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20 Oct

Transformation through Bereavement

An Excerpt from Extraordinary Awakenings by Steve Taylor

 

A famous story in Buddhism is the parable of the mustard seeds. A young woman named Kisa Gotami was grieving the death of her baby son. She carried his body from house to house, pleading for some medicine to bring him back to life. One of her neighbors advised her to go see the Buddha, who asked her to bring him a handful of mustard seeds. The only condition was that, in the Buddha’s words, “The mustard seeds must be taken from a house where no one has lost a child, husband, parent, or friend.”

 

Kisa Gotami returned to her village and went from house to house again. But of course, she was unable to collect any mustard seeds, since every family had suffered a bereavement. By the end of the day, the mother realized the impermanence of life and the inevitability of death. As the Buddha expressed it, “The life of mortals in this world is troubled and brief and combined with pain. For there is not any means by which those that have been born can avoid dying…Not from weeping nor from grieving will anyone obtain peace of mind; on the contrary, his pain will be the greater and his body will suffer.”

 

This parable is so powerful not just because it illustrates the universality of death and bereavement but also because it suggests their transformational effects. Kisa Gotami’s acceptance of death transformed her perspective on life. According to the parable, she became a disciple of the Buddha and was his first female follower to attain enlightenment.

 

Bereavement is the most common type of severe trauma that human beings experience. Most of us have never experienced the trauma of combat or imprisonment, but — as the parable reminds us — every single one of us has experienced the trauma of bereavement. (If you are young this might not be the case, but not for long.) When people die in old age, it seems natural and right. It may even seem like a blessing, if a person has become severely ill or mentally impaired. But when people die before their time, particularly in childhood, it seems incredibly tragic and unjust. Understandably, some people may never recover from the grief of their bereavement and spend the rest of their lives in a state of depression and trauma.

Post-traumatic Growth and Bereavement

Precisely because bereavement is such a traumatic experience, it holds enormous spiritual potential. When a person close to us dies, everything changes radically. Our seemingly stable and orderly lives are thrown into disarray, as if a tidal wave has swept through and washed away every structure. Suddenly the world seems an unfamiliar place, pervaded by emptiness and loss. Our seemingly stable sense of self is broken down. We are no longer sure of who we are, since our identity was bound up with the person we have lost. All our beliefs, hopes, and ambitions seem meaningless and dissolve away.

 

And it’s because bereavement has such a dramatic and powerful effect that, like imprisonment, it is so closely associated with spiritual transformation. We have already seen — for example, in the cases of Adrian Troy and Ed Little in the last chapter — that acceptance is an important factor in Transformation through Turmoil (TTT). Understandably, many people find the death of loved ones difficult to accept and adjust to (particularly in cases of tragic early death) and so don’t move beyond grief into growth and transformation. But when people do acknowledge and accept the death of a loved one, the transformational effect is usually very powerful.

 

When psychologists began to research post-traumatic growth (PTG) in the late 1980s, they quickly recognized that bereavement is one of its most significant sources. In one of the first studies of PTG in 1986, the psychologist Stephen Shuchter studied a group of widows and widowers who had lost their partners about two years earlier. Most of them felt that they could see life from a wider perspective, that they were less affected by trivial worries and more appreciative of important things. They felt that they had become more sensitive, more self-reliant, more open, and more spiritual in their everyday lives. Similarly, in a 1998 study of 312 people who had lost loved ones about a year previously, psychologists found that around a third of the group felt more mature and confident in their lives and that they had better communication skills and improved relationships.

 

Research has shown that these benefits can occur even with the most tragic of deaths, including the loss of children. In a study of bereaved parents, the psychologist Dennis Klass found that, following a period of adjustment and acceptance, many of them felt that their lives had become more authentic and meaningful. Some described a process of spiritual transformation, with an awareness of “connections with that which transcended the physical and biological world, and with their perception of an underlying order in the world.” Similarly, in 2002 psychologists studied a group of parents whose children had been murdered. Even in these terrible circumstances, the researchers found that for some people the bereavement had led to profound personal growth, with increased self-reliance, compassion, and inner strength, along with a greater appreciation of life.

 

# # #

 

Steve Taylor, PhD, is the author of Extraordinary Awakenings and many other bestselling books. He’s senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University and the chair of the Transpersonal Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society. Steve’s articles and essays have been published in over 100 academic journals, magazines, and newspapers and he blogs for Scientific American and Psychology Today. Visit him online at www.StevenMTaylor.com.

 

Adapted from the book from Extraordinary Awakenings: When Trauma Leads to Transformation. Copyright ©2021 by Steve Taylor. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

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30 Apr

Are You Willing to Choose Peace?

An Excerpt from The Full Spirit Workout by Kate Eckman

A friend recently said to me, “I just want to feel at peace.”

“I understand,” I said. “That is the ultimate goal for all of us. Are you willing to choose peace?”

“Yes,” she said. Then I saw her eyes light up, like, Wow, that was easy!

And it is that easy. If you want love, choose to be in love, starting with yourself. I believe if peace and love are what we truly want, we will choose peace and love. Oftentimes, we think we want them but are still stuck in past wounds that make us feel more at home and “safe” in chaos, lack, and trauma. But just like we can decide to be willing to stretch before a workout because we know it will make us perform better and avoid injury, we can be willing to choose thoughts that empower us to get out of our comfort zone. That leads us into the life that’s waiting for us to claim it — a life where we get to live in our divine perfection.

I don’t think you have to move to a different city, change careers, start a new relationship, adopt a new workout routine, or go vegan to stretch your comfort zone, although I highly recommend all of that. It can be as simple (not easy, mind you, but simple) as choosing to look in the mirror and notice something you love about your body rather than thinking, Gosh, I’m looking older or Ugh, I have stomach rolls.

Say to yourself, I am willing to feel love, peace, and joy, instead of this. Make that a daily practice, and I promise you will start to think, look, feel, and be your most glorious self.

When we stretch our comfort zones, we automatically get to discover our greatness, our highest self. We find our true essence and desires, naturally attracting what lights us up and gives our lives meaning and purpose. Simply put, it is healing to stretch. And when we are willing to stretch, the universe responds to even our slightest invitation to assist us in our efforts. We are never alone. We are always cocreating.

If you’ve ever started a new business or family, I’m guessing it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t painless. (If you are a parent, you are my own personal hero!) But I’ll bet that allowing yourself to expand your personal boundaries and devote your most precious resource — time — to your cherished new venture opened up the space you needed to take on this exciting challenge.

