Tag Archive | joy

What’s The Secret, The Power & The Magic All About?

bth_the-secret-book

For some people, reading self-help books and trying to decipher the messages and information from them may seem daunting, overwhelming or time-consuming and I understand that.  As a teacher and writer,  I am very blessed that I am able to read, digest and summarize a lot of what I read and then pass that on to others.

In fact, to save on time of re-reading many books that I find valuable; as I read them, I highlight the important points and write the key ideas and strategies I want to remember on note cards in order to have them on hand at a moment’s notice.

For this reason, I am attempting to summarize for many, what Rhonda Byrnes is exploring and postulating in her three books, The Secret, The Power and The Magic.  I am doing this not to suggest that one should not read these books  or to suggest that I can truly summarize all of the research, work and the writing process that went into completing and publishing these books; but I can simplify them for people who may not have had a chance to sit down and read them for themselves.

Here’s how I would summarize each one thematically in the most simplest of terms:

 

The Secret:  Faith – Desiring and asking for what it is you desire in life and believing you will receive it.

The Power:  Love – Harnessing the Power of Love which is to think, speak and demonstrate through your actions, the high vibrational level of love.  Love encompasses compassion, forgiveness and appreciation and is the highest vibrational word in our vocabulary.

The Magic:  Gratitude – thinking, speaking and being truly grateful for everything and everyone we have in our lives right now and for what it is we want to manifest in our life.

Essentially, Rhonda explains that how the Law of Attraction works in our lives is dependant upon the feelings of desire we have for things, the love we express towards the things we want and the gratitude we have.  All of these things – the level of desire, love and gratitude for who we are, people in our life and the things we have now, is what is attracting to us what we have  NOW.

If our desire is to attract better situations, people and things to our life, we must express desire, love and appreciation on a higher level through our feelings.  This, in turn, will lift us to a higher level of vibration which is the very thing that is essential in order to improve our “Law of Attraction” to bring to us the things we want.

One of the key elements to remember is that The Law of Attraction is always working in our lives – it doesn’t matter how our lives are now – we should not be fooled to think that it is not working.   Whatever and whomever we have been attracting to our life is based on the level of vibrational energy we have been expressing out into the world from our thoughts, words and actions.

What we must do – and this essentially is “The Secret” is lift our vibrational energy to radiate more love, more appreciation, and more compassion and then the things that we truly love, appreciate and have affection for, will begin manifesting and being magnetized (and multiplied) to us.

Over the past ten years, I have written, spoken and acted upon many affirmations.  What I have observed is that the ones in which I felt the most love and appreciation for, have generally always manifested and manifested fairly quickly in my life.  Situations and people for which I have felt frustration have generally manifested just that – more frustrating people and situations!  It is IMPERATIVE that when we think, say or act upon anything we are desiring in our life that we feel a feeling of love and appreciation for it.

I have, therefore began to revamp my thoughts and affirmations towards the things that I love.  How do I know I love them? When I think of them, I actually get either a rush, goose-bumps, excitement throughout my body or a squeezing around my heart.  I choose to focus on the things I really love because it is those things that I obviously am really desiring if I feel a stronger, positive vibration in association with them.

For example, while I am grateful (being appreciative is just as imperative to manifesting) for the car I have, I absolutely feel love (excitement) towards the BMW x3 and say so on a regular basis.  I also spend a great deal of time visualizing driving it!

Each day, I have been writing in my journal and  writing an email to myself of the 5 – 10 things I love or love to receive.  I am determined and faithful that these very things will manifest in some form or another in my life at some point, while I am doing this each day.

The wonderful thing about living our life in this manner is that each day we can awake with an excitement of what big and small things will manifest in our life and especially how they will manifest themselves.

It is always very cool and inspiring to affirm that I love fresh-cut flowers (you can be as specific as you want – even naming the type of flowers you love) and a few days later, being given flowers by a friend or stranger.

This not only demonstrates to us the power of our words, but it is a physical confirmation that we can attract and manifest the bigger things in which we desire in our lives.

The only disclaimer I can write about this is:  Whatever we do, if the flowers (or whatever it is we have stated that we love), do not turn up in the time-frame that we would like, we cannot lose faith!  As soon as we doubt or become frustrated because the things we desire, do not manifest in the time we want, and we say, “See, this Law of Attraction thing doesn’t work!” we repel those flowers or the very thing that might have been five minutes away from manifesting in our lives.

This sometimes can be the most difficult thing to remember and to live out in regards to the Law of Attraction.  The Universe, as soon as it hears our desire begins to conspire to make things fall into place in order for us to receive it; however, it also hears our doubts, fears and worries and these will serve to block the vibrational level of attraction.  We must remain single-focused on what we want and be adamant that we WILL receive it. We must not be adamant about the when or the how.

Next Post:  How do we relax and KNOW that the things we desire will manifest in our lives?

Financial Freedom: Gratitude is the Secret Ingredient in the Recipe for Success! Part 2 of 5 Series

Recipe for Success black scroll

Gratitude is the #1 – and most readily available – ingredient in the recipe for Success!  It is the biggest investment we can make in hoping to reap the dividends of life!

If you can think, speak or write – you can be grateful!  Gratitude is like the baking powder in most baking recipes.  It is the easiest and best way to make any form of bread, pastry or dessert rise and EXPAND and become bigger than its original size.  Hence, gratitude in its purest form – being truly thankful for the things that already exist in our lives – even if it’s the last dollar we have – is the most effective ingredient in the recipe for expansion of our success!

For example: 

If we have a job; appreciate it even more for all those right now looking for work.

If we have our health; rejoice in it for all those who do not.

If we have food on the table each day; give thanks before we eat it  and remember all those who are hungry.

If we have a friend, tell them regularly how grateful we are that they are in our lives – for all of the people who are alone in this world.

My father used to say to me, “when you feel down, never look up – look down.  There is surely someone who has less than you and would be glad to be in your shoes.”

