Happiness Is Key to Unlocking World-Class Success—Optimism is Everything.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.—Albert Schweitzer

Success is a matter of interpretation. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Success can take on many forms or mean different things, to many people, personally and professionally. To some, the bigger the better. The expression: “go big or go home”, comes to mind when thinking from an entrepreneurial mindset. For me, personal growth is success. That every day I learn something new, about myself, about life, about how each of us have a purpose in this vast planet, something to contribute and that I, in some small or big way may have a part in the success of a vision in the grand scheme of things.

Hello my beautiful souls! While corporations pride themselves in lifting economies, I will strive myself to lift your spirits, celebrate and elevate the creative genius that is you! This world is full of great thinkers, yet happiness is thought of as the ultimate end goal often the result of external rewards or accolades. Success should not be a noun describing an end-result, an accomplishment of an aim, but a feeling. The feeling you get when you nurture the concept of a book for example and you work hard on it for months, maybe years—you enjoy the highs and lows of writing—the epiphanies along the way and then you write the last sentence, you type that last period on your manuscript—oh what joy that is, what a sense of accomplishment!  Nothing is more rewarding than the hard work put in and the happiness and joy you feel along the way—this is success! Happiness for me, is the beautiful feelings cultivated from the big and small moments, the blood, sweat, tears and love poured on a masterpiece. No titles, no hiding behind large offices, or expensive toys—success is to be empowered by connections made, fueled by passion always offering support, spreading the ultimate enthusiasm—this is what my perception of success should feel like.

The painful reality is that very few have limited themselves to inviting into their world a vision for ‘success’ or a what a potential or level of success would be like; worse yet have denied themselves the capability that success is within us all, that we all have the ability to realize and materialize into our world in achieving optimal success—perhaps they feel underserving of that success. Sadly, most of us operate from a perspective that: Life operates on life’s terms. That we are surrounded by a multitude of realities playing out in our world brought on by others. Circumstances, events, playing on emotion become our superficial realities. The result of these realities becomes what you see in the mirror. Ruthless, hard, drained, deceitful-always trying to stay ahead, hungry, competitive—all drawn from fear. True success relies heavily on what you perceive that success to be for you, success may be having optimal health always, great friendships—a solid marriage, from an entrepreneurial mindset, it might be overcoming challenges and rising above amidst adversity—you hold a strong vision for yourself of possible outcomes—a reflection of your truth. Do you view the world from a face-value perspective—what you see is what you get? Or are you more of let’s imagine it and go after it—the world is full of possibilities kind of visionary—that anything you imagine has the potential to become a reality! And what a wonderful way to view life from a lens that the world is our playground and the life we dream ourselves is ready for the picking as soon as we are ready, as soon as we consciously choose to follow that dream, and begin to take part in that process of joyfully creating a life that reflects our highest value—it will remain dormant until you make the decision to choose it—to follow your path, to follow your truth.

Learning to use your imagination faithfully on any project without the trappings of ego, is essentially the secret to truly creating the ultimate experience you wish to experience in this lifetime. Following your bliss; submitting to your ultimate truth, is the only way one can achieve greatness. It is what makes the Sir Richard Bransons, the Warren Buffets, the Tony Robbins, of the world—these innovators simply tapped into a set of principles—their truth proven time and time again by their personal experiences materializing into immense success. Their start began with an immense desire—a vision. A vision so strong they each assumed it as a ‘wish fulfilled’.  Now let me be clear, to say that these men are geniuses, or anyone out there accomplishing their vision of a dream to a high degree and call them geniuses is simply to place them in a certain category when having a discussion, it is not to say these individuals have a specific gene that makes them geniuses. They are geniuses because they have tapped into an awareness; drawing from personal experience, viewing their successes and failures as tools necessary to navigate life in remarkable ways. Through their heroic efforts, these visionaries, these bold thinkers have managed to ignore critics, have done the unreasonable, they push the envelope and seize glorious opportunities as they show up—not always on their schedule, but they have learned to listen to their gut—their intuition, never steering them wrong. They show up courageous and fearless, speaking their truth from a place of authenticity. Ready to succeed.

So yes, dream, follow your heart and soon your body will follow—always staying true to yourself. But is this enough to feel successful?  Many, go out there, plant their stake, break ground, fill beautiful buildings with active minds and souls from all over the world and they get busy. Anyone can show leadership behaviour, but are they equipped with all the tools to properly navigate the ship? Strong leadership translates into increased performance outcomes. Ineffective leadership can stifle an organization’s ability to reach its full potential for success. So why do many businesses fail when it comes to receiving that health check in leadership scores? We all lead in some form, in our homes, our families, our friendships, our relationships, our workplace—to be effective leaders we need the right perspective. The most successful organizations grow leaders throughout their organizations—know your role. Everyone needs to be accountable for their role within their place of work, their home, their relationships. The word lead in leadership means to guide, to influence other individuals, perhaps in teams, or organizations, or in your personal life, your family, your friendships, and relationships—the success depends largely on approach or the set of leadership principles these ‘leaders’ will choose to successfully navigate their business life and personal life. Research tells us that great leaders are not a hereditary genius but most likely characteristics that can be developed with the proper tools, education, environment, healthy perspectives, often creating opportunities along the way. Successful leaders never miss an opportunity to elevate, give praise often, add value by counting their blessings. Have the awareness to recognize that everything that has happened to you, was necessary to get you where you are today—to become the genius, kind soul you are today. Success is not a popularity contest—enjoy the moment—be present always. Share your success—embrace change and all its mess, and open yourself to the brilliant life you are meant to have—happiness will be sure to kick into high gear and what a beautiful feeling to share.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.—John C. Maxwell

When discussing success, I feel it equally important to discuss leadership, as we all need to learn to behave as leaders not only in our work environments but in our personal lives as well. In fact, showing up as a leader in your everyday life, will certainly transcend the rest. People want to be a part of an organization that allows them to bring their gifts and talents to work on a daily. To be heard. How pivotal for any organization to have powerful creative conversations from the top CEOs to the youngest freshest minds, sharing visionary insights at all levels, having the boldness to tackle challenges with pure optimism—it is infectious, next level of authentic excellence—it is the formula to exceptional success. With excellent leadership comes excellent relationships. I cannot think of the most satisfying feeling than to feel you are contributing to something big, to feel engaged with your team, to feel that your contribution is worth something. It makes me feel alive and want to produce more. A leader, that promotes this healthy work environment, comes from a mindset of feeling quite successful in their own lives; optimism is infused, and they wish to bring more of that to their place of work—their baby. Interesting choice of word don’t you think? Often, I hear entrepreneurs refer to their projects, their business, as their baby. I wonder, if they are truly taking care of their business(es) like they would an actual baby? I know it is a metaphor but having cared for two babies in my lifetime (I am referring to my daughters of course), I must tell you, there is a lot of nurturing involved. In addition, to all the nurturing and teaching, all is done with a great amount of love. The love you pour into a family, particularly a young child, is like the amount of sun and water and yes love, a flower needs to grow. Without a parent’s love and guidance, a child will have a difficult time growing to its potential. In addition to parenting, I have also been blessed with the opportunity of mentoring, working in supervisory level type positions in the corporate world and I too have poured all my love into my work to ensure that bosses, peers, colleagues, teammates received my personal excellence, always—this is me showing up, this is me loving myself!

