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Teal Swan Articles

What Should I Do With My Life?

The decision of what to do with your life is a decision which all of us must make. We will after all, end up “doing” something regardless of whether it is a conscious decision we make or an unconscious decision we make to do that thing. If you don’t decide how you want to live as well as what you want to be and do, then someone or something else will decide for you. If this happens, instead of living according to your own inner values and enjoyment, you will yield control of your life to a combination of subconscious influences such as genetic predispositions, upbringing, social conditioning, environment, or the opinions of other people in your life. This surrender of control of your life is the direct result of not listening to intuition. Inner values are expressed through intuition. Intuition is the voice of the true self. It is for this very reason that it is so important to get in touch with your intuition and who you really are so that your true self can be allowed to operate in your life. This process can be a scary one because your inner values may run counter to everything you’ve been led to believe. Your inner values my even run counter to the inner values of everyone else around you. But if you are brave enough to live according to your own inner values, the result will be a level of freedom, joy and fulfillment which you have never before experienced.
Your true, essential self (often called your soul) does not need to go searching for who you are. It knows exactly who you are and what you love and what your deepest desires are. We are not born upon this planet searching for our souls as if we have lost them. In fact, young children for the most part live entirely according to their own souls. It is only when we become self conscious enough to adopt external values, opinions and advice that our own souls become suppressed and obscured to us. It is only due to this suppression that we forget who and what we are. Most of our lives we strive to do what is “right”. But the question to ask yourself is… right according to whom? People adopt external values, opinions and advice for one primary reason; they hold the illusion that happiness and worth and security and love and care and direction comes from others. We must accept that lovability, security, worth, care, direction and happiness do not come from others. They come from ourselves.
The risk of placing value on what you want, what you love and who you really are often feels like the risk of not being loved for what is real about yourself. It can also feel like the risk of being seen as a failure by others (which is a threat to most people’s sense of self worth) so it is easy to see how placing value on what you truly want and who you truly are can be a very frightening proposition. But until you reveal your true desires and true self, it is not possible to be truly loved. True love is love which exists for the truth of someone, not a facade put on for the perceived benefit of being accepted or the perceived benefit of affirming another person’s inner values by adopting them. There is nothing in this world which compares to being loved for what is real about yourself. Until you reveal your true desires and true self, it is also not possible to be truly happy.
When you are trying to decide what to do with your life, it is important to first find out where you are. It can be a frightening idea to admit to ourselves that we are not where we want to be. But the way to get to where you want to be is to first realize and admit that you are not currently in a place where you are living according to your true self. Ask yourself in this very moment, are you happy? This is not a question which refers to mere contentment. Asking yourself if you are happy, really means are you passionate about your life? Do you get more excited about going on vacation than you do about doing your day to day work? Are you in love with your existence? Are you delighted to be here on earth at this particular point in time? Do you like where you live? Do you enjoy your relationships? Once you have your answers, without calling them “good” or “bad” you can begin to move forward to the place where you want to be. You can begin on this path towards living the life you want to be living by understanding that underneath every erroneous decision and mistake a person makes in their life is illusion and fear. But if you look even deeper, you will see that beneath every erroneous decision and mistake a person makes, is a soul striving for relief as well as an invaluable lesson to be learned. Finding your own values and priorities may take some risk. It takes being brave enough to trust your own talents and internal knowing for security instead of trusting anything outside of yourself for security. It takes being brave enough to remember who you really are again.
A major reason people often do not live the lives they wish to live is because of negative beliefs. Beliefs are just thoughts repeated so often, they become reality. They are thoughts which are on a repetitive loop which have made themselves so much a part of our physical lives, we regard them as truth—or even worse, become completely unaware of what they are. The term that has been used for this over the years is a negative, self-limiting core belief. These beliefs — are only as true as you believe them to be. We develop beliefs because of conditioning. They are beliefs which limit you such as “no one can make a living doing this or that” or “fun is irresponsible” or “I am worthless if I do not go to college”.
Many of us turned away from our natural desires by being taught to adopt the beliefs and values of others (especially authority figures) at such a young age that we lose touch with our desires completely. So, one of the best ways to get back in touch with the real you, is to think back to your natural inclinations as a child. Make a long list of things you knew you loved when you were a child. Make a list of your natural talents as a child and try to remember what you wanted to be when you grew up. Now, after you make that list, make sure to ask yourself why. Why did you love those things? Why did you possess those natural talents? Why did you want to grow up to be those things? Then ask yourself do I still enjoy and practice these things? If not…why? Can I remember what caused me to stop?. Was it because of someone else? Do I remember how it felt to stop doing those things?
From here, fast forward. Ask yourself what your favorite part of your entire life was so far and why that particular point was your favorite part of your life. Get as detailed as you can in order to discover the true reason you enjoyed it so much. And after that, ask yourself what you enjoy about the life you are living in now? What am I passionate about in my life currently? Have I devoted those things to the back burner, or are they the primary focus of my life? This process will help you to understand what it is that you truly enjoy separate of your conditioned and logical brain which (being mechanical in nature) has often been taught to minimize feeling states such as joy and passion.
If you’re a person who says that passion just isn’t your personality, or isn’t necessary to life then you should know that you have sacrificed too much. If you’re living on purpose instead of by default, passion will be the normal state of your life. Passion will not suddenly transform you into an unbalanced, emotional wreck. Passion is the most powerful of positive emotional states next to love. It will push you to live your full potential. Intellect can only get you so far. There’s a difference between deciding to achieve a goal and actually achieving it. Your intellect can manage the former, but it’s incapable of achieving the latter. You will feel passion directly as the emotional result of heading in the right direction. If you find that passion is gone from parts of your life, see the message behind that lack which is that it is time to make a new decision. It is time to change directions.
Many decisions made with intellect in the moment, seem like good rational ideas, but when you imagine how these decisions will play out over the next ten, twenty, or even fifty years, their weaknesses become immediately apparent. Take your job, for example. Where will it lead you in the long run? Think about where it will take you between now and the end of your life. Imagine looking back upon your career and life. How do you feel about it? Are you living the life you want to live or would your life seem like a life not really lived? If you’ve made the correct decisions for yourself, then you should feel no regret, you will feel like you have lived a life full of passion and purpose.
It may be helpful when deciding what to do with your life, to try and discover your life’s purpose. To do this, you will have to practice emotional intelligence. One way to find your life’s purpose is to take out a sheet of paper and write down a list of all the different things you can think of which might be your life’s purpose. Any answer that pops into your head should be written down. Repeat this as many times as you possibly can until you reach the answer that evokes a strong emotional reaction from you. In other words, the one that makes you want to cry. This usually takes some time to clear all of the thoughts out of your mind until the answer that goes down on the sheet is the one voiced by your true self. You may discover a few answers along the way that seem to give you a mini-surge of emotion, but they don’t quite hit you in that epic way that the real answer does. They’re just a bit off. Make sure to highlight those answers as you go along, so you can come back to them to generate new permutations. Each reflects a piece of your purpose, but individually they aren’t complete. When you start getting these kinds of answers, it means you’re getting warm, so keep going.
When you write the one which truly reflects your real self, you will know it. Once you find the answer, ask yourself if you are living your life according to that purpose. If the answer is no, ask yourself, what steps could I take right now in order to live according to that purpose? Is there a way that I could foresee creating my life by incorporating the things that I enjoy and feel passionate about into the very life’s purpose which I’ve just discovered? If you can, take the risk of doing so. If not, put forth the intention for the opportunity to do so to come to you. It may come completely out of the blue. You do not need to know the HOW of things. The how will be presented to you. You simply need to know what you want and why you want it and then be brave enough to jump at opportunities as they come along.
You do not need to fear making the wrong choice, if you take the risk to try something which you feel is in line with your true self it will bring you joy. And even in the unlikely event that it doesn’t, you can always change your mind and try something new. This world is a mutable world. There is no such thing as permanence. We are meant to come into life and find our calling here through exploration according to our own joy. We are not meant to come into life in order to begrudgingly fulfill a duty to destiny whether we like it or not. Be brave enough to take the risk of following your internal guidance regardless of what any one outside of you says. Many people avoid risks habitually. It is because they have been told that to play it safe is the intelligent thing to do. But the question you must ask yourself is …Why? We will all die one day. Our lives are not permanent. And all too often people do not take risks only to arrive at death… safely. But anyone who lives this kind of life regrets it in the end.
Everything which is ever done is done for one reason and one reason only, because the doer thinks they will feel better in the doing of it. If a person lives for fun, it is because they think they will feel better in the having of fun. If a person lives to help others it is because they think they will feel better by helping people. If a person lives for purpose, it is because they think they will feel better if they have purpose. So you see, everything ever done is therefore done in the quest for happiness. So, it is best to cut to the chase and make happiness the true goal of your life. If you begin to do this, you will find yourself on the path of your ultimate desires, even if it is a path you never in a million years thought you would find yourself on. Treat each day as if it could quite possibly be your last. If you do this, you will search for enjoyment above all else and therefore you will be living all your days according to your true nature. Your life is yours to live. Your life has no more limitations than the limitations you, yourself impose on it. You are truly free. Your life can change at any moment. You can make your life whatever you want it to be.

The Psychic And The Skeptic

Psychics have been the target of skeptics for many, many years. This is understandable for many reasons, the first reason being that there have been many fake psychic scammers throughout history. Fake psychics use other people’s vulnerabilities to make money, even at times using elaborate magic tricks to deceive others into dependency. The psychic industry is brimming with con artists and fakes. These psychics are responsible for creating the overwhelming stigma attached with the very word psychic.
The second reason psychics have become the target of skeptics is that people naturally fear what they do not understand. When a person claims to be able to know information that transcends the 5 senses as well as time, it often creates fear in others. Many people who grow up investing so much belief in the physical world have a very stable view of the world for the most part. This is a left-brain scientific materialistic way to view reality. And when that reality is challenged, it can be very frightening for some people. It creates a feeling of betrayal and surprise, based on being confronted with the possibility that everything they've been told about the world to date may actually be very wrong. When a psychic is seen as “in the know” about a side of reality which others are blind to, it can make the psychic seem non human, which can then make them seem frightening. And so often by default, psychics cause others to feel completely lost and afraid without bearings in reality and vulnerable to the unknown.
This perceived loss of reality, control and bearings often challenges self concept as well. It is natural that people want to feel valid as individuals. When one person demonstrates extrasensory abilities that another person does not yet possess, the non possessing party has the tendency of feeling invalidated and “less than”, which leads to an instant defensive reaction of trying to undermine the other parties’ credibility. It is a subconscious act of self preservation for a person to try to undermine anything that makes them feel vulnerable or deficient.
The third reason psychics are the target of skeptics is that society today is a society of skepticism. We belong to a society which for the most part has forgotten the role that both the mind and spirit play in reality and so, many of us see the world as a static reality that exists separate of the mind. If we approach the world this way, believing is then thought to be the result of “seeing”. This is unfortunate because the underling forgotten truth of life is that seeing is the direct result of first believing.
We live in a universe which is at its base made of energy, energy which is vibrating. Thoughts are one of the most dominant energetic vibrations within this universe. All matter began as a thought. All matter that you see in this physical dimension is simply energy vibrating in such a way that it takes on static properties. When it does this, you perceive things with your five senses as being solid. Your expectation (thought) manifests that vibrating energy into its form. This is the way that thoughts become things. You are, literally, creating your reality. You are doing it every day with the thoughts that you are thinking. This presents a problem for skeptics because this means that if a skeptic is expecting a psychic to be wrong, they will literally manifest proof to that effect. To manifest or attract anything into your life which is the opposite of what thoughts you are offering, defies universal law.
The definition of a skeptic is one who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward truths, values, plans, statements, or the character of others innately or habitually. Skepticism is therefore a direct opposing energetic vibration to believing. It is impossible for someone to be offering thoughts of doubt and thoughts of disbelief and receive proof which will make them believe. And so, there is literally no way to convince someone who has already taken the stance of skepticism of the validity of a claim.
Although there have been many well respected scientists, universities and institutions which have tested extra sensory perception with amazingly conclusive and proof positive results, a problem which continues to give skeptics reason to undermine psychics in society is that psychic ability does not often respond well to testing. The main reason for this is that intuitive information is completely undermined by stress, fear and pressure.
There is a misguided and common expectation for psychics to be all knowing, all feeling and all seeing. It is not an expectation people hold of experts and professionals in other fields. But the expectation for psychics to be omniscient is pervasive in society. This expectation leads to the immediate reaction of wanting to test a psychic in order to believe that they are real. Most psychics will inevitable run into a scenario in which a person will say something like…. How many fingers am I holding behind my back? Or what did I have for dinner last night? Or I’ve just asked my dead grandfather a question in my mind for which only he will have the answer, if you can really talk to spirits, then what’s the answer? This kind of testing is completely counter productive for two reasons. The first reason, being that the stress which is the result of performance anxiety within the psychic completely obscures intuitive information. The second being that seeing a psychic means getting only the information which you need from non physical, as you need it. Information that is needed is information which helps you or someone else on their path; in other words information which is relevant and helpful.
Most psychics alive today are up against a very strong opposition made up of skeptics and disbelievers who expect a kind of god-like performance from them as well as people who think that those who exhibit psychic gifts have given their souls over to the evil and occult. As you can imagine, this pressure creates serious internal conflict for a psychic because psychics are human just like any one else. Psychics, like all people, are not immune to insecurity, self doubt, fear and weaknesses.
Strong emotions cloud intuition, which is why it is so important to become adept at both clearing the mind as well as being able to selectively focus in order to improve psychic accuracy and clarity. Whenever a person is challenged and put on the spot to perform, their stress levels rise, especially if there is a lot of risk in the potential of failing to perform. Stress reduces the ability to pay close attention to anything and fear impairs focus. Focus is the act of concentrating fully and intently, without distractions. This loss of focus which comes along with stress and fear greatly influences the ability to use mental powers to the fullest of their ability. Stress obscures psychic information from the mind making it literally impossible to receive it in its pure, unjudged form. Even the very best psychics can fall prey to this performance anxiety and get terrible results because of it.
Psychics are not omniscient and immune to human experience, they can have blind spots just like everyone else (most especially for themselves) and they can occasionally project their own life on to others just like everyone else can. They have fears and insecurities, and short comings just like everyone else. Most genuine psychics are simply empathetic, insightful, and deeply caring people who possess the innate talent of accessing and interpreting intuitive information (which exists outside of the five senses) at will. It is a talent much like a talent for athletics, or a talent for mathematics. Psychic talents do not make someone akin to a god any more than the talent for mathematics does. It is as irrational to expect perfect performance from them as it is to expect perfect performance from a mathematician.
And regardless of how much innate talent an individual has, all great gifts benefit from being honed, cultivated and improved.
The pressure and stress of tests aside, it is also very difficult to come up with tests which cover all of the forms of psychic ability. When people hear about psychics, there is a tendency to think that there is only one type of psychic. When in fact there are many forms which psychic ability takes such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, acting as a medium, channeling, empathy, clairsentience, precognition, retro cognition, remote viewing, psychokinesis, animal telepathy, plant telepathy, mineral telepathy, bio-alteration healing, astral projection, aura reading, Psychometry, divining, dowsing, telepathy, and telekinesis. Although there is definite overlap between abilities which any psychic may possess, most psychics specialize in just one or a few of these abilities. The vast majority of psychic tests measure clairvoyance, a common type of ESP. But there are many types of psychic talents, and clairvoyance is only one of them. If a psychic possesses a talent which has nothing to do with clairvoyance, they will most likely not do well on such tests.
True psychics are also often put in a very tight spot when they receive information which is not meant to be shared. In fact, being psychic can come along with a heavy dose of moral dilemma. There is often a thin line between what information is helpful for a person to hear and what information is harmful for a person to hear. Many times, a psychic will receive information which is for their knowing alone. Information of that nature helps the psychic better understand (and form a more complete picture of) the person seeking help. If for example a psychic receives images of repressed memories from the client, they may come with a strong message that the client is not ready to re-experience these memories. Sharing these impressions with the client would be a detriment to healing but the psychic or healer is given these impressions so that they are aware that they are dealing with a client with trauma encoded in their energetic blue print.
Another example of this is that a psychic may perceive that a person is currently a match to illness or death very soon. If the psychic was to tell the person this, it would most likely result in fear instead of the client shifting directions. And so, it is often detrimental for a psychic to expose everything they receive to the person asking. No matter how badly a psychic wants to be taken seriously, telling a client information which is detrimental to their path towards wellness is a complete contradiction to morality and good intention. It is therefore very important for people seeking out psychic guidance to know that when it comes to psychic information, you get the information you’re meant to get. And what you think you need to know is not necessarily what you do in fact need to know.
Skepticism does not (as is popularly thought) denote intelligence; it denotes that a person has resigned themselves to being closed off to anything which exists beyond the physical world. This kind of thinking (in which one closes them self off to possibility) leads to unhappiness and it leads to illness. Because of this, the life of a skeptic, though understandable, is no life at all. Regardless of whether one believes or does not believe in psychics, a life worth living, is one in which a person is brave enough to open themselves up to possibility. A life worth living is one in which a person is brave enough to open themselves to information which has the potential to help them live according to their highest self, happiness, health, path and purpose regardless of where that information happens to come from.

