A part of me feels silly writing this post, because, let's be honest women have been having babies for as long as humans have existed but I also know that there is so much wisdom that comes in the experience of birth and have been asked on multiple occasions to share my experience. With that said...
My water broke at about 6PM on August 24th (her due date!) and she was caught by my nurse at 5:19AM on August 25th! In the time in between, my husband, mom, sister, and best friend helped me through the contractions, reminding me to breathe through the discomfort and relax in the moments of peace. I had taken a bunch of classes beforehand (I'm a nerd like that) but out of everything the three mantras that helped me through it were:
1. There is no where else I need to be
2. There is nothing I need to do.
3. God/The Universe is with me!
These may seem simple enough- and they are, but for the sake of applying this to your everyday life, let me give you a little background. The first mantra There is no where else I need to be came to me after reading the book Mindful Birthing where the author Nancy Bardacke outlines practices to use to support you in being mindful during your labor. One such practice is becoming more aware of what is happening and taking solace in each and every moment. The idea of being mindful during labor scared me at first, and I thought, "why would I want to be mindful of the pain?" But as I reflected deeper, I understood that the invitation wasn't for me to become more aware of the pain, but instead become more aware of the miracle that was happening, the knowledge that the discomfort would pass and that the discomfort/pain itself was a moment I could relish in! I know what you're thinking, relish in the moment of a labor contraction? That sounds crazy! But life itself is no different, every moment is a moment of a miracle that is your life, every moment will pass, and every moment is a moment you can, if you choose to, relish in.
Now to dive into the second mantra,There is nothing I need to do. Again when I was first introduced to this idea in regards to delivering a baby in the book HypnoBirthing by Marie F. Mongan, I was confused! I remember thinking "Huh? Nothing I need to do? If all goes well I'm still going to have to push a baby out of my vagina! What does she mean, nothing I need to do?!" Lol, that's of course the PG version of the thoughts that went through my head. Needless to say, I thought the idea of "doing nothing" was ridicules! But as I read further, I learned that women in comas have delivered babies vaginally. Now, it's important for me to acknowledge that I do know that vaginal births are not always possible for everyone and I am grateful that cesarians exist to keep the baby and mother safe. For the births that are delivered vaginally, I learned that our body knows what to do. In repeating the mantra There is nothing I need to do , I was acknowledging my body's amazing capabilities. I had done everything I could do up until that moment (exercised, ate well, took classes etc.) and now I needed to trust my body. Once again though, you can apply this to your everyday life by doing what you can to prepare while also trusting in the moments that matter the most, that you are built to handle whatever is about to happen!
And for the last mantra God/The Universe is with me...To my surprise, during active labor, I wasn't cursing up a storm like I thought I would, honestly, I didn't have energy to talk at all. During the hardest moments though, I found myself going to my foundation of spirituality and calling out "Jesus!" Although I no longer identify as Christian and believe God is called by different names in different religions, I find the most comfort in my upbringing's name for God- Jesus. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church where people called out when they felt the Holy Spirit move them, responded with "Amen!" when the pastor spoke the Truth, and cried out, "Jesus!" in moments of gratitude and pain. For me, calling out Jesus was just that- me acknowledging and reminding myself that God was taking care of me in this moment of discomfort and for that I was grateful! There was also a surrender here, one that might sound morbid, but my calling out Jesus was also my way of acknowledging that whatever happened, even if I were to die in this moment, God had my back! A long-standing practice I have is whenever I am scared about my eminent death, I go back to the moment I'm in and acknowledge that if I were to die doing X, I'd die doing what I wanted to be doing. This moment was no different. If I were to die giving birth, I would have died doing exactly what I would have wanted to do in that moment, and that in it of itself, helped me relax. So in daily life, whenever you're facing a moment of fear, go to your higher self- God, The Universe, Source, or whatever you call the energy that is breathing you, and surrender. Surrender in the knowing that you are taken care of in life and in death.
