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I love you.

The words we long to hear.

The words we hear and don’t believe.

The words we say to another to express the depth of our feelings.

The words we hope there’s time to say to someone (and to hear) before passing.

The words we often toss off as mindlessly as “I’ll have fries with that.”

Words have energy. The sounds alone are energy. Words spoken from mind, from heart, from spirit, from body….all have different impacts. The speaking and hearing of words is a cycle of giving and receiving.

Earlier this year, I posted a practice I call “I love you,” which is to simply say out loud to ourselves those very words. Today, my focus is on saying I love you to another.  I did not use quotations, because what I’m going to speak to is awareness of the impact of our words upon those we love and expressing appreciation.

Country singer-songwriter Hal Ketchum sings “It’s more than just I love you baby. It’s every little word.”

It all counts. You can’t whitewash a powerful shaming or belittling with “I love you.” There was a couple who attended a few dinner parties at which I was present. She noticeably made him the butt of every joke. She was cynical and ridiculed him at every opportunity. I laughed along with everyone else at first. Then, I had to wonder how it was that anyone could laugh at this cruelty. No matter how funny it was meant to be, it was at the cost of another human soul’s dignity. She was a teacher to me in that she made me aware of my own tendency to make jokes at the expense of another.

Love Connects (clipart)

Love Connects (clipart)

I teach my relationship clients to offer appreciations to one another at our first meeting and it is how we close every session. It’s a practice I learned in my training with both The Coaches Training Institute and  Center for Right Relationship.

Because this is a practice, it is something I ask my clients to do every day, whether they feel like it or not. It’s easy enough to offer appreciation to someone, to say “I love you,” and to receive these words when we are feeling good. It’s near impossible when we are distressed and that may be when it is needed most. Practicing during the comfortable times makes it easier to use during the tough times.

Here are the steps:

1. Face each other and take an ample and easy clearing breath.

2. Keep your eyes on each other’s eyes, windows to your souls.

3. Energetically drop into your heart and allow yourself to connect with love. Love does not imply approval or even like. It is love from the Source and no matter what is going on, we are all capable of connecting with that Source when we are willing.

4. Begin by saying the other person’s name. Saying our names out loud is powerful. It is an announcement to the Universe that we ARE.

5. Then, say “I appreciate” and follow it with a quality about the other person that you want to acknowledge.

This is KEY – find something about who they are BEING rather than what they are DOING. We want to be loved for who we are as much as, if not more than, for what we do.

Examples:

DOING – I appreciate you for helping John with his homework.

BEING – I appreciate your kindness, patience, willingness and love that is so evident when you are helping John.

DOING – I appreciate you for standing up to Jack.

BEING – I appreciate your courage.

If you are having trouble moving from doing to being, consider this. Take what it is that the person did that you appreciate. Then discover within your heart who that person had to be, what qualities of character they drew upon to create that action. Those qualities are your being words.

6. Finally, the recipient of the appreciation simply opens their heart and allows this gift of acknowledgment to sink in.  “Thank you” or “I feel  seen” is all that need be said.

Sometimes the more challenging of giving and receiving appreciations is receiving. We want to slough it off, make excuses for ourselves, hand off the credit to someone else.  So, as the one hearing the appreciation given to us, the practice is to be with the unfamiliarity of opening our hearts to receive.  It may be uncomfortable at first, like a first sip of water through sun-parched lips. If you are like me, you’ll get used to drinking it in pretty quickly.

If you practice this with another on a regular basis, you may find that you have a very small vocabulary for appreciative adjectives. It’s not surprising really. In my own search for a broader spectrum of words, I’ve looked through the dictionary. I’m certain there are many more negative words in the English language than there are positive. You can also build your positive vocabulary simply by looking into your heart and finding words that truly resonate with what you feel. Be patient with yourself and take time to let it come to you. And yes, there is always the dictionary or thesaurus.

Don’t be shy. Practice with the dog or the cat first, if you must. Then, invite your partner to practice with you. Soon enough, you’ll be offering your appreciations to sales clerks and postal workers in simple sentences creating smiles all around. Honestly, I’ve never met one that didn’t just beam with joy when offered an appreciation (sans hand-holding, of course, but looking them in the eyes is always good). By the way, have you ever noticed how little we actually make eye-to-eye contact with say, the grocery clerk?

More heart, smiles and positive words…soul to soul connections…I’m thinking the world can use a little more of this.

Closing note: The entire time I was writing this entry, two butterflies were dancing around outside my window. Symbols of beauty, aliveness and transformation….how might this practice enliven and transform your relationships?

If you need a little coaxing watch this: (Thanks to the soulful Lori Tuttle for finding this fun video)

Copyright (c) July 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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By now you have likely heard of Susan Boyle, the “frumpy,” innocent Scottish woman with the angelic voice who stunned and enraptured the British talent show audience and judges, including Simon Cowell, with her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserable. The YouTube video has been viewed over 19 million times as of this writing (3 million views occurred in the time it took me to write this blog entry).

Everyone’s talking and writing about it. Suzanne Falter-Barnes of Get Known Now writes of the lessons from a marketing platform perspective; how one can be found in this world when one has the courage to be visible and the talent to match.

The Herald printed an article by Collette Douglas Home, about Boyle from the perspective of what we value and what is truly recognition-worthy.

I have been exploring the enormity of the impact this video had on me personally. What am I feeling when I watch the video and cry? I’ve always cried when I’ve heard that song both in and out of context. Sitting next to my mother during a live performance, I cried for her lost dreams as well as my own, especially my fear of betraying my own dreams. Yet, I am familiar enough with my tears and my emotions to recognize this as something very deep and very cleansing.

