IDENTIFICATION

I just re-read my post from Monday about the parking lot incident which illustrates identification, the first step toward ‘freedom from the bondage of self.’ Identification is one of my most valuable self-improvement tools. It allows me to assess the effectiveness of a certain behavior and not judge the person exhibiting it. Identification also frees me from chain-of-pain perpetuated by the prison of self-deception. Because I am able to IDentify a characteristic, I recognize it from memories of my past experiences. If I am willing to accept that I have been just as immature and forgive myself for the imperfection, I open the floodgates of compassion and forgiveness toward the person Compassiontempting me to scorn. Miraculously, I feel love for this person who has not yet found this path to inner peace. An overwhelming sense of gratitude follows as a result of realizing that forgiving myself is the key to freedom and peace of mind. How simple is that?

Okay…simple, but not so easy! It is just so tempting to go for the temporary high of ‘righteous’ indignation. Outrage is denial of my own earlier outrageous behavior. The brief exhilaration of feeling ‘better than’ comes from ignorance to the automatic low that must follow from karmic kickback. Why must I feel shame soon after feeling pride? It is because my disgust implies my innocence as if I have never and/or would never do something like that. However, I would not be agitated by this person if I didn’t feel shame about similar behaviors that I won’t admit to myself. Instead, my reaction would be magnanimous and I get a wonderful feeling about myself that lasts. When I tell myself that my agitation is about disapproval of them and not myself, they need to change – not me. While that may seem convenient, it is also very dis-empowering. I am doomed to repeat what I won’t admit. It sets me up for another opportunity to behave shamefully and then another to opportunity to temporarily feel better about myself by shaming someone else, and so on, and so on, and….

Admitting is the act of letting in. I can’t release what I haven’t let in! Conversely, the minute I admit a flaw, I can accept it, forgive myself and move on without carrying it around, walled off buried deep in my psyche like an abscess that causes me to react any time someone touches it. That which I resist will persist. Better to feel the pain of admitting it, so I can let it go. This is like feeling the momentary pain when piercing an abscess so I can feel the relief thereafter instead of guarding and defending it forever. If I could recognize my aggressor’s self-sabotaging animosity as something I have been able to conquer, my response will be gracious. This is far more likely to benefit me and anyone involved or even observing the exchange. Any time I have been able to behave with grace or dignity, it has put an extra spring in my step – not from pride, but from LOVE.

Hold the Vision

One of my clients has a daughter who serves as a barometer for his well-being.

He came to me for guidance handling the emotional stress of divorce, being a single dad and new fiscal challenges.  He was high on a potent cocktail of resentment and fear.   When we met, he was stuck in a chain of pain that seemed as if it was manifest in his daughter. His relationship with his daughter has made my job very easy!  She was like my Cliff Notes.  Once he described what was ‘wrong’ with her, I knew how to help him arrive at his solution.  Like clockwork, when his daughter acted out, he reacted  impulsively with feelings of anger and even rage.  Then he felt engulfed by remorse for his behavior.  He told me how much he loved his daughter and didn’t want to hurt her, but….. he was just so afraid that she would end up like her mother!  Having heard about some of his former wife’s antics, I certainly understood why he hoped for something different for his daughter.  I also clearly saw why some of his daughter’s behavior would remind him of her mother and trigger his fear.  Luckily, it was easy for him to see that saying things like, “You’re just like your mother!” would not help his daughter to blossom into a woman of substance, especially since she was aware of his disdain for her mother.  But nothing was working.  He could not issue enough consequences or express enough disapproval or launch enough warning flares to get her to change.  Thank goodness.

Because of his failure to effect a change in his daughter after having exhausted every option he could imagine, by the time he came to me, he was teachable.  I explained to him H.O.W. I surmised in less than 3 minutes that he that he will have the relationship of his dreams with his daughter.  From the moment we first spoke, he was Honest, Open and Willing.  If one of those components was missing he would have had to cycle back through his pain-driven chain-reactions until he was ready to  let go.

H.O.W. can you spot a winner? They are Honest, Open and Willing.  Denial is a valuable tool of the human psyche.  It protects us when we could be overwhelmed by circumstances.  However, it will also destroy us if we are not willing to face it when it is no longer serving us.  How will you know if you are stuck in denial?  You will get repeated unpleasant feedback from your environment.  This is our inner guidance system at work letting us know it is time for another growth spurt.  Getting honest with ourselves and others allows us to change for the better…evolve.  However, honesty alone is not enough.  Openness to new ways of thinking and acting is a need for intentional change.  I like the expression, “My best thinking got me here.”   Until you are open to see that your way of processing events is no longer working for you, you will keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results.  Lastly, winners are willing to change.  They don’t feel like a failure when their way didn’t work.  They are excited to find and try a different way of thinking or acting that will give them what they want.  You will know they are willing by their actions.  There is no other way to show willingness.  Period.

Coming to me, who another one of my clients calls her tormentor,  as you process another of life’s growth opportunities, is almost a guarantee that you know H.O.W. it works!  I say that in humility and with a big smile on my face because I know that just showing up to hear me say, “You are the problem'” is an act of willingness!   Someone once told me that he hated me for more than a year because I wrote on a 3×5 card “I AM THE PROBLEM,” and told him to tape it to his mirror.  But, he never forgot it.  And, he knew that my motives were pure and helpful.  So, gradually he became open to try to understand what I meant.  That is when he realized that if he is the problem, then he is also the solution!.  Oprah calls that an “Aha moment.”  In the case of my client with the daughter issues, when he understood his role in real-izing her ‘flaws,’  his behavior changed immediately.   I showed him how to define the exact nature of his objections.  Once he identified the problem in her, I directed him within asking, “How is this a mirror of you?”  He began to notice that if he didn’t  do what was necessary to take care of himself with loving compassion, his daughter would show risky behavior.  If he was too hard on himself, she may have a cutting relapse.  If he was being judgmental or resentful, she would judge him, resent his ‘flaws,’ and ignore him for weeks.

Realizing that she is a reflection of his spiritual fitness, he  began to change his behavior with her and made great changes with his internal dialogue. Of course he had his moments of  ‘two-steps forward and one step backward,’ but that is life.  No one ever gets through life without what they perceive as a misstep.  When we are honest about the events that came before a little slip backwards, we prevent a mindless slide back into that powerless chain of pain.  Honesty allows us to correct course. Every so-called step backwards can serve as the catalyst to move us even further forward…. if we don’t stare at it and blow it out of proportion.

Meditation is a microcosm of life – as well access to pure awareness of the Source of life.  In a meditative retreat our awareness of the stimulus of life slips  to the silence of pure Source awareness.  We come out of  silent Source awareness feeling refreshed and ready for anything.  The brief retreats in life that we call setbacks, give us the fuel or motivation for forward motion.  The ancients liken it to an archer pulling back on his bow with the arrow.  That retreat gives the arrow all the dynamism for its flight.  Lamenting losses , missteps, etc. is like trying to shoot an arrow without the tension of backwards motion.

Demonstrating great skill with one of my favorite tools, the mirror of life and relationship, my client began to see major changes in his relationship with his daughter.  In time, he actually saw major changes in her.  He began to notice that the connection between his attitude and his experiences ran deep indeed.  When he assumed responsibility and gained response-ability for his experiences, he stopped all blame. When  his daughter dented their expensive car, he conveyed his relief and gratitude that his priceless daughter wasn’t damaged.  In the past she may not have been hurt in the car accident but the invisible damage her father would have caused by overreacting would have affected her indefinitely.  Instead, he gave her a huge hug and helped her come up with a plan to pay for the damages  – resisting his impulse to take care of everything himself.  He gave her the ability to assume responsibility for the events of her life!  The pain in her pocketbook was a small price to pay for the empowerment she received by her father’s respect. His compassionate, tempered response felt like trust to his daughter, which is quite different from approval for doing  the ‘right’ way  or being ‘good enough.’

