Inspiration

Lighten Up!

As I stood in the line at the grocery store today I felt the tug of worry on my attention saying, “I wonder how much this is all going to cost.  What if it is more than I expected?  Will I be able to afford it?”  I smiled at the thoughts; they jockey so diligently for their position in my attention.

Smiling at yourself helps take away the seriousness of the constant stream of mind, which often turns to negative scenarios when left to its own devices.  I decided to choose a different reaction, rather than falling back on the comfortable pattern of worry.  I chose to be grateful that I was taking place in the exchange.

The more you give the more you receive; every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  So as I paid for my groceries I smiled.  Not only did the smile lead to a nice exchange with the man checking out the groceries, but it made me feel lighthearted and grateful to take part in the cycle of giving and receiving.  Lightening up leads to more joy, more reasons to smile.  I hope this video gives you as much joy and lightheartedness as it gave me!

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Inspiration

What are you looking for?

While this video originally served as a PSA for being aware of cyclists, and is absolutely hilarious, I found it to contain a great spiritual truth.  That is, if you aren’t looking for something, you are not going to see it.  When creating the reality you desire the first step is deciding what you are looking for.  Is it a compliment?  A deep conversation?  A Buggati?  Whatever it is you currently desire, look for it everywhere.  Don’t decide where the best place to look for it is.  Look up at the sky, look at the train passing by, look over your shoulder at the grocery store.  You don’t have to come up with the “how,” all you have to do is decide what you are searching for and go out there expecting to see it everywhere!

Thanks Marc and Angel Hack Life for sharing this video!

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consciousness

Don’t Let It Go To Your Head

WinterNegative emotions are low frequency energy currents that pass through the body, and often surface from within the body if they weren’t fully felt and “digested” when they were created.  I sometimes feel negative emotions unconnected to thoughts, which surface randomly.  They are uncomfortable.  But they can also be dispelled.  The trick is, don’t let negative emotions go to your head.

It is easy to not want to feel negative energy currents and try to numb them, or come up with various schemes about how to rid yourself of those emotions.  When this happens, thoughts end up feeding the negative energy currents with more energy of a like frequency, creating a cycle of negativity within the body.  Not only do thoughts create more negative emotions, but they also prevent them from being dispelled.

When I feel negative energy rising up within me I find the most helpful way through it is allowing myself to feel the emotions fully.  I let myself sit with them.  It is not comfortable, but it is also not difficult when I tell myself that it is okay to feel negative emotions.  There is nothing inherently wrong with feeling “bad.”  I give myself permission to feel what I’m feeling, without trying to explain it away or come up with a solution.

Negative emotions are just another frequency of energy we can experience.  So I let myself have the experience.  By accepting what I’m feeling in the moment, space is created around the emotions.  I don’t give more energy to the negativity by wrapping myself up in it, and letting it feed my thoughts.  Instead of becoming the negative emotions, I experience them.  (This didn’t happen overnight, it is an ongoing practice!)

As an energy current, negative emotions naturally try to feed and grow, but this can be prevented by retaining the awareness that they don’t actually help.  I know that feeling bad isn’t going to make me feel better, or improve my circumstances.  Only high frequency energy can take me where I want to go.  So even as I’m feeling the emotions fully, I am aware that I needn’t let it go to my head, because after they pass through I will once more be on my way to feeling peaceful.  One of the most life changing observations I learned from Tolle is that behind all negative emotions is the belief that they will somehow get you what you want.  But they can only feed on the same low frequency of energy that they are, and cannot improve your circumstances.  What happens when you have a surge of negative emotions?  Does it trigger your thinking mind?  Next time you experience a “bad” feeling, see what happens when you allow it to be there.  It may pass through quicker than you think.

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Inspiration

How To Reap The Benefits Of Meditation Without Meditating

FlowersOne of my favorite pieces of advice from Eckhart Tolle is to take a few conscious breaths throughout the day. Don’t have a regular meditation practice?  No problem! While meditation can be infinitely beneficial, purposely pausing to take a deep breath, whenever you remember to, can create space, clarity, and peace in your daily life.  Before you open the fridge, make a phone call, or turn on the car, take one or two deep breaths.  Over the course of time you might find your days going smoother, your moments of peace lasting longer, and your intuitive faculties growing stronger.  The only way to experience the benefits of taking a few conscious breaths throughout each day, is to test it out!  

