So some of you may have read on my Facebook page a week ago that I had a real scary experience at my grandparents house which resulted with me fracturing my ankle.
P.S. If you’d like to continue reading this post on my blog, click HERE.
What happened was this:
My Pop Pop accidentally left his ignition running in his car, one night when we came home from dinner. You see he has one of those keyless cars that is virtually silent, and probable due to the heavy winds and rain that night, none of us noticed that the engine was still running.
Needless to say, the carbon monoxide needed a place to go, so up it seeped into the room that I was sleeping in. I smelled something that I thought might be gas before I went to bed, but I wasn’t completely sure. I sniffed all over the room and came to the conclusion that the radiator wasn’t working right and I somehow convinced myself that it would magically correct itself.
So I cracked the window to entertain the thought in my head that said, if it is gas, I might die in my sleep. The other two options that I came up with at the time were, to move into the middle bedroom or to wake up my Pop Pop. It turns out that had I chosen option number three and awakened my Pop Pop, he probably would have called 911, therefore saving me from what was fated to occur.
Having chosen to stay in my bed and not take action on my suspicions, I proceeded to breathe in the carbon monoxide from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. at which point, I was miraculously awakened by an inner voice which said, go to the bathroom.
As I walked out of the bedroom, in somewhat of a stupor, I began to turn the corner in the hall at which point I became completely disoriented, and before I knew what was going on, I collapsed and fell to the ground.
Although I seemed to have lost all control of my body, my sense of hearing was very much in tact and I heard my bone in my ankle break as I collapsed into myself.
I remember sitting there for a moment in shock over what had just occurred and still unable to move when I saw my Pop Pop hovering above me with a look of concern in his eyes.
He asked me what happened and commented on the smell and I told him that I thought there was gas coming from the radiator and that I thought I had broken my ankle. He got up and called 911 and helped me to get up off of the floor and into the bathroom.
Once the paramedics arrived, they quickly shooed my grandparents out of the house and into the ambulance, and somehow got me on a stretcher and down the stairs at which point one of the paramedics told me about my Pop Pop’s car being left on and that I had been breathing in carbon monoxide all night.
The end of the story is that we all three spent the next seven hours in the hospital breathing in some top grade oxygen and cleansing our bodies of the carbon monoxide. Several painful X-rays confirmed that my ankle bone was fractured and eventually we were all discharged, good as new, except for my ankle which now donned a big black boot that reached up to my knee.
As my 95-year-old Pop Pop wheeled me out of the hospital that day, I thanked him for hearing me and saving my life. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Well, you’re welcome, but I almost killed you first.” We both laughed with relief.
Later that day, as I reflected on my experience and realized how fortunate I was to have woken up at all, and what might have occurred had I not, I began to bawl like a baby.
Had it not been for my ill fate, my grandparents and I might not be alive!
I am so grateful to be alive, so grateful that my Pop Pop heard me fall and so grateful that my grandparents are alive!!!
I’m still processing the whole thing myself. I’ve had several nightmares and can still hear my ankle breaking in my thoughts.
I began the week thinking I was going to be a burden on everyone and have slowly been accepting my current reality and practicing receiving all of the love, help and attention being given to me from my family.
Yes it’s true that many of my plans are now on hold, and yet I feel I’m being given an opportunity right now to rest, heal and use this time to write and create.
I’m receiving new awarenesses and learnings all of the time and will probably write another post or two down the road once I’ve gathered all of my thoughts.
It feels important to me that I emphasize the amazing wisdom that resides within each and every one of us, a.k.a, our intuition. Mine literally saved my life. I intend to check in with my intuition/inner guide more often in 2013.
Thank you for reading and I welcome your thoughts and comments!
In America today we celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday.
And as we prepare to stuff our faces with a huge (turkey, or whatever your bird, or faux bird of choice is), feast this evening, I wanted to take a few moments to express my sincere Love and Gratitude to YOU for reading and for being here, and to let you know once again how much I appreciate YOU!
By the way, if you prefer to continue reading this post on the blog, click HERE.
