A Celebration – Soul Speak Turns 3 + A Free Meditation!

happy birthday soul speak final copyToday is a very special day. Soul Speak turns 3!

I am so happy to celebrate this milestone with each of you!

I had absolutely no idea how much my life would change because of this blog. I had no idea how my heart would open. I had no idea how my soul’s purpose would be discovered.

It has been a journey of soul discovery, soul listening, and soul connecting. And I’m so grateful that we’re on this journey together.

I thought it would be fun to do some sharing to celebrate 3 whole years of Soul Speak. So here’s what I came up with:

  1. I’ll start by sharing my first post from 3 years ago.
  2. Then, I’ll share some of the things that I’ve learned along the way.
  3. Next, I’ll ask you to share one way being a part of the Soul Speak community has helped you.
  4. And finally, I’ll end the post by giving you a soulful gift! 

So let the sharing begin!

first post

Imagine that you are climbing a very tall mountain. You are struggling to take each step, and all you see is the peak far, far away. You keep going though – one step at a time. And after awhile, it might feel that the peak isn’t getting any closer, and you feel so tired and aren’t sure if you can take another step. When this happens, look down for a moment. Notice how far away the ground is. Realize just now far you have already gone – how much progress you have made.

So often we focus solely on the goal ahead, which at times can feel overwhelming and so far away. Taking a moment to look back and realize how far you’ve already gone in your journey immediately puts things in perspective and does wonders for your self esteem.

So the next time you are struggling and running out of steam – take some time to think about or write down just how far you have come since you started on this path. You’ll be amazed by how far you have already gone.

 

what i've learned

I learned that I am a soul having a human experience. When I first began this blog, I was just starting to wake up after having been a skeptic for much of my life. I was barely in touch with my soul – barely even knew that I had a soul. But over the last three years, my heart has opened in such amazing ways – staying in this soulful space has allowed me to receive such powerful wisdom from my soul and also from my spirit guides and angels.

I have learned how powerful sticking with something can be. I have stuck with this blog because it’s my heart and because I love it. I have stuck with it because I love the connection and the community that has formed because of it. I have stuck with it because my entire life and business have become what they currently are because of it. I have stuck with it because I have found my soul’s purpose: sharing, writing, inspiring, connecting, bonding. All of that. This is truly it for me. And it doesn’t mean that I won’t keep growing and expanding, but it means that I’m on my path. I’m here, allowing myself to connect with the flow. And that feels pretty amazing.

I have learned to take baby steps and just show up. If I had known that my life would change in such a dramatic way because of this blog, I would have been terrified to start. If I had known that I would be completely different because of it, I absolutely never would have started – fear would’ve taken over and consumed me. My soul knew that and allowed me to take baby steps – one post at a time. One change at a time. One connection at a time. One aha moment at a time. (Which, by the way, is how my life is still expanding – I have no idea where I’ll be three years from now, and that’s a-okay with me. I’ll just keep showing up, saying yes, and trust that I’ll be exactly where I’m supposed to be.)

I learned that I am not alone. I truly thought that I was more powerful alone than with another. Boy, was I wrong! My ego was so afraid of letting others in, but my journey over the last few years has taught me that life flows much more easily when I let go of the reins and let others in. This includes others here on Earth and others beyond the physical realm.

I learned that being vulnerable is the way to go. Oh boy, this has been a tough one for me. I was so afraid to be seen – to be “out there.” And so this has been (and continues to be) an evolution for me. I have always been a “both feet in” type of person, and so I knew that if I was going to write this blog, I would have to show up as I truly am – no pretenses, no masks, no “everything is going really amazingly great” if it wasn’t, and no, “I’m so happy to have everything all figured out” when I clearly haven’t. There have been many posts that I’ve published where I thought I was going to throw up afterwards. Like Brene Brown says – I was in a serious vulnerability hangover. But I allowed my soul to speak, and I didn’t let my fear and ego delete those words. I trusted that someone else needed to hear them. And every single time I did that, at least one person wrote to say how that post was exactly what they needed to hear at that exact moment. This powerful confirmation is truly what’s kept me going during times when I wondered if this whole “putting myself out there thing” was worth it. It is. For me. For all of us. Showing up as ourselves and sharing from that honest space is absolutely essential.