There are many activities we can do today to help us to feel more grateful about our lives; and you know the wonderful thing about being grateful?  It helps us to feel so much better about our lives and often can lift us out of our blue mood – and this expansion of feeling and vibrational energy – not action – is what attracts more and more wonderful things.  Like attracts like.  When we send out gratitude vibrations, there is an energy that vibrates at a level that automatically brings more things for which to be grateful.

What are some Gratitude Attitude Activities?

I saw this on the Facebook page “Feel Good” and thought it was a wonderful idea:

# 1.

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#2.  Gratitude Journal:   Each day in your journal or you can purchase “Simple Abundance Gratitude Journal” by Sara Ban Breathnach which actually has each day already prepared for you to write the top 5 things for which you are grateful.  If not, then grab a piece of paper and begin writing today either when you wake up or when you go to bed about the 5 things you are grateful for that day.   Sara’s website:  http://www.simpleabundance.com/gratitude_journal.html

3.  Gratitude Affirmations: These are from my Blog # 3 “Gratitude Brings Changes in Attitude” for more reflection and information about gratitude.

Some simple gratitude affirmations are:

I am thankful for being me.

I am thankful for my loving pets.

I am thankful for the abundance I already have in my life.

I am thankful for the meal I had tonight.a

I am grateful for the job I have.

One thing that is very important if we are attempting to manifest new or better things in our lives, in terms of love, friendships, places to live, a car, or just about anything we desire, we must never grumble or be negative about what we already have.

A sure way to make sure that the Universe never provides us with a new car is to grumble about the one we have or complain about the home we have now, if we are searching for a new place to live.  We must find the beauty in what we possess now and begin to sit calmly in that attitude of gratitude.  

Gratitude is the one ingredient, if you decide to include it in your recipe for life and success, that requires you to really not do much else in terms of action in your life to bring about change.  If you begin to express gratitude and an opportunity comes your way, by all means, take action.  However, one does not need to strive, force or plow one’s way to success.  Gratitude, just like baking powder, will cause the expansion of what we already have to rise and become something bigger and grander! 

4.  Looking for Beauty:  Today, either while you drive to work, at work or in your home or community, make it your mission to look around and see the beauty in something and take a minute to be thankful for it.  It may be the beauty in the sunrise, a picture, a poster, a person, yourself in the mirror, a mother holding the hand of a child, or a flock of birds overhead.  Then make it a daily habit to see as much beauty in the world as possible.  Elizabeth Taylor‘s mother, while she was pregnant with Elizabeth made a habit of looking at beautiful things each and every day and often would gaze at lavender Violas and always claimed that was why Elizabeth was born with eyes the colour of lavender (bluish purple).

5.  Watch Gratitude Videos:  There are many gratitude videos on the internet – while some include affirmations of being grateful and then include manifesting statements, I chose one that simply had reminders of why it is important to be grateful in our lives – even in the times of setbacks.  It is easy to be grateful when things are good and when we are manifesting what we desire – true growth in life, however, requires us to feel this way even when nothing seems to be happening.  Maintaining gratitude will help us to sustain our faith in these times.

6.  Reflection:  At the end of each day, while you lay in bed, reflect on and choose ONE thing that you are most thankful for during the day and say “thank you, thank you, thank you” before you close your eyes for that ONE thing.  You will most likely awaken to a new day with many more things for which to be thankful.  How?  Because the Universe hears your gratitude and responds by expanding it while you sleep! 

Next Post:  Financial Freedom:  The next ingredient is breathing! 

F.E.A.R: False Expectations Appearing Real – How to Worry Less and Follow Your Dreams! Part 4 of Top 5 Series

Mark Twain photo

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened!”  Mark Twain

Take if from a man who knows.  Mark Twain lived and wrote in a time and a place where his subject matter (racism & slavery) was not generally appreciated.  He also tried his hand at making a traditional living and then decided to quit and live his dream of being a writer, which wasn’t always easy or without its financial setbacks.  However, he persevered and is now one of the most well-loved and well-known American writers of all time.  To read more about his bio, visit: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1244.Mark_Twain

F.E.A.R:  False Expectations Appearing Real

How many of us, since our childhood have had dreams of being a writer, artist, photographer, dancer, musician or any number of creative pursuits, only to have those dreams squashed by the inevitable good intentions of a parent, teacher or authority figure with the words: “Well, you don’t want to become that!  You’ll never make a living at it!”

I wonder how many people have heard these words – or some variant of them – and how many have given up right then and there and buried those longings deep within; and how many, despite or in spite of those words, went headlong in the pursuit of their dreams just to prove that person wrong.  I don’t know about you – but I find the latter type of people – even if they weren’t all that successful – or at least not until after they were dead – much more inspiring than those who resigned themselves to a life and career that was more safe and secure.

These False Expectations – fears of what might happen – refer to the fears we have about stepping out into the canyon of our dreams.  Much like in the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where he is standing right at the edge of a huge canyon and he knows in order to get to the other side he must cross it.  However, there is no path or bridge – at least that he can see with his human eye.  He has to essentially step out first in complete faith, before the next step appears for him.

It is never easy to do this.  What if we step out and we plummet to our death?  What if we step out and fail?  This type of fear is based on false expectations – which seem very real – that we will fail.  Why do we expect to fail, however?  Where do these thoughts or beliefs come from?  We know of plenty – thousands – maybe millions – of people who have stepped out and they have succeeded – some from talent and some from sheer luck or being in the right place at the right time:   Oprah, Brittney Spears, Donald Trump – how many more?

Why do we perceive ourselves so different from these people?  They are, after all, simply human just like us.  They came into this world just like us and will leave it the same way.  Why is their journey destined to be so much more wrought with financial success or fame or living their dreams?

I am here to tell you that it is not.  One of my favourite quotations is: “Well, no one told me I couldn’t do it!  So I did it!”  The only difference between most of us longing for our lost dreams and those living them is one thing – FEAR – the false ideas and core beliefs we have about ourselves and our lives.  We tend to remain where it is comfortable and safe.

