Is anger easier to feel than love?

As I drove to work this morning, I noticed my thoughts were honed in on the areas in which I have felt wronged. In fact, looking back further, I see this has been the primary pattern I have held this past week – and beyond. My fist and jaw muscles were clenched while I seemed to hover slightly out of my body. The still, quiet voice within softly whispered, “focus on your heart.” Immediately, I let out a slow, long breath that, before that very moment, I didn’t realize I had been holding onto. I felt the back of my body again, no longer hovering. My muscles softened, appropriately (afterall, I was still driving). In the same moment, I felt the healing glow of my heart light open and warm the restrictions in my throat and stomach.

Within seconds, I saw where I felt so much better just by changing my focus from my grievances to my heart. One of my next thoughts was, “why didn’t I just do this sooner?” I did see where, overnight, I would turn the focus onto myself to see where I was contributing to the problem, AND by doing this, I was still focusing on the problem. Now, my focus was fully on my heart and I felt complete and whole again, where once I had felt completely broken.

After recognizing the internal battle that ensued overnight, I began to ask myself: “is it easier to be angry than it is to love?” Immediately, I began to see where, indeed, our anger helps us to feel justified, gives us the feeling of power and protection. We feel armored, and it also separates and disconnects us from others. In other words, anger keeps us stuck in our own thoughts, actions and habits.

On the other hand, literally, the open hand of love versus the closed fist of anger makes us feel incredibly vulnerable. Love means we are open, to some degree, to whatever is to come.

Anger disconnects and love connects. To feel love and compassion is to see life from someone else’s perspective. Love is scary because it means we need to change how we view the world, ourselves and how we relate to others. Now love doesn’t seem so great now, does it? (just kidding).

Here are some heart meditations that I have practiced this week while working through the muck that a few times threatened to keep me forever stuck. Trust me when I say that pushing away the anger and frustration is like building a bulkhead along the ocean, the waves dig out the sand in front of it and the waves just return bigger and angrier. Here are some strategies to side-step the building up of anger, by opening up the heart light.

Gratitude

Gratitude is such a powerful tool for opening the heart and seeing life from a different perspective. Sometimes the greatest challenge is just beginning. It may be best to start with the basics. The other day I began my list with being grateful for being warm (I don’t like being cold), for my cozy bed (that I was still in at the time), then my home, running water, water heater, my kids, my Jeep, my Job….

Write the list if this helps to solidify things for you. When we focus on the things that ARE going well, it helps us to gain perspective a higher perspective and rise above the things that close our hearts. Gratitude is infectious, be careful! (wink)

Heart Meditations

Imagine the parts of yourself that are hurting, for whatever reason, in bubbles in front of your heart. Remember a time when you felt love, or ask Your Higher Power to give love to these parts of you (in the bubbles). See the bubbles filling with love and see the various part of yourself, within their individual bubbles, transformed. When ready, allow these bubbles to rise up to the heavens, or see them reintegrate with you. Or follow what your heart tells you to do.

This same technique can be used to help someone else who is suffering in some way.

Digging Deeper

What are some ways in which you can each open your heart to a greater depth of love?

How can you tell when you are being closed to others? I personally find that my muscles go into hyperdrive

Where has your focus been this week or what thoughts are you running away from?

The Epiphany of Allowing

 

It is on this day that I met the elegant, beautiful and delicately strong lotus flower named Epiphany. She was captivating to watch as she morphed into different shapes and colors as her awareness of herself grew. She was open, she was vulnerable and she knew who she was. She could be anything that she wanted; by allowing it to be. In her presence, I felt light and airy, even as I sat upon a large, solid rock. 

We each have a calling within our hearts, our DNA. Yet we allow the external circumstances of our lives to dictate which path we will take. This is not love, this is fear. Because I fear being seen as crazy, I have continually hidden behind my fears. At times, when the words of my heart want to burst forth I hold them back constricting the neck muscles around my throat; choking out my own words. This hurts me and, worse, it serves no one.

The path away from fear and towards love is found in giving ourselves permission to be our true selves. It does not require me to change you, nor for me to require change within myself. By forcing or resisting changes we are not in a state of allowing.  

