The Holidays are fast approaching and, naturally, we are drawn to reflect, rest, and pause. When our bodies are disconnected from our spirit, we feel tired, discontent, and lost. To increase joyfulness during the Holidays, we must find time to realign our bodies with our spirit through making time for sacredness. It might be difficult because we have become used to rest with our phones, to watch movies, to be connected on social media, or to text friends. We are used to seek activities, and to be immersed in them. Sacredness calls us to let go of activities, to let go of worries, to shift our focus to giving to ourselves, to increase our self-compassion, to bring our attention to our bodies, our hearts, and our dreams. In a way, sacredness time should be a communion with ourselves – a sacred time to reclaim what has been lost through work, stress, emotional upheaval, drama, and demands of family and society. I don’t know what that communion would be like for you and what you would discover about yourself, but I can suggest to you ways to get there and to boost the joy that has been dormant inside of you. Even small efforts on your part to include sacredness in your schedule can bring big results in terms of feeling present, happy, and more like yourself.
1. Shut off your phone on weekends or hours at a time.
2. Fall in love with silence through turning off your TV, radio, etc.
3. Go for walks in nature, and listen to the natural sounds of birds and winds.
4. Journal and create.
6. Sit on the beach and watch the waves.
7. Play with your dog or your cat.
9. Pamper your body.
10. Do something nice for someone in need.
Thanksgiving might be the best holiday in the history of the planet. It’s a holiday that uniquely matters to our spiritual well-being! It eases the angst of our modern minds, which are often way too focused on negativity and anxieties, and it reminds us to focus on grateful thinking and being. As you may know, it’s not always easy to change our habits of mind. Yet, we can learn to change these, and one of the best reframing changes we can make towards this end is to flip the switch from negativity to gratitude.
A prospective client of mine was disillusioned with a 12-step program he was in, and wanted to learn how to meditate. Meditation can be practiced without a reference to spirituality, but it is a practice that can lead you to reflect on what spirituality means for you. A primary purpose of cultivating our spirituality is to discover the deeper layers we made off, and to make us wiser and better at living our lives.
It’s not to make us sit on a cushion and look at the stars, and it is not to bring us unlimited abundance or to make us special like some new age people might want us to believe.
Spirituality is discovering the abundance of your unlimited beautiful and grateful soul. It’s developing the spiritual qualities within you that make you proud to be you. And it doesn’t matter how you get there… though 12-step or through meditation, the end result is about you becoming a finer version of you and of service to others.
Enjoy noticing the things that are going well in your life this Thanksgiving!
Let’s reclaim together our joyous spiritual selves through an “attitude of gratitude.”
Love is always present. This is such a profound truth. Even when you fail to notice it, love is there. But what does love have to do with inner-power?
I would like to talk to you today about spiritual power and the kind of love that this power gives birth to.
The Power and Attraction of Externals
Women and men think that they can attract love, be happy, and have it all, because they have accomplished a lot in the world…. But as we know this doesn’t always work. This is a search for power coming from externals, and this power has its limits. Often, it might lead to a decrease in satisfaction and overall happiness. The longest study ever conducted on happiness revealed that what brought happiness to people were not the externals in their lives but the relationships and the meaning they created.
If you only rely on that kind of power, you might act in ways that are not coming from a place of integrity. The out of integrity behavior is rampant in our society. From people who don’t know that they feel and what they think, to people who hide their shame and true selfs behind their acts.
The kind of power I am talking about is invisible and much more powerful than you think. It’s cultivated and developed. This is why our programs are so powerful and effective. They help you discover this inner-power you hold dormant inside of you and use it make a difference and create a mountain of meaningful deeds in your life.
Spiritual Power and Self-Love
Spiritual power or inner-power (if you prefer) gives you a healthy glow and a wonderful presence. You don’t have to be drop dead gorgeous to cultivate this kind of magnetic power. But you do have to spend time discovering it, cherishing it, and self-reflecting on the meaning of your life.
And, here we come back to love, because love lives in the heart of life. You can’t develop spiritual power without developing a lot of self-love.
