STOP JUDGING: 3 reasons to recognize and release judgments

stop judging others

Judging others is part and parcel of what it means to be a human being. We all do it. Most often, we do it subconsciously.

But, as all human behaviour has a reason and a function, what is the function of judging others? Why do we judge people, things and situations, and why should we overcome it?

3 main reasons why we judge

To feel better about ourselves

The most obvious reason people judge others is to feel better about themselves. It is a psychological tactic that works, even if the people we judge are absent. For instance, when we feel bad about ourselves, and can criticize others for, say, being overweight, we can feel ‘better’ than them. When we can see the ‘other’ as somehow inferior to us, we can feel superior—a tactic we only need if we feel small in some way to begin with.

When we are at ease with who we are, we feel no need to criticize others. But when we feel we’re not good enough in some way, we can push those feelings away by seeing another as inferior to ourselves.

This tactic will never bring true happiness and self-acceptance. We will need to be constantly judging others in order to maintain our superiority. That way, we’ll never explore the parts of ourselves we feel inferior about and heal them. We’ll remain stuck, instead of growing into the whole beings we were supposed to be.

To disown parts of ourselves we view as negative

This reason is closely connected to the first one. Usually, when people feel small and not good enough, those feelings have been instilled in them at some earlier stage. We are not born into this world feeling bad about ourselves—we get told we are bad or not good enough and start to believe it.

We are not born into this world feeling bad about ourselves—we get told we are bad or not good enough and start to believe it.

Judging often starts with being judged in early life. When we push away the parts of us that were judged, and start judging others for them instead, we project the parts of us that were hurt onto them. We can distance ourselves from our pain this way, but we can never heal and grow.

The same goes for shadow projection, where we see what we weren’t allowed to be, do or feel in early life, and notice the exaggerated version of that in another and judge them for it. For instance, if we weren’t allowed to express ourselves freely, when we see someone who takes centre stage, even exaggerating to be heard, we can feel disproportionally irritated or angry and judge them as being obnoxious.

To push what we fear out of our conscious experience

This one is a little more complex. Sometimes, when we have been hurt by a certain kind of person, in a certain kind of situation, we can start judging everyone who seems to share the same characteristics. We do this to keep them at arm’s length and stave off the doubts about our own worth that they instilled in us.

This is the kind of judging that you often see with victims of any kind of abuse and aggression. People who share the same demographic, the same rude behaviour or even the same gender as the perpetrator can be perceived as hostile, bad and dangerous—and then they’re judged and kept away.

We use this strategy when we have hurt and trauma deep inside of us that has not healed yet. We are afraid that if we stop judging people who remind us of the original perpetrator and accept them as they are, or at least accept that they exist, we’re somehow saying the perpetrator’s behaviour was OK.

Abuse is never OK. When someone abuses us, in whatever way, their behaviour is wrong. They are crossing our boundaries and they are responsible for it.

If we feel the need to constantly criticize a certain group of people or type of behaviour, it may be time for some soul-searching. We may need to look for the real reason we don’t want to allow a certain type of person to be as they are, so that we can allow ourselves to be just as we are.

Releasing judgments and the need to judge

woman writing word 'don't on windowWhy is this good for us?

Judging diminishes us and our experience

Judging others, things, situations, feelings and ideas creates polarity. We label something or someone as ‘bad’ in some way or another, and distance ourselves or even place ourselves above it.

That means we exclude that which we judge from our experience. We create a split in our reality. Not only does this make our world smaller, it also diminishes us, because more often than not, what we judge represents an aspect of ourselves (good or bad). This is often an aspect that needs to be brought to light and healed.

Judging costs valuable life energy

Fear, anger, shame and guilt are the feelings most associated with that which we judge and disown, disavow or push away. These are powerful feelings that need to be examined. When we do examine them, we will discover that they are connected to important parts of our subconscious selves that will yield treasures when reclaimed.

When we heal the parts of us that were made to feel ashamed, guilty, afraid or angry, we release them and bring them into the light of consciousness. Fear, anger and shame will melt away and make way for love, renewal, gratitude, peace and acceptance.

Releasing judgment brings wholeness

When we continue to push the repressed parts of us away, it costs us valuable life energy. When we reclaim those parts and bring them to light, we find they were never really bad to begin with, and we bring ourselves and our world a step closer to wholeness.

«RELATED READ» WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY: Perspective is everything»

Wendy Gillissen, M.A. is a psychologist, past-life therapist and the author of the award-winning spiritual adventure Curse of the Tahiéra. She lives and works in the Netherlands. In her spare time, she likes to play the Celtic harp. You can also find her on Facebook.

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Indicators of Success: 5 Personality Traits You Need to Develop

successful personality traits

Intelligence is no longer the main predictor of success. While IQ still carries a lot of weight, personality traits play a much bigger role.

According to a 2016 research paper from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, grades and achievement tests capture personality traits that are generally more predictive than IQ for several important life outcomes, like income and self-reported life satisfaction.

Personality is also considered by employers. They use behavioral assessments and personality tests to prioritize candidates and predict if their behavior is a good fit.

