Is the word MERCY in your vocabulary? Does being merciful enter your mind on a conscious basis?

 

What does the word: MERCY mean to you?

Consider writing what words and images come to mind as you ask yourself this question. Then ask the equally important question of: How can I be merciful towards myself as a conscious outpouring of what I AM?

The truth is that you were born inherently perfect. We all have what researchers deem as an innate capacity for being merciful. In fact it is something we do as a natural outpouring of who we are. If you watch very young children, before they are taught rules around politeness and ‘socially appropriate’ kindness, these young children only know how to give compassion, mercy, and love.

A growing body of evidence suggests that, at our core, both animals and human beings have what Dacher Keltner at the University of California, Berkeley, coins a “compassionate instinct.” In other words, compassion is a natural and automatic response that has ensured our survival. Michael Tomasello and other scientists at the Max Planck Institute, in Germany, have found that infants and chimpanzees spontaneously engage in helpful behaviour and will even overcome obstacles to do so. They apparently do so from intrinsic motivation without expectation of reward. A recent study they ran indicated that infants’ pupil diameters (a measure of attention) decrease both when they help and when they see someone else helping, suggesting that they are not simply helping because helping feels rewarding. It appears to be the alleviation of suffering that brings reward — whether or not they engage in the helping behaviour themselves.

Recent research by David Rand at Harvard University shows that adults’ and children’s first impulse is to help others.

Research by Dale Miller at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business suggests this is also the case of adults, however, worrying that others will think they are acting out of self-interest can stop them from this impulse to help.

 

We intrinsically want to help – we have the hard wiring to instinctively be merciful. As adults, showing mercy becomes a decision of our thinking brain and our deliberate choice – our free will – and at times, for various reasons, we may opt out of what is such an important human ability.

How we are and how we act with others is symbolic of how we are able to be kind and loving – and merciful to ourselves. It is much easier to show others kindness, compassion, love, and mercy when we are able to readily do this for ourselves.

Mercy may be defined as: co-existing in love, forgiveness, compassion, loving-kindness, understanding, humanity, generosity, and faith.

Wikipedia defines mercy as: “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm”.

It’s within our power to punish or harm someone at any time in theory, and yet perhaps its in those very instances where someone has wronged us or hurt us that we need to be MOST mindful of practising an outpouring of mercy.

 

I hear my client tell me about all of the comments that she receives anytime she goes home to visit her Greek orthodox family living in Montreal. How their words impact her decisions and her everyday behaviours and yet she is a 34-yr old nurse working and thriving in Toronto. (She is told by friends that she looks better with a tan after travelling to the Caribbean on holiday so she admits to me that she is now going to a tanning salon regularly to keep up her glowing appearance; she is told by her grandmother that she is heavier than last visit and so she has now returned full force to the gym; her mother has always told her that to be beautiful she must wear makeup and high heels and so on the day of our session she isn’t feeling well and apologizes for her appearance – because she is not wearing makeup, nor heels. Her entire image of herself is tied up in what others say; she has not found herself and her true beauty that exists – enhanced perhaps by the makeup – but originates as who she already is. My client is one of many who look to others to establish their feelings of self-acceptance and positive affect in the words and remarks of others – and in doing so, can never be truly merciful towards herself. She continues to take the harsh comments and criticism of her friends and family – and does the same internally in her self talk – because it is all that she knows to do – and it has been the way in which she has defined herself. How many of us do this – or parts of this?

It doesn’t just happen with my client’s family, it happens with all of us regardless of our heritage, religious background and family of origin. What are the messages of your earlier life experiences that have set you up to judge yourself harshly, to be unmerciful, to be self-loathing, to deny, to avoid, to disavow – who you truly are?

Perhaps this is one reason why as teens we often rebel against our family – society – social mores – and instead look to our peer group for support and as a source of validation (as they too are experiencing the same kind of need to explore, to rediscover, and to take a stand in what they believe in). We don’t always acknowledge that we are all hardwired to be …who we truly are – what I call our AUTHENTIC self. If we have been stifled, denied, or told we must fit a certain stereotypical ideal, we learn from a young age to dishonour our TRUE self.

As a teenager and young adult, if we are fortunate enough to seek out answers and to decide what we believe in, what we feel passionate about, and what we want to do with our life, – and if we allow ourselves to dream and to follow what truly excites us, then we are making choices based on knowing our self best. And yet, we still hold many of the cultural and societal beliefs that have been so deeply ingrained, that say we should follow a certain practical plan for living our life, we should earn a certain income, we should wear a certain designer label, and that all of this is important – critical in fact – to being successful and happy. Some or all of this may very well be important – but as long as it is what we have chosen based on what is truly important to who we are – certainly none of this is wrong – as long as it is true to what is right for who we are – rather than what we tell ourselves we should do.

So its not surprising that much of the work that I do each day has its roots in helping people find themselves – and helping them uncover the truth about who they are so that they can live the rest of their life from a place of authenticity and self-honesty. When you can be honest and real with yourself and others, you free yourself to live with mercy. Maybe as you look over your definition for what mercy is, you most likely included such words as: honesty, deliberate kindness in action, compassion for self and others, loving and of course…truth.

When you can live with mercy directed towards yourself, it will be even easier to live it outwardly. This is because if you are overly critical, harsh, judgemental, uncertain, and insecure, this cannot help but come through as you look outwards at others. One might say that this is one of the reasons why we have constant conflict and war in the world. If we are not able to be merciful, to be kind and loving to ourselves and others, then we cultivate all of what is opposite: unkindness, impatience, judgement, intolerance, envy and hate.

Being merciful is how we embody true kindness and understanding. It is how we show others our compassionate nature.

The following visualization is best experienced if you can close your eyes for a few moments and take 3-5 deep breaths. Take even more breaths if you feel that it will help you quiet your mind as you go within to answer the following questions.

(And, if you would like a little more practice and a deeper experience in calming your mind and feeling a total body relaxation, please follow this link: to one of my guided meditations – perfect for taking you a little deeper within yourself.)

When you are ready to proceed let the following be a guide for what you then envision in your mind, allowing whatever answers that surface be what you reveal as your truth:

Think of a time either in the recent past or maybe a memory from childhood in which someone showed you mercy. Maybe there could have been a reason for you to have been punished because of what you did – whether it was something done innocently or intentionally – when the other person could have been intolerant, angry or blaming, but instead you were given compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and love – in effect – you were shown mercy.

Next, recall a time when you acted with compassion and mercy when perhaps it would have been socially acceptable to chastise, correct, scold, or punish. And yet you showed only mercy – kindness, forgiveness, and compassion. Recall what your experience was as you did this? How did YOU feel as you saw the face of the person, perhaps the child, the friend, the spouse, the work colleague – that you were being merciful to? Imagine for a moment how your actions of mercy felt for them?

When we are shown mercy – when we receive compassion – or as we demonstrate compassion and mercy, we experience something much more – much like a gift. What did you receive in the exchange with another? What did you receive when you were shown mercy or in being merciful?

In so many ways we have the ability to be who we truly are. When we elicit compassion and grace towards another living being we are being merciful. When we are compassionate and merciful, something remarkable happens inside of us. Something bearing truth is awakened from within.

 

The path of mercy is our path back to finding ourselves

 

Finding ourselves begins with the mercy that we can show ourselves. From here we see how easily it is to expand upon this – to allow others the gentle freedom to make mistakes, to be human, to not always do what we would do.

