Good Energy Verses Bad Energy

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Which Wolf Are You Feeding?

Many of us have heard the native American parable of the good and bad wolf within, and how we all have both wolves within and the one we feed is the one that wins. We can look at energy or vibrations in the same context. There are good vibrations and there are bad vibrations and whatever you feed is what is going to grow bigger.

When people focus on how bad this world is- the crime, the corruption in politics, the fighting, the discontent, they are feeding that bad energy. Focusing on the negative, giving it your time and attention and especially allowing it to alter your mood and emotions, talking about, sharing the bad news you hear- this is all feeding that bad energy. Whatever you place your focus and emotional energy on, you are growing.

To bring about the positive change in our world, we need to reverse this trend. We need to learn and practice feeding the good energy. And to feed the good energy, you have to talk about those things that are good.

There are many people living happy fulfilled lives in this  “negative” world. At times this angers the people that are focused on all the bad stuff. This is because the energy of the people that are focused on the negative is clashing with the energy of the people that are focused on the positive. They are on opposite sides of the spectrum, feeding two different wolves. But instead of getting angry we need to start feeding the positive wolf too. There is a scripture in the Christian bible that teaches us to think on the things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good news, if it has any virtue or anything worth praising- meditate on these things.  Talk about those things. Put those things out there into the energy field- into your vortex. (Philippians 4:8)

The reason that the news is so full of horrible stories is because every time a piece of bad news gets out there, people are like those baby Salmon you feed at the fish hatcheries. The media keeps sprinkling all the dirty stuff they can find and the masses swarm it. They give attention to it. They talk about. They listen to radio programs on it. The bad news travels hither and yon.

Does this mean that we should just ignore bad news. ABSOLUTELY! That’s exactly what it means. Starve out that bad energy wolf. When you come across bad news, say a prayer for whomever had been affected. Send them out positive thoughts and vibrations. If there is something you can actually do about it, do it. But otherwise, go feed the good energy because there is just as much good news out there too. But a lot of people will pass the good right up. They will scroll right past the positive stories and come to a screeching halt to read any sensational piece of gossip or dirt.

If you really want to see improvement in this world then start clicking on the good headlines. Yahoo news and other similar sites create more stories like the ones that get the most clicks. The media simply puts out what sells. Don’t point the finger at the media when you are clicking on and sharing the trash. Do you really need to click that article about the man who just murdered his wife and children or the kid that was mutilated by a lion? No! You don’t.

Meditate and/or Pray for Peace

When you meditate and you pray peace for humanity and for those that are going through sorrow and grief and difficult situations, when you send out good vibes into the universe for them, you are covering all of that. But when you click on that piece of bad news and read it and get that negative visual in your mind feeling the disgust or sadness you are increasing the negative energy in this world. You are contributing to the energetic downfall of humanity. That may be hard to swallow but its just how it is.

There are times when awareness of something that is wrong needs to be raised. For example, recently I read about the horrific mutilation of geese in China to produce our feather pillows and such. This type of “bad news” can be helpful when there comes along with it a positive action I can take to stop this. I now know not to buy feather pillows from China. And I will pass this information along to my readers as well. I can also support industries that are free of animal cruelty. So in that case I am taking my energy away from what I don’t want and putting towards what I do want and that is strengthening the positive energy.

Sometimes there is bad news that affects us nationally that we need to know about. So I am not saying that we should never again listen to a piece of bad news. But the point is, where is your energy and focus flowing? Which energetic wolf are you feeding in your life?

 

Another example; there are many animal activist out there that are trying to get people to see how wrong it is to eat meat. But you can be an animal activist and still be contributing to the negative energy of this world. You do this by going out there and attacking people that eat meat, trying to make them feel bad by telling them how horrible they are and how they have no conscience and putting out negative quotes about meat eaters. That is not helping the animals nor this world. But, what you can do if you are concerned about something like this, you can decide that you are not going to eat meat. Be an example of someone that can stay healthy and strong on a meat free diet. You will have a greater affect. People will no longer feel defensive but rather inquisitive and will more readily listen to why you have chosen your path. These are positive ways to affect the vibrational energy in this world.

