Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Struggling to "Get"? Just Know

We live in a world focused on "getting."  Advertisers tell us we have to "get" relationships.  We have to "get" money. We have to "get" slim.  We have to "get healthy."
If you look closely at all of the these messages, they are tied to selling you something.  Because marketers know how to tap into your emotions.  They depend on your "impulse buying," and they depend on you running fear.  And, it works.  How many times have you been remorseful about something you bought that you didn't need? Or you were so frustrated because you couldn't get something?  You felt you had to "get."
The truth of the matter is that you are a Spiritual Being, living in a material world.  You have the power to attract to you anything you desire.  However, it is not about "getting," straining, or trying to create what you want through your mind.  
It's about the opposite.  Letting go and knowing so you can have.  You have already been given the gifts of prosperity, health, happiness, and relationships.  They simply may have not materialized in your life.  
What separates you from these gifts is feeling you don't have them, and you have to get them.
You can visualize what you want until you turn blue.  But, unless you have the feeling of knowing that what you desire is yours, then you will live in fairytale land with just a wish.
So how do you experience that knowing state?
"The Master Key," by Charles Haanel, written in 1912, which we will be soon studying, is about thinking that whatever you desire, you already have.  All of the great new thought teachers, Napoleon Hill, "Think and Grow Rich," Ernest Holmes, "Creative Mind," and James Allen "As a Man Thinketh," knew this spiritual law.  They were all writing about this law in the early 1900s.  Most of us are discovering it now through such books and teachings like, "The Secret."
There is no secret.  Scientist have already discovered that whatever is impressed upon the subconscious mind, it delivers. The mind is creative.  It works every time. If you have doubts about something you would like, it doesn't show up in your life.  If you believe, and know, it shows up.
The conscious mind, what we think about, is the director of the subconscious mind which does not know the difference between real and imagined.  It simply delivers.
We are surrounded by a spiritual substance that is molded according to our beliefs, our thoughts, and it gives to us exactly what we think about.  
So, when you act as if you already have the success, the wealth, the health, the relationships, and feel it deeply with an un-shakeable"knowing," it materializes in your life.
You can think of this magical substance as your God self, that delivers to you what you ask for and know that it is already given.  However, you have to have faith.  You have to know that it is happening.  
See the picture of what you desire, and constantly live every detail knowing it has already happened, without struggling or straining.    Just know.
The mind will fight you and tell you that you have to struggle and strain to "get."  So how do you deal with that energy?  Mindfulness Meditation.  Try to fully focus on whatever you are doing, and release the story of "I don't have."  Instead spend your time feeling you already have.  Be gentle with yourself.  This is a practice. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

That Doesn't Apply to Me

Have you ever been with someone, and you both see a sad situation, and the person you are with says the famous phrase, "There but for the grace of God goes I"? Or, maybe you have said that yourself when you see someone suffering.  
Whether you have said it, or someone you were with did, it, doesn't matter.  The fact is that phrase is fear-based.  
And, if there is fear present, you may find yourself worried about money, your job,  or walking faster past a homeless or a disabled person fearing you could "catch" what they have. 

Whether you believe in a Higher power or not, if you fear something, you attract it to you.    This is the law of attraction. 
Where did that phrase come from?  Not the Bible as some might expect.  It is widely attributed to John Bradford (1510-1555), an English evangelical preacher.  The word is, Bradford was imprisoned for  allegedly "trying to stir up a mob."  When he saw criminals, fellow inmates being led to the scaffold for punishment for their crimes, he uttered the phrase, "There but for the grace of God goes I." 
In 1955, Bradford  was not beheaded, but instead was burned at the stake alive.
Still want to use his phrase?  