I have learned that when I say yes to life, life says yes to me. Before I began to blog, I had gotten into this silly (but still powerful) habit of saying no to my life. If it scared me – even in the slightest bit – or pushed me out of my comfort zone in any little way, I wouldn’t do it. And so what ended up happening is my world became smaller and smaller until I felt like I was living in a dark box that was far too small for my body and my soul. This blog has shown me how expansive saying yes is. I have been able to break free of that box and spread my wings. Each time I said yes to an opportunity, I gained confidence that I would be able to say yes to another. And that’s exactly what happened. It’s been a magical ripple effect that continues to this day.

I have learned that people are good and have such beautiful hearts. I used to be a cynic, especially when it came to people. Like many of us, my heart had been broken and I chose to lump just about the entire human population in with those who had hurt me – assuming that everyone would eventually hurt me, too. Throughout this journey of inviting others into my heart, I have been able to have this belief shattered in such a beautiful way. I have seen firsthand (over and over again) how people are good, kind, loving, and nurturing. I now know this to be true. And I have attracted these people into this community where we’ve created our own love bubble. It’s pretty magical, and I now am able to see the world through such a loving lens. I have so much evidence that this is true. I feel it. I believe it. I know it.

I have learned that there are people out there who are just as sensitive as I am, and this space has allowed us to find each other. I used to feel so separate from others – almost wondering if something was wrong with me. I didn’t feel like a part of “them.” I have always been highly sensitive, and I have always felt like an outsider to a certain extent. I was great at faking it – pretending to fit in – but inside I felt so alone. This community has helped me see that I am definitely not alone. There are thousands of us here – and millions of us in the world – who are this way: extra sensitive and extra empathetic. We see the world differently – we feel everything so strongly. And we are here together, which makes walking through this life that much easier. I’m so happy to have found my soul tribe.

I have learned that you truly can make a living while following your soul’s purpose. This one has been huge for me. It feels so amazingly good to share that I don’t have any other source of income – that Soul Speak (and all that has formed from it) has enabled me to create a life where I am in the driver’s seat, where I get to live creatively and soulfully each day, and where I get to help others connect with their soul and embrace their lives. All of that is possible because of this blog. Because I’m still here. Because I trust my soul enough to say yes to what it asks me to do. We live in such a miraculous time – where the internet truly makes it possible for us to create the life we want to live and then actually live it. I’m proof of that. I’m such an introvert, and I was never meant to be in the world full-on at a “regular job.” I tried that years ago, and it was just too much for my sensitive spirit. I have found a way to share my gifts while still honoring my needs, and I know that it’s truly possible for each of us.

I have learned that it’s okay to set boundaries. I simply can’t do it all. In the beginning I was so happy with saying yes to everything and everyone. Now, I’m learning that saying no to another oftentimes means saying yes to me. And that’s becoming essential. Practicing self care is no longer an option for me – it’s become part of my daily schedule.

I have learned to trust my soul. Before I began this blog, I never even thought about slowing down and getting in touch with my soul. I wasn’t even sure I had a soul, to be honest. Writing Soul Speak over the past three years has helped me see how connected I am with the universe – with this infinite love.

I have learned that love is everything. It is. I know this for sure. At our core we are love. We are expressions of love. We are the embodiment of love. We are meant to share our love and receive love from others. We are love. And knowing that has changed the way I look at everyone and everything. It’s softened me. It’s helped me. It’s opened me.

