1

Acknowledging Ourselves as Our Own Sacred Source

I’d like to start out by saying that I absolutely love people and I adore relationships of all kinds…romantic, friendship, family, work, etc. But that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy relating to other people, am I right? I’ve come to learn, though that even the feisty, difficult, “Oh my freaking God I wanna rip my hair out” kind of relationships hold something dear to be cherished. The lessons we learn from our most trying times provided by our relationships, are what stretch and bend us, set our healthy limits and personal boundaries and no, that’s not a bad thing at all.

When we are being authentic in our personal boundaries, we treat ourselves in such a way that sets the standard for the rest of the world as well. So, there’s simply no room for “Joe Schmoe” to come prancing into your life treating you like a pail of garbage, because you simply don’t allow it into your field of existence. It’s saying something is better or worse than, it’s merely a recognition of a certain desired frequency, and they simply do not match up.

And this leads us to expectations which I’ve written about before and gotten a lot of great feedback for, so I’d like to give it another go, but with a twist. This time, let’s focus more on what we expect from OURSELVES rather than those around us.

In a previous article, What To Expect From You Everyday Expectations, I went into all of the various ways that we put our energy out across the realms of existence that we might not even be aware of. First off, you need to know that there are multiple realms and while interconnected they all “move” and “act” on their own accord; with their own style and uniqueness.

The different realms are physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and etheric and I highly suggest reading that article before continuing on, but even without knowledge of the realms, I bet you’ll find a useful tip or two in the words beyond…

Most often our relationship is bouts of giving and take and usually roles are clearly defined. But if those roles are ever challenged by one party or if something tremendous shifts, etc. then relationships as a whole can be entirely redefined or sadly even end at a whim’s notice. But alas, every relationship serves its purpose, and even those we expect to last until our dying days often fizzle and fade, and in the end, it’s really up to each individual to determine the final destination of where that relationship status lands in their heart once the usual connection is broken.

If two conscious individuals unite in a relationship, chances are much better than if and when the union ends, the departure will not be quite as dramatic as the typical relationship, because with awareness comes an understanding always of a purpose higher than ourselves and our emotional responses to any given moment in time. It also comes with the understanding of desires, motivations, the Ego, the self with a little s .vs a big S, etc., and if you’re lucky a knowing that each person is THEIR OWN SOURCE! Therefore just as the union came together in love, so can each person allow such a respectful and honest, unattached letting goes if and when the time comes to do so.

Sadly, so many relationships begin in a dazed and confused stupor of puppy love infatuation of what we want people to be. We refuse to foresee the flaws we know will eventually show themselves and temporarily convince ourselves these people are unwavering perfection, and we delight in the fact they think the same of us! Oh, what a high! 🙂 But when we instead really see people from the get-go for what they are and not what we want them to be nor what we can tell they’re trying to be, we will understand better that everyone is a mere traveler here, that everyone is still learning and growing and that while technically we all are perfect because we are of Divine Creation, we are here to experience the illusion of imperfection, so that we can expand in third-dimensional reality and live as conscious creators ourselves. So, it’s wise when falling in love to simply not fall with blinders on.

For most of us, though in the dust-storm high of new love, we start to dump our expectations on this new person to fulfill desires and wants in our lives, and if they do we stay the path, but if and when they don’t, especially if they were at first, then we twist our version of who we thought we knew and loved and withdraw, don’t we? And the games begin…

How about we try something new? How about we stop using one another as our source of happiness and realize it’s always been US?

If we teach our children to go within for strength, courage, and ultimately to love themselves enough to trust their instincts, to set healthy boundaries, etc. then perhaps we can raise the next generation to not look to MTV to see what is acceptable to wear or how they should talk. How about we instead raise independent, beautiful, kind-hearted kids that not only love themselves but love each other and bring this into adulthood? Then we will be granted a new generation that knows to go within to find their confidence; to BE their own Source. Remember, they don’t call it SELF-worth for nothing!

That sounds like a great plan right there, humanity…let’s get on it! 🙂 So. Much. Love. <3

 

tamaraTamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer, and a Conservative voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. Connect with Tamara by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




How to Share in Someone Else’s Happiness

Video Source: Greater Good Science Center

Here’s the best way to respond when someone tells you their good news.




How Doing Nothing Can Bring You Everything

What is it about us humans that we insist on always having to be doing something? Honestly, I believe it’s just as important to teach our kids how to BE, rather than what they are expected to always be doing. And perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned along the way, that the only thing you need to ever BE to get ANYTHING done, is your authentic self.

When you are fully in the mold of who you were destined to be, life is easy. I’m not saying it’s all rainbows and unicorns, but it’s easier in the fact that it’s “simple”. It’s simply because when you literally get out of your own way, the Universe has this funny way of always having your back and is in constant communication with you through your very own Soul; or what some might call your Higher Self. I am not fond of hierarchy-sounding titles, and since it’s still “you”, I prefer to call it your “Intuition” with a capital “I”. And that is perhaps the one “I” your ego will never understand and will yet fight to the death to prevent you from listening to.

You see the ego does not want to change. It’s that voice always telling you that life is hard because if you didn’t struggle, you wouldn’t have earned anything (insert guilt-motivation here), while in the same breath growing ever resentful as to why all this hard work isn’t getting you everything you want out of life. You might even look around and compare yourself to other people who seemingly have not worked as hard as you (biased judgment no matter how you look at it and it only damages your own growth) and ask yourself, “Why not me?”

I am as guilty as the next person of always feeling like I’m not doing enough and if I happen to take a breather, I need to feel guilty about it, or work extra hard when I get back to “make up for it”. For some reason, (I know why, but that’s an entire article all in itself regarding inherited traumas which I will write about very soon!) But at the same time I have the knowing sense that it’s not even a matter of me “deserving” a break, it’s a matter of asking myself, “Does this bring me joy or not?” If not, DON’T DO IT! And I’m not talking about if you’re finding yourself flaking out on every opportunity afforded to you, or refusing to take risks that are ultimately holding you back from making progress in areas of your life.

What I’m referring to are the things we ALL do that we (usually secretly) hate to do! The things we do that are only motivated out of guilt, fear, or other people’s expectations of who they think we are and who they think we should be. I’ve come to learn when we live to meet the expectations of others, you die a very slow and painful death. Action with the energy of resentment behind it is toxic even if it has a fake smile plastered on it and especially if it doesn’t and no one else seems to mind you keep doing it anyway.

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase that we teach others how to treat us through how we treat ourselves. I feel while there is so much truth in this as energy truly is reflective and self-fulfilling whether you have any conscious awareness of it or not, but I think that it goes beyond that. You see, no matter if we are treating ourselves poorly and allowing others to cross personal boundaries, or whether we are aware of our needs and take great care to make sure we are meeting them, people are always going to BE who they are.

Some of us are better than others at being true or “real” with others. And I honestly don’t believe that most of us do this intentionally. I think there is a huge epidemic going on in the last few generations and it’s called WE HAVE FORGOTTEN WHO WE ARE.

And who we are, while divinely grand and cosmic, is the simplest purest form of Spirit and no one (not even ourselves) can take that away from us; no matter how mean we want to be, no matter how hard we want to be on ourselves in the name of “encouragement”. When it comes down to it, we were all put here for a grand purpose that upon incarnation is usually lost to us. But as we age, the memories begin to flood in through our creativity, inspirations, and karma.

And if we listen and look closely enough, we can see the simplicity of who we really are still there for all those years. Under all of the fears instilled from our parents, under all the expectations from society, under all the negative self-images from TV, under all the masks…lies the one you were born with and it has no face, but the one you decide to create.

We are so much more than physical beings and once we remember who we are before they told us who we had to be, it becomes quite clear how there is nothing more to ever “do” to ever become yourself. It’s simply a matter of shifting your perspective and un-peeling all of the layers of your mental onion. For once under all our self-created dramas, heartaches, disappointments, expectations, resentments, judgments and assumptions lies the key to your success.

It is a key that belongs to no one and changes everyone. And like our very own hearts, once opened will expose the truth that while we insist on making our journey complex, the degree of our suffering can be reduced immensely with the simple realization that to become everything we were meant to be, there is nothing we need to do…but remember who we’ve been all along.

