Posts tagged ‘Love’

Do You Know How to Generate Wisdom from your Shame? ll By Erin Amundson

Do You Know How to Generate Wisdom from your Shame?
By Erin Amundson

 

This blog is highly personal.  Most of my writing is personal, but this one truly comes from a place of feeling like my life has been ripped open for no real reason, and not knowing what else to do but to write about it.  I write about it in the hopes that someone else will benefit from my experience.  I write in the hopes that I will find the wisdom in the chaos of my current emotional state.  I write because writing is a tether that keeps me connected to my core when nothing else seems to work. 

And if I’ve learned anything in my personal and professional journey, it’s that finding and honoring what tethers us is crucial if we want to grow through our pain. 

There are two contexts that I write this blog under.  The first is that I totally forgot the deadline for this blog to begin with, and as a result I fell very harshly into a state of self-criticism, judgment and shame.  I know by now that shame offers two options: I can move through it and find the source of the wound (certainly it’s NOT a missed deadline), or I can submerse in it and allow it to whittle away at my life — stealing my productivity, my sense of purpose, and my grounding in the knowledge that I’m lovable through my mistakes. 

I don’t know about you, but I feel that my time on earth is short, and I want to live my life, play big, and spend as much time as I can in a state of joy.  So I chose to move by writing it out. 

The second context is a realization I had after pulling myself together enough to give an interview about my work.  In this interview, a deep truth came to the surface.  Every experience that I have in my life is an opportunity to generate wisdom that I can share with the world.  As I heard these words come out of my mouth, tears welled up in my eyes in recognition of the deep, meaningful connection I was making between my own spiritual crises, and the ability to find a reason and a healing every single time.  And I realized that if I can do it, so too can you. 

I still haven’t figured out the source of my shame that was ultimately triggered by a missed deadline, but I am steeped in the knowledge that even in the most painful moments of my life, I can remember my core self and remain faithful that my navigation system will get me to where I’m going once I’ve been properly re-routed. When I dig into the experience of deep shame, I recall that sometimes our systems need a complete shut down in order to enter a new season, with fresh eyes and an open heart.  I am aware of the need to be able to lean into darkness with anticipation of the light that calls us to the other side. 

This shame, in part caused by childhood sexual abuse, in part by a horrible boss who told me I had no skill for writing, in part by a deeply manipulative ex-partner, may not be resolved easily.  It feels heavy.  It feels deeply unconscious.  It feels overwhelming.  And yet, while I write, I’m finding some wisdom to guide me into a better place so that I do not have to suffer or dim my light while I work through it.  Here is what I’ve got – self generated wisdom to share with you if you should find yourself in the midst of a shame crisis.    

1. BE GENTLE. If I was better at this, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog.  But it’s incredibly important.  When you catch yourself in crisis, PLEASE do your best not to judge where you’re at.  Where you’re at is perfect, and you’ll see for yourself when all of the pieces fall back into place or you find your new life or you recognize your own strength.  Take baby steps to take care of yourself — eating well, sleeping, moving, meditating, finding reasons to smile – the little things  go a long way.  Nurture yourself as much as you can, and have gratitude for your ability to walk through darkness.

2. THOU SHALT NOT COMPARE. Nobody else is on the same journey as you in the same way as you. Someone else’s experience of divorce, career change, grief, moving across the world or letting go of pain and shame has nothing to do with yours.  Comparison is a natural function of our core desire to connect to one another, but it actually separates us from ourselves.  Instead, connect with others by vulnerably sharing your truth about your experience.  I guarantee you, there is a unique wisdom in your own path’s unfolding.  And comparing only makes our self-judgment harsher.

3. TEST YOUR LIMITS. You are in crisis to grow. Remember this.  Every challenge or dark time in your life is in front of you to show you something more about yourself.  When you are pushed to the edge, you have the opportunity to expand your capacity, which means discovering new strengths and connecting to deeper truths about yourself.  Think of it as though every edge is merely an expansion of yourself.  These overwhelming emotions are akin to growth or birthing pains as you stretch yourself or birth a new version of you.

4. HAVE GOOD MIRRORS. Surround yourself with people who know your core, who support your growth, and who have an ability to read between your lines. Consider a therapist or a coach. Consider detoxifying your life of people who do not love and support you.  Choose partners, friends and colleagues who support you, who lift you up and encourage you and who understand that moments of weakness are actually moments of great courage and strength in disguise. 

