The messy side of meditation!

Let’s talk about meditation. I don’t know about you, but when I think of meditation I think of quiet time with no interruptions. That is not always a reality. Can it happen? Absolutely!

Does it happen each time you meditate? That depends on your lifestyle and living arrangements. If you live alone it is easier to get that quiet time. Turn off your cell phone and Viola, you have some quiet.

Roommates can be tricky to coordinate with each others comings and goings; but with communication and planning it should be manageable. Have a family with children? Good luck! There are days I swear my toddler has radar tuned to “mommy time!”

There is hope! Communication with anyone that you live with is vital. Tips and tricks for meditation time cues:

lighting. Recently, I have been changing our smart bulbs to purple when I am meditating. Also, I have been communicating to my three young children that when they see the purplelights that means that someone is meditating. The person meditating needs the respect, peace and quiet for self care.

Timing. I really do try to get up prior to my children, but between exhaustion and child radar I am not always successful. When this happens I pause my meditation, toss them on the TV or tablet they want anyway and take the time I need for my self care. Why? Because I have learned that I am short of spoons without my meditation and even an interrupted one balances more than simply skipping it because the , time isn’t right on perfect.

Getting ready for your day. Take your time and be mindful of every action on getting yourself looking and feeling your best for this day. When the kids, roommate on partner come in firmly and politely let them know you are doing set care and want 20 minutes to yourself. Make taking deep breaths and setting intentions as much of your morning and evening self care as brushing your teeth!

Meditation and mindfulness don’t always look the way that we want them to. However, that doesn’t mean that we should give up on this self care. It means we make it work for us within the circumstances of the moment and create our own ideal.

Mindfully yours,Irisa

Meditation: Holding Space

Hello Beautiful!

Today, I want to discuss holding space with you. Holding space in our lives is one of the greatest gifts that we can give ourselves. At this time of a global pandemic, economic uncertainty and for those of us who are American – political and social uncertainty has been rising over the last four years; with elections a few weeks away those pressures and anxieties are rising quickly.

When life is at its scariest we instinctively focus on the mundane. However, when we hyper-focus that is when uncertainty and fear take root. This is when holding space is vital in our lives. The first thing we need to hold space for is ourselves. We need to connect with ourself … not fear, ego or society.

Grab your journal and join me as we take 5 slow deep breaths; breathing in through your nose and exhaling through your nose. Keeping the tip of the tongue behind the front teeth, but touching the roof of the mouth adds to the complete energy/breathe cycle within your body.

Breath in … 3, 2, 1 … Hold for 3, 2, 1 … Exhale for 3, 2, 1
Breath in … 3, 2, 1 … Hold for 3, 2, 1 … Exhale for 3, 2, 1
Breath in … 3, 2, 1 … Hold for 3, 2, 1 … Exhale for 3, 2, 1
Breath in … 3, 2, 1 … Hold for 3, 2, 1 … Exhale for 3, 2, 1
Breath in … 3, 2, 1 … Hold for 3, 2, 1 … Exhale for 3, 2, 1

This is a small moment of holding space for yourself. I would recommend doing this breathe meditation and journaling for 11 minutes. Write whatever comes to mind and heart. There is no right or wrong here. This is about holding space for yourself. By doing so, you gain clarity amongst the mundane.

Holding this space for yourself is vital to personal balance in the mind, body and spirit; plus it opens you to knowing where you really want to focus in your life. When we are willing to stop multi-tasking and hold space for whatever we are giving our time a natural clarity occurs. It is easy to see if that is really where we want to be placing our time and energy when we are fully in the moment and aware of what is occurring with our whole presence and not split focus.

We also begin to see what relationships are feeding us when we focus on holding space when we interact with an individual. Engagement with another individual is an energy exchange. When we hold space and really focus on this exchange of time, energy and emotion with the individual we are sharing with a new awareness emerges.

Does this exchange leave you feeling balanced, drained, exhausted, happy, ecstatic, loved, etc? Is this exchange one-sided or balanced? Once we hold space we can take our awareness to a new level and make better decisions for ourself on what are healthy relationships for us. Some encounters are unavoidable, however, once you know they drain you then you can limit those encounters or make life changes to put yourself in a better place.

