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How to Bring Order to Life’s Chaos

In the last month alone I’ve had to find a new place to live 5 states away, finish a book proposal, pack up my entire apartment, and complete about a million other tasks that typically go along with long-distance relocating.

Moving is hard and so is trying to get a book published at the same time! 🙂 And when life throws a million tasks at us all at once, it’s easy to feel like we’re going to lose it, or that we should give up on certain things and focus more on others due to “lack of time”.  The thing is… we have time for the things we make time for; that’s how it works!

I often felt on certain days that there was no way I would ever get my book proposal completed on time. I wasn’t happy with some things and kept doing some last-minute revisions, but ultimately what helped me was walking away from it altogether for a couple of days. Oftentimes we can become so immersed in one thing, in one project or hobby that we can’t see that we are blocking our own creative flow.

On days I started feeling doubt creep in and other low-vibrational energies where my ego wanted to beat up on me, I just stepped away from it for a bit. I remembered why I was doing it (because I freaking LOVE to write and have a message to share with the world!) and suddenly I could feel my heart reopen wide again. Being in your heart-space is vital to being able to not only function in but also proactively navigate through chaotic situations in your life.

I also suggest avoiding worry! I know, easier said than done, right? But think for a moment what the act of worrying actually is doing. You are putting energy into imagining horrible, negative scenarios in your mind of what COULD possibly happen. You are putting creative, intentional energy into it whether you mean to or not simply because you are giving it so much attention and have so emotion behind it. If you are familiar with manifesting, you know these two elements are keys to successfully manifesting.

Instead, shift your focus and energy to what you DO want to happen. Or if your thoughts are on another person, perhaps a loved one you cannot stop thinking about, envision what you DO want for them. Don’t keep yourself up at night creating all of these horrible nightmare stories in your mind of realities that NEVER even existed until YOU created them in your mind! Realize that right away, stop putting energy into it and shift your perception onto what you DO wish to happen instead. THINK POSITIVE!

If you can, try and be around more uplifted people as well during times of chaos and change. These types of people will tend to be more understanding and supportive to what you are going through and will more than likely be there for you if you need anything. If you tend to hang out with people who never call you but only to complain about things they never even attempt to try changing, then these types of people will obviously only add to the chaos you are already experiencing.

Remember to not stress over that which you cannot control and to do the best you can to manage those things that you can. When we get caught up in “running the show”, we often feel like we are failing ourselves or our families if we cannot get every little thing done all by ourselves. And oftentimes we may be too proud to ask for help. In these situations, it’s best to remember that families are also teams and work best together when all people are actively contributing their gifts in the ways they can that best supports the group as a whole.

In the words of Bruce Lee “Be water, my friend.” Never forget that when life gets stressful and things get a little crazy, to just go with the flow. There is a quaint peace in surrendering and trusting in the Universe. I’m one of the most stubborn people on the planet, and when I finally took a leap of faith and let go, it was the most rewarding experience of my entire life. Everything you could ever want truly is on the other side of fear. We just need to remember that there is nothing to fear and then it’s funny, but life never quite seems as chaotic anymore after that.

Tamara 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

Follow Tamara on FacebookTwitter and Google+




Elevation: We Are Wired to be Inspired

elevation - woman helps elderly manBy Jonathan Haidt | greatergood.berkeley.edu

Ever feel a thrill when you see someone act with courage or compassion? Psychologist Jonathan Haidt calls that feeling “elevation,” and his studies of it may provide a key to understanding what inspires people to do good.

Here’s a puzzle: why do we care when a stranger does a good deed for another stranger? Most theories in the social sciences say that people’s actions and feelings are motivated by self-interest. So why are we sometimes moved to tears by the good deeds or heroic actions of others?

I believe we cannot have a full under­standing of human morality until we can explain why and how human beings are so powerfully affected by the sight of a stranger helping another stranger. For the past several years I have studied this feeling, which I call “elevation.” I have defined elevation as a warm, uplifting feeling that people experience when they see unexpected acts of human good­ness, kindness, courage, or compassion. It makes a person want to help others and to become a better person himself or herself.

