Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Laugh Yourself To Healing

We've all heard about the benefits of laughter. But how often do we consciously use laughter to relieve our suffering? Physical, mental, emotional, we take a pill. Spiritual, we pray. All useful at times, but laughter can eliminate some of our needs. Why do you think we've been given this gift? Duh!! It's there for us to use. But sometimes we need proof that something works before we use it.

Scientific evidence for the healing power of laughter is irrefutable. Many of us are familiar with Norman Cousins and his book, Anatomy of an Illness, in which he describes how watching funny movies helped him recover from many years of pain with a serious illness. And David Simon, M. D. with the Chopra Center writes that, "From the scientific perspective, laughter is an elegant mind-body phenomenon that reduces the production of stress hormones and boosts the immune system. Humor can decrease anxiety, soften anger, lighten depression, and increase our pain tolerance. Also, you don't need to be in a good mood all the time--you just need at least one good belly laugh every day."

As long as you can laugh at yourself, you will never cease to be amused. Unknown

I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor. D. H. Lawrence. I especially like this quote, because when I was young that's exactly what I did to release my anger. Then I sat on the floor in the puddles of water, laughed at myself, and felt much better. That was all the proof I needed. But over the years there have been times when my faith had to be rekindled. And sometimes, for me, my poetry helps. I wrote the following poem during one of those times.

I find that when I hurt inside,
I can make a joke and find a laugh.
It comes from yet a different place,
Along my weary path.
Laughter drives away the tears,
And calms the hurt below.
It frees my soul to feel alive
Where I think angels go.
God knew I'd need this useful tool
To lift me high above the dark,
So I can see the truth of life,
And find that vital spark.
Thank you, Lord, for quips and giggles,
For making light of strife and pain,
For finding fun in spite of trial
To find my joyful way again.
Sometimes, anyway.

It's not easy to laugh when you're hurting with physical illness, mental anguish, emotional pain, or a spiritual need. It all hurts. And at the time, you may feel that nothing can help. So you don't try. That's why a daily laughter habit is important to train your inner child to naturally laugh again.

If you're laughing, you're healing. Gangaji

1. Every day funny things happen around us, but we're too busy to notice. And we don't think about laughing. Sooo make a list and create your own funny situations. You know yourself. Be creative.

2. We're all different, so what things would make 'you' laugh? You might watch funny movies, be around people who laugh, practice laughing out loud for no reason, make silly faces at yourself in the mirror, watch children and animals playing. Whatever suits you.

3. Then each day, choose one thing from your list, and laugh. You can throw in a few teehees during the day, but you need a good hard belly laugh down to your toes. And while you're laughing, feel it...feel it...feel it all over. And be aware of the many ways you're being healed.

Life really is a gift. And so is our ability to laugh. Have fun, and be healthy.

I wish you a belly laugh every day.


Monday, July 18, 2016

What Is Love ... Really?

What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of. Bert Bacharach

Every time I turn on the TV or read the newspaper, there's always a new story about anger, hatred, violence, chaos and murder. I realize the media picks up these stories, but I remember when stories like this just didn't happen nearly as often or as violent. And I wonder where is the love. I know it's out there, but how often do we give it our attention?

The Dictionary describes love as, "a feeling of warm affectionate attachment, and it suggests tenderness, as for a child or parent; devotion and loyalty, as to friends or family; reverence, as for God; passion, as for a man or woman; or belief, etc." But no matter how we interpret it, love is much more than many of us realize.

Love ... it surrounds every being and extends slowly to embrace all that shall be. Khalil Gibran

Love is pure energy and the most powerful emotion we have. It can be sent anywhere and move mountains, melt away hate and discord, and heal the sick, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We can see the beautiful power of love manifest in people and situations that are healed. But how often are we conscious of this powerful gift we've been given?