Holding space has a beautiful side affect. Your relationships deepen, as do your interests. Time doesn’t become a struggle to share. You are aware of what sings to you and naturally begin to align your time and energy with those things. The more you do this, the more you hold space instead of multi-tasking and rushing, the more your life and priorities become clearer and naturally align with who you are and what you want for your life.

This month I want you to practice holding space for yourself for 11 minutes a day. As you incorporate this into your life with ease, expand this to one task a day. Watch this concept of holding space naturally grow in your life. Journal and reflect on the awareness and changes that it brings for you and to you.

When you fall off the wagon, because we all do during new things, hold space and honor that it happened. Honor the awareness that made you realize it happened and simply begin again. Truth, Love and Awareness are the only perfection you need in life. We all falter, what is important is what we do when we recognize that we have faltered.

Holding Space with you,
Irisa

MESSY Toolbox: You are a Mental, Emotional & Spiritual Superhero

Sassy Tribe,

I want to discuss toolboxes with you! What is a toolbox? Is it a place where you keep your personal resources. A toolbox should be your go to place anytime you have a problem. The place that helps you make a plan and move forward.

We have been discussing toolboxes a lot around here. Part of the reason this sassy mama has been so quiet is because elementary school started and boy was the transition rough this year. I would love to tell you that we have handled everything with grace, calmness and ease … but I cannot.

What I can say is that mindfulness has been an amazing tool for us. It has allowed us to see how we are handling things as individuals and discuss that. The children have come up with some amazing thoughts on how they could have handled things differently and sometimes insight into how another family member could have done better.

Also, as parents it has been an amazing tool. We have been able to honestly look at some of the times that were handled without grace to flat out badly and say “we do not want to be that type of parent”, without judgement. The lack of judgement has been really helpful in mental and emotional clarity; let’s face it parental guilt sucks.

During a time of high frustration, my partner pulled out a wonderful phrase. He asked our daughter “what tools are you using for this problem?” I then sat back and watched him have a conversation about tools and our job was to help her learn about tools and build her toolbox.

This was a huge turning point in the mindset and how all of us had been approaching this school year. We were all mindful that there were struggles but the variety of approaches wasn’t working well. However, once we began to focus on the tools in our individual toolboxes things fell into place.

This led to our MESSY toolbox:

Mental
Emotional
Spiritual
Superhero
You


Inside our MESSY toolbox we have tools to help on the Mental, Emotional and spiritual level to make you the superhero that you are. Mindfulness is a primary tool that I have in our toolboxes. We use this to be aware of the moment, situation and our feelings and attitude about this. Once we have that mindfulness, our awareness is greater. With greater awareness we can judge what tool or tools to begin with.

What happens when awareness isn’t enough? Trust. Trust yourself. Use the tool of meditation and journalling to listen to your inner wisdom. Not the ego voice, which is often louder and validating our fears. The voice that is calm, reassuring, clear and honest. The one that feels right to your gut.

Once we have that guidepost in place, we can begin to navigate our way through the situation at hand with tools in our toolbox. You may think that you don’t have tools, but rest assured that you do.

If we are fortunate, we all begin with a base education that tells us how to read, perform basic math, and research information. These basic skills propel us forward in life and we build on them through work and play.

Community, family, tribe all of this builds another skill set that we put in our toolbox. It is how we relate to people. Communication, trust, relationships, relying on others, working and cooperation to name a few.

Experience. The good, bad and ugly are stored here. This is where we have pain and pleasure. A spot where warning, instinct and experience marry and color our actions and reactions.

Wisdom. The place that keeps us from acting solely on experience and instinct. Where knowledge shapes and molds our experiences and instincts allowing us to choose how we will act or respond to a situation.

There is much more to discuss and I look forward to unpacking this with you over the Fall season.

With Love,
Sassy Mama Irisa

Birthright: Loving-Kindness

Hello Beautiful!

