Romanticizing, Ridiculing & Avoiding

The present moment contains in it both the energy of the past and the future

Although our minds have an almost compulsive need to drive in reverse or screech forward, disciplining ourselves to stay fully focused in the here and now is where power and peace reside.

A simple concept and one that has become quite the buzz, staying totally present and engaged in the present moment at all times is arguably the biggest challenge we face in a day.

It is all too tempting to journey down memory lane, to analyze every detail of yesterday, or to fantasize about the dreams of tomorrow. 

These mental trips take us out of the reality of here and now.  This thinking can become something of a trance, taking you on a “trip” and causing you to agonize over, or exaggerate the greatness of, that which is being considered.   We generally either remember it to be worse or think it up to be better than it really is or will be. 

Distorting Mind-Play:  The Tendency to Romanticize or Ridicule              

Looking backwards is a slippery slope.  It is tempting to remember the good ol’ days, to analyze what we believe to be a personal historical mistake in order to glean wisdom from our error, or to think about what is yet to be. 

Our perspectives however are colored by many things.  Thoughts that come up are rarely neutral.  Mental meandering is generally either romanticized or ridiculed, creating guilt and shame, or unrealistic expectations which may never be obtained

Often the tiny real life details of the moment that led up to the experience that is under review are forgotten.  These are the nitty-gritty details that the mind likes to gloss over. 

Likewise, the real-life occurrences that will culminate to make up the future is unaccounted for when we dream about being somewhere in the future other than here and now.  The ivory-tower thinking changes dramatically when grounded by practical experience.

Backwards, forward, and sideways–the mind will analyze, distort, and drain out all magic from these experiences–turning them into a mangled mess.  

The Ego’s Positive & Negative Delusions

Perfect examples of this can be seen in common triggers for people.

Often rather than finding their own passion and creating a life all their own, many girls dream of the future day that a perfect man will come rescue her from the average life she now lives.  In this future fueled fantasy she will live a picture perfect life free of struggle and void of all suffering.

Likewise, many people tend to romanticize the past and engage in delusional thinking about prior experiences or relationships.  Prime examples of this are the men and women who remember a previous partner with irrational fondness despite the fact their time with that person was riddled with perpetual negativity and issues.  Yet, when escaping the now moment by traveling down memory lane wearing their rose-tinted lenses, all that is remembered is the glossy-image-of-perfection that this relationship and person supposedly embodied. 

Another mental trap that contains a myriad of blind spots is when parents spend time agonizing on the errors or inadequacies of how they raised their children.  Here, the past is often distorted as there is a strong urge for parents to beat themselves up.  They should have taken little Joe on more bike rides or played dolls more with little Suzie.  The parent however was doing many important things with, or for, Joe or Suzie instead of bike riding and doll playing.

It’s All Here in the Now

The evolution of life ensures that this very moment contains both the lessons of yesterday and the promise of tomorrow.  Both the present and past are contained in a relevant way within the energy of now.  Thus, everything needed to heal and create is right here and right now.  And the next step is only revealed to you when you are fully engaged in the present step.

As they say, this very moment is a gift, which is why it is called the present.

We may cause ourselves much guilt, pain and suffering when we look backwards; and we could set ourselves up for preconceived resentments with unrealistic expectations when we set our future fantasies up in order to escape reality.  Each of these are acts of rejecting the here and now.

Embracing the now, accepting the here, and gently guiding the energy forward with respect for where we have been, and inspiration for what may lie ahead, allows us to bask in the present peace offered in each gifted minute of every blessed day. 

 

 

22 Reasons Why Everything Is Going to be Alright

For all of the trail-blazers, big-hearted ones, anyone going after their heart’s desire, trying to accomplish something, change anything, or arrive somewhere just beyond their current horizon—this is for you.

Moving toward the accomplishment of highly-charged goals means transforming into the person we have to be in order to realize them.  A personal process made up of many cycles, the wheel of creation involves:  heartache, breakdown, breakthrough, and rebirth.

During such fierce, vulnerable, tender, and quantum moments when we have put it all on the line and the stakes are high, we often wish that God would appear as a burning bush and affirm our journey, a universal symphony would play an audible song just to soothe us, or that a guide from above would bring down a message and tell us that we are okay.

