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13 Oct

The Power of Choice

By Ilona Selke

 

At dinner one night in Ubud, an artist town in Bali, it turned out that the person sitting next to me had worked in the early years with Harry Palmer of Avatar to help “put him on the map.” He was older now, and had accumulated a sizable amount of wisdom, which was shining through his eyes.

 

I couldn’t help but ask, “What is the quintessence of your life’s studies? If you were to put it into one sentence, what would it be?” He liked my questions, so he was kind enough to answer. He said, “It is our ability to choose! It is the power of choice!”

 

He explained that, at any moment, we can stand back and choose which way we wish to respond, or feel, or focus on what we really want. Something tingled in me. A good cosmic coincidence arrangement was going on here!

 

The power of choice.

He hit the nail on the head! In fact, that was the name of the magical personal growth course developed by Dr. Rod Newton, for which I had been invited to take over international marketing. We’ve been teaching the course worldwide since 1990, calling it the Living From Vision (LFV) course. Many graduates from LFV have told us the same thing: the training to choose and to refocus their vision amidst adversity has helped them realize that we live in a dreaming universe.

 

I am reminded of one graduate in particular who had studied under a couple of Indian gurus with intense fervor before he began studying Living From Vision. He told me that one of the most valuable life tools he had ever received was the STOP-LOOK-CHOOSE method LFV teaches. Here’s how it works.

 

When you find yourself in any situation you don’t agree with…

  1. Step Back: In your mind, transport yourself to a serene, peaceful place such as a beautiful beach. Really see yourself there and allow all anxiety to leave your body until you feel completely at ease.
  1. Take a Look: Observe the problem area while remaining completely outside of it in this peaceful place. As you begin to get an overview of the situation, you feel even more relaxed.
  1. Define Your Goal: Take the position of being the director of your life’s film. Refocus on what you really want. Describe your goal clearly.
  1. Imagine and Feel Your Success: Allow yourself to feel exactly what it is you really want as if it has already happened. Use all of your senses and imagine yourself experiencing the sensations that go along with your goal. Hold the vision of your success until you can feel it with 100% certainty all the way to your core.
  1. Let Go: Let go and let the universe rearrange itself for the highest good of all concerned.

 

This technique allows you to actually step out of the “movie,” the drama, the story. As you make space for a new awareness to come in, you realize that this movie unfolding around you is affected by (yet separate from) the light that brings the scene to life. From there, you can refocus on what you really want, make a choice, then re-enter your life movie. The changes will be noticeable. I love to practice this over and over when faced with anything that is less than beautiful.

 

When you are able to pull out of a negative or less-than-satisfying situation, you exercise a very important aspect of your being. By becoming aware, we take one of the most important steps in our spiritual evolution. First and foremost, you are the essence of awareness itself. Outer reality is secondary to that awareness; it responds to that awareness. You have the power to change your inner movie script. Once you have mastered stopping the movie and stepping out, it will become easier and easier to choose in your mind, heart, and soul what you really want.

 

Practice daily how to focus on what you want and manifest it. (This free app can help.) In doing so, you will unify the left and right hemispheres of your brain and begin to access higher levels of consciousness. Merging the two halves of our brain results in a singularity from which we can co-create a new reality.

 

Refocus. Imagine a better outcome. Then reassemble a new reality. The secret ingredient that is vital to your success is embodying the feeling of your ideal outcome as though it has already happened. As always, “practice makes perfect.” Awareness can accomplish miracles. It is the hidden power of the unseen universe. It is what quantum physics is trying to describe.

 

In the beginning of any practice, start with small goals.  With time, practice, and in cases of true need, you will learn to shift larger aspects of your life to express more harmony, more beauty, and more fulfillment. Much like yogis are able to create miraculous manifestations, healings, etc., you can co-create an ever more beautiful reality simply by using focus and the power of choice.

 

251-ilona-selke-in-white-jacket-bctfeAbout the Author: Ilona Selke is an international bestselling author, seminar leader, lecturer, musician and CEO/cofounder of Living from Vision. Over 30+ years, Ilona has inspired thousands of people worldwide to discover the power of their consciousness and create a successful life. Her new book “Dream Big: The Universe Is Listening” offers real-life stories of transformation as well as practical tips anyone can use to shapeshift their lives from the inside out. For more information, visit www.IlonaSelke.com and www.LivingFromVision.com.

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30 Jun

Your Heart: The Gift of Inspiration

An excerpt from Reclaiming Your Body by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana

While the English language frequently refers to what our bodies know — “gut feelings,” hearts “reaching out” to others, etc. — many of us have learned to ignore, deny, or even mistrust our body’s inherent wisdom. Even worse, a lot of people don’t like their bodies very much at all.

 

As a result, we often cut ourselves off from one of our greatest allies. In Reclaiming Your Body: Healing from Trauma and Awakening to Your Body’s, author Suzanne Scurlock-Durana provides the tools and guidance necessary to reconnect with our body’s inner guidance system of sensation, imagery, and inner knowing. Her book includes chapters for each main “wisdom area” of the body — the heart, gut, pelvis, legs and feet, bones, and brain — and explores each area’s unique roles in the process of developing full-body presence.

 

We hope you’ll enjoy this short excerpt, which speaks to the wisdom of the heart.

 

# # #

 

The heart is the wellspring of our inspiration for life. The characteristic wisdom of the heart is in how it inspires us to live more deeply and fully and to create from our gifts. The energy of love resides throughout the entire body. It is the foundational energy upon which our creative inspirations are born.

