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18 Apr

Easter Message

Resurrection+of+Jesus,+Hofmann+1867

I realize that Easter, Christianity, and the issues surrounding resurrection beliefs can be ‘gospel’ to some, explosive trip-wires for others. My goal in presenting the following is simply to commemorate a significant event in the life and mission of Christ Jesus while also adhering to a conviction that spiritual laws are universal and demonstrated by enlightened ones of all faiths throughout time. Legendary mythologist, Joseph Campbell, includes ‘Resurrection’ as the 11th step in the classic Hero’s Journey, something identified in innumerable historical tales from diverse cultures. The life and message of Christ Jesus was unique to his world mission, as were those of Krishna, Buddha, and other illumined masters. Resurrection has been referenced or demonstrated by Guru Nanak of the Sikhs and Swami Sri Yukteswar in the yogic tradition, yet it is clearly a most notable event in the Christian faith and one that deserves respect for its spiritual significance. It is the significance of this event, however, that I believe the masters wished to emphasize, not so much the event itself. Namely, what they accomplished others can too – God willing – once they realize their innate divinity. I believe that Jesus labored very hard to get people on board with the message of “Ye too are Gods” and “Seek the Kingdom within.” To that end, his trials and triumphs reflect what we need to strive for, and do, in order to be true disciples of the One Spirit.

A Yogi’s Appreciation of Easter & Resurrection

“Resurrection is not the power of Spirit in the body of Jesus only; Spirit is in everyone. Nor does man have to die in order to resurrect Spirit. The physical resurrection of Christ was only part of the lesson of his life. Every time you give up a weakness and feel happy in being good, Christ is resurrected anew. You can bring Christ Consciousness within you right now…..” PY

“…Resurrect your calmness from beneath the soil of restlessness; resurrect your wisdom from the enshrouding earthliness of ignorance; resurrect your love from beneath the sod of mundane human attachment − with its limited love for family, society, and country − to divine love for all.” PY

For a Meditation on Resurrection click HERE

 

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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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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.

 

# # #

3020

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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30 Mar

The Four Pearls and The Four Squirrels

THE FOUR PEARLS AND THE FOUR SQUIRRELS

New Book Provides Four Pearls of Wisdom for Finding Happiness While Avoiding Distractions

In the time-honored tradition of the fable, author Lissa Coffey has created a whimsical, meaningful book that will delight readers of all ages. The Four Pearls and The Four Squirrels: A Modern Fable About Happiness and Distraction is a modern-day classic filled with wisdom. It inspires and enlightens in the same way that Jonathan Livingston Seagull has for generations.

Encouraged by their mentor Merlinda, four squirrels set out on a quest to find a treasure hidden in the forest. The four pearls they search for represent profound truths that lead to happiness and peace of mind. The squirrels also discover that these truths are the antidote to the many distractions that can keep us from achieving our goals.

· The First Pearl: Look at what you have, not at what you don’t have.

· The Second Pearl: Look at what you are doing, not at what anyone else is doing.

· The Third Pearl: Look at the opportunities, not at the obstacles.

· The Fourth Pearl: Look at what matters, not at what doesn’t matter.

These pearls of wisdom, along with their associated Happiness Principles (Gratitude, Focus, Fortitude, Faith) form the basis for a philosophy that helps readers through challenges in every aspect of life.

More info about the book at FourPearlsBook.com

The book is designed both exterior and interior with a unique lettering style created by Ray Mawst RayMawst.com 

 

About the Author

Lissa Coffey is the author of The Four Pearls and The Four Squirrels. Her mentor, Deepak Chopra, says: “Your heart will thank you for Lissa’s helpful and heartful vision.” Lissa has written several books, including the bestselling “What’s Your Dosha, Baby?” She is a lifestyle expert who has been featured on The Today Show and many other national and local television programs. Visit Lissa online at her site: CoffeyTalk.com.

 

The Buzz

“The Jonathan Livingston Seagull for a new millennium. The Four Pearls and The Four Squirrels is a wondrous tale that minds us of the true route to happiness and self-fulfillment.”