All world religions share in the importance of what it means to “be love”. They also share similar definitions of “mercy”, “forgiveness”, “compassion”, and “truth”. I share this because it reminds us that across all religions and spiritual beliefs, we are reminded and taught of the importance of being merciful, loving and kind.

Regardless of our religious upbringing most of us have heard the words: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12 / Luke 6:31).

Being merciful is your namesake. It is what we can offer to ourselves and one another that speaks to the truth of what are are. We are all seeking the same goodness; the same acceptance; the same attachment to one another in kindness. Showing mercy is our way to be loving – to accept others as they are – to allow for those moments when others may not always be at their best.

How you can be more deliberate in your practice of being merciful? Where in your daily life can this become a greater practice and privilege for you? The reason we consider in advance how and where we will do something is to ensure that it finds a place in our lives and a means by which we can be this – daily.

Think about the typical situations that you encounter – with your partner and spouse, your children, your parents and extended family, with siblings and friends, and with those you work with? How can you be merciful and any of the other words and descriptors of mercy as how you defined it? BOTH WITH YOURSELF AND OTHERS?

If you are already actively mindful of showing mercy in your daily life, ask yourself, ‘What are some different ways that I can expand upon this?” Can you practice deliberate acts of mercy even when you are annoyed, offended, hurt, and when you believe strongly that you are right and someone else is wrong?

Where in your daily life can you practice mercy unto yourself – and to others? When you do so, what would it look like? What would your inner dialogue or self talk be that would help you to remember to be merciful?

Challenge yourself to find new ways of showing mercy in these tougher moments (both to others and to yourself)and when it may seem easier to do what you’ve always done. Write these and place them where you can see your list each day. This becomes a plan that will help you to make this happen.

Close your eyes once more with the intention to give yourself a few more minutes of calm, relaxed breathing. When you open your eyes again, you are ready (with a clear mind) to answer a few more questions as you journey within to experience what it means to be merciful. (At any time, you can close your eyes even momentarily, as it will likely help you call up some of your past memories and experiences).

 

Imagine who you were as a child. Maybe it’s a memory where you can go back in time and yet you can feel right now as though you are this incredible child again. Maybe its a photo or image of your younger self that you see in your mind. However you come to imagine and envision yourself as a most incredible child, begin to paint the picture in detail of who you were based on the following questions I’m going to ask. (Please remember: If you don’t have all of the answers to these questions, that’s perfectly okay, your subconscious mind may give you more answers as you continue to think about this).

As you ask yourself: “Who was I?” take a brief pause as the answers spontaneously reveal themselves. Pause after each of the following questions to give your subconscious mind the time to reveal the answers:

What did I look like?”

See yourself in action. Ask: “What activities or games did I enjoy most?” “What used to make me laugh?” “What did I enjoy doing?” “What was I naturally good at?” “What would I think or daydream about?”

What were some of my proudest moments?” “What did others compliment me for?” “What did I dream about?” “When was I happiest?”

Next, describe your personality? “What core features, characteristics, and mannerisms made you special, unique, original?” Allow the memories to flow into your conscious mind without judging whatever you remember.

Sometimes our mind will show us the difficult or negative moments of our past. Please know that this is perfectly natural. Allow all of the memories that reveal themselves be part of your experience. The difficult moments of our life teach us much about who we are. While we may not be aware of this at the time, whatever you learned from your earliest life experiences has contributed to who you are today in ways that have made you resilient and courageous even if you may not think of yourself as so. For now, if you begin to recall any difficult or painful memories, remember that they don’t make you any less incredible.

Remember all of who you were as an incredible child.

Write all of your answers to: ‘Who was I as a child?’ including the details of how you felt as you saw yourself being your authentic – carefree, happy, curious, and courageous – self.

Now here’s a BIG SECRET that I hope you will remember. When you think about any of the behaviours or mannerisms that you have that cause you discomfort or that you do not like about yourself – these are not (nor were they ever) who you innately are.

In most cases, you learned by observing others or perhaps you were taught certain ways of being. If you think about it, any of the behaviours that you might label as ‘bad’ or wrong – stem from learnings that occurred beginning in childhood. As you reflect on all of the innate goodness of who you were as a child in your answers to the earlier visualization, see if you can remember who you were before or without any of the teachings in which you were taught to dislike, to judge, to be hurtful or mean, to be boastful and show no mercy, and anything else that causes you or others – to suffer. Who you truly are is not these things. Perhaps take one more review of your “Who was I as a child?” list right now to see if you have written anything that you were taught to believe, to act, to fear, that truly wasn’t yours to begin with. Write anything else now about who your original self really is. Allow your inner child to shine through. Let yourself feel connected once again to what you once were.

When we remember who we are, we can begin to reclaim our authentic self. Your inner child is your inner navigation point. It is your truth. Before each of us were told what “not to do”, or how we “should” behave or feel because it is somehow more acceptable, we were intuitively and perfectly being – our true nature.

Finding your way back to who you are begins with acknowledging all that you once were.

Remember all of the goodness of your inner child. Close your eyes one final time as you hold the image of your incredible self – the younger version of who you were – – hold the image of the incredible child that you see in your mind. See yourself clearly, feeling proud, confident, free, strong, and happy. Sit for a few more moments with this impression – allowing it to sink in … deeper. Feel, see and imagine all of the ways that you are incredible – both as your younger self and then….. as you are now.

Consider the moments when you allowed your adult self to be: funny, playful, thoughtful, generous, kind, honest, loyal, curious, excited, happy. When you are being any of these …are you not being your true self?

When we allow our inner child to shine through – we can be childlike in ways that are both beautiful and authentic. We can speak the words of our truth rather than hold ourselves back for fear of “saying the wrong thing” or “being too emotional”. When we allow our inner child’s vulnerabilities to show through we reveal to others our true nature – and this makes us ‘approachable’, ‘honest’ and ‘real’.

And finally, I have one more question about your life as a child?

What would have been your mantra as a child? A mantra is a word or phrase that you repeat to yourself either quietly or aloud to elicit the feeling state of what you are telling yourself.

Maybe your mantra as a child was: “I can do this!” or “I’m special” or “I’m smart” Think of a mantra based on the words that your inner child would have spoken.

Allow yourself to repeat this mantra silently to yourself. Envision your inner child as you do so. Feel what you feel throughout your body. Now open your eyes again. Take a final few moments to write the words of your mantra. (Hint: Make it an “I AM” statement).

Notice how you are feeling right now.

The journey back to finding ourselves begins in our childhood with the innocent and completely honest depiction of our true self. Your homework from here is to remember all of the childlike qualities that best represent the truth of who you are. As you reconnect with your adult self again, remember these qualities and allow them to come through in everyday life. Let yourself be who you once were in more ways than you have ever been. As you reveal and relax into more of your true self, you will come to feel far more connected with your inner child again and most importantly – to feel connected with the truth of who you are.

 

 

Share
Continue Reading

The debilitating truth about blame…

Blame is a powerful deflection from self-examination and self-responsibility.

 

Blame is a wonderful excuse for not needing to change – and for continuing to convince yourself that you are “right” and others are “wrong”.