As you start letting go of the power external forces hold over you, and bring your attention into the essence of who you are, your self-love will skyrocket. I am not advocating abandoning all externals, but rather to learn to find the joyous and uncrushable powers deep inside of you. The powers that nourish your spirit and give your inspiration every day of your life. This way, you can always feel inner love and the peace that comes from this, to project a glowing radiance in the world and to start acting with inner-confidence and integrity.
The more you look for your essence that gives rise to your inner-power, the easier it will become to appreciate life and love. This is your most magnificent power. When you come to realize that your true power is not found in the physical world but comes from your essence, you will fall in love with it and will be eager to continue developing it and showing it.
Empower your inner-self, and share a gentler, kinder, more loving and wiser version of yourself with the people who matter the most in your life and the world.
We have the apparatus to be happy, says Dan Gilbert, author of “Stumbling on Happiness.”
His study found is that our frontal lobe helps us create a psychological immune system to fabricate happiness anytime we want. What are the applications of this study for us chasing happiness everyday of our lives?
Happiness is not linked to outcomes. “Happiness is not a thing to be found,” says Gilbert. It doesn’t matter if you get this particular job or find that particular relationship. Any other possible outcome can make us feel as happy as the one we really focused on in the first place.
The wisdom here is that changing goals or taking a different route from the one you envisioned would not make you less happy.
Or we could say that atttachment and ungrounded expectations could lead to unnecessary disappointments. Having a more relaxed view of things and of life in general, and having flexibility will surely lead to more happiness.
Having too much freedom to choose or change, says Gilbert is the enemy to happiness. This is definitely a shocking revelation, right? But it is exactly what this study found. Our psychological immune system works best when you have limited choices, for example when we are married. So if you are married and feel unhappy, maybe you could reconsider your happiness quotient, add a few more grateful things to the bin, and change your view about the alternative options to more happiness.
The idea however of reducing your options frees you to make better choices with less stress and can, in fact, lead to greater fulfillment.
Another point the author makes is that having too much ungrounded passion and ambition in life can lead to disastrous results. I think that we can find plenty of examples in all walks of life to demonstrate this statement. Gilbert cites Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, to support his argument.
But the main point here is that nothing in life is as important as keeping your integrity intact. Anytime you have to lie or cheat, or compromise your values, you are taking the risky road of becoming unhappy.
When we understand that happiness is not a goal or a thing but originating in our own physiological makeup, we can empower ourselves to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives.This is a very wise study supporting the idea that we create our own happiness.
We need to understand being mindful as being more aware and acting with more presence and awareness.
The purpose of mindfulness is to expand our awareness of our behavior and our role in our environment.
Mindfulness has become such a hot topic because we have disconnected our minds from our bodies, so much and so often. We continue to technologically over-connect to the growing cyber-worlds, and over-develop our analytical abilities in the navigating of it.
As a result, we frequently disconnect from our core selves, from the messages of our body and from the subtle messages of nature.
Mindfulness leads to a more holistic way of living where we are in sync with ourselves and nature. We become better people, we develop spiritually in mindfulness and we learn to balance our material demands with the guidance of our spirits.
But how do we get there?
Any course on mindfulness will set you on the path to mindfulness.
You need to learn the techniques and you need to practice.
When you commit to change, you have to find the time to spend with yourself. You will need to slow down and close your eyes. Even a 10 minutes of breathing exercises will make you aware of your body.
Think of mindfulness meditation as giving a gift to yourself. You are giving loving care to your body and soul. You are increasing your awareness, and you are establishing a more solid connection with yourself.
You are also increasing your self-healing abilities, changing your perceptions, and increasing your joy.
Life will slowly start revealing itself in different ways. What looked like grey, might start looking like green? What bothered you, will no longer bother you. Life will become easier. The way you deal with daily challenges will be less aggravating. You will slowly start forgiving others and accepting your experiences without emotional charge.
The moments and days you spend in mindfulness-present time will be longer and fuller, because you will start living with more joy.
The regular practice of slowing down and seeking a deeper connection to yourself is a work between you and you. When you start approving of yourself, loving yourself and making a difference in the lives of people, you will be firmly on the mindful path.
There is no end to it. All your life you will be starting over and over, and discovering more and more wisdom.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Mindfulness practice is a great way to dive into and savor the world of our greatest human possibilities, and explore its far reaches.
The essence of mindfulness is simple as well, just Be Here Now.