Monday, September 9, 2019

How to Stay Present in a Crazy World!



I'm not one to contradict Buddha...but I sometimes struggle with the statement above. Do you?

I've studied ancient spiritual wisdom as well as the teachings of modern mystics and they all mention the value of "being present." I understand the concept. To me, being present is having your full focus, attention, thoughts and feelings on the person or situation right there, in the moment you are experiencing.

Yeah, that's easy enough to do. 

Not. Even. Close.

I mean, come on...do those mystics deal with family issues, car accidents, health scares and financial problems? These are just a few of the real-life events clients talked with me about last week. They’re facing challenges and doing their best to live from their own divine core while they face the uncertainly of life as a human.

That’s exactly what mystics do. They understand our challenge is to be anchored in love while we live our daily lives. Why? The rewards include less stress, more confidence, a feeling of being in flow with life and feeling “on purpose.” Add to that a happier, more joyful life experience, a sense of oneness and desire to be in service all while enjoying a sense of deep peace. And there’s more…people who consistently live in the present moment have described feeling “more freedom.”

I know when I’m focused on the present moment, I’m free of stress created by my relentless rehashing of the past and free from worry about the future. That’s when I’m best able to align with my inner wisdom, and fully receive the guidance that leads me to the life I’m here to live. I’m guided to love, to service and back to the truest part of me.

Is that easy? While I believe it can be, it hasn’t been for me.

I have a long way to go to consistently be present and yet I’m daily reaping the rewards of my efforts. A life dedicated to love is far happier than the one I used to live that seemed to be dedicated to stress, overwhelm and worry. Go figure…

If you want to be more present, here are a few tips to try:
·       Commit to a daily spiritual practice: I recommend starting the day with what I call “the 3 M’s” to incorporate mind, body and spirit. Total time spent is up to you…start with a few minutes on each and work up to a more substantial routine. Yes, you have time for this:
.1.     Meditation:  Even starting with five to ten minutes a day can make a huge difference in your ability to feel calm, happy and more present in your life. If you’re new to meditation, check out free apps like CALM or INSIGHT TIMER.
.2.     Motivate: Turn off the news, put down your phone and read or listen to something that inspires and motivates you. I start the day with the daily lesson from A Course in Miracles plus time reading an inspiring book.
.3.     Move: Stretch, do a few yoga poses, walk or go up and down the stairs to bring awareness to your body first thing in the morning.
·       Ask questions when you feel overwhelmed or stressed in a situation. Questions could include:
.1.     What do I really know to be true, right now, in this moment? Is that really true?
.2.     What’s it like to be me in this situation at this instant? What would it be like to be a happier, more peaceful and trusting version of me right now?
.3.     Where are my feet? (I love this one that I learned from my mentor, Robert Holden. It brings me out of your head and back into my body every time.)
·       Get back to nature: Any time it’s possible, take a mindful walk in nature. Relax. Breathe. If that’s not possible, bring fresh flowers into the house or office, pet your cat or take a break and look at nature photos. All will help shift your brain chemistry and bring you into the present. Whatever you do, be mindful of the activity and give it your full attention and focus.
·       Heart Breath: My number one way to be present is to imagine breathing in and out of my heart space. I teach clients to breathe love in the back of their heart and radiate love out of the front. Start with at least five repetitions.

There are few things in life as sweet as finding your balance, experiencing joy in small moments and feeling at peace about the past and future. Learning to live in the present moment does this and more. Still need a bit of help? Ask Love to guide you.

Friday, August 16, 2019



Dear Ego…I QUIT!

It hit me a while ago. I figured out why my life doesn’t work the way I know it “should” in certain scenarios.

Yes, I know all experience is part of our learning in this life and I respect that. I’ve grown exponentially from past events and both understand and appreciate their value.

But come on.

I recognize that, sometimes, I do something kinda stupid. Period.

Not because I’m ill informed, unprepared or because Mercury is in the dreaded Retrograde. I realized I do dumb things that were reactions to fear, stress or feelings of overwhelm. All territories of the ego.

So I quit.

