Never underestimate the power of rejection.
Rejection will initially hit you like a ton of bricks.
Crush your self-esteem and ego.
But only for a moment if you allow it, you can find that rejection can free you from what the universe may have been telling you all along was not the appropriate path for you. Sometimes, our hearts and minds lead us in directions haphazardly. It’s when we hit a stone wall that we become self-aware and can stand in our truth. To be honest with ourselves, we will have heartache over what we envisioned but reality will keep us grounded. Only allowing us to relish such unrealistic thoughts until we have overstepped the excitement of thinking to the actual doing. Sometimes, these fantastic thoughts can propel us in directions we never imagined. So, they definitely have their place in our lives, just not a permanent one. Once we stand back and view it for what it truly is…an educational mind-expanding experience….will we be able to approach the next challenge that eagerly awaits our arrival.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles
by Marianne Williamson
There are 7 main energy centers in the body, known as chakras. Each chakra is located throughout our body so that it correlates to specific body ailment and physical dysfunctions; each energy center also houses our mental and emotional strengths. When we have a physical issue, it creates weaknesses in our emotional behavior. When we release the stale energy from the body, it can undo any tightness, stiffness, or malfunction of that area.
The clearing of the energy can also balance our emotional state of mind. The Chakra Mind-Body Balance is a two-way street: if there are certain fears and emotions we are holding on to, we experience physical restrictions, too.
If you have achiness or stiffness, or certain reoccurring emotions and fears, read along and you may find out which chakra is affected or blocked.
1st or Root Chakra
*Sits at the base of your spine, at your tailbone.
Physical imbalances in the root chakra include problems in the legs, feet, rectum, tailbone, immune system, male reproductive parts and prostrate gland. Those with imbalances here are also likely to experience issues of degenerative arthritis, knee pain, sciatica, eating disorders, and constipation.
Emotional imbalances include feelings affecting our basic survival needs: money, shelter and food; ability to provide for life’s necessities.
When this chakra is balance, you feel supported, a sense of connection and safety to the physical world, and grounded.
The lesson of this chakra is self-preservation; we have a right to be here.
2nd or Sacral Chakra
*Located two inches below your navel.
Physical imbalances include sexual and reproductive issues, urinary problems, kidney dysfunctions, hip, pelvic and low back pain.
Emotional imbalances include our commitment to relationships. Our ability to express our emotions. Our ability to have fun, play based on desires, creativity, pleasure, sexuality. Fears of impotence, betrayal, addictions.
When this chakra is balanced, we have an ability to take risks, we are creative, we are committed. We are passionate, sexual and outgoing.
The lesson of this chakra is to honor others.
3rd or Solar Plexus Chakra
*Located three inches above your navel.
Physical imbalances include digestive problems, liver dysfunction, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach ulcers, pancreas and gallbladder issues, colon diseases.
Emotional imbalances include issues of personal power and self-esteem, our inner critic comes out. Fears of rejection, criticism, physical appearances.
When this chakra is balanced, we feel self-respect and self-compassion. We feel in control, assertive, confident.
The lesson of this chakra is self-acceptance.
4th or Heart Chakra
*Located at the heart.
Physical imbalances include asthma, heart disease, lung disease, issues with breasts, lymphatic systems, upper back and shoulder problems, arm and wrist pain.
Emotional imbalances include issues of the heart; over-loving to the point of suffocation, jealousy, abandonment, anger, bitterness. Fear of loneliness.
When this chakra is balanced we feel joy, gratitude, love and compassion, forgiveness flows freely, trust is gained.
The lesson of this chakra is I Love.
5th or Throat Chakra
*Located at the throat.
Physical imbalances include thyroid issues, sore throats, laryngitis, TMJ, ear infections, ulcers, any facial problems (chin, cheek, lips, tongue problems) neck and shoulder pain.
Emotional imbalances include issues of self-expression through communication, both spoken or written. Fear of no power or choice. No willpower or being out of control.
When this chakra is balanced, we have free flowing of words, expression, communication. We are honest and truthful yet firm. We are good listeners.
The lesson of this chakra is to speak up and let your voice be heard.
