Blue Heron Visions

Spiritual Life Coaching


Volume 1, Issue 6
December 1, 2004

Inside This Issue
Saving Grace
Soul Messages: Are you listening?

A Thought from the Coach . . . Resolutions for the Soul
Your Journal Library
Special Announcements for Coaches!
Wise Words for A New Year

 

Saving Grace


 

When was the last time you noticed the evidence of Grace in your life? Some of you may be wondering, “What does she mean?”

Grace, when viewed as a religious concept, means “the free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God.” (Of course, grace has other definitions as well, but this definition is the one on which I want to focus.) My belief is that every one of us, whether we believe in God or not, is living under the influence of Grace.

Take a moment right now and think about the last time you experienced:

  • a sunrise
  • a sunset over the ocean
  • a rainbow after a blustery storm
  • the smell of coffee brewing on a campfire
  • the warmth of a fire on a cold night
  • the flight of a bird on the wind
  • the feel of grass between your toes
  • the glorious Autumn colors

As you think about each item on the list, how did you feel during the experience? What other experiences could you add to the list that brought you feelings of joy, happiness, wonder, and well being? What did you do to deserve these wonderful experiences?

Therein lies the key to my premise. We do nothing to deserve these experiences. They are freely given to us whether we are aware of them or not. They are the evidence of Grace in our lives.

There are other evidences of Grace, too. When was your last “close call” while driving or walking across the street? When did someone listen when you needed a friendly ear? When did you find money on the street or forgotten money in a pocket? Behind the scenes in each of these situations, Grace is flowing, bringing you free and unmerited favor and blessing.

Of course, the choice is yours. You can see life experiences as coincidences or you can see them as magical and wonderful synchronicities that Grace provides to encourage and direct you on your journey.

This month focus on Grace’s influence in your life by creating a “Grace List.”

  • Set aside 5 to 10 minutes daily.
  • In your journal or in a small notebook, write down at least three experiences for each day that show the influence of Grace in your life.
  • At the end of each week, read your Grace List. How do you feel when you read the list? Where is Grace leading you on your journey? :o)
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“. . . for magic to happen in your life,
you must believe in magic.”

—Grandmother,
quoted by Lynn Andrew
“What we see depends mainly on what
we look for.”

—Sir John Lubbock
 

 

Soul Messages: Are you listening?

 

 
 

The other day at Starbucks, I overheard a young man recounting a rather disturbing tale to a couple of friends. While he was traveling in a large Canadian city, he saw a man on the street asking for money. However, this man was offering a service for the $1 he was requesting. He would allow paying customers to kick him. The young man said the man had rules, of course. For example, he would not allow those with steel-toed shoes to kick him, and the person kicking could not kick any vital organ or the man’s head. The young man finished his story by saying he gave the man a dollar but did not kick him.

Overhearing this story was the last of three synchronistic incidents that awakened me to the fact that my Soul was sending me a very specific message. The first incident occurred when I was reading a book by Debbie Ford, The Secret of the Shadow: The Power of Owning Your Whole Story. A section called “Violations of Self” caught my attention so much that I starred the section, notating it with the word Important. In this section, Ford says that while we often are not consciously aware of the violations and betrayals we perpetrate against ourselves, “our psyches are acutely aware the moment we stray from our own internal guidance systems” (page 133). Here are a few examples of how we violate ourselves and ignore our inner wise voice (from pages 133-135):

  • “not taking enough time for rest and recreation”
  • “listening to our self-loathing internal dialogues”
  • “making other people’s needs more important than our own”
  • “being unconscious about our spending”
  • “overeating”


Beggar Seated on a Bank
Rembrandt van Rijn, 1630
www.fineartsmuseum.com

I experienced the second synchronistic incident while watching a television show. The story line of this police drama was about finding the murderer of a homeless person. The murder had been caught on videotape, so the police were looking for the two men who made the videotape. The two men, college students, would pay homeless people to have fights so they could videotapes the fights. The men duplicated the videotapes and sold them to make money for college. Because the two “entrepreneurs” made sure that the homeless people signed releases before they were allowed to be videotaped, they were not breaking the law. This show upset me. The idea of giving money to homeless people so that they would beat up on each other certainly made me more sensitive to the story I overheard at Starbucks!

