• Wealth
  • The Tapestry of Your Life

    heart driven life

    I’m sitting at my two computers this morning. My new MacBook Air has an abundance of internet tabs open as I passionately develop my brand new writer’s website. The “Old Lady” (my MacBook from 2008) is turned on on my left-hand side with the documents folder open, as I peruse all the writing I’ve done since 2012. I’m collecting samples to add to my portfolio as I prep for the launch of my freelance writing business in January 2017.

    In this moment, I sit back in complete awe of all the writing I’ve done over the years. I started my first blog in 2012, in which I wrote weekly. That blog led me to be introduced to a Florida woman who started Dreams Recycled, a business re-selling wedding dresses and rings, aimed at divorced women. I started writing for her blog one year after establishing my first blog. At the same time, I started to write for an online publication called Wild Sister Magazine.

    I continued to write for Dreams Recycled and Wild Sister Magazine as I transitioned from my first blog to what is today Heart Driven Life (HDL). At the time, HDL was my coaching business with a blog on the side that I continued to produce content for. Eventually, I closed my coaching business so I could focus on finishing nursing school, and HDL took a short hiatus.

    After HDL and while I was finishing nursing school, I had the brilliant idea of creating content for nursing students. I quickly developed, promoted, and conducted a workshop for incoming nursing students.

    Today, I’ve reopened my blog and now I’m starting a freelance writing business. I never imagined I’d be starting a freelance writing business, nor did I realize how all my choices up to this point would create such brilliant fodder for a writing portfolio. In each of these moments, I simply wanted to create. I wanted to provide value to the world and feel like there was meaning to my life.

    I feverishly explored my passions to understand myself on a deeper level and share my experiences with the world. I overcame buckets of fears and doubts with each blog post published and email sent to outside publications. I wrote and wrote, always thinking that I never had anything important to say or that my writing wasn’t any good. And yet – I did it anyway.

    Why did I keep doing it? Almost as though I was continually pulled forward by some external yet invisible force.

    Since the start of this year, I have reaped reward after reward and benefit after benefit of having followed that invisible pull, even when I had no clue where the heck I was going or what it all meant.

    In January, I received a Facebook message from a cool girl located in my city, Dallas. She said she’d read my writing in one of the Wild Sister Magazines and noticed we lived in the same city. We decided to meet up. Eleven months later, we’ve hung out multiple times, explored the mysteries of life together, and are great friends. She’s truly an amazing human being that I feel blessed to call my friend.

    In April, I felt a strong pull to create a second stream of income, or so that’s what I thought I was doing. I followed the inspiration and turned my workshop content into a book sold in eBook format on Amazon.

    Today, as I put together my writer’s website and portfolio, I’m in awe of the selection of samples I have to choose from and the clear indication that I’m on the right path.

    When I started writing actively in 2012, I had no clue that it would lead me to where I am today or bring me the benefits of a new friendship. At the time, I felt like I was searching and clawing my way to some semblance of meaning and direction in my life. As each new creation eventually fell away, I grieved for the loss of a dream. With each endeavor, I felt like, “This is it! This… is… it!” And yet, it still fell away anyways… not quite right.

    Over the last two months, I have sat with myself, researched until I was blue in the face, and drew a copious amount of tarot cards to guide me to where I am now. I’m on the cusp of starting a new journey. A journey that had been growing, developing, and expanding since before I even realized I was on a journey.

    From this experience, I am blessed with the fully integrated realization that what we do in life matters, even when we don’t always know what it’s for.

    I encourage everyone everywhere to go after their heart’s desires as long as their heart desires it and then let it go and move on. You never know what each creativity pitstop will lead to down the road. And you’re not supposed to know. If you did, you’d be God. Plus, where’s the fun in that?

    Like they say – life is a tapestry. Each of our individual experiences, seemingly unrelated, eventually all come together to form the beautiful working of our lives.

  • Uncategorized
  • The Divine Feminine’s Grief

    divine feminine grief

    My relationship with the Divine Feminine continues to surface. I can feel the call to meditate on the Divine Feminine energy, to cultivate and integrate Her presence, and to express Her presence in all that I do.

    At times I am in complete awe of Her beauty. I sit back and relax into Her warm embrace, engulfed in Her sweet smell, and beaming with joy absorbed from Her presence. The Divine Feminine is vibrant, glowing, warm, and all-encompassing. She uplifts me while allowing me to spread out in every direction. My vulnerability is embraced and made safe as I unwind, expand, and open to the Universe.

    These moments are juicy, raw, and real. These moments are beautiful, touching, memorable, and exciting. These moments make my heart weep with tears of joy and elation as I think about the collective and Her full manifestation.

