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Monday, February 25, 2013

The Most Unwanted Moments

We all indulge at times  in the reverie of imagining what the wonderful future moments of our life will look like...how they will unfold...the  lovely surprises, the great tasks we will accomplish...how everyone will be lining up to support and help us realize our dreams. 

Ah, yes,we can be very creative as we fantasize about our upcoming adventures.


Sometimes the really big...REALLY BIG things happen to us NOT in the smoothest interactions...NOT in the most ideal settings..and  NOT in the way we would prefer.

And sometimes The Most Unwanted Moments (according to Guy Finley) "can actually prove most pivotal" in the unfolding of our life.

The stinger we feel when things don't happen the way we have envisioned them is a message that the way we have been operating is NOT taking care of our needs and what we really want. 

Perhaps, for example, we are doing things  to please others or to garner validation from outside sources.  And, in doing this, we are not listening to the messages of our own body and our own heart.

And perhaps it is these old ideas we are addicted to...because they helped us survive old experiences.

Finley says...with this  realization (I call it a sting) we can stop trying to find "meaning, purpose and plans through a level of mind that can only reconfigure old ideas."

Now "we simply bring ourselves into the light of the LIVING MOMENT.  Now we are present to what reality itself wants to give to us."

And that reality, I feel, is the Divine Universe giving us the opportunity to make a leap  into  a new and better way of living by forcing us to develop the resources we need to navigate the new experience.

When things go along the way we prefer, we usually just ride the high.  We've been there before, we know what to expect, it's comfortable.  But...we don't change or grow.

The changing and growing are what we do when we  are confronted with bzzzzzzzzzzzz
...and a stinger...something we didn't expect or invite but which has stopped us in our tracks and is challenging us to find a new way to do things... a better way because our old, familiar method  is not cutting it any more.

And that is why The Most Unwanted Moments are the GREATEST GIFTS.  They present us with the challenge of learning, reaching, growing beyond what we already know.  Yes...this takes work...hard work...but we emerge with new insight, new wisdom, empowered... and much, much stronger.

Keep in mind that our GIFTS sometimes arrive in strange packages...sometimes they are hidden in the "pictures" of our life and/or in the people in the "pictures".  But they are there, nevertheless...bzzzzzzing away..  And they require more of us than what we are used to doing...but they also hold the PROMISE of new strengths and new skills.

If we  can become accustomed to finding the "gift" in every Unwanted Moment we will have learned to use one of the most powerful ways to help ourselves grow.

originally published August 20, 2011

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I Hear Your Heart

Our ears can hear the words that a person speaks  and also the inflection and nuance present in those words... but there is something even more important for us to listen to...and that something is
the message of his heart
This very special treasure is something we come to know over time and through experience and sometimes it is something we can sense about someone. 

We are able to witness and perceive the glory of a person's heart when he is centered...peaceful...in his power.

But this is not always what is happening.

Sometimes the challenges and trials of earth school feel so great for someone that he reacts from his stress, fatigue or frustration and sometimes from his unhealed pain. 

And his reaction in this moment could easily feel as if it is directed at you.

The message is really for his personal emotional space where he is attempting to navigate his reaction to a  painful trigger. The words he has blurted out are his first attempt to express his distress. The release has not yet taken the path of Higher Self and spiritual  evolution.  

It is stuck on the first rung of (very human) expression. And it may seem aimed at the closest available object and, in this case,  that object may be you.

This moment is such a blessed and holy opportunity to offer love and support to the person who is confronting an old trigger or pain or who is worn down by the stress he is experiencing in his life.  

We can do so much good at this moment by NOT listening to the words of release that appear to stumble out in our direction but by
LISTENING INSTEAD TO THE PERSON'S HEART which we have already come to sense and know. 

As evidenced in his voice, inflection and words, the openness of his heart  has been temporarily blocked by the emotion of hurt or pain but we can choose love to help us access it while he undergoes what is essentially the first stages of self-confrontation.  And  by choosing love we help set the stage for the work he has to do with the issue that has come up for his awareness, acceptance and release.

By affirming that WE KNOW what resides in his heart, we help him access that awareness himself...a step he must take to deal with the issue.

This is a unique opportunity waiting to be recognized.

What a beautiful gift we can give to this iƱdividual...remembrance and awareness of his "Best Self" communicated to him with gentleness and caring...and in the moment when he most needs to feel that LOVE!

Image from thevectorart.com


originally printed June 14, 2012

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beams of Love

And we are put on Earth a little space
That we may learn to bear the beams of love.

William Blake

LOVE is the gift of the Divine Universe. It patiently waits to be acknowledged and enjoyed.

It is the exquisite experience of being cared for, cherished, honored.