I have learned that words are powerful. They change lives. My life has been changed by the words here on this blog. I have taken them in and let them soak into my being. And I hope your life has been changed as well. What we focus on expands and becomes our life. And it’s my hope that this space has become a positive refuge for you to connect with your soul and embrace your purpose.

your turn

I often receive emails from beautiful souls who share what the Soul Speak community has meant to them, and it absolutely lights me up and helps me truly see how powerful words are. How energy and intent are powerful. And how when we show up and see each other – really see each other – magic happens.

I would love for you to share (either in the comments below or by emailing me) what Soul Speak means to you. Has it helped you in some way? Does it add some positivity and grounding into your life? Has it connected you with your own soul? Has it supported you in slowing down and living authentically? However it has helped, I would love to hear your experience!

I’m thinking of putting your sweet words into a special section here on Soul Speak, and so this is a way to be included in that. (Although, please know that I will always ask permission before I share your words here – so no worries about that!)

For now, let’s just let the love flow and celebrate Soul Speak’s birthday by sharing what this space and this community means to you! 

 

meditation

guided meditation

I created my very first guided meditation to help each of us connect with our soul and honor our inner voice.

To celebrate Soul Speak’s 3rd birthday, I’m giving it to you for FREE! 

I hope you enjoy this sacred time tuning in and listening to your beautiful soul’s wisdom.

You can click below to download it!

order button copy

I am just so grateful for each of you! Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me. When I first started, it was very rare to receiving a comment or have one of my posts shared. And I often wondered if this was worth it. If I should keep going. I’m so glad I did – it’s become a safe haven for me and hopefully for you as well. It wouldn’t be what it is without such a loving community behind it. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Please help spread the love by sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter!

Hugs,

jodi

 

 

The Most Beautiful Gift

hearts together

As many of you know, my sweet dog-ter, Xena, died three weeks ago. And while she was 14 and had many health problems, I thought she would be with us for at least several more months. I was (and still am) in complete shock and complete sadness that she’s gone.

In this time of grief, I’ve learned so many things about myself and my life and my friends and my world.

I believe that there is a beautiful gift in every experience. I have always believed this. And while my heart has been completely broken open – because my heart has been completely broken open – I feel like I’m seeing everything more clearly. I feel like my senses are more connected. I feel like I’m able to step out of myself and look in and be able to find the gifts.

And while there are so many that have come from this sadness, the one that holds the most weight for me is learning that I can show up as myself and still be loved. 

Whew.

Seriously.

I’m used to being the strong one. The one who inspires and uplifts and supports and loves and helps and shares. And honestly, I just didn’t have it in me to do any of these things over the past few weeks. It was all I could do to get up each day and maybe take a shower. Maybe not spend the entire day crying. I couldn’t imagine writing something inspiring or sharing a piece of soul art on Facebook. I just couldn’t. It wouldn’t have been authentic.

And that’s the thing – I never want to show up from an inauthentic space. And so when I was feeling sad and in my deepest grief, I thought that I maybe just shouldn’t show up at all. I figured that I would just bring everyone down – that no one would want to hear how sad I was or how empty I felt.

But something inside nudged me to take the risk and share my truth anyway. And so I did – on Facebook, here on Soul Speak, and in private emails.

And in doing so, I received such a beautiful gift.

In all of my years of being the strong one and inspiring and supporting, I rarely allowed anyone to support me back. I rarely allowed myself to receive love back. I rarely allowed myself to accept another’s gifts.

And, in this space of my heart being broken open, I didn’t have the strength to push love away. And boy did it come pouring in. I didn’t have the strength to deflect it back to the giver, and boy am I thankful for that.

I allowed myself to show up authentically. And in doing so, I received the gift of love. So much love. From all of you. 

Your love poured in, and it continues to pour in. Your prayers, your cards, your gifts, your loving words, your energetic support. All of it. Pouring into my heart and helping me get through each day. Knowing that I am loved. Exactly as I am.

You have shown me that I don’t need to do anything or be anything in order to be loved. 

