Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Awaken! 2018

This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures & Policies on my About page.

If today were your last day alive, what is your one regret?

I'll let you percolate on that while I start from the beginning.

On January 20th, I had the good fortune to attend Awaken! 2018—a full-day Intuition and Spiritual Awakening retreat. The event was hosted by Kim Chestney of Mystic Studios in conjunction with Green Heiress Holistic Health, which is a beautiful yoga studio & shared healing space in the cute little Pittsburgh-based community of Aspinwall. I had seen something about it on Facebook, but wasn't sure I should sign up. I was feeling a little "gun shy". After a day or two, though, I bought a ticket. I couldn't stop thinking about it, and sometimes, you just have to go with your intuition. I'm glad I did, because it sold out fast, and it was a great day! Below is a summary.

After greetings were made and refreshments had, we were led into the main studio where we were seated in front of a harp. We were washed in beautiful sound by Stephanie Miller, a harpist who practices under the name Music for Life, LLC, in a segment called an Energetic Attunement Sound Bath. It was a beautiful way to start the morning. Stephanie offers a unique service called Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy: she can connect her harp up to a sound bed that has haptic feedback, so as you lay on the table, you literally feel the music as you hear it. I might have to check that out in the future, as it sounds really cool!

After that, we got down to the business of awakening our intuition. Kim Chestney, author of The Psychic Workshop: A Complete Program for Fulfilling Your Spiritual Potential, started the day off by asking us the above question: If today were your last day alive, what is your one regret? She encouraged us "to your own self be true." Throughout the day, we would learn to break the chains of fear that bind us and recondition ourselves to trust in our intuition.

Now, this is what intrigued me about this workshop since I saw the event on Facebook. I've been on my own spiritual journey for the last several years, having twice now been a speaker at healing events, talking about how I kicked fear in the teeth, learned to accept love again (especially from myself!) and started living life. Additionally, since becoming a Reiki Master last summer, I've found my awareness opening up, including having more of a relationship with God in my daily practice. I've found I have more enthusiasm, creativity, and energy. I feel more balanced. I feel more alive!

But, I was still holding myself back from achieving my dreams, and while I kept getting the impulses to DO something about it (Kim would call these "God winks"), and I have started putting plans into place to reach those dreams, I still needed that final kick in the butt to GO FOR IT, so this all seemed to align with my higher goals.

This workshop definitely kicked the doors down, for me.

After her initial talk, Kim introduced us to Susan Amarose, DMQ, RMT. Susan took us through some exercises in QiGong (pronounced "Chee-Kung"), which combines a system of coordinated movements, breathing, and meditation to promote healing, protection, and energy clearing. I was struck by the similarity to Tai Chi, which I practiced for many years in my late teens and 20s, and from which I experienced many benefits. I found the exercises to be REALLY great for my energy levels and sense of peace and alignment, and I look forward to some free workshops that Susan will be offering in February and March. Check them out on her site!

We had a delicious lunch provided from a nearby vegetarian restaurant, and I really appreciate that a nice, long break was allowed for. We had a whole hour to eat, relax, chat with each other, or go and meditate in one of the rooms. You weren't being crammed full of new knowledge at a breakneck pace, you know? There was never a sense of urgency in the timing of the talks. The entire day had just such a lovely, peaceful pacing.

After lunch, Kim taught us about all the different types of intuition, where it comes from (e.g., direct connection with God), why it's important, and then led us through some quizzes to show us where our leanings are. From there, we then split up into smaller groups and did a series of intuitive exercises together.

We rounded the day out with a short beginner yoga session with Nicky Dunlap (even I—NOT exactly limber!!—could do most of it), and a final closing segment to recap what we learned and encourage each other. Kim announced the winners of some beautiful raffle baskets (everyone was entered when we arrived), and gifted all of us with beautiful strands of mala beads that she made. Then it was hugs all around, the event was a wrap, and I floated out of there on a cloud of positivity and hope.

In summary, it was an AMAZING day! The lectures were enjoyable and informative, and the energetic sound attunement and QiGong exercises set the perfect tone right at the start. The exercises were enlightening, and, while I found them to be useful and validating, one of the things I valued most from the workshops was the sense of camaraderie, of working together with these other women in the class, each of us giving of ourselves to help free the others from whatever was holding us back. There was true connection with other souls that day. And connection is important to our well-being. That will be a future post, by the way; it's something burning in me to write about, so stay tuned for that.

A final takeaway: I saw people enter that morning carrying their worries and concerns with them—some frowns, some tiredness, some uncertainty—but by the end, those people were walking a little straighter, feeling a little stiller, connecting a little deeper, and radiating more peace.

Check out some highlights from the day in the video, below. Take a look at Green Heiress' website and consider attending an event or signing up for a class. Feel free to contact any of the presenters I've linked to and ask them questions.

I'm about halfway through Kim's book, and enjoying the heck out of it. I'll do a full review of it when I'm done. In the meantime, I have signed up for the intuitive salon sessions and will be attending the free QiGong sessions as well. Come join me!