Practices for Implementation:
Feel free to adapt these mantras to fit your needs! Post below and let me know how it goes!
Too often too many of us hold perceptions of ourselves that simply are not true. We remember our personal histories and get lost in what others have said either about us or to us. But if we stop and reexamine these conclusions, when we realize that perception is a choice and not a fact, we can reshape our own self-image. Through a consistent practice of Self-love we can increase our sense of deserving, let go of self-imposed limitations, and achieve higher levels of success.
Definition of Self-Love
Self-love, like any form of Love, is all about remembering who you are. To truly love one’s self is to remember that we are deserving, not because of our past or present, not because of something we did or didn't do, not because of our personality but simply because we are each a Child of God, a Child of the Universe. We do not breathe ourselves, and therefore do not owe it to ourselves that we are living another day. When we release into this knowing, then we can really LOVE ourselves for being who we truly are and embrace the dreams that were given to us!
Importance of Self-Love
It is so easy to find reasons why something can’t be done or won’t be done that by contrast, the practice of increasing one’s sense of deserving and Self-love may initially seem foreign or sound weird. But don’t be fooled, the ways in which we self-sabotage are numerous and well-documented. In his book The Big Leap, Dr. Gay Hendricks calls it the “Upper Limit Problem.” He recounts story after story of people who reach a level of success in some aspect of their life and then do something nonsensical or even outright stupid to mess things up. And each time he examines with them why it happened, the answer is always somehow related to the belief that they are don’t deserve their success
That is why a genuine and heartfelt belief that we not only truly want, but also deserve, to realize our Dream is so fundamentally important. If we believe we aren’t capable or worthy or somehow “right” for the Vision we have created for ourselves, then we won’t try for it, we won’t believe it’s possible and every setback or circumstance will only corroborate that theory.
When we remember that our Dreams come from the Universe and that we allied with the divine, we create a feeling-state around us that is noticeable, and that will yield tangible results. It is this energy that attracts the tools we need and creates the environment for us to learn and embrace who we truly are. For to know one’s self is to know that you are a strong, smart, capable and deserving of everything that is your Dream. All that is required is to go after it!
Not surprisingly, a number of studies back up the value of loving ourselves. According to the Mayo Clinic, those with a healthy level of self-esteem are less likely to develop mental disorders, more able to create and maintain secure relationships, and are more confident in their ability to make decisions. Relatedly, those with high self-esteem tend to enjoy more happiness, a healthier lifestyle and more enjoyable social interactions.
Examples of Deserving
The notion of tapping into our deserving and self-worth shows up throughout literature, business and in the everyday lives of ordinary people. In the words of famous contemporary poet Maya Angelou, "a person is the product of their dreams. So make sure to dream great dreams. And then try to live your dream." In these words, we see the simple truth that our actions are based on our thoughts, so if we think about what we want in this life, our actions will fall in line. Angelou was born the second daughter of a doorman/navy dietician and a nurse/card dealer in 1928 St. Louis. And somehow, by the age of 32, she had started a dance team with the legendary Alvin Ailey, sang and danced to her own “calypso” music, recorded an album, became a published author, was named the Northern Coordinator of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, learned several languages and, somewhere in the middle of it all got married, had a child, and divorced. She then went on to become one of the most influential poets, activists and performance artists of a generation. She had every reason to accept a number of rational, logical limiting beliefs that would have prevented any of this from happening, but instead, she allowed herself to dream great dreams and never doubted whether she deserved them.
For another example, I’ll turn to a client I have the honor of serving, they are a young lawyer who recently started their own practice much earlier than most do in their line of work. At the start, they noticed they had a limiting belief that they were younger and had fewer years being a lawyer than many others out there. But rather than accept this limiting belief, I supported them in choosing to write a new one. Their new belief was that they were a lawyer who gave their clients as much time and attention as they wanted, providing them with a high quality service at a deserving high price. In the beginning, they had a hard time believing that they were really worth that level of investment, but the more they reiterated their new belief and demonstrated this to those they served, the higher their sense of deserving became. They now openly charge 50% to 100% more than most of their competitors and yet nearly everyone who meets with them ends up hiring them. When I asked them what their biggest lesson was, they simply replied: I know my worth!