    And then there are moments in which my heart weeps with tears of sadness and frustration. In the last two years, I have experienced waves of deep understanding and insight into the collective’s experience of the feminine. I have touched our wounds. And our wounds have touched me.

    I can recall one experience in particular… It was a Saturday night in the middle of summer. My man and I decided to get dressed and grab a drink at a local bar/restaurant. We were short on ideas. This was the best we could come up with for our Saturday night shenanigans.

    We walk into the restaurant and straight to the bar at the back, past the dance floor and the DJ. We order a couple of beers and start to chat while casually eyeballing the venue. It was a normal night, just like any other night.

    Halfway through our beers, I’m struck by this undeniable repulsion, anger, and grief. My eyes bounce from one young girl to the next, tagging along behind their guy’s.

    I feel so overwhelmed with grief that I tell Evan I want to go sit down. We find a table in the room next door.

    At this point in my life, I wasn’t great at communicating what was going on with me, partly because I had no clue. I just knew that emotionally I no longer felt well. Unfortunately, Evan starts to think it’s about him. My lack of clarity around my emotions and his masculine presence tempts me to blame him for how I felt.

    I dwelled on these seemingly random feelings while we finished our beers. Then we decided to leave. By the time I get home I’m truly hurting. I feel pain in my chest and sadness in my belly. I throw off my clothes, put on my pajamas, and crawl into bed. I begin to weep.

    I grab a tissue and bawl into the palm of my hands. Evan comes to my side, completely clueless at what’s occurring but tenderly offering a shoulder to cry on. I weep and weep and weep. My body heaves  in undulations as emotions pour through me. I feel sadness purge from every pore. I ache. I feel heavy. I sink into my body as my mascara runs down my face and snot flows from my nose. The pain of the Divine Feminine shatters my heart into a million pieces.

    That night I cried for myself, my mother, my sister, my grandmothers, and my friends. I cried for the girls at the bar. I cried for the women persecuted as witches and burned at the stake. I cried for women oppressed in foreign countries today. I cried for each woman spoken down to in the workforce. I cried for our sexuality and it’s continued assault over the ages.

    I cried until I could not cry anymore and even then I think I could have cried a little more. My body shook with grief for my sisters worldwide. No time in my life have I ever cried like this before. No time have I cried and wept for every woman ever called a whore. No time have I cried like this before.

    And still, I grieve until this day despite my conscious knowing. A piece of me grieves for my sisters when I hear stories of inappropriate and perverted female sexuality. I grieve at the thought of man’s attempt to continue to degrade, belittle, manipulate, control, diminish, undermine, and abuse my sisters and the Divine Feminine on the whole.

    I don’t always know that grieving is still occurring until I’m triggered again by a thought or phrase. Like last night… when my man shared an experience of a young girl dressing like a woman. Inappropriate dressing for a girl of her age, but how is she to know when no one has taught her that being a woman is more than sexuality, although sexuality is deeply feminine and human. But being a woman and appropriately expressing sexuality in an honorable and sacred manner is not what we’ve been taught. What we’ve been taught is a hyper-sexualized sexuality in which women are objects to be dressed and abused, in which her intrinsic value has no meaning and her appearance is all that matters. For this – I grieve.

    I grieve for the shallow pits my sisters fall into, including myself, and the hoops we jump through to be valued by the masculine. To fit into a society that values women as objects and nothing more. This is for what I grieve. And I will continue to grieve and honor my feelings, knowing in my heart of hearts that this time is for healing.

    No matter the pain that emerges, that which surfaces is here for purging. And I will play my part in the purging of hate, so the Divine Feminine can fully integrate and make an appearance, not one of objectification and oppression, but one of strength, love, empowerment, and grace. We are here as vessels for this beautiful energy. And as She takes her place on this world stage, I know I’m not the only one who will face centuries of emotions rising to the surface to be acknowledged and healed for Her highest expression. Now is time for Her emergence, and I’m honored to grieve clean a new field of transcendence.

    What we need most more than ever, my sisters, is to be valued by each other. To acknowledge the pain within one another. And to open our hearts especially when it’s dark. We must learn to communicate who we are as the empowered embodiment of the Divine Feminine. We are no longer victims of the Divine Masculine. As we come into power, the shadow of the Divine Masculine will be balanced by the beauty of the feminine. We have experienced centuries of pain and oppression at the hand of an unconscious Divine Masculine but we are at a turning point. And I’m happy to be alive and part of it.

    I’ll continue my meditation and dance with Divine Feminine, in Her beauty and in Her grief.

  • Wealth
  • Stop the Chase, Trust the Universe, and Become Available

    I’m learning the interplay between busyness and rest. It’s amazing how when I’m deep in the midst of learning I can see myself still enacting behaviors I know aren’t in my Highest Interest.