If you find yourself in such a place, then this is what your spirit needs to hear:

  1. Your imperfections are the only thing about you that will ever be perfect
  2. You have super-powers and this process is activating them
  3. Nothing is fixed; the ever fluctuating set of energies and conditions of your life are influenced in every moment by action, intention and prayer
  4. Your whole life has led you here to take this leap
  5. You are healed and empowered by your visions and through them your life moves forward
  6. Soon you’ll be thriving like never before regardless of what is happening today, you just can’t see it from where you’re at
  7. You can get there from here, despite appearances otherwise
  8. The path is always through, around won’t get you there
  9. Becoming well-acquainted with your weaknesses points you towards your gifts
  10. Everything you need to know will be revealed to you as soon as you reach the place of falling to your knees and asking for it
  11. This is one of the scariest parts, and you are still breathing
  12. There is no good and bad, there is just you, here, now
  13. Sooner than you think you will get precisely what you want, and in that moment you will understand the whole of your journey and believe it to have all been worth it
  14. When the time is right, you’ll do whatever it takes
  15. Your road map has been written, and there are many routes; all of them lead to your destination, because you are one of those people who pulls it off
  16. Like an artist who keeps his half painted portrait covered,  you are not finished yet, so don’t look now
  17. When you use your magic wand (the focused light of your awareness) life transforms right before your eyes
  18. You are a receptive person who is being influenced by spiritual forces, and you are right on track
  19. There is a time and a place for everything, including this
  20. Just show up; the alchemy of moving forward has a transmuting effect on your burdens
  21. In the end, you always manage to go with faith over doubt, abundance over lack, and love over fear
  22. The Universe is on your side, and life wants you to win

The Magic of Mirroring

One of the things that I have found to be most fascinating in my journey of awareness is the phenomenon of mirroring. The realization that everyone around me is showing or telling me something about myself is truly an extraordinary thought.

It is a psychological truth that we often see in others that which we do not like in ourselves.  Since the law of attraction governs our Universe, like attracts like.  In this way life acts as a mirror for what is going on inside of us.

Often times the Universe sends people that cast a signal to us that answers one of our most pressing questions or helps us to heal our most important issues.  Like a looking glass, the person reflects an image back to us that shows us something we need to see.

Mirroring can be positive or negative; each of these offers a reflection of your truth.

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly 

When we see the positive in others and think about how we wish that we were more like that, we are experiencing positive mirroring.  People in our life whom we admire reflect our positive aspects that we may not recognize or acknowledge in ourselves.  The very fact that we notice and are able to see that attribute signifies that we contain that greatness somewhere in us.

Mirroring however may be most impressive, and challenging, when it happens in less appealing ways.

Working with the public as a holistic health counselor, I have become aware of the magic of mirroring on many occasions through direct experience.

Sending a client my way that mirrors what I need to see in myself, the Universe frequently gives me highly important guidance (for me) during sessions with clients.  Through them I am shown with precision that next thing I need to address, or that critical thing that I have been neglecting to do.

Often clients just won’t follow through on a particular recommendation regardless of how important or key it is to solving their most pressing concern.   In these moments, I have learned to move into neutral awareness and look for the connection.

Usually, this area is somehow related to me; what I am not doing, or not following through on, myself.  The Universe sends a magnetic-twin along to show me the answer that I have been seeking.

Try as I might—seeking the key to a pesky health concern or looking for the cause of a personal life imbalance—without that client and their challenge or question, I have not yet been successful in identifying that particular pattern or need in myself.

When I take the gift of this guidance shown to me by the human-mirror and make the change, I solve a significant problem.  Once I begin taking that supplement, removing that toxin, eating that food, working on that part of my personality, or paying attention to that certain relationship dynamic in my life—my own issue begins to heal.

By paying close attention to the many instances of mirroring in my life, my eyes have been opened to some core patterns.  I was intrigued to find that mirroring was not limited to my professional work, but also showed up in my personal relationships.

A Three Way Mirror

A mirroring pattern between three people has been the most transformative form of mirroring I have witnessed.  When it shows itself in divine perfection, life-long patterns can be resolved that spawn out in many directions.

Peering into the mirrors that the Universe brings into our lives and owning what is being shown can often take real strength…especially when that which is being shown is unflattering.

A revealing moment shown to you in an interaction with another casts a clear reflection.  Somewhere lurking in the shadows of your own being lies that most bothersome, painful and unacceptable trait or aspect that you have repeatedly disliked or been victim of by another.  This is when you finally see that the way you are being treated is also the way you unknowingly have treated someone else; or that the negative aspect you have looked harshly upon in another also lives in you.