I quit letting fear run my business, my health, my relationships. I decided I no longer wanted to consciously allow my ego to run my life or my business. I decided to, even more fully than ever before, submit to the intelligent, creative and expansive divine love within me.

If Love/Universe/Spirit/God can create galaxies, running the details of my life should be a piece of cake. I decided to be fully guided by Love. To be all in. I got out my journal and on the left side I wrote this letter:

Dear Ego,

I hereby immediately resign my position as your employee. I freely give up the worry, stress and overwhelm associated with my position.

I appreciate the learning I’ve received under your tutelage and recognize it has enabled me to see we are no longer a “good fit.”

While I’m sure we’ll see each other from time to time, please know I am totally and eternally in service to Love.

Diane L Haworth

So that felt AMAZING and I didn’t stop there. Next came my acceptance letter to Love:

Dear Love,

It is with much delight, relief and utter trust that I accept and fully commit to being in your service.

I commit to:
·       Loving myself
·       Loving all others
·       Being guided as you direct and taking action (whether I understand it or not)
·       Dedicating my life in service to Love

I am excited to walk in the path as you lead me.

Diane L Haworth

I felt fantastic! I had effectively “fired” the confused, scared and ineffective part of me and fully committed to the part that understands my entire life plan and how to live with the most joy, peace and freedom.

Although I had no preconceived idea of what would happen next – remember I’d just committed to being fully guided – miracles started to appear. Unforeseen opportunities, gifts, delightful surprises…all began, and continue, to appear.

Why?

Because I finally got out of the way. By inviting and allowing Love to lead I’m finding life is unfolding in beautiful ways I could never imagine.

Tired of living in the chaos of a life led by fear and your ego? Go get out your journal and start writing….

Friday, July 19, 2019

Exploring the Moon and Beyond...



On July 20, 2019 the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of American Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon…a first for mankind.

I remember the day well.

My parents had piled my brother, sister and me into the back of our station wagon and driven over 2,000 miles to visit my dad’s brother’s family in Worthington, Minnesota. Coming from a small Virginia town, summers in Minnesota seemed magical to us kids. We looked forward to Aunt Elna’s cooking, Uncle Bill’s hugs, hand me down clothes from our older, “super-cool cousins” Jane and Jill, time at the lakeside park and running from the gigantic Minnesota misquotes. I loved all our visits, but that trip in July 1969 holds special significance.

“You kids come here; you need to see this!” I heard my Uncle Bill’s urgent call to us from across the house. We bounded down the two steps from the kitchen, through the hall, past the master bedroom and into the family room to see “the adults,” staring at the television, chatting nervously. We didn’t know exactly what was going on, but it seemed important. The grownups had been watching the Apollo 11 coverage for days, but they were really into it now. “This is IT,” they said. Whatever IT was.

I sat down on the floor in front of the group, wanting to appear interested and much more grown up than my tender 12 years. As we took our seats, and got quiet, we could sense the weight of what we were about to see. I remember my dad saying, “Settle down! You’re going to remember this for the rest of your lives.”

That seemed a bit dramatic, but I trusted my dad. Turns out, he was right.

I remember the afternoon sun streaming into the room as we strained to see the grainy picture on the TV, perched in the corner in front of the built-in bookshelves. I can still hear the soothing voice of Walter Cronkite as he described every detail of Armstrong’s descent down the exterior ladder allowing him to be the first human to set foot on the moon. I remember the sense of wonder, excitement and accomplishment that spread throughout that beautiful, wood paneled family filled room. Mom and Aunt Elna were grinning, but it was the men I remember most.

My dad and Uncle Bill, both proud WWII vets, were beaming with joy, relief and an unparalleled sense of American pride I never saw before. My aunt and uncle lived in a close-knit neighborhood and when we went outside to play later, I remember it seemed like everyone on the block, across the street and yes, even the entire town, were lost in a united celebration!

It’s hard to describe the enormity of this event to people born after the mid 1970’s. To my knowledge, this was the first live television event of it’s kind and a whooping 94% of American households with TV tuned in, together, to experience this amazing feat.
We were united as Americans and we were united as a planet as others around the globe celebrated with us.