How to Deal with Other's Misfortune.
So, how do you deal with the bad news you hear through others or the media?  Send them love and your good wishes.  Love is the greatest power in the universe, and since we are all connected, like prayers the energy of love connects to  them.  
Don't forget yourself either.    There is a small child inside of each of us who needs comforting, and assurance  when we hear negative news.  Tell yourself it's OK, and send yourself love. It also helps to practice feeling Divine Love surrounding and protecting you always.
Tune into your feelings and thoughts.  Are you fearing that the misfortune you heard  could happen to you?  Awareness (Mindfulness) of thoughts and emotions helps distance you from them.  But, when they are unchecked these same thoughts and emotions, drive you to do and say destructive things.  Mainly, you beat up yourself or overindulge in drink, shopping and other habits.
Now you have prolonged the fear which became stronger, and you have the residual of substance abuse, or a huge credit card bill to deal with.  The underline fear is still there waiting to be handled.
So mindfully tune into your feelings, and thoughts.  Your awareness is the laser that dissolves and moves away fear.  Just by being aware that you are afraid, lessens the hold.
Use Positive Affirmations, or Scriptures.
You can also use a positive self-help phrase, other than Bradford's fear-based phrase, and most importantly, give yourself love.
When you hear of other's misfortunes, you don't really know exactly what happened in their lives to cause the situation, or what is truthfully going on behind their  problems.   
There have been many media interviews people who have lost jobs.  You may think, "That could happen to me too," and live in fear.  But, what you don't know is that person interviewed may have hated the job they lost.  They later went on, like many people do, to find a better job, or start a business making more money than they dreamed, not to mention being happier. 
So when you see a misfortune, drop your fears and try using this phrase: 
 "That Doesn't Apply to Me."
(Please Leave a Comment)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why Is This Happening?

Recently I connected with a lovely lady I will call Beth, who is  co-chair, heading a project to save the beautiful land around Deer Park  from being developed.  Deer Park is a monastery at the top of a mountain near San Diego which was founded by Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist Master, Mindfulness Teacher and Peace Activist. 
Our family travels to Deer Park for meditation and retreats, like the thousands who come every year from around the world. 
Last weekend Walter and I went there, and I was reminded of the mission I have joined to help Beth and others preserve the land of refuge for so many people. 
Through a recent email from Beth, she shared with me that U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in Arizona, is her personal friend. I could feel her sadness in her email.  
When awful things happen, it's only natural to wonder why?  Our minds search for answers, and when answers don't come that satisfy us, often we turn to  anger and want to blame any and every person. No doubt, you have heard the blame slung around by the Republicans and Democrats sounding off and pointing the fingers over the shooting. 
These types of tragic events lead us to imagine and construct a whole story in our heads of why this has happened.  We all go through our personal tragedies that send our minds spinning with fear. 
Ruminating on "why" is a dangerous, slippery slope which adds kindle to the fire.  First of all, we often don't know right away why something tragic has happened.  Secondly, when we don't have the truth, we imagine stories in our heads which are often far worse than the reality. We obsess about the situation to the point we become furious or very sad.  
Sadness is anger turned inward, because we can't do something about a situation. 
When we ruminate over a "wrong" we help collect more of the same type of negative energy.  Instead we must lift ourselves out of the cesspool of anger and blame, to be the light for ourselves and others.
For example, recently in the news, a family lost their home just before Xmas, but they turned the incident around to see how they could help others.  So the homeless family  when interviewed, said they didn't spend time asking, "Why?" or "Why Me?"  Instead they served  Xmas dinner to help other homeless people at a shelter. 
How do we find peace over these unspeakable tragic acts?
Nothing has ever been resolved by anger or sadness.  We must go inside and just be with our feelings.  We must become the parent to those feelings, by first acknowledging that the hurt is there, then comfort those feelings.  Thich Nhat Hanh says to "love them."  Love your feelings the same way a parent would love a child who is crying.
Inside of us is a small child crying and hurt.  It's important that we nurture that child.   
When we send our feelings love, we are turning away from our limited mind.    The mind doesn't know.  Many of us are stuck asking it,  "Why?" or "Why Me?"  
Our webmaster  Randy, who has had four heart attacks, counsels other heart attack patients.  He says "I can't stand it when people feel sorry for themselves and keep asking, 'Why Me?'  I say, Why not you?  Instead, find the strength to just go on."
When we are mindful, and stop torturing the mind, and letting the mind torture us asking 'Why?' , the answers come out of our silence from a deep place of wisdom.  So if you are hurt, afraid and anxious, find immediate comfort and peace over the situation by going inside. Locate in your body where you feel the hurt and fear.   Cradle it with your loving awareness, and watch it dissolve.   
Dropping the stories you concoct in your head and being with your feelings in silence, allows your higher, intuitive self to take over.  You will not only find the answers to any situation, but you will also find the right path to proceed in life with peace and wisdom.
Blessings, love and light to the Arizona victims and their families.  May you find inner peace, healing and love.
Watch this incredibly beautiful video by David Ault:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Make a Commitment to Live in the Present