How to Differentiate Fear From Intuition

Intuition is defined as immediate insight or understanding without conscious reasoning. When we as people begin the process of learning to listen to and heed our own intuition, we often hit several road blocks along the way. We often receive negative messages from our parents, teachers, or peers, at which point we begin to doubt our own intuition. Our intuition gets obscured by the fears and beliefs that we have erected in front of it. When we lose trust in our intuitive knowledge, we begin to close down that channel of information by ignoring it. The good news is, though we may shut out the messages we receive from the higher self, the higher self continues to give them, so it is impossible to completely lose the ability to be intuitive.
Some of the road blocks we hit during the process of re-awakening to our intuition are individual, some are unanimous. But perhaps the largest unanimous barrier we face in this process is how to separate our intuition, which comes from our true self, from our fear, which comes from our ego self.
There is a big difference between intuition and fear, but understanding that difference in the moment can be difficult. Our higher selves (the origin of intuition) will not interfere with the free will of our separate physical bodies. It is a choice to heed intuition; it is a choice to even pay attention to it. You must invite intuition. Therefore, fear (which is an emotion that belongs to the physical dimension) easily overrides and obscures intuition.
The process of separating fear from intuition can also be difficult because it requires that we become intimately acquainted with our own fears. We must discover them, be honest to ourselves about them, learn to recognize them, address them and learn to dissolve them. Only then can we address what our intuition is truly telling us.
There are many techniques that can be employed in order to address and dissipate our fears, by doing this; their influences no longer control our life. But in order to separate fear from intuition, you must first become acquainted with what your separate fears feel like so that you can identify them when they come up as if they were emotional “flags”.
You can begin to do this by writing a list of your fears. List every one of your fears that you can think of and keep the list in an easy to access place. When you come across a situation in which you are feeling intense negative emotion, instead of acting on anything, pull out the list and scan it and ask yourself if any of the fears on the list could possibly be creating the sensation. It is inevitable that you will continue to uncover hidden fears as you advance along your spiritual journey, at which point you can add those new ones to the list.
If you find one that you think could be causing the sensation, sit in that sensation for a while, becoming intimately aware of its intricacies. Make a study of it. Learn the sensation of that specific fear. This way, you will begin to recognize those individual fears so that when they come up, you can know that they are fear instead of intuition. Intuition comes with a feeling of correctness and affirmation. Intuition will come as a sudden knowing, a gut feeling, thought, image, emotion, or bodily sensation. It will be a quiet, clear and often quick impression. Even if the message of intuition is about something negative, it will come across as being delivered in a “neutral” tone.
We will only experience intense emotion with regards to an intuition when we begin to feed the intuition with negative thoughts and feed it with fear. Fear is a highly emotionally charged sensation. It conveys no feeling of correctness and no affirmation until you logically talk your way into it’s accuracy. Fear reflects the past (past issues and past psychological pain). Perspective, which is essential to intuition, is not possible from a state of fear, it will feel so strong that it is almost blinding and delusional, and there will be no compassionate or transcendental element to it.
False guidance is always rooted in fear. I say it is false guidance because it comes from the inaccurate assumption that the world is unsafe and that you are not secure, so the guidance you will receive will not be aimed at creating and maintaining freedom, abundance, joy and true self expression. Instead it will be aimed at increasing your degree of control.
Genuine intuitive guidance comes from a place of love and the knowledge that you are safe and secure as you are now. If strong negative emotion is involved, you should always be suspicious that you are either dealing solely with fear, or that you have clouded an intuition with fear. If, for example, you have a sudden persistent and strong emotional feeling that something bad is going to happen to someone you love... a fear such as the fear of loss is most likely what you are dealing with instead of an actual intuitive insight, which is informing you of something that is actually impending.
The problem with fear is that it is very persuasive. When we do not uncover it for what it is early on, it catches us in a creation trap. The trap is that once a person gets themselves into a state where they convince themselves based on the feeling of fear that something bad will happen, they often activate a strong enough vibration that they begin to actually create (by virtue of attraction) the negative event. At which point, when it happens, they often say… “See... I knew my intuition was right when it said this was going to happen”, when it was actually an event which was created based on a fear (which they mistook for intuition) that made them begin to think negative thoughts with enough frequency that it created the very event they feared.
If you find yourself in a place where you have uncovered a fear that is clouding intuition, the best way to get back into the state of receptivity to your intuition is to meditate or center the mind. Quieting the mind when it is alive with fear can be difficult, but it is necessary in order to clear away the mental clutter so that you can access your own inner knowing.
Begin by using deep diaphragmatic breathing. This will trigger a relaxation response within the body. Close your eyes, and begin to focus on your breathing. If your mind drifts, (without getting frustrated that it has wandered); simply bring it back to your breathing. Do this for as long as it takes for the fear and negative thoughts to fall away, leaving behind a quiet, peaceful, centered feeling.
Sometimes it helps for people to listen to music which educes this peaceful, centered state within them. If you are finding that it is especially hard to concentrate, it can also be beneficial to listen to a guided meditation. Once you are centered for a while in that neutral, peaceful state, you have opened yourself to the flow of intuitive information enough to pose your question or ask for intuitive guidance. Once you have posed your question, put forth the intention that you will receive your answer and simply listen.
To truly listen for intuition means to listen with all of your senses. Intuitive messages come in many ways and they come differently to different people. You may hear the answer, or see the answer. You may just “know” the answer. You may get a physical sensation such as a chill or hot flash or feel the answer emotionally. As you practice listening and honoring your intuition you will get better at recognizing the ways by which you receive intuitive information, no matter what form it may appear in.
There may be times when you are looking for intuitive guidance that you will not receive a clear answer right away. However, the information may come to you later through other synchronized events or possibly through dreams or in future meditations. If you become frustrated and try to force an answer to come, you will block the flow of intuition. Simply trust that if it is a message your higher self wants you to know, it will be made known to you, and if you are on the lookout for it, just at the right time, you will see it. You will recognize it right away. You do not need to fear missing the message because intuitive messages which are ignored simply get louder and louder in their manifestations until they can no longer be ignored.
If it is truly your goal to become intuitive, you will eventually learn to distinguish the voice of ego from the voice of the true self. Your ego, which is driven by fear, rationalizes as well as creates reasons why you should not follow the instruction of intuition. Truth however, does not need the rational justification that fear needs to be valid. Truth will simply be conveyed over and over again in the same loving unconditional way until it is received. We must simply remember that true intuitive messages are always in the service of our best interests, it is impossible to cut one’s self off from the capability of being intuitive, and it is possible to differentiate our fears from the intuitive messages we are receiving every day. All we need is a little practice.

Ten Ways to Eliminate Stress

Sometimes it can seem as if there's nothing you can do about your stress level. When you are operating from your logical brain, the brain says things like… "The bills aren't going to stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day for all of the errands I need to run, and my career and family responsibilities must be done or calamity will strike".
Most of us become so acclimated to stress in our daily lives that stress becomes our second nature and we lose touch with what it is that causes stress. The answer is, what causes stress are the thoughts that we are thinking. When we experience stress, it is because our thoughts are aligned with a potential consequence (in other words the absence of what we want to have happen) instead of the outcome which we desire. We are operating out of fear.
It is easier to understand this difference when thinking about the example of two athletes. One athlete enjoys their sport and is confident in their own self worth. Therefore, when this athlete steps up to the starting line, their thoughts are aligned with winning and the fun of the race. The emotions flooding this athlete's system are ones of anticipation and excitement and enjoyment of their sport. But when the other athlete who may be struggling with self worth and lacking confidence steps up to the starting line, their thoughts are not aligned with "winning", instead their thoughts are aligned with "not loosing". The possibility of loosing and the consequences of such an outcome cause the emotions flooding this athlete's system to be those of stress and anxiety, and because of this they do not enjoy their sport like they normally would without the presence of stress.
The stress response floods your body with chemicals that prepare you for "fight or flight." In other words, it prepares you for consequences. The problem with stress is that we live in a physical reality where we all create our own reality based on the thoughts that we are chronically thinking. The emotions we feel (such as stress) are the indication of what types of experiences we are creating for ourselves in our lives. If you are mentally aligned with undesired results (trying to avoid them through effort and action) you will feel stress, and if the stress becomes chronic, you will inevitably end up creating the very undesired results you are aligned with (pushing against).
This is an attraction based universe. Meaning whatever you say "no" to, you are attracting into your experience and whatever you say "yes" to, you are attracting into your experience. You can not say "no" to a thing and not be holding that very thing you are saying "no" to as your primary focus. And whatever you focus on will come to be in the physical dimension.
The truth of the matter is that you have a lot more control than you might think. In fact, the simple realization that you're in control of your life and that you control your life with your thoughts is the foundation of stress management.
Managing stress is all about taking charge. Reducing stress is about taking charge of your thoughts (and subsequently your emotions), your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. You don't need to fear stress. You can instead learn how to recognize it within yourself, label it for what it is and see it as a beneficial red flag that has been raised in order to tell you that you are not living your life the way you want to live your life or deserve to live your life. Eliminating stress is about making the way you feel the priority of your life.
Here are 10 ways to help you eliminate stress in your life.
Identify your true sources of stress as well as the unhealthy coping strategies you may be using to avoid stress. Look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses.

Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life by identifying with beliefs like "Things are always crazy around here", or as a part of your personality by aligning with beliefs like "I am just a naturally anxious person", or "I am just a worrier… that's all"? Do you have the habit of explaining away stress as temporary when it is not? Do you say things like "I just have a million things going on right now" (despite the fact that you can't remember the last time you took a breather)? Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events instead of recognizing the damaging beliefs or thought patterns which attract the people and events which increase your stress levels into your life? Do you view your stress as entirely normal and therefore unexceptional? Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining stress, your stress level will remain outside your control.

Do you practice coping strategies which temporarily reduce stress but cause more damage in the long run? Such as:

*Smoking
*Drinking
*Overeating or under eating
*Trying to avoid stressors by spending hours in front of the TV or computer
*Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities
*Using pills or drugs to relax
*Escaping by sleeping too much
*Procrastinating
*Filling up every minute of the day with things to do so as to avoid facing problems Or
*Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)

It is very important when you are plotting your course to where you want to be in life, to first be honest with yourself about where you are currently. Realize that where you are is just where you are. There is nothing keeping you there but you. And recognize that you not only want your life to feel better but you are also committed to finding a way to feel better.
  Change the way you are thinking.

How you think has a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself or your life, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you think positive thoughts about yourself and your life, your body will react by releasing chemicals that make you feel good. Work to eliminate words such as "always," "never," "should," and "must" from your vocabulary. These definitive statements are very conducive to thoughts which are self-defeating and create stress.

Don't try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control (things like the behavior of other people for example). Rather than stressing out about the things you can't control, focus on the things that you can control. The only things we have real control over in our lives are our own thoughts. The more control we learn to have over our own thoughts, the more power we will have in our lives. Our thoughts are the one thing no one else can choose for us. The more power we feel that we have in life, the less stress we will feel. You can not feel free and relaxed when you continue to focus on things that make you feel powerless and that you can not control. So, learn to let go of them.

Reframe problems. Learn to think positively by practicing thinking thoughts about yourself and your life that feel better to you when you think them. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. For example, rather than panicking about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time. When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.

Look at the big picture. Learn to view your stressful situation from a different perspective. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? Will it matter in a year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Perfection is a completely subjective concept. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others. And learn to love yourself the way you are instead of basing your worthiness on what you present or produce in life.

Many of us are goal oriented. We see happiness as an end result, a destination we get to and then the journey stops. The truth is it never stops. You will never "get it all done". The process of living is one of continual evolution, when we achieve something we desire, we do not stop desiring. Instead, we desire something else. This is the way life was intended to be. So, the point of life is enjoying the process (every aspect of the process). Sometimes if you just accept that you will never get it all done and there will always be more you are reaching for, you can let yourself off the hook of trying to get everything finished right here and now as soon as you possibly can.
  Figure out what makes you happy.

By the time many of us are dealing with stress, we are standing in adulthood surrounded by a life that has not been deliberately created. Instead, it has been created by default.

This means that we have based our beliefs, goals and desires not off of what is true for us and what makes us happy, but instead off of what satisfies the beliefs and priorities of others (especially authority figures in our early life and society as a whole). Many of us have lost touch with what makes us happy. The risk of placing value on what makes you happy and who you really are often feels like the risk of not being loved for what is real about yourself. It can also feel like the risk of being seen as a failure by others (which is a threat to most people's sense of self worth) so it is easy to see how placing value on what makes you truly happy can be a very frightening proposition. But until you reveal your true desires and what truly makes you happy, it is not possible to be truly happy.

If you have lost touch with what makes you happy, one of the best ways to get back in touch with it is to think back to your natural inclinations as a child. Make a long list of things you knew you loved when you were a child. Make a list of your natural talents as a child and try to remember what you wanted to be when you grew up. Now after you make that list, make sure to ask yourself why. Why did you love those things? Why did you possess those natural talents? Why did you want to grow up to be those things? Then ask yourself "do I still enjoy and practice these things?" If not…why? Can I remember what caused me to stop? Was it because of someone else? Do I remember how it felt to stop doing those things? And then, take a step forward by trying some of these things you once loved to do… again.

From here, fast forward. Ask yourself what your favorite part of your entire life was so far and why that particular point was your favorite part of your life. Get as detailed as you can in order to discover the true reason you enjoyed it so much. And after that, ask yourself what you enjoy about the life you are living in now? What am I passionate about in my life currently? Have I devoted those things to the back burner, or are they the primary focus of my life? This process will help you to understand what it is that you truly enjoy separate of your conditioned and logical brain, which (being mechanical in nature) has often been taught to minimize feeling states such as joy and passion.

Finding your own personal idea of happiness (which is very individual) is an incredibly important component to stress reduction, because vibrationally speaking, happiness is a state which is totally absent of stress.
  Seek out tools which work for YOU to reduce stress.

There are many sources and products which exist worldwide whose sole purpose is to help you to reduce stress. So, seek them out! Begin by making a list of things which you can already identify that help you to reduce stress. When stress comes up, get in the habit of going to the list and picking something off of the list to do. Set out to learn and practice relaxation techniques. The relaxation response brings your system back into balance. It deepens your breathing, reducing stress hormones, slows down your heart rate and blood pressure, and relaxes your muscles.

In addition to its calming physical effects, research shows that the relaxation response also increases energy and focus, combats illness, relieves aches and pains, heightens problem-solving abilities, and boosts motivation and productivity. Relaxation techniques may include things such as Emotional Freedom Technique, deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga, tai chi, massage, stretching or aromatherapy.
  Make your physical health a priority.

The body is an incredibly reflective instrument. When the mind is thinking negative, stressful thoughts, those thoughts are reflected in the body. But it is also true that when the body is kept in a state of negativity and stress, that stress and negativity is reflected in the mind. So, it is very helpful to take control of your physical health.

Exercise Regularly. Exercise does not have to be a source of more stress. In fact it can be a great stress reducer if you can find an exercise that you enjoy doing (instead of simply exercising for the sake of exercise). Physical activity helps to increase the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Endorphins are natural pain killers and they make you feel "happy". They are responsible for the well known "runner's high". Exercise forces tense muscles (through use), to release their state of tension.

Exercise can also be like a meditation in motion. You'll often find that you've forgotten the day's irritations and concentrated purely on your body's movements when you are exercising. And it helps you release pent up stressful energy. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do. Exercise also can improve your quality of sleep.

Eat healthy, well-balanced meals. You are what you eat. A nutritious diet can counteract the impact of stress by reinforcing the immune system and lowering blood pressure. Comfort foods (like mashed potatoes) have been shown to boost levels of serotonin, a calming brain chemical. Other foods can reduce levels of cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones that take a toll on the body). Stressed people tend to gain weight, and make food choices that are not conducive to health. There is a lot of information available from experts on diets that specifically reduce stress, as well as many herbal supplements that have been shown to diminish stress. Go looking for them and try to implement the suggestions. You will be surprised by the results! It is important that you don't rely on sugar, caffeine, alcohol or other drugs to reduce stress. Relying on such things not only creates physical or mental dependency, it harms your body in the long run.

Get enough rest and sleep. Sleep deprivation is chronic in our culture. Sleep deprivation is one of the chief aggravators of stress. Lack of sleep increases levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Sleep deprivation also affects the immune system (depleting certain cells needed to destroy viruses and cancerous cells), it promotes the growth of fat instead of muscle, and speeds up the aging process. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally. When you are tired, you are less patient and easily agitated, which can increase stress. And then, to make matters worse, you will not have the energy to deal with the stress. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Start to make sleep a priority. Start to see it as a necessity not a luxury.
  Learn to manage your time more effectively.

In this physical dimension, we lead linear lives. No matter how skilled any of us may think we are at multi-tasking, when it comes to action, we can only be in one place at one time. What's more, we can only really do one task well in each moment. For the average man or woman, day to day life is a whirlwind of frantic activity. Life is composed of rushing from one task to another while still not really accomplishing anything of value at the end of the day. It is therefore very useful to learn to manage our time more effectively. Using time more effectively helps to eliminate stress by making order of chaos. It is very helpful to reduce stress by getting organized. No one can think clearly when they are surrounded in a physical environment which is chaotic. So begin by cleaning and organizing your environment.

A mental environment which is cluttered is conducive to stress and ineffective time management as well. One way to combat this kind of chaos is to learn how to write lists and then prioritize. Set clear goals and break your goals down into discreet steps. To be effective, you need to decide what tasks are urgent and important and to focus on those. Devote the majority of your time to the most important tasks. Trying to remember everything in your head is a recipe for stress. When you do not have to worry about remembering everything (because it is written down), you will be more able to accomplish the things and also your stress levels will diminish. Writing lists helps you identify important objectives, helps you order your thoughts, helps you prioritize, helps you see the big picture, saves time, helps you feel in control, helps you track your progression, and makes you much less likely to forget to do things.

Identify areas of your life where you are wasting time and come up with a plan to reduce them. It may help to even enlist the help of others to help you stick to it. It may help some people to also develop a routine so they can know what to focus on when. One useful way to develop a routine and thereby eliminate wasted time is to use a time log. To do this, make up a chart for the next seven days divided into half hour intervals, starting the log at the time you get up and finish it at the time you go to bed. Write down what you do during each half hour of the day for the next seven days. Choose a typical week. At the end of the week examine your time log and ask yourself the following questions. Are there any periods that I could use more productively? At what time of day do I do my most effective work? (Some people are most alert in the morning, whilst others concentrate best during the afternoon or evening). Schedule your most important tasks for these times of day. Eliminate wasted time by replacing it with activities that are conducive to a more fulfilling, enjoyable and productive lifestyle.
  Express your emotions

We currently live in a society that does not understand the value and role of emotions. We live in a society that also tends to promote repression instead of expression. But unexpressed emotions affect your life. Start to label your emotions. This will help you to identify them when they come up. Emotions are transient. They will dissipate as they are expressed. The only type of emotion that lingers is repressed emotion. If something or someone is bothering you, voice your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you don't voice your feelings, not only will resentment build but the situation will likely remain the same.