When I recently took on a new project outside my comfort zone, I was able to keep taking steps forward because I first allowed myself to experience my heavy feelings and cry to a supportive friend. My tears washed the space clear for me to express myself. I’m learning that one of the worst things we can do is to pretend uncomfortable feelings like worry, stress, sadness, fear, and discomfort don’t exist — or that we’re somehow too precious, too positive, or too evolved to feel something other than pleasant feelings. When we are in that place of loneliness, fear, sadness, and discomfort, it’s important not to try to jump right to gratitude or “positivity.” Sometimes crying and acknowledging how much things suck, or how heavy our feelings weigh on us, put us on the fast train to returning home to ourselves, where appreciation and gratitude occur naturally. This certainty offers me peace, just as it did during that uncertain time.

The period of forced isolation we all experienced during the pandemic was a deep stretch for all of us, and while seclusion could feel uncomfortable, I also noticed benefits. For example, many of us learned, or relearned, how little we really need. It helped me remember to be more simple and minimal in my day-to-day living. We also had more time to reflect on and challenge old ways of thinking — giving us spiritual fitness workouts. I brainstormed new ways to help clients and, in turn, myself. I saw old problems in a new light and was able to devote energy to discovering new ways of being because, quite simply, why not?

And just like physical exercise has cumulative effects over time, so does spiritual fitness. Once we start stepping out of our comfort zone, it gets easier. We become more and more comfortable with our own discomfort. Awesome, right?

 

# # #

 

Kate Eckman is the author of The Full Spirit Workout and a Columbia University–certified executive leadership coach. She leverages her experience as a well-known communications, performance, and mindfulness expert, accomplished entrepreneur, and elite athlete to equip leaders with the tools, methodology, and energetic boost they need to excel. Visit her online at http://www.kateeckman.tv.

 

Excerpted from the book from The Full Spirit Workout. Copyright ©2021 by Kate Eckman. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

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30 Apr

Claiming Your Gifts as an Empath

An Excerpt from Becoming an Empowered Empath by Wendy DeRosa

 

Do you feel other people’s energy — whether they are stressed, anxious, angry, or in need? You may even sense that you absorb their energy. When you enter a room, you can pick up on the energy present, how people are feeling, or what might be happening. You’re likely sensitive to what’s occurring around you — including injustice, political divisions, the effects of climate change, the danger of extinction of animals, and more — and to the pain of others in your community and in our world. You also sense the powerful energies that are emerging to bring about change.

This is the experience of living as an empath, a person who is highly sensitive and, as a result, feels and absorbs other people’s energy, emotions, and even physical symptoms. Empaths experience their world through their intuition and a felt sense of people and situations. They might not be able to define why they feel the way they do, but they sense that they are impacted by other people’s energy.

Empathy has become a popular topic recently, much of it inspired by the work of researcher and author Brené Brown. Empathy is a person’s capacity to understand or relate to what another person is experiencing. Brown describes empathy as a skill that can bring people together and make them feel included.

While it is natural to feel the energy around you and to connect with other people’s emotions, problems arise when you absorb these energies or take on these emotions as your own. You can likely recall an experience when you moved from attentive listening (hearing how someone is feeling about an experience) to taking on someone else’s experience (feeling it as if it were happening to you). People generally love talking to empaths because of this. They feel so much better and describe themselves as “relieved” afterward. That’s because the empath in their life just took on dealing with their problems for them!

Problems arise from being overly empathic. This experience of taking on the feelings and experiences of another person as your own can be described as “merging” with another person. It is helpful to imagine empathic nature on a spectrum: on one end, empathy and understanding operate with detachment, and on the other, being empathic and intuitive leads to merging.

For empaths, merging occurs because they are not fully present, or “inhabiting,” their own energy body — particularly the lower body and lower chakras, energetic centers within the body. (When I refer to “energy” or “energy body,” I am referring to the energetic field that is in and around your physical body. In the next chapter, we’ll discuss in detail the subtle energy body and the chakras and how they relate to our empathic intuition.) Not being fully present in your lower body area leaves a vacancy for other people’s energy to take over. Some of the physical and emotional symptoms of taking on other people’s energy include stress, agitation, depletion, and feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated. Depression, digestive issues, migraines, allergies, and other physical illnesses may also manifest. This pattern of taking on other people’s energy often starts in childhood, before one learns to maintain emotional or energetic boundaries. Perhaps as a child you were told that you were “too sensitive”? (And maybe you still hear this today?) You may have learned to take on other people’s energy as a way to help them or to calm them down. In fact, you likely developed this impulse to merge with others as a way to seek love and intimacy and to keep yourself safe.

Being overly empathic is common when a child is raised in a household with unclear boundaries, projected emotions, suppression of self, or no feeling of safety or belonging. Children learn to survive by prioritizing other people’s needs and energy while disconnecting from their self and their own needs.

These survival and coping mechanisms take root in the first chakra area of the body and, once formed, create energetic imprints in your body that can lead to unhealthy patterns in a number of areas in your life — your health, your relationships, your work, and more. Largely unconscious, this response becomes ingrained as a default setting, influencing your worldview and how you interact with family, friends, and coworkers. You may not intend to absorb the energy around you, but your subtle energy body is responding in the only way it knows to keep you safe. In addition, Western culture often views sensitivity as a weakness or a liability, so as children we’re taught to avoid, dismiss, or suppress our feelings and needs, ultimately invalidating our intuitive sense. This causes us to disconnect from ourselves and our inner guidance and creates a lack of trust in our instincts and intuition. The disconnection is not just mental, emotional, or energetic; it is spiritual as well, sometimes referred to as being disconnected from one’s Soul.

Though you may have tried different methods to heal these patterns — perhaps therapy, workshops, self-help books, or various spiritual practices — you likely found that these tools alone were not enough to shift lifelong patterns or to help you set and hold healthy boundaries.

To stop taking on other people’s energy requires not just an understanding of your physical body and symptoms but also an understanding of your energetic body. The lower chakras are the main power centers in the energetic anatomy. They house the primary conditioning for every human being’s survival imprints, coping mechanisms, personality traits, and personal power. They are responsible for how you relate to yourself, others, and the world. A “reparenting” of the lower chakras (nurturing yourself and inhabiting your energy body) will help you shift from being overly sensitive to empowered.

These lower chakras are closely tied to the empathic power of intuition, feeling, and self-expression. Throughout Western culture and history, these aspects have been subjected to collective and societal shaming. The shaming of sensitivity, vulnerability, truth, emotions, and creativity has limited the power of our true selves, causing us to suppress our true feelings, true voice, true being, and true sense of belonging.

Empaths need not be victims to the world around them. I know it can seem that way when you are feeling everyone’s energy, but when you feel triggered by another individual’s energy, think of it as an opportunity to address the deeper layers within you that need to be seen, healed, and brought into alignment. The good news is that empaths are awakening and learning about their empathic nature so they can heal their early-life wounds and fully express their gifts.

Your gift as an empath is that you feel what’s true. You are connected to the subtle and can see beneath the layers. By expanding your capacity to embody your empathic gifts, you become uniquely equipped to show others how to experience their authentic feelings and help heal the planet. This is a critical step at this time: we need empowered empaths who can give voice to what is unspoken, bring to light what is hidden, and heal what is suppressed.