    One day it’s easy for me to slip into ease, spaciousness, and rest. The next day I’m restlessly rummaging about my apartment and trolling the internet seeking engagement and activity.

    I’m in a deep period of trust at the moment. I’m trusting the Universe to provide for me opportunities that are for my Highest and Best Good, even if those opportunities don’t appear as I think they should.

    In my mind, I ought to be spending all this free time searching for a second job. I ought to have a second job (my monkey mind tells me). I ought to be employed at minimum four out of seven days of the week. My days off ought to be spent resting just enough to have energy to complete my chores and tasks at home, while the little energy that is left is reserved for heading back to work.

    I convince myself that I should look into job opportunities, even though time and time again the Universe provides signs that indicate that my job now is enough. What I’m doing now is enough. And still I remain unconvinced… So, I ceaselessly scour the web for ideas of how to bring in extra cash flow.

    This tug-o-war has reached critical mass, and I’m finally deciding to let go. Yes – there are plenty of ideas out there for ways in which I can generate extra income, but not one idea I’ve come up with has felt just. right. Except… one. Except one that I can’t seem to see as a viable option at this point, mainly because I’m uncertain of how it will work or how it will turn out. That one option being to turn my extra attention, energy, and focus onto developing my blog and website.

    That is the small voice and nudge I continue to hear and feel within myself. On one level, I doubt that nudge because of my history with choosing that path. I chose that path when I started nursing school and it felt… rushed… tense… tight… pushy… and wayyyy too busy. I let it go so I could focus on nursing. Now that I’m here… it’s like… calling me back to play.

    I’ve fist bumped it a few times, sent a little wink in it’s direction, maybe even blown a kiss or two… but I’ve never seriously considered re-aligning myself with a full-steam ahead mission to bring my site back to life.

    Previously, before my site got wiped and before I closed my coaching biz, I was on some sort of roll. A decent one considering I was working on my coaching biz while in nursing school. I’m proud of the effort I made. I know I can get the ball rolling again, and I’m excited to give it a go.

    My choice to focus, once again, on my site as a means for expression as well as a potential source of income excites me in all the right ways. It feels free, creative, expansive, spacious, exciting, titillating, and mind-altering! These feelings are quite contrary to those that arise when I search for a standard side-j.o.b. The side-j.o.b. seems more like a means to end. A get in and get out kinda deal, which I could do. But do I really wanna? … No.

    What I want is to feel spacious, free, excited, liberated, expansive, open, nurtured, loved, kind, compassionate, enthralled, and available. I want to spend my days off from the hospital directed by my own leadership and under the supervision of my Highest Self, rather than the management of another company or corporation. I want to direct my going’s on’s. I want to direct who I connect with, in what way, for how long, and for what price. I want to create income streams for myself that flow through my own creation (my website) and reflect that love and caring I have not only for myself but for those who receive my work.

    I know I can provide value for the world in a way that in turn provides value for me. I know I can do that. I know I can. And it’s all a matter of trust.

    I need to stop chasing instant gratification of employment via another entity and drop into the flow of the Universe, the unknown field of emotional fulfillment and viable self-directed and self-created income. I know that when I place my faith in the Universe to provide the path and the opportunities my job is simply to remain available and take inspired action.

    Today I commit to remain available, which is a big commitment considering this recent unending hunger for continued work and activity. Today I make that commitment. From this moment forward, I’m no longer actively looking for a side-j.o.b. Instead, I’ll be seduced by my creative works via my website and potential self-generated income. Today I make myself available for that possibility wholly.

    Will you join me?

  • Health
  • Your Body as the Starting Place for Connection with the Divine Feminine

    divine feminine

    I’m sitting on my balcony tuning into my body and listening to what desires to be expressed in this moment. I have my right hand on my chest bone, over my heart, and my left hand on my belly just below my belly button. I can feel the warmth circulating between the two points.

    This has been a go-to practice for me off and on throughout my personal journey. It’s my way of sinking into my body, becoming present, and loving what arises or tuning into what needs to be heard.

    It’s easy and simple to sit with your right hand over your heart, yet I feel that somethings missing when I do just that. So, I gently apply my left hand to my lower abdomen. The immediate sensation of my warm hand on my belly draws my energy full circle throughout the entirety of my body, and I instantly feel grounded.

    The body is a source of wisdom and insight that I’ve been continually tapping into over the past several years. I can remember the very first time I ever felt a deep sense of release wash over my entire body and a calm connection to my being.

    At the time, I was living in Austin, Texas. I had recently picked up yoga for the first time ever. I had found a TV channel that played various yoga series each day. I started to wake up early to do yoga. I’d find the channel guide and write down all the times and days I could catch the show.

    I think I was well into my second month of doing yoga when I first had this body-opening experience. It was the end of the series, and I laid on the ground in shavasana, which is basically like laying flat on the ground. I can remember just allowing myself to feel supported by the floor beneath me. I released.

