Hello friends, I recently shared a blog series, “Tell Me a Story” and I know you all enjoyed getting to know the featured authors and reading their books. Today it is my pleasure to feature one more “bonus” author. The talented Goddess of Gratitude, Shilamida Kupershteyn.
Shilamida is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Spiritual Guide, Healthy Living Mentor, and Best-Selling Author of “31 Days of Gratitude-Create the Life You Desire”, an interactive Gratitude Journal, “From Food Stamps to First-class”.
After making six figures, Shilamida experienced a succession of disasters and unforeseen circumstances that led her to poverty and panic. She credits over a decade of spiritual studies with the world’s foremost spiritual leaders, with helping her to gain a sense of empowerment and create the life she desired. Now, Shilamida works with women to help them realize their dreams and create the life they desire through The Law of Attraction, Manifestation, and the power of gratitude.
Judgment and Opinions
We are going to get down and dirty and move right into the lessons of life in this very first chapter. There will be stories in this book that will make you want to judge me harshly. Nothing that you think could be any worse than what I’ve already thought about myself. I have not always been my best self; I have had a lot of selfish moments and I did what I felt I needed to do in order to survive. I have forgiven myself for all the wrongdoings of my past, so your judgment doesn’t matter. I’ve beaten myself up over and over again for my errors, as I am sure you have beaten yourself up, as well. When you feel the need to judge me, ask yourself why. What am I bringing up in you that needs to be healed? That is the reason why we judge, because we are being reflected a version of ourselves. A mirror of our own behaviors and patterns that we may not necessarily be able to see within ourselves, so we see it in others.
The beautiful thing you will learn in this book is that you can stop doing that! We are human. We make mistakes. Mistakes are supposed to be forgiven. Forgiveness starts from within. When you truly forgive yourself, everyone around you will forgive you too. I give you permission right now to let down your guard and your defenses. I give you permission to accept that you are a human who makes mistakes. I forgive you. That’s right—I, a stranger who has never met you, will be your friend no matter what you’ve done in the past, as long as you strive to be the best human being you can be. Yup, it’s that simple. I won’t judge you; I will only offer advice if you ask for it. I honor you as you are, with all of your imperfections. I see your beauty, and I want you to know that you deserve to be happy. You deserve to be forgiven. You deserve to be loved.
With that being said, this is one of the first spiritual lessons you need to learn. To judge is to create your own punishment. Every time you judge someone else, you open yourself up for judgment. Every time you form an opinion of someone else, you summon the universe to show you situations of this judgment.
Situations of judgement will come back to haunt you. So begin to recognize when they are taking place within you. A lot of people do and say things that they don’t even mean, or intend to be harmful, because they don’t know how to channel their feelings on whatever they are going through in the moment. They’ve been taught or they learned a way that just doesn’t vibe with you, but the truth is that you are so similar to them, it’s scary. Today, you are going to learn. I am going to teach you the laws of the universe and how to stay in a high vibe. Judgement will take you out of alignment every single time.
Judgment is really a mirror—a reflection of a part of us that we don’t like and don’t want to face. We judge others because we don’t want to judge ourselves. We judge others because it’s much easier to pull someone else down than to face what we ourselves have done. But the problem is that eventually every judgment we make will come back to us. It’s like a boomerang; we think a thought, and that thought goes out there into the world and ricochets back at us. We don’t actually realize this is happening because we forget our judgments and move on with life. But the thoughts and words we release into the universe have energy. That energy is more powerful than you can ever imagine unless you’ve tapped into it.
So, remember that woman’s shoes that you hated last night when you were out at dinner? Someone is going to hate yours too. That coworker who comes in, seemingly disheveled, and you and your work friends talk about him or her in the break room? You will eventually be the one people are talking about in the break room. Some of you who are just getting introduced to spirituality may be saying, “I don’t care what people think of me.” But the reality is that you really do. Deep down, you want to fit in and be a part of the crowd. But, the thing is that the crowd is not going to get you to where you want or need to go.
Growing up, I wanted to be a lawyer, but I was intrigued by the hotel and restaurant industry. I loved traveling and celebrating, and I thought that studying Hotel Management as a major and Pre-Law as a minor would be a great way for me to have a career based on something I loved. Well, my parents had a different plan, one that did not include restaurant or hotel management. I received a scholarship to Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island, but they wouldn’t let me go. That wasn’t in their plan. In their plan, I would go to a school close to home and live at home with them. I followed their plan for my life and applied to the same school as my brother to study Business Management, just like he did.
