An Invitation to Comfort
Creating a Happy, Serene, and Healthy Home
by Madisyn Taylor
Include all 5 senses while making a home, doing so provides safe haven for your evolving body and soul.
Your home is your oasis. Through your efforts, your house or apartment can become both a private sanctuary and a welcoming, serene, and healthy place to live in and visit. An organized and comfortable home can have a calming effect on you, your family, and guests, as well as be your personal escape from the rest of the world. Creating this nurturing space isn’t difficult. Even a household that includes young children or multiple animals can be a serene and peaceful place. In just a few minutes, you can make a number of changes that can turn your home into a safe and comfortable haven that you can be proud to share with your loved ones and friends.
One way to fill your house or apartment with calming energy is to imbue it with a peaceful ambiance that nurtures all five senses. Soft lighting and soothing colors like blue, purple, and green can make a space feel warm and inviting, while pleasant and calming aromas such as lavender and vanilla can positively affect moods. Peaceful sounds, such as running water in a fountain or gentle chimes can uplift and clear the space, while clearing clutter and making the most of open space can ease internal turmoil and dispel negative feelings. The physical objects in your home as well as your home itself can retain the energy of previous owners and the object’s creator. You can give your household’s energy a lift by visualizing white light surrounding our home, symbolically sweeping out residual energy, or smudging your home with cleansing sage.
The changes you make to your home can be as unique as you are and may involve utilization of space, lighting, new furniture, decorating, feng shui, or ritual. But what you do is not as important as being clear in your intention to set up your household as a soothing and refreshing place to be. Make your home a place of comfort, and you will feel nurtured and cared for whenever you are there.
Releasing the Reigns
by Madisyn Taylor
If your tendency is to try and change other people, take some time to explore why you feel the need to do so.
Our perception of humanity as a whole is, to a large extent, dualistic. We paint people with a broad brush—some are like us, sharing our opinions and our attitudes, while others are different. Our commitment to values we have chosen to embrace is often so strong that we are easily convinced that our way is the right way. We may find ourselves frustrated by those who view the world from an alternate vantage point and make use of unusual strategies when coping with life’s challenges. However ardently we believe that these people would be happier and more satisfied following our lead, we should resist the temptation to try to change them. Every human being has been blessed with a unique nature that cannot be altered by outside forces. We are who we are at any one point in our lives for a reason, and no one person can say for certain what another should be like.
The reasons we try to change one another are numerous. Since we have learned over time to flourish in the richness of lives we have built, we may come to believe that we are qualified to speak on behalf of the greater source. The sum total of our knowledge will never compare to what we do not know, however, and our understanding of others’ lives will forever be limited. The potential we see in the people who are a part of our lives will never be precisely the same as our own, so we do these individuals a disservice when we make assumptions about their intentions, preferences, and goals. Our power lies in our ability to accept others for all their quirks and differences and to let go of the need to control every element of our existence. We can love people for who they are, embracing their uniqueness, or we can love them as human beings from afar.
Your ability to influence people may grow more sophisticated because others sense that you respect their right to be themselves, but you will likely spend more time gazing inward, into the one person you can change: yourself.
We can start fresh in this very moment, not needing to wait for a new day to start anew.
When today is not going well, it is tempting to focus on tomorrow as a blank slate with all the possibilities that newness provides. It is true that tomorrow will be a brand-new day, but we do not have to wait until tomorrow to start fresh. We can start fresh at any moment, clearing our energy field of any negativity that has accumulated, and call this very moment the beginning of our brand-new day.
There is something about the sunrise and the first few hours of the morning that make us feel cleansed and rejuvenated, ready to move forward enthusiastically. As the day wears on, we lose some of this dynamic energy and the inspiration it provides. This may be why we look forward to tomorrow as providing the possibility of renewal. Many traditions consider the light of the rising sun to be particularly divine in its origins; this is why so many people in the world face east when performing ritual. We too can cultivate that rising sun energy inside ourselves, carrying it with us to light our way through any time of day or night, drawing on its power to awaken and renew our spirits.