That wasn’t the last time she did something that would have made his head spin in the past.  In fact, a few events followed that I am not sure I would have been able to handle without a lot of  fear and some regrettable behavior.  But, he held the vision. He used Joel Osteen’s trick:  When someone we love misbehaves, instead of  highlighting or inflaming the situation by rehashing and shaming, simply accept what happened and then silently say, “Subject to change!”  Then quickly get back to your vision of this person at their best.  Refuse to dwell anywhere else.  This loving dad did just that in the face of some very trying situations. I remember being in awe of his growth and humbled by his devotion.   Before I could catch my breath he began regaling me with the most joyous stories of her transformation.  Because of his unconditional love and acceptance, she began to feel worthy.  She started to take better care of herself.  She acted with poise and dignity.  She was beginning to impress and humble him as he had done with me.  I have the greatest job I can imagine!

NASH FLASH

THE DAILY MANDALA by Henry Reed

RE-MEMBER 

re+member = re-join, re-connect (i.e. sign-up)

“Always remember.”  Really?  Why?

Be certain you want to keep revisiting a memory – the energy the memory evokes is an electromagnetic attractor field.  If you cannot visit a memory without becoming sad, bitter or anxious…why would you want to attract more of it?

CONTROL ISSUES

Just before Christmas when I was 7 years old my dad died and I experienced a life altering paradigm shift.  It was as if the curtains closed at the end of an act on the stage of my life and when they reopened, the scenery had completely changed leaving me feeling unsafe and bewildered.  As a result, I can rationalize, deny and forget anything.  It is a mechanism I employed to make sense my unfathomable reality.  It helped me survive the grief and terror that threatened my sanity for decades and felt life threatening.  I thought I was safe in my head even though I knew on some subconscious level that I didn’t feel safe.  This ‘survival’ mechanism carried me until I was 35 years old when it backfired for the last time.

At the age of 35 I experienced another paradigm shift.  I could no longer escape my reality. I had to embark on that treacherous journey from my head, where I rationalized my experiences, to my heart, where I began realizing them.  When I ‘surrendered’ and began processing my crippling feelings of grief, rage, shame, resentment, etc., something amazing happened.  I learned that the seemingly miraculous solution to any of my ‘problems’ is contained within my deepest fears! When I began to feel the feelings I had resisted, I made some critical discoveries:

  1. That which I resist persists.
  2. My emotions won’t kill me.
  3. Emotions are simply energy in motion.

    EMOTION = Energy in Motion

  4. My emotions they cannot pass if I resist/deny/stuff/block them.
  5. When I feel my feelings, I can release them and drop my ‘baggage.’
  6. Once I process the emotion, I discover that “peace that passes all understanding” rationally.
  7. Established in this peace of mind I am able to and I want to stay in present moment awareness.
  8. The Intelligence and the Power that creates worlds exists only in the present moment.
  9. Connected to that Power – my fears slip away and I gain ‘control’ of my life.
  10. When I feel a constricting emotion it is my sign that I am shutting down, resisting my experience, and cutting myself off from the Power to change that  undesirable experience .
  11. When I accept the experience as it is, I return to the present and the Power it has.  A feeling of expansion results.
  12. The ‘control’ (over my thoughts, words, deeds and experiences) that I craved was in my Awareness all along!
  13. As long as I was looking for that Power and Control over my life ‘out there,’ it would remain illusive.
  14. This EOS  (Emotional Operating System) is my infallible IGS – Internal Guidance System.  If I remain aware and pay attention to it, it will guide me to the life of my dreams and deepest desires.

I can think of many examples in life when I ignored the wisdom of my IGS and paid a steep price.  One obvious example was in my early twenties when I took a job as a mortgage-backed securities bond broker.  I was about to become the only woman on a dog-eat-dog bond-trading floor.  I had many reasons for taking the job despite a nagging ‘sinking’ feeling.  I was unable to show up for my first week on the job because I had colitis, which in retrospect was my IGS on overdrive, desperately trying to get my attention.  I had stuffed every emotion that surfaced before and after taking the job because I was in survival mode.  I felt that I had to stuff the grief associated with selling my soul to survive because I believed I had to take that job.  The disease I developed as a result of my dis-ease with my decision forced me stop physically.  But since I refused to stop mentally long enough to just be in the present moment, I delayed my discovery of true Power.

I was extremely ‘successful” and convinced myself that I was in control (happy, safe and secure).  I went on compromising my integrity for years saying and doing things that made me so uncomfortable I could hardly stand in my skin…another feeling I worked at denying !  Every year it became more difficult to contain all the trapped energy of my repressed emotions.  Finally at age 35, I reached the tipping point. Choices I made (albeit unconsciously) resulted in a situation that I would typically have denied, but at that particular moment, I could not house another emotion without imploding.  As a result, I accepted reality in the moment and suddenly, in touch with true Power, all my walls collapsed instantly and I stepped into this new miraculous paradigm.

ARE YOU SURE YOU’RE AWAKE?

Sleepwalking

When we are not living consciously we run the risk of making choices that we don’t realize are choices – on autopilot.  We become victims of our own conditioning.  Unconscious living makes us susceptible to making choices for the wrong reasons – without checking our motives.  Exhaustive research reveals that about 96% of humanity does not even realize that this is an issue, which is to say that 96% of humanity is sleepwalking.  Fewer realize that present moment conscious awareness is the single most important factor of success in life – whatever success means to each of us.  Our lives are enjoyable and rewarding to extent that we are present in it.  Being present means being aware in the moment as our thoughts, feelings, sensations in the body, and/or events unfold throughout our day enabling us to check-in with ourselves:

• We might ask ourselves, “Is this train of thought life-affirming, loving, in-line with my goals, worthy of me and suitable for me to share without shame?”

• We can pay attention to our IGS (my Internal Guidance System) noticing feelings of constriction or expansion within? 

• Am I acting according to what I have said and what I think?

• Is this really my thought or am I being a parrot?  

• Is this thought true?  Is it valid?  Is this a belief?  

• Do this person’s action match up with their words?  

• Does this thought or action help me or hinder my progress?  

• Why I am thinking, saying or doing this?

• Am I paying attention?  

• Am I hearing what I want to hear instead of what is really being said?  

• What was I thinking before I did this?

• Should I acknowledge what I just saw, heard, said, and/or did?

These are just a few examples of the type of insight available to one who is practicing present moment awareness.  Insight is awareness of and attention to one’s inner vision.  Insight grants us every advantage to create the life of our dreams.  Life is not happening to us.  It is happening from us.  Life is lived from the inside → out.  The observable world that each one of us experiences  (‘outsight’) is the result of our prolonged, habitual focus and the quality of that attention  – interpretation of what we are experiencing.  

When we intentionally choose our attitude each moment, and when we decide where to direct our attention & energy each moment, we choose the experiences that ensue.  People, who do not know this, keep observing and reacting to circumstances (aka: the result) with little or no sense of our responsibility for them. Unable to improve their circumstances permanently at the level of cause, they spin out in a continuous feedback loop. 

One of my clients described a scenario that illustrates this quite well.  She told me that her husband is making her crazy.  She can no longer sit with him at their son’s basketball games.  He is aggressive at best and often downright abusive.  He directs his negativity toward their son, his coach, the referees, the other players on his team, the other team, the other parents, and so on.  The tension comes home with them and has often led to family drama that continues for days.  The father is mad at the son for ‘underperforming;’ the son is mad at the father for the abuse; the wife is mad at the husband for once again disrupting the family; the husband is mad at the wife for not supporting him, etc.  

