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Posts: 22,714 11/24/13 12:47 A
Pattern of Pain Withholding
by Madisyn Taylor
Emotional pain is at the root of our tendency to withhold, and this causes pain to the people subjected to it.
The most common form of withholding is what we commonly call “the silent treatment,” but withholding encompasses any unwillingness to express your true feelings. It also includes an unwillingness to give support, praise, or positive attention to the people you love. We have all known someone who is impossible to please, and many of us have suddenly found ourselves at the other end of a chilly silence with no explanation. At the same time, many of us will recognize our own tendency to withhold our emotions rather than express them. Most of us have seen both sides of the withholding dilemma. Emotional pain is at the root of our tendency to withhold, and withholding causes pain to the people subjected to it. It is a dysfunctional pattern that creates a breakdown in communication and understanding.
No one deserves to be subjected to withholding. Feeling ignored, disrespected, or shut out, and to not know why, is a terrible feeling. The first thing to remember if this is happening to you is that you are not to blame. You are caught in someone else’s pain pattern. This person does not know how to express feelings in a healthy way probably because this is what they learned when she or he was a child. The second helpful thing to remember is that the withholder is acting out of pain. They are stuck in a habitual mode of response that is self-defeating and alienating to the people they love. Remembering this will help you feel compassion for the person hurting you. However, if you have suffered too long with this pattern, you may need to get some space. Take some time to look at your own patterns and understand why you have taken part in this drama. If you are dealing with people in a family situation, you can step up to the plate to help break the chain of this behavior pattern.
If, on the other hand, it is you that tends to withhold, understand that this is a learned response and it can be unlearned. Find safe places to begin to express all that you’ve been holding back. Begin to make an effort to say what you’re feeling and thinking. Give praise to someone you love. The more you do this, the healthier you and your relationships will become. What was learned over a course of a life cannot be changed overnight—remember, one day at a time.
The Ecology Around You Finding Nature in Your Neighborhood
by Madisyn Taylor
Nature is all around us and there is a plethora in every neighborhood, one only needs to become still and watch.
Because both cities and tightly packed suburbs offer wildlife bountiful nooks and crannies in which to hide, it can be difficult to spot the animals that live in our midst. Many thrive among paved streets, sidewalks, buildings, parking lots, and high-rises. There are animals in abundance burrowing in the soil of center medians and tiny backyard gardens, making nests in the trees that line broad and busy avenues, and buzzing round the flowers that beautify our parks. To find these creatures, we only need to stop, look, and listen. Nature’s drama is continually playing out on the window ledges where weary birds stop to roost, in the shadowy places where cautious nocturnal mammals wait for night’s mantel to fall, and the fountains where playful waterfowl splash and frolic. In observing the animals that share our habitat, we become a part of their beautiful, complex, and exciting world.
Season by season, cities offer diverse ecosystems for you to explore. If your search for urban and suburban wildlife is challenging, try to look at your community with an animal’s eyes. Where there are shrubs and flowers, insects such as butterflies, ladybugs, beetles, and spiders can usually be found. The insects, in turn, attract the birds who feast upon them. Even the smallest green spaces are hosts to squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, and moles. Decorative awnings offer falcons a place to raise their young. At night, a different community of animals wakens to the world. Raccoons, skunks, and possums emerge to examine our human leftovers for edibles. Even pets feel the call of the wild—it’s not uncommon for well-fed cats in colorful collars to stalk the streets in search of prey. Signs of habitation, like nests or hives, and audible evidence, like chirps, will help you find them.
Recognizing that you share your city with a wide range of animals can make you feel like a part of the grand circle of life and help you appreciate the importance of a healthy urban environment. You can admire the hardiness and adaptability of the urban animal while developing a sense of stewardship that inspires you to become their champion. The shrill calls of birds, the hum of bees, and the sweet squeaks of city-dwelling mammals can be a symphony that help you develop a deeper connection with the nature world.
If you are divorcing, look to your inner heart for guidance and surround yourself with loving friends.
Like the act of marriage that binds two people together, divorce is the result of a life-altering decision. It is the dissolving of a relationship that we believed would last our whole lives. We may not even be able to articulate how we got to this place, yet we may also feel we have no choice but to sever this tie. Whatever we feel, we need the support of the friends and family who will stand by us no matter what we decide. At some point, we may need to be challenged to look deeper inside ourselves as we make this very important decision, but what we need most of all is unconditional love and loyalty.
Divorce is a process that, once in motion, becomes difficult to stop, and this can be painful if we find ourselves having second thoughts. We may feel that we should do more to save the marriage, or we may wonder if there is something about ourselves that we could fix or change instead of going through with this painful separation. On the other hand, we may be seeing in hindsight that our marriage was truly only meant to last for a short time so that we could learn something we needed to know. Whatever the case, we need friends who will allow us to linger in confusion when we don’t have the answers and who will support us whether we find ways to reconcile and stay married or whether we walk away.
Of course, the most essential ally we have lives inside our hearts and speaks to us from within. We can trust this inner guide to help us choose people who will support us in kind and loving ways as we navigate the rough terrain of confusion and loss. Sometimes all we can do is look to the horizon, remembering that we will get through this time, and no matter what happens we will once again feel whole.
When Worry Becomes a Prayer Creating What We Don’t Want
by Madisyn Taylor
When our thoughts become consumed with worry, we become a beacon of worry to the world.
If prayer is an intention that we announce to the universe in order to create a desired outcome, then our every thought is a prayer. This includes thoughts of worry as well as of hope. All thoughts are subtle creative energy. Some thoughts are more focused or repeated more often, gathering strength. Some are written down or spoken, giving them even greater power. Every thought we have is part of a process whereby we cocreate our experience and our reality with the universe. When we use our creative energy unconsciously, we create what is commonly known as self-fulfilling prophecy. In essence, when we worry, we are repeatedly praying and lending our energy to the creation of something we don’t want.
The good news is that we can retrain our minds and thoughts to focus our energy on what we do desire to bring into our lives. Since most worry is repetitive, it will take more than one positive thought to counteract the energy we’ve created. The simplest antidote to worry is affirmations. When we hold these positive thoughts, repeat them often, speak them and write them and refer to them throughout our day, we are using focused energy to create positive results.
We can start right away, together: I am a creative being, using my energy to cocreate a wonderful world. I know that I create my experience of life from within, and as I do so, I also create ripples of energy around me that echo into the world. My positive thoughts gather together with the thoughts and prayers of others, and together we create enough positive energy to heal not only our own lives but the world we share. I am grateful for the ability to cocreate good in my life and in the world.
A lot of times we have concerned loved ones that worry about us. When this happens they are also sending out a worry prayer to the world. A loving conversation letting them know what is happening is the easiest solution. Also, ask them to send you positive affirmations rather than worry about you. After all, worry doesn’t do them any good either. Explain to them that worry can actually be energetically harmful to you and that wishing good things for you is much more beneficial and much more fun too.
As humans our lives are completely intertwined with the cycles and rhythms of nature.
Nature is a mirror, inspiring and teaching us, deepening our sense of belonging in the world. Wherever you look, you can see that our patterns and the patterns of the natural world are the same. You can find this resonance in every form, from molecules to plants and animals and to planets. We live our lives according to the same principles as the trees, the mountains, the clouds, and the birds.
We begin our lives in the womb, folded in on ourselves like the bud of a flower. We can see our whole lives in the mirror of this natural form. When we emerge from the womb, we slowly begin our unfolding, just as the flower begins to open its petals. At its prime, the flower draws many insects to it and also the eyes of appreciative humans. When the flower’s petals begin to fade and its life cycle comes to an end, it ceases to hold itself upright and returns to the earth. Traditionally, we return to the earth, just as all plants and animals do. Like flowers, we leave behind seeds in the forms of children and other gifts only we could have given. They continue to unfold even after we are gone. Rebirth is encoded into our lives, and death is just one part of the cycle.
Look around you, and you will find connection and insight. Notice how your moods shift from one to another like the sky shifts from bright blue to turbulent grays. Your thoughts are like clouds, appearing, changing shape, passing through, and then disappearing without a trace. The rain cleanses the sky, just as an emotional release cleanses your mind. The sky itself is your eternal awareness, unchanging underneath all these permutations. Let it reflect back to you your own abiding perfection.
As you walk through the world, find your own metaphors for connectedness in nature. Flesh them out fully and follow them as they lead you through the mystery and intelligence of life.
The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices you make affect the whole.
In a world of six billion people, it’s easy to believe that the only way to initiate profound transformation is to take extreme action. Each of us, however, carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives, and their reactions in turn affect others. As the effect of a seemingly insignificant word passes from person to person, its impact grows and can become a source of great joy, inspiration, anxiety, or pain. Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters, causing ripples to spread and expand as they move outward. The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices you make can have far-reaching consequences. You can use the ripple effect to make a positive difference and spread waves of kindness that will wash over the world.
Should the opportunity arise, the recipient of a good deed will likely feel compelled to do a good deed for someone else. Someone feeling the effects of negative energy will be more likely to pass on that negative energy. One act of charity, one thoughtful deed, or even one positive thought can pass from individual to individual, snowballing until it becomes a group movement or the ray of hope that saves someone’s life. Every transformation, just like every ripple, has a point of origin. You must believe in your ability to be that point of origin if you want to use the ripples you create to spread goodness. Consider the effect of your thoughts and actions, and try to act graciously as much as possible.
A smile directed at a stranger, a compliment given to a friend, an attitude of laughter, or a thoughtful gesture can send ripples that spread among your loved ones and associates, out into your community, and finally throughout the world. You have the power to touch the lives of everyone you come into contact with and everyone those people come into contact with. The momentum of your influence will grow as your ripples moves onward and outward. One of those ripples could become a tidal wave of love and kindness.
There are many ways to raise your vibration including thinking positive and uplifting thoughts.
Everything in the universe is made of energy. What differentiates one form of energy from another is the speed at which it vibrates. For example, light vibrates at a very high frequency, and something like a rock vibrates at a lower frequency but a frequency nonetheless. Human beings also vibrate at different frequencies. Our thoughts and feelings can determine the frequency at which we vibrate, and our vibration goes out into the world and attracts to us energy moving at a similar frequency. This is one of the ways that we create our own reality, which is why we can cause a positive shift in our lives by raising our vibration.
We all know someone we think of as vibrant. Vibrant literally means “vibrating very rapidly.” The people who strike us as vibrant are vibrating at a high frequency, and they can inspire us as we work to raise our vibration. On the other hand, we all know people that are very negative or cynical. These people are vibrating at a lower frequency. They can also be an inspiration because they can show us where we don’t want to be vibrating and why. To discover where you are in terms of vibrancy, consider where you fall on a scale between the most pessimistic person you know and the most vibrant. This is not in order to pass judgment, but rather it is important to know where you are as you begin working to raise your frequency so that you can notice and appreciate your progress.
There are many ways to raise your vibration, from working with affirmations to visualizing enlightened entities during meditation. One of the most practical ways to raise your vibration is to consciously choose where you focus your attention. To understand how powerful this is, take five minutes to describe something you love unreservedly—a person, a movie, an experience. When your five minutes are up, you will noticeably feel more positive and even lighter. If you want to keep raising your vibration, you might want to commit to spending five minutes every day focusing on the good in your life. As you do this, you will train yourself to be more awake and alive. Over time, you will experience a permanent shift in your vibrancy.
Squirrel medicine reminds us to set aside a portion of our most precious resources as an investment in the future.
Native Americans considered all living beings as brothers and sisters that had much to teach including squirrels. These small creatures taught them to work in harmony with the cycles of nature by conserving for the winter months during times when food was plentiful. In our modern world, squirrels remind us to set aside a portion of our most precious resources as an investment in the future. Though food and money certainly fall into this category, they are only some of the ways our energy is manifested. We can conserve this most valuable asset by being aware of the choices we make and choosing only those that nurture and sustain us. This extends to the natural resources of our planet as well, using what we need wisely with the future in mind.