With the proper framework, empaths can transform the effects of their past and come to understand the true nature of their empathic power. You will finally be able to show up with your gifts in your relationships, work, and other parts of your life. You will find that it’s possible to feel nourished and to thrive as an empowered empath. You will be able to restore your energetic boundaries and align with your true light and power. This is a most profound experience of self-love and is essential for establishing an uncompromising and loving connection with yourself, regardless of external circumstances or challenges and throughout your daily activities and interactions with others.

 

It is time to fully express and embody your empathic intuition and power.

 

# # #

 

Wendy De Rosa is the author of Becoming an Empowered Empath. The founder of The School of Intuitive Studies, she has been helping people develop intuition and experience personal transformation for over two decades. Visit her online at http://www.SchoolOfIntuitiveStudies.com.

 

Excerpted from the book from Becoming an Empowered Empath. Copyright ©2021 by Wendy De Rosa. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

 

 

 

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05 Feb

Role of Communication: Friendship v/s Relationship

Post by: Shweta Gautam

Communication is an important part of our life. I believe without communication, humans are no less than animals. The power to think and express our thoughts is solely what separates us from them. But, do we understand the impact, effect, and role of communication concerning the people in our lives?

We all have heard, read, and studied about the importance of communication in our lives. Though I have always seen people talking about communication from a professional perspective. I rarely see people share their views or rather initiate a conversation about the importance of communication in our personal lives. I don’t see people talking about communication with family, friends, and relationships. But, I do know it is extremely important to have it.

As the literal definition of communication reads, “Communication is a two-way process. It includes a sender and a receiver”. Hence, it is important to analyse communication from the personal front as much as we do it for our professional world.

My experiences about communication in both my friendships and relationship have taught me a lot in life. I now resonate and understand the similarities, the differences, and the potential impact it has on an individual. Having friends who understand your relationship and a partner who understands your friendships is a true blessing in disguise. Not all are fortunate to find both at the same time. While I have been lucky to have found friends at an early stage of life, my experience with love has been bitter-sweet. And as I’ll recite the stories of the two important aspects of my life, that have given a lot to me, I am sure you all will relate to my personal experiences at some or the other level. So, let’s begin with what came first – friendship.

 

Role of Communication: Friendship

My experience with friendship began very early in my life. And, I feel I am quite fortunate that I have my first friends as my present friends too, i.e. almost 21 years later I am still friends with the very first people I called my ‘friends’.

I have always been the girl who is too shy and uninterested in talking to strangers but once we know each other I am an unstoppable chatterbox, quite literally. I met both my childhood friends in my school. Because our fathers were their childhood friends, all three of our fathers happened to send their children to the same school. And, we practically carry forward the legacy of their friendship. We went to the same schools, went to the same institutes, attended each other’s birthday parties, shared our lunch during the school recess, and created a lot more memories together every day without actually taking any effort in doing so. The seriousness of our friendship can be measured from the fact that the three of us don’t have a single picture together from our childhood. Because we were too busy living in the moment.

Two girls and a boy sitting together and eating lunch raised some frownings. Especially for our guy friend, he was teased by his friends for having lunch with two girls. Well, I don’t blame them, the credit for the mentality goes to our society.

After sharing almost every big milestone, my friendships with both of them has only grown stronger. Moreover, if someone matters to me, I’ll do all that I can to keep them in my life. And, communication is the very first step to that. Growing up together, we have had our misunderstandings.

As children, the arguments were as mere as misplacing each other’s things or maybe snatching something or just random fights. As teenagers, it was the typical adrenaline rush that acted upon and led us to fight on things that didn’t matter. Most of the time, the fights then happened because of the people who are not even a part of our lives today. And, as adults, we have had some serious issues. Sometimes it is our respective relationships and sometimes it was a pure miscommunication. Because text messages are so strong today to create any misunderstanding and not convey the right information.

Having both a girl and a boy as close friends teaches you a lot about life. These two people beside me, I have never felt the need to search for friendships outside. Yes, I do have other remarkable people who I can call friends too. But, who are your true friends? The names you remember in the most adverse situations. Well, these two are exactly that to me.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that our friendship would have ended a long time ago if we have not been vocal about our feelings. Our first school only had a middle school education. Therefore, I was separated from my best friend. She went to a different high school. And, the guy friend and I luckily went to the same high school.

On the first day of the new school, it was the first time in 14 years that I wasn’t going to see my best friend waiting for me in the school outside the class. Though, at least we had the same institute to spend the other half of the day together.

A new place meant new people. It meant new friends. But, none of us ever saw our new friends as a threat to our old bonds. We knew it was irreplaceable. And that is the very essence of true friendship for us.

A true friend will understand the how and why behind your deeds and will never question you. If they find it wrong, they will stop and guide you for sure. And, today it’s been 21 years since the three of us have been friends. We have had a lot of people come and go. But, irrespective of whether we meet or not, whether we talk daily or not, whether we celebrate occasions together or not, we are connected at hearts.

Adulthood is filled with breaking our expectations. It is the time of life that teaches us some of the hardest lessons. And, one such truth to life is – you don’t get to spend your life with your friends. You spend your life with your partner.

Therefore, if there is one thing that strong and real friendships don’t rely on – it’s communication. We don’t talk to each other daily rather we do it rarely. But, even then we know we will be there to double each other’s joy and half the sorrows when needed. We know that we have a lot of people coming and going in our lives, but we will always find each other besides when in need.

Real friendships rely on trust, understanding, and respect. They are all about picking up from the same place where we left it last time, with the same emotion and thrill.

And, it is not only my childhood friends, as I mentioned I have been fortunate in the matter of friendships. Both my girlfriends from my graduation and post-graduation years are proof of that. Ever since I received my graduate degree, I only met her twice and we are perfectly strong without regular communication. We barely talk on phones, we wish each other on occasions, we support and celebrate each other’s win on social media with a simple share and as a friend, this is everything we expect from each other.

I am not the kind of person who can be kept within boundaries. And hence, I prefer being friends with people who understand that as we grow and move forward in life, we meet new people as well. But, meeting new people doesn’t mean forgetting the old ones. Every single person I have ever called a friend resides inside my heart with many strong and beautiful memories, some bitter ones too. But, in the end, they are all my experiences and my positive outlook on these experiences makes me the woman I am today.

 

Role of Communication: Relationship

Now since you know my experience with friendships, Let’s continue to the most important aspect of my life.

I am an old-fashioned lover when it comes to romantic relationships. Probably this is the reason why my present relationship is the only relationship I have ever been in. And, to my belief, it will be the only relationship I’ll have.

