Category Archives: Personal Empowerment

Struggling

I want you to know that everyone struggles with something in their life.  Everyone, no matter how serene their outside facade, has inner demons and struggles.

I am reminded of that anytime a couple who I thought had it all splits up.  Or when some gorgeous, young, vibrant person takes their own life.  Or when a family is shattered by unseen forces.

I think one of the hardest things in this life is the inner voice that is so hard on us.  It knows the secret thoughts of doubt, anger, self recrimination, unworthiness, and the times when you know you didn’t live up to who you want to be.  That voice’s world is dark and cold.  And it usually surfaces when we’re tired and stretched leaving us more vulnerable to accepting that voice as the voice of truth.

I find myself working through some deep thoughts in the middle of the night.  It may seem like the best time, the outside world is quiet, there are no distractions, but it’s actually when my defenses are down and that negative voice seems its loudest.  I know I’ve hit the wall of Out of Control when I worry about when the last time the kitchen floor was mopped.  But I don’t always hit that well recognized wall.  Most of the time, I stop short and just wallow at the base of the wall, unable to sleep and unable to work through the issue with my sleep deprived reasoning skills.

In the morning light, my fears and worries are put back into perspective.  They shrink back and are replaced with my life’s missions and obligations and by the affirmations of those around me who find me valuable and worthy.  Yes, there are days when the shadows sneak in but in the daylight, those shadows are not overwhelming.

So, what do you do when the shadows seem to be overtaking you?

My simple answer is pray.  Pray to your Higher Power, God, Allah, Jesus, Messiah, All That Is, and surrender the fear and the doubts and the worries that are swirling around.  Imagine gathering all the darkness and putting it in a basket or a box and handing it over to the Great Light of the Universe.  Imagine this basket/box being lifted from your hands and feel the weight of it being removed from your being.  Feel your fingers releasing the basket/box.  Let it go.  Don’t reach for it again.

Feel that sense that you are safe and that your biggest worries are being handled by someone who has more knowledge than you do.  It’s safe here.  You are safe.

Close your eyes and imagine a great sunrise on all those shadow thoughts.  Blasted in the light of knowingness and centeredness, they are gone.  Shadow thoughts cannot stand in the light.

You have the power within you to raise the light of your being any time of day.  As I sit here at 3:32 AM, I know that my light and my God rise inside of me and banish all those shadows thoughts.  I am an expression of God, full of worthiness, confidence, wisdom, power, zeal.  There is no situation here that can overtake the light of who I am.

Grounded in this wisdom, I sleep.

How Meditation Can Affect Alpha Rhythms in the Brain – Re-post

 

This is a re-post from an email sent to me from Luminosity.com by Pam Zhang.

http://www.lumosity.com/blog/meditation/

 

How Meditation Can Affect Alpha Rhythms in the Brain
Meditation might act as a “volume knob” forselective attention, leading to better control over pain and negative emotions. A recently published Brown University study on mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) has shown that attentional training holds promise for improving everyday functions.
What is MBSR?
Originally developed by a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical Sc hool, mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) has grown to become part of many healthcare plans in the last 20 years.It consists of an 8-week program that trains patients to focus a “spotlight of attention”on different parts of their body, and eventually to develop the same awareness of their mental states.

How MBSR affects alpha rhythms
There is strong evidence that the MBSR techniques of increasing attentional control have measurable effects on alpha wave behavior in patients’ brains. Alpha rhythms are a key part of the sensory system: they’re related to how the brain processes and filters irrelevant sensory inputs.Filtering inputs is a crucial part of higher order cognitive process such as selective attentionand working memory. Both of these processes are based on a person’s attention to focus on relevant information while ignoring irrelevant information. Without proper filtering, your ability to carry out even the most basic cognitive operations can be crippled.

Imagine the simple task of backing your car out of the driveway. In order to reach the street safely, you must hold your destination in mind while steering t he car and ignoring distractions from every modality: the news on the radio, children playing at the end of the block, an itch on your foot, the glare of the sun in your eyes. Most of us do this filtering subconsciously—but if you let such irrelevant stimuli distract you, even such a daily task can become a difficult ordeal.