When we are feeling badly over what we didn't and could have done, we are living in the past. 

People ask, how can I live in the present moment when I'm so busy.  Easy.  Simply ask yourself, "How much is your inner peace worth to you?"

When you are busy and spinning around, that's exactly when you need to focus on whatever task is before you.  Doing one thing and thinking of another causes stress.  Stay focus on the present moment because in that present moment, all is well.  This sets up the law of attraction for the next moment to be OK too.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Let Go of Self-Disapproval!

Last year there was so much talk about the economical crisis, it's only natural to look at our own financial state with despair and fear. This new year, change the old recording. 
 Perhaps we are telling ourselves "I should have not invested in stocks." "I should have saved more money." "I don't make enough money." "I didn't get enough education." "I threw away too much money," or "I charged to much." 
Whether we realize it or not, this type of self-talk is disapproving not only of our financial status, but of ourselves.
Disapproving of self keeps us from loving ourselves.  It's like trying to put fresh, clean water (love) into a cup (you), already filled with muddy water (toxins from disapproving of self).
Now, more than ever, we need to be supportive of ourselves.  Love is the only power that stands up against fear.  "Fear and Love cannot occupy the same place."  In spiritual practices, this is why God is called Love.
We can't depend on others to give us this love, because quite frankly, they're looking for that support and love too.  Even in the closest relationships if another person gives you love, and you are not open to loving yourself, you will still feel unloved.
Here are several ways to stop disapproving of yourself:
Be mindful of your thoughts. 
Many of us aren't aware we are disapproving of ourselves.  Our immediate reaction, is "Yes, I love myself."  However,  if you tune into your thoughts and what you are telling yourself, you'll quickly learn otherwise.  It's shocking to see that we're not only  disapproving of ourselves, but we are using self violence as well.  We beat ourselves up constantly with degrading thoughts.    
What are you saying to yourself?
  • I didn't do ____"  "That was so stupid of me." "Why did I say that?"  "I don't know what's wrong with me."  "I'm getting old."  "I'm too young to get respect." "I'm fat." "Why didn't I do _____"       "
Record Your Thoughts for One Day
Write down what you are saying to yourself.  You'll find the same thoughts keep coming up over and over again.  Being Mindful,  is like turning on a light in our heads.  We don't have to do anything, just be aware.  Mindfulness is a laser dissolving negative thoughts which unwatched, become feelings and emotions. 

However, just by being aware of thoughts, change the old patterns.  When you change your thoughts, your world changes.  
Have a healthy and happy New Year. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Free Your Mind in 2011

Watching the news around the world and at home we are witnessing the ego-mind in mass consciousness.  It screams lack, fear, blame, fight, and more. 
We have no control over what happens in the world, but we do have control over our individual ego-minds which is present within each one of us.  It too runs lack, fear, blame and self-righteousness.  

We created our egos to protect us from the world.
  However, the ego-mind that we created years ago no longer serves us, even though it still runs us today.

