Monday, May 30, 2016

A Chicken And People Connection. And Why Do They Cross The Road?

Recently I came across an essay I wrote several years ago about the mystery surrounding why chickens cross the road. And as I read the article, it reminded me of people. In our lives we cross roads everyday...some small, some life changing. Crossing roads for us is the act of leaving situations we're in now and moving on to different ones. And might that be what chickens do too?

I'd like to share some excerpts from my essay with some historical information, descriptions of chicken's behavior, and my own perceptions of why they cross roads, plus parallels with our own actions.

"According to a British web site entitled Poultry Pages, there are more than 75 different breeds of chickens. And the University of Illinois states that chickens have been around since 7000 BC, probably originating in the far east. Chickens evidently took a long time to get to America, since the Plymouth Rock chicken was first shown in a poultry show in 1829."

"Chickenbox by Johan Opsomer says that Chicken's roots are wild, and all pets have some instinctual behavior, so when breeding, chickens tend to run away. Perhaps they cross the road looking for a more suitable mate than the ones back in the hen house." And wouldn't we do the same thing? When there's not much interesting on our side of the road, wouldn't we cross the companionship road into new territory to find someone more right for us?

"Chickens have a pecking order--literally. They peck on each others heads to gain top place in the chicken house, and the best pecker gets to have the top position. It seems possible that the chicken on the bottom of the hierarchy crosses the road looking for another group in which it may have better luck. Or maybe its head is sore, and it's getting away from the pecking." Doesn't that make sense? Wouldn't you seek a new job on a different side of the job road with less criticism and more opportunity? Who wants to stay in a job going nowhere with a sore head?

"Chickens are known for scratching on the ground, and they make good garden weeders. No weed escapes them. People fortunate enough to observe a chicken's behavior must notice how the dirt flies when the chicken scratches, always behind the chicken. Yes, a chicken always looks forward in its life, so perhaps it's just following its nose as it crosses the road." And at times in our life when we're tired of a situation we're in...scratching for everything we get...we can reach down and find courage to leave the dirt and weeds and move forward across our garden road to greener grass.

Fear is the highest fence. Dudley Nickols

"Chickens can also fly, and it takes about a three foot fence to keep them in. If some can fly that high, then maybe the ones crossing the road have made a successful escape from the hen house, and are searching for new territory." Have you ever been so tired of a rut that's holding you back, you wish you could fly to higher ground? Then what about making a giant leap to the higher side of the road and find the freedom you long for. Don't be scared. If chickens can make their escape, so can you. And that still, small Voice inside will guide you along your way with all the peace and confidence you need.

Sometimes you may choose the wrong road, and things are worse than before. We've all been there. But when chickens make that mistake, they keep running for another road until they find the right one. So find your roads within yourself, and as Confucius says, "Wherever you go, go with all of your heart." And you will find the right ones.

In conclusion: 

"Today chickens are considered more intelligent than was previously believed, but they still can't tell us why they cross the road. However, since research studies are being done in some of the most prestigious places, we might just learn to communicate. Then, when I see one crossing the road, I'll just ask. Otherwise, we may never know for sure why chickens cross the road." But we can know why we do.

I wish you happy roads ahead.


Monday, May 23, 2016

The Connection Between Words And Water. And How It Affects Your Life

Everyday we probably say at least a thousand words. It seems like it anyway. And oftentimes we don't hear what we're saying. We call that chit chat. But everything you say is powerful. Everyone and everything functions on energy in a particular frequency and vibration. And one affects the other. We tend to think our thoughts and words are not 'all that' important, but they're vital to a happy, healthy life.

"Words create worlds." Pierre du Plessis 

Over the past decades science has explored whether thoughts and words have a direct affect on the molecular structure of water in our bodies. This research has been praised and criticized, but recently interest has been rekindled with much more convincing results. In the 1990s, Japanese Scientist Dr. Masaru Emoto took many pictures of beautiful water crystals given positive thoughts and words, and then ugly, jagged crystals given negative ones. Today he works with other scientists on the powerful energy our thoughts and words have on our very existence. Since our bodies are about 70% water, and all living things contain water, can you imagine the affect your words have on people, and even plants and animals?