That’s why MBSR’s value extends even beyond its ability to improve attention during regular tasks: one of its primary clinical uses is in the treatment of patients suffering from chronic pain, who struggle with ignoring irrelevant pain stimuli on a daily basis. In fact, MBSR has been shown to have positive emotional benefits in those suffering from chronic pain and depression.

Brain scan evidence of MBSR
In this 2013 Brown University study, researchers divided participants into two different groups: a test group that underwent MBSR training for 8 weeks, and a control group that did not. After 8 weeks, both groups were analyzed using a brain imaging technique known asmagnetoencephalography (MEG).Participants in the brain scan were told to direct attention to or away from their left index fingers. The MBSR group’s neuronal response was significantly faster than the control groups, as measured by concentration of alpha power.

 

Silence

soundofsilence

“In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.”

     -Henry David Thoreau

 

You’ve heard about “going into the silence” but I’m not going to talk about this.

Silence.  It’s a tool we use to help us discern but it can also be a weapon used against our relationships.  Just like a hoe is a wonderful tool in the garden, it’s not so good to the snake that surprises us in that same garden.

We all have some relationship in our lives (and it’s very likely there’s more than one) that has gone silent.  Nothing happened to sever the connection, no great fight or disagreement, but just a passage of time with no communication.  I have several of these and they break my heart.

Through modern technology and social media, I have begun to Un-Silence some of these relationships.  While not the most intimate of communication styles, it opens the door to communication where once there was not even a window.  A friend of mine from college asked me about why our relationship had gone quiet….neither one of us could come up with a why.  She looked me in the eye with a touch of sadness and said “effort.  It takes effort and energy to keep relationships.”  She is right.

It also takes mindfulness and awareness and compassion.  Sometimes relationships need to go quiet for a while because your lives just don’t mesh.  Sometimes they go quiet because we are all just too busy to lift up our heads and commit some time and effort to keeping up the connection.  Whatever the cause, do something this week to Un-Silence a relationship you wish you had back in your life.  Make a choice to reconnect with someone and then move you feet (or your fingers) and make it happen.

Let’s talk about the silences in your love life.  Do you have silences?  Do you have places that are silent because of anger or fear or hurt?  Are there topics that you are silent on?  Come on, we all have things that we just don’t talk about with our partner……

And if it’s just a silence, then, so be it.  However, if it’s a silence with feeling, then it could be a problem.

Silence from a partner can trigger deep stories in our own head.  The other person may not (and probably does not) know about the story we’ve created around the silence.  Have you ever played the “well, if he says this, I’ll say that” game?  You work out the entire conversation and/or argument and you haven’t heard a word from the other person yet.

You can’t make someone talk about anything (Thank You, God, that I finally got that message) but you can control the story you tell yourself.  Don’t feed the what ifs without hearing what the other person has to say.

Silences in relationships are natural occurrences, it’s not about labeling them good or bad.  They happen and we get to choose how we react or create from them.

So, let’s check in on those silences.  Are you carrying sorrow around them, if so, do something!  You have everything you need to reconnect.

Peace out!

 

A Path to Peace – Forgiveness

How to forgiveDistrust, anger, frustration, depression, restlessness and others are forms of being that restrict peace in our lives. It’s amazing how many physical symptoms manifest from lack of motion in areas of our life that are crying out for change. And few areas scream for change and healing like forgiveness. Forgiveness healing is not about releasing yourself or the other person from accountability, but about allowing yourself to move on from the transgression. Choosing not to forgive is playing the victim and as we have stated before, being the victim is surrendering your power to change your condition.

Yes, there may be some things in your past that you still carry anger for, and perhaps you feel justified in this anger, but carrying that anger toxifies your life, not the life of the other person. I once heard a metaphor that choosing to not forgive is like driving your car around on a hot day with the windows rolled up and filled with other peoples rotting garbage. You are living with their stink and all you need to do is pull over and get out.