One simple way to do this is to carry an image or a photograph of the rising sun with us in our wallet or purse. We can also post this image on our wall at work or at home, or have it as our screensaver on our computer. When we feel the need to start fresh, we can take a moment to gaze at the image, allowing its light to enter into our hearts. As we do this, we might say out loud or quietly to ourselves, I am ready to let go of the past and start anew. We might visualize anything we want to release leaving us as we exhale, and as we inhale, we can take in the fresh energy of the eastern sun, allowing it to light the way to a brand-new day.
The Daily OM
by Madisyn Taylor
Giving yourself permission to be silly will nourish your creativity and is a good exercise in letting go.
Children appreciate all that is silly as a matter of course. Their grasp of humor is instinctual, and even the smallest absurdities provoke joyous gales of earnest laughter. As we age, this innate ability to see the value of silliness can diminish. Work takes precedence over play, and we have less incentive to exercise our imaginative minds by focusing on what is humorous. When we remember childhood, we may recall the pleasures of donning funny costumes, reciting nonsense poems, making up strange games, or playing pretend. This unabashed silliness nourished our vitality and creativity. We can take in this nourishment once again by giving ourselves permission to lighten up and be silly.
Too often we reject the wonderful silliness that is an inherent, inborn aspect of the self because we believe that it serves no purpose or is at odds with the grown-up culture of maturity. We play yet we do not lose ourselves in play, and our imaginations are never truly given free reign because we regard the products of irrational creativity as being valueless. Yet silliness itself does indeed constitute a vital part of human existence on a myriad of levels. Our first taste of ethereal bliss is often a consequence of our willingness to dabble in what we deem outrageous, nonsensical, or absurd. We delight in ridiculousness not only because laughter is intrinsically pleasurable, but also because it serves as a reminder that existence itself is fun. Skipping, doodling, and singing funny songs are no less entertaining than they were when we were children. We need not lose all interest in these cheerful and amusing activities, but to make them a part of our lives we must be ready to sacrifice a little dignity and a lot of fear.
It is precisely because so much of life is inescapably serious that silliness should be regarded as a priority. Through the magic of imagination, you can be or become anything—a photographer, a professional athlete, a dancer, a pilot. Whether you take hundreds of silly pictures, revel in the adulation of your fans as you make the winning catch, boogie down rock-star style in front of your bedroom mirror, or turn your desk into a cockpit, the ensuing hilarity will help you see that lighthearted fun and adulthood are not at all incompatible.
Consulting Heart and Mind
Making Choices From a Place of Balance
by Madisyn Taylor
It is important to make decisions from a place of balance in your life by taking a breath and checking in with heart and mind.
Each of the myriad decisions we make every day has the potential to have a deep impact on our lives. Some choices touch us to our very cores, awakening poignant feelings within us. Others seem at first to be simple but prove to be confusingly complex. We make the best decisions when we approach the decision-making process from a balanced emotional and intellectual foundation. When we have achieved equilibrium in our hearts and in our minds, we can clearly see both sides of an issue or alternative. Likewise, we can accept compromise as a natural fact of life. Instead of relying solely on our feelings or our rationality, we utilize both in equal measure, empowering ourselves to come to a life-affirming and balanced conclusion.
Balance within and balance without go hand in hand. When you are called upon to choose between two or more options, whether they are attractive or distasteful, you should understand all you can about the choice ahead of you before moving forward. If you do not come to the decision from a place of balance, you risk making choices that are irrational and overly emotional or are wholly logical and don’t take your feelings into account. In bringing your thoughts and emotions together during the decision-making process, you ensure that you are taking everything possible into account before moving forward. Nothing is left up to chance, and you have ample opportunity to determine which options are in accordance with your values.
Though some major decisions may oblige you to act and react quickly, most will allow you an abundance of time in which to mull over your choices. If you doubt your ability to approach your options in a balanced fashion, take an extended time-out before responding to the decision. This will give you the interlude you need to make certain that your thoughts and feelings are in equilibrium. As you practice achieving balance, you will ultimately reach a state of mind in which you can easily make decisions that honor every aspect of the self.