Invitation to Practice
So let’s stop thinking small and start shining our light! Why? Because we deserve to and it's healthy. To do this I invite you to take the time to practice these 3 steps:
1) Ask yourself “What is one limiting belief I’ve always had about myself?” Below are some examples of common limiting beliefs:
3) Write that new story down every day this week
Post your about doing this practice or another healing practice on instagram and/or facebook with #SHdailypractice and be an inspiration while also feeling encouraged by others who are implementing daily healing practices into their lives!
Today we delve into a topic that is often lauded and encouraged in public, but which can be among the most difficult to genuinely and consistently practice in private: Forgiveness. Traditionally, we have been taught to think of Forgiveness as providing mercy towards another, to forego harsh judgment of someone after they have wronged us and instead, magnanimously treat them as if the transgression never occurred. It is characterized as an act of leniency, of compromise, sometimes even of weakness. But in truth, to forgive is perhaps the most powerful of practices we can learn as human beings and it is a lack of Forgiveness that often leaves us weak and ineffectual.
Breath. A few months ago I heard a voice ask me "what role will you play in the revolution?" To which I responded "A healer." The voice continued with "The time is now."
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others, "
No longer hiding in the darkness allowing fears to guide me, I am stepping with faith more and more into my light. I invite you to do the same. Let's shine our light so bright that all others can do in our presence is shine as well. It is with this energy that we go beyond hatred or any external factors into a state of true love
Like Martin Luther King Jr. said "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that"
Where do we begin? In the midst of chaos we still have the opportunity to be grateful, not grateful for but grateful in, grateful even in circumstances that feel horrible. As we practice recognizing our blessings regardless of circumstances then our inner light will guide us to next steps.
"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it," (Albert Einstein).
Fear has created a divided country. Fear has created oppression of marginalized communities. Fear has us creating real consequences to attributes we are born with. Fear is darkness and will only brith more fear and darkness. When we come in faith and in our light to those same questions, our inner light guides us to the solutions.
Today I invite you to a simple practice:
Think of a time that you cannot deny the presence of the Universe/ God/ oneness. Maybe it's your child's birth, maybe it's the meeting of your significant other, maybe it's a job that you got that you didn't think you were qualified for, maybe it's the way community came together to fight an issue you believe in. Whatever it is, get really interested in that story until that light fills you.
From this place this place of faith we can ask our intuition for guidance on what next step to take to create the world we would love to see.
Sending light and love your way always.
Of all the practices we have at our disposal to align ourselves with the will and love of the Universe, none are as vital or essential as Gratitude. It is through this practice that all other practices flow and we can ultimately fulfill our purpose. Without it, little else will function properly. Simply put- Gratitude is the only true state of being. If ever we feel anything else, we are out of alignment and Gratitude sets us straight.
Why is Gratitude so special?
For starters, the health benefits of Gratitude are as varied as they are clear. According to research conducted by psychology professor *Robert Emmons at the University of California in Davis, those who practice Gratitude “take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular physical examinations”. More specifically, other studies conducted on 1st-year law students under stress showed that those who characterized themselves as more optimistic actually maintained higher numbers of blood cells protecting their immune system. In fact, studies have found links between the act of being thankful and measurable effects on multiple body and brain systems, including mood neurotransmitters, social bonding hormones, cognitive and pleasure related neurotransmitters, inflammatory and immune systems, cardiac and EEG rhythms, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
But there’s another, more pointed reason too: evolution. As explained by *Renee Jain, certified coach of positive psychology, we each “have something called a negativity bias where 'bad stuff' in our life outweighs the good by a measure of about 3:1.” We have this, because at one point it helped us “survive threats in our environment.” This bias is why we vividly recall the burning pain of touching a hot stove, but focus little on the joy and warmth of the sun while swimming on a hot summer’s day. Unlike the sun’s warmth, remembering the pain from the stove helps keep us alive. Gratitude however, acts a counterweight, balancing out the negative thoughts with positive ones to remind us that the Universe is a GOOD place. Through a Gratitude practice we are able to fight back against the outdated paradigms of human history and literally hasten our own evolution and growth. With Gratitude, we can see universal truths (such as “the Universe is abundant”) instead of selective facts (such as “I don’t have much money in bank account right now”).
