Making Meaningful Connections

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All human misery stems from disconnection.
Pain is physical, mental or emotional suffering at varying intensities. Pain tells us something is out of balance and even life threatening.
Misery is extreme distress, and wretchedness of conditions or circumstances and definitely carries the component of pain.

Humans are designed for connection.
The only thing that connects us with God and with one another is love. Love is the only connecting energy in the universe. Everything that steers us away from love- even to the extreme of hatred, is disconnecting. Without love we drift away from God- our source- and from one another.

In order to connect with somebody in love, you have to put your full attention on them.
Connection takes attention with admiration- not agitation.
So many people are striving to connect with someone, but they are agitated, either about that person or about something else that is going on in their life. This agitation keeps them from their real and important focus, which is the person they are endeavoring to connect with. What they need instead is admiration.

When you focus on anything or anyone with admiration and love, you are going to make a connection.
Admiration is a feeling of wonder, pleasure and approval.
Most of us have relationships that we want to improve- relationships with spouse, child, friend, coworker, God, or even self!
Try focusing on the one you need better connection with, with admiration and love.

Focus! Admire! Love!

Key ingredients to real connection.

Add a Little Sparkle to Your Life

Joy

The sparkles of life are the moments- the experiences of pure pleasure; it is that exquisite dinner, that breathtaking sunset, that intense and connected time with a loved one. They are the moments that make up our fondest memories. They are what makes life worth living.

We seek for love, happiness, companionship and experiences, all because these feel good. It therefore stands to reason that when something feels good to go with it, and when something feels bad, leave it. Joy, happiness, love- all feel good. They are the spark of life. Here are some ways to help create more sparkle in your life:

  1. Count your blessings: Begin NOW! Look in your immediate surroundings and circumstances for what feels good. There may be a lot to see or a little, but find it! Focus on it! Think about why it feels good. What senses does it evoke?
  2. Upgrade your experience: Ask yourself, is there anyway I can make these feel good areas feel even better? Example: I love this hot cup of coffee in my hands. It smells wonderful, and is warming to my cold fingers. Perhaps a shake of cinnamon and little cream would make it even better? Can I take 5-10 minutes and sit somewhere to really enjoy it? Maybe even outside listening to the birds, or while reading a small passage from a book I love. Maybe sipping coffee with a friend or spouse is even better?
  3. Remove the Irritants: Are there any distractions or irritations that I can remove now? Do not get caught up in what you can’t do anything about, but rather, just remove or change what you are able. Perhaps you are sitting in the living room and you just clear your coffee table, dust it off and light a candle. Maybe a little child is hampering you. Can you distract him/her for a moment while you enjoy your coffee?
  4. Try new things: Go new places, taste foods you’ve never had, listen to different music, play a new game. If you were a tour guide in your town, where would you take tourists? Are there places nearby you have not yet visited? New experiences can often be exhilarating. The more you experience, the more things you will find that feels good.
  5. Write it down! Keep an ongoing list on a notepad that you can quickly access- perhaps in your notes on your phone or a small paper pad you can keep with you.  Just reading your list regularly will evoke better feelings. Whenever something feels really good, add it to your list.  Incorporate as many of these listed things into your life regularly. Here is a sample list of things that feel really good to me:
  • Laughter
  • Yoga
  • Hot baths
  • Massaging essential oils into my body
  • Puppy time- hugging and petting my dog
  • Brunches with my girlfriends
  • Sipping on hot Chai tea
  • Laying in the sun
  • Warm sand between my toes
  • Swimming
  • Spending time with my grand-daughter
  • Chatting with my children
  • Opening windows and hearing the birds in the mornings
  • Popping a large bowl of buttery popcorn and watching Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter
  • Browsing shops in newly visited towns
  • Outdoor picnics
  • Flying a kite
  • Planting flowers and veggies we love
  • Smelling roses, violets, Lilacs and honey suckle

The more personal and detailed it is, the better. With each thing you add to the list, it should evoke a pleasurable, peaceful, joyful emotion.

Sometimes you will add something to your list and notice that it doesn’t really feel good. Explore this. Perhaps you are doing something that you feel is supposed to feel good, but for you it doesn’t. For example, maybe spending time with your grown children actually feels stressful but you feel like it should be pleasant. The best thing to do is to acknowledge your real feelings, and ask yourself why you feel the way you do about it.  Maybe you stress too much over pleasing them or perhaps they have issues you can do nothing about; but you really desire to be able to enjoy your time with them. This would be an area that is subtly sabotaging your happiness. Meditate and visualize how you wish the relationship was as if it is. Hold this vision as much as your are able, and remove this from your list for now, until it is genuinely something you enjoy. This does not imply that you remove them from your life necessarily but rather you are recognizing what really makes you happy and what doesn’t. Honesty is key to any real growth.