In this scenario the father keeps focusing on what the son did wrong.  The son keeps focusing on his father’s anger.  The wife keeps focusing on the pain this causing everyone.  She told me, “Yesterday, I screamed at him asking him how he could be so stupid.  Did it ever occur to him that he has done this for 13 years and it has not improved the situation one bit?  The same thing keeps happening over and over!”  I asked her if she has chastised him for as long.  She flushed.  I got my answer.  

If we keep looking at the result of negative thinking we will keep seeing things we do not like: If she could begin to change her inner dialogue to predispose her to the solution, little by little things would evolve more favorably.  If she could inspire her husband to change his perception and inner dialogue, things would have to change for the better very quickly.  The burden of stress their son carries would evaporate and his performance would be affected measurably.   All the evidence we need about stress blocking us from the zone is demonstrated for all  to see by Tiger Woods.   More importantly, the long-rage impact of support and encouragement instead of disapproval and disappointment is obvious.  

The cost of sleepwalking is devastating and the benefits of remaining alert in the present moment are so magnificent that everyone’s main goal should be learning to stay present and think constructively.

 

NASH FLASH

RELATIONSHIPS REFLECT

 

 Everywhere you go, there YOU are!

 

The quality of our relationships with others reflects the quality of our relationship with ourSelves.  If our relationships feel good, it is because we have a strong connection with our Source, our IGS (Internal Guidance System). As always, the reverse it true.  The only change, which can favorably impact any of our relationships, must occur within ourselves.

 

 Watch my blog for a link to my podcast discussing this in depth!

 

 

 

ASK NASH

ACTUAL REALITY BROADCASTING FOR THOSE WHO ARE ASKING
How can I get rid of my anxiety? Why am I so anxious? Why can’t I catch a break? Do we make our luck or are some people just born with it?  Will I ever have peace of mind?  Why doesn’t anyone appreciate me? I have tried everything and I just can’t seem to get there…how can I get my life where I want it to be? How can I stop this awful habit? Why can’t I leave her/him? Why do I keep doing this? Why can’t I leave my job? Am I really stuck? How can I get rid of my jealousy? Is it good to be suspicious? Why does it seem like everyone is happier than me? Why do bad things happen to good people? I have been TRYING SO HARD to stay positive and I don’t see any difference – what am I doing WRONG?????

 

 

YOUR PATH TO PEACE OF MIND

Week 1: WELCOME!

I have cut out and posted on my fridge a full-page Nike print adds that simply says, “LEAP AND THE NET WILL APPEAR.”  These words are superimposed over a photograph of a woman jumping over what she seems to believe is a body of water. From the reader’s angle, it is clear that she is really just clearing a puddle!

So, here I go…

I have brought you my first in a series of video blogs designed to help you gain peace of mind regardless of your circumstances. It is located near the top of the right-hand sidebar on this page.  I hope you’ll watch, subscribe, tune into my blog for associated tools and exercises as well as listen and subscribe to my weekly podcast.

I have also included a link to a video I posted on Facebook at the beginning of the year to hold myself accountable to myself. Today I am following through.  To see my very first video blog post, click on this thumbnail:

If you would like to ask me questions in person on my podcast (anonymously or not) or if you would like me address a certain topic or question, please contact me via email at laura@lauranash.com and I will get back to you.

Warmest regards,

Laura

Free Introduction to Meditation

Sunday, October 30, 2011  

The Center for Relaxation & Healing  Chatham,NJ

Alternatively, you may join us live via teleconference.

You choose!  Simply make your selection on the registration page. The details of the teleconference can be found when you register.  Please feel free to invite as many friends as you like and forward this announcement to anyone yoiu know that may benefit from this information.

Stressed?  Anxious?

OverloadOver-thinking?  Angry?  Pressured?

  • Learn why meditation is so important for well-being and peace of mind.
  • Decide whether level one or leveltwo is the most appropriate choice for you:
    1. Simply and effectively change the way you feel employing various medataive relaxation techniques.
    2. Discover the seemingly miraculous, life-changing benefits of a formal meditation practice.
  • 30 minutes will be devoted to Q&A and/or guided meditation as time allows.

Register Now!

NASH FLASH

Attraction Confusion

 like attracts like 

and opposites attract

The two are not mutually exclusive.  The subject and quality of our focus determines what we attract.  A loving person focusing on what they hate (illness, mean people, etc.) is likely to attract just that!  Onlookers will say, “How unfair!”  Actually, the law is non-discriminating applying to everyone.  

A simple shift of focus to what is desired with a grateful, expectant heart will produce  miracles!


THE DAILY MANDALA by Henry Reed

NASH FLASH

AMENDS

made begrudgingly, without sincerity, or for some ulterior motive (e.g. to ‘keep the peace’)

will mend nothing.

THE DAILY MANDALA by Henry Reed

NASH FLASH

SELF-SABOTAGE

is the unintended result of two misguided motives:
resentment and people-pleasing

THE DAILY MANDALA by Henry Reed

APRIL MEDITATION SEMINAR BEGINS SUNDAY 4.3.2011

meditation

Stress is the root of all dysfunction in our lives, physically, emotionally or socially. Proper meditation is one of the most powerful antidotes to stress, along with a sense of purpose and meaningful relationships (with ourselves as well as others). With Laura’s guidance, you will learn to effortlessly meditate your way to:
• gain mastery over your inner dialogue
• acquire peace of mind
• sharpen your focus and mental clarity
• improve relationships on all levels (intimate, familial, social and business)
• maintain balance and calm through adversity
• choose your circumstances instead of reacting to them
• experience a profound sense of satisfaction and fullment day to day
• live a life of meaning and purpose

For more information or to register, click the link below:

 

Click here for details.

 

 

 

NASH FLASH

DEFENSELESSNESS

Not having to win… IS winning!

THE DAILY MANDALA by Henry Reed

No Fool for Love

The Power of Love

Ironically, following the path of Love is the only route to true, sustainable power.  Seeking power through control and/or domination over people, places and things usually works…temporarily. This behavior can, and usually does, provide instant gratification and a [false] sense of security. The thrill of “success” releases endorphins and the association between domination and pleasure gets wired in our nervous system! The problem with this type of power is that it in not sustainable.  In addition, exacting power by deflating and depleting others comes with a very steep price.  Requiring constant vigilance, it is exhausting and inefficient. Neither the jailer nor the prisoner is free. Furthermore, what seems on the surface like a win, is in fact, another step closer to utter failure. The animus released every time someone loses in order that another prospers builds like an untreated disease. The power-grabber ultimately gets taken down one way or another, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc.   Addicted to instant gratification and demonstrable, measurable cause and effect, the power addict usually slips into a comfortable denial, utterly incapable of recognizing direct responsibility for their dis-ease.   The person who is motivated by empowering and inspiring others has true Power. Individuals with this expansive perspective stand out in sharp contrast to the constriction felt around takers.  These individuals have magnetism – the power of attraction.  They listen to their inner guide (aka conscience)- which will ALWAYS make the loving, empowering choice.  The resulting goodwill from others as well as their own self-respect multiplies.  The subtle impact of their generosity pays dividends all the days of their lives.  It is the fool that doesn’t engage the power o Love in all human interaction.

Don’t Like Reality? Change It

What does reality mean to you? Although it sounds like the question has an obvious answer, if you ask five different people, you’ll get five very different, very unique answers. Our choices, preferences, upbringing and past experiences all play a part in coloring our perception of reality. In turn, those perceptions manifest the reality we perceive.

