Choosing Love – A Life Changing Choice

These times invite us to ‘be’ different. They invite us to look inward to hear the still, small Voice that calls us to ‘be’ Love and choose Love. We may feel the invitation, yet how do we make it ‘real’ in our day to day living?
 
 
As a jumping off place, let’s play with four commonly used sentences.  Spend a moment ‘feeling’ the energy contained within each:

  • I want Love
  • I desire Love
  • I intend Love
  • I choose Love

Each energy offers the potential for expansion and growth; do you notice the distinctions?

Today, let’s focus upon the most energetically powerful word of the four, choose/choosing; it has much to offer us as we navigate these topsy turvy days.

choose; choosing – Verb

  1. to select from a number of possibilities; pick by preference:
  2. to prefer or decide (to do something)

Per the above definition, choosing is a verb, an action word.  It is intentional.  The individual is aware of their choice.

‘Choosing’, then is the most valuable, proactive tool we possess for answering the invitation to ‘be’ Love.  Via our free choice, we call into being the channel through which Love can flow.

Enter “I AM Choosing Love.” The four most powerful action words I know.  Simply, yet profoundly, #IAMChoosingLove is an invitation, a life altering awareness, choice (and habit) that no matter the situation, we always have a choice to Love.

Pragmatically, how do we choose Love?  The answers lie in the following intentional steps:

Step 1:  Discover the reality that you always have a choice to Love. How? Become familiar with the phrase, ‘I AM Choosing Love’. Plaster it everywhere-on sticky notes, reminders on your phone, your mirrors, your fridge, in your car – everywhere you go. Become so familiar with #IAMChoosingLove that it repeats in your mind over and over, just like a song that gets ‘stuck’ in your head.  Allow it to flow from your heart, into your mind.  In a very short amount of time you will begin noticing countless opportunities for choosing Love!

Step 2:  Focus:  Focus is a required tool, essential for choosing and living a life of Love.

Step 2 contains two steps:

  • Notice the thoughts you are thinking and focused upon regarding the topic or situation at hand, then decide if those thoughts feel either ‘loving’ or ‘fearful’.
  • Actively choose either the love-filled thought or the best thought you can find that feels in the direction of a loving thought.

Step 3: Use and choose: Use the words (silently and aloud) ‘I AM Choosing Love’ then choose the loving thought or action

Examples:

  • ‘I AM Choosing Love right now’
  • ‘I have a choice in this situation and I AM Choosing Love’
  • ‘This person is driving me crazy right now, and I have a choice as to how I perceive them. In this moment, ‘I AM Choosing Love’ instead of (fear, anger, self-righteousness, judgement, etc.)
  • ‘I am not feeling very good about myself right now. I could have done this and I should have done that, but instead I AM Choosing Love.  I AM Choosing to Love Me.

The power of #IAMChoosingLove lies in intention and practice.  You are internalizing and creating a transformational habit, so frequency is essential.

These times invite us to look inward to hear the still, small Voice that calls us to ‘be’ Love and choose Love. We can want, desire and intend Love, but the ‘real deal’, the real fun, the real expansion for you and for all of us is to choose Love!  We possess the freedom to choose, so let us choose Love.

#IAMChoosingLove – Joan Kappes

 

Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

 

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Lincoln’s Words: Wisdom for 2017 Change

I’ll bet you’ve heard this phrase: ‘Four score and seven years ago’.  And this one:  ‘That the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’  These words are part of our shared ‘American’ identity, aren’t they?

I recently came across a short film by the acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns.  The film features Elmo and Murray (from Sesame Street) learning about the Gettysburg Address. Like Elmo, in his five minute conversation with Joan Ganz Cooney, I began pondering and questioning too.

I’ll wager that most of us are familiar with the gist of ‘The Gettysburg Address’, but have we really dove into the wisdom of Lincoln’s words? Does a short address at Gettysburg during the dark days of the Civil War have anything to offer us today, in 2017?

I’ll leave that up to each of us who are ready and willing to open ourselves to the words and wisdom of one of our nation’s most treasured leaders.

Following is the 272 word Gettysburg Address.  Below are questions for reflection.

The Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Today’s ‘leaping’ exercise:  Read the Gettysburg Address slowly, 3 times.  Highlight words and/or phrases that stand out for you.  Write them in your journal or type them so the words can ‘sink in’.  Ask yourself these questions about the words you have written from the address:

  • What is it about the nature of these words and phrases that draws me to them?
  • What do I believe about them?
  • What do I see happening in the U.S. regarding these words in 2017?
  • What would I like to change? What would I like to foster?
  • What is my role?
  • What inspired action can I take from these words?
  • Read the following from The preamble of the United States Constitution:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

  • How can I foster ‘we the people’ (as stated above) in my daily life?
  • What is my role as a citizen of the United States?