This is not about just being a positive Pollyanna. Its not about denying what is, nor denying our emotions behind that. What it is about is considering which energetic wolf in this world you are feeding:

“Where your attention goes, that is where energy flows”

If our overall attention in this world is going to feed the negative, then the negative in this world is going to grow. But if each person that insists on feeding the positive and on finding ways to bring positive thought into this universe, to bring hope and to bring light and to  continually feed that we will see positive change.

If you want to experience this world in a higher state of love and peace and tranquility and happiness and joy, it has to start with you.  Be determined that what you are going to feed in your life is the positive energetic wolf.

Take Down Your Internal Assassin

“Make sure your worse enemy is not living between your own ears.” 

While sleeping, I had a dream…

A loud, aggressive, hateful woman was walking down the street alongside a sidewalk I was walking on. Following her was a group of defeated humans- some were being led to their assassination, others had weapons and were obeying her commands. She herself had a small handgun- and so did I. (we both had the same weapon)

They stopped in the street and the people braced their-selves to face their death. I watched in horror from behind a bushy tree, desperate to save them yet terrified of being seen.

Instinctively I knew, that if I could take the woman down, not only would I save the lives of the condemned, but I would set free the soldiers who only obeyed her out of fear. My hands shook as I pulled out my hand gun and checked the barrel to make sure it was loaded.

But the hateful, angry woman’s senses were too keen as her ears perked up to my subtle movements. She demanded I come out from behind the tree. I went to bring my gun up to shoot her, but she was quicker and drew hers up to shoot me. By a twist of fate, her gun did not fire. I took off running, her and the soldiers in hot pursuit behind.

I ran into a building and found a dark room in which to hide. I got my gun ready- aimed to shoot when she came to knock down the door. But I awoke before it happened.

All morning the dream kept coming back to me. I knew a message lay within the visions I had seen. Eventually it became clearer as I contemplated the fact that all characters in a dream usually reflect some part of your inner world.

The Hateful Assassin

Most people have experience with an internal assassin. This is the condemning voice that rattles on inside your head. He or she, gathers all your personas for assassination. She hates them. She has nothing but murder for them. Her hate is a product of deep rooted, unresolved anger. But she is blaming herself- her personas. She is aggressive and cruel.

Your core persona has compassion. Your core persona loves every part of her, even the weak parts, the failed parts, the shadowy dark parts, because they are all part of who she is as a whole. Each persona has offered life-perspective and been with her on her journey. But the angry persona wont have it. She sees them as weak and blames them for all of her misery. Both the assassin and the core have the exact same weapon. Each have the ability to destroy the other. If the assassin overtakes the core, then all that she is will die. But if she is able to outsmart and overtake the assassin, then all of her internal world will be set free.

The core persona is the only one who is equipped to take out the internal assassin. If she does not, the internal assassin will destroy all that she holds dear- all that life is to her. Your internal assassin will show no mercy.

assassinWe all have a responsibility to rescue our selves from our own internal assassin. As in the dream, she is powerful and is backed by an arsenal of armed soldiers that do her bidding. We may be frightened, weak, outnumbered, overpowered; we made need to find a dark room to hide and get our thoughts together and our ammunition prepared and ready for use.

It will only take one bullet properly aimed. It only takes us positioning ourselves right, aiming, and pulling the trigger. If we can give that internal assassin that one death blow, all can be free and unite in joy as one.

The loyalties of your inner persona are not to the assassin, but to YOU! Do not let fear overcome your resolve to be the hero of your own life. Do not allow that internal assassin to go on any further with her hateful, destructive ways.