You Are Beautiful
by Madisyn Taylor
Many of us do not take the time to notice and acknowledge how beautiful we are as humans.
Many of us do not take the time to notice and acknowledge how beautiful we are as humans. We may be great lovers of beauty, seeing it in the people, places, and things around us, while completely missing it in ourselves. Some of us feel that it is vain to consider our appearance too much, or we may find that when we look at ourselves, all we see are imperfections. Often we come to the mirror with expectations and preconceived notions about beauty that blind us from seeing ourselves clearly. As a result, we miss the beauty that is closest to us, the beauty we are. Sometimes we see our beauty in a shallow way, noticing how well we are conforming to social norms, but failing to see the deeper beauty that shines out from within and that will continue to shine regardless of how we measure up to society’s ideal.
If we can cut through all these obstacles and simply appreciate how beautiful we are, we free up so much energy. We also become less dependent upon the opinions and feedback of others since we become our own greatest admirers. Many of us know that after a great yoga practice or a long, deep meditation, we are more able to see how beautiful we are. This is because we have released some of our baggage, thus unburdening ourselves and summoning forth the spirit that dwells within us. It is the heady combination of the divine spirit and the human body that conveys beauty more accurately than anything else.
To keep ourselves in touch with our own beauty, we can surround ourselves with images that reflect our beauty back to us—photos of a relative or child who has our eyes, images of teachers who embody spirit, or self-portraits that capture our essence in a way that allows us to see ourselves anew. The best way to keep ourselves in touch with our own beauty is to keep looking deeply into our own souls and opening our eyes to the human being we see in the mirror every day.
An Invitation to Love
by Madisyn Taylor
A meditation with your angels can provide a new gentleness into your normal meditation routine.
Though your host of spirit guides encompasses many diverse beings, all of which willingly watch over you, meditating with angels can be a uniquely insightful experience. The angels stationed at your side are both powerful and knowledgeable—they possess a limitless understanding of your needs and desires, your strengths and weaknesses, and your purpose. However, angels take an active part in our lives only when invited to do so. Meditation allows you to make contact with your angels and lovingly request that they participate actively in your day-to-day life.
To begin, retreat to a solitary place where you won’t be distracted by concerns. Incense and candlelight may aid you in achieving a meditative state but are not necessary. However, laying an image of an angel, angel statue, or item symbolizing your angels before you can focus your thoughts. Sit comfortably, breathe deeply, and let yourself relax. When you feel peaceful, invite your angels from the highest of light to sit with you as you meditate. Mentally repeat your request and reiterate that this time together is important to you. Then, in your mind’s eye, visualize a bright-white light floating above you. As you breathe, draw this light first into the crown of your head and then into the whole of your physical self. Allow this light to spread through your arms and hands, your core, and your lower body. Repeat this integration of illumination with a violet light.
Once again, ask your angels to be with you. Let the stillness surrounding you enter your soul, and open your heart to your angel guides. If they wish to communicate a message, they will do so now. Allow them to wrap their wings around you and infuse you with their bountiful love. Breathe them in as you did the light. As the meditation draws to a close, you may feel a presence, fluttering wings, or billowing fabric, or you may see an angel in your mind’s eye. Thank them for providing you with love and light, and being with you as you meditated. If you don’t sense or feel anything, there is no cause for worry—you can be certain your angels are with you. Don’t be surprised if you start to see signs throughout the day that your angels are near, perhaps a feather at your doorstep. As you practice this meditation, you will become increasingly adept at recognizing when your angels are near and sensing their presence.
Spreading Your Light
How You Affect Others Daily
by Madisyn Taylor
We have the potential to affect others through all of our actions during our day whether we are aware of it or not.