You may want to use physical expression as a route to releasing emotions. Make sure you chose a physical activity that will not harm another person or yourself. Some good ways to express anger and stress include punching pillows, screaming into pillows, taking out a pen and paper and writing what you feel, painting or drawing what you feel, hitting the ground with a stick, popping balloons, taking a kickboxing class, going for a run or trying to get yourself to cry. It will feel good to get the tears flowing. It will surprise you how much better this will make you feel. The emotions will no longer be like a wall preventing you from moving forward if you express them in a healthy way.
  Keep your life simple and learn how to say no.

Keeping life simple isn't always easy. Simplicity is especially hard to attain in this fast paced century that we are currently living in. We often lose track of why we are doing what we are doing. We go so fast and create such busy, complicated lives that we forget that we have control of our lives. Instead it feels like our lives are running us.

The human ego loves complexity because it measures worth in quantity instead of quality. It also bases itself off of comparison with others. Our ego relies on fear to protect itself, and complexity is a great place to hide. Simplicity therefore, requires dedication. Begin the quest towards simplicity by taking these steps.

*Ask yourself honestly what areas of your life you feel need to be simplified.
*Identify what is holding you back from simplifying them.
*Eliminate the clutter and unnecessary aspects of your life.
*Get rid of stuff you don't use.
*Stop trying to please everyone. Instead, simply do what you intuitively feel that you know is right.
*Finish one project before you start another.
*Dedicate more time to what is really important in your life.
*Don't buy stuff you don't need.
*Aim at living below your means. This does not mean you should live in an attitude of denying yourself what you desire. It simply means making decisions that ensure you will end up with excess and therefore be focusing on the feeling of abundance instead of lack. While it is perfectly fine to desire a life of wealth, as well as work on creating it in your life, there is almost nothing worse for adding to stress levels than living beyond your means. This will set up a dynamic of focusing on the amount of money you don't have.
*Consolidate everything you can find to consolidate.
*Permit yourself to enjoy the present moments of your life (the now).
*Know your limits and stick to them. In both your personal or professional life, refuse to accept added responsibilities, especially when you're close to reaching goals. Taking on more than you can handle instantly gives rise to stress.

Many of us fear saying no. We think that to say no is selfish. And we often feel as if saying yes is the only way to earn the love of others. But, love which must be earned is not real love. And it is not selfish to ensure our own happiness, because when we are happy and feeling stress free, we have the energy and resources to devote to others. When we are unhappy and feeling stressed, we often become ill and have no energy to devote to others anyway. When you say no to a new commitment that would add stress to your life, you're honoring your existing obligations and ensuring that you'll be able to devote quality time to them. Burying yourself in commitments ensures that you will begin to feel just that…buried. Saying no may not be the easiest thing to do. But sometimes it is the necessary ingredient for practicing self care as well as eliminating stress from your life.
  Make time for fun and relaxation by finding healthy ways to relax and recharge, and give yourself permission to do so.

The sad fact about stress is that most people who experience stress have their priorities backwards. For example, someone may think that perfection is the most important thing in life or that responsibility is the most important thing in life. What they fail to recognize is the very reason for which they seek out perfection or responsibility. And the reason is this… they think they will feel better when they produce something which is perfect or when they are responsible than they would in the absence of perfection or responsibility. It is therefore important for those suffering from stress to realize that the sole reason for doing those things they "have to do" comes from the motivation of feeling better… in other words… happiness. This means that all people, most especially those who suffer from stress, would do very well to cut to the chase and make the priority of their lives (their true motivation) how they feel. It is important for the highest priority in a person's life to be none other than… happiness. The things that each specific person finds enjoyable and relaxing varies but some ideas for healthy ways to relax and recharge include:

*Call a good friend
*Spend time outside
*Take a bath
*Sweat out tension with a good workout
*Write in a journal
*Savor a warm cup of tea
*Make yourself one of your comfort foods
*Spend time with a pet (pets have been shown to dramatically reduce stress)
*Get a massage
*Play a game
*Read a book
*Drive to a place with an amazing view
*Listen to music
*Watch a comedy movie
*Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.

One of the greatest ways to reduce stress in your life is to make sure that you do something you enjoy and that recharges your engine every day. It does not have to be done alone. In fact, these kinds of activities can be used to re charge the entire family.
  Never underestimate the power of laughing. Seek out and create opportunities which will make you laugh.

It turns out that laughter may just be the best medicine of all. You have probably noticed that laughter is infectious. Laughter binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Humor lightens your burdens and inspires your hopes. Humor helps you to shift perspective and paints things in a less threatening light. It enhances resiliency and it also triggers healthy physical responses in the body. Laughter has been shown to strengthen the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thereby improving your resistance to disease.

Like exercise, laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even relieve pain. Laughter has been shown to improve the function of blood vessels and increase blood flow which leads to improved heart health. In recent studies, it has also been shown that a good, hearty laugh leaves your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. Laughter protects you from a plethora of damaging effects that stress can cause to the body and the mind. It is fun and it also does not cost anything. So, when you are trying to eliminate stress from your life, try to indulge your laughter as much as you possibly can. Allow and seek out avenues for it to surface. You can even begin with a smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter. It too is contagious. It too releases endorphins. Seek out ways to develop your own sense of humor. Seek out that which is funny to you, whether it is renting a funny movie, calling up the friend who always makes you laugh or developing an arsenal of jokes to tell. As laughter becomes an integrated part of your life you will be taken to a mental space where you can view the world from a more relaxed, positive, and balanced perspective.
Many of us have the self defeating belief that everything that is worth having is hard won. But this belief ensures that we are going about life in the wrong way. We should approach things with much more ease. Doing things the hard way causes stress, and stress in actuality, keeps the desired results from you. If you are brave enough to make feeling good the primary priority of your life and then take the steps necessary to enable your own joy as well as reduce stress levels, you can find yourselves living the life that you want to live. A Life that feels good to be living and a life full of health and freedom and joy.

The Purpose Of Your Life And How To Find It

The purpose of life is to live it - to be immersed in that which we call "experience" to such a degree that we may know what it is that we truly want. And because we are the furthest most ripple of that which we call Source or God, when we reach out eagerly and without fear for that newer and richer experience, we carry Source with us into that new place. And thus… the inevitable byproduct of life in the physical dimension is the evolution of all that is. The answer could end there. But like all things that become true knowing, this larger, more free and unanimous purpose must be accessed through the process of yielding to one's own, personal life purpose. And it is this purpose that I will talk about today.
The first step to finding meaningful purpose in every aspect of your life is to open the door to the aspect of you which chose into this life in the first place; your eternal, essential, non physical self. To many of you who are reading this today, who are unintentionally cut off from your awareness of this side of yourself, this sounds like a tall order. But it is really as easy as this… Be brave enough to acknowledge and accept what it is that you feel truly passionate about. What it is that makes you feel happy. The reason your emotions exist in the first place is to show you whether you are aligned with your non physical (soul) self or not. Your soul self vibrates energetically at the same level as the attainment of your every desire. It vibrates at the level of your joy. So when you are feeling joy, it is because you have found resonance with that aspect of your self. This is important for one very profound reason, and that reason is that when you are resonating with your higher self (and therefore your own joy), you are an energetic match to every condition that matches your happiness to unfold before you. Every opportunity, person, event, circumstance and thing which supports happiness in your life will show up for you when you have the courage to follow how you feel as your only compass directing you through your life.
Your purpose with respect to what you are meant to be "doing" here in this life will literally fall in your lap when you commit to living life at the mercy of your own joy. You will follow your feelings of passion and joy, doing nothing more than taking the next logical step until one day you will find that you are doing something which is so integral to who you are that you will say "aha, this is my purpose here". You will feel a sense of destiny in this activity because while you are doing this thing which is allowing all that is you to be present in this life, it will take no effort for you to do. We have been taught that there is virtue in effort. This is not the case. The vibrational definition of effort is struggle. It is this sense of struggle that is your indication that you are currently going cross current to the direction that your soul self is trying to lead you. If you are doing this thing that you call your purpose, while it may take some form of exertion and dedication, you will feel joy in that exertion and dedication that will thereby disqualify the action from being called a struggle. The hours you spend doing it will instead feel like minutes. You will not want to be anywhere other than where you are.
It is understandable that by the time you are hearing this message many of you have reached a point where you are not currently living a life that makes you feel a deep sense of purpose. This is because it is so common that when we are born it is such a fight in modern society to maintain our own direction, instead we choose to adopt external values, opinions and advice from other people around us. We do this for one primary reason… we hold the illusion that happiness, worth, security, love, care and direction comes from others... when in fact it can only ever come from our true selves. By the time we are adults, most of us have become so accustomed to the effort it takes to live according to someone else's values and directions, it feels normal. In other words, though it does not feel good, it feels normal to have lost touch with our very selves.
When you have lost touch with your true self, your purpose is lost to you as well. And so we must be willing to take a risk. We must be willing to take the risk of change and the risk of placing value on our joy. If we take this risk, we are committing to the willingness for our entire life and our entire direction to change. We are committing to our direction changing perhaps several times over the course of our lives. Only with this commitment is it possible to be truly happy and express your purpose.
You see, we make a mistake when we are searching for our life purpose… We look for what we are supposed to do or have in this world when our purpose comes in the form of what we are supposed to give to this world. It is only through the giving of this gift that we can ever receive. It is only through the giving of this gift what we can allow our true self to come through us and express itself into this world. This expression was the purpose of life in the first place. To disallow this is to suffer and to feel as if we are lost and not living up to our own potential. Giving this gift should not feel as if you are loosing anything. It should instead feel as if you are gaining more from life than ever before. And so, the question we should be asking ourselves every day is "what am I meant to give in this life?" and "what is trying to come through me and express itself today?".

Self Love: The Lesson Through Which All Other Lessons Are Realized

There is a wholeness that calls to all people, we are born with its song ringing in our ears, and yet we come to know it first by its absence. For most people, the time comes in adulthood when the emptiness within us grows so large it can not be filled externally. And running from fears becomes a fight that we can’t keep fighting.
This is the awakening. The point at which we stop dead in our tracks and decide that the fight is over. A kind of serenity is born of this acceptance. We see that “happily ever after” is never a place that can be found in the world that surrounds us. It is only a state that becomes from within. We chase it as if it’s a drug. We chase it out of need because the absence of it within us is so deep and vacuous it becomes a kind of living torture. We become addicts to a drug we can never find when the answer is with us all along. What is this wholeness you ask? This wholeness is love. This wholeness is love of the self.
Self love is the trump card. It is the root around which everything grows. It is the apex of our journey here. And in truth, it is the only practice. Love transforms everything unlike itself. What this means is, when a person takes on the practice of self love, they are committing to the re-surfacing and peeling back of everything that is unhealed and unloving about them. You cannot complete this journey to self love without moving through the processes of awareness, truth, equanimity, forgiveness, self-reliance, trust, responsibility, gratitude, realization, compassion, unity, freedom, letting go, joy and boundless love. It is the spiritual journey through which all other journeys are realized.
Most of us were taught indirectly growing up that self love was selfish and conceited. We were taught that self deprecation was virtuous, we were taught this by adults who confused humility with prostration. It is for this reason that we must learn for ourselves what self love is and what self love isn’t.
People whom are traditionally seen as “selfish and conceited” do not love themselves, instead, they are people who do not recognize oneness and who feel such profound lack in their own lives that they feel the need to take from others and to hoard. They cover over their insecurities with self defeating pride.
On the contrary, people who show themselves love are filling in their own internal need to such a degree that there is overflow. And in that abundance, they do not feel lack. They do not need anything from others. Instead, their love spills over to others. They are honest about their weaknesses and strengths, knowing that they have no bearing on over all worth... and in that honesty, they find the stable platform of humility.
Self love is the desire for the highest good of the self. Expressing self love means to recognize one's own unwavering worth and deserving which cannot be added to or taken away from, merely obscured or highlighted and then to subsequently choose actions and thoughts which align with the highest good for the self.
Self love is the state of wholeness or self unity. It is the state and focus of pure appreciation of the self. This focus leads to confidence, self- approval, self- regard, self-admiration and a deep level of inner peace and pleasure.
Perhaps it is most important to note that on a Vibrational level, self love is the state of total non resistance to the self. And so in order to begin loving yourself, you may have to first look for the ways that you are resisting yourself and resisting where you are. Look for ways that you can identify that you are not showing love to yourself, and from that understanding, begin to form a picture of what new decisions you could make.
People who love themselves pick the path of least resistance. Picking the hard way is not virtuous… it is self punishment. Look for what there is to appreciate about yourself. What do you really admire about yourself in this very moment (which is the honest truth of where you are)? Look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be what you think is “perfect”. The only way to be free is to stop trying to compete with the image of perfection inside your head. Love what is now about you. Find a way to decide it is not only exactly where you should be, but it is enough. You are enough.
In the beginning of this process, most of us are standing so fully in the mindset of self hatred that we can not even get a taste of love. And so instead of fighting to find that vantage point, we can ask ourselves continuously throughout the day - and most especially when there is a decision to be made... “What would someone else who loved themselves do right now if they were standing in my shoes?”.
The journey to self love begins with honoring yourself and who you really are. This means you must be brave enough to tell the highest truth, which is that we are powerful beings capable of creating joy and success or pain and suffering in our lives. We are not destined to be victims. We have the power to choose, and this power is both the greatest responsibility we have and the greatest opportunity.
Telling the honest truth, especially to ourselves, can be a daunting task because it means that we have to admit that we have not been living according to our own joy, desires and values. Honoring ourselves and who we really are means that we must be willing to withdraw our investment in other people’s opinions of us because no one knows what makes us happy but us. And if we commit to living according to our own truth, we must be willing at times to take risks to change course and go in an entirely different direction. We can not hope to ever be happy if we are unwilling to take this risk.
Self love means honoring our feelings and responding to those feelings. Feelings, (like a compass) are in place to tell us whether we are at any moment faced in the direction of our true selves (and that which we desire) or in the opposite direction of it. This is why the most important thing to recognize in life is how you feel. If you are brave enough to make feeling good your number one priority, all other conditions in your life will simply fall into line.
Self-love involves recognizing that you are constantly evolving into a more powerful and more loving being and that where you are, is just where you are. Where you are is perfect in relation to where you have been. From a space of self love, the desire for self betterment comes from the desire for the highest good for yourself, not because you are thinking you not good enough or need fixing because you’re somehow unlovable if you don’t.
People who truly love themselves, do not think about beliefs in terms of what is true. Instead, they keep only beliefs which are useful and beneficial to them. They let go of what no longer serves them. Reach for an understanding of yourself. Reach to understand why you choose limitations in your life and admit to what scares you.
We are often taught by life experiences that being helpless is the way to get attention and love. Look at your own (as well as other peoples) attempts to get acceptance, attention and love. Ask yourself, "what was I taught about being lovable? What was I taught about being responsible for my life?" It is not our fault that we learn these patterns, but we can change them. We do not need to let these fears keep us from what we want. They do not need to have power over us. Loving yourself means no longer letting fear operate your life for you.
Loving yourself also means forgiving yourself. Forgiveness is much like setting a prisoner free, only to discover that you were the prisoner all along.
Quite often in life, when we do not make immediate harmony of things that cause us to suffer, they become wounds of the mind — wounds we carry with us in our consciousness and sub consciousness every day. The pain becomes like shackles we are so used to living with that we do not even realize we have the power to take them off. In truth, forgiveness has nothing to do with anyone other than us. Though it can feel very good to a receiving party, forgiveness is only ever about ourselves. Whether it is someone else we are forgiving or ourselves we are forgiving, forgiveness is only ever unilateral. We do not need the other person present in order to forgive them — or ourselves. The healing takes place within oneself alone. Forgive yourself for having made mistakes, mistakes have no effect on worth and contrary to popular belief, forgiveness is strong not weak.
Many of us have an untrue, self limiting core belief that if we forgive ourselves, we are allowing or pardoning weakness and thus are out of control of our own actions. This is scary to most of us, because we believe that if we are out of control of our own actions, we will hurt other people. This is something we believe because somewhere in our early lives, we adopted the untrue belief that something is inherently wrong with us and that we are inherently “bad”. So withholding forgiveness from one's self can become a form of control over one's self that becomes like punishment, which we are taught is virtuous and “good”. In this way, withholding forgiveness from one’s self becomes like self abuse. It is because of this that to forgive one’s self, one must look for proof of and cultivate trust in one’s own inherent goodness.
All of us upon this earth know what love is. We may not know it as a cerebral concept, but we all know it inherently. The reason we know it is because at our most basic level, we are it. We, in our physical bodies, are not separate from source energy. We are instead extensions of source energy and source energy is the exact vibrational equivalent of love.
Therefore, love is not something we can ever escape. It is a constant, and it is our choice whether we resist it or whether we allow it in this life. The universe is literally made of love. And as such, love is your birthright. If we will just open ourselves to receiving it, like flowers opening to the sun, anything and everything becomes possible. You will create your life the way you want it to be. And you will be able to say “I love myself” and really mean it.

