Stillness

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My mind goes a mile a minute. At any time of the day, I have at least 3 things going through my head. I am constantly trying to figure out, fix, plan or contemplate something. I used to pride myself on my brain’s capacity to multi-task until I realized that I was actually less effective in each task because I wasn’t giving each one the full attention it needed.

This whirlwind of activity also caused stress and anxiety when I couldn’t figure things out or when my plans didn’t go as expected. I knew something needed to change and this is when I started to recognize the power of stillness in the form of prayer, meditation and visualization.

I grew up in a home where prayers were said daily at the dinner table and at church. I knew that prayer was supposed to be my direct line to God. Although I thanked him for my food daily and asked for forgiveness for my mistakes, I never really felt connected. There were certain rules and a structure I was told to follow and as I prayed, I remember going through the checklist in my head to make sure my prayer was complete and all the boxes had been marked.

As an adult, I found my prayers becoming less structured and more free flowing. I left the checklist behind and allowed myself prayers of ecstasy to flow through me when I came upon something beautiful that took my breath away. I allowed prayers of desperation, full of run on sentences and tears when I felt at the end of my rope. I allowed prayers of gratitude that welled from my heart and gut when I just knew that sometimes the most normal things were the most amazing things.

The more I allowed myself to veer from the structured prayers of my youth, the more I felt connected to something greater than me. 

Connection was what I was craving. I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone. I wanted to know that there was purpose to my existence and that my desires, worries and emotions were validated. The more I prayed, the more I felt connected to something greater than me.

Then, I started to practice meditation to calm my mind even deeper. I knew that prayer was effective, but I also wanted to learn how to still my mind and just allow my breath to course through me without the interruption of words.

At first, meditation was difficult for me to learn. I thought that I needed to get my mind completely still and that I would have mastered the practice once I could sit without a single thought or word enter my brain. But, I was wrong. I learned that meditation provides the space and time for stillness. Thoughts will come and go, but the key is to let them go.

Mediation taught me that thoughts will never cease, but my attachment can dissipate with practice.

Attachment to outcome and expectations is where a lot of pain is rooted. There is a myriad of possible what if and maybes but the important thing is coming back to the present moment. Meditation is a tool to bring presence into each day.

I enhanced my practice by visualizing the things that I wanted and the feelings I wanted to feel. If something was very important to me, I spent time seeing it as if it had already happened. This practice exercised my trust in the universe and brought a sense of peace. When I was able to see and feel what I prayed for and meditated on, I let go of my need to control and allowed whatever was meant to be happen in its own time.

Visualization released the vibrational energy into the universe saying: “I am ready to receive.” 

When I regularly practice stillness, my mind slows down and calm arrives. The need to control falls away as well as the anxiety attached to it. In fact, on the days when I don’t create stillness, I am off and quickly recognize the correlation. For me it is important to begin each day from a place of centering stillness. Stillness sets the stage for a dynamic day and calibrates the mind and body to be present and react less.

Here are some of my favorite meditation tools to jump start or end each day:

Calm (an app with lovely graphics, guided meditations and soothing sounds)

Headspace (another mindfulness app with options to focus on certain areas of life)

Deepak Chopra 21-Day Meditation Experience (free 4 times a year)

Moonlight Gratitude (my meditation book coming March 15th)

Give the Gift of Coaching

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It’s the season of giving and saving!

Coaching can be a wonderful gift idea for that special someone who has everything but doesn’t take time for themselves…perhaps that someone is you.

I am offering new monthly coaching packages at a huge savings. For only $300/month, you or your loved one can receive up to 4 coaching sessions a month with unlimited email support.

This package creates the flexibility to have four session which can vary at 30 or 60 minutes each/ Some things need to be processed and talked about in length and then some things just need quick resolve.

Here are a few reasons to consider coaching:

  • Overcoming doubts and fear narratives
  • Navigate transitions and change
  • Create greater results at work
  • Overcome blocks in dating and relationships
  • Answer and explore spiritual questions
  • Heal and let go after loss or break-up
  • Career changes
  • Set goals
  • Create accountability
  • Deepen spiritual connection
  • Transcend guilt and shame from religious conditioning
  • Become the greatest version of yourself

Whatever your need may be, we can discuss the best way to support you and create a personalized action plan.