 

Blame keeps you from experiencing the truth, an opportunity for growth, and the realization that no one can “make you feel” a certain way (since we often blame others for ‘how’ we feel). How you feel is always determined by what you tell yourself (aka: your thoughts).

 

Blame keeps you a prisoner of your self-induced anger, fear, and anxiety. It keeps you far removed from the closeness and connection that you could have with loved ones and others.

 

Whenever you feel the urge to blame someone or something for what has happened “to you”, look instead at yourself – with honesty and truth. What have you ‘done’ or ‘not done’ that has contributed to where you are right now? What would have been some better choices? What will you do now to make a change for the better?

 

Sometimes clients rage in my presence. They are frustrated, fed up, angry, aggressive and at times they have explosive outbursts that are difficult to contain. At the core of their outbursts is often some form of blame. They blame others or some external event for their misfortune in life; convinced that they have little or no control in whatever has “happened to them”, what situation they currently find themselves in, or what will become of their future.

You will remain in a state of angst (inner turmoil, hopelessness, and sadness) for as long as you continue to look outside of yourself for the reasons that you feel the way you do. For as long as you continue to blame, you will perpetuate negative thoughts and feelings (e.g. helplessness, anxiety, anger, resentment etc.,) rather than see a situation as an opportunity for learning and growth, and becoming more (in whatever way more translates into something better). You will continue to feel immobilized by your current situation as long as you convince yourself that others are the cause of this, and that there is little or nothing that you can do but endure, rather than take control of your life by being in charge of what you need to do to make things better.

 

One path is destructive and limiting: causing suffering, grief and despair. The other path is one of learned resilience, confidence building, and self-actualization through reliance and faith in one’s ‘self’.

When we blame others, we are not looking at our own actions; nor taking responsibility for how we feel. Blaming external events or others deflects any attempt to examine why we feel the way we do and in turn, to examine our biased perceptions of a situation. The two most important questions that you could ask yourself when you are caught in a position of helplessness because of whatever has happened is: “How do I want to feel?” Next you need to ask, “What do I need to do in order to feel this way?”

The quickest way to eradicate blame is to be proactive – to be in control of what you will do to fix, change, or improve the situation – and to begin a path towards this. Still, how do we get caught in a cycle of helplessness about our life – and who we are? What is it that causes us to give away all of our power by making ‘someone’ or ‘something’ the total cause of our experience? ….and hence our ability to thrive?

Ask yourself: “What earlier life experiences taught me that I have little or no control over my life path, how I feel, or who I become?”

Decide to change your earlier belief system. Know that for whatever you feel and what happens is either a direct cause of your thought process or your actions (your actions perpetuate a chain of events that brings you to where you are now, as does your repetitive thoughts). Yes, events occur all of the time that are unexpected and at times, incredibly traumatic. Yet, everything in life has meaning. How you react to what happens (to you) is within your control.

The fact is that every experience is (pre)determined by how we think – and how we perceive / witness / examine / and interpret what has happened.

 

Learn to question all of what you were taught to believe. Instead, examine each situation as unique and different.  Examine your part in whatever “happens to you” including your thoughts and actions towards creating the outcome that you are living right now.

With blame, nobody wins. You end up making someone else “wrong” or “not good enough” – and judging them unfairly which affects your treatment of them. When you blame yourself, you can easily become caught up in a cycle of self-loathing rather than constructively look within to see your part in what has caused this situation – feeling – or behavior – and at what you need to do instead. There is learning in self-awareness. Blame – even towards one’s self – keeps you from focusing on proactive change.

 

If your well ingrained habit is to blame external factors or people for how you feel and what happens to you, that’s your cue to turn the finger directed outward – onto yourself. (Not in self blame but in awareness and understanding). See what it is that you have done to create your existing reality. Even when something happens that you have absolutely no control over and you did not want – you still have the power to choose how you feel, think, and live …in spite of what ‘has happened’.

I use the phrase, “This too is for good” to help bring to light the idea that everything that happens has a greater purpose and if you can believe it is always for good…then perhaps it is only a matter of time before you see with your eyes that whatever has ‘happened’ has led to something inevitably – better. For nothing is truly bad unless we make it so.

So please consider what damage you create through blame. Start seeing everything that happens in your life as a ‘teaching’, a ‘life lesson’ meant to aid and help you along your path, or an opportunity for personal growth and greater awareness.

In therapy (as in life itself), clients can become emotionally charged in a matter of milliseconds – reacting to what has just been said or asked of them long before they realize ‘why’ they reacted as they did. Clients may look to the therapist as the point of blame; as the one who said something to offend them or hurt their feelings; or perhaps is “judging them” – especially if a client is being asked to look at a particular problematic situation or behavior which evokes feelings of uneasiness, vulnerability, or shame.

In therapy, I will ask you to examine yourself in ways that you have not done before. The socratic questions asked of you are meant for you to explore your current situation and yourself specifically in a different way. Sometimes you will be asked or challenged to look at what causes you to feel uneasy, vulnerable, or shameful. The point is not to “make you” feel badly, but to examine what needs attention and change in order for you to feel better, to correct a situation or ongoing pattern of behavior, to strengthen self-esteem, and/or to heal a reoccurring conflict that is affecting your relationships with others.

Take control back. If you are blaming others or external events for your current state of unhappiness, you are giving up your control to fix a situation or improve yourself.

If you feel hopeless or defeated, or if you believe that you are resigned to the current circumstances of your life, then you need to take a closer look at where you are directing your ‘locus of control’. Do you believe that your happiness is dependant on what happens to you, or are you aware of your ability to choose your reaction to what happens (thereby being in control of how you feel at all times)?

Similarly, if you continue to rage, venting your displeasure at what you are unhappy with yet unwilling to look at your part in why you continue to feel this way, you will continue to suffer.

This inhibits emotional growth. It actually keeps you stuck in ‘reactive’ mode; quick to get fired up when people ‘anger you’ or if life throws you a curve ball (a flat tire, a bill you weren’t expecting, or when someone says or does something that hurts you).  If you are quick to react, lash out, become enraged, or go quiet in the silence of suffering, the never ending cycle of unhappiness continues. “A prisoner of our own self-induced pain” is what I call it.

Many would say that a person needs to be ready in order to make changes to their life and to who they are. Indeed this is true. Yet readiness must also exist in the desire to move out of one’s own “suffering”; to see that change and happiness is really driven by our desire and through action. We cannot blame others for the way we feel nor how we act and react in different situations. We cannot blame others for what happens ‘to us’ but rather we can examine our thoughts and assumptions – and our prevailing attitude – and be willing to seek out different ways of looking at everything.

Which brings us full circle to the practical method of therapy and its socratic questioning as a way of helping clients examine their lives and who they are – in different and more honest ways then how they have previously.

Blame keeps you in a state of suffering. Willingness to look within for what you can do to change your personal situation or aspects of yourself will always be met with answers, growth, and the freedom that comes with discovering just how much control you do have over your life and in who you decide to become.

 

 

A final note: While I cannot and do not speak for other therapists and how they approach the delivery of therapy as a modality of healing, I can say that my approach and the careful purpose of my questions is intuitively driven. When you are wholly present to the person(s) in front of you in order to seek to understand, acknowledge, and empathize their experience as best as you can by remaining engaged, and intentional in your delivery of help, you allow for a highly instinctive and organic process to unfold. While I am trained in several models of psychotherapy, my job is to ask clients questions that will help them think differently about their particular problem or issue. The idea here is that you as a client are the best source of knowledge for how to fix your situation or problematic behavior. What I simply do is help you become clear and self-honest, so that your inner wisdom may easily be accessed; and what you hear yourself say (which at times will surprise you) will be exactly what you intuitively know you need to do.