My love story might rather sound like a movie. But, while I prefer my friends to understand me even without any regular or daily communication, I have a contrary opinion about communication with respect to a relationship. I believe that as much as relationships require love, trust, and loyalty, communication is the fourth pillar that makes it strong.

How am I the right person to advise you on anything about a relationship? Well, we have been together for almost 7 years now. And to top that, we are in a long-distance relationship.

Told you, it sounds like a movie. We met on Facebook while we were in high school. Living in two different cities that we didn’t even knew exist. 7 years down the line – in a long-distance relationship- both of us have learned a lot about each other, about love. And, one of the most important lessons is, if you don’t communicate with your partner, you can’t have a relationship going smoothly.

Whether it’s an LDR or a normal relationship if you don’t speak your feelings, you are ultimately risking your relationship and your well-being. Because, when things matter and you keep them inside, they bother you like hell. They can get onto your mental health. I have been there and I have felt that. And, the only way to deal with it is to be vocal about your feelings.

Being in a long-distance relationship, trust issues, jealousy, possessiveness are some of the factors that are sure to come, you simply cannot resist it. And, they are sure to come when you know there are a lot of people waiting for you both to break up. So, how do you deal with all the insecurities and that am-I-not-worth-it feeling? Well, you let your partner know how you are feeling, you let them know what’s going inside your head and heart.

But, is that so easy? Is it so easy to just call and speak out every word? No, it isn’t. While I am the person who believes in talking out to untangle the knots in a relationship, my partner wasn’t this expressive always. As a writer, expression of thoughts is an embedded trait of your personality. But, my partner is the 360 degree opposite to me. He is quiet, reserved, take things to his heart, prefers to keep them inside to not “bother” anybody with his perception, and chooses to communicate when things are completely out of his powers.

It is a fun and learn ride when you are head over heels in love with someone opposite to you, stays 200 km away from you, meets you once in 6 months but loves you more than anything in his world. It has taken me 7 years to make him comfortable with communicating himself especially when I do something that bothers him. After all, we are all humans and mistakes are a part of our existence.

The one secret behind every successful relationship is that it has touch rock bottoms and still survived. We had the worst phase of our long-distance relationship about 2 years ago. This was the time when we felt it was all over and we have lost each other. We even did this “final talk” before parting ways. But, even if life screws you, it always has a backup plan too. Our back up plan was communication. Being away from each other, we didn’t have anything else in our hands. The only thing we could do was talk about the unprecedented times. Hence, we decided to not call it quits and stay together for the sake of the beautiful past we had, for the sake of the potential future we had planned. And, we stuck through it. While a lot of people did everything in their power to separate us, we had them failed at every attempt all because we were up, front, and clear that we wanted to stay together, talk to each other and get through it.

The worst and the best part of the entire scenario was we dealt with all of it from the distance. It gave us this very important lesson of “whatever is meant to be will be yours”. Though, I have a different perspective on that. I believe we have lived it all and will live for a few more years before we finally seal the deal with a kiss because we want to be together.

Every time we are asked about our relationships, the response to being in a long-distance relationship is just this thing – Is he/she loyal? While we always answer the question with a prideful yes, we know this question isn’t leaving us for the next 2-3 years at least. That is how long we plan to take it forward as a long-distance relationship.

My relationship with my man is the most beautiful thing about my life. It is the very reason why I am a professional writer today. I am the artist (writer) and he is my muse forever. I began writing as a way to express my feelings to him. His love, even from the distance, has me bloomed into the woman I am today. Once he was this quiet and not-preferring to communicate kind of a person but seven years down the line, I am happy to admit he has finally begun to be vocal and open about his feelings.

Communication is the strongest pillar of any romantic relationship. While we expect the other person to know us better than ourselves, we often forget that building that bond and level of intimacy takes time. As I mentioned, I am an old school but a hopeful romantic. I fantasize a lot about dreamy getaways but at the same time, I know our reality of the present as well, which is nothing but distance. Hence, while we are working every moment to make this relationship a success, while we are hopeful about our future as a couple, we stay grounded to our reality. We are aware that we still have time to reach there, and along with love, trust, and loyalty, communication is the fourth wheel of our vehicle. And, we can’t lose either of them to not just reach the destination but enjoy the journey as well. After all, we want a good love story to recite to our babies in the future.

 

This is what words do to you, once you begin, it’s hard to stop. Well, we have finally reached the destination of this article. For me, the bottom line of communication for love and friendship with respect to my personal experience is:

“True friendships can survive with or without daily communication but true love requires communication to survive.”


Shweta is a Lifestyle and Wellness blogger and writer. She provides writing services for businesses and coaches in the niche. When not working, she is usually found feeding her passion for braids. She is also an English language enthusiast. Follow her on Instagram to know more about her and her business.

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05 Feb

Living Insightfully

An excerpt from Radical Intuition by Kim Chestney

Throughout the ages, the most extraordinary human beings — from Einstein, DaVinci, and Joan of Arc to Steve Jobs, Oprah, and Stephen Hawking — have attested to one common factor as the secret to their life success: Intuition.

 

In her new book Radical Intuition: A Revolutionary Guide to Using Your Inner Power, author Kim Chestney reveals an all new understanding of intuition and how to use it to live an extraordinary life. We hope you will enjoy this excerpt from the book.

 

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To live intuitively means honoring our inner voice over the voice of the world. Once we realize that we can trust our self above all others, we live our lives differently. We make our choices differently; we aspire differently; we understand one another differently; we experience the world in a whole new way. When we follow our intuition, we participate in something that touches the depth of our being — something more profound than we know.

 

We become extraordinary by making intuition an ordinary part of life, by relying on it so much that it becomes second nature. With every step of the way guided by higher insight, we are more aligned with our own success, happiness, and personal growth. As more and more people around the world do this, we begin to normalize intuition. Any and all of us can use our intuition to improve all aspects of our lives.

 

Intuition should be a normal part of life because learning to use your intuition is no different than learning to use your intellect. Intelligence and intuition are two sides of the same coin; when they work together, they create an extraordinary mind. We go to school to get smarter, so why shouldn’t we go to school to become more intuitive? Now that we are learning more about the way intuition works, we can embrace new opportunities to rebalance the two complementary aspects of our cognitive nature.

 

This revolutionary union of once-seeming opposites — bringing the thinking mind and the intuiting mind together — is a reflection of the fusion that will define life in the years ahead. With this togetherness, we become wiser and more insightful as a collective people.

 

With intuition in the mix, we move deeper into the experience of life and the connected awareness that unites us all. When we create a culture of intuition, we create a culture of unity, of inclusivity, of the interconnected human experience.

 

Beyond Mindfulness into Insightfulness

In recent years, the practices of mindfulness, presence, and meditation have become the cornerstones of our culture and personal development. The power of being still has become a crucial counterpoint to the busy world we live in today. In the stillness, we find our peace, but it is in the stillness, too, that we find our power.