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




Why do Some People Only Ask for Help After Pushing Everyone Away?

Ask for Help to Reduce Stress &gt; WithoutStress.comIf you’re anything like me, you may have a hard time asking for help when it comes to personal stuff. If I can’t reach something off a shelf, sure I’m good with requesting some assistance, but when it gets a bit deeper than that, I tend to wanna handle everything on my own; retreat inward and soak it in a little “me-time” solitude. My mental cave is always warm and welcoming with popcorn made and a Netflix marathon ready to go. But sometimes, when the popcorn’s run out and your ass is asleep from too much couch-potato-ing, you reach a point where your ego allows you to understand that your ONLY way out to reach a solution is another’s perspective.

My inner world has always been a rich, vivid place. And anytime it seems when an outer connection is initiated and I “accept” so to speak, then I immediately get connected to a source of ever-flowing, loving information that seemingly helps people most of the time. Whether it be that stranger in line at the supermarket who tells me her life story or the friend who always comes to me for advice, I have always been acutely aware of a pull or draw I have that even as a young child made me feel like I was officially stamped “HELPER” or “HEALER” on my forehead upon birth. I never thought to ever really put a name to it other than my intuition, but what has always boggled my brain is that when I myself come to me with a dilemma or need support, I don’t seem to get the same VIP access to that awesome info waterfall. I tend to more often self-sabotage, procrastinate, etc. and this as I now understand is all part of the plan…

I’m grateful for tapping into my life theme at such a young age, but it has taken me my entire lifetime to even begin to understand how to use my empathic abilities in coherence with it. I’ve always felt completely dualistic and presumably, that’s fitting since we live in such a dualistic world. However, it seems a major part of my theme is to always be acutely aware of the extremes, so that I can hang out in the neutral zone, as that is where the best mediators reside, no?

Sounds simple enough, but living in a society that tells you happiness is something you strive for through obtaining material gains, not something you create from within yourself has driven the overall vibe of humanity to lean just a tad to the negative and I think we’ve all taken notice. But if we zoom out our perspectives a bit wider, we begin to see how that extreme is simply the same as its opposite, just to a different degree. In other words, everything is connected. How to Ask for Help | Psychology Today

And I think that is the ultimate lesson we are here to learn. We are born with eyes that literally we can never look into at our own souls, and so we must rely on others, our loved ones, friends, enemies, neighbors, strangers, children, parents, etc. to mirror and reflect back to us our greatest and not so great traits for us to celebrate and share and learn and grow from (we hope LOL).

All of these factors can lead a person to feel, well a little alone in this big world. One thing they don’t teach us in school is how to love ourselves and if I’ve learned anything assisting other people with their own lives it is that while you, of course, can love and be loved without fully embracing yourself, however when you do love yourself in wholeness, it opens up a world of neutral acceptance, of presence, peace and personal allowance for people to be who they are.

And I don’t know about you, but when I feel I can be who I am and am not being judged I am so much more likely to open up to people. And I think this is perhaps another big reason that we push people away, but what we would be wise to remember is that when we are helping others, we are actually helping ourselves too. For every spirit we lift, we ultimately lift our own.

 

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




Is Pursuing Happiness Bad for the Environment?

Greater Good Magazine

Human beings strive to be happy. Indeed, many philosophers believe the desire for happiness is what drives most of what we do, whether that’s engaging in pleasurable activities, connecting to other people, or pursuing achievement.

But could the search for personal happiness be a problem when it comes to building a sustainable world? The idea doesn’t seem far-fetched. After all, sustainability means meeting our current needs for a good life without taking away from future generations, and focusing on our own pleasure in the present could have environmental costs in the future. For example, finding bliss in driving a gas-guzzling SUV could contribute to pollution, and finding success in selling products that need to be constantly replaced could create waste.

Yet findings from a new study suggest happiness is not detrimental to sustainability. In fact, they may go hand in hand.

Researchers used surveys from 152 countries to see how happiness was related to sustainability goals and behaviors. To measure happiness, they drew from the World Happiness Report and the World Database of Happiness, both of which provide happiness scores for different countries based on citizen reports on how good they think their life is or how satisfied they are with their life.

The researchers also looked at how much these countries consumed, how much they were reaching sustainability goals (as set out by the United Nations), and how much they recycled. Then, they looked at the relationship between happiness, consumption, sustainability, and recycling.

First, they found that happier countries consumed more, in general than less happy countries—not necessarily a good sign for sustainability. But, even though they consumed more, happier countries also were better at reaching sustainability goals and recycling.

“In happier countries, people enjoy their lives and consume things, but they consume in a more responsible way,” says lead researcher Yomna Sameer. “It’s not an either/or. Happiness can go hand in hand with sustainability.”

To strengthen these findings, Sameer and her colleagues did a second analysis, dividing countries into high and low happiness categories and controlling for other factors that could skew their results—for example, wealth per capita, democratic or governmental corruption, general social trust, and more. Then, they reanalyzed the relationship between happiness and sustainability.

Again, happier countries met sustainability goals more and recycled more than unhappy countries, even when considering these social and political factors.

“We wanted to make sure that this relationship was not a random thing—that the relationship we believe is happening is really happening,” she says. “And we still found that the happier the country is, the more sustainable and responsible it is.”

This led Sameer to wonder why happier people would act in more sustainable ways. Perhaps happier people feel more grateful for their life and want to take care of what enriches them—their environment and the society around them. Or maybe when people are more depressed (and less happy), they’re more inwardly focused or just don’t have the energy to recycle and do other environmentally sustaining activities.

She doesn’t have the data to explain this connection, suggesting the need for more research. Plus, this is only one study, and it can’t show for sure that happiness leads to sustainability and not the other way around, she says. But, since a country’s level of happiness seems to be tied to other positive outcomes (like more social justice, better-managed commons, and stronger community ties), it’s possible it could also promote sustainability.

The most important thing, says Sameer, is that happiness doesn’t have to be a barrier to sustainability, and this is a counterintuitive finding that people should know about. Otherwise, governments and other messengers may say that sacrificing one’s happiness is necessary to create a more sustainable world, and that could be counterproductive to persuading people to take care of the environment.

“Happy people are not selfish. They don’t only care about their own happiness and refuse to care about others or the environment,” she says. “The more awareness we have about this, the more governments and companies can start talking about sustainability from that perspective.”

About the Author

Jill Suttie

Jill Suttie, Psy.D., is Greater Good’s former book review editor and now serves as a staff writer and contributing editor for the magazine. She received her doctorate of psychology from the University of San Francisco in 1998 and was a psychologist in private practice before coming to Greater Good.




The Beauty of Non-Attachment

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase by Buddha, “You only lose what you cling to”, but what does this really mean? Unfortunately, non-attachment or detachment is greatly misunderstood in the mainstream and is often thought to mean that one completely shuts down emotionally and refuses to care about anything outside of themselves anymore, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Image result for non-attachment quotesWhen we think of a river flowing, non-attachment is kind of like that when it comes to our emotions. Rather than letting one particular emotion dam up the waters of our soul, we simply let it run its course without becoming enthralled or entangled in its web. With negative emotions, we tend to let them take the wheel and direct our thoughts, actions, and reactions. And while we can see how asinine this is when others do it, while we ourselves are in the throes of anger, we feel completely justified because we’ve allowed the emotion to take control, overpower us and run wild. We are no longer connected to our hearts and therefore are disconnected from the targets (other people) now receiving our wrath.

With positive emotions, we tend to cling and hold onto them out of fear they will go away. We want them to stay and last forever, rather than being at peace with the fact that nothing ever does. This takes away from our ability to truly appreciate things at the moment, because we’re always away from it in the future, planning on how to keep it from getting away from us.

The true beauty of non-attachment is that it allows us to feel emotions, but from a completely different perspective than ever before. Instead of avoiding all the “negative” ones or letting them overtake us, we are diligent in keeping control and choosing our next action; we do not let the emotion decide for us. We realize we are not victims to the emotion, we are not its minion and the emotion isn’t there to rule over us anyway…but it inevitably will if we let it.