Even college admissions professionals are looking at a candidate’s personality. In fact, KudosWall conducted a survey of 500 academic admissions professionals between November 13 and November 28, 2017. The research found that 86 percent say an applicant’s personality and character skills assessments play a big role in the admissions process.

There is good news: while there is no evidence suggesting you can change your personality, there is anecdotal evidence that shows you can change how you behave. For example, people who are dissatisfied with their friendships tend to put themselves in situations where they can increase in extroversion.

There is no right or wrong personality type, but there are personality traits and character skills that are beneficial. Here’s a look at some of the traits and skills that influence performance in personal and professional development.

Self-Discipline Yields a Healthy Body and Mind

Your level of self-discipline determines your ability to achieve goals. When you’re disciplined, you’re able to control feelings, overcome weaknesses, and pursue goals despite temptations that can hold you back.

People with high levels of self-discipline are better at sticking to healthy habits, like eating right and exercising. If this personality trait isn’t natural, you can start making changes to develop it.

Look at areas in your life in which you want to make improvements, such as your career, nutrition, social needs, fitness, and more. Determine your big ‘why’ for each goal. When you have a reason bigger than yourself, like living longer or feeling more fulfilled in your work, your motivation will be consistent.

Then, create an action plan that includes specific goals and track your progress. If you’re working on meeting your social needs, start with action (attending one meetup per week), track your progress (number of meetups attended), and reflect on the outcome (mood changes and the feeling of social needs being met). As you make progress, you’ll learn how to stay on course with goal-driven approaches.

Organizational Skills Hone Your Vision

When you think of highly organized professionals, you imagine meticulously clean work spaces and detailed planners. They have color-coded calendars and are fully engaged in their work.

This skill set falls under the big five personality type called conscientiousness. Those with this personality trait are typically considered reliable and dependable. They stand out because they’re directed by what matters most to them. They’re not scrolling social media when they should be preparing for a meeting. They follow a routine that helps them see their priorities and work on them first.

Build these organizational skills by focusing on one day at a time. Start by using checklists during your work day. Then, learn how to prioritize your daily tasks. Give yourself 15 minutes at the beginning of the day to schedule your time, then use 15 minutes at the end of the day to plan for tomorrow.

Optimism is Positivity in Action

If you see the glass as half-empty, you’re going to struggle with facing challenges and overcoming setbacks in your personal and professional life. Optimism – the other side of the coin – is your ability to feel hopeful and confident about your future. This positive outlook is often harder to come by. However, it can actually be programmed with consistent practice.

Start developing optimism by practicing mindfulness. For example, start meditating, mindful walking, and consider enrolling in a mindfulness training program. When you cultivate a present mind, you’re able to allow negative thought patterns to come and go. In other words, you’re training yourself to regulate your emotions, both good and bad.

Combine this practice with visualization. Some of the best athletes in the world use visualization tactics to get into the right mindset. When you visualize a successful presentation or earning a big client deal, you feel more confident in your future.

Strategic Creativity Resonates With Others

Creative people are typically curious, imaginative, and expressive. However, depending on their ability to read an audience, they can get into trouble.

Some people might interpret their expressiveness as risky and divisive, which is why it’s important to be strategic in creative pursuits.

Creativity remains a top skill in the eyes of leaders everywhere. For example, our survey found that creativity is a favored personality trait in online portfolios, college resumes, admissions essays, and online presences for students applying to college admissions. Similarly, the World Economic Forum January 2016 survey found that the ability to think creativity will be one of the most important work skills by 2020 and this is particularly true for high-performing leaders.

Learn how to feed your creativity by getting your thoughts out on paper. Start a journal to reflect on your day. The practice of writing, distilling information, and expressing yourself is a great way to get your creative muscles working. Then, practice expressing yourself to different audiences by creating content on a blog or podcast. You can even make it fun by covering topics you love.

Outgoingness Boosts Your Social Capital

Being socially confident and building relationships in social settings is where extroverts thrive. In fact, extroversion is a great asset in several areas of life.

The KudosWall survey found that 71 percent of admissions professionals say they’re more likely to accept applicants who convey an outgoing, friendly personality than someone who is reserved. Also, a January 2016 study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior found that extroverts tend to energize the group when team members are getting along.

When you demonstrate social capital and engage well with others, you make a great impression. However, introverts find outgoingness challenging because social situations often drain their energy. Fortunately, this personality trait can be learned. Shift your focus from yourself to others around you. When you’re worried about how you present yourself, it takes you out of the moment. Instead, concentrate on getting to know people in your social setting. Start small by going to new events with people you know.

Intelligence gets you far, but these personality traits bring you the extra mile. If you already possess them, double down. But if they don’t come naturally, start practicing. This shift in your behavior will lead to big success in all aspects of your life.

The Tragedy Of Not Living Your Purpose

First, let me explain my introduction to the usage of the imagination, in real time. As a child, I grew up in neighborhoods where people never reached their full potential. I grew up in areas where there were children given a most tragic hand, which revealed a 99% chance of not seeing anyone in their family live out anything that resembled full potential, as an example to follow.

