Pearls of wisdom.
Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.
~ Ancient Indian Proverb
Via Sheepy Hollows
Life is too short for you to be the caretaker of the wrong details.
~ Alexandra Stoddard
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In a couple of wonderfully powerful sessions with clients this week, we worked a great deal on awareness and focus. I feel strongly that daily life is most enjoyable and satisfying when it is a reflection of what we value, what we want and who we truly are. It’s so easy, however, to get distracted by the hectic pace life sometimes takes on. To be pulled off center. Or to be swayed by things, people, and situations around us that can be a little hypnotic and seductive. Being conscious, aware, and present to the present helps prevent the “creep” (life creep…similar to project creep) life can make into what we don’t want, without even realizing it. Before we know it our life is organized around obligation and has settled into default mode.
In support of being more aware and conscious and out of worry and mental chatter, I have two tools to share today. The first is to help cultivate the discipline to stay connected to you, which is critical to being in present moment (which is actually the only real moment) and conscious. Are you familiar with that sensation when you suddenly become aware that you’ve been thinking and worrying for some period of time? A few minutes…a few hours. You’re suddenly aware of you, aware of your thoughts and aware that you’re thinking your thoughts. Instead of just swimming in your thoughts.
There’s the worrying or thinking, the actual doing/experiencing it. And then there’s the witnessing it, as my friend Barb With points out. Being the witness is the place where you are noticing you and what’s happening. This place of witness/observer can be such a friend to you, because you can’t change something until you see…see how “it” is right now. When I become aware that I’m lost in thought or worry, I know I have a tool for that.
Stop. Breathe. Re-choose.
I was introduced to it in the Tobias materials and then learned to master it with the help of Barb. First, I notice. It used to take a half day of spinning in worry, more recently it’s just a minute or two. Second, I stop. I stop thinking. I stop trying to figure it out. I just stop. Next, I take a deep breath (of course!). Usually a few minutes of deep breaths. It starts the flow of ease again, the flow of your own energies. It helps get me out of my head and into my heart and into my body. I begin to relax a bit. I stop gripping or resisting more easily with the breath. I take some time to get clear about what I need or want. I can more easily see my resources. I ask myself: What do I want? How do I want this to go? Then, I rechoose. Most often it’s something like ease and grace or efficiency or clarity…or all of them! Then, I allow that bigger part of me to go to work, the part that can see things from 10,000 feet and that can more creatively solve problems. I let it come to me…a feeling, a lifting of the mental fog, a knowingness, an inspired action to take, a creative solution, a resource or some support. I allow it. No forcing (the new force is no force). No pushing (you can’t push the river). Allowing. Trusting myself. Trusting that it’ll all come to me. And in my experience, it does.
To help keep my mind from slipping back into the chatter, to keep it occupied in a “positive” manner so it’s not tempted to go into the chatter and worry, I employ another tool that I learned from Esther Hicks. It’s called the Rampage of Appreciation. Appreciating things is a great way to get yourself pointed downstream, allowing the easy flow, in a powerful way. If worry and mental spinning is an upstream paddling/efforting, then a rampage of appreciation is flowing downstream.
As soon as I notice the banter or negative spinning, I hear a little voice in my head saying “Turn the boat around. Lift your paddles. Let yourself turn. Everything you want is downstream.” So I stop, take a deep breath, and start appreciating. It can be about anything, something as mundane as driving. Let me give you an example:
I’m driving down the road and I start saying to myself in my head or out loud…either works…
It sure is nice to drive on dry roads. I appreciate all the safe drivers around me today. How nice it is to live in a place where I see a highway patrolman who is helpful to that stranded driver. I love my car. I love it so much that I gave it a name. When I turn the key it starts. It always gets me where I want to go. It’s clean and efficient.
And so on…
You can do this with anything that you want to focus your appreciation on…your passions, music on the radio, your creations, the deliciousness of your lunch, your relationships. And then notice how you begin to feel relief. Notice how your mind stops clicking negative thoughts and working in a positive, supportive way. And you just feel better.