I don’t have to write a stellar post in order for you to love me. I don’t have to inspire you in some way in order for you to love me. I don’t have to give something away in order for you to love me. I don’t have to be positive and have a smile on my face in order for you to love me. I can simply be me – wherever I am and you will still love me.

And that feels amazing.

So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I am taking all of your love into my heart and allowing it to mend the break. And I’ll remember this gift the next time I feel that I need to show up a certain way or say a certain thing in order to be loved. Because I’ll remember that the best gift I can give to you is my true self – inspiring or withdrawn, happy or sad, giver or receiver.

You have shown me that I’m loved so deeply – me. Not me the inspirer or me the teacher or me the writer. Me. Just Jodi. 

And I thank you for that. So, so much.

Hugs,

jodi

 

Love Doesn’t End

This post is dedicated to my sweet dog-ter, Xena,
who passed away at the age of 14 on December 17th.

When we first said helloXENAON~1

On a spring day in 2003, I saw a ball of fluff bounding up to me out of the corner of my eye. You were an energetic, beautiful, vibrant dog with the sweetest smile that I’d ever seen. You jumped into my arms right away, and I knew that you were something special. 

We had just moved to this isolated road in the middle of the New Mexican mountains. Such majestic, rugged surroundings. And you happened to live across the street. What a blessing.

dan and xena

You were right at home in the mountains. You had complete freedom. You ran and played and never knew what the inside of a home was like. You went where you wanted when you wanted, and, lucky for us, you usually wanted to be right where we were.

wedding kisses

I never felt such a connection to a dog before. I never wanted to be around a dog as much as I wanted to be around you. I couldn’t be close enough. Couldn’t possibly smother you with kisses enough. Couldn’t love you enough.

You were so wise and had such kind eyes. “Our Buddha Dog,” we called you.

We saw you every day for many years. We loved you. We played with you. We took walks with you. We bonded with you. We became a family.

And then everything changed. Dan got into graduate school, and we were moving to California. We cried about leaving you. We asked if we could bring you with us.

0056482-R1-051-24

We prayed that you could come. But the timing wasn’t right. You had never been inside. You had your Xuxa to play with. You had your freedom. And we didn’t have the final say. 

When we first said goodbye (for now)

jodi and xena1 (2)So we left, and it broke our hearts. We knew we would be back in a few months to visit. But we also knew that it wouldn’t be the same.

And it wasn’t.

We put your picture on our shelf – front and center. We cried and cried that we had to leave you. We imagined that you were with us and that we were a family again. We told everyone we met about you.

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We showed them your picture. We shared how special  you were to us and how empty our hearts were without you. We wished upon all of the stars that we could find a way to all be together again.

And our wish came true.

When we next said hello 

dan and xena in parkIn 2007, we came to visit and found out that your beloved sister, Xuxa, had just died. We found out that you started running onto the highway. And we were asked if we wanted to bring you home after all.

!!! !!! !!!

We canceled our flight, rented a car, bought a dog bed and some food, and began our adventure of smothering you daily with love, love, and more love.

jodi and xena (2)You had to learn how to be a house dog. You had to learn how to walk on a leash. You had to learn how to live with ridiculously overprotective parents. You had to learn how to not have complete freedom and still be okay with it.

And you were so smart. And so patient. And also so stubborn. :) You were absolutely perfect.

We were so grateful that we got to spend our days snuggling up to your warm, fluffy fur. We were so excited when you learned new tricks and ate your first bone and barked at the mailman.

We loved how your eyebrows had at least a million different expressions, and we learned what each of these expressions meant. We laughed that you were afraid of the camera and kitchen sounds and pretty much every inside noise – knowing that you had never heard any of them before.

We were amazed at how quickly you ate your food – in just a few gulps. And we were so proud of how smart you were when we would hide your bone, and you would always find it and hold it up above your head and run outside with it.

dan and xena12We were so, so grateful for each moment with you. For each year with you. For each birthday that we celebrated with you. For each hug that we gave you. For each paw up that you gave us, letting us know that we weren’t done loving you.