-Scott Stantis, Editorial Cartoonist, Chicago Times and USA Today, and creator of the comic strip Prickly City

 

“For those of us fortunate enough to have had mentors, we know what a difference such guidance can make in our lives. With this book, author Lissa Coffey has also taken on the role of mentor in bringing this sweet, clear, profound wisdom to her readers.”

-From the Foreword by Marilyn Schlitz, PhD

 

“The Four Pearls and The Four Squirrels is a charming tale! I love that the story emphasizes patience, gratitude, wisdom gained along the way, and to keeping your mind open in the changes our journey through life presents to us. Lissa Coffey takes us on a whimsical journey of discovery with humor, honesty, and a few bumps along the way!”

-Cristina Ferrare, New York Times Best Selling Author, TV Talk Show Host, Philanthropist

 

ARTICLE AND SEGMENT IDEAS FOR EDITORS AND PRODUCERS

· Do You Want to Be Happy? Pearls represent pearls of wisdom, what we need to remember when we feel unhappy in any way. Squirrels represent the distractions that often keep us from being happy. Lissa discusses the four pearls, and the four principles of happiness that we can use anytime, anywhere, to bring ourselves to that peace of mind that we crave.

· Mentorship Changes Lives! Lissa has been a Big Sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program. Research shows that one-on-one mentoring programs have real-life positive outcomes in children’s lives: http://www.bbbs.org/research/ Lissa will go over some of the data, and introduce viewers to a successful Big and Little match.

· Save the Squirrels! When people learn about the hardships animals face each day, they are more willing to take a proactive approach toward protecting the natural environment and the habitats of our wild neighbors. Lissa gives tips for how we can co-exist with, and respect wild animals in our communities.

 

www.FourPearlsBook.com

The Four Pearls and The Four Squirrels

April, 2017 – Personal Growth/Inspiration – Paperback / ebook – 102 pages

Price: $13.99 – ISBN 978-1-88321-225-4

Available on Amazon and everywhere!

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25 Mar

Spring Renewal: Virtue and Valor

Spring is typically seen as a season of both physical and spiritual renewal. Given the political upheavals confronting this country, and world, one could say that applies – but with steroids! It is hard to remain calmly centered during such periods but that is precisely what we must do while simultaneously acting to restore peace and righteousness to our nation and planet. In many ways what we are seeing outwardly is a reflection of the battle each of us is called to engage in inwardly. In Vedic tradition, the battle fought in the Bhagavad Gita is really a metaphor for facilitating the restoration of soul consciousness over material consciousness. And this is the spiritual battle classically fought within all disciples of all faiths throughout the ages. In short, each of us must remember who we are at our core, souls, and act in alignment with the dictates of Spirit-guidance, not, from fear, anger, or unfettered emotional reactivity. The world is a huge game board of infinite variety and cleverness that excels in drawing us out to engage in varied distractions – some good, some awful – that seem to make us forget our real place and divine purpose. Again, I emphasize that while situations around us abound in tremendous inharmony, we must re-double our efforts to cultivate and remain anchored in spiritual realization, then, act in whatever ways we can to restore peace and balance in our midst. My invitation is nothing new, “Seek the Kingdom within,” but with faith in Spirit, in your personal process, commitment to the cause, and patient resilience. Keep putting the right foot forward in ways both small and large. It is only through invoking and spreading Light that darkness can be diminished or defeated. So don’t despair, engage. And do by shining your own inner light more brightly through attunement with Spirit in whatever way you hold dear. Apply the fruits of soul cultivation – peace, love, joy – with another supernal trait, wisdom, to secure for yourselves and others, a society and planet worthy of bequeathing to future generations.

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21 Mar

Four Signs that the Human Race is Undergoing a Collective Awakening By Steve Taylor

TheLeap_cvr-fnl.inddGuest post by Steve Taylor

In spiritual circles, it’s often suggested that the human race is in the process of a collective spiritual awakening. One of my aims in writing my new book The Leap was to investigate the evidence for this. Is it really true that we’re in the process of ‘waking up’ as a species?

 

Let me first of all explain what I mean by ‘enlightenment’ or (as I prefer to call it) ‘wakefulness.’ I think of it as a shift into a more expansive, higher-functioning state in which we experience a strong sense of connection with the world around us and other beings, a sense of inner quietness and spaciousness, and a heightened awareness of our surroundings. It’s a state in which we transcend identification with the ego-mind, and let go of much of the anxiety and restless which afflicts us in our normal state.