Three Steps to Forgiveness

The first step is to be willing to let it go. If you unwilling to release the transgression, then peace will not come. If all you can see is your “correct-ness”  or their “wrong-ness” in the situation, or your need for vengeance, then you have not reached a place where you are ready to let it go.  If you are tired of living with it, saddened by the loss of a friend or simply over being upset about it, then you are ready to find a release.  Sometimes we just want to be angry because we want to be angry, and that is okay. Just do your best not to splash your attitude on and around others while you sit in your pity-party.  It’s your party and you can sit there a long as you like, but know the longer you sit, the more you live with the pain and the stress and the less you move on. Be very aware that there are those around you who will gleefully help you stew in your pain, affirm your “correctness” and generally keep you from healing under the guise of supporting you.  These people are rarely thinking from their highest realm of being and will do their best to keep you thinking on a lower plane.

 

The second step is to become aware that none of us know the full picture. There is always more to any event than we are allowed to see.  I like to say that there are three sides to a story, your side, their side and the truth.  Knowing that neither of you know the full truth can go a long way to helping you release. Perhaps you don’t know what the other person had going on in their life at the time. Or maybe they had a traumatic experience in their past that this event reminded them of and they lashed out. Or perhaps, your actions were actually out of line and you just could not see it.  Regardless, know that you don’t know the entire story, and neither do they. The past cannot be undone, but present conditions can be healed.

 

The third step in finding forgiveness is seeking to find what buttons have been pushed in you. What was triggered and why was it triggered?  Find the button , then look for the source of why the button is there in the first place.  Peace work is about repairing YOU, not about attempting to fix others.

When you are ready for step three, here is an exercise you can try:

Find a quite place, perhaps your favorite meditation or reading space,  sit in a calm stillness and breath, just breath. Focus only on your breath until you feel calmed.  Now the work can begin.  Let’s look at how you could have handled tins differently. We will look at what your part was in the situation and what you could have done differently. Remember, we can only change our own reactions, our own mindset and our own actions. We cannot change the thoughts and actions of others.  That is up to them and them only.

Go back to where you think things began to go awry. What was said or done by the other person that you reacted to in a harsh manner? Why did you react that way? What caused those emotions to boil up inside you?  Bear in mind that our reactions today are a result of our past experiences – your present reactions often have little to do with the current situation and everything to do with something that happened in your past. You have been “trained” to react a certain way and if we can uncover this, we can release it to a new and better truth of who you are.  Now go through that scene in your head again and look for ways you could have handled it differently. from a place of higher wisdom rather than pure instinctual reaction. What might the other person have said if you had phrased things differently?  Move through the situation in your head using these steps of discovery.  I am not asking you to take full responsibility, as I believe that all persons involved will have some level of contribution, but please don’t look for what the other person did wrong, just look for how you could have handled it better. Remember we are looking to empower YOU to become better.

These confrontations are an opportunity for us to remember our true nature – that of a loving spirit having a human experience.  Sometimes our humanness just steps in the way.

As you discover ways that you could have reacted differently, you naturally begin to heal your heart. You begin to understand that you can choose to see it as the other person and the event have shown up in your life as a teacher.  You can choose to learn from it. You can choose to grow from it. You can choose to see higher potential for your life in how you react in future events. You can choose to come out of this a better person!

You may have an amazing healing the first time around, or your healing may require several “sessions” before you get there.  Just know that you WILL get there. The bonus: as you work through your forgiveness, you will find you need to forgive less often. There will naturally be fewer transgressions in your life, in part because you no longer look for them in your life, and in part because you see how minor most transgressions really are and they no longer trigger you.

“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
~Catherine Ponder

Fell free to share your paths to find forgiveness with our readers in the comments below.

Growing up.

