Tag Archives: Self Help Book

Are You Opening To A NEW PARADIGM?

Book Salon at Malaprop’s

We have been grateful to introduce our Messages to the Heart book salon at Malaprops Books & Cafe in Asheville, NC.  We have led two salons so far. The discussion, participation has been rich and vibrant.  Starting with the first chapter of the book, Reflections on Following your Heart, we talked about Letting Go, Forgiveness, Surrender and Truth.  What we have loved are the nuances others have picked up on. Looking at one of the art images, someone shared an observation that “a peek of light in a turbulent sky signified a new way to look at personal challenge.” There was a comfort in knowing that this light was always there trying to make its way through.

A New Paradigm

At the last salon, we discussed one of the passages that we believe is calling on us collectively. The passage, Surrender speaks to letting go of old notions of control to make way for a NEW PARADIGM that has been waiting for us to embrace.  The passage joined with Elise Okrend’s original pastel painting, Mountain Light is below. As you read the words and look at the art,  see how the words and image speak to you.

When you surrender to the calling of your soul, there is a relief as you let go of control. When the ego no longer calls the shots, the only thing that matters is trust, belief, faith, love. We are at the point when control over others, control to get money, possessions, status has been fully played out and leaves you feeling alone, in a battle. That way is tiresome, old and exhausting. The new paradigm, and it has always been at the core of you, is trust coming through and through. No fighting, no games, no manipulation, no impatience.  Just a calm knowing of your unique talents and using them to uplift others, to heal, to inspire, to give.  It is filled with a patience that it will all work out and each moment becomes alive with these things.

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Mountain Light, Original Pastel by Elise Okrend, www.eliseokrend.com

Do you want to go deeper, have a dialogue, contemplate what is possible in your life, in the world? If you are in Asheviille, or plan to visit this fall, please join us at one of our book salons. We meet every other Wednesday through the end of October at Malaprops Books & Cafe from 5-6p.m. We welcome your presence and participation. Also, we would love your feedback on this blog. Please feel free to add  your comments below. We look forward to connecting with you.

Phil & Elise Okrend

You can order the book, Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth through our web site , the retail stores listed there including Malaprops, or on Amazon.com

To learn about Phil’s Life Coaching services, visit his page at the Messages to the Heart Website!

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Messages to the Heart Workshop

We are so pleased to invite you to our new Messages to the Heart workshop 

Our new live workshop, A Journey To Healing and Empowerment Through Art and Words is coming to the beautiful Om Sanctuary, Asheville, NC on Friday December 5th, 6:30pm-9:30pm

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Artist Elise Okrend and her husband, Life Coach Phil Okrend, authors of the new coffee table book, Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth will lead you on a transformative journey of self–discovery. By using beautiful soothing art and mindful, contemplative passages from their book, you will learn to see your life through new eyes that will inspire, heal and empower you to connect to your inner guidance.

Register Now! Space is limited to 12 participants

You will be guided toward finding clarity on such issues as:

• Letting Go
• Finding Purpose
• Trust
• Self Worth
• Making Choices
• Taking Steps
• Finding Strength
• Living from Abundance

You will leave the workshop with tools and a framework to make positive change in your life.

Register Now! Space is limited to 12 participants

We look forward to being with you.

Elise and Phil

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Vulnerability Is Strength

Reflections on Empowerment

This latest blog post was inspired by a passage from Messages to the Heart, Reflections on Empowerment, Self Worth. The art and passage appear below the article.

Being vulnerable is difficult for many people

Being vulnerable is difficult for many people. It can conjure up intense feelings such as fear of being judged, loss of control and weakness. When we want to project a certain image to the world, we may try to avoid vulnerability. It is as though being vulnerable will leave us feeling alone and abandoned because we will not be accepted for who we really are.

At the moment that we feel vulnerable, it presents us with a choice. The choice is one between acting from the ego or false self, or acting from your true or authentic self. While the ego may crave control, predictability and looking good in the eyes of others, the authentic self, wants to give and receive love, connection and compassion.

I think we have reached a critical point in our culture where many people are literally burnt out and exhausted from the demands of the ego. The ego is never relaxed or satisfied, and always wants control. It is getting harder to hold on to a sense of control when so many personal and world situations seem beyond our control.