I have some amazing news for you! You were born knowing loving-kindness. Not only did you know loving kindness, you practiced it without being taught how or told it was the right thing to do. You were born knowing and living loving-kindness.

How can I be so certain? Because it feels so right to live in loving-kindness. Nothing feels more natural. Being kind is easy. It makes us feel open, light and full of hope. Need more evidence? Watch small children. Watch them when someone they love is sad. Watch them with a puppy or kitten.

Earlier this summer we had a small rainstorm. My three year puts on his boots and grabs an umbrella. As I try and stop him he begins to tell me that “kitty needs help”. I let him go outside, as we don’t have a cat. He goes to my truck and tries to coax out a kitten who was sheltering from the rain.

When I asked him what he wanted to do with the kitten, he told me the “kitty needed to come inside out of the rain.” I then had to spend the next half hour calming him down as the kitten ran off in the rain. A three year old saw an animal without a home, getting wet. He then (independently) took action to care for it. That is loving-kindness.

We are taught that acting in loving-kindness is a weakness. We are taught that people will take advantage of us and yes, some individuals will. Are we wrong to live in loving-kindness? No, those other individuals have chosen to walk a more difficult path that does not involve remembering loving-kindness.

Every one of us will have experiences that pull us away from our innate nature of loving-kindness. This is when we need to be mindful of what is happening. We need to feel what we are feeling, that is healthy. However, we choose how we react or respond to the situation that is pulling us away from loving-kindness.

This is when we choose to feed the negative emotions such as hate, anger, jealousy, etc. or we forgive with love so that we can remain connected to our loving-kindness. If we can stay connected to our loving-kindness, then we can live in alignment with the Universe and create a life that we adore.

We all falter and step away from loving-kindness. The key is to forgive. Forgive yourself for being human, don’t punish yourself. Forgive the situation with love. Forgive the people. Replace those hard emotions with love. Do it for yourself. Do it so you can be in alignment with your greater good. Be the best version of yourself that you can be.

The following is a mantra that you can do a few times a day. This will remind you of what you already know. The exercise will build both your awareness of loving-kindness and your confidence in your ability to live in loving-kindness.

Exercise: Take a long, slow, deep breathe in your nose and then a long, slow, exhale out of your nose. Repeat the following: I know and understand loving-kindness.

If each of us would take the steps to be the best version of who they are. Together we can change the world. Start with yourself and like ripples on a pond, the world will be a better place.

With loving-kindness,
Irisa

Mindfulness for Personal Awareness

Good Morning Beautiful People,

Today, I would like to discuss with you personal awareness. In my opinion this beautiful tool is essential to mindfulness, clearing energy blocks and being in tune with the Universe to create the life you adore.

First I want you to take a long, slow deep breathe in your nose, then a long slow exhale out of your nose … again breathe slowly and deeply, then exhale slowly and deeply … once more a long, slow deep breathe in your nose, then, then a long slow exhale through your nose.

Now, gently observe yourself. Ask: Dear body, how are you feeling? Be receptive to the answer and simply note it. No digging, reasoning or judging. Ask: Dear mind, how are you feeling? Again, we simply want to know and acknowledge the answer. Nothing more at this time. Ask: Dear Self, how are you feeling? No judgement, no logic, just know the answer and acknowledge it.

You have checked in with your body, mind and spirit … yourself. You have taken a moment to be aware of yourself and where you are at this moment. This is huge. When is the last time you offered yourself the gift of personal awareness?

We sit with our loved ones when they are having difficulties and offer them judgement-free loving kindness. Also, if you don’t think that you sit with loving kindness and awareness for others; when is the last time you said “well, they are just going through a rough time, this isn’t what they are really like …” or something akin to that? Give yourself the same loving kindness and personal awareness you give everyone else. Be the person you are to everyone else to YOU! Stop putting yourself last!

As I have been digging deeper into mindfulness, I had a huge realization with my own personal awareness last week (which was absolutely awful). It was the beginning of elementary school, severe humidity, total body joint pain flair and a migraine that lasted 4 days. I haven’t felt this awful in a very long time. Normally, I am the queen of ignoring my personal pain to push through and get things done.

