Tag Archives: encouragement

Why Are We Here?

Starting off with an easy question today………

Hands touching a globe

Have you ever wondered what your purpose is?  Why are you here?  Why did you have to experience that awful time in your life?

Sometimes the answers to really big questions fall in your lap and you have a moment of clarity so strong that it takes your breath away.

It happened to me today.

A number of years ago, I was in a really hard part of my life.  Broken first marriage, beginnings of a new relationship, a shattered child who took on many other issues, a full time job with heavy responsibilities and a household to keep up with.  There were days when it took all of my strength just to put one foot in front of the other — and it never seemed like I was in balance or had it all together or even was close to enjoying it.  I don’t actually remember asking “why me” but I’m not saying it didn’t cross my mind.

It was SUCH a hard time.  There weren’t any instruction books — just lots and lots of opinions freely offered, of course, by well intentioned people in my life.  I made decisions that others didn’t like and that I wasn’t 100% sure of, but I made them because I was following that voice of internal guidance that I kept praying for.  I listened to all the advice and took away bits and pieces, followed threads that lead to new schools, new ways, new thoughts, and new practices.  We did more than survive those years, all of us have grown and now thrive in our lives.

So WHY did it have to be so hard?

Today, I was talking with someone who I’ve known casually for 17 years.  We connect because of our sons.  While he is experiencing different issues with different players, the emotional toll it is taking on him feels incredibly familiar to me.  I see the sadness in his eyes.  I feel the heaviness in his parental heart as he has to make really hard decisions about his son’s future.  I hear the words he’s using to distance himself from those hurtful opinions of others.  I know his internal battle well.

And then clarity hit.

With one breath in, my world came into focus so clearly that I thought he could hear the snap.  My back straightened, my heart oozed support, and I heard myself calling him out of his darkness.  I heard my voice telling him that he must take care of himself so that he can care for others.  I felt the power within me, borne of the fire of trials, surge towards him.  You are not in this world alone.  I hear you.  I see you.  I give you my strength and my knowledge and my understanding.

Why are we here?

We are here to claim what has happened to us and to turn it into reasons to understand another.

We are here to listen and really hear.

We are here to lift up, encourage and shine as examples of triumph.

We are here to connect, heart to heart.

Do that.

Be that person.

Shine a light in someone else’s darkness.  Lift your light high enough that it shines upon another’s path and makes their next step more visible.

You have everything within you right here and right now.

 

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

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“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!

 

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.

Be-Do-Have Part 3 (aka, how not to get stuck in your stuff)

So you want to change the way you are, the way you think, the way you show up in life…..  Congratulations!!!  Now the real work starts…..

We talked in Part 2 (be do, be do) about how “challenges” arise when you try to make a change.  Unfortunately, many times we label these as “tests” from some higher power to our will power.  I know I am guilty of claiming that the Universe is really testing me today!  Really?  Do I not believe the Universe has bigger things to accomplish today than to “test” me?

I told you about our going off of sugar and how everywhere we looked, there were ads, promotions and flat out temptations.  But they were there before we changed our eating habits.  The stores and the manufacturers didn’t put them up overnight just to trip us up.  It was us that changed.  Our awareness became acute, and sometimes painful, as we navigated onto the new way of being.

Because this is a making a change in your spiritual outlook, it’s less tangible and seemingly “harder” to keep on track.  What can you do to keep from getting stuck or staying stuck in your own story/excuses/drama?  Such a good question!

Let’s take the intention that you are going to be a kinder person to everyone, and that really means E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, not just the people you like or get along with.  You can just about guarantee that within the first week, you’re going to get cut-off in traffic, someone is going to make several outrageous demands of your time, someone is not going to understand your side, you’re going to be pushed for time, and you’re going to have to do something you don’t want to do.

Will these things happen to you because you are trying to be kinder?  Nope, the examples happen ALL THE TIME, probably multiple times a week.  So, the fact that you’re changing your mindset didn’t bring more situations to you, it just opened up your awareness to these opportunities to be a better person.

Someone cuts you off in traffic — again.  What’s your first reaction?  Okay, probably not something we can print here.  Is there something else you could do?  I realize that non-reaction would be the best but let’s pretend that we’re not all to that place yet, shall we?  Here’s just one suggestion:  Take a deep breath, hold up your hand – palm to the person who just cut you off, and say “I bless you on your journey.”

