Inspiration

How To Stop Deflecting Miracles

Waterfall Is there someone in your life you aren’t completely satisfied with? Is there someone you are holding something against?

When I asked myself these questions the answers surprised me. The people in my life with whom a small sliver of dissatisfaction sometimes remains, people who I might want to do something for me or act differently, are generally not unfriendly acquaintances. Rather, they are those I love, and have the deepest connections to.

A grudge is the continued non-forgiveness of another human being, whether it is for something they did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say, or for their inability to make you feel whole and happy. Allowing yourself to look clearly at your non-forgiveness, without self-judgment, is the first and vital step to releasing yourself from the negative consequences of unconsciously wanting others to be different.

When I remind myself that fear and resentment, in whatever forms they appear, prevent my life’s purpose from unfolding, a choice is presented. In this instance I can make a new decision and choose to love being in the moment I am in. Reminding myself that this decision causes a chain reaction of miracles makes this choice all the easier.

The brilliance of this Super Soul Sunday video with Marianne Williamson is that she not only defines miracles and how they occur, but it is also made clear that allowing every individual to be on their own life path is essential to their highest potential as well as to yours. It is so easy to resent where people are at on their journeys, even more so in situations where they disagree with or harbor resentment towards you. But dealing with the consequences of your own resentment is not easy. Knowing that your inability to completely accept other people can prevent you from moving forward towards the miraculous makes the choice to love a more accessible reality.

Standard
Inspiration

The Best Advice For Helping A Suffering Friend

How can you alleviate the suffering of those around you?  When I find that someone is suffering I immediately want to help, I want to “fix” their problems.  But if you’ve ever had someone jump in with advice when you were telling them of your suffering, you know that their advice, while sincere, didn’t diminish your pain.   In the video below Thich Nhat Hanh shares the best advice I’ve ever heard for how to help those around you who are in pain.

Standard
consciousness

What I Know About You

Katie, Joey, and GregA few weeks ago I heard a speaker on education, but instead of learning about adolescent behavior I was taught a lesson in the behavior of my own mind.  A person in the back of the auditorium had been chatting throughout the session, and my mind was not okay with it.  Instead of focusing on that which I had showed up for, my thoughts were preoccupied with judgement.  Even afterwards when the event had passed and was no more than a thought in my mind, I chose to keep the memory of a person I deemed “rude” alive through further internal judgement, not to mention commiserating with my friend who had also noticed this slight disruption.

In my last post I celebrated the incomprehensible mystery that is every individual human being.  When my mind was busy judging a person for behavior I felt was unacceptable I was operating completely unaware of this intrinsic truth.

How do we foster compassion for other human beings when it is so easy to reduce them into nothing more than thoughts in our heads?  The following video with author Karen Armstrong, on Super Soul Sunday, offers concrete tools for experiencing the depth of inherent mystery within all people:

Standard
Inspiration

“Follow The Aliveness”

Waterfall by Peter Spero

Photo By Peter Spero

I love to sing and dance.  I sing and dance alone, I sing and dance around friends, I even love to sing and dance in front of an audience.  But thus far in life I have not created a career out of singing and dancing.  While I love to perform on stage, what I truly enjoy is expressing myself through music, whether someone is watching or not.  As a teenager, throughout all of the normal trials and tribulations I experienced going through high school, what carried me through was the thought, “As long as I can play guitar I’ll be okay.”  No matter what life situation I encountered, I experienced joy when I was playing music.

By no means am I a great musician.  Everyday I enjoy listening to musicians whose talent and skills will always be far superior to my musical capabilities.  Does this take some of the enjoyment away from singing and dancing?  Not in the slightest.  On the contrary, I am truly thankful for the musical gifts more talented artists share with the world for our enjoyment.

At the end of the day, I can still sing with my family.  I can always dance around my own living room.  In these instances of action I truly experience life.  Attaching my identity to the thought of “being a singer” or “being an artist” pales in comparison to that felt present moment experience.

This video of Mark Nepo is truly liberating.  If you have a passion going unfulfilled, or are being blocked from your own creative expression, Mark offers a freeing perspective:

Standard
spirituality

Don’t Go There…

A lot of things get to me.  If you’ve read past posts on this blog you’ll know a handful of those things.  Did someone say bugs?  Being “rubbed the wrong way” is a common human experience.  Someone says or does something that really gets you angry, or brings up past pain.  Then there are the smaller annoyances that easily damper our mood.  A few examples spring to mind: traffic, cleaning up after people, being ignored.  

One of the most prominent downers for me is tone of voice.  When someone speaks to me in, what I perceive to be, a negative tone of voice I easily feel hurt or offended.  Michael Singer, author of The Seat of the Soul, calls these our “thorns.”  What, if any, is the purpose of these thorns?  How do you get rid of them?  

The first step comes from realizing that, no matter how truly disturbing the situation is, being disturbed is in no way helpful to you.  Feeling disturbed doesn’t change situations.  Solutions arise when you feel free and spacious within, when your energy is high and can find like pathways to match its own positive frequency.  This doesn’t mean ignoring your feelings.  On the contrary, it means relaxing and allowing yourself to feel the negative energy fully, letting it pass through your awareness until it dissipates.  What are your thorns? This conversation between Michael Singer and Oprah is infinitely helpful in learning what to do about our thorns:

Standard
Inspiration

Personality or Prisonality

Is your personality a prison?  Do your likes and dislikes, wants and fears, opinions and attitudes interfere with your life? 

I’ve never been a morning person; I would rather stay up late and sleep late.  In my life there have been countless examples of that aspect of my personality keeping me from experiences I would have loved.  During the summer in which I “woke up,” experienced a new level of being present, I suddenly realized that I could be a morning person if I wanted to.  The only thing keeping me from engaging in countless early morning activities was the fear of the voice in my head that would be furious to be thinking at 7:00am, and would ceaselessly continue its complaints until I was back in bed.  Since I had stopped taking that voice so seriously, I realized that I could be a morning person if I so chose to be. I joined a choir that met at 8:30am on Sundays.  This might sound ridiculous to all those who wake up at 3am to get to work at 5am everyday, but for me 8:30am on a weekend was never even an option. 

Are you not a morning person?  Do you dislike waiting?  Can you not stand loud restaurants?  What are the parts of your personality that are keeping you from experiencing the fullness of life and your true authentic power?  In his book, The Seat Of The Soul, Gary Zukav defines authentic power as, “when the personality comes fully to serve the energy of the soul.”   In this video Gary and Oprah discuss where your authentic power comes from and how it can change your reality:

Standard
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:

Standard