End of life Care… Facing the Great Transition

The Tibetan teacher Sogyal Rinpoche once said. "To die is extremely simple. You breathe out, and you don't breathe in." This is perhaps the best way to explain the transition into death. Or we should say... how the transition into death is supposed to be. But this is not the experience most people in the modern world have with death. Instead, for most the transition into death is a difficult one, filled with fear and filled with pain. Most people do not like to think about death.
Death has become a subject that we avoid looking at while it chases us down. It is the great inevitability of life, an inevitability that we spend billions of dollars trying to avoid every year. Some of us even make the very purpose of our lives a quest for physical immortality that places us in a quandary, a quandary where we resist death to such a degree that we inhibit ourselves from really living.
Many of us do not actually sit with death and try to understand it until it has caught up with us and there is no way to turn. Most of us never ask who it is that lives and dies. As a result, we have forgotten how to die well without suffering. We have also forgotten how to aid people with the transition into death.
On average, Medicare pays $50 billion per year just for doctor and hospital bills during the last two months of patients' lives, which is more than the entire budget of the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Education. And it has been estimated that 20 to 30 percent of these medical expenditures may have had no meaningful impact. It costs up to $10,000 a day to maintain someone in an average intensive care unit, which is where many people end up for the days or months leading up to death.
Modern medicine has become so good at keeping people alive by treating the complications of underlying disease that the inevitable process of dying has become much harder and is often prolonged unnecessarily. The process of dying naturally is not only something we resist out of fear, it is also something we resist because it is very profitable business. A business that, though profitable for some, could end up bankrupting the nation.
Currently, 75 percent of all people die in a hospital or a nursing home. This is a problem when the current societal protocol for keeping people alive at all costs leads hospitals and nursing homes to enact highly invasive preventative measures that leave most people sedated and in pain, in an environment that is unfamiliar and in isolation for most of the day. This is in fact how the majority of people end up spending the remainder of their days.
The overwhelming issue staring us in the face is that there is a very fine line between preserving people’s chances at a happy life by using advanced medical technology and being prevented (often agonizingly) from dying a natural death. Our current health care system is in the business of resisting death as if it is an unnatural process. Even in the best of circumstances, its laws and practices leave people suffering unreasonably and unnecessarily at the end of life. Because of the fear of death, most people and their families want to cling to life, and hope for a medical miracle rather than to discuss how they want to die.
End of life care is one of the most important issues of our time. With the baby boom population approaching old age, the medical care market is about to be flooded. It is time for us to really ask ourselves the question… How do we want ourselves and our loved ones to make the transition out of this life? The time has come within our society to approach death differently. The time has come to question the ethics and efficacy of the extraordinary and often hazardous medical interventions that plague the dying process.
It is time to radically re-design the environments in which we spend our old age and most especially, our final days. The time has come for a new kind of end of life care to be provided to the general public that is not just a luxury of the rich, a kind of end of life care approach that recognizes that death is a natural process that we can walk into pain free and fear free, surrounded by the people we love, in environments that reflect wellness and comfort, and supported by professionals who are highly passionate and trained at facilitating the process of death for individuals and their loved ones so that it is a step taken with dignity, and with ease.
And perhaps most especially, it is time to become acquainted with death as a teacher and not as an enemy so that we can stop living our lives in the space of resistance and instead allow ourselves to really live while we are here.

Crystal Healing: New Age “Hooey” or Surprising Truth

To most of us who have spent our lives grounded in the physical plane that we like to call "reality", the idea of crystal healing has made its way into the category of irrational superstition and "new age hooey". It's as if most of us are asking, how in the world can a rock be anything more than a rock, much less store energy or help us heal? How can rocks, minerals and metals do anything but just sit there? To answer this question, we must venture beyond the physical existence that we currently think is "all there is" to this reality we are living in.
Physical matter has long been seen as the stable basis of reality. In other words, physicality is the test most of us use to determine what is “real” from what is “not real”. But physical matter is not the center of reality as we know it. Instead, it is only a tiny aspect of infinite energy within the universe. You could think of physical reality like the thin, outermost membrane of this universe, much like skin - a layer of epidermis, covering an unseen substructure of other vast dimensions where energy is expressed differently because it vibrates at different frequencies depending on the dimension it exists in. Every single physical object, whether it is living or not living, exists not only in this physical level, but also in the multitude of energetic dimensions outside physicality.
Everything you see in this world is multi dimensional in nature. Your entire bodily system is nothing more than energy that shows up in various patterns and densities. The same goes for what we consider to be “inanimate structures” like rocks.
When patterns of energy work together in a non resistant and cohesive way, then we experience what we call health. These patterns of energy can be disrupted by a multitude of things. When this happens, we experience a state of dis-ease. This leads to poor health. This resistant, discordant energy patterning is responsible for every negative symptom we experience in our physical from, everything from a headache to cancer.
Everything we believe is solid and “real” is simply appearing real to us because of our physical senses, but our physical senses are doing nothing more than interpreting energy as a scent or as a sight or a taste of a feel. It is our senses that convert what is, for lack of a better word, an energetic, holographic reality into the static reality we call physical. It is our senses that tell us that we are “separate” from our surroundings.
At our most fundamental level, we are not only participating in this vast energetic field, we are also made of this energetic field. We are one with every animate and inanimate thing we see. Our physical lives are only different expressions of the very same energy that makes up “all that is” across every universe and in every dimension. The amplitude and frequency (what we often call vibration) at which this energy expresses itself, is what determines whether energy becomes a person or a rock in the physical dimension.
Crystals and what we call gemstones, have a vibration that is free of resistant patterns. They are among some of the structures in the physical dimension that have the very most balanced, cohesive, strong and intentional frequencies. Their un-changing physical structure is a reflection of the fact that their innate energetic patterns of balance and strength and cohesiveness are incorruptible. In the physical dimension when you pick up a crystal, it may look like you are not really doing more than touching and looking at a separate, physical object. But in the other dimensions in which both you and the rock exist, you are “entraining” energetically with that rock. This entrainment then causes changes to your structure and psychology on the physical dimension.
The governing law of every dimension within the universe is that of “oneness”. In physical life, we have come to call this the “Law of Attraction”. Simply put, only frequencies that are a vibrational match can co-exist. Therefore, in order to share the same space with another “form”, you must be vibrating at the same level as it is vibrating. Health is the natural state of any form within the universe. Therefore, the natural inclination and tendency of anything within the universe is that of balance, cohesiveness and ease. This means that the natural progression of vibration is to entrain and resonate in the direction of health. Because of this, when you share the space a crystal (or gemstone) that has a resistance free vibration, instead of the vibration of the crystal adopting a non cohesive pattern, your energy will entrain with the energy of the crystal and adopt it’s cohesive pattern.
This entrainment causes you to no longer create the pattern of dis-ease within your energetic substructures and therefore, the physical manifestation of that dis-eased energy is no longer being maintained and the physical symptom disappears. Because of this entrainment effect, crystals and gemstones are incredibly adept at bringing us back into a vibrational state of health and harmony. Anything with an inherent energetic pattern of non resistance can act like a tuning fork, by offering a vibration that we can use to retune ourselves to a healthy vibration. This is what is really happening on the energetic levels of substructure when you listen to a song that makes you feel good, or spend time near a person that makes you feel good, or take a homeopathic remedy.
Each crystal or gemstone resonates with a slightly different pattern energetically and therefore, just like our specific physical structures, appears different in the physical in terms of things like chemical composition, structure, geometry, color and texture. Because of this, each one lends itself to patterns that reside in our specific physical systems. For example, to share the space with rose quartz is to expose the energetic patterns active in our physical and metaphoric heart to align themselves with health and adopt a more resistance free pattern. Therefore, when we entrain with rose quarts, unresolved heart issues will dissipate, allowing us to let go of whatever is distorting our energies that identify with the heart.
Crystals and gemstones grow deep within in the earth’s crust over millions of years at extremely high pressures and heat. This gives them a place among the objects on earth with the very most inherent energy. They are capable of receiving, containing, projecting, emanating, refracting, and reflecting energy. Crystals have a very consistent arrangement of atoms. In the gem stone called “quartz”, these atoms vibrate at a stable and measurable frequency. Because of this, quartz is an excellent receiver and emitter of electro-magnetic energy. For this reason, quartz is used in radios, watches, and numerous electronic technologies.
Nobel prize-winning scientist, Marcel Vogel, discovered that not only can crystals be programmed as silicon chips in a computer, they can also be programmed with the energy of consciousness. He discovered that when a person uses a computer, thoughts are directed to the computer by pressing on the keyboard, that information is stored in the computer's silicon chips via the medium of electricity. Vogel then reasoned correctly that, like electricity, thought is a form of energy that can be given direction by what we call “intention”. He concluded due to this discovery that crystals could also be programmed without the need for electricity, by using just thoughts as the informational energy.
Quartz is what is called a piezoelectric material. A piezoelectric substance is something that produces an electric charge when a mechanical stress is applied. When piezoelectric material is placed under mechanical stress, a shifting of the positive and negative charge centers in the material takes place, which then results in an external electrical field. This stress can be caused by hitting or twisting the material just enough to deform its crystal lattice without fracturing it. The effect also works in the opposite way, with the material deforming slightly when a small electric current is applied.
While the argument rages back and forth as to whether the piezoelectric effect plays a role in the human-crystal healing relationship or not, the fact that crystals are so responsive to electro magnetic fields has serious implications. It has serious implications because our bodies are composed of and constantly emanating electro magnetic fields, and crystals and gemstones respond to this electricity that is creating and coursing through our bodies.
Another interesting finding is that quartz is composed of silicon and oxygen (SiO2), a combination known to geologists as the building block of all minerals. Our planet is made up of minerals containing silicon and oxygen. Silicon is an important constituent of our human bodies. Some of the more science oriented people have theorized that the transfer of energy from the natural crystal to the silicon within our own bodies could have something to do with the physical healing effect caused by exposure to crystals.
Crystals and Gemstones are one of the most powerful tools available to us in the physical dimension of existence. They are tools all of us have used subconsciously at one time or another. Often it’s an interaction that takes place by our attention being drawn to a specific rock. On the physical level, we think it is “pretty” and though we do not know why we like it so much, we feel compelled to pick it up and keep it in our pocket. We have no idea why we felt this urge and we have no conscious awareness of what is behind our impulse to pick it up. We have no idea that our energetic substructure is calling us towards the specific vibration of that rock in order to entrain with it and move towards a more cohesive healthy pattern than the one we are currently maintaining within ourselves.
Like all tools, the key to maximum utilization is to learn how to consciously implement the tool. If this aforementioned scenario could cross over from a subconscious compulsion to a conscious process of seeking out a specific crystal or gemstone based on knowledge of the benefit of using it, the person’s receptivity would be such that the effects of the entrainment would be a hundred fold. If we consciously recognized that our own electro magnetic fields are impacted by the energetic quality of each crystal and gemstone, we would see that they create an electro chemical response within our body and psychology that would allow us to use them as the powerful tools that they are. We could use them on a daily basis to promote health, awareness, growth and evolution within ourselves and the multi dimensional lives we lead.

What Are Dreams and Why do we Have Dreams?

At this particular point in time, there is not an accepted, unanimous, biological answer to the question "what are dreams?”. The reason we don’t have an accepted answer to that question is due to the fact that at this point, modern, Newtonian based science does not recognize the element of “spirit” as it relates to physical life. Because of this, though we can see what portions of the brain are active or dormant during sleep, the search for the answer to why we dream is a quest left to the realm of psychological and philosophical theory.
Without beating around the bush, it must be said clearly and simply that it is impossible to understand why we dream if we are unwilling to look at that which we call “spirit”. And it is impossible to understand why we dream if we are unable to open our minds to view consciousness as being more than just a byproduct of the brain. Rather we must look at the brain as a sort of receiver of information that it then translates and broadcasts to the body.
Scientists now know that when we sleep, slow-wave activity appears in our brains as the neurons in the cortex switch themselves off and essentially go electrically silent. But when we reach the REM phase of sleep, the brain is essentially re-awakened. Blood flow rises sharply in several brain areas linked to processing memories and emotional experiences and the portion of the hindbrain that connects the cerebral cortex with the medulla oblongata (called the Pons) sends signals to the thalamus and to the cerebral cortex. The word Pons is Latin for bridge. This translation is extremely important because it does not merely refer to the bridge between parts of the brain, but also the bridge between spirit and the brain.
When we sleep, we withdraw a large portion of our consciousness and perspective back from the physical dimension (often called the third dimension). We re-join “source perspective” in much the same way as we do when we die. This perspective is a non physical point of consciousness. It is a perspective that transcends dimensionality and is completely unified. When our consciousness withdraws to this degree, we are in a state of complete allowing. There is no resistance present in our consciousness. Because of this, source energy is able to flow unrestricted to our bodies and learning is consolidated.
It is very important to understand thought in and of itself when one is trying to understand dreaming. Whatever consciousness is giving its attention and energy to creates a thought out of that specified focus. We, in our human form that we have grown so accustomed to, are physical expressions of thought. And thought…thinks. Thought is one of the most powerful, energetic vibrations within this universe. Thoughts that are thought repetitively become more and more manifested as their signal becomes stronger. In other words, they become “thought form”. When those thoughts that have become thought form continue to be thought frequently and with enough focus, they then become physical form.
When we decide to come back from source perspective to our physical perspective and thus direct our consciousness back to the third dimension (where our bodies exist in physical reality), we pass through these dimensions of thought and thought form back to where we left off. This is why we wake up in the same “energetic vibration” so to speak as we went to bed with. It is during this re-entry that we pass through the thoughts that we ourselves have created that form the substructure of our physical reality. We essentially come into contact with the pre- physically manifested reality. This re entry happens in split seconds. And the Pons area of the brain is the first area of the brain to be re-activated by that large stream of consciousness that is re-entering the physical body. The brain registers these thoughts according to how it understands things.
Because of this, the primary visual cortex is dormant while the secondary visual cortex is reactive and decoding those thought signals. So it is the brain that posits the sensation that a dream is taking place all night long, when it is really only taking place in split seconds and is being deciphered upon re-entry. The process of remembering a dream occurs when your physical brain translates non physical thought into its physical equivalent.
The higher frequency dimensions beyond our physical dimension are not subject to the physical brain’s ability to interpret or judge what is possible vs. impossible or what is real vs. unreal. Instead the energy within those dimensions instantaneously responds to individual thought.
Because of this, they consist of intensely individual and often surrealistic manifestations of thought. This is why interpretations of dreams and symbology within dreams are so highly subjective. Though it can be said that in general, certain events and symbols translate as certain things to the whole of humanity, an event or symbol may be a representation of one thing to one person and a totally different thing to someone else. What you dream about is always an individual representation of the thoughts you have been thinking (some of which you do not consciously take note of). And your emotions are your indication of the energetic vibration of those thoughts you’ve been thinking. For this reason, the most important thing to take note of when re-examining a dream is how you feel during the dream relative to each subject you encounter in the dream. For example, if you pay attention to how you feel relative to “waves” if you were to have a dream about waves that were overpowering you, you could find that the particular manifestation of waves is the visual representation of the thought that you keep having about something or someone in your waking life that causes you to feel powerless.
Your dreams are your creations and your manifestations just like your physical reality is. It is not possible for you to dream about anything that you have not created through your own individual thoughts. It is important to note that once a thought manifests in your dreamscape reality, it means that you have given that particular thought a significant amount of focus. Your dreams are a manifestation of what you have been thinking often and with significant focus during your waking, physical life. It takes less focus to manifest thought into the dreamscape reality than it does physical reality. Dreams represent the current vibrational condition of the dreamer.
Because of this, your dreams are essentially a preview of the essence of what is to come in your physical life. This is especially true when it comes to very emotionally charged and repetitive dreams. For this reason, understanding your dreams and most importantly how you feel in your dreams can help you to understand what you are creating for yourself before you create it. We all know, it is much easier to change the direction of our focus and attention before it manifests as opposed to after it manifests, at which point we end up staring at physical proof to back up and intensify the original thought.
The most important question to ask about a dream is “how is the way I am feeling in this dream echoing in my waking life?”. In other words, “when have I felt similar emotions to this in my waking life”? By asking this question, you can start to decipher your mind’s own unique dream symbology. Dreams are one of the most powerful indicators of where you have been putting your focus. Because of this, they can serve as a priceless evolutionary tool by helping you to recognize and solve internal conflicts in your life before they manifest into your physical reality. If you can delve deeply with awareness into what thought based condition the dream offers awareness of, a healing process can begin and intentional, positive focus can be restored, leading to intentional, positive manifestation in your physical waking life.

Liver Congestion, a Growing Epidemic

As a medical intuitive, it is my duty to expose a health crisis plaguing human society today, which is congestion of the liver. This condition is at the heart of nearly all recurrent illness. This problem is confounded by the fact that the main culprit…liver stones (which are gall stones in the liver) are undetectable by blood tests and liver enzyme tests. Liver stones are very rarely detectable by X-rays and ultrasound technology because these stones are mostly non-calcified, hard bile deposits. Meaning, they do not “stick out” as an abnormality within the liver as they are made from the same material surrounding them. Most people, even many trained medical professionals, assume that gallstones occur only in the gallbladder. This assumption is wrong. The large majority of gallstones are actually formed in the liver. The formation of these stones leads to serious liver congestion. This means that large portions of the human population are inflicted with a disease that is undetectable and therefore un-diagnosable by conventional medicine.
The liver plays a large hand in the growth, functioning or disorder of every single cell in the human body. Anything that interferes with the liver therefore, has a serious, detrimental impact on the health of the entirety of the body, which is why it is so easy to trace nearly every symptom of disease back to impaired function of the liver. The liver is unlike many other organ systems in that the organ itself will not usually develop a noticeable symptom directly when it is in a state of disorder. Instead, it causes symptoms to manifest seemingly indirectly in other organ systems which depend on its functioning. When the liver becomes congested with deposits, the processes of digestion, detoxification and elimination of bodily waste products are all impeded, which causes disease symptoms to begin to show up in other bodily systems. For example, someone who suffers from liver congestion may have no idea the main culprit is the liver, because the symptom they are experiencing is chronic skin irritation, chronic fatigue, chronic urinary tract infections, joint pain, obesity, menstrual disorder, headaches, a digestive problem, heart disease or cancer.
The liver is one of the most complex and vital organs in the human body. It is responsible for processing, converting, distributing and maintaining the body’s energy and nutrient supply. It manufactures cholesterol, which is an essential building material of organ cells, hormones and bile. It makes new amino acids and converts existing ones into proteins. These proteins are the main building blocks of the cells, hormones, neurotransmitters and genes. It plays a major role in breaking down old cells, recycling iron and storing vitamins and nutrients. The liver breaks down alcohol in the blood and detoxifies noxious substances, bacteria, parasites, and chemical drugs. It uses enzymes to convert waste or poisons into substances that can then be safely carried out of the body. The liver filters more than a quart of blood each minute. Most of the filtered waste products leave the liver via the bile stream (which is blocked when the liver is congested with stones). The liver also produces proteins and hormones that affect the way the body functions, grows and heals. So it is easy to see how restricting the function of the liver affects the health of every single cell within the body. I have never in my life come across a person who exhibited chronic illness who was not plagued by liver congestion.
The question arises, why is liver congestion such an epidemic problem? There are many theories. And the answer is most likely multifaceted. We are living unbalanced lifestyles in environments of ever increasing toxicity. More than any time in human history, the environments we are living in are rich with chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides and hormones. And the most toxic factor is perhaps the modern day diet. For the most part, the modern day diet is wrong for the human body. It is devoid of nutrients, highly processed and laden with chemicals. Overeating (which alters the body’s ph level and creates a rich environment for unhealthy microbial activity) is a big source of the problem. It causes toxic substances to accumulate in the digestive system, which then causes a blood and lymph imbalance, which decreases blood flow in the liver, leading to build up and eventually liver stones.
The over consumption of flesh and milk proteins is also a contributing factor. Excessive protein intake thickens and congests basal membranes of blood vessels, including those in the liver. This constriction prohibits cholesterol from circulating in the body, which leads to the body perceiving that its cholesterol level is low so it raises cholesterol production to dangerous levels.
Our modern lives are also abundant with stress. It is well known that stress has a negative impact not only on the mind, but also on the body. Stress plays a key role in causing liver congestion. The highly toxic stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline alters blood chemistry, thereby altering the natural bacteria level in the body as well as decreasing blood flow within the liver dramatically. Stress also causes dehydration ,which affects the viscosity of the bile within the liver, which leads to liver stones.
The liver (which is often called the filter organ), like any filter, needs to be cleaned. Flushing the liver expels the poisonous substances that create the gall stones which block the bile ducts within the liver and thereby cause liver congestion. I would dare say that cleansing the liver may indeed be one of the most important and life changing actions a person can take. It can restore balance, harmony and healing in every facet of physical life. There are several liver detoxification programs, diets, herbs and products available. Individuals should research what is available, and try the approach that feels right or “resonates” with them the most. Some of these approaches are gentle and some are more extreme. In my professional opinion, the best liver cleanse is called “The Amazing Liver and Gall Bladder Flush” developed by Andreas Moritz. I have personally used this program myself and seen this program transform people’s health in ways that would be described by most as miraculous.
As most of you know, I do not usually overtly advocate action steps with regards to health because all disease is the physical byproduct of discordant energetic vibration that is caused by resistant thought patterns. Thought is the root from which everything grows. But it is my opinion after a lifetime of observing illness within the body that along with confronting the thought patterns that lend themselves to liver congestion, deliberate liver cleansing is a cornerstone of reaching and maintaining homeostasis and health in today’s world. The body is an integral part of this universe and world. It therefore doesn’t need to fight nature. The natural state of any living organism, even in the toxic environments of today, is that of health. A liver flush is a very powerful way to assist the body in aligning with that natural state of health. It is my opinion that once a person has released the underlying mental and emotional patterns behind a disease, completed a series of liver cleanses and consequently established a healthy diet and lifestyle, the liver of even people with the most severe liver disorders will return to its optimal, healthy and efficient state. I would strongly suggest it to anyone living in the world today.