Unhappiness is often because we are not living consciously and not pursuing what feels good. Unless we can really know what feels good to us, we cannot pursue it.

If you do not feel good, you will not be happy. And you will not feel good if you are not seeking, finding and applying to your life those aspects that make you feel good. Its okay for life to be pleasurable. Its okay to add a little sparkle to your day!

 

An Antidote for Poisonous Beliefs about Self

Its not what happened to us that continues to bring us pain, but rather the message or the meaning that we took away. That is what needs to be challenged.

Neutral and Poisonous Messages

Neutral messages are usually factual. They tell about something that happened. At the time, it might have been very painful. But a neutral message taken away will heal. Poisonous  messages or meanings you might give are personal perceptions. They are core beliefs that distort your self-perception. They are like bacteria in the wound. They prevent it from healing completely and can even make it worse and eventually infect our entire system if they are not taken care of. A poisonous message needs an antidote- a new, positive message without distortion.

Below are some examples of neutral verses poisonous messages. The first message is the neutral or original message. The following are about the meanings we give and therefore take away a poisonous message.

  • What they did to me was wrong ……..  I was stupid and deserved what I got. I shouldn’t have been in that place. I provoked them. I am bad. I cause people to do bad things.
  • They were not good parents…… My parents would have been happier without me. I was a brat. I deserved some of what I got. I provoked them. I am no good. Nobody loves me. 
  • Her death was unexpected….. I should have seen it coming. I never told her I loved her and now she is gone. I am all alone now. I better not get close to anyone again because they could die too. Life is cruel.  
  • He treats me with disrespect….. I must not be worthy of respect. He sees how stupid I am. I need to earn his respect. He is better than me. I am worthless. 
  • She is so condescending…. I irritate her. I must have an irritating personality. I am disgusting. I am not lovable. I have no value. 
  • I was not invited ….  Nobody likes me. I must be boring. I am different than everyone else. I have no personality.

Steps to Healing

  1. Take something that causes you pain whenever it comes to mind- that hurts as much or even more than when it took place.
  2. Write down the incident in a paraphrase, just enough to evoke the hurtful emotions. Then write down why it hurts. Write the messages and meanings you took away from it.
  3. Rewrite the incident and bring in a new ending, message and meaning. Create one from a healthy adult perspective.
  4. Finally, take the new messages and put them on post-its to read everyday for a week or more. This will water and feed the new seed so it can flourish in your life.

Here is an example:

When I was around eight, my older sister and I were decorating for a birthday party.  I was arguing with her about the colors of the streamers and how we were putting them up. Suddenly, from seemingly out of nowhere, I was slapped full-force across the face and went spinning. When I peered up, I saw the angry red face of my dad, as he spewed out at me, “You better just shut your mouth missy before you get worse than that. Just do what your sister says. You are lucky you are even getting a birthday party you ungrateful brat!”

For years, and I mean YEARS, whenever that memory came I would cringe inside. Not about being slapped, but because of the messages I took away- my opinion doesn’t matter, my voice is worthless and I better keep quiet. I am such an ungrateful brat. My very presence evokes extreme anger and hate.

Now, this message was poisonous. It leaked through my entire system and touched every aspect of my life. Whenever someone in my life was angry or irritated the poison seeped out. I blamed myself- my presence evokes anger and hate. If I tried to speak my perspective and it was not well received, the venom went deeper- your opinion and voice are worthless. You better keep your mouth shut! If I did not like something, I was an ungrateful brat. These messages, and more from other painful experiences, snuffed out the true essence of my spirit and left me a shell of a human being.

One day, while doing some inner child work, I dealt with this account. I went in as a healthy adult would. I imagined my adult self walking in and seeing the whole thing. I imagined my adult self yelling at my dad, “What the hell are you doing? Who do you think YOU are slapping a little helpless child a fraction of your size like that? 

I then took my child-self up into my arms and out of that situation. I consoled her. I told her that she should have never been slapped like that. I let her know how wrong what her dad did to her was. I let her know that everybody argues sometimes and that does not make us ungrateful and bad- and it does NOT warrant being slapped by anybody.  I gave her space to cry and to tell me why she felt frustrated with her sister. I validated her as a person with emotions and personal preferences and these are what make her unique and beautiful. Most importantly, I gave her back her voice!

energy shiftingShe was left with a different ending and a new message: she was loved, valued, cared about, beautiful, honored.