So, what are we doing to our businesses are we mass producing? Building for the sake of banging out a quick fix, a product that may or may not last or worse yet, because of rapid growth in technology, are we just mindlessly adding too many options—confusing consumers? What happened to quality and value? Our success comes from creating positive cultures within our establishments knowing we are making a difference not only with our product but in the lives of the individuals who support us, contributing to this planet hoping to leave it a little better than we found it—that is the feeling of success! You see when we lift others, when we inspire, we offer a genius that knows no boundaries, this optimism is infectious, in turn our families (in business and in our homes) conjure this discipline, this immense feeling of remaining brilliantly focused on their endeavors, creating, adding value, dreaming bigger and voilá the whole world gets to experience greatness, separating genius from the rest. Be remarkable at what you do. This is genius at work! This is building success from within!

You might have the right product, the right project or idea but do you have a vision of what that success might look like for you? Do not forget to take your dose of humility wherever you go. You might be making truckloads of money, you might be the number one producer and your confidence is unparallel, but what is your legacy? Nobody likes arrogance. A wonderful quote I came across that sums up humility is: “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.”—Jesse Jackson. I think we are too eager to get to the finish line, an idea is born, and we cannot wait for the world to see our creation, but along the way, we forget the ‘our’ in our creation. Oftentimes, leaders of organizations forget that a vision is only a vision until you get an army behind the scenes and with their support, that vision materializes. It is imperative that as visionaries, leaders, consumers, that we become aware, of the brilliance that surrounds us, at home, at work, every establishment that we have the good fortune to visit or do business with. It is easy to get to the end result relying on so many, but how quickly we forget the beautiful souls supporting us along the way, that in the end we only take notice of our pockets; rather than seeing with clarity, the forces helping our dream unfold. Taking notice of such courage, strength, love, kindness is to awaken the hero in you, trusting the course of life and simply unleashing greatness! This togetherness, this feeling of community, building together as a whole is the success I am referring to. It takes a village to raise a child—your child, why not offer security, love, encouragement—breathe life to your passion but raise it, with world class level of care in order to achieve world class level of success!

So, while goal setting is incredibly important in setting yourself up for success, I would like to share with you the following set of principles that will assist you and offer you guidance to feeling accomplished and successful while revolutionizing your life with the people you work with, the loved ones you live with, and with those you get to encounter every single day with whom you share this journey called life:

  1. Self Love. There is nothing you cannot accomplish when you have practiced self-love.
  2. Dream. Visualize. Let it take hold of you and act.
  3. Devote time to your dream—no one else will. What will that end-result look like? Be sure to include how this service will benefit others, will benefit the world? To leave the world a little better than you found it. Schedule time to work on you. Exercise, meditate, affirmation, dream, map out your goals. Journal. What is written, gets done!
  4. How does that success feel? Everyone gets caught up on end results, and outcomes, the materials they wish to acquire, but forget how they wish to feel along the way or when that ‘dream’ is finally realized, how did they intend to feel. Do you wish to feel joy? Do you wish to feel peace? Do you wish to feel love? It is wonderful to achieve the materials success brings with it, but why is it that when all is said and done, why do most not necessarily feel successful once they get there? For most, while building their empire, it is a whole lot of busyness, stress, worry—is this what success feels like? Success is not a destination, it is one of many journeys in life at the end, love is the feeling we all wish.
  5. Always act with kindness. Be optimistic about your vision, your dream, your project, your home and the life in it. Kindness, optimism is infectious—soon others will follow, you cannot fail.
  6. If you feel you are the smartest person in the room—then you need to find new friends, and yes, a new perspective. It is not necessarily that you are the smartest person in the room, perhaps you are not engaging with those around you. Everyone has something to offer—be open to discussion, invite intellectual and fun conversations—all promote healthy environments. We should always strive to learn new things. Become a world-class listener. Soon, the creative juices flow and genius arrives!
  7. Do you! Stop following the crowd. Be bold take action toward your dream, honor your specialness, step into your authenticity regardless of what the critics might think—the world will be a better place once you do.  
  8. Be respectful. Just as you think you earned your respect—so should your colleagues and teammates, be respected. These are mothers, fathers, members of congregations and communities—treat them with respect; I am sure they have earned it. Treat everyone you meet as you wish to be treated. When you bark orders and talk down to people—it makes one wonder how you see yourself and those in your household? It costs nothing to be kind and respectful, yet it will pay dividends manyfold when you trust and believe in your team.
  9. Encourage a safe and positive environment—compliment often. Never miss an opportunity to celebrate and elevate those you get to work with and have relationships with. The universe will often shower you with opportunities to shine—be your exceptional self always!
  10. Create the ultimate product or the ultimate experience. Commit to your craft. Whatever you are selling, whatever the service, whether at home, at work or life—make it world-class. Create the ultimate experience. To do this, you must ask the right question: How can I give more, do more, be more? The focus should be on how to provide more value—this is untapping to unlimited possibilities in creating the life you deserve, the life of your dreams. Lead the field in what you do. Over deliver always. Stay true to your vision.
  11. Embrace failure. Learn to fail fast. The more you do, the more opportunities to fail at, the more growth you will experience, the grander the mastery. You will know happiness once you experience pain and adversity.
  12. Practice gratitude. The daily practice of gratitude cultivates a positive outlook—beneficial for our brain and wellbeing. Compassion and kindness are the benefits we receive when practicing gratitude—it is certainly a great motivator in the workplace.  Expressing gratitude for growth opportunities, including challenges, new experiences, offering positive supportive feedback to colleagues and staff.  Reflect often. Are you aligned with your deepest beliefs? What is a game changer for you?
  13. Unplug. Go back to nature. Excessive media use is not good for us physically, mentally, or emotionally. Unplugging improves quality of life. Reduce (stress), recharge, renew and be present.
  14. Always keep learning. Journal often (if you are not able to daily), listen to podcasts, not just in your field in everything—as you know more you achieve more—you become legendary. Have gorgeous conversations with masters.

I know my list looks very lengthy, but that is because I always have so much, I want to share. Often, I over share but it is because of the love I have for you—I want you to succeed. When you succeed, we all succeed. The world is a better place.

I have touched on some of the points listed already in the paragraphs above, and I will take the opportunity to touch on some of them further in the following paragraphs because I feel they need a little more elaborating—that’s me again over sharing😊.  Above all else, before you can succeed at anything, you must first know and practice the power of selflove. To align to your highest level of excellence self-love must be your starting point. Detecting your authentic values early on is key. Have a relentless devotion to working on your personal mastery, to develop a trust and have faith that you are built for success—ready to accept whatever the universe feels is necessary for growth—always trusting the course, knowing when to let go of situations, circumstances, relationships, that no longer serve you, inviting change necessary for the new and better to take root and rise above. Empires can easily crumble when there is lack of self-love. No 3-step, 5-step or 10-step guide to success will truly work if your world within, is a mess, your foundations are weak, the way you view yourself is from a space of neglect, a place of detest, not loving the skin you are in. I have neatly elaborated on this topic, in my November post: “The More You Clean Up Your Inner World, The More Beautiful Your Outer World Will Be.” Everything begins from within—the doorway to success is inward not outward. I am not referring to being self-absorbed, or narcissistic, viewing the world with a sense of entitlement—this is just acting from fear. When you do nothing for yourself—the world owes you nothing.