Thank you, Mr. Lincoln and our founding fathers/mothers – Joan Kappes

#IAMChoosingLove

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2017 – The Choice Is Mine!

OK, world!  This is the first week of the new year.

How will I choose to live it–

reacting through each day using all my old repetitive thoughts and actions

OR,

taking the leap and consciously choosing new, life-giving thoughts,

choosing to focus on Love and Joy,

pursuing inspired action.

The choice is mine. The gift to choose is mine!

I AM choosing to create my world this year.

I am eager to experience my world, our world, shift!

Here we come, 2017! – Joan Kappes

#IAmChoosingLove

 
 
 
 

Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

2016 – Don’t Write It Off, Claim Your Blessings!

The talk around town this 2016 year is to be done with it.  Write it off.  Move on.

Clearly, this year was filled with wild cards and it is our tendency to wash our hands of what is unwanted and leave it behind.

2016-treasuresBut, wait!  Let us not so quickly write off an entire year!  An entire year of your life and mine, that upon closer viewing was filled with untold gems, Love, growth and blessing.  Will you ‘Come to the Edge’ with me for a few moments and explore 2016 through a broader lens?

Today’s leaping exercise: Reflect via journal or written list (you’ll be glad you did for future reference) the following questions.  Find your favorite comfortable spot, free of interruption for a few minutes and ponder the following:

  1. What are the top 10 (or as many as you’d like to recall) experiences I am thankful for this year? What?  Who?  How was this brought about?
  2. Who were the people in 2016 who helped me grow? How? What did I learn?
  3. Recall 5 opportunities where I chose Love this year. When did I Love?  Who? How?
  4. Recall 5 opportunities where I chose to receive Love.
  5. When and how did I experience Joy this year?
  6. What beauty did I encounter?
  7. How has my heart opened this year?
  8. What do I most appreciate about living this year?

To complete your year, write or express a note of appreciation and thanks to God/Source/All-That-Is who so creatively and Lovingly gifts us All.

Auld Lang Syne, 2016. We bid you a thank-full farewell………….

Blessings for 2016 – Joan Kappes

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Creating ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ – a How-To Guide

time-of-the-year

It’s all in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?  What is wonderful to one person may be perceived as a disaster to another.  One person may see Christmas as something dreadful to endure and the person next to them may experience it as a season of love, peace and magic.

The gift offered to each of us: We create the holiday we experience by what we choose to focus upon!  That’s really all there is for determining how this holiday will turn out.  Circumstances that surround us are just circumstances.  There may be sadness, heartbreak and disappointment while in the same moment, there is also love, peace, joy and so much more. All are present and it is our free choice to decide where to focus.

Today’s “leaping” exercise: 

Here is the recipe for creating “Your Most Wonderful Time of the Year”:

1.  Decide which aspects of the holiday you want and intend to experience (Examples:  I intend to see and experience joy, or I want to experience gratitude, or I intend to see and experience kindness, or participate in bringing Christmas cheer to others, etc.). Let your desires be known to the Giver of All!

2.  Believe that opportunities to experience these desires will frequently present themselves

3.  Choose to recognize and act upon the opportunities as they present themselves

4.  Expect to see evidence!  Anticipate!

5.  Be open to the unexpected

6.  Commit to allowing your most wonderful holiday to unfold, no matter the circumstances

7.  Relax and have fun!  Allow yourself to receive and enjoy the surprise and delight that God, the most Loving Giver of all, desires to give you

8.  Live knowing that your life is lived moment by moment!  As you purposely live these moments based upon the desires you have chosen to experience, they will build and grow and blossom –  not just at Christmas or New Years, but every moment of every day.

May we choose to experience the gladness of Christmas which is hope, the spirit of Christmas which is peace and the heart of Christmas which is Love!

Enjoying my most wonderful time of the year – Joan Kappes

 

 

Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coachingdreamstime_xs_22083187 (1)

Lessons From a Flock of Geese: How to Live in a Topsy Turvy World

Perhaps because of the dynamics of this year, or perhaps because I am ready to learn in a new way, I’ve given a lot of time and attention to Gaia, Mother Earth who has so much wisdom to share.  Her teaching methods are subtle, profound and always ‘right on target’ with what I am questioning or desiring to know.

Recently, I have been wondering about what to ‘do’ next and how I can make a difference in this topsy turvy world we are experiencing.  Some days I feel energized and eager and other days, drained.

I’d like to share with you my ‘aha’ experience:

cid_3b8aa8e0-ce70-43b5-9558-e17b6ee77523homeToday, I noticed a large flock of Canada geese flying in ‘V’ formation.

