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Posts tagged ‘Acceptance’

Light Up Your Life

Recently someone was telling me about a friend of hers, and how his heart was closed, wrapped in barbed wire, as she put it. I asked her if what she was saying was indeed true of her friend in this moment… and as she connected with the truth, she realized that in fact his heart had become open and what she was speaking was untrue.

Since that experience, I’ve reflected how we don’t always speak the truth that builds people up. I found myself aware of perceiving people based on the past–and it wasn’t necessarily a form of judgment; it was just that my perception of the person six months ago was no longer true in this moment.

If you imagine a tree growing from a sapling up to a big oak, there are huge shifts that a it undergoes over the course of the seasons and the decades. Its appearance changes, just like its shape and its beauty. As beings we do that: each moment we are different… so it follows that we have to let go of our perceptions and fixed ideas of who people are, because everyone evolves.

I have started to bring a sense of wonderment and curiosity to my interaction with others, whether they are new to my life or long-standing friends. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with what I learn about them and what aspects emerge from them that I might not have noticed before, because my awareness is no longer clouded by expectations or old perceptions of who they are. This has opened up my relationships and my flow through life to be truly more joyful and to make everything a lot more interesting.

The flip side of the coin is also letting go of our personal past and the stories we tell ourselves about it. If you pay attention to the things that you’re believing, experiencing, verbalizing and thinking, you realize that thoughts are very powerful. If we’re reinforcing our limitation by telling ourselves that nobody supports us, or certain things are always hard, we’re doing to ourselves the same thing we do to others (judge them by their past) and getting stuck on that idea of the past. If we can let those experiences go, heal them and transform our thinking, we can actually come to each moment clear and free to really experience the expansiveness, wonder and joy of that moment. This doesn’t mean that we don’t acknowledge what has come before, because it’s important to do that; it just means that the present moment doesn’t have to be filtered through the cloudiness that our past experience would impose on us.

We are not meant to get stuck in our experiences; we are meant to move through past and beyond them.

In releasing your expectations of others and of yourself, in choosing to speak with truth and with light to build people up (and to build yourself up), you can interact with others and the present moment with the curiosity to see what aspects you can witness and what may be revealed. And you (and they) have a chance to bring a fullness to the interaction that you might otherwise not have noticed.

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Four Ways to Change Your Emotional State

 I know someone who has a very serious illness. Even though her own physical challenges are extreme, she still manages to maintain lightheartedness, positiveness and even a sense of humor through her day. Her job is to deal with injured workers. She relates to all of her colleagues in a positive way and despite the fact that her personal condition is far more severe than her clients, she exhibits extreme patience, compassion, kindness, and even a sense of humor.

How does she manage to do this? Very simply: although she takes care of her medical condition, she doesn’t make her whole life about it. She focuses on what is working in her own life.

This is not just an inspiring example; it’s a reminder that we can make a choice about not only our energy but also whether we’re focusing on the positive or the negative throughout our day. Anytime we remember to check in, we can ask—what are we choosing our attitude, our emotional state, our energy to be? Is it one that is up, positive, and optimistic or is it one that is focused on the less-optimum aspects of our day?

It’s important to note that this is not about covering our emotions or pasting on a smile that doesn’t match our inner state. It’s truly about shifting that inner state. Some things we can do when we become aware that our focus is leaning to the negative (or we feel like we need a more positive charge) include:

1. Going for a walk
2. Meditating
3. Dancing – which can be as simple as be-bopping around to some music that speaks to our passion and lifts us up
4. Thinking about something that happened to us at some point that was truly terrific… or thinking about a dream coming true and feeling what that coming true would feel like. (That way you can truly embody that feeling. You could even jump up and down in celebration of that dream coming true.)

These are simple, easy ways in which we can shift our energy immediately. Embodying any of the different emotions that go with the above options switches our energy, allows our brain to think about something positive… and puts our focus, just like my friend does, on the gifts in our lives and the people around us.

Photo credit: yugenro 

How To Clear Energy Fast

There are two concepts I’ve been using with my clients lately that have been very useful in facilitating fast change.

These two concepts aren’t just mental. We can think of concepts as being mentally integrated, but in truth we have to make sure they go beyond the brain, because the brain is only one part and have the integration of all physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies.

The first concept is working with clients’ beliefs around how easy it is to heal.

Some people have the belief that healing or transforming is hard and that it’s difficult to let go of things. If that’s their belief, then usually that becomes their experience.

But healing is healing—it doesn’t matter if it’s a tiny thing (and they think nothing of clearing it) or whether it’s something that feels huge and overwhelming. It’s our perception that makes certain things appear to have greater weight than others. If something is tiny enough that we believe that healing it is easy and instantaneous, what’s there to stop us from applying that to the big things? Whether the large thing is a trauma or whether we’re holding on to something that’s no longer useful, healing can be done with ease, grace and be as instantaneous as serves our highest and best. It can be as easy as taking a breath in and out.