5. KNOW YOUR TETHERS. I mentioned that writing is a tether for me in times of crisis.  It may not be your thing.  Other common tethers include creative or mechanical projects, playing, listening to or writing music, yoga, an animal soul mate, cooking, gardening, or solving a puzzle.  A tether is really anything that you can do or connect to no matter what state of mind you’re in that reminds you of who you really are.  It’s an act that lies close to the heart of you.  It’s the thing that makes you feel more like you. If you don’t know what your tethers are, see number 4.  Find a good mirror to help you explore. 

Of course, at the end of all of this, one of the best ways I know to turn things around is to remember that you are a wisdom generator. 

Your life provides you exactly what you need to grow into the person you are meant to be.

Every challenge reflects your strength, and every new level of joy reflects your depth. Be wise, be strong, be beautiful and be brave.  I love you. 

 


Erin Amundson loves helping people reconnect to their natural technology by decoding the language of dreams.  She is a healer, a depth psychologist and an entrepreneur who specializes in teaching people how to identify and remove barriers to success and make friends with their subconscious mind.  As the creator and founder of Natural Dream Technology, Erin knows that hidden beneath the surface of your conscious mind is a uniquely talented visionary, and she wants the world to benefit from your contribution.

After several fights with her own subconscious mind (and a re-occurring nightmare about skipping classes and failing), Erin finally surrendered and followed the wisdom of her natural technology to get a second graduate degree in Counseling at Regis University.  A life-long follower of dreams, Erin now began to learn the language of the subconscious as she slept.  Just as Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and Steven Spielberg all experienced, Erin began to recognize in her dreams that her best work is to help you reclaim your connection to your own natural technology through dreams and the subconscious.  She has been teaching, facilitating and engaging in dream work with ambitious professionals ever since. 

Erin currently practices as a depth psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado and via the internet around the world.  In addition to her dream work, Erin is a certified past life regressionist, an intuitive astrologer and a lover of travel, snowboarding, deep conversations and cooking delicious food, all of which she enjoys practicing while she sleeps.

Returning Love and Harmony to Your Relationships, Part 1 ll Dorothy Wallis

Returning Love and Harmony to Your Relationships
Part 1: Energizing the Love Bond
By Dorothy Wallis

     Typically, when couples enter counseling, they have built up a pressure cooker of issues that have created an atmosphere of resentment and distrust resulting in blame, misunderstanding, and unhappiness. Energetically, their wounded heart is stuck in a cesspool of hurt, anger and despair.  It is difficult to see a way out yet usually at least one of them has a hope that things can improve.

     It is common to look at your partner as the source of the problem.  “If only you would change, everything would be alright.” People often bring their partner into counseling believing that the therapist will help their partner “see the light” and change.  Placing the burden of discord on your partner is a recipe for disappointment.  Growth is an internal and complex process that is part of each one’s development and soul’s journey.  Transforming a relationship back into harmony is a dual responsibility.  Each person brings their signature of energies and blends them with their partner to form an interconnected synergy that is the blueprint of their relationship.  Within this alchemical union each person is responsible for their own choices and behavior.  Movement in the relationship occurs when one person becomes aware and conscious of how their energy contributes to the disharmony, re-establishes a caring presence and releases the old paradigm while opening to new possibilities.

     Every relationship is a joining of character styles and personalities that create a unique dynamic.  When two people interact their similarities are highlighted and feel good endorphins flow.  Initially, when you fall in love you are showered with a rush of positive emotions, which dampens noticing the problematic and annoying differences.  The differences that you do notice are often experienced as endearing, interesting, and curiously attractive.  These same differences may “rear up” later as annoying, offensive, repulsive, and even harmful as the “blinded by love” initial fantasy stage subsides.

Relationship Dynamic

     These troublesome differences can activate the part of the ego that protects and defends your safety, values, integrity, identity, ways of being and doing things.  Another way to say it is, you are “triggered.”  A relationship is a dynamic system and every relationship goes through periods of harmony and disharmony.  This dynamic is “a force that stimulates change or progress within a system or process.”  The change that is stimulated can produce growth or not.  Relationships offer a “fast track” opportunity to observe your ego in action.  The drama of tussling in tandem with your partner or loved one ignites your childhood wounds bringing them to the surface to be seen and resolved.  The challenges and discord in relationship are opportunities for growth promoting resilience, development of maturity, expanding consciousness and strengthening the bonds of love. 

Just as in any other part of life, there is a natural ebb and flow of amicability and disruption.

     In a relationship, the dynamic of discord is characterized by the stance or force each individual supplies when their ego is activated.  When these forces are pushing against one another it creates an escalation of conflict.  You are in a battle with one another.  This battle has nothing to do with resolving the conflict or finding a solution.  It can leave you embittered, resentful, angry, hurt, and scared.  These are the times when you close off, see no way towards reconciliation, and may want to “throw in the towel” and leave.

      Being able to weather these disruptions while learning healthier skills changes your biology.  It increases the capacity of your pre-frontal cortex to down regulate and calm your egoic reactions, which improves your ability to self-regulate.  You grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  A healthy conscious dynamic promotes healing the divide and repairing the rupture.  As a culture and world, we have not been taught how to return to harmony in ourselves or in relationship with others.

Creation of the Love Bond

     Imagine the relationship system as a triangle or trinity with two people as two points linked together with their energies radiating out to form a third energetic union, which is the body of the relationship.  It is an actual energetic form.  For some, this body is known as marriage.  Since we are talking about All relationships united in the bond of love, let’s call it the Love Bond.  Now, imagine the Love Bond relationship as the fulcrum of a scale balanced by the energy of each partner.  When there is an equal amount of positive loving energy given into the Love Bond by both individuals, there is balance and harmony.  Partners are receiving the benefits of love being radiated back to them. 

The relationship is in a state of healthy equilibrium.

     All natural systems move towards homeostasis.  So it is a natural function to stay in balance.  This balance may mean one person is adding more energy into the relationship than another.  There are times in all relationships when this is necessary.  Usually, there is never an absolute equal amount of energy focused into the relationship by each individual.  When you are attuned to the health of your relationship, there is a loving willingness to give more of your energy when your partner cannot.

     Problems arise in normal relationships when one person consistently adds less energy and attention or when one person adds too much negative or distressing energy.  The scale becomes unbalanced because the Love Bond bank of vitality and positive energy supply is depleted and cannot radiate energy back.  Physically, you may be aware of feeling drained of energy.  Emotionally, you may feel hurt, sad, resentful, overwhelmed, angry, or some other afflictive emotion.  Mentally, you may observe behaviors, attitudes or values not congruent with your own or sense a lack of attention and energy to your relationship from your partner.  When this happens one person will attempt to correct the imbalance by changing their input of energy into the Love Bond, to put it back into balance.

Finding Balance

     There are two basic strategies taken to get the relationship back on track.  You will either put more energy into the Love Bond or you will remove some of your energy from the Love Bond.  When you add your energy, you are focusing more of your attention on the relationship.  When you remove your energy, you are containing your energy by withdrawing your focus and attention.  You can do this in either a positive way from the heart or in a detrimental way from the ego.  In order to bring vitality and health back into the Love Bond, there must be an increase in positive uplifting energy and a decrease in negative harmful energy.

      The Love Bond is the intimate connection between two people.  It includes mutual respect, understanding, trust, affection, sensuality, sexuality, listening, interpersonal sharing, empathy, compassion, appreciation, care and attention.

     Over time, people tend to take their relationships for granted.  It is normal for the intensity of new love to calm down.  The realities of everyday life call your attention.  You need to attend to the practicalities of shelter, finances, work, children, household chores, extended family, social life and the multitudes of responsibilities required for living.  Besides the practicalities taking up a lot of time and energy, often negotiating these responsibilities leads to disagreements.  Resentment builds when partners feel the responsibilities are not shared equally.  Resentment kills the Love Bond.  Loving energy drains out and the intimate side of life is left for last or not at all.

Caring Presence

      Besides having realistic discussions and expectations about these responsibilities, it is important to approach your interactions with attention to the Love Bond.  What kind of energy am I giving to my partner?  What is my intention when I bring up an issue?  Is it to resolve differences or to blame?  Is my contribution creating harmony or disharmony?  Am I giving my attention to the Love Bond or has my attention become focused only on the practicalities of the relationship or my own personal needs?  Am I depositing loving energy into the Love Bond or am I withdrawing more than I am giving?