Do you know, “Scientists have determined that the V-shaped formation that geese use when migrating serves an important purpose: It conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. In this way, the geese can fly for a long time before they must stop for rest.” (from The Library of Congress Researchers)

As I watched their harmonious flight, it came to me:

‘It’s ok to fly in the lead position with your flock; it’s also ok to hang back, conserve energy and allow others in your flock to take the lead for a while. You are in this together, heading towards a common destination, while at the same time each of you are living your own unique experiences.

Listen within and be open to the position within the flock that is currently most life giving for you.  If you feel inspired to lead, then lead.  If you feel inspired to hang back and ride the current of another’s stream to regain your strength, then do that.  Remain open to the change of positioning that will inevitably occur. The energy of the flock is perfectly aligned for everyone’s joy-filled benefit.

You are carried on the current of Love’s harmony and perfect timing.  Let go and enjoy the flight of the flock and your valued place within it.

Today’s ‘leaping’ exercise: Experience the video below, then listen within for the answers to these initial journaling questions: What terrains in my life am I currently flying over? Which areas of my life do I feel energized to take the lead? Is there a terrain I am flying over where I feel it is appropriate to allow others to take the lead?  Am I willing to switch positions within my flock?  Am I aware that I am even flying within a flock?  Am I open to allowing Love’s current to guide the flock and my positions within it?  Watch the video again, this time mindfully breathing and believing (even if you have to pretend) that you are perfectly guided within your flock of beautiful travelers.

Special thanks to those sharing Love & Light with the world! ‘Thank you’ for opening yourself to the joy of our shared flight- Joan Kappes

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YouTube video does not belong to the blog owner. It is used for educational purposes only

Photo via Thomas Ramsay

 

#IAMChoosingLove———Pt 2: Stories of Transformation

I amchoosinglove conscious step sai#IAMChoosingLove was born November 24, 2015.  Four simple words were gifted to me during meditation:  ‘I AM Choosing Love’.  Soon after I heard, ‘Because we always have a choice to love.  Will you join me?’

Yes! I was ‘in’ and quickly invited friends to join me.  We knew it was an inspired idea, yet none of us had a clue as to how it would manifest or what it would do, if anything.  One thing was sure, these four powerful words, I AM Choosing Love resonated deep within our hearts; we were intrigued, curious and eager to give it a try.  Little did we know that ‘playing around’ with it as a simple online hashtag would magnify and expand Love into our daily lives, transforming us in ways we never could have imagined.

Following are stories of how #IAMChoosingLove transformed the lives of six everyday people.  Enjoy……….

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stripe“I’ve always considered myself a kind and loving person so when I was asked to be part of the online #IAMChoosingLove campaign I didn’t have to think twice before I said yes. It seemed like a very natural thing for me to do. What I didn’t expect was the massive emotional impact I experienced when I began to use those words and respond to comments posted by other people.

For me choosing love means that I have to take a breath, think, and respond in a way that is loving and kind even when I’m upset or offended.  I am now aware of the many times I have unnecessarily created pain for someone else because of an impulsive response. Choosing love has helped me grow emotionally and spiritually.”

-Janet Nestor   Website  Twitter  Facebook  Pinterest

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stripe“There can be no doubt that love is a choice, and my life has been transformed by the commitment to choose love…love rather than fear, love rather than anger (a bi-product of fear), love rather than expectation. The biggest breakthrough for me was realizing that choosing love is an opportunity that presents itself constantly throughout my day…a choice when someone is unkind to me, when someone bumps me with a shopping cart, when a total stranger verbally vents his/her anger at me for no reason other than I was present, or when a loved speaks harshly to me. The temptation may be to react with anger, but the opportunity is to react with love. And every time I choose love, the world feels so much kinder, so much more compassionate, and so much more loving in return. Love sparks hope, forgiveness, and connectedness. For these and countless other reasons, #IAmChoosingLove”.

~Sharon Kathryn D’Agostino  Website  Twitter 

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stripe“One day, as I was reaching into the refrigerator after a particularly stressful moment, I thought to myself, “No, not this time.” I am not going to stuff my stress with sugary, carb-laden food. I am not going to harm my body. I thought, ” #IAmChoosingLove. ”

I am choosing love for my body – this body that has supported every activity I do every day, perfectly, for many years now. I am going to choose to be my body’s best friend. I am going to shut out the voices in my head telling me my body is “too heavy”, “too this..or too that”, and let my body know it can rely on me to feed it the foods it needs to feel most alive, happy and full of joy, the foods it needs to support me in the life I live, the work I do, the communities I serve.

