Archive for the ‘Opportunities for Growth’ Category

At every turn drug companies continue to bombard us with messages intended to make us believe that we can’t heal ourselves. They want so desperately for every last American to pay up, lie down, and accept that sickness is a way of life and decay is inevitable.

No thank you!

We live in a reality where the power of choice is absolute. The importance (or lack thereof) we choose to place on individual and societal beliefs creates our experience of reality. To put this in a less esoteric way, “Attitude is everything.” Conscious, self-aware adults who believe that vibrant, radiant health is their birth right will create this in their lives. Those who don’t will create conditions like obesity, diabetes, cancer, and/or chronic pain. Am I saying everyone with these or other health conditions has a bad attitude? No! Am I saying they suffer needlessly because they forget (or choose to ignore) their innate ability to heal? Yes!

I found an anti-depressant several years ago that is far more effective than Wellbutrin, Lithium, or Prozac, and a weight-loss aid that’s much better for the body than diet pills or starvation. I’ve been reminded of this miracle while reading the book Living with Joy. It’s called gratitude.

When someone doesn’t appreciate you, how does it feel? Does it lift you up and make you want to give that person more? If you value yourself, the answer is probably “No.” Our physical and emotional bodies are the same way. Every time we berate ourselves for feeling a certain way or look in the mirror and find fault with our bodies, our energy level drops and we begin to project even more of the quality we disdain. Why? Because what we focus on is what we create.

Next time you’re tempted to make yourself wrong, stop and take a breath instead. Then find something (anything!) to be grateful for. Keep finding things to be grateful for – things you have and are and things you want and would like to be – until you feel better (and I promise – if you do this, you will feel better). This exercise is the most effective way I’ve found to short-circuit the downward spiral that would otherwise ruin my day and create even more of what I initially reacted to. It’s hard (sometimes very hard) to remember this in the heat of the moment – but when I do it always helps.

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Anyone who knows me or visits this site probably realizes that my personal “holy war” isn’t (and has never been) with Jesus Christ – it’s been with some who profess to follow him. And though time is starting to wear down my sharper corners, I can’t pass up the opportunity to gleefully point out the two most recent bricks being removed from the crumbling wall of Fundamentalist Christianity: legally sanctioned gay marriage in California and the discovery of three earth-like planets in a distant galaxy.

Though the people who could benefit most from reading this probably won’t ever visit this site, I’m going to write it anyway.

Your town, your state, your country, your world, and your Universe are all much bigger and more diverse than you realize. All That Is does not begin and end with your Bible and the subjective, selective view of morality you claim it has instilled in you.

Will you go to your Bible for answers when intelligent life is discovered on one of these “Super-Earths?” Probably. Will you find them?

If you don’t, where will that leave you? Will you, like those who’ve gone before you, simply resolve to label anything as “From the Pit” if your Bible doesn’t say it’s “From the Mount?”

Have you already gone to your Bible today, looking for an answer to why God would allow something as disgusting and morally reprehensible as the passing of a law that recognizes lesbians and gays as actual human beings?

Your religion is broken, and it’s robbing you of peace, power, and perspective. It’s convinced you that the Universe and all within it conform to the limitations and conventions of the human mind.

Wake up! Just because you don’t understand something does not mean it’s wrong or evil, regardless of what your Bible says. If you choose to continue denying this, be forewarned – things are not going to get any easier for you.

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Scapegoating is what we do when we don’t want to look at the deeper issue. It’s easier than looking in the mirror and seeing where our own growth has been stunted, and is more gratifying than accepting responsibility and owning our personal growth. It’s also what we do when we want to draw attention away from ourselves and our actions and distract onlookers with something else. This tried and true technique has been used throughout history by individuals, organizations, and governments.

As individuals, we often use those closest to us – those who we claim to love the most – as our scapegoats. I’m definitely guilty of this. This is dangerous, because those who love us will only take so much.

What is the root of scapegoating? Is it fear? If so, fear of what? Fear of being perceived as a failure if we don’t shift the blame elsewhere?

How can this fear be overcome?