As a young girl entering the workforce, I took pride in my image; how I conducted myself in public, at work and with my colleagues and teammates. My morning rituals always start with meditations, affirmations, stretches, a shower and some more feel-good affirmations all the way to my office. I do not leave my home unless I am well put together—it is how I respect myself. I always arrive to work with the right mindset and always early or on time. I am at my desk ready to work, ready to tackle the never-ending demands of my work. Even as a teenager I always made sure I dressed well, looked professional in school and at my part-time jobs—it is how I showed up, ready. Many organizations adapt titles identifying individuals with high level of responsibility running their operations such as a CEO, COO, VP, CIO, CFO, their vision will drive the company’s success and profitability, these are the big weights that strategize, plan, and collaborate to keep an organization operating smoothly and efficiently. But what if their world is running from a mindset of lack? What if their world is running from a space of pain and rejection? Will these big weights produce success? Are they in a position to rise higher than the person they see in the mirror every day and do they have it in them to take that business and its operating mechanism (staff and all tools in it) to an exponential level of success? And when and if they manage to rise, will they stay there long enough, be consistent, are their foundations strong enough to build excellent business relationships, groom excellent leaders within the organization that will see growth amid challenge and conflict? Self-love is the master tool that will help any leader rise above darkness, work through pain, work through challenges—a leverage necessary to rise to astounding success. Love, mistakes, hurts, pains and all, is what you open yourself up to when you practice self-love and become equally accepting of those flaws from your colleagues, teammates, family and friends.  Just as many motivators speak to creating goals, and schedules to get optimal results for success, how many of us think of working on ourselves? Do you love yourself enough to get up early and take care of you? Do you honor yourself, appreciate who you are as a human being? Are you being kind to yourself and in turn are you transcending that kindness to others? If you are not kind to yourself, if you are not loving yourself, expect nothing from anyone else. Be kind. Self-love is such an important part of life—it is how your life and the world reflect on the outside. If you feel deserving of love, of kindness, if you are honoring yourself, taking care of your body, this is self respect—soon others pick up on this and offer you respect. When you love yourself, you offer that love and kindness to others—its what this world needs more of right now. I cannot see the success of any organization if the culture and environment is one without love? The more love you pour into yourself, the more love, you will pour into your work, love tends to overflow and wouldn’t that be a wonderful place to work and produce—this is success.

None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves and spend without fear of bankruptcy.—Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

When reflecting on success as a feeling, the most important principle here is gratitude. Be grateful that you get to practice something you love every day. Remember that what you do positively affects countless people. Being thankful and having a positive attitude allows you to create a better and happier environment—gratitude always comes from a place of love. The way you are in the world is a deep reflection of the way you are with yourself—be grateful. You have worked hard to get here, if we are discussing organizations, it is important to reflect on the collaboration of a team that got you here, that assisted with the execution of your vision. When your love comes from a place of gratitude, to be grateful of all your experiences, the good, the dark, the painful, it cultivates a behaviour that reflects your deepest beliefs. When you take care of yourself and consistently work hard to become a better version of yourself (this takes daily practice and daily work) you will keep self-promises—never disappoint (yourself). By expressing gratitude, we learn to appreciate what we already have instead of always being in search for our happiness; in search for that something we think is missing in our lives; often leaving us feeling unfulfilled. This goodness, this gratitude, will only serve to give you more of that which you find deserving, because you are being true to yourself, true to your heart.

We must go into the world each day and be our best selves, live our best lives—life offers daily opportunities to lead with humility. As you awaken, you free yourself from all attachment while enjoying the pleasures of this world where fear is no longer a source of reaction, love in its place. It is only then, that something infinitely greater starts taking root, with love as your source you can begin to make real contribution towards bringing about a better, safer, kinder world. Your outer world then, becomes the quality of your language, your thoughts, the extraordinary value you hold for yourself—all mirroring your inner world—this is the guide to greatness. Take every opportunity to shine—show up a true leader and success will be at your fingertips!

It is my truest wish that you succeed immensely in every aspect of your life, including your business endeavors, that as we shine inward, planting seeds for success, that we collectively start making real contributions and that as we transform our individual lives and become superstars in our craft, that we stay devoted to making a world of difference in creating a more compassionate world, staying committed to leaving it better than we found it while living a rich purposeful life! You deserve to live a brilliant abundant life—be the light of the world! Remember to offer love and elevate everyone in your life, work life, and those you have the opportunity to meet today. Offer much love to your family and friends (everyone is extra hurting), give love and more love always, including your loyal and faithful pets!

Until our next visit together, stay kind and true to yourself.

To the beautiful powerful you,

Ana Spano

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I would be incredibly grateful if you would help it spread by forwarding it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. I am now on IG, come join me there @anaspanowriter! Thank you!

My Wish…

“The Most fantastic magical things can happen, and it all starts with a wish.”—Pinocchio

I love words just as much as I love wishes. Words have energy and power, they can heal or hinder, we have the choice to use them for encouragement or despair. They can humble us and offer strength in moments when we are most vulnerable. “…Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small…You never need to carry more than you can hold…” These are the beautiful lyrics of a song by Rascal Flatts in a song simply titled: “My Wish”. This entire song holds such beautiful meaning that goes beyond lyrics and a pleasant melody, and if you have not had the pleasure of listening to this gift of a song, I urge you to do so as soon as you have the opportunity. This beautiful song encapsulates the simple wish of love to those we hold dear to our heart. This is the song I dedicated to my beautiful sister-in-law a few months before her passing, it is a song I will always hold dear to my heart and I cannot not think about her and picture her beautiful smile when I hear it. I even found it in one of those musical cards just a few months after her passing (not by coincidence), I am most certain my sister-in-law meant for me to find it, to let me know she was nearby. There is something so comforting knowing that our loved ones who have passed on are always around holding our hand when we need it. This is the gift of faith, to believe in something grander, to engage with Spirit, our ultimate Source, divinely guiding us in some way, helping us regain our awareness of why we exist, what our purpose here on earth is. An awareness that shifts your perspective from blaming your circumstances and blaming others, to holding yourself accountable for your experiences learning to embrace whatever shows up in your life as part of this master plan, this perfection that is you, that is your life, a life you created.

Hello beautiful souls, I wanted to end off the year with one last message before we embark on a new year, one of hope and much promise. This past year has been a hell of a roller coaster to say the least! One that has left us feeling many emotions, unfortunately that might include painful losses for some of us, but here’s the thing about a ‘New Year’, it’s that we get to say good-bye to the past and welcome a brand New Year full of hope, one that includes many more happy moments, and I am here to ensure that cheer carries through to keep your spirit alive and help you see that all that pain you suffered resulting from the disaster that was ‘2020, will only serve to have you appreciate the smallest of joys (that are sure to come your way), that much more.