     You energize the Love Bond with caring presence.  This means being thoughtful.  Think about the attention you gave your partner when you first fell in love?  You thought about them pretty much continually.  Okay, you can step it down from that much attention but if your Love Bond is feeling depleted then you need to step it up.  Find out what actions feel loving to your partner.  Don’t assume that you know.  Perhaps, they just want you to listen, or give them a hug, or for you to take out the garbage.  Take the 5 Love Languages quiz and share your results with your partner and have them do the same.  http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

     Your relationship is a creation and in order for it to thrive, you must be present and pay attention to it.  Fill your Love Bond up with vitality.  Feed it with positive caring energy.  Show gratitude for the small things your partner does for you.  Each day, make it a point to say words of appreciation and support to your partner.  Look into their eyes and really see.  Doing so opens a pathway into the heart, yours and your partners.


Dorothy Wallis is a former intern at People House in private practice with an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy.  She is an International Spiritual Teacher at the forefront of the consciousness movement for over thirty years grounded in practices of meditation, family systems, relationships, and emotional growth.  Her work reflects efficacious modalities of alternative approaches to healing based upon the latest research in science, human energy fields, psychology, and spirituality.

As a leader in the field of emotional consciousness and the connection to mind, body and spirit, her compassionate approach safely teaches you how to connect to your body, intuition and knowing to clear emotional wounds and trauma at the core.  The powerful Heartfulness protocol empowers your ability to join with your body’s innate capacity to heal through holistic Somatic, Sensory and Emotional awareness.  www.TheDorWay.com and www.Heartfulnesspath.com

A Shout Out to Mom || Craig Freund

By Craig Freund, Affordable Counseling Program Intern
New posts every other Tuesday

CF mom day

With Mother’s Day rapidly approaching, it seems only fitting to take some time to reflect on the all of the wonderful things that our mom’s do for us. But first, it might be helpful to determine what exactly is a mom. Let’s face it, growing a person must be hard, and a mom, well she was the person that grew you. In fact, before your heart beat on its own, your mom’s heart beat for you and in some ways that same rhythm still beats for you today. Although a mom isn’t always the one who gave birth to you, a mom is always the one who gave you life. A mom is someone who nurtured you, cared for you and taught you how to be in the world. In fact, it has been said that biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.

It truly seems that a mom is so much more than the miracle of childbirth, a mom is true unconditional love and the tenderness of unrestrained positive regard. 

Where would we be if it weren’t for our maternal figures? For starters, no one has endured pain for you quite like your mom, from morning sickness, to the pain of childbirth and even an upset stomach from worrying about your teenage antics, mom taught us that we always deserve to be loved. If it weren’t for your mom, you might have forgotten your manners, never learned the importance of a clean home or of good personal hygiene. Mom taught you that, “sugar catches more flies than vinegar,” and today, you know that to be true.

Can you imagine how bitter the world would be if it weren’t for a mother’s love… I’d rather not.

And really, its not just that they love us, but its how they love us. From the way she read the voices in Are You My Mommy by Dr. Suess, to the way she tucked you in to bed at night, a mother’s love knows no bounds. You may have heard that a mom can lift a car from crushing her child and if this doesn’t convey the strength of a mother’s love, I don’t know what will. According to the late great Kid President, because of the self-less strength of a mother’s love, we know that we were “made from love, to be love, to spread love.”

On this Mother’s Day, I hope you take the time to thank the maternal figures in your life.

Let them know how much you really appreciate them, whether it be through a card, a phone call or a few flowers, let them how they’ve deeply impacted you for the better. Mom most definitely deserves some credit. So, with a grateful heart, I’d like to thank my mom… thanks mom for your enduring love, despite the good times and the bad. Thanks for teaching me how to be a kind, caring and capable person. Thanks mom for always working hard and for demonstrating the true definition of strength. A mother’s love is priceless and can never be repaid… but on this day I say, Thank You Mom!

Mom-

For all the times that I forgot to thank you

For all the special little things you do, 

For all the words that sometimes go unspoken, 

I need to say, I love you, Mom… I do.

I love you for the way you stop and listen, 

And for your kind support throughout the years,

For teaching me the meaning of compassion, 

And sharing in my triumphs and my tears.

And, if at times, I may have seemed ungrateful,

I want to say, I truly hope you see,

That nothing you have done has been forgotten,

And day by day you just mean more to me.

-Unknown

 


About the Author: Craig is one of the many exceptional interns working in the People House Affordable Counseling Program. With over 4 years of experience as a Mental Health Counselor working in residential, crisis and hospital settings, Craig is a wonderful addition to the People House community. Craig is a gentle, compassionate and genuine person who works to tailor his therapeutic approach to the specific needs of each and every individual. He enjoys working with a wide variety of individuals with various life experiences and personal interests. For more information or to contact Craig, please see his therapist bio.