 

Although the energy field of the heart has been proven to be quite powerful, in our culture today the voice of the heart is often muted or ignored altogether. When our heart’s intelligence isn’t activated, we can easily feel confused, or we may listen only to the voice of the head telling us what we should do. The inspiration of our deepest heart’s knowing is then lost to us.

 

There is a distinct feeling when we drop into our heart and let it open up. When we share from our heart, there is an authenticity and vulnerability that create a feeling of connection and intimacy if the listener is open and receptive.

 

There is also a distinct feeling when we are not connected to our heart. This could manifest as “coldheartedness,” which might be experienced as a chill in the room or a conversation killer, and it will create a block to genuine intimacy.

 

Another feeling occurs when we are in our heart in an overly sympathetic manner. These kinds of interchanges often feel cloying, sometimes suffocating, and frequently invasive.

 

Yet another experience occurs when our heart resonates with another person’s heart. A warmth in meeting, ease of connection, feeling deeply seen and heard — these are the empathetic connections that may become lifelong relationships or enduring imprints on our heart.

 

What is the quality of energy that our hearts generate? The heart expresses warmth, compassion, forgiveness, empathy, loving-kindness, and most of all inspiration. A full-hearted person is a happy person.

 

In Chinese medicine, the element of the heart is fire, and there is a distinct sensation when this element is balanced. We feel excited, creative, and “on fire” for life. The heart is the birthplace of our deepest inspirations, so when it has been suppressed or exhausted, we may have a flat, muted experience. Burnout approaches when our creative fire has gone out.

 

Priming the Deep Well of the Heart

The heart is the home of compassion. When I work with someone in the helping professions, especially healthcare providers, their genuine concern for others is apparent. Their warmth and caring is frequently the original inspiration that moved them toward their profession.

 

However, when I sit with them long enough, I often discover that they are much better at giving than receiving. The front of a caregiver’s heart — the part that they radiate love from — feels warm and wide open.

 

However, often they have much less awareness of the back of their heart, the heart space of self-love and nurturing. I think of this as the deep well that feeds the rest of the heart. Like any well, when it is not primed and replenished, it runs dry and burnout starts to take hold. The front of the heart — the part shared with the world — needs connection to the deeper well of the heart in order to survive and thrive.

 

This means self-care is mandatory, not optional. The airlines truly do have it right. You must “put your own oxygen mask on first” before helping those in need around you. What the flight attendant doesn’t say is that if you fail to care for yourself first, unconsciousness or even death may result. Yet many of us have been taught to ignore our own needs as we focus on caring for those around us. This is a sure recipe for disaster. Now is the time to turn this paradigm around and treat our own heart as a primary resource that is to be treasured and deeply valued.

 

The heart is the home of our deepest inspiration and the well of our love for life. Having respect for the wisdom of the heart and living from its rich depths is essential.

 

# # #

 

Suzanne Scurlock-Durana, is the author of Reclaiming Your Body and Full Body Presence. Her Healing from the Core curriculum combined with CranioSacral therapy and other bodywork modalities creates a complete, body-centered guide to awareness, healing, and joy. She teaches around the world and lives in Reston, Virginia. Visit her online at www.healingfromthecore.com.

 

Excerpted from the book Reclaiming Your Body: Healing from Trauma and Awakening to Your Body’s Wisdom. Copyright ©2017 by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

 

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06 Jun

Excerpt from the Freedom chapter in The Book of Truth

Selig jacket

Excerpted from The Book of Truth by Paul Selig with the permission of TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Copyright © 2017 by Paul Selig.

Now, we will say this for you. Some things are required. You hold yourself in a body, you are required to care for the body, you have a livelihood at this time because you’ve agreed to a world that operates in commerce. As you bypass the systems of control or agreed upon ways of exchange, you actually call higher ways into manifestation. At this juncture, we will say, few of you are prepared to release the life that you’ve claimed in worry or in expectation to what might be born as you and for you in a higher way.

Here we go:

“On this day I choose to release myself from all expectations of how things should be, or what they should look like as perceived by the small self. And in this claim of freedom, I realize myself as the one who is independent from the foils and beliefs of collective agreement that would seek to hinder me from my true expression as my True Self. I know who I am in truth. I know what I am in truth. I know how I serve in truth. I am here. I am here. I am here.”

 

This is a claim that is made by you to re-create the self outside a fixed agenda or outside of the perceptions that you are holding in investment because you cannot imagine yourself without being realized in certain ways. Even the identity you hold that was prescribed by you as who you should be seeks to impale you in a series of ways upon the intractability of physical manifestation.

What this means is that if your belief that your progress is dependent upon anything in form, you are using that thing to justify and claim you in a small way. It can be anything, you see. “When I have the perfect marriage, or the perfect employment, the perfect practice, the perfect insight, the perfect realization, I will be here as I truly am. But until that moment, I will wait and claim this thing as what I require to be free.”

The only requirement for freedom is realization of what you are, because the moment this is understood, all ties and tethers to what was created for you or by you to be in agreement to a system of control is leaving, is gone, is eradicated in truth.

Now we come back to the idea of truth for one reason only. The systems of control that we speak of, or the ways that you would seek to realize yourself through external manifestations, are never in truth. And we will tell you why. All that is in truth is present now in this very moment, in the eternal now that you have encountered in the reading of this text and through the alignment to the what that you are. The Divine Self operates as what you are in the eternal now. And anything that is not present as you is simply an idea of what is required to call you forward.

Now, this is confusing for Paul. “But there are things we need, and we call them into being. We require food, we go to the market. Don’t tell me my needs are met now if I have an empty kitchen.”

