The Power of Positive Rituals

November 29th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

We live in a fast paced, hectic world where it is very easy to lose sight of each other and the special bonds we have.  The power of positive, mindful rituals can strengthen our connections with each other and provide on-going ways to stay connected.
I just returned from my annual Sister’s weekend–where I get together with my two sisters.  It is something I look forward to every summer and it is a guaranteed time that we have together to have fun and deepen the connection we have. 
There is something about an extended visit that allows for deeper sharing than typically happens on short visits.  There are things that I find out about my sisters only during these Sister’s weekends—even though we are close and talk a lot during the rest of the year.
We spent time trying to figure out how many years we have been doing our Sisters Weekend ritual.  We had fun remembering the goofy times we had and even talked about some hurts that had never been revealed before.  When I reflected on the power of this annual ritual I began to think of all of the other opportunities to create positive rituals in our lives. 
Here are some examples of positive rituals that you can create in your life to strengthen your relationships:
 1. Hug and kiss your honey mindfully when you part from each other during the day.  Be present and feel your love from them as you kiss.
2. Create a weekly date night or family night where you do something special together.  You can take turns planning this.
3. Follow rituals you enjoyed from your own family and create new ones that are unique to you and your family
4.Think of silly rituals–celebrate an obscure Holiday or an event every year.  I have friends who have a Mardi Gras party every year–which is a fun celebration in the winter in Wisconsin
5. Celebrate anniversarys that are important to you.  The day you met your sweetie, the day you stopped drinking.  Think of days you want to honor every year and create a ritual to honor it.
6. Release rituals that no longer have meaning for you that you continue because of expectations from other people.  This frees you up to create rituals that have true meaning for you and those you love.
7. Create a ritual of fun on one day on the weekend.  It could be afternoons on Sunday are only for doing fun things.
8. Create fun rituals in your neighborhood.  I have a neighbors who have a yearly Winter Solstice party that brings the whole neighborhood together to have fun and celebrate.
Be creative and think of meaningful or fun ways to celebrate the connection you have with those you love. 
I would love to hear about any rituals that you already celebrate in your life. Please post below:)

Too Good to be True

November 6th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

“Doing what you Love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”  Wayne Dyer

When I work with people to connect with their Authentic Self and align with their Life Purpose–their lives get better and better.

A big challenge can be letting all of this good in and getting comfortable with it.   A recent example of this was client of mine, Karen, (not her real name.)

Karen had connected deeply with her Authentic Self and got clarity about her Life Purpose.  She took the courageous steps to align with and follow her Life Purpose.

She was so surprised to find the more she followed her true purpose–the better things got in every area of her life–including her finances.  She was able to do what she loved and was making three times what used to make at a job she hated!

She was flying high until she attended a recent party of one of her friends.  One person after another complained about the economy or how much stress they had at a job they didn’t even like.

Karen began to feel guilty for all of the joy and abundance she was experiencing.  She said “I felt ashamed–like I was bad for having it so good–who am I to have all of this when others are struggling so much?”

I explained to her that what she was experiencing was what EVERYONE is meant to be experiencing–a connection with their true self, loving connections with others and work that they love–including amazing abundance.

I shared it was her own commitment and investment in her own growth that had paved the way for what she was experiencing.  “Karen, every person at that party can experience what you are—it is up to them to love themselves enough to invest their time, energy and money in their growth—like you did”  I said to her.

Karen nodded her head as she listened to me“But what about the money—I can’t believe I am earning so much money for doing what I love—it seems like it is too good to be true!” she questioned.

“Again, Karen, this is how it is meant to be for everyone.  Abundance flows to us when we are aligned with our True Life Purpose.  The other people at the party are struggling so much because they aren’t aligning with their true path.  They are instead chasing security—but true security and abundance comes from doing what you love and what you are meant to be doing on the planet.  That is what you are experiencing now.”

Karen said “When you explain it that way—it makes so much sense.  I feel so joyful and happy—I want everyone to be experiencing what I am!”

“And Karen, everyone can experience what you are experiencing but it is up to them to make the choice to invest the time and energy to explore just what their true path is—and then take the steps to align with it.  Then their life is not ‘too good to be true’ but what their life was meant to be like all along— incredibly joyful and abundant.”

The Power of Playing

November 1st, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old:  we grow old because we stop playing”  George Bernard Shaw IMG_2266

Have you played lately?  Really played?  One of the things that I encourage all of my clients to do is to “play more”.  One of the symptoms of the disconnection from our Authentic Self is that we don’t play.