What will take her down? What is the one bullet, the one gun that will wipe her out? What is the position we must take? Remove yourself from her aim, get out your gun, postition yourself to fire and wait for her to come to you. Your ammunition is…

LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE OF ALL THAT YOU ARE! freedom1

Look in the mirror and say to your SELF, with every ounce of passion and courage you have remaining within you-

“(Your NAME)- I am your BEST friend . I got your back! You are not alone! You are AWESOME. You are a valuable and beautiful soul. You deserve to be here and to live life to the fullest. I love and accept you JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!” 

Those are powerful bullets. Aim and begin shooting!

Take out that internal assassin. Set your soul free!!!

Much love…

Leaves for Health and Healing

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Beautiful nature offers us all we need to not only survive, but thrive. Fruits give us energy, minerals, vitamins, fiber and hydration. But did you know that their leaves also are packed with healing properties?

Try harvesting some leaves and adding them to a pitcher of water to infuse the water with their healing properties. Or cut them in pieces, place them in a mug and add hot water to make a tea. Dry, crumble and bag some leaves for later use. Label the bags with the names of the tree leaves and what their medicinal properties are.

Whirl dry tea leaves in a coffee grinder for a powder to add to your smoothies.

For those of you who have juicers, try adding a few fruit leaves to your juices.

Leaves are often used as food wraps, though cooking them will destroy much of their benefits so eating raw wraps or adding them to salads is probably best.

When I harvest leaves, I go for branches that need trimming anyhow; the fruit needs the energy and nutrients from the leaves to develop well, so do not over pick.

*Always consume organic, unsprayed vegetation only!

The following is a list of edible leaves and some of their benefits:

Grape leaves- commonly used to make Dolmades, grape leaves are rich in vitamins A, K, C, E, B6, niacin, iron, riboflavin, folate, calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese. Grape leaves are mildly anti-inflammatory, and can reduce edema, treat diarrhea, stomach issues, hepatitis and gynecological problems such as excessive bleeding and/or discharge.

Fig leaves- have been acclaimed to reduce the need for insulin in diabetics. They are rich in calcium and can also be used to to lower blood pressure, treat bronchitis, lower triglyceride levels, and relieve ulcers.

Raspberry leaves-  are high in magnesium, potassium, iron and B-vitamins. Known to strengthen the uterine and pelvic muscles, red raspberry has been utilized for centuries to increase fertility, strengthen the uterine during pregnancy, ease labor and delivery, and regulate women’s menstruation.

Mulberry leaves- contain calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin c and beta carotene. This is another leaf that has been shown to help with type 2 diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels. They contain GABA which can reduce blood pressure, increase circulation, and assist in overall health of blood membranes. Some studies predict that drinking mulberry tea regularly can help reduce cholesterol.

Loquat Leaves-  are antiviral, help the body release antioxidants, assists in the bodies detoxification by aiding mucus breakdown, can increase insulin production and supports the liver.

Birch leaves- help heal mouth sores, aid in healing bladder and kidney problems and gout, and is used to heal a variety of skin conditions including psoriasis.

Hawthorne leaves- are well known for their positive affect on the cardiovascular system and have been used in treating congestive heart failure, blood pressure issues, heartbeat irregularity, angina and high cholesterol and more.

Avocado leaves-  can dissolve kidney stones and strengthen kidney function, act as a diuretic to relieve swelling, reduce blood pressure, eliminate thrush, and aid healing from colds, coughs, and asthma.

Olive leaves- may prevent cancer, reduce and/or eliminate tumors, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and slow carbohydrate digestion reducing insulin fluctuation; they are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, a treatment for arthritis and and a natural pain reliever; they can improve brain function and stimulate production of bone-building cells.

This list is just to pique your curiosity and get you started on your own research to the healing nature of leaves. What plant and trees do you have access to that are not sprayed? Do you have some of the ones listed above? Start there and do some more research on it.

Healing can be as simple as going out in your yard, picking a few leaves, rinsing them and making a tea. Mother Earth has provided the means. Use your intuition and the knowledge available to you and begin to apply the age old wisdom of Hippocrates to your life, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”

You just might be amazed at how much healing power you have right outside your door.

 

 

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!

Please share this post!