Saving and conservation are not acts of fear but rather affirmations of abundance yet to come. Squirrels accept life’s cycles, allowing them to face winters with the faith that spring will come again. Knowing that change is part of life, we can create a safe space, both spiritually and physically, that will support us in the present and sustain us in the future. This means not filling our space with things, or thoughts, that don’t serve us. Without hoarding more than we need, we keep ourselves in the cyclical flow of life when we donate our unwanted items to someone who can use them best. This allows for more abundance to enter our lives, because even squirrels know a life of abundance involves more than just survival.
Squirrels use their quick, nervous energy to enjoy life’s adventure. They are great communicators, and by helping each other watch for danger, they do not allow worry to drain them. Instead, they allow their curious nature to lead the way, staying alert to opportunities and learning as they play. Following the example set by our squirrel friends, we are reminded to enjoy the journey of life’s cycles as we plan and prepare for a wonderful future, taking time to learn and play along the way.
Learned Self-reliance The Negative Effects of Spoiling Children
by Madisyn Taylor
When children are spoiled we do them a great disservice because they are not being allowed to earn and learn.
Parents are moved by instinct to love, nurture, and provide for their offspring. Because our children are so much a part of us, we want to see them blissfully happy. Also, our own desire to be liked, materialist pressures, and a fervent wish that our children have everything we lacked as youngsters can prompt us to spoil them. However, while it might seem that buying your child expensive gifts will give them fond memories of childhood or that you can heal your emotional wounds by doting on your sons and daughters, you may be unconsciously interfering with your children’s evolutional development. One of the most precious gifts you can grant your children is the true independence they gain when they learn to earn what they covet and become stewards of their own happiness. Try allowing your children to experience life to the fullest. Let them work and earn what they want. When the time comes for them to go to college and enter the workforce, you will have the confidence that you have raised a child that can both enter and contribute to society confidently.
When children are not afforded the opportunity to explore self-reliance, to understand that with possession comes price, and to fulfill their own needs, they develop a sense of entitlement that blinds them to the necessity of hard work and the needs of others. We may spoil children because giving them gifts is pleasurable. Or we may want to avoid conflict out of fear that our children won’t love us. Yet children who are given acceptance, love, and affection in abundance are often kinder, more charitable, and more responsible than those whose parents accede to their every material demand. They develop a strong sense of self that stretches beyond possessions and the approval of their peers, and as adults they understand that each individual is responsible for building the life they desire. If you find yourself giving in to your child’s every whim, ask yourself why. You may discover that you are trying to answer for what you feel is lacking in your own life.
Rearing your children to respect the value of money and self-sufficiency as they grow from infants to young adults is a challenging but rewarding process. It can be difficult to watch a child struggle to meet a personal goal yet wonderful to be by their side as they achieve it. Your choice not to spoil your children will bless you with more opportunities to show them understanding and compassion and to be fully present with them as they journey toward adulthood.
The Best Year of Your Life From The Best Year of Your Life On-Line Course
by Debbie Ford
The following is an excerpt from the "The Best Year of Your Life" on-line course. If you would like to take the entire course, click here.
Welcome to the best year of your life! This program is a recipe for falling deeply and passionately in love – with yourself. You may wonder what loving yourself has to do with creating your best life. Well, in a word, everything! Having coached and trained hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, I can tell you that loving yourself is the most essential prerequisite to living your best life. When you feel great about who you are, you radiate an undeniable magnetic energy that attracts all the things you desire to you.
People you've been meaning to call "magically" show up in your life. Ideas and next actions for your projects come easily. Your relationships with others – even those with whom you've had problems in the past – are lighter and more fun. When you're kind, generous, and respectful toward yourself, you feel worthy and deserving of claiming the gifts of this world.
Whatever you're looking for – whether it's more love, more success, more self-confidence, more intimacy, more money, or to attain another desired goal – this program will help you achieve it. When you make the commitment to love yourself first, the entire world will open up to you.
So get ready to embark on the most important and rewarding journey you've ever taken – the journey to the best year of your life!
With love and excitement, Debbie
The Self-Love Game
Introducing the Self-Love Game! This exciting and fun process will inspire you to identify as many ways as possible to build your self-love each week, and will give you points every time you take the actions listed on each card. Here's how the game works:
Each week, I'll share a key distinction that will support you in loving yourself more. Then I'll give you a specific practice or project to take on that week to raise your self-esteem and support you in feeling better than ever about who you are.
You'll notice at the bottom of each lesson that each weekly practice has been assigned a particular number of self-love points. This is the number of points you'll accumulate when you complete the action step listed for each week. Log your points every week, and when you've accumulated 1,000 points, you must reward yourself with something that you've been wanting: a new outfit, a massage, a night out with friends, or simply a Sunday morning to stay in bed and do nothing. Choose a reward that makes you feel like the amazing person that you are.
And, for those of you who want to build your self-love quickly, you can go for extra credit. Give yourself points every time you do something that leaves you feeling better about yourself. For example, you could give yourself points for going for your daily walk, for promoting your business, for showing kindness to a stranger, or for choosing a turkey-salad sandwich instead of a cheeseburger for lunch. I'll leave it up to you to determine your own scoring system. But I do recommend that you be generous with yourself – after all, that's one of the key characteristics of someone who loves themselves!
Give yourself enough time to read and understand each assignment. Look for the relevance of the week's message to whatever is happening in your life that week, trusting that you've drawn the perfect card. After you've read and understood your assignment, post reminders of it throughout the week. Then when you've completed it, put the email in a special folder that you designate as your "Accomplishment Folder" so that you can reflect on your progress.
Feel free to invite friends or family members to play this game along with you, and join the worldwide movement of people who are dedicated to turning their dreams into reality and making this the best year of their lives!
Lighten Your Load
It's difficult to clearly see what needs to be done when your environment is burdened with half-completed projects, unfinished to-do lists, old files, clothes that don't fit, and equipment that no longer works or serves any purpose.
Remember, you're committed to creating the best year of your life – a year that completely surpasses anything you've known before! So get ready to clean out the old and make room for the new.
Your Self-Love Assignment
This week, take stock of the clutter that drains your energy and distracts you from important tasks. Select one area of your house to clean out each day: your kitchen drawers, the files in your office, the trunk of your car, the cupboard under the bathroom sink…
What could you give away? What needs to be thrown away? What are you holding on to that no longer serves you?
Enroll your friends and family in this cleansing process, and notice how good it feels to create an uncluttered, organized environment in which to create. When you feel excited, energized, and ready to get down to business, you'll know that you successfully completed this assignment!
Self-Love Points Earned
Give yourself 50 points for every place in your life where you lighten your load.
For more information visit The Best Year of Your Life On-Line Course
Sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life.
Sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life. Even though this is a natural and necessary part of our growth, it is often painful or, if we don’t realize what’s happening, confusing and disorienting. In fact, confusion and disorientation are often the messengers that tell us a shift is taking place within us. These shifts happen throughout the lives of all humans, as we move from infancy to childhood to adolescence and beyond. With each transition from one phase to another, we find ourselves saying good-bye to an old friend, the identity that we formed in order to move through that particular time.
Sometimes we form these identities in relationships or jobs, and when we shift those areas of our life become unsettled. Usually, if we take the time to look into the changing surface of things, we will find that a shift is taking place within us. For example, we may go through one whole chapter of our lives creating a protective shell around ourselves because we need it in order to heal from some early trauma. One day, though, we may find ourselves feeling confined and restless, wanting to move outside the shelter we needed for so long; the new part of ourselves cannot be born within the confines of the shell our old self needed to survive.
We may feel a strange mixture of exhilaration and sadness as we say good-bye to a part of ourselves that is dying and make way for a whole new identity to emerge in its place. We may find inspiration in working with the image of an animal who molts or sheds in order to make way for new skin, fur, or feathers to emerge. For example, keeping a duck feather, or some other symbol of transformation, can remind us that death and rebirth are simply nature’s way of evolving. We can surrender to this process, letting go of our past self with great love and gratitude, and welcoming the new with an open mind and heart, ready for our next phase of life.
Being of service to our community is part of being a good citizen of the planet earth.
To live harmoniously, we need to be supportive and helpful to all people, creatures, and plant life that share this earth with us. While “being of service” is part of being a good citizen of the world, it also feels good to help others. When we do something for others in service, without the expectation of anything in return, we are turning our actions into offerings.
There are many ways to be of service to our community. There are the obvious and much needed volunteer opportunities, such as serving Thanksgiving dinner at a shelter, mentoring our youth, or cleaning up a beach. Then, there is the kind of service that we may not even think of as being acts of service. Learning a new language (perhaps sign language) so that you can talk to more people is a way to reach out to others. Inviting someone who isn’t motivated enough to exercise on their own to join you on your daily walk is a way to give of yourself. Sharing flowers or vegetables from your garden, organizing a poetry reading, offering to babysit for a busy parent, or donating pet food to an animal shelter all are simple ways to offer your services to your community.
There are many ways that you can serve the world. Imagine the impact we would have on the environment if we picked up one piece of trash off the street everyday and chose not to drive our car once a week. Even gardening tactics such as throwing wildflower seeds onto a vacant lot can brighten the lives of others – including the lives of birds and insects. Everyday, you can do something to make this world a better place. During meditation, ask for guidance on what you can do to be of service. This can be a wonderful way to start your day. Smiling at a stranger who looks down in the dumps or teaching your neighborhood kids how to whistle will impact someone’s day or even their life. Giving of yourself is the best gift that you can give.
Water is a great teacher that shows us how to move through the world with grace, ease, determination, and humility.
The journey of water as it flows upon the earth can be a mirror of our own paths through life. Water begins its residence on earth as it falls from the sky or melts from ice and streams down a mountain into a tributary or stream. In the same way, we come into the world and begin our lives on earth. Like a river that flows within the confines of its banks, we are born with certain defining characteristics that govern our identity. We are born in a specific time and place, within a specific family, and with certain gifts and challenges. Within these parameters, we move through life, encountering many twists, turns, and obstacles along the way just as a river flows.
Water is a great teacher that shows us how to move through the world with grace, ease, determination, and humility. When a river breaks at a waterfall, it gains energy and moves on, as we encounter our own waterfalls, we may fall hard but we always keep moving on. Water can inspire us to not become rigid with fear or cling to what’s familiar. Water is brave and does not waste time clinging to its past, but flows onward without looking back. At the same time, when there is a hole to be filled, water does not run away from it in fear of the dark; instead, water humbly and bravely fills the empty space. In the same way, we can face the dark moments of our life rather than run away from them.
Eventually, a river will empty into the sea. Water does not hold back from joining with a larger body, nor does it fear a loss of identity or control. It gracefully and humbly tumbles into the vastness by contributing its energy and merging without resistance. Each time we move beyond our individual egos to become part of something bigger, we can try our best to follow the lead of the river.
The way to end passive aggressive behavior on your part or others’ is with complete honesty and truth in any situation.
If you’ve ever found yourself repressing your anger and behaving in other ways to get your point across, you may be someone who is adept at engaging in passive-aggressive behavior. Although passive-aggressive behavior is recognized as a psychological disorder, it also describes the behavior that many people use to cope with confrontational situations. Such behavior has the outward appearance of being peaceful, yet it is really an attempt to express oneself in seemingly passive ways—usually without accepting responsibility for doing so. For example, someone who doesn’t want to attend an event with a partner might engage in behavior that causes them to be late or miss the event without ever admitting to their partner that they never wanted to go to the function at all. Procrastination, inefficiency, stubbornness, and sullenness are some of the many ways that anger can be expressed indirectly.
