Monthly Archives: October 2016

54. The Transformative Nature Of Snow 

snowAs a native Floridian (Yes, I’m aware you may not have known we existed, but I’m living proof not all are transplants!) and spending the majority of my life growing up on the beach, I find it interesting the level of love and desire I have to be in the presence of snow.

Living in Tennessee now, I rarely see it. Maybe once or twice a year if I’m lucky, sometimes not even that. Watching those magnificent flakes fall from the sky, dancing in the breeze and gently landing where they choose to transform whatever landscape they kiss, is just exciting to me!

Maybe it’s because the snow temporarily transforms all that is gray, blanketing everything within sight in newness and exquisite wonder. If it were just this, I would imagine I would be content to just watch from inside my warm space, as these little white wonders do their work. It’s more than that. I want to walk in it. I want to make footprints where none are yet visible. I want to build a snowman, lay on the ground and make snow angels, and of course, engage in an extraordinarily fun and rousing round of snowball fighting! I want my senses to be enveloped in it. I want to see it, feel it, taste it, and engage it in every possible way.

I find myself yearning for snow every time winter arrives and I see my friends post all their white wonderlands! I constantly hear from others that the only reason I like it is because I don’t have to live in it. They believe that surely once I’ve dealt with the pains of winter, I would change my mind. On the contrary, I lived in Michigan for a little while and no matter how much it snowed, I never had my fill! EVER!

There’s something poetic about snow! I know not everyone shares my enthusiasm, but I strive to find what’s lovely in every moment of this life! Snow, to me, is just simply something that can turn the average into the extraordinary. It’s a reminder, that no matter how tattered, worn, dingy, and often even desolate something might be, snow has the ability to turn that into magnificence, with little to no effort on its own, just by being present!

I suppose if you really think about it, that’s the role we play in this life as well. We too are transformers, just as those beautiful little flakes. The love we are called to radiate blankets our environments in beauty, changing perspective, and completely transmuting what might have earlier been labeled as an unpleasant or even hostile environment! It’s amazing what a blanket can cover, whether that be snow or love!

So next time you see those little white flakes drifting to the ground, remember it’s more than mere precipitation! It’s symbolic of the potential of love, sent to cover a multitude of ills, reminding us that incredible beauty can be seen in anything, when it has been gently kissed by a majestic and quite transfiguring layer of love!

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

53. The Wind Of Change

winds-of-changeThere is a strong breeze blowing
No doubt the wind of change
A stirring deep within my soul
My heart it feels so strange
For deep inside me brewing
Breaking forth from walls and fear
A desire such I’ve never known
A passion I hold dear
Stepping into authenticity
Shedding all that is untrue
Releasing all pretenses
Letting go of points of view
That have kept me as a prisoner
In this darkened cell of mine
As I step now beyond these walls
I know this is my time
To begin a brand new chapter
And with fear behind me now
I walk with trust and confidence
Even though not knowing how
All the pieces fit together
I yet trust there is a plan
And if by chance fear should arise
I know you’ll take my hand
And continue walking with me
As together come what may
There is nothing that we cannot do
No force within our way
That a bond like this can’t conquer
So I welcome now the wind
In humility and gratitude
Steadfastly til the end

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

52. 10 Behaviors That Greatly Increase Happiness

happiness-is-a-choice1. Start Your Day With Gratitude.

Have you ever noticed that when your day starts off with something bad, that negative trajectory just seems to intensify and gain ridiculous speed? You wake up and kick the bedpost as you get out of bed, nearly breaking your big toe. As you’re hopping around in agony, you manage to step in a present your dog left for you earlier. While you’re cleaning up your mess, the phone rings and it’s the bank letting you know your account is overdrawn… and so it continues throughout the remainder of your day! Why is that?

Like attracts like. Emotions carry frequency and how we start our day plays an enormous role in how the remainder of our day will play out and what is attracted into our field. Sounds a bit woo-woo? Well, yes, I get that. I thought so too when I first encountered this theory. Yet, those that start their day with gratitude quickly find that the remainder of their day not only flows much more smoothly, but continues trending upwards in a positive path.

I challenge you to test the theory for 30 straight days and let me know what shifts for you!

2. Be Optimistic And Look For The Good In All Things.

No matter what happens in our lives, there is always something good that can be identified, even in the darkest of situations.  Those that take the time to consciously look for the good in all things and make a proactive decision to be optimistic, rather than pessimistic, will always find what they’re looking for. If we set out to only see the negative, detrimental aspects of life, that’s exactly what we will find. By focusing our attention and intention on the higher good, we not only increase our frequency and find those positive attributes, but we also draw more of the same to us in the future by doing so.