As I was writing my list this morning of 10 things that I am grateful for and 10 things I want to attract into my life, yes, I’m talking about the 10-10, I was suddenly filled with such an amazingly strong feeling of love and gratitude that it gave me pause.
I then remembered these facts and stats that I had recently read in an article by Anup Shah:
1 – If you have a roof over your head, food on your table, and clothes on your back, you have it better than 75% of the planet.
2 – 50% of all human beings live on less than $2 a day.
And that quickly, all of my so called ‘problems’ and ‘ailments’ seemed to dissipate and then disappear.
In other interesting Love and Gratitude news:
Dr. Masaru Emoto describes in his book, The Messages From Water, the ability of water to absorb, hold, and even retransmit human feelings and emotions. He showed in his research that the amazingly powerful combination of the English words Love and Gratitude, when exposed to water crystals, can actually impact and alter the entire crystal structure.
Dr. Emoto goes on to say that by consciously expressing our Love and Gratitude that we have the ability to heal our planet and ourselves.
So this being true, consider for a moment:
That the human body is approximately 75% water, and just looking at these water crystal photos in which one was exposed to the words; “Love and Gratitude,” and the other to the words, “You Make Me Sick,” there’s really only one question that I need to ask…
Which words do YOU choose to expose to yourself and your loved ones today? I know my answer to that question. 😉
Moral: The messages you send to yourself and others DO IMPACT the STRUCTURE of who you are and who they are. Think good thoughts and send good words and messages of Love and Gratitude out to others and YOU will MOLECULARLY CHANGE!
Oh and also, be grateful for all that you have today on this American day of Thanks Giving! 🙂
With Love and Gratitude!
Published November 22nd, 2012 & filed under: Uncategorized Comments Off on The Power of Love & Gratitude
There will be billions of dollars of damage to repair in states like New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, Washington D.C., Rhode Island and several others, including many deaths, millions of people without heat and electricity possibly for days, halted transportation and so much more. The damages truly are inconceivable.
Yet, in my little world all is well and I feel so blessed and grateful!
I’m with my 94 and 90 year old grandparents in their home in Philadelphia. We weathered out the storm yesterday by listening to classical music, reading the newspapers, watching You Tube videos and Skyping with family in Israel. By 10pm it seemed as if our house and electricity would be spared, until we weren’t and our lights went out.
My biggest concern about the electricity going out wasn’t the phones or television not working or the food spoiling, it was the cold. My grandparents live in a large, old house that isn’t heated much to begin with, due to my mom mom’s internal temperature which is always hot, my poor pop pop walks around the house with a wool turtleneck and thick sweater on every day, even in the summer. 🙂
Now, my pop pop, Sam, is the most positive person that I know. He kept saying things like, oh we’re going to be just fine, the storm’s going to change course, it’s not going to hit us, don’t worry, all is well, keep the faith. His calm and jovial demeanor and way of being helped keep me grounded, and sane.
So when the electricity went out around 11pm last night, my sanity and calm quickly flew out the window and my mind went into fix it and planning mode. So much so that my sleep was off and I awoke feeling tired and anxious.
My pop awoke, however, as positive and well rested as always. He pulled out the small wall light that he bought at Bed Bath and Beyond, brought it downstairs, stuck it to the wall, checked the driveway for the newspaper and sat down to eat his breakfast cereal and fruit.
Meanwhile, I’m cautiously and quickly calling and texting all of our relatives and planning where we will sleep that night. I was worried the entire morning that my cell phone would run out of batteries and that we would all freeze to death in this house. My fear was elevated and my anxiety heightened by predictions that the electricity could be out for days.
Then, while sitting in the dark at the kitchen table, all plans prepared for our evening sleepover at my cousin’s house, the lights came back on! All that worrying for naught!
The above is the back story to the real message which is this: The present moment is all that there ever is.
Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.”
I think I’m finally beginning to get it! I am always safe in the NOW, and it was only my mind and fearful thoughts that brought on my dis-ease and dis-comfort. The other beautiful part is this, I always have a choice to be present in love or fearfully caught in the past or future.
So I do have some power after all! 😉
My pop, who always lives in the moment, is the most easy going, happy and peaceful man that I know. His trust and faith never wavers. He never worries about the future or frets about the past. His presence is, in my experience and opinion, the secret to a long, healthy and happy life!
