributes observations and questions. This interaction creates clarity and moves the client into action. Coaching accelerates the client’s progress by providing greater focus and awareness of choice.

Coaching concentrates on where clients are now and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be in the future.” – Source: International Coach Federation (www.coachfederation.org)

If you want to learn more about Life Coaching and the benefits it can offer to you in achieving your goals, dreams and desires please send me a message at: www.shellyoconnell.com/contact to schedule a free discovery session.

Respect Women, Respect Life

“If the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of the woman is intact, so too is that of the family, community and society.” – Ancient Indigenous Proverb

This ancient proverb gives me hope because it tells us that the overall well-being of females directly influences all of existence.

Clearly there is much work to be done to have all females, young and old, be in good health in their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects.

That is why women all over the world march today. They know that respect, care and kind regard are the minimum qualities that must be restored to them.

When the welfare of the women is honored, men and all beings in our world will also be well. In fact, these four essences being intact for females ensures that the entirety of life is glowing.

I know that the road has been long and filled with peril, but today there is confidence because the women raise up their knowledge of what is needed to restore wholeness and harmony.

A proverb is by definition: “a simple and concrete saying, popularly known and repeated, that expresses a truth based on common sense or experience.” This tells me that the ancient Indigenous proverb written above is known as true, which means that at one time the women’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being were intact. If it was once, it can be again.

To everyone today who is: marching, holding space, doing ceremony and embracing intentions of respect for the women, know that your efforts bring a restoration of harmony for all.

Thank you.

 

The Shoulders We Stand On

I’ve been giving some serious thought to a concept shared with me many years ago by a Native American Elder. They said, “We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.” At the time I likened this to my upbringing that taught, “respect your elders.” I did my best to honor and care for them.

Interestingly, the teachings continue to deepen and unfold as you move through life’s cycles. This specific one has returned to me as I look around and observe life today.

Surprising to me is the realization that I am now one of those who has the next generations standing on my shoulders. From my place in life, I also see at least two generations living here on whose shoulders I stand, so do you. Recognizing that I have new ones standing on my shoulders has prompted me to look at myself and my life.

I’ve wondered what kind of foundation I’m creating for them. Will they be standing firm and strong or ungrounded and shaky? Is there a recognition of the beauty that life holds? Do they feel a part of a healthy community that values each being? Are they respectful of all life, including Mother Earth and her creatures? Do they feel supported in their endeavors? Are they growing and blossoming? Is the world they inhabit one of kindness? Do they see with eyes of compassion? Can they say that they love and honor themselves? Are they happy and wanting others to be happy too? Do they offer gratitude for what life has given them?

In all honesty, I know that there is work to be done for them to thrive and make the world a better place. That work starts with me and with you. Let’s observe how we are in the world and how we are with ourselves. Is there room for improvement within us?

My plan is be be kinder, smile more and share of myself in a compassionate and loving way. Additionally, I can teach what I’ve learned by living it each day. I will strive to create an open environment that supports and encourages the next generations, two of which are here for me.

Perhaps you have more or less in the way of the next generations living here, based on where you are in life. In truth, we all have responsibility to the future generations for our actions because we are shoulders that they will stand upon. Together we can bring joy, love and beauty to them by our conduct today. I invite you to join me.

No Permission Needed

Have you ever had a dream, desire or yearning that emanates from deep within you? Do you recognize that it is your heart, your soul calling to you? If so, are you living those wishes out in your life?

I sure hope that you are doing just as you dreamed! But if you are not don’t tune out! You are exactly who I want to talk with today!

Many of us have experienced the longing that I described and we are not living those hopes out in our lives. Why do you suppose that might be true? Fear could play a factor however I believe that some of us are waiting for permission. We worry about what our mate, our children, our family, our friends, even people we have yet to meet will think if we step out of the lines that have been drawn for us. We want love and acceptance and so we wait.

Here’s the thing; waiting for others to grant permission on your dreams, desires and yearning is like asking them to breathe for you. There is just no way possible that they can make that happen! Only you and the Divine have a true understanding of what your heart and soul are calling you to undertake. If you are an adult there is no need to have someone else grant you permission to follow your dreams. As long as what you want to do doesn’t cause abuse to you or another, you are free to pursue what calls to you.