“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”
― Anne Frank

Our son came home this last weekend.  He hasn’t been home in 6 months and for 5 months before that.  It was incredibly normal to have him home, as if, he’d never really left.  I tried to remind myself that this is not the new normal around here, this is special time, to be spent together and enjoyed and cherished.

He’s turning into a grown up.

There were days, years even, when I didn’t know if that would happen.  I’d like to take credit for it but I can’t.  I’ve guided and yelled and listened and pushed with all my might.  It took him choosing to want to make his life better.  And now I see him making decisions based on how much sleep he can get and how much money it costs.  And I’m in awe of the fact that I don’t have to reason with him about it.

About a month and a half ago, I decided that I was really ready to change my ways.  I’m the clutterer in my house.  I come home, drop my purse, my keys, my sunglasses, the mail, etc, wherever there is a spot for them.  About a month and a half ago, I thought, geez, really?  When are you going to grow up and realize that it takes more energy and more time to clean up after yourself than to just deal with it right away.  So I cleaned out a basket and now I have a place to put the OPENED bills and stuff I need to deal with.  I sort the mail right when I bring it in — open every envelope, put the important stuff in my basket or file it, throw out the envelopes that won’t go in the compost, and put the rest of the junk mail or stuff to be shredded in the shred bucket.  Amazing what this one thing has done in my life.

You can see the top of my kitchen table.  There’s not one pile on it.  And there hasn’t been one for a couple of weeks now.

This urge to just deal with stuff has spread to the laundry.  You see, I don’t mind sorting it or washing it or even folding it out of the dryer, but I really don’t like putting it away.

Other than the load that is in the washer right now — my clothes are all hung up and put away.

I even double vacuumed yesterday AND mopped the floor.

(I may need to be checked out by a doctor because this is just not my usual self.)

Guess what.  I’m growing up.

Most of the time, I’m a take it on, put it behind you kind of person.  I always put my lack of enthusiasm for housework under the “I don’t have time to care” column.  With my son officially on the grown up side of life, I’m ready to finally care.  I don’t know that I’ll ever be the A1 housekeeper but I’m okay with that.

Growing up is all about claiming the power to change your mind, your circumstances and your life.  Kids can’t wait to be a grown up because they see how much power grown ups wield.  Grown ups wish they hadn’t grown up so fast because the “power” they thought they’d get, just isn’t what they thought it would be.

But the truth is we do have the power to create happiness and peacefulness and harmony and everything we’ve ever wanted.  We have the power to make someone else feel special, to make ourselves feel special, and to choose a different way in our lives.

It’s time to grow up.  It’s time to choose a better way.  It’s time to do that which you have been putting off, delaying action or just flat out avoiding.

Becoming a grown up is hard to do.  It feels hard to choose a different way.  But it also feels amazing when you know you pushed through some difficulty or some obstacle or some habit you’ve created.  The rewards for growing up far outweigh any pain or angst.  You feel empowered, bold and incredibly encouraged.

Do you have a dream?  What is keeping you from achieving it?  Money, time, circumstances?  What was the last step you took towards that dream?  It’s time to get moving.  Every step you take toward that dream gets you that much closer.  And with every step, you’ll find the enthusiasm and the motivation to take another.  Don’t worry about the side trips.  They are part of the journey to your dream.  Just keep faithfully and diligently taking those steps.

So be encouraged!  Be empowered!  Be a grown up in your life.  Take responsibility, take action, move your feet.  Who you become is in your hands now.

As Glinda, The Good Witch, says in the Wizard of Oz:

“You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power….”

dale and me – Melissa

 

Who else wants God to stop testing them? – A Path to Peace.

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The good news is that the Divine One does not test us – at least that’s my take. Allow me to explain.

God is Love. Love has no need to test — it believes in you completely. God does not lead anyone into temptation, into failure nor into something you are not prepared to handle.

Our master teacher Jesus tells us that God does not judge.

We are all equal in the eyes of the divine. There are no favorites.

