The month of April was a blur. It was a strange time of adjusting to the new “normal” while at the same time focusing on making self-care a priority. At first I felt almost guilty for indulging in reading, doing personal growth classes and other key self-care acts during the imposed quarantine time – consciously choosing to be at ease/ de-stress. My life was different and I didn’t mind at all. But through Alice’s classes, I felt reassured that all is well and that where I am on my path is uniquely mine. The live astrology class in particular, helped relieve the pressure when I found out that my planets were all aligned in the houses of self-care during the current time. It felt like I was given a head nod that the work I’ve been doing is in alignment with my life path. The Universal Laws course also helped with my outlook on life. And the Be Judgment Free course helped me with seeing my family with more compassionate eyes during our new daily life together. It helped me see myself in them and take a pause before criticizing.
This month, May, I continued taking online courses and live zoom calls. During the monthly scholarship class, Alice asked a very important question around what we were taking from this “profound pause” when things are back open. What lessons were we going to use from this experience. Up until that point, I hadn’t given it much thought but having the opportunity to truly consider also helped me frame this period as positive even during this very unusual and unfortunate circumstances. And here was the exposed irony – that there were fortunes in the misfortune. I’m still digesting this idea.
My biggest breakthrough came with the Life Purpose 101 course. At first I was reluctant to take this class. For almost my whole adult life I’ve been in search of my life’s purpose, read books, watched videos, taken classes… At times the search was agonizing, so I wasn’t gung-ho about taking yet another class on life purpose but I was open to try it out. And honestly, if I do not get to take another class (but I most definitely want to!) this class was the mother ship for me! I guess I was at the right time and place in my life to receive this very important message about life purpose – it’s not outside of yourself. No search required! “You serve a purpose just by being born, being alive” – Alice.
Alice’s view of dimensions of purpose – it seemed so logical yet so profound! Well of course! We are multi-dimensional people so why would my life purpose be singular, one-sided?
This class has blessed me with a breakthrough. As a person who survived past traumas and currently grieving the loss of my mother, life purpose has weighed heavily on my heart and this shift has lightened my load. A lot. It’s made me breathe easier and deeper. There’s so much more to learn and this shift has given me a greater capacity to take in more insights. I can’t wait to see what next month will bring!
The first week was a whammy. I felt the wind knocked out of me as I grieved the murder of George Floyd. I chose to take an indefinite break from social media as a result – it was too much.
I was very thankful to have Happiness U as a reprieve from the social unrest. But the events did bring up a lot for me. It brought up memories of my youth growing up in NYC and seeing the systemic racism affect my family, community and friends. I knew Yusef Salaam of the Central Park 5 and I knew in my heart that he was innocent. But what could I do? I was a kid.
And in the aftermath of the murder, I couldn’t go to sleep for weeks without seeing Officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on George Floyd’s neck.
The old feelings of helplessness – what can I do? – and overwhelm and stress came back.
I chose to delve into Alice’s class: Banish Stress & Worry 101. And I was able to get a lot out of it. For example, Alice explains that stress means you care. And yes, I had deep feelings of caring about this issue. I cared a lot. Especially as a mama of two black boys who will one day be two black men that the world may not see as human. Yes, I care a lot.
During this month I took the Meditation 101 class looking for ways to self-soothe. It was very helpful because I don’t consider myself a meditator yet I continue to try. When Alice explained we have 4 bodies: physical/emotional/spiritual/mental, and 3 of the 4 are meditating, it’s only the mental that gets distracted. Seeing it from this perspective has given me hope that I can continue to meditate and still get something out of it. Now in the mornings, I take a moment to appreciate the rest of me that is present for meditation even when it seems like my mind goes wandering elsewhere.
The three live classes I attended: Demystifying the Unseen, Death, Dying & Grieving, and How the Moon Affects Us Astrologically all worked well together in giving me a higher perspective of where I am in relation to grieving the death of my mother and what her death means to me at this stage of my life. Each class was very meaningful and has brought me some peace around this huge shift in my life.