“A day without laugher is a day wasted.”—Charlie Chaplin

My wish for you is that you laugh more often. There is nothing more beautiful than the sound of a child’s laughter, do you not agree? I absolutely love when I hear my girls laugh out loud as they watch their favorite movie or show or laugh at something they shared. I could be anywhere at home and when I hear that laughter, it is the most beautiful music to my ears, it is so contagious, and I feel my heart stop for a little while just enjoying their good cheer. My girls are now 23 and 19, I will never tire of hearing their sweet laughter. So, my plea here is: no matter what is going on in your life right now, promise yourself to make it a point to laugh—I am sure anyone nearby will certainly appreciate that contagious good vibe. Laughter is so good for the soul!

When you surround yourself with things you love, your life will mirror it.

Surround yourself with beauty. Surround yourself with people and things that inspire you. Look around, there are so many beautiful things to love and appreciate in this world, in your world—the one you create, sometimes you might need to look a little harder, but it is there, I promise. My wish is that you lift your head, look up and see the beauty that currently surrounds you. As I was carefully venturing out in my neighbourhood, buying my groceries during the holidays, I noticed such beautiful flower arrangements, Christmas poinsettia, roses (I bought for a friend), just a lot of beautiful colour; an attempt by our neighbourhood business owners, to put a smile on our faces, if only for a moment allowing us to forget our sorrows. I noticed these beautiful colours and gave my praise of gratitude for my eyes to see. For some, maybe you were recently blessed with the good fortune of seeing the beauty found in the face of a new-born child—oh how sweet it is to look into the eyes and faces of a new-born, and let’s add smells to this as well, a new-born’s scent is so sweet. Perhaps you witnessed a rainbow in your part of the world or the beautiful light snow fall; one that I was so fortunate to witness at midnight on Christmas Eve, while driving around with my youngest just for the heck of it. There is much beauty that surrounds us, we need to learn to celebrate it and be grateful.

Life has a way of coming full circle, every feeling, every emotion, every thought, every spoken word, returns to its intended recipient—you. It is a boomerang ready to be returned to you with astounding accuracy—so give it a lot of love, joy, happiness, hugs, smiles, comfort, support, empathy, compassion, kindness, patience, give life all that is good, and the Universe will do its part in returning it to you many fold! It is my wish that you receive more love, more happiness, more joy…more of all that is beautiful. You see, you only get one life—make it good. Life is not a sprint, take it all in, the good and the bad—sometimes the best things in life take a while, have faith, watch it unfold without judgment, it will not disappoint. Trust that there is plenty of good still in this world, to offer kindness and compassion to a stranger and of course to your loved ones. My wish is that everyone learn the power and the gift that is: ‘forgiveness’ in this lifetime. I believe that when we have ‘unforgiving’ energy it manifests outward in some way into our physical world. When we learn to forgive, we allow the healing to begin, our soul begins the healing on an external level and we begin to witness the many little miracles that surround us, making room for new beginnings. My wish is that you find the gift of forgiveness in your lives, and in your hearts, and make room for passion, faith, hope, inspiration, love; feel the warmth, that is hope—gain a greater sense of freedom. It is in forgiving that we find strength and courage. Do not live, in regret, resentment or fear, instead invite peace, love, joy, let go of selfish demands of ego and look for the good in everything and everyone. I look at the behaviours of others that do not resonate with my wish for peace and I send them love. My experiences have taught me that I cannot get angry enough to end any war on violence, discrimination, social issues, that I cannot feel enough pain and sorrow for all the hurts in the world (it certainly will not offer healing) so I choose to stay in-Spirit because my heart tells me that where I place my attention, my intention will set me on a path of possibilities and openness to a life of miracles! And although it feels we have been at a standstill, I know this is temporary and a better tomorrow awaits, one filled with hope and prosperity and much peace. This is my wish for you.

May you dream yourself a life where you work hard and allow yourself to play even harder, that you do meaningful work, work that gives you joy and gives you purpose. Say yes, often, giggle a lot, sing to your heart’s content (preferably in the shower 😊), keep the sparkle in your eyes, encourage silly, run barefoot on the grass or in the rain (I have done this with my sister!), lie down and watch the clouds or the stars, whichever—they are both equally fascinating. Simply be. Life is meant to be lived, to feel, to be, to experience. Give yourself permission to dream big, love deeply, cry if you must and have the confidence to carry you through—have faith always. My wish is that you live an inspired life, a life of clarity, a passion filled life, surrounded by much kindness and compassion. Nurture the child in you, find people to love unconditionally, may you find friends who make you better, and may love, peace, joy and kindness always find its way into your heart, it’s the ultimate truth, it is your truth, love is what makes all things possible, never underestimate its power. You are here to inspire or be inspired…which do you choose?

This is me on my comfy couch reading a book, enjoying my fireplace

We were all sentenced to one year at home without access to our friends and loved ones for some of us. Hopefully, many of you used that time to reflect, to find time to figure out what makes you—you, what is your story, what makes you shine? For me, it is just this, to spread love through my writing, my words, to speak love and kindness to all those I meet, to those I share space with. Hopefully, you will have spent quality time with those currently in your living space and have learned a lot from one another, building solid and beautiful foundations that will help you when you go off into the world understanding that every word, every touch, every thought has an effect, it impacts all those around you as we are all connected. I know when the world once again opens up, I will make it a point to hug everyone that much tighter, smile even more than ever, laugh at everything, spread love, compassion and kindness at every opportunity. I will say good-bye to my comfy couch that has been my friend and support for seven months (oh who am I kidding, I love my couch!😊) and run the streets with open arms, dance as I did whenever I heard music in a store (if you know me you know this is true for me). I urge you to dance like nobody’s watching—it is so liberating. It is how I spent most of my high school years while roaming the school hallways or in the cafeteria (man, the 80s were fun!😊). It will be the day you get to go and make up time for precious moments lost and spend it with your loved ones, except this time around you will enjoy it that much more, you will love that much deeper. I hope that this is everyone’s plan, I hope that this is a wish we all share for this new world we are about to embark. This New Year’s Eve, it is my hope and faith, that everyone will join in and share their wish for a kinder world, one filled with optimism, confidence, courage, that your days be described with words like: exhilarating, enthusiastic, breathtaking, exciting, hope, humanity and selflessness. Whatever your journey, wherever life takes you or throws at you, know we are all connected, every experience leading us to one path and that is love. My wish is that you live an inspired life (in-Spirit) otherwise you are just living. And in this inspiration, you are awakened, you see things with clarity; with your spiritual lens now intact, you notice the world has forever changed bringing growth, placing you on a path of your heart’s truest desires, compassion and kindness as your guides holding the key to successfully manifesting your dreams. The meaning of life is to have faith, to believe you deserve life’s best gifts, to hope for better tomorrows but enjoy the gifts of today in whatever form simply to love that much more, to laugh that much louder, to have that much more compassion and empathy.