 

There are a number of signs that this state is becoming more accessible and normal to human beings, and that a collective ‘leap’ is occurring.

 

Sign number 1: Individual Wakefulness

First of all, wakefulness seems to be natural for a small minority of people. These people aren’t awake due to a sudden transformation, or as a result of decades of regular spiritual practice – wakefulness is simply their normal, natural state. Such people don’t usually become known in a spiritual context. Instead they often become creative artists, poets or painters, like Walt Whitman or William Wordsworth. Or perhaps they become idealists or social reformers, motivated by compassion or a desire to alleviate suffering, like Florence Nightingale, or Peace Pilgrim.

 

Sign number 2: Temporary Awakening Experiences

As I showed in my earlier book, Waking from Sleep, it’s very common for people to have temporary glimpses of the wakeful state, when they’re inactive and relaxed, and their minds become quiet and calm. For a few moments, the wakeful state emerges, like the sun from behind a wall of clouds. This suggests that our normal sleep state has only a loose hold over us and can easily dissolve away, even if it usually manages to reestablish itself.

 

Sign Number 3: The Impulse to Awaken

More and more people seem to sense instinctively that something is amiss with their normal state of being, that it is limited and delusory. They’re aware that they’re asleep, and they want to wake up. As a result, they feel impelled to investigate methods of transcending their normal state such as following spiritual practices and traditions. Again, this suggests that our sleep state is losing its hold over us. It suggests that an evolutionary change is building momentum within our collective psyche. (continued)

 

 

Sign Number 4: Sudden Awakening from Psychological Turmoil

As I showed in my book Out of the Darkness, it’s not uncommon for people who go through intense stress and turmoil – perhaps linked to bereavement, a diagnosis or cancer, alcoholism or depression – to undergo a sudden shift into wakefulness. This often occurs when they have reached ‘rock bottom’, at the point when they think they have lost everything. Their previous identity seems to dissolve away, and a new ‘wakeful’ identity suddenly emerges to replace it, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.

 

For the ‘shifters’ — as I called them in Out of the Darkness — who undergo awakening in this way, the wakeful state seems to emerge fully formed, as if it had been latent inside them, waiting for the possibility to unfold. Although there are sometimes periods of confusion and disturbance as the old ‘sleep’ state fades away and the new one establishes itself, the process seems natural and inevitable. And again, this suggests that the wakeful state is ready to emerge within our collective psyche. It is already there, fully formed and integrated, but only able to emerge (at least for some people) when the old sleep state dissolves away.

 

All of these are signs that the momentum of wakefulness is increasing, that it’s beginning to unfold as the next stage in the evolution of life. As a result, it’s manifesting itself in a variety of ways, in the same way that a rising water level manifests itself as overflowing rivers and lakes, and new streams, ponds, and tributaries. Wakefulness is also rising, and showing signs of its emergence everywhere.

 

But hold on, you might ask, what about all the negativity in the world right now, the terrorism, consumerism and nationalism? Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at this. When a new phase begins, the characteristics of the previous one often become stronger and more entrenched, in response to the threat of their demise. The old traits are threatened and so seem to be asserting themselves more strongly. It’s almost as if, within our collective psyche, the self-system of sleep senses that it’s being superseded and is trying to tighten its grip.

 

It’s important to remember that our own individual psyche is connected to — and influences — our species as a whole. When we undergo awakening as individuals, we contribute to the awakening of our whole species. Our own leap is part of the leap of our whole species. As more and more of us move toward wakefulness, the easier it becomes for others to do the same. The blueprint of the wakeful state builds up within our collective psyche until eventually it may replace sleep as the normal state that all human beings naturally develop in adulthood.

 

The universe wants us to wake up and will guide us toward wakefulness, if we create the right conditions – until eventually wakefulness becomes normal for the whole of the human race.

 

Based on the book The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening. Copyright © 2017 by Steve Taylor. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

 

Steve Taylor’s previous books include The Calm Center, Out of the Darkness, and Waking from Sleep. A senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University and one of Mind, Body, Spirit magazine’s “100 Most Spiritually Influential People,” he lives in Manchester, England. His website is www.StevenMTaylor.com.