Blame me or someone else for how you are feeling and where you are in life….or look deeper within yourself. See how you got here, why you feel the way you do – and take back your personal power. Reclaim your ‘self’ by taking the steps to make your life (and yourself) far better.

Share
Continue Reading

Mindfulness is the path to Clarity, Truth, and living as your Authentic Self

In mindfulness you experience clarity and wisdom; by honouring what “is”, rather than deceptively telling yourself how you “want it to be”.

Being “mindful” is being consciously aware of yourself; your thoughts and feelings, how you engage and interact with others, and how others receive’ your words and actions. It becomes a far more revealing way to live life as compared to listening solely to the voice inside your mind.

Leah sat across from me with tears welling up in her eyes. As clients progress in therapy, quite often their accomplishments, and the changes they make to who they are can at times, evoke powerful emotions of joy and gratitude.

Leah began to describe how she used to make every effort to avoid being with herself, and how she would be unaware and inattentive to everything around her.
——————–

Therapy is a wonderful place to examine any of the “stuff” (emotional baggage, old patterns of behaving, self-critical and negative thoughts) that continues to dominate your life – causing you to feel stuck and powerless, holding you back from living life in the full expression of joy that is your authentic nature. If you have the gentle guidance of someone who can help you discover healthy strategies, you begin to make progressive and lasting changes. The result is a feeling of personal satisfaction and feeling whole. Healing the past wounds that are still the triggers for why you react the way you do is a necessary step to eliminating old behaviours that no longer represent who you want to be. This doesn’t mean you need to spend hours in therapy dredging up the past. But you do have to examine what happened in a way that can begin the process of healing. The purpose of therapy isn’t to talk about what bad things happened. Its about examining what bad things” happened from the perspective of understanding how these events shaped who you are, and what you need to do to heal from what happened.

In therapy, you gain a different perspective – shifting your thinking from being hurt, a victim, and lost, to feeling forgiveness (towards another or yourself), empowered, and having a clear directive for what you need to do next. Therapy is about looking at old problems in new ways that you hadn’t before. This different perspective allows you to see the whole truth rather than your particular (and often limited) version of the truth.

——————–

Like Leah, we’ve all “run from ourselves”. This is precisely what all of our busyness is about. Clients often tell me that they take great lengths to “not be alone”, even when it means being with people that aren’t adding to the quality of their life.

 

As Leah explained, her experience of mindfulness caused a dramatic change in her behaviors. Being self-aware allowed her to pay attention which meant she was able to react differently in situations – beginning with more self-control and the ability to feel her “anger falling away” (her words). I thought that this insight was especially interesting since we often don’t realize that it is our thoughts and perceptions that cause our emotions (and not what happens “to us”). Anger in particular is one emotion that can seem to come out of nowhere, “causing” us to react in ways that we are later not proud of.

 

Being self-aware or mindful is like turning the lights on in a pitch black room – instantly you are able to see everything. I call this seeing what “is” rather than what we have been telling ourselves is true. And, as the old adage goes, “the truth will set you free”.

 

Practicing mindfulness brings into your awareness all that you have been ‘running’ from. It’s in seeing what “is” that you know what you need to do (to change what you don’t like). Seeing things as they are rather than how you have been convincing yourself they are, means that you will have to face some of what you have been hiding (or running) from. In the end, being honest with yourself is the only way that change can actually happen.

 

Afterword:

The word ‘Mindfulness’ has become quite popular in today’s wellness literature. To be mindful, practice observing yourself whenever possible. Reflect on situations that have happened when you haven’t been self-aware and consider what you could have said or done differently to create a different (and more desirable) outcome. Stop blaming others for what happens and take responsibility for the direction your life has taken. Remember, everything that you think about with intensity manifests itself in your life. Who and what you are currently is a reflection of your inner world. Being mindful is stepping out of the world you have created in your mind and seeing everything as it really ‘is’.

Meditation practice is all about learning mindfulness. Not only will you reap the benefits of meditation, but your practice deepens your ability to live mindfully in all of your waking moments.

 

For guided meditations to help you develop mindfulness, please visit my Youtube channel  https://www.youtube.com/user/DorothyRatusny

or you can upload free guided meditations at anytime on soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/dorothyhelps

 

 

 

 

 

Share
Continue Reading

Self-Acceptance

 Self-Acceptance: The transformational step between ‘Who you Are’ and ‘Who you are …Becoming’.

by Dorothy Ratusny, M.A., (C).OACCPP., PhD. (Candidate)

Self-acceptance is the acknowledgement of who you are. From here you use conscious intention and deliberate action to move you towards who you are willing to become.” – Dorothy Ratusny

 

After you read the blog, please check out the link at the bottom for a Guided Meditation that will allow you to experience what it means to truly accept yourself!

Self-acceptance is the ability to love and appreciate who we are even as you continue to seek change, personal growth and transformation. It is your ability to see yourself with a level of self-honesty that conveys heightened awareness and absolute truth. Self-acceptance is the antecedent to change and growth. It implies that you are aware of and able to acknowledge all of who you are even when there are aspects of yourself that you wish to change or let go of.

 

Who we are is fusing of multiple elements – all in a constant state of flux – that become (largely through our deliberate will) all of the greatness we believe is possible. Through self-acceptance we see the aspects of our self that we wish to uphold as well as those aspects we wish to become. Becoming all of who we are capable of is not possible until we are ready to admit honestly to our self, who and what we are.

Begin by acknowledging the qualities and characteristics that you admire and appreciate about yourself most. Your willingness to write these on paper brings a deeper level of awareness – a sense of ‘reality’ to what is otherwise – a grouping of ideas you hold in your mind. Self-acceptance builds esteem and self-worth whenever you are willing to acknowledge all of the good that you are.  Out of self-acceptance you acknowledge the less favourable parts of you: your intolerance for others’ differences, for judging others unfairly or for being unkind or purposely hurtful as a reaction to someone else hurting you. 

 

Self-acceptance is about willingness to see yourself as you are. Out of self-acceptance comes positive change – personal growth – knowledge – and feelings of empowerment and self-worth as you choose to embrace new thoughts, behaviours and core beliefs to replace what once was.

I teach the notion of self-acceptance with clients as a rite of passage (‘a stepping stone’) that takes them from unawareness or at times self-denial, to intentional transformation. One of the benefits of having someone you can trust mirror back to you what they are observe and witness of you, helps you to connect the dots as to ‘why’ you do what you do, and ‘how’ you can change. This allows for a greater ease to which transformation happens.  When we are able to acknowledge and understand with clarity, the significance of our thoughts, the core beliefs we hold, and how our behaviours affect us and others, we can confidently step forward into who we want to become. This of course, is helped greatly when we are given the right tools, guidance, and support for making positive change happen. 

In this way, self-acceptance is an important catalyst towards self-transformation and wholeness.

 

Use the following sentence stem exercise to help illicit the unconscious (and largely hidden) aspects of yourself that you do accept. Repeat each sentence stems at least 6-10 times, allowing yourself an opportunity to delve deeper into your psyche, and pay attention to what it feels like to acknowledge – and accept these aspects of who you are.