To gift coaching, email me at emily@soulsadventures.com. Each package comes with a complimentary 15 minute consult to determine the best plan of action.

Have a beautiful holiday season,
Emily

“I call Emily my awesomeness coach. She always pushes me to be better not just from a business aspect but a personal one as well. Emily is always encouraging and positive with suggestions on how to overcome small obstacles…with Emily’s experience and guidance, it all seems manageable and achievable. We all need an awesomeness coach like Emily, and I definitely recommend her to anyone looking to improve their careers or life!”  – Nicole H., New Jersey

“I was amazed at how her guidance has “opened my eyes,” to things about myself and how I fit into the world around me. Every session leaves me with a new sense of peace, clarity, and self-realization, that is bundled up in an enforceable life plan.I would highly recommend the career/spiritual services of Emily Silva!” – Charles C., Boston

Harvest Moon: Return to Your True Self

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As we harvest the seeds that were planted in the spring, we can identify the intentions that thrived and the ones that needed to be let go of. Harvest is a time of hard work as well as reflection. Before the cold of winter sets in, we must complete processes and plans. There is also an element of rest and reflection to assess what is truly important.

Since the past two seasons focused on cultivation and growth, we are now drawn to focus on maturity and reward. What has grown and matured during the Spring and Summer? Revel in the fruits of your hard work and persistence. Harvest is a time of celebration. You created results and can now take in the bounty.

After we tend to what has matured, we can also notice what has remained. In essence, our true self. The parts of us that stay the same no matter what season is taking place. In the fall, trees reveal their true colors providing color and warmth to a cooler landscape. Spring and summer invited hope for new things which arrived and transpired, but there is an unwavering part of our soul that must also be celebrated. It is the place where authenticity and inner truth reside.

As the harvest moon lights up the sky, allow for illumination in your soul. Notice if there is anything that is keeping you from expressing your true nature. Release anything that is holding you back or keeping you stagnant. Embrace your true self and the road ahead with bravery.

With each full moon, there is an opportunity to set intentions for the month to come as well as release anything that no longer serves us. Here is a 5 step process that I cultivated a few years ago for setting full moon intentions…

How to Set Full Moon Intentions

  1. Meditate: sit quietly and meditate on what you want to achieve
  2. Write it Down: write down what you want to achieve, create, change or focus on
  3. Visualize: create a picture of what this looks like
  4. Let Go: release what no longer serves you and let go of anything that may be holding you back (physical, mental and spiritual)
  5. Offer Gratitude: the universe is constantly listening to our deepest desires. Offer gratitude for each gift and blessing and for the outcome of your new intentions as if they have already happened

Everything that happens in the universe starts with intention.

– Deepak Chopra

For a free intention setting worksheet  or more information on intentional living or spiritual life coaching, please email me at emily@soulsadventures.com

Surrender

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Imagine a fist held tightly. All it holds is the air and creates tension within the body. Then imagine the fist letting go. Notice the release of tension and free flowing air around each finger. Nothing fell out of the palm, because there was nothing to grasp.

Holding tightly onto something that isn’t there is useless and controlling. I have learned this lesson time and again. Perhaps it’s because I am Virgo or someone who does not like to feel out of control. But the minute I try to generate an outcome that seems forced, I create an unrealistic expectation, stress and anxiety.

Several years ago, I was going through a career transition and I remember thinking “I better get a job soon, I have bills to pay” as I wrote my check for my car payment leaving $23 to my name. It wasn’t for lack of trying to find a job, there just weren’t jobs available. So, I had to surrender and take a job as a courier.

I thought that I deserved a better position because of my background and transferrable skillset. My need for control was keeping me from moving forward. However, if I would not have accepted the position, I would have missed out on the opportunity that later resulted in abundant travel.

I was terrified when I let go. I thought that if I held on for just a bit longer, things would fall into place. They never did until I surrendered to the experience and the lessons that were begging to be learned.

When it feels like you are being blindly led, allow trust to take place.

The act of surrender is not giving up; It is an act of trust. This is a sacred place within the soul. A deep, vulnerable place to enter. To let the walls down around the heart and to open the soul to a possibility that can’t be seen is raw, yet absolutely exciting and brave.