It is important not to judge ourselves when we engage in passive-aggressive behavior. You may want to consider that you are not owning your feelings or your expression by indirectly expressing yourself. Perhaps you are judging your feelings and needs as wrong—which is why you are expressing yourself indirectly. You also may be worried that others will judge you for feeling the way that you do. Remember that anger and every other emotion are never good or bad. They can, however, become toxic of you don’t express them in healthy and proactive ways. When we express ourselves directly, we are more likely to be heard by the other person. It also becomes easier for us to ask for and get what we want.
Once we learn to be honest with ourselves about our feelings, we can begin to directly express ourselves to others. By learning to express ourselves directly, we prevent misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and resentment from cropping up in our relationships. We also learn to communicate with others in healthy and productive ways. It is never too late to start working on ourselves and our behaviors, just take it one day at a time.
Just as there are people that support us, we are a supporter to many people extending the cycle and giving back.
Behind each of us stands at least one supporter. This was once thought to be the spouse who ran the home while leaving the other spouse free to work. While this is still one valid scenario, most of us will find that we have other kinds of supporters in our lives. In some cases, our supporters are the people whose help allows us to do the things we’re best at, see to our obligations, or pursue or dreams. In other cases, our support may come from the people who are there to help us through life’s challenges by offering us their strength and bolstering our spirit.
Our support may come from our families and friends or from the people we hire—nannies, assistants, gardeners, healers, therapists, and advisors. Our supporters may be the mentors who help us express ourselves by listening to us as we share our thoughts and feelings. Our supporter can be the person sitting next to us at a networking meeting or the teacher from our childhood whose words still resonate in our minds. We have always had supporters around us whether we noticed them or not. No matter where the support comes from, few of us can make it through life without assistance.
As we take the time to acknowledge everyone that has every supported us, we can’t help but feel grateful. Understanding our place in our human support system helps us see that just as there are people that support us, we are a supporter to many people. By gratefully accepting the expertise and assistance of our supporters, we can consciously and more easily build a life that we love. Thanks to our staff, groups, friends, and loved ones for all their support. We all need each other’s support to thrive this world.
The Skinny Thinking Thought Diet From The Skinny Thinking Thought Diet On-Line Course
by Laura Katleman-Prue
The following is an excerpt from the "The Skinny Thinking Thought Diet" on-line course. If you would like to take the entire course, click here.
My name is Laura Katleman-Prue and for most of my life, I've had a really wacky relationship with food. I've tried and failed at most of the diets on the market, gained and lost hundreds of pound, kept four different sizes of clothing in my closet, and felt tremendous shame and sadness about my relationship with food and inability to keep my weight in line. Now, after following the inquiry process that I chronicled in Skinny Thinking and training myself to go on this same thought diet, I'm thin without worry or effort and I know I'll never gain the weight back. Why? Because I can't. I don't think about food anymore and if I don't think about it, I can't desire it and if I don't desire it, I won't eat too much of it, and I won't gain weight.
I really want to commend you for embarking on this journey with me. It is a courageous choice to change habits that have caused you to suffer. I call it the hero's journey. As you venture forth, you uplift yourself and everyone around you. It is a truly courageous and generous act to embrace your own growth and evolution. This thought diet is spiritual journey that will lead in the direction of true happiness and deeper into the cave of your own heart.
Without further ado, let's get started.
Here is the wonderful news I want to share with you! Yes, it is possible to be free from obsession with food and bodyweight! It is possible to live without worrying about what you will eat next, whether it will make you fat, or whether you'll have the willpower to eat in a way that keeps you from busting out of your jeans.
The subject of this course is seeing the whole truth about food and what's been going on in your relationship with it. No matter how long you've been struggling with food, you don't have to take your eating, weight, and body image issues to your grave. You can free yourself of them for good. All you have to do is follow the Five Steps by incorporating the daily five-minute exercises into your daily routine. How hard is it to find an extra five minutes a day? Aren't you worth it? You can do this!
The Ego and Essence in the Battle of the Bulge
The epic battle enacted under the guise of the battle of the bulge is the struggle between the ego, that negative chatterbox in our heads, and Essence, the spark of divinity within each of us. It's the suffering caused by this battle that moves us to break free from our unconscious patterns and conditioning and instead live in our natural state of Essence. In this state, we experience the peace and joy available in each moment and that can never be taken from us. This is the battle: resistance versus acceptance; the ego versus Essence; self-delusion versus the evolutionary impulse for Truth; the ego's small sliver of truth about food and the body rather than the whole picture.
In our struggles with overweight, the ego in the form of the Relentless Critic is the judgmental voice inside our head, berating the way our body looks, telling us: "You're too fat." "Your legs are too skinny." "You're out of shape." "You'll never attract the kind of relationship you want unless you get into better shape."
When it comes to food, the ego, in the form of the Pleasure-Seeking Child, causes us to gain weight by telling us things like: "You've been working so hard and deserve a slice or two or three of cheesecake." "You should live a little and give yourself a treat." "Eating a bit more won't hurt even though you're already full." "You've had a lousy day, so why not make yourself feel better with a little Pleasure Food?" "Indulge now and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow."
Now that we've seen the villain in our story, it's time to meet our hero. Essence is our true self, what we were before we started listening to and believing in the ego. It's that internal place of calm and serenity that we've all visited in moments when the mind is quiet. Think back to a time when you've felt completely at peace. That delicious feeling is Essence. Even though we may not be aware of this consciously, each of us touches into it every day!
Connecting with Essence means entering the thought-free state. Although meditation is the most common way to move out of the mind, it can happen anywhere, anytime, as long as we're not caught up in thoughts or feelings. We can be noticing the clock on the wall, the leaf floating in the breeze, or our hand as we turn the page.
Any information that comes to us from the senses, unfiltered by thoughts, takes us to Essence. If we are to break the habit of listening to the negative mind, the habit that's responsible for our food issues, we have to cultivate a new habit of moving into the thought-free state, ideally for at least 10-15 minutes every day.
For more information visit The Skinny Thinking Thought Diet On-Line Course
In a world where we have routines to get everything done, we rarely have a routine for our spiritual self.
In a world where we have routines for nearly everything—our route to work, our physical fitness regimen, and our weekday schedule—it’s amazing how many people forget to create a routine for meeting their spiritual needs. We run around in an attempt to be at our many appointments on time and meet our many obligations. In our efforts to be as productive as possible, however, our spiritual needs tend to take a backseat. After all, taking care of our spiritual needs doesn’t directly pay the bills or tone our abdominal muscles. We may even wonder who has time to meditate or write in their journal when there are more pressing matters to see to. The truth is that nurturing ourselves spiritually is what gives us the energy and grounding that we need to make sure that our lives stay on track.
How you choose to nurture yourself spiritually is a personal choice. For some people, meditating once a day may be what they need to stay centered. While spending 10-20 minutes with your eyes closed and your brain devoid of thought may seem like a lot of time doing nothing, this state of nothingness actually allows you to stay calm and focused so you can be as productive as possible. Writing in your journal everyday lets you stay in touch with yourself so that you are always tuned in to your feelings. Repeating affirmations for success, happiness, and well-being on a regular basis can help you live with optimism and enthusiasm and create what you want in life.
Having a routine for nurturing your spirit that you do each day lets you feed energy to your soul and can serve you well if your life suddenly takes an unexpected turn into a difficult period. This kind of routine grounds your spirit in your body so that you stay anchored in yourself as you move through each day. Nurturing yourself spiritually allows you to not only stay on track in your life, but it allows for your life to stay on track with what your spirit wants.
Numbing yourself prevents you from confronting your issues and keeps you from ever finding resolution or peace.
We are born equipped to experience a complex array of diverse emotions. Many of us, however, are uncomfortable confronting our most powerful emotions. We may shy away from delight and despair and deny life’s colors by retreating into a world of monotone grey. We may numb ourselves to what we are truly feeling. It’s easier to suppress our emotions than to deal with them, so we may momentarily turn to pleasures such as alcohol, food, sugar, shopping and too much television. We may even numb our hearts. While it’s normal to temporarily seek distractions as a means of coping with intense emotions, numbing yourself prevents you from confronting your issues and keeps you from ever finding resolution or peace. When you are numb, there is no pain or powerlessness, but there can also be no joy or healing.
The activities that numb you may seem harmless or pleasurable, but using them to numb yourself diminishes the quality of your life. Numbing yourself so that you don’t have to feel intense emotions can often satisfy a surface need while blocking your awareness of a deeper need. You may find solace in food or shopping when what you really need is spiritual nourishment. The less you feel, the less alive you feel. Your feelings add vividness to your experiences and serve to connect you to the world around you. It is possible to disavow yourself of numbing behaviors a little at a time and once again taste life’s rich flavors. When you sense that you are engaging in a particular behavior simply to deaden your emotions, stop and ask yourself why. Examining the feelings that drive you to numb yourself can help you understand what is triggering your desire to emotionally fade out.
With each numbing activity that you cut out of your life, you’ll find yourself being more aware and experiencing a greater emotionally acuity. Senses once shrouded by the fog of numbness become sharp and acute. Traumas and pain long hidden will emerge to the forefront of your consciousness and reveal themselves so that you can heal them. You’ll discover a deeper you—a self that is comfortable experiencing and working through intense emotions with courage and grace.
Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.
It is good to remember that one of our goals in life is to not be perfect. We often lose track of this aspiration. When we make mistakes, we think that we are failing or not measuring up. But if life is about experimenting, experiencing, and learning, then to be imperfect is a prerequisite. Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t strive to be our best. We simply accept that there is no such thing as perfection—especially in life. All living things are in a ceaseless state of movement. Even as you read this, your hair is growing, your cells are dying and being reborn, and your blood is moving through your veins. Your life changes more than it stays the same. Perfection may happen in a moment, but it will not last because it is an impermanent state. Trying to hold on to perfection or forcing it to happen causes frustration and unhappiness.
In spite of this, many of us are in the habit of trying to be perfect. One way to nudge ourselves out of this tendency is to look at our lives and notice that no one is judging us to see whether or not we are perfect. Sometimes, perfectionism is a holdover from our childhood—an ideal we inherited from a demanding parent. We are adults now, and we can choose to let go of the need to perform for someone else’s approval. Similarly, we can choose to experience the universe as a loving place where we are free to be imperfect. Once we realize this, we can begin to take ourselves less seriously and have more fun. Imperfection is inherent to being human. By embracing your imperfections, you embrace yourself.
You Deserve to Have Your Dreams Come True Personal Power
by Madisyn Taylor
Power is not about exerting our will over others, it is about being in complete truth with yourself.
Many of us have do not understand what personal power means. We have been given the false notion that power is bad—that it is something we use to exert our will upon others. In fact, when our personal power is intact, we are neither overbearing nor meek. We have a clear sense of our strength and the impact we can have on others. This actually enables us to be more sensitive. Personal power is what permits us to work on behalf of our dreams and desires. It allows us to realize that we are worthy and deserve to be heard. In addition, our personal power lets us extend the respect we know that we deserve to the people around us. There is no reason to be afraid or ashamed of fully owning your power.
In the chakra system, the solar plexus is the seat of personal power. One way to evaluate your sense of power is to breathe into this part of the body. If it feels tight or nervous, it is an indication that you may not be fully expressing your power. You can heal this imbalance by expanding the area of the solar plexus with your breath. You can also visualize a bright yellow sun in this part of your body. Allow its heat to melt any tension, and let its light dissolve any darkness or heaviness. Repeating this exercise on a regular basis can restore and rejuvenate your sense of power.
Another way to nurture your personal power is to honor your dreams and desires by making concrete plans to manifest them in the world. Start by making a list of things you want, and let yourself think big. Choose one goal from the list and commit to bringing it to fruition. In addition, break the goal into tasks that you can work on each day. Know that you deserve to have your dreams come true and that you have the power to bring them into being.
Jetta, I so needed this message tonight. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
“For all my good intentions, there are days when things go wrong or I fall into old habits. When things are not going well, when I'm grumpy or mad, I'll realize that I've not been paying attention to my soul.