Awakening highlights:

Kim's book:

 ~~ positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest! Follow me there! ~~

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

No Break In My Stride

This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures & Policies on my About page.

So—how are those resolutions going? 

You know the ones—we all made them on January 1st, didn't we? How are they going?

Typically, by this time in any given year, I'd already be losing interest in keeping whatever resolution I'd made on 1/1.

Later, I spent many years decidedly NOT making resolutions because I felt it wasn't worth it. It felt like pressure. I was just going to fail, so why bother?

I'd already pre-determined I was going to fail before I'd done so. 


Why did I do that to myself?

I know a lot of people make a resolution but then get discouraged after the initial "new thing energy" (as I call it) wears off. "New thing energy" is that energy boost you get when you're excited by something new, when you're eager to try out an idea,  follow an inspiration or start a new project, and you feel all energized and happy and optimistic.

And then life happens, and we start losing interest or faith that we can keep that resolution.

Maybe that cupcake was too good to pass up, so you went over your calorie goal.

Maybe the weather was bad so you didn't get out and walk or run as many times as you wanted to last week.

Maybe that class you signed up for is suddenly clashing with the kids' basketball practice.

Maybe you're overwhelmed with where to even begin.

Does that mean stop trying to do the thing?


I think, at least for me, the answer is to find another way past the road block and keep striving for the goal. Create strategies for dealing with potential blocks. Be persistent.

I know it can feel overwhelming sometimes with not knowing where to start. For myself, I look for a social media group or talk to friends for some ideas on what to do in those situations. Just the other day, I expressed some frustration to a coworker about something I really wanted to do and couldn't even get started with, and within 10 minutes she not only had some strategies for how to deal with it, she found me some resources, and BAM! I was off to the races! So don't try to keep a resolution or meet a goal from inside of a vacuum. Get out there and talk to people.

ANYHOO...this morning I woke up with the chorus to this song BLARING in my head:

(Please enjoy all the lovely early '80s dancing and fashion while you're at it! ๐Ÿ‘)

As soon as I "heard" it, I knew it was not only a hint to myself, but something to share with you as well.

Don't let anyone or anything break your stride. Keep going! Keep trying! If you want to do the thing, then do the thing! Set the pace for yourself and go for it.

If you have a bad day or week, so what? Get back to it.

Join a gym with a treadmill if the weather is too bad to walk or run. Or do what my husband I did, if you're able and have the space: buy one. I used to think we could never have one, but it turns out, they're a lot cheaper than you'd imagine and take up much less space than I thought they did.

If the kids' schedules get in the way of that class you wanted to take, then find another way to do a similar class. Whether you find a video online or sign up for an online course instead of an in-person course, you're creating another opportunity to rock that goal.

Find creative solutions to the problems you are experiencing and keep on truckin'. Momentum is a powerful thing, but if you lose it, it doesn't mean it's dead, you can always build it up again.

For my own resolutions, I've been examining patterns that are holding me back and giving them the boot. I've been asking myself:

What are your goals?
How do you want to live?

My answer to both of these questions is simple: to live my life happy and fulfilled, being exactly who I am and doing exactly what I am meant to be doing. Not holding myself back with artificial failure-thinking. Not hiding myself from people, but being my authentic, true self.

So that's my 2018 "resolution." Well, that and seeing if I can get 500 miles of walking in.

To that end: this past weekend, I took a full-day workshop that built upon some concepts that I'd already been examining for a few years, and it blew me away! Even though I didn't have any idea what to expect, I followed my intuition and signed up for it, and I have NO regrets. I briefly talked about it on positively b.e.e.'s Facebook page, and I will be writing more in-depth about the experience in my next post.

In the meantime, ask yourself the same questions: what are your goals, and how do you want to live? Then create a plan, get into YOUR stride, and don't let anyone or anything break it!

Until next time—go ahead, sing along with me (you know you want to!)

๐ŸŽถ Ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride
Nobody gonna slow me down, oh no
I got to keep on movin'
Ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride
I'm running and I won't touch ground
Oh no, I got to keep on movin' ๐ŸŽถ

 ~~ positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! Follow me there! And please comment below if you want to share your resolutions or strategies for keeping the pace up!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Some Sunday Thoughts

This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures & Policies on my About page.

Have you ever read something or met someone that made a small-but-impactful difference in your life?

It could have been a chance interaction, or maybe you saw a feel-good news piece, and it made your day nicer in some way.

I was just sitting here a few minutes ago, thinking back to last year when I met an author who, in a simple and random way, positively impacted my life. Not only that, but our encounter and how we came to meet was really exceptional, to me.

Nearly a year ago, I was feeling pretty low about things. I think I was in the midst of the typical winter doldrums, and feeling a little glum and low energy. Don't get me wrong: my life is good, and I am always grateful for what I have, but I can still sometimes have a bad week. It was one of those bad weeks.

At that time, I had gotten into the habit of eating lunch at my desk, not taking a real break during the day. I might read the news headlines while scarfing down my lunch, then get right back to work.