There are several things I still need to surrender but each time I do and trust that everything will be alright; I am surprised by the grace of the universe. Situations that seem hopeless when in my control are completely turned around when I let go of the reigns. The universe lovingly allows me the time to realize I need to let go, and when I do, that’s where the miracles happen.

What we can’t see holds a gift if we allow it to happen. It is amazing when things are revealed after the act of trust. What I thought I needed or wanted is always replaced by something greater. With each act of surrender, I am learning that the universe really does have my back and listens to all the desires of my heart.

When a Friendship Ends

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Our energies did not match any more. We were growing apart. After almost a decade of inseparable friendship, we no longer had the common ground that kept us on the same path. I had traveled continents with her, shared thousands of tears and laughs, we knew each other’s deepest darkest secrets. But that was not strong enough glue to keep the friendship together.

It had been clear for some time that we were growing apart. Our time together seemed almost forced. I had grown to love my friend dearly, but noticed a strange pattern of need growing between us. I felt the friendship had become one-sided and it started to hurt more than uplift.

At first I was devastated. I didn’t think another friendship could compare to our sister-like bond. Then, I became very upset “How could she treat me with such disregard?” I would repeat over in my head. It was painful to know that she was still hanging out with mutual friends. I just wanted everyone to be on my side; but it wasn’t their fight.

Confusion traded places with anger and I went back and forth between the two for a while. I wanted to let go and be okay. In the age of social media, clear boundaries have to be made when a relationship ends. It is easy to assume the other person does not hold any regard or brags in hopes to appear like moving on was easy and seamless. I had to let go of all assumptions in order to heal.

I came to a place of forgiveness after a year had passed. The wound was no longer fresh and I was able to unpack the pain and blame, allowing the openness to feel comfortable. I wanted the new space to be filled with friendship that was autonomous, loving and nurturing.

I got specific on how I wanted to feel inside a friendship and recognized what I needed to work on in order to propagate that.

The lessons that took place during the process of healing were hard. There were patterns that I had created in relationships that I had to recognize and amend. The pain created an awareness that was filled with a softening and grace. I went from “How dare you!” to gratitude.

When a friendship ends, it isn’t easy to forgive and forget. Allow yourself to feel the pain and process the lessons as they come. Healing and forgiveness are on their way. Grace makes sure of that–where that big gaping hole was created, friendship appears. Sometimes not in the same form or what we expect, but the universe loves space. When we give up what we think should fill the gaps, we can be surprised by what is intended for our hearts.

When a friendship ends, it hurts. Confusion, anger, sadness and frustration take the place where laughter, understanding and connection once thrived. In order to move forward, there are some things one can do to create a healthy environment in the heart and soul…

  1. Set boundaries
  2. Create an intention for how you want to feel in a friendship
  3. Release judgment and blame to create room for growth and healing
  4. Forgive yourself and the other for whatever happened
  5. Allow the space to be created for the universe to deliver likeminded friendships
  6. Offer gratitude for the friendship
  7. Send the other person love and LET GO

Whether there is a specific reason or several misunderstandings that lead to the end of a friendship, compassion, forgiveness and grace can heal a wound that runs deep. We may never know why the other person moved on, but we can take responsibility for our hearts and souls and fill the space with love. When we let go in love, more love can enter.

Forgive. Let go. Be Open.

Finding a Coach

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The growth of the coaching industry has raised the important question of “How do I find the right coach?” When choosing a coach, it is important to find someone who you jive with, is willing to hold you accountable and will help you achieve desired results.

There are several reasons to hire a coach….

  • Set goals and get results
  • Motivation to start, continue and finish
  • Accountability partner to drive results and keep you encouraged and inspired
  • Gain clarity on your life’s purpose, career path, relationship and specific goals
  • Grow spiritually, mentally and physically: There are coaches that specialize in spiritual growth, business/career, fitness and personal growth
  • Provide support and encouragement

When hiring a coach, it is important to know that results are obtained in time with dedication to the coaching plan. Although one session can be helpful, is just a launching pad to working towards desired outcomes. In order for coaching to be successful, scheduled meetings should be made and kept, this is where accountability can work its magic. Depending on your goals, packages can be purchased for 1-12 months with savings per session being greater the longer the time commitment.

