Thinking in new ways

 

eagle flyingMBSept13

Life is a very precious opportunity.  Life is a Spiritual path and we’re not here to give out, complain, blame, feel powerless. Yet that’s what we keep doing. Take the most recent world challenge with Brexit.  So many doom and gloom predictions. So much powerlessness and negative expectation expressed in conversations.

This pattern of seeing what happens as problems rather than challenges and opportunities, is so deeply ingrained in people that it’s difficult for people to understand that there is another way to perceive challenges.

Einstein said “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

While most conversations about Brexit are filled with negative expectations and attention on the worst case scenarios there are positive voices coming through as well. Some have expressed the view that the European Union, as it is run now, is not democratic – it needs to change. It is good to look at how we do things and see how we need to improve.

We must see with this challenge that it is not just a challenge for the UK – it affects all of us. We are all in this together. This is true of most world challenges. If we do not work together for the greater good of all, we will fail to find the solutions that create more and better for all.

Take the whole matter of sustainability and looking after our earth. Many are telling us that there will be huge economic benefit in becoming more eco conscious in how we live – more jobs, more sustainable power sources, better health, better living conditions, more to share around for all.

“We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” Einstein

We are so used to the fear and negative expectation. That is what seems so real to us. We need to stop using powerless language and think in terms of opportunity, working together for solutions and positive action. There is so much good change taking place where people are cooperating in a spirit of goodwill, ready to learn, grow and discover.

The mayor of Copenhagen has said that they intend to be carbon neutral in ten years time and he has the citizens of Copenhagen all backing this idea and doing their part.

The Duhallow community group in north Cork has been giving a lead for many years through its work for wildlife and the environment. And there is so much more.

 

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Your Energy

 

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The programmes you watch on TV, the films you sit through, affect your energy. If they are inspiring, they lift your energy. If they are violent, abusive, they churn up your feelings. If you go to bed after violent programmes, your sleep is not restful and restorative.

Observe yourself and others after violent, abusive programmes. Become aware of the effects of these types of programmes. Think about why you look at them – really give time to thinking about this – and decide to consciously choose what you will look at and what you will not. Violent programmes increase fear/attack thoughts and emotions in you. We don’t need more fear, aggression, violence in our world.

Think about what helps you to feel peaceful and calm – really give time to thinking about this and writing about it in your journal. Choose to make more time for these in your life and make sure you do. Observe the difference it makes to you when you spend time in activities that increase peace and calm energy in you.

Becoming aware of energy is really important. You may feel low energy and think that you are tired. You tell yourself you are tired and your body responds with tiredness. Instead, take your journal and ask yourself why your energy is low. What has been going on for you – in your thoughts, in your feelings? Negative thoughts and feelings are a main cause of tiredness or low energy. They drain your energy.

Check out what you have been eating and drinking because all food and beverages have their effect. Some energise your body whilst others rob you of energy and stamina.

If you are waking up tired, with little energy for the day, you can change this. Look at your diet and eating habits generally and see what needs changing. Write about it. Then think about other causes of low energy on waking up. Have you a plan for the day, a structure? Is there something going on for you, something challenging you, that you are not attending to? Are you generally stressed and not feeling in charge of your life? Take your journal and ask your Higher self to help you to understand the cause of your low energy on waking up.

Life is a precious opportunity and you need to become more aware of what’s going on for you, what’s bothering you, what needs changing and adjusting rather than just go doggedly on, ignoring, avoiding and thinking the cause of your low energy is outside of yourself.

 

Changing Ourselves

 

Sweep of strong seaMBju13

Our focus, so much of the time, is on changing others. It is always so easy for us to say what another should do, what would sort them out, what they’re “doing wrong”. So many conversations are gossipy ones all about others and their behaviours.

Why is this? Is it because we live so much outside of ourselves, concerned with what we think others think of us, trying to fit in, to conform to what the world deems to be “right” or successful? As a result our inner self is unchartered territory, a place we rarely, if ever, visit.

Is it because we believe other people are the cause of our difficulties?

Is it that it’s too painful to look at our own faults and weaknesses because we have such a poor self opinion so the pattern is to see these in other people?

Is it that we have never learned to practise self enquiry and to recognise our own faulty thinking, faulty psychology and do this with love and firmness rather than self criticism and self abuse?

We miss out so much by living outside of ourselves and avoiding looking within. When we can acknowledge our negative patterns of thinking and feeling, our negative behaviours and negative ways of speaking, then we have the opportunity to clear these, to heal and to change our experience.  When we can take responsibility for what we experience, we stop blaming others and we no longer get pulled into the belief that we are victims of what happens. We are empowered, because we do have the power to change ourselves and when we do, we find that our experience changes and others close to us may change too.

