Expand, Contract … Expand, Contract … EXPAND.

On my walk last night, I had an idea that would expand the reach of my creativity. I could feel the sides of my mouth curve upward into a smile and my heart feel full as I thought about the new possibilities this idea brought into my consciousness.

But it didn’t take long for my pesky little inner voice to put an end to the sudden and unexpected joy I was feeling. Even though it whispered, I could hear its words loud and clear: It’s safer to stay small and invisible.

When I heard these words, I could feel every part of me contract, literally to the point that my posture changed, my shoulders rolling forward and my chest folding inward.

Unfortunately, I’m familiar with this limiting inner voice because it has spoken to me many times before, causing the same physical and emotional reactions. It happens like this: I have an idea, and dream briefly about it, then come up with reasons, actually excuses, why I shouldn’t do it because I know it would require me to step outside of my comfort zone, learn and do new things, and be “seen.” This entire process can last seconds, or years.

I have unconsciously and automatically expanded then contracted, expanded then contracted, expanded then contracted countless times in my life.

For some reason, last night I became aware of this pattern, and while it made me sad, I realized something that brought a smile to my face again: each time I’ve expanded, the distance I’ve contracted has become less and less over the years. Because of this, I have evolved and made consistent progress in all aspects of my life.

Looking to the future with the new awareness I now have about this pattern, I’m going to work to catch myself when I start to contract, then try to remain in an expanded state. If I do this consistently, I know that one day I will expand, never again to contract.

Thinking about the possibilities that exist in such an open and expanded place of being, inspire me, and, to be honest, scare me a bit, too. But I won’t let that stop me from working towards my goal of living every day in an expanded state.

If you have unconsciously expanded then contracted many times in your life as I have, I hope this post brings awareness to this pattern so you can work towards staying in an expanded state, too. Just imagine the world we can create when we no longer contract and are willing to be “seen”!

Let’s be bold, together! I’m ready! Are you?

❤,
Marie Kukula-Tyner
Author, THE SPIRIT FACTOR

THE SPIRIT FACTOR is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.

THE POWER AND VALUE OF RECONNECTING WITH NATURE

Me on the mountaintop with wildflowers..

If ever I am lost, the mountaintop is where I’ll find me …

This line is from my poem Meet Me On the Mountaintop, and it has never felt truer than it did yesterday when I was on the mountaintop.

I love the mountaintop behind our home. Over the years it has provided me peace, comfort, inspiration, ideas, wisdom, and more lessons than I can count, and it’s where most of the information in THE SPIRIT FACTOR came to me.

Unfortunately, yesterday was only the second time that I’d been up to the mountaintop in a year due to a health issue I had.

Yesterday I realized not only how much I’ve missed the mountaintop but also how much I need it.

The pandemic, politics, my health and other personal challenges, and just living in extraordinarily challenging times on the planet, have dragged me and my spirit down, leaving me feeling tired and oh-so uninspired.

But, yesterday, when I got close to the top of the mountain and caught my first glimpse of the yellow wildflowers in full bloom covering the mountainside, I could feel every part of me come alive.

I literally felt a jolt, like I had been plugged back in to an energetic life force that I didn’t even know I was disconnected from.

It felt incredible … and intoxicating! I didn’t want the feeling I had to end so I wandered around for a bit in pure bliss, taking pictures (including the one in this post) and drinking in the sights, smells, and warmth of the glorious spring day.

On the mountaintop, as in most places in nature, the man-made noise and obstructions we are exposed to in everyday life cease to exist, giving way to magic and miracles.

Random thoughts organize and form ideas.

Words arrange themselves into poetic verses.

Fear transforms into courage.

Lost souls are found.

Anger, doubts, questions, judgments, and regrets disappear.

Hurts heal.

Forgiveness is given and granted.

Love expands.

Wholeness is attained.

Possibilities abound.

Time is irrelevant.

The concepts of life and death are meaningless.

Negativity and lies have no fertile ground to grow in.