Spirituality in Daily Life: The Physics of Prayer – Choosing Mystery || Mary Coday Edwards

By Mary Coday Edwards
People House Featured Blogger

Before you scoff, roll your eyes, and close this blog, hear me out.

While living in Mexico, I was a member of a motley online discussion group with members who had too much time on their hands. When group member and retired economist Norm ended up in the hospital with a life-threatening health issue, Catholic Art Professor Darrell wrote Norm that he was praying for him.

In addition to online eye rolling, that phrase released a barrage of harsh and cold-hearted criticisms at Darrell from the agnostics and atheists of the group.

Many of us have left the traditional religions of our younger selves. Prayer conjures up images of an old white guy with a beard, whom we diligently hoped to placate/coerce in order to keep the bad things at bay and get the good things we wanted. 

And I understand that need, the need to turn to something, especially in times of desperation. When I lived in Tanzania, a drought hit the region. We could see the thunderous rain clouds billowing and building in the hills around us, so close it was if we could lasso them and drag them to our patch of rapidly dying crops and cattle. I knew it was illogical, but I was ready to slaughter a chicken against the tire of my car if that would nudge those rain clouds our way.  Could I dance a certain way that would move the gods and hence draw the rain? (Note 1)

ME

Rain dances aside, my reality is informed by ideas from quantum physics.  I don’t purport to understand the math behind the theory; however, renowned physicist Ricard Feynman is quoted as saying, “I think I can safely say that no one understands quantum mechanics”, so I know I’m in good company.

But through studying and contemplating the implications of quantum ideas, my reality now includes an interconnected universe, full of potentialities and one where my efforts matter, as I mentioned in last month’s blog.

I will refer to three concepts from quantum mechanics (QM) in this blog (Note 2):

Neil Bohr’s Principle of Complementarity;

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle; and

The EPR Paradox (or the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox)

Bohr’s Principle of Complementarity grew out of the understanding that light can behave as a wave or a particle – both of which are mutually exclusive. Scientists choose an experiment to show that light is a wave or one that shows light is a particle. And it’s not known what light may be doing when it’s not forced to behave one way or another. The scientist no longer stands outside what he/she is observing (classical, Newtonian physics) but the scientist becomes part of the experiment; this is often referred to as an observer-influenced reality.

In addition, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle sheds some light on the subject. It is impossible to measure simultaneously both position and momentum, which are fundamental physical attribute of a sub-atomic particle – only probabilities can be known. Due to the particle’s minuteness, any attempt to measure the location will change its velocity.  

The verdict isn’t in yet – is this a reflection of the limitations of our measuring devices (Einstein)? Or is it ontological, fundamental aspects of nature (Werner Heisenberg)? Philosophically, Heisenberg and others suggest that these probabilities of QM refer to tendencies in nature that include a range of possibilities (within the limitations of that entity being studied). More than one alternative is open and there is some opportunity for unpredictable novelty. And of QM, Heisenberg said what we observe is not nature itself, but rather nature exposed to our method of questioning.

An easy example – stress. Medically we now know that stress can make our bodies really sick. On a sub-atomic level, what’s that doing to our cells? And so we do make choices; i.e., am I going to let my anger make me ill or am I going to do something constructive about it, such as exercise, which alleviates those chemicals that are throwing my  cells into havoc. We talk about genetic tendencies – for example, there is a genetic tendency for alcoholism but choices can still be made to mitigate that tendency. In other words – there’s potentiality in those cells – but it isn’t determined yet – the future hasn’t been decided.

In addition, from the ERP Paradox ideas have emerged implying action at a distance and quantum entanglement, as well as system laws that are not derived from the entity’s individual parts.  

All we need is Love

So back to Norman – his cells were running amuck. Darrell was obviously feeling compassion for a suffering Norman. Who knows what sort of “divine” energy – and energy is what keeps all of our parts moving – may be represented in that compassion that is coming from somewhere within Darrell.

Therefore, Darrell’s prayers: Can they have an “observer-influenced” effect? And if so, then what impact did that energy have on Norman’s body?

Or are we humans so limited in our vision of reality that it only includes that which our physical senses detect? And other ways of “knowing”, such as intuition, don’t exist? And that we can’t influence the “energy” coming off of our own person?