This exercise dealt with a core message that was poisoning my present day experiences. Bringing this into awareness has worked like an antidote, changing for the better the way I perceive and ingest the happenings in my life today.

The next time a dark memory comes up and haunts you, take time to meet it head on. Apply the exercises above. Share with us how they changed your self-perception!

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The Bedrock of Depression and How to Dissolve It

Depression is a highly misunderstood condition. There is a difference between clinical depression and grief, although grief can onset an episodic occurrence. This video is a heart to heart talk about the bedrock of depression and what you can do to begin to dissolve it. Sometimes the pivotal point in real healing is a good understanding.

Bullying – Victim Paradigm- Identifying and breaking free from it!

No one likes to be bullied. Today, awareness of bullying is mounting. Many people are going all out to put the breaks on it. Bullying does not just happen among school children. It goes on in adult circles all the time- in relationships, on the job, in groups and societies. If we want to make a big impact on curb-tailing bullying we need to recognize the signs and do what we can to put a stop to it. Our efforts to control bullying in school age children will be very limited as long as we continue to teach them bullying by our actions. Whether we are being bullied or we realize we are the bully- we need to own it and stop it, so we can begin to shift the vibration from a power-struggle world to a world of equality and harmony.

bullying

In this “Teasing verses Taunting” chart we have a list that can be applicable to a variety of situations. Ask yourself as you read over it, “Where do I fall on the chart? Where does my relationship with …….. fall? What about my job? My family? My church? Am I or are they incorporating bullying techniques?

Bullying is a manipulative way of getting what one wants. The bully preys on ones that have a weaker constitution than them or a perceived inferior position. The bully is usually a wounded person who at sometime in their life felt like a victim and bullying was their way of shoring up against ever being in that position again.

Religious groups often use means of bullying- cloaking it in a cover of a “love for the soul.” But when they have to bully converts into staying and submitting to their protocol, they have only gained a proselyte and not a true devotee. They will eventually end up with a group of dependent, beat-down, unmotivated individuals with little ability to reason logically, to empathize truly or to think for themselves.

The same results are seen at places of employment or governed societies where bullying is a means of control; it creates a dependent, unmotivated, discontent society that no longer can discern bad choices from good choices because they have so long been bullied into someone else’s choices for them.

You may think that you do not fall on the chart of bullying/victim at all. This is a rare case. Bullying is about control and can show up in very subtle ways. It takes a conscientious person to really identify their part in the bigger picture. I have seen this manipulative controlling attitude come out among closest friends.

These patterns can be broken. As we break free from the hierarchical  paradigm of “us verses them” we become an ensign of freedom, light, and peace. We each have to own our part in the bigger picture. Are we playing a victim role by allowing others to bully us and not taking responsibility for our own life choices? Are we coercing, threatening, shaming, punishing, demeaning anyone else in an attempt to change them or cause them to do what we desire them to do?

To get out from underneath a bully we have to be very deliberate in our choices and begin to respond rather than react to them. We have to master the art of saying NO! We have to think about what someone is requiring of us, weigh it out to see if it is a benefit and asset to our life, and if not reject it. This takes a lot of courage for those who are used to allowing others to always have the upper-hand.

If you are a bully, you need to spend time alone and contemplate why you feel like you need to control others. You need to learn the art of being present with what is and trusting the process of life. By getting in touch with your own vulnerability and accepting it, you will begin to naturally let go of the need to control others.

Both the bully and victim need to understand, that they are creating their reality everyday, by their thoughts, by their choices, by their actions. Both need to own this truth and make a commitment to shift their vibration from where it is to a place of give and take- a place of allowing- allowing others to be where they are without having to justify or make excuse for them or control them, and allowing yourself to feel your true emotions, accepting them and working through them.

Bullying is not just among school children, in fact, bullying begins with their caretakers! What examples are we leaving in this world when it comes to bullying? As an individual, as a society, as humanity? When your children observe you do they see someone confident in the process of life or someone who yells, argues, threatens and even gets physically aggressive when things are not going their way? Do they see someone that is confident in their own skin or someone who is always seeking out others to tell them what to do and then blaming everyone else for their lot in life?

Think about it! I have, and I have done something about it in my own life. Consequently I am so much happier and free!