Tag Archive | vibrational energy

Financial Freedom: Count Your Blessings First! Part 4 of 5 Series

woman giving thanks   Giving Thanks Creates Magic!

There isn’t anything that will put us in a good mood faster and a hopeful state of mind more than sitting down and counting the blessings we already have!

This list can never be too minute, from being thankful for having eyelashes to protect our eyes from debris to having a car to drive or a warm house to live in.
Have you ever counted your every blessing?
We probably couldn’t if we tried because the list would keep growing if we were open to being thankful for each and everything thing – big or small in our life – right down to the microscopic bacteria in our digestive track that helps our food to digest throughout the day.
Since this is TAX season, it’s a great time to take account of all the things we already have, especially if we hope to receive more financial freedom. We can be thankful for that great tax return BEFORE we receive it – and focus on the abundance in our lives NOW.
There is nothing that will ensure more blessings in our lives than counting the ones we already have!
Rhonda Byrne from her book, The Magic outlines this effectively in the following passage:
“When you use gratitude ahead of time to Have A Magical Day it wipes out unexpected problems or difficulties before they happen. The more you use this magical practice, the better your days will become, and from the smallest things to the important things, everything starts going well in your life. The bumpy days smooth out, and instead of frustrating or troublesome things happening in your day, your days start to have a magical flow about them, and things seem to magically go your way, with less effort, no worry, no stress, and far more joy.”
Universal Law of Gratitude:
The more gratitude you feel = the more joy and happiness you feel = the more joy or happiness you feel = the higher your vibrational energy = the higher your vibrational energy = the more you attract wonderful things to your life that cause you to be more grateful and more joyful. It’s as simple as that.  Follow this formula and see what happens in your life!

 
This LAW has been studied and scientifically proven just like the law of gravity. We do not question the law of gravity. We simply live it, by trusting that when we get out of bed in the morning our feet will “magically” stay on the ground.
When we trust the Universal Law of Gratitude when we get out of bed in the morning, by putting into practice an attitude of gratitude, we will automatically experience more things in our lives for which to be grateful.

If you started counting your blessings right now, beginning with your internal organs working well, without you having to tell them to, ending with everything and everyone you’ve ever been blessed with, I guarantee you will be sitting down for a long time.

Today, write down 100 things for which you are thankful and see if the Universe doesn’t respond and send you much, much more, including that financial freedom you have been longing for!  Want to exponentially increase this magic?  Do it every day for 40 days (the amount it takes to make it a fully ingrained habit within our subconscious)!  I have found doing it for only a few days so far, has made a vast difference in how I go about my day!
You can create a chart like the one below or you can visit Sarah Ban Breathnach’s (author of Gratitude Journal) and see her online gratitude journal:  http://www.simpleabundance.com/gratitude.html

 

                               ONE hundred things I am Thankful for NOW!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
http://www.floatingfreedom.wordpress.com
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Money: How to Make it Serve You! Part 4 of 5 Series

photo of water money tree

We Receive What we Invest in, in our Lives!

We can only receive what we can allow ourselves to receive and this is completely proportionate to what we believe, think, feel and how we act towards what it is we want to attract.

If we want to attract more money to our lives; we must first learn how to water and nurture that area, which usually requires some form of transformation or resetting our minds regarding money!

How is our mental blueprint formed?

We need to think of our minds as computers – highly advanced computers – that are programmed from the time of our conception to think, believe and ultimately make choices and take actions, based on those thoughts and beliefs. 

Essentially, our money blueprint (Ecker) is based on the program we’ve received in the past from parents, authority figures, teachers, media, culture, religious leaders, etc regarding our thoughts and attitudes towards money.  Their ways of thinking about money, became ours.

The following outline is my summary of what Harvey T. Ecker lectures about in his 6 part series on our Money Blueprint; here are the ways in which we have been programmed to think about money:

Verbal:  Phrases and messages  we heard when we were young, such as:  “Money is the root of all evil!” “You can’t be rich and spiritual” “Money can’t buy happiness!”  “We can’t afford it!”

Modeling:  What we saw when we were young –  what model or example did our parents establish for us?  Was money a source of joy or bitter arguments?  What happens to us when we see our parents or people we respect act towards money?  “Monkey see, monkey do!”  Ecker says, “humans aren’t far behind.”  We either model what our parents taught us through their example or we do the exact opposite because we are angry or in opposition to being like our parents.