In the two stories I recounted and the passage I read from Ford’s book, there is a common theme of abuse, betrayal, and violation. As I thought about this theme and how it applied to me, I felt my Soul prompting me with some questions for self-examination:

  • “What are the ways that you violate yourself?”
  • “What are the payoffs for your violations of self?”
  • “What are your rules for self-abuse?”
  • “How long is acceptable for you to indulge in self-abuse, self-violation, and self-betrayal?”
  • “Why do you doubt your worth?”

These questions do not have easy answers. They require me to do some digging, to listen to my Soul, and to face shadow aspects of my personality. What I have discovered so far is that I ignore my inner voice or indulge in violations of self because of what I think I gain—attention and, at times, approval from others. These are my $1 payoffs for my self-abuse!

These three incidents have shown me the importance of self-respect, self-worth, and self-love. When I do not appreciate and value myself as a spiritual being, I cannot truly appreciate and value anyone else. I am unable to see others through the eyes of Love. My Soul has convinced me that the time has come to embrace myself wholly.

What messages has your Soul been sending you lately? Are you listening? :o)

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A Thought from the Coach . . .

Resolutions for the Soul


 

A New Year looms on the horizon which means a host of New Year’s Resolutions are sure to follow. As we think about what changes we would like to make in our lives in the coming year, let’s consider making some Resolutions for our Souls.

I was introduced to the idea of Soul Resolutions in an email from Carolyn Myss, which informed me of a workshop she would be giving in January called Soul Resolutions: Power Strategies for 2005. (See www.myss.com for more information.) I was captivated by the idea that I could create resolutions that would benefit my Soul and empower me in the coming year.

How about you? What resolutions would your Soul like you to make? Not sure? Here is a simple process to help you discover your own Soul Resolutions for 2005. To begin, you will need a long list of ideas. One way to assemble such a list is to use the technique of brainstorming.

Before you begin brainstorming, center yourself by taking a few deep breaths and opening yourself to your Soul.

 


Get several sheets of paper, and write as many ideas as come to your mind for your Soul Resolutions without considering the logistics or validity of any idea. To get you started, I have listed some ideas that have appeared in Blue Heron Visions.

  • Create a vision for my life, my family, my business
  • Commit to learning my lessons this year
  • Set aside time each week to discover messages from my Soul
  • Begin using my journal as a way to coach myself
  • Commit to creating several journal maps this year
  • Develop my ability to “watch the thinker” and experience the present moment
  • Discover what my personal legend is
  • Commit to making a weekly “Grace List”

Once you finish your list, put it aside for a day or two.


Clip Art courtesy of www.susansart.com


When you are ready to look at the list, get centered and open the lines of communication with your Soul.

Prioritize your list, by putting an A, B, or C next to each idea, based on your Soul’s desire and how reasonable and doable the idea is.

Choose one or two ideas and create the plan for how you will implement it in 2005.

Finally, work your plan.

If you would like to coach with me to help you discover and achieve your Soul Resolutions, let me know. I am currently taking new clients.

My email address is vlmma_1995@yahoo.com. :o)

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Your Journal Library


As a rebellious journal writer, I try my best to avoid getting stuck in the rut of journal writing. While I love to embrace the ritual of writing thoughts, feelings, and observations, I never want my journal writing to be a “Have-to-do” item on my daily To-Do List.

I realize, of course, that I can always choose to see my journal writing as a task I want to do. But sometimes I have trouble convincing my inner child that it is a fun task that I really want to do!

In previous issues of this newsletter, I have offered suggestions to make journal writing more fun. In this issue, I want to invite each of you to think about developing your personal journal library.

Photo by rcurls
2004
www.morguefile.com


When I use the phrase journal library, I mean a collection of different journals dedicated to specific topics. For example, most people have heard about keeping a Dream Journal by your bed to record your dreams. That idea can be expanded to include any part of your life as demonstrated in the list of journals below. (Note: Many of these ideas came from the Echoing Whispers site at http://journal-writing.webdjinni.net/journal-types/index.html.)

