Empowerment Through Mindful Living

Empowerment is not a topic I often reflect upon

Last month, I wrote an article for Nabalo Magazine.  They offered a number of topics that I could write about and I found myself drawn to the concept of empowerment.  It is not something that I often consider.  As a middle aged person, I feel I have been learning all along my journey how to empower myself and others.  By no means am I an expert at this but I wondered as my fingers brushed the keys if empowerment were truly a priority for me.

It brought up a whole series of questions for me.  Is finding a silent state and moment of calm my way of finding my inner strength?  Does writing about challenges I face through my illness strengthen me from the inside?  Does finding positive ways to handle adversity give me the strength I need to face the next hurdle?

Empowerment Mindful Living
Today is the day!

I’m pretty darn sure, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, that you know where this one is going….

Is what I do ’empowerment’?

As I wrote, I realized, that my meditation flowers that I reach to for guidance each morning, are my form of empowerment.  I gain confidence and resilience through watching them each day as we evolve together.  Using flowers is my assurance that even if I am feeling very unwell, that I’ll have a bright spot in my day (this is often enough to at least get me out of my bed).  More often than not, though, my garden walk helps me to build my strength to face the day.  Another example of gaining energy and motivation from inside myself.

Writing about and sharing my challenges, and connecting with others, helps me to build a fortress of resolve for that day when my thoughts may choose to turn their back on me.  Finding purpose during adversity is teaching me that darkness and light really do have to exist at the same time.  Gratitude is helping me to understand that I have abundance no matter my areas of lack.

So, today is the day.  The August edition is being published ‘for real‘ and I am in it.  I feel exhilarated, and excited, and truly grateful.  I am both proud of my accomplishment and terrified to send it out into the ether!

I also feel empowered!

Love Ingrid x

#nabalolifestylemagazine

I would love for you to read and share the article on their site at http://nabalo.com/the-magazine/

Or via these links:

Nabalo Website : http://nabalo.com
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My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/mysomethingwonderful

My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ingridsnydal

My Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/snydaling

Thank you always for your kindness.

Lucky me!

I like to keep things around me that remind me of people and events that have meaning in my life.

I have always loved photographs and I keep a number in my phone that remind me of my parents and my brother.  I can take a moment every now and then to look back at my ‘photo album’ and glance back in time.  I have some selfies with my husband that I particularly like, so I keep them for when I am sitting in a doctor’s office or waiting for the dentist to arrive.  I insist on taking a selfie when my niece and nephew are around so that I can easily access a quick trip down memory lane.

As I mentioned in another post, I also have beaded bracelets that I wear to bring some awareness back to myself.  To keep me grounded or to bring me back to a place of peace and calm.  I roll the beads between my fingers to remind myself to let go of fear and to leave it up to the Universe to take care of me.

Recently, a very dear friend of mine, gave me a necklace that I immediately put on as a new amulet of hope and strength.  As you can see in the photograph, there is one larger Tree of Life along with a smaller one and a wing.  The necklace came with this note as well:

Strength

Sometimes life is a battle,

with plenty of hills to climb.

Look inside your heart for strength

and peace of mind.

You are an “Earth Angel”.

Believe in yourself

and take one step at

a time! ©

I wept when I read those words, as I knew that my friend could see that this illness (CSF Leak) is a struggle that I am learning to live with day by day.  She said that as soon as she read the poem she just grabbed it (not even looking at the others on offer).  I now wear it all the time to give me more strength and courage to make it through each day.  It really has become a symbol of love and courage for me.  I am so grateful to all my ‘Earth Angels’ for loving me and encouraging me each and every day.

I find these ‘reminders’ to be of great benefit to me.  Things that I can feel to give me a sensory reminder of all the goodness in my life.  I used to carry smooth rocks in my coat pocket or in the pocket of my purse.  I do have a yoga mala in the bottom of my purse that I sometimes take out to to remind myself of all the good things that have happened in my life.  As I count off each bead I name a gratitude for each one.  It usually takes me about three or four beads to realize that whatever I am worried about is not very important.

I can let off steam, or invoke those I love, or access my own inner strength when I bring my thoughts back to these cherished items of mine.

What kind of things do you use to settle your thoughts or to cherish your loving memories?

Love Ingrid x

#loveiseverywhere   #csfleak    #love     #amulet    #cherish   #charms

© Earth Angel Est. Nova Scotia Canada www.theangelsofourlives.com

(I do not endorse any company but feel it important to note the origin of the necklace as the poem is copyrighted)

Nurse plants…

I was introduced to the concept of nurse plants when I first went to the coast of British Columbia.  There is an incredible National Treasure and World Heritage Site called Cathedral Grove forest that is a must see if you ever get the chance.  It is one of those natural wonders that you climb into wondering if you have just walked into a fantasy or if you are still here on Earth.

A nurse plant, as explained in Cathedral Grove, is a tree that has long since died and fallen down that is now host to other plant life to grow from.  It is absolutely incredible to see the vast and enormous trees that are actually growing from a dead, hollowed out carcass of a tree.  These plants that seem to hang on for dear life to the very tenuous, decaying matter, are a natural demonstration of sheer and utter resilience.

Examples of nurse plants are all over Cathedral Grove and many other forests around the world.  It is all a part of nature.  Tenacity and resilience….they are out there wherever you look.

Being sick is also a test of tenacity and resilience.  It takes strength, courage, and resolve to decide every day just to ‘do it all again’.  Surrounded by the same four walls each day, and in the case of those with a CSF leak, lying horizontally for the better part of the day (if not all day for many) is definitely a test of resilience.  We talk about finding our strength in nature and looking to nature for answers.  I can definitely attest to the fact that I like to find these examples in the world around me in order to strengthen my own resolve. My daily meditations in my garden for all of Spring, Summer, and Fall have been my lessons in resilience.

Watching videos or movies about people defeating the odds and just ‘doing’ whatever it is they are doing despite any hindrances they may have are my favourite kinds of videos.  I love seeing people facing insurmountable odds and flourishing anyway.  I think these reminders are the nurse plants for people like me that sometimes feel that illness is getting me down.  They are the ones who have gone before, to show those of us still struggling, how to move forward and to find the right footing to grow ourselves.  In no way do I think these people are ‘dead’ as the nurse plants are in Cathedral Grove but they are what I cling to to know that the possibility of my blossoming is still there.  Seeing someone work through struggle and emerge victorious is what can sometimes give me hope to go on each day.

I found this mushroom, clinging to the side of a stump that we placed in the garden for decor.  It served as a great reminder for me that even in the face of very unlikely odds, things can grow and blossom. I hope that you have found something to cling to because I just know your blossoms are in there, ready when you are!

Love Ingrid x

#loveiseverywhere  #csfleak  #tenacity  #resilience   #nurseplants   #natureheals