As we enter this new world, our perspectives must shift. Our old ways of thinking and doing things no longer serve us. This new world no longer has room for hate and judgment, instead it is one filled with optimism—which is key to overcoming all obstacles, overcoming anything, but that we do it together. Let us not look at the past, except to learn from our mistakes and to mourn for those we have lost, together let us wish for a beautiful today, one filled with humility, laughter, acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, generosity, love, joy, humanity and kindness always. Let us pray for some healing, we are all in need of it. Each of us have the power to choose our thoughts align them with love, peace, harmony and good will. Together, we can create our present and future moments at the highest possible level, your heart is the center—allow yourself to feel peace and harmony. Rejoice, celebrate, be grateful, let the power of a smile melt your heart and influence happiness that has not been around for quite some time. Gratitude connects us all—it is the medicine our world needs today. This is my wish for you.

I would like to a share a prayer with you, a prayer that made its way into my life a few years back and it is a prayer I say every morning or at least once a day. Reminding me that every day is a gift, a gift I get to share with loved ones, another day I get to impact someone’s life in the most positive way. I will share with you a part of this prayer for the sake of this blog, you are welcome to search up the entire prayer online. Its origin is of no importance, there are many versions, many stories of its authentic author, but that’s not the take away here, the message beautifully reflects a message of peace. I ask that you adapt the prayer, more importantly its message, into your life, you may change the language so that it resonates with you and your beliefs, your practices, but its modest message should remain as it is a message of peace, hope and love, one that should be the same in any language, in any corner of the world. Thank you for allowing me to share this message. With great love and respect:

So, my sweet souls say good-bye to what no longer serves you…let it go and make room for exciting new things to come, new hopes, new resolutions, new spirits. Wishing you optimal health always, and may the New Year bring us all much peace, joy, abundance and loads and loads of happiness. January 1st, is the start of a New Year, it is the day you get to write yourself a new chapter in your life—make it remarkable!

Remember to offer love to everyone, and during these holidays especially, be extra kind to all those you meet. Offer much love to your families (everyone is extra hurting this year), give love and more love always, including your loyal and faithful pets!

Until our next visit together, stay kind and true to yourself.

To the beautiful powerful you,

Ana Spano

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I would be very grateful if you would help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. Thank you!

Feel Who You Are—Joy is your Wisdom

Be still and know that you are that which you desire to be, and you will never have to search for it.—Neville Goddard

I hope last month’s blog helped brighten up your life a little more after a season of darkness. As we approach the winter months ahead we can’t help but feel a little anxious not knowing what the sunless months (the wintery stormy days) will bring but perhaps grey solemn skies to match our moods unless you are a winter lover that is. Christmas is around the corner and that should help shift our mood, but oh yeah we are in a pandemic—so life looks a bit bleak☹. This period of uncertainty has  placed us all on a roller coaster of emotions; we feel sad and angry for our losses, fear and anxious brought on by doubt not knowing what our future holds. All expectations of how we thought our immediate future would look like; a glimpse of our success, have gone out the window, we have been robbed of what we thought was our certainty, this along with our hopes and dreams—fear in its place. To this I say: cancel all expectation this year—it was not doing us any good any way. Expectations only cultivate feelings of fear, doubt, sadness, anger—all the un-wants in our lives. Instead, we should work on replacing our expectations with feelings of confidence, compassion, empathy all born from being in a constant state of joy; a joy derived from a consciousness of love. Maybe we should be intending our ‘tomorrows’ (taking action today) and allowing the flow of how that tomorrow should feel and look like rather than expecting things to be grand and then life has a way of disappointing. When we intend things (experiences into our lives), all doubt is banished—we trust. In this trust, in this flow, we have the power to manifest the beautiful life we all deserve!

Hello beautiful souls! May your mind(s) be filled with beautiful thoughts (hopefully quietness) and your heart(s) with nothing but love and joy. Where there is love fear cannot exist. Isn’t it wonderful knowing that when you choose to feel love you will live in the absence of fear? Is it that simple you ask? Yes, you just need to commit to love. It is the difference in choosing to feel secure, confident, you start feeling enthusiastic about life, about your next move. So, what will you choose? Will you choose to feel fear in your life followed by all other negatives that sadly include manifesting illness? Perhaps you will consider choosing joy and receive your daily dose of friendly neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin? Lately, I have noticed a lot of talk of neurotransmitters; chemical messengers and receptors—fancy science terms that help us understand what is happening inside us, particularly what keeps our brain functioning and a variety of psychological functions monitoring levels of fear, mood, pleasure and joy. Neuroscientists have done the lovely work for us and have shared their scientific perspectives on the chemistry affecting our biology that trigger happiness. These neurotransmitters have a wide variety of functions in the human body. Either way both  require work (unless you set it as your default emotion, in which case good for you) I cannot help but wonder however, why it is that choosing to feel ‘joy’ requires work and for some a lot more than others. As I do my research on the  positive impact of joy in my life I discover that serotonin; a chemical produced by nerve cells, is more of a free flowing neurotransmitter triggered by how others value you and the awesome feeling you experience when getting exercise or a massage—it is at times referred to as the happy chemical as it contributes to wellbeing and happiness. Healthy levels of Serotonin regulate anxiety, happiness and mood.  Another famous neurotransmitter I read about that our body also produces is Dopamine and it offers us that ‘feel good’ and happy feeling released as part of a reward system (reaching that goal), upon achieving an objective—often flooding your body with high energy that leads to happiness, even shopping help raise levels of this ‘good feel’ miracle transmitter or sex (whatever brings you joy 😊). It is what helps us to strive, motivate, focus, affecting our physical function.

There is plenty behind the science of happiness resulting in the release of these much needed neurotransmitters and the success of achieving such happiness is finding the right balance (ugh, more work☹) as too much of any one of these chemicals can have a negative impact. Well, how about choosing to be in constant joy instead! This should be easy (no science required), just choose to be in this constant state always. How do we do this? We must start by being honest with ourselves. Ask yourself how do I want to feel? What is my wish, my true desire? That authenticity will follow you everywhere you go. You might try to betray your feelings every now and again to please others, but God, the universe, your higher self, always know what is at the centre and according to the Law of Attraction in order to change your outer world you must change your inner world (your thoughts and feelings) every small action an expression creating beautiful experiences, that weave into this tapestry we call life—and so your mind, body and soul follow, thus manifesting your true desire outward. When we experience joy, love is a byproduct. Accepting ourselves as we are, offering forgiveness and compassion will leave us less vulnerable. Pain and suffering is part of life, and none of us is immune to it, we may not be able to control these negative occurrences, but we could certainly influence their effect in our life by adjusting the attitude we take toward them. Whenever someone comes up to me with a problem or concern, whether it be an illness or discouraging news, my immediate go-to pep talk is: “get out of your head.” So much of our suffering is caused by our wanting or expecting things to be different resulting in feelings of discontent, that lead to frustration and anger.   When my daughter comes down the stairs after a busy morning of meetings and I see her little face full of worry, I immediately tell her: “get out of your head”, we talk, we dissect what is causing the worry and fear, we poke it, we throw it around in many directions, until it no longer scares her. I often finish our talks with: “How does this experience make you feel? How do you want to feel?”  We jot down solutions, on what needs to be done or said to get back to that joyful feeling she desires—the unnecessary worrying is done with. Understand that unnecessary worrying and getting frustrated or upset is not going to give you that peace and joy you crave (if in fact this is the experience you seek in life), so why do it? If your car breaks down, well think of it as the universe protecting you from being somewhere else at that time—rejection is God’s protection.  Be honest, hold yourself accountable and accept that your actions, your words, your thoughts have brought you to where you are today. I say this with great love and respect: Is the life and circumstances currently surrounding you, the life you see for yourself? If not, change it! You have the power to change your thoughts, your view, your words, your actions that will move you towards your view of the life you want, your world, your reality—observe, accept, allow, make your next move. Every experience is an opportunity. Remember to think: Everything happens For you, not To you! The truth is that your state of being creates your circumstances, and not the other way around.