I can tell you that I have never had anything too exciting happen to me by staying comfortable or safe. Trekking off to Colombia, South America to teach when I knew no one, was not without its discomfort or danger – but I did it and it changed my entire perspective – and I wrote a book about it!  Applying and re-applying to Teacher’s College and getting rejected twice before getting my – albeit 11th hour admittance – was not comforting to my ego.  Sitting for hours and hours pouring my blood, sweat and tears into three, now almost four novels, knowing full well that I might never get published wasn’t very comfortable either.  Heading off to do missionary work for three months in a foreign country didn’t feel very safe – but the experience changed my life.  Flying to Honduras to write for a month when I barely had enough money to live – the money turned up, however – didn’t make me feel very comfortable either.  Resigning from my secure paying teaching job in a small town to brave the big city of Toronto  to teach and write where I was most happiest, wasn’t very comforting or safe – but here I am – two years later, in Toronto, writing, teaching and enjoying my life.

Is it without struggles?  No.  Have I had my faith stretched as far as it could possibly go the last few years?  Yes.  Has a job always came?  Yes.  Have I survived?  Yes.  Am I determined more than ever to be financially free to write and travel this vast world now that I have had so many caverns and canyons to cross?  Absolutely!  This is what stepping out does – either by miracle, luck or perseverance we do make it the other side – and each time, it makes us more and more fear – less!

I once read a quotation that said, “Never sit down to write, until you have the courage to stand up and live!” (Henry David Thoreau).  Hence, I am now sitting down to write – and to write with everything I have in me regarding my blog and my posts, because I have stood up and lived and I want to encourage you to do this as well.  Do I suggest quitting your job tomorrow and taking up painting?  No.  What I suggest are a few practical things:

1. Make a list of all of your False Expectations:  every fear, worry, excuse, reason as to why you shouldn’t be living your dream and why you will fail.  Then burn it, toss it, rip it up!

2.   Read Debbie Ford’s “Best Year of Your Life” and “What Colour is Your Parachute?” by Richard Nelson Bolles who states: ” Always define WHAT you want to do with your life and WHAT you have to offer to the world, in terms of your favorite talents/gifts/skills-not in terms of a job-title.”  Incidentally, he was fired from his job in 1968 and you should see what has come out of him crossing this cavern of failure to his success.  Check out his bio – well worth the read:  http://www.first30days.com/experts/richard-nelson-bolles

3.  Make a plan of what your dreams or goals are – go revisit your childhood – your inner child will tell you exactly what those dreams were.

4.  Simplify Your Life – get rid of all the things, ideas and even people (especially toxic and negative ones) that are cluttering your life and holding you back!

5.  Then put all of your energy into what you love – or all of your spare energy until things begin to start opening up for you.  Since I began this blog and really focusing on writing – and writing the things that I am most passionate about – which is everything I have learned through my education, experience, people, setbacks and successes – my writing, my creativity, my inspiration and opportunities have opened up exponentially for me.  Just today, without even asking for it, I was asked if I’d like to teach a Writer’s Craft Course, which I have been longing to do for over five years.

6.  Then figure out how your dreams will meet the needs of the world.  Service to others and making this world a better place for others while also nurturing your dreams is the best way to watch the Universe open its doors to you!

Leap of Faith (Indiana Jones)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_-BOvWVycM

Remember:  W.O.R.R.Y.    Wondering Obsessively Rarely Reaps Your…Dreams!

Next Post:  F.E.A.R:  Forgetting Everything is All Right – How to Have More Faith!

F.E.A.R: Fighting Everyone And Regretting it – How to Respond – Not React! Part 3 of Top 5 Series

Saying about reacting to hurt

F.E.A.R.    Fighting Everyone and Regretting it!  (Reactionary Response)

Many of us make decisions or react out of fear in regards to a present situation because we are triggered by a memory – either consciously or subconsciously – of a past experience where we were hurt or offended in some way.

It is similar to when we have a wound or a cut that is in the process of healing; and someone comes along and bumps into us or pokes us in that exact spot.  We react involuntarily in order to protect ourselves.  Have you ever had someone say or do something to you and you react before you even realize what you are doing and you think to yourself, ‘why did that upset me so much?’  Sometimes we are aware of why we had such a reaction; and sometimes we just know that we are really hurt or really angry.

Many times, we have emotional wounds that were never addressed – usually from our childhood as we were not in a place to speak up for ourselves; nor was it safe to cry or get angry and so we either buried these hurts or these wounds scabbed over and left an indelible mark, but we do not think we carry this pain anymore because the scab has made that area numb to any more pain.

However, when it comes to emotional pain, it will continue to be triggered over and over again until we are able to face it and overcome it.  This is why we often attract similar people or situations to our lives; our subconscious is aware of the underlying hurt and it wants to be free of it and therefore sends out vibrational messages to the universe about the pain and inevitably attracts to us the very instances we need in order to finally heal.

An example:  If we had a parent who was emotionally neglectful and we are carrying pain from this – of feeling rejected – we will continue to attract the same kind of relationships to ourselves.  This is why there is so much advice to always look within in and not without.  In essence, it is not the other person we need to change – it is ourselves.  I mention this phenomenon in greater detail in my other posts under the topic, forgiveness. 

My experience is that I attracted this kind of relationship last spring – I was frustrated and angry because I had been hurt and deceived by a good friend and refusing to deal with that pain, lo and behold, I later attracted an another individual to my life who was also frustrated and angry towards people and towards me.

In many ways, he said things to me that I was feeling towards my friend and towards myself for having been foolish enough to trust this friend. It wasn’t until I was willing to revisit the original hurt that I not only was able to forgive my friend but also had the strength to extricate myself from this new unhealthy relationship.  Thank goodness, because I am more open now to attracting and meeting someone who is healthy and loving.

What happened in the meantime however, is that hanging on to that original pain and anger since last January, I inevitably continued to attract more and more frustrating situations and people to my life.  I was bombarded in 2012 with situations that led me to be hurt, frustrated and taken advantage of.  I became reactionary to these events, instead of being able to respond in a healthy manner.  These people with whom I was angry went on with their lives; I however, found myself stuck in this perpetual well of frustration.