Many people stop playing when they are a young child–because they had to “grow up fast” to deal with the challenging issues going on in their home.  Or they were shamed for the natural playing that they did do with messages like “Stop making so much noise” “Stop acting so stupid” “Stop living in a fantasy world”.

Or it just was not safe to play because of the harsh, critical energy coming from their parents.  So part of the healing process is opening up again to your natural capacity for joyful play.

Here are some tips to begin to open up to playing more today!

1. Create safety inside of yourself to play by releasing any self-judgments of yourself you may have when you play.  Part the energy of play is experimenting with new things, being creative and being more in the flow of the present moment.  If you begin to judge yourself you will immediately stop this natural flow.

2. Give yourself permission to look silly and to make mistakes.   In my Joy Workshops–where we play A LOT–I encourage the participants to actively try to “make a fool of themselves”.  When permission is given to flub up and do it wrong- it creates an incredible opening for your natural, joyful player to emerge.

3. Ask your Inner Child what she/he would like to do to play more.  Your own inner child is a big time fun machine and has a ton of ideas of things to do that would be fun.  So tune and ask this part of you “What would you love to do that would be really fun for you?”  If you don’t get any answers right away–keep asking with an intention to really listen and learn from this sweet, fun, playful part of you.

Sometimes the lid has been on this part of you for so long that it doesn’t really trust that you really want to know what ideas it has.

4. Find people to play with.  Think of everyone you know and identify who you feel the most comfortable “playing” with?  Spend time with this person and experiment with playing.  You may be the catalyst for play in the relationship–and that is OK.

One of my friends says to me “I love spending time with you because you are the friend I have the most fun with.”  It is because I have set an intention to have fun with everyone I spend time with.  If you don’t have anyone in your life that feels safe enough to play with–set an intention to meet new people who are fun, safe and loving.

5. Plan at least one fun thing to do a day–ideally two or three things.  Make fun and play a priority in your life.  So often we let our responsibilities take over and we don’t leave any time for the things that truly nurture our Spirits—like play.

So re-prioritize your day and put fun at the TOP of your list–rather than the bottom.  Surprisingly—and this happens over and over for my clients–the more fun they have–the more they end up getting done!  How wonderful is that!

So open up again to the natural, joyful and playful energy that is inside of you— letting the child in you finally be FREE!

Are You Afraid of Your Potential?

October 30th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

“There is a power inside every human–against which no earthly force is of the slightest consequence.”  Neville Goddard

Are you hiding your own magnificence under lock and key?  Do you feel like you have so much more you want to do and express in your life?  You feel the “there is so much more for me than this feeling?”

You know that changes need to be made but at the same time you feel AFRAID–and this stops you in your tracks.  You start to:


*Doubt yourself


*Waste time

*Get scattered

*Worry about someone else

*Get sidetracked with someone else’s agenda

*Get sick or have an accident

Why are you afraid of your Potential–of being all that you came here to be— expressing your gifts and Life Purpose full out?

Here is what I have discovered are at the core of this Fear for people:

1. I’m afraid of really being SEEN because if I am visible I will be: hurt, judged, told I am a fake, told I don’t know what I am talking about, told I am bad, told I am wrong for what I am doing, lightning may even strike me:)

2. I’m afraid that my life will change and that I won’t like it:  I won’t be as close to my family, my partner and I will grow apart, I won’t have enough time with my kids,  I won’t have any free time, I will lose what I love in my life

3. I’m afraid things will change and others close to me won’t like it: my partner will leave, my kids will get angry with me, my friends will be resentful, my family will judge me

4. I’m afraid I won’t know what to do–I will be overwhelmed with the new and will feel lost: what if I can’t do it, what if I fall flat on my face, what if I’m just not talented enough, what if I make a fool out of myself?

5. I am afraid I am not ready now I have to: go back to school, take another class, learn this new process, practice some more (maybe a few more years:), I have to wait until I am not afraid,  I’m plain just not ready now!

6. I am afraid that the Universe and other people won’t support me: The Universe is against me, other people will not support me, I’m doing this all alone–it feels so big and I feel small, as I move forward I will get resistance rather than support.

Can you see yourself in some of these fears?  These are the core fears of you holding yourself back from your Potential and Dreams.