So long as we live outside of self, concerned always with the lives of others and trying to “put them right”, we cut ourselves off from the rich potential within us – we increase our feelings of separation and disconnection. When we can acknowledge our own stuff and clear and heal this we learn to love ourselves and to love others more and we can release the beauty of our Soul.

Loving One’s Self

Most people believe that the only way to have more love is to get it from other people.  This is not how it works.

 

The most important relationship in your life is your relationship to yourself – if you don’t love yourself then this affects all your relationships.

 

Most of us have grown up believing that love of self is wrong, selfish, self-centred, and the right thing is to be trying to love other people and to forget about self.

 

However, if you don’t learn to love yourself then your need for love becomes central and you keep looking for this outside of self and trying to fulfil this need.

 

Only when you learn to love yourself will you be truly able to receive the love of others and your whole experience of loving others will be very different too.

 

 

Do I want to be right or to choose love?

 

Do I want to get back at the other and remain stuck in negativity and repeating the same old lessons or to choose to change myself and learn from the lesson – and increase love?

“In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves.” Buddha

We are here to seek truth and to grow in love – unconditional love – the love that means I love you no matter what.

Life is a great journey, a precious one, and we can experience it so differently when we seek to serve the Higher self and not the lower self.

 

Being true to your Self

 

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Being true to yourself is about listening to your inner guidance whilst also honouring and respecting others.

Many have believed that the way to discern what’s “right” in any given situation, is to check what other people think or what we have been taught to believe as if this understanding  comes from outside of us. Now, we certainly need to learn about life and inform ourselves but our sense of what’s right, or best – the sense of what is our best decision or choice at any given time – is something we know from inside.

Our lives are so busy and there is so much noise and little space to be still and to listen. As a result, many have no awareness of inner guidance. If we have a sense of what seems right for us, we tend to over look it, not trust it.  We look for advice rather than trust that inner knowing.

This is something that takes practice. We need to make space for it in our lives. Meditation is one way – sitting in stillness and focusing on your breath; connecting consciously with your Higher Self and asking for guidance generally or with a particular issue. As you hold this connection with your Higher self and your question, you will find understanding coming, solutions coming – maybe not immediately but they will come. You may not even be conscious of how you have been guided at first while you are new to this experience.

Journaling is another most important way of connecting with your Higher self and experiencing inner guidance. You need to ask your Higher Self to help you as you journal about an issue, a challenge, a lesson, something you want to understand better. Then write and, as you do, you will understand more. There is so much wisdom and guidance within you waiting for you to call on.

We build our inner wisdom essentially, by practising listening to inner guidance and by living what we learn, applying the wisdom we have learned.

Inner guidance is always positive and for our good, to help us to grow and improve. It is never negative or harming or giving us excuses not to do something that needs attending to. We always need to use our common sense too.

We are being guided all the time but now we need to become aware of it and work consciously with it so that we can find our way through life and live as a Soul and realise how much we have to contribute – each one of us.

 

 

The need to be liked

 

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Certain beliefs pretty much control us such as the belief that I need to be liked, approved of – I have to please others, I have to fit in.

It really is enlightening and freeing to sit and journal about beliefs such as these and to ask why do I need to please, to be approved of, to be liked? When I first reflected on these questions and journaled about them I found it really enlightening to see that, behind this need, was the fear of being rejected, not belonging, being out on my own. Because of this unconscious fear I would push down anything that would rock the boat. I would avoid being true to myself.

I became more aware of how I was in social situations – watching out for what was expected of me, how I should be, what I should say. I was living disconnected from myself, outside of myself, trying to figure out what was expected, what was “right” – as if I would only discover what was “right” from the expectations of others or what I believed to be the expectations of me in any given situation.

I am not at all suggesting that the way is to disregard other people or to not care about getting on with them.  It is also very important to understand that being true to your Self does not mean foisting your opinion on others or aggression or doing your own thing at the expense of others.  Being true to your Self is about listening to your inner guidance, to your Soul, whilst also honouring and respecting others.

Now when I am in social situations my focus is on being true to myself, being in my heart, being love, connecting with others – not needing them to like me and approve of me but wanting to be there truly with them, to love and care for them, to be real. This energy nourishes me too.

It is, of course, still a pull to want to be liked because this pattern goes deeply for us and has been operating for a long time.  We equate being liked with life going well. We don’t like the discomfort of not being liked and the feeling of being wrong which this brings up in us.

Thinking I am not approved of or pleasing can bring us into a feeling of discomfort and we generally equate discomfort with being wrong. This is not the case. Discomfort is mostly telling us we are out of our comfort zone. This is a good time to journal and understand more as, otherwise, you might find yourself denying your truth just to get back into your comfort zone.

This need to be liked and the fear behind it, are caused by the belief in separation, the belief that you are a physical body, an ego and on your own – that it’s up to you to make yourself safe by fitting in and generally conforming. The more you connect and work with your Higher Self, the more you will understand that you are not separate, you are not alone – ever.