I realize,again, that the message I’m meant to receive from this experience is that beingpresent is truly a gift! A gift for my body, my mind and my spirit. Accepting all events as they are, remembering that I have zero control over circumstances, only over how I respond, and when I respond from a place of presence I am always making the most unconditionally loving choice for myself and for all those around me.
I choose to practice BEING PRESENT today! And when I find myself entertaining, believing or attaching to a fearful thought, I intend to take a deep conscious breath and bring myself back to the present moment.
I’m sending prayers, blessings and healing energy out to all of those who were and are being impacted by Super Storm Sandy!
Please feel free to comment below this post or contact me and let me know how I can best support you!
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God’s gift, that’s why we call it the present.” – Joan Rivers
Published October 30th, 2012 & filed under: Uncategorized Comments Off on The Gift of Presence
The past couple of week’s I’ve been focusing the Daily Inspiration and Affirmations on De-cluttering as well as on the concept of SURRENDERING.
The intention of today’s post, is for me, still part of this process of ‘Letting Go’, ‘Surrendering’ if you will, so I hope you’ll indulge me as I continue to purge and release the old and stale parts of myself.
Thank you in advance for your kind support!
P.S. If you prefer to continue reading this post on my blog, click here.
P.S.S. If you’re interested in learning more about this cleanse, contact me and I’d be more than happy to send you the instructions!
Last week I completed a five day raw fruit and vegetable cleanse.
I like to do this particular cleanse, given to me by my past business coach Rich German, at the beginning of each season with the intention of cleaning out my physical body as well as my emotional, mental and spiritual bodies, and creating space for whatever new wants to emerge and manifest in my life.
The first couple of days went by without a hitch. I woke up early, did my morning practices and meditation, went for a hike and/or worked out at the gym, came home and made my delicious fruit smoothie, grabbed a handful of raw almonds, and began my work day.
By day three, however, I was physically being challenged and made aware of all the toxins that I’d been holding onto in my body as my head began to pound and my back and neck became stiff and achy. I knew that there was no getting around the pain of actually releasing and letting go of all of the gunk that my body had been storing for the past three + months.
And as my body naturally began to cleanse and purify, I noticed that my thoughts and feelings weren’t far behind.
I began to experience a lot of doubt and fear and started to question myself about everything. What am I doing? Where am I going? Why am I doing this cleanse?
And at the same time, day three of the cleanse, a very difficult challenge arose in my business, literally out of the blue, it stunned me, stopped me in my tracks and made me want to give up everything that I’d worked so hard to achieve and just quit.
Eckhart Tolle said, “Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”
I just happened to read this quote when all this stuff was going down, and for some reason, I was present enough to take pause and ask myself and the Universe these questions, “What am I supposed to learn from this?” “How can I see this as an opportunity?” What is the most loving choice that I can make for myself right now?”
And then it happened.
(WARNING: Woo Woo ALERT Below!!!)
I threw up my hands, dropped to my knees, and SURRENDERED.
There I was, in my home office, crying, ready to quit, feeling low, out of sorts, body aching, questioning my worth, my values, my life, (I know, pretty dramatic huh, but it felt so real at the time), and I literally fell to my knees.
And this is what I did next.
I then visualized a ball of all of this negativity, doubt and fear, and I continued to form it and pack it in as tightly as I could and then I physically went through the motion of throwing this ball, overhand, with all of my might, into the imagined incinerator that I created in my mind and I watched it go up in flames.
Woo, what relief I felt after that! There’s just something about fire that symbolizes purification to me. I felt like a huge burden had been removed from my shoulders. I felt lighter. I felt free.
Now, please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that all of the answer suddenly appeared after that. What I am saying is that I was able to successfully get out of my own way for a moment, to relinquish control (which I never really ever had), to lay the groundwork, clear the space and open my heart for, as Eckhart Tolle said, something new to emerge.
The next two days were pretty uneventful. I finished my cleanse feeling strong, energized and healthy.