I accept that I am…

Next ask, “What do I not accept about myself?”

(If you don’t accept certain aspects of yourself, does this mean you are in denial of them?)

Choose to be self-accepting of the parts of you that are less likely to change and recognize that everything else is within your power to become better – if you choose.

Remember that self-acceptance is also the kindness you choose to acknowledge and speak inwardly and aloud.  When we actively practice self-acceptance as intentional kindness directed within, we further anchor our positive feelings about our self and this encourages us to continue to be this.

A final thought…

Through self-acceptance we elevate our awareness to live out of our free will choice. We can choose to act from a place of authenticity – to be loving kindness – or we can allow our ego to be in charge. Acting out of our ego-mind, our thoughts (and our reactions to our thoughts) are fear-based and do not represent who our ‘self’ truly is. ‘Self’ as defined by eastern philosophies is the core essence of who we truly are. Our core self (our soul consciousness) is pure, loving, and always truthful. Self-acceptance is one mechanism that guides us to choose how we will be.

Sat Nam everyone!

Please check out my Guided Meditation on Self-Acceptance that will transform how you feel about yourself.  It’s so very beautiful and powerful! Please give yourself some time in quiet to take it all in and feel free to do it often.

https://soundcloud.com/dorothyhelps/self-acceptance-a-guided

Share
Continue Reading

Active Laziness

In his book, ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’, Author Sogyal Rinpoche uses the phrase “active laziness” to describe how we are constantly cramming our lives so full with compulsive activity that we don’t ever have time to examine the ‘real’ issues.

 

Our life seems to dictate to us what we do; possessing its own bizarre momentum – and carrying us away with it.  Sadly, we often feel that we have ‘no choice’ or ‘control’ over what we “have to” do.

 

If we pause to look a little more closely, we begin to see how many unimportant tasks (so called “responsibilities”) accumulate, taking up valuable time – and keeping us from experiencing what is really important.

 

We tell ourselves we have “no time”, that we will “make time later or tomorrow” for things that are important to us  …. and yet by the next morning, we wake up and do it all over again.

I’ve been gently reminding people that we eventually “run out of time”; that there is purpose in “living IN this moment”, and not waiting to do something you’ve been meaning (or desiring) to do.

lifeiswhatwemakeit

Because months (and let’s be honest), decades of our lives can “get away from us”…all we have is the present moment.  Practically speaking, it only takes minutes to write down what you would really like to experience, do, enjoy, and be …for today, along with some ways you will go about making these happen.

After all, life is a series of many moments….and the culmination of all of our experiences of these moments. Hopefully we can remember that we are in charge of our moments…by choosing so.

Namaste everyone!

Share
Continue Reading

The Purpose of Meditation

*Sometimes I feel a message is worth repeating.  This blog comes from one of my previous Notes of Wisdom…. A weekly series of inspirational thoughts meant to encourage you to think about life differently 🙂
P.S.  You can always request my Notes of Wisdom to your email in-box each week by clicking the link to the right:

“Meditation is an experience that reminds us that we can simply ‘be’; to experience ourself in this moment – NOT as what we are thinking (nor our thoughts of our self) but our true state of being.” – Dorothy Ratusny

 

Meditation is the art of focused attention on a single point. Each time the mind begins to wander off, you (the gentle observer of the mind) simply direct the mind back to a focal point. At first, you may notice just how often your mind wanders, and how easily it is distracted. Each time you observe and then re-focus your mind on what you have given it as it’s ‘task’, you improve your mind’s ability to hold attention.

 

Each time you sit in meditation it is always a different experience. Some days your mind will be more receptive to focusing and on other days, it will far more challenging to stop the mind from jumping from thought to thought.

In gentle stillness, and with the solitary task of being mindful of your breath, you can experience the quiet, inner peace that exists beneath the layer of thoughts that are the typical workings of the mind. Meditation is how you cultivate inner calmness and the ability to simply exist in the perfection of each moment. Meditation is also how we are able to go deeper within to hear and know our infinite wisdom.

*Some of this also appears in my upcoming book: ”The Book of Wisdom’ which i’m so excited to be completing!!
Finally, I’d thought I would share a gentle guided Meditation in Nature (under one of my favourite new trees!) Enjoy!
Namaste everyone!
Share
Continue Reading

How we Know GOD

How we come to know GOD is through who (or what) we believe HIM/HER to be.

 

The path of GOD is not to follow an omnipotent being rather to be LOVE in the model of how we have been taught GOD is.

 

The path of SPIRIT is to acknowledge that we are ONE with every living creature in the universe.  That our breath is truly sacred; each time we inhale we breathe in the beauty of life force energy – that which keeps us alive and thriving, but also reminds us of our true nature as energy.

 

What do you still think of when you think of GOD?  Is it someone or thing that you need to believe in? …to behave for?

 

Do you examine the mysteries of faith that have been chosen and adopted by various cultures as organized religion – following passages and beliefs that other people have chosen for you?

Spirituality and the science of Metaphysics suggests that there are some things that cannot be explained by precise measurement and proof; that there is a marrying of both ideas and facts in how we come to know that the universe is indeed a creation and also something that is created by its inhabitants.

 

We can offer the most serious thoughts and expressions of what or whom created the Universe and yet each of our actions in real time has a mark on what the universe continues to become.

 

Consider what you intuitively feel GOD to be.  Is God truly a being to be feared or one to be explored?  Is GOD another word (or name) to describe a universal consciousness; an infinite intelligence? or have we personalized GOD as someone only to obey?

 

Find your own significant interpretation of what GOD is for you by considering the purpose of how GOD exists in your life.  Honour your intuitive findings and perhaps the idea that “GOD” is both an idea and a reality; a model of greatness and simultaneously who each one of us already is.

 

 

GOD is how you come to know yourself.  your inner calm, your gentle innate nature, your capacity to love.  In moments of quiet deliberation; regardless of what formal religion you may have been taught…. consider what the concept of GOD means in your life; how the concept of GOD is alive in your life…. or is it?

 

How you know GOD will instinctively happen as you make steps toward knowing SELF….for one is a part of the other. One is the other in human form.

 

Namaste everyone!

Share
Continue Reading

The Path….

The soul’s journey is one of a peaceful existence.   We listen to and allow the many ways in which the soul speaks quietly, purposefully to us and we are gently moved in the ways of spirit.

What does your heart say that honours your spirit best?

This is how you best guide your next actions – your next focus – the guidance that holds your truth is at once the perfect nature – your soul’s path AND the path you are already on.

 

In all of the daily requirements of life, make space in the abundance for inner work; for acknowledging the needs of the soul drive your ‘highest’ actions.  Consider that the way in which you realize the most perfect things in life are also the needs of the soul.

Honour the needs of your soul by asking, “What honours me best right now?”  Then listen and hear the words spoken from within your heart (not your mind).  This is the path you must follow.

Namaste everyone!

Share
Continue Reading

HOLDING L i f e

How do we HOLD life?

What does it mean to uphold a value or a core belief?  How do you hold true to your word or honour the path of your chosen life purpose when there is always SO MUCH influencing our every action?