Life After Suicide

Suicide is a topic that has been shrouded in stigma for hundreds of years. Because of this, the suffering many go through when they lose a loved one to suicide is amplified. But it is possible to heal from the grief of loosing a loved one to suicide. It is possible to live again.
Why? This is a question that anyone whose life is touched by suicide will find themselves asking. Why would anyone willingly cause his or her own death? The answer to this question is simple but the grief experienced by anyone who is dealing with suicide is anything but simple.
Suicide is a topic that has been shrouded in stigma for hundreds of years. This stigma ensures that the shock that is normally experienced in the wake of any death is experienced multifold when someone commits suicide. Often, the pain of coping with suicide is so acute that it feels like we have lost our own lives right along with them when they chose to take theirs. Those of us left behind in the wake of a suicide often find ourselves drowning in a sea of unfathomable grief and misunderstanding. A large part of that misunderstanding comes from the stigma that there is something inherently wrong with suicide. In our society today, suicide has become taboo because it is so tightly interwoven with the concept of sin. It is for this reason that when trying to heal from the grief of a suicide, the first understanding to come to is that there are no consequences awaiting those who commit suicide after death.
The idea that there is a consequence waiting after death for those who chose suicide is an idea fabricated by the minds of men. Men who sought to create conformity and obedience. Men who sought to control other people's lives to put themselves into power. The idea that suicide meant punishment after death is not even an idea that shows up in religion until men began to use religion to control the masses. They demanded conformity, which pulled people sideways, away from their own joy. When that occurred, men began to suffer and so a religious idea was invented by man to justify why a person should continue to conform and put up with suffering.
The idea that was given to the people by those who sought to control them was that life is supposed to be hard. The idea that was given to the people is that life is supposed to be one of suffering and penance so that man may make himself worthy of a God that stands in judgment of him. They used this belief to justify their control of others, most especially to justify things like taxation, which at times in early civilization became so extreme that taxation made living a good life… impossible.
God was made out to be a being that was external from mankind, more like a parent figure who both rewarded and punished you based on your conformity or failure to conform. The idea presented to man kind was that life wasn't meant to be joyous. Instead, it was meant to be hard and full of tests and that the reward for passing those tests and bearing your hard life well came after you died. So with that understanding, people began to rush the process and hasten their transition into the rewards of death. In other words, a large percentage of them began to commit suicide.
When those intent on creating conformity saw that they had lost control again because those people who didn't want to conform were killing themselves, they had to invent a new idea… The idea that the only time that death does not mean reward is if you kill yourself. They made suicide a sin a kin to murder. Not because it is. But because it was the only way to keep control and get people to conform.
This belief and stigma still exists in our society surrounding the idea of suicide. It is an idea that has been added to and justified and perpetuated for hundreds of years. It is no part of universal, objective truth. Though we all gain more from joy than from suffering, though we all wish joy for those we love and though it is unimaginably painful to lose someone to suicide, suicide is not "bad". Suicide is not a sin. Suicide is not "wrong".
Suicide is the by product of the feeling of total powerlessness. It occurs when someone has focused negatively for so long or with such intensity, that they become cut off from the natural stream of well being that created their life in the first place (their higher self). When this occurs, they become cut off from their own desires and from who they really are. They hold themselves vibrationally apart from their higher self to such a degree that life force energy is prevented from flowing through them. This life force is often referred to as an inner light. In the absence of that inner light, they feel as if they are in a chasm so deep and dark that there is no way out. They feel as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. And as such, their pain exceeds their resources for coping with the pain of that "disconnection". And suicide seems like the only way out of that space. No one commits suicide out of selfishness. In fact, they often feel as if other people around them are also better off without their misery and darkness. From their perspective, it seems more like mercy towards themselves and others to check out of their life.
We all intuitively (if not mentally) know that what is waiting for us after death is the pure positive vibration of source energy or that which has been called God perspective. This is why suicide happens. We intuitively sense the presence of relief in death.
Suicide could be accurately seen as pushing a re-set button. It is not a decision that is good or bad in and of itself. Source (that which is often called God) does not condemn nor condone the decision. And nor should we. We can not say that suicide is wrong without also saying that death is wrong. And death is not wrong. It is the natural conclusion of everyone's life just like birth is the natural beginning of everyone's life.
Everyone chooses their death. This is the case regardless of whether someone dies from an accident or from illness or from suicide. For death to occur, an individual's singular perspective must align with (agree with) the perspective of their higher self in the decision to withdraw the focus of their consciousness into physical, three dimensional reality. Both perspectives must concur that death is a step in the right direction for death to occur, so having said that, suicide is about one thing and one thing only, those who it leaves behind.
How does a person go about coping and healing from the grief experienced when someone they love commits suicide?
1. **Be prepared*
*for VERY powerful emotions and changes. Your life will never be the same again. The reason you want to prepare for this is that the emotions and beliefs flushed up by suicide are so intense that at some point in the process, you are bound to feel as if you are going crazy. But you are not going crazy. The emotions that are going to come up are normal as extreme as they may be. They will be all consuming and the worst thing to do is to resist them. "I am where I am" should be the motto of anyone dealing with this kind of grief. There is nothing wrong with you any more than there is something wrong with a woman going through the process of birth. Your world is falling apart at the seams. The process will be all consuming. You may experience nightmares and symptoms of post traumatic stress. The idea that you should "just be ok" or "deal with it gracefully" is one you should let go of upfront. Try to trust that if you surrender to the process, you will eventually come out on the other side with a brand new life. Well being is natural to life. If you allow yourself to surrender, the process will carry you like a current to the other side. If you fight against these emotions and the changes, if you fight for composure, you will be fighting against a current that you can't win against. It will feel like you are drowning. 2. **Find support*
*from people who know about grief and whom will allow you to be wherever you are in the process and not expect you to keep it together. Find people to support you who you feel good being around. If it feels good to be alone, find people to support you who will allow you to do that. Realize that they too will be going through their own process of grief. These people can also help you to take care of the day to day part of living while you are grieving. They can help you with meals, with errands, with funeral arrangements and with informing other people that a loved one has passed away as the result of suicide. People actually enjoy helping, in fact one of the hardest parts of watching someone cope with a death of a loved one is feeling helpless with nothing to do. In this day and age, even if you don't have close friends and family, there are organizations and people whose sole purpose is to step in and fill this role for you. Go looking for them. Grief is a time to learn that we live in an interdependent universe and that we can ask for help. 3. **Understand the feelings associated with grief.**
***Shock*
*is the first reaction to any death. When you first discover that someone has committed suicide, you may be so shocked that you will feel totally numb. This numbness can last for a long time. It is the natural result of your brain trying to process something that is too much for it to process. Similar to the shock the body experiences as a result of an injury, this kind of emotional shock is the result of the brain protecting itself from the initial pain of the loss. This numbness can make it so that you are unable to go on with your day to day life. Your routine will be completely interrupted. Let it. This is a time for being where you are. This shock may last a few hours or a few days or go on for several weeks. Denial may also be a part of this initial shock.
***Anger and Blame*
*is usually the second reaction to death. Most people who lose a loved one experience this emotion at some point. It is completely normal. You might be angry with your loved one for abandoning you or leaving you buried in grief to deal with alone. Or you may be angry with yourself or others for missing clues about your loved one's suicidal intentions. You may be angry that something could've been done differently but wasn't. Don't deny your anger. Talk about it, think about it, and deal with it constructively. Find out what you are really angry about. Own up to that anger. There's nothing wrong with anger. And it does not mean you are a bad person or that you don't love the person who is gone.
***Guilt*
*is the third emotion associated with death. Often, when you are dealing with suicide, the anger you have towards the whole situation turns inward on yourself. When you have hit the guilt stage of grief, you will play out endless scenarios of "what if" and "if only" and "I should have" in your own mind. To stay in a place of guilt is to punish yourself for something you can not change. There is nothing natural about that. Your loved one, who has exited this life, does not want you to feel guilty. There is no healing that can take place when you continue to hold yourself accountable for someone else's life, even if that life is the life of your spouse or what's more… your child. Relief from guilt will come only when you accept that nothing can be done. It was their choice (not your choice) to do what they wanted with their own life. Your loved one is no longer here in the physical and nothing can be changed. Your loved one can't be helped any more. They have done what they felt was the best thing to do and now, they are in a place of total relief. They are free. And so all there is to do is to decide whether to commit to life again. And once you've decided to commit to life again, all there is to do is to start a new life piece by piece and minute by minute, one that is built from the experience of loss.
***Despair and Sadness*
*are the next feelings associated with suicide. Once you really let go of what could have been done differently and come into a place of acceptance about the fact that your loved one is no longer here in the physical, and that nothing can be changed, you will most likely find yourself in the full experience of loss. You may find that you are completely overtaken by loneliness, sadness, or helplessness. It is even common for you to consider suicide yourself. The key to healing from this stage is about living moment to moment trying to be in the now. Be very honest with yourself and prioritize doing things that feel good in the exact moment you are in. Don't make any long term plans. Find joy in very tiny things, like watching an uplifting movie or spending time with a favorite pet. If you run away from this pain by making big changes, you will find out that your despair will follow you wherever you run to. Take time to look for things that you have true gratitude for. Even if those things are as small as the feeling of hot water running over you in the shower. Any kind of positive focus will move you into a better feeling place. And bit by bit, you will find yourself at a point where you can begin to establish a new routine. And you may begin to even look forward to the future sometimes.
***Relief*
*is a feeling that is also a part of the emotional experience, but it is one that is not often talked about in association with suicide. This is because when it comes to death, relief is in and of itself treated as a taboo emotion. We have been indoctrinated to believe that if we love someone, we must feel really, really, really bad that they have transitioned into death forever. But death is a release of pain. That is why people commit suicide in the first place. If we pay close attention to how we feel when a loved one commits suicide, we will notice we often experience a brief feeling of relief. Usually, by the time a person has committed suicide, their life has been consumed by pain and suffering for a long time. Those of us who were surrounded by that suffering may have felt the intense burden or exhaustion from being involved with them and being unable to do anything to change their suffering. And so the relief we may feel is a reflection of knowing we do not have to worry about them anymore and it is all over. We know they are not suffering and that the difficulty has ended. It is not "selfish" to feel this way. It is also very natural. Feeling this way does not mean that you don't love the person who has left this physical existence. So let go of the tendency to feel guilt for this feeling of relief. It is natural to feel relief when someone's suffering has come to an end. 4. **Grieve in your own way.*
*There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Don't rush the process. Just like birth, each person's grieving process will be unique unto themselves. Do what's right for you, not anyone else. Wait to do things you don't feel ready to do until you are ready. Don't let anyone tell you to be anywhere other than where you are. When you feel ready to move into a space of joy again, then you can initiate your own healing by finding help or by working through it on your own. The honest truth is that for many of us, the grief process is something we feel we really need. And so we should not try to rush it. People who want you to be better…now, feel that way because it hurts them to see you grieve. Not because feeling grief in and of itself is wrong. We want happiness for each other. It is easier for us to be happy when those around us are happy themselves. But you are only responsible for one thing: How YOU feel. 5. **Allow yourself to experience set backs.*
*Healing is not a linear process, it is a process that happens in cycles. Some days will be better than other days. Anniversaries, birthdays and reminders of your loved one are likely to flush up grief all over again. These patterns of healing by re experiencing the pain will get fewer and farther in between and they will not be as intense and all consuming as they were the first time. Do not criticize yourself for these "set backs" because they are not really set backs at all. It is impossible to move backwards in this life. What is happening is that you are reaching new levels of healing. New healing begins with discovering new levels of pain. 6. **Allow yourself alone time but remain connected to others.*
*For most of us, it takes being alone with our thoughts in order to fully process and cope with grief. These periods of time where we really sit with ourselves and the truth of our feelings as they are… are a crucial part of healing. And we should allow ourselves to make time for them. Simultaneously, it is a wise decision to stay connected with people whom support us. For you, that may mean family and friends, or it may mean clergy or professionals or support groups. Keep in touch with people who can comfort and understand you and participate in your healing process. Keep that door open. If your alone time turns into isolation, you may find that you have dug your way into your own space of deep suffering and you will have trouble integrating yourself back into the world. You can take time to be alone, but do not expect yourself to go through the process of grief alone. 7. **Replace the beliefs that keep you in a place of suffering.*
*What keeps people grieving are the thoughts that they are holding on to that don't feel good to think. It may sound too simplistic, but it is really as simple as that. In order to build a new life and heal from the loss of someone to death, especially to suicide, we need to let go of the idea that if we love someone, we need to remain loyal to their memory and stay miserable because of the loss of them for the rest of our lives. This is not what loyalty is. Laughing and enjoying your life does not mean you've forgotten your loved one. If you really love someone, the best thing you can do for them is to become an example of alignment with joy. This is especially true when suicide is involved. Those who commit suicide, do so because however capable they may be, they are unable to align with joy. But they wanted joy. They wanted joy for themselves and for those around them. They made the decision that they had to die in order to align with that joy. But you do not have to die in order to align with joy. All you have to do is find a new way to think. Find a way to think about the situation that feels good.
When the time comes that you are ready... Let go of your thoughts that don't feel good to think, such as:

*What could I have done differently?
*They are gone forever.
*I am totally alone.
*I can't do this.
*I'll never get over this.
*What did I do to deserve this?
*Life is over.
*It was so selfish of them to do that.
*I can't go on.
*I must have done something horrible in my last life to deserve this.
*I'm a terrible person.
*They've ripped this family apart.
Replace thoughts that feel bad to think with thoughts that feel good to think, such as:

*They are at peace.
*They didn't do this to hurt me.
*I have become a more compassionate and whole person because of this experience.
*In honor of their memory I allow myself to find joy like they couldn't.
*I choose to seek out that which makes me happy.
*I will see them again.
*They are not gone. They have just "exited the movie theatre of life".
Thoughts that feel better to think are going to vary based on whoever is thinking them. One thought may feel really good for one person to think, but wont feel so good for another person to think. The key is finding the thoughts that feel really good for you, yourself to think. Spend time focused on those thoughts.
Sometimes we prevent ourselves from choosing thoughts that feel good because we are unsure if they are true or not. Don't preoccupy yourself with seeking out truth over what feels good in your life. Truth, as an external consensus, does not exist. Instead, your life will become the byproduct of what thoughts you chose to think. And you will call that byproduct…Truth. And so, the gift of grief and loss is that when your life falls apart, you have the opportunity to build the truth of your life intentionally out of thoughts and beliefs that feel good to think. Because of this, you have the opportunity to build an even better life for yourself than the one you were living before. This is part of the universal intention for the existence of things as life shattering as coping with suicide in the first place.
You are meant to choose your life, not live a life that is the default byproduct of beliefs you adopted from your childhood experience. The gift of any kind of suffering is that it calls everything into question. Let your life fall apart. Then when you are ready, decide how you want to put it together again. Decide what thoughts and beliefs you want to lay as the foundation for your new life. Your grief and sadness will gradually subside, when you surrender to the process and then decide that you are ready to intentionally create new joy.

