Today I am reminded that we are all connected. It’s easy for me to forget that, despite the fact that I get to experience the joy of connection and Oneness on a daily basis through my work. Still, my ego – my fierce and loyal and way-overly-zealous protector – is very habituated to stepping in to show me all the ways in which it thinks it might be better for me to feel separate/d from others.

There is value in this exercise of the ego. After all, one of the reasons I chose to experience my physical form was so that I could explore duality and the ideas of shadow and light. And so experiencing what I perceive as being contrast to my personal physical reality can show me a lot that I might not otherwise explore and I am extremely grateful for that.

At times, however, I notice that I look for, and hence find, ways of creating opposition or duality within myself. In my unconscious search for separateness, I cut myself off from the flow of love and connection that is available directly from Source and from many of those around me. I find ways of noticing where I am not enough or how I am not worthy of something or in what ways I am not capable of giving or receiving.

Changing these neural pathways has been a huge focus for me over the last several years and I finally made enough headway that I was able to experience a really major shift recently.

I believed for some time that the areas in which I was discounting myself only affected me. I thought that not honoring my time or my skills only had an adverse effect on me and my life. I only saw it as a reflection of my not-enough-ness and of my impulsive need to give more than I receive.

But when each of us honors ourselves, when we claim our right to be here and our full worth, we are able to create the space for others to do so as well.

I finally understood that where we withhold love from ourselves, we withhold it from another, and when we shine a light on ourselves, we are able to light up another.

If we value ourselves enough to ask for what we need, deserve and desire in this lifetime whether that is proper remuneration for our work, healthy boundaries with those around us, good food to nourish us, friends that value us or more, then we show others how to do the same. We show them how to shine along with us. We can hold out our hands from a place of empowerment and celebrate with those around us. We begin to see even more blessings in our lives and we become able to share those in a way that doesn’t feel imbalanced or depleting.

Uneven energy exchanges, whether out of fear or because we feel powerless in the situation, hold back all involved in the situation from fully actualizing themselves, and everyone involved will actually receive less energetically as a result. But when we honor and invest in ourselves, in our growth and our advancement, however that might look to each one of us, everyone is able to draw from the situation in a way that feels full and empowered and then we give from that space of completeness. And that shift in perception is a true gift, a little (and oftentimes huge) miracle in the making.