The first time I tried this, I negated my blessing with an eye roll.  It’s a process, I tell you!  Not going to tell you that I’m a first class practitioner but I’m much better than I was!  And it relieves my stress to realize that something is going on in their life that is creating an urgency that I don’t want to carry for them.  If I don’t need to add to their burden, then that’s better for them AND for me!  I don’t need their anger, fear, stress.  I have plenty to deal with myself, thank you very much.

Outrageous demand of your time?  I am constantly amazed that when I feel that I don’t have the time to do one more thing, several more, unrelenting things are dumped on me (things that only I can do) — just to prove that not only was there time for the original list, but time to take care of the additional list.  I’m learning to not say “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have time” for there is plenty of time to do all that is mine to do.  The first thing to do is to realize that either this is really yours to do or it’s not.  If it’s not yours to do, take a deep breath and firmly relay that belief to the person asking/demanding.  If it is yours to do, freaking out is not going to help anyone.  Take a deep breath, and another one, and realize that  you can do whatever is necessary.  Sometimes when things fall off of our proverbial plate, it helps us realize that maybe it wasn’t as important as we thought it was.

Have you seen a pattern starting to emerge?  That “taking a deep breath” is what is known as a pattern interrupt.  Pattern interrupt is exactly as it sounds, something that helps you break a pattern or habit in your life.  They are as easy as taking a deep breath or as complicated as repeating a mantra (which isn’t very complicated) or moving a plastic bracelet from one wrist to another.

Will Bowen wrote a book A Complaint Free World .  The goal is to go 30 days without complaining and when you catch yourself complaining, you move a purple plastic bracelet from one wrist to the other.  That process raises your awareness of how often you complain or gossip.  One of the points in the book is that our mouths are the buyers of what our brains are manufacturing.  When the mouth stops buying what the brain is manufacturing, the brain will stop manufacturing crap.  It is a fabulous process to work through!  And it’s more difficult than you think.  Most of us complain without conscious thought and gossiping is just out of control.

So, the first step to changing your ways is to be aware of what you are doing and saying.  The second step is to have a check-in with yourself — is this how I want to show up in this situation?  The potential third step (if the answer to the second step is “no”) is a pattern interrupt.  Here are a few examples:

– Deep breath (or three)

– Say  “Cancel-Clear” (I cancel those words and clear my intention)

– Move a bracelet or rubber band from wrist to wrist (I don’t recommend snapping the rubber band)

– Hand to heart, deep breath, connect with breath and heartbeat

– Say “I choose Love in this situation”

– Close your eyes for a moment and imagine water washing away the stress, the disappointments, the worries

Once you’ve interrupted your patterned response, you have a “do-over” to choose a better/higher way.  This isn’t about how the other person will respond, because you can’t control them, this is only about your response.  I tell you from personal experiences — when you change your reactions, people around you seem to change.  Crazy, I know.  When you break bad communication styles and poor-me routines, not only do you feel better, more grounded and centered, but you start creating better relationships and boundaries.

I hope this gives you a few tools to help you on your journey.  Remember, the more you practice your higher way of thinking, the easier it gets — but there may be days when you want to chuck it all in.  That’s okay….. take a deep breath, now another one…… and one more……….  try again.

Risk Curiosity, Wonder, and Spontaneous Delight!

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
― E.E. Cummings

 

We believe in you!  You are valuable!  You are worthy!  And you are sacred!!!

Have a great day!!!gold star

A Path to Peace – Moving Past the Attachments.

So far in our Path to Peace series we have had a look into what an unhealthy attachment is and how we can spot them. Seems the next logical step is moving past any attachments that lead to suffering and towards a life of peace.

We have all heard the “Go with the flow” attitude and “Let go and let God”, but often we miss the actual letting go part. We toss the issue into the fire only to reach in, grab the hot embers and get burned in the process. We want to let go but just won’t step deeply enough into faith to let that happen fully.  It’s our attachments to the outcome that cripple us from releasing fully into the flow of the Divine. The Loving Spirit of God wants to provide for us all that we need and desire.  God wants us to be at peace and filled with joy!

Great spiritual masters as well as today’s modern mental doctors have professed the benefits quiet contemplation can have on the mind and body.  Master Teacher Jesus tells us in scriptures to enter the inner chamber and from there, pray in quiet.   Something almost magical happens when we enter a space of internal silence. With gentle practice we begin to quiet the mind, calm the body and awaken the  Perfect Consciousness that resides with in us and is patiently waiting for us to allow it to reveal. This is a place of consciousness where we commune with God, the Divine, Spirit, Allah, Jehovah…

From this place we learn  it is safe to ask the tough questions and get the answers that can move us into the next level of our being. It is from this space of silence that we can look deep within, and with an intention of being honest with ourselves, find our attachments and seek the answers to letting go.