  • Gratitude Journal—Keep a journal with a list of what you are grateful for each day.
  • Joy Journal—Denise Linn introduces this journal idea in Soul Coaching: 28 Days to Discover Your Authentic Self. In this journal, “you might include writing, collages, drawing, poetry, photos—one a day to chronicle the great moments of your day—or anything else that illustrates the joyful or magical moments of each day . . .”(pages 14-15).
  • Seasonal Journal—Dedicate a journal to a specific season of the year. Record memories from Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter. Last month’s journal idea would be perfect for an Autumn Journal.
  • Everyday Master Journal—Author Paulo Coelho describes this type of journal as a place to write down the “something different” we learn “from dawn to dusk” each day. (Warrior of the Light Online, Issue No. 82; http://www.warriorofthelight.com/engl/)
  • Coaching Journal—Use this journal to track your coaching assignments. Write down questions that your coach asks and keep a record of brainstorming lists, a copy of your personal mission statement, and inspiration and ideas that come from your coaching sessions.
  • Poetry Journal—Write your poems in a journal dedicated specifically to your poetry.
  • Travel Journal—Keep a record of your travels, including places you visited, activities you did, and people you met. Be sure to include your feelings and impressions.
  • Health Journal—Keep track of your health by recording your check-ups, exercise goals and accomplishments, and eating plan.

There are several reasons to have a journal focus on a specific topic.

First, finding a specific journal entry is much easier with a dedicated journal. If you use your General Daily Journal to record everything, you may have trouble finding a gratitude list or a poem you wrote several months (or even years) ago.

Second, a dedicated journal provides the opportunity for you to see growth in a specific area of your life. For example, your Health Journal shows you how you progressed in your exercise program and eating plan. You can see the pitfalls you faced as well as the successes you had.

Third, having several journals makes journal writing interesting and diverse. You get to choose which journal and how many journals you want to write in on any given day. If a poem is burning in your Soul, you reach for your Poetry Journal. If you have an appointment with your coach, you reach for your Coaching Journal. For general journal writing, you choose your General Daily Journal.

This month think about what area of your life could benefit from having a specific journal dedicated to it, and begin to create your own journal library. :o)

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Special Announcements for Coaches!

If you are a coach and would like to submit an article and be featured in the “Meet the Guest Coach” section, send an email to me at vlmma_1995@yahoo.com, introducing yourself and indicating your article idea. :o)

Beginning in January 2005, I will be creating a Coaches’ Directory. This quarterly directory will be part of the newsletter and feature your name, business name, coaching specialty, and contact information. I would like to include a small photo as well. If you are interested in being listed, send an email to vlmma_1995@yahoo.com that contains the information indicated above. :o)

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Wise Words for A New Year


I have assembled some inspiring quotes to get us excited about the magical possibilities and wonderful opportunities awaiting us in the New Year. I wish each of you a joyous and fulfilling holiday season and a Happy New Year. Thank you for your support!

 

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” —William James

“Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.” —Dale E. Turner

“A good intention clothes itself with power.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” —Jonathan Swift

“Your treasure is deep within you: it holds all you need.” —Hui-Hai

“We have to decide for ourselves what’s nourishing to our souls, and do those things
over others.” —Thomas Moore

“I like thinking of possibilities. At any time, an entirely new possibility is liable to come along and spin you off in an entirely new direction. The trick, I’ve learned, is to be awake to the moment.” —Doug Hall

“Embrace fully your capacity to create, to think in unlimited ways, and to pursue everything that you have been wanting. Be flexible, open and willing to let the new come to you. ‘This can be the most joyous, prosperous, and creative time of your life.’”
—Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer

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Copyright (c) 2004 Vicky Lynn Macchione All Rights Reserved.
No part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any manner without written permission of the author(s).
Email address: vlmma_1995@yahoo.com Web site: www.geocities.com/vlmma_1995