July 24, 2014

A book review of the Inspirational "Over It" by Mary Buchan

Recently I read a book called Over It by Mary Buchan. I didn't know who Mary was but now after reading, I feel like if we met, we would instantly be friends.

She is well-read, a fact evident in the references, passages and inspirational quotes she shares from others who have contributed to building the foundation of self-awareness. Then she takes it one step further. Throughout the book, she shares her failures as well as victories in stories that are inspirational and relatable, confirming the connected-ness between us all. The concise chapters help add balance to the busiest of schedules and introspective questions help the reader embrace her message.

If you’re looking for portable, easy-to-read, concise affirmation that it’s time to get "Over It," Mary’s writing will definitely fill that bill.

In Mary’s words, she wrote the book for women in midlife who feel they are at a cross roads in life. Her purpose was to share life-changing insights to help people get unstuck and break free from the circumstances holding them back. In Over iT: How to Live Above Your Circumstances and Beyond Yourself, she tackles the “iT” situations that often hold people back from their optimal life.

To learn more about Mary, the Lifestyle RN, check out these links: 

July 7, 2014

Why Are You Here -- A Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego for the Wonderer

You Are Here
I arrived, anxious and hesitant, even with my husband by my side, wondering what the day would bring. 

Then instantly in the sparsely populated room, I sideswiped a stranger, making me feel like an imbecile. Politely she apologized, as did I since it appeared to me to be my fault, but I found something familiar in her stature and her face. She failed to recognize me but took the conversation to the next level, saying, “Well, let’s see how we’d know each other. For starters, why are you here?” 

In any given moment, in any given venue, isn’t that always the big question? “Why are you here?” 

She was there to watch the short movie that documented an essential part of her life, filmed by the same man I was there to see who intended to make a feature film based on my novel.

What were the odds?

Then the most important interaction happened. She handed me a pin—a button—made to promote the documentary. It was a rectangle badge with a picture of her beloved dog and the simple title of the film: On Blitzen. She wore it proudly, tears welling in her eyes when she told the story of how the film unfolded as her way of saying, “Here’s my button.”

Immediately I thought, what’s mine?

What’s one thing that would define my life to this point? An icon I could wear that would promote my most tender spot? My cross to bear, my sword to wield, my mantra, my soft underbelly? Something that would connect with people, something that represented life to this point, something that would make me real.

Then it came to me. The words that defined the small thought that was the seed from which everything in my life had manifested:

“Hi, I’m Cindy. I feel like I’ve always done something wrong.”

Addiction to that thought had caused me more grief than anything anyone had said or perceivably “done” to me because it was the filter I used to view the world. The simple feeling that accompanied me in every waking moment, in every instance of consciousness, was that I had failed someone when I can’t say that this exact message had ever been specifically delivered. I had, however, interpreted other people’s fears as the direct result of my own perceived inadequacies which, over time, became the habit of waking daily with the impending doom of what I did wrong.

“What will broadside me today?”
“Who have I unknowingly disappointed?”
“Prepare to dissatisfy.”

Then I developed a habit of drinking alcohol, promoting the theme that is was legal, and I found solace in knowing how much I could handle, developing the language surrounding it and the status built with it like I intended to ace a college course. In short, I majored in booze.

The problem, as I discovered after years of sobriety, was I wasn’t addicted to alcohol, I was addicted to feeling that I’d done something wrong. Alcohol was simply the bedfellow of dreading the morning after.

In the “what came first” game I can genuinely say that addiction to the feeling—the habit of perfecting that feeling—preceded the visibly perceivable addiction to alcohol. But in the game of life, the bigger question was, “What came first: the thought or the feeling?”

The thought, right? Or was it the feeling? Can we garner a thought about something that results in a feeling or is it the feeling that promotes the thought?

When I watch a movie, the visual stimulus causes my emotional attachment to the scene, but is a thought involved? Can we learn simply by watching? Can we learn an emotional reaction to an exterior stimulus without thinking about it? Is all emotional attachment an unconsciously learned behavior?

Maybe I adopted the feeling that I was always in hot water by taking cues from the fears evident around me. That was my personal reaction to the stimulus whereby others in the same situations may have developed different reactions, different “coping mechanisms,” or considered it no threat that required coping. All I knew was, this wonderful person had a noble campaign:

“Hi, I’m promoting the loving memory of an animal that connected us all. And now lives on in this film.”

Then there was mine:

“Hi, I’m Cindy. Eventually I will disappoint you.”