As I made a better, healthier choice that day, I thought, “Stopping to think #IAmChoosingLove for a second, before I made a wrong choice, made me feel so much better, it made me feel FULL – of hope.

-Leslie C. – Messages of Hope  Twitter  Facebook  Instagram

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stripe“Judgment of our self and others is the culprit of superiority, inferiority, and feelings of separation. Within these, many negative emotions can arise, e.g., anger, jealousy, bitterness, anxiousness, etc. When you take note of how many times during your day you habitually judge yourself and others, it is an eye opener. Even if you consider yourself a pretty open-minded person, pay attention to how often you judge. I think you’ll be surprised. I was simply amazed at my own habitual judging, and it never felt good! It goes against the grain of your true nature which is love. Love knows nothing of judgment. Replacing judgment with “I AM Choosing Love” mantra places you smack center into your heart where love lies and judgment transmutes to compassion and kindness.

Just this morning I did my weekly errand to the recycling center. There was a middle-aged man whom I could smell from 50 feet away and it was not a pleasant odor, to say the least. He had arrived there by foot and could have possibly been homeless. I found him initially very offensive and somewhat threatening. How quickly I had judged – such a knee-jerk reaction! With this awareness, I made the choice to quietly state the “I AM Choosing Love” mantra, and instantly left my judgmental thoughts and acknowledged the gentleman with a smile and loving heart. I received a smile back and that was the end of it. Yet, it was a powerful moment and none of us can underestimate the ripple effect of such a small act of kindness. I know I personally felt a whole lot better as a result. The I AM Choosing Love mantra has enriched all of my relationships, including my 37 year marriage which was already very loving.

Claiming #IAMChoosingLove, as simple as it sounds, is powerful when used with the intent of choosing love over fear or hate which stem primarily from judgment. “Judge not that you may not be judged.” Can you imagine a world where everyone is choosing love? It begins with each and every one of us. We are living in extreme times – love is the answer; the great neutralizer – choose it.”

-Denna Shelton  Website  Twitter  Facebook  Pinterest

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stripe“I have had many aha moments concerning love. But everything hinges from intention. That moment when I consciously chose. When I decided love is what I want in my life. For me that choice is perfectly described with #IAmChoosingLove. Love begins with a choice, many choices: To be kind. To show compassion. To listen to the needs of others. To say ‘I Love You’. To notice the sun and flowers by day and to appreciate the rain that makes it possible. To walk into the darkness of night and say thank you for giving me the stars. Love is everywhere… the clouds that move and roll across the sky. Love is in the rising and setting of the sun and all those magic moments in between.

Recently these words came to my mind: The words we never speak will never be heard and the love we never show will never be felt. It reminded me of the childhood game, ‘Show and Tell’. Show and tell others that you love them. We are each a unique example of love. We are all somebody’s angel. Find those people in life that you are uniquely made to serve and give them all the love you can. Freely let it flow. Trust your heart and speak the love you feel. Trust love and do not be afraid. Perfect love is void of fear. Perfect love will bring joy. Perfect love will cause you to lose sight of yourself and you will begin to see yourself in the eyes of others. Look into the eyes of a child… of your best friend… a dog or a cat… and look! Really look! Love is there waiting to be seen!

How do you know you are doing it right? You will feel it! Love feels amazing! Love shines in the eyes of those who have it in their hearts! So help activate that spark that is always there in the people around you who perhaps may have forgotten. You can be their angel; a messenger of love.

To me this passage exemplifies what love is beautifully: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love requires courage. Love seems to have a sense of vulnerably and softness, but love is POWERFUL and STRONG, FEARLESS and BRAVE and yet very tender and sweet. Your love can change the lives of others and it will definitely change your life.

So make a great decision today. Join us in using the #IAmChoosingLove hashtag and spread the message of love. You’ll be happy you did and you will bring joy into the lives of those you touch. I love you and wish you all the best.”

-Dave S.  Website  Twitter

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stripe“My heart opened.  My self worth soared.  More and more, I see people through the eyes of Love and Joy.  I am experiencing our Oneness.

#IAMChoosingLove is the most beneficial, expanding way of being (and habit) I have ever fostered.  It is a gift.  It is useful.  It is my new awareness, my new way of life, my new ‘coming home’ to me-ness.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world – and I don’t have to because Love is our world.

-Joan Kappes  Website  Twitter  Pinterest

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Part 1, ‘How’ to choose Love, pragmatically answers the question ‘how do I choose Love?’   A step by step process is given so that you (and everyone) can choose love – everyday, in every situation!

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The invitation to choose Love is given to all.  Will you join us? – Joan Kappes

dreamstime_xs_22083187 (1)Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching