Let Your True Self Shine!

Woman in clouds...I’ve been a bit removed from social media the past few weeks and instead have been going deep inside and exploring my life and what is important to me. I attended a wonderful retreat in Florida and then took time to integrate what I learned about myself and what I want to create in my life. The big standout for me is the important reminder to be true to myself. I have always been a big believer in trusting your own instinct and being authentic to who you are in all facets of your life. And yet I realized that I was still holding back parts of me in my work. So I am bringing in more of the silly, fun-loving, colorful, angelic, goddess-side Rachel to my work.

I am continually being brave about outing myself in terms of how I view life. I’m doing it because I believe that the more I share my true self and show how happy and fulfilled I am when I let it all hang out, the more others will follow suit and show their true self. You too will be more joyful and satisfied when you don’t hold back. Although I am not religious and rarely directly discuss my spiritual perspective of life, I identify with the angelic realm because it speaks to seeing the natural and brilliant beauty in everything surrounding me: flora, fauna, trees, clouds and people. Every moment is magical when you allow yourself to feel the wonder and joy of existence. I believe that owning and taking responsibly for creating your own magical life is critical to change the world. And I believe that it is happening for so many people already and will keep spreading. As we all let our true selves shine through and share our unique and brilliant talents, we will experience personal abundance and proliferate peace.

As part of this journey to spread the word, I just re-launched my Magical Moment Mondays (#magicalmomentmondays) on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Each Monday I will post an image of something that is a magical part of life. It can be as simple as leftover pie from Thanksgiving—as I posted yesterday—or as deep and meaningful as the unconditional love from your cat or dog or other furry family member. Join along and share the photos to everyone you know to remind them how the little things in life and everything we encounter make up our magnificent existence. When we see them in the light of how amazing and truly precious all our moments are, we experience gratitude for being alive. I wish you magical moments everyday as you let your true self shine brilliantly!

xoxo Rachel

Finding Magical Moments All The Time

Finding Magical Moments All The TimeMagical moments? What is that, you ask? Some synonyms for magical are enchanted, fairy-tale, charmed, exquisite, thrilling, dreamlike, mystic and supernatural. A magical moment in time could be any one of many wonderful experiences in your life. Often they are firsts: your first big success at work, your first time down a ski slope, the first moment your mom or dad let go of your bike and you rode on your own. Throughout your life you have had many big and magical moments like graduating from college, getting your new job, getting a promotion, getting married, buying a house. Well, here’s a secret—magical moments don’t have to be limited to big-time events. Magical moments are available to you in any given moment. You can make them happen anytime you want if you take the time to savor what you are doing.

But it can be hard to savor the moment when you are busy and feeling stressed out about so many big and little things in work and life. You might miss the magical moments if you don’t slow down enough to realize how great an instant is. So how can you make each moment enchanted and charmed? How can you find the magic in the sometimes mundane? Here are four steps to bring more magical moments into your every day.

Step 1: Stop and smell the roses.
Slow down! Stop to reflect on what is going on around you. Use your senses and notice all the wonderful sights and sounds and smells that surround you. Hear that pretty bird chirping. How magical is that? Catch the light reflecting off a tall building. Wow, isn’t that magical? Yes, magical moments are there for you and you can have them anytime you want if you stop long enough to notice them and relish them. Stop whatever you are doing to give yourself a moment to take pleasure in the experience. If you love flowers, find a garden or go to a florist and figuratively and literally smell the roses. Now is the moment to find magic in life.

Step 2: Connect—with yourself.
You might wonder why you need to connect with yourself when you are with yourself every second. Actually it turns out that often we are disconnected to ourselves. We go on autopilot and ignore our thoughts and feelings and miss the magic moments. If, instead, you are present to yourself, you will find many opportunities for charmed moments. Having presence to yourself means that you are conscious and aware of how you feel—right now. And you are present to what is happening in your physical and emotional experience. You can increase the chance of being present to yourself by first getting into your personal power (see Finding and Feeling Into Your Personal Power). Use the method that uniquely works for you—through music or dance or journaling or whatever—to get reconnected to yourself. Then ask yourself, “How is this moment impacting me? What’s magical in what is happening this instant?” Suddenly you’ll notice magical moments everywhere.

Step 3: Connect—with others.
How does connecting with others encourage magical moments? Well, often we lose touch with our ability to connect with others deeply. We interact with people but we forget to appreciate them and we forget that how we behave impacts not only our experience but their experience as well. Give your full attention to whoever you are with and let them know you care. Show them your gratitude for all that they are. When we allow the wonderful feeling of gratefulness to permeate us, that is a magical experience for ourselves and for others.