And we knew that our time together couldn’t last forever. We knew it.

But we still hoped for a miracle when your health declined. And we got it. We got six more magical months with you. We got to get in extra snuggles and extra love. We got to tell you a million more times how much we loved you and how thankful we were for you.

When we said goodbye (for now)

xena runningAnd then you were gone.

So quickly. So suddenly. So soon. So abruptly.

And here we are. In shock. Completely lost. So devastated.

But still in love. Always in love.

Because love doesn’t end the second your heart stopped beating. Love doesn’t end the moment you took your last breath. Our love doesn’t end. Ever. It goes on and on and on and on. Forever.

And I see you in my dreams. And I feel you are still here and also still in New Mexico. I feel you loving me. And I know you feel me loving you.

I will love you forever and ever and ever.

xena and jodi in park

And I know that we’re still together – it’s just different. But the love is still there. It’s always there. 

Just like you’re always there. And I’m always here. Loving you.

Oh, how I love you, sweet Xena Ballerina Pie Head.

Thank you for loving me and for opening my heart and for being exactly who we needed exactly when we needed you.

Thank you for being the greatest gift that I have ever been given. And for giving me the greatest gift that I’ve ever received: your everlasting, purely unconditional, always sweet love.

I will love you forever.

Mama

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A Thankfulness Experiment (Want to Try It?)

thank you

Most of us always feel thankful for so many beautiful souls in our life. But then we get busy and move onto the next task or appointment or project or day or month or year… and we don’t always stop and take a moment to express our thankfulness.

I have a theory that thankfulness expands – the more we think about it and share about it, the more it takes over our life (in a good way!). To show you what I mean, I would love for you to try this thankfulness experiment (please take your time with it – it probably won’t be done all in one sitting):

1. On a scale of 1-10, write down how thankful you are feeling right now in this moment.

2. And now, take a few moments to think about 10 people who you are thankful to have in your life. Choose people who have brought you joy or lifted you up or have showered you with love. Choose people who bring a smile to your face and a light to your spirit when you think about them. Choose people who brighten your world. Write each of their names on a piece of paper. And then write down how thankful you are feeling right now in this moment (on a scale of 1-10).

3. Next, write 10 letters expressing your thankfulness to these 10 different people. (You can write a letter and mail it, you can send them an email, or you can write them a message on Facebook.) Let them know what they mean to you. Your letter doesn’t have to go on for pages and pages, but it does need to come from the heart. Share how their love and their presence has helped you. Share how grateful you are to have them in your life. And then send it off with love. Take time to really tap into these feelings of gratitude and appreciation. Sit with them and allow them to soak into your body. After you have finished writing the last letter, check in with yourself and write down how thankful you are feeling right now in this moment (on a scale of 1-10).

4. Finally, send the letters. Take some time to imagine your loved ones reading your sweet words. Imagine your kindness floating throughout their body and swirling through them. Imagine how appreciated they must feel in this exact moment. After you have spent a few minutes imagining how they are feeling, write down how thankful you are feeling right now in this moment (on a scale of 1-10).

I would imagine that your thankfulness levels have increased throughout this experiment. I believe that the more we tap into feeling grateful, the more it expands inside of us. And when you multiply that gratitude by 10, I have a feeling it will expand even more!

I would also imagine that your loving heart will continue to expand as you hear back from your loved ones – as they share what reading your words meant to them. And I would imagine that your loving letter will help expand their own hearts, and because of that, they will spread love to others. It’s such a beautiful rippling that goes on and on and on.

I love experiments like this because they show us how powerful love and gratitude are. They show us how connected we truly are. And they show us how easy it is to tap into this thankfulness any time we choose to.

I would love for you to give this experiment a try. See if you can expand your own level of thankfulness. Prove me right by upping your number with each letter that you send! And in the process, you’ll make 10 people’s hearts feel very full. You’ll make 10 people feel very loved.