    I felt an almost orgasmic sense of release as I relaxed into the floor. I felt tension pull from my body, leaving me in a pile of skin and bones, melted into the fibers of carpet beneath me. That was the first time I felt such a release. That experience kept me coming back for me.

    It’s this time feeling of letting go that draws me into body time and time again. The irony is that I don’t realize how much I’m missing this connection to my body until I experience that release. It’s as though the tension blinded me from my own inner knowing.

    Today it’s a conscious practice to drop into my body and tune into what’s being felt, what needs to be heard, and what yearns to be expressed. I’m not perfect at it. Yet, as time passes and with more conscious practice, I seem to get better.

    I find that in our modern society we are often encouraged to rush around like chickens with our heads cut off, doing things – any thing. All for the sake of being busy. If we aren’t busy, then we aren’t productive and/or responsible. Busyness seems to be some sort of warped signature of success.

    It’s a warped paradigm that I’ve bought into time and time again.

    Even today I frequently play with the line between busyness and ambition or busyness and creativity. I am an ambition person who does love to work hard. I do find it difficult to just relax. When I relax I feel guilty that I’m not working myself to the bone to earn more money to pay down my debt.

    I deal with these feelings daily as I navigate what is actually true for me. When have I reached overload? When am I chasing rather than allowing? How do I know I’ve gone too far?

    That’s when I turn to my body. This is my practice. I tune into what she has to tell me. Is there tension in my head? Shoulders? Back? Jaw? How am I emotionally? Do I feel excited, joyful, open, receptive, and/or spacious?

    I’m working the fine balance between being in the present moment, arms wide open, back on the ground, and heart to sky and nose to the grindstone. This is the interplay between masculine and feminine.

    We are at a point in human history in which we are collectively resolving the entanglement of these two energies within ourselves. And I can clearly see this dance at play in my own life. And I clearly see how my body is a major part of being in tune with which energy is needed when.

    That deep sense of release and peace can’t be forced into existence. It requires space to flourish. It requires ease, flow, openness… It is the Divine Feminine.

    I’m great at doing the masculine. In fact, I bet most of us are, as that’s the type of society we have all grown up in. Stay busy. Work hard. Never sleep. Never nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Yet the tables have turned and the Divine Feminine is calling forth a spacious return to peacefulness, not filling the void, and following intuition.

    The return to the feminine for me (and for you, too) starts with returning to the body. I do that by implementing the practice I mentioned above. It’s a simple practice that can be done anywhere and at any time. But there are many other ways in which I return to my body to open to the feminine.

    Exercise (heavy or light) is an excellent way to get back in your body. But don’t do exercise the way you see those tiny, muscular blonde girls doing it on Instagram. And don’t do it the way you see that California yogi doing it on the top of a cliff. You’ve got to find what turns your body on, makes you feel good, and gives you that deep release.

    Here’s an example for how NOT to do exercise… Don’t go the gym and lift heavy amounts of weights because you think it’s what you’re supposed to do. Don’t go to HIIT class and push yourself past your limit in an attempt to keep up with the pros. Don’t dishonor your body to try to look and be like those around you.

    Go to yoga and go at your own pace. Run around the block at an insane speed because it feels good. Dance in your living room naked for 30 minutes. Hike a local trail barefoot or with your brand new hiking boots. Sink into to your body and figure out what it wants to do or feels like doing and do that!

    When you choose to do an exercise that feels right for you then you’ll honor your body, get the release you’re looking for, and align yourself with your inner wisdom and insight.

    Another way to open to the feminine within yourself is to sit. Yes. Sit. I love this. I recently had a whole conversation with a girlfriend of mine about sitting. Sitting can be a powerful exercise in allowing life to be just as it is. It’s akin to meditation but you don’t have to keep your eyes closed, and I find it far more relaxing. It’s especially nice when you have a good view from a balcony or patio, but that’s not a pre-requisite. You can easily sit in your bedroom, living room, or even on the toilet. I’ve had many a great insight sitting on the toilet.

    My last suggest for opening to the feminine is to stretch. You can take five minutes in the morning and evening to stretch your arms, legs, and spine. This is different than yoga, but yoga can be incorporated.

    These are all conscious acts that open your body. Your body is the key to the Divine Feminine and the key to opening to greater wisdom, insight, and guidance from within. And right now, the Divine Feminine is calling all of us to open to her in deeper and deeper ways. Your life will open to an array of new opportunities as you allow the Divine Feminine to permeate your being and direct your day-to-day decisions. She’s an awesome conductor of life in a way that leaves you feeling nourished, nurtured, and loved. Allow yourself this experience.