The Opportunity of Uncertainty

October 25th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

“There is no certainty on this earth, only opportunity”  Douglas MacArthurIMG_0820

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” Albert Einstein

Do you have things going on in your life that lead you to feel uncertain and afraid?   Have you lost a job, is a relationship changing–is there some transition going on in your life?  With so much change happening in the world right now–we can take different perspectives on what is happening.  We can say to ourselves “Everything is crumbling around me, the world is falling apart” or we can say “What is no longer serving my higher growth is fading from my life–opening up an even better path for me to travel.”

What if the Uncertainty is a gateway to even better things in your Life?  What if it moves you into examining yourself on a deeper level—helps you to get clear about your true values and priorities—helps you to ask the ever important question “Why are you here—how do you want to use your very precious time on the planet?”

Here are some other Gifts and Opportunities of Uncertainty:

1. Helps you to deepen your connection with yourself

2. Allows you to pull forth strength and courage from inside of you that you never even knew you had

3. Helps you to loosen your dependence on outer structures and people for your sense of security (question yourself–what outside of me do I rely on for a sense of safety and security?)  The shaking of this is to gently remind you that you have incredible resources in your own Spirit that can be called upon and relied upon in any situation–plus your own Spiritual Connection–whatever that is for you.

4. Allows you to develop your faith and trust in the Spiritual realm which is where you come from—being that you are a Spiritual Being having a human experience.  When there is nothing to hold onto for certainty in the physical realm–we can have our deepest experiences of connection with the Divine.

5. Opens you up to new paths that you would have never considered if you were back in your old “certain” world.

6. Gives you practice to embrace change with faith and trust—rather than dropping into fear (a priceless ability that you will carry with you forever)

7. Gives you the opportunity to move into a deeper level of Authencity with who you are (drop pretending to be something other than who you are) and to finally line up with your Authentic Dreams and Life Purpose

8. Helps you to WAKE UP rather than live life on auto-pilot.

Why You Are Stuck

October 23rd, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

“Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”    Howard Thurman

Do you feel stuck in your life?  Do you feel there is something more for you in your life but you don’t know what that is?  Or you know what it is but you don’t know how you are going to get there?  The “feeling stuck“ feeling is an important feeling to pay attention to.  It is a signal that something needs to change in your life—but the change first needs to begin on the inner level.  You see we are all meant to live magnificent lives filled with joy and purpose—we are actually hard wired for this.  The stuck feeling is giving you a signal that you are out of alignment with your true self—your Authentic self.

Your Authentic self is the truest you—the you that you intended to be when you came here.  Your Authentic self is already filled with Joy and knows it’s purpose on the planet—this is already within you—it is not contained outside of you—where many people get sidetracked looking.

So many of the clients I work with feel a sense incredible untapped potential within them that is just not being expressed.  They feel the frustration of this knowingness– coupled with confusion they feel about how to tap into this energy and express it more meaningfully in their lives.  The most powerful thing that I share with them that begins to transform their lives immediately is beginning to distinguish the voice of their conditioned self (all the fears, false beliefs and patterns they have been taught) from the voice of their Authentic Self.

Many listen to the voice of their Conditioned Self and allow this voice to dictate their decisions in life.  Listening to this voice will lead to confusion, lack of confidence, unwillingness to take risks, despair, anxiety and even anger.  This voice will keep you stuck in old patterns and situations that aren’t good for you for YEARS.  The Joy that is inside of you will not be able to be felt or expressed with this Voice running the show.

To start to get you to distinguish this voice from your Authentic Voice—here are some examples:

1. Conditioned Self Voice“You better stay right where you are right now, it’s safe, secure and the money is good—don’t rock the boat.The economy is bad and you should be lucky you even have a job.”

Authentic Self Voice-“I’m so excited to find my life purpose!I know there is something special I am meant to do—I can just feel it and I can’t wait to figure it out.I am going to sign up for the Life Purpose Mentoring Program so I can start moving forward as soon as possible.I am so excited—what an adventure this will be!”

2. Conditioned Self Voice“I probably don’t have a Life Purpose—life is just meant to be how it is now—not awful—but not really great either.I think I want too much in my life.”

Authentic Self Voice- “I know life can be better—I can feel it inside of me.I have made positive changes in my life and I can do it again.I am willing to take the risks to be all that I came here to be and I know I will be supported as I step out in faith”

3. Conditioned Self Voice“I could never make money at my Life Purpose –that is just a pie in the sky dream there are only a few lucky people who get to do this.I better just stay realistic and resign myself to what I am doing now—it’s not so bad

Authentic Self Voice-“I know I can make money at my Life Purpose.  I might need to learn some new things and grow in different ways—but I am willing to do it because I LOVE what I am doing.  And remember the phrase “Do What You Love and the Money will Follow”  I will remember this as I move forward.I am so excited—it is going to be even better than I imagine!