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways To Shift Your Mood


I had and still have, hard-working parents who taught and pushed my sister and I, to be all that we were capable of being and to believe that we could achieve such feats of miracle. I watched my mother and father live in conditions that were not the best and gradually move my sister and I into much more favorable, physically appealing circumstances, as their jobs and the accompanying salaries, simultaneously improved. I remember moving from a small one-bedroom apartment as a five-year-old, to a two-bedroom apartment as an eight-year-old, to a three-bedroom house when I was 12 years old.

With each move, I had the pleasure of observing the physical representation of talks my mother and father would have, about moving to a better place and of my sister and I having our own bedrooms. I witnessed the imaginations of my parents take physical form. With each move, I observed a remarkable change in the physical appearance of the grass in front of homes, the cleanliness of the neighborhoods and most importantly, the physical appearance and mental demeanor of the people who lived in each area. The physical beauty of a neighborhood and the pride of the people in that neighborhood go hand-in-hand. I have had the learning experience and the pleasure of seeing such beauty during my youthful developmental years, based upon the choice of utilizing the imagination.

The essence of the problem

Now, what does all of that have to do with the tragedy of not living one’s full potential or more bluntly, living out one’s purpose? I compare living out a purpose, with the ultimate form of expression and rebellion, simultaneously. Can you image it? Can you imagine the audacity of a person believing they deserve better in life, to have a vision, to ignore any size group of people who refuse to see what they see? This group could include family members, friends and neighbors and then for the individual to actually live out what they wanted? Wow! That is what my parents did!

However, as a 45-year-old man, I recently drove through those old streets where I used to live as a small child. I waved and spoke to familiar faces and I spoke to elderly people who actually seemed quite old when I was a youngster. I saw new children on new playgrounds in front of old conditions that refused to change with time. I witnessed people who had no hope, no ambition, no plan, barely living from day to day and who clearly could care less about contemplating the concept of a purpose.

Under such conditions of the physical and the mental, such thoughts are a rarity anyway. When people cannot see past daily survival, how could they be free to pursue a purpose or utilize their imagination to create a better way of life? Yet, there is always a handful of people within those circumstances that will utilize creativity and the mind to engineer a better way of life. I saw apartment buildings and houses that looked extremely dingy or boarded up. Life, love, and families overcome by years of self-neglect, in the form of generations of adults, who could not muster the audacity to live up to their full potential. I saw cars parked in front of homes that clearly had not moved in forward or reverse in years.

The missing hubcaps, decaying paint jobs and spider webs underneath the cars, serving as analogies for the trap or deceitful practice of attempting to copy the success of someone else, rather than to examine and fortify the unique success that lies within.

The more things change, the more they stay the same

In my retreat from such harsh reminders of unfulfilled potential, to the undeniably robust areas of the city that I enjoyed as a teenager and young adult, I found more tragic reminders that revealed material gain cannot escape the clutches of universal law. The flash of vehicle brands such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Infinity, Ferrari, Cadillac, KIA, and Toyota within the confines of upscale malls, 5-star restaurants, and organic grocery stores, could not hide undeniable truths. Truths that reveal the bondage of upper middle class and generational wealth.

Expectations, hold people hostage, that is, the pressure of living up to the expectations of other people, when those expectations are centered only on material gain, with the blatant disregard to mental, spiritual and emotional development. The attending of the latest yoga franchise class alone, will not mend the emotional wounds that exist outside of those studio doors. As a teen I used to visit friends in their upscale neighborhoods and pass by liqueur stores, seeing patrons walk out clutching their “brown bag of hope”. A similar sight in low-income neighborhoods. I used to wonder, “Why would someone who has an expensive car and lives in this neighborhood have a need for a “brown bag?” Growing up, I learned that the “brown bag” represented problems that only a bottle could solve, or so the holder of the bottle thought.

Having observed wealth while living in the United States and in the United Arab Emirates, I have witnessed firsthand the glow of wealth at its greatest levels. Yet, with that wealth, I have witnessed the ultimate in self-hate, disillusionment, and unfulfilled potential.

The moment of truth

What is potential? The etymological dictionary defines potential as “that which is possible” and more importantly “power, might, and force”. When you align yourself with your purpose, you align yourself with the power of “all that is”, that which created you. You then re-align yourself to get back on track to do what you were born to do with force! With that being said, never securing the personal freedom to mentally step back and examine life, for fear of not moving along with the crowd, is tragic. Never having the bravery to sit and be alone, to contemplate a change, which will result in a new course in life, is tragic. Always doing what someone else wants you to do because you are afraid that they will no longer embrace you, is tragic.

Fear of raising topics among friends or family that could spark a much-needed conversation and resolution to an ongoing problem is tragic. Fear of pursuing a certain type of job, becoming a professional artist, moving to a new city, moving out of the old neighborhood, leaving an unfulfilling dead-end relationship, becoming an entrepreneur, learning a new skill, telling someone “NO”, only drinking alcohol or using drugs because your friends do it, are all examples of TRAGIC circumstances. Circumstances that distract people from living out their PURPOSE.