However, the good news is that one day in the early fall, I awoke – my subconscious I suppose shook me awake – and I was able to become free of this pattern.  How did I do it?  I have discussed in many of my posts that there is a process to getting past painful experiences and finally being free of them.  Here is a simplistic outline of this process that I have found works for me:

1.  Sit down and ask yourself when this issue began:  You may get an answer that it was in your childhood, or like me, I knew it was about a year ago.

2.  Face your true feelings:  I had to admit that I was hurt and angry with my friend.

3.  Express these feelings honestly:  I wrote an email to this person (always DRAFT your email – which is not reacting, but responding) outlining what I perceived happened and how really hurt and disappointed I was.  I would normally simply draft it, read it a few times and then delete it.  This time, however, I sent it to the person.  I would highly recommend that you write the email or letter and then wait for a few days before sending it.  You may find that simply writing it and expressing your true feelings is enough.  Sometimes, simply reading it and re-reading it and validating your own feelings can be sufficient.  If however, you feel that you need the other person to know of your hurt; or you genuinely feel this person could benefit from hearing the truth, then it will be up to you whether you choose to send it or not.  If it is a boss or employer where it could put your job or career in jeopardy, I would highly recommend you don’t send it – especially from a reactionary standpoint.  Get a second opinion – have a friend or a colleague (that you REALLY know you can trust)  read it over and ask them what they would recommend.

4.  Forgiveness:  Like most of us, I don’t always feel like forgiving; but we do this for OURSELVES, not for the other person.  The adage, “bitterness is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die” is so true.  We cannot hang onto bitterness as it only poisons ourselves; meanwhile the other person goes merrily on their way.

5.  Visualization Technique:  One way that I achieve forgiveness is through visualizaton.  I imagine a lake with a dock and a boat – the size of the boat varies depending on how angry I am at the person.  I imagine that this person (or situation) is sitting in the boat.  Now, sometimes, if I am really angry, I get in the boat and I pummel this person until there is nothing left of him/her except a little pebble.  Sound awful?  Well, I encourage you to do this if you have that much anger – remember, this is only a visualization technique and cannot hurt the other person; but it a safe way for you to express all of the frustration, anger or disappointment you are carrying.  You can also punch pillows on your bed if that seems less aggressive.

However, lying to ourselves, trying to pretend we aren’t that angry, does not do us any good.  Let’s get good and honest with ourselves.  Sometimes, I am able to simply untie the boat and send it on its merry way with that person in it (I don’t always give them paddles!).  The last time I used this technique, I simply got in the boat, picked up the pebble (what was left of this person) and threw it into the lake and I kept the boat!   There have even been times, that no matter how much I expressed my anger or beat them into a little pebble, I was still not able to push off the boat and let them “go”.

Hence, I have asked Jesus (insert Buddha or whomever you associate with a stronger ability to love) to push the boat off for me.  This may seem silly to you; but I know it has worked for me.  You have to find what works for you – you may visualize something entirely different.  However, I do believe there is something very powerful about actually visualizing the “letting go” or “sending off” or “freeing of” this particular person or situation.  In essence, we are letting off the hook for hurting us.  Another wonderful way to get to the heart of the matter and be truly free from triggers is to use E.F.T. Emotional Freedom Technique.  I have discussed this technique in my other posts and I highly recommend that you read more about it or watch a video on it on the internet to learn more about it!

Step # 6:  Rejoice – be thankful for the lessons or the revelation that this person taught you and then rejoice that you are free to move on with your life – free of the trigger and now free to attract more healthy situations to your life.  We can learn just as much from a healthy, wonderful person or relationship as we can from a negative one!

How can you be sure you have really let it go?

The next time someone similar comes into your life, you will find yourself much less attracted or  not wanting to spend time with this person; or you may simply respond to what they say or do in a more healthy manner.  Sometimes, you may have to go back again and revisit the hurt – I have had to go back to the boat and go a few more rounds with some people!   In any case, you will notice when you begin to respond and not react to similar situations.  You can pat yourself on the back and know that this particular trigger is no longer causing you the same internal F.E.A.R.

Remember:  “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron

Next Post:  F.E.A.R:   False Expectations Appearing Real – How to Not Worry So Much!

Sensory Stimulation – Stops Aging & Makes Us Smarter! – Part 5 of Top 5 Series

brain stimulated

Activation of the left cerebral hemisphere during sensory stimulation.

Sensory Stimulation Therapy

It turns out that stimulating our senses isn’t just beneficial for getting more in touch with our bodies and being in the present moment – it has been scientifically proven to slow the aging process, reprogram positive neuro-pathways in our brain (making us smarter by helping us think faster) and it can actually be very healing for children with autism and elderly people who have suffered from strokes or dementia.

What is sensory stimulation?

“The answer is that stimulating the senses can have a positive effect on learning as well as emotional and social growth in a child. Sensory stimulation in learning means having activities that challenge or make use of the five senses. These senses, touch, taste, smell, listening, and visual, must be included in one’s learning. Schools incorporate sensory stimulation in their curriculum from the basics of math and reading to special classes such as art or extracurricular activities such as sports. The same is true for children with special needs. For example, as more children become diagnosed with autism, more teachers are needed to educate them. Thus, it is good to see celebrities such as the telethon on comedy central held on October 15, 2006, that featured well-known comedians as well as other notable figures to help fund the building of a center to educate teachers who are specialized in teaching autistic children.

Sensory stimulation also affects the emotional and social growth of a child. Sensory affectional deprivation syndrome (link to this page) illustrates the importance of maternal affection. When moms (and dads) cuddle, sway, sing, or rock their babies and children, they are helping that child feel the emotional needs required for healthy growth.”

(http://www.autismindex.com/Therapies/Therapy_Key_Word_Site_Map/sensory/what_is_sensory_stimulation.html)

There are a lot of websites with a lot of information about the healing aspects of sensory stimulation as well as stores and places one can visit that are specifically geared to stimulating our senses.  How fun is that?

However, if you feel like making your own fun and stimulating your own senses, read the list below!  Enjoy!

Next Blog Series:   Fear – When it’s a gift – When it’s a curse! 