6th or Third Eye Chakra
*Located in the middle of the eyebrows, in the center of the forehead.
Physical imbalances include headaches, blurred vision, sinus issues, eyestrain, seizures, hearing loss, hormone function.
Emotional imbalances include issues with moodiness, volatility, and self-reflection; An inability to look at ones own fears, and to learn from others. Day-dream often and live in a world with exaggerated imagination.
When this chakra is balanced we feel clear, focused, and can determine between truth and illusion. We are open to receiving wisdom and insight.
The lesson of this chakra is to see the big picture.
7th or Crown Chakra
*Located at the top of the head.
Physical imbalance include depression, inability to learn, sensitivity to light, sound, environment.
Emotional imbalances include issues with self-knowledge and greater power. Imbalances arise from rigid thoughts on religion and spirituality, constant confusion, carry prejudices, “analysis paralysis.” Fear of alienation.
When this chakra is balanced, we live in the present moment. We have an unshakeable trust in our inner guidance.
The lesson of this chakra is live mindfully.
Often, you may feel that more than one chakra is blocked as a result of other chakras compensating for the imbalance and either become over active or under active. To start balancing your chakras it is best to begin at the root chakra and work your way up to the crown chakra.
Adapted from MindBodyGreen
BY RESHMA PATEL
APRIL 21, 2014 5:32 AM EDT
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
How To Work Miracles Into Everyday Life
BY GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN
APRIL 10, 2014 6:33 AM EDT
As a spiritual student, I believe that we sign an invisible oath to be a teacher in some way. As we expand our inner awareness and bear witness to our lives as they blossom, we likely sense the desire to spread the love. When we share our spiritual gifts, they grow. A Course in Miracles says, “To teach is to learn.”
As a teacher of the Course, I can testify to this truth. I have witnessed my spiritual awareness and faith grow immensely from my commitment to being a teacher. Early in my Course studies, I read about how the students show up when the teacher is ready.
This was the case for me. As soon as I made the commitment to share the information I was learning, my students began appearing. They showed up as mentees, family members, and, in my case, audience members, as I began to share the messages through lectures and videos. When you’re on a spiritual path, teaching comes naturally.
You don’t need to figure out who to teach or where to go. Rather, you remain a humble student with the willingness to share the beautiful gifts you’ve been given.
At points in my spiritual journey when I decided to learn more, I was guided to teach more. For instance, before I found Kundalini yoga and meditation, I felt a strong call to heighten my own practice.
Though I’d been a spiritual teacher for seven years, I was seeking a more visceral experience of spirit. I prayed to know more.
Quickly my prayers were answered when I was invited to a private Kundalini class hosted by a dear friend. I didn’t even like yoga, but there was a voice within me saying, Get your ass into that class.
From the moment I met my teacher, Gurmukh, and experienced the technology of Kundalini, I knew I was not only meant to be a dedicated student, but I was meant to be a teacher. With one month of Kundalini classes under my belt, I started saying out loud (to everyone, including my lecture audiences) that I was going to become a Kundalini teacher.
I had no idea where this proclamation was coming from. Spirit was speaking through me, holding me accountable as I stated my commitment to thousands of people in lecture halls and the Twittersphere. I was being called to teach.Then, one afternoon in Kundalini class, I kept hearing my inner voice say, It’s time to teach, it’s time to teach.
Immediately following the class, I thanked the teacher. She looked at me and said, “Gabrielle, I’m familiar with your work. I think you should teach Kundalini.”
I smiled and accepted the Universal memo. Twenty-four hours later, I signed up for 270 hours of Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher training.
Becoming a spiritual teacher isn’t our choice. It’s an unconscious commitment we make with the Universe. It’s not something that we do; it’s something that hap- pens to us. We can all teach in our own unique ways. You don’t need to be a self-help book author and motivational speaker to be a spiritual teacher. You just need to be a spiritual student with a desire to serve.
Yogi Bhajan said, “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”
You’ve made it this far and it’s likely you’re hearing your own call to teach. Don’t deny that inner voice. Don’t push it away with limiting beliefs like, I’m not ready for that teacher training, or Who am I to share these tools?