We use words in many ways, and convey much about ourselves as we speak. Our words and how they're used tell a lot about our personality, the kind of person we are; our accents reveal our heritage, where and how we grew up; we display our mood while we're speaking; and some people's words are annoying when used by a 'know it all'; etc. But we don't think about all of that. We just talk.

I think most people have a favorite word or words they use much of the time. And sometimes one word is as powerful as several sentences. When something pushes our buttons, just one word can get us over the hump. Some of those words are "oh, well", "really", "never", "whew", and swear words or those 2 words we often hear, "you know."

When my daughter was a small child, she sat on the floor trying to put a toy together while we visited with my mother-in-law. Suddenly my daughter said, "Oh, dammit." My mother-in-law turned in shock, and I tried to cover up with, "I wonder where she got that." Then my daughter looked up and said, "What, Mommy, that word you say all the time?" Well, I gave a weak smile and tried to sink further down into my chair. Didn't say that word anymore.

When you allow a person's words to upset you, you're giving away your power. Phil McGraw

Getting along in our chaotic world takes some protection from what others may say to us. We need to use our inherent power within and refuse to allow any hurtful words to penetrate our state of well-being. We're influenced by our surroundings, and even harsh words that don't apply to us can have a negative effect. Have you ever walked into a room where people were arguing, and you felt the negative energy? One time one of my doctors used harsh words toward me, and I felt worse leaving than when I arrived. I didn't know then how damaging words can be. Now I take back my power in situations like that.

We often talk to ourselves, aloud and silently, and what we say is important. What are you telling yourself? When you have a bad day, do you express criticism for all concerned...including yourself? Do you sometimes create dialogues in your mind between you and someone else? Do you think of someone's harsh words to you and repeat them in your mind? Remember that behind those words in your head are thoughts, feelings, and meanings. And they can have a negative or positive affect on your health and well-being. Be kind to yourself...always.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. Mother Teresa

Healthy water is needed for a healthy happy life, and with your words you have the power to contribute to your own health and happiness and that of others. When someone else needs to be heard, one of the most healing things you can do for them is to listen beyond their words to what their soul is saying. Then give them the kind words they need. And bless yourself in the doing. Choose your words. Choose happiness.

I wish you happy words and a happy heart.


Monday, May 16, 2016

The Depression Pit And The Road To Recovery: Part 2

When you fall into the pit of depression you may long for someone to reach down and pull you out. But it usually doesn't happen that way. There are degrees of depression. Some people can respond to their own efforts to recover, but sometimes a person is too weak to do the required pushing for that recovery. Then medication may be necessary until they're strong enough to participate in the recovery process. This may be a consideration.

Think about your own situation. In spite of your suffering, you may be strong enough to begin recovery yourself. Either way, support is important, so in the beginning turn to someone close to you who will understand, advise you, and be with you through it. If no support is available, find a good therapist who will be supportive.

Be not afraid of changing slowly; be afraid only of standing still. Chinese Proverb
If you know deep within that you have the inner strength to rise above your pain and realize the peace you long for, then begin your journey to wholeness. Even with fear, in truth you're stronger than you think. And you can create miracles.

"Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak knits up the o'er wrought heart and bids it break" Shakespeare
1. Accept and Clarify: Accept depression as where you are now on your journey. Owning the problem and being willing to face it and resolve it weakens its power over you. Now put your feelings into words. Clarify what you're dealing with and help yourself understand it. If the cause is external, clarify the problem. If it's internal, ask your Higher Self to reveal what you need to work on.

I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become. C. G. Jung
2. Intention: State your intention to climb up out of that pit, and you intend to get out one way or another. State your goal. Write down what you choose to create in your life...peace, joy, love, etc.