So why 30 days exactly?
If Gratitude is essential to being one with the Universe, repetition and consistency are essential to practicing Gratitude. As with every practice, Gratitude is not an event, but rather a state of being. Cultivating true happiness and alignment as a continuous way of life often result more from changing one’s habits and routines, and less from specific external events or circumstances. As Churchill liked to say, “to improve is to change; to be perfect, is to change often.” And there are scientific reasons why repetition is key to making those changes last.
When we create memories, pathways are created within our brains. Like clearing a new trail through a dense forest, the first time we create these pathways takes a lot of work. Similarly, to keep the trail clear and prevent the forest from overgrowing it, we have to keep walking the trail over and over again until it becomes a lane, then a road, and eventually a permanent part of the forest. So with our memories, if we don’t repeat them, they will soon be forgotten and we will find ourselves reverting to the negativity bias formed over millions of years of evolution. Just as bodybuilders repeat the same motion over and over again to build a single muscle, so we must repeat the same practice until Gratitude holds an ever-stronger place in our lives.
In my personal experience, I have found that practicing Gratitude has changed my life in even the “small” things. Just recently in fact, when I was washing dishes, I found myself complaining about how I lacked the time and how someone else should have done them when I was suddenly interrupted by the voice of Truth. It reminded me that there was another way to look at this situation. It reminded me that I was so privileged to have dishes to wash in the first place! It reminded me I had amazing food to put on these dishes and that I am so fortunate to always have had food and most of the time, someone else cleaned the dishes. Like that, as suddenly as my complaints came, Gratitude took over, and I realized thankful was the only feeling we can feel when we are truly aware of all the good around us and in the Universe.
So I invite you now to join us! Join the Surrendered Healing movement: 30 Days of Gratitude. Post pictures on Instagram or Facebook and tag #SHgrateful30 and watch yourself feel a shift in your perception and increase happiness! And, as an extra bonus, every post with #SHgrateful30 for the rest of the month of October gets you another entry into the raffle for a free healing session with Surrendered Healing (valued at $250!).
Becoming a Traveler
For most of my life I lived by the limiting paradigm "Traveling is really expensive and I don't have the money for it." Then as I was studying the system for building dreams my coach encouraged me to answer the question "if time, money, education, gender, and any other curcumstance didn't matter what would you love to do?" I was shocked to discover that week after week traveling was my answer. I couldn't believe it! I didn't know how I was going to travel, or even where I'd go, I just knew that my divine intuition was leading me to somewhere new.
I decided to follow my coaches teaching and visualize what I would love without being limited by what I thought was possible. I envisioned experiencing a country from the local person's perspective but kept getting stuck on my fears about backpacking on my own. So then I began dreaming about going on a backpacking tour where someone else guided me but we travelled by going to hostels and experiencing the true beauty of that country.
I talked to my partner about it and we decided to travel to Cuba. After only one day of research I decided it was too hard for me to figure out how to go to Cuba and put out into the Universe that it was something I would like to do. Four months later, without my telling anyone outside of my partner about my dream, my sister announced to me that not only was she planning on backpacking in Cuba but that I was more than welcome to come along! I was ecstatic and NERVOUS! My dream was coming true!