Emotions are way-showers if we know how to look at them. They show you where your triggers are, where your un-healed pain remains, and where your passions and desires lie within your heart. Unattached, emotions can help guide you into a purpose-driven life, or if we cling too hard, they can keep you stuck in an abusive relationship or career you hate. We must first be willing to look at them for what they are, then we can start to change the way we interact with our own emotions.

I’ve heard people say, “I can’t change who I am.” or “I can’t change the way I feel.” Both of these statements are the result of a child being conditioned to believe they are powerless over their own lives. Children who’ve grown into adults are now either fearful, resentful, or hateful towards a world that they’ve forever had to bend and break for time and time again, but that will not even throw them a bone. And with this perspective…it never, ever will.

That always hits home with me because I was/am one of those people. I struggle to this day with self-love, confidence, and empowerment. But what I’ve come to learn is that our emotions and feelings are not our enemies and when we can learn to use them as the tools they are, we begin to slowly regain our power, and once you get even the slightest taste of your own true authentic personal power that’s been lying dormant in your heart for so long, you almost demand of yourself to come flying out of victim-hood.

To wrap things up, non-attachment isn’t dimming your fire or passion. It isn’t denying how you feel. It is merely taking the steps necessary to discipline yourself to not stay IN one emotion because we’re not meant to. Our natural state is neutral (no coincidence they are such similar words) and to remain balanced, and practicing non-attachment allows us to live a more balanced life. Image result for non-attachment quotes

Of course, we will still have times we cry, we’ll still get angry, we’ll of course still laugh and smile, we are human and that’s what this crazy ride is all about…FEELING. That means riding the wave…allowing the emotions to rise, and then fall and dissolve away. Let us remember that love is not an emotion, but a state of being. If you feel the need to feed emotional drama, negativity, etc. then I would definitely suggest taking a look at how you handle emotions in your life. There’s nothing to feel bad, ashamed, guilty, or mad about it, this is all a process of growth and expansion into a greater understanding of ourselves.

 

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




How Maintaining Hope Can Keep You Healthier and Happier

By Everett Worthington / The Conversation / Creative Commons

(CONVERSATION) — Hope can erode when we perceive threats to our way of life, and these days, plenty are out there. As we age, we may struggle with a tragic loss or chronic disease. As we watch the news, we see our political system polarized, hopelessly locked in chaos. The coronavirus spreads wider daily; U.S. markets signaled a lack of hope with a Dow Jones free fall. Losing hope sometimes leads to suicide.

When there is no hope – when people cannot picture the desired end to their struggles – they lose the motivation to endure. As a professor emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University, I’ve studied positive psychology, forgiveness, wellness and the science of hope for more than 40 years. My website offers free resources and tools to help its readers live a more hopeful life.

What is Hope?

First, hope is not Pollyannaish optimism – the assumption that a positive outcome is inevitable. Instead, hope is a motivation to persevere toward a goal or end state, even if we’re skeptical that a positive outcome is likely. Psychologists tell us hope involves activity, a can-do attitude and a belief that we have a pathway to our desired outcome. Hope is the willpower to change and the way-power to bring about that change.

With teens and with young or middle-aged adults, hope is a bit easier. But for older adults, it’s a bit harder. Aging often means running up against obstacles that appear unyielding – like recurring health or financial or family issues that just don’t seem to go away. Hope for older adults has to be “sticky,” persevering, a “mature hope.”

How to Build Hope

Now the good news: this study, from Harvard’s “Human Flourishing Program,” recently published. Researchers examined the impact of hope on nearly 13,000 people with an average age of 66. They found those with more hope throughout their lives had better physical health, better health behaviors, better social support, and longer life. Hope also led to fewer chronic health problems, less depression, less anxiety and a lower risk of cancer.

Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

So if maintaining hope, in the long run, is so good for us, how do we increase it? Or build hope if it’s MIA? Here are my four suggestions:

Attend a motivational speech – or watch, read or listen to one online, through YouTube, a blog or podcast. That increases hope, although usually, the fix is short-lived. How can you build longer-term hope?

Engage with a religious or spiritual community. This has worked for millennia. Amidst a community of like believers, people have drawn strength, found peace and experienced the elevation of the human spirit, just by knowing there is something or someone much larger than them.

Forgive. Participating in a forgiveness group, or completing a forgiveness do-it-yourself workbook, builds hope, say, scientists. It also reduces depression and anxiety, and increases (perhaps this is obvious) your capacity to forgive. That’s true even with long-held grudges. I’ve personally found that successfully forgiving someone provides a sense of both the willpower and way-power to change.

Choose a “hero of hope.” Some have changed history: Nelson Mandela endured 27 years of imprisonment yet persevered to build a new nation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt brought hope to millions for a decade during the Great Depression. Ronald Reagan brought hope to a world that seemed forever mired in the Cold War. From his fourth State of the Union address: “Tonight, I’ve spoken of great plans and great dreams. They’re dreams we can make come true. Two hundred years of American history should have taught us that nothing is impossible.”

Hope Gets You Unstuck

Hope changes systems that seem stuck. Katherine Johnson, the black mathematician whose critical role in the early days of NASA and the space race was featured in the movie “Hidden Figures,” recently died at age 101. The movie (and the book on which it was based) brought to light her persistence against a system that seemed forever stuck. Bryan Stevenson, who directs the Equal Justice Initiative, and the subject of the movie “Just Mercy,” has successfully fought to help those wrongly convicted or incompetently defended to get off death row.

Stevenson laments that he could not help everyone who needed it; he concluded that he lived in a broken system, and that, in fact, he too was a broken man. Yet he constantly reminded himself of what he had told everyone he tried to help: “Each of us,” he said, “is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.” Hope changes all of us. By regaining his hope, Bryan Stevenson’s example inspires us.

Regardless of how hard we try, we cannot eliminate threats to hope. Bad stuff happens. But there are the endpoints of persistent hope: We become healthier and our relationships are happier. We can bring about that hope by buoying our willpower, bolstering our persistence, finding pathways to our goals and dreams, and looking for heroes of hope. And just perhaps, one day, we too can be such a hero.


By Everett Worthington / The Conversation / Creative Commons




The Key to Unlocking Change: Be What You Want to See

Image result for be the changeI felt compelled to write about ‘being the change’ this week after all of the negative news going on in the world lately. I won’t get into it, as I’m sure most of you are aware of what’s been going on but I just wanted to take the time to remind everyone that it all starts with each and every one of us. We all matter and we all mean something. Somewhere along the line, it became acceptable; almost required to teach us that we are insignificant and we began to lost our luster, our soul shine…and that is the greatest lie ever taught. We are all significant, we are divine, we are love. Don’t ever forget that because once you remember, the world will reflect a place that won’t need changing. 

In any situation, if there are opposing forces, which we all know is not uncommon in our 3-D world, then there are also likely to be some expectations of giving and take, of push and pull, and of certain roles you play. There are masks you get to choose from, but from the moment you are born, you must wear one. Your parents usually choose them for you until you are around the age of 18, and usually, the ones they’ve chosen tend to have an influence on the ones we later choose in life, and sadly most of us never learn to question why we’re wearing one at all or even attempt to remove it.

In this world of duality, in this modern society, there are certain ways to think, act and feel. And those of us born with different ways of perceiving, sensing, and feeling the world tend to not fit into the molds and therefore are more easily capable of seeing where the chaos is occurring in the collective and how it can be most effectively addressed.

I say this most astutely, because of time after time, experiment after experiment, measurement after measurement, it always comes back to heart resonance. If you do ANYTHING from the heart, it will have a positive, beneficial effect on the matter, being, or species at hand. I’m not talking about mere good intentions or what we might think is good for another person, but actually feeling into our hearts and connecting to that knowing space that allows us to resonate with the truth of existence.

Some would say this goes beyond the boundaries that you simply do not cross. Some would say that our society is best to not cross them. Or not…

There is a wave of us (yes I do include myself in this group although I try to avoid labels), that was never ingrained with such filters and like Van Gogh’s bleeding ear, I find it as weird and fascinating as much as I can appreciate the act itself as beautiful, alchemical art. And some might think that is just fucking unheard of. I guess you could say I strive to embody what I would imagine it means to truly be a ‘spiritual gangster’. LOL We have all seen Deepak Chopra sporting those chakra-tactical Ts, right?