And that’s always a good thing.

Please help spread the love by sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter!

Hugs,

jodi

The Gratitude Game

focus-on-loveDan and I were both in pretty crappy moods the other night. It happens. We were tired and overworked and grumpy and felt completely depleted. It was really late, and we were just getting started for another shift of work. And neither of us was happy about it.

So for about 15 minutes, we complained. We vented. We shared our frustrations. We stewed. And then we got back to work and tried to push through it. But I could still feel it sitting in the pit of my stomach. Like an angry knot – wanting to be unraveled but not knowing how. I knew that this was a mood, and the mood would shift. I knew that this was all my own internal experience. Nothing had changed externally in that moment when I began to feel frustrated. Fifteen minutes ago I was in a great mood. And so I knew in my mind that this mood would stay for awhile and then float on by and be replaced by another one – hopefully a more positive one.

But I didn’t want to wait. I didn’t like living with this knot in my stomach and a body that was shaking with angry adrenaline. I didn’t want to feel this way for a second longer.

It was in that moment that I remembered that I had a choice. I remembered that I didn’t have to attach to this mood – I was choosing to attach to it. And I remembered that I had the power to shift into something else (if I wanted to). And I definitely did.

So I asked Dan if he wanted to play a game with me to bring ourselves out of this yucky, no-fun place. He was willing. And so we began to play The Gratitude Game.

The only rules were that we would go back and forth and share one thing that we were grateful for. We would continue to take turns until we both felt that knot dissipate and felt lifted out of this downward spiral of negativity.

And so we began. A bit reluctantly at first, but still we began.

Both of us said that we were grateful for our love.

And then I said that I was grateful that our cat Biddle was alive and healthy. He had been yelling at us all night because we wouldn’t go sit next to him while he ate (bad routine that we started when he was a kitten…).

Dan was grateful that our journals were selling so well, which meant that we had a lot of orders.

I was grateful that we had a roof over our head. It was cold outside, and while this wasn’t something that I thought about a lot – in that moment I was very grateful to live in a nice house with heat and comfort.

Dan was grateful that we were coming up with new tasty recipes for our new diet (no wheat or sugar).

And then we paused for a moment – still feeling the frustration but really wanting to stay with it and allow it to pass through us.

This was a slow process. We definitely didn’t just rattle off what we were grateful for one after the other. We thought about it and really said things that we felt in that moment. It wasn’t like we were reciting a list of the same things that we’re always grateful for. If we had, we may not have been able to feel this gratitude as deeply and fully. These were things that we noticed as we looked around the house and brought into our consciousness. We were also turning around what was irritating us and seeing how we could be grateful for it.

I said that I was grateful for our office equipment that continues to do such a great job for us.

Dan said that he was grateful that we had a dishwasher to put all of the dishes into.

I said that I was grateful that we worked for ourselves and didn’t have to answer to anyone.

Dan said that he was grateful for our minds and how we are able to create these products to send into the world.

This went on and on for about 15-20 minutes. And we noticed that something was beginning to shift inside of us. The knot was beginning to unravel, and our hearts were beginning to open up again.

And I knew that something had shifted when Biddle yelled, and I saw it as cute rather than grating. And when I went back to packing the orders, I was filled with gratitude that we had them rather than stressed about filling them all.

Now, let me be clear. It wasn’t like we were elated and jumping up and down with pure joy all of a sudden. No. But we had shifted our mood from frustration and dispair to hope and gratitude in a matter of minutes. And that felt pretty amazing.

We are all so powerful – so much more than we even realize at times. And isn’t it wonderful when we can take this power and use it to shift a mood or change our outlook or just move into happiness?

We can do that. And one quick way to start is by playing The Gratitude Game.

I would love to hear how you shift your crappy moods and also your experience with The Gratitude Game!

Please help spread the love by sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter!

jodi

 

 

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