3. Detach From Outcomes.

This is a nicer way of saying let go of control! Contrary to popular belief, we have no control over our environment and the behavior of others. The only thing in life we do have control over is how we choose to think about and respond to our situations. Perception plays an enormous role in outcomes, as we often have a particular way we want to see things unfold. Fortunately for us, they don’t always happen this way! We try to manage and manipulate circumstances to insure the conclusions happen just as we anticipated.

The issue here is that we have a very finite view of the big picture and there’s a greater infinite force at work that is factoring in the entire enchilada.  When we begin to relinquish control and trust things will work out for our highest and best good, a huge energy shift occurs, and we find ourselves in a place of greatly increased peace and happiness.

You know the saying… Let go and let God! Granted, that doesn’t mean we sit on the couch and eat bon-bons either. We must take an active role in living and planning our lives. Yet, it’s important to learn to go with the flow and trust that some of the detours we experience are all a part of getting us to the outcomes that benefit us most. Those Divinely appointed outcomes often are quite different from the scenarios we have crafted in our noggins. I don’t know about you, but I’m going with the infinite plan.

4. When Afraid, Do It Anyway.

This has probably been one of my greatest challenges over the last two years. I’m recognizing with much practice, that those things we are most fearful of are nowhere near as scary once we engage them. It is more often the anticipation of an event that creates far more angst than the event itself.

I have created a challenge for myself requiring me to confront my fears and never back down when fear alone is the deciding factor. I’m carefully articulating it this way, as there are some cases where physical safety and other factors must be weighed. I’m speaking specifically to those things we should do, but choose not to because we are simply too afraid. These are the things I refuse to back away from any longer, and no matter how uncomfortable I become, I will continue walking through them to completion.

Each time we successfully face our fears, we gain a bit of self-confidence that wasn’t there before, along with some additional courage that makes it a bit easier to step out on that limb next time we find ourselves in a trepidatious situation. If fear is the only thing holding you back… Go for it! You have nothing to lose but the very thing that has been holding you back for far too long!

5. Forgo Perfectionism.

Perfectionism is quite an interesting topic. Many of us work tirelessly at reaching unrealistic goals and objectives for the wrong reasons. Anytime perfectionism is playing a role, it’s critical we look deeply at what’s driving these behaviors.

The majority of the time, there are self-esteem issues at the core and a need to prove our worthiness to both ourselves and others. When we do the necessary, deep, internal soul work required to finally identify who our authentic self really is, we begin to learn to love ourselves unconditionally, exactly as we are. When that transpires, the need to compare ourselves to others quickly dissipates.

Perfectionism creates a tremendous amount of unnecessary stress in our lives that exhausts our energy and dramatically diminishes our frequency. Learning to let go of this aspect of my life was one of the most freeing exercises I’ve ever experienced. We are all 100% individual and as different as our fingerprints, therefore what are we comparing ourselves to? Comparisons and judgments of one another are simply faulty perspectives we engage in to keep ourselves feeling a little better.

When we learn how truly amazing we are, right at this very moment, that need no longer exists, and the state of peace that creates is beyond amazing. Rather than comparing ourselves, let’s learn to simply bask in the awesomeness we already inhabit, just as we are.

6. Send Over thinking And Rumination Packing.

Over thinking and rumination are two of the most detrimental thought processes we can engage in, as they often create problems where none actually exist! False beliefs and control are at the core of these behaviors. Replaying past situations and over analyzing current positions accomplishes nothing, other than sending our stress levels into the stratosphere. It’s quite frankly an agonizing exercise in futility and self punishment that needs to be sent packing immediately, before more damage is done. Two good rules of thumb I have put into practice are as follows:

1) I do my best to limit my thoughts of the past to positive experiences. When negative thoughts arise from past situations I wish I had handled differently or were painful, I quickly dismiss them and place my focus on more beneficial thought processes such as gratitude. The past has already happened and there’s nothing we can do to change what’s already been said or done. In other words, focusing on our past perceived failures or painful experiences brings about no change or resolution, but it does significantly impact us physically, emotionally, spiritually, and energetically in seriously negative ways. It’s a conscious choice we have to make, whether to change our thoughts to a better topic, or park in self-debasing rumination. I chose to go positive.