The most important lesson is having faith in the unseen. Seeds sprout out of sight. Just as the farmer plants the seed in the soil, he does not later pull up the soil to see what is happening. Instead, he waters and he trusts the seed to do its job. Allowing is having faith in the unknown and not deserting a vision just because it has “taken too long” to bear fruit.

Allowing begins on the inside and is developed through our inner feminine and masculine. This strength is symbolized by the lotus and the rock. The lotus does not ask permission to be beautiful, she just is. Out of the muck she rises and reaches for the sun. Once in the sun, she blooms and opens her petals, revealing herself openly; transparently. She represents feminine strength. The rock also serves its duty by being who he is, being present, solid and still. He represents masculine strength. We need both types of strength to make our way to the pinnacle of our own life’s purpose.

It is within our heart spaces that we strengthen our intuition, which is a combination of trusting and listening. The time has come for us to trust ourselves and to truly listen to what is being said; to see the truth beyond the physical by looking and living from within. It is here that we experience our truth more fully. It is here that we no longer feel burdened by fears.

All that we need to accomplish our missions can be found within. Through stillness, meditation, faith and visualization, we can access everything we need through allowing instead of resisting or forcing. It is by allowing and going within that we have the strongest connection with The Creator and we can complete our missions. Now just to give ourselves that permission.

Namaste

Images: Google & Calm

 

 

Using the Imagination to Cope with Emotions

Her fingers shook as she raised the black clove cigarette to her cracked lips. The golden light as she lit the clove created a patchwork of dancing light and shadows, revealing deep wrinkles in the skin of her face.

Soon she began to speak as the smoke poured out from her lips in puffs. “I want to control everything. I do not trust anyone,” she said while her shoulders were drawn forward; bearing the burden of the world and caging her heart.

I understood her fears, I told her as we stood at the entrance to a dark cave. I listened, nodding my understanding as the words poured out of her mouth like acid. I understood deeply, as she was the personification of my anxiety.

After she finished speaking, I experienced a deeper calmness. I had allowed myself to hear, see and experience my anxiety, to where it released the need to gnaw at my gut.

To up the ante, I saw myself sending her love. After all, that’s all my anxiety ever really wanted; to be loved and accepted.

This method of using the imagination to have a conversation with our emotions is based on the book Inner Work: Using Active Imagination and Dreams for Personal Growth by the Jungian analyst Robert A. Johnson.

While Johnson uses more dream-like modes in his examples of active imagination, I find that this “personification method” tells me quite a bit. I gain a good deal of information based on what the emotions say, their demeanor and their appearance. By listening to them and also sharing my own perspective, I am able to regain a greater degree of peace.

This process is quite simple. While sitting in a supported position, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, then allow your imagination to take you inward. For some reason, I see myself outside of a cave and maybe another setting would work better for you. Once there, call forth an emotion that has been troubling you. You can name this person. Write down your conversation as it occurs; it helps to further the process. Following the conversation, give the emotion love or at least appreciation.

I’ve personally found this method more effective than riding the emotional wave that I’ve described here.  I hope that you find this helpful in your journey.

Namaste

Image: Pintrest, no credit given

 

Getting Unstuck in Life: Seeing Our Life Patterns

Our thoughts are our GPS, consciously or not, they affect our actions and our paths. By becoming more aware of our underlying thoughts, we can more easily change our direction in life. 

Meanwhile, allowing our thoughts to run amuck in our minds, we give up our control to them. Our GPS takes us to the wrong places, and sometimes we find ourselves driving in circles; stuck in patterns that do not serve us. By being unaware of our underlying thoughts, they unconsciously drive our actions from the backseat. Here I will illustrate some examples of the growing awareness I have had of my thoughts over the past few weeks.

After reading and implementing the daily meditation recommended in the book, Yoga + Love, I have noticed an unexpected side effect. By becoming increasingly aware of what thoughts have been running like sound tracks in the background of my mind, I see where I have created insomnia, heartbreaks and lack of resources in my life. 

For someone who thought she had at least a foothold on understanding herself, this had been an eye-opening experience. It turns out that there have been many thoughts that I’ve had that have been silently running (and sidelining the progress in) my life.