It is so MAGNIFICENT and BREATHTAKING that we may feel the angst of fear on some level and draw back from it...without even recognizing this shift. And, after having created this space, we may fill it with words and distractions which serve to separate us from this astonishing experience, to keep us protected by ego from the perceived possibility of being hurt or the disquieting sense that something this wonderful cannot be…or the feeling that we are not worthy or deserving of it.

But this magnificent gift IS the ENERGY of the universe…and we are worthy of it by reason of our existence. And we cannot escape it anyway for LOVE follows us everywhere, tapping us gently on the shoulder, awaiting our recognition and response…awaiting our SURRENDER.

We are here to find our way to LOVEthe receiving of it and the giving.

And it is the GIVING of LOVE that provides us with the courage to make the leap to RECEIVING it for when we give LOVE, we join with the universe in wanting and wishing only the best for each other.

If we look to the example of a person very dear to us for whom we love and care, we can recognize that we want this person to do what is best for him, even if it is not what we prefer. LOVE prompts that understanding, that acceptance, that behavior in us. And the giving of that unconditional, unselfish LOVE brings us happiness and peace.

If we view this loved one as a microcosm of the world, it is clear that loving everyone is wanting everyone to do what feels best to him…as each individual navigates his life lessons and journey.

Ram Dass says LOVE is “your deeper heart, your intuitive heart. It is the place where the higher mind, pure awareness, the subtler emotions, and your soul identity all come together and connect you to the universe.”

And we are put on Earth a little space
That we may learn to bear the beams of love.
William Blake

originally printed February 13, 2012

Monday, February 11, 2013

Escaping Your Monkey Mind



Does this sound like your morning routine? 

"There goes the alarm. 

"Feels like I just got to sleep.  So much to do today.  Did I sign that permission slip for the kids' field trip?  Oh no, I didn't put the wash in the dryer.  The car needs gas.  Oops... I forgot to return that call to the repairman."

And, so goes not only our morning awakening ritual...but often our whole day.

Most of us tend to spend the majority of our time in the frenetic energy jungle called MONKEY MIND (also known as the beta brain state).  It's  how we navigate the day.  

But...this is NOT the place where the really powerful brain action occurs.

There are, in fact,  FIVE WAVE PATTERNS in our brain:  beta,  alpha, theta, delta and gamma.

Beta is the state of constant mind chatter. 

Alpha brain waves are slower in frequency (when you are close to falling asleep, reading, or watching TV or are entranced with a project and lose track of time). 

The Theta mind state (slower yet) occurs when you are in profound relaxation, meditation, entering sleep or ready to awake.

              Moving downward,

Delta occurs when you are dreaming or in deep meditation.

     And, finally,

The Gamma state houses high level information processing, creativity, insight and holistic perception.  (This is a super-beta state, the most rapid in frequency.  We are still learning about Gamma as it has only recently been discovered.)


It's obvious, then, that if we end up spending our days multi-tasking in monkey mind (the beta state)...running from one frantic errand to the next...we will NOT be accessing the tremendous resources of our brain.  

And that is why relaxation, deep breathing, quieting the mind and meditation are so important to our health and happiness.

And this doesn't mean "finding" the time; it means "making" the time to do something that is so vital to our sense of well-being.

There is much to be learned about how to access these slower states of frequency.  Mary Rivas has a short, 50 page book entitled  

Brain Power:   Boost Your Health, Happiness and Spiritual Growth With Practical Tools That Supercharge Your Mind Powers  (available on Kindle).

Rivas writes in a warm, engaging, compassionate style, helping us become more acutely aware of our inner world and she explains in clear, direct language how to access it naturally or with an assist from technology.


And, in case, you are mulling over my comments and suggestion during the night and find yourself unable to sleep, here is a suggested escape route from those pesky monkeys dancing in your brain.

Hilary Tindle,  M. D., an internist at the Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center,  says if you are too wired, your brain turns into overdrive and "this turns on a complex flurry of neurotransmitters involving several areas of the brain.  Your mind buzzes with activity making it nearly impossible to fall asleep."

Distracting yourself by concentrating on a non-emotional task
can decrease activity in the brain.  Here's  a great diversion that will do the trick reported by Liz  Krieger in her article on "Deeper Sleep" in Oprah Magazine:

Count backwards from 300 by threes.  The basic math of this task engages your brain and you cannot focus on anything else, thus helping you wind down and relax.

(By the way, I tried the 300 by threes counting trick the last few nights and it worked perfectly every time.)

So...if  the maddening, mischievous  monkeys  are holding court way too often in your cerebral hemisphere...

consider the BEAUTIFUL WISDOM of learning how to supercharge your mind powers by paradoxically  s-l-o-w-i-n-g down the frequencies of your brain.  

