The Life You Long for is Waiting Within You... Create the Capacity for Change!
Menu

What is Spirituality?

 

Spirit begins where separation ends.  

And separation is an illusion.

A convincing one, albeit, but an illusion nevertheless.

“But you are over there Will, and I’m over here.  We aren’t even in the same space!  How can we NOT be separate?”

Who said Spirit had anything to do with space?

Or time, for that matter?

“Well if there is no space or time, I don’t even have a reference point for that.”

Exactly.  Very few people do.  

That’s what spirituality is for.  It dissolves separation because It is the One that All Is.

Spirituality is the process of dissolving the belief in separation.

Connect with Spirit, separation goes away.  

Indulge in separation, Spirit recedes from your conscious experience.

Why dissolve the belief in separation?  Why do spiritual work?

Because separation is the root of all suffering, if I may boldly paraphrase the Buddha, and nobody wants to suffer.

Test me out on this.

When you are suffering, is connection present?  

When you are arguing, do you feel like there is no difference between you and the other?

If life is good, but never quite good enough, do you ever feel full?

You may think otherwise, but when I surrender my beliefs in being different, insufficient, and disharmonious, while staying conscious and present, I don’t suffer.  I’m happy and content and curious.

Notice I said when.  While the Buddha, and Jesus, and Krishna, and so many other enlightened masters had an always experience, I don’t.  I imagine that since you are still reading this, you don’t either.  That’s why Spirituality is a process.

Spirituality is the process of dissolving the belief in separation.

Unless you are one of the few in 10 billion people who achieve that rarified states enlightenment, you are still working your day job, or running your business, or handling the kids, or engaged in some combination of what normal life looks like.  It’s work.  Some days are great, and some days—well, that’s why God made beer, or an oakey Chard!  (Yes, and yoga and meditation, too.)

So thank God that Spirituality is a process. 

You can do it over and over.   And each time you engage in this process of dissolving the belief in separation, you become a new You.  A You that isn’t frustrated, or depressed, or ravenous, or even just meh.

Spirituality is the one thing that you can count on while staying conscious and present that will always lead you towards fulfillment.  It may take you through a swamp or have you clinging by your fingernails to a cliff face from time to time, but it also gives you vistas beyond imagination, and a tranquility that gives rise to peaceful and enlivened days.

Spirituality is the process of dissolving the belief in separation.  It returns you to center, helps you overcome difficult circumstances and in short, makes life better in the bad times and great in the good times.  Whether you’ve been on the spiritual journey for a while or are just looking for good hiking shoes, if you make one of your practices the intention to dissolve your belief in separation, you will get right to the heart of Spiritual Work, and will see progress in your life.

There is a magic to Spirit, to Connection, to Unity. 

If the Hard Rock Cafe slogan is right, and it’s true that All is One, then there is nothing you can’t experience.  Practice connecting with something you love, with something beautiful, and let your heart fill you up.  Do it as often as you can, so that when Life throws another inevitable curveball, maybe you’ll see that She is just playing a game with you, the game you signed up to play this time around.  And maybe, just maybe, you’ll smile and swing for the bleachers.

Blessings to you as you create the capacity for change!

 

The trouble with Enlightenment…

 

The trouble with enlightenment…

… Is that we think about it

As a place to get to.

But you’ve already been there.

Underneath all the demands you try to meet,

Beneath the turbulence of your life

Is a still, calm center.

This is a place you can learn to return to. Just now, take a moment and consider a time when you felt at ease, peaceful and relaxed.

Close your eyes and fully experience that in your body.

Take a couple of breaths to send to yourself in that experience.

Now let the thoughts and images go, and just pay attention to the sensations.

This is your aliveness. It belongs to you like nothing else ever has, or ever will.

This is practical alignment, and practically enlightenment.  For now, this is the best you can do.

Keep returning to this place as often as you can, and watch how your life changes.

Blessings to you as you create the capacity for change!

Dropping the Banana: How to let go and let God, even when its tough

 

Don’t you just hate it when you’re talking to a friend about a problem that’s really troubling you, and they tell you, “Just let it go.“

You know they are right, because you’ve been on the spiritual path for a while, but you also want to dump your half calf double decaf on their lap, twist of lemon and all.

If letting go is the answer, why do you only feel like you can really do that during shavasana at the end of yoga class?

Your hooked.

That’s another annoying catchall phrase, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, it’s true, though.  You want what you want, you know you’re right, and if you tell the truth to yourself, you’d rather be right than happy.  You already know you need to let it go.  You just don’t know how, and now you need another coffee, without the twist of lemon.

So what do you do?

Ever hear the story of the monkey and the banana?

The monkey’s in a cage.

The banana he wants is just outside the cage.

He reaches out and grabs the banana, but the bars are too narrow for the monkey to pull the banana back through.

But he won’t drop the banana because he really wants it.

The monkey is stuck.

He is caught between what we wants and the bars that keep him from getting it.

Do you ever feel like the monkey?

You want the job, but the people drive you crazy.

You want your employees (partner, contractor, waiter) to do things differently, but you don’t like to criticize.

You want your ex to pay the alimony, but you think that if you talk to him one more time, you’ll scream.

You know what you want, and you are trying and trying to get it, but nothing works.