Part two of the De-cluttering and cleansing came during the weekend when I tackled my closets and let go of many items that I had kept around for years and were taking up precious real estate in my closet; some of which I had never even worn once. Wow, what an amazing experience that was!
Perhaps I’ll share that story in my next post. 🙂
But for now, this feels like a good place to stop.
Here’s a quick list of my takeaways from this cleanse:
Pain is part of the process.
Expect the unexpected.
Complete surrender is an act of humility.
I have all of my own answers.
I am loved and supported.
I hope you found this helpful, I know I did! 😉
Thank you again for reading this and for being here!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or experiences with cleansing, de-cluttering, and surrendering. Post your comments below, or if you prefer, head on over to my Facebook page and we can talk there!
Published October 17th, 2012 & filed under: Uncategorized Comments Off on The Freedom of Letting Go
A few days ago I sent out a blog post entitled, Acknowledging Your Inner Critics, in which I exposed some of my own personal inner dialogue and shared one of the processes I practice to release and transform them.
In today’s post, my intention is to help you gain further understanding about the evolution of your inner critics and to offer some tangible tools to learn how to release them.
P.S. If you prefer to continue reading this post on my blog, click here.
Where do these critical voices come from?
Short answer: Your ego.
Longer answer: We are all products of our conditioning. Our family environment, teachers, and other important people who have played a big part in raising us and in our early lives.
Each and every one of us has, at one time or another in our childhood, (more likely many times), experienced being reprimanded, punished, abused (either verbally, physically or sexually), made fun of, criticized, rejected, broken hearted, beat up, judged, or a number of other events, (fill in the blank for you), that we have labeled and embodied as either negative or traumatic.
It is as a result of these events that our ego comes to the rescue and develops these voices as defense mechanisms.
Their intention is to protect us and to keep us from being re-traumatized. They will do anything and everything in their power to make us feel safe, loved and protected.
And they actually do a great job, for a short time anyway. Until we begin to grow up, change, mature and survive the events for which the voices were created, and we no longer need them.
Only they don’t know that.
They were created to fulfill a job that we invented for them, so they don’t know how to do anything other than what they do, i.e., bully, criticize, perfect, doubt, fear, shame, judge, etc.
Are you starting to get the picture?
Let me illustrate an example for you from my own life.
First I’d like to extend a Big welcome to all the new subscribers in the past couple of weeks! I hope you enjoy this post as well as the Daily Inspiration & Affirmations! I really enjoy bringing them to you!
For the past several weeks I’ve been sharing with you quotes & affirmations on themes about inner peace, acceptance, trust, faith, patience & happiness, and it’s been a really empowering experience and process for me!
Expressing some of the inspiring words and affirmations that I so highly regard in my own life encapsulates all of the above qualities and has been heightening my self-awareness as well as my personal spiritual practices. So for that, I’m really grateful and would like to thank you for your support!
I’m so humbled to have a place like the Next Step Recovery Coaching newsletter and blog where I can continue to express myself, grow, transform and face my own fears and challenges; while at the same time work through them and maybe even offer some insights along the way.
So from this place, I would like to share with you the process that I’m using to work through my latest challenge, which is manifesting as negative and limiting thoughts, a.k.a., The Inner Critics.
This will be my first step towards opening the conversation about recognizing the soundtrack that we play in our heads; what we’re telling ourselves, and how to begin to nurture and create new empowering thoughts. I hope it’s both thought provoking and comforting at the same time.
Please chime in and share your thoughts, insights and experience about this topic on the Blog. I’d love to explore and expand this conversation together!
So who are these critical characters anyway?
Recently, as my business has begun to grow and blossom, I’m aware that some old, inner critical, and fearful voices have arisen, and are loudly stating their presence inside of my head. The characters are: The Bully, The Doubter and The Perfectionist.
These voices aren’t new, and even with ALL of the inspiration and affirmations that I write and read, and ALL of the meditation, breathing, energy and yoga that I practice, I admit that I have once again given these critical characters much more power than they deserve!