Think of it this way; the stallion in the open pasture never asks, “Is it okay if I run and leap right now?” No way! That would be silly. It feels a delight inside and expresses this in leaping and running. It does it for the simply joy of being.

There is no permission needed other than our own to discover the beauty and happiness in living our dreams.

Gifts of A Broken Heart

A few months ago I read two insights about broken hearts. Elizabeth Cunningham wrote, “Hearts are hard until they are broken.” The other quote was from Anita Krissan. It stated: “Let  your heart crumble into an infinite amount of tiny, precious seeds. Then plant love everywhere you go.”

Each of these statements touched a level of truth within me at the time. My thoughts have returned to them often. As I delved deeper into them I remembered my time with infants and small children. In my experience they do not have hard hearts. In fact, I would say that babies and small children are wide open. Their hearts are gentle and they exhibit feelings of love and happiness. This happens with ease when their needs are met and they are loved.

Based on this observance I’ve come to this understanding: hearts are not hard, but the walls we’ve built around them resemble stone. I believe we construct this fortress around our hearts in an attempt to keep us from being harmed as we may have been in the past. I understand why we do this; I’ve done it myself.

I think we have been misinformed in thinking walls will keep our hearts safe. What those structures actually do is enclose us and cut us off from the rest of the world. Being within the walls of a fortress isolates us. We become shut down from our own feelings too.

What if our hearts are intended to be gentle and wide open even when we’re not babies anymore? I think hearts are meant to be this way. It’s the way they were designed. What’s more, I am convinced that our hearts know that their natural state is one of wide open gentleness.

Consider this prospect for a moment. If the hearts do know then perhaps they are the ones breaking down the walls! Not someone outside of us taking love away or withholding it but instead our very own hearts taking drastic measures to liberate us to a new way of being.

It makes me wonder if our hearts long to be free, to be gentle, to be wide open? Can they be leading us to an experience of ever-expanding love, beauty and happiness? Are the crumbling bits of the fortress walls imbued with the knowledge that the heart holds? Have those remnants of the walls become the seeds that will germinate love like we’ve never seen in the world? I believe it is possible that these are the true gifts of a broken heart.

Journey of a Lifetime

When on a spiritual and personal quest to discover your self and purpose in life, you are instructed to focus on the journey. We are told that everything is part of the journey without necessarily being shown what that means exactly. Added to that vague concept is the structure and conditioning of our culture that emphasizes success via accomplishing goals. Needless to say, it can be overwhelming and frustrating at times.

Some recent changes in my life have helped me to better understand that it is ALL about the journey. Every little thing that occurs gives me a chance to see myself more clearly and in doing so I begin to shift my consciousness to seeing the Sacred in each moment. Oh, it may not seem like such a moment at the time. Quite the opposite you might think!

Take my morning for example. I was headed to the city (San Francisco) and the traffic was brutal! I experienced frustration and had some descriptive words for a few of the other drivers. Trust me when I tell you that none of them were complimentary. I found myself closing the gap at the bridge toll gates so that no one could get in front of me. I was striving to get ahead and stay that way….and then something happened.

I began to see how competitive I was being about simply waiting in line. That awareness took me further when I began to reflect on my morning. I realized that my behavior was a form of control. Wow! Who knew a simple thing like a traffic heavy highway would lead me to  seeing myself more clearly?

Once I got that insight I was able to shift my focus. I began to carefully look around while in that line. I observed other drivers and understood that we are all on a journey. Perhaps they were going to work, venturing out for fun or something else. What I saw were people like me in a small step of their life journey.

I am certain that today’s experience was brought to me directly from the Divine. How else would I have recognized an area where I could let go of control? Where would the connection I felt with strangers on a journey come from if not this event?

We all have a journey of a lifetime, one that is specific to each individual. You may not even have to travel to some ancient, distant land to make the discovery. Just be open and show up for your own journey of a lifetime!

RED TENT MOONLODGE GATHERING: AUTUMN IMMERSION

Come and learn Native American Traditional Teachings regarding women, their “Moontime” and their importance within the tribe or community. Discover how you can apply these teachings to enrich your own life.

