Bite-size (#4) : Is the Universe teaching you a hidden lesson?

Is the universe punishing us for making mistakes or teaching us a hidden lesson by not giving us what we want? Here’s a bite-size reflection.

I’ve been a writer most of my adult life. But the difference is that at first, I used to write long paragraphs over text to tell people how I feel. Overtime, as I grew up, my writing made its way into this arena, into the spiritual space. The story that goes for today is that whenever I would see a dip in my readership, I wonder if the Universe teaching me some subtle, hidden lesson?

I mean if this is my higher calling, shouldn’t my trajectory be ever upwards? Shouldn’t I get infinite success and be able to make a huge impact?

I am cringing as I admit these thoughts, but I still choose to write them here because I know I’m not the only one to think this way.

You may think it for other areas of life. Like if the money stops flowing in, you might get worried that the heavens have closed their gates to you because you judged someone else for buying a Gucci bag.

Or when you keep having strange dates, you might worry that you’re being punished for what you said to that girl back in grade 5 about her looks.

bullying, universe teaching a hidden lesson

Its as if we start to fear our karma, and over-read into everything happening with us! And it took years to have a breakthrough about what was really going on.

So today, I want to share my bite-sized story with you, hoping it serves to resolve some of your questioning and doubts.

So, here’s the long and short context of this story.

Every time something unsettling happens at the backend of My Spiritual Shenanigans, I realize that I am actively scrambling to make some kind of change to “fix” the problem.

At my human core, I associate this to my type 8 enneagram personality that wants to “be in control”.

And a brutally honest moment. I have a lot of trust-issues with the Universe. But upon deeper thinking, I can see that most of it stems from my own misinterpretations about how I thought life would be.

One of the misconceptions has been that if I do everything the Universe wants me to, I’ll get what I want in return (the law of attraction gone wayyyy wrong). I’ll somehow be the Universe’s favourite seeker, and nothing will ever hurt me again.

mystic, the universe has your back

And isn’t that the mistake that we all make, when we believe that we shouldn’t be upset anymore, now that we’re on the spiritual path?

But I love what spiritual teacher, Pema Chodron says to this in her book, When Things Fall Apart, “theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us. It means thinking there’s always going to be a babysitter available when we need one”.

Our inability to trust the process is deep rooted.

For me, it runs as far back as 10th grade French and getting a really bad grade, even though I studied really hard. It messed up my overall performance and I felt like God wasn’t my friend. I felt cheated on! How innocent, right?

But at the same time, this anger distanced me from the Universe.

This has been a cycle all my life, as a matter of fact. I would misinterpret the meaning of angel numbers and repeatedly get frustrated when things wouldn’t align. It took forever to realize, that really, the Universe isn’t my enemy. And that I can do everything right in my capacity and that things can still not go my way.

This was an invitation to let go of control. To understand the meaning of surrender, once again.

surrender to the Universe, the Universe is not teaching us a hidden lesson

As a workaholic, I realized then, that the Universe always puts a pause to my progress for so many reasons. And none of them have anything to do with the idea that I can do something wrong to upset the Universe. There is no subliminal message I need to decode, and there’s no hidden lesson that the Universe is trying to teach me through the “lows”.

Want to know what the truth is? Here’s what I’ve realized.

First of all, when things stagnate for us, it is a reminder to not be SO focused on just that one role. For example, I have so much else I can and should focus on. Like NOT buying presents last minute or finally putting together a nice dinner spread for the family.

Second, life slowing down is a good thing. It is a reminder to rest and recuperate our energy. To give ourselves the much needed relaxation time, where we’re not just resting but at much deeper, subtler levels, integrating.

Third, it’s a reminder to course-correct from a more conscious place. So, in my case, if I’m so absorbed doing something, I’m actually spending very little time being mindful and letting divine intervention participate. I hate to admit – but I’m often on autopilot these days even though I’m supposedly doing ‘conscious work’.

conscious work, spiritual coach, setting intentions, mindful
So much of what we do is meant to be done in collaboration with the Universe. Not in denial of its role in our life. Nor in fear of the consequences of our actions.

But when we are mostly living in our minds and limit ourselves to “our way”, it can feel like it’s us against the cosmos. When in reality, we are never separated from source, beyond the beliefs of this very mind.

What you can takeaway from this…

So many people think they need to pray unceasingly to wash away their sins. Or that God will punish them.

You can either see a challenge in life as a punishment, or as a way to segway into your ultimate freedom.

When all of this finally clicked, here’s what I decided.

Every time I get sucked back into the humaneness of my work in this sacred space and the Universe pauses it (like dipping readership or back-to-back client cancellations) I will thank it and ask, “what would you like to do through me instead?”

And then, I will pause and listen.