We are telling you something very different. The idea of expectation as something to strive to, or claim for, or bring yourself as in consort to at the cost of the present moment you stand in, is what is being addressed. The infinite now is always here. It is here as you, as you walk to the market, as you prepare your meal. But the justification of what you should be as predicated on some future event—“when I am this or that, have claimed this or that”—is never true because your realization only happens in the moment you stand in.

The path to enlightenment, if you wish to use that term, is always now because enlightenment is now and not on some prescribed date at some other point in time. Until you all understand that what you have done so far is prepare the way for manifestation that is already present as what you are, you will be confused by this. In a higher octave, the Divine as you is fully present, and the realization of this and the knowing of this is the creation of what you are in manifested form. You are not becoming what you are not, you are claiming what you are. And as you come to be at this alignment, in this awareness, the release of the lies that you have given credence to will claim you in freedom.

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30 May

The Four Obstacles and How to Beat Them

By Randall Bell, Ph.D.

There are two great lies. The first is that it can’t happen to us. The second is that there is no hope. The truth is that it can happen to us. And the truth is that there is hope. We can change and transform ourselves through our choices. We choose not only what we do and say, but how we perceive the world and ourselves.

Disappointments are inevitable. As much as we may try to make life perfect, disappointments affect all people. It could be any one of the difficult Ds, such as disease, death, divorce, disability, drugs, defeat, or being dumped. Sometimes people directly cause these disappointments. Other times they come unexpectedly, apparently without any reason.

But in almost every case the solution is the same. Post-traumatic thrivers fail forward. They are resilient and come out stronger than before. What makes a person a post-traumatic thriver? There are four basic transformations that define post-traumatic thrivers.

So what are the four obstacles and how do we use them to transform?

From Complexity to Simplicity. Some problems are mind-bogglingly complex. We may find ourselves in a hopeless tangle, whether in business or family life. We may look at this mess and think that the solution will be just as messy. The opposite is true. Complex problems require simple solutions. Most of the time, our troubles are foundational. For example, many relationships or jobs fall apart because of an initial, foundational dishonesty or miscommunication.

The solution is to set aside time each day, preferably in the morning, for solitude and clear thinking. Put aside the smartphone, turn off the television and the computer, and connect with your gut and your conscience. All strong buildings sit on a solid foundation. Where is your foundation? Where does your mind go? Simplify things to their essential elements and let the dust settle. There is great wisdom inside all of us, if only we are willing to listen.

From Isolation to Connection. Any one of the difficult Ds can lead to isolation. Whether in business or our personal lives, we turn inwards, thinking that if we got ourselves into the mess in the first place, then we are the only ones who can solve it. However, we are social animals. Many of those situations that drive us to isolation and seem to require only our own thinking are solved by reconnecting with those around us. It is difficult to see ourselves and our circumstances truthfully if we shut ourselves off from others.

The solution is to connect. Even when things are going great, we call a friend or family member every day and exchange a few kind words. That way, when things get tough, we will have somebody to talk to. How are our relationships? Who can we rely on? Who can rely on us? Here we reach out to people in an authentic way and open ourselves to the wisdom of those people around us.

From Inertia to Action. When disappointments hit, we may feel useless and ineffective. Our confidence drops. We start hesitating. The longer this goes on, the more inertia we build up, until taking any action seems impossible. When we want to get in shape, we go to the gym on a schedule, not just when we want to be fit. We don’t just shower once in January and expect to stay clean for the remainder of the year. Likewise, when struggling, we need to stay in action.

The simple solution to this is to make your bed every morning. The point, of course, is not to have the bed made (though you will be thankful at night!). The point is to start the day in action. You will start the day having accomplished something, however small. If you managed to make your bed this morning, then what can’t you do? Here we tap into the wisdom of small but significant actions.

From Myopia to Imagination. Disappointments can often lead to regret, but they don’t have to. Much regret stems not from something that happened to us, but from how we responded. We rarely regret a natural disaster or a disease, but we may regret how to acted in those situations. Repeated disappointment from one of the difficult Ds can lead either to increasing narrow-mindedness (myopia) or greater awareness. Post-traumatic thrivers cultivate an active imagination. They have a broad sense of what is possible. They may even seem crazy at times.

The easiest habit to counter myopia and to cultivate a sense of timelessness and imagination is to keep a journal or a diary. We think of the big picture. We connect with that part that is, not the part that does. We think of the to be list, not the to do list. By keeping a record, we use time to create the timeless. We give ourselves permission to think big and set goals.

To make things happen, we need to know who and what we are dealing with. We replace each conflict with a new, effective habit. As Thoreau once wrote, “Simplify, simplify.”

 

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13 Apr

Going to church: Is it worth it? Yes! New study says it lowers risk of suicide among women

By Joy Stephenson-Laws

Despite the increasing awareness surrounding mental health issues, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. However, a study published in JAMA Psychiatry sheds light on an unexpected source of suicide prevention — church!

 

Researchers studied more than 20 years’ worth of data from nearly 90,000 women ages 30-55, looking for any associations between religious service attendance and suicide. What they found? Attending a religious service once a week or more was associated with an approximately five times lower suicide rate compared with those who never attended religious services! Most of the women who attended church were Catholic or Protestant.

 

When drawing their conclusions, the researchers noted that they were careful to account for other factors that would affect suicide risk, such as lifestyle, medical history, depressive symptoms and social integration.

 

While an association does not prove a cause and effect relationship, it is certainly worth keeping in mind. Perhaps the women felt a greater sense of meaning, belonging and support from their church communities.

 

Another way to prevent suicide is to look for the signs.