Honesty

Honesty is one of man kind’s most cherished virtues. But what is honesty?
Honesty is the process of recognizing, accepting and expressing our authentic, true self. And this process starts with you. Nothing is more important than being honest with your self. All too often, we fall into the trap of deceiving ourselves with rationalization.
The culprit that hides behind the skirts of dishonesty is fear. Until we face those fears, our motivations for being dishonest remain. We lose our integrity. We begin to lie, we begin to rationalize, we begin to deceive others, and we begin to act on the impulses of envy, greed and manipulation. We may think we are getting away with it because we are not getting caught in the act by others, but we are getting caught every single time by ourselves. And we experience the internal consequences every time. Our own minds know when we are not acting with integrity. And the turmoil of not living in alignment with our true authentic self ensures that we can not have inner peace.
All dishonesty is a form of self sabotage in the long run. By not building our lives around a skeleton of integrity, we cut our self off from who we really are and the result is that our spirit fades. We lose our self. And consequently, because we lose our self, we begin to lose others. We drown in the consequences of abandoning our true self. We lose our self respect and our world falls at our feet.
If we desire to live a life that we enjoy, if we desire to live the life that we intended to live by coming here in the first place, we need to learn how to express who it is that we truly are in every evolving moment. We must first lie to our selves before we can lie to others, because of this we need to be brave enough to ask ourselves what we are so afraid will happen if we are 100% honest with ourselves and others. The answer may be that we are afraid that if we are completely honest, we will not be good enough or that other people will stop loving us.
Discovering what fear is behind the dishonesty in our lives is a priceless opportunity. It is a priceless opportunity because once we are able to focus on diminishing those fears and begin to choose new beliefs, we will be walking hand in hand with our own joy. We will be living with integrity, which is a platform of self solidity which allows our life to flourish on top of it.
Honesty never feels bad. What feels bad are the conclusions we draw about (and judgments we cast on) our honesty. For example, it is honest to say, “I have not always acted honestly in the past”. The reason we may feel negative about saying that isn’t because of that truth in and of itself. It is because of the conclusion we may be drawing about that truth such as “bad people are dishonest so I must be a bad person”. Our true, authentic selves never judge us negatively. So if we ever find ourselves telling the truth about something and feeling bad about doing so, it is because of our own judgments and fears that we feel bad and not because of honesty. Honesty is not an enemy; instead, it is a tool which will set you free.
Those of us who are aware that our minds create our reality, often find ourselves at an impasse when it comes to honesty. On one hand it is true that whatever you focus on… you get more of, and that if you want to live a different life, you have to tell a different story relative to your life.
On the other hand, it is true that dishonesty feels terrible and that those of us who utilize the power of thought sometimes run away from truth and gloss over it (which is resistance) because we are struggling so hard to think positively. It is because of this that we must learn first that none of us upon this planet came here with the intention of lying to ourselves. We came here to express our authentic selves.
Because of this, we need to first release the resistance to where we are by saying “I am where I am”. Where we are is just where we are. It is a temporary place that can always change and will change the minute we choose something new. From there, we need to let the awareness of where we are and our true selves show us where we would rather be. We need to let ourselves own up to what is authentic to ourselves and our desires and then we need to line up with those desires.
An example of how to stay in line with integrity and honesty while simultaneously remaining in a positive vibration (which creates positive manifestation in your life) is… “I have not always acted honestly in the past, this causes me to know that I desire to act honestly now and in the future because integrity feels good and I’m often making choices in my life with integrity such as_________”.
Used properly, honesty should not be something that we use to invoke guilt in ourselves. It is not something that is meant to showcase how far we aren’t and what we lack. Honesty is meant to be a compass that keeps us in line with the North Star with such accuracy that we are never lost. The North Star that it keeps us in line with is ourselves. Are you being honest with yourself?

What Does it Mean To Be In Alignment?

We have all heard it again and again from spiritual guides and channels and self help professionals alike… the key to everything you want in this life is alignment. But what does it really mean to be "in alignment"?
The definition of alignment is to bring components or parts into proper or desirable coordination correlation. In plain English, to align something means to place it in a line with something else or to arrange it so as to be parallel or straight with something else. But the question is with what? What are you supposed to be parallel with? The answer is… your higher self. Your higher self is the eternal, incorporeal, omnipotent, consciousness, which is your real self. It is the being that you go forth from and withdraw back to from life to life. It is the summation of all that you have ever been and all that you are. It is a consciousness which is inseparable from that which we call Source Energy (or God). So we could interchange the term Higher Self with the word Source.
In the beginning of this one life you are living, your higher self (Source) projected a portion of its self forward into third dimensional (physical) expression. This projection became…YOU, a temporary perspective…A thought which now thinks. But your higher self did not fully become you. Instead, you became two points of perspective…Your physical self and your higher self.
Why did you do this? Because the physical dimension is a contrasting environment which becomes the very real, tangible manifestation of exactly what thoughts we hold. And experiencing our thoughts tangibly has a way of helping us to birth new ideas and preferences in a way that nothing else can. And why is this important? Because as we experience this physical environment, and as desire causes us to give birth to new ideas, Source (God) aligns with those new ideas (desires) and becomes the exact vibration of them. It is this process which we call expansion.
We, with our desires, are causing the expansion of Source. We are causing the expansion of the universe or that which we call God. And because we are an inseparable part of the oneness that is Source, we are causing our own expansion as well. But how does all of this apply to your own alignment? Because once Source assumes the vibration of your desire, it begins to pull you towards convalescence with all of the conditions, opportunities and components necessary for the physical manifestation of your desire. And your emotions relative to that desire are born. You have a choice at this point which is to resist the pull of your higher self by remaining out of alignment with the desire, or to find alignment with the desire thereby allowing your higher self to pull you towards the manifestation.
As you are aligning with your true desires, you are aligning with your higher self. When we are talking about alignment with the higher self, we are talking about creating (with the thoughts that we are thinking) an energetic vibrational parallel between ourselves and our higher selves. You could think of this in terms of tuning an instrument. To find alignment means to pick the thought which vibrates at the same frequency (musical note) as the frequency of the desire which your higher self (the orchestra) has now assumed. This is the key to manifestation. If we hold a thought which is out of alignment with our own desires and therefore Source, we will suffer and we prevent the manifestation of the very desire we have given birth to in the first place. If we hold a thought which is in alignment with our desires and therefore Source, we will feel positive emotion and allow the manifestation of the very desire we have previously given birth to, into existence.
So why does a person suffer if they are out of alignment? Because our emotional systems are a biochemical, evolutionary component within our physical bodies which have one purpose and one purpose only, to give us accurate, moment by moment feedback about what frequency (musical note) the thought we're currently holding is vibrating at. Again in plain English, this means that your emotions are the indication of whether the thought you're thinking at this moment is in alignment with the frequency of your desires and Source or out of alignment with your desires and Source. If you think thoughts which are out of alignment with Source, you feel negative emotion. If you think thoughts which are in alignment with source, you feel positive emotion. You are biochemically hard wired to go in the direction of alignment. All you have to do to stay in alignment therefore is to care first and foremost how you feel, choose to think thoughts that feel emotionally good to you and stop focusing on thoughts which feel emotionally bad to think.
Being in alignment first and foremost means feeling good…Feeling good means you are in alignment. Feeling bad means you are out of alignment. An example of not being in alignment would be holding on to a limiting, negative belief such as thinking that what you want is impossible, or thinking that you do not deserve something. Another example would be thinking that you need something. To need something means you are focused on the lack of that thing. And if you focus on lack, you simply manifest more lack.
An example of being in alignment would be holding on to a positive, self affirming belief such as "anything is possible", or "I deserve to experience everything I desire". To be in alignment to the degree that you experience positive manifestation, the trinity of your desire, your belief and your focus all have to be resonating at the same frequency (tuned to the same note).
So how do you know if you're out of alignment with your desires and therefore Source? You will feel negative emotion. You will feel attached to the outcome. You will feel as if you desperately need (fill in the blank) in order to feel good. You will notice that you are giving most of your attention to the absence of (fill in the blank). When you imagine (fill in the blank), it will make you more aware of what you don't yet have which will make you feel bad. You will be wondering what you're doing wrong and because of that, you will be snowballing into more and more negative emotions as you're wondering why (fill in the blank) has not manifested yet. And you will be constantly looking for (fill in the blank), as if you do not have trust for it to simply manifest without effort. If you begin to hold yourself chronically "out of alignment", the result will be that you will create a life of unhappiness for yourself. Your physical and mental health will begin to fail. Your life will lack passion and you will begin to feel powerless.
How do you know if you're in alignment with your desires and therefore Source? You will feel positive emotion. You will be looking forward to the manifestation of (fill in the blank) with enthusiasm and without attachment or need. You will trust that it will manifest with ease instead of effort. You will feel positive emotions when you imagine (fill in the blank) as if it is just around the corner and is inevitable. You will expect the manifestation of (fill in the blank). You will not be paying attention to (fill in the blank) having not manifested yet so you will feel like you are right on track. And you will be focused on any thought that makes you feel as if (fill in the blank) is already manifested. This will cause you to feel abundant instead of lacking. If you begin to make it a habit to remain "in alignment" the result will be that you will create a life of joy for yourself. Your physical and mental health will improve. Your life will be full of passion and you will begin to feel the true freedom which is inherently yours.
To be in alignment means to hold a thought (and/or belief) which feels emotionally positive and therefore resonates at the same frequency as your desire. This is your indication that you are in line with your higher self and subsequently, that the manifestation of your desire (into the physical dimension) will occur. You came into this physical dimension with the full intention of remaining in alignment with your desires and your higher self, knowing that this would be the key to not only your own expansion but the eternal expansion of all that is.

The Secret To Being A Good Mother

Before a child is born, a woman may have existed, but a mother is born the moment a child is born. It is true that some of us are more adept at mothering than others. For some of us, the dream of raising and nurturing a child has been one we have had since we were children. For others, it comes upon us by surprise after years of wanting nothing to do with kids. Either way, the day our children are born, we are born. And now we are faced with a kind of love for something that is literally unparalleled by any kind of love that we have experienced or ever will experience towards anything. What do we do from there?
There are no classes in school that we can take that teach us how to be good mothers. Instead, we are left to our own devices. Sure, the hospital staff shows us how to diaper our baby and give them a bath if we ask them to. But after that, we're on our own. Given the loss of community within western society, most of us did not grow up in communities where we have seen the full process of menarche to menopause. Because of this, most of us have not seen all that goes into mothering first hand. And for some of us who have, we can consider ourselves lucky if we have seen it done well instead of poorly. The bottom line is, most of us don't know what to do so we find ourselves falling into the all too common pattern of trying to cram ourselves into a box of what we think a mother is "supposed" to be like. Often this means emulating what our own mother did.
There are two main problems with falling into this trap of emulating what we think a mother is "supposed" to be like…
The traditional idea of what a mother should be like is unrealistic and calls for a mother to sacrifice themselves for their children.
  Our own mothers who also fell prey to this idealistic role taught us terrible habits.

Trying to fill the role of what we think a mother "should" be like does not work. And it is also the reason that we have such a negative connotation with motherhood in today's society. In our society today, there is a collective belief that motherhood is when a woman's life ends and her children's' lives begin. This could not be further from the truth. But many of us who are mothers feel like it is true because we allow our whole selves to be lost to the role of mother instead of letting the role of mother be one part of our lives as a whole. Guilt is another unnecessary part of mothering that has become an integral part of motherhood. As mothers, we feel guilty for what we do and for what we don't do. We feel guilty for what we think and we feel guilty for what we don't think. We feel guilty as if the guilt is what is separating us from the women who we have been taught are "selfish" and therefore "bad". This guilt is the warden that keeps us locked up inside the prison of how we are supposed to be. And so if we are to set ourselves free and really be the mothers we want to be, we have to let go of guilt and change our ideas about mothering.
To start with, there is no such thing as an ideal mother. Every single woman on this planet is different. So every single woman on this planet should allow themselves to be a different mother. The idea that there is such a thing as a perfect mother or a perfect way to parent where no one gets their hands dirty and everything goes smoothly is complete fallacy. Behind closed doors, every mother feels as if they're doing something wrong. Behind closed doors every mother will admit to you that mothering is hard. It is time to let go of the need to keep up the façade. It is time to stop focusing on where we think we are falling short. We need to abandon the comparison we are all convinced we're falling short of and instead we need to focus on being the mothers we really want to be. And we become the mothers we want to be by making the decision to never be out of alignment with ourselves.
Most of us have been spoon fed the idea that the time to stop thinking about ourselves is the day our children are born. We are taught that the good mother is the one who sacrifices their own joy for their children's joy. We are taught that anything less than this, is selfish. The result is that we do what so many of our own mothers did before us… We become unhappy people. We are not taught the difference between selfish and self -full. Selfish people feel so much lack in their lives that they feel they have to take and take from others. If we are to look at people as if their lives could be compared to cups, the selfish person's cup is never full so they must remain self focused, trying to fill up their own cup. People, who take the time to find their own alignment and happiness, are self-full. Their cup is full, so they are able to then spill their focus towards other people.
Many of us had mothers who confused self-fullness with selfishness. They sacrificed themselves for their children in the name of "proper mothering" and in doing so, they started to feel empty. Without even realizing it, many mothers (who thought of themselves as the least selfish) became the most selfish people in their respective house holds because they kept trying to extract appreciation and good behavior from their children to fill the void of happiness in their own lives that had been created by sacrificing their own joy to the role of motherhood. We will only ever be good mothers if we let go of sacrifice and begin to be self-full. Becoming self full and staying in alignment with our own joy does not (contrary to our worry) mean that we are going to become absentee mothers. The nature of loving our children means that being near them is a big part of our happiness. Instead, we are simply ensuring that when we are self full and in alignment with our own joy, the times we are around them will be mutually beneficial and even mutually wonderful.
At the end of the day there is really only one way to teach, and that is by example. All we are doing when we sacrifice our true selves and our happiness for our ideas of what a mother "should" be like is teaching our children to do the same. We are teaching them to be out of alignment with themselves. We are perpetuating a damaging pattern within society. And we are committing emotional suicide.
There is not only one way to be a good mother. Our children want the real us, not the version of us that tries to be someone we aren't for their sakes. It is not an act that we can keep up for long anyway. And the real key to parenting well is to remain in alignment with who we really are. When we demonstrate what it looks like to stay in alignment with our own joy and be honest about what that is, we are giving our children a real gift. We are showing them how to stay in alignment with themselves. There is no more valuable lesson in the entire world for a child to learn. It is the only thing that will sustain them when we are no longer there to guide them through their lives.
Children want to spend time with us. But they do not want to spend time with unhappy versions of us. We need to do whatever it takes to stay in alignment with our own joy even if that means spending more time each day on ourselves. We need to stay in alignment because when it comes to our children, three hours a day with a parent who is in alignment with themselves is more beneficial than twelve hours with a parent who is not in alignment with themselves. We need to be brave enough to ask ourselves what it means to us to be in alignment with ourselves and our own happiness.
Instead of trying to emulate what we have been taught a mother "should be like", we need to really look for what kind of mother we are deep inside. We need to uncover what our true beliefs about parenting are and seek out the techniques, philosophies and methods of parenting that are in line with those true beliefs. The benefit of the information age is that we aren't just restricted to a small sphere of learning when it comes to mothering. We don't just have to do what our mothers did. We can look for what suits us and our children as individuals. We can parent in a way that maintains our joy instead of diminishes from it.
Our children are a reflection of ourselves as children. They are a mirror of the child within, that is still alive within us. Our children are meant to trigger our painful emotional imprints (the suppressed feelings from our childhood that we never let ourselves fully feel) so that we can integrate them into our lives and become whole. By becoming whole in this way, we will stop the transference of emotionally painful experiences from one generation to the next. This process is not easy. In fact it is one of the most difficult processes to commit to. How does our internal child want to be parented? That is how we should be parenting our own child.
Motherhood can be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences of our lifetime, if we can learn to allow ourselves to be our own, unique kind of mother. And we will all be the mothers we want to be so badly, if we can allow ourselves to prioritize staying in alignment with our own joy before anything else… including our children. Because the secret of truly exceptional mothering is: To prioritize our own joy, is to prioritize theirs.

Religion Vs. Spirituality

Religion is defined as a set of beliefs centered around spirituality that concern the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
Spirituality is defined as practice and principles pertaining to the incorporeal or immaterial aspect of nature, the principle of conscious life, which acknowledges that a supernatural, incorporeal being is animating the body.
In short what these definitions point out is that religion, at its best, may be able to make a practice out of spirituality. But spirituality, which is the heart of religion, does not need religion to exist. What's more, religion may even get in the way of spirituality. We must acknowledge that for some, religion has been a much enjoyed system of security, faith and hope. But for many others, the inherent flaws of religion have caused them to turn their backs on spirituality entirely. You could say that their negative experiences with religion have caused them to "throw the baby out with the bathwater".
Though religion does not have to get in the way of spirituality, it often does. Spirituality, which is present within every religion, gets lost in the human imposed details. It is an essence, which is obscured by human rules, doctrine, penance and righteousness. The denominational nature of religion often serves to divide people when the very principal that is supposed to be at the heart of most religions is love.
In our world today it is easy to see that religion has often become more of a culture war between people than a means to find personal meaning, happiness and morality. Religion has also been used throughout history to justify all manner of atrocities, violence and oppression. Religion can be what brings us into contact with the spiritual nature of our universe. It can also be what causes many of us to look for that spiritual essence beyond the material in the first place. But it can also be what prevents us from finding it. Like a blind fold, the details involved with religious observance can prevent a person from asking questions and what's worse, prevent a person from the understanding that all spiritual answers come from within.
Sadly, when people commit to one religion, they tend to become devoted to the institution and lose the essence of what attracted them in the first place. When you look at each major religion in the world today, you find peace, love and compassion at the core of its doctrines. It is common logic therefore to say that to see as much fighting in the name of God as we do, something within religious practice has gone drastically wrong.
Spirituality and religion are the two fundamentals that one is required to follow simultaneously. However, spirituality can exist without religion but religion can not exist without spirituality. Spiritual practice focuses on the acknowledgement of spirit and higher knowing in every living thing. It is then easy to see how a person who is closed and confined to the righteousness of only one religion (adhering to the idea that there is only one true God and one true religion) cannot be truly spiritual. Spirituality is individual. It is beyond human imposed worldview.
Religion however is an institutional practice of spirituality. It is composed of human beings, invented by human beings. It is influenced by cultural views, and at the mercy of the limited and even flawed perception of the human mind. It is at the mercy of human fear, human error and human prejudice. When permeated by human worldview, religion often becomes a tool to protect one's own self interest and way of life against others. It becomes a tool of exclusion instead of inclusion.
It has been said that spirituality can be compared to a succulent fruit. And religion can be compared to the peel of that fruit. While both spirituality and religion are parts of the fruit, many people get stuck in the peel of the fruit (religion) and never move on to the deeper truths and experiences inherent in the fruit (spirituality).
If we are conscious enough, religion does not have to restrict or get in the way of spirituality, because a truly spiritual person will seek out the spiritual nectar inherent in all religious philosophies. He or she can be seen as a collector of the nectar present in every religion. Like a bee who flies from one flower to the next in search of the nectar within, a truly spiritual person can entertain all religions long enough to extract the "divine" from the "less than divine" that is present therein.
The Quran states that all humans are born with the knowledge of God within themselves. The Bible states that the kingdom of heaven lies within you. The Bhagwat states that we can find salvation within, and the Buddha taught that enlightenment was found within. What these divine truths clearly demonstrate is that the spirituality that is at the heart of nearly every religion need not be found through the venue of religion. Instead, it is an inseparable part of us that is available to us however and whenever we choose to seek it.
Religion can be a map that sets us on course towards an inner quest to find the answers we seek. But it is important to acknowledge that if misinterpreted or incorrectly written, that map can lead us in the opposite direction from where we want to go. Conversely, if we are aware that the answers to our questions have resided deep inside us all along, (whether we begin our journey hand in hand with a specific religion or not) we can delve deep into our own individual faith, and spirituality. We can let our individual spirituality (rather than anything external of us) guide us like a north star towards all that we seek.