 

 

 

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08 Mar

Your Voice Reveals Your Truth

Guest Post by Leah Guy

 

Your voice is an important barometer of your health. Like a finely tuned instrument, it reveals emotions such as fear, joy, strength and shame. What is said and how it is said is testimony to inner harmony. With minor nuance in tone, pace, or inflection, the voice reveals character and personality as well as mental and emotional health. An emotional imbalance will manifest in the throat or physical movement as weakness, restriction or unevenness. Hoarseness or a “frog” in the throat are signs of an internal emotional struggle.

 

Before language or advanced intellect humans conveyed information with sound and movement. Grunts and utterances delivered feelings and information from the mind and body. Over the centuries man has developed more sophisticated techniques to communicate, helping us evolve into high functioning and manipulative beings. The ability to stay connected to self and others comes from tools of communication, be it speech or movement. It is by this same means that we distance and disconnect ourselves from others.

 

The power of expression can influence one person, a group or the entire world. Articulate leaders have inspired millions to follow their lead with a passionate conviction for good or evil. Activists and social justice groups influence massive change and evolution through the passion of their voice and conviction of their heart. Words unsaid are often equally powerful. Finding the genuine and appropriate voice for yourself is a balancing act.

 

The voice should be used as a tool for expressing thought and emotion, not as a means of control. Poor communication skills can be damaging to self and others. Constriction or restriction of the voice may appear due to yelling, lying, diminishing others, or negative talk to self or others. The fear to speak up or express your needs can also have a detrimental effect.

 

The 5th or Throat Chakra is the Communications Center. It’s also called The Seat of Emotion. Healthy energy in this area coincides with speaking one’s truth and giving expression to desires, wants, needs, opinions and thoughts. As the first of the higher vibration spiritual chakras, this energy center demands the highest integrity and authentic truth that is often challenged by self-doubt and negative thinking. The Throat Chakra is more than simple vocal expression. It also includes body language, written expression and how we understand the expression of others. When the Throat Chakra is out of balance, there is often another emotional energy system that needs attention. The primary blockages to a healthy Throat Chakra are the untruths we tell ourselves and others. Deceit, lies and manipulation are the blocks that keep us trapped. Physical symptoms that may arise from an unhealthy Throat Chakra may include gum or teeth issues, neck pain, clearing of throat, chronic fatigue, headaches, thyroid and endocrine issues, hoarseness, dental issues, polyps on glands and TMJ to name a few.

 

Ignoring our fears or shortcomings traps energy in our bodies and can also develop into a variety of other emotional symptoms and patterns such as gossiping, fear of ridicule or judgment, shyness, stubbornness, verbal abuse, manipulation, inability to express thoughts, social anxiety and fear of public speaking.

 

Concealing one’s feelings and denying who you are is only damaging to one person. You. It is your responsibility to have healthy and honest expressions. Learn to say what you mean and mean what you say. One of the main reasons we lie is to hide our pain and suffering. When asked how we are, we respond with “fine” or “ok.” It’s become common practice to guard one’s expression as a means of being courteous to others or not airing dirty laundry. But it’s not fine. Continual use of these lies keeps us farther away from our happiness and healing. It’s not just deceit and lies that contribute to the imbalance of our unhealthy expression. Addiction is another indicator that emotional healing is needed. You can’t be harmonious with yourself and be in addiction. To deny that truth is to lie to yourself. When I smoked, I lied to myself about my emotional and physical health. After years of being hooked, I lied so much it became humorous. When I smoked, I convinced myself I was meditating or having some sort of spiritual experience alone in the great outdoors. I wanted to believe smoking connected me to my ancestry to the American Indian culture. The truth was the buzz from the smoke was covering the volcano of emotions that were deep in my body. It was my smoke screen.

 

The “vice” du jour offers a moment of pleasure or relief from the pain that we try to avoid. But the negative behavior is just a vice grip on your troubled inner world. It holds your suffering and it won’t let go. The lies we tell ourselves mask the truth of our integrity. Carrying such shame and fearing to admit the truth of our suffering is difficult even to ourselves. Perhaps we chase false dreams, but to ignore dreams confirms the feelings of worthlessness. Perhaps you are in denial about an eating disorder or addiction. You may be lying about your true feelings about your spouse or a friendship. These personal lies become internalized as self-criticism, self-loathing or denial of self-love. We are afraid to judge ourselves so we create excuses, blame others and manipulate situations to avoid the hurt. We lie to avoid infliction of self-pain to our spirit.