Many of our attachments are deeply programmed because we have hauled them around with us for decades and they have become automatic responses and they originate from all areas of life

  • From our parents who yelled and threw anger in our direction when we did not meet their expectations and so we have learned to do the same.
  • Lack of approval from those who we viewed as authoritarian such as teachers or care-givers so we do improper things to get approval.
  • Mainstream media such as commercials that insist we must look a certain way to be beautiful and movies that show us how tough a man should be.
  • Songs we might hear teach us that we must feel suffering when we lose a valued relationship and that it is okay to take revenge when it happens.
  • Some musical expressions try to teach us to hate authority and the law.
  • The examples of friends  and family who showed us that they hated their ex-spouse so we assume we should do the same.
  • Some are so deeply permeated in tribal thought that we may be challenged daily or hourly to avoid regressing into our old ways.   “My religion is the only right religion” or the condition of Political Hypochondria that has infected our world are both good examples.

 

Day 1. Taking the first step – discovery: Here is an exercise I use. When a situation brings up stress in my life (in whatever form that might be)  I go inside and look for where in my being the stress was triggered, what kind of stress is it – fear, anger, resentment, disappointment, disgust? With clarity on the emotion, I am better prepared to drill into the root attachments.

Day 2 – 3 Investigation: The goal here is to take your awareness of the emotion and allow it to guide you to find what you are attaching to.  Being complex individuals, we each respond to our attachments in our own way, so you will have to use your own life experiences to help you in the process.

Some tips that may help:

  • Recall similar situations where the same emotional response surfaced.  What is common between them? 
  • Fear is sometimes masked as anger.  For instance the fear of losing something might result in anger surfacing. It looks like anger, might even feel like anger but something in the pit of your stomach tells you it’s fear.   Fear of judgement can manifest as anger when a person lashes out from a comment or remark they find demeaning.
  • If your anger is a fight or flight response, there is a good chance it’s based in ego.  Something in the ego feels the need to defend or protect itself so it does so with a show of superiority through aggression.
  • Sadness can be a sign of grief and grief can be an indication of loss. Look for what you “lost” in the situation and this will lead to finding the attachment.
  • Fear of loss may bring jealousy – an example of multi-layered attachments.  Fear and loss are two separate yet connected issues.  Each can exist without the other, but one can trigger the other.  Loss issues arise from attachment to some “thing” in your world and fear is based in a perceived lack of safety or security.  A jealous lover may be attached to control (security) in the relationship (the “thing”)

When I first began healing attachments it took some time to get my head fully into the action of investigation. After practice, when the emotion is discovered, the attachment often reveals itself right away but sometimes it ,might be a little stubborn and I’ll have to “sit” with it for a while. My method is to hold the “intention” to discover and heal the attachment, but I won’t actively pursue it. In its own perfect time it reveals itself.  So if the attachment does not come to you, that’s perfectly fine. Don’t let yourself get attached to finding the attachment!  Let go of any feeling of need to find it. In time it will reveal itself.  Plant the right seed, nurture it and it will come to bear fruit.

 

Day 4 and on. Once the attachment is uncovered, the release work begins.

Giving yourself permission to heal is critical.  The suffering may be so deeply integrated into your life that you have resistance to to letting it go. You may feel like you don’t know any other way to live than the way you are living now.  In other words, you are attached to the suffering that comes from attachment!

  • Can you allow yourself to be okay with not being okay? This is to say that you give yourself permission to accept that you have room for healing. Without this, you will experience persistent resistance to change.

For some it may have to begin with forgiveness work.

  • Forgiveness is for the benefit of self first. Carrying resentments and pain towards others does nothing to the other person, but instead toxifies our own life. Refusing to forgive is denying yourself the power to make a positive change – it is much like drinking a poison and expecting the other person to suffer. Give yourself permission to put down the burdens and move on.
  • A lost friendship from misunderstandings may require forgiving yourself for your part in the exchange. This is not to say you should dwell on your being “right”, but coming to a realization of how you may have handled it better and forgiving yourself for your past actions.  Once you clearly see your part in the matter, you are far more prepared to forgive your friend.  Look for the log in your eye before trying to remove the splinter from theirs.
  • Childhood related issues such as abuse, bullying and neglect may have serious effects on adulthood.  One of the joys of attachment work is the freedom to live in the moment rather than dragging around the past.  Our past prepares us, it does not define us. As our own best guides on our paths, we are free to change our minds and make the choice to live in the now, free from the illusionary bondage of our past.