My guess is that Darrell, out of his compassion, wanted wholeness, health, and recovery for Norman, a noble and a good thing.  But other distresses were also at work in Norman’s body.  Maybe that range of possibilities within Norman’s cells/entire system had been reduced, compromised.

A definition of compassion includes entering into someone else’s suffering.  Not only is that a powerful value, but it keeps us human. And we humans have a lot more power/energy/life than we give ourselves credit for.

And this compassion we feel: is it Divine Love moving within us? At our deepest self, have we tapped into the Universal Being, this holy spirit which permeates all? Again, as I noted in last month’s blog, this is my “as if” function, which isn’t based on magic, but on how our universe appears to be operating. My efforts DO matter in an interconnected cosmos.

_____

Note 1: During the height of the Cold War, when the United States and the USSR competed for world dominance, left-leaning Tanzania experienced a devastating drought. The administration of then President J.F. Kennedy sent boatloads of food to the starving nation. Therefore, when I was there in the 1990s, although groundwater supplies were easily accessible, the people were waiting for the U.S. government to come to their rescue again. This is also an example of aid gone wrong.

Note 2: Many books are available explaining the ideas behind QM in a non-mathematical format. John Polkinghourne’s “Quantum Theory, A Very Short Introduction,” is a good place to start.


About the Author: Mary Coday Edwards is a Spiritual Growth Facilitator and People House Minister. A life-long student of spirituality, Mary spent almost 20 years living, working and sojourning abroad in Asia, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and Latin America before finding her People House “tribe” and completing its Ministerial Program. Past studies include postgraduate studies from the University of South Africa in Theological Ethics/Ecological Justice, focusing on the spiritual and physical interconnectedness of all things. With her MA in Environmental Studies from Boston University, abroad she worked and wrote on environmental sustainability issues at both global and local levels, in addition to working in refugee repatriation.

Getting Out of My Own Way – Lydia Taft

I’ve been riding the emotion of impatience.  I have set my intention toward a desired goal and now I find myself constantly checking to see where the manifestation is.  It reminds me of when I first learned to bake.  I’d place the cookies or cake in the oven and then want to open it to see what they were doing.  Were they rising?!  Well they were until I opened the oven! Of course I was helped later in life by having an oven door with a glass window and oven light.  I smile at myself and realize how very helpful the light is.  My mind wanders to imagining that oven light as a symbol of Spirit’s love and I am reminded that trust and faith are essential to my life journey. 

Love lights my path and guides me to each new experience. 

It is not essential that I peek and make sure things are happening — they will.  Life always unfolds. When I keep trying to peek at the progress I am slowing up the manifestation of my desires.  When I make what’s missing the focus of my attention I always get more of what’s missing.

Untitled-1

I realize this is a difficult concept.  I know this from experience.  When I want something I want it and I want it quickly.  It’s very simple.  The trick is getting out of the way so I can receive it.  My mind will want to analyze the situation.  It will want to justify why I deserve what I want.  It will want to prove to me that I am worthy of what I want.  It might even point a finger at others saying if not for them I’d have it already. 

I listened to a spiritual teacher this morning.  She was reminding me that the universe is always for me.  It is always supporting me.  When I hold to my beliefs and opinions of all that is wrong in life, I delay the good from entering my space.  It’s like holding up an umbrella in a rain storm.  In my attempt to hunker down and block out discomfort, I also block myself from seeing the good that follows the storm.  If I keep holding that umbrella up, I will block out all of the light.  At some point it becomes time to put the umbrella down.

My only job is to receive the good. 

My only job is to maintain the emotional climate that I desire to feel and experience.  What would I prefer to feel, I ask myself?  This question is always very easy to answer. 

GROWING PAINS: Towards Certainty – Lydia Taft

I am sitting here wanting for something… is this fluttery discomfort I feel excitement?  Is this feeling of unease expectation about what’s around the corner?  Or is this slight discomfort simply an emptiness I wish to fill?  I’m not fully certain; I only know something is a bit off.  And I’d rather not sit in this space for much longer.  It’s time to do some energy work.  It’s time to find alignment.

So I take a breath and settle into myself.  I search out my emotional climate.  “What am I feeling now?” I ask.  I feel complete, and soft, and full, and steady.  I really feel okay.  There is emptiness there.  There is no hunger there.  I must be expecting, I think. And then I realize it is a feeling of expectation without the knowing.  And there lies the discomfort. 