Most of us are not aware how our egos keep us in chaos.  We made decisions as children that we subconsciously live by as adults. For example: Our puppy died
when we were eight-years-old so we don't want to get a dog today.  Our girlfriend or boyfriend cheated on us in high school so we don't trust the opposite sex as adults. Someone called you old when you turned 35, so you definitely feel old at 40.   It's important to tune into these thoughts that run usNew Year's Eve Ice.  If left unchecked, they result in toxic emotions that make us sick and depressed.
When some people realize their ego-mind is running them, they want to hurt and crush their ego.  That doesn't work because it only becomes stronger, and you become more frustrated. (What you resist, persists.)  Besides, the ego gets us up in the morning and helps us to go after the tasks at hand. 

It's the ego out of control; some people call the devil, which keeps us running in circles.  The object is to control the mind, and not let it control you.  You are in charge. 

Wake Up
Once you recognize that the chief job of the ego is to protect you, but keeps you in darkness with fears and lack, you can better deal with your feelings.  But you first have to recognize how it operates in your head.
How?  We simply become aware of our thoughts and listen to them.  This is called Mindfulness of thought.  It's one of Buddha's teachings to prevent us from suffering.  We take ourselves off automatic and watch for those ego-mind thoughts (the negatives) and label them.
I am not good enough. (insecure, doubtful)
I don't look good. (insecure)
I'm too old, too fat. (insecure)
I'm broke. (lack)
I may become homeless.(fear, victim)
I could lose my job. (fear)
Everybody is broke. (distraught, disturbed, skeptical)

I'm using up all of my savings. (lack, fear)
I don't like him. (suspicious, threatened, hating)
She got that promotion and she doesn't deserve. (jealous or envious)

I don't want to change. (threatened, apathetic, depressed)
I can't do this it's hard. (defeated, discouraged, disillusioned, hopeless)
Embrace Your Emotions

The ego-mind thoughts left unchecked, create negative emotions.  Embrace those emotions as you would a small, confused child. One of our teachers, Thich Nhat Hahn, World renown Zen Master and Peace Activist (nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King) says name your emotions and embrace them with love. 
"Hello anger. How are you today?" "Hello Fear.  Don't worry.  We are going to be OK."
Surprisingly, once you embrace your emotions and become aware of your thoughts, your mind calms and stress leaves.  It's like turning a light on in a dark room.  

You Are In Charge

1) Tune into your thoughts.  Awareness is like a laser cutting through dark, dismal, feelings created by negative thoughts.  This is what you may tell yourself that is not validated:   "I'm unworthy."  "Nothing good is going to happen for me."  "No one wants me."  "I'm going to get sick." "I'm not going to get better."

2)  Label your thoughts.  Fear, lack anxious, nervous, panic, excited, frustrated, jealous, grief, lust, pride, depression.
3)  Embrace your emotions and thoughts with love, without judgment or criticism.  Just allow them to be.  Don't try to control them.  Stop beating yourself up for having them.  It's OK to have thoughts that are negative.  Everyone has them.  But people who are free, are the ones who recognize the thoughts that don't serve them.  They let them pass without trying to suppress or escape them.
Those of us who feel we are spiritual or religious especially have to be careful because we don't want to admit to ourselves we have negative thoughts.  Nonsense.  Everyone does.  What is important to gain freedom is to recognize those thoughts without judging ourselves or analyzing them.  Allow the thoughts to come and go.
4)  Put a rubber band around your wrist for a week, or signs around your house to remind you to stay in the moment and off automatic.  In the beginning you will have to be extremely vigilant like a palace guard.  However, it becomes easier the more you do it.  Simply observe the thoughts and label them.
5) Use your breath to help you through those fears.  Sometimes you don't know what you are thinking because your thoughts may come  rampantly.  To help you calm your mind, observe your breath.  Label your breathing.  "Breath in, breath out." or "In, out."
6) It helps to keep a notepad to write down the negative thoughts just to flush them out in the open.  You'll be surprised what you are telling yourself.  We have 6,000 or more thoughts per day.  Most of them are the same negative ones. 
7) Be kind and compassionate to you!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Attract Only the Good

It's important to focus only on what you want in life. So many of us mindlessly think constantly about what we don't want in life, and that's exactly what we get. More of what we resist, criticize and judge.