God granted us free will. Not kinda-free will, not sorta-free will, not partial-or-when-I-feel-like-it-free will. To say that God has put us in a situation goes against what I understand the Christian Scriptures tell us. Feel free to comment on this or any part of this post below if you have a different interpretation or understanding you would like to share.

The only one testing you is… well, you. Testing is a human concept for the demonstration of understanding. If you believe that the Divine is capable of knowing what is in your heart, then would any test be unnecessary to satisfy God? The actions of Jesus do not appear to support the idea that God tests us. His example appears to be to the opposite. When one or more of the disciples were unsteady in principles, his comments were more around: “Have you no faith?”, “Where is your faith?” The tests were always about them and by them. It was seemingly about their perception of the events combined with their personal faith. Did Jesus say, “this is The Father’s test for you”

We come into alignment with new Truths when we are ready, and if it feels to you like a test, it could be that you are still in a stage where conscious effort is required to apply the new understandings. If it’s not second nature to you yet, don’t sweat it. Be grateful for the opportunity to practice and move through it with grace using the fullest expression of the Truth that you can at that moment.

We may think of it as a test merely because the new awakening or the condition is something that is freshly in our awareness. The opportunities have been there all along, we are just now awake enough to see them. We might think of it as a test because we lack faith in our own understandings. If we doubt ourselves, there is room for some false perception of failure. With the idea of failure in our consciousness, we may unconsciously go looking for opportunities to practice our new understandings. Perhaps ego may be at the heart of this — putting us into situations where we can fail in our growth so ego can survive.

We live truths to the extent of our willingness to do so. Sometimes, for whatever reasoning, we are not willing to step fully into a principle. So we step into a situation where that Truth is to be expressed, we embrace it halfheartedly and the outcome isn’t as wonderful as we would like. Much like when we were a child and were asked to clean our bedrooms. If you weren’t into doing it, and how many of us really had a ‘passion’ for cleaning our rooms, the end result my have been “okay” on the surface but we knew in our hearts we could have done more. We just wanted to get on with it and get back to play time.

To my way of thinking, “test” is merely a label we apply to events in our lives where we feel unsteady. Events where we have a chance to practice understandings that we feel are not our strongest. Have you noticed, when applying a principle becomes second nature, you gradually stop calling it a test? What changed? Well you did, at the very least, your point of view changed. You decided to stop applying the label. If we get to make the call on when it stops being a test, then is it really God submitting the test?

 

So here is your take away:

We here at Empower-Yourself.com always honor your perceptions on your path. It is YOUR path and you are your own best guide and you certainly get to chose how to walk it. Regardless of your views on life’s “tests”, the ideas below may assist you in bringing personal empowerment and peace into your life.

To live more fully empowered: Stop labeling events as a test. If you are seeing it as a test and have the mindset of “this is for a grade, I better do good”, then you are coming from a place un-empowered – perhaps even a place of fear. If you “do the right thing” because you have chosen to, now you are living empowered. I suspect we all understand how much we prefer to do what we want to do over what we have to do. Feel the difference? Coming from the empowering space makes room for joy, passion and a life of happiness in everything you are doing.

To live more fully in peace: release the idea that events are some test that was manufactured for you and see it for what it is. Just another event in the continuous, unbroken and overlapping string of events we call life. Work through it with the integrity you have and all the Love you can, and you will come through the other side with the highest and best outcome possible to you at that moment.

6 Incredibly Useful Ways to Stop Making Mountains out of Molehills

Dartmoor Diary St Olaves D200 Apr 2013 099Over inflating our responses can become such a distraction, we fail to see the truth of the situation.  When we step away and allow ourselves to see conditions from heightened clarity, we are in a much better place to make good decisions from an empowered space. Here are six useful ways to stop making mountains out of those molehills.

