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
I just love this website for it’s uplifting and inspirational comments.
Check out: www.Happify.com
Happiness May Be Just a Tight Squeeze Away: The Link Between Mood and Touch
By Jessica Cassity
You know that warm and fuzzy feeling you get while hugging someone you really like? Well, part of that sensation comes from feeling cared for—affection is a usually clear sign someone wants you nearby. But much of the happiness-boosting power of a hug, a pat on the back, and even a squeeze of the hand is actually physiological, not psychological.
How Your Brain Reacts to Touch
“A number of studies show that when people touch you, your brain produces oxytocin,” says Paul Zak, PhD, director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University and a self-proclaimed “hugger”. Oxytocin is that powerful brain chemical associated with bonding and relationships, characteristics that that have earned it nicknames including “the love hormone”, “the trust hormone”, and “the happy hormone”.
But the amazing powers of touch actually start at that first moment of contact.
When you hug, cuddle, or hold hands, the physical pressure stimulates touch receptors, tiny nerves embedded in your skin all over your body. A biological chain reaction is triggered when these touch receptors are activated, sending signals from the skin to the brain’s reward center. As these signals are interpreted, the brain releases oxytocin, producing a feel-good flow of chemicals. It sounds complicated—and it is—but this process happens almost instantly, thus the immediate boost in happiness and feeling of connection with touch.
It Doesn’t Need to Come from a Loved One for You to Feel the Effects
Hugs and kisses are two surefire ways to get oxytocin flowing, and one reason physical affection is often an important part of close relationships. But the mood boost from physical contact doesn’t happen only after touching a close friend or loved one: “All kinds of touch produce this sensation,” says Matt Hertenstein, associate professor of psychology at DePaul University and head of the school’s Touch and Emotion Lab.
Shaking hands with a stranger, giving a high-five to a teammate, or getting a hands-on adjustment from a yoga instructor can all result in this feel-good effect. And, as most people already know, so can massage, says Hertenstein. Even 10 minutes with a massage therapist (or a generous friend) will light up your brain’s reward center, get the oxytocin flowing, and have a big effect on your mood, not to mention help relieve aches and pains. Most scientists think that even self-massage—like rubbing your own feet—can trigger these sensations.
Why Touch Also Lowers Stress Levels
While these various types of touch are sending your happiness levels soaring, they’re doing another equally important thing, according to Tiffany Field, PhD, founder of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine: “Touch lowers the production of the stress hormone cortisol”. You know how a big hug from a good friend can miraculously help your worries disappear? Science says this actually happens! The mechanism that causes this is still somewhat unclear, but Field believes it has something to do with the way touch typically slows the heart rate, shutting off some fight or flight instincts.
Get the Benefits
It may be cheesy to say “reach out and touch someone” but that truly is one of the easiest ways to trigger this positive chain reaction. If you’re in a romantic relationship you can probably come up with a number of ways to meet this goal. But there are countless ways to get the same sort of effect from interactions with friends, family members, acquaintances, strangers, and even yourself.
• Have kids? During story time rub your child’s back. You’ll both benefit from extra touch.
• Regularly see friends or acquaintances? Become a hugger. Seriously: Paul Zak says he’s hugged thousands of people and he’s all the better for it.
• Like fitness? Sign up for a partner yoga class, a team sport, or an obstacle event like a mud run. Each has numerous built-in opportunities for connection.
• Want to volunteer? Altruism is of course good for happiness, but charity work that involves teamwork—like manual labor—likely has built in hugs and high-fives too.
• Squeamish about reaching out? Take matters into your own hands by learning a few acupressure techniques, giving your feet or hands a self-massage, or by lying on a tennis ball to roll out the kinks in your shoulders. Per Field, even skin brushing before a shower can help activate your touch receptors, so seek opportunities to put a little pressure on your skin whenever you can.
Your body and mind will thank you!
by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.
view original at: www.happify.com
The brain is the organ that learns, so it’s designed to be changed by your experiences. It still amazes me but it’s true: Whatever we repeatedly sense and feel and want and think is slowly but surely sculpting neural structure for better or worse. Sure, most of our mental and therefore neural activity flows through the brain like ripples on a river, with no lasting effects on its channel. But intense, prolonged, or repeated mental activity—especially if it’s conscious—will leave an enduring imprint in neural structure, like a surging current reshaping a riverbed. Day after day, your mind is actually building your brain (scientists call this “experience-dependent neuroplasticity”).
Inner Strengths: Growing the Good Inside Ourselves
I’ve hiked a lot and have often had to depend on what was in my pack. Inner strengths are the supplies you’ve got in your pack as you make your way down the twisting and often hard road of life. Inner strengths include a positive mood, common sense, integrity, resilience, love, or determination.
So what’s the best way to develop greater happiness and other strengths? It’s to simply have experiences of them, which help these good mental states become good neural traits. This is taking in the good: activating a positive experience and installing it in your brain.
You Can Use Your Mind to Change Your Brain
The science shows that each person has the power to change his or her brain for the better—what research psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz calls self-directed neuroplasticity. If you don’t make use of this power yourself, other forces will shape your brain for you, including pressures at work and home, technology and media, pushy people, the lingering effects of painful past experiences—and Mother Nature herself.
Why Is This So Important?
To survive and pass on their genes, our ancestors needed to be especially aware of dangers, losses, and conflicts. Consequently, the brain evolved a negativity bias that looks for bad news, reacts intensely to it, and quickly stores the experience in neural structure. We can still be happy, but this bias creates an ongoing vulnerability to …..(due to copyright of this material, please use link below to read the rest of the article at Happify.com)
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Adapted with permission from Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson, Harmony Books. Copyright © 2013 by Rick Hanson
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.
“Do not be impatient with your seemingly slow progress.
Do not try to run faster than you presently can. If you are studying, reflecting and trying, you are making progress whether you are aware of it or not.
A traveler walking the road in the darkness of night is still going forward.
Someday, some way, everything will… break open, like the natural unfolding of a rosebud.”
– Vernon Howard
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.