 

As an example, let’s look at an employee in conflict with his boss. He requested that his boss tend to a situation that directly impacted him, ASAP. When his boss didn’t respond immediately, he took it personally. He was very angry that his boss did not take the time to communicate with him clearly and resolve the problem in a timely manner.

 

He reacted to what he perceived as a snub, with emotion – anger. Ultimately, he got what he wanted from his boss. However, he was filled with remorse for his behavior. He knew that he had sown seeds that would cause him to reap a bitter harvest at some future date.

 

In truth, the boss was entrenched in a system of poor communication and the lack of timely response had absolutely nothing to do with the employee. The employee was valued. No one in the firm ever got a direct response. There was dysfunction in the system.

 

By taking the situation personally the employee viewed current events through the lens of his memories of having been marginalized in the past. Because he could not evaluate the situation independently of his personal history – he reacted in a way that engenders disrespect. Rather than stop the cycle with new behavior, he made another contribution to this self-perpetuated reality further distancing himself from his desire to be respected and acknowledged.

 

This is the prison of Karma. Somewhere in his past our employee made a decision that life is unfair and people overlook him. When our thinking or interpretation of a situation leads us to negative emotions, which lead us to non-supporting actions, we have no power or control over our lives. We are trapped in the memory of interpretations of past events which have nothing to do with the current situation, the present moment.

 

One powerful way to bypass the prison of your own perspective is to consciously observe your thoughts, emotions and actions. Challenge your interpretation of events instead of justifying them. Communicate truthfully with yourself and others. Try this exercise the next time you find yourself suddenly recreating past negative patterns:

 

1. Ask yourself, “What just happened?” Describe the incident without judgment.

 

2. Observe your feelings without evaluating them. Be sure to distinguish your thoughts from feelings. For example, don’t say “I feel as if you should have known better” when the truth is “I feel sad.” Sadness is a feeling; feeling that someone should have known better is a thought.

 

3. Take responsibility for your feelings. What others say to us may be the stimulus for how we feel, but it’s never the cause. We choose to feel a certain way based on the interpretation we give to their comment. Do not accept judgment from others or blame them. Begin to focus on your own feelings and acknowledge your needs, desires, expectations, values and thoughts.

 

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need, and use positive language when making requests. Instead of blaming your spouse for your feelings of neglect, try saying “Honey, I’m sad that you spend so much time at the office, but I really enjoy it when you have dinner at home with the kids and me. I would love if you would come home early enough to have dinner with us at least one night a week.” Clearly requesting what you want is much more effective than accusing your spouse of spending too much time at the office and casting blame for not spending enough time with the family. Can you feel the difference?

It’s not easy erasing negative karma, and you may find yourself slipping more than once. But remember that this is a lifelong process, and every new day provides plenty of opportunity for you to change your perspective — and, by extension, your reality.

NASH FLASH

INTENTION

The Intelligence responsible for all experience is literal and exact. It does not discern a loftier intention from sarcasm or self-deprecating humor.

Your words become self-fulfilling prophecy.

THE DAILY MANDALA by Henry Reed

You May Say I’m A Dreamer, But I’m Not the Only One…

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but something has held you back? Every time you want to break out of your self-imposed mould, that tiny yet powerful voice in the back of your head known as “doubt” seeps into your consciousness and starts providing dozens of reasons why it’s impossible. “Dreams sound nice, but reality doesn’t work that way,” we tell ourselves, and put that incredible world-changing idea we had on the shelf because it wasn’t “practical”.

But what is reality…in reality? Who determines what reality is?

When you break your current life down into its essential components, the truth is our perception impacts our reality, which in turn reflects our perception. Buddhism describes this concept as “esho funi”, which means “the oneness of life and environment”. Basically, the environment and our lives are inseparable. Our environment is our life, a reflection of everything we believe about ourselves and the world around us. Even the people we associate with reflect our inner thoughts and feelings.

In other words, too often we’re wrapped up in the idea that we have no control over our circumstances, when we’re actually the ones who created those circumstances in the first place.

Why don’t we believe we can affect our reality? Because we only see the world as our five senses process it, causing us to be attached to the way things have always been done. We only understand the “known”–that which has been seen before. And we know the mind wants to protect us from getting hurt, so it does not want to wander into uncharted territory! Therefore, we fall prey to our protective conditioned mind’s old beliefs and thoughts that repeatedly churn out ideas to keep us from moving into the unknown Do these phrases sound familiar?

You don’t have enough time.”

You’re the wrong gender.”

You could never succeed.”

You’re too old.”

It’s too late to start.”

Money does not come easily.”

That industry doesn’t pay well.”

Buying into these excuses limits us from our full potential, and thwarts any valid chance to affect our reality in a profound way. It is much more effective to first believe it because then you will see it. Once we learn to understand the value in ourselves and our dreams, and begin to take steps towards fulfilling those dreams, we will see “esho funi” at work as our environment becomes a brighter place to live—a seemingly inexplicable change to those who knew us before when we felt helpless and overwhelmed!

The Hidden Power of Imagination

Imagination is a powerful tool. The most creative inventions, most inspiring music and art, and greatest social advances in humanity have all occurred because someone simply thought “What if…?” It can be a positive influence in your life if you allow it to, or it can be warped by doubts and negativity to wreak havoc.

In order to effectively create the reality you really want, you must achieve a certain “vibrational harmony” with what you desire, and the easiest way is to imagine it. Imagine having it, pretend that it is already in your experience. Flow your thoughts to it. See it as done.

After you’ve done this, at that very moment, think about how you feel. You can easily tell if your attention is focused on the desire because your emotions will range from contentment to expectation to eagerness to joy. If you are focusing on the absence or lack of your desire, you will only feel constricted and anxious.

Quantum field theory (a widely accepted scientific theory that explains the behavior of atoms and molecules that make up all of matter) proves that what is happening within us will not only guide us to appropriate choices for ourselves, but it will also play a pivotal role in creating what happens outside of us. We are actually co-creating our existence and personal life stories with this Source of life.

We affect the reality of our world by the beliefs and thoughts we hold. Yet, ironically, most people don’t believe they can affect their reality. For example, they write an intention or desire and then virtually erase it because they don’t really believe it can happen–they will believe it only when they see it! They’ve grown up being taught that disappointments are the only reality in life, and by that belief they perpetuate this bleak “reality” for themselves.

Try the following exercise to prove the power of imagination and its connection to your desires. This exercise focuses on raising your vibrational point of attraction:

1. Worry about getting your desire. Take note of your emotions during this time.

2. Allow yourself to hope that you can attain your desire. Again, notice how you feel emotionally and physically.

3. Finally, expect to get your desire and know it is coming. Take note of any changes in your emotions.

Do you feel the difference? When you are worried you feel lousy and low, maybe even depressed. Your body also feels the same way! However, when you expect your desire to come, you feel completely different emotionally and physically! You feel good and your body responds favorably. Energetically, you are attracting your desired result. A simple shift in perspective has a profound impact on the outcome.

The next time you find yourself slipping into despair that you haven’t attained your goal yet, remember this exercise. In time you will learn to focus your energy on expecting your desire to manifest instead of simply hoping or worrying about it.

Holiday Rejuvenation Series

 

YOU CAN’T GIVE AWAY WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE 

Maintain

BALANCE and PEACE OF MIND

throughout this holiday season!


Join me Tuesday evenings from 6:30 till 8:00

11/30/2010 through 01/04/2011

The Center for Relation and Healing

for

Relaxation Inspiration Motivation

Appreciation Determination

CELEBRATION!