We think of love as 3 words ... I love you. There is much power in words, and we need to speak them often. But we use them so randomly, it's easy to forget that more goes into loving than just words. In its true sense, love involves thoughts, feelings, and actions expressed in different situations with or without words. I can think about someone and send them loving feelings; or send them a card with loving wishes; or just have a conversation with someone where love is felt. Recently in a grocery store a stranger in a wheelchair asked me to reach something for her. Then she became tearful and talked to me about her problems. We spoke for about 15 minutes, and I saw a smile replace her tears.

Love can be expressed in different situations, in different ways, with different meanings. And our thoughts and feelings will determine meanings with or without words. Romantic love may be expressed with warmth and passion; various life relationships with tenderness, respect, and caring; comforting a sad heart with hugs; you may love your work with loyalty and dedication; agape love meant in a spiritual sense; love of God with reverence; love for humanity with purpose and strength; etc. And each one should be special from your heart.

Life is the flower for which love is the honey. Victor Hugo

Did you know you can love all living things ... animals and plants, lizards and squirrels, fish and bumble bees, all of life? Have you ever found a baby bird and nurtured it to adulthood and watched it fly away? That's love with meaning. And it can flourish in any situation.

You, yourself, just as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. Buddha

Every person needs to feel they're loved. But many feel unloved, for any number of reasons, and feel unable to give love. When this happens, the essence of who they are gets lost somewhere inside, and an empty vessel can't give what it doesn't have. That's when self-love is vital to life. You deserve love. Find ways to give yourself the love you need, and that energy will bring you the love you want and allow you to love others.

Love energy must be active. Practice loving with and without words. Every day give love to someone or something, including yourself. Send love energy to a puppy playing in a yard, a flower, a stranger on the street. And send love energy across the world, bidding it land wherever it's needed. Love really can change the world if we're willing to participate in creating the change.

May your life be filled with love


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Resistance Breeds Persistence. Glider Rides Or River Rapids. You Choose

Non-resistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe. Eckhart Tolle

When a problem enters your life, of course it needs attention. We can't usually ignore it. But sometimes our first response is resistance. Why can't it just go away ... I don't have time ... I'm too busy. So by the time we're forced into figuring ways to resolve it we're already caught up into thinking it won't go away unless we stew and fret over it. And a problem that could be dealt with quickly becomes a monster on your back.

Resistance to unwanted circumstances has the power to keep those circumstances alive and well for a very long time. Pema Chodron

A long time ago a friend told me that resistance prolongs agony. Back then I'd come through enough agony to believe I'd learned just about everything I needed to know to get me through. I was a pro at wringing my hands, railing at fate, and resisting every situation that crossed my path. And I didn't realize the price I paid for my usual know-it-all outbursts.

Then when my computer broke down, and my usual tantrum didn't resurrect it, I tried my friend's suggestion. I needed that computer. So I used my energy getting it repaired instead of wasting my time yelling at it. And I was amazed. As soon as I calmed down enough to think straight, I got it fixed without frazzled nerves and bald spots from tearing my hair out. Non-resistance worked.

When you fight something, you're tied to it forever. As long as you're fighting it, you're giving it power. Anthony de Mello

Persistence: You may feel you're not trying hard enough to solve the problem if it doesn't involve fear, worry, frustration, or any other way to express your negative feelings about it. But your thoughts,feelings, and actions produce energy, and the energy produced has to go somewhere and do something. So the more energy you feed it, the tighter it clings to you, and the more power it has over you. 

What you resist persists. And only what you look at, and own, can disappear. You make it disappear by simply changing your mind about it. Neale Donald Walsh

1. Non-resistance simply means choosing to accept a problem not as a mountain, but as a manageable hill that you're capable of resolving. You don't need to like the situation, but accept it as your own.
2. Rather than focusing on how you feel about the problem, detach your self from it, so you can be free to do what's necessary. Research ways to resolve the issue and act upon them with a cool head and heart.
3. Stop trying to push the problem away. 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.