There is a solution for our primate friend, though, and for us, too.

What the monkey doesn’t realize, is that the cage door opposite the banana is open. All he has to do is walk out of the cage, go get the banana, and chow down.

If it’s that easy, then where is the cage door?

How do you do it? How do you let go when you’re in the middle of the argument? How do you let go of the anger, disappointment, and hurt and get back to the happy, healthy conversation?

The obvious answer is to shift your attention.  Look around and see where the open door is, right?  If you knew it was there, you could let go.  After all, you’re not a monkey.

So often when we are stuck, we can’t see any other solution.  Better to  keep clutching the banana than to risk losing it.  But if someone could tell us the cage door was open, that would be different.  We would let go immediately.

The someone we need is our body.

You see, there are two parts to being hooked:  focus and tension.  You won’t let it go in part because you don’t know there is another way to get what you want.  But you also don’t let go of the tension of gripping the banana. Tension lives in your body.

Think about it.  When you are in the argument, you’re upset.  Your body is full of the tension and energy of resisting.  You know you are right, and they are wrong.  If they would just DO what you suggest, life would go so much easier.  After all, you are guided, right?

If you can let go of that tension, your grip loosens, the banana falls to the floor, and out the door you go.

So how do we release the tension?

Let it flow to let it go.

Dr. David Hawkins, a doctor and modern spiritual teacher, shares in his book Healing and Recovery, to just experience it out.  Focus on the sensation of the stuckness, let go of labeling it, and just pay attention to it without trying to change it.  Then it will start to move on its own.

From the book—

“ We say (to ourselves), “Let’s have more of it.”  As we do that, we will discover, much to our surprise, that there is a limited amount of that sensation. “

That’s important:   There is a limited amount of stuckness.

Nobody ever told me that before.  When you’re stuck, it feels like its going to last forever, so you just escape from it.  Start thinking about solutions, or distract yourself from the situation.  But the minute you remember it again, what comes up?

The tension and frustration.

Shifting your focus alone won’t resolve the pattern.  But if you put your focus on the tension, and just sit with it, letting it be, it will run its course because there is a finite amount of it.

Hawkins says that they’re going to come up, the uncomfortable feelings. And when they do, you ask for more of them. That may seem masochistic at first, but it’s actually a brilliant way of stopping the argument with reality .

If frustration comes up inside of you, then that’s what’s real for you. Plain and simple. Trying to suppress it is just Arguing with Reality.

“But if I yell at someone, that’s just going to cause more problems, Will!”

I can hear that little voice in your head freaking out.

Experiencing your feelings it’s different then expressing them. I’m not sure why they didn’t teach us that in grade school, but they should have.

Feeling sad doesn’t mean you call up everybody you know and whine and complain and tell them how awful your life is.  It just means feeling sad.

When Hawkins says ask for more and experience it out, he means let your feelings be. Stop pretending they aren’t there.  Let them have their way with you because that’s what they were designed to do.  The very nature of sensations and feelings is that they change.

WARNING:

If you do this, you will actually have to engage with what’s real for you.  You will actually feel the tension, and may express the emotion.  So, you may want to do this in a place that doesn’t make you feel vulnerable, a place that’s safe.  Take a deep breath or two as you connect with what’s really going on, and let it flow.

Here’s how I do this:

I notice that I’m stuck.  When this happens I usually rev myself up, working harder to solve the problem until I’m frustrated.  That frustration lives in my neck and shoulders, and in my lower back.

Put my attention in those places, acknowledge how I’m feeling, and breathe.  I ask for assistance from Spirit.

I stop judging the experience, by just noticing the sensations.  Naming them can help.  “Oh, my shoulders are tight.  It’s in my neck, too.  Hmmm…  Now it’s different.  Oh, I just took a deeper breath.  My body wants to move or stretch… (so I let it).  It’s still tight, but a little better….”  You just keep naming your experience without judging it.

In a few moments, I start to settle down.  When the thoughts of clutching the banana show up, I just put my attention back on the sensations.  I might let out a sigh or even bark out the frustration if I’m by myself.  Sometimes tears come.  Often, my body will move of its own accord as I release the tension.  This helps to Let it Flow.

This practice is most fruitful if you stay with it to the end of the experience.  You will be tempted to move on with life once you feel a little bit better.  That’s fine, but you will likely discover that there is more inside you later.  Just come back to the sensations whenever you can, and you’ll let go of yet another layer.

Stick with it, keep letting the experiences flow through you, and with time and self care, you will really, deeply, let go of what’s troubling you.

Your life and your happiness is worth it, so give this process a try.

In summary:

To let it go, Let it Flow.

  • When you are stuck, notice that there are some uncomfortable feelings and sensations in your body.
  • Take your attention away from the banana, and put it back on yourself, the only thing you can ever change.
  • Watch the sensations associated with the stuckness without judging them, and they will simply run their course.
  • In time, with loving attention, you will be free of this situation.

When you Let it Flow, you stop resisting what’s true and alive inside you. You give yourself permission to be who you are. That gives you freedom, and it leads to authentic power and real joy.

“But Will, what about my banana?”