Despite what is currently surrounding your life, your world, your days, you should be in constant joy—this is my wish for you. To be in a constant state of happiness may be difficult as happiness mostly depends on external factors (happens to us). Choosing joy however, is choosing to be present, it is choosing a way of life very much like choosing a ‘healthy lifestyle’ over choosing to be on a ‘diet’. A diet is a temporary fix you can opt out of anytime as it is not permanent; it is choosing not to eat certain items until you talk yourself into doing it. Choosing a healthy lifestyle on the other hand, is a commitment. It is the difference in telling yourself: “I should not eat this,” to “I will not eat it.”  If joy is an attitude of the heart, it will not defy you, it is there to offer comfort during times of difficulty, continuously seizing opportunities with feelings of great accomplishment, vitality and strength no matter what life hands you. It is to be a blessing to others, looking through the eyes of a stranger and seeing that our existence (how we conduct ourselves in this world) affects others by what we give, what we do—so give love. You are the creator of your own life; simply be, focus on your desire and dreams. To be in constant joy, goes beyond cultivating a positive mindset (although it helps), it is to surround yourself with beautiful, kind people that support you, create precious moments and wonderful experiences that ultimately leave you feeling fulfilled. For me it is the tremendous sense of peace I feel every morning after meditation or a session of yoga. To be in a state of joy, is to look forward to and appreciate the little miracles. Enjoy the journey no matter what life throws at you. Your thought should never be: “when my life changes, I will then start to be happy”, be happy now, feel joy always, think happiness and your body and actions will follow—effortlessly.

Taking responsibility for your life is when you start creating the things that you desire rather than focus on the things that you fear. See yourself through the eyes of God (your Infinite Being); your Higher Self, with unconditional love and acceptance. Focus more on loving than on winning love. My experiences have taught me in order to live a fulfilled life it is more about doing for others than receiving. Do not search for joy, be joy. Do not go looking for love, be love. We are all beautiful perfect expressions and deserve all the ‘feel goods’ we choose to surround ourselves with. The value you give yourself is from within, not by the amount or lack of love placed by others. Only you know your self-worth—choose knowing you deserve, and we all deserve love and to be in constant joy. It is not about being good or bad, right or wrong—that is placing judgement, simply be joy, be love. Often, we exhaust ourselves searching for our purpose, we feel confused, not knowing if we belong—this is what brings on feelings of fear. Your purpose is to be where you are, to be love, to be kindness, to be supportive, to be joy! Titles, positions, amounts of money in our bank accounts, should not define who we are, and it most certainly should not measure our level of self-worth. The value a simple stranger gives to an unsuspecting homeless person, or to that disabled individual needing an extra hand opening the door, cannot be measured in dollars, in levels, to that individual you are a hero, you made their day a little easier, a little more enjoyable—and that is priceless! Again, I ask what experience do you seek in this lifetime?

When counseling my clients who have entered my life all broken with shattered spleens, fractured knees, hips, ribs, pelvic fractures (endless list of un-wants in their lives), I carefully with full empathy and compassion assist them with putting the pieces back; not necessarily to the way it once was, but hopefully mending that torn cloth in their world and work on creating a much richer embroidered masterpiece; stitching one piece at a time, a masterpiece cultivated by new found wisdom and a road to self-love. Pieces shattered by false expectations, unfulfilled desires due to mere wishful thinking are now replaced with a desire to be present in their lives, to hold themselves accountable, allowing themselves to experience every little moment with new found enthusiasm to be observers on their road to self-discovery; inviting an awareness in their life, offering much clarity, and many  more peaceful and joyful moments. My purpose in their lives was to simply hold their hand during their season of darkness, offer kindness, empathy, compassion; to make their life a little easier while allowing them to process their setback, offering my expert legal advice and support while ensuring they never lose hope. Joy and happiness should be our constant, it is not something we earn but something we feel, it is the path to self-realization. Joy is what keeps us in a constant state of flow—moving us towards our goals, feeling every step of the way. We do not try to reach our goals with a false sense of expectation, we move, we do—motivation is sparked when we invite joy making that road to success sweeter! With joy we open ourselves up to the outer edges of the unknown we feel, see, hear, things differently and as if by magic we are healed! It is to never doubt that you are where you need to be, trusting all will turn out for the better. Joy cannot be the result of events in your life but a pure commitment in ensuring that every experience is growth, it is not dependent on thought. When we learn to view life in its wider perspective with some degree of humility and simply accept our circumstances and experiences in all its pain, imperfections and beauty—we open ourselves to a life of pure bliss, we allow ourselves to engage with life on its own terms, no judgement, no disappointments—we no longer struggle, we simply be. We experience, we allow, we live when we are in joy.  I believe this is what Tibetan teachings refer to as non-duality. To take every experience without categorizing as pleasurable or difficult, good or bad but simply as an experience. Joy has the ability to take all emotions, experiences, lessons and allow us to power through; happiness and success, is not contingent on our ability to attain it but to feel good going after it, with no attachment to outcome. With joy we learn to see the blessing in everything, the joy in every sorrow—for this reason joy is fearless. We are the protagonist in our own stories, the architects of our lives and it starts with designing our inner world. With joy as your canvas and as your core support you cannot fail at life! Your life and world is yours to direct!

I cannot recall when I first became aware of the presence of joy in my life, it might have been in my early twenties, perhaps even earlier—all my life I was pretty much an observer. I just remember not allowing anything to get me down; like a child, I was resilient to the lacks, disappointments in my life; (except in my non-duality mentality I never labeled them struggles or disappointments) they were simply experiences that helped me grow. Every day I will walk out my front door or walk into an establishment with a permanent smile on my face (granted it is a little harder with masks on, but I still do it 😊), offering a kind hello to whomever is up for it. Yes, of course there are cloudy days, and yes, my heart breaks when my daughters hurt, but we experience the pains, the setbacks, we let go of the need to control our outcomes, wipe off our tears, and let it flow through us, we move on, and accept these experience as necessary for growth. Like an old friend we bid it farewell, thank it for the experience and move on. I teach my girls there is no need to resist, no need to judge, no need to hold onto what no longer serves us. With joy at our core, we conquer all obstacles and untap the reservoir to our unlimited potential!

“Where there is Love, there is Joy.”–Mother Teresa

The season is here to be joyous! What is it about Christmas that offers hope transforming our attitudes instantly if only for a little while. It is silent, it is Spirit; we do not see it, but we certainly feel the magic of Christmas and its beautiful form no matter where we are in the world. We choose to believe in the magic of Christmas that comes around once a year offering hope, cheer and joy, simply to make us feel good if only for one day or two (for a season). It is that tenderness and warmth, courage, love cheer and hope that I wish for you; a warmth only achievable when you commit to joy, not for one season but for always. Pure joy is looking through the eyes of a child at Christmas time, with all the wonderment, excitement and innocence. My beautiful souls I am here to tell you that you have the ability to bask in that magical innocence, when you choose joy, it lives inside you, always. 2020 has been a whirlwind of emotions, and hopefully for most of us; not about alot of losses, but certainly a time for reflection. For those of you having suffered significant losses, my heart goes out to you and I extend the warmest of hugs and my deepest sympathies. But Christmas is a time to be joyous that is every child’s number one rule (or at least it should be), so hug your loved ones and be merry regardless of your surroundings. Like a toddler, run around and feel all emotions at once, wipe off your tears, feel your hurts, your pains, then laugh it out, after-all we are spiritual beings having human experiences, it is inevitable, so if you need to cry…cry, but also be joyous! Hopefully some happiness will seep in your life somehow…and it will. That is the beauty of joy, it shares the space with all emotions, so if you need to be angry…be angry, grief, be sad, but remember to be true to your core and that is to feel Joy always, be Love always. Joy reveals what we need, what we feel, what we want. When we choose to commit to joy based on love and good intentions, the Universe has a way of rearranging itself so that everything will work out fine.

You are a beautiful work in progress. You have everything you need to cultivate an extraordinary life; a life you so, deserve, so let’s focus and start building those foundations. Let’s recap what we need to start allowing Joy in our lives:

  • 1) Decide to feel Joy always. Once you commit, happiness will soon follow. Feel it! And just like that fear is gone!
  • 2) Get out of your head. Eliminate unnecessary worry. Let go of the little things. Rejection is God’s protection!
  • 3) Be present. Only this moment counts. How do you wish to feel now? Let the actions you take today ripple into your future. Create that dream, that desire, now. Own it as if you already have it and it will appear in your material world as if by magic!
  • 4) Be in constant state of allowing. You get to start again. Forgive always, let go, and move on. Closing your heart is not the answer, you have the power to heal all wounds, all illness let go of what no longer serves you, learn from it and bless it out of your life. You may not understand how a certain situation will benefit you at this moment but have faith and trust—all will be well!

Life is gorgeous, learn to embrace it, live it, allow it to flow through you with a sense of urgency—feel that love. A quiet mind, a heart fulfilled—it does not get better than this, be in peaceful harmony with Spirit, your Higher Self. Do not look to the outer world to provide certainty, allow yourself to be free from the shackles of your goals, your lists, your expectations. Be the observer, follow your heart, feel the joy of love here and now—you deserve it!

Remember to offer love to everyone, and for this Christmas be extra kind to all those you meet. Offer much love to your families everyone is extra hurting this year, give love and more love always including your loyal and faithful pets!

Until our next visit together, stay kind and true to yourself.

Let the magical wonders of Christmas fill your hearts with excitement and joy, always remembering to share it with your loved ones and everyone around you!

To the powerful you,

Ana Spano

The more you clean up your inner world, the more beautiful your outer world will be.

” In order to see the light, we must first experience the darkness.” — C. G. Jung

To savor success you must first taste failure, to understand and appreciate the value of love, you must expose yourself to rejection and pain. By expanding our consciousness, we open ourselves to a better understanding of the teaching tool our experiences hold for us, by allowing the flow of life and accepting that things need to happen in order to learn, we are in a better position to become more appreciative for the life that is unfolding—we are better open to a life of harmony.

Hello beautiful souls! I wish you many bright days and if you are currently experiencing darkness, I pray that it will be short lived, for it is in moments of profound darkness that our souls find the light once more. When we mourn our losses, it is when we struggle to find peace once again, we become vulnerable, uncomfortable, at times powerless. The pain might be so unbearable, making us feel immense fear; our mood darkened—life becomes a struggle. But why must it be so? Why struggle, why not allow? Why not accept the flow of life, trust, know that this too shall pass; learn the lesson and move on—this is a one way to view life. To succeed at achieving a state of gratitude and appreciation (for all that life holds for us) we must be open to experiencing by first comparing and fully understanding the opposing side (we cannot have one without the other).

To live in this conscious awareness and understanding that we live in ‘duality’; we accept a deeper understanding of life and its balance interaction of opposite and competing forces. When we live in duality, we learn to experience opposing sides by comparing the opposing counterpart—giving that (opposing) experience value.  Examples of duality that come to mind are peace and war, love and hate, companionship and solitude. The concept of duality can prove to be quite instrumental in answering scientific questions and even prove to be inspirational in the concept of mythology and religion:

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”—Lao Tzu

When you are living the darkness, it is difficult sometimes impossible even, to see even a flicker of light at the end of the long treacherous tunnel—but it is there. Just as you are assured that after daylight there is nightfall (depending on where you live), you must know that light always follows darkness—it does not matter whether you are religious or not—it has been engrained in you that this is the case. So why resist? Why not embrace the flow—difficulties and all! Contradictions, truths, non-truths all are relational, everything has its purpose—together an expression of each other. These experiences or perception of experiences determine how we show up in the world.

As the winter months near, I think about running into my warm beautifully lit home with fireplace running, grabbing my blanket and hot cocoa—love this, feeling of warmth and coziness! I recognize that I wouldn’t be able to grasp the concept of ‘warmth’ and appreciate it as much as I do, until I have experienced the cold treacherous weather (remembering waiting for the bus during -20°C), walking in damp socks after stepping in slushy snow—not fun☹. When we manage to travel to sunny destinations for a week or two, we certainly appreciate the beautiful warm Caribbean weather, the ocean breeze, don’t we? I think all of us wish we could fly off anywhere that is near the sea right now after living this world-wide lock-down, to experience that luscious freedom of running across the sand, taking in the sea breeze, taking in the sun (a symbol of light dispelling darkness), that will once again restore my calmness, making me feel relaxed and renewed. For the folks living near the sea, think of us living up north having no access to beaches—please appreciate your natural environment that much more. Right now, I am enjoying my hot cocoa as it is currently 8°C here in Toronto. So, yes, we understand that we first must live uncomfortable scenarios, experience a form of darkness to understand and appreciate the light that much more, that we know will soon come to pass and what a beautiful sweet spot to be in.

I am extremely grateful for all my experiences in life, I embrace them all! Having experienced times of turmoil, violence, chaos early on in my life, that season of darkness, taught me to appreciate the peace and love that much more, that is very much a part of my life now. I embrace it wholeheartedly and it gives me great comfort knowing that I could not understand the extent of such peace and love, were it not for that period of darkness—and for this I am grateful. I forgive myself for having allowed such darkness, I forgive my teachers that took part in it—I am grateful for my lessons.

We need to embrace the opposite in order to achieve wholeness—a life of harmony. We can only continue our personal growth when we open ourselves to many more painful and uncomfortable moments. Be mindful of what you are putting out into the universe when designing your map to what you perceive success should be. If we are the architects of our own lives and we know that our experiences shape us, then why choose to see life from a negative lens? What type of foundation are you building for yourself? Are you choosing to draw these perceptions from ego; what your mind has been fed by society, or will choose to view your circumstance and live your experiences by following your heart—living from wholeness rather than from lack. This is what our seasons of darkness teach us. Choose to see the light in everything, choose to move on and walk into the beautiful life that awaits you, now that you are wiser, but choose and hold yourself accountable for those choices. To choose or not choose are also opposing examples, however not making a choice in life, is also ‘choosing’ not to choose (huh?). I think my point here is: don’t let life happen to you, make a decision and move with the flow—it will certainly move you in the direction you need to go in order to achieve greater success!

For approximately thirty years, I was humbled with the opportunity to represent some beautiful souls that for whatever reason in their lives had to go through a period of darkness, some recovered fully, took their season of darkness as a period of reflection, took the lesson(s) learned and moved on. Some however remain on the repeat soundtrack: ”Why Me?” It is their inability to forgive these moments and feelings of anger, that kept them reliving these painful experiences, taking them deeper and deeper into darkness. They do no realize that they are allowing this pain, this lack, to take hold of them. They do not see that their suffering spills over to their loved ones who are trying their best to keep it together for them—do not do this to yourself and your loved ones. Do not allow this period of darkness take you down, instead reflect.

I will give you an example of one such case of success. I had just started with this law firm, and I was thrown to a workload of 600 cases—as you can imagine I felt overwhelmed and I could not breathe as I drove home that evening after my first day. I cried in my car thinking I made the biggest mistake, but after that good cry, I held my head up, I prayed (as I often do), I felt a calmness and was ready for what the day brought me. My mornings were busy with never ending phone calls of poor souls seeking guidance, seeking answers and solutions to their cases that had been neglected for some time (seeing that there was a recent shift in management). I tackled each case, one a time, making no promises just applying what I know. With great confidence, I organized a team and began as my very own version of ‘Dear Abby’, (yup that’s how young I am! Yikes!) to resolve and provide answers to these poor souls, one heartbeat at a time. This led me to a gentleman (in fact he was my very first call and case on the job) who called quite frantic, seeking resolution to his case immediately (by then it was already 6yrs old and no resolution in sight). I later discovered that he did not just have one case but five cases pending—for which I was instrumental in seeing through the successful resolution of all his cases and gave him that much needed closure in his personal life. The success of this story was not so much that his cases resolved, with great monetary value, but that along the way this client; (let’s call him Mr. X for the sake of this blog), began to see the value of the lesson learned. As this client had a few cases pending, naturally it would take a few years to see the resolution of all cases and during that time, we had plenty of opportunity to talk. I am quite open with my clients and encourage them to be open about how they are feeling not just physically, but emotionally as well. I become an active participant, as they welcome me on their journey, I ensure to hold their hand every step of the way, along with the help of a magnificent rehabilitation team, to ensure that not only their rehabilitation goals are met, but also their goals at becoming a better version of themselves. As their representative I have access to their medical file, I become quite familiar with their health patterns and come to an understanding of the events leading to their misfortunate accidents, an understanding stemming from a spiritual perspective. Two cars colliding or a pedestrian crossing and getting seriously injured—that’s obvious; no, my thinking goes beyond my physical lens.

My conversation with Mr. X led to what was going in his life, right before the accident. I cannot tell you how many times clients start to realize and question, how they fell into the lie that their lives were wonderful, they were making money, their life at home was good, blah, blah, blah. But was it? No, I ask my clients to dig deep. Cases aside; if you are going through a period of darkness, and if in fact you and your family were living your ‘best lives’, then you might conclude that your talents must have been called to action and you must figure out what you are called to do in order to realize your true potential (your life’s purpose), in this life time.

For Mr. X, his revelation was so profound, by examining every aspect of his life, he concluded that the first accident (that caused several fractures including his vertebrae and several internal injuries) which was the most severe, and was a near death experience, leaving him with a multitude of impairments; in fact, saved his life. Prior to his first accident, Mr. X, was quite successful, was making more than a decent salary, his job called for him to be on the road often, but he thought he was content and living the life—this however,  was not reflected on his medical file, mind you. He was obese, had an enormous amount of health issues and he was refusing to see the many lacks in his personal family life due to traveling. As I began working with him and we began having our conversations, and as he learned to ‘keep his cool’ when things did not get done as quickly as he hoped, he started allowing more peace in his life. As his legal cases began to come to a resolution one-at-a-time, he learned to relax. He came to terms that the life he had before was not for him, an in fact he was on his way to no good with all his underlying health issues. As I put together a rehabilitation team to work with him on his physical injuries, I also made sure he had access to some wonderful practitioners qualified to address all his emotional and psychological needs. He grew quite fond of the care he received from his team (including my care and advice) and chose to only look at the positives going for him and that goodness he was experiencing; despite his near-death experience. He no longer dwelled on what was, focused on himself and on getting stronger physically, understanding that this season of darkness while only momentarily, ‘too shall pass’, I began to notice a shift in his mindset, in his mood, on his outlook. He learned to trust. He embraced the lesson it brought him, learning to love himself again. He repaired his relationship with his son (that was non-existent before his accident due to spending it entirely on the road and in hotels), he worked on self-love, and began to open himself up to opportunities once more. When he began the healing process, he began to shed all those unnecessary pounds and the last time I spoke to him he had lost half his weight (being close to 360lbs. prior to his accident). Whenever he called me, he was no longer frustrated, no longer yelling, (as he often did at reception) it was because of his foul mood that my entire office came to know him. When he attended my office for his last and final visit, he was unrecognizable, surely my colleagues would not have pegged him for someone that weighed 360lbs at some point, and they were certainly shocked to hear that this was the gentleman who often yelled at anyone who would lend an ear to his misery. I empathize for his pain, I showed compassion, offered him support where needed, and it was because he was open to letting go of this old pain, because he was willing to accept the flow of life, and allowed this new-found perspective that he was able to see the light once more. God bless!      

We need to learn to use the paradoxes in our lives to expand our consciousness, to learn to create our future successes. Trust the flow and learn to recognize how moments of darkness teach us appreciation and gratitude for life. There is life after loss, more happy moments, after moments of darkness, laughter after moments of sadness—take comfort in knowing that ‘it too shall pass’ and embrace your brighter and wiser self! Know that there is more to this universe, this space. Think about what you are putting out there and how that thought that action materializes in your outer world. You have everything in your power to handle what is going on in your life today, tomorrow has not yet come, so why worry about what you cannot control? Yesterday cannot return so why dwell on it? Today, is what is available to you—own it! Release your desired outcome, what you think now becomes your reality, let go of fear, let got of ego—stay present. Feel your desirable outcome, visualize with full intention what that prosperous outcome looks like, despite the temporary outer conditions (this is to practice non-duality). You have one life, live it!

Now, my dear readers, to experience ultimate joy, contentment, peace always, you must open your mind to a mind of ‘non-duality’ to simply feeling; the ability to live with what is happening within your day without separating yourself from it (That is a double huh?). Be sure to keep a look out for this very informative segment on non-duality in future posts. But for now my sweet souls, simply understanding ‘duality’ is a good starting point to finding your purpose, to help you reach a level of awareness that offers you the ability to be alive in this moment; to take on all experiences as teaching tools for brighter tomorrows.

Remember to offer love to everyone, be kind always including your loyal and faithful pets!

Until our next visit together, stay kind and true to yourself.

To the powerful you,

Ana Spano

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