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Sustenance for the Soul Taking time for yourself
by Madisyn Taylor
Making time for the activities that contribute to your spiritual growth has little to do with being selfish.
Modern life compels us to rush. Because we feel pressured to make the most of our time each day, the activities that sustain us, rejuvenate us, and help us evolve are often the first to be sacrificed when we are in a hurry or faced with a new obligation. It is important we remember that there is more to life than achieving success, making money, and even caring for others. Your spiritual needs should occupy an important spot on your list of priorities. Each task you undertake and each relationship you nurture draws from the wellspring of your spiritual vitality. Taking the time to engage in spiritually fulfilling activities replenishes that well and readies you to face another day. Making time for the activities that contribute to your spiritual growth has little to do with being selfish and everything to do with your well-being. Regularly taking the time to focus on your soul’s needs ensures that you are able to nurture yourself, spend time with your thoughts, experience tranquility, and expand your spiritual boundaries.
It is easy to avoid using our free moments for spiritual enrichment. There is always something seemingly more pressing that needs to be done. Many people feel guilty when they use their free time to engage in pursuits where they are focusing on themselves because they feel as if they are neglecting their family or their work. To make time for yourself, it may be necessary to say no to people’s requests or refuse to take on extra responsibilities. Scheduling fifteen or thirty minutes of time each day for your spiritual needs can make you feel tranquil, give you more energy and allows you to feel more in touch with the universe. Writing in a journal, meditating, studying the words of wise women and men, and engaging in other spiritual practices can help you make the most of this time.
Making time to nurture your spirit may require that you sacrifice other, less vital activities. The more time you commit to soul-nurturing activities, the happier and more relaxed you will become. The time you devote to enriching your spirit will rejuvenate you and help you create a more restful life.
How to Create a More Loving Relationship From the How to Create a More Loving Relationship On-Line Course
by Gina Lake
The following is an excerpt from the "How to Create a More Loving Relationship" on-line course. If you would like to take the entire course, click here.
One of the most powerful things you can do to improve any relationship and to increase the amount of happiness you feel is to not get involved with your judgments. Be aware of judgmental thoughts (notice them when they arise in your mind), accept that they are there (don't think they shouldn't be there), and then choose to not dwell on them or give voice to them. Judgments are probably the one thing that interferes most with love and sustaining relationships. Judgments and the criticism that flows from them kill love. Even small doses of criticism when engaged in day in and day out can poison a relationship. They kill the love that is there and leave anger, resentment, and hurt in its place. So the very first principle for a more loving relationship is to ignore your judgments and don't express the criticism that is the natural result of judgment.
There are a several reasons why judgments are difficult to ignore. First of all, because they arise in our mind, we assume our judgments are true and meaningful representations of "our truth," while judgments actually come from a small, petty, and unwise part of ourselves: our conditioned self, or ego. Judgments never reflect our true nature, our essential self, or what I like to call Essence. We assume our judgments serve a purpose, but they don't achieve what we hope they will achieve, which is changing someone or something. People rarely change because they are judged, and if they do, that change comes at the expense of love and trust. Judgments are a way of bullying our partner to change in ways we want him or her to change, and that is not a loving act.
If love and relationship are important to you, which they must be, since you are reading this, love and relationship have to become more important than having your way, more important than your conditioning and how you like things done. The way you put love first is to refuse to get involved in the judgments that pop into your mind and, above all, don't speak them. The reason to not get involved with your judgments mentally is that doing so leads to believing them and speaking them. The more you dwell on a judgment, the more real and true it seems. Judgments cause us to feel bad about someone (and bad about ourselves), so we naturally want to do something to change that person so that we no longer have to feel bad.
There is a better and more effective way to feeling good, and that is to realize that you don't have to change anything or anyone except your relationship to your own thoughts. All that has to change is your relationship to the judgments that arise in your mind. You can believe them and try to change the world to fit them, or you can see the truth about them, which is that they have no intrinsic value or truth. If a judgment arises, notice it, recognize it as a judgment and as therefore not worth your attention, and then leave it alone. Put your attention on something else, like something you appreciate about your partner, or about anything else.
Another reason judgments are hard to ignore is that they give us a sense of being right and being better than or superior to another. This superiority and self-righteousness feels good to the ego. That is the payoff for judging and one reason we judge and continue to do so even when we see that judging and criticizing is not getting us what we want from the other person, including that person's love. When we choose to judge someone, we settle for this feeling of superiority and self-righteousness instead of love and the good feelings that come from being loving, kind, accepting, and understanding.
We tend to make this choice instead of being loving because it is our default position as human beings; it is the path of least resistance. We are programmed to not make the most loving choice, oddly enough. So to get what we all really want, which is to be loving and to be loved, we have to learn to overcome some of the negative programming we have that keeps us making choices that are destructive to our relationships.
A big reason we don't ignore judgments is that most of us are not that aware of what is going on in our mind. We tend to accept the thoughts that go through our mind and act on them or speak them without questioning them first. We don't tend to ask ourselves if what we're thinking is true or useful. We often don't question what the result will be if we believe our thoughts and act on or give voice to them. The trouble with this is that our thoughts are often unkind and untrue, and responding to them without evaluating them first results in a lot of trouble and pain to ourselves and others. Becoming more loving is largely a matter of becoming more conscious of what we are thinking, and then choosing a more loving response than the automatic one, which is likely to be the ego's response.
The ego is a primitive aspect of ourselves that is shortsighted and out for itself. It doesn't see the whole picture or value love's very important role in life. It is, in fact, the enemy of love. The ego's point of view as well as our conditioning are reflected in our thoughts about ourselves, others, and life. The ego's voice is the mental commentary we all are so familiar with, which seems at times like our own voice and at other times like someone else speaking to us. This aspect of the mind that chatters on and on is often called the egoic mind, and it reflects the false self, not Essence.
Another thing that makes judgments difficult to ignore is that we assume that judgments and criticism are a perfectly acceptable and valid form of communication, since they are so common. It is part of our culture to judge, to express opinions about anything and everything. It almost seems like it's our duty to judge, as if we are not being discriminating if we don't point out the flaws of something or someone. However, the truth is that pointing out flaws, criticizing, and having an opinion are the easiest things in the world to do. What's difficult is being loving, accepting, and moving beyond our judgments, beliefs, and other conditioned ways of being. That is our challenge as human beings—to become more loving, not to complain, judge, and try to change others to suit our preferences. Loving is a matter of moving beyond our personal preferences and judgments enough to let love flow to another, enough to allow ourselves to see another's beauty, not the flaws.
The truth is that judgments don't just hurt others, they hurt us to have them. When we are feeling judgmental and critical, we feel small, petty, unhappy, angry, and unkind, even though we may enjoy the feeling of being superior or right. Judging and criticizing others leaves us feeling bad about ourselves, and this may drive us to tear others down even more, creating a vicious cycle of negativity. This is not how we want to feel, and it isn't how we want to make others feel; and yet, that is what happens. Our judgments cause us and those we're judging to feel unhappy and unloving. That is the opposite of what we all want!
Notice how you feel the next time you catch yourself judging and criticizing someone, including those you aren't even close to, such as people in the media. Judgment and criticism don't feel good, and you don't have to feel that way. We have the power to choose not to judge and criticize (internally or externally), and when we make that choice, it is possible to get in touch with who we really are—with Essence. Essence is an experience of contentment, peace, joy, happiness, awe, love, gratitude, and wonderment. That is who we really are, and the only thing that can obscure our true nature is believing the ego's negative evaluations and stories about everyone and everything. Change in the world can still happen without our judgments because the wisdom that is our true nature moves us to act wisely and lovingly in the world. Our judgments only interfere with that.
Because judging and criticizing is the path of least resistance, it can take some practice to choose to be loving and accepting over the usual criticisms. But the more you choose love, the easier it becomes to choose it again, and the weaker the habit of criticism becomes. If you fully absorb this first principle, it will change your life. You don't need your judgments. You have never needed your judgments. They have never served you, but only obscured and undermined the love, wisdom, and happiness that are possible. Love and happiness are possible because it is your true nature to love and to experience happiness, peace, and joy.
Practices: To be done throughout the week:
1. Whenever you feel an urge to judge your partner, examine the conditioning (e.g., desires, beliefs, opinions, preferences, fears, expectations, demands) behind that judgment. Every judgment is a disguised "should" or "should not." What "should" or "should not" are you imposing on your partner? Our judgments are an attempt to get our partner to change his or her behavior so that we don't have to feel the discomfort that our own conditioning is causing. When others do things we don't like, that is, when they don't conform to our conditioning, we feel afraid, angry, ashamed, or embarrassed. In an attempt to get rid of these feelings, we try to change our partner by judging or criticizing him or her: "If only he or she would change, I wouldn't feel this way!" Notice how your judgments are an attempt to ease the discomfort that is caused by your own conditioning—not by your partner, but by your desires and demands that your partner be a certain way.
2. If a judgment arises, just let it be there without doing anything about it. What is that like to just let that judgment be there? Your ego won't want you to stay with this exercise. It may try to talk you out of just being with the judgment, or it might offer a more concealed judgment or one that sounds a little nicer. Are there feelings that accompany this judgment? Just let them be here as well without doing anything else with them. The more you practice noticing your judgments and feelings and just letting them be there without doing anything else, the weaker these judgments and feelings will become. What empowers our thoughts and feelings is acting them out. If you don't want to be at the mercy of your negative thoughts (judgments) and feelings, then just let them come and go in your mind without identifying with them or giving voice to them. Don't fight with them or push them away, but allow them the space to come and go, as all thoughts naturally do. Your thoughts come out of nowhere and disappear into nowhere. You have the ability to empower them by giving them your attention or dis-empower them by not giving them your attention, which is accomplished by giving your attention to something else.
Explorations: Do just one of these explorations a day. When you've finished all three explorations, go back to each one and see if you can uncover any further insights.
1. There are certain judgments and criticisms you have about your partner that come up again and again and are probably causing conflict, stress, and a shutting down of love between you. What are they? Take some time to contemplate this. Make a list of them. What if you didn't have these judgments and the feelings that go with them? What would that be like? And what if you never expressed your judgments or criticisms? What would that be like? How would you feel? How would that change your relationship?
2. Look carefully at any resistances you may have to ignoring and not speaking the judgments and criticisms you have. What are you afraid will happen if you give up judging and criticizing? Are you afraid you will be a doormat, you will be unhappy, you will be taken advantage of, you will not be in control, you will lose power in the relationship? Is it your way of being strong? Is it your way of being smart? Is it your way of proving that you are an individual? How do you believe your judgments are serving you? What are you getting out of judging and criticizing? Spend at least ten minutes contemplating this question because it is a very important one. There are reasons, although mistaken ones, for clinging to our judgments and criticisms. Once we really see how ineffective and destructive our judgments are, they lose their power to capture our attention and make us do their bidding.
3. What are the negative ramifications of judging and criticizing? Does your partner fire back with criticisms? Does your partner withdraw, disengage? How does judging and criticizing make you feel about yourself? What is your self-image like when you are criticizing someone? Are you The Bitch, The Complainer, The Whiner, The Martyr, The Wronged One, The Raging Maniac, The Self-Righteous One, The Mother Hen, The Drama Queen, The Emasulator, The Boss, The Avenger, The Victim, or some other image? Our ego takes on these personas, but we are not our ego, and we can choose to not identify with and act out these personas. Our judgments cause negative feelings within ourselves and others—anger, resentment, hatred, desire for revenge, and even guilt and shame—and negative feelings are not only exhausting, but also can lead to physical illness. They shut down our own heart and the hearts of those around us. What price are you paying for your judgments and criticism? What is the cost to your relationships? Is it worth it?
For more information visit How to Create a More Loving Relationship On-Line Course
We all have the endless chattering and noise in our head often referred to as the monkey mind.