List of Sensory Stimulators:   (http://www.activitytherapy.com/sensorystimulation.htm)

Vision

Pretty Wrapping Paper & Florescent Papers

Animals such as Birds, Bird Feeders, Fish Tanks

Bubble Tubes

Colored Lights, Strings of Lights, Christmas Lights

Light Box

Rattles, Tambourines

Mirrors

Flashing lights & Strobe Lights

Wind Up Animals

Mobiles that are age appropriate

Wind Socks & Wind Chimes

Activity Boxes, Easy to Watch Videos

Relaxation Videos

Taste

Peanut Butter, Licorice

Jelly, Spices, Honey

Chocolate, Peppermint

Nutella (located with Peanut Butter)

Tea, Coffee, Milk Shakes, Sodas

Strong Smelling Soups

Yogurt, Ice cream, Ice Chips Flavored

Lifesavers, Pickles, Horseradish

Smell

Lavender and other oils. Use an Electric Aroma Fan

Pot Pouri, Sachets

Perfumes, Powders, Lotions

Sun Tan Lotions (Coconut)

Candles, Incense, Aromatherapy

Bath Oils, Bubble Baths, Bath Soaps

Spices

Powders, Talcum Powders, Pillows with Powders inside

Flowers, Shrubs with Scents, Flowering Trees

Bakery, Candle Shop, Candy Shop

Pet Shop, Fruit Stand

Licorice

Hearing / Sound

Water Sounds, Fountains, Bubbling Brooks, Sound of Waves

Faucet turned on, Waterfall

Washing Machine, Dishwasher

Music, Bag Pipers, Concerts

Wind Chimes

Ticking Clocks, Metronomes, Coco Clocks

Music Boxes, Whistles

Instruments- Maracas, Pianos, Tambourines, Rattles, Chimes, Electric Key Boards, Pianos, Drums

Touch

Fake Fur, Soft Ear Muffs

Pets, Horses, Cows

Outside-Leaves, Tree Bark, Roses

Snow, Sand, Shells, Sea Weed

Hard Items-Rocks, Tree Bark, Fences

Soft Items-Clay, Dirt, Play Dough

Cotton, Sheepskin, Feathers,

Pastas, Cereals, Spaghetti

Large Beads, Jewelry, Gaskets

Pat Mats, Activity Aprons & Activity Pillows

Body Pillows, Textured Fabrics

Massage, Silk Materials

Dryer vibration, blow dryers, washing machines

Movement

Swings, Slides

Hammocks

Trampoline

Sleigh Riding

Horseback Riding

Rolling Down Hill

Merry Go Rounds

Our SIXTH Sense – Are We Listening? – Part 4 of Top 5 Series

Yoda

This voice is what you hear when you are quiet – when you take the time to tune out all the other voices, advice, criticism of others and listen to your inner guide.  I was once told, “You don’t need to ask anyone else for advice – you only need to sit with yourself and ask yourself – your Internal, Intuitive, Inner Voice (notice all of the words include the word “I” and “in” ) – meaning if you look within; you will find the answers you seek.

Our inner voice is like a good friend – an inner Yoda if you will – who cares for us very much and who wants to guide us in the right direction.  In fact, when any circumstance first visits us, is when this voice is the strongest.  We do not think it so much as we feel it.  It will be the first voice or sense we have about a situation – whether the person, event or circumstance is safe or not; whether we feel excited or fear regarding it (or him/her) – and it will be the loudest. However, like a good friend who tries to give us wise advice – if we refuse to listen or do not pay attention –  like a good friend – our inner voice will eventually give up and let us go in the direction we choose.

This inner, wise voice often gets drowned out by our ‘second thoughts’; by our fears or by the voices of others and hence, we often find ourselves going down a path that becomes difficult or unpleasant.  If it’s unpleasant, you can be sure you ignored your inner voice somewhere along the way – it will never lead you astray or down the wrong path – ever!

We sometimes lead ourselves down a particular unpleasant path in order to learn or teach ourselves something – but we probably could have learned the same lesson on a more enjoyable path.  We often think that we have to suffer in order to learn a lesson – and of course, we do  learn things from experiencing suffering – but we can learn things through pleasure or accomplishment as well.

For example, when we learn to drive, we do not have to have an accident to learn this skill.  However, if we do not listen to the wisdom of our parents or what the Driver’s Education instructor teaches us, we may end up getting into an accident. Thus, we finally learn to put their advice into practice to avoid the same mistake next time.  However, had we simply listened to the original warning, we would not have had to suffer the accident at all. This is why we come equipped with our own inner, intuitive voice – to keep us away from and out of ‘accidents’ and on the safe, more pleasurable path in life.

Buddhists say that to live is to suffer – not because we have to, but because there is an understood premise here – we are human – we do not always listen to wisdom, which creates our own suffering and hopefully helps us to be more wise or spiritually aware in the future. Of course, this does not actually work for everyone.  Some people are doomed to repeat the same error over and over and inevitably end up having their last accident.

In fact, sometimes what we do also causes suffering for others; for example,  a person who drinks and drives often results in someone innocently being killed and therefore many others suffer.  In every way our suffering comes back to a human ignoring their inner, intuitive voice.  It’s kind of like imagining we all have a little Buddha or Yoda within us.  If God or the Universe or Divine Creation has equipped us with this wise being within us – to lead us and guide us – why on earth would we ignore it?  But, ignore it, we do!  (This is my attempt at Yoda’isms)

How do we get better acquainted with this inner voice – this wise sage that lives with us? 

Below is a 5-10 minute activity to help you connect with your Intuitive Inner Voice: (It’s fun and relaxing!)

Sit comfortably with a straight spine, yet relax the body.  Feel yourself connected to the ground as you breathe deeply through the nose. Close your eyes, inhale deeply and travel in your imagination through a little boat in your bloodstream to your 3rd eye (a point about 2.5 cm above the bridge of the nose).  Here you see a ‘House Of The Senses’.  Allow it to be as it is.  Open the door with a golden key and enter.  Have a look around.  What can you see, hear, smell?  What is beneath your feet?  Enter a room on the right and explore.  This is the Room of Sight.  If any improvements, cleaning etc. are needed here, ask your angels or guides to appear and do the work.  Make it sparkle, and set it up just the way you want it.  Then progress through each room in turn – they lead off each other, in a circle going around the house, as follows:  Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch.  Visit each room in turn, notice how it is, clean and clear it, improve as necessary,  let your guides help.