The etymological definition of purpose is defined as an intention, aim or goal, and more importantly, a purpose reveals ones unique “design”. Yet, most people are too “busy” to think, to consider such thoughts. Nevertheless, the decision has to be made, now or in the future. This moment of truth is taking place right now in every urban, suburban and rural landscape in the world. Look in the mirror and ask yourself “Am I going to live an unfulfilled life or am I going to enjoy the freedom of living out my purpose.” “Am I going to have peace every moment of my life or live a hellish life of my own making?”

Tragedy or Victory, which one will it be?

How Projection Bias Could Be Destroying Your Finances

financial bias

Wise Bread Picks

Have you ever gone grocery shopping on an empty stomach? If you’re like most people, you come home with all kinds of random junk food and disparate ingredients you have no specific plans to use, all because they looked good at the time.

So when you decide to throw some “lightly expired” shrimp, Lonely Gal Margarita Mix for One, and an entire shelf’s worth of tortilla chips into your cart when you only needed a gallon of milk, you are falling victim to a cognitive bias known as the projection bias.

This bias causes you to believe that however you are feeling in the moment is how you will still feel in the future. So when you are feeling rumbly in your tummy while cruising the grocery store, you believe you’ll still want to eat shrimp-covered nachos once you get home — even though your enthusiasm for shrimp that’s gone to the bad place will definitely wane once you’ve had a snack.

Of course, the projection bias does more than just fill your grocery carts with food you’ll never eat. It can also cause you to make even bigger financial mistakes. Here’s how your inability to project your future preferences can ruin your finances. (See also: 5 Mental Biases That Are Keeping You Poor)

Irrational shopping

Car dealerships have long found that they sell more convertibles in the spring and summer than in the winter. Some of that is perfectly natural. A car buyer is likely to want to purchase a car whose amenities they can take advantage of right away. But convertible sales also spike during sunny days or warm spells during the winter. In those cases, the irrational convertible owner is projecting that she will want to ride with the top down and the wind in her hair every day, just because that’s what she wants on the unseasonably warm and beautiful day when she buys her new car.

Similarly, when you are in the midst of a new enthusiasm for exercise, it might seem like a great idea to buy a treadmill or elliptical machine. You want to exercise every day right now, so of course you’ll want to continue exercising in the future. There is no possible way that your new BowFlex will collect dust and/or become an impromptu clothes-drying rack within a few weeks of purchase.

One of the best ways of thwarting this expensive projection bias mistake is forcing yourself to take a cooling-off period before making any major purchases. Test driving the convertible BMW may be a blast on that random 70-degree day in late February, but will actually purchasing the car still feel as reasonable a week later when the snow is falling? Forcing yourself to wait a week (or a month) before making any large purchases can help you keep projection bias at bay. (See also: 9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying)

Not saving enough

The closest I have ever come to slapping someone was when a teaching colleague once told me that she didn’t bother saving money for retirement because she wanted to enjoy her money while she was young. This colleague seemed to believe that she would always enjoy good health and stable employment, and that she could just continue to work forever.

This kind of thinking is a common symptom of projection bias. We all tend to assume that the way our lives are now are how they will continue to be in the future. So we don’t bother to save money for a rainy day or for retirement, because we project today’s stability into the future.

This is one of the reasons why pessimists tend to be better savers than optimists. Pessimists expect things to go wrong, and they plan accordingly. So it’s a good idea to embrace your financial pessimism and think through all the potential ways Murphy’s law could throw a wrench in your life. You’ll be less likely to assume that your current life will remain unchanged forever — and you’ll be more likely to save money to protect yourself. (See also: 4 Ways Pessimism Can Actually Improve Your Finances)

Locking up money in illiquid investments

Whether you’re investing in real estate or buying an annuity, the projection bias can potentially prompt you to make an expensive mistake. That’s because you might decide to put your nest egg into a real estate venture or annuity product when you’re doing well financially. If your job feels secure and you can’t imagine needing to tap into your nest egg, it can feel foolish not to invest in something that will grow over time or provide you with guaranteed retirement income.

But job loss can strike anyone at any time, and if all of your investment money is tied up in a rental property that you cannot sell or an annuity that you cannot get out of, then you’ll be stuck making some pretty difficult financial decisions until you are able to find another job.

While putting your money in illiquid investments can be a savvy financial move for the right investor, it’s important to think through what would happen if you were to lose your job or experience a financial downturn. When you consider making such investments, be sure you also have a Plan B for if life does not continue in the same way. (See also: How to Get Your Finances Back on Track After Losing Everything)

Buying a timeshare or retirement condo

One of the big problems with the projection bias is the fact that marketers and salespeople (not to mention con artists) are all perfectly aware of how this mental quirk works. So they make absolutely sure you have a great time with whatever they are selling to help you project future good times if you buy their product.

Two industries that often rely on this bias are timeshares and retirement condos. In many cases, both of these types of purchases require an upfront payment for future residence. While it’s possible that you will still want to visit Florida the first week of August every year in perpetuity, or that you will want to move into the 55+ condo community after you retire, you may also change your mind and feel stuck with an expensive choice that you may have trouble getting out of.