That’s all a bunch of crap. When you make the decision to share your gifts, spirit will give you all that you need to facilitate the process.The world desperately needs more light. When you are called to share the spiritual awareness you now have, don’t hesitate to speak up. Be the lighthouse. In your light, others will become illuminated.
A Course in Miracles teaches us, “A miracle is a service. It is the maximal service you can render to another. It is a way of loving your neighbor as yourself. You recognize your own and your neighbor’s worth simultaneously.”
We need more miracle workers to balance the energy of these times. We need you.
Excerpted with permission from the publisher. To embark on the journey of becoming a Miracle Worker in your own life, pick up a copy of Gabrielle’s new book, Miracles Now, 108 Life-changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow and Finding your True Purpose.
About the Author
Gabrielle Bernstein is a New York Times bestselling author speaker and Kundalini meditation teacher. Her newest book Miracles Now launches in April.
MARCH 30, 2014 5:11 AM EDT
Having emotions, even negative ones, is part of being human. But when we don’t have the skills to learn from our feelings and move forward, we can get mired in negativity, which prevents us from reaching our full potential. Here are seven emotions that, when not dealt with, can stop you from thriving:
Anger is arguably one of the most uncomfortable feelings because it’s a call to action. When we don’t have the skills to deal with it constructively, we stuff it down or feel shame because we believe anger is ugly or inappropriate. Think of that “stuffed anger” as weight that keeps you from soaring, that dilutes your life energy.
If things that made us angry happened at a time in our life when it was not safe for us to express anger, we’ve probably developed a lifelong pattern of suppressing it, which becomes a depressive pattern. Over time, more circumstances are left untouched by the actions we might take to affect a change, and we never learn the lessons in our anger, stunting our growth.
We are also frightened of anger because of the aggressive, red hot fiery feeling of it, which can seem like more than we can control. If you actually allow it to bloom to its fullness, you will discover it is in fact, finite, and you can handle it. It’s like looking at a tremendous shadow cast on a wall. If you look at what is actually casting the shadow, it has definitive edges and is quite small in comparison to what we assumed it was by not looking directly at it.
Some ideas to deal with anger:
Today, think of something that makes you angry. It can be as small or as large as you like.
Step 1: Don’t judge it. Don’t dismiss it as trivial. Don’t compare it to others who you see as having “real reasons to be angry.” You are carrying this anger, and that’s what matters.
Step 2: Write about what happened and how it made you feel. Acknowledge how long you’ve been carrying the anger and notice how much energy it takes to stuff it down. Explain how it affects you in your everyday life.
Step 3: Write out what you’re going to do to purge this from your system. It can be anything from an internal action such as: I am going to find a new perspective on this so I can find forgiveness. Or the opposite end of the spectrum: a physical action. For example: I am going to let the person know how angry I am. (Not looking for a resolution from them, simply for the purpose of not carrying the weight anymore.)
Acknowledgement + Examination + Action= FREEDOM
Regret is one of the fastest traps to spiraling downward. It disables our ability to recover from past stressful events and move forward. Instead of writing new chapters, we keep re-reading old ones and want to rip them out.
But the most damaging element of regret is the heavy self blame and judgement loaded up right behind that door. These beliefs manifest in your everyday life and you don’t feel like you can be who you want to be. Regret cripples your certainty.
Some ideas to deal with regret:
Step 1: What do you regret? Get it out. You may not want people to know. But then you’re not owning it. The value in this is to own it. Accept it. If you can’t accept it, it’s not going to go away. It will continue to haunt you.
Step 2: Forgive yourself. Consider the circumstances at the time that might have made it difficult to make better choices. How do you plan on forgiving yourself for your choices that you regret?
Step 3: Sometimes realizing we went the wrong way can become fuel. Reframe your “mistakes” and see them in a way that makes you a stronger, better version of yourself, wiser with a sharper radar. Use your regrets to give you clarity on where you want to go and who you want to be.
Shame is the prison guard that keeps us locked in a secret hell, suffering at the mercy of all our other negative emotions. Shame is the belief that things that have happened that have permanently marked us, changed us into an inferior being—not worthy of the same love, mercy, and compassion that others deserve.