Now, you return to the centre of the house.  Ascend the stairs to the room above.  This is the room of the Sixth Sense.  Again, notice how it is, clean and clear it, ask your guides to make any needed improvements.  Now, breathe deeply in the clean fresh air, and then blow, blowing through all the doors and windows, the rooms of your senses, several times.  Then leave the house through a new door, knowing you can return any time.  Come back to the conscious world now, and notice how your senses may have changed.  Bite a crisp apple, notice the scents in the air,  hear the sounds… (This meditation is adapted from ‘The Possible Human’ by Jean Houston.)

If all else fails and you find yourself in a situation that you’re not sure of what to do, listen to the following song.  It always helps me remember that there is something beyond me that is leading me and if I wait (for example, draft that email, don’t send it or don’t say “yes” right away to someone you’re not sure about) there WILL be an answer, just let it be, for now!

Let it Be by the Beatleshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0714IbwC3HA

Related Articles:

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/6_secrets_to_develop_your_six_senses

Albert Instein the gift

Next Blog Series:  The Gift of Fear

Our Senses – How We Perceive Our World – Part 2 of Top 5 Series

What do you see? 

Perspective - Old Lady Young Lady

A young lady or an old woman?

Sensory Perception is defined as:

The conscious recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli that serve as a basis for understanding, learning, and knowing or for motivating a particular action or reaction. (www.freedictionary.com)

Sensory Perception is an interesting phrase – mostly because we trust that what our senses tell us is truth – but our perception is essentially based on what we think we are seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling and it is not necessarily the reality of the situation.

Hence, it is called sensory perception –  meaning that we are only able to make conclusions based on what our senses discern, depending on what our past experiences have been.  Of course, the problem with this is that sometimes we have had many negative experiences and we tend to perceive many new experiences in the same manner.

For example,  if while the majority of society is taught that something is “blue” –  we are told that this same colour is called “red” and no one tells us differently, every time we see what is society-approved as blue, we will inevitably call it red; causing our experience to be different and setting us apart from others.  This difference in perception and in cultural teaching is what often leads to cultures and races being unable to truly understand or agree with each other.  How many ideas, beliefs and opinions cause conflict among people because they believe their belief to be absolute truth.

Much of what we learn regarding our senses is based on what our society or culture teaches us to be “our truth”.  Of course, there are things across humanity, such as “hot” that our bodies respond to instinctually – when our sense of touch sends a message to our brain that something is hot and could harm us – we automatically release or remove it from our hands.

Similarly,  when we hear something that we perceive as negative or we might consider harmful to us emotionally, we also tend – or have learned to – react automatically – and not always in the most positive manner.  This is metaphorically referred to as our “blind spot” – that part of us that is not able to see the situation clearly; and therefore, is not able to respond in a positive or healthy manner.

While it would be very difficult – although not impossible – to reprogram our brains to not respond to hot substances, it is absolutely possible to re-program our minds (and heal our hearts) about certain incidents in the past and therefore, learn to respond positively instead of react negatively to external stimuli that we perceive as harmful.  Check out the Perception Test below and see how your perception rates!

Related Articles & Activities:

Take the Perception Test (Can you Spot a Fake Smile?) – Fun!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/smiles/

Physical limitations of our 5 senses (ie: blind spot):

http://io9.com/5926643/10-fundamental-limits-to-human-perception-++-and-how-they-shape-your-world

Albert Instein the gift

Next Blog:  Our SensesAre we connected with them?

Our Senses – Being in the NOW – Part 1 of Top 5 Series

Sight                               Hearing                                                  Smell

bth_Beautiful-Lake-in-the-Morning Sightrushing waterbth_red-roses

Taste                                             Touch

bth_tastingFeather and foot

During my four years of studying with the Gestalt Institute of Toronto, I heard one of the catchiest – and inspiring –  phrases of my life (so far):

Lose Your Mind and Come to Your Senses!”

This phrase is born from the idea that in order to live in the present moment, we need to stop ruminating about our past and to stop worrying about the future.  In essence, we need to allow ourselves to get out of our heads – lose our minds – and become fully AWARE of our bodies and more specifically, our five senses:  sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. This also includes being aware of our breathing and any pain, discomfort or feelings present within our bodies.

This allows us to become more present – and in the present, there is no past and there is no future and therefore, we are not ruminating or worrying.  There can only be a state of awareness and this is where we can do our most meaningful internal work.

It is interesting that in our society we are told we should not lose our mind – to lose our mind or our head infers that we are in a state of some irrational or uncontrollable emotion or that we have checked out of reality.

I don’t know about you – but sometimes doing just that, feels really good!

More often than not, however, we use food, alcohol, drugs or any number of external stimuli to help us get out of our minds and escape reality.  So, how do we learn to achieve this state of being – aware and in the moment – without these stimuli and why is it important to do so?

First of all, I am not condoning or judging anyone’s need for these external stimuli – in a world like ours with so many stresses, it is no wonder that we feel we need these things.  In fact,  some of these things – in moderation – can help us to be more in the moment.  A glass of wine every once in a while can relax us and allow us to enjoy our sense of taste!

Even after a lot of this type of training – and believe me, when I first began learning about being in the present moment, I was generally always in my head – I was struggling with being aware of my senses and therefore, being present.   This was never so obvious until one day, I was having lunch with a friend in a little deli that was partly under renovations.  We were engrossed in a very heady conversation when I realized that I had been leaning against the wall – more like framework with studs – for 45 minutes; and sticking out from the beam that I was leaning on, was a nail – the sharp end protruding out.

Had I really been leaning my arm against the sharp end of a nail for 45 minutes and hadn’t noticed?  I thought to myself, ‘Oh my goodness, how numb am I to my own senses and how much pain can I actually take before I take action?”

