Wonder - By Olga Singer

Wonder - The wonder of a child as she discovers the butterfly that has transformed itself from a worm to something beautiful and colorful that can fly.

I think as we reach adulthood we lose this, and forget to wonder at all the beauty around us and within us. When my oldest son, Joshua returned from his 2-month trip from Asia he was a changed young man. He saw a lot of beauty, both in the harshness of life and in the wonderment of his surroundings.  It caused him to pause and re-think his decision to attend law school. Sometimes it takes new surroundings for us to see clearly what our next steps in life should be.

I think when he returned from that life altering journey, he was in search of true happiness and that "thing" he was meant to do in this world. So he decided to take a year to discover more of what he wants and what he is meant to do. He is lucky, and many would say very blessed, to have the support of his family and the means to explore his world and the world at large. However, I would argue that you do not need a large bank account to begin a journey of wonder and discovery, you just need the curiosity and the courage to do it.

I too am at a precipice of wonder and discovery. I feel I have been in this place since moving to San Diego County 3 years ago. It was not an easy transition, nor a welcomed one, but one that had to made nonetheless. I turned a corner about 6 months into my move here and discovered the soothing release of journaling. It has helped me tremendously in re-discovering wonder, beauty and the magic that surrounds me. And yes sometimes it's not the traditional beauty and bliss of the good, but also the magic and wonder of the not so good.

Embarking on my inspired life and partnering with my close friend, Susan to create Living Your Inspired Life retreats was an easy decision. The hard part has been to continue to believe in the unknown, the uncertainty of what lies ahead and embrace the wonder and beauty of what we are creating.

This is so much bigger than Susan and me. It feels magical and meant to be on so many levels.

And so I have circled back to the simple. To taking the word Wonder in all its various meanings to heart and remembering to spend time wondering at the beauty and magic around me, and standing still, accepting what is.

A Divine Spark of Light - By Susan Burrell

Often when we enter into a relationship, we give up pieces and parts of ourselves.  We, I believe mostly women of my generation, have been culturalized to believe this is how you participate in relationship - you give of yourself.  But I now realize that there is a difference.  Give of yourself from your heart but don’t give yourself away. 

For many women, the cultural expectation around the world for centuries was to become submissive to the man, your husband.  This idea has become the unconscious program running in our heads. Many women give themselves away, losing precious pieces of self-esteem and self-respect.  Over time resentments, anger and even shame begin to fester. However, we, both men and women are not here to be sub-anything; not subservient, sub-human, not less than our true selves.  And I believe our true nature is Divine.  We, all of us, are a divine spark of light, a divine and individualized expression of a Higher Source that is beyond description.  

When we give ourselves away, we diminish that light within us. We disempower ourselves.  We tell ourselves a lie, maybe consciously or unconsciously, that in order to be loved, to be in relationship, we must be less than the person we love.   We must not outshine the man of the house.  We must not outshine our business colleagues. We must not outshine ourparents. That is simply not true.  And many relationships suffer because of that belief. 

From my personal journey of inner excavation and exploration, I found within me a kernel of that spark, that light that I always was, even after having given pieces of myself away.  Finding that inner spark of light helped me to uncover my true self that was never diminished no matter how “broken” I may have felt. 

In finding my inner brilliance, I began to focus on that, allowing it to grow and radiate out into the world.  I came to realize that I was lovable and in fact, I loved myself.  What a concept.

In some ways I recovered pieces of myself that I had given or thrown away but I also uncovered the brilliant gem of my inner being - and what a beautiful discovery that was. 

I don’t claim to have it all figured out - in fact I don’t.  But I do know that we women are not meant to hid our inner brilliance.  We are meant to radiate that light and in doing so, help heal the world. 

Join us on the next LYIL Retreat and join with other women who are ready to be brilliant!

At a Crossroads, by Olga Singer

It’s been almost three years since I moved to San Diego County and I now find myself at a crossroads once again.  There may be another impending move in our life as my husband searches for work, possibly in another city outside of California … and I am embarking on an exciting venture with my close friend and mentor, Susan Burrell.

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Journey To Self-Love -- By Susan Burrell

My journey through this life has been one of self-exploration and consequently, growth.  That may be true for everyone.   

The more I have learned about myself, the more I have had to let go of in order to become happier and kinder towards myself.  I suppose the self-investigation began because I thought I was imperfect or not enough.  But eventually it became about learning how to love myself first - not after, I loved my husband, or child, or dog.  But I had to put me First. 

It’s very hard for women to put themselves first.  

I never really saw my own brilliance and accepted it until I was shattered during divorce.  With all the pieces of my life scattered on the floor like a broken kaleidoscope, I began the deeper inner journey of self-compassion and forgiveness.  I truly wanted to find my inner happiness and freedom without it being attached to an outside someone or thing.  Now, I share what I have learned on that tragic and profound journey with women who need a guide to help them over the harrowing path of self-acceptance.   This is what LYIL Empowerment Retreats for Women is about. Finding your inner Brilliance and Letting it Shine.