Right.  This is not a lesson in how to get what you want, but it is a lesson in how to let go.  You have to ask yourself if you would rather be right than happy?  If you would rather keep pulling against the bars, or find another solution?  This is a “through the experience” process, not a bypass around it.  Bypasses don’t get to the root of the issue, and ignore the truth inside you.

I believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way, pun intended :). But it’s not the will of the ego, it’s the Divine Will of surrender.  Let’s face it, God is much smarter than us, so if there is a solution, She can find it.  If you drop the banana, it’s easier to listen.

“The person who is involved in spiritual work is always looking at what is occurring in life, seeing it as the teacher, as the grist for the mill.”

-Dr. David Hawkins, Healing and Recovery

So there you have it.  Letting go is as easy as dropping the banana, but to do that you have to let the uncomfortable feelings and sensations flow through you.

Give yourself time to be with what’s real for you, and your own vitality will set you free.

Let me know how this works for you in the comments, and if you have a friend who could use some help letting go, pass this along.

Blessings to you as you create the capacity for change!

When you don’t like what’s really going on…

 

Maybe it was the little dog crawling around on the bed in the middle of the night.  Or maybe it’s because it was Monday morning, but I woke up feeling off.  I couldn’t say why, but I just wanted to stay in bed.

Canola Fields
Photo by Katie Teague

I’m a pretty happy, enthusiastic guy, and I like being that way, so when I don’t feel like that, I tend to judge myself.  “You should just get up, be grateful, and get to work!”, the little voice in my head chatters at me.  It’s like a cute little squirrel, that becomes annoying when it’s right outside your bedroom window on a Saturday morning.  Then it whispers, “None of that spiritual crap works anyway, so you might as well do something useful.”  Sheesh!  It’s mean, and can be so relentless.

So I pay attention to it, good boy that I am.  My inner 4 year old has just taken command.  I’m gonna make Mom proud!  I go get coffee, I open something inspiring on my laptop and start to try to force myself to be happy.

But, I still don’t feel right.  This is the beginning of the war within me.  Great way to start the day, huh?

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 

—Lao Tzu

When life happens, there is a fundamental principle of spiritual work that is ALWAYS useful:  Acceptance. 

Let things be what they are, and life works out.

But Acceptance is illusive.  What about the experiences that I don’t want to accept?  When the little dog gnaws my ear at 5am, it’s not cute!  I wakes me up, and I want to punt him off the bed.  I don’t WANT to accept it.  I want him to stop!

So, I remind myself about acceptance by framing it like this:

You will never win an argument with Reality.

(And you will make yourself miserable if you try to.)

Reality was this:

Hawkins decided I tasted good at 5am.  I woke up.  I was annoyed and not as rested as I wanted to be.  And I had a bunch on my plate that had to be done that day, and I needed to prepare for it.  But I didn’t want to.  And I didn’t like it that I didn’t want to.  Humph.

So, at 5:45, it seemed like a good idea to let my inner 4 year old take over.  Just be happy!  Life will work out.  Right?

Sure, until what’s really going on inside you builds up to a point that you want to tell your boss that he’s a moron, speed up so that person trying to merge can’t slow you down, or send the kids to time out for no reason other than you don’t like them at that moment. (For those of you who are spiritual adepts, you will recognize this as a form of Spiritual Bypass.)

So, Happy doesn’t always work, especially if it’s covering up what’s real inside of you.  What do you do?

When I realized I was about to go to war with myself, I kicked my 4 year old back over into his car seat, and took back control.  I stopped arguing with Reality and took inventory of what was really going on inside me.

I was sad.  I had a good weekend, but wasn’t fully prepared for the day, so I felt rushed.  My body was tense.  I had just spent the day hanging out with my wife and doggies and hadn’t stretched or walked or done anything that I know is good for my body, so I was stiff.  I needed to move.  My thoughts were telling me that there was more to do than I could actually do, so my brain was trying to rev me up to “conquer those imaginary dragons”.

All that was a weight on me that I was resisting.

Realizing that, I took a moment and turned my full focus to the sensations in my body where the sadness was.  Feelings are always a key place to start.  You never want to, but it always works, so I asked for help from Spirit and focused on my chest.  It was tight, and my heart was closed.

I let those uncomfortable feelings move, and my eyes welled up.  My body began breathing more deeply as the tension released, and this wave of resistance moved through me.  In just a couple of minutes I felt better.  Then thoughts began to arise that made much more sense than the overwhelmed try-to-get-it-all-done-in-5-minutes plan.

I had time during the day to make the phone calls, to finish the bids, to do the invoicing.  It wouldn’t all get done, but a lot would.  I even realized it was only 6am, so I had time to stretch an do 10 mins of yoga.  “I can do this”,  I said to myself, and moved on feeling empowered to do my best, and thankful I had taken the time to stop and connect with what was real inside of me.  I got real, moved through the tension, and was actually now, authentically happy.

What about you?

Do you sugarcoat the tension in your life with happiness?  If so, does it really work, if you tell the truth to yourself?  Or is there a deeper reality inside of you that you ignore?  I know this is inherently uncomfortable, but if you want to grow, you have to first learn to be real with what you actual living experience is.  If you don’t, you’ll wake up one day disconnected from what’s important, bored, or even depressed.  Not a fun way to live.

