Recently in a women’s circle, I led a contemplation inspired by Maya Angelou. In a video clip, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8RA4JsoKjY, Maya talks about how she’s had so many rainbows in her clouds and how she has had a lot of clouds in her life. She shares that when she gets on a stage to speak, she brings with her everyone who has been kind to her. She has never felt without help. She suggests to us that we prepare ourselves to be a “rainbow in someone’s clouds” and “be a blessing to somebody”.

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Through the years each of us has received support and inspiration from a variety of other men and women. The support came in many different ways: a kind word, a compassionate listening ear, the right question at the perfect time, and/or a different perspective that opened up new possibilities.

When contemplating Maya’s quote in my women’s circle, we cast our minds down memory lane and remembered our first best girlfriend and then we reviewed each decade of our lives and looked at the women who have made a significant contribution to our lives. It was a very meaningful and powerful exercise. At the end, we each shared one person who stood out for us and why she was important.

I shared about my beloved sister who is 16 years older than I am and who has been a part of my life from the beginning. She was the one who loved to rock me as an infant when she came home from school. This closeness ensured I bonded with her heart to heart. She gifted me with my first and only pet, a dog named Rip van Winkle who was my constant companion. I called him Rippy. She gave him to me when I was 4 and he was with me for 18 years.

My sister was one of the people early on who expanded my way of thinking, opening my mind to new ways of seeing the world. By asking one question, “How about thinking of going to university instead of nursing school?” she changed the trajectory of my life. Through the years our relationship has evolved and deepened. Now in her golden years, we share a spiritual path, and we know each of us is there for the other no matter what. “Thank you, sis’. You are always a part of my heart!”

Remembering all the other people who have enriched my life was an exercise that filled me with so much gratitude and appreciation. I came to feel how I am surrounded by a great community of souls that has my back!

Take some time:

  • To think about all those people who have been kind to you and who have been your “rainbows in your clouds”. Go through each decade of your life and identify those who stand out for you.
  • To be with each one to see and feel what it was about them that was meaningful for you.
  • Send them your gratitude.
  • Think about the people in your world right now who need a rainbow and how can you support them with your kindness.

I am so grateful to each of you, seen and unseen, who has been there for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!





Sep 2016
mind sets . stress
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Kelly McGonigal’s

The Upside of Stress

This book is truly revolutionary!

For years I have taught about the downside of stress and how it can cause terrible things to your body. In her book, Kelly methodically reviews the latest research on stress and shows how we can make stress work in our favor: How it can build resilience and make us stronger. She shares how what we think and believe really matters! If we believe stress is good for us we will live longer than those who think stress is bad—the research proves this!

Through a 15-minute process, you can learn the ways stress is beneficial and how you change your mindset—experiencing a whole new relationship with stress while learning to use it to your advantage.

When you perceive something as a threat response when it really is not, and you learn to transform your response to a challenge response, you are able to rise to the challenge using the energy that is coursing through your body to help you take the best action in the moment.

In my next workshop on Learn to De-Stress Anytime, Anywhere, I look forward to incorporating what I’ve learned in this book so participants may learn how to turn their mindset about stress into something that supports them, so they, in turn, will learn and grow from their experience.

Stay tuned!!





It’s such a powerful practice to step back from your constant stream of thoughts and realize that you are truly much more than what plays through your mind. I have come to believe that this seemingly simple act is one of the most radical steps you can take that opens up infinite possibilities within yourself. It’s the beginning of moving yourself out of your limited thinking and the boxes you’ve created for yourself to live in based on your past impressions. It’s these mental constructs that keep you trapped in your smaller self.

Cultivating the part of yourself that is an ever-present observer within you is such a beneficial practice. As you learn to observe your thoughts, feelings, and sensations in your body non-judgmentally, allowing them to be as they are, you will discover in time that they will transform on their own. This new relationship with your thoughts has the capacity to set you free!

The truth is you are not your thoughts or feelings — you are so much more! As you cultivate your observer, also known as the witness, you come to experience a space of infinite stillness and silence that is filled with an experience of Presence. It is in this place — the present moment — where you can truly just BE. From this space you can be open to how life wishes to manifest through you and cultivate “loving what is,” as Byron Katie teaches. This is where you come to know your true self.

