Gratitude and Cigarettes

Inspiration is all around me.  I spent the day outside at the lake, with an endless blue sky and sunshine.  I haven’t seen blue sky in about 12 days, so this was a real treat.  It was freezing cold, the middle of winter in Germany, but very beautiful.  Icicles hung from trees frozen just about the waterline, very slowly melting back into the lake.

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Today was the first time in a while that I was able to be thankful and grateful for my life and where I am at.  So often I tend to see what I don’t have, what I am lacking, how I’ve screwed things up in the past (and present) and I worry about the future and if it will “all work out”.  There are some areas of my life where I am challenged and continue to get hit with the same lessons, only I don’t seem to learn from them because I keep making the same mistakes and end up feeling the same way; worried and uncertain.

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In January, I decided to take some more responsibility for things.  We all know where it is in our lives that we can improve and simply don’t do it, only to end up stuck and in constant repeat mode until we deal with whatever it is.  I have the gift of strong intuition and believe that I’ve got some pretty cool angels who sit with me and tell me what to do.  Its odd, but there is a voice in my head that comes out of nowhere and if I listen to it, things usually turn out right.

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So, I finally listened to this voice that was growing louder and louder and it said, “Quit smoking cigarettes and take a long break from your beloved red wine.”  I was at a point where I was (and still am) ready to make a giant leap forward.  I know there is something greater for me to do and I want to start living a livelier life again (it’s been a little too quiet for me for the past few years), so if this is what I need to do to get there, then I’ll try.

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I’ve been a smoker for the past (I can’t actually believe I’m admitting this) 23 years! That’s more than half my life.  23 is my lucky number, so it is a perfect year to quit.  Whether I smoked a little or a lot makes no difference, I smoked, and I absolutely loved it.  So, saying no to a highly pleasurable habit was a huge step forward.  I figured I should stop drinking at the same time because the two generally go hand in hand, so until I feel confident that its behind me, no wine on the porch/kitchen/neighbors/girlfriends/Skype, etc.

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I’m amazed at how easy this has been.  I have no desire to smoke.  I had to test it out with wine and see if I had it, and sure enough, I’m good.  So far.  I don’t even think about smoking anymore.  I have enough other things in my head to think about and missing cigarettes isn’t one of them.  Thanks God.

So today, breathing in the fresh air and listening to the birds beginning their spring twitter, I realized that I haven’t smoked in one month.  Somehow it just hit me.  Well fuck yeah!  This is a huge accomplishment for me.  I’ve been down the quitting road several times and never lasted more than three days.  So as I was giving myself a big high-five and pat on the back for being such a bad ass, I also began to see how other things have shifted.

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I’ve got a job interview in Italy in 6 weeks for a job that I really want.  Applying for this job was the first step for me to start to do more of what I truly want to do, and I’ve made it to Round 2.  I’m a freelancer, so I create projects and accept them, which can often be a source of stress and worry.  Sometimes there is a lot of work, other times its quite dry.  Since I’ve started to change things, I’m full with work, some of which are exciting and others that are “bill payers” for which I am highly grateful.

So somewhere inside of today, I had a real moment of thankfulness.  I started with my health and happiness, went on to my family and friends, and then on to life.  It’s not always easy, there are things that work and things that don’t, and I often have small freak outs when things don’t work.  My thought train spirals out of control and suddenly I have visions of myself as a spinster maid for a wealthy family in Italy.

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But today, today I saw a brighter vision and picture. I saw that all these little steps like quitting smoking and taking more control of myself from within (stopping negative thoughts, making more conscious decisions in all areas of life, etc.) are going to get me exactly where I need to be.  The more and more I build myself up from the inside out, then everything and anything are possible.  By turning bad habits into good ones, the energy shifts.  And when energy shifts into the direction that I want it to go…there is nothing at all stopping me from reaching my goals.

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So I invite you to take a good, hard look at what it is that is holding you back from whatever it is that you want.  A habit, a thought, a fear…anything, and make one small step to change it.  That one step may be the catalyst for many more.  And suddenly, you could find yourself in a new country, with a new lover or partner, in your dream castle, etc.

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I truly believe that anything and everything are possible if you first visualize it and then make the steps to clear the blockade that is within you.  After that, you’re pretty unstoppable!!

May Cause Miracles: My Own 40 Day Challenge

As I settle into this new year and return from my heart home of Austin to my physical home of Munich, I am restless once again.  Normally when this feeling comes over me, I begin to envision a new life for myself (which I’m doing now), do my research (in the process), sell my shit and go travel the world.

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However, as I’ve gotten older, the horizon has shrunk a bit as well as my “Fuck it, lets see” attitude.  Either real life has set in or I’m becoming an adult…or possibly both.  I am now strategically calculating how to make this next jump in life.  What I’ve come to see is that I won’t find what I’m looking for in another country, a new lover, an empty bottle of wine, a kick ass beach and/or dance party or a new job (although they do add to the fun and adventure of life).  No, what I’m seeking is actually the ability to feel calm, peaceful, happy and satisfied in each and every moment of my life, no matter where I am.

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Now this being said, I did realize that there is a very special beauty and feeling that comes with being home, being surrounded by people who know me and love me, and whom I know and love deeply.  Creating a life for myself in countless other countries has been fun, but also lonely and challenging.  It’s made me grow, has opened my eyes to the world and I’ve met people I would never have met had I stayed in the nest.  Yet, now its time to see what really matters to me….is it Austin I want or peace in my heart?

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I came across a book called May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein.  I think its pretty miraculous that it came to me when it did. I would actually call it magical (as I call many things in my life).  So the book is about, well…letting miracles happen in your life, and you do daily exercises for 40 days in order to experience this shift.

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I love it.  So I decided that I would share my experiences with the community.  I’m searching, as most of us are.  I’m searching for a lot of things: love, peace in my heart, lots of money, stability, adventure, freedom, family, friendship, the ability to do what I love every single day of my life, and really…happiness.  I’ve had all of these at one point or another in my life, most I still have, but there is something missing, something that keeps me restless and yearning.  So I’m doing the work of going within to figure that out.

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I’d like to invite you on my journey.  I’ll share my revelations, doubts, hardships, breakthroughs and insights.  Could be boring, could be worth it.  What I’d like to accomplish is two things; 1) Finally using my voice in public, something which has scared me forever (believe it or not), and 2) The ability to inspire other people who struggle with similar issues to find their way within and to a greater sense of self and truth.

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I have no idea what is to come of this, but I’m willing to give it a try.  I’m hoping for clarity and am allowing for the possibility (Thank you Talitha!).

“Every journey begins with the first step.”- No idea because it’s credited to many, but perfect!

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