When The Shit Hits The Fan

We create our individual realities with our individual minds. We are responsible for our own joy and our own suffering. It is easy to then see how, when we encounter negative experiences and feel the subsequent negative emotions that follow, we think that something has gone terribly wrong. We feel as if we have failed or hit a wall. We even try to structure our lives so that we never encounter negative experiences and don't experience negative emotion. The problem with living life that way is that negative experiences are a "step one experience" and negative emotion is your compass guiding you from step one to step three.
A "step one experience", which is often called a contrasting experience, is an experience that exposes to you what you don't like and inspires the idea of a preference. A "step two experience" is the process of lining up with the preference. A "step three experience" is fully, tangibly experiencing the manifestation (achievement) of that preference.
The way this plays out in our physical lives is that when we have a negative experience (step one experience), we find out what we do not like and that inspires us towards what we'd prefer. We then (through thought and subsequent action) line up with what we'd prefer and go in the direction of it (we create a step two experience). When we reach alignment with it, we get to experience the tangible, real life manifestation of our preference (we have a step three experience).
Looking at the aforementioned scenario, it is easy to see how the step three experiences would not even be possible without the step one experience. Without the negative experience, no desire and no improvement would ever be born within you. And if no desire or idea of improvement were born within you, there would be no forward movement at all. There would be nothing to move away from and nothing to move toward. There would be no personal expansion. It would be impossible to even create much less experience the sweetness of a step three experience.
But why is this important on a universal level and not just a personal level? Because when we give birth to a preference, the universe becomes that preference vibrationally. This is called expansion. In other words, the universe, or that which we call God, is being told what to become by you in your physical life. Our desire of the preferences we give birth to is what causes the expansion of this universe. And it is because of this that from the largest of perspectives, negative experiences and negative emotions are just as integral and important as positive ones.
Is it not true that a condition that inspires you towards a question is as integral and important as a condition that helps you line up with the answer? The negative people and events in our lives are responsible for catalyzing us to ask for and become more. A person or event that inspires you towards the question is as valuable as a person or event that helps you reach the answer. For this reason we can say that from the broadest of perspectives, your enemy is every bit as much a friend to you as someone who helps you to line up with your joy. Your enemy is helping you to paint the picture of what your joy even looks like. Your enemies and your negative experiences are potentially the most important parts of your ability to experience expansion in your life. And so we come to find that a thing which is truly non beneficial and negative can not exist within this universe in the same way that an enemy can not exist within this universe.
The universe at large would never make an enemy of that which we call "negative". And neither should we. The universe would never want you to resist negative. And neither should we. When we understand that negative experiences simply exist in order to show us what we would prefer, we do not need to fear them like we do. When we understand that it is always within our power to create a step two experience, we do not need to feel powerless to them like we do. And we do not need to demand that we don't experience them. We do not need to demand that we only experience step three experiences. That is not what you intended for this life at all. It is the step one experience that makes the step three experience… sweet. It is the step one experience that makes the step three experience… possible.
So next time you find yourself in negative experience, remind yourself that nothing has gone wrong, you are just having a step one experience. Then ask yourself, what is step three? What is it that this situation is causing me to desire? What preference has this event caused me to give birth to? How can I move towards that?
You can move towards step three by finding step two. Step two is only accessible in the space of now. Step two is the process of lining up with the desires that step one has caused you to give birth to. And how do you line up with your desires? By caring how you feel and tuning into how you feel so much so that you can let your emotions lead you. How do you let your emotions lead you? By realizing that right here and now all that is available to you is this decision: Does it feel better or worse? For example, does this thought that I'm thinking feel better or worse? What thought feels better? Does this thing I'm doing (or about to do) feel better or worse? What feels better to do? Does this thing I'm saying (or about to say) feel better or worse? What feels better to say?
Every time we opt in the direction of what feels better (in terms of thoughts or words or actions), we are creating a step two experience, and we are headed in the direction of step three. Every time we opt in the direction of what feels worse, we are anchoring ourselves to step one. And when we anchor ourselves to step one, the negative emotion telling us that it is time to move towards step three, becomes suffering.
You did not come here to suffer. Suffering is what happens when you have had a step one experience, and you are not letting yourself move in the direction of step two and step three. You did however come here to experience this contrasting physical dimension. What it means to say that you came here to experience a contrasting environment, is that you came here to experience both what you do want and what you do not want. A contrasting environment is what helps you to make choices. A contrasting environment is what helps you to create, which is what you came here to do.
You could not create and experience joy without the idea of pain. You could not create and experience a friend without the idea of an enemy. You could not create and experience white without the idea of black. The polarity of this world was a design based on the knowledge that in your contrasting moments of deepest imprisonment, you give birth to your ideas of truest freedom. So nothing has gone wrong if you find yourself feeling negative emotion in a negative experience. You are just having a step one experience. Now you get to ask yourself… what's step three?

How can it be that the things which cause us the most pain are blessings in disguise?

How can it be that the things which cause us the most pain are blessings in disguise? After all, there are things that a person can experience in life that are incomprehensible, things that are so horrific and so unimaginably hard that there is no way to convey them. There are things that a person can experience in life that they never come back from. If they do not physically die, a part of them dies and their life changes forever. To understand how all things come to bless us, we must understand the design of the physical dimension itself.
The physical dimension was designed as a kind of full sensory mirror; a hologram into which a being could project forth over and over again in various forms in order to have a 3D experience of its own thoughts. We call this 3D experience a manifestation. The immersion experience into its own thoughts was meant to help the being come to preferences (desires). It was intended that once the idea form of those preferences came to fruition that the being would then focus purely on the new idea and thus, the 3D hologram would shift to reflect the new idea. And from there the process would begin again and continue endlessly in each life until the being decided that the hologram no longer served in their own expansion, in which case they would withdraw their consciousness and cease to engage in the hologram.
The physical dimension was designed to help the consciousness, which has been so often called God, to understand itself. Through every thought you think and every new idea you give birth to, God not only knows what to become, but also what it is. And as our consciousness expands, the physical hologram begins to reflect the higher dimensional, universal truths that exist beyond it.
Every single physical manifestation, whether we call it good or bad, is meant to do one thing… Help us to create and comprehend new dimensions of understanding. In other words, help us to learn. It does this by helping us to come to new desires. Our job is to figure out what it is that we are meant to learn from those manifestations and what it is that we desire based on the experience of those manifestations. After that, our job is to focus on what we desire (the new idea).
This is where we ran into a speed bump. In the beginning of our incarnation into the physical dimension, we all knew that we would create the hologram of our realities with our mind. It was decided collectively by those observing the physical dimension that this "knowing" was holding back expansion instead of serving it. It was decided that if oneness can only be understood from the perspective of separateness… Then coming into the physical dimension consciously knowing about our connection to God and knowing that we create our own realities with our minds was not enough. It was decided that we could not understand nor desire oneness (that which we really are) unless we came into the physical hologram with a kind of amnesia.
At that point, the beings that chose to project themselves into the physical hologram collectively chose to deactivate certain aspects of their DNA. They consciously affected the interface between non physical and physical perspective so the hologram could feel more real and thus inspire us more accurately and intensely towards new desires. They chose to affect the interface so we could fully experience what it was to be separate and thus find our way to the understanding and desire of that which we truly are, which is one.
The problem (really the solution) that occurred when they did this is that collectively, humans in their perspective of disconnection began to believe fully in the hologram. After all, they had de-activated their awareness of what was beyond it. The hologram therefore became more and more real. Humans began to believe that they did not create their own reality. Instead, they began to believe that reality happened to them. They decided that it was important to accept a static reality, that owning up to reality and studying it according to a Newtonian understanding, was the only way to prevent disaster and pain.
Given this new understanding (or lack of understanding), people began to focus on the negative manifestations of the hologram even after the negative manifestations had caused them to give rise to a preference (positive idea). The manifestations of disconnection (war, illness, loss and victim-hood) were getting more and more extreme. Just extreme enough that the desire to know what was beyond the physical and to feel connected instead of disconnected was hatched by a few individuals. When they focused on those new desires, the means by which to reactivate the portion of their DNA that had been deactivated came to them. Their hologram began to reflect their new desires and understanding and they went on to teach others about their "awakening".
Jesus was one such being. Buddha was one such being. There have been many. You have called them by a great many names. But now it is your turn. It is your turn to see beyond the hologram, your turn to experience the freedom of creation and understanding, your turn to reactivate your own dormant layers of DNA.
Why do you worry? Because you are not yet convinced that you create your own reality. You have not looked deep enough to see that you do. And so, it is survival instinct for you to give attention to what you do not want because if you prepare for (or are at least aware of) the worst case scenario, it will not blind side you, and therefore it will not hurt so badly. What you do not know is that your reality is becoming the exact reflection of whatever you give your attention to. In your worry, you weave the fabric of reality to reflect the image of your own horror and pain.
How can it be that spiritual teachers can simultaneously say that we are all one, that not a single rain drop falls that does not effect us all, while at the same time saying that we create our own individual realities where no one can impose themselves upon us? It is because this physical reality is a subjective time space reality. This is a learning hologram that serves expansion. While oneness is an objective truth, to understand oneness, we must holographically be able to experience separation from one another.
For some who have already expanded past the separation, they have chosen to come back into life with their perceptual instruments (senses) wired towards perceiving the interconnectedness of the universe. For some, this life will be the life in which their perception opens up to include this truth. For others, it will be many lives before they desire their way into the experience of this truth.
Only when you open up to the higher dimensional truth of interconnectedness can the hologram that you call life reflect it and prove it to you. When this happens, the only life to live is a life of compassion. You will not be able to bring pain to anyone else without suffering. All are affected with every thought and movement. But not all focused into the physical hologram perceive that yet. Their realities can not provide them that experience yet.
Our collective reality will contain suffering as long as we do not open ourselves up wide enough to see the interconnectedness of this universe. Our collective reality will contain suffering as long as we do not open ourselves up wide enough to live our lives with compassion. It is all too easy once you open up to compassion, to virtually drown in the pain of what we have collectively created here in this hologram. It is all too easy to let it drag us into lending energy to the belief that this world is broken and dark and wrong.
Beings that live with compassion are met with the world's suffering all day, every day. But those beings that are open enough to the even higher truths of this universe do not let themselves drown in the suffering that surrounds them. Instead they vow to constantly transform that darkness into light. They understand that one minute of joy for one person, is in fact one minute of joy for us all. Because of this understanding, they are constantly converting suffering into joy, hatred into love and powerlessness into limitless freedom.
The questions they ask in the face of suffering are the questions you must ask if you are to understand how it can be that your greatest pain is a blessing in disguise. And the questions are thus:
What am I meant to learn from this? What is this pain causing me to know that I want? What is the positive which has come or could possibly come from this? How did I make myself a match to this? These four simple questions are like threads with which to weave your way towards enlightenment. With them, you will come to understand this universe. With them, you can learn to lead a wonderful life. The mysteries of your deepest pains can be exposed as the seeds of your greatest joys. And you will make an enemy of pain no longer. You will cease to convert pain into suffering as you do now. And all will stand in gratitude to… you. For in your greatest experience of freedom and joy, you set each and every single one of us free.

Even The Buddha Had Bad Days

For thousands of years, the ups and downs of our daily lives have been referred to as the samsara wave. For this reason, it is beneficial to think of people who are dedicated to spiritual practice as surfers. Our practice is the practice of riding those waves so that we may one day master our relationship to them. Just like a surfer, in the beginning we fall into the surf and get tossed and turned in it over and over and over again. But the more we practice, the better we get at finding our own alignment in the midst of those waves. Eventually with enough practice, it becomes rare that we fall from our surfboard. We can manage bigger and bigger waves while still staying on the surfboard. Enlightened beings are like master surfers. But it is important to notice that in no version of this story do the waves stop coming. The enlightened being did not become a master of riding the waves and then turn around and push a magic button to stop the waves from coming. This is because the big waves no longer cause him or her to suffer. The enlightened being sees those waves as responsible for the very enlightenment they now maintain. And so, these waves are welcomed.
The spiritually enlightened person still experiences the full range of emotion, just like any other person. All that has changed is that they have gained the awareness of how to utilize their own thoughts to maintain alignment with their higher self. They have gained the conscious ability to move up the scale from one emotion to the next at will. In other words, the true story (which is one we don't like telling) is that Buddha still had bad days. Mara did not vanish for eternity when Buddha faced him beneath the Bodhi tree; he kept coming back throughout Buddha's life. What changed after enlightenment is that Buddha recognized Mara. Mara was just the embodiment of the negative aspects of Buddha's own ego. And when the Buddha recognized that, even though the Buddha initially felt the sensation of things like fear and temptation and doubt, he was able to not get caught by those projections. In fact, according to many ancient texts, Buddha befriended Mara, even to the point of inviting him in for tea. The Buddha recognized Mara as his most precious teacher, the teacher that had continually taught him the very most. After all, without Mara, his enlightenment would not even have taken place.
Most of us have a clear idea of the goal that we are headed towards. We want to be enlightened. We want to be absent of ego. Most of all, we want to be free of suffering. We have a picture in our heads of what we think that enlightenment looks like, our perfect image of the spiritually enlightened person. But what most people don't know is that this image we are holding on to, is a lie that we keep telling ourselves. Enlightenment is not like that. Enlightenment is no kind of retirement from life itself. It is no kind of retirement from the ups and downs. We create the illusion of enlightened retirement from the ups and downs when we feel resistant to the ups and downs. We invent the idea that enlightenment means perfect bliss twenty-four hours a day only when we are suffering and we want an end to that suffering. Enlightenment is only the beginning, because after enlightenment you still have to engage with physical life and physical life was designed to be a means for creating expansion.
Physical life is a learning hologram. No one who is alive is exempt from expansion and so, no one is exempt from contrast. And as long as there is contrast, there is the recognition of what is unwanted as well as the recognition of what is wanted present within you. If we were to reach a state where we were magically transformed into a permanent state of bliss, it would mean ended-ness. There could be no further expansion from that place and that would not serve the universe at large. What serves the universe at large is eternal expansion. So even once you have attained enlightenment, you still have to integrate what it has taught you. You still have to integrate the spiritual awareness you have achieved into your day-to-day life. Even though the samsara waves never stop coming, the more enlightened you become, the more your thoughts change. Your perspective changes to match the vibration of source perspective. And so the meaning of your experiences changes. The way you think about and deal with the ups and downs is what changes and so those ups and downs are not experienced the same way that they once were.
All religious traditions and belief systems have their own inherent pitfalls. And one of the biggest pitfalls in the spiritual community is the pitfall that we call "bypassing". What I mean by bypassing is that we often bypass ourselves. We bypass our true feelings. We ignore or deny our true thoughts and feelings based on the spiritual beliefs and truths that we are trying to live up to. Most of us, who are aware that we are creating our own reality by virtue of what we are paying attention to, fear that if we focus on the way we feel, it will get worse. We have been taught to ignore what doesn't feel good to think about or to look at. But what we miss is that we are already focusing on what doesn't feel good to think about. And when we try to ignore it or deny it and rush in the other direction, we are actually resisting the way we feel; and anything we resist persists. So we are holding ourselves in those bad feeling places by trying to avoid and ignore them. The best way to deal with these kinds of negative states is to flip around to face them and embrace them completely. They exist for a reason. Negative emotion is always the red flag alerting you to the fact that there is something there to learn. It is always alerting you that you have come to the crossroads of personal expansion. But if you avoid the negative feeling, you also avoid the lesson and the expansion.
If you were driving along a road and your tire went flat, you would not keep driving and ignore the flat tire. You would stop, acknowledge the flat tire and then improve the state of the tire. But continuing to drive on a flat tire is symbolically what we are expecting ourselves to do when we try to avoid the way we really feel and what we are really thinking in favor of how we think we should feel and the way we think we should be thinking. In the spiritual community, it has become a kind of unwritten cultural expectation that we need to act like what we think a spiritually enlightened person would act like; even if it is not true to how we really feel. In other words, it has become a cultural expectation that we should ignore where we are in pursuit of where we think we should be. The result is that most of us feel as if the only acceptable emotion to feel is happy. And if we feel less than happy, we feel as if we have somehow failed. As if the pain of the struggle we are facing in and of itself is not enough, we frost the cake of that struggle with shame and embarrassment that we are suffering in the first place. We go out of our way to keep up appearances and not tell anyone if we are having a bad day. Because of this shame relative to struggling, we do not want to own up to the depth of our suffering in the current moment. So, the words that come out of our mouth are not true to us, they are rehearsed principals we are beating ourselves up with. For example, the truth of where you are right now may be that what you're experiencing hurts. Sometimes it hurts so bad, you can't believe you're still breathing. You're in pain emotionally or physically and you don't know what to do about it. If this is the case, it is self-abusive to gloss over the reality of that experience you're having by saying something like "Oh, so many other things are going well and I know something great is going to come out of all of this". Because at this moment, right here and now, you don't know that! What you're doing is regurgitating that spiritual principal because that is the way you've been taught that spiritually ascended people see struggles.
Our emotional selves are children. This never changes regardless of whether or not you have reached enlightenment. Our emotional selves never grow up. We just learn how to parent our emotional selves better. If you deny the way you actually feel, you are invalidating the small crying child within you, which is desperately trying to express the way he or she feels. If you deny the way you actually feel, you cannot ever get to a better feeling space. You have to know where you are as well as where you want to go if you want to know which direction to start walking. Could you imagine trying to use a map to find out what direction to walk if you were unwilling to admit to where you were? Could you imagine a doctor trying to help you to feel better but being unwilling to assess your current state to discover what is causing you to feel bad?
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to own up to how you feel and to say, "I am where I am". Saying this does not mean that you have failed. It does not mean that you've given up and that you've surrendered to feeling crappy. It means that you are brave enough to embrace where you are so that you are no longer resisting where you are. And because of this, ironically you will no longer be stuck where you are. There is no shame in struggling. Having problems is not a character flaw. You have not failed if you have a bad day. Buddha had bad days. Jesus had bad days. Muhammad had bad days. You will not meet a single physically manifested being (whether they are an ascended master or not) that is exempt from contrast and so you will not meet a single physically manifested being who is in alignment twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. To expect this from anyone is cruelty. To feel embarrassment or shame if you are out of alignment is cruelty. To expect yourself to be in alignment twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week is cruelty. And it's time that we stop perpetuating cruelty in ourselves as well as within this spiritual community that we ourselves are responsible for creating. Spiritual practice is just that… It is a practice. It is still a practice for those who are spiritual masters. Alignment is something that we have to maintain. It is not a prize that we reach and then we are granted alignment forever no matter what we think or do. Alignment and enlightenment is not something that is done to us once we prove ourselves worthy. It is something we constantly maintain. We choose to come into alignment or not in each moment. And denial is no kind of alignment.
So the question is: Are you bypassing yourself?