And it doesn’t have to be all dramatic.  Sometimes Stopping the Argument can just be acknowledging that your 4 year old has taken over.  Scooch her back over into her booster seat, and get on with your life.  I hold a bunch of feelings inside, so I have to connect with them regularly to let those puppies run free.  Otherwise their little piranha teeth chew will me up.

“If I could define enlightenment briefly I would say it is ‘the quiet acceptance of what is.’

—Wayne Dyer

Please understand, this is not a formula for happiness.  Sometimes, when I stop to connect with what’s real inside me, I don’t become happy.  Sometimes, I get intense.  Sometimes, I become soft and vulnerable.

You never know what will happen when you Stop Arguing with Reality, but you can count on that it will be better than what it’s like to keep resisting.

You will be letting you authentic vitality move through you.  That’s it’s job, and it will lead you towards your next right step.

So, in summary, Acceptance = Partnering with Reality.  When you realize that you are in an argument with what’s actually going on, you have an opportunity to reclaim your ability to make healthy choices. You stop being a victim of what’s really going on.  You put yourself back in the driver’s seat in your life, the seat of purpose, power and the passion you were born to share with the world.

In my next blog, I’m going to delve in to that elusive spiritual practice, Surrender.

How do you let go of these uncomfortable feelings that seem to hold you prisoner in your life?  I’ll share a reliable practice that will improve your ability to Let Go when you are making yourself crazy.

So sign up on my home page to stay in the conversation (if you haven’t already) and share this with anyone who doesn’t like what’s really going on, and doesn’t know what to do about it.

As always, I love to hear from you, so please drop some knowledge in the comments!  Let me know if this makes a difference for you, AND if it doesn’t, how I can make it better.

Blessings to you as you create the capacity for change!

I was ready to quit…

 

I was on a 2 1/2 week project and had 10 days left to go. At the beginning of the project, the client has asked me to do a few things for free. Things I hadn’t agreed to do. I wanted to give great service, so I did them. It only cost me a few man hours as a gesture of goodwill. Mistake.

Each day after that he would ask for more. When I would say, “that’s not really a part of our contract,“ he would assert that I had told him I would do it anyway. I hadn’t. I felt like I was being coerced and manipulated. When I started to push back and say no, or say yes if he would pay me, he out right called me a liar and told me I was trying to take advantage of him.

I was miserable. I wanted to give great service, but I also needed to keep my timeline and be profitable like any business does.  And I didn’t like the way he was treating me.

After a week of dealing with this, one afternoon about 30 minutes before another scheduled conversation with him, I was ready to walk off the job. To just quit and try to give it to someone else, or just take my losses and move on.  I desperately needed some relief from his criticism and demands, but I hated myself for how I felt. I was tearing myself apart inside, and I needed help. So I reached out to Spirit.

“There are moments that the words don’t reach. A grace too powerful to name.  We push away what we can never understand. We push away the unimaginable. “

– Angelica Schuyler from Hamilton

We live our lives divided inside. We are split. You want to feel free, but you have responsibilities. You want to be happy, but others are counting on you. There was a time when you were on purpose, but may have lost that power underneath the stack of bills, unreturned emails, and all of life‘s mandatory busyness.

You want to shed that extra 10 pounds, but you really need a glass of wine and some truffle mac & cheese!

I get it.  Me too.

The promise of spirituality, or spiritual work, is one of unity, connection, and freedom.

“Do this, and you will be liberated!“, they say.  But then they don’t tell you how hard it’s going to be.

Doing the work of liberation, finding freedom in the circumstances of your own life, that is the work of Spirit. And to do this you have to align these disparate parts of yourself.

If you’ve ever pushed away desert at dinner, only to find yourself raiding the fridge 2 1/2 hours later at home, you know what I’m talking about.

It’s a catch 22 problem. And we don’t like problems, unless we get paid to solve them, or if it’s wondering if Daenerys Targaryen will ever sit on the Iron Throne.

For some reason—maybe it was the challenges of missing my dad and trying to help my mom after the divorce, or maybe it’s just because underneath my gregarious, fun-loving exterior, I often find myself in situations that seem so much bigger than me, stuff that I just don’t think I can handle— but whatever the reason, I’ve always reached out to Spirit for help.

Since I was a little kid in Sunday school, around age 7, I’ve always believed that this mysterious, almost ineffable experience we call God, Spirit, the Divine, or Source… It would always be there for me. No matter what, I could take comfort in It.

So that’s what I did again, on this day when I was ready to quit and throw all my personal needs and values down in the mud, standing in front of this client’s house.

As I reached out for help, part of me gave up. This, too, was bigger than me. I have found, though, that when you ask, there’s always a response. Sometimes it’s harder to hear than others, and sometimes it’s easy. Spirit is so much smarter than me, it’s crazy, but I’ve learned to trust It.

As this defended, afraid part of me let go, I had a thought. A thought about what I didn’t want.

I didn’t want to be a quitter, I didn’t want to be a victim of this man who is being so critical of me.

And then seconds later, came what I did want.

Something broke open inside of me as I reconnected with some qualities of my essential nature.

I wanted to be integrous. I wanted to be the kind of man that was trustworthy and reliable. Someone you can count on. And I wanted to want to do good quality work. And I wanted to do that because it is who I am.  Having integrity, doing my best, and providing a good service are all qualities of my essential nature. (Yours, too, I bet.)

