Forgive Yourself

Do you have that one person who drives you absolutely nuts? They push your buttons every chance they get. You forgive, you forget. You move on with your life  — but the next thing you know, they’ve done it again.

A lot of new-thought teachers that teach gratitude and love as the most powerful forces in the world. And I agree that they are. But you cannot put a band-aid of love and gratitude on top of negativity. The negativity seeps out, poisoning the well again and again until you do one thing.

Forgive yourSELF.

I was standing in the kitchen washing dishes. Mark came in and cracked a joke. The kids started cracking the same joke. No one could tell that my feelings were really hurt. I mean, seriously hurt. It was all in good fun for them. Had it been about anything else in the world, I would have probably laughed along with them. For some reason, this “joke” brought tears to my eyes.

The stark difference in their experience and my own experience was telling. I allowed myself to feel the emotion, knowing it was only a pattern and that it wasn’t really me. And then I asked myself how I could stop this pattern from bringing me to tears.

Spirit, which can be rather loud and unmistakable here in Mount Shasta, spoke.

It said, “Forgive yourself.”

I immediately got a higher-self impression of a past-life experience. A part of me that I did not understand or even know felt guilt surrounding this experience, and as such I have chosen a pattern of karma to balance that experience in this lifetime. That’s all it was.

Now, I cannot tell you specifically what that lifetime was. I don’t know. I cannot even tell you specifically what the pattern was or how it balances that guilt that a part of me is feeling. I don’t know why this dropped into my experience at that time, but I do know that I am supposed to write about it and share it with you.

In that split-second moment of awareness and understanding, I got a massive gift. I got a clear understanding of how and why ho’oponopono* works, I got a clear understanding of the teachings of the Buddha, and I got a deep understanding of what Christ said when he said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

(*Ho’oponopono is a ancient Hawaiian practice of “making things right.” It heals past hurts in relationship and cultivates forgiveness. It’s a powerful process, but it really is simply cultivating forgiveness and love. Mark has more about it on his blog.)

Forgiveness of the self, all parts of the self, all parts of creation, is the key to our freedom.

The Buddha’s primary teaching was that Nirvana was not something outside of us. It is within. He became his own guru, sat under the bodhi tree, and became enlightened, discovering the clearing of karma that is Nirvana. This awakening, this enlightenment, was not something he learned outside of himself. His search as Siddharta for his guru was fruitless. And for all of us, the path is similar. We look within. It is all within, because our experience is all us.

If it comes into our awareness, it is our own creation. The exterior is a mirror reflecting all that is within us. Yes, it is even reflecting parts of ourselves we don’t yet fully know. And the more we clear, the larger our sense of self becomes.

We do not need to ask the Divine to forgive us. We do not need to ask anyone else to forgive us. We don’t even need to forgive another person. We simply forgive ourselves for whatever is happening and however we brought it about.

The basis of most spiritual teachings is about taking personal responsibility for everything. If it shows up, you clear on it. Clearing is forgiveness. It is allowing whatever shows up to be what it is, but letting go of whatever is showing up with forgiveness.

As this new awareness came in, I began meditating, asking my Inner/Higher Self for guidance in what parts need forgiveness. And I forgave those parts of me. I let them go. Let go of your own hurts caused by others, and claim responsibility for whatever karmic balance is bringing this experience to your attention.

Forgive yourself, all parts of yourself, and know that all is right between you and others. Nirvana is within you. We simply must let go of all beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and patterns that stand between you and the enlightenment that is waiting for us to open to it.

 

Happiness versus Meaning

franklThere was an interesting article recently in the Atlantic entitled There’s More to Life That Being Happy. The article is on Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning, which was one of the most influential books I’ve read in my life. I suppose I owe a thank you to whichever college professor assigned it to me at this point, but I cannot remember which one did!

According to the article, most Americans say they’re happy. But they don’t have much meaning in their life.

We are blessed to live in an amazing place, where most of us have abundant resources at our immediate disposal. We have everything that we could ever want or need. We have a general state of happiness. But we seek to fill the hole of a seemingly meaningless existence by receiving even more. It doesn’t work. And we numb the hole with addictions.

A movie (available on Netflix streaming) called Jeff, Who Lives at Home, deals with a similar issue. I highly recommend it; great characters, great writing, and a great story.

Jeff finds that, even though he has all the comforts of home, he hasn’t found meaning in his life. So he follows synchronicity that leads him to do something extraordinary, something that gives him that feeling of meaning. He finds it. I won’t spoil it, but I will say that it underscores Frankl’s message.

According to Frankl, happiness comes from receiving. Meaning comes from giving.

I would argue that to live a good life, you need a little of both. And I’d also argue that if we think we aren’t receiving or giving, we’re not attuned to our nature as human beings. We’re always giving and receiving. It’s part of our existence here on earth.

