Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Power of a Grateful Heart

This is the time of year when we hear a lot about being grateful. And some people say they're really sick of hearing it. Yadda, yadda. Okay. We do get bombarded with it every year at turkey time. But maybe we need reminding. I know I do. Sometimes it's not easy to look around and see something we're grateful for. And sometimes we just forget to say thank you. But there's power in a grateful heart. Lots of power.

Everything in the universe is energy, and when you express gratitude, something good happens. The energy within you changes at a cell level and attracts like (good) energy. A grateful heart has the power to bring more peace into your life. That's a universal law. And it will work for you if you create peace in your heart through gratitude. 

There are many people today who are lonely, don't have money to pay bills, much less buy food, or they've lost a loved one, or they're dealing with a health challenge and feel like crap, or a relationship has fallen apart. Life's not a continuous merry-go-round, and we all run into hurtful stuff. But a grateful heart can make it not hurt so much. And there's a way to bring peace into your heart to help you get through painful times.

1.  Close your eyes and sit quietly with a paper and pen. Take some deep breaths, and ask for inner   guidance. That's where your answers are, hidden inside.
2.  Be patient, and allow some of the good things in your life to come into your awareness. Yes, there are some, if only small things. Picture them in your mind.
3.  As you think of something, write it down. Then return to your quiet state, and allow more to come. Start with just a few things.
4.  Now on another sheet of paper write, "I am grateful for ________." And do this with each good thing.
5.  Now read your list of affirmations out loud with a firm, confident voice. And add, "Thank you, Universe, for all of my good." Repeat this several times a day, and feel the gratitude coming from your heart area. Allow yourself to really "feel" it.
6.  If more good comes to mind, add it to what you already have.

Yes, I know that when you go through a painful time, it can be so exhausting you might feel there's nothing left to get you out of the pit. But as you go through each day practice saying thank you for what you take for granted, like hot water for a shower, a pillow for your head, a call from a friend, etc. Allow the power of a grateful heart to lighten your burdens. They don't have to be so heavy.

I wish you many blessings.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Resistance Breeds Persistence

How often does a problem in your life seem to hang around forever? You dig in your heels and tackle it head on. But it won't go away. You try everything you know to resolve it. But it refuses to move. You stew and fret about it. But it doesn't budge. The more your push, the bigger it gets. So what's going on?

Cause of persistence: Resistance breeds persistence. Everything in the universe is energy, and our minds are more powerful than we realize. Every thought produces energy, positive and negative, and it affects our inner life and our outer life. Each time we have a thought, the energy produced has to go somewhere and do something. When we focus on a problem and resist its presence, this energy draws it to us. And this increases its  power over us. Resisting is like pouring coal into a furnace instead of allowing the fire to die out.

Solution: When a problem enters your life, of course it needs attention. We can't usually ignore it. But pushing against it doesn't work. Stop obsessing and trying to push it away with your thoughts. Let it be, and accept its presence while you're doing what you can to resolve it. This doesn't mean giving in without a fight, but take your fight to the solution--not the problem. Ask for inner guidance, and ask the problem what you need to learn from it for your personal growth. It's there to teach you, and it won't leave until you've learned, sometimes only on a subconscious level. Maybe the lesson is to simply learn how to peacefully resolve problems.

Our journey is a series of glider rides and river rapids. Enjoy the rides, and concentrate on the paddles when the rapids get big. Practice non-resistance, do what's yours to do, and grow through it bigger than you were before.

I wish you happy rides through life.


Friday, November 15, 2013

When To Say No

Sometimes it's hard to say no. Some people never learn to say it, and they keep ending up in situations they don't want to be in. Then others say no most of the time. How is it with you? Do you feel uncomfortable when you say no to someone or a situation? If so, have you ever wondered why?

Discomfort in saying no denotes a fear of something--maybe fear of offending another person; fear of appearing uncooperative or selfish; fear of criticism; fear of not being accepted; etc. But whatever the individual reason, fear of saying no can rob you of functioning as your authentic self. And that can be like a self-imposed prison.

It took me a long time to learn that it's okay to say no when that's really how I feel. As a child I was taught to be nice and agreeable with a "yes, ma'am", no matter how I felt. What a rip off. I couldn't be me. Well, after years of repressing my true feelings, I began practicing no sometimes, and it felt really good. I'm still not 100% cured, but there's still time, and I'm getting better at it.

Last year I had the no thing brought to my attention from a stray cat who showed up on my patio one day and said he wanted to stay. And he's still here. I don't know what kind he is, but very sweet and gentle. Every time I come home and get out of my car, he's there rubbing up against me and meowing a warm greeting. However, he knows very well how to say no. He's not a big cat, but his name is Big Boy because of this ability.

Well, one night from loud barks on the front porch, I knew a dog was after Big Boy. By the time I got the door open, I realized Big Boy had tried to retreat over the back fence, but didn't make it. And the two of them were outside head to head. Big Boy was marching toward this huge dog on his hind legs fearlessly boxing with his front paws and saying, "No, you will not eat me for dinner tonight." The dog was slowly retreating backwards, step by step, and then took off down the road. For Big Boy, that deserved a treat and a big hug. His little heart was beating fast, but he said no and stood his ground.

We humans could take a lesson from this gentle cat. Watching him in action reinforced my belief that even a mild mannered, gentle person has a right to say no when that's how they feel. Not only in crises, but whenever. So you don't need to be in danger to exercise your right to be who you are. If you feel uncomfortable saying no when that's what you want to say, then practice saying it anyway. It will become easier, and you'll feel a lot better being you.

I wish you peaceful no's


Friday, November 8, 2013

New Beginnings

Do you ever feel like you're in a rut and you can't get out? Something in your life that's not working for you, or is working against you? Me too, sometimes. But I've learned the only way to get out of a rut is to get out of it. Duh! And the best way to do that is to create a new beginning. Start over.

A rut involves a physical, mental or emotional situation--or all three. A marriage, a job, money, health, home, a relationship, mental worry, turmoil, anxiety, depression, anger. Whatever. And you want to be free. Sometimes you can't change a situation, but a new beginning can get you out of where you are.

When we enter the world we begin a lifetime of new experiences, and life demands that we make new beginnings along the way--sometimes to escape a hurtful situation and other times to improve on good things we already have. Either way, successful change takes clarity, motivation, action and letting go.

Nothing is predestined. The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.  Ralph Blum

Clarity: First, describe your situation on paper. Then be still and quiet your mind. Ask your inner self what's really going on with you. What meaning does the situation have in your life? What is there about it that makes you want to create a new direction?

Motivation: Why do you want a change, a new beginning? Visualize what you want in place of what you have. What would that be like, physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually? Explore and "feel" the difference. Express your intention, and decide that what you want is important enough to leave what you don't want.

Action: Make a plan for change, and put it on paper. List your action steps to leave the old and create the new. Be creative. It could be as simple as changing your thought patterns.

Release the old: Visualize a large balloon sitting in front of you. Give it a color. Now visualize what you want to release from your life--situation, thoughts, emotions. Wrap what you want to release in a bundle and tell them goodbye. Then put them in the balloon, seal the balloon, and give the balloon a nudge. As you see it rising up in the air into the sky, release it with love and gratitude.

Sometimes new beginnings are difficult. You may mourn what you're releasing, and things may not turn out as you hoped. But life doesn't stand still, and the only direction worth traveling is forward. If there are bumps on the road, you deal with those as you meet them and grow with each one. Life can always be better than it is. Go for it.

I wish you a happy new day every day.