Photographer Katie Brock www.holdinglifestillphotography.com

 

‘HOLDING Life’ is a means of sharing in it’s abundance; of finding the adventure that exists outside your back door (or on a favourite nature path…..or anywhere else you might stop to look).  Holding life is about honouring the sacred journey that becomes among your greatest potential for the rich new experiences that shape and HOLD you as you live graciously.

 

 

Honour your choices to live life – share in the perfect experiences that reflect the special reasons for your existence.  Honour the path that you have been on but make conscious, reflective choices in how you will follow your “individual path” …and to where from here.

HOLD life as something precious, perfect… and infinite in its abundance and experiences.  Choose to inhale deeply and take in the beautiful of this moment.

Namaste everyone!!

Share
Continue Reading

FALL RETREAT: – Honouring Self on the path of Enlightenment –

 

 

DIVYA PRAJNA RETREATS with Dorothy Ratusny presents…

 

Honouring SELF on the Path of Enlightenment: A FALL RETREAT

“Discover the WISDOM of your heart and the way to live enlightened now.”

 

At SUGAR RIDGE RETREAT CENTRE in Midland, Ontario

Friday, Oct 26th, 7:30pm* until Sunday, Oct28th, 2:30pm 

*First Didactic Session begins Friday at 7:30pm.  However, you are encouraged to arrive at anytime after 4:30pm and become acquainted with your beautiful surroundings.  Dinner (included) will be served at 6:00pm.

 

To honour your SELF, you must be willing to live in your TRUTH; for this is how you come to realize your greatness.  The sacred gift of living enlightened comes from learning what it means to honour who you currently are, and to live aware of your SELF as a spiritual being. To experience your spiritual self you must be willing to become quiet – to be guided gently within – to the place of infinite calm and wisdom that has always been a part of you. ” – Dorothy Ratusny, Retreat Facilitator

RETREAT HIGHLIGHTS

Didactic and Experiential Sessions: Explore the true meaning of spirituality and allow it to become more a part of your daily life.  *  Discover the sacred principles that support what it means to truly honour your SELF and live “in your truth”. *  Connect with the wisdom of your Highest Self (your soul consciousness).  *  Learn what it means to live enlightened now.  *  Nourish yourself with healing Nature Walks,  * a gentle YOGA class, *  and individual time for reflection and journaling.

Guided Meditations & Techniques: Gratitude, Manifesting Abundance and Self-Acceptance.  * Learn the Three ‘Power Points of Meditation’ – Centering, Grounding, & Expansion as effective tools for building your practice.  * Discover how to open your intuitive channels to hear the wisdom of your Highest Self. * Experience the YOGA postures specific to each Chakra – to open and restore the body’s energy systems and facilitating all healing. 

 

WEEKEND SCHEDULE

Friday October 26th

*Arrive anytime after 4:30 to relax and settle into your cozy cabin, have some tea and snacks, and take advantage of some relaxing time outdoors or inside by the fire

6pm – Dinner

7:30pm – Guidelines for Retreat and Guided Meditation Practice on the notion of Gratitude and Manifesting

9pm – Reflective Questions for Self-introspection and Journal practice

9:30pm – free time and rest

 

Saturday October 27th

6:30-7:30am – Guided Meditation

7:30am-9am – Explanation of the Chakras and Experiential Session: Yoga Postures (Asanas) for Opening and Healing your Energy Systems (Chakras)

9am – Breakfast & free time

10am – Didactic Session: on Spirituality, Enlightenment, and Inner Wisdom.

[11:15 approx – Tea and snack break]

11:30-1pm – Didactic & Experiential Session: Knowing Truth & Accessing the Wisdom of your Highest Self + Meditation for opening to your Inner Wisdom

1pm – Lunch

1:45pm-3:30pm – Open ‘free’ time in solitude for you to simply ‘be’, & journal your reflections (snacks available)

3:30pm-4:30pm – Group Sharing Activity

4:30pm-6pm – Knowing ‘Your Sacred Journey’ – Didactic presentation with Guided Meditation

6pm – Dinner & free time

8pm-9:15pm – Experiential Technique – Reflective Writing with Guided Questions: Communicating with your Highest Self

9:15pm – Closing Meditation & Mantra

 

Sunday October 28th

6:30am-7:30am – Guided Meditation

7:30am – Reflective Journalling

8am-9am – YOGA

9am – Breakfast & free time

10am-11:30am – Nature Walk

11:30am-12:30pm – Final Didactic Session: Exploring the Wisdom of your Highest Self as you live Enlightened

12:30pm – Lunch

1:15pm-2:30pm – Closing Group Sharing and Final Guided Meditation

2:30pm – depart, and/or stay on a little longer and enjoy some quiet time in the beauty of Sugar Ridge

 

 

“Everything that occurs on this retreat has meaning.  Everything you experience is a communication about the path you are already on.  Deepen your intimate knowledge of SELF and the wisdom of your inner knowing” 

– Dorothy Ratusny, Retreat Facilitator

 

 

ALL-INCLUSIVE$535.00/pp(includes hst).

Each Cabin sleeps four comfortably with cozy duvets and private views of your beautiful natural surroundings.  Guests may choose to reserve private accommodation enjoying their own Cabin (one-time additional rate of $50).  Semi-private rates are $30 per person (one-time additional rate) which are ideal for couples or friends/family attending together.

The retreat fees include two nights of accommodations, all (six) vegetarian meals prepared on-site with fresh local ingredients (organic where possible), daily snacks and beverages, personalized retreat facilitation and individualized retreat handbook. 

You may bring a mat or pillow for meditation practice, or use one of the plenty of mats and cushions that are supplied by Sugar Ridge. Comfortable clothing, and dressing in layers is recommended, as well as weather-appropriate gear for walks in nature.  A personal notebook / journal for writing is needed.

Sugar Ridge is named after the abundant maple trees on its 150 acres of majestic forest.  It offers lush meadows surrounded by 3000 acres of provincial land, and 20 km of trails accessible from the property – making it a perfect oasis for finding space to be alone in quiet, to rejuvenate the spirit and to nourish the body.

www.sugarridge.ca Near Midland Ontario, Sugar Ridge is a newly (2008) built unique facility that boasts organic and locally grown vegetarian cuisine prepared daily on-site.  There is a wood fireplace and cozy seated area for lounging,  We will be using the 1200sq ft circular meditation studio designed with heated floor for many of our group sessions and meditation experiences.  For your individual work, you will easily find many intimate ‘spaces’ in and around the property to feel supported and nourished in as you experience the peaceful quiet of your inner being.  I chose Sugar Ridge for the site of this fall retreat because it has been designed and built with love, attention to detail and offers a perfect balance of rustic simplicity and quiet beauty to comfort and soothe you.  You will find and hear your inner voice (your spirit) here and feel the gentle calling of your Divine path.

Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre:  5720 Forgets Road Wyebridge, ON L0K 2E0 866-609-1793

 

For more information or to register please contact Dorothy: 647.889.8722 or dorothy@dorothyratusny.com

 

Dorothy Ratusny M.A., (C). OACCPP. (PhD Candidate) is a Certified Psychotherapist in Toronto, Canada who specializes in Cognitive Therapy.  She is the Author of ‘The Purpose of Love: A guidebook for defining and cultivating your most significant relationship’ and ‘Live Your Life’s Purpose: A guidebook for creating and living a purposeful life’. Dorothy is currently completing a PhD in Metaphysics (the study of science, world theology, and spirituality).  In addition to extensive formal training and study as a teacher of meditation, she offers a practical, skill-based approach, within a holistic model of healing, personal growth, and self-actualization. For more information, visit ww.dorothyratusny.com.