These types of purchases should also only be made after a great deal of thought, rather than right after a fun-filled weekend visit. (See also: Are Timeshares Ever Worth the Investment?)

The future will be different

The trick to keeping projection bias from destroying your finances is remembering that the future will not be exactly like the present. So it pays to be flexible in your plans for the future, and a little pessimistic about what you can expect.

Even if there are nothing but blue skies ahead and your tastes never change, you’ll still be glad you kept your finances flexible (and robust).

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How Projection Bias Could Be Destroying Your Finances

6 Negotiation Tips for Introverts

how to negotiate

Wise Bread Picks

Some people are natural negotiators. They are the smooth-talkers who always manage to say the right thing to get exactly what they want. Where most of us are at least somewhat fearful about the idea of negotiation, these people seem to enjoy it.

Negotiating can be especially challenging for introverts, not because they lack confidence, but because negotiations can have a confrontational tone, and often require some posturing and bluffing — which are not communication tools introverts typically use. Though introverts may be less comfortable with the act of negotiating, they have many strengths that can aid them in the process. (See also: 6 Smart Money Habits of Introverts)

No one is born a good negotiator. Negotiation is a skill, and it takes a lot of practice. And here are six ways introverts can become stellar negotiators. (See also: 8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master)

1. Research and prepare

Introverts tend to flourish when they have researched and prepared in advance. By researching, you armor yourself with the facts. This is vital, because you no longer have to rely on your opinion or emotions, both of which can be difficult for introverts to openly share.

Figure out what the going salary is for someone in your location and with a similar level of experience. Collect data from multiple reliable sources. Then create a list of everything you’ve accomplished in the last year. If you’ve saved the company a significant amount of money, for example, be sure to include that in your documentation.

2. Consider the outcome

Think about how the other party might potentially respond to your negotiation request. For example, if you are asking for a raise, how will you respond if they agree? What if they disagree? What if they completely blow you off?

Assess every possible outcome and how you will handle it. Consider what you’re asking for. Do you have a bottom line? What would be the bare minimum you hope to gain from having this conversation?

Nothing is worse for an introvert than being thrown for a loop, so be realistic and plan for the unexpected.

3. Cut to the chase and ask

So many opportunities are missed because people aren’t sure how to ask for what they want, or are too afraid. Share your data, get to the point, and ask for what you want. If the other party doesn’t agree with your terms, it is likely because they either didn’t believe the facts, or they don’t have enough resources to sustain your claim. Either way, you never know what you can gain unless you ask.

4. Show them how it’s mutually beneficial

Make your case for why you deserve what you’re asking for, but also be sure to include what they’ll gain by giving it to you. A successful negotiation will showcase how this proposition will benefit both parties. If it’s a promotion you want, for example, point out how you’ll increase the bottom line, or improve the company in this new role. (See also: 6 Reasons Introverts Make the Best Employees)

5. Don’t forget to pause

Typically, introverts love to take their time to think about what they’re going to say before they say it. Because of this, any long pauses or any unexpected questions can instill a fear of the unknown. Long pauses, however, can be used to an introvert’s advantage.

If someone asks you a surprising question, don’t hesitate to pause before you respond. While you’re gathering your thoughts, the other person may even offer further explanation or clarification, buying you extra time to make your point. (See also: 7 Everyday Situations That Introverts Ace)

6. Practice, practice, practice

Rehearse everything, from how you will enter the room, how you’ll greet the other party, and how you plan to take hold of the conversation. Avoid going into in-depth explanations as to why you want what you want. Stick to the facts.

It might feel somewhat silly to practice your negotiation tips, but the more you rehearse, the more your confidence will grow. Notice if you’re fidgeting, stuttering, or speaking unclearly. Remember, keep your responses short and to the point to clearly communicate what you’re asking for.

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6 Negotiation Tips for Introverts

Dr. Christiane Northrup Tells All About Her 40-Day Love Crystal Ritual

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Christiane Northrup, worked as an obstetrician gynecologist, helping women to conceive, deliver and maintain their reproductive health. Then, she made a switch.

“Having been board-certified in everything that can go wrong with the female body, I decided to spend the rest of my life teaching women everything that can go right,” Christiane told me.

Christiane Northrup has written 8 books on everything from embracing menopause to discovering your inner radiance. Her breakout bestseller Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, empowered women to take charge of their health through enhancing the mind, body and spirit. But in spite of all this success and people like me as adoring fans, Christiane felt there was something missing in her love life.

“I’ve never had a truly conscious, equal partnership,”Christiane said. “I was divorced after 24 years of marriage. Then I had a love affair with a man who could never quite commit because his business, his mother, or his daughter always came first.”

“I would say to you, my entire life, ‘Work is easy. Writing books is easy. Where the hard work has been is being one on one in a relationship,” she explained. “To be consciously met in relationship has been my driving force. It’s been the source of the deepest longing, grief, and yearning in my entire life. It was just like, ‘Oh my god, when is this going to happen?’”

I know for a lot of women, this is sounding familiar. Because you can work on building up your career and you can even work on yourself, but when it comes to love, it doesn’t work the same way. Christiane had done eHarmony, she dated, and she even learned argentine tango.