Interestingly enough, another exercise that we did in our group training was holding our index fingers against someone else’s cheek and pressing in – the instruction was to do this until the person receiving the pressure told us to stop.  While we did this, the person who was experiencing the pressure was to state – as best they could in this position, “I can take it.  I can take it,” over and over.  I took the pressure for at least 2-3 minutes without ever telling the person to stop.  After the exercise, we were asked a series of questions:

1.  How long did you take the pressure or pain?

2.  If you did take it for a prolonged amount of time, what made you continue taking it?

3.  Why did you take it at all?

This was one of the first revelations I had about my ability to take pain in my life; and my need to prove to myself and everyone around me that I can take it and how very strong I am.  The most significant question that our leaders posed to us after this exercise, was, “why would you take this pressure at all, if at any given moment – the first second it started – you could have told the person to stop?”

What a question!  Yes, why did we?

Why do we accept pain so easily and why do we – why did I, have something to prove regarding my own pain?  It wasn’t that I was unaware of this pain, like I was with the nail – which was really more frightening to me as I had to wonder, how could anyone lean on a nail for 45 minutes and not be aware of it?

The exercises around this topic taught me that I was almost completely unaware of my own body.  In fact, I was so unaware of my own internal pain that I had become numb to the things that caused me external pain and I had this stubborn need to prove to the world that I could take anything it threw at me.

The real issue with this is that as long as we remain numb to our pain; we often remain numb to joy and contentment as well.  Hence, I have written  blogs on depression and how it creeps up on us because of our inability to allow ourselves to feel our pain – our sadness or anger; hence, we end up not being able to feel anything – not even joy or satisfaction.

There are a few quick and effective ways to begin tuning into our bodies – ours senses – and they are well worth the time.

1.  A quiet room:   One of the things I do is sit in the sauna – this not only affords me complete interaction with my body in that I am sitting quietly allowing it to breathe and to sweat – I am usually completely alone and able to take the time to get in touch with how I am feeling emotionally and physically.

2. Sitting in or Near Water: Not everyone of course, has the luxury of having a sauna, but taking a hot bath or shower can work as well – anywhere there is water or the sound of water  can be soothing and cleansing – being in water cleanses our entire chakras and aura.  The sound of running water also affords us the luxury of tuning out external noises and distractions.  Furthermore, the bathroom is great as it usually is the only room in the house with a lock on the door – especially if you have young children or anyone living with you that could be distracting.

3.  Closing Our Eyes for 30 Seconds:  You can do this anywhere – even at work.  Close your eyes and check in with your body – from the top of your head, right down to your toes.  You can simply do a mental scale from top to bottom or you can actually ask your body what it is feeling.  The important thing is to become aware of any sensations within your body – good or bad – pleasant or uncomfortable – without judgement.

Notice how you are breathing as well.  Once you become aware of your breathing, attempt to take in deeper breaths through your nose and out through your mouth.  Some people are very uncomfortable with the idea of meditating or doing long breathing exercises – I totally understand this as I am still working on it myself – but even 30 seconds can ground you and bring you back to a state of peace if things are hectic around you or within you.

4.  Go lose your mind:  Exercise, run, play – do anything physical that can bring you out of your head and into your body.  If you want, punch a punching bag or go into the woods for a walk and smash a stick against an old root – apologize to the root beforehand perhaps if you feel badly about it – and lose your mind.  This is a great way to release tension, stress and anger that is built up.  After you’re done, check in and notice what emotions come up.  You might be surprised about what you get to finally release or whose pictures come to mind!

5.  Massage:  Whether you visit a massage practitioner or you simply ask for one from a partner or just massage your own feet, be sure to get touched at least a few times a day as our body needs to have this sense stimulated as it releases endorphins and it simply feels good.

6.  Pet an animal:  Petting an animal certainly is one way to become connected with your sense of touch.  It also calms our breathing and usually while we are being stared at by big brown eyes or listening to the purring of a contented cat, we escape from our minds – and the stress of the day – at least temporarily.

Namaste – Peace Be With You!

Next Blog:  What is Sensory Perception and How Do Our Perceptions Lie to Us?

10 Things Your Authentic Self Has to Tell You: Live Your Dreams! Part 1 of Top 10 Series

If people aren't laughing at your dreams...

It is so important to live one’s dreams and to follow the path of one’s authentic self.  If you are not sure who your authentic self is, do two things today:

1.  Go find a picture of yourself when you were a little boy or girl (that you really like), frame it and place it some where you can always see it to remind you of your true, loving self.  How could you ever be critical or hard on him/her?

2.  Make a list of all of the things you used to love to do as a kid – and the things you dreamed of being.  These are the things which will lead you back to the path of your authentic self.

This is the reason that I am sharing some of my photos that capture my authentic self  – these are the things that I dreamed of becoming and doing as a child and what I loved to do the most:

1.  Teaching and Teaching in foreign country – Colombia, South America

2.  Being a published author

3.  Playing in the water; making friends around the world; having adventure and travel in my life!

At My First Book Signing at Chapters Bookstore

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My Book Launch with City Mayor – Belleville

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Having Fun Ziplining in Costa Rica

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Tubing at Buttermilk Falls in Summer

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Tubing at Buttermilk Falls in Winter – brrrrrrh!

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Hanging out with Fellow Writers in Utila, Honduras

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Cracking into my Own Coconut in Honduras after a LONG hike!

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Hanging Out & Interviewing the Oldest Diver – Gunter – on Utila

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Healing Depression – Moving From “Dis-ease” to “Ease” – Part 5 of Top 5 Series

 

depression image9372362-happy-young-woman-spreads-her-arms

Want to get over your depression?  Well, then, just enjoy the sunshine, get plenty of sleep – and be sociable!

Ugh!  Okay, what if we don’t feel like going out in the sunshine; we can’t sleep because our minds are too busy stressing and we definitely do NOT feel like seeing or talking to anyone?

The bottom line is that depression or anything that affects our physical, mental and emotional well-being cannot be alleviated overnight.  It takes time.  It’s a process and rather than looking externally to drugs and pharmaceutical companies to heal us, I cannot stress enough that we must look within.