Invest in learning about this astounding capability and practice the art of relaxing your body and simultaneously enriching your life.

image from simplesitting.blogspot.com
"Taming the Monkey" Source: http://www.projectevolution.net  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Assume the Position!



American Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy says when you are ready to step into your dream... 

ready to take the first foundational step into the new world you are envisioning...

let that step be a BIG, BOLD ONE that lands you right on CENTER STAGE in your dress rehearsal "world".

This is the place where you quietly take two minutes and 
ASSUME THE POSITION of whatever... whomever you wish to become. 

And in these two minutes you breathe deeply and take on the physical stance of the person you want to be.

Your posture, your arms, your head, your facial expression need to demonstrate confidence, power, success.  They should even EXAGGERATE these concepts.

 There should be no mistaking the "authority" of the persona you adopt


Cuddy says,

the position of your body will change your mind (into believing you already ARE what you want to become), 

your mind will change your behavior 

and that change in your behavior will determine the outcome of your experience.

We already know that our bodies mirror our emotions but science is now telling us that our emotions will mirror our bodies.

This actually sounds like FUN.   It certainly doesn't take long (just 2 minutes) and it's creatively satisfying to "assume the position" as if it already belongs to you. Play acting, really.  Kid stuff (and we all know how much fun kids have).

So maybe you're not feeling well.  Adopt the position of high energy and vibrant wellness and watch these awesome states of being brighten your disposition.

Got housework to do?  Mary Poppins-it!  That "spoonful of sugar" will turn the trick.

About to give a speech or presentation...inhale the Universal Life Force (just waiting for your invitation) and exhale anything blocking your way.

Awww, c'mon...you can do it (silly though it may seem at first glance).
Once your mind gets the message from your body and science says it WILL happen, you are Good to Go.

Actually a pretty easy and fun way to  dive into your dreams.

So give it a try...have fun...experiment.

The confidence and power you desire will be yours because all you have to do  is  IMAGINE what success will look like and ASSUME THE POSITION!

image from mariscribbles.com. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Let the Good Times Roll

Super Bowl Sunday, the annual championship game

of the National Football League and the American Football League, is only days away.  This event has become an American national holiday and has frequently been the most watched sporting event  in the world.

That kind of interest and exposure and excitement delivers a huge whomp.

Watching the Super Bowl, is, for many people, the source of great exhilaration and relaxation. Its theme song is something like "Let the Good Times Roll."

And, as always, what appears in our life, especially that which whips us into a frenzy and takes center stage, carries a message for us
and.........drum roll here......like the Super Bowl itself, it's a really BIG one.

And it's also simple...but tricky to do.

Shil Bagh says,
"Enlightenment is all about how a tiny shift in your perspective will create a major transformation in your life."

So here's the lesson of Super Bowl...

Just as you watch the game with heightened curiosity and passion and fascination...take those same qualities and point them to an object of even greater interest and power...YOU!

That's right...watch YOURSELF...and not just on Super Bowl Sunday...all day long, every day.

OK, I realize  this might take some doing because it isn't our usual way of operating.

Elaine St. James gives us some good advice about how to do this.  She says,  

"Try to get into the habit of stepping outside yourself and becoming the observer." 

And when you do what St. James suggests,  something very exciting happens.  In a quiet, impressive and powerful way.  Let me explain.  

As we go through life, we find ourselves caught in the thick of things

We are affected...upset sometimes...annoyed by what's transpiring with and around us.  

Another way of putting this is to say 

Later, when we think things over, we may wish we hadn't said or done something and promise ourselves it will be different next time. 

But when that next time comes, we enter the fray and off we go again with our default reaction.  And these kinds of behavioral habits are mega-hard to change as we walk through the difficulties and obstacles of life.

But there is a way...

a simple, quiet, introspective  way to make the changes we so desire.  

It's as simple as WATCHING  OURSELVES...becoming the OBSERVER.

Something very exciting happens in this process.  

As the observer, we become an objective witness and recorder of events  and our involvement in them. 

And, somehow, that objectivity presents us with a picture that doesn't feel upsetting or distressful...just a "noticing" that we have been following a predictable pattern that contributes to our turmoil and suffering and a noticing that that picture could easily be changed by a shift in our perception and behavior. 

There's no drama to be found in doing it this way... just a quiet insight that takes hold...with the promise of a more, calm, centered life.  And that is why the very simple action of observing ourselves is so powerful.

Life is teeming with glorious lessons for us and a beautiful one lies in wait just hours away.

So LOVE the fun of Super Bowl Sunday and watching your favorite teams (the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49'ers) duke it out on the field (wild ride that it is)...

and LOVE even more the quiet, perceptive, life-enhancing adventure of watching YOU on the playing field of YOUR life.

image from article by Tony Hicks in Contra Costa Times
For Super Bowl 2012, please be quiet --I want to watch the game.