 

 

Citrus C Juice to Combat the Winter Blues

Winter citrus fruit is not only loaded with vitamins that boost and support your immune system, the bright yellow and orange colors are a cheerful presence on cold, cloudy days.

I rarely get sick, but this year my body was a little extra stressed and a darned virus took hold. Luckily I had a bowl full of citrus and some other ingredients that helped knock that bug out in no time at all. Two days down is not so bad, and let me tell you when I was down I was pretty sick.

So I thought I would share my recipe here. I also took hot baths adding essential oils peppermint, sage and myrrh; I also mixed these oils with a carrier oil rubbing this lavishly on my neck, sinuses and chest. (be careful with peppermint oil around the face though as it can feel hot and burn your eyes)

The following juice is made with organic fruits and veggies and has a slightly tart taste. Very refreshing!

Citrus C Cold Buster Juice

Run through your juicer:
2 medium oranges, peeled
1 large lemon, peeled
4 medium orange carrot
I thumb size fresh turmeric
I thumb size fresh ginger

Mix with same amount of water; so if you got 1 cup of juice, add one cup of water.
Put 1 cup of frozen strawberries in a high-speed blender. Add half the juice and begin to blend slowly adding remaining juice.
Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Caterpillar and the Butterfly

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The caterpillar slowly and laboriously rummages on the earth munching away at the green foliage, leaving its mark of destruction wherever  goes. Then one day it just stops eating and instead it anchors itself onto the foliage, builds a shell around itself and disappears. Inside the cocoon, all of what it once was liquefies. Nothing but the shell remains of its lowly existence. Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months. Not a sign of life.

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Then one day something amazing happens; The shell, or cocoon, that the caterpillar disappeared into begins to vibrate and melt away. Slowly a new life is born. To the surprise and delight of all who behold, she emerges from the shell- born on beautiful, colorful wings.  No longer does she grapple about chomping at the leaf; Now she flies, joyfully, as if carried about on winds of laughter. She flies upon earth’s beautiful flowers and brings to them the gift of fertility. And they, in return, give to her of their energizing, life-giving, sweet nectar.

The butterflies life is now one of freedom, joy and beauty- of giving and receiving. The butterfly is a beautiful gift of the universe.

The butterfly is the only living thing known  to completely change its DNA in transformation.

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For Halloween it so happens that I was given a pair of monarch wings- fitting it is that I should be a butterfly. And so Spirit continues to teach me of my own transformation.

Untouched Dawn to Color

There is no such thing as a blank slate when it comes to life. We all are born into this life with an outline- a country, culture, family, circumstance, status . . . Yet each morning, the breath of life is renewed. We rise into a new day, with different lines, for life is ever shifting. We are given a box of colors; our thoughts, emotions and actions all will color in the outlines of the new day. Some of us will be perfect little artists, staying neatly within the lines, coloring just the way we see everyone else coloring, or the way we were taught to color. Others will be messy little artists, coloring outside the lines and defying what is to make our own unique world. Either way, we each choose the colors to paint our day. And in the end- they will all be a collection that makes up our own, personal, unique book of life!

Untouched Dawn to Color

Untouched dawn, I bid thee welcome
A box of colors I have at hand
Thick black ink outline a picture
Imagination afore me stands

Inhabit I alone this space
In universe that is not bound
Filled with breathing, living matter
Existence on an earth-plane round

A blank-slate never was or is
Perhaps I chose this earth I’m on
A page my artist longs to color
And here I am, on untouched dawn

Although this day seems like another
Nothing e’er remains the same
A box of colors I’ve been given
On each new day I write my name

An outline of the dawn is etched
An untrained artist free to paint
All thumbs I struggle how to color
A perfect hue without restraint

Shall I pick natural earthy colors?
Or from the rainbow choose to create?
All black and white would make it simple
Gold and silver for shimmery slate

Perhaps the sweetness of pastels?
Or big and bright like orange and red?
What colors will I paint this day
Before the sun goes back to bed?