2) I’m proactively making choices to shut down over-thinking anytime I catch myself engaging in it. Once again, it’s a control tactic and conscious protection measure that gives us a false sense of security that we can dissect and manipulate things to go in a particular direction we desire. Anytime control is at the wheel, we’re headed for problems. There is a tremendous peace in allowing things to unfold naturally, trusting that whatever happens, we’re going to be just fine. When we finally come to the place where we recognize we are not in control and our mental heavy lifting is not changing anything but our blood pressure, what follows that release is priceless.

7. Get Involved In Flow Activities.

Flow activities are those things we become so engrossed or engaged in that we lose all sense of time and ourselves. For me, flow activities include things like deep conversations, writing, fishing (Yes, I did say fishing!), energy work, gardening, and building things with my hands. These are all activities I can engage in where I suddenly look up at the clock and realize 10 hours have passed and I’ve not even eaten! Flow is characterized by the complete absence of emotion and self-consciousness. There’s a tremendous body of research showing that flow is tied to both subjective and psychological well-being. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi identified six factors of flow:

1) Intense and focused concentration on the present moment
2) Merging of action and awareness
3) A loss if reflective self-consciousness
4) A sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
5) A distortion of temporal experience
6) Experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding, also referred to asautotelic experience

8. Intentionally Smile More.

Did you know that intentionally smiling can have incredible physiological and emotional effects? The act of smiling, whether organic or intentional, releases the neurotransmitters Dopamine, Serotonin, and Endorphins, that not only relax your body and lower stress levels, but also reduce pain and can serve as an anti-depressant.

I make it a point to smile at every single person I pass and make eye contact with throughout the day. It’s for both my benefit and theirs! There was a study done that showed your orbitofrontal cortex, which is the part of your brain that processes sensory rewards, is activated when we see someone smiling. When we see a person smiling, we can actually feel rewarded! So SMILE! It makes everyone feel better!

9. Focus On Loving And Serving Others.

There’s a saying that I know first-hand to be true. We rise by lifting others. There has never been a time that helping others has not made me feel better and changed my perspective when I am in a difficult place. It’s never my purpose or goal in helping others, yet the second-hand benefits cannot be avoided.

We can never out give love, and when showering others with unconditional love, the highest frequency emotion there is, we also become the recipient of those benefits. When you find yourself in a less than preferable emotional state, make the choice to place your focus elsewhere, serving another and lightening their load.

Serving others comes in many shapes and sizes. It can be something as simple as volunteering at a soup kitchen, taking someone you know that is hurting out for coffee, buying dinner or a coat for the homeless person on the street, or sending a card of encouragement to another.

The truth is, we never truly know what’s happening below the surface of others, nor will we ever fully comprehend the depths of their pain. There are so many hurting in this often cold and calculating world we live in. Take the time and initiative to be present for another in need. I can promise you it will precipitate a perspective shift and a tremendous lift in spirit for everyone involved.

10. Live In The Present.

Throughout my years in practice, there’s one common trend I continually see. Those who struggle the most are either living in the past, anxious about the future, or both. What they are not doing is living in the present. Living in the present moment requires deliberate focus and intention.

Lao Tzu said, “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” Truer words have never been spoken. Living in the present requires us to be mindful of our thoughts, emotions, words, and behaviors, keeping them in check at all times and rerouting rogue thoughts where necessary.

One of the largest obstacles we face today is being mindful and fully present throughout our entire day. Most will remain in somewhat of an auto-pilot state, simply going through the motions of our day without much thought. Think about it. How many times have you driven to work and realized upon arrival that you don’t even remember the landmarks, stop signs, or traffic lights you encountered along the way, because you were too deeply immersed in your thoughts? When that’s happening, we are missing the beauty of life that is unfolding all around us! It’s important to recognize that the majority of the time we are engrossed in our auto-pilot thoughts, which are highly negative in nature.

It’s usually not until uncomfortable thoughts or emotions are triggered that we begin paying attention to our current state of mind and the desire to shift it. If we are to get to a place of peace and internal happiness, we absolutely have to learn to be fully present and revel in the awe, beauty, miracles, and amazement that continually surrounds us, yet we’re often too preoccupied to see.

Make it a point to stop throughout your day and ask yourself questions that will engage you in your current surroundings. What can I see that is beautiful? What can I see in others that touches my heart and soul? What needs do I see that need to be met? By simply asking ourselves questions throughout the day, we have a heightened opportunity to engage our present, and place the past and future on the back burner where they belong.

It’s really about learning to retrain yourself to stay present. Every time you catch yourself thinking about the past or future, start asking questions that will immediately pull you back into the present, then bask in the awesomeness that is right now!