  • Health
  • Recipe: Chocolate Banana Blueberry Smoothie

    I love smoothies! I started drinking smoothies two years ago, and I’ve never looked back. My smoothies are the healthy kind (not the kind loaded with sugar and juice). I drink them for breakfast paired with a sprouted grain toast with non-dairy butter, almond butter, or peanut butter. Or, I drink them post-workout since they have a scoop of protein.

    My first smoothies were filled with veggies and fruits and super chunky! They were brown, green, puprle, and all shades in between.

    These days I’ve modified my smoothie recipe to the point of perfection. No – I’ve never actually followed a smoothie recipe from the internet. Why? I’m not sure. I assumed I could just figure it out myself. I had fun experimenting and using my noggin’.

    I primarily use smoothies as a means to dose myself with a serving of veggies, fruits, and nutrition from a variety of sources. I have a green smoothie recipe that is my staple, but these days I’ve been experimenting with chocolate and cacao. I’ll share my green smoothie recipe another day.

    Today I want to share my Chocolate Banana Blueberry Smoothie.  The recipe is as follows…

    • 1 and 1/4 cup of organic, unsweetened coconut milk
    • 1 scoop chocolate vegan pea protein powder
    • 1 organic banana
    • 1/4 to 1/3 cup frozen organic blueberries
    • 1 tblsp organic cacao powder
    • 2 tsps raw, organic maca powder
    • 2 tblsps flaxseeds or flaxseed power

    Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth! Voila! A delicious and nutritious chocolate banana smoothie.

    If you want a dose of veggies, replace the blueberries with 1 cup of spinach. You might think greens + chocolate would taste funny, but the added cacao covers the taste of the greens. It’s especially helpful if you use spinach because spinach blends really well, unlike kale or other greens. Kale is edgy and spiky and sometimes takes longer to blend. At least, that’s the case with my blender.

    So, that’s my chocolate banana blueberry smoothie! Try it out and let me know what you think.

    With love,

    Paula D Jones

  • Love
  • How to Take Back Your Power

    I want to share with you a small post I made on facebook the other day. It was in response to a friends post. She posts regularly about her troubles with people in her life. She publicly discusses her latest hurdles. I read her posts, and I have noticed a trend. In response to her latest post, I felt inspired to write the following.

    I noticed how often she gave her power away to other people. She may not be doing so in the moment, at least not obviously so, but when she turns to Facebook to air her frustrations she unknowingly gives her power away. It prompted the bubbling forth of the following response…

    Every day we are at risk of giving our power away. Our power is our autonomy, our ability to dictate our response to experiences.

    As life happens, inside and outside our control, we are prompted to respond. Our power lies within our response. Do you give your power away or do you remain powerful?

    You might give your power away by dropping into fearful, anxious, worrisome, controlling energy. For example, an experience happens, at which point you have a choice – respond in fear or love. When you respond in fear, i.e., succumb to the lower level energy of the experience, you reduce, limit, diminish or give your power away in favor of the lower energy. When you respond in love by complimenting, praising, or not accepting as your own the lower energy of another, you maintain a higher level energy; you maintain your power.

    To respond in like to a negative situation gives your power away. Your power is amplified when you respond with love and kindness. Today – practice loving kindness. Take back your power. 💗

    With love,

    Paula D Jones

  • Health
  • Why I Want to Move to California

    Imagine. Waking up to the bright blue and white light of the morning sun peaking in through your bedroom window on a Saturday morning. You stretch your arms above your head, rub the crusties from your eyes and gaze about the room in wonder of this beautiful light.

    You’re inspired by the light to smile, sit up, and get ready for the day. A full day of adventure lay ahead of you. Not any ordinary adventure but the kind that leads you outdoors into nature, where mysteries are solved, imagination runs wild, and insights pour into your system.

    These types of Saturdays can be made anywhere, but for me, I know these Saturdays are meant for me in the great state of California.

    The Trip

    I recently returned from a trip to Santa Barbara. This wasn’t my first time to California, but this trip was different. I was 15 on my first visit, too young and immature to truly enjoy the state and/or understand the impact it could have on my life.

    I held no expectations towards how the trip would be. I simply wanted to spend time at the beach, eat at great restaurants, and sneak in a hike or two. I knew it would be a short trip, so my expectations where low.

    I stayed a total of two and half days, not counting the half day trip to the state and the full day trip back home (lengthened by time zones). By my last day there I simply could not soak up enough California sun to last me!

    It was a Friday morning when I woke up to the beautiful California sunshine streaming in through my balcony door. I jumped out of bed and tore open the curtains to lay my eyes on the angled view of the beach and palm trees that lay ahead. The morning sun coated itself on top of the trees, beach, and nearby motels, kissing their cheeks with a sweetness unknown by the afternoon light.