Written by Elizabeth Van Cleve

“Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possibly can.”
― Douglas Pagels

Five Powerful Steps to Evoke Change in Any Situation

Do you want change?

  1. “Promote what you love rather than bashing what you hate.”  Whatever you focus on is where your energy and time are being spent; and what you give your energy and time to, focuswill increase. For example, perhaps you want your relationship with your spouse to improve- you want more romance, more attention and such. If your focus is on the lack of those things within the relationship, then the lack will increase. Instead, focus on what is right about the relationship and how you can add more richness to it.

Another example may be a societal change you want to see. Perhaps gun-control is a deep concern for you. Maybe you are worried that your right to bear arms is being threatened.  Focus on the reasons why bearing arms is a good idea, rather than on what will happen if you are “disarmed.” Give your time, attention and energy to promoting gun-safety and responsibility rather than bashing those that oppose guns.

  1. “Be the change that you want to see.” Feel and express yourself as if you are already enjoying the state of change you desire. When a love-relationship is romantic and passionate, you may smile more often, do extra little things for your special someone, dress a little sharper and wear cologne. Playing the part is a good place to start!

Someone who desires to retain the right to bear arms will simply bear arms, and practice safety and responsibility, being that example for others to see it is possible.

  1. Walk a mile in the oppositions shoes. Take their position for a while. Listen to their reasoning. When we just shake our fist and declare our position is the right position, we get absolutely nowhere. It only fuels the opposing side. No matter how right we believe we may be, there is another side to the story and we need to have a good understanding of it and respect for those who have opposing views.

IndifferenceThis is especially true in relationships. Many times family members lose their closeness because they take liberties that they would not take with a stranger. They feel because they are family they can just push their weight around and say exactly what they think with little consideration of the other’s feelings and views. Not only does this not help to bring someone to your point of view, it drives a wedge between you and your loved one that may never be able to be repaired.

This is seen in parent/child relationships quite often. A child begins so show his independent thinking and it does not line up with what the parent believes to be right; the parent has a knee-jerk reaction and tries to plow out the unwanted thinking without ever trying to understand why their child has come to that conclusion. If you won’t listen in order to truly understand someone, they most certainly are not going to hear what you have to say, because they know in their heart you have no idea what you’re talking about. You have not even taken the time to hear and understand them.

oppositionMany of today’s issues have fierce opposing views; abortion, immunizations, religious freedom, sexual orientation, etc… these all have very strong arguments on both sides; Taking time to thoroughly understand where the other side is coming from and not just bashing them because they do not see it like you do, is essential to finding a real solution that everyone can work with. Calling people names like stupid, evil and fanatical will never bring someone to see your point of view. When you are really willing to respectfully listen to and understand, with empathy, their point of view, then doors will open for you to be understood as well.

It is then that we find common ground; it is here that we come to appreciate the fact that we are all human, just wanting to feel safe, secure and happy in this world we are currently experiencing. Taking an arrogant, mocking, superior position will never build bridges. There is nothing about any of us that is superior to someone else. We may be more learned in a certain area, but that doesn’t make us superior to another human being.

4. Make sure the change you desire to see is for the benefit of all involved. Whether you call it karma or reaping what you sow, or you get back what you put in, or “you made the bed now sleep in it,” the point is, do not misuse your personal power to change as a tool of manipulation. Be considerate of all life.

5. Be grateful. Morning, noon and night, as often and you think about it, give thanks continually. There is always something we can find in every situation to be thankful for. Whenever you find yourself feeding the negative monster or bashing what you hate, the quickest and surest remedy is to start naming to yourself all that you have to be thankful for in that given moment.

These five steps are powerful and can evoke the change that you desire to see in any situation. Whether it is a relationship, a personal need or a societal condition, by diligently practicing these steps you will begin to see improvement and the light of hope shining bright on the horizon.

Inconspicuous Blessings

Quiet moments . . .

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Evening hues . . .

 

Moonlit nights . . .

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Un-retouched Photographs by Elizabeth Van Cleve