4. Conditioned Self Voice-I don’t think we are supposed to be happy.  I see everyone around me and they are just as unhappy as me—that is just life.

Authentic Self Voice“Happiness is meant for me and everyone else and I am going to open up fully to my happiness and live fully now.  No more waiting on the sidelines—I am going to make choices that support what brings me happiness–NOW.  I will be a role model for others to move into their happiness too—won’t that be fun!

5. Conditioned Self Voice- “I can’t do that because……….I”m too old, too young, don’t have the money, don’t have the time, I will fail, I will succeed, I don’t deserve it, it’s too late, I don’t know what will happen, I will regret it, I’m scared, I will do it later…….

Authentic Self Voice-“I CAN do it because………I have what it takes, I deserve to be happy, I say so, it is my time to really live, now is the time, I’m not going to hold back anymore, It will be a success no matter what happens, I will be supported by the Universe every step of the way.

See how different you feel reading each of these statements?  Feel the heaviness and constriction of the Conditioned Self and on the other hand the lightness, joy and expansiveness of the Authentic Self.

Use these examples to track the voices inside of you-–practice labeling the voice of the Conditioned Self and begin to NOT listen to it.  Instead–Listen to that soft, subtle, joyful, hopeful, light voice of the Authentic Self inside of you—it will lead you on a path of more Joy, Love, Peace, Lightness and sweet Adventure—the kind of life you were meant to live!

The Power of Unconditional Love

October 18th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

“Of all the earthly music, that which reaches the farthest into the heavens is the beauty of a truly loving heart.” Henry Ward Beecher

Cindy came into to see me because she was being so critical with her husband Bob, who she loved very much.  She said “Some of the things that he does just irritate me and I can’t stop being critical of him.”  I suggested  “Why don’t you practice loving the things that irritate you about him—because they are a part of him and you love him.  You will be practicing being unconditionally loving—which will be healing for you as well as him.”   This was a new idea for her and she was skeptical that she could do it she said “You mean I can make this decision to love these things and have them not irritate me?”  I said “Yes, just give it a try and see how it feels.”

Cindy returned two weeks later and was amazed by the transformation in her, in Bob and in their relationship.  She said “Every time I started to feel the irritation I said to myself—I am going to love this about him—and I surprised myself because I really started to love the quirky things about Bob—and now I love him even more.”    Cindy went on “It felt so good to be loving and not so critical—I felt closer to Bob and our kids—-and what surprised me the most is that I felt so much better about myself.  I felt that I was being more of who I truly am—which is loving—not critical.”  I said “That is right Cindy –you were being in alignment with your Authentic Self—which is unconditionally loving and accepting.”

She then said “And what really amazed me is the whole atmosphere in our house changed.  It felt more safe, warm and accepting—even the kids started being kinder to each other.  It is like everyone relaxed and felt more open and loving.”  I said “Yes, this shift from being critical to being loving can have a profound impact on the kind of atmosphere that you create in your relationships.”  She said “It was like my change created a ripple effect that affected everyone in the home.”  I said “Yes, it is very often that way that it only can take one person who has made a clear commitment to loving to help the others in the home shift into this as well.”

The above example can be applied to any of your relationships.  Once you get this simple but powerful truth that who you are—your very being is love—and when you begin to operate from who you are—your relationships are transformed, healed—and you become a living example of unconditional love and acceptance—a beautiful reflection of divine love.

Who Do You Think You Are?

October 9th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta


I was always looking outside of myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within.  It is there all the time.” Anna Freud


One of the most common issues I work with in my work with clients is Self-Worth.  Many people are unable to see the true magnificence of who they really are. 

They are blind to it because of distorted perceptions they have of themselves.  It is like they are looking at themselves through a clouded, dirty window that is distorted–and when they look through this window they believe these distortions are really true.

What a relief for them when they find out this is what they have been doing!  Clearing away these distortions—like scrubbing the window clean—reveals the truth—that what is on the other side of the window–is their beautiful Authentic Self—Radiant, Loving, Joyful, Creative, Compassionate, Fun and Sparkly.

You may be reading this—thinking– Is that  really me—all of those things.  Yes–absolutely.  You may think–“Well I don’t feel so Joyful—or Sparkly.”  And yes, that might be true–because you may be operating in old patterns of your Conditioned Self which will block your experience of your Joy, Your Sparkly energy. 