This morning while looking at the stats for this site, I saw another example of scapegoating. Someone made their way here by entering the following phrase in a search engine:

“When a child uses drugs what sin is that?”

What is the real issue here? What is the fear that keeps the parent from admitting the real issue? Is it more important for the parent to tell the child what sin s/he is committing, or to look at what caused the behavior?

For me, asking these kinds of questions is the most challenging aspect of personal growth. It’s always easier to see where someone else falls short than to take a long hard look in the mirror.

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The hardest to learn is the least complicated.   —The Indigo Girls

I tend to receive flashes of insight while in the shower. The soothing sound and warmth of the water have always relaxed me and quieted my mind. Ever since I was old enough to take one on my own, I’ve spent what most consider far too long in the shower.

This morning’s “epiphany” had to do with the expectations I have around personal transformation. I’ve spent a good portion of my life believing that not only must everything be “perfect” before I can change for the better (“I’ve got to have a gym membership and go and see a nutritionist and buy all organic food all the time…”), but also that change itself must be earth-shattering to mean anything. Like angels trumpeting the second coming of Christ kind of earth-shattering.

This morning I realized the only true requirements for change are intent and willingness to allow. Growth doesn’t require the elaborate conditions I so often place on it, nor does it have to take days, months, years, or decades. Its province is right now. 

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I’ve had trouble sleeping the last several days, and my partner has as well.  When I have slept, my dreams have been startlingly vivid and very meaningful. This morning when I logged it to WordPress, I found something that may explain why: a post announcing the emergence of a new sun spot on January 4th.

From what I understand, this new sun spot marks the beginning of an approximately 10 year cycle of increasing sun spots and resulting solar radiation. From a metaphysical perspective, it’s interesting to note that spikes in solar activity are marked by increased emissions of ultra-violet radiation. As many know violet is the color associated with the energy center at the top of the head, the crown chakra. Our connection to the Divine, this chakra is also our window to divine transformation – or learning how to live our highest purpose and most joyous potential.

From personal experience periods of increased solar activity herald major transition periods, especially in the occupational/career arena.  In the past this change has always been for the better, but it’s also been incredibly challenging. Going forward I fully expect any disempowering patterns/behaviors to be brought to the forefront, where I can choose to either work through and move beyond them or cling to them and be miserable.

As the chart at link above shows, the last time solar activity peaked was around 2001. Do you remember what was going on in your life around that time? Chances are good is was a big transition period – I know it was for me.

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Long before The Secret came along, I would write down all the things I was thankful for to draw more of those things to me and to help me gain peace and perspective during challenging times. I’ve been doing this daily for the last week or so, and thought sharing a few would be timely given the upcoming holiday.

Thank you for helping me consciously choose how I feel instead of simply reacting to the world around me.

Thank you for the wisdom that I can achieve and maintain peace, prosperity, passion, and joy without struggle.

Thank you for helping me identify and achieve my highest purpose and most joyous potential.

Thank you for helping me trust the Love that guides me at all times, especially during periods of transition.

Thank you for always providing more than I need to meet my obligations.

Thank you for my family and for all those who love me, those I see with my eyes and those I see with my heart.

Thank you for my home, and for the love and warmth within it.

Thank you for health, vitality, and balance on all levels of my being.

Thank you for helping me have compassion for myself, so that I may also have compassion for others. 

What are you thankful for?

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Are these ants happy?

I came across a funny yet thought-provoking video post over at the Blue Rat blog this morning, entitled “Why We Are Not Happy.”

The gist was that rather than choosing to create the lives we truly wish to live, most of us instead resign ourselves to mediocrity. Instead of making life choices that challenge us and arouse our passion and creativity, we “settle.” We do things like they’ve always been done – we fall into line like worker ants, bearing the burdens of those who’ve gone before us…burdens they didn’t have the courage to question.

Even now, perhaps 1/3 of the way through my life, I still hold the belief deep within me that I have something beautiful and unique to contribute. And I know I’m not alone. So what happened?

Maybe we’ve been letting fear run our lives for too long. Maybe it’s time to let fear rest.  

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