It’s been called the monkey mind – the endless chattering in your head as you jump in your mind from thought to thought while you daydream, analyze your relationships, or worry over the future. Eventually, you start to feel like your thoughts are spinning in circles and you’re left totally confused.
One way to tame this wild creature in your head is through meditation – although the paradox is that when you clear your mind for meditation you actually invite the monkey in your mind to play. This is when you are given the opportunity to tame this mental beast by moving beyond thought – to become aware of a thought rather than thinking a thought. The difference is subtle, but significant. When you are aware of your thoughts, you can let your thoughts rise and float away without letting them pull you in different directions. Being able to concentrate is one of the tools that allows you to slow down your thought process and focus on observing your thoughts.
To develop your concentration, you may want to start by focusing on the breath while you meditate. Whenever your monkey mind starts acting up, observe your thoughts and then return your focus to your breath. Some breathing meditations call on you to focus on the rise and fall of the breath through the abdomen, while others have you concentrate on the sound of the breath. Fire can also be mesmerizing, and focusing on a candle flame is another useful tool for harnessing the mind. Keep the gaze soft and unfocused while observing the color, shape, and movement of the flame, and try not to blink. Close your eyes when you feel the need and continue watching the flame in your head. Chanting, devotional singing, and mantras also still the mind. However you choose to tame the monkey mind, do so with firm kindness. The next time the chattering arises, notice it and then allow it to go away. With practice, your monkey mind will become quiet and so will you.
The universe is always offering us signs to help us, we just need to slow down and pay attention.
The universe can often relay messages to us through signs. Often, we are too busy to stop and consider what may or may not be a sign. We may ask the universe for guidance, yet fail to recognize the sign it sends us in response. Learning the subtle language of signs can help you interpret the guidance the universe sends your way. We all have been blessed with a connection that allows the universe to communicate directly with us. To be able to understand the information relayed over that connection, however, it is necessary that we learn to pay attention and know what to look for.
To see and correctly interpret a sign, you must open your heart and mind to the universe and invite its guidance into your life. Many of us are blind to the signs we receive because we expect angels or our spirit guides to speak to us in a booming voice and tell us exactly what we need to hear. But signs are usually of this earth and therefore easier to encounter. A song lodged in your mind or a number that seems to pop up everywhere you look after you’ve asked the universe for guidance can both be signs. Signs may come through the animal world, from strangers, or jump out of a book in the form of an insightful passage. A sign may be a direct answer to one of your questions. Other signs may point you in the right direction, warn of impending difficulties, or show you a different way. If you want the universe to send you a sign, tell it that you are ready and willing to accept its guidance.
Not everything you hear or see will be a sign. If you are receptive and patient, however, the signs you receive will become easier to recognize. It is important to listen to your intuition. A sign can mean many things to different people, and only you can decipher a sign’s meaning is for you. As you practice reading the signs and following their guidance, the universe will send more of them your way.
We can learn to locate the seed of peace inside ourselves in order to have a reliable source of serenity.
In our noisy world, we often find ourselves longing for peace and searching to find it somewhere else. While it’s true that there are places we can visit where we can experience peace, such as sacred sites or buildings, we do not need to wait until we get to one of these places to feel at peace. Instead, we can learn to locate the seed of peace inside ourselves and cultivate it so that it grows into a reliable source of serenity that we can always access, no matter where we are.
We experience peace when we are in a state of mental calm and serenity. It might surprise you to notice how infrequently you allow yourself to be free from anxiety. Realizing this is the first step to inner peace. If you wait until all the details of your life are taken care of to allow yourself to experience peace, you will never feel peaceful because there is always something that your mind can grab onto to create anxiety. It is important to consciously set aside your worries and make time to cultivate inner peace.
Ideally, you could schedule time each day to meditate on peace and experience what it feels like to be calm and serene. It takes practice to learn how to let go of your worries, so give yourself some time. Inhale deeply, and feel your worries dissolve with every exhale. Remind yourself that soon enough you will be able to take care of everything you need to, but right now you are taking a break. As the clutter of your thoughts and concerns clear away, you will start to feel more serene. Allow yourself to move deeper into this state with each inhale. Realize that you have the power to free yourself from anxiety simply by deciding to do so. The more you practice feeling peaceful, the easier it will be for you to feel at peace.
************....Ziggy******** The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results. - Norman Vincent Peale
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Surrender Box A Place for Worries and Fears
by Madisyn Taylor
A surrender box is a tool to let go of our burdens so the universe can take care of them for us.
There are times when our minds become too full. Our to-do lists, worries, plans, and dreams may be so crowded together in our heads that we don’t have room to think. We may believe that we are somehow taking care of our desires and concerns by keeping them at the forefront of our minds. In maintaining our mental hold on every detail, however, we may actually delay the realization of our dreams and the resolution of our worries because we won’t let them go. At times such as these, we may want to use a surrender box.
A surrender box allows us to let go of our worries and desires so the universe can take care of them for us. We write down what we want or need to happen and then place the note into a box. By writing and placing our thoughts in the box, we are taking action and letting the universe know we need help and are willing to surrender our feelings. We give ourselves permission to not concern ourselves with that problem any longer and trust that the universe is taking care of it. You may even want to decorate your box and place it in a special place. Your surrender box is a sacred container for your worries. Not only do you free up space in your mind by letting go of our worries and desires and dropping them into your surrender box, but you are giving your burden over to a higher power. Once we drop our worries and desires into the surrender box, we free our minds so we can be fully present in each moment.
Surrendering our worries and concerns and placing them in the hands of the universe doesn’t mean that we’ve given up or have been defeated. Instead, we are releasing the realization of our desires and the resolution of our worries and no longer concerning ourselves with their outcomes. It’s always fun to go back and pull the slips of paper out of the box once your requests have been granted. And it’s amazing how quickly problems go away and dreams come true when we finally let go and allow a higher power to help us.
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Staying Conscious Staying Grounded in a Big City or Busy World
by Madisyn Taylor
For a more grounded life, choose not to get caught up in the fast-paced world around you.
1. Live simply and live deliberately. By choosing not to get caught up in the details of this fast-paced world, you are doing your part to slow down the . You will also discover that you have more time to enjoy being alive.
2. Stay in touch with yourself. Soul searching, meditation, and journaling are just a few of the many activities you can take part in to stay aware and learn as much as you can about your emotions, reactions, likes, dislikes, dreams, and fears. Having a solid sense of self gives you a firm foundation for living in this world.
3. Support or teach others as often as you can. This can help you form connections with people while also giving you an opportunity to make the world a better place.
4. Consciously choose what you will allow into your being. The media bombards us with visions of hate, war, and pain. Be judicious about what you read, watch, and listen to.
5. Acknowledge the beauty that resides around you. Whether you live in a sprawling metropolis or a stereotypical suburb, there are natural and man-made wonders just waiting to be discovered by you.
6. Nurture your ties to your tribe. If you don’t have one, create a community that you can belong to. Modern life can be isolating. When you have a tribe, you have a circle that you are a part of. Its members – loved ones, friends, or neighbors - can be a source of support, caring, guidance, and companionship.
7. See the larger picture. Remember that the way that you choose to live is not the only way to live. Widen your perspective by exploring other modes of being through research, travel, and discussion.
8. Embrace the challenges that life presents to you, and challenge yourself often. After a time, even the most exciting jobs or lifestyles can seem routine. Never stop assimilating new knowledge about whatever you are doing, and your life will never seem dull.
9. Move your body. In this busy world, it can be easy to live a sedentary life. Movement reacquaints us with our bodies and connects us to the earth in a visceral way. It also restores our vitality.
10. Make time for stillness, silence, and solitude. The world can be noisy, and we are subject to all kinds of noises nearly every waking hour. We are also often “on the go” and unable to relax. Being alone in a peaceful place and making time for quiet can help you stay in touch with yourself.
Letting Go with Forgiveness From the Letting Go with Forgiveness On-Line Course
by Ana Holub
The following is an excerpt from the "Letting Go with Forgiveness" on-line course. If you would like to take the entire course, click here.
Welcome to Letting Go with Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a very tender subject. It brings up lots of memories, emotions and desire in most of us. I’m glad you’ve chosen to explore forgiveness as a healing tool in your life, for it is a sacred journey. Forgiveness is the most powerful medicine I’ve found to heal the human heart.
As your teacher and guide for the next 8 weeks, I’d like to introduce myself. Most people know me as a professional forgiveness counselor, certified Radical Forgiveness coach, mediator and author. I’m also the mother of two unbelievably amazing children (I know I’m biased, but it’s actually true!). I’ve spent over 20 years learning and teaching about human psychology, spirituality, conflict and peace. I work with lots of people in all sorts of places and circumstances, including couples, individuals, corporations, non-profits, some of the inmates at San Quentin Prison and at-risk teens and their families.
But, of course, there is a lot more to my story than my professional biography. I’m so deeply indebted to the work of forgiveness, and to my mentors in the field, because my sanity literally depends on it. I know I wouldn’t be anywhere near as happy and peaceful as I am now if I hadn’t discovered the miracles that forgiveness brings.
Many of us go through really hard times. My hardest time was when my mother died, by her own hand, when I was young, pregnant, confused and almost penniless.
Contact with God was the only thing that kept me sane and whole enough to raise my children well, despite my mother’s mental illness and its effect on me. It helped me learn that I am a lot stronger than anything that shows up in my life, even the shock and pain of my mother’s suicide.
It took years to receive all of the lessons this experience gave to me. It was, in a sense, very hard work, and even now I would not claim that I am finished. Through forgiveness, I learned that the grace of God offers a more powerful love than what my human mother could give me. It’s a love that never leaves, never gives up, and always heals when we allow it into our hearts. I also learned that my mother's love was perfect as it was, and as it is.
You probably have a different, painful story that affected your life. Perhaps you have quite a few of them! This course will guide you step-by-step, showing you a way to heal your painful memories by finding the spiritual treasure hidden within each one.
As I’ll explain shortly, the kind of forgiveness I’m talking about is not the traditional model. As the next 8 weeks unfold, I’ll teach you how to go much further and deeper on your spiritual path. I will share with you my version of ecstatic, radical forgiveness. I know it will help you in some of the same ways it continues to help me.
What is Forgiveness?
As I mentioned earlier, forgiveness truly is heart medicine. It involves the healing experience of Divine contact. The Divine has many names, including the Holy Spirit, the Divine Mother, Father God, Great Spirit, Nature, or the “peace that passeth all understanding.” Whenever I mention the word “Divine,” please substitute any name that works for you. The important thing for us to remember is the uniting, creative force of Love. Only this Love is real, and only Love has the power to heal and reunite us with our true nature.
I sometimes call our forgiveness journey a jump into the River of Love. In this course, you will learn that Life gave us our experiences to show us that NO MATTER WHAT, the River of Love will float us home to a deep sense of inner security and serenity. This experience of forgiveness teaches us to release our sadness, and find gratitude for the lessons we’ve learned. It gives us the joy and freedom of knowing we are never isolated or without a friend. The River of Love shows us that the edges to all things are friendly…if we relax into the safety we share with the Divine.
In committing to make use of the River of Love on our path of freedom, we need to examine what this forgiveness is, and what it is not.
In the traditional view of forgiveness, a common element is that a crime occurred. If there was no crime, there’d be no need to forgive! So if you feel that forgiveness is what is next for you, you’ll need to find the crimes in your life story. By crime, I mean any transgression that seemed to cause you pain, sadness, anger, fear, or other emotion that you did not want to feel at the time. It could have been as large as a rape or murder, or as small as a nasty look or icy silence.
I say “seemed to cause you pain” because it is never the events that cause us to suffer, but rather how we interpret the situation. It is possible for one person to feel great anguish over something that another person wouldn’t mind at all. Even dramatic acts of violence can have different effects on different people, depending upon what the people involved think about what happened.