Share
Continue Reading

Abundance

This month’s inner reflection is on abundance.  Curiously interesting to the notion of abundance is the idea of gratitude.  Manifesting abundance includes daily practices of expressing thanks and feeling gratitude for all that is good in life, and for all that you already have.

 

The beauty of abundance is everywhere.

Begin to see the abundance that exists all around you; some obvious examples include water, food, sunlight, and oxygen.  Consider that life is filled with abundant choices: of possibilities, new experiences; of infinite laughter and love; and kindness.  It all depends on how you view or perceive what already is.

 

Gratitude is key for experiencing infinite abundance; simply because – like everything else, it operates through the Universal Law of Attraction, which governs all energy in the universe.  Known as ‘like attracts like’, this universal law is at work in our life all the time, whether we are aware of it working or not.

 

When you are grateful, you bring more of what you are grateful “for” to you.  This is how you manifest abundance.

 

We see the words of gratitude in holy scripture throughout time:  In the Gospel of Matthew: “Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” The idea here is in having gratitude.  

 

In the Koran, the promise of abundance exists as:  “And (remember) when God proclaimed: If you are grateful I will give you more…”

Being observant of, and acknowledging existing abundance with gratitude brings more abundance to you.  The universal law of attraction operates on your thoughts because thoughts are energy; therefore whatever you think (and feel) you attract to you.

 

Consider your gratitude as a magnet; you literally bring to you more abundance through the gratitude you hold.

Scientist Sir Isaac Newton discovered the fundamental law of motions; one of which says: “Every action always has an opposite and equal reaction.”  Applying the idea of gratitude to this law reminds us that every action of giving always has an opposite and equal reaction of receiving.   The amount of gratitude you have for anything will always be the equivalent to the amount of abundance you receive.

 

 

Lao Tzu:  “If you rejoice in the way things are, the whole world will belong to you.”

 

Buddha:  “You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy.”

 

Consider that true abundance begins with being grateful for all that you already have: in health, freedom, choice, quality air to breathe, love, friendship, happiness, a job, running hot water, a bed to sleep in, and so much more.  Be especially grateful for what you would like to continue seeing in your life and for what more you would like to manifest.

Namaste!!

 

Share
Continue Reading

EARTH HOUR 2012: What’s Your Challenge?

Earth Hour is a worldwide event that is organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)* and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, encouraging households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change.

 

BUT IT’S MUCH MORE THAN THAT!

Let Earth Hour be a reminder of your commitment to:

conserve

recycle

REUSE

refrain from buying STUFF you really don’t need and will end up in landfill

plant trees and flowers

consider what you are pouring down the drain or spraying into the air

learn how things are made so you can make wise consumer choices

know what you are ingesting

go and see where your garbage goes…..

What will you do to take action; to contribute?

Earth hour is a global initiative.  Know that you can effect positive change in the planet -in your lifetime.

 

Earth Hour 2012 Official Video

 

What’s Your Challenge?? 

Consider your own challenge to keep the planet healthy; to live in respect and reverence of the planet; to help the earth nourish itself – and to make it a better place because of your choices and awareness.

Namaste!

 

 

*World Wildlife Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental conservation through science.  http://www.worldwildlife.org/sites/earthhour/index.html

Share
Continue Reading

International WOMEN’S DAY 2012

It is no surprise International Women’s Day falls on my Father’s birthday.  He has raised me to be my own advocate, to stand proud of my abilities and accomplishments, to seek any goal that I may choose, and to see myself as capable and equal to all of humanity.

We might choose to be reminded of any or all of the injustices that continue to exist in the world today for women.  Or we may choose to notice that inequality exists first and foremost in our mind.  We may be taught to believe that we are not good enough, not worthy, unlovable…and yet these are not gender specific beliefs. 

All of humanity struggles with issues of self-worth, confidence, and a sense of personal power that comes from trusting in their abilities and knowing their self.

Inequality exists only as you believe it exists

If you see yourself as an equal to others, you will behave as such… you will see the opportunities and possibilities that exist for you even if you aren’t always sure how to reach them without seeking help.

International Women’s Day might be a reminder to nurture the talent and esteem of all young girls – and especially those who don’t have strong role models in one or both parents …so that these future women might learn to experience their world as a place where they can explore, live freely, make choices that are right for them (especially when these choices do not reflect the majority of previous generations in their particular culture or religion), and to express their free will as an inherent right.

Today we might acknowledge the path of women…but we also serve our planet by embracing the path of humanity; and for remembering all of the ways in which we are empowered to help all others to live free and with love.

Namaste!

Share
Continue Reading

Divine Guidance: Reflections for February 2012

We are all divinely guided.

We all have the capacity for greatness: of being greatness as our true nature as beings of spirit and of love.

Whether or not you believe in a higher consciousness (something we typically refer to as god): receiving divine guidance simply means that you are able to exist outside of the racing, ‘anxiety-driven’ thoughts in your mind and simply experience life – “be in it with full presence”.

When you begin to slow the incessant thoughts that fill most of your waking moments, you start to notice the gaps….the small spaces of quiet in between.  As you bring attention to those gaps they expand…even a little, offering a quiet ‘nothingness’ … and the experience of pure being.

At first, you may experience a state of being by accident, a longer moment of quiet in Shavasana at the end of a yoga class, a moment or two of QUIET between your thoughts as you walk along a snow covered path in the forest, or a moment of pure joy where you realize you were simply existing in the present moment.  Each and all of these are what you might experience -heightening your awareness of the inner quiet that is possible.

Meditation is one example of a formal practice in ‘quieting the mind’.  The objective is to experience the present moment, usually by using a focal point such as your breath, in order to maintain your attention.  Once you develop a feel for what being present is truly about, you can intentionally bring your awareness into the moment at any time knowing that to do so simply requires you decision and perhaps a deliberate “letting go” of any and all thoughts that may be in the way.

 

Perhaps you then consider integrating a regular practice: of prayer, meditation, or guided contemplation whereby you quietly observe your self in silence – simply being – giving way to your inner knowing – the version of your highest self – that quietly, yet faithfully begins to surface from its place in your unconscious mind (which typically you don’t have access to in your waking busy moments).  This inner knowing gives you “right direction” for your life.  It exists from within you as a felt sense, an intuitive feeling, or sometimes as an inner voice.  Your intuitive or higher self – this divine nature that is both within you and in all living things becomes noticeable in your conscious mind only after you have turned down the volume of your conscious mind (and all of the internal self-dialogue noise) long enough to feel and hear from within.

This is the sacred dwelling place of your inner wisdom – your divine guidance.

If you continue exploring, your intuitive nature will direct you to a spiritual path.  This is because your divine guidance is the pure energy of the universal consciousness and not of form.  Pursuing a spiritual path, you become mindful of the higher values of love, truth, and your connection to this infinite universal intelligence. 