For more information click on the candle or the link below:

http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=jy6u84dab&oeidk=a07e35dtfba83fdae91

Affirming the Reality of Your Life

The lotus flower is a powerful symbol in Buddhism. It both seeds and blossoms at the same time, indicating how the scientific laws of cause and effect are inseparable. In other words, the choices and determinations about our life that we set forth into the universe–for better or worse–will inevitably be exactly what the universe returns to us in abundance.

Are you allowing yourself to flow freely in the energetic exchange of life? It is extremely important to understand exactly what we are giving and receiving in our lives.

The following questions are designed to get you thinking about your openness to this. They are also intended to alert you to where you may be resisting change out of fear of the unknown. Following each series of questions below are affirmations–positive statements and declarations–to assist you in opening up to all that is possible in life. It’s important that they are written with a pen or pencil as well as spoken out loud, with conviction. Be sure to focus while using affirmations and keep your energy level up to match the intention. If they are rote phrases they will become meaningless
and useless.

Remember to choose only one or two questions to work with at a time. If we overload ourselves, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Affirmations should be credible and very clear, and it is important that they are written in the present tense as if it has already happened. This exercise is not about kidding yourself. For example, if I don’t have a dollar in the bank, and I affirm, “I am affluent and abundant,” this statement is true. The truth is we are all affluent and abundant and wealthy beyond our wildest dreams.

HEALTH
1. What practices or actions do you take, or will you begin to take, to ensure that there is the proper flow of energy through your body on a daily basis?

2. Give examples of things you do to bring your body to a restful state. Can you allow yourself to receive physical help and assistance that you may not have allowed in the past?

3. Are you aware of any areas of your body where there is tightness and tension as a result of holding on to negative emotional feelings?

Affirmations:
1. My body is in rhythm with the universe.
2. I am open to receiving perfect health.
3. I expend and receive energy freely.

RELATIONSHIPS
Do you find yourself unable to accept compliments or affection?

Are there certain individuals that you find it difficult to open up to? Hint: whatever it is about them that makes you uncomfortable about opening up is a reflection of something about you that will cause others not to trust you! What prevents you from full and free intimacy with those that share freely with you? This could be the memory of an old wound that you no longer need to bear.

Do you give affection and love only when you receive it? Do you need to receive before you can give?

Do you freely give and receive sexually? Are you demanding or denying?

Are there any stipulations, criteria or agendas you have in order for your love to flow?

Are there some non-serving relationships in your life where you have been willing to receive negativity or even degradation? Are you giving this tolerance because you are hoping to get something out of it such as money or security?

Affirmations:
1. All of my relationships are mutually nurturing.
2. I trust that we are here to serve each other.
3. My partner and I share a mutually nourishing and respectful intimacy.

MONEY
What are your current beliefs about the flow of money into your life and how money comes to you? Can money only come to you through your job?

What do you believe money is an exchange for?

Do you think people who have anxiety about money are capable of allowing money to flow easily into their lives? Does money cause you to get anxious or tense?

Affirmations:
1. Money flows to me easily, consistently and in great abundance.
2. Thank you for the abundance I see reflected all about me.
3. Thank you for the river of money which flows to me and through me.

SPIRITUALITY
Where does everything come from? How does potential manifest into reality?

When in your life have you decided to create something and it happened?

In light of what you now know, what are your thoughts about how you successfully created something in the past?

How have you contributed to others? How have you been rewarded?

Affirmations:
1) Through my thoughts, actions and desires I create my life.
2) Thank you for the wondrous possibilities and the wondrous probabilities all around me.
3) Thank you for the privilege of serving, and sharing the gift that I am.

When something of value is given in life, it comes back in multiples. This is why we need to be mindful of what we give mentally, energetically and physically.

If you give and feel you have lost something, you really haven’t given. If you give grudgingly, the gift will not grow. It’s the motive behind your giving that will dictate the return. When you give from your heart unconditionally, the result is expansive. If you want love, give people your time and attention. If you want financial success, help others to become financially successful. If you want to be blessed with all good things, silently bless all others with all the good things in life!

You Can’t Take It With You

Have you ever noticed that when you smile at people, they smile right back? If someone gives you hostility and you do not receive it, it will not affect you. If you instead give that person compassion and understanding (which is what they are really looking for and don’t know how to ask for it), what you receive from them will be entirely different.

On the other hand, keeping everything to yourself and closing your energy off from your environment tells the universe you want nothing from it—even if it isn’t true—and nothing is exactly what you’ll get. Others will perceive you as cold and unfriendly, and in return will be repelled.

To relieve themselves of this isolating feeling, people turn to hoarding the things around them in a vain attempt to counter their solitude; to regain, in a way, that connection to humanity that’s been lost. They don’t realize it was the act of hoarding their energy to themselves that caused the problem in the first place.

Money is a common and easy target for hoarding, but is far from the only method. People collect broken relationships, old self-defeating behaviors, neuroses…anything that distracts them from reality, no matter how temporarily, until it creeps up and overwhelms them again.

A common area where hoarding causes destruction is in information sharing. As the saying goes, information is power. Sometimes people like to keep information a secret so that no one else will get and benefit from it. If we come up with a great product or spot an industry trend or gain any other valuable information, the tendency is to keep it a secret as long as possible so we can get the lion’s share of the profit from the knowledge.

In corporations, this hoarding causes terrible communication problems. In relationships, it breeds mistrust. In vital industries such as pharmaceuticals, it prevents people from healing and benefiting from medical advances. When senior level management doesn’t trust employees with information, efficiency is compromised and opportunities are missed because each person could have taken that piece of information and expanded upon it. In each of these cases, this lack of trust and resentment permeates—and pollutes—the environment.

As we’ve established in previous blog posts, the fabric of the entire universe is made up of energetic exchange. When we hoard, we effectively shut off the exchange between ourselves and our environment. Agents of our own destruction, we end up causing the very isolation we fear. Without participating in the natural process of exchange, dysfunction begins to appear in our lives. Just as giving too much can be detrimental, hoarding tells the universe you no longer trust it to provide what you need to be happy. When that happens, the universe has no choice but to respond in kind.

Measure Your Life In Love

Years ago, a Broadway musical called RENT swept New York with its message of learning how to live and love in a world that seems cold and uncaring. Its most famous song reminds us to “measure your life in love”. But as simple as those words sound, is it something we can really accomplish in our lives?

A baby will not survive long without love and attention. Even as an adult, we seek love and approval first from our family, then our life partner. Despite the tendency of modern society to gloss over emotional needs in favor of short-term material satisfaction, human beings need love in order to live.

In a loving relationship, you give love and receive it. If you don’t, you walk around with a heavy heart and develop physical illness from the stress. The term “broken-hearted” was given its name for a reason.

How do we express love? By giving time and attention to another. If you are always seeking attention and never giving it, or make no time for those you love, you will suffer a break down, either physically, emotionally or both. If you are always seeking for the other party to listen to you without extending the same courtesy, the imbalance will attract anxiety and stress. No one will want to hear what you have to say, which will cause even more stress!

Likewise, if you are always the giver, a dysfunctional relationship will result. You may become resentful, or even be resented by the very person you wish to please. Overly generous people who give until it is a detriment to them are often surprised to hear the recipient of their gifts describe the feeling as “overwhelming” or even “suffocating”. Giving too much of yourself to the point of suffering makes others wary of you, which will only breed mistrust and growing resentment of the perceived demands you place on them by literally giving until it hurts.

True love blossoms and thrives when two people trust each other. Love can still exist without trust, but it is stained with bitterness, pain and caution. In order to establish trust, truth must flow freely between both parties.