 

To heal our emotional wounds, we must practice speaking our truth in word and deed. Saying what we need, what we desire. Using your voice is not just for words alone, or to communicate with others. We often do not realize the lies we tell ourselves. Self-love, compassion and truth-telling are powerful routes to healing old wounds and scar tissue that has developed from shame, guilt, grief and fear. Do not speak what will continue to cover up these negative patterns, speak what you are today, who you are, what you feel. Energy shifts from internal awareness and expression.

 

Leah Guy is author of the new book The Fearless Path, A Radical Awakening to Emotional Healing and Inner Peace. She is also a transpersonal healer, survivor and media personality. For more info visit www.ModernSage.com/book/

Excerpted from The Fearless Path copyright 2017.

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04 Feb

What Ought to be the Ultimate Reality of this Universe

Many of us have pondered over this question as to what is the ultimate underlying reality of this universe. Mainstream thought is that this universe is a vast ocean of space, time, particles, fields, strings, energy, etc. arranged in a particular fashion. But there are still lot of open questions like, where did all this come from, how far does it extend, when did it all come into existence, how long will it last, and so on. There are theories around all of these questions but no definitive answers which indicates a lack of understanding of the underlying reality. Let’s take a step back and see how we can actually derive the ultimate reality of this universe through straightforward logic and sensibility using a simple step-by-step process:

  1. First point to understand is that something cannot come into existence out of absolute nothingness and then dissolve back into absolute nothingness (absolute nothingness means that there is absolutely nothing i.e. not even empty space). This means that something or things must have always existed and should continue to exist forever. Things might get transformed from one thing into another, but there must always be something or the other existing. This implies that existence cannot be time-bound and must be eternal.
  2. Next point to understand is that it doesn’t make sense for something or things to exist only within certain boundaries with absolute nothingness beyond those boundaries. Absolute nothingness, by definition, means that there is absolutely nothing so what will impose a boundary? A thing will never limit itself unless there is something else imposing a limit. And if there is something else, then that is also a thing that exists and part of the overall existence. This can be extended through infinity, which implies that existence cannot be bounded and must be infinite. This can be applied to both space and time.
  3. The question that arises now is how many things actually exist and what are they like. Let’s first figure out how many types of things might be existing. If there exist more than one type, what is keeping two types of things, say T1 and T2, separate from each other? We need a third type, say T3, to keep T1 and T2 separate. We then need T4 to keep T1 and T3 separate, and T5 to keep T3 and T2 separate, and so on ad infinitum. Another possibility is that T3 separates T1 and T2, T2 separates T1 and T3, and T1 separates T3 and T2. But even this kind of inter-leaving will go on to infinite levels. These are implausible scenarios as, even if they were possible, the complexity would be too enormous to last long. So its not feasible for multiple types of things to co-exist together.

    If only one type of thing can exist at any given time, the next question that arises is whether there co-exists only one thing of that type or multiple things of the same type. If there are multiple things of the same type, what keeps them separate from each other? A thing cannot separate two other things of the same type, as how will the boundaries be defined? Moreover, there cannot be absolutely nothing in-between. So its not feasible for multiple things of the same type to co-exist together, and hence only one thing must exist. This one thing must not have any parts either, otherwise the same problem of what separates these parts from each other would come up. For this reason, it has to be a continuous homogeneous whole and cannot be made of parts or particles (which are just tiny parts). We can also safely say that this one thing that exists would not change over time, as change in a thing is caused only by another thing, but there is nothing else that exists to cause a change. Hence, our conclusion so far is that there must be one and only one thing that exists which is infinite, eternal, continuous, homogeneous, part-less and unchanging.