“I did everything one does,” she told me.

“After my divorce, my intent was to become the kind of woman that the man I was seeking would be attracted to. And that’s typical, old soul empath behavior. Thinking that we’re inferior and always have to work on ourselves.”

Before Crystal Muse was released, the publisher sent Christiane a copy of the manuscript, since she has also published with them.

“When I received the pages of your book from Hay House [Publishing], I saw the love ritual in there, and it spoke to me,” Christiane told me. “It spoke to me, not because I thought it would make anything happen, I just thought it would make something welcome.”

She started it in the new moon of cancer on June 23. She didn’t have everything that she needed on hand, but, as she told me, “I have a will of iron!”

“I got everything to together,” she said. “I did my detox bath with the coffee, I had my pink candles, and since I was traveling a lot during this time, I even had a little travel kit, with the rose essential oil, my pink candles and healing crystals.”

I admit, one of my favorite things to hear about are all the creative ways people figure out to make the ritual work with their hectic lives.

“One time, I did the ritual in the tailgate of my car as I was leaving my friend’s home,” Christiane said laughing. “It was like burning through every bit of resistance.”

But it was on a visit to her hometown that the real healing began. Going back to her childhood home during the ritual helped Christiane to see what had created the patterns within her.

“I am the black sheep on steroids in my family,” she explained. “If you were not an Olympic athlete, you were nothing. Playing the harp, getting straight A’s, going to medical school, all that counted for nothing.”

She realized that always trying to be good enough for her family had created a negative self-worth pattern in her love life.

“I have been like a moth to the flame of fixer-uppers that I couldn’t save for my whole life,” she said.

By confronting those patterns, she was able to begin reworking them into patterns that better served her.

“I finished the 40 days, and it was as if layers and layers and layers of stuff went away,” Christiane said. “I just loved doing it, but I still never really expected anything to happen.”

Two months after the ritual, Christiane received a message from a man who she had previously dated and loved, but who the timing was never quite right with. They started talking, then dating, and have been happily in love ever since!

“Now, was that because of the ritual? We will never know!” Christiane said, laughing. “But when you asked me to discuss this, the joy that I felt while doing the ritual…the whole thing was such a container for me. It was a container that forced me to focus on love everyday, for 40 days.”

“I’ve always known that I would be partnered, somehow. But I knew it would only happen—this is the way the world works—once I didn’t need it,” Christiane told me. “I think the ritual was 40 days of concentrating on the moment. The end was a marker of: I no longer require anything outside myself to make this happen.”

I wanted to share Christiane’s story because, as women, what really talks to our souls is when other women are honest, vulnerable and willing to share the good as well as the trials. We’re all here to learn. Hearing stories like this helps us to recognize that we’re not alone in our challenges. I love hearing Christiane be authentic about trying so many different things to grow, because I’m the same!

And you know what? I love a good success story.  

Summer Reads: An Inside Look into Chapter 8 of Crystal Muse

This week we’re talking about matters of the heart. If you’ve been reading along with us on our summer book series, you know that we’re up to The Love Guru chapter of Crystal Muse. This chapter covers every phase of the heart’s journey. From self-love and new love, to setting intentions for lasting marriages and reigniting the flame. There’s even advice on how to heal the broken heart by working through it with rainbow obsidian. If you’re ready to get realigned with what makes your heart sing, let’s dive into our discussion of the love chapter!

When Heather was toying around with energetic formulas for love when she stumbled upon a winning combination. Not only is it how she attracted her own husband, it’s how countless others have met their soulmates as well. The idea behind the 40 day love ritual that she curated, is that you have to shift your perspective and breakthrough negative patterns in order to transform your love life. This means something different to every person going through the experience. Some people need to come to understand that the person they most need to focus on loving is themselves. And others need to shift away from always seeking out the wrong kind of person. That’s why Rose quartz and malachite play such essential roles in this ritual. Malachite is to help you see the harsh truths about the changes you need to make. The motivational energy of this stone also helps you to summon the courage to make those difficult shifts. Combining the energy of malachite with the loving and soothing energy of rose quartz provides the perfect balance of seeing what you need to fix, and seeing all that you have to love about yourself. Rose quartz is like an energetic hug. It’s energy opens your heart up to experience life’s joys through a happier and healthier lens. And when you vibrate out happiness, you attract it in return.

Now, a question for you: What’s a pattern or block that you need to break in your love life? Share with us and comment below!

How you take care of yourself says everything about the priority you place on your spiritual and emotional health. Don’t skimp on the self-love, or you’ll feel the impact in other areas of your life. Co-author, Timmi Jandro’s, story is interesting because it highlights two different ways in which you can neglect your self-love. The less-obvious method of doing this happens when you begin living your life for someone else. Timmi felt she was living like she was supposed to, so for years, she didn’t pause to consider if this was actually what she actually wanted. When it finally hit her that her life wasn’t fulfilling her core needs, she did a complete 180 degree turn. She went from a Norman Rockwell-esque domestic life to a no holds barred party life. This is the obvious form of self-care neglect. She was going out all the time and not investing any energy into her spiritual needs. After getting burnt out by this lifestyle, Timmi recognized that she needed to realign with true herself. But figuring out who exactly that was, and what she really wanted was no easy task. She needed a massive dose of self-love healing.