 

To be mindful is to be aware. It is an awareness of life, an awakening from our unconscious habits, thoughts, and actions. Living consciously, we embody a new sense of presence in all we do — with an ability to fully embrace each moment. In the ever-present now, we escape the traps of the mind — habitual judgment, relentless thinking, fear. We move out of the constant flow of thought into the quiet space between those thoughts — the stillness. But the stillness is not empty; extraordinary things await there.

 

In the silence of your quieted mind, in the space between thoughts, the voice of intuition arrives. The stillness speaks. Only in the place of no-mind can you hear your intuition. The thinking mind is a bully; only when it settles down can your inner wisdom get through to gently touch you. Whether in meditation, in the shower, or during a walk in the woods, insight draws close when the critical mind is far away.

 

Radical Insight

Here, in the mindful place of peace, you can receive your greatest power — the extraordinary insight of higher awareness. First, we become mindful; then, we become insightful. Presence is the gateway to insight; insight leads us to the truth. All wisdom and creativity emerge from the still, quiet gap between your thoughts.

 

This is why stillness, the silence of meditation, is not the final destination for those of us who are still at work in the world. We are not ready to retreat to the mountaintops; we still have work to do. We have a world to change. We have a life to live and a spirit to evolve. We can be, but we still have to do.

 

This is not an either-or situation. Like yin and yang, our fulfillment comes with the union of complementary forces — the balance of existence and experience, of awareness and actualization. The completeness of our human condition requires us to be both mindful and insightful, to be aware and to become more aware. Insight brings the gift of more awareness.

 

In the refuge of stillness, intuition is your guide. The practices of meditation and conscious living enable you to move into the calm center of your being. Then what? Out of the tranquility, your inner voice calls you to what’s next: the next thought that will change the way you understand your life; the next idea that will improve it; the next action you can take to further elevate your consciousness. Real illumination comes from both contemplative stillness and inspired action — the two complementary paths to enlightenment.

 

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Kim Chestney is the author of Radical Intuition. A globally recognized innovation leader and the founder of Intuition Lab, her work has been featured or supported by leading-edge organizations including SXSW Interactive, Carnegie Mellon University, Comcast, and Hewlett-Packard. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Visit her online at http://www.KimChestney.com.

 

Excerpted from the book Radical Intuition. Copyright ©2020 by Kim Chestney. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

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10 Jan

Now You Can Live a Spark-filled Life

Guest Post by Stephanie James

What does it mean to live a “spark-filled” life?  It means being lit up from the inside, learning how to befriend yourself and make yourself a priority in your own life, and it means being fully alive and living your life full of authenticity, purpose and passion.

But how do we get there? We’ve all heard the expression, “Just be your own best friend!” but after 30 years in the mental health and personal development field, I know, it just isn’t that easy.  It truly starts with the art of learning to befriend yourself first.

Just imagine when you meet a new friend.  You don’t instantly trust them with your deepest, darkest secrets, nor do you automatically feel you can rely on them to be there for you when times get tough. A friendship like that takes time to cultivate.  The same is true when you are growing a relationship with yourself. You have to begin by being someone that you can rely on; to know that you have your own back and will show up for yourself when you need to.

A great way to do this is to establish a morning routine that is focused on self-care.  Use the first hour or half hour of your day to exercise, meditate, and write in a gratitude journal. Write the things you are thankful for each day, even if they are small and seem the same each day. We can be thankful for our warm bed, having hot water in the shower, and having food to eat. This doesn’t have to be big things. Then, when you are finished, put your hand on your heart and allow yourself to marinate on these good feelings.  By focusing on these feelings, you are actually telling your brain, that likes to purge information unless it is useful for our survival, “Hey! Pay attention! This is important! File this!”

Make this sacred time. I use a wall calendar to mark off when I show up for myself like this and instead of crossing off the day, I put a heart on the calendar. It is wonderful to see a full month filled with hearts and see how I have been truly loving to myself. When you show up for yourself each morning in this way, you begin to build a relationship with yourself; you begin to build trust with yourself and can begin to rely on yourself to have your best interest in mind.

I have worked with hundreds of people who find the simple act of establishing a morning self-care routine truly transformative.  It is one of the least selfish things you can do.  By making yourself a priority and taking care of yourself, you are giving to yourself in a way that will create more resiliency, calm, and well-being and you will be sharing with others from a place of fulness, rather than from a place of lack.

The next thing, I find that is really important in igniting your sparks, is to take time to truly explore what it is that lights you up! One of the ways I encourage clients to explore this, actually might seem a bit counter-intuitive at first, but it is amazingly helpful.  I encourage people to first get in touch with what their limiting beliefs are that prevent them from living the kind of “spark-filled” life that they would like to have. We often don’t realize that our words and actions are being driven by these unconscious beliefs, that are often pick up in childhood when we were in theta brain wave state and we took others opinions of us to be the truth. These beliefs can go so underground, that we don’t even realize what they are, we just know the outward manifestation (such as, I don’t have the job, relationship, self-esteem, etc. that I desire in my life.)

The way to begin “unearthing” these limiting beliefs, is to grab your journal and write a list of the areas in your life: relationship, career, finances, friendships, health and fitness, body image, spirituality, and self-concept.  Now, write down where you see yourself in all of these areas in one column and in the next, write down where you would like to be. When you look at each area, begin to notice the beliefs that come up in-between these two columns.  I worked with a man whose father had told him as a child, “Rich people are really unhappy!” Without realizing this, my client had internalized his father’s words and they had become a self-limiting belief that had kept him from being truly wealthy. Subconsciously, he had adopted the belief that if he were to become rich, then he would also become unhappy. When he became aware of that limiting belief, he then had the power to change it.

Now the fun part.  Take each of your limiting beliefs, and on a totally separate page, write down what you would like to believe about yourself instead and put a couple steps of action underneath each. An example would be:

“I am healthy and fit.”

  1. I work out 30 minutes per day.
  2. I eat healthy and nutritious foods.

This then becomes an Affirmation Action Plan that you read out loud to yourself each day that begins to prime your mindset and change your belief structure. Research tells us it takes 21-30 days for something to become a habit; that’s why so many exercise plans and diets are 30-day plans. In 30 days, your brain begins to automate the information and it becomes easier and easier to follow through (and believe.)

Lastly, one of things that can help you ignite the sparks within yourself, is to write out a list of the things that bring you pleasure. With all that is going on in the world today, it is easy to get distracted and forget some of the simple things that bring joy to your life.  I have clients begin their list with bringing in all of their senses; such as, “What tastes bring me pleasure? What smells bring me pleasure? What sights bring me pleasure? Etc.” As you begin to write your list, let yourself marinate on the good feelings that arise.  When we hold up images in our mind, our mind experiences them as happening “Now”; just as when we are thinking about the future and we feel anxious- it’s not happening now, but physiologically we are experiencing it as “Now.” The same is true for our pleasurable memories.