This week, instead of simply pushing through, I gave myself the space to do mindfulness and sat with personal awareness. How? First, I decided that my family could either pitch in and do some of the simple chores or it wouldn’t get done. I practiced total honesty with them about how I was feeling and what I needed.

Here is what I received: the 8 & 6 year old did some extra picking up without argument and they gave me lots of love and cuddles. My partner, when he wasn’t working, helped with some of the bigger stuff. This was a gift because I could physically rest to heal and it was a gift to them, because I was honest and upfront with how I was feeling and what I needed they could pitch in to help me. This kept me from being upset and moody with them and all of us were happier.

While resting, I observed my body, my mood, my frustration, my temperament and I simply made notes in my journal on what I was feeling and thinking each time something of notice occurred. After a few days of this I looked at what I had written and noticed a pattern of what was bothering me.

By sitting with my self awareness I noticed thoughts and feelings manifesting that were not beneficial to me. This period of observation without judgement or wallowing allowed me to really know some things that were causing conflict and energy blocks within my life. Now that I have awareness on these things, I can move forward and resolve the conflicts and eliminate the energy blocks so that I can continue to move forward with my personal growth in alignment with the Universe and creating a life that I adore.

There is an importance to using the skill of mindfulness to help you be self aware. The tricky part is to observe the self, not wallow or judge. Observation allows you to simply be. Think of it as people watching, except for yourself.

If you find yourself constantly thinking about a situation or individual you may be wallowing. If you find yourself coming to rigid conclusions about an individual or situation, ask yourself Am I judging? Using the simple breathe exercise in the beginning of the article and bring yourself back to a place of mindfulness.

This self awareness through mindfulness allows you to sit, know and understand where you are in your life and what is really affecting you. By doing this you can make better decisions for yourself and your life that allow you to clear energy blocks and be in alignment with your true self. Know thyself and you can create a life you adore.

Be proud of the work and time you are spending on yourself. You deserve it! I would love to hear how mindfulness for personal awareness helps you.
In love,
Irisa

Replacing Anger with Love

I was speaking with a new friend this morning about books. I have been reading books by authors new to me and she had been revisiting some old books on a specific topic of shared interest. Suddenly, I found myself yearning to reread those books she mentioned because I was doing work on that subject to release energy blocks and heal wounds.

I need more reminders of what I loved about that subject or part of my life and less about the pain so I can release my energy blocks with love and see if that still has any meaning in my life.

Irisa MacKenzie

Journalling is my favorite way to release energy blocks. The secret it to write it out without judgement, just write what happened. Then comes the most difficult part; write I forgive you and I love you. Reminder: forgiveness is for you, not for them.

I believe this is there the saying forgive but don’t forget comes from. However, that has its own set of issues and can lead to dwelling on negative situations thereby never releasing them. If you are in your 30’s or older, you probably grew up with this statement.

As such, you may find yourself saying you have forgiven but then dwelling on that situation whenever you see that specific individual or find your life mirroring that situation just brings up those feelings. This is the Universe trying to teach us that we never really forgave because we were taught “forgive, but not forget” and that doesn’t allow for true release. So the Universe sends us what we focus on and we enter cycles of behavior with money, relationships, career, education, health, etc.

When we truly release and forgive we can look at those situations in our lives as experiences instead of situations that still fuel strong emotions. Once we can do that we know that we have achieved forgiveness. Feeling guilty over the situation from the past is an indication that you still have work to do. Some life experiences require a lot of work to move through. Remember, you are doing this to be the healthiest version of yourself you can be.

Understanding this has been one of the most difficult lessons in my life. I have had some horrid things happen in my life (such as rape, sexual assault, harassment, gaslighting, and a narcissistic partner) and the idea of applying forgiveness and love to those individuals has been unbearable. The idea of loving a person that hurt me so badly was insane to me; until I realized that wasn’t the lesson I was being given.

The lesson is to forgive the situation. Forgive the energy around the hurt and energetic blocks that you feel and replace that pain with love. What this does is stop the crippling pain, anger and negativity that you feel when reminded of these situations and begin the process of deep healing and realigning yourself with a loving, abundant universe.