But the good news is the Joy is always there, the Sparkly energy is always there—it never goes away.  It is like the Sun beaming brightly on the other side of the passing clouds it is Constant, Bright and nothing can ever take it away.

So see if you can tune into this energy of your Authentic Self right now.  Drop below your worries, fears, self-doubt, irritation and begin to feel the Love, the Joy, and the Excitement of your Authentic Self—that just wants to be, to Love, to Express and Have lots of FUN.

I would love to hear from you what happens when you do this.  You can post your answer below.




…But I can be Happy NOW!

October 4th, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

“What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life. ” Leo Buscaglia
How often do you put off your happiness until some future event occurs?  You can tell that you are doing this– if you have phrases like this going around in your head:
“When I have more money–I will be happy.”
“When I graduate–I will be happy.”
When my spouse changes–I will be happy.”
“When I lose this weight–I will be happy.”
“When I find my Soulmate–I will be happy.”
“When I redecorate my home–I will be happy.”
“When this awful situation is over–I will be happy.”
“When my kids are happy–I will be happy.”
Notice if you do this in your life.  For many people I work with this is such a routine pattern that they don’t even notice they are doing this.  Making some external condition a source of your happiness is a way to lose sight of your capacity for happiness in this very moment.
I was driving the other day and got stuck in traffic.  I had a choice of moving into frustration or opening up to some happiness I could experience in the situation.  I had thrown some music CD’s into the car that a participant in a presentation I gave a few months ago had made for me.  I decided it would be a good time to listen to one of them.
I put the music in and was immediately transported into such a pure state of happiness.  The music was amazingly beautiful, the sun was shining and Niyo (my dog) was being very sweet with me (the car was at a standstill-so he could be by me).  I could have been there for hours and would not have been bothered at all!
It is the opportunity each of us has in every moment and that is how to open up to the potential happiness RIGHT NOW!  Our lives are made up of these precious moments that I can be wasted if we have our mind set on something needing to be different for us to be happy.
If this is a pattern for you—(I know it has been for me!) a phrase that can help you shift this around is when you find yourself saying “I will be happy when this happens—“.  You can counter yourself with saying “But I can be happy NOW.” 
This powerful phrase can help shift you out of the future and affirms the truth of the vast opportunity for happiness right this moment.  It also can loosen your belief that your happiness is a function of external events happening around you–and is more of a function of your choice to embrace it right now–right where you are–just as things are.

Pay Attention to Your Environment

October 2nd, 2012, by Shelley Riutta

The environment that we are in can have a profound impact on us.  The following things make up our environment:

  • Our physical surroundings–the decor, colors, sounds, smells, the kinds of activity happening around us
  • The people around us–what they are saying, doing, the kind of energy they are emitting (ex. happy, frustrated)
  • The overall energy of the place we are in.  Each place—each home, place of business has a signature energy–which is a combination of the moods of everybody, what historically has happened there, how physically clean it is, the intentions of the business owners.  This energy in turn impacts how people feel there which can in turn contribute to more of the same energy.  Example–if it is a place with a happy energy–it is more likely that people will feel happy there and emit more energy of happiness into the environment.

This kind of awareness can help you to choose the environments you decide to spend your time in.  It can also help to be aware of the kind of environment you are creating in your own home and office and notice if this is the kind of environment you want to create.

 Last week I was out to lunch with a friend and we went to an Indian restaurant here in town.  I have been to this restaurant before and have had a good feel about being there–but this time it was striking how beautiful it was there.  There was so much care that went into the decor and it was so clean that it almost shimmered.  The energy feel of it was also light and beautiful.  There were lots of windows with light streaming in the golden curtains.  The people that worked there also were so focused on really being of service and were kind and loving. I really got how this kind of care and attention on so many levels really helps to uplift people and nurture their Spirits.

So pay attention to the environments you are in and see how they feel to you.  Notice what you like and what you don’t like.  Use this as information to make the adjustments that you can in your own environment and then to be more mindful of where you spend your free time.

Hi, I'm Shelley Riutta MSE, LPC a Holistic Psychotherapist in private practice. I specialize in helping people connect with their Authentic selves--and from this create a life that is in alignment with their Life Purpose and filled with Joy. I offer transformational individual counseling, presentations, groups and Workshops. You can get my Free Workbook "What Do You REALLY Want: Finding Purpose and Passion in Your Life" here or contact me at 877-346-1167.
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