    It was this light that inspired and energized me to get dressed and gather my belongings, because we (my boyfriend and I) had a full day ahead of outdoor adventure that we were piecing together as we pieced together our clothing.

    The plan: breakfast at a local spot that served the most amazing acai bowels, then a short drive to Gaviota State Park for a hike to the Wind Caves, and, finally, a detour through wine country. Go, team, go!

    We packed a picnic for our trip and were on our way.

    The day felt so natural and right. My energy level was so perfect. I felt full of life, vibrant, and enthusiastic about every aspect of the journey.  It just felt – so good. California felt – so good.

    The afternoon nap found its rightful home on our return to Santa Barbara and our new hotel. A quick rest before a night out on the town.

    That doesn’t end our trip.

    On our last full day in town we ate at our favorite breakie locale, bought a frisbee for playful times, and bunkered down on the most sweet spot on the beach. Sun made it’s intermittent and, at times, lasting appearance. The breeze cooled our baking skin. And a European family made camp nearby. At first, alarmingly close, but at second glance, endearing.

    We read our books, soaked in the sun, enjoyed our packed food, threw our frisbee multiple times, and even caught sight of whales and dolphins not too far off shore. The smell of the ocean soothed my soul. I melted into the towel on top of the sand with an utter surrender unknown to me during any other points of travel. The ocean does me over like no other geological feature.

    But, it wasn’t long, or so it felt, until it was time to pack up. The sun was our alarm clock. It tucked away behind a cloud and left a lingering breeze, cooler than the one before. We dressed ourselves, packed our belongings, and trucked to the car. It was time to prepare for our final evening in the great city of Santa B.

    Nothing too much planned that night due to my early flight the next morning. But – we made the most of it with Indian food and a stop by the Funk Zone. Yes – it’s called the Funk Zone. A place in Santa Barbara they’re trying to revive by promoting local artists and small craft breweries and wineries. We went to a spot based on recommendation, like many of the locations we visited this trip, and were, as usual, completely impressed.

    As we drove into the Funk Zone, I heard music and thought that for sure this was the spot for us, only to find out it was the spot recommended to us! We show our IDs and walk inside to a banging party at like 7:30 at night. At which point, I reminisce on all the conversations my partner and I have had about wanting a cool spot to hang and dance earlier in the evenings on the weekend.

    We grabbed a brewsky and listened to the groovy, reggae-soul band that was getting the crowd dancing. The night so cool and chill with a vibe of ease and happiness. A vibe reflective of the my experience in California and it’s peeps. A vibe I can get down with a regular basis.

    The Reflection

    It’s this vibe that draws me in. I can get nature anywhere, and California isn’t the only state with a beach. Texas even has a beach, for christ’s sake! But it’s the people and the all around vibe of the location that gets me.

    There’s a chillness in the air. A laid back feeling that life’s okay. That’s it’s okay to be healthy, to look good, to have fun, to enjoy yourself, and still move forward in life. Life doesn’t have to be drab or dull just because we have responsibilities but it’s meant to be fun and vibrant.

    Perhaps my vision is skewed because I was on vacation. I’ll accept this as a totally rational thought process, but my main squeeze talks about this vibe being present every time he’s there; and he visits frequently for work, not vacation.

    This gives me the notion that quite simply this place is filled with people that I want to be around. I want to enjoy a location that not only offer nature in its highest form but also people who care about their health. Health is a constant factor for this people. You don’t see as many overweight or unhealthy individuals in this state. People are thin, fit, active, and healthy.

    I want to surround myself with people like that.

    At the same time, California is a state of luxury. Luxury isn’t something I thought I overtly liked but I do love experiencing life in a fancy fashion. It helps that my partner does, too. California does an excellent job of combining an outdoor, healthy lifestyle with luxuriousness. And this is the type of lifestyle I’d like to live.

    Now, let’s get somethings straight. I’m not made of money, which is a huge obsticle to my moving to California, but that doesn’t mean I’m not blessed with the opportunities that arrive for me to experience life in a luxurious way. I am completely open to receiving these opportunities in however they choose to present themselves.

    And, one day, I’d love to be living in California, even if at the sacrifice of luxury, for a while.  I believe that California would be good for my Soul. It would also be good for my relationship(s).

    It’s a great fit for me and my man. I love the beach. He loves the mountains. We both love the outdoor and healthy lifestyle. I can’t see any other reason why we don’t work for California.

    I have zero expectation of moving anytime soon. I simply love fantasizing about all the possibilities and what could be. I believe the Universe thrives on my fantasizing and uses it to show me what’s possible for my life as well as begin building the road to its sure manifestation.

    I believe in a thriving and responsive Universe that hears all calls and answers these calls, should they be in the Highest and Best Interest of for the Good of All. And those are the only conditions under which I would want to move to California, or make any change in my life for that matter.