Step 4: Celebrate—everything.
Hurray, you closed a big contract! Let it be enough! Don’t rush to the next “to do” item on your list. A common side effect of being a busy executive is that you don’t take the time to celebrate and acknowledge all that you have accomplished. If you are a healing perfectionist like me, you are likely someone who gets big things accomplished with barely a pause before you are off to the next big thing. So here is a trick that works like a charm to increase your magical experience. Whenever you check something off your endless “to do” list, take the time to celebrate what you just accomplished. Hurray you finished your PowerPoint presentation! Do a happy dance and tell everyone. Savor how good it feels to accomplish something important to you. Celebration is an often-overlooked method to create a magical moment. It honors the importance of the event, no matter how small. Celebrate everything you can think off.

Magical Moments Make You More Effective
In case you don’t believe that having magical moments is important, there is one BIG reason that appeals to even the most A-type person—you are so much more effective in everything you do when you are present to the wonder of the moment. You learn more from the moments, you deepen your relationships with others, you have greater impact on others, and you simply achieve more of what you want. So don’t miss the magical moments that are present to you every moment of the day. Take a new approach and instead of living in a frenzy of busyness and anxiety, practice being present to each wonderful and magical moment of life.

XOXO Rachel

Have Heart To Heart Conversations Before You Get Married

In this series of blogs, we will review some important topics to consider and discuss before you get married. Remember that you love your partner and want to understand how they feel, so be calm and caring in your words during the conversation. Set aside a good block of time when you can focus and give each other and your relationship the attention they deserve.

Click here to read Topic #1. Do you share similar attitudes about life and what makes life important?

Click here to read Topic #2. Children—to have or not to have?

Click here to read Topic # 3. Should we live together before we get married or not? (Or, are we compatible?)

Click here to read # 4. How do you manage finances?

XOXO Rachel

Create Your Own Inspiration Board

Don’t you love to read wedding magazines? Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, The Knot and regional versions like New York (Magazine) Weddings and Manhattan Bride are all wonderful for getting inspiration for your wedding. I page through bridal magazines to check out what is current to inspire my wedding celebrant work. And all kinds of magazines including home decorating ones like House Beautiful and Elle Décor, inspirational magazines like O and Yoga Journal, and food magazines like Bon Appetit and Saveur are great for finding pictures that are inspirational. Why not create an inspiration board for your wedding? You will find that looking at your idea board will make you smile and remind you everyday up to your wedding how beautiful and magical your big day will be. Here are some ideas to get you started!

♥ Pick a spot to put your board. If you have a home office, you can put your board near your desk and high enough so that you can hang items from it as needed. Or put it in your bedroom so that you wake up every day to inspiration. Find a place that suits you best so that you can look at it whenever you want.

♥ Select a board. Maybe you want to use pushpins so cork would be great. Or maybe you want to use magnets so go metal. They make boards with pretty metal overlays so that you can use both magnets and pushpins. If you are crafty you can cover a board with fabric in your wedding colors. Make the board itself part of the decorative inspiration.

♥ Get pretty magnets or pushpins. The things you use to attach your clippings can be just as fun and imaginative as the items you are inspired to put up. Go to a craft or office supply store and peruse all the assortments of colored magnets and pushpins.

♥ Pick a source for inspiration. Maybe, like me, you love magazines so make a date with your magazines to search for inspiring pics. Or maybe you have collected vintage postcards about love (I have some of those too) that would fit the bill. Perhaps you like ribbons and paper flowers—no reason you can’t put those on your board as well.

♥ Bring out the scissors! You will feel like a kid again when you start to cut up the magazines for your idea board. Be creative and cut different shapes and sizes from a page rather than taking the entire 8½ by 11 sheet. Stick with a theme—or mix and match styles and designs.

♥ Put stuff on your board. Use magnets, pins, drape things from the pins, and design your ever-changing masterpiece inspiration board. Use magazine cutouts, your invitation, program mock-ups and fabric swatches. Anything and everything that inspires you is game!

♥ Go electronic—use Pinterest! Yes, I have lots of Pinterest boards and I am all for that. There is no reason why you can’t have both a physical inspiration board and a bunch of digital ones too. Check out my Pinterest boards here.

The great thing about an inspiration board is that you can take everything down and rearrange to your hearts delight. If most of it is paper, you can even re-cut your pictures into new shapes. And don’t think that inspiration boards are just for weddings. You can create a board for anything and everything in your life. How about a vacation (or honeymoon) inspiration board? Or what about a home redecoration board? Get inspired with color and texture and design!

Do you have an inspiration board? Share a photo of your board with us below!!

XOXO Rachel

Magical Moment Mondays: Sun Reflecting On Snow

Doggie in sunglasses on a snowy dayI have a mixed relationship with snow. On the one hand, it can cause difficult driving conditions and lots of labor-intensive snow shoveling. On the other hand, I can’t deny the beauty of a white blanket of snow hugging the ground. On a sunny day, the reflecting light is truly magical. And the vibrant snow-reflected sun is so calming and warming on a cold winter day. May all your snow days be magical.

The Snow-Storm
By Ralph Waldo Emerson

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

Come see the north wind’s masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer’s lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer’s sighs; and, at the gate,
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

XOXO Rachel