I ask myself, what do I know? What am I sure of? 

I am sure I am loved.  I am sure I am on my path.  I am sure the path is unfolding.  I am sure the sun will set tonight and rise tomorrow.  I am sure of my cats and what it feels like to pet them, and watch them.  I am sure of how they purr and take pleasure in making any spot they lay the most comfortable place in existence.  I am sure of what it feels like to look at them and feel love for them.

I am sure of my grand-daughter’s love.  Right there, that thought alone, floods me with warmth and fullness.  And that feeling is so large I bask in it for a bit and allow myself to just float on its truth.  And now I am able to appreciate all the other little things that appeal to me, and I am flooded with many ideas of more simple life pleasures that inspire joy.

I am sure of how beautiful the blue open sky and warm breeze are.  I am sure of the joy I feel when watching puppies play.  I am sure of the freedom I feel when taking a walk.  I am sure of the love I feel when hugging my husband.  I am sure of the joy of wearing new shoes.  I am sure of being here now.  My list can go on and on I realize, because there are so many more things I feel comfort in thinking about; there are so many more things I know I am certain of.

I am sure, and I am certain, of this warm feeling in my heart right now. 

And that feeling of relief is right above all things. 

The Warriors Way, LLC: Both Sides Now – Glenn Bott

Untitled-1Noticed how your definition of love has changed through the years?  As a young adult, the world seemed more defined – more black/white.  As I gained years and experience, the gray area expanded.  What used to absolutely, positively be a universal “known” is no longer rock-solid.  In this ever-expanding universe we need to adapt and grow.  This also holds true for definitions we internalized as absolutes.

I now understand love to be like an infinitely faceted diamond.  There’s no end to the beauty and sparkle.  With a slightly different angle on a subject, a new realization is sparked, and your love expands and grows.  This is the beauty of being alive in this mysterious  and wonderful universe we live in.  We’re in an amusement park with an unending supply of wonderment, joy, and love.

To expand your love, begin with the decision that you want to be a happier person.  It’s all in your attitude.  Open your heart and practice loving things during your day.  A lot of us were taught to find differences and focus on these.  Once you focus on differences it’s easy to start categorizing and sorting them.  We can all find differences that will keep us on the top of the heap.  We’ll tell ourselves that we’re the best because. . .  

We fool ourselves and diminish our power because we’re always comparing ourselves to external criteria. 

The only way I know of around this is to start loving yourself and everything and everyone you encounter during the day. 

Find a reason to love. 

All you have to do is change your mind and decide to be more loving.  Find similarities instead of differences.  You’ll soon realize that we’re all in this together.  Let’s help each other and reap the benefits.  This is classic example of 1+1 = 3. 

A nice game you can play with yourself is to find 10 things during the day to love.  Once you’ve developed the attitude and habit, up it to 20 things during the day.  The actual number you set doesn’t really matter.  This is just a tool to build a new habit and find reasons to love. 

 

Glenn Bott
Warrior’s Way, LLC
303-918-4626 | glenn@warriorswayllc.com

Growing Pains: Mercy – Lydia Taft

Many years ago I was a Sunday school teacher for seven-year-old children.  I was responsible for preparing them for baptism when they turned eight.  One of the lessons I taught required me to line up chairs around the room in a maze.  I was to walk the children blindfolded through the maze and to a picture of Christ.  As I blindfolded one of the students she looked at me with hesitation and begged, “Please be careful with me Sister Taft.” 

My heart was touched by her simple statement and a truth was revealed to me…

That is my prayer always, every day of my life. 

Please be careful with me Spirit.  Please be careful with me.  I don’t know what road I’m traveling and I’m uncertain about the obstacles laid out before me, but I will allow you to guide me on my journey.  Just please be careful with me.  Have mercy on me in my fear and ignorance.

That day I realized how much fear I carried in my heart about what the future held.  I had based my opinions on many past experiences that I had suffered.  I understood that my life was in my hands. I had the free will to make decisions.  And that was the problem.  I was sitting in judgment about how well I messed up my life.  I was sitting in judgment about what my life looked like.  And I was sitting in judgment about all the pain I had recently experienced, which I hoped to never face again.  I held tightly to the fearful thought that I would continue down the same dark path.  So I asked for mercy from a greater being than myself, hoping I might avoid more pain.

I understand that prayer a bit differently now. 