So for the purpose of length and time, I intend to focus today’s blog on only one of the above characters, namely, The Bully, and the process will go like this:
1. Recognize and acknowledge the bully.
2. Learn more about her.
3. Accept and affirm her.
4. Assign her a new job.
5. Create a new empowering message.
I’ve done a lot of work in this area on becoming aware of my own inner dialogue. I’ve also come to understand that these inner critics are pure energy and that they are not ME. I’ve learned that each critic or voice has been created by me, probably during my childhood, and all with the intention to protect me.
So keeping that in mind, some of the messages that I’ve been hearing from them are going something like this…”Who are you kidding, you’re not a business woman.” a.k.a. The Bully; Or this…”You’ll never make it as a coach and be financially independent, you better go back to teaching.” a.k.a. The Doubter; Or this…”You’re not good enough.” a.k.a. The Perfectionist. Read more
Before I wrote my Monday quote of the day this morning I got quiet and asked myself this, what topic is up for me? What do I want and need to be aware of, to express and to be mindful of this week? The two words that arose were, INNER PEACE.
So what is inner peace anyway?
In the quote I chose today on inner peace, Pearls Buck describes it like this…
“Inside myself is a place where I live all alone, and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up.”
I love this quote, and as I reflect on it a visual of a bubbling springs arises, housed deep in my soul, behind my eyes in the center of my head, this is where my inner peace resides.
Okay, now that my right brain’s intuitive and creative woo woo center is satisfied, I’ll get on with my response to the question above. 😉
Inner peace to me, is a feeling of connection, gratitude and presence. In other words, freedom from my thoughts, peace of mind!
Harvard trained brain scientist, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor says, we can all find inner peace any time we want to by tapping into the right hemisphere of our brain.
Dr. Taylor described in her interview last week with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday, that while she was experienceing a stroke and the left hemisphere of her brain completely shut down, she felt this feeling of immense happiness, inner peace, freedom and connection to all that is. I highly recommend watching the episode with Oprah and reading Dr. Taylor’s book, My Stroke of Insight, which you can find on the Resources page in the Carousel of recommended books. It’s an incredible recovery, rebirth and discovery memoir.
So how does one tap into their own inner peace?
By paying attention to what you’re thinking, and remembering that you are not your thoughts.
I know, that’s such a general statement, and yet, it is truly that simple. Now I didn’t say it was easy, I said it was simple, there’s a big difference between the two.
Dr. Taylor says that chemically it takes only 90 seconds for a strong emotion, like anger for example, to flush right through your body. So maybe for you, inner peace might mean experiencing relief from anger.
If so, I encourage you to try this experiment the next time you feel angry, or some other strong emotion, time yourself, and you will see that after 90 seconds, the anger or emotion will have passed. The only reason for it to continue after 90 seconds would be if you are attached to the thought and continue to give it life.
Here are a few suggestions to attaining inner peace.
1. Breathe – Focusing on three conscious breaths will bring you right back to present and quiet your mind.
2. Accept what is – Your energy goes where your attention flows, so be mindful of your thoughts and resistance. What is, is. Just let things be as they are and you’ll notice a softening take place inside of you and a clarity of mind as well as focus.
“Acceptance of others, their looks, their behaviors, their beliefs, bring you an inner peace and tranquility – instead of anger and resentment.” Unknown
3. Patience and kindness – Be patient and kind to yourself as you’re practicing being more present and peaceful in your life. You have responded for many years in one way, so give yourself permission to be perfectly imperfect. Finding inner peace is like creating a new habit, you need consistency, repetition, patience and a lot of self-love!
“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” St. Francis de Sales
I invite you to reflect upon these two questions.
Where do you focus your attention?
Are your thoughts creating the kind of life you want to live in to?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about inner peace. Leave a comment below and let’s discuss! 🙂
I write this post today with both a heavy and a light heart, if that’s at all possible.
The world lost one of it’s most beautiful young angels today, Yaneli Rios, 14 years of age.
I was given the news yesterday, by a wonderful teacher friend of mine, that Yaneli would be taken off of life support today. I don’t know the details, but I’m guessing that it was related to the menengitis that she had contracted at the age of three, resulting in frequent seizures, limited speech, partial paralysis on one side of her body and a whole slew of other medical issues that I am unaware of.
One thing that was not affected by the menengitis was her infectioussmile!