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

51. Choose Your Words Wisely

wordsI was having a conversation this past week with a close friend. Both of us are in very transitional periods in our lives, with many upcoming changes and challenges confronting us. A statement was made saying, “Here’s the deal, life is just really difficult.” Although it seems like a rather truthful and benign comment, it didn’t sit well with me. I made a suggestion to consider revising that statement to “life is really challenging,” and here’s why.

I believe our words carry great weight. I also believe our thoughts, feelings, and words all have specific frequencies and vibrations that play a significant role in what manifests in our lives. In the years I have been in practice, there is one thing I have seen come to pass again and again, without exception. If someone thinks their life is going to be difficult, then it’s going to be. If someone believes, thinks, and speaks they will never be well, then they are absolutely correct, and they never will be. If an individual expects the worst, then they will most assuredly experience it. Yet very seldom do we really discuss in detail the role that our words play in bringing about our future.

One of my favorite books is “Power vs. Force,” by David R. Hawkins. In his book, he discusses in such great detail the different levels of consciousness, the world view those different levels instill within us, and the accompanying emotional mindset and verbiage that often result from the particular level of consciousness we may be viewing life through at the time. When one begins studying frequency and understanding the role it plays in every single area of our lives, the influence of language upon behavior and outcomes becomes glaringly apparent.

It was important to somehow help my friend understand the seriousness of a slight change in verbiage, as I recognized the current choice was shooting them in the foot. By speaking and truly believing life was difficult, that was insuring that the future brought about those expected results. I wanted so much better for them! The point I wanted to get across was that yes, life can be challenging at times, but those challenges present incredible opportunities for us to dig down and do the work necessary to grow and catapult us into new positive places we may never have dreamed of otherwise, had we just been content where we were. There is a huge vibrational shift between using the words difficult and challenging. One engenders toil, strife, and continual struggle, while the other presents possibilities, potential, and hope!

I can tell you that for most of my life, my words were not monitored at all. I spoke whatever popped into my head and rarely thought twice about it. I found myself back peddling often, retracting statements that were not well thought out and sometimes hurtful, speaking quite poorly of myself and others, and never really even considering what role my own mouth was playing in my current demise. Looking back, I can say with absolute certainty that I did quite a bit of damage to both myself and others in my wake.

Today, I choose my words carefully, sometimes painstakingly, as I’m well aware how incredibly powerful they are, and the role they play in bringing about my future. If I want that future to be positive, hopeful, vibrant, successful, abundant, peaceful, loving, and fun, then it’s important that I not limit those possibilities by my own tongue. I’ve made a rule for myself that before I speak, I need to closely scrutinize each word I’m about to put out there, making sure there’s not a better, more positive option that resonates at a higher frequency. When I first started doing this, I felt pretty goofy! Someone would ask me a question, and it might be a good 10 seconds before I answered. That lag time was a little uncomfortable, but nowhere near as uncomfortable as the results of my loose lips, had I just let things fly! I rarely have lag time like that these days, as with practice I’ve pretty much retrained myself to default to higher frequency thoughts, concepts, and words. That’s not saying I never make mistakes or say something stupid, but it’s a rare occasion, rather than a continual spectacle! I want my words to precipitate hope, unconditional love, encouragement, healing, abundance, and all the other amazing attributes I want to see come to fruition in both my life and the lives of others.

My challenge for us all is to take a few seconds to seriously consider our words before they escape our lips. The tongue is a strong member that literally has the power to wield life and death in its hands. Let’s make the choices necessary to use it for good, positive outcomes!

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

50. What If? A Phrase That Can Work For You, Or Against You!

what-ifThis picture espouses such a misunderstood concept! In a nutshell, all that’s being said here is that which we struggle with and fight against just grows stronger! What we resist, persists. The more energy we feed into something, the stronger it gets. Whether that’s a positive or negative situation, it’s how we perceive and respond to things that determines which way the energy and our emotions will go! I shared this with a friend recently and one of the examples I used is written below! I hope this can help you clearly see what this concept is really all about!

Let’s say you have a business partnership, and you are having major issues with the partner, that are negatively impacting the business. The finances are dismal to say the least, which only adds to an already difficult situation. You’re not seeing eye to eye on anything at the moment, communication is horrible, and tension and emotions are flaring. You feel misunderstood, hurt, and as if you’re not being heard. You’re frustrated, somewhat angry, confused, and every cell is screaming at you to get the heck out of dodge as fast as you can, cut ties with this stressful person and situation, and don’t look back.

You feel intense pressure from within to make a move and relieve all this discomfort… and fast. All you know is that you’re very unhappy and your situation with your partner seems to be what’s fueling everything, so eliminating that “source of stress” appears to be the most expedient course of action.