I share these personal experiences because these hard life lessons and being taught to “forgive but not forget” were keeping me stuck in a place of anger, frustration and hostility. It kept me looking in the mirror and not liking what I saw, yet I was lost how to move forward because I couldn’t understand this forgiveness and love concept to cruelty and violence.

However, I didn’t give up. I kept moving forward with journalling, meditation, mindfulness, spirituality and seeking wisdom to heal my pain and anger. I hope this helps you understand you are replacing anger, hurt, etc with love so you can move forward. What happened has happened and nothing can change that. The anger will not change that. But healing yourself and replacing that well of anger in yourself with love, that will change things.

In love,
Irisa

Journal Prompt – Luxury & Self Care

Now is the time to take out your journal and pen. Let’s take three deep breathes: in through the nose, out through the nose, again breathe and feel your diaphragm move slow and deep, lastly one deep breathe in the nose and out through the nose … breathe and feel relaxed. Now, return to your normal breathe.

I want you to create two lists. The first list are those things you enjoy that cannot cost a dime. The second list can involve investing in yourself financially. The purpose of this exercise is to see luxury and self-care in a new light. For each list I wish you to come up with 8 items.

Write: I feel amazing when ….
This is the time to list anything that makes you feel fantastic, beautiful, cared for, loved, sexy, decedent, luxurious …. just flat out amazing!

Love,
Irisa

Luxury: is it only for the rich?

Hello gorgeous one! Today, we will focus on luxury … your idea of luxury, no one else’s. To do this we need to break through and see what reaction you have to the word luxury … excitement or I can’t afford that. First, drop the can’t. Around here that is a four letter word that is not used because it blocks your energy which keeps you from living a life you adore.

Everyone can have luxury in your life no matter the condition of your bank balance or credit cards. The first thing to remember is that luxury isn’t solely about money, but is defined as something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary. This is the time to think of life’s little pleasures. Creating a life that allows luxury opens yourself to the Universal Abundance, increases Self Love and opens you to knowing yourself through self-care.

Now is the time to take out your journal and pen. Let’s take three deep breathes: in through the nose, out through the nose, again breathe and feel your diaphragm move slow and deep, lastly one deep breathe in the nose and out through the nose … breathe and feel relaxed. Now, return to your normal breathe.

I want you to create two lists. The first list are those things you enjoy that cannot cost a dime. The second list can involve investing in yourself financially. The purpose of this exercise is to see luxury and self-care in a new light. For each list I wish you to come up with 8 items.

Write: I feel amazing when ….
This is the time to list anything that makes you feel fantastic, beautiful, cared for, loved, sexy, decedent, luxurious …. just flat out amazing!

I’ll share my journal with you …

I feel amazing when:
1. I start my day with a hot cup of death wish coffee
2. I listen to music that makes my soul sing
3. I read for at least 30 minutes a day
4. I post affirmations around my house
5. I meditate in the morning and evening
6. I take three breathes and check in with how I truly feel before making a calendar commitment
7. My house is clean and organized, not cluttered
8. I take time to care for my hair and make-up

This next list is not to worry about money but just what brings you pleasure and makes you feel luxurious …

1. Professional pedicure and manicure
2. Fine chocolates
3. Eating out at new restaurants
4. Going to a yoga retreat (a yet-realized dream)
5. Travel
6. Going to the gym
7. I spend time in small bookstores, they always have amazing gems on the shelves and with the staff
8. Surround myself with beautiful crystals, candles, essential oils and incense

Shift your energy with luxurious self care. Each of us has a different idea of luxury and that is alright. Whatever brings you joy is luxury. As I was writing this part, my children started interrupting me non-stop. Instead of getting irritated that they were knocking my train of thought off track, I managed to take a deep breathe and think about the type of interruptions they were.

Instead of the usual hunger or this child won’t share a toy with that child, it was come look at this cool butterfly or I found a spiderweb. I am grateful that I noticed instead of letting fear in the form of anger or irritation take over. I listened to the Universe and closed my laptop. From there I spent the afternoon in luxury. We spent time with them showing me the world through their eyes, then when they wandered off I noticed it was a beautiful day outside.