As Brené Brown so beautifully said when explaining the difference between guilt and shame: “Shame is the difference between I did something bad or something bad happened to me, and I AM bad.”
Some ideas to deal with shame:
Step 1: Dissolving shame starts with defiance. Defying the prison guard that tells you that you must keep quiet or be rejected. The only way to do this is to find a voice. Write about what you are ashamed of.
Step 2: See the full picture of the bars you live behind. How does your shame isolate you, silence you, and cause you to suffer? Realize that’s what is at stake if you do not free yourself.
Step 3: How are you going to shift your perspective from shame to acceptance? Powerless to powerful? (Realize that by speaking about what you are most ashamed of, you have a powerful effect on others, as they are inspired by your courage. We expect to be rejected, but instead we are embraced.)
First, the difference between hurt and pain. I liked Padhia Avocado’s definition. “Hurt is the impact of something very definable. Pain is more abstract. It’s the suffering that results from hurt.”
Everyone has been hurt. Everyone has gone through pain. No one enters adulthood unscarred. And if they say they have, it just means they’ve experienced a lot more hurt then they realize or are willing to admit. Suffering happens when pain pushes us across that divide and into powerlessness.
As long as we feel we have no power, we will stay stuck in suffering. So how do we get back to the other side? We must feel powerful again. Or maybe for the first time in our life. We must acknowledge what or who we allowed to take away our power.
Some ideas to deal with hurt:
Step 1: What or who has hurt you? Remember, the point of this detox is to get things out. There’s a difference between thinking about something in fragments or actually typing words that force you to have complete thoughts, and therefore revelations and growth.
Step 2: What feeling or beliefs about yourself do you carry because of this hurt? And how do these ripple in your work and relationships?
Step 3: How can you regain the power you lost, thereby dissolving the hurt? This can be anything, for example, reframing it and realizing that you gained wisdom you wouldn’t have had otherwise, or holding the person who hurt you accountable for the pain they caused you.
We were not born to suffer in sorrow. Circumstances, upbringing, parents lacking tools, other people’s poor choices, things that were not in your control, have cast what you might believe is a permanent shadow that will follow you for the rest of your life. But there is a way to stand in the sun.
The first step forward is acceptance of self and story, and in order to fully accept, you must accept your feelings completely. Easier said than done. Our families, culture and religions taught us to mistrust and be critical of our true emotions.
Step 1: First, admit that you are carrying unhealed sadness. Do this by describing the sorrow you carry and why.
Step 2: Know that you are not your sorrow / sadness. Just because you carry it, it doesn’t define you. You may feel sorrow but you are not sorrow. Sorrow is residue from the past. That is not who you are today.
Step 3: Establish an accepting relationship with your sorrow. Instead of allowing it to drown you, friend it by showing it compassion as if you went back and saw yourself as a child. Shower that kid with compassion. Tell her what you wished someone would have told you.
Step 4: As you connect with your sorrow, you connect with younger parts of you, parts of you that didn’t know what to do with those feelings. Now as an adult, I hope you allow whatever emotions come, instead of stuffing them deep into a box. If you feel like crying, then cry. Cry harder than you ever cried before. You owe that to yourself. Maybe that’s why you’re sad, because you’ve never allowed yourself to be.
I define discouragement as “dissing your courage.” When we get discouraged, we allow ourselves to be afraid. We start to question everything.
Discouragement isn’t a feeling. It’s a trap of faulty thinking. Instead of asking yourself why you get discouraged, ask yourself why you keep trapping yourself. What are you afraid of? Failure? Expectations? Judgement? What does it mean to you if you “fail”? What does it mean if you are judged?
Some ideas to deal with discouragement:
Step 1: What are you discouraged about these days?
Step 2: Track the fear. Where is it coming from? Usually it’s not what you think it is. Hint. Where do you find yourself the most defensive? Start there.
Step 3: What will be your action towards dissolving these fears?
Step 4: Finally, what’s at stake if you dis your courage?
There’s a difference between control and power. Control can feel temporary and even when we don’t feel like we have it, we believe somewhere deep inside we can obtain it, maybe in an unhealthy way. If the feeling of losing control feels like the long stretching of a thin rubber band, powerlessness is the breaking of it. Powerlessness isn’t losing power. It’s a cold snap, a complete disconnection, backwards fall into suffering.