Maybe it’ll take a few days for the inspiration to come through. And it can be towards anything – from needing that free time to look after a sick loved one, to repurposing that time for a last-minute weekend getaway.

It always has added up, and instead of doubting the process, I will remind myself to keep listening.

Because we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the beautiful synchronicities of life itself, that put us on Earth.

So, why not partner with the divine and let your human side merge deeper into the mystical?

Why work against the Universe, when you can work with it?

That’s me, for this one. Here’s a video that also speaks to a similar theme.

Enjoying these bite-sized reflections? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

Ready to take your healing deeper? Let’s talk about it! You’re welcome to fill in this this form and submit an application to become eligible for a complimentary session with me.

Toxic Positivity: How You Can Sabotage Your Manifestation by Suppressing Emotions

What is toxic positivity? And how can being too happy all the time get in the way of what you’re manifesting?

Have you ever felt afraid to be upset and have forced yourself to quickly be positive again, because you might sabotage your manifestation? Or that you might “attract” something bad? This logic lands us in a zone of toxic positivity. In other words, if we keep believing that we’re never meant to be sad or upset, we’re rejecting half of our human experience.

And in doing this, leading ourselves into a trap of inauthenticity and more overwhelm! Of course, this is just our innocent attempt to create a happier life for ourselves but it can actually, ironically mess up your manifestation because you’re not letting yourself heal.

What do I mean by that? Let’s unpack it here together.

The truth is, our feelings are an indicator, an inner compass of what’s going on. They are NOT bad – they’re actually what help you understand if something sat well with you or not.

If you were emotionless, nothing would trigger a response from you. Neither would wrong behaviour make you upset, nor would misfortune make you sad.

What’s wrong with that, you might ask. I mean technically, the description above may sound like an enlightened person who is unshaken. True – but they are not unshaken because they neglect their emotions. But rather because they have full MASTERY over their emotions.

They’re not indulging or avoiding emotions – they are holding full awareness and using these emotions as the guide to their response to a situation. That’s how they not only show up as more grounded beings, but authentic ones.

Sounds more impressive and more human, right? Exactly.

Our spiritual journey is about embracing every single aspect of ourselves, including those parts that we may have never learned how to be with in the past.

Now comes the million-dollar question, how can you gain emotional mastery?

I have 3 tools for you to try out. I hope they help you become more aligned with whatever you’re manifesting for yourself, by stepping away from the toxic positivity and moving towards embracing your whole human experience.

#1 – Throw a 2-min pity party every day.

This is 120 seconds on the stopwatch where you give yourself CONSCIOUS permission to vent, rant, scream, cry, purge – whatever is your weapon of choice to release your emotions. Give voice to the very thoughts and feelings within you that are wanting to be heard.

be authentic, self expression, emotional awareness

The psychology of this tool? You are giving permission for energy to move through you. This is neither indulging endlessly in the mood nor running away from it. This is just enough time to let the emotion out, without spiralling down with it.

Sometimes, all your conflicted parts inside need from you is for you to hear your own pain, to allow it to be here. And in doing that, you step into a deeper kind of inner alignment. One that is more integrated within oneself. From this place of integrity, you are now able to take more conscious actions towards your bigger visions.

When our group tried it a few months ago, everyone seemed to have a BLAST!

Set a timer on your stopwatch, let your emotions run their course for 2 minutes and see how this makes you feel.

#2 – Build emotional awareness.

The first stage of any change in life is having awareness. The ideas in this article might be new to you. But over time you’ll see that if you continue to think along these lines, ironically in being “more human” with your emotions, you’ll become more spiritual.

If this is new territory, start by learning to name your emotions. Several times a day, just check in with yourself and ask yourself how you’re feeling. You can even look in the mirror and ask yourself, looking into your own eyes.

selective focus photography of man's reflection on a broken mirror

Here are two tips to keep in mind:

  • A feeling is something like sad, angry, happy, irritated, etc. Here’s a full wheel of emotions that you can refer to, to build your emotional vocabulary. Don’t resort to “I don’t know” – get curious about yourself and find out.
  • A thought is something like “they shouldn’t have done that”. That’s not what we feel, that’s what we’re thinking. We often confuse what we’re thinking with what we’re feeling.

If you find yourself being able to spot the feeling underneath each thought, know that this self-reflection approach is working.

To take the awareness deeper, I’ve designed a digital workbook that you can leverage as a trusted companion and really dial in on some of the ebbs and flows of your emotional health.

#3 – Build emotional intelligence.

Having built some levels of awareness, the next step is emotional intelligence, where you learn to work WITH your emotions.