I have learned that I didn’t need to ask Spirit for mercy.  I was already viewed from a loving perspective.  Love is only ever capable of love.  I really only needed to ask myself for mercy. I needed to find compassion in my own heart for me. I needed to release the judgments that weighed me down.  Yes, I had experienced some painful things, but what I didn’t realize at the time was how much clarity I had also received about the type of future I desired.  In the knowing of what I didn’t want, I more fully understood what I did want. My fear stemmed from my lack of understanding that I was being propelled toward something greater.  I am pleased to realize that I got here despite myself. 

Looking back on that past prayer I see that, like me, it has transformed and grown in clarity. 

My joy and my pain remain in my hands. 

It’s only ever my focus that must be directed, and sometimes redirected.  Today I can acknowledge the love that is always flowing to me, my ability to be receptive to that love, and the truth that is me.  Today my prayer would more accurately say:

I promise I will be careful and kind with me.  I am valuable.  The roads that I choose to travel on will honor my inner being.  I will seek experiences that feel joyful and fulfilling to me.  I will not worry myself about avoiding things that are painful.  When I find myself feeling that I have gone off course, I will seek clarity about the experiences I would prefer.  I will guide myself on this journey with love and compassion. I will walk in trust, acknowledging that all experiences I have enhance and broaden my perspective.  I will seek and find clarity in all areas of my life.  And most of all, I will be merciful with me.

Warriors Way LLC: 4 Ways to Boost Your Confidence – Glenn Bott

We all use the word CONFIDENCE, but what does it really mean to you?  When I use the word, it implies the following:

  • Trust and acceptance in who you are
  • Untitled-2Love of self
  • Trust in Spirit
  • Accepting responsibility for your actions and their outcomes
  • Willing and able to take the next step

Confidence is a sliding scale – we have various levels of confidence depending on the task or goal at hand.  Some are very confident in their ability to speak publicly, while others tremble.  Likewise, some are confident in their ability to achieve group consensus while others are severely lacking in this skill.  Each of us is unique, and our confidence will likely vary day/day, depending on the task.

No matter what our confidence level, we can constantly improve.  Here are some ideas that may help you move your confidence upward:

1. Trash your black and white definition of “failure”. Instead of thinking of it as a final label, thinks of it as something that happened at a particular time to a particular effort.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.  You’re a capable and intelligent being – you will learn from this and do better the next time.

To increase your confidence, re-frame your thoughts and start thinking of life as an adventure.  Know of anyone who’s failed at an adventure?  Me neither.  When you view life as an adventure you automatically move into a more fun-loving mode and everything you do is just more exploration from your base camp.  No one can possibly know everything about even the simplest of subjects.  Loosen up – have some fun. Explore.

2. Say YES more often to the things that make your heart dance. Rather than get stuck and rigid in the things you should do because you’re a good boy/girl, take a moment to check inside and see if the proposal is making your heart dance.  Do you light up at the thought of doing it?  If this is the case, do this more often to help broaden your horizons, increase your confidence, and realize that you were living by your self-imposed rules all along.

When you do this you’re acting in alignment with your Spirit and this is a path on your goal of becoming who you really are.  This builds trust in yourself, strengthens your awareness, and unifies your being.  Just keep taking the next step – you’ll be fine!

3. Embrace your shortcomings. We’re all unique beings with our own strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and knowledge. To really be confident and successful, accept all parts of yourself, even what you see as your imperfections.  Chances are you picked up these silly notions from your childhood and haven’t taken the time to put them down and leave them behind you.  You are probably the only one who notices them.  They’ve become a part of your story.  So now’s the time to change your story for the better.

Rather than spend your time trying to excel at everything you do, I suggest taking an inventory of the things you truly love doing and already excel at.  Focus on these and find others who excel at the skills you need help with.  This is the beauty of a virtual organization – everyone is doing what they love and doing it at a very high level of proficiency.

  1. gfMind your internal dialogue – develop the discipline to check in on your thoughts and see if they’re helping or hurting you. Our mind can be our ally or our enemy.  We choose.  Check in periodically and see if the story that’s running in your head is a good one or not.  Start to develop the mental discipline to check in and start changing a story that no longer serves you.  Remember – we’re all creators.  If you don’t like what’s happening, you’re the only one who can change it.

We all deserve to live joyful and fulfilling lives.  Now’s the time to claim your power and start creating a totally awesome life!

 

 

People House: a Center for Personal and Spiritual Growth