When we hide things out of fear of the consequences, we create the potential for an even more disastrous result. If a husband is afraid to tell his wife that he spent all day with his client, who happens to be a gorgeous woman, he will arouse suspicion if she ever finds out. Conversely, if he simply discusses it with his wife that day, trust is established from the very beginning.

Many people go through life never understanding what trust really means, or the balance of giving and receiving in familial and personal relationships. Instead they swing wildly from one side to the other, or stubbornly stick to only one side of the process while they feel like they’re dying inside—and in many ways, their soul really is suffering deeply. Only by accepting the fact that real love means giving of yourself and accepting what the other has to give you, sharing each others’ happiness and pain equally without resentment, can you learn to love both yourself and others; only then can you “measure your life in love”.

It Is Better To Give AND Receive

To get the life you want, you need be in the flow of life—in other words, you need to be capable of both receiving and letting go in order to receive again. This is the key: in order to receive again, you have to let go. Using the abusive parent example, if we let go of resentment we are open to receive love and nurturing from wherever it may come. In reality that’s all we really desired, hidden underneath the anger.

We can literally let go of illness as well. We cling to our arthritis, our rheumatism, our sinus congestion, migraines, heartburn, ad infinitum. “My aching <insert body part>!” is a favorite lament of many. Unless we stop giving these conditions such a prominent presence in our lives, we will not be open to receive healing. The way to let go is to figure out just what negative process you’re hanging on to that expresses itself physically through your ailment.

Everything is constantly changing, flowing and evolving. The tree provides the oxygen which literally gives us life and in return we give the tree carbon dioxide that gives it life. We don’t hoard oxygen because we are afraid that one day there won’t be enough for us.

Right now, as you read this, take as deep a breath as you can and hold it. Do not exhale. Hold it as long as you possibly can. Can you feel the burning in your lungs? Hoarding oxygen is in direct opposition to the natural energetic flow of life so it causes discomfort, “dis-ease” if you will. Notice how uncomfortable you feel when you are holding on to aspects of your life that are meant to be let go. Our resistance to change in a universe where the only constant is change is not only inefficient and creating exactly what we do not want, it is insane! To say no to change is to say no to life.

Now exhale as fully as you can. Keep your lungs emptied for as long as you can stand it. Again, do you feel the discomfort that is caused by a refusal to receive? Similarly if you hoard money, it will stagnate and coagulate in your life. The word “affluence” comes from the root “affluere” which means “to flow.” The word affluence means to flow in abundance. Money is a symbol of the life-force; it is a symbol of an exchange of services or values that we provide to the universe. In order to get money you must give something of value. Without giving there is no receiving, and vice versa.

If you are pursuing money for the sake of power or security or some other self-serving cause, you are cutting yourself off from the dynamic flow of the universe. You must be willing to circulate your money so that you will attract more money to you. As soon as you give it, you create a vacuum to receive more. And as long as you know this and are not violating any of the other laws, more will come.

For example, if you are giving in order to get, you’re doing it out of fear you won’t have money in the future. The return will reflect this fear-based motive. Ignorance of the true Source creates the belief or fear that you are losing something when you spend money. This is equivalent to believing that your Source of abundance and affluence is limited. You are giving your energy to what you do not want. This weakened life condition will send out a low vibration picked up by the Source as a request for more of the same.

This does not mean that we should spend irresponsibly thinking that the more we give, the more we will get. It means that you are willing and grateful to pay for services rendered and enjoy responsibly the resources that you have. Sure, there are people who hoard money, and as a result they have a lot of it. However, their unwillingness to let go causes discomfort in other areas of their lives, and undermines the very reason they wanted the money in the first place: security. Furthermore, they are most likely preventing themselves from even greater fortune. Imagine a funnel: if you plug up the hole in the bottom, it limits how much can be absorbed by that particular vessel. If you want to receive money you need to give it.

Pretend you are in a large room with twenty people and the power goes out. There is no light, and no heat. Everyone has candles but yours is the only one that’s lit and there are no matches. Does it make any sense to hoard your source of light and warmth? If you walk around the room and light everyone’s candle, you will have more than you started with. And when you finish lighting everyone’s candle and look down at your own, you realize it hasn’t diminished one bit!

Hoarding harms the one who is hoarding. When you hoard, you get a lot of what you are hoarding; but you don’t get what you really want: peace of mind. The habit of hoarding is caused by an underlying fear, which is what you will continue to attract if you maintain that habit.

If you aren’t able to understand that you are an energetic being vibrating at a frequency that attracts similar energy, you are likely to believe that everything in your life is caused by external factors and is beyond your control. This belief can cause you to mis-create. For example, when someone cuts you off on the freeway, you may feel like an angry victim if you are unaware that your impatience with your partner earlier that morning paved the way for this highway exchange. Yes, your own energy made room in your life for that negativity!

Giving and receiving don’t have to come from the same place. If you send the pendulum in one direction it will return in direct proportion. This silent system is at work below the surface of things. If you do not accept this, you will always feel like an innocent victim with no power over your life. Awareness helps you see that, at the subtle subatomic level, you are causing the situations of your life to happen. If you don’t like being treated poorly, you will be careful not to treat others poorly.

Tuning Into The Frequency of Your Life

We are not separate from the Source of everything that was, is, and will be. Rather, we are an extension of that Source. We, as human beings, have evolved to the point of being aware of the Source that gives rise to our being as well as possessing the ability to use that Source to manifest our own dreams.

Resistance to this personal power is caused by our own ego buying into a fear-based belief produced by our well-meaning–but misguided–rational mind, which has forgotten the fact the Source lies within us and not from an external, fabricated concept such as money.

We can experience more of the magic of this Source by meditating frequently. When we meditate, we bypass the rational mind and tap into the energy of this Source. When we start to expand our consciousness we allow this energy to flow more freely into our being, and we start to experience more joy and goodness in our lives—which is our natural state! We forget this state as we experience the trials and tribulations of growing into adulthood.

Imagine a newborn baby. She is like a brilliant diamond: clear, pure and beautiful, with many facets. She coos, laughs, she is energetic and joyous, in a constant state of wonderment at her surroundings. She has no pre-conceived conception of what life will be like in her new home.

Then one day she is taken to her grandparents’ home and is scolded for picking up Grandma’s china bowl and marking up the tables with her fudge-covered fingers. When they go to dinner she is told to use her “restaurant voice” so she won’t disturb the others and is reprimanded for laughing too loud.

Her blissful, expanded state begins to constrict as social conditioning begins, and her ego creeps in to protect her from the words and actions of others. Yet underneath the conditioning and protective coverings she will build over the years is still her original blissful, laughing, energetic and joyous self—her true self, that extension of Source energy encapsulated in a physical body, having a material experience.

To paraphrase Abraham-Hicks, “Source Energy” is always available to us, and with it comes joy, goodness, love, abundance, laughter, and the sense of well-being we all instinctively crave and know we possess. We can feel whether or not we are allowing our full connection to that energy. Simply put, the better we feel, the more we are allowing this connection to occur. The worse we feel, the less we are allowing it. Our body uses discomfort and disease to force us to slow down and pay attention to our “mis-creation” (unconsciously driven self-defeating activity) or our disconnection from the Source.

Every thought we have vibrates, radiating a signal into the universe and attracting a similar vibration back. When you tune your radio to 95.5 FM, you don’t expect to hear music from 101.1 FM. Radio frequencies must match in order to be picked up and interpreted clearly.