Both tools. Simple. Effective. Free (but priceless). ; )
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Images by Antonio Mora
Are you focused out? Or are you focused in?
I recently reread an article written by Jean Tinder, a writer and part of the Crimson Circle staff. It caused me to reconnect with an experience I’ve had repeatedly on my own journey and inspired me to share it with you today. Thank you Jean for capturing it so beautifully and expressing it so clearly! The following is a short version of her article and a blending of our words, thoughts and experiences.
You know that feeling you get when you know something, but suddenly you really “get it”? I’ve discovered when this happens for me, the information goes from just being mental to something I fully embody. It’s moved out of the mind into experience. It’s gone from data to wisdom. That’s how I felt reading Jean’s article. So I invite you to feel into this and try it out for yourself, not simply as a nice idea or concept, but as an experience.
Where am I putting my focus?
As you read this and take the words and concepts into your awareness, into your reality, they come in with a lot of other energies and information, whether you realize it or not. Sit for a minute, take a deep breath and notice whatever is there in your reality. What’s affecting you, including thoughts, sounds, surroundings, energies, people, conditions and situations in your life? Don’t filter or try to manage anything. Just become aware of what you’re already tuned in to and therefore experiencing.
Now take a deep breath. Shift your point of awareness or consciousness. Imagine that your deep breath lights you up. Your breath is fanning a flame within you at your core. As you brighten, your radiance shines outward into your reality. Don’t have an agenda about it. You’re not trying to change or affect anything. It’s just you expressing your radiance or light into your reality, into the world.
Can you feel the difference between shining energy out versus bringing energy in?
Let’s do it again. Take another deep breath. Now shift your awareness back to what’s coming at you from the outside. There’s a lot. It probably feels familiar. If you’re new to the experience of sensing and feeling in this way, it may feel a bit overwhelming. It’s just energy. It can just flow right through. Notice how it also can easily distract you or pull you off your focus or center.
The breath is always a great way, easy and efficient, to bring yourself back to you, back to this present moment. This is where everything is – right here, right now. This is where you live, breathe, create, receive, give. In the Now moment. In the present. It’s vitally important to be aware of that fact.
Now take another deep breath and shift back to radiating from within. Stay out of your head with this. There’s nothing to do or figure out. Just allow yourself to relax and radiate that light within. Allow and feel. It may feel like a glow or warmth in the space between your heart and your solar plexus. I often have images of a sun that sits right there and just can’t help but shine its rays. Again, no doing, just allowing. Notice the difference as you shift your point of consciousness. What’s the feeling or sensation in your body?
It’s very easy and very seductive to allow “out there” to influence how we think, feel and experience our lives. It’s what we’ve always done. I still forget, more often than I’d like. But it’s getting easier to remember.
When you feel overwhelmed or confused or anything other than centered in yourself, it’s because your attention, your point of awareness got pulled back to the outside. It’s how we’ve operated for eons of time, but it’s really nothing more than a habit. If you no longer wish to be affected or thrown off balance by energies, actions, people, food, thoughts, or anything else from ‘out there,’ simply shift back to your own point of consciousness and let that radiate. Express rather than absorb.
What’s holding your attention? Where’s your point of consciousness? It’s up to you. It’s your choice what kind of day you’re having or life you living. This is a simple thing but has practical application in our daily lives. You’re having a bad day. Great time to notice and re-choose. You’re feeling anxiety about an upcoming meeting or presentation. A shift in perspective will help support you. Stressed out in traffic. Perfect time to connect within.
It’s time to radiate rather than assimilate, to put our focus where it naturally belongs. It doesn’t take years of study and practice or a special set of words to invoke it. It only takes the conscious choice. As with all things, that’s where the power lies. You making a conscious choice.
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Footer Image: Golden Sunset Over the Beach Breakers by David Morris