In trying to please this man, and honor his demands, I had forgotten who I was, what gave my work meaning.

When I aligned with these qualities I immediately saw what was missing: healthy boundaries.

Just because he made assertions, I didn’t have to agree with them. Just because he made demands, I didn’t have to do them. I did have to honor my agreements, the ones I had already made with him.  I wanted to do that.

As I let this experience settle into me, I came alive with the possibility of completing the job with integrity, doing great work, and ending on as good a note as possible. I was back in the driver’s seat in my life!

Now you might just call that a reframe, but for me it was a visceral experience. It wasn’t just in my head. Something inside of me lined up. I felt tingles run down my arms and back as the relief flooded in.  Weirdly enough, I sorta felt… happy!

There was a way out, and it was to stay in.  But now I would take care of myself in the process.  I didn’t have to even like or trust him, but I did have to honor what was true for me.

I found I could express my truth with compassion.  While he did not like some of what I said, I wasn’t doing him any harm, and I was creating a space in which I could act in alignment with my values, and do what I said I would do.  With great quality and service.  I just stopped letting him walk all over me.

I did complete the job, and we did end on good terms. I won’t work for him again though. Our values don’t align, and that’s OK. No hard feelings, lesson learned, time to move on in gratitude and greater clarity.

That work I did to get clear about the kind of person I was being – helpless, miserable, and a victim—and who I wanted to be—integrous, trustworthy, and reliable—, and then aligning with that deepest truth inside of me, is the process of spiritual work.  I aligned with what was meaningful, valuable, and important to me.

Doing that I gained greater capacity. The capacity to say no. The capacity to love myself a little more. And the capacity to have more compassion for someone I disagreed with and did not like.

Why is this a spiritual process?

Because it’s a process of self-discovery, a process of chipping away the hard crusty shell that you set up to protect your sweet chocolatey pleasurable center, your essential nature!  It is a process of not only discovering, but of creating meaning.

Something bigger than you know yourself to be comes in and supports you, gives you aid in time of need.  It may sound woo-woo, but it’s real, and it works.  This is my experience of Spirit.  You will have your own.  That’s as it should be; we are all so unique, how could we all have the exact same ways of experiencing the Divine?

Contrast this experience with what had been my likely future before I did the work— one of frustration, divisiveness, and just trying to survive— and I’ll choose the second way of going every time, even though it’s uncomfortable.

Spiritual work is about finding out what’s important to you, discovering who you want to be, and then summoning the courage to take the risks required to know yourself newly.  Doing it changes you from the inside out.  The essential, vital, eternal You bubbles up out of the mess you are in, and lends a hand.

“Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.” —Goethe

 

What to do when you are stuck

Is there a part of you that can feel like a victim in certain areas of your life?

Is there a part of your life where you feel like there’s nothing you can do to make it better?  Like you are trapped?

If so, ask yourself what’s really important to you in those situations, and who you want to be?  Ask Spirit for help, for a sign post to lead you down a better road, or for a clear billboard that you cannot miss!  And then listen and trust.

Something so much bigger than you know yourself to be will come to your aid, and probably in a way you least expect it.  It will well up inside you if you invite it.  It’s a practice.

There is no guarantee that you will get what you want, or that your circumstances will change, but you will give yourself the option of changing who you are in relation to them.  And that’s what makes the difference.

If this touches you, please let me know.  And if it challenges your current understanding, shout it out in the comments.  I love hearing your wisdom, and your struggles.  And please share this with others on the path so they can join the conversation.

Blessings to you as you create the capacity for change!

6 Signs your Spiritual Practice is Working

You’ve been putting in the time.  You took the time to learn, and now you’ve been practicing.  Perhaps daily, or maybe just one committed time per week.  While you love your practice, and feel great doing it, you still wonder if it’s really working in your life.

How do you know?  Check out these 6 signs and see if you need to add another session or congratulate yourself.

1.  Change is happening with less effort

You are making better choices, choices that make you feel more confident, empowered, and centered.  Where it used to be difficult to do what you know is best for you, now it is easier.  As you connect with Spirit, you are realizing that you are more than your circumstances.  You are able to handle situations that used to leave you frazzled with grace and ease, or at least without reacting with frustration and annoyance.  And you didn’t plan to change those things, they are happening almost of their own accord.

2.  You feel more peaceful and centered.

When you have time to yourself, you find yourself content with silence.  To simply sit and experience what’s happening in your immediate environment, and within yourself.  It’s not that you aren’t engaged in life.  You still participate and may contribute even more than you used to, but now, you don’t feel the need to fill each moment with stimulation.  Facebook will still be there.  So will Netflix.  Right now, it feels good to simply breathe and appreciate your experience.

3.  The way you love is changing.

Acceptance and presence are replacing the emotionally volatile love you have known and longed for.  Instead of trying to get your needs met from others, you are meeting them from within, and that lets you be more fully present.  You know you are loved through the sense of connection with your self, and you still appreciate when others care for you, but demand that they do so less than before.

