August 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Archive for the ‘Health & Healing’ Category

The Four Agreements III

The third agreement, Don’t Make Assumptions, is profoundly connected to the second.  When we make assumptions about anything or any one, at conscious and/or subconscious levels we become invested in expectations.  When our expectations are not met, we take it personally.

Don Miguel says, “We make assumptions that everyone sees life the way we do.”  This assuming is particularly evident at the beginning of a romantic relationship.  Both parties asking few questions, assuming a great deal, and over-investing in their expectations.  As the romantic phase fades, reality sets in and the parties are stunned by their failed expectations.

Asking questions and clarifying communication are the keys for avoiding the ensuing drama of making assumptions.  The majority of us are quite timid when it comes to this critical aspect of communication; afraid to make ourselves vulnerable; fearful of being judged.

In The Four Agreements Don Miguel states, “If you don’t understand something, it is better for you to ask and be clear, instead of making an assumption.  The day you stop making assumptions you will communicate cleanly and clearly, free of emotional poison.  Without making assumptions your word becomes impeccable.”

The Four Agreements II

The second agreement in the Toltec Wisdom book, The Four Agreements, is “Don’t Take Anything Personally”.

The human majority beleive that other people or situations can make us respond in certain ways.  For example, ‘My boss made me so angry.’ or ‘My friend really hurt my feelings.’  We re-act from a place of conditioning.  Anger is a choice, albeit also a conditioned response.  As Don Miguel states, the comments and behaviors of others which ‘hurt’ us, hurt us because these things touch personal wounds that we carry.

To not take things personally is very challenging work.  Yet, when we establish the habit of non-reaction to the feedback of others, both positive and negative, we find our true center, our true self-esteem.

The Four Agreements

In his book The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz details what may appear at first to be four simple tenets for the spiritual warrior.

The first agreement is to “…Be Impeccable with Your Word.”  Words are a potent power.  Words can soothe and support or incite and ruin.  It is a great challenge to master our use of words.  Don Miguel states that…”Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself.” 

When we consistently show this honor and respect for ourselves, we will treat others in kind.  This process is rooted in our thoughts.  I invite you to become an active observer and editor of your thoughts; thoughts about yourself and others.  When the emotions of fear, envy, hate, condemnation, lust, greed and gossip to name a few, dominate your thinking, it is not possible to be impeccable with your word.  

Bringing the truth and love voice of our inner editor to our thought process will reduce  our use of negative words.  The integrity and power of our word can then be honored, even among our enemies.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is focusing on the present moment, on the now.  It means bringing conscious mind, day-dreaming mind, the deeper mind…the whole self, including it’s shadow aspects,  fully into the moment.

Nothing, no thing we do is unimportant.  From the simple act of tying a shoe to the more complex actions and decisions that living demands, all are important. 

As with meditation, breathing is essential…mindful breathing.  Focus on each breath.  Bring the full attention of your whole self to the rhythm of your breathing.  You will experience distraction, and when you do, bring the fullness of your attention back the passage of your breath.  As you practice, focusing will become easier.  The mind begins to clear, anxiety eases, a sense of peace and well-being grows steadily.  You can achieve a deeper harmony with the Divine.  Life gets better regardless of what is happening around you.

Bringing mindfulness and meditation together in daily practice is free.  And the investment of time and energy will pay great dividends.

Meditation Style

Finding your ‘meditation style’ can be so challenging that many of us often end up believing that we just can’t do it; that meditation is just not our cup of tea.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2004) lists as the second definition for meditate,  “…to engage in deep mental exercise directed toward a heightened level of spiritual awareness.”

There are many approaches to and styles of meditation geared toward helping us to achieve greater spiritual awareness and connection with the Divine.  But before you choose a particular discipline, it is vital that you identify what kind of meditator you are.  Are you a passive or active meditator?  An active meditation style will find frustration and failure in passive methods, and, likewise a passive meditator in active styles.

An example of passive meditation would be sitting as still as possible  in a place of quietude and breathing into that place of oneness.  Toning, chanting and music may or may not accompany.  A good example of active meditation can be found in the walking meditations of Thich Nhat Hanh.  Breathing is essential to all meditation practices, and no less so in active meditations.

If you have a personal, spiritual goal of attaining a stronger spiritual connection and heightened level of awareness, then I wholeheartedly encourage  your exploration into discovering your meditation style.