The intention for emotional intelligence is to be able to find the deeper wisdom of even the most strange and unsettling emotions. As you begin to find value in your emotions, they become a catalyst in your spiritual development. And then you get to create that sacred space for others to be their “emotional selves” in front of you.

emotions, toxic positivity

For example, your relationship with anger might be that it’s a bad thing. But what if anger wasn’t the problem, and your reaction that comes out of anger was? As you see this, you might start asking yourself what anger really wants for you, and figure out ways to work with that anger versus trying to suppress it.

By feeling emotions, you free them. See if you can feel all the feelings and ask them what they really want for you?

And if you’d like to explore emotional mastery with me, please know that there are in-depth tools and techniques that I’ve been trained in, in order to facilitate this depth of work for you.

You can set up a complimentary 30-min call and unpack your relationship with your emotions, through my calendar here. In case you don’t find a time that works for you, drop me an email here and we’ll chat.

Concluding Thoughts

That said, these are just some simple ways through which you can start becoming more YOU and creating a reality that is in alignment with you. Don’t let the toxic positivity mindset stray you away from the very manifestations you’re working so intentionally to create.

I’d love to know what other questions come to mind for you and to be able to help you answer them. Do let me know in the comments below!

And speaking of manifestation, guest spiritual teacher Carleen did an amazing workshop for our tribe a few weeks ago. Here’s a snippet, and here’s the full video in case you missed it.

Ready to take your healing deeper? Let’s talk about it! You’re welcome to fill in this this form and submit an application to become eligible for a complimentary session with me.

5 Spiritual Practices To Keep In Mind When You’re Traveling

What are some spiritual practices you can incorporate when traveling to stay more aligned and spiritually connected? Here’s my list.

The world is opening up to travel again, and as spiritual seekers, this might intimidate some of us. My husband and I are also slowly reorienting ourselves to the world in these strange times. And here are the spiritual practices that I’ve followed when traveling that have helped me stay more connected.

There are so many different things happening when you’re travelling, like:

  • New environment, and lots of mentally and physically stimulating forces that can disconnect us from inner alignment;
  • Being out of the comfort zone and finding ourselves often feeling anxious by the uncertainty of events;
  • In some cases, being exposed to old patterns and habits like drinking, smoking, binging etc.

Needless to say, travel is a good time to test our spiritual development. It lets us see how anchored we are in the bigger truths of life, when say, we have a flat tire and find ourselves cussing!

Keeping all my own experiences in mind, here are some simple spiritual practices to help you stay aligned in your truth throughout your traveling.

#1 – Bring the rituals with you.

We’re humans of habit. And so you want to create the “cues” that remind you to do the things that you do back home. When my family and I were living in an AirB&B a few months ago, I realized how subconsciously everyone longed for their routine, though we were all travelling to come out of our routines.

Whether it was one family member waking up early for their morning walks, or another family member renting bikes to get in their daily dose of fitness, it was interesting to see how we all created comfort amidst the new and uncertain. This irony is what inspired my own conscious efforts to bring spirituality with me wherever I’m going.

Here’s what you can do as a spiritual seeker, to bring rituals wherever you go:

  • Carrying spiritual books with you that you place at your bedside, so that you can be visually reminded to read at the start and/or end of each day. I’ve been binging on Brene Brown’s work and you’ll see me quoting more of her work in the months to follow.
  • Taking rosary beads with you on a walk and chanting your favourite spiritual prayer at the beach, in the middle of a forest or wherever you may be headed.
rosary beads, chanting, spiritual practices when traveling, mindfulness
  • Creating time and intention for a shorter and doable version of your spiritual routine. Like getting up earlier than everyone to meditate for 10 minutes if not the full hour. Or like having a journal which you can pen away your thoughts in, as you unwind at night.

I’ve also seen people carry their own yoga mats and make alters within hotel rooms. These are all amazing ways to keep reminding ourselves to be more spiritual when travelling, using personal resources.

#2 – Create small ways to ground your energy.

When we travel, the different situations and dynamics can throw us off our game. Which is why it’s important to regulate our nervous system. Or as the spiritual community likes to call it, ground ourselves. That way, you’re able to come back to the present moment and not get checked out or overwhelmed.

While traveling, here is how you can ground your energy in small and effective ways:

  • Whenever you arrive at a new land, take a moment to speak to it. Ask it to be your home for the next few days and take care of you. And then when you’re leaving, touch the soil and express your gratitude.
  • Give yourself time to be in nature without distraction. Which means have at least one walk by the beach or hike in the forest where you’re not digitally connected. This will give you a chance to be more physically and spiritually connected.
  • Make time to acknowledge and receive wisdom from the spirit animals of the land. Who knows, maybe that the butterfly that’s been fluttering around you is bringing in the energy of your ascension?
our spirit animals come with us wherever we go, divine intervention, signs of spiritual awakening

Then there’s the more obvious ways to ground your energy, like walking barefoot in the grass or in the sand, as well baths in the ocean. If you can safely do any of those things, add them to your itinerary!

