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Want Real, Meaning Connection and the Happiness That Comes With It? Stop Doing THIS

Group of young people having fun in park-compressed

By Matt Richards | Tiny Buddha

“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” ~Bill Nye

It’s cool to be a little cynical, right? We’ve all seen the movies; we know an air of ennui and a well-cultivated sneer is all a person needs to get by.

When I was in my early twenties I used to archly describe myself as an “optimistic cynic.” To me, it sounded cool. I was playing in bands, and I’d decided this was how I wanted to show up to the world.

Back then I responded to everything, whether good or bad, exciting or not, through a filter of sarcasm. (And for those who don’t know me, I’m talking British sarcasm here too. The strongest kind.)

Thankfully, though, after years of deep work on myself, I eventually realized that really, in being so cynical, I was just hiding behind a façade, a front. The cynicism was a barrier to protect myself, and ultimately, it halted me making real connections with others, and myself.

Related Article: 6 EASY Ways to Shift From a Negative to a Positive Perspective

I think I first realized this while at university. There was a guy who lived on my floor who was just a really good person.

Andy was happy, friendly, well-liked by everyone. The source of good emotions wherever he went.

At the time, of course, I dismissed his demeanor as an act to be liked, which, as I write this now, I realize was me projecting my own issues on him.

But even then a part of me knew Andy was doing something right. When he’d invite me to things (and I of course turned him down with a sarcastic aside) I felt a little silly, a little humbled by his great outlook and energy, which contrasted so greatly with my self-defeating ‘cool.’

You see, deep down I knew I wanted to do all the things he was doing. I wanted to live my honest truth like he was, but for whatever reason I couldn’t bring myself to let go and just be myself. Andy held a mirror up to my sneer, and I didn’t like what I saw.

I’m glad to say I’m not like that anymore. But it’s still in me on occasion, and I think in all of us if we aren’t careful. It seems more and more, cynicism is becoming the default setting for our collective consciousness. It’s the way to be now in this post-modern world.

Don’t trust people. Don’t show your feelings. Don’t give a damn, frankly.

We live in very uncertain times, so it’s understandable, then, that we’ve learned to question people’s motives. But where this once still bordered on liberal curiosity, it is fast turning to simple mistrust, disconnection, and in many cases, actual fear of others.

It’s a sad situation, and something I feel we all need to be aware of. More so, we need to actively fight against this cynicism and learn to connect with each other again.

A study at Harvard that was conducted over a staggering seventy-five years has proven beyond any doubt that that when it comes to being happier in every way, it’s all about making real connections:

“The more areas in your life you can make connection the better…The study’s most important finding is that the only thing that matters in life is relationships…Happiness is love. Full stop.”

But before we can make powerful connections with others, there’s someone else we need to connect with—ourselves.

When we are disconnected from ourselves, we lose our power and our confidence in our abilities; thus, our ability to trust ourselves diminishes. And if we can’t trust ourselves, how can we trust others?

So, we need to take the time to discover our own wants and desires and to connect fully with our core values. When we have this self-knowledge a lot of other things quickly fall into place.

You can practice this in small ways too. Take time throughout the day to engage in a tech-free walk in nature and get your peripatetic system working. You’ll be surprised how quickly you connect with your truth when you’re completely alone with no distractions of any kind.

Meditation, too, is a great way of just being with yourself fully. You’ll often find you have great insights once you actively create some silence for a short period and calibrate yourself. In this way, we can quickly become a person who is so focused on their path that cynicism never even gets a look in.

When we connect with the vision we have for ourselves, we gain clarity and can then relax, become more comfortable, and begin to create real connections with the world outside.

Related Article: Three Strategies for Bringing More Kindness (and Happiness) into Your Life

When you take the time to do this, you make peace with yourself, and it is from this positon of power that you can create powerful moments with other people and become the source of good energy wherever you go.

You can start this today: Practice actively connecting with people on a deep, powerful level. Look into their eyes just that extra second longer; give a hug that has real emotion behind it, a handshake that lasts a little longer than normal, or a comment that hits just right.

With every person you talk to from now on, make a connection. Create a moment. Turn off the rest of the world and just, warmly, be with them.

Do this right and it’ll feel like you’ve made time stand still. You’ll soon realize how great you not only make others feel, but how great you feel yourself as your connection and empathy for the world grows.

Because flip back to the “cynical optimist” version of me you met at the start, and you’d see someone who regularly reacted badly to others, who got annoyed easily.

I’m sure we all have had those times when other people have riled us—the man on the street walking too slowly in front of us or too close behind us, the rude checkout girl who can’t raise a smile, the work colleague who makes bad jokes or talks too much.

We know that getting annoyed only ultimately harms ourselves. If something annoys you, that’s on you. And while we might think we’re displaying dominance and superiority by getting annoyed, really, all we’re doing is giving away our power and becoming disconnected to others and our true, better selves.

Researchers have dubbed this fundamental attribution error, which states that we tend to give too much weight to someone’s personality or disposition in explaining their behavior in a given situation.

In other words, we all too often take one single thing that someone does and use it to make a judgment on their entire persona. I’m sure you can agree that this does not help at all in creating honest connections with our fellow humans.