1969 was a big summer. I remember it as the summer of the Manson murders, the height of the Black Panther movement, the scandal at Chappaquiddick, the summer of love at Woodstock and Nixon’s first year in office. It was a scary time to be a child and I often felt unsafe. I didn’t know what would happen next. The daily news was dark.

On Saturday afternoon in my beloved aunt and uncle’s family room that July 20th day in 1969 I saw a glimmer of hope in the eyes of my parents. It made me hopeful for a better future for all of us.

As we mark this 50th anniversary, I hope it’s the sense of unity, hope and shared adventure we remember most.

While our current issues seem overwhelming, if we can put a man on the moon, certainly we can unite to solve the problems facing us now.

I have an idea.

Let’s start with exploring the depths in the truest part of our own hearts.

As we look deeply within, we not only find that divine connection that is us, we find that it is what connects us all and makes us one.

That’s where the answers lie for this next evolution of human development.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

How To Get Out of Your "Cage"






Yep, that’s me with my beautiful two-year-old grandson, Emory, posing inside a shark cage during a visit to the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia. I had a fantastic day with my daughter, son-in-law and Emory as we explored this fabulous museum and enjoyed a weekend getaway to Williamsburg. My daughter and I were exchanging the dozens (OK, maybe dozens and dozens) of photos we’d taken and this one stood out.

Like many families, ours has been under stress lately and this mini vacation gave us the space to take a breath. Relax. Do something different. Have FUN.

As I looked at the photos of our adventure, this one stopped me in my tracks. I suddenly understood a truth I’d forgotten in the stress of the past few weeks. It was so apparent as I gazed at this picture.   

The stress we’d been experiencing was a “cage” created by our thoughts. Yes, we’d lived through a tough family situation, the trauma was real. However, as I looked at this photo, I realized that after we acknowledged and dealt with the event, only our thoughts kept the drama of the situation alive.

Emory and I had walked through the open side of this shark cage to take a goofy picture. And we walked out. Because he’s only a toddler, we walked in and out a few times.

Just like that shark cage, I realized I’d “walked in and out” of the cage I’d created in my mind a few times. More than once, I’d forgotten the side was open and I could walk out of this cage anytime I changed the way I thought about the situation. I realized I could get out of my "cage" anytime I wanted.

The things you learn on vacation….

Friday, May 10, 2019




The Power of Your Thoughts


This is it. The key to a happier, more fulfilled life. 

YOU hold the power to change your experience in every aspect of your life by changing the way you think about it.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL. Not your jerk boss, cranky kid or some politician in D.C.

YOU.

Controlling your thoughts doesn’t mean you escape life challenges; it means you are equipped to move through them with more grace and ease. Let me explain.

Recently, an accident occurred that injured a family member. When I first heard the news, I was scared, and my mind went to the worst possible scenario as I waited for the details to slowly emerge. I made an important discovery in the following days:

While we can’t change the trauma, succumbing to drama is optional.

I realized my fearful thoughts did not change the facts or the outcome. Although many saw my fear as “justified,” “natural” and even encouraged legal retribution, none of that helped me feel better or allowed me to lovingly support other family members. 

For me, only one thing helped.

I went back to the Be Love Principles and asked the divine within:

How can I greet everyone involved with an open heart, without an agenda?
Show me the divine essence in this situation.
Teach me how to forgive everyone involved quickly, completely and unconditionally.
Remind me that everyone is part of the light of All.

I did my best, minute by minute, to be the presence of love and stay in that space as we moved through the situation. I did it for me and my family. It wasn’t easy and, at times, I failed to stay centered in love. It happened whenever I fell back into fear, anger and overwhelm. Once I became aware of those thoughts, I went back to love as quickly as I could. Full disclosure, I wasn’t the most popular with some people who didn’t understand my perspective. They thought I was “naive,” “nuts” or in denial. 

But I remembered the truth. I am responsible for my thoughts and how I react to life. 
Here’s an important point: I allowed myself to feel my feelings as they came up. Feelings that are ignored simply go underground then resurface later. I’ve learned that too! The difference here is that I felt my feelings then consciously decided how I would think about them. I could continue to fuel the fear, or I could choose to be the presence of love, as much as I could, throughout the challenge.