As the pace and fullness of modern life serve to isolate us from one another, the contact we do share becomes vastly more significant. We unconsciously absorb each other’s energy, adopting the temperament of those with whom we share close quarters, and find ourselves changed after the briefest encounters. Everything we do or say has the potential to affect not only the individuals we live, work, and play with but also those we’ve just met. Though we may never know the impact we have had or the scope of our influence, accepting and understanding that our attitudes and choices will affect others can help us remember to conduct ourselves with grace at all times. When we seek always to be friendly, helpful, and responsive, we effortlessly create an atmosphere around ourselves that is both uplifting and inspiring.
Most people rarely give thought to the effect they have had or will have on others. When we take a few moments to contemplate how our individual modes of being affect the people we spend time with each day, we come one step closer to seeing ourselves through the eyes of others. By asking ourselves whether those we encounter walk away feeling appreciated, respected, and liked, we can heighten our awareness of the effect we ultimately have. Something as simple as a smile given freely can temporarily brighten a person’s entire world. Our value-driven conduct may inspire others to consider whether their own lives are reflective of their values. A word of advice can help others see life in an entirely new fashion. And small gestures of kindness can even prove to those embittered by the world that goodness still exists. By simply being ourselves, we influence other’s lives in both subtle and life-altering ways.
To ensure that the effect we have is positive, we must strive to stay true to ourselves while realizing that it is the demeanor we project and not the quality of our wondrous inner landscapes that people see. Thus, as we interact with others, how we behave can be as important as who we are. If we project our passion for life, our warmth, and our tolerance in our facial features, voice, and choice of words, every person who enters our circle of influence will leave our presence feeling at peace with themselves and with us. You never know whose life you are affecting, big or small. Try to remember this as you go out into the world each day.
The Effect of Not Doing
When We Don’t Take Action
by Madisyn Taylor
Our actions shape our lives, but what we don’t take action on can be just as powerful.
Life is sculpted on a moment-to-moment basis. Every one of the thoughts we think, the words we speak, and the actions we take contributes to the complex quality and character of the universe’s unfolding. It simply is not possible to be alive without making an impact on the world that surrounds us. Every action taken affects the whole as greatly as every action not taken. And when it comes to making the world a better place, what we choose not to do can be just as important as what we choose to do.
For example, when we neglect to recycle, speak up, vote, or help somebody in immediate need, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to be an agent for positive change. Instead, we are enabling a particular course to continue unchallenged, picking up speed even as it goes along. By holding the belief that our actions don’t make much of a difference, we may find that we often tend to forego opportunities for involvement. Alternatively, if we see ourselves as important participants in an ever-evolving world, we may feel more inspired to contribute our unique perspective and gifts to a situation.
It is wise to be somewhat selective about how and where we are using our energy in order to keep ourselves from becoming scattered. Not every cause or action is appropriate for every person. When a situation catches our attention, however, and speaks to our heart, it is important that we honor our impulse to help and take the action that feels right for us. It may be offering a kind word to a friend, giving resources to people in need, or just taking responsibility for our own behavior. By doing what we can, when we can, we add positive energy to our world. And sometimes, it may be our one contribution that makes all the difference.
A Chance to Contribute
Disarming the Know-It-All
by Madisyn Taylor
People that are know-it-alls are simply stuck in a pattern and may actually have feelings of low self worth.
Most of us have encountered a person in our lives who can accurately be referred to as a know-it-all. This person seems to know everything about anything that gets brought up and tends to dominate the conversation. They don’t take well to being questioned, and they have a hard time ever admitting that they were wrong.
Being around a know-it-all is inevitably tiring because there is no shared energy between the two of you. Rather, you become an audience member to this person’s need to be the center of attention. Attention and respect are probably the two things this person most longs for, and at some point in their lives, they learned that knowing it all was the way to get those needs met. Over time, they have become stuck in this pattern, regardless of the fact that it is no longer working. They may feel afraid of the experience of listening, being receptive, or learning something new, because it’s so unfamiliar.