You may work through the grief process when releasing long held attachments that were falsely associated with their personal view of their identity.

  • Brea the Beekeeper:  “I am a beekeeper and was fired”  –  Brea, is not realizing that the truth of who she truly is as a loving expression of the divine – a spiritual being having a human experience. Beekeeper is a job, not her true identity. Releasing the attachment to the job as her identity might be difficult for Brea as she deeply feels she has lost a part of herself.  By freeing from the attachments of the job title as identity, she is now freed to discover greater truths and higher possibilities in her next career.  The divine never closes a door without leaving another one open. Attachments can blind us from seeing the open doors that are right there in front of us.
  • My mother was an addict and I was withheld affection and stability as a child. When sober, she was engrossed in her distractions and as the day progressed so did her state of intoxication. I and a few of my siblings were born with physical defects as a result of the daily toxins she ingested during her pregnancies.  My upbringing was filled with family anger and resentment. While my father and my siblings did their best to be a stable presence in my life it didn’t overcome the repercussions of the anger.  I used to identify myself with being the child of an alcoholic. In school it served me in an unhealthy way.  Counselors first,  then teachers would give me a break when homework was late because “you know… poor little John’s mom is a drinker.”  I learned very early on that this would get me out of certain things at school. In my mind, it was the perfect excuse! Unfortunately, I fully bought into the story and gradually identified with it.  With my attachment to it, I fell further into self-pity, self-doubt and low self-esteem.  Eventually, I grew to understand that this past did not have to define me. I remember, as I began the release work, I would go through typical stages of grief – the sadness, the bargaining with God, emotional swings, and more. While I have come a great distance, over two decades later, from time to time I still get opportunities to work with this.

Like any skill, practice makes better. The great joy in this practice is that you reap amazing rewards in the quality of your life. You blossom, your relationships sweeten and peace emerges where once there was suffering.  Embrace your past for it has brought you to where you are today and prepared you for your new, fresh and exciting life that is unfolding before your very eyes right here, right now.

Blessings

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday’s Thinking

I just finished Marianne Williamson’s book The Law of Divine Compensation.   Marianne and I have a love/dislike relationship. (Disclaimer:   I don’t know her personally, she’s never heard my name so this is nothing personal towards her.)

I’ll be reading along and a paragraph will just be so true to my heart that it takes my breath away.  And then there’s a whole chapter that I’m tapping my toe, wondering how many more pages to go.

Marianne Williamson authored one of my favorite quotes:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

― Marianne WilliamsonReturn to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

This is a glorious call to claim your greatness!  Just when I start thinking, “who am I to think I can do _____,” I hear these words in my head.

However, there are plenty of her thoughts that don’t speak to me — and that’s okay.  There is a quote attributed to Buddha:

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Which, apparently is a very poor translation.  Here’s a better translation:  

“Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.

http://www.fakebuddhaquotes.com/believe-nothing-no-matter-where-you-read-it/

(Very interesting reading on the above website!)

The point of this post is — read inspirational writings!  And know that not everything is going to make sense to you, or speak to you or will you even agree with it.  From the time that man could discuss beliefs, we’ve disagreed.  Some of us are born “old souls” with wisdom beyond our years, some of us earn our wisdom in our lifetime and some of us don’t care.  We talked about the lesson that most of us need to learn about not touching the hot stove by actually touching the hot stove.  The reality is that using your own inner barometer, your own experience and your own judgment is the only way to discern your own Truth.  And you should be willing to change your mind!

How many times have you heard a phrase or a concept and  the meaning suddenly hits you.  You understand the concept in a deeper, more touching way.  And you’ve thought, “gee, I’ve heard that story/phrase/thought a thousand times and never really got it.”  Perhaps an experience made that teaching come to life for you.

So pick up those authors who write words of encouragement or challenge.  Don’t get stuck on the stuff you don’t agree with — you may change your mind later, or you may always have the same opinion.  But be willing to look at what they have to offer.  Be willing to challenge your way of living and your level of awareness.  And be willing to share the gems that help you change your mind or that lift you up!

The last paragraph in The Law of Divine Compensation reads:

Today’s reality is simply a mirror of yesterday’s thinking. Now, in this moment, standing in the field of miraculous possibility, you can disenthrall yourself from the limits of your past. Nothing binds you except your thoughts; nothing limits you except your fear; and nothing controls you except your beliefs.  Think God, think Jesus, think Light, think Love, think whatever form of divinity calls to you.  And all else will fall away.”

Amen.  You said that very well, Marianne!