Some ideas to deal with powerlessness:
Step 1: What areas in your life do you feel powerlessness? And is this a pattern?
Step 2: Why do you feel powerless in those areas? I want actual steps, actions you will take. Not just ideas.
If you’ve ever done “Navasana” (boat pose) in a yoga class, it’s possible the teacher told you to focus on the space between your toes. The idea is to train your mind to observe the space between all things.
The pause between the inhale and the exhale. The space between your thoughts, once you train your mind to be present. The space between an event and your response to it. The space between you and another person, and the ability to choose what goes into that space. We don’t always learn to think about things in this way, but it can be a real life-changer.
A couple of years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who happens to be a Jungian therapist, and he said, “Well, y’know, no one can make you feel anything, unless you let them.”
And I started laughing. Because of course that’s true, but it really turns the “blame game” on its head, doesn’t it?
As the saying goes, A person can only drive you crazy if you give them the keys.
I want to be really clear. There are things in this life that can break your heart wide open. Events that would bring the strongest person to her knees.
And at times like those, you don’t have to think about the space between things, or where you’re leaving your keys, or anything else. You just focus on breathing in and breathing out, and you piece together how to survive.
I’m not talking about times like those. I’m talking about the day-to-day issues that can ruin your afternoon if you let them, or not so much.
If someone says something thoughtless or hurtful, you don’t have to allow it to absorb hours of your time. Maybe they’re having a tough day. Maybe they cried themselves to sleep in their pillow last night. Maybe their kid was vomiting until all hours of the morning and they didn’t get any sleep. Maybe someone they love is dying and they feel helpless in the face of that.
We really don’t know what’s happening with someone else unless they tell us. We don’t have to take it all on, and we don’t have to take it all personally.
When you create a little space between an event and how you respond to it, you put yourself in the power seat. I’m not talking about power over anyone else, I’m talking about maintaining your center. Being stuck in traffic when you’re trying to get somewhere is never fun, but you don’t have to allow it to raise your blood pressure.
You don’t have to tell yourself a story about how you always get screwed, or the universe is conspiring against you, or you never get any breaks. You don’t have to carry that anger into the rest of your day. You don’t even have to get angry.
If you’re having a tough time with your partner or your child or your parent, you could start to think about the space between you and them. You could decide you won’t pollute that space with your rage or resentment or frustration. You could fill that space with your love, concern, patience and understanding.
But you can only make those choices if you learn how to create that space, right?
A reaction comes out of our past. Something within us gets triggered, probably something very old, raw and unhealed, and we react as if we’re being attacked. Because something in the current interaction is echoing something that hurt us long ago. So we drag our past into our present and then it’s really hard to figure out what’s happening.
Are you really this upset with the person who cut you off on the freeway, or is this experience tapping some old pain around feeling disrespected? Ignored? Unseen or unheard? Is it the other driver, a complete stranger, who’s made you feel invisible, or is it something else, someone else?
The physical part of the yoga practice was designed to prepare the body and the mind for seated meditation. If you’ve been wanting to try yoga, I stream online yoga classes all over the world.
When we sit and meditate, we have this enormous and beautiful opportunity to know ourselves. Feelings come up and we witness them. We don’t try to fix them or change them, we just watch them arise and peak, and subside. No feeling is forever. And feelings are not facts.
You don’t have to believe everything you think, as the saying goes. We just sit and take a compassionate look at the world within us. At the quality of the relationship we’re having with ourselves, with others, with our own environment. We realize we are not our thoughts, which is huge, because so much of our suffering stems from the way we’re thinking about things.
And we can take that practice into our lives. When someone says something that hurts, we can pause and breathe and notice where we’re feeling that pain. We can observe our jaw clenching, or our shoulders tightening. And after awhile, we can even communicate while we’re doing that. “That really hurt. I don’t know if I’m misunderstanding you, but this is how I’m feeling right now.”
Here’s the other thing. When we’re thinking, we aren’t feeling; we’re separating ourselves from the experience we could be having. And those experiences include the feelings of love, joy, peace and contentment.