1) It’s only big if you make it big, so stop making it bigger than it really is: One man’s hill-side is another man’s mountain-side. The difference is perception. If one had only lived on flat ground, then a 300 ft. high hill might appear mountainous. On the other hand, growing up in the Andes on a 14,00o ft. peak, a man might think of a 5,000 ft. peak as a simple hill. In neither case did the size of the hill change, only the perception of it’s size, and perception is a creation of the human imagination. Change the way you think and you change size of the obstacle. Even the largest mountain is traversed one step at a time.

2) Stop stacking it on: When we see a small obstacle as a large one, we sometimes begin piling new obstacles right on top that give us “excuses” for not moving forward.

  • Fear leads to inaction
  • Lazyness leads to inaction
  • We gather evidence that “excuses us from action”
  • Guilt develops for not dealing with it right away
  • Frustration as deadlines loom
  • More Guilt – for lack of action
  • More Fear – now that it’s bigger
  • More Frustration – “Now how will I EVER deal with this?”

3) Commit to stop seeing obstacles as problems and begin viewing them as “projects”: Any obstacle can be overcome when steps are taken — just like it takes a series of steps required to complete a project. When we label something as a ” problem” we put an imaginary burdening weight on it that can freeze us in our tracks like a deer in the headlights. Start viewing it as a project and the freezing oppression is allowed to fall away. Then our thoughts and efforts are available for motion.

4) Take action in a constructive direction – any action. Just MOVE: Don’t wait for the perfect plan to fall into place. If there was such a thing as a perfect plan, it wouldn’t stay perfect for long anyhow. As we move through the “plan” unforeseen changes are going to arise and alter our course. Knowing this allows us to expect change and this tells us we must remain flexible. And knowing we must be flexible allows space for us to stay out of panic when changes arise. Anticipate change and you have nothing to fear. So stop nit picking a plan and just move! As long as you have forward motion, it will work it’s way out however it needs to regardless of any “planning” you might do. Cease motion however, and the molehill will continue to expand.

5) Stop the whining. Complaining serves only to tell yourself and those around you that you are too weak to change the situation. After all, if you actually had the power to change things, wouldn’t you be putting your efforts into actually changing it? Complaining does nothing but deepen your conviction that something is not going your way and you are powerless to effect change. You DO have the power to change, so empower yourself! Stop complaining and put your mental and physical resources towards a constructive outcome. Constructive behavior leads to smaller hills. Destructive behavior just makes bigger mountains that YOU eventually get to traverse.

6) Multitasking is a myth. We can only focus on one thing at a time. “Multi-tasking” or what I am coining in this very post as: Scatter-Braining™ is merely shifting focus from one task to another and back again – never really putting your best efforts into either one. It’s like trying to run up two hills at the same time, only you have to run back and forth between them to make progress. Just wasted effort. Pick the hill that requires your attention and focus focus focus. When your mind gets going, the mental momentum will build and tasks will get accomplished faster with greater efficacy. Keep flinging your focus around like a sloppy mop and if things do get accomplished, you may find that the efforts don’t meet expectation and you have to revisit them to clean up the spatter. This just means more work and that equals a bigger hill.

Stop Resisting Resistance! The Wind In Your Hair is Natural

Chapel At Red Rocks - Unity Spiritual CenterToday’s post is a transcript of our talk delivered to the Chapel at Red Rocks, Denver Colorado on June 09, 2013.

 

Let’s talk wind.

What comes to your mind when we say “wind?”

Does wind bring up good feelings or bad feelings? Why? Did you have an experience that colored the way you think or feel about wind?

**Melissa**

When I was 10, we moved to Omaha, NE……. and any of you who have ever visited or passed through Nebraska know about the prairie wind. I loved the wind. I would stand, or attempt to stand, out in the wide open fields with my arms stretched out and sing in my loudest voice. The wind carried my voice away and I only heard the rush of the air by my ears and not my own voice. I would lean way into the wind – just to see how far I could lean and not fall over. It was pretty far! Until, of course, the wind stopped for just a moment and I met the turned up earth in that field.