What I realized yesterday, when I felt the familiar presence and power of nature, is that I want to do certain SPIRIT FACTOR seminars on walks through the mountains, rather than inside at some uninspired venue. I want the earth to be the classroom floor, the sky to be the ceiling, and the trees my fellow teachers.

I can only imagine the incredible experience this would create not only for the participants but also for me, and the transformation that would take place for all of us.

I do believe this SPIRIT FACTOR Experience is something I must make happen! Until I do, I urge you to make time to spend in nature so you can reconnect with its incredible power and be transformed by its beauty and presence, as I was yesterday.

THE SPIRIT FACTOR is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions. Join our community of spirit and “like” our page on Facebook!

In Spirit,

Marie Kukula-Tyner

IT’S BEEN A WHILE, BUT I’M BACK!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. So much has happened to me personally and to us collectively over the past year. While our world faced a global pandemic, I was dealing with my own health challenge.

I won’t go into the details now, but I will tell you that it was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. I’m happy to say that I am on the road to a complete recovery.

I’m still processing everything we individually and collectively went through over the past year, but what I learned, to a greater extent in that time, is that our health is truly the most valuable asset we have.

Dr. William J. Mayo, one of the founders of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, understood this. I took the picture above when I was at the Mayo Clinic last year because what it said resonated deeply with me.

Dr. Mayo’s words have stayed with me since then, especially as I watched so many people in our nation, and around the world, get so sick or die from Covid-19.

While a pandemic is a rare occurrence that we individually don’t have much control over, how we take care of our health on a daily basis is something we do have control of.

Taking care of our health is the single most important thing we can do, because if we lose our health, we lose our ability to be independent, to have a bright future, and to pursue our dreams. If we get sick, we end up struggling to get through our days and we find ourselves surviving instead of thriving.

While the emotional and physical toll of an illness can be tough on the patient and their caregiver, the financial consequences can be devastating for those who are under insured or who don’t have insurance. So taking care of our health and the health of our loved ones is the best investment we can make on many levels.

In Section Two, Obstructions to Spirit, of THE SPIRIT FACTOR, the first obstructions I talk about are Our Health and Food because I feel our health and the food we eat can be the biggest obstructions to spirit we have.

While I’ve considered myself to be educated about food and a pretty healthy eater over the past decade, I realized the past few months that I could improve my diet a lot. This is not such an easy task when we are bombarded with unhealthy fast-food commercials constantly on TV and so much of the food available in our groceries stores is processed and lacks any nutritional value.

But after what I went through, I’m committed to cutting out most processed foods and switching to a more whole foods plant-based diet. Every part of my being is telling me that this is the right thing to do. I feel by making this change, I will put the odds in my favor for not only recovering completely now but also for staying healthy and happy in the future.

Rather than looking at this change as some sort of deprivation, I’m looking at it as a joyful thing, knowing that I’m giving my body the nourishment it needs to heal and become stronger every day. This is exciting to me!

I have a lot left in life that I want to accomplish, and I want to do everything in my power to make sure I’m strong and healthy for the work, and fun, ahead.

There were times during my treatment journey that I wasn’t sure I’d make it, and I could feel the dream I have of Michael and me teaching THE SPIRIT FACTOR philosophy around the world slipping away.

Feeling that all the hard work we had done, the sacrifices we had made, and the time we had spent writing the book would be lost made me incredibly sad. I felt sad, too, for all the people we wouldn’t be able to help because I know the information in THE SPIRIT FACTOR is needed now more than ever.

But now, I know that if I continue to make healthy choices and work hard, I can make my dream come true. And that is worth any effort my new, healthier life will take.

I’m happy to be back! I look forward to sharing more of THE SPIRIT FACTOR with you and the world! Maybe you will be inspired to join me on my new, healthier-life journey so we can create a (R)EVOLUTION of spirit, together!

It is time, don’t you think?

THE SPIRIT FACTOR is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions. You can click the Shop Now button at the top of the page to purchase a copy!

In Spirit,Marie Kukula-Tyner