It had to go. The thought had to be released. Regardless of what came first, the purge of the thought had to precede the release of the feeling. Besides, changing a thought is easy. Just replace it with a simple one: “I forgive myself.” Then move up to, “I love myself.” “I not only love myself, I love all those who have accompanied me on this journey of discovery so I could choose something other than the thought I have made a habit.”

It was a vicious cycle of thought.
A habit of thinking.
An addiction to a feeling.

Or was it an excuse? There is nothing more terrifying than dreaming in possibilities. The unknown is the scariest thing known to man. So why not seek comfort in thoughts that prevent me from believing I can dream?

Bingo. What if my only purpose on earth was to overcome that one, simple thought to connect with the message of love? What if? How wonderfully I could have failed. And how huge would be the message that love literally conquers all, but to deliver it from the plain, little package that is publicly known as me?

~

A friend has a pony that scares the snot out of her. I know how she feels. Those little vermin can really pack an attitude punch. But since I’ve always escaped by centering myself with horses, I know a thing or two about working through that fear.

So we walked to the barn, her sharing the pony’s specific aggressive behaviors and me wondering what to do. If there’s one thing animals will do, it’s make a liar out of you. My only option was to get there and watch.

As expected, his behavior downgraded considerable with my presence. I don’t know how they do it, but they know when they’re under scrutiny. Even so, I witnessed mild herding behavior as he subtly chose to cut off her path and almost invisibly made her retreat. So we worked and worked, me putting my observations into words that would convey my point, the most obvious one being that he honestly wanted her attention, she just didn’t know how to act with intent.

That’s what we worked on: acting with intent. But that comes with experience. I’ve observed a lot of equine behavior, some very bad, but when you have experience, it creates an intention, which is a feeling of empowerment that no matter what happens, you can handle it. And what manifests in the next moment is certainty, not fear.

After a few more interactions, my friend had the basics on how to make an animal respect her space for mutual benefit, her thoughts of fear being pushed aside by knowledge and a tiny bit of empowerment. But hey, you have to start somewhere.

Then she spoke my language: “Don’t take this the wrong way,” she said, “but you’re really tiny so if you can do it, I know I can too.”

Bingo! That’s exactly what I want you to think!

I was born simply Cindy Collins in an unimposing river town you’ve never heard of in a state you probably can’t point to on a map. My father was a shanty Irish descendant who married a busty German farm girl who didn’t pass that attribute on to me. I’m short, my nose protrudes like a ski slope and neither my hair nor my attire have appeared on any magazine cover that conveys “Style.” No one like me will ever be voted sexiest anything and my dad sticks the same knife in the peanut butter and then in the jam. My greatest regret in life is that I was born a girl. My second is that I wasn’t born a horse. I’ve accepted that both were by design. I’ve never passed a Mensa test nor did I excel at anything athletic. For most of my life I only ever felt at home on the back of a horse. I had to work hard at everything and because of scarcity had to improvise. I’ve often felt like my life on earth was one big joke from God. Boy, have I felt alone.

This is no longer the case. As Joe Dispenza says, “When the vibration of the love the universe has for you matches the vibration of the love you feel for yourself, miracles will happen.”

You can’t give what you don’t have. Everything you want to feel about your life, you have to feel about yourself. As within so without. My journey to this moment of complete graciousness for everything that I’ve manifested has matched the theme of my life—I did it myself. But truly isn’t that the only way we do anything?

We’re all flying solo.

Here’s my button: “If I can do it, so can you.”

Read The Aliquot Sum, a novel by Cindy Falteich. 
Written for the new-adult genre. 
Soon to be major motion picture!

Thanks for reading! Copyright © 2014 Cindy Falteich, All rights reserved.

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For Cindy's website, click here.


June 29, 2014

Reflecting on the Now

(This article also appeared as a guest blog at Dragon Intuitive online.)

It’s overcast so I intend to speed past, believing that without the sun, nothing will shine. But I’m wrong— admittedly. I stare into the still water, opaque darkness obliterating what I might see beyond the surface. As I watch, wondering why I was called to the edge, the messy, majestic forest that lines the opposite shore like a crowded cityscape, points to its reflection, a perfect replica of what I believe I see, lying silently in the water. A mirror image obscured from reality yet evidently just as beautiful. The depth of hues and shades of nature on a morning so still there are no scents, have a message.

Then a croak. I don’t see the source but I know it’s there. My ears tell me and they don’t lie. The only deception is in what I see when I look. Or thinking I need to see to believe. So I resign to be. Ripples take flight from an opposite shore. Tiny, perfect, uniform ripples. Waiting to see where they reach is a lesson in patience. As I watch, the reflection, once a perfect selfie, is pixelated, showing me a new possibility.

Then my attention is intercepted by another ripple from yet another unknown source.

June 18, 2014

How to Segue from "Great Summer Reads" to "Thoughts Become Things" (In Case You Were Wondering)

Ever wonder how a discussion on great summer reads could lead to a conversation on why "thoughts becomes things?" Probably not. But if you did, wonder no more! 
Join me with Happy Hour host Annmarie Kelly on WCHE 1520am this Friday, June 20th at 3pm ET as we talk about my New-Adult novel The Aliquot Sum, a book readers call "a great summer read," and segue from its theme on connection, spirituality and purpose into a discussion about the work supported by numerous writers including Dr. Joe Dispenza, the author of my current summer read, You Are The Placebo.
To learn more about how powerful thoughts can be, read my article on how to bloom called Blank Slate or visit my web pageTo subscribe to events and blogs via email, click here.

Thanks for your support!

Peace.

May 13, 2014

Blank Slate

For one reason: to bloom.

That’s why a flower exists. That’s why we exist. That’s why I exist. But it wasn’t always like that.

If you desire something other than what life has become, the shift you’re looking for will never occur until you embrace one thing: awareness—simple recognition of the thought you’re thinking that drives the behavior you use in every single interaction that has created the life you currently live—one you now claim you don’t prefer.

The fact that you realize you’re tired of where you are is good.

The fact that you want something different is great.

The fact that you want to know how to get there is key.

That key is awareness.

April 23, 2014

Overcoming Fear -- Lesson One: Don't Shoot the Messenger

He came with the name Pony-Pony. For obvious reasons, we changed it. But we didn’t go with my son’s suggestion: Brownie. To the child who’d named the goldfish with big eyes, Eyes, and the one with a gold cap, Hat… well, you get the picture. Instead, we admired the overgrown mane of this plain Jane equine and equated it with our favorite vintage cartoon character.

Shaggy it was.

Shaggy wasn’t very big but he came with a bad reputation. If you’ve ever seen a horse whisperer, you’ll know that people probably caused the problem but the reality was I had an animal I’d been warned about and I was the only one who could do anything about it.
                                                                                                              
Since I’m a protocol person, I did what I normally do—started with groundwork. That’s how you flush out trouble before you get yourself into a mess on horseback. The first problem was he had great ground manners. He was a little barn sour and herd bound, but well behaved. I didn’t want to discount what a tyrant he might have been and was hopeful it had been a personal thing but experience kept me on guard.

It wasn’t until I climbed aboard that I noticed the glitch.

April 15, 2013

Recasting Your Shadow


What’s big is small; what’s small is big.

I say that. And I mean it. I use it in context quite often to help grasp the enormity of the power of the universe within each tiny moment. It means that if everything that exists is energy, the smallest interaction with the force that’s being witnessed at this moment is but a mirror for all that surrounds us. It’s a universal law just like the one that states that an object in motion stays in motion until acted upon by an equal and opposite force. Every concept of physics applies, be it a marble rolling down a track or a civilization taking a painful step toward re-evaluation.

What’s big is small; what’s small is big. If it’s happening around you, it’s happening to you.

Sometimes those words come back to haunt me.

February 19, 2013

Your Last Day Ever


Girls can really bond. They have this massive sensitivity to love which unfortunately comes with this colossal sensitivity to hurt.

Take a girl and a horse. When two perfect companions find each other it’s a match made in heaven. Hours upon hours are spent literally in close contact in the saddle, even when preparation from the ground seems like a needy little child. The fact is, horses are labor intensive. They’re problematic. They eat a lot. They poop a lot. 

Horse owners build dwellings and fence pastures always preparing for the worst but expecting the best. Saddles, bridles and boots are designed for function in the worst of times. It takes years to build a relationship where a girl and a horse create magic, where each knows the other and cues become innate, and especially where the good is never overshadowed by that rare occurrence called “a bad ride.”

Who knows who’s to blame for it but every rider knows there will come a day when there’s only one thing left to do: put him away and come back tomorrow.

Surprisingly, most of the time, the sunrise makes it possible for one to say to the other:

"I’m sorry. I screwed up. This was not my intent."

Then they pick up where they left off.