Let yourself write as many things as you can think of, utilizing all of your senses.  The first morning’s sip of coffee, petting my dog Jewels, and opening the curtains in the morning so the light floods my house, are all simple but wonderful pleasures in my life. It is also a principal in physics that whatever you focus on expands. What you focus on, you will notice more of it. When you focus on noticing what lights you up, you will find yourself feeling more illuminated internally.

The spark is truly who we are inside; our true essence. Sometimes we just have to do a little excavation to let that light truly shine through.  Through befriending yourself, rewiring negative beliefs, and focusing on what truly brings you pleasure, you will be well on your way to experiencing greater well-being and creating a more meaningful, spark-filled life.


BIO

A seasoned psychotherapist, a dynamic public speaker, published author, and filmmaker, Stephanie James delivers her message in a powerful way to help others find their own internal sparks and create their best lives at the next level. Nominated for Fort Collins Woman of The Year in 2014 and a graduate of the University of Denver, Stephanie has an unrelenting commitment to help others ignite their best lives and to become the best versions of themselves.

The Spark with Stephanie James is a world-wide weekly radio and podcast created to help you live your best life. Her guests are luminaries in the fields of psychology, inspiration and motivation, science, entrepreneurialism, and more!  

Her book, The Spark, Igniting Your Best Life, is available on Amazon. A compelling and inspiring book, The Spark is an excellent guide.  Step by step, Stephanie James shows how to examine beliefs that don’t serve us, ways to develop more authentic and rewarding relationships (including with ourselves), and how to approach each day with zest. 

Stephanie has a passion for connecting with people from all walks of life and continues to fulfill her personal mission to bring as much love and healing to the world as possible. Her soon to be released film, When Sparks Ignite, is about the challenges we all face and how those challenges can actually become the match point that ignite something amazing within us that then can become our gift to the world. 

https://www.stephaniejames.world/

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24 Nov

The Grief Path: Mourning the Love of Your Life

by Barbara Abercrombie, author of The Language of Loss:
Poetry and Prose for Grieving and Celebrating the Love of Your Life

I thought I knew about grief. I had been through the death of my parents. I certainly knew how much grief could hurt, how it could knock you flat like a wave sneaking up behind you. The difference is that when you’re an adult and a parent dies, you go back to your own life. When your spouse or partner dies you can’t do this, he or she was your life.

There’s no way to prepare for this kind of grief.  There’s no way to imagine what it’s like when the person you’ve loved and shared your life with vanishes. No way to comprehend the long journey ahead of you. How do you find a path for it? Can there even be a path through grief? And where can it lead?

With the first step into this new, unwanted future, I discovered the busyness of the newly bereaved – the necessity of things to be done. Decisions for a service and burial, an obituary to write, miles of paperwork, juggling a stepfamily, my own family, and friends. Then the service was over, family went home, many friends went back into couples, thank you notes were written, the paper work got done, and I felt more alone than I’ve ever been in my whole life. There was no path, only getting through it day by day, sometimes hour by hour.

One of my daughters thought I should join a grief group, which sounded like an oxymoron. My grief felt too singular, too deranged for a group. A stepdaughter wanted me to move out of the house so it could be sold. Blended families can add another layer of grief.

Reading and writing have always been my way through bad times. In the echoing silence of the months after my husband died, I looked to poetry and stories for solace. I wanted company –  poets and writers who had lost the love of their life and could put the chaos into words for me. “Help me. Remind me why I’m here,” is the final line of a poem by Kim Addonizio that I read over and over during those first few months I was a widow. This poem said exactly what I was feeling but couldn’t say to anyone, and though I wept every time I read it, I felt I wasn’t alone. The writer of this poem knew exactly what I was going through. That was comfort.

Mark Doty wrote in his memoir that while grieving for his partner he learned that “Being in grief, it turns out, is not unlike being in love.” I wrote pages and pages in my journal about my husband, us, our life – lovestruck as well as griefstruck. I started writing a memoir about his final year. I talked to him, not only on paper and in my head but also out loud. I would go into his closet and touch his shirts; his shoes made me cry. I couldn’t stand silence, yet music – whether country or opera – was too emotional to listen to, so I kept talk radio on day and night. When I was writing and I heard someone say on the radio the same word I had just written, I thought my husband was trying to reach me in code.  Hope. Voice. Time. Self. Paper. I made lists of the words and tried to turn them into poems.

Jack Gilbert wrote a poem about his belief that his wife came back as the neighbor’s Dalmation.  Jan Richardson wrote in her memoir that the sudden appearance of sparrows signaled her dead husband was sending her a sign. Doriannne Laux ended a poem with a plea: “Give me a sign if you can see me./I’m the only one here on my knees.”  Reading these poets and writers made me feel less crazy for thinking my dead husband was sending me messages in code via the radio. 

How do we get through this time, with or without signs from our beloveds?  What we can’t see in the beginning is that there is indeed a path – most likely twisted and full of sharp turns and potholes, but one that takes us forward.  Sometimes my path was a sidewalk; I walked my dog for hours every day covering the same territory. I went through the motions of living my life – yoga classes and inviting friends over for potlucks, going back to teaching, but I wasn’t myself and it didn’t feel like my life.

I realized that time was pushing my husband into the past, further and further away, but I wasn’t ready to let him go. I kept writing, I kept reading. I wasn’t ready to let go of my grief; it kept me connected to him. Writing about him kept him in the room. I continued looking for poetry and memoir for solace, and also to justify feeling narcissistic in my grief, because the writers and poets I found were just as grief obsessed as I was, and grief after all is about the griever.

I found company in Hafiz who wrote “Don’t surrender your loneliness/So quickly ….”  And in Kevin Young who wrote, “what’s worse, the forgetting/or the thing/ you can’t forget.”  When I read, I felt part of a world that made meaning out of pain. 

After two years I began to realize that the tears, the pages of memories that I wrote, the miles I walked with my dog, the hours on a yoga mat, the time with students in my classroom, the potlucks in my kitchen, the volumes of poetry and memoir that I read – all of it was a path into the future. A path I had walked without knowing it was leading somewhere.

Finally, and this happened only gradually, I found myself remembering grief. Grief as something that I had felt in the past, no longer the wave that used to flatten me, no longer feeling grief in every bone and muscle of my body but thinking about how it had felt in the past. I still missed my husband deeply, but missing isn’t grief. Missing is a feeling that can go on forever while you begin a new life. Whatever shape that new life takes, there’s the possibility of joy again, even love. In the space hollowed out by grief there is room for your heart to expand, to open to the world, to grow and to give thanks for the love you once had. At the end of my path I was amazed by gratitude.