It is important to emphasize that this is an unexpected trait or pattern that has long been hidden in you–and something that you would deny or reject.  You will know when you are on to it, because when faced with it in the mirror you can no longer deny it, and it makes you feel defensive, nauseous or emotionally disturbed.

For me, boundaries have always been a real challenge.  I assumed that I was very respectful of all boundaries since people steam-rolled right through mine so often.  However, understanding that this behavior is especially bothersome to me, I knew I needed to look for it within in order to pinpoint the root.

After a lifetime of problems maintaining my own personal boundaries, I had a mirroring-moment where I realized that a family-member who regularly exhibited boundary-busting behaviors that hurt me, was also showing me a deeply hidden disrespect for the boundaries of others within me.

I was stunned to see such a reflection.  It was difficult to see that I was guilty of something that I found so offensive.  After doing some deep inner work and taking responsibility for this issue, I was able to accept that I indeed treated others in this same way on occasion.

Able to view this pattern in three different ways (family member/myself/ friends) I could finally see the perplexing pattern clearly.  Once I was able to see it in this way, I could work to forgive it in another, and then learn to turn that same compassion inward, and also forgive myself.

What You See Is What You Are

Due to the law of attraction and the magic of mirroring it is possible that the types of behavior that we regularly see and don’t like in others are aspects deeply hidden within ourselves.

With constant self-examination, self-honesty, and a willingness to step outside of ourselves regularly, we can use this information to help see ourselves more objectively and to bring to the surface obvious or repressed issues that we have previously buried.

Recognizing the lessons that these situations and individuals are mirroring gives us the precious opportunity to become conscious of our hidden beliefs, feelings, imbalanced behaviors, or shadow personality traits so that we can experience less suffering and conflict.

When we grow in our ability to handle what can often be the difficult reflections shown to us through the phenomenon of mirroring, it becomes our own powerful and secret formula for becoming whole.

The questions, unknowns, and things that we cannot quite figure out on our own are able to be solved by images revealed to us through our connections with others.

Thought-Flipping: A Guide for Taking Charge of Your Mind-Stuff

No matter where we are on our personal growth journey, there is always room for improvement when it comes to disciplining our mind.  The mind-work is never done.

It is estimated that people talk to themselves–either subconsciously or out-loud–at the rate of approximately 50 to 300 words per minute.  Research says that on average we have 65,000 thoughts each day, and that 95% of those thoughts are reoccurring.  Much of this is self-talk or inwardly directed chatter.

Although it may go unnoticed, each thought creates a physical response.  The thoughts being had create emotions and automatic responses in the body which significantly affect our physical health and mental well-being.  Whether we are feeling happy or upset will be dependent on what thoughts we are thinking.  And effects such as accelerated heart rate and changes in blood pressure can be measured as we think certain thoughts.

Essentially our mind is constantly running, thinking repetitive thoughts (the same thoughts that we had yesterday, and the day before that) and our body and emotions are strongly triggered by them.  Clearly, this makes how we think and what we think extremely important.

Mental Cramps

Years ago my personal journey was triggered by symptoms in my body which my first teacher quickly helped me trace with precision, right to my mind.

At first I was so identified with my thoughts that I could not really see them.  My thoughts seemed to be me, and I didn’t feel like I had any power over them.  I had been living a life at the mercy of my undisciplined mind, without even realizing it.

I spent many years focused on taming my wild and rebellious mind.  And in the process I learned that being my own mental-manager was absolutely essential to co-creating a desirable reality.

When I become preoccupied with life, however, I can temporarily lose consciousness in this area for days at a time.  Sometimes I snap-to only to find myself in the midst of racing thoughts, obsessive mental patterns and irrational fears.

For the past few months while navigating a great deal of transition and some very new terrain, I found that I had indeed slipped into a jaded state of mind.  Spinning wildly on the wheel of randomized ideas and unruly self-talk, my mind was in a state of negative looping.

As I began my mental-monitoring, I saw that I was continually framing neutral or potentially amazing things in unnecessarily negative ways.  I had allowed myself to become over-tired, un-centered, and in a state of overwhelm–and as a result, disorderly thought systems were taking root in my un-tended mind.

Negative thoughts grow like weeds.  Left unmanaged, wild and obsessive sprouts can begin to take hold in the soil of the mind.  I knew that I had to get the pruning shears out—and fast.  I immediately dusted off the most powerful mind-tool in my holistic box and began tending to my precious mental garden.