 

Suicide warning signs may include:

  • Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
  • Talking about feeling empty, hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Making a suicide plan by searching online, stockpiling pills or buying a gun
  • Talking about a great amount of guilt or shame
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling there are no solutions
  • Feeling unbearable pain (emotional pain or physical pain)
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Acting anxious or agitated
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
  • Talking or thinking about death often
  • Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
  • Giving away important possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Putting affairs in order, making a will

 

If you or someone you know may be at risk, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text The Crisis Text Line: 741741. The  deaf and hard of hearing can contact the lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889.

Find more resources here.

 

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

 

Joy Stephenson-Laws is the founder of Proactive Health Labs (www.phlabs.org), a national non-profit health information company that provides education and tools needed to achieve optimal health. Her most recent book is Minerals – The Forgotten Nutrient: Your Secret Weapon for Getting and Staying Healthy, available through Amazon, iTunes and bookstores.  All proceeds from the book will be donated to The Bili Project Foundation, an organization devoted to reducing the incident and improve the outcome of Hepatobilary cancers, which are cancers of the liver, gallbladder, or bile ducts.  Connect with Proactive Health Labs on FacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoodreads, and at www.phlabs.org.

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10 Apr

Is there something that humans just don’t understand about life?

CWG Book4_Cover_04.cdrYes—and it’s huge

 By Neale Donald Walsch

 

How is it possible for seven billion human beings to all want the same thing—safety, security, peace, prosperity, opportunity, happiness, and love—yet be unable to produce it for any but the tiniest percentage, even after thousands of years of trying?

 

I pose this question wherever I appear on my speaking tours, but I rarely get a satisfactory answer.

 

That’s because most people do not understand the nature of the problem. As a result, we keep trying to solve the problem at every level except the level at which the problem exists.

 

First, we try to solve the problems as if they were political problems. We author legislation, we pass resolutions, we issue declarations and sign documents, we create governments and then, by vote or by force, dismantle the governments we have created—we try everything we can think of politically, and yet we are faced with the same problems today that we have faced for centuries, and indeed, for millennia.

 

So we say, obviously these are not political problems. They must be economic problems. And we then try in every way that we can to manipulate how cash flows around the problems. We throw money at them (as in the sending of foreign aid), or we withhold money from them (as in the imposition of economic sanctions). We try everything we can think of economically, and yet we are faced with the same problems today that we have faced for centuries, and indeed, for millennia.

 

So we say, obviously these are not economic problems, they must be military problems. And then we shoot bullets at them and drop bombs on them and fire missiles into them. We try everything we can think of militarily, and yet we are faced with the same problems today that we have faced for centuries, and indeed, for millennia.

 

So we say, it’s time to stop the fighting and go back to the bargaining table. We need to negotiate a settlement. And the cycle starts all over again. We pass more resolutions, then we impose more sanctions, then we drop more bombs, all the while crying out plaintively: “There must be a solution somewhere.

 

Yet the problem facing humanity is not a political problem, it is not an economic problem, and it is not a military problem. It is a spiritual problem, and it can only be solved by spiritual means.

 

My Conversations with God book series—the first entry of which was published in 1995—has been read by millions and been translated into 37 languages worldwide, and I have been answering questions about the content of those books for over 20 years. So I have some well-worn opinions on what I call “humanity’s dilemma.”

 

It seems to me that nothing we are doing is working. Our political systems clearly are not working. Our economic systems clearly are not working. Our ecological systems clearly are not working. Our health care systems clearly are not working. Our educational systems clearly are not working. Our social systems clearly are not working. And saddest of all, our spiritual systems clearly are not working.

 

Nothing that we have created to produce a better life for all of us is producing that outcome for the largest number of people. In fact, it is worse than that. They are actually producing exactly the opposite.

 

It is time to arouse humanity from its slumber. There is obviously something we don’t understand, both about life and about God, the understanding of which would change everything.

 

I have catalogued what I consider to be humanity’s major misunderstandings in my latest book, Conversations with God-Book 4: Awaken the Species. I offer seven tools for integrating the behaviors of fully awakened beings into an average person’s daily life.

 

Perhaps the most startling assertion of my new book, however, is not about current human behaviors, but the behaviors of extraterrestrial beings—who I am convinced not only exist, but are actively working to help the people of Earth grow in their understanding.

 

My book includes a list of what I believe are sixteen crucial differences in behavior between what I describe as “Highly Evolved Beings living in an awakened state” and those human beings who are not.

 

I understand that such an assertion will meet with skepticism at best, and derision in some quarters for sure. Still, I think most people now accept that we are not alone in the cosmos, and most would be comforted to know that benevolent beings are seeking to help us move forward in our evolutionary process.

 

Yet if such beings are helping, one might ask, why is our planet now facing crisis after crisis, with terrorism destroying lives, economic dreams being shattered, and unpredictable political upheaval emerging everywhere?

 

In my view, the fact that these conditions exist make this the perfect time for our advancement. They comprise the storm before the calm, their severity serving to shake humanity from its complacency, awakening us to what now urgently needs to be done if we are to keep the promise of our potential.

 

I was told all of this in my latest conversations with God, a communication with the Divine that I believe all people are having all the time. Most people are simply calling it something else. A moment of inspiration, perhaps. A sudden insight. A wonderful or brilliant idea. An intuitive sense. Some have even labeled such moments an epiphany.

 

People will call it whatever they have to call it to get away with sharing their experience without having to claim that God spoke to them, or that Divine revelations had anything to do with it.

 

Whatever words we use, we are talking here about the expansion of awareness that arises from the place of highest wisdom within all of us. It is the daring vision of Galileo, the incisive clarity of Socrates, the expansive understanding of Simone de Beauvoir, the intellectual bravery of Gertrude Stein, the pure genius of Madam Curie and Albert Einstein that resides within everyone, awaiting our access and our use.