Being vulnerable allows us to let go of the struggle for control

Being vulnerable allows us to let go of the struggle for control. It allows us the freedom to enter into relationships where truth and authenticity are valued, where flaws are not shamed, but merely seen as human. Vulnerability leads us to a shared connection with others because it allows us to have shared empathy with others. Vulnerability is then the place where true community building can occur. Vulnerability is in essence, the opposite of what we have been set up to believe. Vulnerability is not weakness, it is not shameful. Vulnerability is strength. It is real. It is connecting.

If we can understand that vulnerability is positive and life affirming, then perhaps we can learn to overcome our resistance to it. However, it means getting out of our own way and questioning habitual reactions.

Questions for you to consider

Here are some questions for you to consider that can help you examine your own perspectives on vulnerability.

What is it costing me to avoid uncomfortable issues? Where do I hold myself back? Where have I been unwilling to risk? In what ways will facing my vulnerability give me strength? In what ways will facing my vulnerability bring me connection to others? In what ways will facing my vulnerability bring me peace of mind?

This is the passage from our book, Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth, Self Worth with Elise’s pastel painting, Jane’s Meadow. It calls you forth to see your vulnerability as strength.

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None of us are perfect, and yet all of us are deserving of love and understanding. We don’t let ourselves be who really are because we think others won’t like it. But the truth is that others won’t like it when they can’t tell who you are and that what you say really reflects who you are. That just leads to cynicism, distrust and fakeness over time. We need to give others permission to be exactly who they are so we can be who we are. No one is perfect, and yet we are all perfect in our imperfections. That is the human experience. We are here to love, learn, grow, be ourselves and know that our being here is our ticket to self worth. As we accept that and believe that, we build true authentic bonds of connection with others. All the striving to be something we are not in order to get self worth is a losing game that eventually catches up with people. You can only be an act for so long. It is your vulnerability which will make you strong and make you soar. Be yourself and be proud!

 

Finding Your Yellow Brick Road

What is the truth about you?

One of my favorite movies of all time is “The Wizard of Oz.”

Find Your Yellow Brick Road

This timeless tale of Dorothy, her little dog Toto and her three friends, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion has touched generations of children and adults alike. I invite you to stroll down the Yellow Brick Road to share some insights that may be helpful in your own life journey. As we are introduced to the main characters on their journey to meet the Wizard, we learn about their beliefs.

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Dorothy believes only the Wizard can help her get back home, the Scarecrow believes he doesn’t have a brain, the Tin Man believes he has no heart, and the Lion believes he has no courage. They all look to The Wizard of Oz to obtain what they believe they don’t have or possess.

But is their perception of who they are, flawed?

But is their perception of who they are, flawed? If the Lion has no courage, how does he summon the will to help his friends when they are in trouble? If the Tin Man has no heart, how can he care so much for others? If the Scarecrow has no brains, how does he conceive of the plan to rescue Dorothy? Each of them shows that they already possess the qualities they seek. So if they had believed in the truth of who they were, they would never have needed to get validation from an outside source, the Wizard.

There’s no place like home

How may this apply in your own life? You may ask the following questions: Do some of the beliefs you have adopted in your life, about what you are capable of, represent what is really true about you? Do your beliefs about yourself serve to keep you empowered and on purpose, or do they keep you from authenticity and fulfillment? Do you need external approval in order to believe that you are talented, loved, strong or grounded? The more you ask yourself, “What is the truth?” the more you can consciously choose to release the limiting beliefs that no longer serve you. You won’t have to look much further than your own backyard to do so. As Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home”.

The following passage is from our book Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth. It calls on you to find your special place of truth within.

Reflections on Love Trust, Meditation Pond, Pastel Art by Elise Okrend.

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If you want love, look within.

If you want peace, look within.

If you want satisfaction, look within.

If you want to be in harmony with others, look within.

If you want to be free of distraction, look within.

If you want to honor your truth, look within
.

There is no reason to look anywhere else.
 All that you need is within. You were just looking in the wrong place.

Phil

Phil Okrend, Certified Life and Business Coach, transitioned from being an attorney, to the life of a creative entrepreneur, writer, speaker and musician. Phil is the author of the new coffee table book “Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth,” which pairs his mindful poetic writings with the art of his wife, Asheville based pastel artist Elise Okrend.  www.messagestotheheart.com  and www.steppingstonescoaching.com

 

Finding Your Path

Do you feel that you have a destiny to fulfill, a path to follow? Read our latest blog to explore this question.