So what the that mean exactly? It means to not only fall into the trap of every thought must be positive, every move must be toward the light, every day must be full of sunshine and smiles, but to also have the awareness that it’s all about the balance and that includes the Darkside, my fellow Jedis! We are gonna have to face those shadows and feel uncomfortable at times to truly “walk the path”. The New Age Movement has become a dangerous arena. It can be a great resource to learn ancient meditation, yoga, pranic breathing techniques and offer insights into spiritual development that can help lead you to the cave of your inner world, but anyone telling you that you need them to take you inside and show you the way is lying to you.

It is you who must be your own guide, your own light because it is you who is also the darkness you will overcome. And you will do this by facing all that is within you that is reflecting back from others. All that we immediately want to judge, blame, hate or be jealous of. It is all within us waiting for us to just take a damn look. And not a look of condemnation or judgment, but of simple acknowledgment and acceptance; like that poor kid always left by himself on the playground who never gets picked for kickball. Just let him know he matters, that his existence actually means something. This can make someone’s entire world. You really never know the difference you make, until you care enough to actually make it.

 

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




How to Thrive: A Resurrection of Reasons For Living

Image result for thrive

Many if not most of us were taught from a very young age that life is very hard and unfair, a constant struggle and that as humans we really can’t trust one another or even ourselves for that matter. Furthermore, if this isn’t our experience, then we must be doing something wrong and we don’t deserve to be happy. And while we can hopefully entertain that this isn’t exactly the healthiest outlook to pass on, I don’t feel that we intend to necessarily cause harm by demonstrating this to our children. In fact, I feel most parents would say they’re trying to protect and prepare their kids.

But then again, where does this need to want to “prepare” them to struggle come from? Well, from OUR parents, right? And from theirs? And theirs? Well, where did this consciousness of lack and imperfection and fear truly begin? When did we begin to view life as something we need to survive rather than thrive in?

I remember as a child the moment I realized that adults were actually not these “all-knowing” beings that many of them appeared or claimed to be and even as a child I knew that I was onto a higher level of knowing beyond many of the adults around me, simply for the fact I had an inner understanding deep down that life actually wasn’t meant to be hard, that it was fair, and that it wasn’t meant to be such a struggle if you just learned how to trust and work with it (and yourself).

I somehow just knew that we, all of us, were meant for greater things than the daily small talk and stresses and that for those of us who had the courage to go for it; to go against what we were told how life should be, were the ones who were actually HAPPY.

Why? Because they were taking control over their own happiness; they made it an inside job. I didn’t know how to consciously structure this awareness at the time, but looking around at all these adults telling me what it takes to live a happy life (by acquiring more and more stuff and comparing yourself to others) and yet seeing for the most part how miserable they all were; well, I knew something was up. And unlike most people under the age of 10, I spent much of my time pondering things like this and trying to uncover this and other mysteries of the workings of life and the universe and what it means to be a (happy) human.

Needless to say…this made me a pretty strange kid.

Well, that and the fact I could see auras and energies! 😉 But seriously, I’m not saying that I was immune to establishing negative core beliefs about myself. I did form several, just like everyone else around me, and eventually, even my own inner knowing was tested and layered over with false perceptions of the world around me that I started to convince myself were real. Slowly but surely I too fell victim to core beliefs (or what I now call “shadows”) that had me believing I didn’t deserve love, peace, or happiness in my life, and for years I played out this drama to convince myself it was all true…

The biggest ones I personally took on were around self-esteem and having fear around being who I really am. I knew I was “different” and for a long time, I let the harsh words of other kids putting me down for the weird things I’d say crush my self-esteem and make me shrink so small like a turtle going deep into its shell. I learned to believe that my opinions were not important and that I had nothing of value to say.

Soon enough, this would manifest as different habits including mumbling when I spoke and a severe fear of public speaking. As a teen, I developed some serious resentment as I rebelled through poetry full of morbid angst and hatred for a world that could never understand me.

Do you see how dangerous believing the opinions of others are? And this is what we’ve done as children before we had a conscious choice as to whether or not to do so. Now, if anything isn’t fair in life, it would be that. As children we are literal sponges of words and emotions and unable to always coherently process them, we bury them deep with our psyches where they surface later in life in many different ways.

I’m sure some of you can relate. When you feel like no one understands you, you inevitably feel alone and tend to withdraw and I think this happens to so many of us for so many different reasons. Whether we are taught we aren’t good enough or too fat or told we’re stupid. Words and actions are so damaging and the truth is they stick with us well into adulthood. So, literally all of those issues you are still having and are yet to identify; the causes are literally rooted in your most early years of life. And this is how we always work with shadows to heal them…we go back to our childhood when it all started.

When we ask various people about their childhoods, we can get a number of varying responses ranging from quite positive to quite negative and even these ends of the spectrum have their own light and dark corners. With so many variables, saying that one had a “good” or “bad” childhood completely is rather difficult to do. And with good reason. We are multi-faceted beings and we are here to experience not just one end of the physical spectrum of reality, but everything in between. Each corner of space and time offers a great lesson if we are open to it. And perhaps the current paradigm of being in a cycle of “lack” and seeing life as a mere struggle we need to survive is our greatest lesson yet. Image result for thrive quotes

For at this end of the spectrum, we have lost sight of our divinity and greatness. We are seeing a place in our reality where Source or God doesn’t exist and this is merely impossible. We’ve convinced ourselves that there is even a chance that imperfection exists in the Universe as even that which appears imperfect just IS. Perhaps in the vibration of struggle, we learn to surrender. And perhaps in surrendering we find our true strength.

When we teach others, especially children that they must “earn” love, then we are convincing them they are anything less than divine creations, which is false information…we have lied to them. And children being children will know this on a soul level and receiving this conflicting information will cause an energetic disturbance they will not and cannot process, thus manifesting in harmful core beliefs about themselves they will carry into their adult lives. We all do this and have had this done to us. Hopefully not out of intention, but out of ignorance, and now with awareness, we all have the choice to take heed with our words, with children and all people; even ourselves.

To thrive in life, we are taught we must get the degrees and climb the corporate ladder to “success”. But then again, that depends on what your definition of success is, which is nowadays meaning many things to many different people. However, regardless of how you define success, one thing that remains abundantly clear that everyone wants is…well, abundance, and happiness. And we are finally agreeing on what it really takes to get there. It’s not “stuff”, well, not material stuff anyways. It’s the good stuff, going on within you. More specifically, what YOU think and what YOU think of YOU.

While hard work is an inevitable part of reaping the fruits of life’s abundance, life doesn’t have to always BE hard. If you’ve come from a particularly difficult upbringing, or from a very poor family, you might have trouble entertaining any other concept but “life is ALWAYS hard and ALWAYS a struggle” because that has ALWAYS been your experience growing up.

But even if you grew up in a very wealthy family, chances are still good that you may have been ingrained with core beliefs that put a damper on your sense of self-worth; which is really what determines how much or how little we truly allow ourselves to suffer in life. Or in other words, how hard we allow things to be before we finally say, “Enough is enough!” In the age where the American Dream has literally turned into a nightmare, it’s up to each and every one of us to wake up to our own creative power and start thriving in life!

tamaraTamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. Connect with Tamara by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

Follow Tamara on FacebookTwitter and Google+

This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




Earthling Essentials: 3 Tips For Embracing Your Human-ness

Since I was a little girl, I always felt I didn’t belong here. Like I’d come to this little blue/green planet from the stars with my cosmic family for vacation or something and woke up only to forget where I come from and find that I’ve been left behind. To this day, I still look up to the stars and feel more at home than I ever did anywhere on Earth. I’ve always seemed to view the world through a different kind of lens; one that often got me in big trouble for asking too many questions and challenging the adults around me; one that also sometimes got me picked on in school for being “weird”.  Do you mean not all kids felt like adults were always either hiding something, feeding us kids fairy tales or didn’t know nearly as much as they claimed to know…and felt comfortable calling said adults out on these things? 🙂

Yes, I was that kid…the one who didn’t listen very well and was often disruptive in class. In this day and age, I most likely would’ve been diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Ritalin to curb my “rebel child” tendencies. And perhaps those traits my Mother has stated were my most difficult, but hold her favorite memories of me as a kid (getting kicked out of Sunday school for asking the nuns too many questions, for example) would never have had a chance to bloom.

rumiWhat I love about my Mother is she embraced ALL of me, ALL of the time. She always encouraged my weirdness, my creative spark, and no matter what interested me, if she saw it lit up a part of my soul she would support me 100% and I love her dearly for that. It always made being the “weird” kid a little bit easier in a world that didn’t seem to run the same way I did. And as I grew into a teenager, the angst that most teens feel was ever so present in me as well. However, rather than merely being ticked off at curfews and too much homework, I chose to focus on things that were “jacked up” in the world such as government corruption, secret societies, and how there is SO much more to life than what we are taught to believe.