The other concept is seeing beliefs, concepts and emotional challenges, as just being energy or light. We tend to label things as good or bad, but they could just as easily be described as whether they serve us or have stopped serving us. When we release something or transmute it, we’re exchanging one form of energy for another. Sure, the new energy we choose might be lighter have a higher energy or vibration, but essentially it’s all light; it’s all forms of light in different frequencies or densities. And something that is love-centered has the ability to be lighter than things that are fear-based.

Both of these concepts have worked very well with my clients, and they were able to let go or heal or accept greater amounts of light far faster than before they had considered or integrated these concepts.

Photo credit: Ashamar 

Release Judgment to Get More Out of Experiences.

In one of my group meditations someone once told me that she felt like she was new to the practice and hence had a harder time sensing where she was holding energy. After we were no longer in a meditative state, she asked me a question and when I was giving her feedback, I inquired, “Can you feel where you’re holding energy—here and here?”

“Well,” she replied, “I can feel it here. And it’s not that I don’t believe you, but I can’t feel it in the other spot.”

“Close your eyes and focus within.”

She did, and then she said, “Oh, I can feel it now.”

I thanked her for showing everybody that sometimes you may not be able to feel something with your eyes open, but in a deeper state of focus it’s a little bit easier. “It takes practice to increase your awareness and sensitivity,” I added.

Later I learned that she had concluded that she wasn’t “advanced enough” or “evolved enough” for my class. She was comparing herself against other people’s experiences or what they had been able to do, and judging herself for her supposed lack of perception… with all of the insecurity that went with that self-judgment.

To illustrate how this wasn’t about how “experienced” or “advanced” this woman was, in the same group there was someone else who’s extremely gifted, empathetic, and really able to feel things—yet later I learned she would often experience frustration because there’s a part of her that really wants to see the energy rather than just feel it. She was caught in the judgment that seeing energy was better than feeling energy.

The fact of the matter is that wherever we are, and whatever our experience is at any given moment, it is perfect, and anytime we get stuck in comparing ourselves with others, we step out of the magic of the moment. Turning off our judgment (including judging ourselves for our self-judgment) and aligning with out heart, we can then treat everything just as information. That way, our self-doubt and tendency to compare show us where the inner opportunities exist for expansion and personal growth. And with that mindset it’s easier to have a fuller, more appreciative experience and to realize that we’re experiencing not only what is perfect but also what is ideal for us.

Photo credit:   suadoni

Changing a Critical (and Self-Critical) Nature

I have a friend who thrives on wanting to be helpful (and who, incidentally, gave permission to write about him in this blog). He’s observant, experienced and insightful, discovering and applying to his life new things all the time. The only problem is, sometimes he’s convinced that whatever has worked for him should also work for you, and insists on you taking action now. If you don’t, there’s the subtle and not-so-subtle feeling that he’s judging you for your inability or unwillingness to do as he thinks is best for you.

We all know someone like that-a parent, a friend, a partner: people who have good advice but are often a little too pushy (and a little too judgmental) with their solutions. I can recognize this person because many years ago I used to be that way, before I understood that there was more happiness in releasing the people in my life to make their own choices rather than trying to control the outcome of their experiences and being vested in whether they do or don’t do what I think is best for them.

The external desire for others to change and not accept them as they are could be a mirror of what is going on inside of us. We all are in a state of growth, expansion and change, but if the imperative to change comes from a need to control or a sense that we’re imperfect, we are like the proverbial dog, always chasing our tail: we’re never going to love ourselves fully because there’s some other way we could’ve been “better.” On the other hand, if we love ourselves completely and unconditionally, we can listen to our whole being on how to make changes from a place of love and desire to expand.

So how do you change a critical nature-even if it’s well-intentioned? Or how do you change the feelings of inadequacy if you’re on the receiving end of a critical person’s attention?

We begin accepting others as they are by accepting ourselves, without conditions. Self love is neither earned nor a reflection of our accomplishments or lack thereof. At the core of releasing a critical nature (or letting others’ judgments slide off us) lies loving ourselves more fully, deeply and unconditionally-from the heart, not from a place within the mind or ego-and really connecting with all parts of ourselves. We can be discerning and yet love ourselves: we can choose to have a different experience and take action from a sense of self-acceptance, self-appreciation and self-love.

With that gentler, more loving focus, we’ll be much less likely to want to impose our solutions on others or, conversely, take on shoulds or expectations that may be perfect for someone else but not for us.

Next time you run into your critical person (outside or inside you), think of it as the way in which we remind each other to breathe deeper, be more relaxed, and love ourselves more.

Photo credit: Tony the Misfit