Every day I pray that I can be true to my spiritual practices. One of my practices is holding a space for all energy I see, no matter if I determine it to be positive or negative. When energy is coming toward me I want to decide to let it pass through me or around me. When energy comes from me I pray the Lord is coming through my thoughts, words, and deeds. Occasionally, I falter and say or do something I don't think the Lord would have said or done. That's my ego's shadow side, usually through the Victim archetype (see Caroline Myss). But I don't get too sad about it, I know it's a practice and I'll do better next time. But what do I do with the energy that includes something I don't want to do anymore ever? I have to trust it is not right for me right now because I'm only human, as the song goes. That's how I remain kind to myself. Deb B.
As you know from the first page of this website, I greatly admire Eckhart Tolle. I truly believe he has no ego - can this be true of anyone in the human form? Anyway, as he says, he has one thing to say but people want to hear him say it again and again. I understand what he's saying, it's all in his book, The Power of Now, but I keep getting new information from the different ways he says the same thing. For example, this came to me during my morning meditation the other day: The more we live in the present moment, not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, the fewer regrets we have in times of trouble or illness.
I'm not going to talk about religion. I don't know too much about the subject other than what I learned throughout my life about a particular religion. I will call on an important prayer, though, from that religion in order to explain the blog post title. The Lord's Prayer requests God to use His will to bring heaven to earth. God knows the earth could use a little more heaven! The prayer goes on to ask for other things; such as, food, forgiveness, the capacity to forgive others, and safety from evil, all very important things to ensure my survival. But, I wondered if the prayer is more of a business deal than purely a series of requests. In other words, if I promise to use my will to bring heaven to earth within my powers, God will help me with the other things outside of my control. I just read an interesting statement, “'We are the Ones we’ve been waiting for!' has become the mantra empowering us not to wait for saviors but to be them." If there is such a deal, how do I hold up my end of the bargain?
I'm not deliberately trying to be impious but my mind wanders when it comes to things I was told to memorize. I question them because I'm curious. What if I have the power to bring heaven to earth? How would that look like? Just off the top of my head, I could be kind, in thought, word and deed. I could be respectful, grateful, appreciative, loving, unselfish, helpful; well, you know the rest. Of course, feeling and being this way is easier when I am in a comfortable place in my life. When I was not in the past, I had to hunker down and work hard to get to a better place as we all try to do. At times, when I couldn't pull myself out of some of life's tougher spots, I would ask for help and support and it was there. Some aren't so blessed. Now, at this moment in time, I am free of tough spots, so is it my responsibility to use my will to bring heaven to earth for myself (through self-love and care), my loved ones, acquaintances, and strangers? If I decide "yes, it is my responsibility", do I have to knock myself out doing for and giving to others? I don't think so. I give and do what I can and the rest of the time, I just am. I am kind and all those others things I mentioned above. Will I change the world? Yes, my world. I will attract like energy and if when negative energy comes my way, as it does in life, I won't pay it much mind because I'm too busy bringing heaven to earth. In my experience, the positive folks will stick around and the negative ones will eventually get bored with my non-reaction and move on.
Blessings to all, Deb B.
"Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret to life is to 'die before you die' . . . and find that there is no death."
This Tolle quote struck me as a vital truth. At the time I read it, I had 3 on-going spiritual practices: Soul leads self, Silence is golden, and internal Stillness is essential for peace. The quote invited me to begin a 4th practice: Let go of anything that is not who I want to be. I started to see that the way I thought or acted had to be in sync with who I want to be, who I am, the Real Me. For instance, if I react with anger to anger, I now have to let it go. I don't like to see others express their frustration with anger, so why was I angry?
Also, I don't want my mood to be a reaction to someone else's or to a memory. I want to be grateful and feel blessed every moment no matter what is going on around me or inside of me. I now have to let any morose moods go.
Everyday, I realize at least one thought, belief, word, or action I would rather not have, so I choose to let it "die". The potential is that I will let go of all that divides me and the Real Me will be present all the time from now until I leave this earth as this form. And the promise is that I will see death not as an end but as a continuation of the Real Me, my Soul.
Love to all.
It looks funny to start this post with "I' since the topic is Soul-esteem, not self-esteem, but, I'll press forward. I have been purposefully building what I think is a healthy self-esteem since I figured out what that meant somewhere in the middle of my adult years. Lately, though, I've been wondering if my "self" (my body, ego, mental state, churning thoughts, etc.) is not what needs so much of my attention any more. Oh yes, from time to time, my self gives me trouble. My feelings get hurt or I get angry if someone challenges or disagrees with a belief I've held forever. And I do become fearful about the state of the world when I tune into the news. But, I seem to level out quicker than I used to because I let Me, the Soul common to all of us, lead the way forward. The Soul is the best part of us. My question is, can I be mindful enough to have Soul lead all the time so I can filter out more of the hurt, anger, and fear?