Being a bit of a rebel, you can imagine how this turned out for me? After I was accepted to Montclair State University, I applied for housing without my parents’ consent. A few weeks before school started, I was heading out to meet my roommate when my mom asked where I was going. When I told her, she was far from happy. The next day she received a bill that included room and board. In my heart, I knew that I needed to get out of my house. The current situation I was in was not going to work for me any longer. I needed freedom and independence, and since I already felt that I had lost that, I wasn’t going to miss out on the college experience. She reluctantly agreed.
I started that semester and was excited about new beginnings and an opportunity to have some independence. I graduated from high school when I was sixteen years old. I couldn’t even drive to my own graduation. When I was little, my mom had lied about my age to move me forward, thinking she was doing the right thing based on the level I was at academically. But she never thought about what that would mean for my emotional well-being. When my friends were turning seventeen, I was still only fifteen. As a result of my age, my parents tried to hold me back from experiencing life, but my maturity level was far beyond my years and it certainly made life harder than it needed to be.
That first semester, I was miserable! I had a hard time getting to class everyday. I remember calling home a few weeks before the semester was over, crying to my mom and asking her not to be mad when my final grades come out because I knew my grades would be subpar. My second semester was even worse. That’s the semester I was told that my dad had cancer and was going to die. The doctors gave him two years to live. I was shocked. Why was this happening? In that same conversation, I was told that I was the reason he had cancer. Me—I was the reason? I listened to the voice on the phone telling me that it was because I had made my parents worry so much about me that this happened—that stress causes cancer. I was going blank; my body felt numb and I couldn’t breathe. Then, I got angry.
Yeah, fucked up, I know. My conscious mind knew that this wasn’t true, but my subconscious mind trapped that story in there. So, there I was, already in a situation that I didn’t want to be real, and then I got hit with an overload of misinformation. Can you imagine the limited beliefs and made up stories within my mind that I created based on this and how many times it would come back to haunt me? My seventeen-year-old body and mind didn’t know how to process any of it. How many times was I misinformed? How many times were you misinformed?
We all have a subconscious mind. It lives within us always. It’s the place where we store memories of getting made fun of as a kid, of our parents yelling at us, of feeling afraid before that first date, of the negative self-talk. It’s all back there. It lives within us all the time. Then we look at others who are similar to us, our subconscious mind starts to reveal these feelings within us. This opens us up to that vulnerable place of hurt and fear. Then we find something about this other person that we don’t like, and we fish for it like Inspector Gadget. We find a reason to not like that person and we judge him or her. We form opinions using these half-truths that we’ve gathered in the short time we’ve known this individual. All of these feelings come from a place in our subconscious that we’ve locked away and don’t want to face. So it’s easier to keep forming opinions and judging others than to look within ourselves and see what wound we can heal.
When you look at someone’s shoes and feel the need to make fun of that person, just think about this: What is that person’s financial situation? Can he or she afford new shoes, or are those the only shoes they have? Maybe they never even had new shoes. Or what if they just really likes those shoes? How is it your place to think anything about that person’s shoes? Why do you even care?
You care because sometime in your past, someone probably made fun of your shoes, or clothes, or hair, or face. Maybe you were bullied as a child, or maybe your mom or dad spoke to you in a way that stuck in your subconscious and those shoes happen to be a trigger. The shoes are a mere example of how judgment goes above and beyond appearances. The point here is that it really doesn’t matter what we think about someone else’s appearance. You are gaining no value by looking at someone else with a negative filter. You are actually opening yourself up for judgments being made against you. And if you constantly feel that you are being judged, then you are constantly living in fear of what other people think. That is a hell of a prison to live in, trapped inside your own mind wondering, Will she like it? What will he think? What if I had done that differently? Would she have responded differently? Don’t you want to break free of these types of thoughts? It’s exhausting!
This whole process is the law of attraction. The law says that like attracts like. This means that whatever you put out, you get in return. So the next time you see a pair of shoes you don’t like, own feelings, then take it back and send them love instead. Yes, it is a natural human reaction to judge. That’s the nature of the society in which we’ve been raised. But just because that’s a habit, it doesn’t mean that you have to live in that space. You can easily take it back. I catch myself often saying, “I take it back,” and then I look at that person and in my mind send him or her love and blessings. I realize that my thoughts have power. Besides, why do I care if her shorts are so short that I can see her ass crack? We all have one. Why do I care if his piercings are so big that I can stick my big toe through one of them? If such things make these people happy, then why should I stop their happiness? I need to look at myself with the same attention and fix the things that I don’t like about me!