Summer Reads: An Inside Look into Chapter 8 of Crystal Muse

Another question for you: What do you do when you need to get back into harmony with yourself? Share with us and comment below! 

Sustaining long-term relationships with others requires the same about amount of honesty and constant recommitment as your relationship with yourself. If your romantic relationship has been running on empty, refill the love with an infusion of rejuvenating energy. That means practicing respect, gratitude and authentic communication. The Keeping the Love Alive Ritual uses kambaba jasper and rhodonite to inspire these practices. The yin and yang balance of rhodonite’s calming energy with kambaba jasper’s creative stimulation will establish a perfect bond between the duel needs of a partnership.

Another question for you: What energy does your partnership needs more of? Share with us and comment below! 

When it comes to healing the heart, a lot of self-reflection is necessary. Rainbow obsidian is the stone Heather recommends because it forces you to dig deep and recognize the lessons you were meant to learn from that relationship. Ask yourself what life has taught you from this experience.

Last question for you: What’s your go-to crystal for healing your broken heart? What’s an important lesson that you learned from a past relationship? Share with us and comment below! 

Next up: We’ll be diving into chapter 10 to learn how to use crystals for a better night sleep.

Summer Reads: An Inside Look into Chapter 10 of Crystal Muse

Have you been reading along with us on our journey through Crystal Muse? If so, you know that we’re setting our sights on dreamland this week for our discussion chapter 10, “Sweet Dreams.”

Not getting enough sleep at night can wreak havoc on your life. Being exhausted is a bit like being hungry, it turns you into someone you’re not—irritable and unable to focus. But being hungry is a quick fix, whereas being unable to sleep can be a frustrating and difficult problem to solve. It’s easy to overlook what a blessing a restful night’s sleep is, until you can’t seem to get one.  

Even if you’re sleeping, an important question to ask yourself is, “Do I feel emotionally and physically refreshed in the morning?”  If the answer is no, why not? Where is that block stemming from? These are the questions (and answers) that we find in chapter 10.

Now, a question for you: Do you have electronics or mirrors in your bedroom? What Feng Shui sleep faux pas do have in your room? Share with us and comment below!

For those who don’t chronically suffer from insomnia, and have only hit a recent stint of it, you may need to get realigned within your space. When Heather was hit with a series of sleepless night, seemingly out of nowhere, she realized that she needed to get out of her thought cycle, and ground her spirit back into her body. So, she cooked up a crystal recipe for calm alignment that included a lot of heavy hitting stones.

Stones for Grounding the Body:

Another question for you: When your mind gets flighty before sleep, what do you do to settle it down? Share with us and comment below! 

If it’s emotional or physical pain that’s keeping you awake, then you need to dig into the root of that problem. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Some roots aren’t that hard to find. Stress at work, physical ailments, arguments with your loved ones—these are issues near to the surface. It takes more work to get to the roots that you’ve buried deep. These are the ones anchored in your childhood, hurt from toxic relationships, lack of confidence, and so on. All of these roots can be destructive if you don’t deal with them. Lack of sleep is just one way they can manifest into a problem in your life.

To help you cope with physical pain, Heather recommends a shungite mat on the area because the antioxidants within this stone have anti-inflammatory qualities.

For releasing the emotional pain, Heather suggests working with apophyllite crystal for stress + anxiety relief, fluorite to assist with emotional healing, and an amethyst eye pillow to soothe and relax the body and mind. (Note: this is to shift you into a sleep state, but to fully release that pain, you’ll to need to engage in the kyanite cord cutting described in the next chapter.)

Another question for you: What is an issue that has been stressing you out? What do you do to relieve that stress before bed? Share with us and comment below! 

If you’ve been going in and out of sleep, there may be answers hidden within your tumultuous dreams. Heather suggests that journaling after sleeping with specific crystals can help you to remember what is bothering you in your sleep. The crystals for sleep she uses in her Drift Off to Dreamland Crystal Grid are:

Last question for you: Have you ever experienced an odd recurring dream, or nightmares that popped up during a stressful time in your life? Did you try journaling your dreams? Share with us and comment below! 

Next up: We’ll be diving into chapter 11 to learn how to cut energy cords.

Summer Reads: An Inside Look into Chapter 11 of Crystal Muse

How are the Mars and Mercury retrogrades treating you? Remember, the trick to enhancing your life POST-retrograde is to take the time MID-retrograde to reflect, reevaluate, restructure, and renew. This isn’t the best time to sign contracts or launch into major projects. It is, however, a fantastic time to cleanse and cut out what isn’t serving your spirit.  As luck would have it, that’s exactly what we’re covering right now in our summer read through of Crystal Muse. This week’s chapter, Stop Sucking My Energy, is about learning how to locate and remove negative energy from your life.

The story that authors Heather Askinosie and Timmi Jandro used to explain energy cords was interesting because it shows that sometimes you need to cut the energy with someone you love—which doesn’t mean cutting contact. Instead, when you have a person, a situation at work or something else that leaves you feeling drained, even when you’re not around it, you need cut the energy cords to preserve your energy and your relationship with that thing.