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If You Can See the Correct Image in This Picture, You’re 1 in a 100! Here’s What It Means

cowbot-hat

By Ana Erkic | Lifehack

What do you see in this drawing that baffled so many people?

Only 1/100 guessed right, but for the rest it was completely mind-boggling.

Try again. The trick that helped some was to cover the darker side of the image with their hand.

creative people

Here comes the spoiler…

image explained

It’s actually a man with a cowboy hat!

It took some people an entire hour to figure this one out, while the lucky few were able to see it right away. If you belong to the latter group, you can consider yourself a highly creative person as studies show.

Creative processes have been considered highly abstract and unquantifiable practices, often considered as bursts of sudden inspiration that came out of nowhere. However, scientists have been able to conduct certain researches to catch the creative process in order to analyze the distinctive features that creative people have. What they came to realize was that creative people tend to use much bigger parts of their brain during the thought process. This gives them the opportunity to use more associations and memory when trying to decode something.

In the case of image deconstruction, creative people have more to work with when looking at an unknown image which means they would much more quickly collect the previously known parts to build ideas.

Therefore, it is no wonder that to some people this puzzle was way too easy making them wonder what the catch was. However, you shouldn’t think something is wrong with you if no matter how long you looked at the drawing, all you could see was the distorted image of a bat or a rat. It just means that you process new information in a different way, usually in a slightly more formal way, following certain known rules and associations, whereas for creative people, this process includes more “outside the box” kind of thinking with more options to choose from.

This drawing wasn’t the first one to spur up the conversation about the effect our thinking process has on the way we perceive the world. The famous duck-rabbit dilemma presented by American psychologist Joseph Jastrow in 1899, provided starting point for the research on the topic.

Before reading any further, stop and look at the drawing.

What do you see? A duck or a rabbit? Can you easily find the other animal? Can you switch from one perspective to the other with ease, or does it take some effort?

duck or rabbit

For this drawing, there is not a wrong or right guess, (even though most people guess duck first) it is rather a question of the ability to quickly switch from one perception to the other.

All of these features count when determining if you are a highly or average creative person. According to the research Richard Wiseman did with a group of fellow psychologists at the University of Edinburgh, creative people actually perceive the world differently, as they are more able to see things from many different angles.

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If You Want to Know Love, Then Stop Lying

By Michelle D’Avella | Tiny Buddha

“Lies may make people feel better, but they do not help them to know love.” ~Bell Hooks

I was once a liar. I didn’t know I was a liar at the time. I didn’t consciously tell an untruth. Instead, my entire being did.

Lying isn’t just something that is done with words. We can lie with our actions. We can lie with our silence. We can lie with our complicity. We can lie by pretending to be who we aren’t.

I was the lie.

I played dress up for most of my life. It didn’t happen all at once. I didn’t walk into someone else’s closet and come out with a new wardrobe. It happened slowly, over time.

Each time I said or did something that didn’t get approval from the world around me, I chose to pull a garment from the imaginary closet of people who are lovable. By the time I was twenty, my true self was so far hidden that even I didn’t know where she was.

It first began by disappearing. I felt rejected by my peers in grade school. It felt like so much work to be liked and popular. So I decided to give up trying. But instead of just being myself, I decided to hide away. Being unnoticed seemed easier than being seen for who I was.

College was my opportunity to reinvent myself. But when I got there I found out I couldn’t force myself into being outgoing or easily likable. So I turned awkward. I was hyper self-conscious that I was not being myself, but I didn’t know how to let myself just be. So my body got stiff, my movements fidgety, and my voice uncertain.

I began to watch other people and would, in the slightest ways, begin to mimic them. I’d adopt someone’s laugh, another person’s style, and someone else’s slang. This mishmash of what I thought it meant to be likable only kept me further away from the truth of who I really was.

I had friends, but no one really knew me. I was lost and lying about who I was. I pretended like I had it all figured out because admitting that I was clueless would mean my world would come crashing down.

When we build identities for ourselves we can’t risk allowing them to crumble. So we lie. We create more masks to wear and keep ourselves further from the truth. Our egos know that if one brick loosens, everything we’ve worked so hard for will be ruined.

When we choose to deny who we truly are, we are lying. Lying is a choice, one that deeply harms ourselves and oftentimes, those around us. And even though it is a choice, it’s one that is very easy to hide from. In our search for love we will do almost anything to attain our goal even if it means denying ourselves the truth.

The irony, though, is that love itself is impossible without honesty. If you find yourself desperate to know what love really is, take a deep breath and look at how honest you are about you.

Do you really know yourself? Do you share who you are with the world? Are you overly concerned with what other people think about you? Will you change yourself to be accepted by others? These are all great questions to help you recognize how comfortable you are with your true self.

Uncovering yourself is part of the path. It’s okay to share with people that you don’t know. That you’re confused. That you’re lost. That you feel pain. That you’re in the process of getting to know yourself.

You don’t have to use all your energy to put on the facade that you’ve got it all figured out. It’s okay to not have it all together. When you begin to open up and communicate with others about who you truly are, you begin the opportunity to discover what love is.