  4. If our above conclusion is correct, the multiplicity, variety and change that we observe in this universe must be just an appearance and not real. This is only possible if the one thing that exists has an innate capability of appearing as many without having to divide itself into parts. Please note that its not as if this one thing is appearing as many to something else. There is nothing else apart from this one thing, so this appearance of many has to be within itself. There is only one such thing we know of that has this capability – consciousness. Consider the individual consciousness that each one of us feels within our respective minds. Even though our consciousness is a single whole and not segmented into parts, we still see a world of many things – people, objects, places, events, etc. – in a dream. Its not as if all these things have somehow physically entered into our head during the dream. They are just an appearance within our consciousness and seem quite vivid and aware of each other, and behave just like we behave in the world when we are awake. So much so that, while we are dreaming, we are absolutely unaware that we are in a dream-world and not in a waking-world. Exactly like our respective dream-worlds are appearances within our individual consciousness, this whole universe is a dream-like appearance within the underlying reality that is none other than consciousness. Since this universal consciousness is infinite and must have infinite capability, the universe appears to be very real with all its vastness and intricate details. Even the perception of space, time, matter, etc. that we have in the waking-world is exactly like we have such perceptions in a dream-world which seem to be quite real while we are in the dream. Its important to note that the universe is not a dream in your or mine or anyone else’s individual consciousness, but its a dream in the universal consciousness. And the body-mind complex that you consider yourself to be is nothing but an appearance in this universal dream just like other objects. This universal consciousness alone appears as individual consciousness within all living beings too.

    Here’s another way to see how this one and only thing that exists is actually consciousness. Whenever we see an something appearing as something else, the appearance maintains certain characteristics of the actual thing. E.g. when a rope lying in a semi-dark room appears as a snake, certain characteristics of the rope like the length, thickness, orientation, etc. are maintained in the snake appearance. Such is true with all appearances. This means that even the universe, although appearing as many with all its variety, must be maintaining certain characteristics of the real thing. Since the real thing is the same throughout, any characteristic that appears universally can most probably be attributed to the real thing. Keeping this in mind, when we observe different things in this universe – no matter how small or big – one characteristic we definitely notice is that everything has a field around it which makes it “aware” of other things within its vicinity. These fields include the electro-magnetic field, weak and strong nuclear field, gravitational field, etc. From the smallest of the particles to the largest of the galaxies, all exhibit this characteristic. This is a strong indication that awareness or consciousness belongs to the underlying reality. Moreover, the underlying reality must be consciousness itself and not a thing which is conscious as that would need two types of things – consciousness and the thing which is conscious – but we have already ruled out existence of more than one type of thing.

    Another simple reason why the ultimate reality must be consciousness is that if its not consciousness, it would be something dead and inert. And we cannot expect something dead and inert to generate such a sophisticated appearance within itself which even includes conscious living beings.

  5. One more characteristic that is observed universally is that every part and particle of this universe is not just “aware” of other things within its vicinity, but is also “interacting” with them. If the underlying reality would have been just plain consciousness, the universe could have been just a huge cloud of particles that only had awareness of each other without any interaction amongst them. But we notice that things either attract each other or repel each other and, overall, things seem to continuously move towards a more stable, more positive state, as is evident from how the universe has arranged itself over time. The fact that we observe such interaction universally indicates that the reality also has a positivity associated with it, called bliss. This bliss is the driving factor behind all types of interaction amidst all living and non-living things. The term “bliss” will be clearer when we consider that everything we ever do is so that we can feel good. All feelings like happiness, joy, peace, serenity, delight, ecstasy, etc. fall under the category of feeling good and the highest order of feeling good is called bliss, which is what we all are striving for. Its the underlying driving factor behind all our actions.

Based on the above analysis, we can conclude that the ultimate Reality of this universe ought to be One, Infinite, Eternal, Continuous, Homogeneous, Part-less, Unchanging Existence-Consciousness-Bliss in which the whole universe appears and disappears in cycles, just like dreams appear and disappear in us. Moreover, there doesn’t have to be only one universe. There can be any number of universes co-existing simultaneously since they are all just appearances in a reality that is infinite.

We have thus derived the ultimate reality using a purely objective analysis. Now compare it with the previous article, Who Are You Really, in which the exact same reality was derived using a purely subjective analysis. If both objective and subjective analyses point to the exact same reality, there must be some truth to it. Imagine what it would be like when you realize that you are not this severely limited body-mind complex, but you are actually the one and only thing that really exists which is of the nature of infinite, eternal, continuous, unchanging bliss!