The Thought-Flipping Process

Thought flipping is an advanced form of mind monitoring and management.  This practice accepts that our thoughts are powerful and we can choose them.  Then it wastes no time.

As soon as negative thought-patterns are identified, a silent alarm sounds.  The observer of the thought then steps in with absolute authority and re-programs the mind by flipping the thought on its head, and thinking the exact opposite.

Once a pattern of strong pessimism about a particular aspect of life is identified for example, the observer flips it in that moment, and chooses optimism.   It is the art of taking back the powerful domain of the mind without wasting time giving the weed-thought any consideration or valuable energy.

At first the mind will rebel in defense of the negative thought by alerting the observer of how the flipped thought is ridiculous and could not possibly be true.  With thought-flipping, however, the observer’s immediate response back to the mind is direct and commanding.  The mind is reminded that it’s former thought was, at the very least, as lousy and untrue as the new, flipped one—and as it’s conscious and intelligent Master the observer chooses what is true.

Rewriting Your Mental Script

It is human nature to think negatively about others or ourselves from time to time.  However, unchecked and frequent negative brain chatter can leave us feeling out of control.  A train of thought that is directed towards yourself which undermines you or what you are trying to accomplish, is negative-thinking.   Such spiraling thoughts are the most effective way to self-sabotage.

Take these ideas, for example:

Every day at work you think:  “I am so stressed out because I don’t work as fast as the others at my job, which makes me feel like I am less than those around me, and that at some point I am going to be fired.”  This thought can be healed by changing it to:  “I appreciate that I take my time doing my job according to my own rhythm which allows me to express my unique genius, and my boss should value that attribute in me, because in the end I always deliver big.”

When you turn it around, you realize that either thought can be true.  It is always possible, and even likely, that the negative version which you are obsessively perpetuating is incorrect.

Often times our thoughts don’t even make sense.  Take this common pattern for example:  “I missed an entire week of yoga, so I might as well skip today too and give up the whole idea of exercise completely, because I have no self-discipline.”  Flipping this thought changes it to be more healthy and accurate:  “I honored my feelings and took a needed break from yoga last week, so I am going to take an intense yoga class today because I am truly committed to the idea of feeling good in mind and body.”

A way to transform a thought is to change the wording.  Your thoughts can be wrong, and you can re-write them.  Which one do you want to be true?  You get to choose.

Taking Charge of Your Mind-Stuff

Once you’ve identified a serial negative thought that continues popping into your mind making you feel fearful, sad, uncomfortable, depressed, or hopeless, try the following thought-flipping ritual:

=> Write the thought down on paper and take a good look at it

=> Do you know this thought is true?

=> Does this thought serve you?

=> Write down the opposing thought which counters the negative thought

=> Change the wording of the thought in a way that heals it

=> Every time you find yourself thinking the original habitual thought pattern, catch yourself, and continuously replace it with the new flipped thought

This technique is a process of offering the antidote for the problematic thinking pattern each time it appears.  By flipping the thought, it is cured.  You are healing your mind-stuff thought by thought, thus co-creating a reality with deliberate intent.

How Will Your Garden Grow?

Acknowledging that we can choose our thoughts is taking back a great deal of power.   Becoming aware of our thoughts allows us to look at them.  When we look at them, we are removed from them; there is space between us and the thought.

When there is space between us and our thoughts, we identify with them less.  When we identify with our thoughts less, we can decide if a thought is true, whether a thought serves us, and if there is a better thought that is more aligned with our true nature and highest desires.

And then we can determine what our mind will be filled with 65,000 times a day.

Our world is made from mind-stuff.  Taking the step of conscious co-creation by monitoring our mind, weeding our mental garden, and planting good thought-seeds, will ensure that we like what blooms.

We’ve Got Ourselves a Runner–Going & Doing to Avoid Simply Being

You know those periods of your life when things are peaking out in every direction.  You would spend your mental energy freaking out about your circumstances—if there were a specific direction for the freak to flow.  But it just seems like everything, everywhere, all at once.  There is a strange comfort in the fact that there’s not just one acute thing for you to breakdown about.  And although appearances may say otherwise, at a deep level you know that it is not a breakdown at all—it is actually a break through.

This knowing is not some magic antidote that makes it all okay.  But it is a deep awareness that matches the vastness of the madness.  All you can really do is stop–and be with it.  You just have to let it all be.