As spiritual beings, it is our job to live in a place of love. When we live in love, we give love, and then we receive love. People wonder how I live in such a happy existence and it is because I can always find a place of love. No matter what. If you’ve wronged me, I live in a space of compassion. In that compassion, I find love and forgiveness. I realize that I have been wronged not because of me but because of something that the other person is going through.
Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t always like this. I used to live in a space of revenge. I even once tried to slash a tire. Thank God I was not able to accomplish that. But that was before I really understood other human beings.
Even though you’ve lived through what feels like the worst shit in the world, someone else’s shit is worse than yours! Oh the horror; I said it. Your shit isn’t half as bad as someone else’s. Because if you are reading or listening to this book right now, it means that you had the money to buy it, or there’s someone who cares about you enough to have sent this to you as a gift. You live in more luxury than a huge proportion of the rest of the people in the world! And here’s where those of you who are really struggling might decide to put this book down, but don’t! I’m just getting started. You could’ve been born in the slums of Africa where children will never own a pair of shoes or drink clean water. You could’ve been born in a Muslim country where you can never expose your body, are degraded by men, and are shipped off to slavery. You could’ve been born without a vital sense, or body part or worse.
No matter how bad you think your life is, snap out of it! Girl, pull it together! Someone else has it much worse than you! Go take a ride through the poorest section of your town and look at the people living on the streets. That’s not you! (If this is you, then kudos to you for picking up this book and making it this far. Some day soon you will be able to look back at this moment and see how far you’ve come!) (Insert high five here)! Go take a look at the houses with broken windows that are infested with bugs and who knows what else. That’s not you either! Okay, so you may not be living in the house of your dreams or have the money to buy a car, but with the right mindset, you can attract anything you want into your life!
This is where the shift begins. When we learn to look at life through a different lens of love and compassion, while incorporating a practice of appreciation and thankfulness for it all, that is when our lives will change for the better. I am grateful that I am alive! I am grateful for everything that has happened to me that has led me to now! I am grateful that I have a choice to change my existence. I am grateful that I have suffered, so that I can now prevail. On any given day you will want to say “Thank you” or “I am grateful” at least twenty times. You have to do this in order to shift your existence from negative to positive.
This is the reason why I wrote my first book, “31 Days of Gratitude: Create the Life You Desire“. It is a journal with pages for the reader to create or manifest their own reality. There are sample affirmations every day that you can repeat when you don’t feel like it or when you don’t want to be grateful, just like I’ve included in the chapters of this book. Sometimes it’s hard to muster up feelings of gratitude and appreciation when you are feeling sad, angry, or anxious. I know what those moments feel like! I know what it feels like to feel so alone and so scared that you just want to die, never mind say thank you.
When you can get yourself into a positive headspace and find compassion for others, your whole life will shift. This takes practice; it doesn’t happen overnight. First and foremost, it’s time to be grateful! Right now! Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, be grateful! Be grateful you are reading this book, be grateful you had the money to buy it, or be grateful to the person who gave it to you. Be grateful that you can read! Girl, do you know that there are thousands upon thousands of people now, in 2019, who don’t even know how to read? When you put yourself into the habit of being grateful, compassion and kindness will soon follow after. Trust me, I used to be angry, edgy, and uneasy most of the time. Love, kindness, and kumbaya were not in the forefront of my life. The more gratitude I found, the more I was consumed with love and the kinder I became.
Next, stop giving people your opinion. Yup, even if you are a parent. Try to hold off on inserting your opinion into your conversations with your children. We all came here with a purpose. Our purpose is to fulfill a contract, and only we know what that contract is. When we allow others to dictate our lives, we are actually really only hurting ourselves. Every time a word or thought comes out of you, think, Is that a judgment or an opinion? If it is, then fix it right then and there, in that moment.
- I am grateful for compassion,
- I am grateful for kindness,
- I am grateful that I focus on me,
- I am grateful for every moment that has left me here.
- I am grateful that, in this moment, my life will shift,
- I am grateful that I am open to the information in this book,
- I am grateful I can see clearly.
Are you ready to read the rest? Please click on the book cover and come back and let me know how much you loved the book (smile).
Connect with Shilamida at https://shilamida.com
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Thank you Shilamida Kupershteyn, it’s a pleasure to have you sharing with my amazing readers.
Did you know I share weekly affirmations on my Zen Spirit facebook page. I hope you’ll join me there.a Rafflecopter giveaway
I look forward to seeing you all back here on Thursday for the TFT link party.
Alex J. Cavanaugh (@AlexJCavanaugh) says
Gratitude is very important.
Thanks for running this series.