 

Book 4 in the Conversations with God series contains an invitation to human beings to choose to be among those who commit to moving forward their own individual and personal evolution by embracing and demonstrating behaviors that serve to awaken the species to who and what human beings really are (Individuations of Divinity), and how that may be made manifest in daily experience.

 

The book comes out late March from Rainbow Ridge Books, distributed by Square One Publishers in New York.

NDW Photo

–Neale Donald Walsch is the New York Times Bestselling author of nine books in the Conversations with God series, which have sold more than ten million copies in 37 languages. He is one of the major authors in the new spirituality movement, having written 29 books, with eight books on the New York Times bestseller’s list. His life and work have helped to create and sustain a worldwide spiritual renaissance, and he travels globally to bring the uplifting message of the CwG books to people everywhere.

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06 Apr

When Someone You Love is Dying

84601An excerpt from Words at the Threshold by Lisa Smartt

 

When her father became terminally ill with cancer, Lisa Smartt began transcribing his conversations and noticed that his personality underwent inexplicable changes. Once a skeptical man with a secular worldview, he developed a deeply spiritual outlook in his final days — a change that was reflected in his language. Baffled, intrigued, and compelled by her linguistics training, Smartt grabbed pencil and paper and tracked his final words.

 

The inquiry that began with her father’s language went on to become the Final Words Project, in which she collected and analyzed hundreds of final words for their linguistic patterns and themes.

 

In her new book Words at the Threshold: What We Say as We’re Nearing, Smartt decodes the symbolism of those last words, showing how the language of the dying points the way to a transcendent world beyond our own. We hope you’ll enjoy this short excerpt from the book.

# # #

 

If you are facing the death of a beloved right now, I invite you to write down the words you hear — even those that seem to make no sense — without editing, fearing, or judging them. As you transcribe the words, and as you read through these chapters, you may discover that the very changes you hear in your beloved’s language, which may seem scary and confusing, may ultimately bring you comfort and meaning.

 

Jewels often emerge as we listen closely and write down final words, and the transcription process can help us feel more connected to our loved ones and even closer to Source. Many times the dying say things that don’t make sense at the moment. But months or years later, you will find hints of prophecy or answers to questions in those words.

 

Here are some suggestions for you to use as you courageously and compassionately witness final words.

 

  • Enter the world of your beloved. Imagine you are visiting a new country. Keep an open heart and mind. Record in a final words journal what you hear, see, and feel; it will be your private travelogue about that other place. You may be surprised later by the pearls of wisdom you find there.
  • Have eyes for the sacred. If possible, imagine that the territory you have entered is sacred ground, despite the terrible loss looming before you. Be open to the possibility that something transpersonal is occurring, and that the words you hear are tracking its course.
  • Validate your loved one’s words and experiences. Repeat back what your beloved has said, to let the person know you heard it: “Oh, your modality is broken. I would love to know more about that.” Avoid telling your beloved that what he or she is seeing or saying is wrong or “not real.”
  • Be a student of the language. Since you are in a new country, learn its language. Study it. Practice it. Speak it. Listen for the symbols and metaphors that are meaningful to your beloved and then use them when you communicate. For example, ask, “Would you like me to help you find your passport?” When you hear things that sound nonsensical, simply think, “Oh, that’s how they phrase things in this country!”
  • Ask questions with authenticity and curiosity. It’s okay to let the dying person know you are confused and would love to hear more of what he or she wants to communicate. “Could you tell me more abou..?”
  • Assume your loved one can hear you even when unresponsive or quiet; let the dying person know how deep your love goes. As we die, our sense of hearing is the last sense to go. When you are in another room, and especially when you are speaking about your beloved, speak with lots of praise and gratitude. Speak words that will bring joy or comfort to the person.
  • Savor silence. Sometimes it is better to just sit with your loved one. When words don’t build bridges, know that the dying may be much more attuned to telepathic or other nonverbal communication, much like the kind of communication we experience when we pray. Speak to the person you love as you would in prayer.

 

Healing Grief

Your listening to and honoring final words will make the dying process easier for your beloved. At the same time, transcribing the words can be healing for you as you move through the loss of someone you love. Make a journal out of the words you’re writing down. Remember that the words that don’t make sense are as important as the ones that do. Notice metaphors or symbols that are repeated, and paradoxical phrases. Are there certain colors or shapes that are repeated? Are there references to people or places you do not see? Meanings may not be clear at first, but when you write down the words you have heard, you may find comforting or healing associations.

 

What might seem senseless to a stranger may hold deep personal meaning to you. Final words can be like dreams. We learn so much by reflecting upon these words and free-associating with them. In your final-words journal, write down the words you hear, and allow yourself to free-associate. Imagine the words are those of an oracle, or the wisdom of dreams, and let them evoke images and reflections in you. You may be surprised and moved by what emerges.

 

My mother and I created raku-fired plaques of my father’s final words in honor of his memory. Art is a powerful healing tool. Many times, the best way to process grief is without language. Taking final words and building art with them and through them brings us to a greater understanding of their meaning and of those we love. Integrating final words with art is one way to keep the portal open between the living and the dying, and a way to honor those who left before us.

 

Shedding Light on the Path of Consciousness

If you are not currently facing the loss of someone you love, it is my hope that this book will offer you the tools for when you do. Perhaps it will also answer your questions about an afterlife and deepen your appreciation of the connection between language and consciousness.

 

As much as the death of a beloved is grief-filled, it is often also a sacred time. The language at the end of life offers a pathway to a better understanding of the spiritual quality of dying and living — and can help us develop deeper connections with our beloveds. With each word we transcribe, we are invited into the consciousness of those we care about as they transition.