I put on my big girl panties and my partner and I joined my sister, brother-in-law, and their friends on what was to become a life changing experience.
I'm not sure how to explain it, other than to say that lifting the wall that blocked me from ever thinking I would travel lifted a lot of other walls I had unconsciously built about things I would "never" do. It has been a month since our trip and I am still finding my mind filled with ideas of new adventures and experiences to come.
Cuba is of course a beautiful country , with cars from the past, art from the heart, and people who know the meaning of looking after one another. I believe though, that my biggest take away was less about the country itself and more about the experience of going beyond my set limits. I can't wait for what else my divine intuition has in store for me.
With God/the Universe all things are possible!
I'm so excited to share that I'll be hosting my first healing circle (as an independent healer) Valentine's Day weekend!
In envisioning my dream healing circle, I decided I wanted to provide an alternate way to celebrate not just love but Love, the entity that exists in each of us, surrounds us, and is all there is.
So often Valentine's Day, like every other holiday gets taken over leaving people feeling unsatisfied and left with an unanswered longing.
I believe our longing is life seeking for more and that this is ok! In planning this healing circle my intention is not to ignore our discontent but instead to provide space for it to tell us more about our dreams. I know first hand that dreams are not meant to remain fantasies and that with alignment with the universe and our inner voice they can be realized!
One of the principles of dream building is to not know the "how" because the how is not our business. So in creating the circle I just sat with the what, what would I love? What came to fruition is nothing less than the work of God/the Universe.
I am SO grateful that one of the most influential healers in my life Najia Kaddoura offered her and her husbands center; Wudang West Cultural Heritage Center (WWCHC). The blessings just continued as my dear friend Roxy Isaguirre offered her beautiful voice! Then to top it off others came forward offering their services as raffle prizes! Lyzette Jugarap offered a month of personal training, WWCHC donated a month of Qi gong classes, Martha Mena offered a hypnosis and aroma therapy session, and Lilia Reynoso offered a print of one of her beautiful paintings! Not to mention that all of this was offered free of charge!!
Blessings keep rolling in and as of Friday 2/5/16, the event is already sold out! I'm so happy and grateful!
Ahhh can't wait! Looking forward to seeing a lot of you there!
I am so blessed to share God manifested another part of my dream 30th birthday. I shared in my last post that after contemplating how I could best celebrate my 30th birthday I decided the best way to celebrate was to give back. I did that through our Random Acts of Kindness trip (described in my last post) and also decided to give back to those I love. I wanted to appreciate everyone who supports me during difficult times, challenges me to grow, and brings me closer to God. I made a list of those people and committed in my heart to taking each and every one of them out to dinner throughout 2016. Given my recent transition to self employment I was not sure how but prayed for God's financial support and leaned on the knowledge that "with God all things are possible" (Mathew 19:26).
A week after I set this intention, and without my telling anyone, my mom called me and told me that she along with my sisters and their families would like to throw me an intimate dinner party with those that matter most to me. As you can imagine, this brought me tears of gratitude.
My intention was to write about my dinner immediately after it happened but I kept waiting to be able to soak in all the energy and gratitude I felt from that day. Throughout the dinner and the following several days, every time I thought about how blessed I am to have so many people who love and support me, I became overwhelmed to the point of nervousness. One morning about a week and a half after my dinner I ran across this quote
"God proves through me by opening the windows of heaven and pouring out such a blessing that there is not enough to receive it." (Jack & Cornelia Addington)
And bam there it was! I can't possibly take it all in because Love is God and God is greater than anything I can ever fathom. So I slowed down, took a deep breath and directed my energy to the one who makes all things possible...