Inspired ManifestationIn Mark’s book, Inspired Manifestation, he talks about our natural place in this cycle of life. We’re constantly in a state of giving and receiving. Even if you feel you’re at the end of your rope, you are receiving something.

Even if all you are doing is breathing, you are receiving. And as you exhale, you are giving.

At your most basic level, you have all of the elements of both happiness and giving available to you now. You are giving. And you are receiving.

The key is to notice the most basic level of your place in that cycle, then extrapolate that back up to something much larger than that. Expand your notion of who you are. As you claim your place in the cycle of giving and receiving, you expand your experience and attention given towards your place in the cycle of All That Is.

Expansion Beyond The Self
Your ego, or your sense of self, divorces you from that cycle and divorces you from your ability to receive and give, and give and receive. You think you are the end-all, be-all. OK, ego, you have a place. Thanks for protecting us from being hurt. From bears. From saber-tooth-tigers and angry jerks. But you don’t run the show, ego.

We are a part of something much larger than ourselves. We are no more divorced from the ocean as a drop of water, to be cliche. We are a part of a large community of billions of souls on this planet, and we came here with purpose. With meaning. With something to do. Everyone you touch gives you an opportunity to give, and an opportunity to receive. Every interaction gives you an opportunity to expand a sense of meaning.

Says Frankl, “Being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself — be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself — by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love — the more human he is.”

In becoming more human, you become more than human. In embracing your place as a giver and receiver, you become all that you were destined to become. You find your meaning. You find out who you really are. And you make the world a better place with everything you do.

If you seek more — whether it be happiness, meaning, or experience — then expand your sense of who you are. Live up to the responsibility of who you chose to be here.

You are an amazing human being that has immense meaning on this earth. And like your breath, all you must do is notice that you are. The evidence is already there.

See, isn’t that great? Meaning and happiness are already there for you. Just notice it. No heavy lifting here.

 

Healing after Tragedy

I’m devastated by what happened in Connecticut last week. Horrified. I’ve cried and hugged my kids tighter, and I’ve prayed. I’ve wondered why. I’ve engaged in precisely one conversation about gun control.

That was enough.

I understand that people are upset and they want a solution RIGHT NOW. They want someone to pass a law to make things better. They want better mental health treatment. They might even want to ban video games. It is horrific what we’ve all had to watch. And it’s more horrific that parents are waking up days before Christmas without their beautiful babies.

I don’t like guns either. I don’t like violent video games. I wish that I could make them ALL go away and live on a peaceful planet where we work in harmony to make the world a better place. I am very idealistic in this regard, I know, and I will leave figuring out the best course of action policy-wise to those who have done their research.

I am fully aware that the solution to this problem is beyond me. I can’t make it all go away. And that’s very disempowering.

Being disempowered does not make for a productive, happy self. And I know a lot of us are feeling rather disempowered, unhappy, fearful and depressed.

It’s easy to take aim at what we think the problem is and try to cut it out of our reality and make it go away. But we aren’t going to do that in this moment.

This moment is all we really have. We can’t change what happened in the past. We can’t wish it away. We can’t disarm the whole world and force people to love each other. We can’t even change the future; it doesn’t really exist.

All we truly have is this moment.

You have an opportunity right here, in this moment, to make the world a better place. You can say a kind word. You can do something for someone. You can say a prayer or send some love & light. You can simply close your eyes and tune into something within you that makes you smile.

You can’t change what happened in this moment. But you can do something in this moment that makes you/someone else feel better.

Empowerment comes when you can let go of the things over which you have no control and seize control of the things over which you have absolute control.

There are things, in this moment now, that you have absolute control. What will you do with that control?

  • Will you spend this moment arguing with someone about what must happen next?
  • Will you spend this moment reliving what happened by watching the news or reading an article?
  • Will you spend this moment curled up in the fetal position rocking back and forth in fear?

Not to say that we shouldn’t grieve, as grieving is healing. Not to say that we shouldn’t consider a healthy course of action for our legislation going forward. Not to say we shouldn’t look at the psychological causality of such of an event.

But if we wish to be empowered towards a change, we must remain mindful as we do everything in consideration of the event. And we must take control of the things we have control over, which isn’t much in the face of such a tragedy. But in reality, it is all we have.

We can say a kind word. We can forgive. We can send love. We can pray. We can take a moment and do something kind for someone that makes their day. We can find something that makes us happy and bring more joy to our own lives.

In this moment, there is something you can do to make the world a better place. As we all do that, the positive in the world is magnified. As the positive in the world is magnified, so too is our ability to make real changes in the world as a whole.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” – Gandhi

 

Excelling During Turbulent Times

Last year, I wrote a post on Mark’s blog about surviving the shift. I’ve been reminded that we’re still in the midst of some pretty amazing, big changes in how consciousness operates in physical reality. The shift isn’t over. In fact, I think it’s accelerating.

My focus on the shift has changed. Instead of thinking about how to survive the shift, now I’m thinking about how I can excel during the shift.

The key to excelling during the shift is inside you.

Wealth is about perspective

My grandfather worked for IBM during the great depression. While I never met him (he died before I was born), the story goes that he made quite a bit of money during one of the most turbulent times in American history. He also was an entrepreneur, and created a business perfectly situated to take advantage of the growth of manufacturing in post-WW2 Rockford, Illinois.

My grandfather’s success came from being forward thinking, watching trends, and acting upon them. He ensured that he was well positioned to make money during times when others were suffering.

Wealth can be experienced during any time, no matter what circumstances surround you.

Some of the most amazing inventions our world has ever known are happening right now. Yes, even though the economy is shaky, even though we’re learning of severe improprieties in our financial system (that continue unabated), and… well, you get the picture. There’s a LOT Of unrest right now, financially, politically, globally, environmentally, etc.

No matter where you look, you can find something significantly wrong.

Where do you place your attention?

Mark asked me an important question yesterday, a question that has a lot of power.

You see, I unwittingly found myself in a situation in which I was embroiled in drama. One person was being overly dramatic, so I tried to diffuse a situation. Unfortunately, my efforts only created more drama. I really should have known better. I approached the issue like a problem to be solved rather than asking “does this problem need my solving.”

The resultant irritation from allowing myself to be put in that situation was messing up an otherwise good day.

When I mentioned what had happened and how it made me feel, he asked me if my dog was irritating. Is the beautiful mountain view and Shasta summer weather irritating me? Is my pinky finger irritating?

Where are you placing your attention? It is impossible that your whole day is ruined by something that, in the grand scheme of things, is but a pinhead of focus. Yet your attention makes it feel much larger than it really is.

Managing your focus and your attention is the key to excelling during difficult times. If you focus on what’s wrong, you end up magnifying it in your experience. Even if the worst of the worst is happening, there are still elements of your experience that are okay. And there are other elements of your experience that are beyond okay, there are elements that are downright amazing.

The thought-process-interrupt happens when you take control of your focus and attention and bring it within your body.

Our minds, our ego-self, is very good at finding out what is wrong with an experience. That is your ego’s job, to find something wrong and protect you from it. But, as you know, letting the ego run the show is detrimental to our well-being.

By managing focus away from ego perception and centering ourselves in heart/gut/body based focus, we expand our awareness, sharpen our focus, and manage our attention so that we have a more realistic view of reality.

This managed focus is the key to excelling during change. Actually, it is becoming a prerequisite to managing our experience as this shift is happening.

Manifesting reality is becoming increasingly easy. Time constructs are becoming more malleable. And because of this, we are being asked to become more expert manifesters of reality.

How to manifest during challenging times

Challenging times do nothing more than sharpen your awareness. When times are easy and good, we have less of a demand on our energy and time. Challenge requires us to either step up to the plate or fall apart. Sometimes we do a little of both. And sometimes the vulnerability of falling apart makes stepping up to the plate a little easier. The vulnerability gives us the ability to see things differently, our values are sharpened, and our focus becomes more intent.

For example, if you have perfect health, do you eat donuts for breakfast? Maybe not every day, but one day of donuts isn’t going to affect you very much. If you are going through a health challenge or a disease, do you eat donuts for breakfast? Or are you instead focused on gaining as much nutrition as possible to support your health and heal your body?

Challenge sharpens focus.

The challenges of our world are giving us an opportunity to sharpen our focus, to set our intentions, and to step up to the plate in ways we never did before. It is happening globally as we deal with all sorts of environmental, political, and financial challenges.

And it is happening within you. You are being asked to sharpen your focus, pay attention, and manage your attention.

Within you are solutions. You have everything that you need within yourself to heal your life, your body, your finances, and your experience. Fall apart if you need to, but then sharpen your focus and move through the challenge, reshaping your life into what you want it to be. As you do this, as we ALL do this, we begin to shape our collective lives into the world and experience we want it to be.

See, now this is the spot where most internet marketers would say “and I have a product for that!” Which we do, hahaha, but you can easily do this yourself by becoming more mindful, by exercising your attention, by paying attention to your integrating dream state, and by expanding your understanding of who you really are.

You can also use Mind Power for Free to learn how to manage your attention and gain control of your mind.

You are more than you think you are. By claiming that, affirming it, and welcoming it, you will excel in the shifting sands of our experience. You will align with the larger part of who you are, allow the facade to fall apart, and recreate a life that you have always dreamed of.

You may also want to read:

Riding the Waves (at Mark’s blog)

Surviving the Shift (at Mark’s blog)

 

Mindfulness for Busy Moms

I am a big advocate of meditation as a method of clearing unproductive thoughts. Very rarely do helpful things happen in the mind, but meditation is the best tool for clearing those unhelpful thoughts so that more productive ones can come forth.

“The mind is a terrible master, but a wonderful servant.”

As you watch your thoughts, you’ll notice some patterns. Some thoughts are about the past. Some thoughts are about the future.

Very rarely, you will have a thought that is helpful in the here and now. And those productive thoughts seem to creep in when you’re focusing your mind on something else. Productive, inspired thoughts are often a result of meditation. And honestly, those inspired thoughts often begin as a feeling rather than a thought.

As a mom, I very rarely have an hour to myself to meditate. There are many demands on my time, but I make a conscious attempt to quiet my mind and tap into the wisdom of my body every day. Here are some ways I do it, even though I am busier than the proverbial one-legged man.

1. Use your breath. The breath is powerful. It is the one constant, the one part of your being that you cannot quiet. It also mirrors the flux of the universe… one moment we are here, the next moment we are not. We are creating and re-creating our experience in every instant.

The breath does not occur in the mind; it occurs in our chest, nearest our heart. The breath is the reminder that our heart has its own wisdom, its own power, and it is central to our being. As you breathe in, bring your focus into your body, into your heart, into the space where the magic occurs.

2. Use movement. Movement activates the wisdom in your body. Your mind does not have to calculate or computer what the next step should look like, you just do it. And as your mind is given less to do, the body’s wisdom takes over. A “walking meditation,” especially in nature, can lessen the wandering thoughts and allow the inspiration of the moment to come through your body’s other wisdom centers.

When coupled with awareness of your breath, the increased awareness within your body revitalizes your beingness to tap into the magical space.

3. Spend more time with mindful beings. Be more dog-like. Cat like, if you prefer. Deer like, if you want. Childlike, even. The animals in our world are not plagued with thoughts of the past or the future. They also have memories and patterns, but they are in the here and now more than anyone I have encountered.

Of course, you have been gifted with creative abilities far beyond the animals, but to master your animal nature is not to eschew it. To master your animal nature, you learn to use that nature so that you can hone your creative abilities. Cultivating mindfulness so that it is useful to you is mastering your nature.

4. Get out into nature. The natural world is full of peaceful, heart-centered reminders of your physical body, quieting the mind. A walk in nature with a couple of canine friends is the perfect antidote to an overactive mind. Running water, rustling leaves, warm sunshine, and green plants everywhere remind us of the physical world, grounding us in our bodies. Green is the color of the heart chakra, the center of your being where your deeper connection to the wider consciousness of All That Is becomes much more apparent.

Max and Riley play in the stream in the meadow.

Bring your children with you. There is a creek running through our neighborhood. I grab the children, the dog, a neighbor’s dog, and head to the creek. The dogs and kids splash in the water. And I contemplate. I breathe. I stretch, and sometimes I play in the water, too. Time seems to fly as we’re there. It becomes very easy for me to let go of all of the things I need to do and just be.

5. Do chores. I’ve got plenty of those. I use the mindless activities of washing dishes, cleaning the house, and gardening as meditation time as well. Repetitive activities are a good time to clear your mind of all thoughts while going through the motions of “chopping wood and carrying water.”

Why Cultivate Mindfulness?

Mindfulness has enormous benefit. It reduces stress, which creates greater harmony in all areas of your life including your physical and mental health. It also opens you to the deeper part of yourself where inspiration resides.

It allows your spiritual energy to flow. It brings ideas, peace, wisdom, greater patience, and a higher propensity to see your world and your self much more clearly.

Scientists beginning to explore the benefits of meditation and mindfulness are showing that it even rewires your brain to make the benefits of a five minute meditation session last much longer.

Meditation and Mindfulness are Important to Conscious Creation

You cannot create what you want until you are clear. If you are thinking about the past, you are trapped in old patterns. If you are worrying about the future, you creating a probable future that is shaped by your worries.

Getting clear means clearing the data in your mind. It means tapping into something that is much larger than who you are. It means being open to change, to flowing energy, and to exploring who you are, what you really want, and your inspiration.

Meditation is the clearest, cleanest, and most proven method of getting there.

There is No Perfect Meditation

The goal of mindfulness and meditation is to be able to discern who you really are. It is to learn that you are not your thoughts, you are not your emotions, and you are not the sum of your past. You are here now. You are not your future, either. You are nothing more than who you are as the observer here now.

There are plenty of times to allow that mindfulness in. Supporting the intent to increase mindfulness in your experience with small breaks of meditation when you can. Just like a muscle, your ability to be mindful will grow the more it is used.