I'm curious when I see someone who leads with anger, competition, jealousy, drama, or force more often than not. It seems as if they don't like themselves and/or others. I wonder if they understand that to lead with the Soul is to love themselves. Some of us may not love all of ourselves when leading with other than the Soul, but it would seem impossible to not love ourselves when Soul is in the lead since this comes from the Divine Source, right? If this is true, that our Soul comes from the Divine Source, then it follows for me that we have the capacity to love our Soul unconditionally. So, why don't we naturally present the best part of us, our Soul, to the world all the time? How could the self be stronger than the Soul? Is it that we haven't evolved enough? I've heard the reason the Soul takes a backseat to the self is because the Soul does not compete with the self. The Soul is always at the ready; however, the Soul leads only when the self takes the backseat voluntarily.
A lot to meditate on for this semi-evolved head. I only know that I must be mindful when I find self leading and make a conscious decision to calm myself down and let Soul lead the way. Soul is brighter, lighting my path forward. Soul is wiser, making it easy to change the channel in my mind from self doing the talking to Soul. On the Soul channel what comes out of my mouth is the Truth, clearer and kinder, and benefits those around me as opposed to putting them on the defensive as self sometimes does. As with all of life, leading with Soul is a mindful choice, a process, and a wondrous journey. Love to all.
Power vs. Force
Have you heard of a book called Power Vs. Force by Dr. David Hawkins? It's been around for a while and the only reason I can think that it has not crossed my path until recently is because there were mixed reviews about how scientific it was. Even so, I liked the way Dr. Hawkins ranked human states of consciousness on a negative to positive scale of 20 - 1000 from Shame (20) up to Love (500), Joy (540), Peace (600) and beyond to full enlightenment. He used a specific scientific method called Kinesiology to calibrate the states, but I'll let you read about that yourself. He claims the tipping point between Force, a state of negative consciousness, and Power, a state of more positive consciousness, is about 200. Dr. H. states, "Force always creates a counter-force; its effect is to polarize rather than unify." He calibrates that humanity as a whole has fairly recently edged up to 207, up from 190.
At first, I thought these levels were good to know in order to find ways to develop and move up the scale, but then I read that we don't change a lot in our lives. My brain screamed, "This can't be. I've worked so hard on my spiritual journey these last few years!" Now, I'm determined to prove Dr. Hawkins wrong by continuing to improve on my recently found positive outlook and mindfulness. I'm determined to continue to be mindful that my thoughts, words and deeds affect others in a positive manner. Well, I work on the words and deeds; thoughts seem to take their own trip; maybe that's the rub. I may be a at 207 today but I'll think good thoughts and plan to be at 208 tomorrow; 600, here I come! Love to all. Deb B.
Can you control the thoughts that come and go in your mind? I barely can and the success I have is because I practice meditation for a few minutes first thing. We can't blame the brain or get mad at ourselves for our straying thoughts or daydreams, just as we can't feel bad about our dreams during sleep - they just happen. The brain is just doing its "thing" as we used to say. The heart beats, the brain thinks. I would have loved to have meditated years ago when thoughts I didn't want were invading. Now that I'm a happier person, I meditate because I'm looking for an answer to a particularly nagging question or situation I'm in. Either to get rid of our unwanted thoughts and/or to give us the quiet space we need to find the answers to life's questions, meditation works.
When I first began, I tried some techniques I had read about like Dr. Wayne Dyer's "Getting in the Gap". After much practice, that helped to keep me in the present moment. By staying present I was able to observe my mind drifting and bring it back to focus. When I'm focused I can apply my mind to the question or situation. And again, when my thoughts drift (notice I didn't say, "when I drift") I bring them back to the task at hand. I've discovered all kinds of things when I'm in my zone of focus. For example, I wrote the outline for an article about using the coach approach when communicating with friends and loved ones, and from there I developed a class that I present to the local university Lifelong Learning Institute. I believe I'm most creative when in my zone of focus and I credit meditation with that success.
Interestingly, as a side benefit, I feel better all day because I started my day by giving myself the gift of a focused mind through meditation. I also find I have more peace of mind overall because I'm able to work on situations around guilt or shame (Brene Brown says guilt is about making mistakes and shame is feeling as if we are the mistake).
Consequently, I teach my clients about meditation and if they want to, I do a guided meditation with them to help them start or continue their practice. I'm not sure I will ever achieve the state of meditative mind that people like Eckhart Tolle seem to have, but I keep practicing because it feels so good. Love and peace of mind to all. Deb B.