You are invited to join me on SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 at Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, Children’s Chapel from 12:30pm – 4:30pm (PDT) for a Red Tent Moonlodge Gathering: Autumn Immersion. The church address is: 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94549. Register via Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church’s link: http://mduuc.org/religious-education-programs/register-for-classes or contact adultprograms@mduuc.org.

Women of all ages come to rest, renew and remember your sacredness. Join Shelly O’Connell as she shares Traditional Women’s Teachings with you. We will dance, drum and join together on a journey to embrace the true radiance within each woman. Autumn Immersion will give each participant the opportunity to put the teachings into practice immediately. Together we will go deeper into the teachings this season.

Women ages thirteen and older are invited to attend. Workshop participants will bring one symbol of yourself as a woman to place upon the altar which we will create together. Include a journal for notes and homework. Suggested attire is comfortable clothing; long dresses or skirts, if you like, to remind you of your femininity.

Shelly received the Traditional Women’s Teachings from Native Elders. “These teachings completely changed and enriched my life!” she writes. Shelly says of the teachings, “Following the Traditional Women’s Teachings centers you and allows you to step into your wisdom.” Are you ready to step in to your own wisdom?

This will be a four hour workshop offered each season; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter with teachings related to each season. You may attend one workshop, a few or all, it is up to you. Suggested donation of $25.

*Painting by, Valoru*

Magical Sparkle (A poem just for fun)

Magical sparkle of the sea,

restoring a sense tranquility;

Tiny twinkle of reflected light,

do you hold a water sprite?

Liquid mirrors of the sun,

is your purpose purely fun?

Water  wonder glimmer,

casting ever magic shimmer.

Shining dancers to and fro,

mesmerizing gleaming show.

 

 

 

 

 

Offering Thanks Restores You to Beauty

A Native American Elder once told me, “If we would remember to say thank you, we would never need another ceremony.” I’ll never forget him telling me this because it was also an instruction. I knew that at the time. We were sitting inside the tepee before the prayer ceremony began. It was just the two of us. He looked across from me and offered his statement about saying thank you.

I pondered this for some time. Over the years there were many traditional ceremonies that I was fortunate to attend. Actually, that is not accurate. Those teachings and ceremonies changed my life and that of my family deeply. We were all enriched. This reality was part of what prompted me to look hard at what I had been told by this Elder. There were people from all walks of life who came to the ceremonies. They prayed about themselves, their family, the tribe & they prayed for peace in the world.

Did this mean that people’s lives, including mine were a mess because we forgot to say thank you, I wondered? Was the lack of peace in the world and within ourselves related to our ineptitude in offering thanks? Could the answer be this simple, I wondered?

He undoubtedly sensed my struggle to understand because he went on to say, “In the beginning the people, the Native people, looked around. All they saw was beauty. Everywhere they looked they encountered beauty. They thought about how to express to Creator what they thought and felt about being gifted with beauty everywhere. After much thought and discussion they decided that all the could say that was, thank you.”

I thanked him for sharing this with me. I’m sure he knew that I would continue to work with the concept of saying thank you and the critical value it has on keeping life in balance. I looked long and hard at prayers and ceremonies. I saw the people requesting them or participating in them and their suffering. It opened me to compassion for them and myself. I have a practice of offering thanks many times throughout each day. Doing so has me discovering or rediscovering some of the beauty that those original people knew was imbued in all of life. I still have the opportunity to attend ceremonies and pray. When I get to do this I remember to say thank you, for the teachings, for the love, for the well-being of all the children of life yet to come.

The practice and remembrance of saying thank you may seem small but I have found it to be powerful. Offer thanks from your heart, from the wholeness of your being, from your Divine internal spark, as I imagine those Native ancestors did. Maybe one day we will gather only to offer thanks because all we see, feel and experience is beauty everywhere. Never underestimate the value of saying thank you. Let it restore you to beauty. Aho!

Beautiful Morning

On an early morning ride today I witnessed the moon over the Briones as the sun was rising at my back. I was struck by the beauty. Low lying fog hovered over Mt. Tam in the distance and on the return ride home Mt. Diablo was silhouetted in golden mist. Nature captured me and brought me fully present to the moment. I surrendered and embraced the beauty and sense of well being that was bestowed on me. Such a magical start to a beautiful day. I am grateful for the gift whatever the day  brings. I suspect I will be more aware at the minimum. Wishing you beauty and Grace this day!