Living in this way brings you greater harmony and equanimity. It allows for endless possibilities not limited by the mental constructs you’ve created based on your past impressions. You learn to let go into “not knowing” with openness and grace.

2016 First Blog Illustration (1)It is a radical step to step back from your stream of thoughts and feelings. Through this process you will discover that there is so much more to who you truly are. From this space you can hear your inner wisdom/intuition and discover how life wants to manifest through you. You learn that your thoughts are merely “tools, not truths” and, in this way, not believe them unconditionally. It is so freeing to be released from the tyranny of your thoughts, especially those self-critical ones.

The Mindfulness Meditation Workshops I offer in people’s homes and places of business explore this practice of stepping back and observing your thoughts. They also teach present-moment awareness, where you come to appreciate and accept all that is flowing to you and through you. These practices bring you greater peace, joy, love and fulfillment.

By practicing mindfulness daily, you won’t feel like life is just passing you by. Instead, you will know that you are truly living.

Begin today by taking 5 minutes to practice silent sitting — close your eyes and take a mental step back from your thoughts, observing them non-judgmentally and with curiosity. As you observe, allow yourself to relax into that deep stillness and silence that is always there within you.

Practice this everyday and see how your life naturally transforms!

 





What is the true longing of your heart? This contemplation is important and has many layers to it. In order to meditate on this question, it’s important to take time out of your very busy life, pause and cultivate inner silence. It is in this silence that your body, mind and emotions rejuvenate—become refreshed and heal. It’s here where you learn to listen to your heart’s longing, your deep inner promptings and wisdom. It’s in the vast silence that you will come to know who you truly are.

How is longing defined? Longing is a strong desire or wish—a yearning, hunger and thirst for something important to you. By quieting yourself you can begin to hear what your body, mind and heart are truly needing and wanting in that moment. There are many layers to needs and wants, and then there is the deepest layer, which is the longing of the heart. Longing is a good thing, and it’s important to nurture your longing. It’s an energy that stirs inside yourself and lets you know that there is something more—something more you yearn for in your life so that you can feel more complete, fulfilled and joyful.

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Once you find that quiet space inside, ask yourself:

· What is it that is missing in my life?

· What would bring my life more meaning and joy?

· What is the new direction I long to take?

· What is it that I am really looking for?

· What will bring me fulfillment?

By taking the time with yourself to explore and discover where these questions lead, you perhaps will discover more questions and some significant answers. It takes time and patience to uncover the layers of longing and then recognize how you can create the changes you need to fulfill the longings in your life.

It truly feels magical to me when I experience being in alignment with my heart’s deepest longings. I experience a profound connection with my heart. There is a vast spaciousness and openness, and everything seems to align itself inside and out easefully and joyfully. It’s often not what I expected; however, there is a sense of rightness with me and the world around me.

I encourage you to take the time with yourself and ask the questions that will help you probe the deepest part of your being. The result very well may be to bring you into alignment with how the universe wants to manifest through you at this time for the benefit of all.

On Saturday, November 14th, Wendy Dion and I are holding our Second Annual One Day Women’s Retreat at the Yoga Lodge on Whidbey Island—Embracing the True Longing of Your Heart ~ An opportunity to renew and nourish yourself among the ancient trees. We will guide you on this exquisite journey to your heart, where you will listen for its longing and create an intention to manifest this longing in your life. Join us on this awesome journey and see what you will discover. It may surprise you!

Click on Katherine’s Events page to learn more about the women’s retreat she and Wendy are offering. For room reservations and rates at The Yoga Lodge, click here.

Enjoy the journey to your heart!





How do we step into the cycle of giving and receiving in a balanced and open-hearted way?

As I’ve begun to focus on the natural cycle of giving and receiving, my life has become more abundant. Nature flows in this cycle naturally. After all, the law of the universe is this law of circulation! The earth gives of its nutrients so the trees and plants can blossom forth. The trees give off oxygen so we can breathe, and we in turn give the trees carbon dioxide and so it goes.