Elevation is widely known across cultures and historical eras. You prob­ably recognize it yourself. But for some reason no psychologist has studied it empirically. Instead, psychologists have focused most of their energies on the negative moral emotions, especially guilt and anger. Psychologists have thought about morality primarily as a system of rules that prevents people from hurting each other and taking their possessions.

But I believe that morality is much richer and more balanced. Most people don’t want to rape, steal, and kill. What they really want is to live in a moral community where people treat each other well, and in which they can satisfy their needs for love, productive work, and a sense of belonging to groups of which they are proud. We get a visceral sense that we do not live in such a moral world when we see people behave in petty, cruel, or selfish ways. But when we see a stranger perform a simple act of kindness for another stranger, it gives us a thrilling sense that maybe we do live in such a world. The fact that we can be so responsive to the good deeds of others—even when we do not benefit directly—is a very important facet of human nature. Yes, people can be terribly cruel, and we must continue our study of racism, violence, and other social ills. But there is a brighter side to human nature, too, and psychol­ogy ought to look more closely at it.

Beyond disgust

I started examining elevation only after years of studying its opposite: disgust. It makes good evolutionary sense that human beings should have an emotion that makes us feel repulsion toward rotten food, excrement, dead bodies, and other physical objects that are full of danger­ous bacteria and parasites. It also makes sense that disgust should make us hyper­sensitive to contagion—that is, we feel disgust toward anything that touched something that we find disgusting.

But when my colleagues and I actually asked people in several countries to list the things they thought were disgusting, we repeatedly found that most people men­tioned social offenses, such as hypocrisy, racism, cruelty, and betrayal. How on earth did a food-based and very corporeal emotion become a social and moral emotion? The short version of our attempt at an answer is that while disgust may motivate people to distance themselves from physical threats, it is well-suited for dealing with social threats as well. When we find social actions disgusting, they indicate to us that the person who commit­ted them is in some way morally defective. In this light, we seem to place human actions on a vertical dimension that runs from our conception of absolute good (God) above, to absolute evil (the Devil) below. This vertical dimension is found in many cultures—for example, in Hindu and Buddhist ideas that people are reincarnated at higher or lower levels depending on their moral behavior in this life.

Social disgust can then be understood as the emotional reaction people have to witness­ing others moving “down,” or exhibiting their lower, baser, less God-like nature. Human beings feel revolted by moral depravity, and this revulsion is akin to the revulsion they feel toward rotten food and cockroaches. In this way, dis­gust helps us form groups, reject devi­ants, and build a moral community.

I thought about the social nature of dis­gust in this way for years, and about what exactly it means when someone moves “down” on the vertical dimension from good to evil. But then, one day in 1997, I looked up. I had never thought about what emotion we feel when we see someone move higher on the vertical dimension, acting in an honorable or saintly way. But once I began to investigate, I saw a whole new emotional response triggered by virtu­ous, pure, or super-human behavior. I called this emotion “elevation” because seeing other people rise on the vertical dimension toward goodness seems to make people feel higher on it themselves. Once I began looking for elevation, I found it easily. I saw that most people recognize descrip­tions of it, and the popular press and Oprah Winfrey talk about it (as being touched, moved, or inspired). Yet research psycholo­gists had almost nothing to say about it.

I have now done several experiments on elevation, and here is what I have learned.

Studying elevation

First, my students and I asked people to write in detail about five kinds of situa­tions that we thought seemed likely to produce different kinds of positive emo­tions, including happiness and elevation. We then asked specific questions about their bodily changes, thoughts, actions, and motivations in these different situations. In the ques­tion that was supposed to prompt people to share their experiences of elevation, we asked participants to write about “a specific time when you saw a manifestation of humanity’s ‘higher’ or ‘better’ nature.” The stories told in response were often moving and beautiful.

