Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Tag: Life Lessons (Page 1 of 2)

5 Things You Need to Know for a More Enlightened Life

Life Lessons

I like to track my life lessons from birthday to birthday, the time it takes the sun to go through the entire zodiac and return to the position of my natal sun, astrologically speaking, rather than by the calendar year.

Astrologically, things tend to shift around your birthday each year, when you may become aware of new directions, opportunities, or challenges.  In fact, you may notice the change up to three months in advance of your birthday, or even as late as three months after your birthday, depending on whether you’ve processed the themes, issues, and life lessons from the previous year.

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16 Questions to Help You End the Year Well

Dandeloins - Year End Review

Confession:  I’ve been looking back on the year for weeks already. I think it’s that important to carry your insights forward and to close the year well.  This is how you become the very best version of you.

I use many of the following 16 questions when I reflect on my year.  Because, honestly, it can be hard to remember the whole year without a few prompts.

But you could actually ask them at any time.  You could take a quiet moment and reflect upon them at the end of each month, each quarter, half-way into the year, when you feel challenged, or on your birthday.  Just change the context of the questions.

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10 Life Lessons from An Unexpected Guest

Eleau - Life Lessons


Whatever happens in your life, take note:  There’s much insight to be gained.

For example, this little fellow snuck into our home not too long ago and has taught us so much since then.

My husband noticed a skinny shadow slipping along the narrow space between the shoe rack on the deck and the sliding glass door. The “shadow” sped into the house, headed directly for the cat bowls, and devoured the food as though prompted by an insatiable hunger.

Eleau won his chow and in less than an instant our hearts as well.

“What should we do?” my husband asked.  Bernie knows feeding a wild kitty is never a one time affair.  We have two adult cats already.  They finally made peace after a several-year stand-off and can actually (sometimes) sleep on the same bed.

The odds of their accepting a newcomer seemed slim, but fortunately Eleau had youth on his side.  And how could we turn a baby away?

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7 Life Lessons for a Brighter New Year

Arizona Sunrise

The Cycles of Life

Life runs in cycles. Peaceful periods give way to challenging times, which then melt into another emotional color until that one changes too. These cycles occur over minutes, weeks, months and years.

Greater peace of mind arrives when we accept that life will always be changing, and we’ll never truly know what will happen next.

At the same time, consolidating our life lessons builds our resilience so we can meet the cycles of life with greater joy and ease.  That’s precisely why I place value in a year-end review and the lessons that emerge from engaging with the right questions.

Some of my life lessons from last year were practical and some were profound.  Here are the most important lessons I learned.

1. Don’t Expect to Arrive

I didn’t expect to be waylaid by two months of bronchitis or two weeks of flat out back pain. I didn’t expect to receive new genetic information that changed my treatment plan and possible outcomes.

Life will surprise you. Whatever arises, try to take it in stride without labeling it “good” or “bad” or clinging to it as the final destination.  Don’t aim for a happy ending that never changes.

You can find greater peace and happiness by having this bigger perspective; not by expecting life to stay the same.

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10 Life Lessons from Emma Jean

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from my friend and mentor, Charlotte Rains-Dixon. 

emmajeanSometimes fiction states truths every bit as profound as non-fiction, which is why I like writing it.  My just-released novel, Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior, could be classified as a romantic comedy.  Despite the humor, its heroine embarks on a spiritual quest every bit as serious as those in the latest self-help bestseller.  Sandra asked me to share some of Emma Jean’s discoveries with you.  Here goes:

1.   A serious spiritual quest can start in the oddest of places.   For Emma Jean, her epiphany begins in the throes of passion, when she realizes that she is connected to everyone and everything in the universe.  Her resulting spiritual journey is an effort to recapture that moment.  Except that she discovers:

2.  It truly is the journey, not the destination.  Because there is no destination, only the present moment.  Emma Jean learns this when her initial efforts just lead her farther away from the truth of her being and deeper into trouble.

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10 Lessons from a Decade of Challenge

Jungle - Metaphor for Lessons and ChangeThe last decade weighs in as one of the most difficult of my life.  Like being lost in a jungle after nightfall, threats seemed to lurk behind every tree.  I often wondered, “Will I ever get out alive?”

Moments of desperation, hopelessness, and despair punctuated my generally optimistic disposition.  At times, the breath of death rasped far too close, till I had to turn and look straight in its face.

Personal betrayal, loss and separation, nudged to let go of a dear career, mysterious illness, cross-country and cross-continental moves.  On a stress scale all that adds up to a very high score.  The stress then folds in on itself multiplying the angst even more.  Perhaps this is par for the course in the human realm, but it all seemed exceedingly difficult, overwhelming, and endless to me.

Yet, I endured.  I’m  stronger, more resilient, and clear as a shiny new pot.  At long last, the stars realigned in a more generous and friendly way, streaming the light of insight over all those dark years.  So I thought I would share a selection of the potent lessons learned to encourage and inspire those who may be struggling with their own specially tailored version of adversity.

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