The same is true for human beings. Imagine we are a human radio antenna, emitting a certain frequency. You attract and receive the same frequency you emit into the universe. If you send a negative signal or feeling, you attract more negativity—misery loves company. Conversely, when you emit a joyous and happy signal, you will attract more joy and happiness in your life. This is the Law of Attraction, a widely accepted principle which highlights the energetic exchange of the universe. It states: “That which is like unto itself is drawn.”

The Source cannot judge right and wrong, it only responds to vibration. Whatever you concentrate on in life, you send out a vibration associated with it. In other words, what you pay attention to is exactly what you’re creating in your own life—for better or for worse. The response from the Source will equal the vibration.

By paying attention to the signals of your feelings, you can understand—with greater precision—the concept that everything you are now experiencing or have ever lived in the past is because you attracted it to yourself. If we go back to the issue of our abusive parents, or the illness, we can take it on face value that we somehow attracted it this to our lives and, if we want to be free, we need to begin to intentionally attract something more positive. We have to boldly break through the pain of our past or present circumstances by focusing on what we do want to experience, here and now.

It’s All About Give And Take

Life is a process of constant transformation where matter becomes energy, and energy becomes matter. Nature is the perfect example of this process: think about a tree whose leaves provide oxygen for us to breathe, and in return takes the carbon dioxide we exhale. That is one exchange. Its leaves die and fall to the ground, where they decompose and become energy that sustains the tree. The tree consumes energy and creates new matter in the form of new leaves, which begins the process all over again.

When we breathe, we give carbon dioxide to the tree. Without this act of giving, the tree could not receive anything. If the tree did not give the earth its leaves for nutrients, it would starve. There is a constant on-going flow that creates our world as we know it.

Other examples in nature exist of this give-and-take process. If you watch a gaggle of geese flying overhead in a V-formation you’ll notice the leaders actually alternate; as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an updraft making it easier for the birds behind them to fly. When the leader tires of giving maximum effort, it falls back into formation and receives the updraft from the birds ahead of it.

Another example of nature’s constant exchange is the river. It’s been said that you can never step n the same river twice. This is because the water that constitutes the part of the river where you are stepping is continuously flowing out and being replaced by new water. If there was no place for the water to flow, the river would stagnate and become toxic like the Dead Sea.

The Source of our being (the silent intelligence mentioned in earlier blog posts, which gives rise to everything that ever was and will be) receives our intention by reading the vibrations we give. In other words, our thoughts and emotions give the Source its delivery orders. The physical level is created and manifested from a subtle level via our thoughts, beliefs and emotions. As a result of this intention, we experience things on the physical level with our 5 senses.

Everything we experience comes from the field of pure potential. This beautiful symbiotic flow is within all we experience in the world. Life itself is giving and receiving in action. The Source just gives and receives back everything you give it, only to give again. Things come into existence; they have a beginning, they give of themselves, and they have an end. The universe receives the energy and information back into the field of pure potential.

Actually, this process is happening every millisecond at the speed of light. Since our lives are constantly vibrating with energy, the Source is giving, receiving, and giving information again. The information contained in the universe is constantly in flux; with every pulse of information, there is birth, and there is death. Understanding your role in this energetic exchange, from giving someone a smile to taking your next breath, will give you a new tool to open yourself to greater energy flow, more affluence, better health, and more fulfilling relationships. You will truly understand that what you get out of life is directly proportional to what you put into it.

Taking Your Life Back From Yourself

Have you heard people say “It’s not my fault I’m unhappy, I had a bad childhood/spouse/employer”? Or maybe “I can’t ever be happy unless <insert name> changes their attitude.” Well, it’s time to put your life–and happiness–back in the hands of the only person who really understands you.

Yourself.

When you know the true source of everything in life and are able to access and use it, you are empowered. You are no longer at the mercy of chance and fortune. You are not a victim of circumstances; instead, you are the creator of your own life, responsible for everything you experience.

This notion of responsibility for your circumstances can be difficult for anyone to accept. You can imagine people will argue that they’re not responsible for their illness, or for the abuse they suffered from their parents. They might say “I didn’t choose this. I did nothing to deserve it, nor did I ask for it.” But this way of thinking doesn’t serve you in any positive way. Why? If you continue to act as a hapless victim of some arbitrary intelligence, you remain powerless over your own life.

Furthermore, look around you. There is far too much evidence of order in the universe for the events in your life to be random. Intelligence is present in all arenas of life. This means that everything we experience, good and bad, is a result of natural law. What happens to us makes sense based on what has come before in our lives, or the lives of people affecting us.

The good news is, once you remove the cover of ignorance and helplessness and accept that you alone are responsible for your circumstances, you can change them. It is absolutely imperative that you be open to receive the information about your responsibility for all the circumstances of your life, in order to empower yourself to change it.

When you become open-minded and willing to accept the fact you are creating your reality, you can easily learn how to create it intentionally. In order to create this reality, you need to know how. That’s H-O-W (Honest, Open-minded, and Willing.) In the next article we’ll look at nature’s role in the constant transformation of matter, and how the Source can work either for or against us depending on our own thoughts.

Meditation For Beginners

Meditating on a consistent, daily basis shouldn’t be viewed as “taking time away” from your schedule. Rather, it’s an opportunity to honor your life by devoting the time needed to center yourself every day so you can face the obstacles around you with a vivacious, courageous spirit. It’s just as important in your life as eating and sleeping. Let’s look at what meditation can accomplish for you, and how you can start meditation today.

Benefits of Meditating on a Consistent Basis

Experience peace of mind (reduce mental chatter)

Increase your ability to focus and concentrate

Improve efficiency while reducing anxiety

Measurably decrease stress levels

Lower your blood pressure naturally

Reverse the aging process

Increase your energy level

Enhance your intuition


Basic Instructions for Meditating

  1. Make a decision to schedule your meditation on a regular basis, allowing 20-30 minutes in the morning and afternoon or early evening.
  2. Try to sit in the same place as often as possible, even if the morning and afternoon locations are different.
  3. Eliminate as many disturbances as possible: shut off phones, give your children an activity to do, put pets in a place they will not disturb you, and let people know when you expect to be finished.
  4. Set a timer and muffle it if the alarm is a jarring noise. Sit up straight with your eyes closed, your feet on the floor and your hands unfolded resting palms down on your lap. If you’re more comfortable on the floor, sit cross-legged on a comfortable pillow or zabuton.
  5. Gently and calmly focus your attention on your breath.
  6. Every time your attention drifts away from your breath to a thought, feeling, sensation in the body, disturbance in your environment or a vision, gently return to focusing on your breath.
  7. At some point, you will have no thoughts and the awareness of your own breathing will fade. This is magical! You are wide awake, totally alert, conscious and aware, but not of anything in particular. You have experienced what it is like to simply BE. Remember, we are human beings, not human doings!

What to Expect During Your Practice

You might become restless and bored; this is all the more reason to sit and concentrate.

You might fall asleep, in which case you should search for the reason behind this reaction.

You will arrive at the time where you have no thoughts or awareness of breath, although you won’t realize you are in this place until after you have your first conscious thought.

Once you’ve begun practicing meditation consistently, you’ll be amazed at how your day-to-day life runs more smoothly than before. Taking the time to honor the life and energy inside you will have a profound impact on both your own existence and your surroundings.

Do Your Emotions Rule Your Life?

We all go through times of emotional suffering. Some of us run from our emotions, while others cling to them for an unhealthy period of time. But for many of us the thought never occurs that we have the tools to overcome this suffering, or we simply don’t know how to use those tools. Let’s look at some ways in which we can take back control of our emotional state.

First, remember rule #1: You are not your emotion. You are not one with them, and although you experience that emotion, it does not mean you and that emotion are the same being.