 

The continuum of language in the communications of the dying includes an increase in symbolic and metaphoric language, repetition, sustained narratives, various kinds of paradoxical and situational “nonsense,” and a variety of other linguistic patterns that shed light on the path of consciousness that we traverse as we die. By analyzing the language of those who have had near-death experiences, we can learn from these accounts about words at the threshold.

 

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Lisa Smartt, MA, is a linguist, educator, poet and author of Words at the Threshold. She founded the Final Words Project, an ongoing study devoted to collecting and interpreting the mysterious language at the end of lives. She lives in Athens, Georgia. Visit her online at www.FinalWordsProject.org.

 

Excerpted from the book Words at the Threshold: What We Say as We’re Nearing Death. Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Smartt. Printed with permission from New World Library. www.newworldlibrary.com

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07 Feb

Be Excerpt

Be_book coverGuest post by Bahriye Goren-Gulek

What is it about certain individuals that inspire not only themselves but also the people around them? In her recent book, Be: Become Your True Self, And Inspire Those Around You, author and branding expert Bahriye Goren-Gulek explores that certain sense of being that comes with deeper levels of awareness — which ultimately turns ordinary leaders into inspiring leaders.

 

Her book highlights eight concepts that readers can use to help them on the path to reaching deeper levels of awareness. Each chapter ends with an interview with a leading business professional who, according to the author, has learned how to bring that specific concept to life. Below, the author has shared an excerpt from Chapter 1, titled “Intuition.”

 

*****

 

The stories we tell ourselves:

 

As human beings we are known to be notorious storytellers. Our whole life experience is based on the stories we tell ourselves. Think about it. Isn’t every experience you recall a personal commentary, a thought, a perception, even an interpretation of occurrences? Two people can attend the exact same concert yet have two completely different thoughts about it and, as a result, two totally different stories to tell afterwards. You probably describe the last company outing very differently than some of your colleagues or team members might describe it. And what happens when we add the opinions and expectations of people around us to our own thoughts? The mixture of all these thoughts and opinions becomes our story and description of who we are, or who we think we are. Our thoughts create our stories, which in turn create our life – or rather, it creates how we experience our life.

 

In essence, our characters and personalities are a result of the stories we create about ourselves, as well as the people that influence us, especially at a younger age. I don’t want to go too deeply into this as it could be a topic for a separate book, but the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu summed it up perfectly when he wrote: “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

 

The thoughts and words Lao Tzu refers to are literally the stories we tell ourselves and others, over and over again. So then, how exactly does this relate to intuition? In essence: our fears and desires are a direct result of the stories we tell ourselves, and in turn these stories reinforce our fears and desires, and the vicious cycle begins. As a child, you weren’t scared to speak your mind. And yet, over time, you got conditioned to sometimes bite your tongue. You might have been humiliated (or felt humiliated) when you spoke up and people reacted adversely, so the story you told yourself was that when you speak up in certain situations, you get ‘punished’, which turned you somewhat introverted. As David Lynch (director and screenwriter) pointed out so eloquently: “We think we understand the rules when we become adults but what we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination.”

 

This same principle applies to the workplace. I’ve worked in environments where people are governed by fear. And guess what? Most likely, the leaders in those workplaces have many fears within themselves. We all know the insecure overachiever profile. I was even recruited by one of my first employers because I was one of them. But when an insecure overachiever gets to be in charge, they will demand the same work ethic from the people who work for them. I can guarantee you fear is never the best adviser.

 

The first time I became a leader, I wasn’t leading with awareness at all, and it was reflected in how my team was operating. I didn’t realize a lot of my words and actions were driven by my own insecurities, and it resulted in my team behaving in the same way. Fear makes people shut down, and nothing is more detrimental to creativity than fear. The point here is clear: people around us mirror who we are and what we radiate. If we are mindful and at peace, the people we lead will become more mindful and more at peace. Professor Mark Beeman, who specializes in cognitive neuroscience at Northwestern University, has conducted one of the most groundbreaking studies on insights and where creative problem-solving comes from. He

has shown different patterns of brain activity in high-insight versus low-insight anagram solvers, when people are completely at rest. The key conclusion was that insights do not come from logical reasoning, but are a sudden knowing that pops up in a restful state. They emerge out of a moment of nothingness. They emerge from what I would call intuition.

 

So how do we tune into this magical source called intuition? It is actually simpler than you might think, yet at the same time, its simplicity is also one of the hardest things to achieve, especially in our digitally ‘always on’ society.

 

First of all, it’s important to realize that your intuition is already present. It’s inside of you, so you don’t need to go anywhere or do anything! I have participated in many corporate and self-help training programmes out there, seeking tools to become a better person. Drumming sessions to build better teams and drum out the frustrations? Why not? Phrases like ‘limiting beliefs’ and ‘growing edge’ are thrown at you from all directions. I’ve seen colleagues break down, weeping, in some of these workshops, because they feel lost.

 

It was only after I took a break from going to these workshops that I could see what the main learning point was. The key is to remove the barriers we have put in place, versus searching to find that holy grail as if it is something outside of us. Over the years, we have become so skilled at protecting ourselves, our image, our status, that in the process we have also killed that which makes us the best leaders: our inner wisdom. We have become externally driven versus internally driven. You must recall those moments where you feel this tinkling in your gut. When all of a sudden you get an idea, or you are interviewing someone for a job and you know that it’s a bull’s eye. You just know it!

 

So how to bring back what we seem to have lost?

 

You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you are able to silence the mind. The word ‘mindfulness’ has become extremely popular these days, giving it both a mystical as well as an unreachable status. Nothing could be further from the truth. It basically comes down to being able to stop thinking, stop talking, stop doing, and listen. Still the rational mind. The mind that society has put on a pedestal, where we think we can outsmart life. But the fact of the matter is that the rational mind doesn’t know everything. And, often, it can hinder us to find the right answers.