So, I grabbed my tablet and read outside, alternating between watching and chatting with my children. After a while I decided to attempt a challenge in a video game. Then I helped my daughter with a request to make her room more open and loving. So, we moved her furniture around and I left her with directions and ideas on how she can continue to clear the space and make it more hers from there versus cluttered.

Feeling rejuvenated and inspired, I came back to my laptop with a lovely cup of lavender honey tea in a mug from a place that brings me warm memories and love to my heart. I am grateful that I listened to the Universe instead of letting the fact my expectations of my morning were interrupted irritate me. I breathed and listened. Then I received a day of luxury and bonding with my children. The Universe provided us with a beautiful gift because I took the time to listen and observe without judgement or expectation. I am grateful for today. I am grateful for the lessons. I am grateful.

There are so many ways to make yourself feel luxurious from big splurges to small everyday moment that are meaningful if we are mindful to create the space to enjoy them. Sometimes, I set my alarm a bit early to just enjoy the coffee in silence or better yet outside in the cool, dewy morning air. What can you do to fit 5 minutes of luxury into your day today? I would love for you to comment and share.

Feed your soul and you will have the loving support and guide of inner wisdom and the Universe with you at all times.

In love,
Irisa

Turn Problems Into Hope

Thoughts matter. What was the first thought you had today? Did you stress over money? Rejoice in the fact you were alive? Weep that another day had begun? Feel gratitude for your family?

I woke up with the most amazing feeling of love. I couldn’t wait to get up and share my love with the world. To share my love with everyone I know. To share my love with you. This was incredible and a long journey to get here.

Normally, I am a giant ball of stress. I make the mistake many do and try and carry the stress for my family so they can enjoy life more. How dumb is that? How can my family enjoy me if I am a giant ball of stress? I certainly am not a joy to be around when I feel this way. I am short tempered and focused on problems not fun.

It is so difficult to shift from worry, stress, anxiety, and problems to love, peace, gratitude and abundance. If you are like me you have heard live in love, practice loving kindness, only positive parenting and probably felt this was unattainable or worse yet that there was something wrong with you because you could not do this.

It is so hard to keep your cool when you are worried about how to pay the mortgage or if you have a job. Stress makes you short-sighted and short-tempered. If getting angry is second nature, then you know feeling awful for that anger follows and suddenly you are in a loop.

Emotions happen for a reason. Breathe. You are human. Stop and forgive yourself. Now breathe again. Do you want to turn life in a different direction? Do you want to find a way to live the life you dream of? Have a life you adore?

I swear it can happen. Even if you don’t know how you are going to put food on the table this week, it can happen. Each one of us has blocks to manifesting a life of abundance. Right now, if you cannot imagine your mind focusing on anything but your problems then we start with the problem acknowledgement exercise.

Problem Acknowledgement Exercise
Get a pen and paper. The back of an envelope, your journal, a napkin, anything will work. List all of the things stressing you out. No matter how big or small. No matter how personal. Especially if that voice says: this really shouldn’t bother me, absolutely list it.

Okay, you have your list. Acknowledge that is an achievement. How do you feel? Feeling overwhelmed? Feeling better for putting it all in one place? Feeling nauseous? Feeling angry? Whatever you are feeling is what you are feeling in this moment, it is not what you have to feel forever.

Take a deep breathe in your nose and a slow exhale through your mouth. Every time you feel resistance or want to give up. Breathe. Breathe until you find your resolve to move forward. You can do this!

Take a look at each item on your list. Look without honesty and judgement. How this happens only matters from the perspective of not repeating mistakes. Blame, criticism and negative-self talk will do nothing to assist you in changing things.

Focus with a clear mind, breathe if you become emotional. Breathe until you are calm and clear minded. See without judgement. If judgement begins, then breathe. Breathe until you are once again clear minded.

Is this something that is an actual problem for you or something someone in your life has told you is a problem for you. Notice I say for you? That is because we often take other peoples issues and make them our own. No matter how much you love someone and want to help them there is a huge difference between help and ownership.