A good coaching relationship will empower you, inspire you to go above and beyond what you thought possible, tell you the truth and ask questions to stretch you.

Here are 5 things to consider when choosing a coach:

  1. Offerings and Packages: What type of coaching do they specialize in? Do they offer packages that fit within your time frame and needs? Can you customize or upgrade? These are things to consider and good questions to ask a potential coach.
  2. References: Do you know anyone that has utilized a coach and achieved results? Does the coach have customer feedback on their website? Read the reviews and see if any of them resonate with you.
  3. Personality: Many coaches offer an introductory call or email where you can see if the energy is a good fit as well as map out a plan of action for the coaching relationship.
  4. Certification and Training: What type of certification does the coach have and what training was involved? Certification is important but so is ongoing training. Does the coach continue to develop their practice and stay on top of their own development?
  5. Pricing: Does it fit within your budget? Part of creating a successful life is staying within your means. Coaching is worth the investment and financial growth can be a goal, but make sure the services meet you where you currently are to propel you in the direction you envision.

A coach can be seen as part of your team of experts. In the effort to live at your highest potential it is important to have a team behind you, keeping you healthy, in tune, motivated and accountable. Doctors, therapists, personal trainers, spiritual leaders, chefs, nannies, teachers, mentors, CPAs, financial advisors, trusted friends and coaches are just a few of the possible people who can help you enhance your life.

If you have been considering coaching to help you move towards a goal, gain clarity or take your life or career to the next level, please contact me at emily@soulsadventures.com to schedule a complimentary 15 minute call. We can talk about how coaching can enhance your life and create a plan of action.

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”

– Timothy Gallwey

The Power of Prayer

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One of the themes that comes up often with spiritual coaching is prayer. I have coached a few people who have left the religions they grew up in and are seeking ways to connect with their spirituality. Each of these experiences have their own path to understanding. Since I have gone through a similar process, I appreciate and acknowledge the desire to slough off strict religious conditioning to embrace a search for meaning and spiritual practices.

This is my story about prayer…

When I was a child, I learned how to pray. I would confess my sins, express gratitude and request things from a God that seemed so far away. I remember spending most of my time wondering if my prayers were effective; if this giant force in the heavens was hearing me. I never really understood prayer much further than confess, give thanks and ask. It seemed rote and methodical.

I also remember learning the structure of a “proper” prayer. But sometimes, it was hard to follow the structure because I was sobbing through my words trying to find meaning, direction and hope. I would lay all my questions, pain, confusion and pride down to just bear my soul.

As I left the religion, prayer came with me, but in a different capacity. I noticed that prayer has always been a comfort to me and recognized the power that it holds.  I wanted to learn more about this ritual and find a more meaningful explanation than what I had learned as a child. There are different types and purposes of prayers and each religion has their own ritual around prayer. And although prayer has religious undertones, I wanted to discover a more personal practice to this ritual.

Looking back on everything that has transpired in my life, there are certain events that I can pick out that turned out better than I could have ever imagined. This is grace and it’s powerful. I recognize that I did a lot of hard work to achieve goals and get places, but I found strength, clarity and guidance with prayer during those times.

The more I willingly opened my heart and mind to this practice, I noticed a shift in my mindset. I was able to stress less and trust that the universe had my back. Every single time that I had great stress and anxiety, I realized it was because I was trying to tackle the issue on my own.

Here are the things I have experienced from prayer:

  • Having direct communication to God where I can pour out my heart is overwhelmingly sacred.
  • My mind is more focused on gratitude and I stop when something wonderful happens just to offer thanks. I notice beauty all around me because gratitude is a key element to prayer.
  • Knowing that I can have a conversation with God, no structure, just talk and process is very comforting and deeply personal.
  • There is no room for guilt because I can come with a contrite heart and receive grace and forgiveness for myself and others.
  • I can feel an energy shift during and after my time in prayer.
  • Letting go is easier.
  • Clarity often follows especially when sitting in meditation after prayer.
  • Stress and anxiety are reduced

There are so many powerful attributes to prayer and I love learning more and evolving my practice. If you find yourself trying to shed strict religious conditioning or would like to delve deeper into your spirituality, please email me at emily@soulsadventures.com.

“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time – waking and sleeping. It does not change God – it changes me.”

-C.S. Lewis