For peace of mind, we need to resign as general manager of the universe. Larry Eisenberg
3. Your Needs: Give yourself permission to be good to you during this process. Meet your commitments, but your main focus now is you. This is your time to heal. Even if you don't feel like it, use props to raise your, walking outside, exercise, watch a sunrise, eat ice cream, create belly laughs, whatever it takes.
When you feel overwhelmed with your pain, and you feel like crying, ranting, raving, swearing, etc, don't hold it back. Let it out, but allot a certain amount of time for this kind of an outlet. 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, whatever you decide. Then when the time is up, cut it off, and turn immediately to a planned pleasant activity. Do this as needed, and this need will diminish.

4. Quiet Time: Each day set aside some time to be quiet, and use denials and affirmations. Say aloud, "I deny that this depression has any power over me, and I affirm my ability to rise above and find the freedom and peace I desire." Repeat this with feeling several times each day.
Your inner child is hurting. During your quiet time, talk to your inner child with comfort and love, and reassure him/her that it's okay now to release the pain.

Peace is not something you wish for; it's something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away. John Lennon 
5. Help Someone Else: This is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself. Look for ways to help someone else, and give and get hugs, You need them too. Give and accept all the love you can. Love is the greatest healer.

The journey back is not easy, and you may have to start over numerous times. But never give up. The will to life will push you forward and give you the strength you need. You were meant to soar like an eagle. Accept help when it comes, but ultimately you have to flap your own wings. And you can.

I wish you freedom to smile as you soar.


Monday, May 9, 2016

The Depression Pit And The Road To Recovery: Part 1

Depression is a relentless creature that either creeps up on us or suddenly knocks us to the floor depending upon what precipitates it in the first place. It can hurt from the top of our head down to our toes, and we feel helpless to its strangling hold. We all experience it to some degree in our lifetime.

Eric Berne, in his book, "Games People Play", explains his Transactional Analysis Theory. He says there are 3 parts to the mind developed in childhood; your internal Parent, Child, and Adult. The Parent is the voice of authority, the Child is internal reactions and feelings, and the Adult helps keep Parent and Child under control. The Parent and Child function with positive and negative expression, but the Adult draws on both Parent and Child, as it attempts to maintain a balanced approach to life. So it's your inner child who cries and feels the pain of depression.

There are several types of depression. They manifest at different ages with short or long durations, depending upon variables involved in the precipitating factor. And you may not even know where the depression is coming from. Has it been there forever, and just now reared its ugly head when you could no longer handle even one more disturbing, painful experience? Perhaps an external situation triggered a depression response, or an internal belief invaded your conscious mind, and your inner child attached feelings to the belief, or as George Santayana says, "Depression is rage spread thin." You may even feel depressed for no apparent reason. It's a complicated phenomenon with many variables.

Everyone goes through episodes of depression, but most are situational and less severe with successful outcomes. They may be short lived as with a temporary painful situation that's remedied with a change in your life and support to get you there...or a loss of something in your life that, over time, is replaced...or a health challenge that draws on your emotional strength as you move through it. Any number of our human experiences can precipitate a period of depression.

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold when he is only sad. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

But some people experience severe depression down to a desperate place of soul suffering where it takes their breath away with hopeless fear. They try to hide it, and scream inside where no one can hear. Then tears dry on their face as they become an empty vessel, and their forsaken heart beats empty rhythm to no one inside. Their pain is unbearable. And their mind becomes a dark pit from which there is no escape. They die inside.

There was a time in my life when I was caught in a toxic situation, and nothing I did to stop the madness brought any positive change. I felt helpless, trapped in devastation. And I fell deep into that depression pit with its fear and despair. Finally I lost all hope and attempted suicide...but then grateful when a friend saved me to spend 2 1/2 years in therapy and turn my life around. It's in my book, "Silent Echoes." By the way, at age 47 I went back to school, and while in school I volunteered on the suicide hotline. I had first hand experience to help someone else. Life has many mysteries.