Some quick history
The year was 2004 and I was working as a first grade bilingual teacher at Cartwright Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. I was informed that I had been chosen to teach a young girl who was disabled in a wheel chair, and with her came a full time aid, lots of equipment and a stand up chair that looked eerily similar to the one used by Hannibal Lector.
In my 10 years thus far as I teacher, I had not yet had a physically disabled child in my room, and I was pretty nervous about it.
Now, prior to the day of my first face-to-face meeting with Yaneli, I had already created a huge scary story in my head, in anticipation of how all of the other kids would react to Yaneli and her equipment and how she would fit in, physically, emotionally and mentally. I couldn’t understand why I was chosen to be her teacher and honestly, I was scared to death.
My incredible discovery
It was the night of my school’s Open House. I had prepared my classroom the best I could, with the space I had. Thirty five desks all lined up into 6 rows of 6 and a huge stand up chair in the back corner row. I tried to make it look as warm and homey as possible, but in the end I threw up my hands and let it be.
Before the parents and children were scheduled to arrive I decided to go to the nurse’s office and read through Yaneli’s file so I could become more familiar with her symptoms.
It was then while glancing at her basic information, age and year of birth, that I saw her birthday, September 11, I gasped and knew right then and there that Yaneli had been sent to me for a purpose, that this was no chance happening. You see, Yaneli and I shared the same birthday, and that was all I needed to know.
Our first meeting
Shortly after returning to my room I hear the door open and I walk over to greet whoever was there. I smiled at the mother and then I looked down to see the most beautiful child with the most radiant smile I have ever seen; I kneeled, introduced myself, gave her a big hug and welcomed her to her first grade room!
Our connection was immediate and my fears were gone.
Recap of an amazing and tough year full of love & lessons
Some constants in my classroom that year:
New Aids (Or Instructional Assistants as they were titled) – Including the one who stole my purse and my identity while I was in the library with my students. That’s another story all together.
Raised voices and not just mine – What can I say, they were 5 & 6 years old, and there were a lot of them!
Stories – Including one that I wrote, inspired by Yaneli called, Nelly’s Second Chance. A story about believing in yourself.
Throughout all of this constant craziness, the most memorable constant for me was Yaneli’s incredible resilience and her SMILE.
The following years
I never had another year quite as impactful as that year with Yaneli.
I would see her less and less as the years went by, walking my entire class out of the way when I saw her in the hall to give her a hug. And I always made it a point to give her a birthday card and a tootsie pop on September 11th.
Even when I left Cartwright to pursue my coaching practice I would either visit the school or ask my friend Kathy to give Yaneli a birthday hug for me.
Today, 8/8/12, as kids all around the valley are attending their first day of school, my heart and blessings go out to Yaneli and her very devoted and loving mother.
I believe that Yaneli’s purpose on this planet was to spread love with her smile. Now I believe she is being cared for and loved, and spreading her love in another dimension.
What I’d also like to believe, and what brings me a lot of comfort, is that Yaneli will now be able to walk, run, skip, jump and play with a perfect body!
Her earth life was cut short and I will really miss her smile. Yet her Spirit and smile will never fade as I carry them both with me in my heart.
Hello! My name is Joy Rigberg and I’m so excited to welcome you to my Next Step Recovery Coaching blog!
I absolutely love my new website and am sending lots of love and gratitude to my amazing website designer, Tzaddi Gordon, of Thrivewire, for her patience, kindness and understanding during this website birthing process! And what a process it’s been! Thank you Tzaddi! 🙂
I intend to use this blog to offer and share my hopes, dreams, obstacles, challenges, fears, failures, successes, etc. along with some extraordinary tools, affirmations + videos. I’m bringing 16+ years of experience as an educator + coach to the table — and I can’t wait to share my insights with you.
I would love for this place to be seen as an interactive forum, and safe place; where you can comment, question and even suggest new topics for discussion.
I am totally devoted to helping you end the cycle of relapse & discover your True Self — the strongest, calmest, and most empowered version of YOU.
So please, don’t be shy. Let me know what you’re needing for your recovery, right now, and I’ll do my best to provide some guidance and for sure some love and support!