You and every other human being has the potential (the free will) to choose an existence that supersedes the everyday aspects of life that we have been conditioned to accept with limits.  The more you actively seek out your highest self as that part of you that is also part of the infinite universal consciousness, the greater confidence you have in your ability to be divinely guided; to know what is inherently best and right for your life, and to trust in your path using your god-given talents to contribute positively in the world.  On a separate and related level, your intuitive nature inspires you to pursue your life seeking the most compassionate gifts of spirit: love, kindness, joy, faith, trust, compassion, and truth.

 

The path of love and healing begins with you.  From the mysteries (divine blessings) that you cultivate in walking a path of divine goodness, your openness to learning self-improvement, higher integrity, and loving self-care, culminates in living a life you are deeply proud of.

Remaining ‘open’ to your spiritual journey, you examine what comes into your life with curiousity rather than condemnation.  You can observe moments of irrational outbursts or vulnerable fear and be grateful for an opportunity to learn from these rather than feel defeated by them.  You can ask in moments of quiet contemplation or prayer for the ‘right’ path, for strength to live in ‘right’ ways, for the courage to make ‘right’ choices and then follow and trust what you receive.  Sometimes you will experience your divine guidance directly and other times you will receive messages in the form of signs, symbols or words “randomly” spoken to you through others.  These are all moments of divine guidance being present in your life.

As humans with free will we all have the ability to choose.  Choose a path of goodness, of right moral order, or choose to hide; deceive yourself and others, deny and condemn.  Each of us is capable of any action; we always get to choose.  Consciously or unconsciously we choose everything.

And the wondrous part of all of this is that we have the ability to continue seeking more, evolving, and becoming a greater version of ourselves…. for as long as we choose to do so.

Be open to the idea of a universal intelligence that is both responsible for manifesting what we know as our physical world as well as the infinite consciousness that is a part of everything.

This universal God force or consciousness is what reminds us of our infinite potential to be the very best version we can possibly imagine for our self.  All of the fears, insecurities, wounds, and misperceptions that we experience in our life as physical beings can be overcome by stepping out of our ego-driven self and instead bringing conscious attention to our quality as infinite beings of spirit (energy).

Divine guidance while on this journey involves a contemplation of our nature as good and a freedom for living with joy and in prosperity.

 

This month, open yourself up to the divine guidance that already exists in your life.  Seek answers, knowledge, information, as well as the courage and strength to move toward what changes you seek: both in yourself but as a being of love.  See your own path as infinite and divine and in quiet moments of spirit, ask for help; ask to be divinely guided as part of what will help you realize your biggest ideals.

 

Namaste!

 

 

Share
Continue Reading

December 2011: Divine Guidance

In November, my suggestion for an inward focus was BALANCE.

Consider how balance comes to play in your life at this moment.

What insights or discoveries do you make when you keep BALANCE in mind during your day?

Has your definition and appreciation of balance changed to include a gentler, more loving way of living life?

 

I am a first born.  The focus in my family of origin was on achievement, success, and doing your best.  Rewards were given as a direct outcome of performance.  My early tendencies were less about honoring balance and more about an ‘all or nothing’ way of looking at life; the ‘all’ approach being my predominant operating mode.

November’s focus of balance brought to light for me one very valuable learning regarding my need to ‘complete’ and ‘finish’ as a way of measuring performance and achievement…and a delightful reminder of the process; the journey; the experiences that occur in our life one moment at a time.

As much as we all need to feel the satisfaction of concluding projects and tasks; it’s also important to remember that our lives are a series of beginning and ending points all within a journey.  In fact, the only real ending of this lifetime occurs when we run out of clock time – at death.

 

Rewriting some of your own beliefs around balance may bring awareness to the fact that each moment of your journey is special and breathtaking.  Rather than simply focus on what achievements you accomplish, revel in the experience and purpose of each moment; the ending points of that experience simply signify that you are ready for the next moment of learning.

 

Each day we have the potential to affect others with positive energy; love, kindness, care, and compassion.  We can, in a single moment lose sight of all of the potential of our smaller moments in pursuit of something we define as ‘bigger’.  In fact, it’s the accumulation of each single moment …and of our thoughtful actions, and compelling emotions that we are moved to live life fully.  What defines us is how we live each moment.

We are blessed with a lifetime of small moments in which to shape, impact and formulate what becomes our life’s greatest work.

Consider taking a moment to reflect on the new meaning of  b a l a n c e  in your life.  Consider what balance could mean to how you live going forward.  Making each moment significant and meaningful in the whole context of your life is the balance of enjoying and living the ‘now’ even as you have plans for future moments.

 

Remember, you don’t get to “relive” past moments.  You can ‘redo’ past moments but you never get back a moment that has passed.  It’s important to consider each moment that is right in front of you as valuable and with potential for creating something special.  The balance lies in appreciating each moment without skipping ahead too far and missing out on what is right in front of you.

 

and so please continue to contemplate and celebrate B A L A N C E  in your life.

 

 

In this last month of 2011, I invite you to contemplate DIVINE GUIDANCE.

What does it mean to be divinely guided?

From where do you receive divine guidance?

Think of Divine guidance as the graceful path we are on.  Sometimes we don’t realize how we got here; our innate talents, learned skills, and knowledge always prepares us for what lies ahead; even when we don’t know what is next.

Divine guidance reminds us that there is always purpose for our life and a perfect path that we have the free will to choose.  When we move off this path; when we are not living our life with honesty, truth and love – we feel disjointed, lost, and as if something important is missing.  Disconnected from divine guidance, we lose touch with the gentle knowing  – the inner felt instinct that helps us make right choices.  Off of our ‘right’ path, things are more difficult, challenging, and frustrating.

During this month what can you do to allow for greater inward guidance? 

What can you begin to put in place right now that will guide you to your inner happiness? 

Divine guidance is the inner perfection that always offers us a ‘right’ path.  It is felt most clearly as a heart driven experience: that is, we feel it in our heart centre rather than something we think about or analyze.  Divine guidance calls us to do something, be something, make a certain change to who we are or how we think; it is a physical change contemplated in the mind but felt in the heart as a ‘right’ step forward.

Returning full circle back to the idea of balance… you can lose yourself in being willing to act on all of the things you believe to be important, forgetting about your need to be still; to contemplate where you want to be, who you want to become; where you are headed.  Divine guidance offers us much to contemplate in order to act with resolve and full appreciation of each moment.  Knowing yourself well comes from knowing what it means to have a ‘life serving’ direction.  Divine guidance is the gentle urging; the inner knowing that comes from our spirit – the divine quality of our nature that is the same as that of the universal consciousness; what we call the divine nature of god.

How do you receive divine guidance?

How do you know what it looks like?  Can you trust it to be right?

Divine guidance is our inner communication with the divine energy that is in all things).  It is your awareness – your inner awakening to this universal consciousness that reminds you that divine guidance has always been with you.  As part of your inherent nature, divine guidance is always accessible should you go within yourself to access it.

Often it is easiest to know it by becoming quiet; listening within, asking specific questions; hearing your inner self – your spirit – speak to you.  This is your unconscious (mind); the part of you that is one with the Divine.  This is your inherent wisdom; your truth…. guiding you….perfectly…to be your highest potential.

Divine guidance is also a faith; an inward reflection of your life that awakens you to believing in something more.  When you are divinely guided you allow your highest self a place in your everyday life.

Keep in mind, divine guidance can also help you look ahead to January and living with …..right FOCUS.

Namaste everyone!

PEACE and good will to all!

Share
Continue Reading