But the Nebraska wind brought scary moments too. Tornados were not something I’d ever even thought about. Paying attention to the color of the sky, or the sounds in the air, or all the other grown up ways that tell of the potential of danger was not in my awareness. But at 10, I learned quickly to grab cushions and the dogs and head to the basement. But I still loved the wind on the sunny days…… out in the field, singing at the top of my lungs.

 

When I was 18, I lived in Boulder in an old dorm room with windows on three sides. Any of you who have ever visited or passed through Boulder know about the wind….. smile……..

 

I hated that wind! It messed up my hair (it was the 80’s – you remember how much time we all took on our hair in the 80’s),it blew my clothes all around, and howled at all hours of the night. And this is the idea of wind I carry with me now, not the delight of my youth but of the howling, destructive force that has come into my adult understanding.

 

And yet, it just is. The wind is just something that is in this world we share. Not something to fight against or get angry with or think of as a personal tormentor.

 

**John**

When we move – either by walking, running, riding a bike, motorcycle, car, horse, boat or roller coaster – we experience our own personal “wind.” Even on the stillest of days, when we move, we perceive a breeze, don’t we? Even now, if you take your bulletin and fan yourself, you feel the rush of air. But it took you doing something, some movement from you, to create this personal wind experience.

 

Einstein said — Nothing happens in the universe until something moves. And this applies not only to mass but all forms of energy. Stuff doesn’t randomly start moving in an unknown direction. It takes a force, an idea, a pull, or a push to make motion happen.

 

In 1665 Sir Isaac Newton proposed three Laws of Motion.

The first law says — in layman’s terms: If an object is not moving, it will not start moving by itself. If an object is moving, it will not stop or change direction unless something pushes against it.

 

**Melissa**

There’s nothing personal about this law. Like gravity, it just is. If you are stuck in something, a bad job, a bad mindset, a bad relationship, a repetitive thought process or a mud puddle, it’s going to take force – or an action – from you to get going again. Depending on the weight of the situation and your resistance to change, it may take a great force. There are external forces that create movement and internal forces that create movement and both of them can meet resistance. Think of one situation in your own life where you knew there was a better way and you moved to change your own circumstances.

 

**John**

When we walk, run or ride that roller coaster, we meet some resistance on our face in the form of the wind, as we move from one point to another. Let’s say for this moment that the wind is a metaphor for the resistance to change. So when you started to change your situation, what resistance did you feel?

 

Coined by Maria Nemeth, the term “Trouble at the border” describes the resistance WE create in our own lives. The actions we take as a result of the inner voices of doubt – what the Buddhists call “Monkey Mind”. The sabotage can be as subtle as an inner nagging that creates doubt and slows us, or as upfront and obvious as the fear that stops us in our tracks. Sometimes this saboteur shows up like a sneaky little spy that encourages us to go into “evidence gathering mode” where we collect supporting evidence or false intelligence that tries to convince us monkey mind was indeed right all along.

 

**Melissa**

Have you ever said “The universe OBVIOUSLY doesn’t want me to do this because look at all this resistance to my attempts.” Did it feel like the resistance was personal? Like God just didn’t want you to walk this path?….

 

Really? Do you think that the universe/God has nothing better to do than to test you this very minute? There is nothing personal about the resistance or the wind. It just is.

**John**

Now, we’re not suggesting that you ignore the wind or the resistance…….. because that would be like asking you to ignore the sunshine or the rain – impossible right?

It’s unwise not to prepare for the wind. It’s unwise not to evaluate the next step and possibly make adjustments to the “plan.” Do you need to take a coat or do you need to change your way of getting there? Is the end goal something worth pushing through or redirecting around the resistance or does the goal itself need an adjustment?

**Melissa**

We all label things and events, real or imagined. Most of the time, labels serve us properly: Peas versus corn, cars versus trucks, green versus blue.

**John**

However , at times our labels are merely the sneaky side of monkey-mind tricking us into limiting thought. Right versus wrong, bad versus good, positive or negative, should have, could have, success, failure – all are limiting judgements

**Melissa**

The resistance, and the labels, and the thoughts, and the woulda, shoulda, might haves swirl in our heads creating chaos and stress. In Mark 4:35-40, Jesus and the disciples were in the midst of a storm crossing a lake in a boat. The disciples were frightened by the turmoil and what appeared to be their impending demise.