Our health and well-being is the most important aspect in our lives.  Why?  Because no amount of money, prosperity or possessions can replace, be traded for or buy good health.  How can we truly enjoy anything in life if we are physically unwell?  Louise L. Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life believes that every physical ailment is a psychological manifestation.  Her book outlines almost every possible illness that we can create within our own bodies, along with the root emotional cause and the affirmation which can help to alleviate it.  Of course, it is not simply our words that bring about good health, prosperity or love. It is the emotion and energy we attach to it and how often we practice self-love and positive thinking and speaking.

In order to be mentally, physically, emotionally and sexually healthy, is to first love ourselves.  We must begin to eliminate all negative self-talk and replace it with loving affirmations towards ourselves.  Positive thinking and speaking – some call this a form of mediation – has been scientifically proven to alleviate stress and negative moods and feelings, ultimately creating more serotonin and feel-good chemicals within our body.   This positive energy, in turn, can be as effective as chemotherapy or pharmaceutical drugs in that it can create positive chemical reactions in our bodies.  However, if we have spent a lifetime of producing negative alchemy within our body, then obviously it will take some time and effort regarding our affirmations to undo the harm we have – and perhaps our parents in what they taught us regarding ourselves  – created in our own bodies and ultimately in our lives.

How do we do this?

Again, major illnesses come from deep-rooted or chronic belief systems.

The Belief that Illness Brings Attention:

If we had a parent or sibling who had an illness while we were growing up and we associated being sick with receiving a lot of attention, we sometimes manifest illness or chronic illness (hypochondria) in order to get the attention we feel we need from our environment.

Chronic Stress:

Any amount of stress over time, if not released can cause toxins in our body.  These toxins accumulate very much like keeping a storage box full of anger, sadness, and unforgiveness towards others or events in life.  When we begin to free ourselves from these “stuck” emotions, we also tend to see symptoms of illnesses – as well as behaviours that can bring about illnesses such as over-eating or lack of exercise – alleviate and disappear.

Out of Ease:

When we find ourselves not at ease it often leads to some kind of “dis-ease”.  At times, we have moderate stress and it can manifest in a simple cold. We tend to recuperate at the rate at which we can reduce the stress or stimuli that is causing the issue in the first place.  However, if we look at pneumonia for example, it is caused by a buildup of infection that is “stuck” from chronic illness in our bodies.  We tend to have emotions that are “stuck” in our bodies and build up to the point where we sometimes need help from an external source to fight against it.

Over-Eating or Lack of Motivation for Exercise:

Anything regarding food and unhealthy eating usually has something to do with lack of self-love and not feeling safe in our environment.  I cocooned myself during my high school years by over eating in order to protect myself from the critical environment in which I found myself.  Interestingly enough, once I finished University and moved to another country, far away from the stimuli that was causing me to cocoon, I lost forty pounds which seemed to melt off of me with no work on my part.

I also felt empowered for the first time in my life and received a lot of positive attention as I was a stranger in a foreign country.  It turned out that my belief system about myself and the critical voice that I had internalized from my childhood began to give way to a more positive, self-loving voice.  I am convinced that this helped me to heal from long-standing criticism.  It was just the beginning and while my physical appearance looked great as I began to exercise and eat much healthier, I still had a lot of internal work to do to catch up.  Eventually, however, with the help of reading many books such as Louise L. Hay’s, I began to do the internal work that was needed to restore my complete mental, emotional and physical well-being.  I have not gained the weight back in fifteen years and probably look ten years younger now than I did then.

Mirror Work:

It is important that on a daily basis we look in the mirror and remind ourselves of the love we have for ourselves.

What if we do not feel loving towards ourselves right now?

#1:  Mirror Work does get easier the more you do it, but if you are not ready to say, “__________, I love you and I believe you deserve wonderful health in your life,” then begin with, “_________, I am willing to like/love you in this moment and am beginning to believe you deserve wonderful health in your life.”  As the words get easier – and they will get easier over time – readjust them to be more positive and direct.

#2:  If you are having a really difficult time loving your adult self, take some time to peruse some old photographs when you were a child.  Choose a photo of yourself as a child that you do feel compassion or tenderness towards.  Take it out and put it in a frame or better yet, enlarge it and put it somewhere in your home that you can be reminded of that innocent child that you still have within you that desperately needs to hear from your adult-self that you love him or her.

Repeating such statements as, “I love and approve of myself” daily can begin a healing process within our bodies that can astound us.  This is not only effective in our physical health and well-being but also for our emotional and mental health as well.  If you cannot say it to yourself yet; then say it your childhood picture – to your inner child for whom you do feel love.

Affirmations:  Sample Affirmations that You Can Use

Health & Well Being

“I am 100 % healthy on a molecular, cellular structure.”

“My face and body reflect the youthful child within me!”

“I love my body and am healthy, fit and feel great.”

“I am healthy and happy at ___ (your ideal weight) pounds.”

“I have lots of energy and exercise 3 times a week!”

I challenge you to begin doing this today and healing and well-being will begin to manifest within your body and your life!  You may even wish to give love to the certain body part of area that is inflicted with the illness.

Some other suggestions: (See website below for reference)

▶ Take 1,500mg of omega-3 daily (in the form of fish oil capsules), with a multivitamin and 500mg vitamin C and 1000 mg of Vitamin D ***Make sure you check with your doctor if you have never taken any of these or you are taking other medications – and it is NEVER recommended to go off any anti-depressants unless your doctor has been consulted.

▶ Don’t dwell on negative thoughts – instead of ruminating start an activity; even conversation counts.

Exercise for 20-30 minutes a day when possible – even if it’s a walk in the sunshine.

▶ Get 15-30 minutes of sunlight each morning in the summer. In the winter, consider using a lightbox.

▶ Be sociable – even going for a coffee is beneficial

▶ Get eight hours of sleep

Related Articles:

( http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/19/beat-depression-without-drugs )

Next Post Series:  Top 5 Expert Series – Intuition and Our 5 Senses – How to Use Them to Enhance Our Lives!