(This article was cross-posted from happinessjourney.net/post/156793577905/what-ought-to-be-the-ultimate-reality-of-this)

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26 Jan

The Myth of Love vs. Fear

For 20 or so years now, those who have been adherents to the New Age, New Thought, Human Potential movements, as well as many who call themselves “spiritual but not religious” have been hearing that love is opposite to fear.  That love and fear cannot occupy the same place, that we must rid ourselves of fear because perfect love casts out fear.  This starts with a Biblical text in 1 John, and it flows from there into a quote from A Course in Miracles:

Perfect love casts out fear.

If fear exists,

Then there is not perfect love.

But

Only perfect love exists.

If there is fear,

It produces a state that does not exist. (p.12)

The problem with that thinking, however, is that it means that we must repress fear, pretend love and do all that to please a false standard that doesn’t even really exist.

The simple truth is that if only perfect love exists, then fear is also love.  It isn’t true that fear doesn’t exist.  It isn’t true that life here on planet earth is an illusion that we can just ignore and get on with the bliss of living out of touch with life.  We are meant to have real experiences that transform us at fundamental levels here on this journey to planet earth.  We are still in the creative process.  Trying to bliss out means that we avoid the more difficult (so-called “negative” feelings) by repressing them.

When we repress we continue to stay split off.  The hard emotions and thoughts go to the unconscious while we contrive other thoughts and emotions to take their place.  How can we possibly think that is authentic?

But if only perfect love exists then fear is a loving message to us.  It intends to care for us, nurture us, even guide us.  Fear can tell us to get out of the road when a truck is coming.  It can tell us to slow down, look around, really assess what is going on.  It can tell us when we are pushing too hard, or running too fast.  It can tell us that someone is not a safe person.  It can tell us when a job or a project is too big or too overwhelming for us.

And yes, fear can also rise in response to a trigger, that only references something that happened in the past, but isn’t happening in the present.  But even then, it is a pull to resolve that old unresolved past issue.

But if we spend our lives trying to meet a standard about fear, trying to be fearless so that we can prove to ourselves that we are truly spiritual people, then all we do is continue to increase the split between the conscious and the unconscious.

So next time you are afraid, sit with your fear, listen to what it is gently trying to say, hear it as a gift from your authentic Self to nurture and guide you.  You might be surprised at its profound capacity to take you to the deeper more authentic realms of Self.

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05 Jan

The gift of good health

jeff-williams-2016-holidayThe other day someone asked me what my favorite gift was this holiday season.  I didn’t hesitate to say, “The gift of good health for both my husband and me!”

A few years ago my husband was diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease, having blockage in 3 main arteries and his cholesterol was off the graph. Obviously, his physicians wanted him to take meds, which he did for a short period of time.

We played with diets:  raw, vegetarian, paleo, we even considered starvation!  LOL..  (Well he did, I didn’t.  I have a hard time fasting for more than a few hours!)  Nothing really worked, nothing was very satisfying.

Then we watched a movie, Cowspiracy.  It was a wake up call for both of us on many levels.  We began a 100% Plant Based diet.  Wait, let me say a 100% Planet Based Lifestyle because it has been more than just a diet.  It’s our way of living. No, it wasn’t easy at first. In fact, I’ve mentioned before that it was such a radical change I verged on being depressed. There was much to “relearn”.

Here’s the gift.  Last month we both had our blood work done and he had a physical. All of our numbers are perfect!  Absolutely perfect!  As I continue to work through a few health issues unrelated to that blood work, I am quite confident that this #vegan lifestyle is healing my life.

To his resident in training his doctor said, “Jeff was my worst patient.  His cholesterol was one of the worst I’d seen in someone his age.  He and his wife went on a vegan diet and now he has the best I’ve seen.  He healed himself with a vegan diet!”  (And that doctor is NOT a vegan.)

The gift of good health – there’s no better gift to give yourself or your family.

Happy New Year!

P.S.  If you are looking to embrace a Planet Based Lifestyle and need support, send me a message through my contact page.  I’d be happy to send you my 10 easy tips choosing plants.

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