4.  Your relationships are changing for the better.

Some long time friends may have left your life, but others have entered, and the conversations you are having feel more real and connected.  Instead of gossip, you talk about your dreams, how you are growing, and what you love.  You are more content to listen than to give advice, but when you do it is heart centered.  Your relationship with your body is improving, too.  You are more accepting of it as it is, and you don’t judge yourself as much as you used to.

5.  You are more grateful.

As you accept yourself as you are, and let go trying to control your circumstances, you naturally feel grateful for what you have and what you experience.  Life may not be any easier, but your experience of it is.  When you get your judgments out of the way, what’s left is a simple gratitude for the gift of life.  You find yourself connecting with this sense more often.

6.  You feel more alive!

The work you have been doing is clearing out space in your life, and inside you as well.  You experience more freedom, even though your daily responsibilities may not have changed.  This increased sense of space and freedom make you feel more relaxed and comfortable in your own skin.  As you spend less time at the effect of uncomfortable emotions, you find that your body feels more alive and invigorated.  You are moved by life, and as you express yourself more fully, you touch others more deeply.  You may even receive more compliments and gratitude from friends!

After reading these six signs, you will likely find yourself in one of two places:
Encouraged because you realize that your practice really is working, or you may be disconcerted, possibly even a little annoyed, because these don’t seem like realistic, achievable experiences.
Or you maybe somewhere in between.
Wherever you find yourself, remember that who you are, just being yourself, makes a profound difference.
The world needs your gifts.
Your spiritual path is to discover your unique and precious purpose,
to do the work to free yourself up so you can express yourself fully,
and live in alignment with that purpose.
When you do so you’ll love your life, and contribute others just by being who you are.
Please share in the comments below what your spiritual practice is, and how it’s working for you (or how you’d like it to).
Who knows? You may inspire someone, or give them permission to try something new.
Blessings to you as you continue to create capacity for change!

 

The Unexpected Secret Sauce for getting what you really want in 2017

 

Isn’t it amazing how the best experiences often remind you of what’s wrong?

As I sat there digesting Christmas dinner— which was a Florentine steak inspired from our visit to DaVinci’s stomping grounds in Italy last summer—I realized something amazing, and dreadful: I needed to loosen the top button on my pants. Actually, I needed to just change into my pajamas.

As much as I’d like to blame that sudden experience of overt indulgence on one meal, the truth is that it has taken many, MANY meals to expand my waistline. I love food. Especially good food. And it’s been a good year.

New Year's Resolutions, Secret SauceSo I changed into my flannel pajama pants. That felt better.  I was about to go back downstairs to the fire and perhaps another glass of something delightful, and I made a mistake: I looked in the mirror. That started off the little voice in my head: “If I pull my shirt down just right, I sorta look slim. Well, I don’t look AS fat. Shit.”

My little voice is insidious. It kept going…

” I remembered, “It’s almost New Year’s!  I’ll just make a resolution…”

I remembered, “It’s almost New Year’s! I’ll just make a resolution to lose the weight, get a gym membership (again), and I’ll do it! THIS is the year for success! I’ll resolve to make a bit more cash, too, and to be a better husband. My wife deserves that. I can be grumpy. And scatterbrained. And messy. I really need to clean out the garage.
Shit.”

It knows me, that little voice in my head. I can count on it to cause trouble.

I began to ponder how I could actually fulfill on what I say I want. Especially after years of proven experience in failing at my resolutions. Something was missing here that I wasn’t seeing. Life always seems too busy to add anything else in for me. But other people seem to be able to do it. They find the time. They make the changes. They annoy me.

What do they have that I don’t? Can you relate?

Is this true for you, too, that the best experiences often remind you of what’s wrong? But knowing that never seems to make a difference?

That has been my story for many a January, until this year. I’ve discovered something—a process—that is fantastic at removing the blocks that naturally seem to come between me and my resolutions. I feel free to finally make some real changes. In my health, my business, and even in my relationships. And while I don’t expect everything to change over night (No, I don’t have a Matrix-like red pill for you), I am making progress on all fronts.

The process helps you create the space in your life that you need to make resolutions that work.

Notice that I said space, not time. Yeah, that surprised me, too.

Let me explain.

You ever wake up and have a clear intention to do something? You just wake up inspired?

Finally, you are going to complete that project. For me, finalizing my year end books is a good example. I’m gonna do it. It should only take about 5-6 hours of focused effort, and I’ll be done. I head down to my office. On the way, I grab a coffee. There is a picture in the kitchen I’ve been meaning to hang on the wall. I remember I need to do that. There is a book I bought that I want to read on the table under some bills. I’d still like to read it. Someday. An earthenware bowl is on the table, too. My brother made it for us, and I haven’t talked to him in while. I should call him.

I grab my coffee, and… I forgot what I was doing. All those little incompletions are pulling at me, clouding my mind, splintering my purpose to the point that it takes me a full cup of coffee to remember what I was so inspired about just a few minutes ago.

Here is the secret of the resolution sauce:

you are so full with all the unfinished ideas, projects, and someday/maybe dreams that you have no room to create anything new.

All the unfinished ideas, the incomplete projects, and the vague, someday/maybe To-Do’s are still pulling on you. They drain your energy, cloud your focus, and keep you from making any significant change in your life. This makes sense, too. Each time you don’t complete a project, especially if it’s something you keep telling yourself you really want to do, you reinforce the subconscious belief that you won’t actually do it. No matter how good it might be for you.