Relationships and The Six Human Needs

No matter what race, sex, or religion we are, no matter where we are born or how we are raised, we, as humans have six basic needs. The word "need" implies the not having of something, so it is not a preferable word to use, but I am using it for the sake of this article because for most humans, the word "desire" means something that is wanted but something that we can do without. But we are not talking about things that can be done without, we are talking about things that are absolutely necessary for a human to live a happy, healthy life; and the word most people associate with necessary is "need".
Our happiness depends on our ability to meet those needs and get those needs met in healthy ways. Our perceived powerlessness to meet those needs in healthy ways is what creates the kind of love that we call "painful attachment". It is what prevents us from developing a truer form of love, which is unconditional and is free from painful attachment (which is basically resistance to what is). The English language limits us because we only have one word to represent and describe a plethora of different states involving our connection to others. That one word is love. But there are many different states that we call love, which do not actually reflect unconditional, universal love. It is important to know up front that not everything you identify as love, is actually love. It is especially important to understand this if you are to understand what is to follow and how the six human needs fits into the picture of love.
In order to understand the six human needs, we need to explore them one by one.
Certainty
This can easily be called the survival need. It is the most primary human need. This need represents our need to be certain that we can avoid pain and gain pleasure. It is the need for safety, stability, comfort and unlimited resources that we can rely on.
  Variety
This is the need for change, challenge, excitement and stimulus. Some could argue that it is a paradoxical need to the need for certainty, in that it implies that we need a certain amount of uncertainty in order to be happy with our life.
  Significance
This is the need for purpose, importance and meaning. It is the need to be special and worthy of attention. Often, this is called the need for esteem.
  Love
This is the need for connection with others. It is the need for a sense of being a part of something. It is the need for a sense of belonging, oneness and the need to be loved as well as to love others. Our need for intimacy falls under this category.
  Expansion
This is the need to grow and develop, find fulfillment and self-actualize.
  Contribution
This is the need to contribute to that which is beyond you. The need to give and provide something of value outwards towards other people, the world and the universe at large. We all have different ways of meeting these needs. We meet them in both conscious and subconscious ways. And we feel much more confidant about meeting some of these needs than others. But it is important to understand that we meet these needs (we seek happiness) in both healthy and unhealthy ways. To explain what I mean, let's look at some healthy and unhealthy ways that we can meet each of these needs.
Certainty
Healthy: Creating healthy routines, developing belief systems that serve us, choosing partners that enhance our feelings of security, developing consistency, developing beliefs in our own control over our reality, developing a positive identity, engaging in activities we already know we like, gaining information and knowledge, being organized, expecting positive behaviors from yourself, developing an optimistic way of thinking.
Unhealthy: Becoming Obsessive Compulsive, demanding that other people to provide it for us when they don't want to, eating disorders, cutting, developing a negative identity, expecting negative behaviors from yourself, becoming controlling of other people and things, obsessive preparation for the worst, rape, murder, war.
  Variety
Healthy: Learning new things, trying new foods, traveling, finding new hobbies/passions, engaging in stimulating conversations, watching movies we've never watched, playing games or sports, reading books we've never read, meeting new people, finding new challenges.
Unhealthy: High risk/adrenaline activities, alcohol and drugs, self sabotage, picking fights with significant others when we feel bored, cheating while in monogamous relationships, war.
  Significance
Healthy: Developing a positive identity, allowing your uniqueness to be expressed to the world, Accomplishing goals, developing a unique sense of style, adopting belief systems that reflect your importance, developing a sense of purpose, seeking out meaning for life and for your own existence, allowing yourself to get notice and distinction in healthy ways.
Unhealthy: Tearing other people down, rescuing others, committing violent acts that get attention, developing a negative identity, attaching to negative diagnosis that you are given, using other people to gain social status, lying in order to seem more impressive to other people, rape, murder, war.
  Love
Healthy: Sharing, Intimacy, openness, becoming a part of organizations, teams and groups that are healthy, developing compassion, spending time in nature understanding, cultivating an understanding and recognition of oneness, healthy sex, healthy physical affection, exchanging gifts, expressing words of love towards yourself and others, "filling up your own cup", performing acts of service, spending quality time with others, caring for pets, connecting with yourself, developing spirituality.
Unhealthy: Self-sacrificing, joining gangs, unhealthy sexual interactions, seeking out pity by being sick or having problems consistently, becoming accident prone so others will pay attention to us, people pleasing, rescuing others, causing others to feel as if they need us, rape, murder, joining one side or another during a war.
  Expansion
Healthy: Healthy challenges, learning, improving upon your current situation, following your bliss, changing, developing new ways to approach problems so that they benefit your growth, listening to other people's thoughts and taking what serves you from what they say.
Unhealthy: Pushing yourself too hard, never taking the path of least resistance, unhealthy challenges, only learning things the hard way, being unable to listen to other people, letting things get to the breaking point before you improve them, war.
  Contribution
Healthy: Random acts of kindness, becoming a part of things you believe in, letting your gifts express themselves to this world, helping others when it feels good to do so, carrying out your inspired vision for improvement of this world, giving just because it brings you joy to give, focusing on the solution, joining causes which carry out a solution.
Unhealthy: Becoming the contrast that inspires other people's expansion into a better place (like Hitler did for world peace) by acting in unhealthy ways towards yourself and the world, focusing on the problem, joining causes which perpetuate the problem, self sacrificing, war. These are just some ways that we meet our six needs. Everything you ever do, whether it is ultimately beneficial or detrimental, you do for only one reason; because you think it will meet one or more of these six needs. Meeting these needs is what gives rise to the sensation of happiness. So this is why we can also say that the only reason anyone does anything is because they think it will add to their happiness.
Notice that some things we do, meet more than one need. For example, waging war or joining a war is an unhealthy way that we can potentially meet every one of these needs. It is no longer such a mystery why the human race has not been able to stop waging war for thousands of years when we recognize that for many, it meets several of the essential human needs.
It is crucial to our happiness that we meet every one of these six needs. The goal (contrary to popular opinion) is not to rid ourselves of these needs. It is to find out how to provide those needs for ourselves and find people who can provide them for us in healthy ways. It is a travesty that humans try to force themselves to not need what they need. Indeed the basis of many world religions is the individual quest to reach a state where we no longer have desires or needs. We come up with this idea that desires and needs are the root of suffering only when we feel incapable of meeting those desires and needs.
But now, I will present the most crucial part of information regarding the six human needs as it applies to relationships.
Independence is impossible. It is a giant illusion. Self-sufficiency and self-reliance has been glorified. Indeed, it is an empowering idea when we feel powerless to each other, which so many of us do. But self-sufficiency, like anger is merely a step along the way to true alignment. It is not all the way there. We need each other. End of story. People need each other. And need, while it may imply focus on the lack, is still indicative of our deepest desires, which are love, intimacy and connectedness. And we will not live if we do not allow ourselves to line up with our deepest desires because it defies expansion. The most self-loving thing a person can do is not to become self-sufficient and try to become a fulfilled unit in and of themselves. The most self-loving thing a person can do, is to allow themselves to accept themselves fully, empower themselves by meeting their own needs and finding people whose happiness is served by meeting the needs they cannot meet on their own. Only then, can we become the living embodiment of oneness. The independent self-reliance that has been glorified in the modern, western world is indeed one of the unhealthiest patterns that has ever emanated from our time space reality.
Empowerment is not the same thing as separate individualization. We tell a lie in the self-help industry, that we cannot hope to be in a good relationship if we are not ok in and of ourselves first. But a crucial part of our well-being is merging with others. A person cannot be a universe in and of themselves. The ego is the only one that says they can. We have all attached to a profoundly sick ideal, because we have been raised on it and we believe in it so deeply that we do not question it. We feel guilt for our level of “need” for each other. But this “need” is simply a universal truth peeking through, telling us that we are not and cannot be separate. In an interdependent world, dependency is an absolute of our existence. It is as much a truth as you create your own reality is a truth. This world is a mirror, and you are dependent on the reflection because in this universe, it is every bit as much you, as you are. Simply put… anger feels better than powerlessness. That is why it benefits people to get angry. And independence feels better than powerless victimhood. That is why it benefits people to get independent. But if our progression stops there, we will never find true happiness and our civilization will never progress. The teaching of independent self-reliance, is a step on the ladder from powerlessness to empowerment, like anger. But we worship it as if it were all the way there. As if it were empowerment. True empowerment cannot be experienced in individualization. Happiness is meaningless, if it is not shared. You will meet a great many experts who will tell you that you need to learn how to be ok alone and how to meet all your own needs yourself. This contradicts basic human biology, which is resistant to ourselves. It is taking an "avoidant" position to dealing with attachment. Which is in and of itself resistant in nature. Separation of any kind is ultimately illusion. It only benefits us to indulge in that illusion, if we are suffering as a result of our perceived enmeshment. Dependence is not powerlessness. Especially, when we have the power to create our own reality, and thus create what we are dependent on.
What most of us call love, is in fact not love. Instead, it is the feeling of needing someone. This thing that we are calling love is the result of the subconscious recognition that another person or thing provides us with a need that we do not feel capable of meeting ourselves, without the presence of that person or thing.
This is what gives rise to the intense biochemical reaction, which we associate with falling in love. It is what forces our positive focus towards them for a time. We, as humans, are in the perpetual search for wholeness. The key to being and feeling complete is to meet these needs in healthy ways. When we are not meeting our needs, we feel incomplete and when we find someone who meets those needs for us, we feel more complete, which is why we so often say we feel more "complete" when we are with the person we are in love with.
And so it must be said that all relationships are co-dependent to some degree and that is not necessarily unhealthy.
Your happiness seems to depend on them not because you love the other person unconditionally, but because they meet one or more of your needs that you do not feel capable of meeting without them. You are dependent on each other. This is the real reason why "opposites attract". People with opposing personalities, often have opposing deficiencies and strengths when it comes to meeting their own needs. A person, who feels incapable of creating variety for themselves, will often be attracted to an unpredictable mate because the unpredictable nature of their mate creates that sense of variety and excitement for them. And an unpredictable person will often be attracted to a predictable mate because the predictable nature of their mate creates a sense of certainty and comfort for them, which they feel incapable of creating for themselves. So instead of saying opposites attract, it is more accurate to say that needs attract.
It is not your job to deny yourself of your six needs. Even the most enlightened being in existence has these same needs. The enlightened being has simply perfected the art of meeting those needs in healthy ways. And now it is your turn to determine how you are currently meeting those needs. It is your turn to replace the unhealthy ways that you are meeting those needs with healthy ways of meeting those same needs. When you do this, you will no longer feel a sense of lack. And your relationships will be a source of joy instead of pain.

The Parent-Child Relationship

It is no secret that the relationships we have with our children teach us more than any other relationships we have. When it comes to evolving as a person, nothing provides a steeper learning curve than parenting does. Much of this is due to the attachment we feel for our children. The love that a parent holds for their child is its own, unique kind of love and it is true that you cannot know or learn from that kind of love unless you become a parent. But just because we love our children more than anything on earth does not necessarily mean that we love parenting. And disliking parenting does not mean that we do not love our children.
Universally, the parent child relationship was designed to be a relationship of contrast. It is a relationship that is meant to show us what we do not want and thus inspire us towards what we do want. As an infant (even if we are born to the best of parents) we still have to deal with the experience of being dependent on someone else. We have to experience being physically out of control of our own well-being. That is not an enjoyable thing to experience for any being. It is contrast, contrast that inspires us to desire autonomy. Staying focused on and lining up with that autonomy is what causes our physical structure to age and begin performing autonomous actions like walking and using utensils to feed ourselves.
As parents, we experience a great many things that are not enjoyable to experience. Things like changing diapers, cleaning up throw up, trying to train our children to get along in a society that we don’t even like most of the time, being responsible for another person’s physical well being, not being able to go somewhere on a whim at eight o-clock at night because we can’t leave our children at home, and listening to a sesame street song so many times in a row that it is now keeping us awake at night (the list goes on and on).
The relationship with our children is also meant to trigger unresolved wounds and suppressed memories and feelings from our own childhood, so that we may integrate those fractured aspects of our being and become more whole. To parent our children well, we must begin to parent our internal child well first; otherwise we will end up repeating the exact same pattern and style of parenting that our parents demonstrated towards us. Parenting provides us with the opportunity to externally parent our inner child. When we parent our children, we have a choice to either parent them the same way we were parented, or to make changes. The changes we make are changes that suit our own child within; a child that did not feel loved unconditionally.
There is a reason that parents have often felt like once they have children their life is over. It is because when we opt into the role of parenthood, we are opting into all of the lessons that go along with that. We are choosing the fast track. Every time we experience those unenjoyable parts of parent hood, it causes us to give rise to the idea of what we would prefer both for ourselves and for our children. For example, when we feel resentment because we have to take care of our children instead of do what we really want to do (like go dancing), we desire our child to be autonomous. Which is a desire that they, themselves share. And our desire for them to achieve autonomy is creating their autonomy. In essence, we co-create the experience of our children physically aging so they can become autonomous.
Childhood wasn’t designed as a purely enjoyable experience; neither was parenting. If it were purely enjoyable, there would be no expansion born from the experience. And there could be no integration of our own past childhood traumas. There would be no forward movement. You wouldn't be inspired towards anything. You wouldn't desire anything new and as a result, you wouldn't create or become anything new. As parents, we have been cultured to believe that the role of parenting is sacrosanct. We are cultured to believe that if we admit that we do not like parenting, that we are somehow betraying and abandoning our children. This is not the case. In fact many people, who are parents, don’t actually like parenting. This resistance to parenting happens because many people, who have children, have not yet integrated the suppressed emotions from their own childhoods and so their own children trigger a kind of post-traumatic stress reaction within them. What these parents love is the connection they have with their children. What they love is those magic moments when their child falls asleep on their chest or takes their first step or enjoys some part of life.
When many people say they love parenting, what they actually love is feeling valid. Being responsible for someone’s well being and being needed makes us feel validated. That is what most people actually enjoy, not the actual act of changing a diaper. For people who do not derive their value from being needed, and who simultaneously lived emotionally painful childhoods, parenting can feel more like torture. But this does not mean that we will be terrible parents. It does not mean that we made a mistake by becoming a parent. And it does not mean that we do not love our children as much as those who are actually validated by their role as parents do.
We perpetuate the lie that we all love parenting because we are so afraid of what it means about us as people if we admit that we don’t. We fear that it makes us a bad person. We’re afraid that other people will think that we do not love our children, and think that we are a bad person because of it. We’re also afraid that our children will personalize it and think that it is their fault that we do not like parenting. But we suffer when we perpetuate the lie that we all love parenting. We feel intense guilt, we feel as if we do not deserve our children and as if we are somehow defective because we don’t enjoy parenting. And the truth is, it is a rare, rare parent who does not secretively feel the same way. We just don’t want to admit it to each other. The real truth is that we are all too afraid to look at our own childhoods, uncover the suppressed emotions from our childhoods and feel them. But as long as we perpetuate the lie that we love parenting, we will never be brave enough to admit to how parenting makes us feel. We will also never face the painful emotional imprints from our own childhoods.
If we admit that we do not like parenting, we are admitting to where we are. We can only move to where we want to be, once we have admitted to where we are. And we can use what we do not like about parenting to re-define parenting. We can re-design our role in our children’s lives so as to experience much more of what we do love about our relationships with our children.
Just because society has defined what parenting is, doesn't mean that definition is correct. In fact, much of what we consider to be good parenting is not good parenting. Most of what we call ‘good parenting’ is in fact conditional love. It is time to ask ourselves if the idea that we have of parenting serves us, or causes us pain. It is time to ask ourselves what we want parenting to be like and start heading in that direction. Great parenting is not the result of doing things the way they have always been done. Great parenting is the result of change, innovation and the bravery to admit to and heal our own childhood pain.
The time has come to differentiate between loving people and loving the roles we play for other people. It might just benefit our children if they grew up understanding the difference between loving a child and loving the act of parenting in general. Culturing this understanding may just allow them to grow into the role of parenthood with eyes wide open, and with full knowledge that it will be a relationship of contrast that is meant to cause the old and buried childhood pain within us, to surface for integration.

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