When you meet obstacles with gratitude, your perception starts to shift, resistance loses its power, and grace finds a home within you. Oprah

Instead of an attitude that says to the problem, "Pull up a chair and have a seat. I'l feed you enough energy to keep you around for a long time", talk to your feelings with understanding and compassion. Then as you assume an attitude of confidence and gratitude, feel a welcome shift inside, 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 as simple as learning how to peacefully resolve problems.

Our journey is a series of glider rides and river rapids, and it's not always easy. But learn to enjoy the rides, and concentrate on the paddles when the rapids get rough. Practice non-resistance, do what's yours to do, and grow through it bigger than you were before.

I wish you many glider rides.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Self-Talk And How It Affects Your Life

We rarely think about how and why self-talk happens, or how it affects our life. But we all do it, and it does have positive or negative results. Some negative people are habitual pessimists while other positive ones are optimists. Most of us are somewhere in between ... but every bit affects us in some way. Negative self-talk increases stress, and stress causes physical and mental problems, mistakes in judgment, poor choices, etc. Positive self-talk reduces stress, promotes resistance to illness, increases coping ability, better choices, etc.

All we are is the result of what we have thought. Buddha

We don't plan to talk to ourselves. It's part of a process that just happens. Every thought is stored in your subconscious, and over time you've programmed your mind with a belief system about yourself, other people, and the world. Thoughts produce energy with a positive or negative vibration, and when you have thought about something, no matter how subtle, this energy produces a positive or negative response in your life.

Depending upon your thoughts and self-talk, you're living in whatever energy vibration you've created. Some people who program their mind for success realize their shortcomings and their past mistakes, but don't dwell on them. They develop abilities to work through their challenges and, for the most part, create positive outcomes in different areas in their life. They realize the goodness life offers, now and in the future.

But life is quite different for those who live with negative thinking and self-talk. They may feel regret and self-condemnation ... victim, blame, and shame; or see themselves as inadequate, so usually anticipate the worst outcomes; and the future looks like more of the same. And it is.

We all fall somewhere in these categories, and use self-talk more often than we realize. When your mind wanders and you talk to yourself, maybe you forget it even happened, but your subconscious doesn't forget. You may believe that changing your environment will change your life. But wherever you go, you take your mind with you. So re-programming your mind is the only answer to a fuller, more meaningful life.

Psychologist Dr. Shad Helmstetter, a pioneer on self-talk and a leading authority on the science of neuroplasticity and personal growth says it most precisely. Wanting to be a positive thinker isn't enough. Making the decision to have a positive attitude isn't enough. The human brain says: "Give me more. Give me the words. Give me the directions, the commands, the picture, the schedule, and the results you want. Then I will do it for you. Give me the words."

Tell the negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up. Ann Bradford

1.Re-Programming: You'll be working on replacing the negative in your brain with the positive. So you need to know what's in there. Each person is unique, so practice becoming familiar with what situations cause negative thinking, and make a list of them. Is it work, money, health, your own shortcomings, other people, etc, etc?

2.Record the negative: Once you have this general list, monitor and record negative thoughts, feelings, and self-talk every day. Be as specific as possible with words, and add any other material, visual, audio, etc, that might come up.

3.Replace with positive: Take each example on your negatives list and write a positive statement to replace it in a realistic way. Examples: Negative; I mess up everything I do. I'm just plain stupid, and I'll never learn. Positive; I've done some good things in my life, and with my bright mind, I'm getting better all the time. Negative; I'm tired of going without. I guess I'll be poor my whole life. Positive; I have all I need, and my good is now coming to me in many ways. I am grateful. Negative; I feel so tired and run down. I guess I'll never have much energy. Positive; I am taking better care of myself, and I feel stronger each day.

Daily work: Practice vigilance each day and immediately correct any negative that comes up. Enjoy music, reading, exercise, fun people, whatever makes you smile. Use brief affirmations. And include spiritual if that's part of your life. "I am healthy and energetic; I walk in the Light and my life is full and happy; I meet challenges with confidence," etc.

In time, your outer world will reflect your inner re-programmed subconscious. Have fun watching your life become more positive.