The more incompletions you have in your life, the stronger your belief is that you will never finish what you start. It actually becomes an inner knowing. It’s a lie, but you still know it to be true. In your world, it is true.

If you tell the truth, a snowball would have a better chance of surviving Hell than your resolution to get into your skinny jeans has of being fulfilled. Believe me, I know.

So what do you do?

You can’t complete everything on your list by New Years, so are you just screwed? Yep. Probably better if you just have a little bit more pie. Yeah… that sounds good.

NOOOO!

There IS a way to complete EVERYTHING on your subconscious To-Do list, from cleaning out the closet, to calling that distant relative. It takes about 15-45 minutes, and it will be time well spent if you really DO want to make some changes in your life.

I’m going to tell you exactly how to do it, and I even have a checklist to make it super easy, but first, let me tell you what happened when I did this exercise myself.

Over the holidays, I started thinking about the upcoming year. I knew there were some changes I wanted to make, but I felt miserable about doing any of the work I needed to do. When I feel miserable, its because I’ve gotten myself out of alignment. I know I need to reconnect with myself. It’s usually a sign that something new is coming for me, too.

My practice when this happens is to Connect with Spirit. That’s what I help clients do as a healer. When I Connect with Spirit, I get clear about what I’ve done to myself to get in the mess I’m dealing with. I also get clear about what to do to move through it.

Spirit is the ultimate partner. It is you in a higher form. Like a future self that has already screwed up all the things you are screwing up right now, but has figured it out, moved through it, and come out amazingly well on the other side.

Spirit knows the territory. It knows you. If you don’t believe in the ethereal, then think of Spirit as an aspect of your own consciousness where your inner genius lives. It’s much smarter than you. That’s a good thing.

So, as I sat down to Connect with Spirit, I could feel that the reason I was miserable was because I really did want to make some changes, but I just didn’t have any hope of being able to do it. I asked myself why that was.

Here is what I heard:

You have too much on your plate already. You have no room for anything new because you are already full.

What? I was confused. I was at the end of my year. The holidays were here. I had almost nothing to do. I had checked out a whole series of fiction novels to read over the holidays because we had just finished our latest Netflix binge. That’s almost desperate for something to do. What did this mean, I asked:

You have too much on your plate already.

But I didn’t. Having done this for years though, I remembered that part of the process of Connecting with Spirit is to trust that the answer you get actually could be right.

So I continued to listen within.  Sometimes that looks a lot like arguing with myself.  But then, when I let go of the “truth” that I had nothing but time, I heard:

Yes, you have time, but you do not have space.

That’s when things opened up for me. In my mind’s eye, I could see the space around me, the area where my biofield, or aura, is located. It extends out about 3 feet around my physical body, and I could sense all sorts of little “floaties” in it. The “floaties” are like little clouds, some goey, some fluffy, with little sparks inside of them. The sparks are were the brilliant ideas I had begun to act on, and the clouds and goo were the residual emotions that had come up when I tried to fulfill them, and failed.

My personal space was full of incompletions.

I then remembered something I had learned a long time ago: the power of declaration. It is possible to declare something complete. You actually do this more often than you think. Ever get sucked into Facebook, and then suddenly realize that you have to be somewhere, or actually DO something? You say to yourself, “I don’t have time for this right now. I have stuff to do! I’m done”, and you go about your business. You declare that you are done, and then you take some action to demonstrate it: you close the computer or shut down the app.

Declaration and Demonstration are the tools you use to clear out the clutter in your personal space.

This really works, too.  Especially in the hidden spaces in your life.

Here is what I did:

1.  I made a list of all the things that I had wanted to do, had started but not finished, had thought about doing, had talked to someone about doing, and especially the things that I had said I would do but did not do. The list was two full columns on one page of white paper. I wrote it out with a pen. Handwritten, not typed. That’s important.

2.   I declared them done. I said,

At this moment, I am choosing to NOT take anymore action towards fulfilling these ideas. I declare them complete, and ask that they return to their source, so I can create the space in my life to do only what is for my highest good in alignment with my highest purpose here.”

3.  Then I signed it, tore up the paper, put it on the grill, and burned it.

Afterwards, I felt something I had not expected: I felt absolutely neutral.

I had no worries. I had no concerns. I also had no inspiration. That was odd because I’m usually excited about something. I decided to just go with it, but I did check in with Spirit again.

Here’s what I heard:

When you make space in your life, you experience just that: space. You aren’t used to that because you fill you life with unfinished things. Once you have real space in your life, you can begin to fill it with things you really want to do. Things that bring you alive. Things you were born to do.

This requires making conscious choices, and then being responsible for them.

Amazingly, over the last few days, deeply authentic and personal desires have started to bubble up out of my psyche. Not mere To-Do list items like cleaning out the garage, but new ways of living. The purpose underlying many previously held “good ideas” is becoming clear.

I realize now that why I chose to be a healer. I want to make a lasting difference while I’m here, and the one way I know to do that is to contribute to integrity, kindness, loving, and truth. Healing encapsulates all that for me. I actually do the work on myself that I help others do. I love doing it, too. It brings out the best in me, and others. That insight has renewed my purpose in my own personal spiritual practice, and has deepened my commitment to you.