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Barbara Abercrombie has published over fifteen books, including The Language of Loss. Two of her books were listed on Poets & Writers Magazine’s “Best Writing Books of the Year” list. Her personal essays have appeared in many national publications and anthologies. She has received the Outstanding Instructor and Distinguished Instructor Awards from UCLA Extension, where she teaches creative writing. She lives in Pasadena, CA with her rescue dogs Nelson and Nina. Find out more about her work at www.barbaraabercrombie.com. 

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15 Oct

Repurposing Your Inner Critic

An excerpt from The Final 8th
by Bridgit Dengel Gaspard, LCSW

No one enjoys being stuck and the misery is amplified when we have accomplished multiple steps toward a cherished goal — whether breaking a bad habit, losing weight, building a business, finding a mate, or finishing a degree — but just can’t seem to complete it.

In The Final 8th: Enlist Your Inner Selves to Accomplish Your Goals, author and therapist Bridgit Dengel Gaspard calls this demoralizing quandary when someone is so close to the finish line but just can’t seem to cross it “the final 8th” and introduces a powerful technique called voice dialogue to help readers recognize and overcome internal blocks that are preventing them from achieving their goals. We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.

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The Inner Critic is programmed to be suspicious of anything new. It is wired toward attachment to your early caregivers and their core negative beliefs. To this persona, the final eighth is perilous! Because its honorable task is to protect you by avoiding abandonment, it’s hypervigilant for dangers like judgment, hurt, shame, or rejection. Its dysfunctional strategy is to criticize you before someone else does in the hopes of making you “better” in some way. Your Inner Critic simultaneously assumes you’re inferior (which effectively enforces core negative beliefs) and urges you to move ahead (which presupposes that you have the ability to do so) and thus berates you both for being inferior and for squandering your superior talents. This keeps you in your double bind, a dynamic your Inner Critic may not have been aware of until now.

Who does your Inner Critic work for? Think about that for a minute. Does your Inner Critic work for you? I don’t think so. Otherwise it would obey when you give it an order. Your Inner Critic works for your early caregivers and perhaps some of the folks referenced in your blameography. Out of this instinctive devotion, the Inner Critic can behave like a bully who resorts to threats and stalking. Making you feel bad keeps you in your double bind. It makes you the servant of your Inner Critic and core negative beliefs, holding you back from your final eighth.

The Inner Critic’s gifts are that it never seems to run out of energy or creativity, second-guess itself, or become overwhelmed with insecurity. Hal and Sidra Stone describe the Inner Critic as having “the intelligence of a genius, an uncanny intuition, an ability to analyze our feelings and motivations, a sweeping gaze that notices the tiniest of details, and, in general, an unerring ability to see and to magnify all our faults and shortcomings. It seems to be a lot more intelligent and perceptive than we ordinary mortals are.”

The energy and insights of the Inner Critic are like fire, which can either be harnessed to sauté piquant truffle fries or let loose to burn the barn down. Here’s an exercise that can help harness the skills of your Inner Critic and other parts.

The Final Eighth Process

Promote Your Alter Egos

List some abilities of your Inner Critic.

As an example, here are my Inner Critic’s abilities:

The ability to keenly observe how I don’t measure up.

The ability to brutally assess how I don’t measure up.

Limitless energy to judge how I don’t measure up.

Surprise your Inner Critic with a love letter. Thank it for having been such a loyal protector, with its blind devotion to saving you from abandonment at any cost. Let it know that the days of living as if your core negative beliefs were true are over. It is now the era of core positivity. In a word or two, describe how that feels. Some of my clients have chosen words such as radiant, free, and liberated.

Redefine and upgrade the talents and creative energies of the Inner Critic for beneficial use. Its laser-sharp perception is now assigned to supporting your final eighth goals.

Here’s how my Inner Critic’s abilities are reassigned:

Its ability for keen observation can be applied to polishing my writing.

Its ability for brutal assessment can be transformed into highly efficient time management, reminding me that if I want to accomplish all I hope to in a day, I need to get organized first.

Its limitless energy to judge can be transformed into a vast supply of energy to fuel my creativity and fun curiosity instead of reinforcing my core negative belief.

List some abilities of another subpersonality.

Here are examples from a client who recommissioned her Perfectionist:

Ability to maintain high standards, which I never measure up to.

Ability to be tireless, which makes me feel terrible, as, inevitably, I don’t measure up.

Ability to be competitive, though I never measure up or make the cut.

Again, surprise this alter ego with a love letter thanking it for its protection and letting it know that the time of living as if your core negative beliefs were true is over. It is now the era of core positivity. In a word or two, describe how that feels.

Promote Other Selves

Reassign and promote the talents and creative energies of these other selves. Make sure you assign them roles appropriate to their age and strengths: in other words, don’t ask your Magical Inner Child to function as the CEO of your final eighth project.

Here’s how my client reassigned the superpowers of her Perfectionist:

The Perfectionist’s high standards will be applied to make my home beautiful, because it makes me feel good and I deserve it.

The ability to be tireless will be applied to my final eighth goal, without my core negative belief putting the brakes on me all the time.

Its competitiveness will be assigned to motivating me so that when I set out to do something, like my final eighth, I have the strength to persevere.

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Bridgit Dengel Gaspard, LCSW, is the author of The Final 8th and the founder of the New York Voice Dialogue Institute. She is a former performer who earned a master’s degree from Columbia University and teaches at numerous professional settings including Omega Institute. She lives in New York City, where she maintains a thriving private practice. Visit her online at  https://www.final8th.com/.

Excerpted from the book The Final 8th. Copyright ©2020 by Bridgit Dengel Gaspard. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

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15 Jul

Embracing the Unknown

An excerpt from The Ayurvedic Guide to Fertility
by Heather Grzych

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10 percent, or 6.1 million, women in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant each year.

 

In The Ayurvedic Guide to Fertility: A Natural Approach to Getting Pregnant (New World Library, May 5, 2020), author and Ayurvedic practitioner Heather Grzych offers a gentle, holistic approach to understanding the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of fertility based on Ayurveda, an ancient form of medicine that originated in India that means “the science of life.”

 

We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.

 

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The process of creation is not one that can be controlled — there are so many unknowns — and this can be a little unsettling for a lot of women. However, creation emerges out of vulnerability and even darkness. Creation is dominated by unseen forces that later give rise to something tangible and seen.

 

If you are considering having a child and you want the experience to be as joyous as possible, then first you must understand the process of how things are created and surrender to it. Creation comes from the need for change. It doesn’t come when things are in perfect order. Otherwise, you wouldn’t need anything different to happen in your life; there would be no space for something new.

 

There are variations on how conception occurs. Some women surrender to this process easily, and some after a glass of wine. Some women need to have doctors do it for them. Even when a woman goes to see a doctor for IVF or egg freezing or any other type of intervention used for conception, there is a form of surrender. It is just a different kind of surrender than getting pregnant the old-fashioned way.