Specific Incidents:  What did we experience (emotional charges)  around money, success and rich people?  We validate what we are taught in our adult lives.  For example, if we witnessed examples of conflict over money, conflict regarding money will ultimately show up in our lives.  Perhaps, we watched our parents receive money only to have it taken or lost in the form of an emergency in the family or something in the house needed to be repaired.  We grow up believing that money will go out as quickly as it comes in and we will continue to create or attract scenarios where this exact phenomenon keeps happening to us. 

How do we reset our Money Thermostat?

Ecker uses the comparison between our mental blueprint about money and a thermostat.  If the thermostat is set to maintain the house at 72 degrees  and someone comes and opens a window and lets the cold air in – no matter what, the thermostat will kick-in and drive the temperature back up to 72 degrees.  If we set the thermostat in the summer to keep us cool and it becomes very hot outside, the thermostat or central air will again kick-in to bring the temperature down and maintain it at what we have programmed it.

Ecker says this is exactly the same with our mental thermostat regarding many issues – particularly our thoughts about what we “need” in order to be comfortable or happy.  If we grew up poor or middle class, we were most likely programmed that just getting by or being able to pay our bills with some left over for entertainment is “living comfortably” and guess what?  That’s all our thermostat will ever allow us to be – comfortable, but not wealthy and not abundant.  Hence, we need to reset our internal thermostat.

How do we do this?

First we must understand that we are made up of four elements:  Spiritual, Mental, Emotional,  and Physical and whatever is going on in the M. E. and S. will manifest itself in the Physical realm.

Beliefs (Spiritual) = Thoughts (Mental) = Feelings (Emotional) = Our Actions and Our Results

Before we can begin to change our Money Thermostat, we must first learn how rich people think.  Here are some basic rules, Ecker outlines that we must follow before we do anything else:

1.  Stop judging rich people – give up the beliefs that “rich people are greedy or selfish” and simply observe and begin to appreciate how they think.  Replace our old programming with new statements:

Rich people are Cheap                   = Rich people are generous

It takes money to make money    = It takes creativity to make money

I’m too old to make a change        = I am able to learn new skills

I can’t be rich and nice                   = I am rich and a nice person

2.  Give up the victim stance and take full responsibility for our own financial situation (stop blaming the economy, others, high interest rates, our parents, etc.)

3.  Take Ownership over our lives and financial situation:  “I create my life!” vs. “life happens to me!”

4.  Stop justifying that we don’t need money, can just get by, just want to be comfortable or that money isn’t that important.

5.  What we focus on, EXPANDS, therefore focus on what’s RIGHT in our lives – not’s what wrong!

6.  Immediately, stop complaining!   Complaining = garbage magnet!

All change begins with Awareness and with new thinking comes new results!

Changing your blue print about money:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeNAGoFSqno

Next Post:  Learn how to love and appreciate money!  Part 5 of 5 Series

Money: How to Make it Serve You! Part 1 of 5 Series

man walking money

How do we make money serve us?

In order to transform our Money Consciousness we must first begin to transform our subconscious beliefs about money.

How do we do this?

We can begin by using our own thoughts, words and actions to re-program our neuro-pathways and ultimately, our beliefs about money.

#1:  Re-Programming Our Subconscious Thoughts Regarding Money:

 If we grew up with limiting beliefs about money such as;

Money doesn’t grow on trees!

People with money are stuck up!

We need only enough to get by!

We’re not meant to be wealthy!

we will continue to harbour these core beliefs and they will block or create obstacles in our lives to obtaining and keeping money.  Therefore, we need to first begin with re-programming our thoughts regarding money.  It is best to do this at the subconscious level.  There are several videos on the internet that allow us to do this easily and effortlessly – it only requires that we give 10-15 minutes per day to view and listen to high-frequency, subliminal messages regarding money.

Why subliminal messages?  Isn’t that scary?

 Yes, it can be scary to allow subliminal messages into our psyches.  However, there are many reputable sites out there that provide free, yet stimulating videos that do just that.  I always tell people to use their intuition when choosing any site, book, video or resource to transform their life.  If the video resonates with you and brings you a sense of peace or excitement, then it is probably safe to utilize.  If you are watching something that irritates you or does not resonate with you, stop watching it and search for something that does.  Below is a link to a video from www.igodmind.com that I have found to bring me peace and resonates with my subconscious.  I recommend watching it (or any video that feels right for you!) for 30 days at least; until you begin to notice that your own conscious thoughts regarding money and luck begin to change and ultimately, you will begin to see external circumstances begin to shift for you as well.

#2:  Re-programming our Words Regarding Money:

We need to be careful to not negate our work by verbalizing defeating and negative comments throughout our day, such as, “Oh, that’s just my luck!” or “I can’t afford that!” These negative statements will undo all of the work we have done in order to re-program and transform our money consciousness.  If we find ourselves thinking or saying something negative regarding money or abundance in our life, we can simply say, immediately, “I cancel, cancel, cancel this thought!” and then repeat a positive statement regarding money or abundance in our life, such as, “I am a magnet for money!”

#3: Re-Programming Our Actions Regarding Money: 

If we desire to transform our money consciousness, we must act as if we believe we are deserving of and already have abundance. How do we do this? We need to take action in order to send a very significant message to the Universe that we believe we are deserving and have a positive consciousness regarding money.  The most effective way to do this is to imagine what you would do or buy for yourself if money was no object; the other thing you can do is to imagine what symbolic item you associate with being wealthy.  For example, I associate fresh-cut flowers in a home as symbolic as a luxury and an extravagance and so I have made a habit of buying them for myself on a weekly basis in order to demonstrate to the Universe that I am deserving and can afford extravagance and luxury in my life.

Perhaps you can make a list of items that you have been holding off purchasing for yourself or you deem extravagant; choose one from your list that you will treat yourself to on a regular basis no matter what your financial circumstances.

Link:  Subliminal Messages for Money:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlw97AQyswc
Next Post:  Money: Turning the Tables and Making it Serve You!

L.O.V.E: Is All You Need – Part 1 of Top 10 Series

Love is all you need

Was John Lennon right?  Is love all we need?  I was reading my New Year‘s Horoscope on the subway on January 1st while returning home from an awesome New Year’s Eve party at the Bata  Shoe Museum downtown Toronto.  My horoscope said that this year would be a year of great personal growth and it ended with this statement:  “you have an important message to share with the world and that is – love is, was and will always be the answer to every question.”

On reflection, I think this is the message, deep at my core that I know to be true.  I spent some time reflecting back on the choices that I made this year and it is evident that where I put love into the equation things generally worked out for the best for me.  Where I lacked love and instead added frustration and stubbornness to a problem; it became worse.

My example is this:  I own a house in which I was renting to a family that intended to purchase it at the end of the lease.  This family fell on hard times.  However, the woman was very stubborn, hard to deal with and often paid her rent late even when things were going well for them.  After the six bounced cheques (and after I returned from a vacation where a close friend had deceived me and took money from me for a place that I never actually stayed at) I returned home to Canada ready to fight.

While I had been “loving” and understanding for the previous year and half, I had as they say, “lost that loving feeling” and I was ready to evict these irresponsible, non-paying tenants.  Now in terms of justice, I was well within my rights and everyone I spoke to about the situation said, “Oh, evict them!  Get rid of them!”.  However, deep inside my core, I knew that fighting with this woman was not the answer.  I knew how stubborn and belligerent she was as I suspect that’s all she had known most of her life – and knew no other way of dealing with the world and those around her.  Hence, she was well-practiced at fighting back.  Though it had been difficult I had, for a year and half, approached her with understanding and love and while she never seemed to appreciate it very much, she did always eventually pay her rent and come around. However, after a year and half of dealing with her, I was tired of being so loving and understanding.

This time, when I chose to fight her – she dug in her heels and fought back and somehow, as the justice system always seems to – it failed me.  I was stuck with this family in my home for nine months (yes, NINE months) without paying me a dime.  It was a delayed eviction because she had lost her job and was a single mother (funny enough her husband was there to help her move!).  In any case, it did not turn out for the best for me, financially, emotionally or mentally.

I specifically remember the day of the court date.  I was staying in a local hotel as the tribunal was in another city and I felt compelled to read the bible – most hotels leave one in the bedside table.  I was not looking for any specific scripture but I will never forget to what page I just happened to open the bible.  It was the scripture, Timothy 2 Verse 2-3, “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.  And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel, instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.  Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth and they will come to their senses.”

I believe the overall message that God or the Universe was sending me that day was instead of fighting with my tenant, I should have treated her with love and in some way, instead of threatening her with eviction (even though I was legally entitled to do so) I should have found some other resolution.  Do I believe the Universe wanted me to get taken advantage of and “turn the other cheek?”  No.  I believe that our Divine Creator has great wisdom and he/she knew exactly what kind of person my tenant was and how she would react to me beginning a quarrel with her and that I would most likely lose, which I did.

How could I have responded in love instead?

I could have negotiated with her for payments or went to see her and asked her what was really going on and how I could help.  It would have required a lot of understanding and courage on my part but as it turned out, that would not have been any more difficult than watching a stranger live in my house for nine months while I paid all of her rent and utilities.  Needless to say, hindsight is twenty-twenty isn’t it?

So what do I do from here?

I learn the lesson that love probably was the answer to this problem and probably is the answer to many, if not all, questions.  Most people who are rude, disrespectful, cause us issues or we have conflicts with is because they have not had enough love in their lives.  It is very difficult to return evil with love but I am going to begin writing a few blogs on how to become more loving and approach each and every situation with love.  Here’s to 2013 being the “end of the world as we know it” regarding negativity, violence and problems and it being a “new year” of approaching every “question” with love.  Let’s face it, approaching every question with bitterness, frustration, or anger hasn’t solved anything.  Anyone ready to try a one year experiment with me and bring nothing but L.O.V.E. to this world?

Of course, first we need to understand what love is – it is not always an emotion – sometimes we may not feel any love for someone, but we can still “act” in love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gng7EBv3G2k (All you Need is Love by the Beatles)

Next Post:  Love – What is it?

F.E.A.R: Forgetting Everything is All Right – How to Have More Faith! Part 5 of Top 5 Series

takethefirststepinfaith-1

A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

F.A.I.T.H.:    Forgetting Advice and Initiating Trust & Hope

What allows us to take that first step of faith, even when fear stands there like a big bully, telling us we can’t do it?   Some people would say it’s having faith in something higher than ourselves – God or the Universe – that will make sure everything will be okay.  This may be true, but what if we don’t have this kind of faith or we have lost it because something or someone has disappointed us?

What do we fall back on to provide us with the faith we need?  It depends on how old we are of course as to how many times in our lives we can refer back to what did work out to give us the faith to persevere.  These are called Milestones of Faith.  I have had to refer back to them many times; especially when all odds are against me in terms of finding a job, getting approved for a loan or credit, selling a house, etc.

I want to share my “Debra” story with you.  This milestone story was the first that really began to change my perspective and help me to believe that though I might have been making decisions in my life, there was definitely some force – energy, love, wisdom – that was guiding my steps.

One day when I was bored –  and frustrated at not being able to land a full-time teaching job – I called the overseas placement office at my University and inquired about what I needed in order to teach overseas.  The gentleman – the placement officer – gave me a detailed lecture as to why I didn’t qualify, as one needed to have at least two years teaching experience within Canada first or one needed to apply through the job fair that happened in late winter and hope to be chosen as a successful candidate by one of the representatives from a foreign country.

I was literally hanging up the phone after thanking him for his information – albeit disheartening, when I heard him say, “Well, just a minute.  I might have something you’re interested in.  I’ve got a vacant teaching position as the girl who was supposed to go backed out at the last-minute, but it’s in Colombia, South America and they would need you to start in two weeks.  So, you’re probably not interested.”

I responded with one question: “Where is Colombia, South America?”   He proceeded to explain to me where it was located and what was expected in such a job and what was the hiring process.  I didn’t say no and I didn’t say yes.  I listened and pondered what my mother would say if I told her that her youngest daughter was going to fly to another country – another continent – and teach.  In essence, live the dream I had known I would live since I was a very little girl.

I knew that it was what I was meant to do.  Hence, I said I was willing to at least prepare to go and I did just that.  I travelled back and forth to Toronto at least twice to apply and pick up my work visa; I sold my things – at least the things I could, and I researched as much as I could about Colombia. I went to my National Geographic “Earth” book and looked up Colombia.  I had read and re-read that book so many times that I actually remembered the only visual I had of Colombia – it was of a group of tribal men carrying a huge anaconda – a dead one – through a field.  And still this did not scare me off.  I had decided too, to take my 10 week old puppy – ironically named, “Winter” with me to a tropical foreign country.

Two weeks later, I said goodbye to my boyfriend, my cat, my country and my life as I had known it and Winter and I embarked on the journey of a lifetime.  This is where my inner journey truly began – because what happened next changed my thinking and my beliefs forever.  After first being offered the position by the placement officer, he recommended that I get in touch with the Principal of the school in which I would be working in Colombia to learn more about the school, the country and make arrangements for picking me up at the airport.  I remember her words – I always will – when we were saying goodbye for the last time before my trip.  She said, “I will be at the airport with a sign with your name on it and I am bringing Debra with me.”  It seemed an odd thing to say because I had no idea who Debra was, nor would there be any reason for me to know a Debra in Colombia, South America and yet the Principal’s tone indicated that I should know.

Hence, when I stepped off of the plane, retrieved my baggage and walked out in to the arrival lobby of the airport, surrounded by men with automatic machine guns – a vision I had never before seen in Canada – I was astounded when beside the woman I assumed was my new Principal, was Debra.  A girl – the only girl I had become friends with in Canada during my year in Teacher’s college.  She was standing there smiling and I knew in an instant that I was in exactly the place I was meant to be.

This scary journey of travelling over 2000 miles to another continent where I knew no one, suddenly turned into a sacred journey of revelation for me.  I did know someone already and she – Debra – turned out to be both my colleague and my roommate for my first year in Colombia which eased all of my fear and trepidation in an instant.  I was home:  If one could call an entirely different country, culture and race, home.  I did, for three more years of my life even though the contract was originally only for 9 months.  The “Debra” story doesn’t end there, however.

Three years later – yes, I loved Colombia so much that I remained there teaching for three more years – I returned to Canada.  Debra had returned a year earlier and I had lost touch with her.  She was originally from a small town east of Toronto and so I naturally assumed she would have found a job somewhere near that area.

In any case, I spent the next eight months living on my savings and searching for a teaching job.  I waited eagerly from January until June and by the time the summer was ending, I was almost out of money with no job prospects.  However, about two days before the end of August, I applied for a job with a school west of Toronto.  My interview was at 3pm on the first day of school!  Who gets hired the first day of school? I thought to myself.

I was sitting in the interview room and the Principal said to me, “Choose a question from the board and answer it in any order that you choose.”  I chose number 7: It asked, “What is the most interesting experience you’ve had in your life?”  I began to talk about my teaching experience in Colombia and 2-3 minutes later when I brought up Debra as an aside; the Principal looked at me and said, “You don’t mean our Debra?”

I looked just as baffled as her I’m sure, and said, “well, if you mean Debra ________, yes, that’s who I am talking about.”  The Principal looked at me and she replied:  “You are never going to believe this, but we have a Debra ________ here at our school who lived and taught in Colombia for two years and she’s been working here for almost two years now.  She is transferring to another school and so her position is the one you will be taking over.”

I sat there in disbelief.  Not only did I finally have an interview, but of all the school boards and in all of the schools within that school board; and of all the positions I could be interviewing for, could it be possible that it was the Debra ________ who I had once again “followed” to the place in which I was meant to be?

In that moment, the Principal stopped the interview and called Debra down to the office from her classroom.  You can imagine her surprise when she came through the door to find me interviewing for the job she was leaving.   Needless to say, they hired me.  I think we were all in shock.  Since that day, I have never looked at my life the same way. It has given me the faith I have needed in many circumstances when it appears that there is no job, no opportunity, no door opening – I wait in expectation for that ‘new’ door to open and for a “Debra” to be standing there to greet me.

I want to encourage you today to remind yourself of your milestones.  What “Debra” story do you have in your life that you can remind yourself of when times seem hopeless?  If you don’t have a Debra story, perhaps you have something similar or a time when a job, opportunity, or door opened for you when it seemed to be shut tight.  These are the times in our lives that we must hang on to tightly.  They are as much for our future faith as they were to enhance our past experiences.

“One of the saddest lines in the world is, ‘Oh come now – be realistic.’ The best parts of this world were not fashioned by those who were realistic. They were fashioned by those who dared to look hard at their wishes and gave them horses to ride.”  Richard Nelson Bolles

If you truly want to be inspired and to remind yourself that even if you do not “see the whole staircase” watch Martin Luther King Jr.’s Famous Speech, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V57lotnKGF8  and then remember that the United States of America now has a Black President!

Next Post Series:  Ten Things Your Authentic Self Wants to Tell You!

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?