My time alone was spent penning words of fury about how we are not taught to love ourselves and our differences but instead taught to conform and be like everyone else. How we are shown on TV what beauty looks like, what junk food is cool, what music is “in”, how to dress, how to talk, how to walk, how to breathe, how to EXIST!

It pissed me off so badly, and even more so that no one around me seems to care much at all. Here I was a 16-year-old girl with concerns about the Gulf War, Social Security, Income Tax, and the apparent psychological takeover of humanity, while my peers were worried about getting rides to the mall, football games, and how to convince their older brothers to buy them beer. And while I participated in the latter, my mind could not help but dwell concern on the former, and that only made me feel more…weird.

In an attempt to balance me, I would escape into music and nature as often as possible; often skipping school to go hiking in the Pennsylvania Mountains, and hitting up as many outdoor summer concerts that I could. The freedom I found in both nature and music is what set me free. It was the yin to my yang; the right-brain to my left-brain.  But I was still bitter. I still looked around at the world at large with judgment and confusion regarding the state of things; resenting how unconscious the collective seemed to be.

rules_humanAs I grew and learned of meditation, yoga, Buddhism, Reiki, and other spiritual teachings, practices, and modalities, I thought I had found the key to the door I’d been pounding on for years. Not only did it all create peace within me, but it allowed me to finally meet people that thought the way I did; people that wanted to talk about things besides the weather and had hopes and dreams on how to change the world into a more positive, conscious place. I dove into my spirituality with a vengeance and for the greater part of my 20’s I felt like I had learned so much about the world, how we got here, where we go when we die, what we’re doing here and why, the workings of the Universe, what I now call Source…you name it. If it was considered “spiritual” I had read about or studied it.

I also learned so much about my own inner workings and my place in this world; where I was headed and what I wanted to be. But I was all the while denying my “human-ness” by repressing it within myself and judging it in others as well. Because even after all of this, I was still pissed off that people were seemingly satisfied with their 9-5 jobs and paying their taxes, and voting for the next talking head. I was convinced that the world would not change for the better until everyone just woke the hell up! Somewhere along the way, I thought to be “spiritual” I had to deny what it means to be human. But it’s often in losing ourselves that we find ourselves…

“The main thing in life is not to be afraid of being human.” -Aaron Carter

After 9-11 and even again after 2012, I began to notice the waves of people that were awakening to both personal and collective truths. More and more we’re beginning to question that something was not right in the world. A beautiful thing had been put into motion, and meanwhile, I was also awakening to something as well. This wave instilled a newfound connection to humanity within me. I had always had an innate sense of compassion for others, but this was different, this was DEEP. I was proud of the collective consciousness, to the point, it would often bring me to tears. And this eventually leads me to a profound truth that was vital to understand that what I had been denying for so many years was the key to my wholeness and to maintaining balance within myself. My re-connection to my human-ness, to the ability to appreciate the purpose of why we’re here was re-ignited and lit a spark within me that has only since grown stronger. As humans, we are here to learn and to grow, and what may look like ignorance, or like blurred lenses, or apathy is often just a necessary part of the growth process that each and every one of us goes through in our own way. And the beauty of life itself, the essence of creation lives through us in the experiences we have as we grow and learn. And what is even more beautiful is when we each discover that we’re all walking our paths and that it best suits us to focus on where we are headed rather than worrying about how far ahead or far behind others may be on their own paths.

“The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” -George Orwell

So, you may have been expecting this article to be paragraphs of advice on how to embrace your human-ness, but I’ve chosen to disguise that advice within a story of my own awakening into my own embracing of my very own human-ness. But fret not; I still offer 3 vital tips for carrying out this very same deed for yourself…

  1. Love the journey. Above all, let your dreams be your guide, but never forget that it’s all about the journey. And it’s not necessarily about “making things happen” as it is about allowing them to come to the surface. We are all where we are meant to be, no matter where we are or how hard that might be to swallow. And it’s how we get to where we’re going, who we meet along the way, the lessons we learn, the advice we offer, etc. that make up our experiences. So, no matter how many mistakes we make, as long as we keep trying, and continue to move forward and participate, we are honoring our roles as co-creator beings. These experiences we create become our memories, which are forever etched in our hearts and they deserve your utmost attention. So, be in the here and “right now”. Nothing deserves your attention more than this very moment.
  2. Love Yourself. When you love who you are (ALL of you), your human-ness inevitably gets its due share. Being human is AWESOME! It’s not the Universe’s way of “dumbing us down” as I once thought. It’s the Universe’s way of honoring itself, by splintering its consciousness out into these amazing co-creator beings (that would be us humans) and granting them free will in order to bring consciousness back to itself via experiences here on Earth. How freaking COOL is that??? And when we create from a place of love, the world around us reflects that love back to us in unimaginable ways.
  3. Love All Others. When you realize that we are all part of the conscious collective, that we are all energy adding to it and therefore are all connected, it allows one to see that when we show kindness and compassion to others, we are showing that same kindness and compassion to ourselves as well. We reflect the world how we feel about ourselves, so if you follow #2, then #3 should be a breeze!

Perhaps love is what stirs the winds of change after all. And perhaps it is what always has.

Tamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Certified Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer, and a Conservative voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. 

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




8 Tips on How to Stop Caring What Other People Think of You

Sweet Like Chocolate by Cherie Roe Dirksen

“Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.” ~Lao Tzu

We’ve all feared — at some stage in our lives — what people think of us.  As ludicrous as it is to hand over your personal power in this way, it’s still a reality and something that is dealt with on a daily basis for most.

Here are 8 tips on how to get rid of caring about how you appear to others:

  1. Don’t Buy Into the Media Version of Happy/Beauty — The fear of imperfection and/or of not being accepted is, of course, an a-lister in the battle of caring what others think of you. But answer this:  Who gets to be the judge and jury on what is deemed beautiful or hideous — successful or stupid? A big contributor to our general feelings of insecurity are the tabloids/magazines/TV shows and movies. Spare a thought about who you give your power over to.  These various outlets that dictate what beauty and normal are seem to be pushing fake, in my opinion.  There are moments where true beauty can shine through these channels, but those flashes are few and far between.  To indulge in a cliché: True beauty and acceptance is in the eye of the beholder.  So anyone claiming to know what beauty or normal definitely is needs very close examining if they are not including every member of the human race.  Capisce!
  2. Love Yourself More — We need to look at ourselves and find the beauty inherent within us, and not always trying to weed out our perceived faults. When you treat yourself with loving kindness and nurture your self-esteem with positive thoughts, you will begin to shift into alignment with your higher self.  Because Ms. Aguilera was right, you are beautiful no matter what they say!  When you can out these undesirable contracts or agreements that you have fallen prey to (aka comparing yourself to models or to celebrity status), you can begin to repair them.  We have to discover why we felt the lack and how we are feeling now about the same issue (more about this in later points).  Intrinsically, we are all we ever need to be.  We make agreements that go against our very sense of self when we buy into all the external hullabaloo.  Be happy with the skin you’re in and the unique nature that you possess.
  3. Reassess Your Core Beliefs — When we were young we had no inhibitions and sang at the top of our voices, danced our hearts out (whether someone was looking or not) and thought we were princesses and superheroes. Then one day someone came along and made you feel less than what you felt about yourself. You may have paused to take it in – then you made a crucial decision. Either you agreed with what they said or you didn’t. That is why some of us can still dance freely and not be bothered whilst others cringe at the thought of dancing in public – this could be due to an earlier experience of being made to feel like you were ‘no good’ by someone who was only giving you their perspective at that given moment. We need to extract and acknowledge the agreement and overwrite it with a new, more self-serving belief.
  4. Be Mindful of Perspectives — Everyone (yes, even you!) has a preference based on their version of reality. When you are confronted, and possibly affronted, by one persons perspective you must realize that it is but one view in a sea of other possible outlooks.  There is going to be someone (or many) out there who just happens to love your form of expression.  If you happen to go back in time and mentally extract a scenario where your ego was wounded, you may find that this person could have been someone very dear to you — someone you trusted deeply.  In this case, it can make the hurt twice as potent.  However, we must consider that some things are said in the heat of the moment and not really meant by the offender, so we really need to dissect our reasons for making the agreement in the first place. This is not about playing the blame game, it’s about taking responsibility for how you feel NOW.
  5. Resign All Hopes of Universal Appeal — You need to know that you can never have universal appeal, I mean let’s get real here.  You or your talents may not be one person’s cup of tea but what about all the other people in the world who will resonate with your particular brand of uniqueness?  However, ultimately you need to please only you. When you do this then you are immediately accepted and no outside influence can make you feel anything other than what you know yourself to be.  Trying to please everyone will only get your knickers in a twist.  Please yourself in a way that harms none and you will open up a floodgate of happiness for just being you. Rather be loved for who you are and not someone else’s idea of perfection.
  6. Accept Compliments — Believe it or not, this can be a problem for some. We sometimes tend to disregard the ones who encourage us, leaving only space in our thoughts for the ones who hurt us. Why is this, I wonder?  Everyone has the urge to be liked and accepted for who they are. This is normal. But what we need to redefine is what is normal? Every soul is special and has equally unique attributes, abilities and ways of expressing themselves creatively. So on your road to not caring about what people think of you, don’t forget to truly look at the gift of a compliment when it is given.
  7. Name and Shame that Judge — When judgment rears its head (in your head), we must question the one doing the judging (yip — ourselves).   Tell that judge that you are in love with your differences.  Viva la difference!  Without freedom of expression this world would be an extraordinary dull globe.  Without the awesome diversity in hair colour, body shapes, talents, voices, tastes, etcetera we would be nothing more than a herd of sheep running around in a field day in and day out – baa-baa-boring!
  8. Get Shmoozy with Yourself — Know Thyself!  Only then will you begin to discover, on the deepest level, that which you truly are and all of what you have accomplished on your many sojourns.  Draw on the teeming wealth of talents you have (because everyone has a cache of things they can do and excel at — even if you haven’t discovered yours yet). When you do creatively express yourself (read more about how to get creative regardless of who you are HERE), there is nothing anyone can say or do to you that would ever hurt you.  You will be resolute as to who you are and nobody can take that away from you — unless you allow them to.

When you are truly walking the talk and ‘being the best you can be’ and you are doing this with all your integrity and hutspah — you have nothing to fear.  Strive to be and do the best you can in every moment and in every situation — you do this and there’ll be no room for doubt.

Words, gestures, deeds or energy that do not fit with your frequency or vibration will not be allowed to penetrate your field of self — it will be water off a ducks back because you know you are doing the best you can.  This is the path to becoming the master of your life and your reality.

Empowerment comes from fearing no-thing and facing every day with courage and love in your heart.  Leave what other people think of you at the door if it does not fit with your vision and don’t take anything personally!

 

Cherie-Roe-Dirksen_172x200Cherie Roe Dirksen is a self-empowerment author and multi-media artist from South Africa. To date, she has published 3 self-help and motivational books and brings out weekly inspirational blogs at her site www.cherieroedirksen.com.

Her ambition is to help you to connect with your innate gift of creativity and living the life you came here to experience by taking responsibility for your actions and becoming the co-creator of your reality.

You can also follow Cherie on Facebook (The Art of Empowerment).

Cherie posts a new article on CLN every Thursday.  To view her articles, click HERE.




The Perfect Paradox: Letting Go Is The Key That Opens The Door to Fulfillment

Fourty-one years ago today at 12:34 am I came cruising down the cosmic highway of incarnation in Phoenix, Arizona and was birthed into this world.  I imagine before this lifetime, in my ethereal form, I was super stoked to embark on my next adventure, and knowing myself I had most likely stocked my spiritual stockpile with as many consciousness cliff-notes that I could to best prepare me on my journey.  I picture myself in the Great Hall of Records mapping out my next blueprint filled with a good deal of beautiful moments will that take my breath away, mixed in with some heart-wrenching pain I might not be sure I can handle; and some moments of laughter, confusion, solitude, anxiety to top it off. The scope of experience containing all the ingredients that I felt were best suited to help my growth, expand me out and bring me even closer to love…to Source.

So, there I was…ready to go…”Let’s do this!” I can even envision doing some anti-gravity soul stretches in space, just before I shoot down the rabbit hole of incarnation; destination: Planet Earth. All is well, I’m floating, and it’s warm now. I am aware of new sensations again, the one thing that 3-D can offer that no other place in the Universe can…sensory perception in a material world. I start to focus more and more on these “feelings” and my surroundings…”Wait…what was I doing here again?” And then BAM! …the proverbial “pop of amnesia” that we all experience at birth which forces us to forget who we truly are. It blinds us to our full magnificence and pulls a veil over our newborn eyes. All clear details of the goals and the plans we had made beforehand fade away and we find ourselves literally helpless; now contained to this tiny fragile container that requires constant care and attention. And our vast expanse of consciousness is now so limited and we literally lose our sense of Self.

Welcome to life as a human BE-ing.

For the next 6 years or so, we will pretty much act as sponges soaking up the world around us. What we are told by our environment and the people around us about ourselves, we will subconsciously record and believe for the rest of our lives. And this fact is the underlying cause for most of our “issues” in life; most of what causes us discomfort or unhappiness with ourselves, others or our lives in general. And this is often why it is so hard to identify the root cause of these issues, because it stems from beliefs we did not initially agree to abide by. We simply recorded it as a factual truth, during a growth phase where our physiology can do nothing but take in information about the world around us. And it is scientifically proven that we really do not have a choice at that young of an age. If we are told we are unworthy at 4 years old, we will subconsciously believe it when we are 50, unless we have previously identified it as not being our own belief and have addressed and corrected the issue. However, unless we work extensively with a therapist, or even have the insight to take that route, we may lack the awareness that this has ever even happened to us, nor understand that it still can have such an impact in our lives so many years later.

This simple fact is one of the most empowering things a person can learn about themselves if they are facing continuous struggles in one or more areas of their life, and simply cannot seem to find the solution. Why? Because when we have the awareness of an existing belief that doesn’t actually belong to us, we are free to LET IT GO.

Unless we have super-conscious parents, that had super-conscious parents, that had super-conscious parents…then most likely there is a chain of insecurities, beliefs, false-realities (the stories we tell ourselves), perhaps even prejudices  that have been passed down from generation to generation. And until the chain is broken, until awareness is raised to a level where there is no more instilling of non-serving beliefs into the next generation (either consciously or subconsciously), then this cycle continues.

But the power to question where our beliefs truly come from is within each and every one of us and I find that the more I question my own beliefs, the stronger I become in knowing where the line is actually drawn; between beliefs I’ve formed from the own depth of my heart and those that stem from old recycled beliefs from others. This has helped me tremendously in my own personal growth and is something I often recommend to my Reiki clients.

If you have taken a serious look at a reoccurring issue and have really sat with it, giving yourself time to think it through to find an applicable solution, and yet still nothing comes, then chances are that it stems from a foreign belief. And either way, once we identify the source, we give ourselves the freedom to no longer suffer from its unrelenting grip.