I thank you and praise you for another day of your life and of your breath. I thank you for the abundance of love and support that you have sent my way. I thank you dear God for my family's generosity in giving me this dinner party to recognize and celebrate some of the most influential people in my life. I thank you for each person who made it to my birthday dinner. I thank you for all of those that were there in spirit and every single person that has touched my life. Thank you dear Lord for the learning, the laughter, the tears and the challenges that I have experienced with and through each of them. I know that the love that we share is your divine presence working through us because you are Love and you are all there is. Thank you dear Universal Spirit for your loving kindness and reminder that I am loved, and I am appreciated not because of the things I have done nor because of the personality that I have, but because I am a child of your grace. You continue to amaze me Lord and I dedicate my life to serving you. I know serving you, is serving me, and every person on this Earth because we are all one. Thank you dear Lord for the awareness that with you ALL things are possible. Although I can never truly grasp your greatness I pray to remain appreciative for every one of your blessings including the ones I am not aware of.
Thank you, thank you, thank you dear Lord for the inspiration and knowingness that you are here holding me as I step more and more into my light. You are God, you are Life, and through you I am Love.
In God's name I always do pray, amen and so it is.
Adelina Nicole Tancioco
"OMG I'm turning 30!" was the thought that came to my mind a few months ago when the reality set in that my 20's were just about over and I was entering a new decade, the decade of true adulthood as I put it. How was I to celebrate this important occasion? Although born on New Years Day, I was never a big birthday party person. In fact, I think partially because I'm born on New Years Day, and there are so many other parties to compete with, I usually settle for a small gathering the day after the big count down. This year, however, I decided that it was important for me to put more time and energy into celebrating my 30th birthday. After a lot of thought what became more and more clear was that I have so much to be grateful for; I have amazing friends, family, and a partner who have all supported me through 12 moves in the last 10 years (yes I seriously counted!), 5 nieces and nephews who I love to death, mentors who push me to grow, students who teach me the importance of resilience, family who always has my back, friends who tease me but love me, a partner who supports me in following my dreams and life experiences that although tough at times, I would not trade for anything in this world. With this reflection I decided the best way to celebrate my 30 years was to give back! I decided that I wanted to do this in two ways, first through 30 Random Acts of Kindness (the second I'll share soon). I shared this with my boyfriend Rex and the two of us went on a 5 day RAK road trip from San Jose, CA to Sedona, Arizona!
23: Leave a generous tip with an inspiring message to your waiter/waitress
24: Give a compliment to a stranger
25: Surprise a waitress/waiter with an engaging conversation about their dreams
26: Collect and return trays from a fast food restaurant that are left outside
27: Don't complain for a day
28. Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger
29: Surprise a nurse with a bouquet of flowers
30. Have empathy instead of judgement
What I learned:
Doing acts of kindness isn't hard at all and feels really good. Of course there were moments I was nervous, like letting a dad and his son cut me in the Subway line after waiting (40 minutes I honestly timed it, it was the longest Subway line ever) but after my initial shyness died down it was great to talk to him and learn that he was especially grateful because they waited in lines all weekend at Disneyland. Or at a restaurant, where it took me multiple attempts to get the guts to stop the waitress in her routine and ask her for her name and how she was doing. She was so surprised and with a big smile said "Wow! No one ever asks me that!" then continued to chat with us and shared that she is currently in school working towards her dream to go into the fashion industry! It felt so good to talk to her that I decided I will always ask servers for their name and how they are doing because they deserve it!
I also enjoyed the anonymous ones, paying for people's meters, leaving laundry detergent, putting roses on cars, etc. because I hope that without a face the receiver contributes the act of kindness as an act of the Universe/God because I know that any act of kindness I do, is the spirit working through me.
Although each act filled me with joy, the most important ones for me were the ones that required me to do something internally, smile more, not complain, and give empathy instead of judgement were all ones I could do at any moment and felt good to intentionally think about. I was reminded that there are always opportunities to be kinder, to others and myself. I plan to do this more everyday as a celebration of God/the Universe's love and divinity in me.
Thank you dear God/the Universe for another beautiful year of life.
In love and light,