This video created by my father, Peter Spero, provides a blissful moment of clarity and peace akin to a deep breath.  I hope it brings you as much joy and relaxation as it has brought me!

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consciousness

“Stop Trying to Read Other People’s Minds”

Rolling CloudsHas someone ever told you an assumption they had about you, and you thought, “Where did that even come from?”  Several times throughout my life friends have regaled to me their thoughts about my actions and motivations that had nothing to do with my actual experience.  When you’re on this end of an assumption, it is easy to see how inaccurate and unnecessary assumptions are.  At worst, assumptions can be destructive and hurtful.

It is a lot harder to notice assumptions when you’re the one assuming.  I am positive I make several unconscious assumptions every day.  For example, when I’m choosing a TV show to watch at night I’ll think, “My boyfriend doesn’t want to watch this.”  Or when I’m talking to a friend I might think, “They don’t want to hear this piece of advice or story that I have.”  Assumptions are like a cancer, they multiply without discretion, until they destroy whatever they were attempting to create.

In this video from Super Soul Sunday Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, lays out the roots of assumption and how to control those thoughts:

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Inspiration

“Who is it that’s aware that I’m thinking?” – Jim Carrey

I love this video of Jim Carrey because it reminds me that I have no idea what is truly going on inside other people.  We are each on an epic journey of personhood, each the star of our own play.  It is a beautiful thing to be invited to hear about the journey of another.  It is also wonderful to recognize that you don’t know the journey of another.  For me the “not knowing” helps to quell judgment, and allow people to present themselves in a way I couldn’t have imagined.  Thank you Jim Carrey, and Eckhart Tolle for sharing this inspiring video!

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consciousness

The Spice Girls Situation

Elementary Aged Katie

I ditched school in the fourth grade to see the Spice Girls with a friend and her older sister.  We waited outside in the freezing Chicago winter for hours and they never showed.  Worse still, as I arrived at school the next day all of my classmates were telling me how mad the teacher was that I had ditched.  I loved my fourth grade teacher.  She was a comfort and inspiration.  I am positive that I went on to study poetry in college because of her influence.  She read us poems that she had written to her mother, who had passed away.  She even cried in front of us.

I had never met another adult, who I wasn’t related to, who I felt so strongly connected to.  So on that shameful day after the botched Spice Girls escapade I felt lower than I had ever felt in my short life.  The second I saw her face I started to cry.  At that moment she held me tight in her arms and let me know everything was okay, she had just been worried about me.  She was loving, forgiving, and had expressed none of the anger my classmates had described.  But the idea of letting her down was traumatic.  It was so traumatic that I still remember the scene vividly in my mind’s eye even now as an adult.  And yet, this was not a traumatizing situation.  Now I think it’s pretty awesome that I skipped out on school to see the best band ever.  But in future, anytime a teacher showed the slightest sign of disapproval there was nothing I could do to keep from crying.

I remember getting a C on an important Spanish test in high school and running out of the room lest my teacher see how ridiculously distraught I had become.  The positive side effect of wanting to please my teachers was my straight A record in school.  Deeper than that is an issue common to many people, in many walks of life: the need to please.  For me, my need for approval came from the story that I told myself about how bad it felt when a teacher was angry with me.  My actions were motivated by trying to mitigate an imagined pain.

The stories we tell ourselves, and believe in, have tremendous power to shape our behavior and our lives.  What stories do you tell yourself? While not all stories are negative or fearful, such as “I am awesome and can do anything I put my mind to,” they still cannot compare to reality.  It is impossible to get a true experience of reality when it is seen and felt through the filter of a story in your mind. 

I can see in my own life that I could be held back, from relinquishing stories about myself, because of the fear of what life would really be like.  I might think that living out life according to a story I have about my life will protect me from something worse.  The problem with that logic is that it’s just another story.  True expansion, freedom, and possibility await right on the other side of your story.  The mind might feel lost, because you are letting go of thought forms, but you know that you are not your mind.  And no loss of thought, opinion, or story actually has any power to take away from you, because you are life itself.  You are the platform that allows stories to arise.

I never quite got over my need to please my professors; I ended up Suma Cum Laude in college.  But getting good grades never did anything to increase my learning, creativity, or fulfillment.  I only gained the temporary high of meeting the needs of the story I was telling myself about having to get good grades.  Life went on after my school years ended.  Those grades don’t mean anything anymore.  All that I am left with is my true self; greater than any story I could ever tell, and more abundant than any need I could ever conceive of.