Everybody has their own take on long-term marriage. Some say it's a life-long soulful experience they wouldn't trade for anything in the world; others say it's a war with many battles along the way. I haven't done an official survey but I'm guessing most marriages lasting more than 30 years are somewhere in between the two poles, if truth be told. The soul enriching is welcomed and wonderful - all the love shared, lessons learned, and support willingly given make most of us feel it has been a good life when looking back.
But, I'm here to talk about the scars left behind from the battles. When I deliver barbs, there's the guilt, and when they are received, there's the resentment. For me, getting rid of guilt is hard but not accumulating any more is easier. I practice staying mindful to stop myself before I open my mouth and spew venom at venom; then repeat to myself "silence is golden" to quote a coach friend of mine. I can control what I'm putting out there, but it's the stuff coming at me that is difficult to control. In fact, it's impossible since we all know we can't control the other person. So, if the barb finds its mark (and we all know where to throw it after 30+ years), the hurt or anger comes, the scar is formed and its name is Resentment. Again, if we are not mindful, the resentment can pile up and cover over the love. Where does that lead us? We have at least two choices: 1) leave (but there might be another special someone lurking out there who will get to know our hot buttons; and then there's the history and the love), or
2) stay put and find a way to shield ourselves against the jabs and stabs. After all, it's been 30+ years and who wants to start over with a new person - think about it!
Here's what I've done. I've tried the following self-talk: "I will picture that criticism under the guise of sarcasm rolling off my back" - didn't work. I've tried turning it back on him - oops, more guilt. I've made light of it but that didn't work either because I didn't feel light when I was angry or my feelings were raw. So, after a lot, lot, lot of thought I finally came up with something to help decrease the pile of . . . . resentment. I fell back on my old favorite: The two energies in me, ego and Spirit. When my dander comes up, when my heart hurts, when my stomach roils, ego will automatically come forward to protect me. But, as I've told many friends, clients, and family members, ego doesn't do the best job in relationships. It does great when trying to find better insurance or a good doctor, keeping a schedule of work, social events and meetings straight, and countless other things in our day-to-day lives. But, letting ego lead in relationships? . . . not so much. So, I call on Spirit (my direct line to the Divine) to come forward and ego to get behind when I find myself knee-deep in a relationship battle. Spirit will never steer me wrong - it reminds me of all the good work I've done for others and myself and how much I care about myself. You may wonder what comes out of my mouth when Spirit is leading me? Nothing, because it just doesn't matter. The barb might touch me but it falls to the ground without doing harm. After a very long time the barbs stop coming because the effect is not there anymore. Granted, I've given the barbs so much power in the 30+ years relying on my Rambo or special victim selves that it will take a long time to extinguish, but it will happen. I trust my Spirit.
By the way, it doesn't hurt to talk about the communication break-downs from time to time during peace time and also to pray everyday for the relationship to thrive.
Love to all, Deb B.
"Let us make man in our image, in our likeness." Genesis 1:26
If we see God as consciousness, everywhere and all the time, and believe we were made in that image, it follows that we have the potential to make the world a better place, no matter how small our corner. We can do things like exercise and nourish our bodies and minds, meditate to stay connected to our Souls, have fun, be nice, and help out when needed, just to name a few. To do otherwise, is not following God's original intent to make us in His image. To honor God is to honor ourselves and the intent to make the world a better place is a good intention - we can choose to honor it!
Love, Deb B.
These are some thoughts about women who give a lot of themselves. They give to their spouses, children, parents, friends, employers, and strangers, either directly or through charities or volunteer opportunities, all of their lives. They were taught to do this early, feel it is the right thing to do, and so do not see any other way to live. But what happens when we retire . . . I mean really retire? Can we say, "no", even with an explanation? How do we deal with the guilt that might come after saying, "no", especially to the husband who expects a continuation of the role we've always played?
A picture of a well comes to me. The well is deep with pure water. People who give out a lot, love when others come to drink from the well and as long as they take care of the water; keep it pure with positive energy, keep it sweet with self-love, and replenish the well by finding underground streams of enrichment, fun, and refreshment, they continue to give with joy. It's so important to stay mindful of the level and purity of the water in the well. During our physical time on the Earth, I believe one of the soul's most important jobs is to care for the body and mind so we can give to others. As soon as we notice a drop in the water level or a decrease in purity, we must attend to it by finding something to replenish and refresh. That could be lunch out with a friend or a day of "me" time, perhaps on a short vacation or just taking a little time to read and relax. Everyone has their own way to replenish and refresh. If we aren't mindful of our well, it can get too low or the quality can suffer, possibly causing stress on our immune systems. Let's promise ourselves that in order to offer pure, sweet water we will take care of ourselves.
I wish you Love and Sweetness, Deb B.
I'm very happy to be blogging about my spiritual path. I've a long way to go but I've come a long way, too. Love to all, Deb B.