Once you choose hope, anything is possible. Christopher Reeve

As long as we're in the human condition, we're exposed to painful experiences--some on the outside, some on the inside, and some in both. But there is hope for those who know the prison in the pit of depression. In spite of our pain, there is in each of us a will to life. It's our greatest gift--a key to freedom. We can use it if we search and find it. One step is one step closer to abundant life, and the first step could be intention.

"A good intention clothes itself in power." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next week I'll talk about some steps to crawl out of the dark depression pit. There is a way out, even if it can't be seen from the bottom of the pit. The light is there. And you can find it.

Peace be with you 'til we meet again


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What Is Your Subconscious Mind Telling You? And Is It What You Want To Hear?

Much of the time we're busy dealing with life and don't think much about where we've been, where we are now, and where we want to go. But once in a while in rare quiet times, do you ever observe your life and wonder how you came to where you are now? And are you where you want to be? Do you see patterns in your life over the years? And could the answers be connected to limiting beliefs you hold in your subconscious?

Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality. Earl Nightingale

It's been said that 5% to 10% of our mind is conscious, and 90% to 95% is subconscious. So you can see where the power lies. As children we receive messages, positive and negative, about our self, other people, and our world. And our adult life is a reflection of these messages formed into a belief system held in our subconscious mind. So when we feel like our decisions stem from our conscious mind, it's our subconscious that's directing the scenario. And this can lead to confusing results when our conscious mind has good intentions.

"Yours is the energy that makes your world. There are no limitations to the self except those you believe in." Jane Roberts

Self-limiting beliefs about your self may be holding you back from your full potential. Do your dreams seem too lofty? Are you uncomfortable asking for what you want, or you're not deserving? Or you may hold a belief that won't let others into your space, and it's difficult to have close relationships. They can't be trusted or they wouldn't hear you anyway? Or you may see the world as a hostile place, and if you step out of your comfort zone, you'll just get hurt. Your life reflects your beliefs. Have you ever heard anyone say, "I don't know why this always happens to me?" Have you ever said that yourself?

"Life wants you to win...Please get out of your own way." Robin Sharma

So what is your subconscious telling you? No one knows everything that's in their subconscious, but to have a more harmonious life, it's wise to look at what's driving you. Then you can expand on your positive beliefs and work on changing the negative ones. You can't hear clearly when your mind is running full speed, so begin by calming it down. Get quiet and ask for help within to release what you need to know.

There's energy in a increases when spoken...and further increases when written. Be conscious of this process when creating change. And never, ever, claim anything negative with the words 'I am'. You may say, "I seem to" "I appear to" "I deal with" etc. But use 'I am' only with the positive.

Positive beliefs: Think of some positive beliefs about your self, other people, and the world. Observe your thoughts, speak them a loud, and make a list of them, using 'I am' when needed. You'll be surprised at your long list. Becoming more aware of your positive beliefs and increasing their energy will make it easier to deal with the negative ones.

Negative beliefs: Think back to your childhood. Remember painful things people said to you, or unhappy experiences with others, or what you observed in your world that disturbed you. What messages, or beliefs, did you create from those experiences? "You don't deserve" or "Nobody wants to hear you" or "You're not good enough", etc. Think of the belief, say it a loud, and write it down...but do not use 'I am'.

Replace the negative beliefs: Now create a positive belief to replace each negative one, such as...from "You don't deserve" to "The Universe has many blessings for you, and you deserve every one of them and more." As you work through each negative belief, write it down, and then write down the positive one.

Process to release: As you move along, close your eyes and imagine a balloon, any color, and put the negative written page, or pages, in the balloon and seal the top. Then give the balloon a tap and watch it glide upward and disappear into the clouds as you say goodbye and release your negative beliefs. Then recite your positive beliefs with confidence. This exercise is teaching your subconscious to release the old and to accept the change you're creating in your life.

Your ego self is very stubborn and resists change, so be patient and remember change is an ongoing process and will unfold over time. Each day be aware of your actions and feelings in different situations, and repeat the process as needed until your positive beliefs take over. Changing beliefs is part of your journey, so take charge and claim your freedom.

I wish you a peaceful heart as you move in truth.