    With that said, Universe – I want to move to California (to the beach, specifically!).

    Any Californians out there withy any advice? Drop me a line…

    With love,

    Paula D Jones

     

     

  • Wealth
  • Three Steps to Commit and Create a Lifestyle You Love

     

    Everyday I am committed to my health, be that in body, mind, or spirit. My commitment is made clear via the actions I choose to take each day. When it comes to my physical health, I choose to eat a whole-food, plant-based diet with minimal to know sugar or refined or processed food consumption while exercising regularly. I commit to a healthy mind by following through with my creative endeavors like writing, reading, or studying. And I tend to my spirit by allowing myself time each morning to connect with Divine Guidance.

    In the broad sense, I take action on these things every day, but when it comes to propelling myself to the next level, it’s important that I take a look at individual practices and ensure I’m actually following through in order to achieve my goals.

    For instance, I’ve recently made the commitment to deepen my yoga practice by beginning to practice at home (in addition to still attending studio classes). My intention being that I can’t always attend studio classes, therefore on those days I can complete a home practice. I bought a book to teach me how to put together a home practice. I dove head first into exploring this new arena of growth. I was gung-ho for several weeks but then my schedule got hectic, and my 45-minute to hour-long practices were the first things to go.

    Furthermore, I have re-committed to writing daily, and I’ve been inspired to re-open this blog. Upon re-opening the blog I felt the pressure to “have to write” a blog post each time I sat at my computer. I created pressure behind my writing, so I noticed I had stopped writing daily, since it meant I couldn’t always get a blog post out of it. I had switched my perspective and the center of importance away from writing towards creating a blog post. I reversed my priorities.

    In these two instances, I generated a great amount of pressure by insisting I live up to a higher standard than one that I could actually commit to or originally committed to. I felt like I had to go big or go home every time. And that is just not the case! In fact, I have learned to focus on the long-term rather than the short-term gains of my goals, the beauty of one small step a day, and how to keep my priorities straight

    1. Long-term Over Short-Term

    These days I choose to focus on the long-term outcome of my goals rather than the immediate outcome. When I do this I give myself space to play around, try new things, and make mistakes. For example, if I were to switch from viewing my fitness as a long term goal to a short term goal, I would expect that within the next three, six, or twelve months I would be at the height of my fitness. And for what end? My life won’t be over in that period of time (Unless the Universe has other plans, but, hopefully, God-willing, that’s not the case.)

    From this perspective, I don’t intend for there to be an explicit “peak” to my fitness but rather the ability to achieve a high level of fitness that honors my body over an extended period of time. Therefore, being strict on myself to commit and complete 45-minute to one-hour long at-home yoga practices approximately six days a week, in addition to studio classes, is unreasonable, at this point. That type of commitment actually deters me from stepping up to the mat in the first place. Instead, I want to make building an at-home yoga practice an approachable long-term goal. In order to do that, I’ll start small and work my way up.

    2.  One Small Step a Day

    Starting small is the most important thing anyone can do when beginning a new endeavor, especially an endeavor that is intended to make it over the long-term. When you start small you’re able to gauge your capabilities for the day and adjust accordingly. Whereas, if you set up a goal much larger than you’re capable of doing in a given day, then you’re more likely to give up or not even try to begin at all.

    In my yoga practice, I’ve decided that instead of pushing myself to meet the demands of an hour-long session, six days a week, it’s easier for me to commit to putting my mat out six days a week, listening to my body, and doing what comes naturally. That could be anything from an hour-long session to simply meditating (which is a crucial part of yoga, as well). When I give myself this flexibility, I am more likely to show up to the mat.

    One thing I have absolutely learned about myself is that my energy fluctuates. I don’t always have the energy to go hard. But when I do, I know I can push myself to new edges and heights. And I am absolutely willing to do so, when I know I have the energy. I am grateful for my body and mind when I can go to these new places in any practice, but I honor myself when all I have in a day is the ability to show up.

    Don’t let how you feel that day keep you from showing up and taking one small step. Instead, give yourself the flexibility to show up, however you do, with integrity and commitment lying in the heart of simply showing up. Showing up is all it takes to keep the ball rolling. You’ll know exactly what small (or large) step to take from there.

    3. Keep Your Priorities Straight

    Finally, it’s important to keep your priorities straight. As I mentioned above, I confused my daily writing practice with having to crank out a blog post for my now re-opened blog. Unfortunately, this put unnecessary pressure behind the creative act of writing.

    My daily writing practice is intended to express my creativity and get me back in jive with the Universe in a creative and playful way. It was not intended to be a production machine.