The most commonly cited circum­stances that caused elevation involved seeing someone else give help or aid to a person who was poor or sick or stranded in a difficult situation. A par­ticularly powerful and detailed case captures the flavor of these situations:

Myself and three guys from my church were going home from vol­unteering our services at the Salva­tion Army that morning. It had been snowing since the night before, and the snow was a thick blanket on the ground. As we were driving through a neighborhood near where I lived, I saw an elderly woman with a shovel in her driveway. I did not think much of it when one of the guys in the back asked the driver to let him off here. The driver had not been paying much attention so he ended up circling back around towards the lady’s home. I had assumed that this guy just wanted to save the driver some effort and walk the short distance to his home (although I was clueless as to where he lived). But when I saw him jump out of the back seat and approach the lady, my mouth dropped in shock as I realized that he was offering to shovel her walk for her.

When participants saw unexpected acts of goodness like this one, they commonly described themselves as being surprised, stunned, and emotionally moved. Their descriptions imply that under the surface, they were changing their views about humanity in a more optimistic way and triggering higher goals for themselves. When asked, “Did the feeling give you any inclination toward doing something?” the most common response was to describe general desires to help others and to become a better person. Several par­ticipants described the kind of openness and urge to be playful that psychologist Barbara Fredrickson has ascribed to joy. The woman who wrote about the snow-shoveling episode above also wrote,

I felt like jumping out of the car and hugging this guy. I felt like singing and running, or skipping and laugh­ing. Just being active. I felt like saying nice things about people. Writing a beautiful poem or love song. Play­ing in the snow like a child. Tell­ing everybody about his deed.

A common theme in most of the narra­tives is a social focus—a desire to be with, love, and help other people. The effects of these feelings appear to have poten­tially life-altering effects. One participant described how moved he was when so many people came to visit and support his family while his grandfather was dying. He said he still had those feelings seven years later, and that those feelings helped inspire his decision to become a doctor. Feelings of elevation seem particularly capable of fostering love, admiration, and a desire for closer affiliation with the doer of the good deed. The woman in the snow-shoveling incident wrote,

My spirit was lifted even higher than it already was. I was joyous, happy, smiling, energized. I went home and gushed about it to my suite-mates, who clutched at their hearts. And, although I have never seen this guy as more than just a friend, I felt a hint of romantic feeling for him at this moment.

Love and a desire for affilia­tion appear to be a common human response to witnessing saints and saintly deeds, or even to hearing about them second hand. If disgust is a negative emotion that strengthens ego bound­aries and defenses against a morally reprehensible other, then elevation is its opposite—a desire to associate with those who are morally admirable.

A second study confirmed this gen­eral portrait of elevation. This second study induced elevation in a laboratory by showing one group of participants video clips from a documentary about Mother Teresa. Control groups saw other videos, including an emotion­ally neutral but interesting documen­tary, and a comedy sequence from the television show America’s Funniest Home Videos. Compared to participants who watched the control videos, partici­pants who watched the elevating video clip reported feeling more loving and inspired, they more strongly wanted to help and affiliate with others, and they were more likely to actually volunteer to work at a humanitarian charity organization afterwards.

In both studies, we found that participants in the elevation conditions reported different patterns of physical feelings and motivations when com­pared to participants in the control conditions. Elevated participants were more likely to report physical feelings in their chests—especially warm, pleas­ant, or “tingling” feelings—and they were more likely to report wanting to help others, become better people themselves, and affiliate with others. In both studies, reported feelings of happiness energized people to engage in private or self-interested pursuits, while feelings of elevation seemed to open people up and turn their atten­tion outwards, toward other people.

Based on this research, I believe elevation carries many benefits, includ­ing individual benefits like the energy and playfulness of the woman in the above example. However, elevation is particularly interesting because of its social benefits—its power to spread, which could improve entire communi­ties. If frequent bad deeds trigger social disgust, cynicism, and hostility toward one’s peers, then frequent good deeds may have a type of social undoing effect, raising the level of compassion, love, and harmony in an entire society. Efforts to promote and publicize altruism may therefore have widespread and cost-effective results. I am now looking into the possibility that elevation can be used in moral education programs, inspir­ing young people in ways that more traditional teaching techniques cannot.