I realized this pattern was maybe not the best for me, so I resolved to actually sitting down to lunch, taking the paper in with me, and really taking a break from the day. THAT day was the first day I did this. I got my tray, sat down, and pulled the paper out of its little plastic cocoon. I unfolded it to its full size.

I scanned the front page, didn't like what I saw, and randomly turned to somewhere else inside the paper, hoping for a light lifestyle piece or something else not too negative.

What I saw during that random turn of the page was a full-page color ad for a book whose author would be doing a signing at my local Barnes and Noble THAT NIGHT.

I looked at the title of the book: Hell Bent, Heaven Bound by Shawntรก Pulliam, and had NO idea what it was about except for the ad telling me it's about a woman who went "from the drug house to the King's house", turned her life around, and became an entrepreneur who helps at-risk girls succeed in life.

I decided to clear my schedule and head down there after work for the book signing and see what it was all about.

Guys: I'm not a "clear my schedule" kind of gal. "Clear my schedule" means: not immediately going home after work, getting some exercise in, doing a few chores, and having some quality jimmy-jam time. It is NOT typical for me to hurry to a book signing of an author I've never heard of directly after work.

However, I am also fairly intuitive. If I'm really drawn to do something, I will do it without always knowing why. I'll trust in God and see what happens.

So ...

I finished work. I got in my car. I drove down to the Waterfront Barnes and Noble.

Did I mention I don't really like going to the Waterfront? Too many people, too much traffic. But I went down there, that day, anyway.

Traffic seemed to magically clear, the sun peeked out, and I made good time.

I walked into Barnes and Noble, and Ms. Pulliam and her sister were just setting up her author table. I was one of the first people there. I talked to her for a few minutes. She told me a little bit about herself, and I bought her book and asked her to sign it. Here's a pic of us at our meeting.

You can tell I really wasn't feeling well that day. I look pale and tired, to me. But I'm letting this picture stand, letting you see me that way, because before walking in that book store, I had felt SO exhausted, SO defeated, SO down about things, but that all changed. While that smile may look tired, I was very happy because Ms. Pulliam's energy and message really lit a fire under me!

I read that book so fast. It was easy to read because her voice and her story are so compelling. I just wanted to keep going!

Despite the fact that Ms. Pulliam and I come from completely different places in life, her message was SO inspirational! She talks about valuing ourselves, about staying in the good fight even when forces around us are conspiring, and about rising above! This is a situation where words have power.

So...how is it that I randomly opened a newspaper to an ad for a book written by a woman who lives several hours away from me, who just happened to be in my city, in my neighborhood, signing a book I probably would never have heard of, otherwise, because I don't typically shop in the faith-based book market?


I'll just leave that there and let you be the judge. But for me, it was a meaningful event, and I will always value what felt like a little nudge from above to get out of my comfort zone, meet a really cool person, and read her book. She and I have since connected on social media, and I find her daily posts a great addition to my day.

It is people like Shawntรก Pulliam who inspire ME to be a positive influence in somebody's life, too. Reading this book was one small part in my own journey of finding my voice.

Comment below if you've read this book, have other good book suggestions, or if you want to share an example of how a chance interaction influenced you in a good way! And thanks for your support of positively b.e.e.!

positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there! 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Staying Chipper While Chipping Ice Off Of The Windshield

So I don't know about you guys, but it's COLD here in Pittsburgh. We are lucky to get into double digits. The East Coast is currently being slammed by something called a "bomb cyclone" (WHAT??? is that????) The South is experiencing icy temps. And people are generally just trying to survive it all. I've heard so many tales of dead batteries, car doors not closing, and pipes freezing that it's kind of unreal.

But you know what? We might be entering the time of year that bitter temps are prevalent in certain areas, but I noticed something else: it's after 5 o'clock and still light out. :) And when I drive to work in the morning, it's not totally "o'dark thirty" -- there's actually some light for part of my commute! This is exciting! I'm gonna hold onto this for now!

So take hope, guys! We'll get through it! In the meantime, I'm bundling up and repeating my "words have power" mantra to myself and telling myself I'm totally warm right now!

I took a "current situation" photo today to cheer someone up, so why not, I'll share it with you, too. Here's my "But I don't WANNA get out of the warm truck to go outside!" look. ๐Ÿ˜„

Wherever you are, stay safe and warm and remember this will pass, ok? ❤️๐Ÿ Comment below to let me know how you are coping!

positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! Follow me there!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

As 2018 begins, so many people are looking forward to a new year full of promise. We are all eager to have hopes and dreams fulfilled!

For myself, closing out 2017 was the end of an interesting year, in many ways. Like any other year, there have been pains and illnesses, but also many, many joys and blessings. I finished the year by writing in the final pages of my last gratitude journal, and am starting my new journal today.

My wish for all of you is that 2018 is ABUNDANT in blessings, joy, interesting stories, and love. May all of YOUR dreams be fulfilled!

What will you write about this year?

Comment below if you'd like to share any resolutions or goals you are setting for 2018!

positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! Follow me there!

Reflections on 2020

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See  Disclosures  for more info.  It’s finally...