Remember, "Where thought goes, energy flows." So refuse to get caught up in the negative, instead focus on what will make you happy.

Feeling you already have your goals is extremely important. Why? It puts you in that high energy state and activates the law of attraction. It's a wonderful place to be. 

A great time to feel yourself living your goals is when you meditate or say prayers. Make it a habit, just like brushing your teeth. 

After spending five, ten or more minutes feeling and visualizing, then let it go. Why? Because you will start clutching and grasping at your goal trying to make it happen. This is what Buddha and other spiritual masters say causes suffering. That grasping and clutching, tells the Universe you don't have what you want. And the universe gives us back what we project out. 

So see it, feel it, let it go, and have faith. Refuse to entertain thoughts of why you can't have your dreams come true. 

Think about this. Everything you see in the room that you are now in as you read this message, was someone's vision, their goal, before it became a product.

Spiritual Gangsta Meaning and Goldie Hawn

Actress Goldie Hawn was recently photographed wearing a t-shirt with the writing, "Spiritual Gangsta."  
That name stuck in my mind and I became like a gangsta who relentlessly hunts down her hit target.  I couldn't get the title out of my head.  
I wanted to call up Goldie and ask her, "What does that mean?"
Although I have worked with and publicized many celebrities as a former publicist for ABC and CBS, she is one person I would love to meet, but not because she's an Academy Award winning actress.  It's because I have read over the years how she has managed to be faithful to her spiritual self and is open about her beliefs.
It can be extremely difficult for many people balancing their careers with spiritual practices, but especially for those working in Hollywood, where everything is plastic, materialistic, and an illusion of power.
Even though Goldie hasn't appeared in movies in a while, her life partner, actor Kurt Russell, and her daughter Kate Hudson, are also big movie stars.   So Hollywood is still very much in her life. 
On the other side, Goldie who comes from a Jewish/Christian background mediates and studies Eastern philosophies and religions.  She founded the Hawn Foundation  which seeks to help transform children's lives teaching them to be aware of their emotions and thoughts, as well as giving them Mindfulness tools to improve their academic performance, enhance the quality of their lives, and help others in the community.  She believes a peaceful happy child is the first step towards a peaceful world.
We totally get that.  We too have taught Mindfulness to children when Walt and I had our nonprofit, and now we teach Mindfulness to parents.  It's wonderful to feel a busy, anxious classroom filled with children or parents shift into peace.
Since I don't know Goldie, I went inside by meditating and asked for the meaning of a Spiritual Gangsta, which resonated with me so much.  Inside of us all is wisdom and answers.  All we have to do is get quiet, ask, and then trust the answer.
Here's what I came up with:
A Spiritual Gangsta is fierce about spiritual practice.  He or she refuses to let the world, especially negative news depress them. 
A Spiritual Gangsta is strong and looks beyond appearances and knows that inside of them is a power that can overcome anything.
A Spiritual Gangsta defies the odds, and refuses to give in even when it seems life is against them.
A Spiritual Gangsta recognizes that anything that stands in their  way is just a temporary detour.
A Spiritual Gangsta is disciplined, and prays or meditates daily even when their ego says, "You can skip today".
A Spiritual Gangsta turns around negative thoughts and replaces them with positive thoughts.
A Spiritual Gangsta stands up to fear with love and watches it dissolve.
A Spiritual Gangsta turns away from anyone or anything that does not support their dreams and life mission.
A Spiritual Gangsta knows that despite an appearance of a lacking bank account, it's a temporary situation, and that soon they will have prosperity because it's their Divine Birthright.
A Spiritual Gangsta believes dreams can come true, despite the state of the economy or what others say.
A Spiritual Gangsta is a Spiritual Warrior always seeking out the higher truth and turning away from false appearances. 
A Spiritual Gangsta  relentlessly pursues a connection with his or her Higher Self.
Be a Spiritual Gangsta!