Why Worry?

Everyone worries.  We worry because we do not know what is going to happen to us, our children, our friends, our jobs, our health, our future, our planet.  Worry is more than a useless emotional endeavor.  Worry creates stress. Worry affects our physical, emotional, spiritual health and well-being.  Worry robs us of living life to it’s fullest.   Worry steals precious moments  from our lives and those moments are unrecoverable.

Ask yourself if worry has ever helped you?  Has worrying ever changed an outcome or made you feel better, happier or safer?  I am confident that the answer is no.

Worry presents an opportunity to practice mastery over our emotions.  Fears and worries arise spontaneously, coming and going as they please.  Our task then, is to interrupt the fear, acknowledge the worry, and then replace them with thoughts, words and emotions that are faith-based and positive.  Inner peace comes from accepting that whatever the future may bring, you will have the strength, wisdom and courage to manage the circumstances well.  You will also be in a position to fully enjoy the good, the pleasant, the quiet and the awesome moments of beingness.

Gratitude

As we approach the New Moon in Virgo on Wednesday, September 8, it is a good time for assessing, reflecting and ‘giving thanks’.  I invite you to focus on the more intangible aspects of life. 

In this challenging economic climate, with so much attention and demand on finding successful strategies for survival, we sometimes forget to acknowledge the gifts of family, of friends, of community and of the Spirit.

Take a few moments today to breathe deeply, center, relax, and put on an attitude of gratitude.  Find that one thing, or those several things that you are glad to have in your life; and Give Thanks.

Your Future

The future is fluid; very little is set in stone.  Part of our future is determined by circumstances, part by ‘fate’ and then there is ‘free-will’; our personal effort and commitment and the consequence of our decisions or indecisions.

I invite you to do an exercise of intention.  Create some quiet, centered, personal space, and write a letter to yourself  from the future you desire.  The focus can be in your career, your relationships, personal habits you want to overcome, and/or personal goals you would like to achieve.  You can address one issue or multiple issues.  Be as specific as possible not only regarding the end result, but also with the behaviors it will take to accomplish these goals.  Share how the success feels.  Be realistic.

Be thoughtful.  Be kind.  As you write your letter treat yourself with respect and encouragement.  Affirm and support yourself.  Acknowledge your fears, soothe and remove them.  Do a draft first, because you deserve  to be the recipient of a neatly, hand-written letter from your future. 

When you are finished, put the letter in an envelope and address it to yourself.  Then give it to a trusted friend, asking them to mail it to you in one month.  Do not omit this important step.

In this exercise, you will have set and defined your intention, and created usable strategies for attaining your future goals.

Start now…your future is waiting!

Active Relaxation

As the weather starts to improve, I am spending more and more time in the garden.  Pulling weeds, working with the soil, planting seeds, choosing from the beautiful array of flowers, planting, and transplanting is such a delightful process for me. 

I took all my herbs out of my ‘herb’ barrel because the Rosemary had taken over.  Now all my herbs are in single pots.  I couldn’t find  tarragon starts, so I planted seeds and they are doing great.

Gardening offers benefit beyond excercise and the reward of fruit, vegetables and flowers.  Grounding your energy into the earth, touching nature, experiencing the miracle of renewal is food for the soul.  Even ‘mindful weeding’ is a most relaxing activity. 

Regardless of how small a space you have available, you can grow a flower, a tree or some veges.  Although I live on an acre, I container garden. Dwarf fruit trees, vegetables, strawberries, roses, and a variety of flowers and flowering schrubs provide me with endless hours of meditative comtemplation, focused attention and very welcome relaxation.  Won’t you join me?

Life Coaching

Life Coaching, Career Coaching, Business Coaching and Spiritual Guidance/Coaching are becoming more mainstream as people struggle with our down economy.  People are  seeking new ways of achieving their personal and professional goals.

Although we all have the answers within us, a skilled Coach can draw them out and help direct us to solutions that not only suit who we are, but put our feet squarely on our path.

“Thank you so much for your insights and your seamless perceptions.  It is so helpful to me.”   Carol S.

The Coaching process can be defined as a ‘creative partnership’.  I have been Life Coaching for several years.  It is one of the most rewarding aspects of my business.

“I place so much value on your kindness, insight and wisdom which has always been so validating to me.  Thank you for being honest with me .  I hope you know how much you are appreciated!”  Kerry H.