As women, many of us have the tendency to over give too often we find ourselves most comfortable in this space of giving more than receiving. When we are out of balance in giving it’s very easy to become depleted and resentful. Being fully into the giving mode can be a defense against feeling our true emotions and avoiding being alone. By over giving we are sometimes trying to bolster our self esteem

As I have become more aware of the cycle of giving and receiving, I’ve recognized that when I’ve been out of balance, my pride has been in the way. I’ve found myself saying, “Thank you very much. I can do it myself. I don’t need any help.” Being a single mom for many years with 2- and 6-year-old children while working full time taught me how much I could do on my own. I became proud of how fiercely independent and self sufficient I could be.

Things began to shift for me when I began to value myself more. As I began to carve out time to meditate and be in solitude, I learned the value of taking a break and gaining support from meditation, nature, and friends. As I learned how to nurture myself I came more into balance in my giving and receiving.

bigstock-Giving-48698201(1)As I began to learn how to receive I felt myself learning to be okay with feeling vulnerable, and allowing my heart to soften. I learned that when I refused a gift I blocked the flow of abundance in my own life and in the giver’s life. Coming to a place of self acceptance, I can now receive by opening my heart, looking into someone’s eyes, and sincerely saying thank you. I’ve come to understand how generous people can be, and, by receiving from them, I am offering them a gift.

Recently, I became aware that I had become tightfisted about money as I have had to be careful with my budget. When I became aware of this, I saw where I could give more and this opened a flow of abundance in my life. I saw that I could afford to cook my favorite Mexican meal for a group of homeless women. What unexpected joy this brought me as I saw their appreciation and experienced their gratitude.

Giving frequently in small amounts is better than giving infrequently in larger amounts what we want is to allow the natural flow of abundance in our lives be it money, kindness, or love. As we learn to receive and give from our hearts a balance naturally falls into place. In the end, the best givers are the best receivers.

An ancient definition of receiving is welcoming. As we learn to welcome the gifts the universe gives us and we participate in the sharing of those gifts with others, our relationships take on a vibrancy and fulfillment, adding to the richness of being fully alive.

May you bring yourself into balance in the cycle of giving and receiving and experience the abundance that is your natural state.





Recently I had a transformative experience. It came when I realized that I’ve been telling myself a story about me for a very long time. Maybe the story was true at the beginning (at least partly true); however, the moment I realized that this story was no longer relevant, everything changed for me. I saw how my story was keeping me in a small box, and I didn’t have to be in that box any longer!

My story was: “You are not fully participating in life. You tend to stay on the sidelines observing, not fully engaged. You hold back and don’t give yourself fully.” Along with this story, I held some images in my mind that represented what giving of myself fully looked like: I saw myself running through a grassy field and twirling beautiful cartwheels, I would be dancing salsa with all abandon, or I would be pursuing a relationship without holding back.

When I realized these were just thoughts and images I had created that were no longer true or relevant, I felt such relief and freedom. I saw that as I practice present-moment awareness, I come into a space within myself that is fully alive. In this spacious awareness, I am in touch with how life wants to manifest through me right now. Coming back again and again to my heart ensures my full engagement with life, and this engagement is ever new and full of wonder. I don’t have to be in any prescribed way. I can manifest whatever is true for me in the present and allow myself to be new in every moment.

What are the stories, ideas or mental constructs that you are holding on to that keep you small and in a box? What are those stories that keep you feeling you are not good enough, limited, or someone you are not?

· Take some time with yourself and identify your story and notice how it limits you. You can read more about stories in my blog, “Letting Go of Our Stories,” click here.

· Imagine yourself releasing this story and, as you do, experience the open spaciousness that arises—it is delicious, pulsating with possibilities.

· In this space ask yourself, “How does life want to manifest through me in this moment?” Sit with this question and see what comes up. Something may come in the moment or something might occur to you later.

· Keep asking this question throughout your day or when you sit for meditation and listen quietly to what arises.

Being fully engaged in life has come to mean something new for me: in one moment it means taking a walk in nature and being fully present to the sight and sounds all around me, in another moment IMG_0342 (1)it may be taking time to sit quietly and experience the sweet silence of expansive awareness, or perhaps practicing yoga, being fully present as I listen to a friend or fully engaged in a movie or book—whatever is being called forth in each moment while being fully aware.

If you would like support in letting go of your stories and experience the freedom to be you in each moment— contact me for a complimentary coaching session by emailing me at: kbdobsoncoaching@gmail.com

May you experience the inner freedom that is naturally within you as you let go of your stories.









Ox Consulting