 

I challenge you to take 10-15 minutes of silence every day. Alone. Just switch off your phone, your laptop. And don’t switch on the TV or radio either. Sit still, even if it feels uncomfortable or boring at first, close your eyes and just focus on your breath. If you are having a hard time sitting still, you can also take a walk while doing this. The key is to not interact, not think back over things that happened or things that you want to do. Just be. Of course, thoughts will

come up. Let them. Don’t resist. Just keep being still, whether by sitting still or

while in motion. Be still.

 

Be: Become Your True Self, And Inspire Those Around You by Bahriye Goren-Gulek is available in both Kindle and Paperback version via Amazon.

 

About the Author

Bahriye Goren-GulekIn her recent book, Be: Become Your True Self, And Inspire Those Around You, author Bahriye Goren-Gulek draws on her 15 years of global experience as a brand strategy expert to inspire readers to achieve deeper levels of awareness in order to transform ordinary leadership into extraordinary leadership.

A seasoned brand strategist, Goren-Gulek has worked on both the client (Unilever) and agency side where she has consulted world class multinationals across the globe. As the former Executive Director of Innovation and Strategy at Wallace Church & Co., an award winning branding agency in New York, she has worked with the most talented creative and brand leaders. She is a university lecturer at the graduate and undergraduate level at business schools in New York, Colorado, Singapore and Taiwan. She lives with her husband, son and their dog in Boulder, Colorado.

 

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11 Jan

Discover the Life You Were Born to Live

BookDestinies_cvr4.inddGuest post by Chetan Parkyn

I can remember quite clearly a moment in my life when I realized nothing made sense to me, that everything I had done and was doing seemed out of tune, even meaningless. I was sitting alone at a campfire in the shelter of a small group of pine trees in the highlands of Kenya, enjoying the first opportunity to be by myself in over a year. My father had died eighteen months before, and I knew I had not come to terms with his passing, especially considering how I had busied myself in all kinds of intense activities to avoid acknowledging my thoughts and feelings. In the light of his passing and reflection on the life he had lived, I had not stopped to reconsider what was important to me and what I really wanted to achieve in my own life.

 

In such a state of feeling lost, I was very fortunate soon afterward to be guided to someone, in India, who could look deeply into my life and tell me about it from a purely objective point of view. Do you know those times when you hear something that resonates deeply within you and yet you cannot altogether explain how or why it does? And how, after receiving such insight, it is impossible to go back to an old way of doing things because your perspective has completely changed?

 

Well, that is what happened in the reading I received from a savant living in India who was working with an ancient system of divination. In that reading I reconnected with the ongoing stream of my life. I recognized once more an innate sense of purpose within me that had become blurred and unsure. And one of the issues that came up in the reading was that I had a gift and I was going to start using that gift, giving readings to others, to help them find their way through life more clearly. I was informed that a system was going to come into my life that I would work with, write books about, and introduce to people all over the world, and that what came through me would change their lives forever. The savant suggested that I should get ready for this new system by immediately starting to practice reading for people — I should find a system, any system, through which I could reflect people back to themselves and practice telling them what I saw, so that I would be ready when the “new” system showed up. I was introduced to hand reading, or palmistry, and went from there, exploring and practicing in every ancient wisdom tradition and system of divination I could find.

 

The “new” system that the savant foretold is Human Design, which came into being eight years after the reading I received and into my life six years later, in 1993. I immediately recognized it as the system the savant had predicted, and dove into its study. I discovered the essential value in Human Design and started the task of simplifying what could be seen as a complex system, rendering it into easy, everyday language. Over the years, it has become clear to me that people benefit greatly from being aware of the keys in their Human Design Life Chart. In fact, the system has served to bring huge transformation and empowerment to the thousands of people for whom I’ve read and taught worldwide.

 

So much has transpired since the reading I had in India all those years ago, because the clarification of my journey has resulted directly in my helping others to clarify theirs. My first book, Human Design: Discover the Person You Were Born to Be, is now out in 11 language versions and counting; the second book, The Book of Lines, is being embraced in many circles worldwide; and the third book, The Book of Destinies: Discover the Life You Were Born to Live, coauthored with my life partner, Carola Eastwood, contains descriptions of all 192 different Life Themes that are possible for our life on Earth.

 

We have to acknowledge that massive change is going on in the world and that we are being exposed to more and more information and challenges every minute of every day. New situations come into our lives, and we have to be clear in how we deal with them. We find that trying to follow old patterns of rules and beliefs we used in earlier times no longer works. If we can adapt to circumstances through our own authenticity, present to each moment, then we find that we are in balance with life. This is what is possible through the understanding of Human Design and the realignment with our Life Theme.

 

Human Design gives clear details on how to engage more successfully with life according to your own Human Design. Now The Book of Destinies takes you deep into the heart and soul of the meaning of your unique lifetime. It is as if you can peer into that moment when your Spirit got the vision for this lifetime and know exactly what is intended for this journey. In the kaleidoscope of human possibility, there are 192 Life Themes, and before birth each of us chooses one of them as our theme and purpose in this lifetime.

 

Understanding your Life Theme will bring you a profound recognition, similar to the one I had all those years ago, of the underlying premise to your life. You will come to appreciate the uniqueness of the particular path you tread, recognizing how you engage with some people and situations effortlessly but find yourself uninterested in, or even distracted by, others. You will be reminded how essential it is for you to be fulfilled in your own needs. And you will recognize how to achieve this while at the same time navigating comfortably within the lives and influences of others whose Life Themes you will also come to know and appreciate.