If you are like me, this is about the time when you get really busy; loading dishwashers, washing clothes, cleaning closets, taking road trips and creating all kinds of ideas of busyness that you cannot escape from.  The situation is calling for you to face it down and soften in the midst of its fierceness.

But you just can’t, because you’re so busy, being busy.

I always knew that I was an escape artist—frequently leaving my body and zooming out into never-never land where I lived in the magnificent space of what-if and maybe-one-day and if-only in order to temper reality for a while.  This I knew…that I was an escape artist; and therefore my life’s work for the last several years has been to learn how to get grounded and stay in my body, no matter what was occurring around me.

I did not know, however, that I was a runner.  Although escapism and running are close cousins, they are not the same.  Running is characterized by a doing and going rather than an etheric-leaving.  You can be in your body and grounded in reality, and still run.

I realized that I was a runner just recently when faced with the devastating news that my beloved cat, earth-guardian and fuzzy angelic, Quincy, was facing eminent death.   At 15 years old, Quincy has lived a great life.  I believed that he was going to be my 22-year-old sage-pet, however, so in my mind we still had a solid seven years together.

That is, until the vet dealt the heart wrenching blow: Quincy has an acute heart condition and is living out his last few months on earth right now.  It took me several days to process the initial shock and pain.  After accepting he was going to die, I began releasing him…I sobbed for days.

And then the most interesting thing happened.  I can’t even believe it myself…to my surprise I found myself tapping my foot and wringing my hands as if it was not happening fast enough.

So after much weeping, I got up and got really busy.

Quincy needed pee-pads because he was not using the litter box.  He needed to eat baked salmon because he was no longer eating his cat food.  He needed a bath because he was no longer cleaning himself.  Suddenly my office needed to be organized, and I needed to add clothes to my wardrobe, and those thank you cards really needed to get out.  Things which I was all too ready not to attend to for months were suddenly uber important.  I was in a state of panic and I did not know if I could even leave the house, because he might drop dead while I was out.  Like an overzealous architect, I felt an extreme and irrational pull to build a skyscraper when all that was needed in this moment was a simple, one story house.

In the midst of all of this, Quincy looked up at me, his eyes squinty and sparkling.  He said, “Just be with me.”

Be with him.

Be present with him and let it all be–just as it was.  Let it all take as long as it would take.  Allow it, all of it, even the agonizing void-space of not knowing when, and not knowing how.  Just be there, with him, and the pain, and the unconditional love, and the desperation of not being able to do anything.  Anything, but be with him.

As I sat there fully present, a large shift began to occur.  It was as if I could feel the unfolding of every silent beat within my universe.  I am familiar with stillness and meditation and energetic shifts—but this was different.  An immense amount of power and energy charged through me, because I was still-enough and present-enough to allow it.

I received what I realized to be Quincy’s final gift to me.  He taught me what it felt like to not run.  He taught me how to stay.  Even when it is hard.  Even when you are scared.  Even when you don’t know what comes next.

Just be with it, and allow it to be.

As I write this, I am having to exercise these atrophied muscles.  Not only did Quincy just transition into the non-physical, but in fact, many things in my life are transitioning.  I have cleared up so much mental, emotional and physical goo over the last several years, that finally the deepest core stuff can now shine through.  And as it expresses—I feel that familiar urge to run.

Run to my medicine cabinet, run to my spiritual counselor, run to the yoga studio, run to the doctor’s office, run to the organic produce section, run to that next thing that is going to fix things and make it all better…just run.

And with this awareness, I force myself to stay with what-is just a little bit longer.  Stay with the feeling, the energy, the fear, the intensity, the not-knowing—before I go and do the things that help me to feel better about it all.

Life is a balancing act between being and doing.  Doing is not to be damned; there is an important place for it.  But, without being, doing is just busyness and empty work.  Being is the most important (and challenging) part.  And yet, we are all too ready to rush right over being while we spin wildly on the wheel of doing.

Being creates a neutral space for something new and miraculous to emerge.  It moves you away from the striving place of might and into the realm of grace, where un-thought of things are possible.

And so today I sat in stillness and acceptance and resisted flight, creating space for the alchemy of transmutation.  Then I ran to my computer…to write this blog post.

Dedicated to my beloved Quincy, a great teacher, healer, and companion to me on my journey.  I love you and I miss you.