#3 – Come back into your feminine energy through acceptance.

It can be very easy to get carried away with our masculine energy, when you’re busy planning, organizing and executing the logistics of a vacation. But this is your opportunity to see what life’s planning and executing for you.

Tapping into your feminine energy is one of those spiritual practices that will bring light, air and magic to your traveling. Here’s how we experienced that magic recently.

During a recent weekend getaway, due to the forest fires and staffing shortages from pandemic fatigue, many of the restaurants on our bucket list were closed.

For the first hour, we spent our energy unsuccessfully calling up different places to see what our options were. But finally, something within us shifted and we decided to cook for ourselves.

coking, plant based diet, mindful eating on vacation

It was then that we moved our mind into accepting and preparing one of the most satisfying meals of our time there. If we hadn’t accepted this situation, we would have been frustrated as we drove around for another hour searching for places to eat. By coming to terms with the situation sooner than later, we not only saved ourselves the worrying, we made an event out of it!

Another example was when our hotel refused to provide us an earlier check-in. In hindsight, my husband and I both agreed that if we had checked in earlier, we wouldn’t have tried to spend 4 hours being creative with our time. In those 4 hours, we had managed to make some friends in the locality and were invited to one of their community potlucks!

Don’t underestimate the power of letting go of “fighting”, or resisting the flow of life. You’ll be surprised what happens when you come to terms with the moment and meet life for where it’s at, and not where you’d have rather it be.

#4 – Voluntarily practicing surrender.

The second aspect of our feminine energy is surrendering – letting go and letting something higher intervene.

We are on autopilots when things are repetitive for us. But we are all also in fight/flight mode when we are not grounded in spiritual truth. We operate out of our primal tendencies when there’s disconnect.

And while travelling, the different unpredictable moments can flare anxiety for anyone. So the one thing we can consciously carry in our spiritual toolbox, is SURRENDERING.

surrender, divine feminine, spiritual practices when traveling

Instead of being the person that would pack her bags a week in advance, my surrender has started at home. I don’t start thinking about my travel kit until much closer to the day of. Sometimes, it’s literally a few hours before leaving.

Wherever you’re at in your journey, it’s important to ask yourself how you can carry less of the “burden” that your vacation will work out. Is it by arriving to certain scenic spots without doing too much research? Or maybe it’s by expecting things to be rocky instead of trying to manage the experience to be perfect?

As you continue to consciously surrender and let life unfold for you, keep going back to the bigger truths of life, like:

  • Things always turn out okay in the long run.
  • This will make a great story, and it will help me see how much courage I really have.
  • I can trust the process, knowing that the universe has my back.
  • I don’t have to have all the answers in order for things to work out.

These truths will act as your affirmations and bring you back to something subtler, yet more powerful within that helps take care of you and the flustered ego-mind.

#5 – And most importantly, bring in conscious living in every single thing you do.

This is something I’ve only just come to terms with – the idea that spirituality isn’t just the meditation I’m doing or plant-based food I’m eating. It’s also the plastic bottles I’m not buying and the hotel towels I’m not constantly changing.

The truth is that spirituality is about becoming more human. It’s about stepping outside our paradigm of lack and moving into the abundance mindset, knowing that we have more than enough to go around. So in essence, ouur spiritual practices are not just about the woo-woo but about bringing consciousness to the most mundane when traveling.

Start by asking yourself the fundamental question – how can I be more conscious and intentional with my presence here?

charity, support the local businesses, conscious businesses, mindful living

It isn’t about the big changes, rather the small, incremental steps you will take to be more conscious, that will make a difference.

One thing I’ve enjoyed doing here in Canada is finding and supporting the different conscious projects that people are running. Three of these projects that recently fascinated me were :

  • This forward-thinking shop that promotes refilling existing containers, eliminating single-use plastics.
  • This zero-waste thrift store that raises funds for people effected by domestic violence.
  • This innovative company that up-cycles chopsticks to make kitchenware, utility and decorative items.

Whenever you can, spend some of your time seeking out and supporting local businesses, especially the ones that are walking on this conscious path with you. This is your way of giving back and being intentional with your time, energy and money.

Concluding Thoughts

Travelling plays an essential part in integrating our spiritual practices and whatever we’ve learned in a controlled environment, at home. It’s an opportunity for us to give a new twist to how we see and treat the world when we call ourselves spiritual seekers.

I hope these ideas inspire you to be a more conscious and internally aligned, no matter where you are what you do. And before you go, do share in the comments below how you make your travel time more spiritually connected. It’ll make a wonderful addition for everyone else to be inspired from!

Ready to take your healing deeper? Let’s talk about it! You’re welcome to fill in this this form and submit an application to become eligible for a complimentary session with me.