Getting elevated

It is a surprising and very beautiful fact about our species that each of us can be moved to tears by the sight of a stranger helping another stranger. It is an even more beautiful fact that these feelings sometimes inspire us to change our own behavior, values, and goals. Narratives of the lives of Jesus, Buddha, Mother Teresa, and other inspiring figures are full of stories of people who, upon meeting the saintly figure, dropped their former materialistic pursuits and devoted themselves to advancing the mission of the one who elevated them.

Indeed, a hallmark of elevation is that, like disgust, it is contagious. When an elevation story is told well, it elevates those who hear it. Powerful moments of elevation, whether experienced first or second hand, sometimes seem to push a mental “reset” button, wiping out feelings of cynicism and replacing them with feelings of hope, love, optimism, and a sense of moral inspiration. This thought is for the moment an unsubstan­tiated speculation, but a clear descrip­tion of such a case was recently sent to me by a man named David Whitford.

Several years ago, David’s Unitarian church asked each of its members to write his own “spiritual autobiography,” an account of how he became a more spiritual person. While reflecting on his spiritual experiences, David grew puzzled over why he is so often moved to tears during the course of church services. He concluded that there are two kinds of tears. The first he called “tears of compassion,” such as those he shed during a sermon on Mother’s Day about children who were growing up abandoned or neglected. He wrote that these cases felt to him like “being pricked in the soul,” after which “love pours out” for those who are suffering.

But the second kind of tears was very different. He called them “tears of celebration,” but he could just as well have called them “tears of elevation.” I will end this article with his words, which give a more eloquent description of elevation than anything I could write.

A few weeks after Mother’s Day, we met here in the sanctuary after the service and considered whether to become a Welcoming Congrega­tion [a congregation that welcomes gay people]. When John stood in support of the resolution, and spoke of how, as far as he knew, he was the first gay man to come out at First Parish, in the early 1970s, I cried for his courage. Later, when all hands went up and the resolu­tion passed unanimously, I cried for the love expressed by our congrega­tion in that act. That was a tear of celebration, a tear of receptiveness to what is good in the world, a tear that says it’s okay, relax, let down your guard, there are good people in the world, there is good in peo­ple, love is real, it’s in our nature. That kind of tear is also like being pricked, only now the love pours in.

Article Source: greatergood.berkeley.edu




Simply BE in Gratitude (Take a Bold Step In Your Conscious Evolution!)

I’m going to make today’s blog short and sweet. Pretty nifty for a writer who’s so long-winded, right?

I hope I can convey this ‘new theory’ through the written word — I thought of videoing an interpretive dance for you but that would probably be more confusing. So here it goes…

I’ve discovered a new level to gratitude.

“I feel like this new ‘being grateful for no particular reason’ is a bold step in my conscious evolution. It’s the anticipation of great things to come instead of the worry about what might go wrong (which actually brings that into being).”

I’ve been practicing gratitude whenever I can and even in the most strange circumstances. Take for instance my recent loss of income streams from all different avenues — normally this would have freaked the old Cherie out completely but the new Cherie is simply loving it!

Okay, how can I love having money and security taken away from me?

Easy.

New Adventures, New Directions

I’ve assigned my life with new meaning. You know how life is meaningless (as in neutral until you assign it either positive or negative meaning)? Well, I’ve decided and really FELT like the Universe is redirecting me big time and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

I was actually getting quite bored with the Ground Hog day my life was becoming, so, this breath of fresh new adventurous air is a God send (he he…literally).

I won’t lie, I’m still in the throes of the transition but I’m injecting fricking gratitude into every moment. I can’t wait to see what’s coming and I can just feel it’s going to be awesome.

I am already starting to experience the new opportunities and contacts coming in and — from my vantage point — I’m super excited.

I feel like this new ‘being grateful for no particular reason’ is a bold step in my conscious evolution. It’s the anticipation of great things to come instead of the worry about what might go wrong (which actually brings that into being).

I’m starting a whole new way of thinking and using gratitude to boost it. I hope you join me on this journey. So, even when things look pretty shitty — try to see the Universe offering you something even better, more exciting and tailor-made to suit your soul.