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 Chetan Parkyn is the author of Human Design, The Book of Lines, and most recently The Book of Destinies. He is the world’s most successful practitioner of Human Design and holds frequent workshops and seminars all over the globe. Visit him online at http://www.HumanDesignForUsAll.com.

 

Based on the book The Book of Destinies. Copyright © 2016 by Chetan Parkyn and Carola Eastwood.

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20 Dec

VISUALIZE PROSPERITY

An excerpt from the 40th Anniversary Edition of Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain

If anyone can be called a self-help, self-actualization pioneer, it is Shakti Gawain. Years before “manifestation,” “the law attraction,” and “the secret” entered the lexicon, Shakti was sharing daily affirmations, meditations, and mental imagery practices that millions found could help them achieve goals, change habits, relax deeply, and significantly improve overall health and well-being.  We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the new 40th anniversary edition of her international bestseller Creative Visualization.

 

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A very important part of the whole creative visualization process is developing a sense of prosperity. This means having the understanding, or consciously taking the point of view, that the universe is abundant, that life is actually trying to bring us what our hearts and souls truly desire — spiritually, mentally, emotionally, as well as physically. Almost everything you truly need or want is here for the asking; you only need to believe that it is so, truly desire it, and be willing to accept it.

 

One of the most common causes of failure when seeking what you want is “scarcity programming.” This is an attitude or set of beliefs about life that goes something like this:

 

There isn’t enough to go around….

Life is suffering….

It is immoral or selfish to have enough when others don’t….

Life is hard, difficult, a vale of tears….

You must work hard and sacrifice for everything you gain….

It’s more noble and spiritual to be poor….

 

These are all false beliefs. They are based on a lack of understanding of how the universe works, or a misunderstanding of some important spiritual principles. These beliefs are not of service to you or anyone else; they simply limit all of us from realizing our natural state of prosperity and plenty on all levels.

 

At the present time there is a reality in this world of starvation and poverty for many people, but we do not need to keep creating and perpetuating that reality. The fact is that there is more than enough to go around for every being on earth, if we are willing to open our minds to that possibility, and change our ways of using and distributing the world’s resources. The universe is a place of great abundance and we are all meant to be naturally prosperous, both in material and spiritual wealth, in a way that is balanced and harmonious with one another and with the earth that nourishes us.

 

In modern times, humankind has lost touch with its natural state of prosperity. Together, we are creating a world vastly out of balance, in which a relative few have far more than they need and are using up our natural resources at an alarming rate, while the majority suffer from serious lack. We are all responsible for creating this reality, and we can change it by changing both our way of thinking and our way of living. We need to reclaim our ability to appreciate and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Many of us in the industrialized world need to cultivate a simpler, more natural lifestyle. We need to realize that after our basic needs are met, the experience of abundance has more to do with expressing our creative gifts in satisfying ways, and learning to give and receive in a balanced way, than it does with extravagant consumerism.

 

The truth about this earth is that it is an infinitely good, beautiful, nourishing place to be. The only “evil” comes from a lack of understanding of this truth. Evil (ignorance) is like a shadow — it has no real substance of its own; it is simply a lack of light. You cannot cause a shadow to disappear by trying to fight it, by stamping on it, by railing against it, or by any other form of emotional or physical resistance. In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must shine light on it.

 

Take a look at your belief system and see if you are holding yourself back by not believing sufficiently in the possibility of prosperity. Can you actually realistically imagine yourself as a successful, satisfied, fulfilled person? Can you really open your eyes to the goodness and beauty and abundance that are all around you? Can you imagine this world transformed into a prosperous and supportive environment in which everyone can flourish?

You will experience difficulty in creating what you want in your personal life unless you view the world as a good place to be and a place that works for everyone.

 

This is because human nature is basically loving, and so most of us will not allow ourselves to have what we want as long as we believe that we might be depriving others in order to do so.

 

We have to understand in a deep way that having what we truly want in life contributes to the general state of human happiness and supports others in creating more happiness for themselves.

 

To create prosperity, we need to visualize ourselves living as we desire to live, doing what we love, feeling satisfied with what we attain, in a context of other people doing the same.

 

In a spirit of fun, try this exercise to stimulate your imagination and expand your ability to visualize true prosperity:

 

Abundance Meditation

 

Relax completely in a comfortable position.

 

Picture yourself in any lovely natural environment — perhaps by a green, open meadow with a lovely brook, or on white sand by the ocean. Take some time to imagine all the beautiful details, and see yourself fully enjoying and appreciating your surroundings. Now begin to walk, and soon find yourself in some totally different surrounding environment, perhaps exploring a waving field of golden grain, or swimming in a lake. Continue to wander and explore — finding more and more exquisitely beautiful environments of great variety — mountains, forests, deserts, whatever suits your fantasy. Take a little time to appreciate each one.

 

 

Now imagine returning home to a simple but comfortable and lovely environment, whatever would most suit you. Imagine having loving family, friends, and community around you. Visualize yourself doing work that you love, and expressing yourself creatively in ways that feel just right for you. You are being amply rewarded for your efforts, in internal satisfaction, appreciation from others, and financial return. Imagine yourself feeling fulfilled and thoroughly enjoying your life. Step back, and see if you can imagine a world full of people living simply yet abundantly, in harmony with one another and the earth.

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Shakti Gawain is a bestselling author and a pioneer in the field of personal growth and consciousness. The 40th Anniversary edition of her classic work Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Life was recently published by New World Library.

 

Excerpted from Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Life © 2002 by Shakti Gawain. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA — www.newworldlibrary.com.

 

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