With this understanding firmly in place, you can now observe your emotion when it occurs. Note its presence, step back from the situation and distance yourself from the instinct to lose yourself in that emotion. This step alone has already given you the power to take back control of your life.

Emotions themselves are not a bad thing, so running away from them isn’t the answer. Instead, experience your emotion as a wave coming and going. Don’t block or suppress it, and don’t try to get rid of it. At the same time, don’t hold onto it longer than necessary, amplify it, or act impulsively because of it. It’s a delicate balancing act, but once you’ve learned how to use these tools it becomes easier each time after that.

Also practice loving your emotion, without judgment. Accept it for what it is and move on. Emotions are a natural part of life, and will always play a part of yours; looking at your emotions negatively will, in turn, cause you to take a negative view of your own life. By accepting them as part of a process to move beyond them, you empower yourself in a positive manner.

To understand your emotions more clearly, start recording your strongest emotions from day to day in a diary along with the event that was occurring when you felt it. This will allow you to be mindful of what emotions show up in your life and what triggers them. If the emotion is negative, you’re attracting negativity to your life.

Next to your list of emotions and event triggers, write down what you think about your own reaction to your environment. After allowing yourself to feel the emotion thoroughly without judgment, you’ll find you are better able to separate yourself from it and view it from a clearer, more controlled perspective.

Do you remember the Life Focus Wheel you filled out? Go back and read through your Emotion Diary to find the situations or circumstances you indicated are preventing you from realizing your own potential. Until now you’ve been focusing on the impossible in your life rather than what is possible. By deciding you don’t have enough time or money, that you’re the wrong gender or age, or whatever excuse you’ve come up with, you’ve been very successful in manifesting these intentions.

Every one of these obstacles in your life is an area where you have relinquished your own power. In a sense you’re treating these obstacles like they’re a source of fulfillment for you. You can now see this is only an illusion—the real source is within you, no matter what it looks like. Seeing is not believing; believing is seeing.

When you decide that you can do all of these things and that the so-called roadblocks are only imaginary, you will be just as successful at manifesting them as you were at manifesting their polar opposites.

How To Get What You Want

We can tap into the source of everything by overcoming the constant internal monologue of our rational mind through meditation. We can utilize this connection once we’ve established it in our lives by focusing our attention and energy. We can and do influence the source whether we have established a conscious connection or not. This connection strengthens our ability to remain grounded and self-empowered—relying on the real source inside ourselves. By maintaining this connection to the source, our desires are realized with diminishing effort on our part. The time that lapses between our desire and its fulfillment also decreases.

There are multi-dimensional aspects to our lives. First, we are physical beings, bound by the laws of physics and the illusory world made up of atoms that appear, according to our senses, to be solid. The physical world is everything we can see, hear, and experience with our five senses.

But we are also subtle beings. At this level of existence the atoms aren’t quite as densely grouped as they first appeared to be. Therefore, our experience at this level comes in the form of less tangible thoughts and emotions.

On a third, separate level, we are completely intangible beings. This aspect of our being is infinite, something that can’t be defined by space or time. It’s the intelligence that holds us together, the source of all the particles seen in the other aspects of our being. It is that field of power and potential energy known by the field of quantum physics as “waves” of potentiality.

So how do these waves of potentiality turn into particles of information? In other words, how is that potential actualized? How does anything come from nothingness to become something? How do we get what we want?

The answer is simple. As Einstein said, if the answer is simple it’s divine, but complicated answers are constructed by the human mind.

First, our own thoughts transform a “wave” of potentiality into a particle of information. All of our memories and future thoughts are stored as pieces of information, or potentiality, in a virtual filing cabinet. Turning our attention to a certain memory or thought activates that piece of information; with prolonged attention, the energy surrounding it will begin to attract similar particles—or repel them, depending on the positive or negative nature of your attention. The more intense your focus, the greater the likelihood these pieces of information will become solid enough to form as a physical reality in your life.

You are the creator of all your experiences. If you focus on negative events in your past and continually relive the emotional and physical pain associated with it, you begin to attract negative particles into your present experience. This is precisely why bad things happen to good people. If you have a good heart but are held back by fear from past experience, you’re setting yourself up for suffering.

The Source of all thought and emotion is absolute. It has no preferences; it just is. It only knows how to give or create. It gives exactly what we ask it to give based on what we focus on and pour our energy into. This is why fear is so dangerous—it leads us to focus on things we don’t really want, such as illness or failure. If we are fearful of falling ill, the Source only picks up on the subject of our attention and gives it back to us. Law is law, and gravity will not suspend itself because Johnny fell out of the window and never did anything to deserve this.

To start creating a successful life, it’s crucial we are aware and present with ourselves so we know exactly what we are focusing our attention and energy on. Mindfulness is key. We need to be clear with our intentions—if we don’t know where we’re going, we may end up anywhere. Finally, we need to be a witness and observer of our own lives; acting as a third-person observer shifts our awareness to the perspective of the real source, the higher self. This action begins the process of freeing you from the reactive, conditioned mind, as long as you observe without judgment. As you become fully aware of your thoughts and emotions, they will not have as much power over you. You will be able to respond to life more consciously rather than react and regret.

Do You Think Too Much? Part 2

As mentioned in part 1, the rational mind we rely on so much to protect us is our main obstacle preventing us from reaching the potential we know we’re capable of. If we want to access this maximum potential inside us, we need to go beyond the rational thought process.

Because we spend so much time inside the rational mind, we act as though the silent, intangible “gut feeling” inside us doesn’t exist. The problem with this is that, by choosing a tool with limited power (the rational mind), we never realize there’s a more powerful resource at our fingertips.

You are more than simply a brain and a body. Even the body you possess now is different than the one you were born with; every cell has changed completely even from a few years ago. Likewise, your emotions and thought patterns change over time. Thought itself is energy transmitted to your brain via a chemical and electrical process.

So if we’re not just a brain and a body, why do we spend so much of our life focusing on the rational mind? The one key factor missing from this equation is you—not your brain, not your body, but your own existence that’s powering every thought and cell. This part of the equation never changes. While every other aspect of you evolves and changes, that silent, innate intelligence that’s uniquely You remains constant.

It’s little wonder we feel something is missing, when things are put into perspective. Ancient wisdom describes this discovery as “awakening the Observer”. By giving more priority to this awareness, you’re inviting the Observer into your life. You yourself become the process through which the Observer sees.

Einstein further expounds on this principle: he explains that nothing in the universe is solid—energy is the fundamental driving force of all matter, just as we are the driving force of our life. Beneath the layers of skin, muscles and bones, our bodies are made up of the basic building blocks of life: atoms. Atoms form the cells that, in turn, form all matter we see around us.

An atom, in essence, is information that vibrates with energy at the speed of light. Everything we see vibrates with this energy, including our bodies. Quantum physics calls it “blinking”—that is, the atom blinks on and off. When the atom is “on”, we operate on the physical level and rely on our rational mind to solve our problems. When the atom is “off”, that silent intelligence hidden within us emerges. These atoms vibrate so intensely that we often mistakenly believe they are always “on”, and never visibly see when they’re “off”.

Remember the zone mentioned in the last post, that state we enter when our innate intelligence overrides the conscious mind? This is the source of those atoms. You’ve probably heard of going directly to the source to obtain something you desire; by transcending the state of always being “on”, we can tap into this source inside of us, where the atoms are “off”.

If we only focus on our rational mind, emotions and physical body, we begin to seek power over our lives from external sources, such as status, titles, and our spheres of influence. These are circumstantial, and fleeting, forms of power, gone as soon as the circumstances change. But by tapping into the source of power within us, we gain a firm foothold of control in our lives that will not easily shift or fade with time.