I also realized that I still want to improve my health, but not just so my jeans fit better. Heck, I could buy bigger jeans. I want to improve my health because I love how I feel when I’m fit. I love being able to hike 14’ers and breathe rarified air. It’s just more fun to be more fit. It helps me grow and learn more effectively, too. Helps keep my mind sharp. I like that. Most importantly, improving my health is a way of honoring this gift of life. I’m clear that I’m here for a reason, and I want to honor that.

Now you might be saying, “Well, I know why I want to do these  things, I just can’t seem to do them.” I thought I knew, too.

I had even had similar thoughts before. But they were not real for me. Those reasons were just good ideas. Why? Because I had no space for them to begin to go to work on me.

And that’s my biggest take away from this whole process: the ideas you think are yours—they are never what you expect them to be.

They arise from something much bigger than you know yourself to be. They not only serve you, but they also inspire those around you. They change you from the inside out in ways you cannot know beforehand.  These ideas breathe new life into you when you have the space to actually fulfill them.  That’s what you really want from your Resolutions.  You want to feel alive again.

That’s why it’s called inspiration.

So, there it is. A simple process for completing all the crap that keeps you from making changes in your life. I hope you try it out. I’d love to know how it works for you, too. I’ve created a checklist of possible incompletions for you, too. Just click here and download it. Or, you can just sit and think back over your last year, or even your whole life.

Just because it’s New Year’s doesn’t mean you don’t have incompletions from earlier in your life. Write ‘em all down, declare them done, and let them go. All of them, even if you think you might want to actually do some of them. When you let them go in the way I described above, the stuff that is really for you will come back in a new form. And if anything is so important to you that you just can’t bring yourself to write it down on the Completion Checklist, then if you are telling the truth to yourself, you better make a commitment right now to do something about it, otherwise you will make yourself miserable.

Here’s to YOU, and your creating some new space in your life!

Space from which you can finally create something you will fulfill. Space that will allow you to commit to yourself in a new way.

Go grab a piece of paper or print out this checklist, and create the space you need to create a powerful new year. Do it today, or at least put a time in your calendar to do it. You’ll be glad you did, and you will have created the space to finally fulfill on the life of freedom you want.

Let me know in the comments what you noticed, or if you need help, share that, too, and I’ll get right back to you.

And if you got anything of value out of this post, please share it with someone that you think could really use some more space and freedom.

Blessings to you as you create the capacity for change, and Happy New Year!

It’ll be over soon…

 

The Election rhetoric!

Unfortunately, no.  That will continue most likely for the rest of your life, or at least through the “first 100 days”.  God, I just can’t even think about it.

I’m talking about the HOLIDAYS.

Stress Relief, holiday stress, energy healing, Stress Relief Tips, reduce holiday stressThanksgiving is Thursday and you know what that means– holiday season is here.  On a local radio station here in Colorado, they’ve already started playing non-stop holiday music.  I couldn’t believe it.  Santa is still wearing shorts.

With the arrival of Thanksgiving, you will be inundated with holiday cheer.  It will be forced on you in the grocery store, on the radio, at the movie theater, and of course by your own inner conscience.  The holidays are the “season for giving”, for “being kind and compassionate”, and for “taking care of those you love and care about.”

So why do the holidays make you want to scream?

Because, like it or not, the holidays are the most stressful time of the year.

As many of you know, I’ve had my healing practice open and official now for 3 years since I graduated from the Barbara Brennan School of Healing.  I’ve worked with people from all walks of life:  executives, working Mom’s and Dad’s, other healers, yoga instructors, children, and a pianist.  The work I spent 4 years and tens of thousands of dollars to learn works for so many stuck places in life, and I’m very thankful to be making the difference that you allow me to make.

But…

I feel I’m leaving so many behind.  Most of my clients are interested in some form of spiritual growth or personal development.  Many know what a third eye is and where to find it.  And quite a few know that grounding has to do with much more than making sure you don’t fry your TV in a lighting storm.  It’s been so frustrating to know that I could help more people, but I didn’t know how to bridge the gap between my Woo-Woo energy work and practical mainstream reality needs.

With the coming of the holidays, I found a common denominator between those of us who embrace your Inner Woo-Woo and those that think we are crazy:  Stress.

The more people I work with, the more I realize that if we handle this one thing, the energy work begins automatically, and people begin to heal themselves, from the inside out.

That’s why I’ve created a short list of the Top 5 Ways to Minimize Holiday Stress as a thank you.

It’s my free gift to you as you move into the holidays.

It’s a quick 3 minute read, but will give you some practical perspectives on how to take better care of yourself this holiday season, and make some simple shifts that will give you the holidays that you really want.

Just click here to get your free Top 5 Ways to Minimize Holiday Stress.  #4 is one of the most powerful tools I use personally when I feel obligated to do something (or be with someone) that I could care less about.  (Yeah, just because I DO this work doesn’t mean I don’t use it…  I do, every day!)

As always, I’d also love to hear your feedback if these tips work for you, and especially if they don’t.  Drop me a comment below after you check them out.

Many blessings to you as you Create the Capacity for Change!