Example one: Work is cutting your hours. Yes, this is an actual problem for you.

Example two: your cousin can’t pay their rent because they partied all month and didn’t save a dime. No, this is not your problem (unless they live with you and are paying the rent).

No matter how much you love this person if you are going to hurt yourself by financially, emotionally or physically helping them. Then you need to take a step back and say at this moment I cannot help them without hurting myself, so they must solve their own problem. This does not make you a bad person.

“No one was put on this earth to solve problems for everyone they meet, know or love. How do I know this? Because if that was your purpose, trust that the Universe would have given you all the resources to do so and live a life you adore.”

— Irisa MacKenzie

Once you have gone through the list and crossed off what really is a problem for you take a moment to be proud of yourself for doing something very difficult. Also, do you any items that you feel guilty for putting down or that the inner voice is saying isn’t a problem? Pull them aside and we will deal with them seperately.

Now, look at what you have left on your list and prioritize what needs to be handled. Start at the top and brainstorm solutions. In example one: Work is cutting your hours. Possible solutions: second job, new job, unemployment, roommate, evaluate finances and see if you can really survive on less, etc.

Go through each issue in front of you and brainstorm. If you do not know what to do about something try to google solutions, speak with a trusted friend or family member, meditate. Write down possible solutions, no matter how crazy they seem. Sometimes the craziest ideas hold nuggets of truth, ideas or wisdom. Only you can find the solution that works best for your life. Trust yourself!

Having a plan or part of a plan doesn’t make the problems go away, but it does give you focus and hope. Changing focus from worry to solution is a step to clearing the blocks from having a life you adore. Hope is the seed needed to find our way back to love.

Take another breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Look at the list that makes you feel uncomfortable. Are the items there something that others tell you how you should feel? Is it something you secretly desire? Be totally honest with how you feel and why. This may take some time and soul searching and that is okay. Simply acknowledging that you have these feelings about these things is the first step to doing something.

That something may be resolving an issue with another individual through communication. You may need to set clearer boundaries in your life which can be difficult and often brings feelings of guilt at first. Personally, I am still working on not feeling guilty for setting boundaries. I can tell you that it gets easier if you continue to practice this.

It may even be that what is bothering you is something someone else is telling you about yourself. This takes some self evaluation to see if it is meant with love and something you do need to focus on or if they are projecting their expectations for you onto you and those expectations are not in alignment with what you want for yourself nor do they resonate with your soul. Only you can determine this truth, but do it with total honesty that resonates from your soul. Work through any resistance until you are certain you are seeing this clearly.

Congrats on taking the first steps to making changes to create the life you adore! Does this mean you are going to start being one with loving kindness or embrace positive parenting and never get frustrated with the kids again? No. What this does mean is that you are beginning the work to creating a life that you adore.

While I cannot offer you a magic solution that fixes everything in an instant. I can offer you truths I have learned along my journey. May this wisdom reach those who need it and may the Universe continue to guide us in this amazing journey of Know Thyself to create a life we adore!

Have a wonderful day!
Irisa MacKenzie

Fear is my co-pilot; where is the eject button?

Every single one of us has Fear. The extent to which fear has twined its way into our mind, thoughts, actions and beliefs deepens the blocks within each of us and keeps us from living our best authentic life.

Fear is the backseat driver in most of our lives. Most of us do not even realize that Fear is controlling our life. Fear limits us. Fear keeps us from living a life that we adore.

Where do fears come from? There are many places that fears grow. Some are from our personal experiences and others are from another individuals experience and influence on our life.

Fear keeps us from:
… setting healthy boundaries,
… being honest with other people,
… following our dreams,
… speaking the truth as we both see and feel it,
… loving relationships,
… health,
… living a life that we adore.

None of us can reach our potential while we have fear whispering in our ear. I have allowed fear to limit my life by listening to fear disguised as practical advice. This was a behavior that I was taught by my parents and well-meaning friends when I was a teenager. Unfortunately, those lessons took hold and formed deep blocks to my happiness, creativity and abundance.