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Inspiration

“In the moment of seeing, of noticing that your relationship with the Now is dysfunctional, you are present.” – Tolle

Wind Tunnel

The first day of teaching for a new year of the after school program always leaves me thinking, “what just happened?”  Now sitting on a comfortable couch at home, I see the pull to hang on to the day.  To stay in the stress, to worry about what it will be like tomorrow.  But when I think about how I felt about the new year of programming this morning, before it at all began, I know I wasn’t worried at all.  I didn’t feel stressed about the prospect of the next class.

Even though the day has a magnetic pull, I can see that feeling like I did this morning would be a much more enjoyable way of being.  I can also see that feeling present and without worry didn’t effect the reality of the experience as it actually occurred.

Worry or not, the outcome is always the same.  The moment always comes to pass.  This is the moment where I have the opportunity to choose again.  Instead of succumbing to the attraction of holding on, I can choose to put down the thoughts of past and future, and return to the only place I will ever be, the present.

How do you feel when the day is done?  If you ever find yourself reliving the day over again in your head, create an experiment out of putting the day down, and allowing yourself to just be where you are.  After all, the only way to see if it feels better than a previous way of being, is to experience it.

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Inspiration

“There are no dark nights of the soul; there are only dark nights of the ego.” – Robert Holden

Shift Happens!

I saw this posted on Dr. Wayne Dyer’s Facebook page, and loved the clever way the words pointed towards the truth! When I experience pain, there is that still small voice at the back of my consciousness reminding me that suffering is created by the ego.  My true self is still whole; nothing can be given or taken away from being.  When in pain reminding myself that my attachment to the situation is causing the suffering, and that the situation already is how it is regardless of my reaction, a small space opens up around the pain that allows healing to work its way through.  To paraphrase Tolle, suffering is ego created but is ultimately ego destructive.  To say it another way, no matter what you are going through a world of greater peace and joy is perpetually blooming in the midst of the ashes.

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Inspiration

How can you tell if you’ve actually “let it go?”

skylineHow do you respond when someone tells you to, “let it go?”  I have been told, in many different contexts, to let something go, and often my response has been, “I will, but…” Which is to say, that I haven’t actually been letting go.  I’ve been learning that a true act of letting go contains far greater power than any reason not to ever could.

By letting go, you align yourself with the power of the universe.  You surrender to that unending stream of energy always flowing towards your highest potential.  So why don’t we let go more often?  Simply put, the thinking mind.  The mind needs thorough convincing to let go of anything.  To let go of a thought, an attachment, a grudge, or a question, the mind requires a foolproof argument to relinquish its firm grasp.  The thinking mind loses control over your life when you surrender and let go.  It doesn’t know a higher power will take the reigns; all the thinking mind sees is a life out of control, without any safety net.  Since the thinking mind is so bent on holding on, it is necessary to go beyond it to experience true surrender.  This means instead of convincing your mind to let go, you only need to convince your true self a more wondrous world is waiting for you on the other side of surrender.

How do you know if you’ve really let go?  When someone close to you has upset you and you decide to be the more conscious being and let it go, and think to yourself “Yes! I’ve let it go!” that is not surrender.  That is the thinking mind holding onto the concept of being more spiritually aware than others, and the idea of letting go.  You will know you’ve truly relinquished something when you feel a deep sense of peace, aliveness, and even joy that has nothing to do with your outer circumstance.

When you are having a disagreement with your partner, and no clear resolution has been found, but you feel completely at ease, you have surrendered.  This opens you up to being a vessel for solutions.  The universe has space to work through you to solve any problem you are experiencing, any dysfunction in the relationship.  Another sign that you have surrendered is that your compassion grows.  You can listen to your partner more deeply, without the voice in your head whispering internal judgments.  You can even understand a point of view you initially disagreed with.  Surrender offers unlimited potential for growth, expansion, peace, and love.

For me, writing this is a personal message to assist myself in surrender.  Although I am writing thoughts, they help to point me beyond my thinking mind to my true knowing.  There are many things in my life I can surrender to, like my work situation, my ideas about how my outer life should look, my opinions, and my ideas about how my loved ones should act.  And the only way to discover the miraculous consequences of surrender is to try it out.  What in your life can you let go of today?

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