Certain beliefs might lead us to hold so tightly to things that we push it away. In the energy of a need to control, others can feel repelled, not attracted. There is a great lesson here of the difference between coming from fear .vs coming from love in situations like that when dealing with a significant other, child, friend or even money or that new job you want. If we come at things with an unforgiving Kung-Fu grip, the Universe responds to your fear of losing it or not getting it, and most likely you will lose it or not get what you want. You must come from a place of love, from appreciation as if you already have what you want and are not separate from it. Then, you emanate the vibration that will call it into your reality with ease and grace.

“When you believe something is hard, the Universe demonstrates the difficulty. When you believe something is easy, the Universe demonstrates the ease.” – Abraham-Hicks

We may hold so tightly to a particular belief because it’s all we know, it’s familiar and it’s comforting. Yet, what this does is prevent us from seeing what the river of life has in store for you, which you’ve simply “dammed up” with your more stubborn beliefs. For instance, for years (20 to be exact) I thought that smoking cigarettes was “my vice”; my way to relax, the friend I always hung out with after dinner and right before I went to sleep. The friend I shared a glass of wine with, or always had to run to when I was nervous, sad, had to think something through or simply just had to 5 minutes to kill. I always found a way to justify the act because my beliefs allowed me to.

Now comes the fun part! I quit smoking today. And with that “release” I realized something great about why I had so much trouble ”letting it go” sooner in my life. I would tell myself stories like I simply enjoyed it and I deserved joy, dammit (how did I see joy in doing such harm to myself?), it relaxed me (even though I was and still am an avid meditator), and I wouldn’t be doing it forever (someday, I’ll stop…which translates into “someday I’ll love myself enough”). But I was a hypocrite and I knew it this whole time. And while I do forgive myself, and I have felt through and released the rollercoaster of emotions coming up through this process as well…I know that all we ever have is NOW, this moment. I am a Reiki Master; I help others heal and yet I couldn’t give myself the same love and attention? No more of that nonsense. I deserve better. Only this time…I actually BELIEVE IT!

In just the past few months, I’ve had a tremendous amount of insight into my life, my path and my own light. I’ve let go of SO much and with that have opened doors within myself where Self-Love has literally FLOODED my insides! This has caused a domino effect over the past few weeks where I’ve taken inner leaps and bounds that normally would’ve scared the crap out of me. And perhaps committing to quitting smoking cigarettes was the biggest leap of them all. But I finally jumped and what I landed on was a big fat pile of empowered freedom!

Let’s circle back and see how this how relates to our “proverbial amnesia pop“, upon our incarnation. One must consider that with all that planning our soul bodies do beforehand, it is not all in vain. It remains within us, hidden deep inside and comes out in waves through our creativity, intuition, talents and insight. But what is the reason we forget at all? Why go through all that trouble of making a game plan if we all must go in blind and “wing it”? I think the answer to life itself lies in that question. I have always felt in my heart, that we forget ONLY so we can live each day with a chance to remember who we are. Each day truly is another chance to awaken your greatness, to outgrow and shed these illusions; these beliefs attached to you since childhood. But it is only the brave; those willing to stop looking outside of themselves and instead turn inward that will ever catch a glimpse of their full magnificence (that which sparks our cosmic memory)…because that is the only place it resides. At least, that is where we must see it first, before we can ever see it in our outer world.

I’ve always understood the concept of “letting go of what no longer serves us”, but when you actually begin to apply it in your own life, magical things begin to happen. It causes a ripple effect in your actions where one is fed from another. You conquer one mountain and the adrenaline rush flows onto the next area of your life. Another part where fear lingers and you know you are again onto something else that needs to be looked at and healed. And when you actually SEE what needs to be let go of, and face that fear of stepping out of your comfort zone, you also see it is just a fear of being left feeling empty inside. But the perfect paradox is that when you finally do let go, keys turn, doors swing wide open and suddenly the Universe’s “abundance hose” you had all twisted up unwinds itself and begins to flow as it was meant to. You regain a connection to your true Self and all it knows and always knew before “the pop”. You begin to remember who you really are and why you are here. You once again know your magnificence and you are fulfilled.

 

TamaraRantTamara Rant is a Co-Editor of CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. Connect with Tamara on Facebook by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.




3 Ways to Master the Art of Congruent Living

To live a congruent life simply means to be living in space that you have consciously created for yourself. A space that serves a great purpose and acts as the foundation upon which you manifest excellence into your life. This is a space where you’ve taken delicate care to tend to, always making sure it’s neat and tidy and ever-expanding.

If you are sitting there asking yourself if you even have such a space, don’t worry you are not alone. In fact, most of us don’t consciously take the time to give ourselves one moment of relaxation at the end of a full day. Somewhere along the line, it’s as if a new software was installed in our psyches that told us life always had to be hard; and that if it wasn’t, then we were doing something wrong.

Often times, along with such core beliefs that have taken root deep within us, other beliefs that don’t always serve us start to form and grow as well. We might believe that only when we struggle do we deserve happiness; that it must always come with a price. Or even worse, that we are unworthy of happiness (or love) at all.

And perhaps that is the key to it all…which reminds me of every old 50’s romance tune…love is all you need, right? But is that enough? Well, yes…and no. See, love in and of itself is not out for itself. It just IS. And perhaps that is it’s greatest lesson to soak in from dancing on the edge of it’s madness to falling into it’s most frightening and dark depths of another human soul. But there must be consciousness behind the love for it to have meaning. Meaning, we as our awesome human selves, determine the level at which we can experience love, by the amount we are willing to give love, be vulnerable, and open to taking some indefinite leaps of faith. Love leads us to some intense and scary places sometimes, and yet collectively we continue to innately know that to have love in our lives, is to have peace in our hearts. And that, I believe is the first step to true happiness, or what I like to call, “congruent living”.

From years of studying the connection between the heart and the mind, as well as the principles of Quantum Mechanics, I can comfortably say that anyone, no matter the race, gender, creed, nationality, etc. has the capability to manifest peace within their own hearts. Even in the most dire of suffering, this noble act is not some mystic’s tale. In fact it is often within suffering itself that we are lead to the conscious awareness of the true amount of control we have over the quality of our lives; merely for the fact we have control over the quality of our thoughts…

Overall, there are 3 major pieces to living life congruently:

The first would be that the consciousness must be present that the power to bring peace to one’s heart resides within oneself. This can manifest in many different ways for many different people, but usually accompanies a major event of some kind ranging from a near-death drowning or car accident, or losing someone close to you. Getting a reminder that nothing is trivial and all we truly have is this moment is the quickest and shortest route to gaining this conscious awareness. But it doesn’t have to be that serious all the time. And by that I mean, if you learn to listen to the subtle messages of the Universe, it will gently whisper in your ear instead of taking a proverbial 2×4 to your head when you choose to ignore it. 🙂

Once you can find peace within your own heart, you have just taken the “For Sale” sign off of that space I mentioned earlier on. You’ve allowed yourself to make perhaps one of the greatest investments in your overall health because now you have a “go-to”. Some people get to their space through breathing exercises, or simply taking a moment to close their eyes and imagine their favorite vacation beach. And yet other people will think of loved ones, or anything that ignites a sense of inner joy, gratitude, connection to the Source of life. Basically we are by-passing the logical brain often lead by the ego that convinces of we aren’t worthy of stepping into these higher vibrational states of living.

The second way to master living a life of congruence would be to always be pushing yourself to step more and more into your greatness. Meaning, do more of what makes you feel alive, do what you’re good at and what you enjoy sharing with others. This is true giving of yourself and of your gifts and the more you do it, the greater you expand your space. Think of it like an interior upgrade or like putting an addition onto the house.

The third and final masterful activity would include welcoming not only the “good” stuff, but not avoiding the “bad”. To always see the lesson in the pain is true sight. To be able to view yourself and your life without judgment, but always with conscious movement towards embodying our most true selves, is absolute congruent living.

When you look at your life and see the balance amongst even what some might call “chaos”, is to have expanded your vision into the realm of “anything goes” when it comes to manifestation. Allowing yourself to be open to the opportunity for growth and expansion as your inner roots climb deep down into the dark, is what gives the fruits above the life-source to bloom and blossom. And as my mentor always says, “The deeper the roots, the sweeter the fruits.”