I have always been a writer and photographer. For as long as I can recall they have been my passion. During high school I realized I could take an artistic track to prepare me for post-secondary education or career. I came home so excited with the plan to take a variety of art courses and which technical colleges to apply to after.

There isn’t a time I ever recall being so excited about the potential of life. Knowing that this was my path and plan for my time here. Then I went home and told my parents what I wanted. Practical advice crushed my spirit that day. Being told I was too smart for a path that would never allow me financial stability or respect and was a fool to follow such dreams. Art is a hobby, not a career. Authors don’t make money or become famous until they die. Many discussions on how this was foolish and I would be unsuccessful and starve followed and created blocks within myself.

Rooting blocks and fears:
… Artists cannot support themselves
… True success comes from going to college
… Money is what makes you successful
… Making $50,000 a year and buying a house will make me happy
… A secure job is happiness

Conversation after conversation arose in high school around my passions. Each one was squished with practical advice. Until fear took firm hold and I was a senior in high school. That year was sad. I had no excitement for my future other than to be done with that town and live elsewhere. I was going to a college of my parents choice and taking a major that made them happy. This made me feel worthy of being loved by my family because I was following their dreams; not mine.

Prior to the college semester beginning I was in the mountains with friends and family. An older friend who was in forestry and taught me much about nature was chatting with me. He asked me what I was going to do in college. English? Art? Yes, he knew my parents feelings on it but supported me. I told him I was going to major in accounting at an all girls Catholic college. There is nothing wrong with either choice, except they could not be farther from my personal truth. Never, have I seen anyone spit a beer so far in my life. Why? he asked. That isn’t your dream.

The only answer I have found is that in four years of high school so many fears had rooted in me. Fears of being unloved if I was my authentic self. Disappointing people by not listening to their advice. That I would starve and die alone if I followed my art. As such, college was a massive disaster that lead to a lot of debt, personal crisis and heartache but no degree.

Now that fear was the main voice in my ear a constant internal battle began. The battle of who I was and who I was supposed to be. Supposed to be ran the show for a long time. Many years were spent in a corporate financial career that was successful by society standards. This colored my first marriage, living arrangements, friendships and made me miserable. I was financially well-off, people considered me to be in a loving relationship and I had a nice home. Fear and misery were my constant companions. Depression was my best friend because I felt awful for not wanting that life. Stating I was unhappy only led to me being told I was ungrateful.

I share this because no one can tell you what type of life you should be grateful for. Being poor, writing and creating art made me happier than thousands in the bank, a nice house and one sided happy relationship.

No one should tell you what your definition of success is. We all have different goals and capabilities. The interests, passions and desire to share that with the world is different for everyone. Whatever you bring to the world is a gift, if it is done with love.

Fear leads us to judge and put our perceptions, wants, needs and disappointments on others. This creates block after block within individuals and communities. As long as we continue to share fear, we will not know ourselves. We will not build loving, supportive families that create supportive, safe, nurturing communities. Fear will continue to control and destroy the best of what we are … our ability and desire to love.

Love puts us in alignment with the Universe. When we operate from a place of love our world shifts. Abundance, knowledge, wisdom, respect and much more begin to fill the spaces where fear, anger, judgement and other limiting emotions lived within us.

It is Okay to not be okay. Things are never perfect. We are people living real lives and having real experiences. That means this work is cyclical for us. Whether you are just beginning your journey of self discovery or have been walking this path for decades we all have times were we have to remember that It is Okay to NOT be Okay.

Struggles in life are normal. Emotional and mental blocks are normal. It isn’t like you do the work and after so many levels you hit this miracle place where there are no blocks or struggles. I can’t say do this work for a set amount of time and you will earn your trophy. What I can say is that by doing the work you have tools to handle what life throws at you. By doing the work you recognize when you are not being true to yourself. You recognize when fear is whispering in your ear or speaking instead of love.

Today’s Mantra: It’s Okay to Not be Okay and I am still lovable.
You do not have to be perfect to be lovable. You do not have to be perfect, just be the best you that you can be at this moment.

In Universal Love,
Irisa MacKenzie