Read related articles: GRATITUDE: A Vital Catalyst to Bring Positive Change into Your Life; How to Realign with Innate Gratitude and Are You Expecting Good Things to Happen? Why You Should…

Cherie Roe Dirksen is a self-empowerment author, multi-media artist and musician 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. Get stuck into finding your passion, purpose and joy by downloading some of those books gratis when you click HERE.

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 follow Cherie on Facebook (The Art of Empowerment — for article updates). She has an official art Facebook page (Cherie Roe Dirksen – for new art updates). You can also check out her Facebook band page at Templeton Universe.




The Quantum Keys to Unlocking Lasting Happiness are Acceptance & Gratitude

What Is Quantum Mechanics? Quantum Physics Defined, Explained | Live ScienceAs you may or may not know, the study of Quantum Mechanics is the branch of physics that focuses on “the very small”. Not necessarily what we would consider being “matter”, but rather the cosmically tiny common subjects such as atoms and quarks that bond & unite energetically to create matter and bring it into physical 3D existence. I use the quantum reference here as it applies to life because there are two very simple and very small, yet VERY significant things you can do to actually guarantee your own happiness…

No, this isn’t some scheme or trick, it’s physics; it’s Universal Law. Everything is energy and reacts to matter it comes across energetically. Magnets are not the only things that repel or attract, but perhaps you could say that we all are just like magnets in that we also repel or attract energetically.

How so? Your feelings, your thoughts, and the action you take (or don’t take) in your life all hold a frequency; they all communicate a certain type of energy and this is why you always hear the great Zen Masters and Gurus speaking about how to always be mindful of your thoughts.

How we feel about things could be considered the “charge” behind the energy. If we feel passionate about writing a book, there is a high, yet strongly grounded energy there which fuels the action to write often and from the heart. It is when we fear moving towards our own desires and dreams that this energy can “turn” on us.

That’s not to say it actually has an agenda against you, but rather it is the Universe’s way of answering the energy you’ve put out by refusing to face your fear and step into your greatness. It will reply, “Oh, you want to continue to live small? Here you go.” And to the person who is unaware of the power of their own thoughts, feelings and intentions can often see this as life being against them in some way and put themselves into a victim mode which only draws in more things to make you feel like a victim.

So, how do we stay in high vibration so we can finally lead a happy life?

Acceptance…

#1 – Accept what is without judgment or a need to change things to suit your perceptions/beliefs; be at peace with that which you cannot control or change. The moment you accept something in your heart, you re-form your Source connection to it, and immediately any low energy is released. Now, there can be movement again which is required for healing and growth. It is when we let our negative thoughts keep us in the feelings of fear, doubt, stress, etc. that there can be no movement and life can become stagnant. This is why while we should always take the time to sit with our feelings and find out what they are trying to tell you, we shouldn’t let them run the show or stay in their vibration for extended periods of time (worrying, etc.). We should also be cautious of letting our feelings and emotion put us into a reactive mode rather than allowing ourselves a moment of conscious response.

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” ― Lao Tzu

Gratitude…

#2 – Get to a place where you can wake up each morning and find at least 1 thing in your life to be grateful for. Then each day for a week, add 1 more thing. At the end of the week, take a long, hard look at the list you’ve created and look at it again whenever you need a little reminder. Sometimes when we get caught up in those emotions and feelings, it can be hard to be grateful. But this in itself is a test of integrity, and if you can muster up the will each and every day to connect to your heart and for one breath feel nothing but gratitude for your life, those you love, those who’ve tested your patience, those who’ve broken your heart, those whom you’ve taught, etc., happiness will be your ultimate reward for you are giving yourself the freedom to be at peace with all that IS. Be grateful for one thing until you can be grateful for it ALL.

When you are actively practicing both acceptance and gratitude in your life, happiness is INEVITABLE! Why? Because you’ve cleaned off the filters of your “world-view lens” that were previously clouded by your core beliefs and perceptions of the world and those around you; as well as your place in the world and your purpose for even being here. With clear vision comes purposeful action…

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

– Eckhart Tolle

ACCEPTANCE  + GRATITUDE = HAPPINESS

Give it a try for even one week and see how much your life can change… xoxo

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.




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.

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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.