    As I sat down to write today, I realized the pressure I had put on myself and the consequence of doing so. I had not sat down to write in several days. This was astonishing to me because I had made the commitment level so low: only five minutes a day. Anyone can do that! That’s the epitome of “showing up and starting small.” But, then I unconsciously attached, “Five minutes a day and one flawless blog post,” to the commitment.

    Fortunately, I’m self-aware enough to realize I did that. And that’s why my final point is to watch out for inadvertently mixing up your priorities. If the priority is long-term health of your body, then going for the short-term physical look could throw you off your exercise/fitness regimen. If creative expression is the long-term priority, then the short-term gain of completing a blog post could distract you. Be weary of these short-term priority flip-flops! They are sneaky and can get you off track easily.

    A Lifestyle You Love

    Going for the gold in my life has taken new form. No longer do I feel attached to having short-term gains, especially when I realize I’ll be taking these actions, or similar ones, for the rest of my life. I’ll have my whole life to achieve these goals. What’s the rush to complete them today? Therefore, what’s the point in being so hard on myself today? Why not start slow and easy and work my way into a lifestyle I love? I think that sounds like a great idea: switch from short-term to long-term goal attainment, take one small step a day, and keep all priorities straight. Over the long-term I’ll build a lifestyle I love! What do you think?

    In love,

    Paula D Jones

     

  • Other
  • Starting Over Again

    It’s not easy hitting the reset button, be that in relationships, at work, or  at home. And yet, that’s exactly what I’ve done with Heart Driven Life (HDL).

    When I started HDL two years ago I had a vision of running a life coaching business. I set up shop and started attracting clients. I was in a coaching academy to train me to coach and build a business. I did all of this while in the middle of nursing school.

    You could say I was a bit confused about what I really wanted out of life. I thought I wanted to be a life coach, but I had already started on the path to nursing. Each time I tried to quit nursing, my insides leapt outside of me and weird phenomenon occurred, like my car getting a flat tire, multiple times.

    Eventually I stopped resisting my path, quit the whole life coaching schtick,  and fell madly in love with nursing. I found my calling – or it found me. Gregg Levoy wrote in his book, Callings, that often what we resist most in life is our greatest calling.

    I graduated nursing school in December 2015 and started my career as a nurse in February 2016. I’m sinking in sweetly to the ebb and flow of my new life. The treasures I am finding along the way taste so good. For instance, working only three days a week!

    Now I have more time than ever to twiddle my thumbs and ponder the mysteries of the Universe. I can do yoga, cook, clean, play with my pup, write, or hang with friends all day long. Either each one individually or all in the same day!

    I’ve been enjoying this time as I deeply connect with myself and the things and people I love most. I’ve returned to writing with new insight and inspiration. Even though journaling has been a normal occurrence for me for who knows how long, I started blogging in 2012. When I set aside my life coaching business, I also set aside writing/blogging. I even no longer incorporated it into my morning routine. In fact, I quit my morning routine altogether (besides my cup of coffee).

    As I’ve spent that last several months enjoying myself, I felt like something was missing, a creative spark of sorts. I felt compelled to create something, anything. I began searching for what that thing would be until I realized that writing was that thing.

    No need for me to start something new. Instead, I’m returning to a craft I had set aside thoughtlessly. I’m re-opening my website as a blog and a point of connection for like-minds.

    I want to connect with women, locally and around the world, who may or may not view the world through a similar lens as my own but who are open-hearted and open-minded. I’ve met the most incredible women through blogging in the past and, also, through starting and building my life coaching practice.

    As I pondered opening my blog, I realized that this time around my motivation is completely different. My motive is connection through expression. I want to connect with you because you resonate with what I write about.

    I’ll write about a myriad of topics on this new and improved blog o’mine. They’ll be neatly organized under three main headings: Health, Wealth, and Love. Each will encompass the following…

    • Health: nutrition, fitness/exercise, commentary on my nursing career, etc.
    • Wealth: personal growth and development topics on success, money/finances, book reviews, leadership, basic tips on how to optimize your life, etc.
    • Love: inspiration, intuition, spirituality, divination, emotions, meditation, wisdom, etc.

    Other topics that could cross over each of these include creative expression through writing, travel, etc.

    One lesson I learned in my prior dealings with blogging and starting a coaching business is to stay open to change. While I may not have pin-pointed an exact niche, I’ll blog on topics that are near and dear to my heart, topics I feel inspired to write about. Over time and through reader engagement, I expect I’ll harness a niche that suites me and you (the audience). For now I am satisfied with my broad niche.

    The point being that I’m interested in living a life in alignment with my heart, and I’d love to connect with other women who are interested in living a heart driven life as well. I want to connect with women who are tuned in and turned on, following their unique divine spark, embracing life’s lessons with love, and honoring their humanness.

    Let’s create something beautiful together.

    Yours,

    Paula D Jones