We have a choice about how we interpret our surroundings and the intentions of others. We can choose fear or love. If we choose fear, which is how we were programmed at just about every level of society, then we will assume that an attack occurred, and a crime must have taken place.
For example, crimes usually involve violence of some kind. This could be physical, emotional, verbal, sexual or energetic violence. Perhaps a situation occurred where someone crossed your personal boundary without permission, physically attacking you or giving you an emotional stab. Probably, your first instinct was to defend yourself, retaliate, or withdraw. Each of these instincts stems from a belief that the attack was real, and that you are an individual person with an individual body. This is how you live in the World of Humanity, also known as the world of 3D or the world of duality, where crimes take place every day.
Once you were convinced that a crime occurred, the people involved automatically fit into pre-arranged roles. We have a group agreement for these roles, which spans all cultures and socio-economic levels around the globe. We call these roles Victims and Perpetrators. Sometimes there is another role, that of the Savior – a third person who swoops in to (temporarily) save the day. For our forgiveness practice, we’ll focus on the Victim and Perpetrator roles, because they take us directly into our emotions, and that is the place to go for deep healing.
In traditional forgiveness, we keep these roles intact and try to heal. We say to ourselves, “I’ll just let bygones be bygones.” Or, “I’ll let the passage of time heal my aching heart. It doesn’t feel so bad anymore. I’ve forgiven him/her.” Or, “They had such a terrible childhood, they couldn’t help themselves. I feel pity for them. I have forgiven.”
In this course, you will learn to enlarge and change the definition of forgiveness. Complementing the teachings of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) and Radical Forgiveness, you will utilize a philosophy that ultimately throws out the victim and perpetrator roles altogether. You’ll ask yourself to expand your thinking and feeling to include all beings as equal, eternal and holy. You can then experience a sense of peace that is never possible when we identify ourselves or others as victims and perpetrators. This peace is only available to us when we relax into the World of Divine Truth, where the grace of God envelops us all.
The catch here is that we can’t gloss over the knots of constriction and pain that we made in our emotional bodies, back when upsetting events in our lives occurred. Especially when we were children, we didn’t have the emotional maturity to separate ourselves from our parents, peers and teachers. We didn’t understand the impact of the pain they were carrying when it was projected upon us. We dutifully took on the legacy of their trauma in an elaborate human dance that has lasted for untold generations. And the thing is, we’ll keep on projecting this mess onto our children and our grandchildren unless we stop the momentum. This is the most important stand we can take in life. We can say, “This pain stops with me.”
“To transform energies we must experience them totally, working through them and forgiving them, which means seeing the perfection in them.” — Colin Tipping, Radical Forgiveness: Making Room for the Miracle
Note: Forgiveness is the inner work that we do to increase our experience of freedom. It brings us consciously into the World of Divine Truth. In the World of Humanity, we also need accountability, responsibility for our actions, systems of justice, mediation, reconciliation, treatment programs, jails and prisons. This is the outer work of living together in an unenlightened society. These inner and outer levels are connected, yet distinct.
Almost all of us have wounds that need to heal. We can’t skip over the work that is needed to release this pain out of our minds, hearts and bodies. This is the blessing of forgiveness and the vital excitement of jumping into the River of Love. It takes us from isolation, fear and pain all the way back home to God. We simply cannot heal without learning to float within it!
When you do the inner work of forgiveness, remember that you are not trying to fix yourself, another person, or a situation. You are not looking for justice in order to champion injustice. You are not a savior or a victim or a perpetrator. Those are roles that you constructed. You are not bound by them, nor is anyone else.
What a relief!
You will learn to simply witness what you are carrying from the past, learn from it, and let it go. You will release the need to blame, shame or revenge upon anyone – including yourself. This release will open up passageways that were blocked, perhaps for your entire life up until now. This means that all of the love and wisdom of the Divine will be available for you…now that you have finished your business of building grievances. The doorways, your inner meridians, will be open. You will begin to live inside miracles themselves, and to come to at-one-ment with our Creator. Life just doesn’t get any better than that.
“No more fearful dreams will come, now that you rest in God.” — ACIM, WB 193
What are the benefits of forgiving someone? Research results cited here come from the Mayo Clinic. For more information, go to www.mayoclinic.com.
Researchers have recently become interested in studying the effects of forgiveness. Evidence is mounting that holding on to grudges and bitterness results in long-term health problems. Forgiveness, on the other hand, offers numerous benefits, including:
* Lower blood pressure * Stress reduction * Less hostility * Better anger management skills * Lower heart rate * Lower risk of alcohol or substance abuse * Fewer depression symptoms * Fewer anxiety symptoms * Reduction in chronic pain * More friendships * Healthier relationships * Greater religious or spiritual well-being * Improved psychological well-being
Keep in mind that current research studies people engaging in a traditional forgiveness model. In this course, you’ll also be receiving these health benefits, but in a potentially much deeper way because of the radical nature of its philosophy. How deep you go depends on you.
Contemplate these questions to begin your forgiveness process:
How do you currently view forgiveness? What prompted you to invest in this course? What is your commitment to yourself about finishing it? Are you committed? What value can you see in learning to forgive? What do you want from forgiveness? What will you give to your process? Are you waiting to be forgiven? from whom? What emotions are rising up in you as you meditate on these questions?
For more information visit From the Letting Go with Forgiveness On-Line Course
As Blessed as You Want to Be The Power of Staying Positive
by Madisyn Taylor
Positive thinking dramatically increases your chances of success in any endeavor.
Our thoughts are not simply ethereal pieces of information that enter our minds and then disappear. The words and ideas that we think can shape our lives and drive us toward success and happiness or failure and distress. How you think and feel can have a profound effect on your ability to recognize opportunity, how well you perform, and the outcome of the goals that you’ve set for yourself. When you maintain an optimistic outlook and make an effort to harbor only positive thoughts, you begin to create the circumstances conducive to you achieving what you desire. You feel in control and few of life’s challenges seem truly overwhelming because it is in your nature to expect a positive conclusion. An optimistic mind is also an honest one. Staying positive does not mean that you ignore difficulties or disregard limitations. Instead, it means spending time focusing only on the thoughts that are conducive to your well-being and progress.
Positive thinking dramatically increases your chances of success in any endeavor. When you’re sure that you are worthy and that achievement is within your grasp, you start to relax and look for solutions rather than dwelling on problems. You are more likely to imagine positive situations or outcomes and disregard the thoughts related to giving up, failure, or roadblocks. What the mind expects, it finds. If you anticipate joy, good health, happiness, and accomplishment, then you will experience each one. Thinking positively may sound like a simple shift in attention – and it is – but it is a mind-set that must be developed. Whenever a negative thought enters your mind, try immediately replacing it with a constructive or optimistic one. With persistence, you can condition your mind to judge fleeting, self-defeating thoughts as inconsequential and dismiss them.
It is within your power to become as happy, content, or successful as you make up your mind to be. Staying positive may not have an immediate effect on your situation, but it will likely have a profound and instantaneous effect on your mood and the quality of your experiences. In order for positive thinking to change your life, it must become your predominant mind-set. Once you are committed to embracing positive thinking, you’ll start believing that everything that you want is within your grasp.
Like the whales each of us has a unique song or gift to offer the world as is meant to be heard by others.
Native Americans teach us that the Great Spirit speaks to us through our animal brethren. The whale is one animal that we can learn from. Whales have existed for over 50 million years and are considered to be record-keepers who possess knowledge of the past.
It is through the vibrations of their unique sound that they release this ancient wisdom to us. At the same time, their sound carries across such great distances that whales can enter the realm of the future where they can acquire knowledge of what is to come. Every whale sings a song, and they never repeat the same pattern when they sing their song. Since whales must be conscious at all times in order to breathe, they cannot afford to fall into an unconscious state for too long. Never completely asleep, their brain has constant access to the collective unconscious where all answers lie. Whales float peacefully, secure in the ocean environment that supports and sustains them.
You can learn from the wisdom of whales by remembering to express what’s uniquely yours. Each of us has a unique “song” or gift to offer the world. Your song is meant to be sung by you and heard by others. No one else can sing this song but you, and your song is medicine for the healing of the planet. Like whales, you can choose to access information about the future when you go into a meditative state. Whales teach us to look at where we came from and where we are headed. Knowing that our past helps shape our future, we can remember to make positive choices regarding our lives, the environment, and our world. Like whales, we can remember to stay awake and actively engaged in a universe that supports and sustains us. When we express ourselves and share our unique gifts, we add our wisdom and vibration to the planet.
A short nap during the afternoon is common in many countries and can provide an energy boost and clearer senses.
As we focus on the many obligations we gladly undertake in order to create the lives we want, sleep is often the first activity that we sacrifice. We’re compelled by both external and internal pressures to be productive during many of our waking hours. While this can lead to great feats of accomplishment, it also disrupts the body’s natural cycles and leaves us craving rest. Napping represents a pleasurable remedy to this widespread sleep deprivation. Though judged by many as a pastime of little children or the lazy, the need for a nap is a trait that all mammals share and an acceptable part of the day in many countries. It is also a free and effortless way to improve our health and lift our spirits. A nap is relaxing and can improve our mood, vision, reflexes, and memory.
Lack of sleep, whether ongoing or the result of a single night’s wakefulness, puts stress on the body and mind. It can negatively impact your physical and mental health. At one time, napping was considered a natural part of life. In the past hundred years, however, electricity and modern conveniences have provided us with more time to engage in personal and professional activities. Consequently there is now less time for sleep. A mere ten minutes of sleep in the middle of the day can leave you feeling more cheerful and alert. A half-hour long nap can sharpen your senses and refresh your energy reserves, and a shorter nap can even sustain you through a long day. Napping can help you make up for lost sleep and serves as a supplement to your usual sleep schedule. You may need to give yourself permission to nap by making naptime a part of your day.
Feelings of guilt about napping or being preoccupied with other activities can keep you awake when you are trying to take a nap. If you need help, surround yourself with soft pillows and blankets or soothing music. Try to take a nap at the same time each day and use an alarm clock to ensure that you don’t fall into too deep a sleep. Learning to nap and enjoying its benefits can help you reclaim your natural right to nap. You nourish your being every time you take a nap.
A Year of Angels in Your Inbox From A Year of Angels in Your Inbox On-line Course
by Dawn Lianna
The following is an excerpt from the "A Year of Angels in Your Inbox" on-line course. If you would like to take the entire course, click here.
Angels are among us everyday. They love us immensely and cherish the opportunity to have contact with us. The value of having angels in our lives is unsurpassed in sweetness and love.
People who connect with the angels report an increase in the grace in their lives. They find blessings and miracles in the small events of their day as their lives are touched by the feeling of angelic love and nurturance.
Did you know that when you invite the angels into your life, it increases the angel's stewardship and ability to help you? We live in free will and the angels are right here among us, yet they cannot interfere with our free will. As you call them in, you allow them greater access to your life and give them deeper permission to support you and your loved ones. They are always happy to be of service and assistance to you.
I want to share with you a little bit about how I receive angelic messages and how you might open to receive your own angel messages. I’ve been hearing the angels my entire life and teaching people to listen to them for many years.
Messages from the angels are often simple and yet deeply profound. The angels speak repeatedly of their love for us.
To receive a message from the angels, it’s important to sit very quietly and go into a meditative state. Call your angels and invite to come around you. Simply invite telepathically. They will hear you and come. I often say something like, "Beloved angels, please come in very close and help me to sense you". If you want to write your own angel message, take out a paper and pen when you sit and wait quietly with your pen in your hand. Draw or write your impressions on the paper. Just let the words or pictures flow, trusting what you receive.
The angels are right here with you, just waiting to connect more deeply so they can share with you their infinite love.
To fully receive this angel message, slow down. Take a few minutes and let the message into your heart deeply. Allow it to penetrate and help you connect with your soul and with the angels. Throughout the day contemplate the message and call in your angels, by inviting them to join you in your daily life.