A friend says she thinks it is Boyle’s triumph, the dream achieved, that brings on our tears. Yes and we have witnessed many people achieving their long sought-after dreams without this massive an impact. Is it because she is an underdog? Is it because we saw her as frumpy, odd, unsophisticated and made the assumption that talent can’t possibly live in someone like that and then got a huge awakening? Yes and…

As we continued our discussion, that same friend, who is a seasoned astrologer, proposed that it was the right time, right place, right person; a conjunction of events. This brought on an insight that resonated for me, one that explained what I was feeling in my body, mind, spirit and heart.

I’m suggesting that, through Boyle and by way of this video (edited exactly as it was), we are receiving a massive healing of our collective and individual shadow through direct transmission. What is direct transmission? Very simply, it is receiving learning, consciousness, and/or healing through vibration/energy rather than the usual channels. It is what people experience when they sit with a guru or other spiritual teacher.

Watching and listening to Susan Boyle sing so beautifully in the face of scorn and mockery, our unspoken shame for imperfection (of appearance, of success, etc) as mirrored in our material world, is healed. We are at one and the same time faced with being both the mocked and the mocker. We recognize ourselves as both the one who fears isolation and the one who isolates others.  Music, especially the human voice, is a perfect vehicle for healing. Boyle has the heart behind the voice to deliver.

After so many years of living with the tyranny of perfect looks and perfect talent perfectly packaged…

After so many years of looking at our faces and our bodies in the mirror and deriding ourselves for not being more beautiful and youthful, fighting our bodies at the gym and abusing them in the surgeon’s office…

After so many years of deifying youth and scorning age, assuming that, after a certain time in life, our dreams and thus, our usefulness, are no longer viable…

After so many years, by way of Susan Boyle and this video, we have received a healing message; a re-membering of our true soulful beauty through direct transmission. We are also forgiven for forgetting.

This healing is not about becoming famous. It is not about praising the spiritual and denying the material. It is about how we polarize the two and how out of balance humanity has become. We are spiritual and human, we live in a world that embraces both. This healing is as universal as it is individual. It is a transmission of forgiveness for all the ways we have judged ourselves and others. It is a healing of shame for our bodies, our lack of perfection, our lost years and all the times we lacked courage.  This healing is ours, if we are willing to receive it.

A transmission of healing is a gift and can only be received if we open to it. When our tears fall as we listen to Susan; when we smile and laugh for her victory, when our heart and chest swell with pride for her courage, we might ask ourselves: “What is the shadow within me that is being healed in this moment?” and receive that light and love. There is nothing more we need to do to avail ourselves of this amazing gift that has been given to all of us as it spreads around the globe at lightning speed.

Susan Boyle is both a channel of this transmission and a human being with a big voice and a big dream. It is a reminder that we are all channels of love, we are love. We all have a unique voice and a dream.  I don’t know about you, but when I go about my day today, I’m going to notice all the angel-humans around me. I’m going to remain curious and open to the question: What is the unique expression and gift offered by everyone who crosses my path today? What is their, and my, unique message to the world?  What will I open to receive and what will I have the courage to give?

Thank you, Susan Boyle!

all words and images copyright (C) April 2009, Kathy Loh, all rights reserved

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photo by Kathy Loh

Unfurl! (Kathy Loh)

Yesterday, I wrote about the nurturing voice within. I’m the first to admit, it’s not always an easy voice to find. I used to be much more familiar with “who do you think you are” “what do you think you are doing” and “you are so selfish.”

My journey of developing my internal nurturing voice began in a Lucid Living weekend seminar six years ago. In Lucid Living terminology, this voice is called the Nurturing Parent. I remember a particular exercise in which I was exploring my adolescent voice and, I might add, doing quite well with it. Once I gave her voice, she was rockin’ and rollin’ and using plenty of colorful language. (Oh yeah! She had plenty to say and if you are good, I may share it with you some day.)

In the exercise, I was being coached to address my adolescent from the perspective of my Nurturing Parent. I stumbled, mumbled and then stalled. I was stunned. I said, “I can’t find that voice. I don’t know what it sounds like.”

I’m not going to make up that I never heard it. My parents are good and loving people, so I’m sure I did. I just didn’t register it. It’s not what I internalized. Luckily the leaders and assistants in the course were well-equipped to model the Nurturing Parent voice for me. They helped me remember.

Six years later, I am partial to that Nurturing Parent voice. It is the one I most listen to now. I mean, let’s face it…it’s not a difficult choice.  Six years later, I am re-taking the entire Lucid Living series of seminars. I’m not the only one. The course is so powerful that half our class is doing what they call a “victory lap,” attending the series for the second or even third time around.  Deep work always bears revisiting.

I can’t recommend it enough, particularly for those of you who are ready to heal the wounded aspects of yourselves. If being a victim or martyr just doesn’t cut it for you anymore (and if it does…good luck with that!); if you want to become a powerful creator in your life, empower yourself and your relationships, then this work is for you. It is deeply and powerfully grounded in love – L O V E.

Bad news is: the series is booked for this year.

Good news is: you have time to save your hard-earned pennies to invest in yourself for the next opening.

Really good news is: you can still enroll in a 4-part tele-class series called

The Path of Wisdom

It starts April 14th  (that’s coming up!). It will give you an in-depth overview of the entire series.

For more information and to enroll click here: The Path of Wisdom (scroll down to the Teleclass section)

Skeptics Disclaimer: I’m not getting paid a dime to plug this. I really believe in it.

Love yourself and your whole world will become love. (you can quote me)

copyright (c) April 2009, Kathy Loh, all rights reserved

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