But wait a moment… Could it really be avoidance?

Sources of stress can be an interesting topic all on their own, as no one can really “make” us feel anything that we don’t allow. Anytime we are feeling discomfort, it’s coming from within. Granted, there may be external situations that are being used as a mirror or trigger to highlight the problem and bring it to our attention, but it’s always to redirect focus to the inward problem. It’s never about what’s going on externally. Conversely, it’s always about the unresolved internal issues that need to be brought into the light to be healed and released.

This can be a tough sell to those who are stuck in the role of external blame. The conscious mind is highly adept at projecting the core of our problems onto others, keeping us safely at a distance from having to take a hard look at our own internal messes and any subsequent disquiet that might cause. What results is people leaving jobs, ending relationships, moving to a new state, or other such behaviors to rid themselves of the “source of stress”, when in actuality, they are doing no such thing. I kind of chuckle as I make this next statement, but wherever you go… there you are! If we are the true source of all our internal issues, and we are, running away from an external situation may provide some immediate relief, as our stress may temporarily reduce. Yet, what we know is that until the underlying, core internal issue is resolved, new situations will arise in our new location to once again trigger those problems and bring them to the surface. Avoiding the discomfort doesn’t really solve anything, it simply postpones it to once again resurface at a later date.

The questions we really need to be considering are:

What if the discomfort is there to teach you something about yourself that needs to be revealed and dealt with?

What if the difficulties you are experiencing are actually you, in the process of purging areas from your life that are no longer serving you, and releasing these areas will result in a higher vibration?

What if you are not meant to leave the situation, but to experience the discomfort and release it, so you can move through this circumstance and on up to a place of greater understanding that would take your situation and your relationships to a higher level, as well as heal the breaches?

I usually tell people “what ifs” can hang us if we’re not careful, but that’s because “what ifs” are usually considered in the negative sense. What if I fail? What if I look like an idiot? What if I get hurt? These are all “what ifs” that have a significantly negative effect on our life.

On the flip side, there are some positive “what ifs” that we should be asking every day, so we don’t miss those important and life-changing lessons we have the opportunity to learn from. These can lead us into greater dimensions of life we may not have thought were possible!

Thinking about the current situation (whatever that might be) from a place of dread, worry, confrontation, blame, and escape, will surely create a negative effect. But what if we changed how we think about that situation? What if we allowed ourselves to think about it in the framework of allowance, acceptance, feeling what’s happening (even if it’s not comfy), and just letting it be without feeling like we have to “do something” about it? What if by just accepting it, allowing it, and letting it go, we would be facilitating the process of dissipating the uncomfortable feelings, that then allow us to work through the problem unobstructed, allowing healing to take place?

It’s important that I point out this is not always the correct measure of action. If you’re working with someone embezzling money and conducting illegal business practices, cut ties and get out ASAP! That’s not really what I’m trying to convey here though. I’m simply talking about the emotional responses we work ourselves into when we begin feeling disdain and dissatisfaction in our daily lives and with those we consistently interact with. We convince ourselves it’s far easier to cut and run, than to do the often unpleasant work necessary to move forward and beyond a problem.

Both examples are referring to the same situation at hand, only one is looking from a very negative and reactionary standpoint of wanting avoidance and seeking comfort in the quickest means possible. The other is looking from a very positive perspective, considering what good and positive growth could possibly be at work here. It’s learning to control the direction of your thoughts, no matter what’s happening, to reflect a potential positive outcome, rather than defaulting to the negative programming we usually go to in autopilot, that almost always creates negative, reactive behaviors!

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I know anyone who has arrived to a point where they can do this 100% of the time, but what if you could even do it 50% of the time, or even 25% of the time? Think of the changes you could experience in your life and levels of stress by just considering if there could be something positive at work amidst the chaos! (And by the way, there usually is! Hindsight typically shows us that!)

It’s OK to have a rough patch! It’s ok to experience some negative feelings about things! You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t! I don’t care who you are, everyone experiences negativity at times. The question really is, will you allow yourself to ruminate on negative emotions, feeding them with your energy and attention, which just allows them to grow larger, or will you choose to consider what else could positively come from the situation, begin asking what you might need to learn from this encounter, and go the positive route? It’s really all about perspective, and that perspective is always your choice! Choose wisely so every opportunity to grow and expand can be identified and utilized. Just remember, if you bail, you’re simply postponing your own healing and you will have to experience the discomfort in the future, when it gets brought up again! Why not nip it in the bud now?

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby