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In the comforting sounds of hearing the rain on the roof of my skylights, I contemplate. Contemplation is such a wonderful thing. I don't know about you but this spiritual practice is the one that allows my mind to wander and consider possibilities. Meditation trains the mind and brings focus, while contemplation seems to want to embrace a bigger picture. I read quotes like this one, and ask myself, am I settling? At times in life, the answer has been yes, I was settling. In my fear of the unknown, I settled for what was known, and it was limiting me. I am not settling now and that is a beautiful thing. For me, not settling means being willing to release the limiting known factors of my life. It means being willing to examine and change limiting beliefs, it means setting boundaries and not allowing people to treat me unkindly just because I want them to like or love me. This means stepping into the unknown, which calls for a certain measure of faith. When my spiritual practice consists of a power pack combo of meditation, contemplation and affirmative knowing, I am able to step into the greatest expression of Life! I hope you are doing the same today. Don't settle. Move into the greatest expression of who and what you are!

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Ok.  I'm excited now.  I've got a lineup of workshops, classes and a retreat that is designed to ROCK YOUR WORLD!

Between now and June:  four workshops, one class and one retreat.  All are designed to do one thing and one thing only:  move you from a life in which you experience fear or limitation or frustration to a life in which you experience love and joy, no limits and easy flow.

Here they all are, on one graphic, for easy reference:

Topics on tap:  Balance and self care, creativity, meditation, success, forward movement and playtime!

Invest in one or invest in them all.  I will give you a hint:  there is a two-for-one special on the workshops at the end of the list.

 

 

 

 

minicard_template_usLately I've had some clients that are extremely intelligent.  We're talking genius IQ level here.  Being smart has a lot of benefits, but sometimes we can be too smart for our own good.  Smart people tend to think....and think.....and think.....and many times the ways in which they think don't serve them too well. They are consumed with negativity, lack of confidence, doubt and all those other patterns of thinking that just don't contribute to a higher quality of life.

If you find yourself in the category of perhaps being too smart for  your own good, here are some things to try:

  • Remember that you can change the pattern of your thinking.  This isn't easy, it is like changing any other habit, it takes conscious effort at first.  You simply redirect your thinking, as you would the attention of a child who is misbehaving.  Every time you have a thought that doesn't really serve you, move the focus of your thoughts from negativity to something more positive.
  • Try not to be such a smarty pants.  In other words, try to move from the intellectual to the emotional or feeling tone.  Or, to put it another way, try to get out of your head and into your heart.  Again, this will take conscious effort at first.
  • Meditate.  Meditation is about focus, not about clearing your mind.  Repeated attempts to focus your mind will train the mind, so that it behaves better.  Focus on a word, such as the one in the photo above, or a mantra, or a phrase, or do a walking meditation where you remain totally mindful of your surroundings and the placement of your feet.

I'd love to hear about how you turn your thoughts from the negative to the positive!

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One of the most powerful spiritual practices I know is introspection.  Going within, paying attention to what I am feeling, to the trend of my thoughts, even to my physical sensations, and especially to that still small voice, allows me to know.

Being still, and knowing, then allows me to make decisions I can trust, and take actions that serve my highest good.

Without this practice, I would be lost.  Done alone, this practice is invaluable.  Done in conjunction with meditation, it packs a power punch that has served me very well for a long time.

Tomorrow night I'll be teaching a two hour free meditation class at the Center for Spiritual Living in Carson City.  It begins at 6:30.  Wear comfortable clothing, and come prepared to relax and refresh!

Here are some cool little tidbits about meditation:

1. Meditation is not about clearing your mind, but about focus.

2. There are many different types of meditation, not just one.

3.  Any activity can be turned into a meditation.

4.  Group meditation is much more powerful than meditating alone; come tomorrow night and learn why!

5.  Meditation is compatible with any spiritual or religious faith, or none.

Tomorrow, we'll learn about some different ways to meditate!

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imageLike art, all of life is a collaboration.  It's a collaboration of choices.  This artist chose chairs for the canvas, a restaurant to display the art, and a type of paint that would adhere well to the wood of the chair to produce these lovely works of art.  And there is the bonus of functionality to this art.

All the elements work together, and they came together because of the choices of the artist.  And the artist made these choices, and not some others, because of a combination of the intent to create the beautiful chairs as well as the skill to implement that intent.

Life is like that.  We are continually making choices, and implementing them, sometimes with a lot of skill, and sometimes...not so much skill.   But the choice, the intent, is always there.  We can choose consciously, or by default, but the choice is always there.  If we choose by default, the art of our life may seem a bit unorganized, or non-productive, or scattered, or maybe it just doesn't work.  Like a piece of art that just didn't come together well.

Perhaps it is time to choose with conscious awareness, which is the initial step in the process of collaboration.

Here are a few tips to ensure success in the collaboration process:

  1. Remember that choices are not meant to be a reaction to life, but instead a proactive tool to create.  Do not make choices nor act on those choices when in reactive mode.  Instead, pause for all long as it takes.
  2. Choosing wisely happens when you are aware of what your are thinking and feeling, and what your beliefs are.  This takes instrospection.  Take time every day to check in with yourself and notice what is happening inside of you.
  3. Choosing wisely happens when you are calm and at peace.  If you aren't calm and at peace, I highly recommend the practice of meditation.  If you don't know how to meditate, or don't feel as if you are successful at it, take a class or hire a coach to teach you.
  4. If you don't feel as if you have choices in life, get some help.
  5. Once the choices are made, act on them by using tools and skills to implement those choices.  Just as an artist begins by learning the basics of his craft, then building upon those skills, so do we begin by learning the basics of life and building on them, ever enlarging our skill set.  You can learn new skills by taking a class, reading a book, hiring a coach or joining a support group.

Affirmation:  I choose wisely today, from a place of peace and calm, and implement my choices to create the wonderful work of art that is my life!

 

I'm in the midst of an intensive review of course work for the Masters Degree program I will graduate from in June of 2014.  It's called Consciousness Studies, by the way, you can find out more information about it here.

One of my favorite areas of study turns out to be the mind body connection.  I have long believed that any illness I experience is a result of some unresolved emotional or spiritual issue.  I have spent all of my adult life tackling physical illnesses from a foundation of inner beliefs and wisdom.  So when I discovered that what I instinctively knew to be true had scientific validity, I was excited to learn more!  Turns out there are literally thousands of studies that prove there is a powerful and profound connection between the mind and the body, even if we don't understand how it works.

To put it simply and briefly, there are dozens of scientifically verified techniques that you can use to learn to listen to the wisdom of  your body and allow it to heal.  These techniques are not meant to be in place of traditional medicine, but as complimentary techniques.   Two of these techniques are meditation, specifically one point meditation, and imagery, specifically visualizing work crews repairing your body.

Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not about emptying the mind, or clearing the mind. It's about focus.  It's about training your mind to focus so that when, in the course of a day, it goes to places that don't serve you well, you can redirect it.  One point meditation is about focusing on one thing, over and over again, for a period of time.  Twenty minutes once a day is ideal.   While you are focusing your mind, you are freeing your body to heal.

Visualizing work crews is a fun type of imagery.  Imagine you have, for example, high blood pressure.  Again, I am not recommending you disregard doctor's orders.  These techniques are meant to be complimentary, not alternative.  High blood pressure is caused by a build up of material in your blood vessels that simply makes it harder for the blood to move through them.  So you could imagine a crew of people/critters/robots...whatever suits your fancy, in your body, hammering or chipping or hacking or dissolving or in some other way getting rid of that buildup.  You can  have fun with this, giving them names and assigning a supervisor, maybe giving them uniforms and any other attributes that will help them do their jobs better.

The mind body connection is powerful.  Don't ignore it!

image"You don't get in life what you want, you get in life what you are!"  Les Brown

If you want something in life, wishing or praying for it isn't going to help.  That will just get you more wanting.

Instead, try being what you want.  If  you want a better relationship, be a better partner.  If you want better friendships, be a better friend.  If you want prosperity in your life, embody the feelings of being prosperous.

Banish thoughts of lack, self pity and worthlessness from your life.  This is where a trained mind comes in handy:  when your thoughts turn to things that don't serve you, you can divert them and get them back on track.

Training the mind does not happen overnight, but with consistent and persistent use of things like meditation and imagery, you will find that your thinking patterns are more positive and you are able to be that which you want.

 

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