On page 182, Heather defines energy cords as “the sharing of energy between two sources. It can also be thought of as the energy that connects two people. There cords can be positive when energy is shared equally, or negative when an imbalance occurs.”

An obvious instance of being energetically corded to someone is after a breakup. You know that feeling when you can’t stop thinking about someone, even though you know you’re better off without them? More often than not, that’s because you still share a cord to their energy. To get rid of this lingering energy connection that drains your energy, you can cut the cords using crystals.

Now, a question for you: What is something that you would like to cut the cords with right now? Share with us and comment below!

Black kyanite is the ultimate protective cleansing crystal because it shields your energy field from relationships or people who feast on your positive vibrations. By bringing your chakras into alignment, black kyanite brings your focus back to a positive frequency, and helps you to release imbalances.

Another stone for cleansing protection is black tourmaline. This crystal helps you to ensure that your whole home is shielded from outside negativity. Heather uses black tourmaline in each of the corners of a room to form a protection grid. She believes “this formation assists in balancing out the energy and dispelling the lower vibrations of a room.”

And for protection on the go, the recommended crystals to wear in this chapter were pyrite and black onyx. Black onyx shields from negative energy, psychic attacks, energy vampires and unwanted energy, while pyrite is both protective and positive, bringing in abundance, good luck and positive energy.

Another question for you: What are your go-to stones and methods for grounding yourself in protective energy? Share with us and comment below! 

Next up: We’ll be diving into chapter 12 to learn how to live in tune with the moon.

Summer Reads: An Inside Look into Chapter 12 of Crystal Muse

The moon has a powerful influence over the earth and the human spirit. Its luminous draw has inspired wonder and awe in humans for as long as we have existed. With as busy as our lives get, we tend to align more with stress than with the simple pleasures of nature. Like us, the moon goes through cycles. It’s in a constant state of renewing its radiance. When we tap into that essence, we’re inspiring our soul to engage in a cycle of renewal as well. So any stress, hurt or outdated patterns we’ve invested in, can flow out with the tide as we bring in fresh positivity to manifest our dreams with. If you’ve been reading along with us in our journey through Crystal Muse, you know that we’re on chapter 12, Living in Tune With the Moon. So today’s discussion is all about setting intentions and embracing the nurturing vibrations of mother moon, for a more spiritually fulfilling life!

Being in tune with the moon and setting intentions with the phases of the moon is a powerful way to align with the universe. The new moon represents a new beginnings or a fresh start, making it the ideal time to start new projects and plant new seeds. The full moon is when the moon is at its peak brilliance, making it a powerful time for manifestations, making decisions and releasing. Create a regular monthly practice of setting new moon intentions and full moon intentions to stay in tune with the moon. Involve your friends and family and create a celebration atmosphere for your full moon or new moon ritual.

setting intentions in tune with the moon

If you want to learn more about setting intentions in accordance of the phases of the moon, check out this beautiful infographic by Ezzie Spencer, author of the book Lunar Abundance. You can use her guide when setting intentions for your healing crystals. Share this with all your moon-loving buddies and tag #lunarabundance!

Author, Heather Askinosie’s story about spending a year detoxing emotional and physical baggage through new moon purification ceremonies is definitely not something we can all relate to, but on a smaller scale, everyone can enjoy liberating their spirit and setting intentions for the future with the powerful energy of a new moon—no sweat lodge necessary! The stones highlighted in the mother moon mandala ritual are:

Labradorite is an especially essential stone when working with the moon’s energy because it helps you to tap into a higher state of consciousness. It boosts mental and spiritual power so that you can open the mind to see your true intentions, and pursue the solutions to your transformation.

Moonstone is another essential crystal to work with during new moon rituals because it helps you tap into your feminine energy, which is already enhanced during the new moon. The combination of these creative forces can inspire the birth of fresh perspectives, ideas, and motivation.

Now, a question for you: Where is your favorite spot for gazing at the moon? Share with us and comment below!

Setting intentions on the new moon enhances your manifestation energy. So if you’re already setting intentions, why not set aside an intention that you really want to focus on for the next new moon? As Heather put it, “Creating a regular practice of setting new moon intentions is a mindful way to commit to your dreams and goals. The crystals she recommends for new moon intention setting are:

Another question for you: What is an intention that you’d like to set on the next new moon? Share with us and comment below! 

If you don’t have a specific intention that you want to work on, and would rather use the new moon as a time to connect and relax with the earth and cosmos, then just do that! Rejuvenating the soul by bathing in healing moonlight can have an impact on your mood and focus in the days that follow. Surround yourself with crystals to deepen your cosmic connection. The stones Heather recommends having around you are:

  • Selenite—named after the greek goddess Selene, the goddess of the moon
  • Moonstone—to facilitate a deeper connection with the moon
  • Labradorite—to connect you with the energy of the universe and cosmos
  • Unakite—to balance masculine and feminine energies through the energy of love

Next up: We’ll be diving into chapter 13 to learn all about how to bring that creative spark back.