Here is Your Angel Message for Today
Lay Your Heart In Our Wings
Imagine placing your heart in our wings. We are honored by your sweetness. Please connect with us more often. Place your heart against our heart. We feel your love. We are deeply touched by you and we are very happy to be participating with you. Today we encourage you to focus on joy. Stay in your heart and amp up the good feelings. All desires are wishes for good feelings. When you dream of a special place you are wishing for the good feeling. Let the good feelings roll.
An angel’s wing touched you on the cheek just now. Know that you are home. We use our wings to cradle you. Lay your heart in our wings.
Having a talisman imbued with your intention is yet another tool you can use to assist you in your journey.
For millennia, mankind has found peace and solace in objects of significance. When cleansed and consecrated through ritual, such objects – be they gems, amulets, herbs, or written words – become talismans. A talisman is any item imbued with a specific power by its bearer to serve a specific intention. Ancient Egyptians used massive stone tablets as healing talismans while the Greeks and Romans used lead talismans to communicate with the spirit realm. Traditionally, a talisman acts to anchor energy in the physical plane. That energy may be protective in nature or may be intended to draw abundance, wealth, or a wide variety of blessings to its user. Today, a talisman may be made of wood, metal, paper, stone, or natural elements such as plants. Often, talismans are small enough to be easily worn or carried, and they may be marked with words or symbols that the talisman’s owner deems meaningful.
Creating and owning a talisman can reassure you and also serve to aide you in attracting what you want in life. You may use your talisman to help you attain health, security, or good luck. Or you may simply want to carry an object with you that will remind you of your search for soulful tranquility. In order to create a talisman, you must first determine its physical properties. This can be as innocuous as a strip of paper bearing the word “Love” and carried in a wooden box or cloth sack. You may prefer a more visible talisman, such as a metal amulet or a gemstone worn as jewelry. Before your object becomes a talisman, however, it must be charged. This can be done by cleansing the object – with water or with incense – and holding a ritual of your own making. Or, you can leave the object in moonlight or sunlight or bury it in the earth for a time. To preserve its effectiveness, talismans should be reconsecrated regularly.
Almost any object can be transformed into a talisman of protection, good fortune, health, love, or serenity. It may be strung on a cord and hung around the neck, worn on a belt, or carried in a purse or pocket. But the physical properties of the talisman are not as important as the intention of its bearer. If you are grounded in your desires, your talisman will give you a focal point that you can concentrate on to affirm your intention and help you achieve your goals.
Expanding Their Vision Nine Ways to Help Others Awaken to Consciousness
by Madisyn Taylor
By simply being yourself, you can help the people in your life see a living example of consciousness.
1. Living by your values allows you to become a positive source of inspiration for others. Don’t hide – express yourself and embrace life without reservation. By simply being yourself, you can help the people in your life see how one person can make a difference by being a living example of consciousness.
2. When you communicate your views, do so casually and in a nondogmatic manner. Allow the people you speak with to ask questions. Offer only as much information as they are ready to hear.
3. Igniting the spark of consciousness can be as easy as giving someone a gift. A favorite book, a medicine bag, or a beautiful gemstone can pique your loved ones’ curiosity and prompt them to begin an exploration of the soul.
4. Teaching a friend, relative, or colleague to meditate or chant can put them on the path to consciousness while simultaneously reducing their stress levels.
5. Others may want to know more about living consciously but are unsure of how to begin. Starting a discussion group – even a virtual one – can help you reach out to individuals that are eager to learn.
6. By recognizing and acknowledging the inherent value in everyone you encounter, you can teach them how to value others. Sometimes, the easiest way to encourage people – even challenging ones - to respect others is to respect them first.
7. Invite people from your personal and professional lives to join you in attending a ceremony or ritual. The experience may touch them in a profound way or introduce them to a new spiritual path.
8. Casually point out the interconnectedness of all living beings using concrete, everyday examples. Many people are unaware of how their actions affect the world and are intrigued when they learn of the power they hold.
9. Introduce your loved ones to conscious living in a lighthearted and enjoyable way. Serve delicious organic recipes at gatherings, volunteer as a group, and show them how wonderful it can feel to be truly aware and connected to the universe.
We develop grace as we learn with the guiding hand of the universe, life will unfold exactly the way it should.
The idea of trusting the universe is a popular one these days, but many of us don’t know what this really means and we often have a hard time doing it. This is partly because the story of humankind is most often presented as a story about struggle, control, and survival, instead of one of trust and collaboration with the universe. Yet, in truth, we need to adhere to both ideas in this life.
On the one hand, there is much to be said about exerting control over our environment. We created shelter to protect ourselves from the elements. We hunted for animals and invented agriculture to feed ourselves. We built social infrastructures to protect ourselves and create community. This is how we survive and grow as a civilization. However, it is also clear that there are plenty of things that we cannot control, no matter how hard we try, and we often receive support from an unseen force – a universe that provides us with what we cannot provide for ourselves.
It is a good idea to take responsibility for the things in life that we can control or create. We work so we can feed, clothe, and shelter our loved ones and ourselves. We manifest our dreams and visions in physical form with hard work and forethought. But at a certain point, when have done all that we can, we must let go and allow the universe to take over. This requires trust. It requires a trust that runs deeper than just expecting things to turn out the way we want them to. Sometimes they will, and sometimes they won’t. We develop equanimity and grace as we learn to trust that, with the guiding hand of the universe, life will unfold exactly the way it should. We are engaged in an ongoing relationship with a universe that responds to our thoughts and actions.
The effects of a past life can manifest in your current life in many ways but should be used as a tool, not an excuse.
Inside our subconscious lie our memories from past lives. Though we seldom remember even having lived these past lives, the experiences we had living them have had a hand in shaping who we are today. The effects of a past life can manifest in a later lifetime in many ways - phobias, self-limiting beliefs, physical problems, or innate creative abilities. Violence, death, and trauma in a past life may show up as fear, uncontrollable anger, or low self-esteem in this one, while positive experiences from an earlier lifetime may cause you to feel strongly drawn to certain people, places, or objects without knowing why.
Many people turn to past life regression therapists to revisit their past lives. Past life regression allows you to recall the memories and emotions associated with a past life that continue to exert an influence over your present reality. You may not have even been aware that these experiences are still affecting you today. Past life regression therapy can offer you a unique opportunity to reconnect with these memories so you can understand them and free yourself.
To discover more about your past lives, consider keeping a notebook where you can record anything that could be a memory from a different lifetime. You may also feel drawn to a particular period in history, a seemingly unfamiliar locale, or a new person you’ve met who seems oddly familiar. Pick a time and choose a place where you can relax. Envision your body being filled with healing white light. Remember that nothing you see or hear will harm you. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve through regression and connect with your inner vision. Observe what you see without judgment. When you are done, think about how what you experienced relates to your present life. There may be beliefs from a past life that you are still operating under but are now ready to let go of. The significance of your past life memory may not be immediately obvious until much later. You can make the most of your past lives by learning from them. While past life regression can be an exciting journey, it is not a substitute for living in the present where we are most needed right here and now.
While riding the wave of life you must also practice stillness so you can flow with, rather than resist the wave’s motion.
Our lives are continually in motion, buoyed by the wave that is the universe’s flow. As the wave rises and falls, we are carried forward, through life’s high and low points. The universe’s flow may take us to a place in life where we would rather not be. As tempting as it can be to fight the direction and size of this wave that propels us, riding the wave is intended to make life easier. When you ride the wave, your life can evolve naturally and with minimal effort. Riding the wave, however, is not a passive experience. It is an active process that requires you to be attentive, centered, and awake. You must also practice stillness so you can flow with, rather than resist the wave’s motion.
Because life is dynamic and always changing, it is when we try to make the wave stand still or resist its direction that we are likely to get pulled under by its weight. If you try to move against the wave, you may feel as if you are trapped by it and have no control over your destiny. When you reach a low point while riding the wave and find your feet touching bottom, remember to stay standing so that you can leap forward along with the wave the next time it rises. Trying to resist life’s flow is a losing proposition and costly because you waste energy.
Riding the wave allows you to move forward without expending too much of your own efforts. When you ride the wave, you are carried by it and your head can “stay above water” as you go wherever it takes you. It can be difficult to trust the universe and let go of the urge to fight life’s flow, and you may find it easier to ride the wave if you can stay calm and relaxed. Riding the wave will always take you where you need to go.
Humans for the most part are not born consciously knowing what their purpose is and it must be found through exploration.
Most living things belong to a particular soul group and are born knowing their purpose in life. An animal will spend its day foraging for food, taking care of itself and its young, and creating a home. No one tells an animal to do this, yet it instinctively knows how. Humans, for the most part, are not born consciously knowing what their purpose is.
Purpose gives our life meaning. When you discover your purpose, you can live your life with intention and make choices that serve your objective for why you are here on the planet. Finding your purpose is not always easy. You must embrace life wholeheartedly, explore many different pathways, and allow yourself to grow.
Your purpose is as unique as you are and will evolve as you move through life. You don’t need anyone’s permission to fulfill your purpose, and no one can tell you what that purpose is. Finding and fulfilling your purpose can be a lifelong endeavor. To figure out what your purpose is, ask yourself what drives you – not what forces you out of bed in the morning, but what makes you glad to be alive. Make a list of activities that you wish you were involved in or think about a career path that you would love to embark upon. These are the endeavors that can help you fulfill your purpose and bring you the most satisfaction.
Picture yourself working on projects that don’t interest you or fulfill your purpose, yet they help satisfy your basic survival needs. Imagine how living this way each day would make you feel. Next, picture yourself devoting your time to projects that spark your imagination, inspire, excite, and satisfy you. More often than not, these activities are some of the ways that you can fulfill your life purpose. Time spent on these endeavors will never feel like a waste. Live your life with purpose, and you will feel significant and capable because every action you take and each choice you make will have meaning to it.
The Most Fulfilling Road Finding Your Next Step in Life
by Madisyn Taylor
It is when you are willing to listen to yourself and be fearless that figuring out your next step becomes easy.
Our lives are made up of a complex network of pathways that we can use to move from one phase of life to the next. For some of us, our paths are wide, smooth, and clearly marked. Many people, however, find that they have a difficult time figuring out where they need to go next. Determining which “next step” will land you on the most direct route to fulfillment and the realization of your life purpose may not seem easy.
There are many ways to discover what the next step on your life path should be. If you are someone who seeks to satisfy your soul, it is vital that you make this inquiry. Often, your inner voice will counsel you that it’s time for a change, and it is very important to trust yourself because only you know what is best for you. Personal growth always results when you let yourself expand beyond the farthest borders of what your life has been so far. When figuring out what your next step will be, you may want to review your life experiences. The choices you’ve made and the dreams you’ve held onto can give you an idea of what you don’t want to do anymore and what you might like to do next. It is also a good idea to think about creative ways you can use your skills and satisfy your passions. Visualizing your perfect future and making a list of ways to manifest that future can help you choose a logical next step that’s in harmony with your desires. Meditation, journal writing, taking a class, and other creative activities may inspire you and provide insight regarding the next step in life that will bring you the most satisfaction.
It is when you are willing to listen to yourself and be fearless that figuring out your next step becomes easy. Beneath the fear and hesitation and uncertainty lies your inner knowing that always knows which step you need to take next. If you can allow the taking of your next step to be as easy as putting one foot in front of the next, you’ll notice that your next step is always the one that is right in front of you. All you have to do is put one foot forward and on the ground.
Everyday we can incorporate actions into our lives similar to that of the great yogis of Tibet.
The word “yogi” means “to realize the wisdom of pure awareness.” To do this, the yogis of Tibet practice Tibetan Buddhist meditation techniques. They have gained a level of mastery that makes it possible for them to practice in isolation for periods of one to three years. During this time, they focus their complete attention on connecting with spirit and gain an extraordinary level of control over their minds and bodies. We may not want to focus on one activity for one to three years, but there are principles that the yogis of Tibet live by that we can apply to our lives.