For most of this year, I had been increasingly suffering from insomnia. After a week or so of twice daily heart-centered meditation, I suddenly saw where I was telling myself that I was not able to sleep, even before I got in bed. I was, in a proverbial sense, making my bed and lying in it: sleepless. 

Once I saw this “I can’t sleep” thought pattern, I was able to change it. Now I rest peacefully at night without taking any supplements to help me sleep! By changing my thoughts, I changed my sleeping patterns!

I have also noticed how often I tell myself that I don’t have something. Examples have included: “I don’t have the time/energy/ability to deal with this.” Guess what has then happened? Your probably guessed correctly, my thoughts became a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Now, if I hear what I am saying to myself is NOT something that I want in my life, I replace the once “subliminal” thought with one that supports the direction in which I wish to move. “I am capable. I am worthy. I have all the resources that I need to do this successfully.”

Then this week I saw where I had had a strong pattern of focusing more on sex compared to the emotional connections that I have desired over the past 2 years of dating. This was a truly necessary moment of truth, albeit a painful one. 

While my intention in the last round of dating had been to focus on emotional connections, and I achieved that, the underlying thoughts about sex were still there. They continued driving me and played a role in my (dis)connection with the last man I was dating. This is a challenging confession to make. Yet it is an important one for me to acknowledge and see as I move forward, so that I can now do things differently.

To fully correct this dysfunctional dating pattern, I am giving up dating right now for  6-months, if needed. It’s time for me to clear a good bit of these (and yet to be seen) thoughts and soundtracks so that I can create the connection that I truly desire. Instead of continuing to create connections that are based on the underlying thoughts of lust. After publishing this post, I read this on Mind, Body, Green

So as you can see, heart-centered meditation has been my key to self-discovery. May each of us find ways to uncover the thoughts that are secretly driving our actions, so that we may consciously choose a different pattern and, when needed, change our direction. 


Namaste

Images: Google

The Power and “How to” of Letting Go

Today is a great day to allow what needs to be let go of to pass. 

Our fears, unresolved emotions and pasts haunt us when we allow them to go unchecked. Unconscious tapes play in the background of our psyche, ruling us with their power to distract us from our truth. We then make choices out of our fears, often treating others in negative or blocked ways because of our haunted pasts.

To be able to move forward in life, it’s imperative that we learn to “let go” of our past hurts. This process allows us to think clearly and make choices that support us instead of choices that keep us further stuck. When we no longer live unconsciously through our wounded selves, we open up more fully to others in our lives. We see that the peace and happiness we sought were right there, all along.

Here is the method that I have found the most helpful and supportive in moving forward. 

When an unwanted thought or emotion first starts to form, begin to:

  • Slowly breathe in and out, allowing your belly to expand as you breathe in (taking in more breath), and slightly contracting it as you breathe out. The lungs and belly work together instead of oppositionaly.
  • Imagine the thoughts and emotions pouring or “leaking” out of you and collecting in a box (use whatever kind of container works for you).
  • Imagine that box being taken to a Higher Power for transformation. You can use angels or your vision of The Creator or The Universe to do so.
  • Trust that the piece you have released is gone. We heal in layers, so there may be more that needs to surface. It’s kind of like unplugging a drain, once you start to pull things out, more comes up to be gotten out of the way.
  • Repeat as needed throughout the day. Again, the sooner the better.

The quicker I perform this Visualization when a thought or emotion takes sprout, the less of a chance it has to take root and bloom. Sometimes I even perform this clearing process preemptively, too.

Anecdotal evidence:

I’ve been doing this consistently for a few weeks and in the last week on an almost continual basis each day. Today I had my annual check up and my BP was 108/69 (I haven’t run since March and my gym routine fell apart last month). The Nurse Practitioner also asked me if I was a runner because I had a “slow and steady” heartbeat like a runner would. This was after gaining weight since my last check up. Also today I had been racing around while drinking heavy coffee, not sleeping well and being at the doctor’s office (I use to have “white coat syndrome”). All this to say is that I believe this mediation process has played a big part in my positive health results today.