On the one hand, when we see the childlike need underneath the know-it-all’s mask of confidence, we feel compassion for the person, and we may tolerate their one-sided approach to conversation out of a desire not to hurt their feelings. On the other hand, we may be feeling drained and tempted to avoid this person altogether. In the middle of these two possible ways of feeling, we may actually like this person and wish for a closer relationship. If we come from a place of kindness, we might attempt to bridge the gap that this person’s habitual way of relating creates. Simply expressing a desire to be closer may open their heart, and give you a chance to ask for what you need in the relationship—a chance to contribute.
Not Everybody Will Like You
by Madisyn Taylor
Not everybody we meet will like us and it is ok to move into acceptance rather than trying to make somebody like you.
It is not necessarily a pleasant experience, but there will be times in our lives when we come across people who do not like us. As we know, like attracts like, so usually when they don’t like us it is because they are not like us. Rather than taking it personally, we can let them be who they are, accepting that each of us is allowed to have different perspectives and opinions. When we give others that freedom, we claim it for ourselves as well, releasing ourselves from the need for their approval so we can devote our energy toward more rewarding pursuits.
While approval from others is a nice feeling, when we come to depend on it we may lose our way on our own path. There are those who will not like us no matter what we do, but that doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with us. Each of us has our own filters built from our experiences over time. They may see in us something that is merely a projection of their understanding, but we have no control over the interpretations of others. The best we can do is to hope that the role we play in the script of their lives is helpful to them, and follow our own inner guidance with integrity.
As we reap the benefits of walking our perfect paths, we grow to appreciate the feeling of fully being ourselves. The need to have everyone like us will be replaced by the exhilaration of discovering that we are attracting like-minded individuals into our lives—people who like us because they understand and appreciate the truth of who we are. We free ourselves from trying to twist into shapes that will fit the spaces provided by others’ limited understanding and gain a new sense of freedom, allowing us to expand into becoming exactly who we’re meant to be. And in doing what we know to be right for us, we show others that they can do it too. Cocreating our lives with the universe and its energy of pure potential, we transcend limitations and empower ourselves to shine our unique light, fully and freely.
Taking the Risk
Permission to Be Real
When we present ourselves to the world without a mask and keep it real, we offer the same opportunity for others to do the same.
Most of us are familiar with the idea of keeping it real and have an intuitive sense about what that means. People who keep it real don’t hide behind a mask to keep themselves safe from their fear of how they might be perceived. They don’t present a false self in order to appear more perfect, more powerful, or more independent. People who keep it real present themselves as they truly are, the good parts and the parts most of us would rather hide, sharing their full selves with the people who are lucky enough to know them.
Being real in this way is not an easy thing to do as we live in a culture that often shows us images of physical and material perfection. As a result, we all want to look younger, thinner, wealthier, and more successful. We are rewarded externally when we succeed at this masquerade, but people who are real remind us that, internally, we suffer. Whenever we feel that who we are is not enough and that we need to be bigger, better, or more exciting, we send a message to ourselves that we are not enough. Meanwhile, people who are not trying to be something more than they are walk into a room and bring a feeling of ease, humor, and warmth with them. They acknowledge their wrinkles and laugh at their personal eccentricities without putting themselves down.
People like this inspire us to let go of our own defenses and relax for a moment in the truth of who we really are. In their presence, we feel safe enough to take off our masks and experience the freedom of not hiding behind a barrier. Those of us who were lucky enough to have a parent who was able to keep it real may find it easier to be that way ourselves. The rest of us may have to work a little harder to let go of our pretenses and share the beauty and humor of our real selves. Our reward for taking such a risk is that as we do, we will attract and inspire others, giving them the permission to be real too.
Accepting Our Calling
by Madisyn Taylor
Our worth of being on the planet at this time cannot be judged as we are all worthy and essential to being here now.
The issue of worthiness may come up in many areas of our lives, as we ask, often unconsciously, whether we are worthy of success, love, happiness, and countless other things, from supportive relationships to a beautiful home. In the end, though, it all comes down to one thing: our willingness to claim our space in this life as humans on this planet at this time. When we accept our divinity, we no longer question whether we are worthy, because we know that we are meant to be here to fulfill a particular purpose, a purpose that no one other than us can fulfill.