Like all yogis, we can make it a priority to connect with spirit. A few moments spent focusing our attention inward can allow us to see life with fresh eyes. We can also expand our view of the world by educating ourselves like the yogis do before they attain yogic mastery. Yogis study not only spiritual disciplines, but they also study science, philosophy, the arts, and medicine. Another way to emulate the yogis of Tibet is to focus our minds on positive thoughts that affirm the well-being of the planet. Yogis chant prayers for the well-being of the world even while doing tasks that don’t require their full concentration. It is through chanting, positive thoughts, and meditation that we learn to have compassion, feel empathy, and look for the good in every situation. We also become aware of our ability to create change in the world with our thoughts, actions, and intentions.
The yogis of Tibet have been called "supreme artists of life" for their ability to treat every situation like a spiritual endeavor. As we aspire to express the same art of patience, compassion, and peace in our lives, we too can radiate the tranquility, warmth, and joy attributed to these spiritual masters.
We hold onto material objects because we think they make us feel secure, when in reality they are cluttering our lives.
In life, we tend to have an easier time acquiring possessions than we do getting rid of them. Just as we harbor emotional baggage that is difficult to let go of, our lives can tend to be filled with material objects that we may feel compelled to hold on to. Most people are not conscious of how much they own and how many of their possessions are no longer adding value to their life. They fiercely hold on to material objects because this makes them feel secure or comfortable. While it’s true that the ownership of “stuff” can make you feel good for awhile, it seldom satisfies the deep inner longings that nearly everyone has for fulfillment and satisfaction. It is only when we are ready to let go of our baggage and be vulnerable that it becomes possible to recognize the emotional hold that our possessions can have on us.
It’s not uncommon to hold on to material objects because we are attached to them or fear the empty spaces that will remain if we get rid of them. Giving away the souvenirs from a beloved voyage may feel like we are erasing the memory of that time in our life. We may also worry that our loved ones will feel hurt if we don’t keep the gifts they’ve given us. It’s easy to convince ourselves that unused possessions might come in handy someday or that parting with them will cause you emotional pain. However, when your personal space is filled with objects, there is no room for anything new to enter and stay in your life. Your collection of belongings may “protect” you from the uncertainties of an unknown future while keeping you stuck in the past. Holding on to unnecessary possessions often goes hand in hand with holding on to pain, anger, and resentment, and letting go of your material possessions may help you release emotional baggage.
When you make a conscious decision to fill your personal space with only the objects that you need or bring you joy, your energy level will soar. Clearing your personal space can lead to mental clarity and an improved memory. As you learn to have a more practical and temporary relationship to objects, positive changes will happen, and you’ll have space to create the life that you desire.
Blessings & Love, Jetta :-)
Your every loving act, thought & feeling blesses everyone everywhere... every time you smile, you are a channel for more love and beauty to come thru you and into our world.
Give Your Anger to the Earth Transforming Anger to Light
by Madisyn Taylor
When we have anger that is lingering, we can give it to the earth to transmute and given a new purpose.
As humans, we all have anger, sometimes more than others. A healthy way of purging our anger from our bodies is to give it to Mother Earth. We can imagine ourselves being grounded as the electrical energy passes from us into Mother Earth below. We can see that energy go straight to the earth’s core where it becomes part of the continuous growth process of our planet and is transformed from negative to positive, from dark to light. When we choose to give our anger to the earth, we trust our connection with the natural world we live in and the great universe that fuels it all. Mother Earth will lovingly transform your anger into light so no need to feel guilty about unloading to her.
We can make this offering of our energy from any location, whether many stories up or on a ship at sea. We know the earth is below us, supporting us and sustaining us. If we have the opportunity to physically connect to the earth by going outdoors and touching unpaved ground, we may find it easier to connect to nature’s energy flow. It may also be easier to receive the flow of positive, calming, healing energy that comes to fill our bodies when we have emptied ourselves of our anger. To begin, sit and breathe deeply, ask Mother Earth to accept your anger, and imagine it coming down your spine out of your tailbone, and into the earth’s deep core. To finish, be sure to honor and thank the earth for her loving service.
When we work with our anger this way, we acknowledge that like everything else it is merely energy that can be used positively or negatively. During our grounding meditation, we may be given direction to channel this energy for its best use. We may find that the earth can help us cleanse misplaced energy to use for its rightful purpose. When we do this with gratitude, we know that we are not misusing the earth for our own selfish purposes. Instead we are connecting ourselves with the energy of our homeland, and when we do this we nurture the earth as it nourishes us.
Having a pity party for yourself is alright as long as you learn from it and don’t dwell in it for long periods of time.
We all have days when the bad things seem to outweigh the good ones and we begin to think that life isn’t fair. You get stuck in traffic, which makes you late for an important meeting, and then your car gets towed. You might ask yourself, “Why me?” Events like this one can test anyone’s ability to be grateful and feel optimistic. If you have a tendency to feel sorry for yourself, and many of us do, things usually progress to the next stage: the pity party. You begin to feel like the innocent victim of a dismal fate because you are seeing your life through inaccurate lenses. Most of the thoughts that run through your mind at times like these are not helpful, and they mainly serve to increase your indignation and feelings of powerlessness. What these feelings and thoughts don’t do is change your circumstances or make you feel better.
When you have a terrible day, there should definitely be a time and place to have your feelings so you can process them. It’s important not to pretend that you are fine with things when you aren’t. It’s also important, however, to notice when you’re having a pity party. It’s a good idea to set a time limit in which to fully express your emotions and not feel guilty, ashamed, or judge yourself. Having a friend witness you during this process can be helpful. You may also want to write about your feelings. When your time is up, let go of the negativity you just expressed. You can declare your intention to your friend. If you’ve written down your feelings, you can burn the piece of paper or throw it in the recycling bin.
Try not to dwell on unpleasant experiences and do everything you can to avoid holding on to negative emotions. When you indulge in self-pity, you only make a bad day worse. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, release the notion that you are a victim, and notice the good that exists in your life. www.dailyom.com/articles/2013/40202.html
Blessings & Love, Jetta :-)
Your every loving act, thought & feeling blesses everyone everywhere... every time you smile, you are a channel for more love and beauty to come thru you and into our world.
Silence can make us nervous thinking we need to fill the void, but there is immense strength in silence.
All sounds, from a whisper to a classical symphony, arise out of silence and disappear into silence. But silence is always there beneath sound and is the space where sound can exist. We tend to think of silence as the absence of sound, but silence has its own weight and quality. When you listen to silence, you can perceive its intense depth and power. Taking the time to experience silence calms the mind and rejuvenates the body. Silence is the void where we can hear the many sounds that we often ignore – the voice of our intuition telling us the truth, the sound of the breeze blowing, the hum of the radiator, and the noises we make just because we are alive.
One way to experience silence is to wake up before the rest of the world has come alive. Try not to move into activity, and leave off the lights, radio, and television. Sit still and simply listen. You may hear your heartbeat or your breath, but keep your attention tuned to the silence that surrounds you. Stay this way for as long as you can, and allow the sound of silence to penetrate your body until it moves into your core. Feel the gentle, pulsing waves of silence and allow it to cleanse you. Five minutes of communing with silence can leave you feeling vibrant and connected to the universe.
At night, choose a moment after everyone around you has retired and tune in to silence. You can also experience silence throughout the day. Even in the midst of activity, moments of silence are always present. Usually we ignore or feel nervous around silence and try to fill these moments with sound. Yet silence is always there – vast, potent, and available for us to step into any time we choose.
There is freedom in admitting that you don’t know something as that allows for a new learning experience to emerge.
There is wisdom in not knowing, and it is a wise person who can say, "I don't know." For no one knows everything. There are many types of wisdom - from intellectual to emotional to physical intelligence. Yet, even deemed experts in their fields do not know all there is to know about mathematics, yoga, literature, psychology, or art. It is a true master who professes ignorance, for only an empty vessel can be filled.
There are many things in life that we don't know, and there are many things we may have no interest in finding out. There is freedom in saying “I don’t know.” When we admit that we don't know something, we can then open ourselves up to the opportunity to learn. And there is power in that. We can’t possibly know everything. And when we think we do, we limit ourselves from growing and learning more than what we already do know. A person who can admit to not knowing tends to be more intellectually and emotionally confident than someone who pretends to know everything. They also tend to be more comfortable with who they are and don’t feel the need to bluff or cover up any perceived ignorance. People can actually end up appearing more foolish when they act as if they know something that they don't.
We would be wise to respect people who freely admit when they don't know something. They are being honest, with us and with themselves. And we, too, should feel no shame in saying, "I don't know." In doing so, we open ourselves up to the unknown. We can then discover what lies beyond our current levels of understanding. It is the wise person in life that answers questions with a question and inspires the pursuit of internal answers with a funny face, a shrug, and a comical, "I don't know."
Distracting yourself with talk-radio and television can become mind-numbing if not taken in moderation.
Our lives are typically filled with noise. There are the noises from the outside world that we cannot control, and there are the noises we allow into our lives. These noises, from seemingly innocuous sources like the television and radio, can actually help us avoid dealing with uncomfortable thoughts and emotions. However, using noise as a distraction hurts more than it helps because you are numbing yourself to what may be internally bubbling up to the surface for you to look at and heal. Distracting yourself with talk-radio, television, or other background noises can also prevent you from finding closure to issues that haunt you.
Noise as a distraction can affect us in many ways. It can help you stay numb to emotions that you don’t want to feel, allow you to avoid dealing with problems, distract you from having to think, and make it easier for you to forget reality. Drowning out the thoughts and emotions you find uncomfortable or overwhelming can complicate your issues because it allows them to fester. By tuning out noise and relishing silence, you create the space to experience and express what you are hiding. It is only then that self-exploration can begin in earnest and you can stare down frightening issues. In silence, it becomes easier to let your strongest feelings come forth, deal with them, and find new ways of resolving your problems.
When you go within without the veil of noise to shield you from yourself, you’ll be able to figure out what you need to heal. Embracing silence and introspection allows you to work through your thoughts and emotions and transmute them. Free of the need for noise, you can accept your pain, anger, and frustration as they come up and turn them into opportunities to evolve.
The Ways We Love Choosing to Have a Mate or Being Single
by Madisyn Taylor
Being single or in a being relationship are both valid options for living life and one is not better than the other.
The way we choose to love can be as unique as the way we choose to make a living, maintain our health, or entertain ourselves. Some choose to seek out a mate and enter into a partnership with a special individual, while others find immense satisfaction in staying single. There is no right or wrong way to be in your life when it comes to deciding whether or not to be in a relationship, even though society tends to put an emphasis on romantic partnerships. Whether you choose to go through life as part of a romantic relationship or live as a single unit, there are benefits to both. Feel free to be comfortable with whatever choice is right for you.
Choosing to be single is a wonderful way to spend time discovering yourself. You have more time and space to figure out what and how you want your life to be without having to keep someone else’s choices in mind. Being single gives you the freedom to do what you want at a moment’s notice and the pride that comes with facing life on your own terms. Companionship, support, and affection can be found while spending quality time with friends, colleagues, and relatives. There is also the fun that comes with being able to date many different people without having to make a commitment. Choosing to have a mate, on the other hand, brings with it an opportunity to share your life with another person. There is comfort in the knowledge that you are facing the world with someone as a united front. When life is challenging, you are in a position to strengthen, as well as give each other comfort. There is also the inevitable transformation of self that comes from allowing another person to so intimately be a part of your life.
Remember that what is right for one person may not be right for another, and people can transition between wanting to be with another person and wanting to be alone many times over the course of their lives. Whether you seek out a mate or live the single life, embracing it fully will ensure that either choice is as fulfilling as possible for you.
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