A wonderful saying from Dalybeth (Death, Dying & Grieving): “You gotta feel it to heal it,” is a gentle reminder that feeling the sadness and other hard emotions around loss is actually helping to heal the pain. And Alice’s insights on astrology and the moon gave me a deeper understanding of why/how I feel the way I do. It helped me feel like I wasn’t “wrong” but how I process emotionally is a natural expression of who I am.
This has been a very trying month to say the least but I know that having Happiness U in my life has been crucial to me staying grounded and keeping optimistic about the changes. “Nothing is all good. Nothing is all bad.” Yes, this is a concept I am really doing my best to embrace right now – it’s not easy but I’m willing and wanting to change my habitual way of thinking. I’m ready for a new life and I know if I can train my brain to view things more constructively, it will change the way I experience life. I’m so happy to be here on this journey with Happiness U!
A quote from Alice from the Avoid Distractions class:
“You must affirm all the things you DID DO — gives you a sense of accomplishment. If you feel at the end of the day you were productive, you appreciate what you’re doing (vs not doing) — you wake up more productive”
This idea really resonated with me so much so that I implemented a new practice. Now in my gratitude journal, each evening I write a list of all the things I did do that day. And honestly, it actually makes me remember to focus on exactly that. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t do. More often than not, it makes me remember things I would normally forget or not give myself credit for doing. Especially as a mother of two little boys, I do a lot in the day big/ medium/ small and there’s usually much more that still needs to be done. In the past, I would beat myself up for not completing every item on my list. But now, I’m beginning to get into the habit of saying “YES! I did do these things today – and that is a good thing!”
It’s pretty amazing how just shifting my focus can have a big impact on how I feel.
Another concept that really resonated with me is what Alice described during class, that at any given moment you are doing exactly what you want to do. I’m still getting used to this simple yet powerful idea.
One small change that I now do because of this idea, is how I wake up in the mornings. A few months ago, I began getting up earlier to meditate but I often feel like I’m forcing myself out of bed because the sleep feels so good. Resistance shows up in the form of mental chatter against me getting out of the bed.
So now when I wake up, I silently tell myself, “I’m doing this because I want to.” And then I’ll take a moment to admire the changing colors in the sky and the quiet before getting out of bed. It’s made the transition out of bed to meditate so much easier.
This month I experienced a big win. After taking the Getting Unstuck class, I decided to try the “move 27 things”. Well, it started off by moving around some picture frames throughout the house which turned into a total deep dive into a clutter clearing/ KonMari tidying festival throughout my home. I was able to do my bedroom, kitchen, art studio and now I’m working on my children’s art/school supply closets and bookshelves.
My home feels more warm and inviting. I feel more engaged and willing to do the upkeep of the spaces – because “I want to”. I even created my first art piece in my art studio since my mother’s death.
That’s what I like best about all the classes that I’ve been taking with Alice. There’s so much practical wisdom that can be easily applied to life right away. Thank you Alice.
I’m currently working on implementing some changes in my life regarding things that I’ve feared. I’m looking forward to using more practical wisdom in making subtle yet powerful shifts in my life.
Well, August was a very interesting month. It was a time for integrating a lot of what I’ve been learning in these recent months. The greatest lesson came towards the end of the month. I had the privilege to encounter a personal challenge. I say privilege because in the midst of it I got a huge eye-opener. In the midst of the conflict I saw myself in this person.
Alice’s Be Judgment Free class was trying to teach me this lesson. I understood it in theory but now got a taste of it in real life. This conflict put a mirror right up to my face and revealed my own blind spot which I couldn’t see because I was too busy judging others for their “bad” behavior.
It was so eye-opening, it was uncomfortable. I had a Keyser Soze moment (Movie: The Usual Suspects). I thought to myself “It was me all along!”
I’m still digesting what all of this means. But I will tell you, this was the first time where I felt remorse (rather than guilt) and a deeper sense of compassion towards all those humans I judged harshly.
There was a feeling of wanting to make amends, like really DO differently on behalf of the people I’ve hurt. I’m sitting with this and meditating on how I can go forward with more honesty and acceptance.