Namaste

Images: Google 

Energy Raising & Metta Meditation 

Energy is vital for life. Without energy we become stuck and cannot move forward. It is important to face the areas where you lack energy, or Joy, and then focus on where you are grateful, happy and fulfilled. Ignoring the issues doesn’t make the problems go away.

Here I will outline a meditation I do daily and whenever I have mental downtime. This is also incredibly helpful when I’m moving through emotions that cause turmoil.

Preferably in sitting, focus for a few breath cycles on your breath without altering it. Then allow your belly to slightly contract as you breathe out. As you breathe in, allow your belly to expand. (As your lungs expand, the belly expands. As your lungs get smaller, so does the belly). Follow this pattern for a few breaths, then bring your awareness to the center of your heart. Trust that you are there, and you will be.

Now as you breathe in, imagine that you are pulling up energy from the center of the earth through your body up to your crown. Then as you breathe out, energy from the center of the Universe, the heavens, travels down through your crown and down to your feet. Repeat this for several cycles until you feel a sense of calm. The in breath moves up from the Earth and the out breath moves down from the heavens. This is how to raise your energy and clear out energy blockages. 

Appreciate the energy you feel, even if it just feels like a little bit at first. Just like any skill, the more you practice, the more you will feel.

This next cycle combines both upward and downward energies on the inhale. Continue to focus on the center of your heart, breathe in and bring in energy from the center of the earth upwards while bringing down energy from the center of the universe downwards. Both coalesce and meet at your heart. As you breathe out, imagine the energy emanating from all directions of your heart (as if it were a glowing sphere) and wrapping around the earth. This is Metta. Continue this for several minutes or breath cycles.

So in the first part of the meditation you cleanse and fill your own cup. In the second part, you share this energy with the world. Which also has a return to you, as an inhabitant of the earth.

The more ways you can love you, the more ways you can also be loved by others, and the more ways you can help support others. Light your light, so the blinded ones can see.

Namaste.

Image: Google

Touching the Fraility at the Core

https://youtu.be/hPC2Fp7IT7o

The featured image came up Friday on FB’s “on this day” from last year. I reposted it joking I needed it tattooed on my forearm. Then later in the morning, I witnessed the fraility of a woman who is also my toughest client. She casts out barbs and talks down to me as I genty ask her how she had been, as if blaming me for her very condition (or existence). 

Her behavior triggered me. Within the same treatment session, she gave me a quick glimpse of how truly frail she is at her core. Through the looking glass, I began to see my own wounded little girl and how my own behavior has been over the past…

Today during a guided meditation on self-love, I met my most wounded self. Zooming out from the core, I saw how defensive (and evasive) I can continue to be in an effort to protect my wounded self from the world, or is it to protect the world from me? 

~~~~

Expectations unmet

Disappointment breeds discontent 

The wounded girl cries out

Bound and gagged in the darkest dungeon

Yet her cries can still be felt

Pulling on the strings of my heart

Her confusion drives my mind in circles.

Like the rabbit,

In fear I run back to where I started.

To let her lose would bring annihilation

For the wounded girl at the core knows

How to slay perceived enemies 

In one deadly blow, her sword sharpened 

By years of desolation.

Her battle brings imminent death

In an effort to protect her essential core.

Best to be met at the castle gates by 

Boiling tar, poured out like

Molten lava from cast iron cauldrons

Than to breech the gates.

The moat really is there

For your own protection…

Best to heed its warning.

~~~

Bringing light to the ordinary,

The stranger,

The wounded,

And the lovable

Aspects of myself,

Allowing the seams to 

Fold together,

Stitching the patterns with

Threads of golden light,

Once again breathing in sweet unison

Repeated until the next undoing,

Giving the girl what she really seeks and

Needs: love and attention without any

Conditions. Acceptance brings her 

The light she needs

To see the walls of the dungeon

Only ever existed in her imagination….

“Meditation Studio” is the app I used today. The meditation was “self-love.” While I liked the meditation, I don’t like how the statements seem to ask for permission (i.e. May I be happy). So I changed the affirmations to present tense. This is what I did, instead:

  • I am happy.
  • I am healthy.
  • I am at peace.

Namaste’

Image: Google