**John**

Remember that Unity teaches us that each person, place and event in the Bible represents some part of us or our story. The disciples represent all of our faculties – Faith | Strength | Wisdom | Love | Power | Imagination | Understanding | Will | Order | Zeal | Elimination | Life — These 12 faculties, the “disciples” were in an uproar, because they fully claimed the reality of the storm (the resistance in getting from one place to another) they were deeply in the chaos of their own struggle. Jesus knowing the Truth, not only was unshaken but was so unconcerned that He was sleeping on the bow! Awakened by the fearful voices of the disciples, Jesus (higher thinking) calmed the storm (or struggle) by simply stating “Peace, be still.” Scripture states that they made this journey with other boats – which can be viewed as other people. The storm can be seen as a creation of the culmination of thoughts from all on the journey – or tribal thought. Higher thinking stills the waters not just for one boat, but for all.

**Melissa**

When Jesus stated peace be still, the winds stopped and the waves calmed and *everyone* was able to think clearly again. Jesus is our example, not our exception. What He has done, we too can do [John 14:12]. So when the winds of resistance threaten to swamp your boat, remind yourself — Peace, Be Still and allow the Divine Peace to calm your fears and your worries. The disciples labeled the resistance as bad, Jesus made it neither good nor bad.

**John**

So can we release the good/bad labels and just see events for what they are: Just a connected series of happenings that are part of a long string of events that we label life. Release the judgment, and our thoughts formally pre-occupied on limited thinking, are now freed to remember with genuine clarity.

**Melissa**

Resistance is often thought of in a negative way, but like everything we encounter on our journey, it is there to serve us if we remain awake and aware.

**John**

Knowing that resistance *is* inevitable empowers us to watch for it and use it to our benefit. Resistance can be embraced rather than challenged.

**Melissa**

When resistance is encountered and noticed, take the opportunity to pause, look around and reassess. Where might I be moving too fast? Where might I be moving too slow? Where can I put greater or more mindful effort toward improving this particular path?” Understand that resistance is the Divine throttle helping us avoid moving into territory that we are not yet prepared for.

**John**

Knowing that resistance is inevitable should free us from the surprise when it shows up. So if we are no longer surprised by it, can we give ourselves permission release the need to create stress around it? We know it’s coming, we can stop being alarmed by it.

**Melissa**

And for the Star Trek Fans: Resistance to Resistance is not only futile, it might just be downright silly.

**John**

When we release the need to resist resistance we discover there is no “bad” in it. There is only good, there is only God and God is only Good.

**Melissa**

Every event in life *can* hold a learning opportunity, but it’s not necessarily there *AS* a lesson. We can *choose* to learn from it, but it’s not a class requirement. John & I have come to believe that it’s not about learning the lesson but about *remembering* and reclaiming the Truth.

**John**

We believe that the Universe has better things to do than micro-manage our remembering and our lives. Our master teacher Jesus tells us that God does not dole out favors, nor dole out punishment nor does God give out grades.

Resistance is not a result of wrong-doing or right-doing or missed “lessons” but a positive serving attribute of the Divine. We are all the same in the eyes of God so resistance is neither greater nor lesser for any individuals. We ALL experience resistance and we ALL have the choice to allow it to serve us. The difference is what we each choose to do with it.

**Melissa**

So the next time you feel wind (resistance) blowing through your hair see it as an indication of your forward movement. It’s a gentle reminder to continue your mindful motion. It’s a gentle reminder to apply mindful energy to any situation. And a gentle reminder to enjoy the experience, lean into the wind and sing at the top of your lungs!

So our assignment for you this week is to be on the lookout for resistance, and when you find it, turn your thoughts to your advantage rather than seeing a limiting force.

**John**