 

Your job is to start to get comfortable in the darkness of space — when you don’t have the answers or conclusions. Furthermore, your job as the female is specifically to let creativity happen through you. Yup, it’s time to give up some of that control.

 

How do I sell this idea to you, though, if you are like a lot of other modern women and like to make vision boards and execute plans to get toward where you want to go? It can feel like a real struggle when we cannot make something happen via our own thinking and doing, can’t it? It may feel difficult to let things unfold naturally until we feel we’ve done all we can. However, because conception takes more than one entity, a state of receptivity is important, and this can become compromised if we are trying to control everything. I’m not saying this is easy — receptivity and surrender challenge our fears around trust and even our own self-confidence.

 

In having a baby, you are not the one “making” anything when it actually happens. You are a vessel. You cannot control the outcome. You can try to influence it, but you can’t control it. This is part of why a fertility journey — like any creative endeavor — is a spiritual journey for the modern woman who has a hard time relinquishing control. First, you do the best you can to take care of yourself in your environment, you connect deeply with your partner (literally and figuratively!), and then you roll the dice. You may experience mental anguish in the void, and this is where it’s handy to hold a sense of faith and wonder. Allowing yourself to be surprised by the universe can actually be a really magical thing, sometimes even more fun than planning everything to a T and getting exactly what you want when you want it. Remember the saying “A watched pot never boils”? Well, it applies when you are trying to get pregnant, too.

 

Women who feel the call to conceive often start to grasp for a baby. They want to reach out and grab it, and they will do whatever they can to get it. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it sabotages the whole thing — because if there is too much grasping for the outcome, then there is no room for receiving the gifts that take you to the outcome. The baby you were meant to have will not come by your forcing. It will come by magic.

 

Pathologies are created energetically and physically when there are imbalances of giving, receiving, and grasping. Conception becomes blocked, elusive, or rejected when such pathologies are present. The balance point between receiving and giving is where you find the fertile ground for conception to take place.

 

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Heather Grzych is the author of The Ayurvedic Guide to Fertility. A board-certified Ayurvedic practitioner, she bridges the worlds of conventional and alternative medicine to help women and men heal their physical and emotional lives. Heather is on the board of directors for the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and has consulted with doctors, governments, and insurance companies. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her online at http://heathergrzych.com.

 

Excerpted from the book The Ayurvedic Guide to Fertility. Copyright ©2020 by Heather Grzych. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

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31 Jan

Signs from the Angels

An excerpt from The Angel Experiment by Corin Grillo

While some people think of angels as being sweet, loving, heavenly beings who sit around singing and playing the harp, in The Angel Experiment: A 21-Day Magical Adventure to Heal Your Life, author Corin Grillo assures readers that angels are actually powerful allies who are always available to help them manifest the health, wealth, and life of their dreams.

The Angel Experiment is based on a popular 21-day course Grillo has been offering only since 2015, with miraculous results.  It outlines a nonreligious, yet highly spiritual, step-by-step method for working with the angels in just five to ten minutes a day for 21 days.  The book’s guided daily meditations and invocations offer readers a tangible experience of how angels can help hem manifest the life they truly desire. We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.

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People often get impatient when they begin consciously working with angels because they want a big, juicy, explosive first encounter with their angels. If you are someone who is waiting for Archangel Michael to make a 3-D appearance in your room, giant wings ablaze and angel choirs singing in the background, then you may be waiting a while. Though I am a huge fan of big and juicy angel encounters, from the years of doing this work for myself and others, I know that the angels don’t always come through that way.

 

Patience is required when working with angels, and so is managing your expectations. Those are two big keys in allowing angel messages to come through.

No Coincidences

Before I teach you the different ways that angels communicate with you, there is one thought that I want you to delete from your consciousness. This thought will absolutely block you from the reality of angels and miracles, so it’s important that you get rid of it once and for all.

 

The thought is “That was just a coincidence.”

 

The angels are master manifesters, and when you begin talking to them, they will do everything in their power to let you know they are real and right there with you.

 

Your angels send you signs of love, comfort, and even protection all the time, but one of the main reasons you may not have noticed them is because you may have been telling yourself all along that every cool thing that happens to you is “just a coincidence.” This one thought will suck your angel magic dry fast, so get rid of it from here on out.

 

Let’s reimagine this whole “coincidence” nonsense together. Have you ever turned on the radio and the song that came on had a message in it that was just what you needed to hear? Have you ever had a magical solution to a problem appear out of nowhere just in the nick of time? Have you ever met someone in such a weird way that it just seemed to be kismet?

 

Take a moment now to think of some of the more unexplainable and magical things that have happened to you that you might have written off as coincidences. When you add them all together, they start building a picture that doesn’t seem like coincidence at all. These little things can happen to you daily. They can be large or small, and if you dismiss them, you are missing the golden truth: that you are not alone. Your angels are listening to you, supporting you, and actively helping you whenever and wherever they can.

 

From now on, know that every so-called coincidence is actually help and support from your angels and the divine. If you master this one mental shift, your life will open up to a magical world that has been hiding from you in plain sight: the world of the miraculous.

Subtle Angel Signs: Intuition and Your Intuitive Senses

Angel signs won’t always look like what you might expect them to look like. Sometimes they will be big and loud, but other times they will be subtle and soft. The key to being able to recognize those signs, and to receiving the angels’ love and clear guidance as a result, is to tap into your gut instincts and your subtle senses, also known as your intuition.

 

We all have intuition, whether we are aware of it or not. Your intuition is like a muscle, and the more you flex it, the greater it grows.

 

Listening to your intuition and your intuitive senses is the most important skill you can learn in working with angels. Your intuition holds the voice of your soul, your song, and your essence. It’s through your intuition, your thoughts, and your feelings that the angels pass on amazing loving guidance. I don’t want you to miss this guidance, because you could be missing pure gold.

 

Most people in the West haven’t had much practice in flexing the muscle of their subtle senses, because Western culture tends to place a much heavier emphasis on logic and linear thinking than on intuitive, heart-centered consciousness. We in the West are so used to overidentifying with our loud, tantrum-like logical mind that we often completely overlook the awesomeness that is our intuition. And when I say “awesome,” I mean awesome!

 

It takes some practice, but if all you did was slow down and learn to listen to the still, small voice of your heart, instead of that wild pack of wolves in your head, life would go a lot more smoothly.

 

There is no better time than the present to begin learning to develop and trust your subtler senses.

 

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Corin Grillo is the author of The Angel Experiment and founder of the Angel Alchemy Academy. A trained psychotherapist, angel channel, healer, and teacher, Corin has helped thousands of people all over the world go from angel-curious to angel-powered. She lives in Northern California. Visit her online at http://www.CorinGrillo.com.

 

Excerpted from the book The Angel Experiment. Copyright ©2019 by Corin Grillo. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

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