I’m grateful to add our situation has had a much better outcome than I first feared. All is well. And I understand that while Life wil certainly present more tough days in the future, my thoughts will dictate my experience of both life’s joys and sorrows. 

I choose to experience both with love.


P.S. Check out this episode of “Heart-Centered Success with Diane L Haworth” on “The Power of Your Thoughts”  for deeper insights on the topic and for more on the Be Love Principles, visit www.BeLovePrinciples.org. 


Tuesday, April 23, 2019



Birthdays, Reflections, Letting Go and the Birth of New

This year I did something very special for my April 21st birthday. In the predawn hours, I drove up to Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park and watched the sunrise over the Shenandoah Valley…and over the next phase of my life. I wanted to meditate there, on my birthday, by myself. Just me, God and the beauty that surrounded me.

It was glorious.

As I was driving the 45 minutes up to my perch, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my life…all of it. Memories of the good, the bad and the ugly chapters flooded back to me as I marveled at the thousands of experiences that make up my lifetime so far.

My birthday fell on Easter this year, like the day I was born, and I took this as a sign. I started asking questions up there on the overlook, watching the sun rays illuminate the valley below.

What am I ready to let go of in my life? What beliefs are no longer serving me? Which stories am I finally ready to release?

I know my thoughts create my reality and wondered what thoughts could still be holding me back at this stage? Time to let them go. For good. Thoughts of lack, limitation, “not enough,” “too old” and “too late” were quickly banished on that mountaintop.

So what now was ready to be born? How could I consciously embrace the truest part of me and live from there? The divine part that knows no limits? The part of me that is only love?

As I sat, overlooking the brightening landscape I said a simple prayer:

“Show me.”

My heart heard the message God whispered in response.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Pivot



Did you ever have those times when nothing seemed to go as planned? That’s what’s happened for me the past few days…

Last week, my friend and I were scheduled to record a few episodes of a podcast, but Life had other plans. I used the same recording program I’d just used to successfully record a couple weeks ago but this time, nothing worked. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

I mean NOTHING. First, only half our conversation would record. Then I attempted to call and – while she was seated, waiting for my call – her phone failed to ring. I sent a connection link to her that never arrived. This happened over, and over again for more than an hour before we both agreed to walk away from the project for the moment. Time to pivot. We rescheduled.

I decided to record a meditation and struggled FOR HOURS this weekend to get everything to work. I’m still trying! I worked for a while, became frustrated and realized I needed to walk away. I learned long ago that when a project isn’t flowing, take a break. Pivot.

Outside events seemed to intervene on my plans as well. My husband was working all day Sunday, so I planned to get a fresh start on my meditation project before I left to attend a friend’s birthday party late in the afternoon. I was set! My perfect plan began…until I spoke to my adult son who’d been sick and needed to go to a doctor. He was too sick to drive and feared that what he thought was a case of food poisoning, was really a serious strain of flu. Off to an urgent care office we went and as I waited in the lobby, I texted my friend that I wouldn’t be able to make the party. Pivot again.

So what the heck was happening? Was it some weird energy, ancient curse or the dreaded effects of Mercury Retrograde? I don’t know about any of that, but I do know a couple things. While we all must make plans in life, we also need to understand when to be flexible (pivot) and when to choose another course. I’m not suggesting you totally give up. I suggest you connect to your own inner wisdom and ask for guidance:


  • Show me what I’m not seeing here.
  • Help me understand how to shift my thinking to execute this in the highest and best way for all, or the wisdom to know it’s time to abandon this project.
  • Show me the lessons I can learn from this.
  • Help me trust the process.
  • Show me how to be the presence of love in this situation and allow Love to guide my thoughts and actions.


Every morning for months, I’ve had the same prayer before I get out of bed.

“Show me how to be love today.”

When battling frustration, I sure didn’t feel I was being love, but I do know I was able to recognize when to pivot, much quicker than I did in the past.

And I’ve decided to trust it’s all part of my path to love.