There are no replacements who can take over and live our lives for us, no other person who has had the experiences we have had, who has access to the same resources and relationships, who carries the same message to share with the world. Our purpose may be large or small, and in most cases it is multi-leveled, with important actions taking place on the interpersonal level, as well as in terms of the work we do in the world. Small acts of kindness share the stage with large acts of sacrifice, and only through accepting and honoring our divinity can we know what we are called to do and when.
Ultimately, we are all equally, exactly, completely worthy of being here in this life. Moreover, we are all essential to the unfolding plan of which we are each one small, but important, part. If we suffer from low self worth, it is because we have lost track of understanding this truth, and allowing it to guide our actions in the world. Seeing ourselves as part of something larger, as beings called to serve, is the ultimate cure for feelings of unworthiness. In the end, it’s not about evaluating ourselves as worthy or unworthy, so much as it’s about accepting that we have been called here to serve and taking the steps required to listen and respond to what our lives are asking us to do.
Afraid of the Truth
by Madisyn Taylor
Facing the truth upfront rather than turning from it will keep your life moving in a forward and positive direction.
Most of us have had the experience of being in possession of a piece of truth that we were afraid to share because we knew it would not be well received. There are also instances in which we ourselves have been unable to handle some truth confronting us. This might be a small truth, such as not wanting to see that our car needs repairs because we don’t want to pay for them, or a large truth, such as not fully accepting that someone close to us is pushing us away. Usually the truth is evident, and we can see it if we choose, but we have elaborate ways of hiding the truth form ourselves, no matter how apparent it is.
For the most part, we avoid the truth because it scares us, or makes us angry, or makes us feel like we don’t know what to do. We often create our lives based on a particular understanding, and if that understanding turns out to be fully or even partially incorrect, we may feel that our whole sense of reality is being threatened. It takes a strong person to face the truth in circumstances like these, and many of us run for cover instead. Nevertheless, we can only avoid the truth for so long before it begins to make itself known in ever more forceful ways.
Ultimately, there is no way to avoid the truth, no matter how painful it is, so the sooner we let down our defenses, the better. When we know the truth and accept that we may have to adjust our lives to accommodate, we are in alignment with reality. At the same time, we can be patient with people around us who have a hard time seeing the truth, because we know how painful it can be. Whatever the truth is, we make a sincere effort not to close our eyes to it, but instead to be grateful that we have access to it.
Dealing with Disappointment
A Bridge to Acceptance
by Madisyn Taylor
The gift of disappointment is to bring us into reality so we don’t get stuck in the realm of how things might have been.
Whenever we do something in life with an expectation of how we’d like it to turn out, we risk experiencing disappointment. When things don’t go the way we had envisioned, we may feel a range of emotions from slightly let down to depressed or even angry. We might direct our feelings inward toward ourselves, or outward toward other people or the universe in general. Whether we feel disappointed by ourselves, a friend, or life in general, disappointment is always a tough feeling to experience. Still, it is a natural part of life, and there are many ways of dealing with it when we find ourselves in its presence.
As with any feeling, disappointment has come to us for a reason, and we don’t need to fear acknowledging it or feeling it. The more we are able to accept how we are feeling and process it, the sooner we will move into new emotional territory. As we sit down to allow ourselves to feel our disappointment, we might want to write about the experience of being disappointed—the situation that preceded it, what we were hoping would happen, and what did happen. The gift of disappointment is its ability to bring us into alignment with reality so that we don’t get stuck for too long in the realm of how things might have been.
As we consider other disappointments in our life and how we have moved past them, we may even see that in some cases what happened was actually better in the long run than what we had wanted to happen. Disappointment often leaves us feeling deflated with its message that things don’t always turn out the way we want. The beauty of disappointment, though, is that it provides us a bridge to its other side where the acceptance of reality, wisdom, and the energy to begin again can be found.