Your life path.  It was present the day you were born, and it is there waiting for you. This path gives our lives purpose and meaning, and it is our job to find the path, connect with it and follow it.  It is what the  American writer, Joseph Campbell called the hero’s journey as it moves you from the known into the unknown.  Along the way, there may be temptations, circumstances, distractions that try to throw you off, but you may also find a mentor, a book, a synchronicity that will keep you moving along the path.  The following passage from our book, Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth outlines three things to help you realize your life path. The passage is paired with Elise’s Painting, “The Path.” Let us know how this passage and art speaks to you.

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These three things will help you on your journey: Heal the Past, Live the Present, Dream the Future!

Heal the past- See what the old stories and patterns are costing you in your life. You will know who and what you need to forgive, and you will see that dealing with pain and discomfort now is better than having the past own you for “What you resist persists.”

Live the present- Your life only exists in this moment, and the more you can place your attention on what is in front of you, the more you will be alive, energized and resourceful.

Dream the future- Imagine an inspiring future where you are at your best, happy, fulfilled, contributing, engaged in life. From that vision, you will know what steps will either lead you there or will take you away from it.  Practice these three things and you will find the life path that has been waiting for you

Elise and Phil Okrend

To learn more about the Coffee Table Book, Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth, visit www.messagestotheheart.com

In The Spirit – Interview with Elise and Phil Okrend

1621828_417492958380867_1989983975_nThis interview with us was featured in the In The Spirit column of the Asheville Mountain Xpress on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. By Jordan Foltz.

WHAT: Messages to the Heart: Reflections of Beauty and Truth reading, book signing and art show with authors Phil and Elise Okrend.

WHEN/WHERE: Book reading and signing at Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café, Sunday Feb. 9, 3-5 p.m. Art display at Hotel Indigo, Wednesday Feb. 12, 5-7 p.m.

WHY: Compiled by Asheville couple Phil and Elise Okrend, Messages to the Heart combines Elise’s pastel paintings with Phil’s poetic passages inspired by his years as a life coach. The Okrends spoke with Xpress about the book’s creation:

Mountain Xpress: What have you found that this book is able to convey through the combination of prose and imagery that your individual works were unable to carry on their own?

Elise: When my art is paired with Phil’s passages, we are asking the reader to go deeper. We allow them to have a feeling about the art, but we ask them to reflect about a part of themselves through the passage. How does it make them feel? How can they allow themselves to have a different perspective? How are they inspired? We consciously tried to match the passages to the paintings by sensing what feeling or emotion the art was calling forth.

Phil: If you think about a memorable song, the lyrics and the melody may stand on their own as an artistic piece of work, but it is the joining of those media that creates something lasting with more impact to the listener. … Together, the art and words carry more impact than if just left by themselves. I also love the idea of having my words not just as a book to read, but as an object of design and beauty that can be a part of someone’s home.

For more information, go to Messages to the Heart.

 

Sharing Our Story Behind Messages to the Heart

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Here’s a great story, just released in the Asheville Citizen-Times about the creation of Messages to the Heart.  The book is an organic pairing of our different forms of creative self expression through art and words, and our desire to inspire and help others find their own authentic path.  We are so excited to have the opportunity to share our story and read from the book at two upcoming events in Asheville during Valentine’s Day Week.

Messages to the Heart events

•  Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe, 55 Haywood St., downtown Asheville, 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9th, for an author reading and book signing.
• Hotel Indigo, 151 Haywood St., downtown Asheville, will host a Valentine’s Day themed reception, book signing and art display with music, 5-7 p.m. Feb. 12.

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Elise and Phil Okrend
www.messagestotheheart.com

Welcome to the Messages to the Heart Blog

1530336_402620499868113_1546710253_nWelcome to the New Blog for Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth. The book was conceived from our passion to inspire and uplift others through a creative pairing of art and words. Just released on December 15th, 2013, Messages to the Heart is making its way into the hearts and homes of readers.  We invite you to share your comments about how the book speaks to you, what touches you, the paintings and the words. How does it influence the way you can see making positive change in your life?

Starting this blog with purpose. What is your purpose?  Here is an excerpt from our book from the Chapter, Reflections on Following Your Heart:

Each one of us has a purpose, a destiny. We each have a time when that purpose will manifest. You can not choose that time, that time chooses you. It is your job to recognize when that time is calling you. You can not prematurely put your actions into motion when the time isn’t right, for then it is just your ego wanting control. Listen for the time, and then act. You will know when it is time. 

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What does this passage and art evoke in you?

Original pastel painting titled San Miguel by Elise, www.eliseokrend.com