Have a most fruitful, congruent week everyone! <3

Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

Follow Tamara on FacebookTwitter and Google+

This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




Which Values Make You Happy? It Might Depend on Where You Live

By Kira M. Newman | Greater Good Magazine

When a new psychology study comes out, its findings—gratitude makes people happy! meditating can boost your mood!—are often taken as the truth about humanity as a whole. But in recent years, researchers have pointed out that much of psychology research involves participants who are WEIRD: Western, Educated, and from Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic countries.

Why is that a problem? Because it could be the case that the insights we’re learning about how to live happy, meaningful lives privilege one group’s experiences—and they may not be as useful to people from other cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.

A new study surveyed people in five regions around the world to see if the factors that influenced their happiness might be different. The discrepancies that the researchers found to lend support to concerns that our current knowledge about well-being isn’t as universal as we might think.

“The implicit claim in previous research that ‘one size fits all’ is probably incorrect,” write Bruce Headey and his colleagues at the DIW Berlin research institute.

Values and happiness

The study was based on the World Values Survey, which surveyed hundreds of thousands of people around the world from 1999 to 2014. The researchers decided to focus on five regions:

  • Western countries, including the United States, Britain, Australia, Spain, and others;
  • Latin America;
  • Asian-Confucian countries: Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan;
  • Ex-communist countries: Russia and Eastern Europe; and
  • Communist countries: China and Vietnam.

People in each region reported on their values and priorities in life—the things that matter most to them. These included:

  • Traditional family values: The importance of family, as well as helping people who live nearby and caring for their needs.
  • Friendship and leisure values: The importance of friendship and leisure.
  • Materialistic values: Believing it’s important to be rich, successful, and recognized for your achievements.
  • Political values: The importance of politics.
  • Prosocial values: Believing it’s important to do something for the good of society and look after the environment.
  • Religious values: The importance of religion and God.

The researchers then compared how people rated the importance of these values to how satisfied they felt about their lives.

The results suggest that some values may be more universally important to well-being than others. In all five regions, people who highly valued family, friendship/leisure, and prosociality tended to be more satisfied with life. But the results for materialism, politics, and religion were more complicated.

People with stronger political values were more satisfied with life in communist countries, where “good citizens are supposed to be politically active” within the limits laid out by the state, explains Headey. This was also true to a lesser extent in the West. Meanwhile, in ex-communist Russia and Eastern Europe, people who cared more deeply about politics were less happy. This may be due to the “disillusionment with politics” in those countries, after the fall of communism.

People who placed more importance on religion tended to be happier in the West, Latin America, and the Asian-Confucian countries. But they were less satisfied with life if they were living in the communist and ex-communist regions. As the researchers speculate, this may be because communist governments tend to be hostile to religion, and people in ex-communist countries may still be suffering the long-term effects of that.

Materialism, a value that’s long been assumed to make us unhappy, actually went hand in hand with life satisfaction in Eastern Europe. It was only in the wealthier Western and Asian-Confucian countries where materialists tended to be less satisfied. In Latin America and the Communist countries, being materialistic didn’t seem to matter to life satisfaction.

Happiness and conformity

Why might some values be beneficial everywhere, whereas others only seem helpful in certain cultures?

The researchers suggest that people may be happier when their personal values align with the societal and governmental norms in their country. In other words, some values may benefit us not in and of themselves, but because they give us a sense of belonging and make it easier for us to navigate the world.

These findings also help make sense of a paradox in happiness research—the fact that some regions (like Latin America) are much happier than their gross domestic product (GDP) would predict, while others (like Eastern Europe) are much less happy.

Examining the values people hold could help explain these discrepancies. In Eastern Europe, for example, the researchers found that many people rated all the different values as relatively unimportant, a recipe for unhappiness. In Latin America, people’s strong family and religious ties seemed to bring them a great deal of satisfaction.

Though they aimed to be more inclusive, the researchers didn’t have access to surveys from sub-Saharan Africa or Muslim countries in the Middle East and Asia—which means this picture of well-being is still incomplete. But it does point to a provocative idea: that the path to happiness isn’t the same everywhere, and what works for you may depend on the society and culture in which you live.

About the Author
{author}

Kira M. Newman

Kira M. Newman is the managing editor of Greater Good. Her work has been published in outlets including the Washington PostMindful magazine, Social Media Monthly, and Tech.co, and she is the co-editor of The Gratitude ProjectFollow her on Twitter!




If You Want to Be Happy, Try to Make Someone Else Happy

By Jill Suttie | Greater Good Magazine

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he assured Americans of their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This idea seems to lead many Americans to chase after new gadgets and hedonistic pleasures. But what if that approach is wrong? What if happiness comes from aiming to make others happy, instead of doing nice things for yourself?

That is exactly what a recent study found.

In the experiment, college students reported on their happiness and on their sense of autonomy, competence, and connection to others—all that researchers consider “basic psychological needs” for well-being. Then they were randomly tasked to do something to either make themselves happier, make another person happier, or socialize. (Assigning one group to socialize helped determine if seeking happiness for another had an effect above and beyond simply being in someone’s presence.)

Later that day, after doing their tasks, participants reported what they did, and then fill out their happiness and needs questionnaires again. Those who’d done something to make another person feel better were much happier themselves than participants in the other groups, and their greater happiness was tied to a stronger feeling of connection to that person.

This finding was not too surprising to lead researcher Milla Titova, who says that it fits in with prior research on happiness that found giving to others makes you happier than giving to yourself—and that pursuing happiness directly for yourself sometimes backfires.

“Making others happy is more meaningful for people than just socializing with them or doing something to improve our own happiness,” she says. “When we aim to make others happier, we feel connected to them—our relatedness needs are better met—which is important for us.”

In another part of the study, she and her colleague tried to rule out the possibility that making someone else happier makes you happier because of how emotions spread between people, which is known as the contagion effect. To do this, they repeated their experiment, but this time asked participants to identify the recipient of their kindness and to say how much happier that person appeared to be. Then, they contacted the recipient and measured their actual happiness levels.

The researchers found that a recipient’s happiness level did not seem to be related to the increased happiness of the person trying to make them happy, which suggests something beyond emotion contagion is going on. However, if the participant perceived that their efforts made a difference in another’s happiness, that made them happier.

“If we think another person is feeling pretty good, that’s enough for us to feel pretty good ourselves,” says Titova. “We’re just not always accurate about assessing other people’s feelings.”

She and her colleague also looked at how this effect might play out between strangers. People parked on a city street were approached by researchers and given two quarters for filling out surveys about their well-being. In some cases, they were simply given the quarters to keep or were given the quarters to feed their own meter before filling out the surveys. In other cases, they were told to feed another person’s meter, with some being asked to leave a note on the dashboard of the stranger’s car explaining what they’d done.

Afterward, the researchers compared the four groups’ happiness and how much their needs felt fulfilled. Those who’d put money in someone else’s meter were significantly happier than those who’d put money in their own meter or just kept the quarters. Leaving a note increased a person’s happiness even more.

Titova thinks this makes sense, given that making someone else happier makes us happier through increasing our relatedness to them. But it could also be that people like getting credit for a good deed, too—or that the note is actually another act of kindness, augmenting connection further.

Whatever the case, it appears that doing something kind for anyone is better for our happiness than getting something for ourselves.

“It doesn’t require you know the person you’re trying to make happy, nor does it require an actual physical interaction with that person,” she says. “It still works—even with a stranger.”

This is a preliminary study, mostly done with a limited population, and Titova cautions against applying the finding to other cultural contexts. This is wise, as studies have found not all happiness practices translate to other cultures.

Still, they do suggest that focusing on making others happy may be a key to happiness worth considering.

“It’s counterintuitive for some people, but if you’re not having the best day, you should think about doing something nice for your significant other or your roommates instead of concentrating on yourself,” she says. “That may not be what comes to mind naturally, but it’s probably more effective.”

About the Author
{author}

Jill Suttie

Jill Suttie, Psy.D., is Greater Good’s former book review editor and now serves as a staff writer and contributing editor for the magazine. She received her doctorate of psychology from the University of San Francisco in 1998 and was a psychologist in private practice before coming to Greater Good.