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Taking Things Personally Could Be Ruining Your Life

Caught in Blue by Cherie Roe Dirksen

Be Honest With Yourself

Are you easily offended? When you take something personally or are affronted, you are — in a claustrophobic little nutshell — agreeing with what has been said about you.

Does this ring true or are you shaking your head profusely?

When you feel offended you are agreeing with the offender because it has touched a nerve. Let’s try unravel more of this…

Nerves Weren’t Always Twisted, You Know

If someone tried to hurt you, or perhaps even inadvertently, says something to you that you don’t agree with – no problem – you usually shrug off this kind of ‘offense’ because it really doesn’t bother you.

For example: You are happy with your appearance and feel you are a fine specimen, someone passes by in a vehicle and shouts out ‘hey, freak!’

Here is your moment; do you agree with that or not? If you are 100% confident that you are a perfectly chic human being then you would most likely shrug the comment off and have a good laugh.

Why? Simply because you don’t agree with the statement.

“Who get’s to be the judge and jury on what is deemed beautiful accepted or hideous? The tabloids? Hollywood?”

Now, if you think you are ‘okay’ looking but there could be room for improvement, or, in the extreme, if you are someone with downright low self-esteem, this statement would be devastating because a part of you, or perhaps – most of you, agrees with this. You are shocked that someone else has found you out!

You thought if you could keep your head down no-one would notice you but here someone has clearly seen your faults. This feels like a low blow and you become all knotted up in your stomach (solar plexus area).

The Illusion of Appearance

The ultimate fear of imperfection and/or of not being accepted is, of course, an illusion.

Who get’s to be the judge and jury on what is deemed beautiful accepted or hideous? The tabloids? Hollywood? Just spare a thought as to who you give your power over to, that which dictates what beauty and normal is, and try to see that it is all fake.

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 in their synopsis.

To agree with anyone over anything stemming from feelings of lack would be disempowering.

“The person doing the insulting is only reminding you of something that needs to be taken on within yourself to have a good, long and hard look at – and to either change or accept.”

The same could be said over someone slighting your intelligence. If you don’t feel stupid then any snide remark over your competence could be easily overlooked but if you are worried about what others think, a dig at your IQ could mean the world to you.

Are You to Blame?

This is not truly the fault of the insulter (although they will have to deal with their contribution via their karma) – it is actually your fault.

Yeah, it sounds harsh and it is. But if we are going to get real about this we need to dive right into the core of the problem and bring it up for close scrutiny.

The person doing the insulting is only reminding you of something that needs to be taken on within yourself to have a good, long and hard look at – and to ultimately change or accept.

Although you probably won’t want to give them a gold medal for their efforts at the time, I assure you that some people are in this life to push your buttons — in a seemingly unloving way — to actually give you the opportunity to reconsider your belief structures.

This may be on a level that even they are not aware of.

If there are no buttons to push, then you can walk away head held high knowing that it is something you have overcome or never had a doubt about in the first place.

It is the slights that leave us feeling wounded that mean that we have a program still running within us that wants to be ended, a cache that needs clearing.

What Insults You?

What is it that you are always dreading might come up in conversation?

You have to be cruel in examining these beliefs in order to be kind to yourself.

We all face difficult, dark moments of self-realization, when we see the agreements we have made about ourselves and have to try to turn it around. When you can out these undesirable contracts 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. Then we must align it to our higher self by breaking down the agreement piece by piece and offer it up to the light to be cleansed.

What do I mean by this?

This simply means to shed light on a problem. When it has come to our full attention we can dissemble it and make a new beneficial agreement about ourselves.

We need to look at ourselves and find the beauty inherent in us, not always trying to fish 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.

“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 see why we made the agreement.”

Some of these agreements we made at a very young age. When we are young we have 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.

Related article: 9 Must-Have Books For Expanding Your Spiritual Awareness

Making the Agreement

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 one piece of the puzzle.

What Puzzle?

When I said that the person was only giving one piece of the puzzle I mean that they have a preference based on their version of reality.

That is one person’s perspective in a sea of other possible candidates – ones who may have loved your form of expression.

This person could have also been a child, an acquaintance, a stranger or it could have been someone you trusted and loved deeply. The latter is often the case and can make the hurt twice as strong.

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 see why we made the agreement.

“We sometimes tend to disregard the ones who encourage us, leaving only space in our thoughts for the ones who hurt us.”

You also need to know that you can never have universal appeal with absolutely everyone.

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.

Neither being important though because it is ultimately you who needs to please 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.

“Without diversity in hair colour, body shapes, talents, voices, tastes, etc we would be tantamount to sheep running around in a field day in and day out – bah-bah-boring!”

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. There should be no judgment.

What do We do About That Sheeple Judge?

When there is judgment on this, we must question the one doing the judging.

Without freedom of expression this world would be a very dull place. Without diversity in hair colour, body shapes, talents, voices, tastes, etc we would be tantamount to sheep running around in a field day in and day out – bah-bah-boring!

Love your difference, embrace yourself.

Begin to discover, on the deepest level, who you truly are and what you have done – not only in this lifetime but in the countless life experiences you have had. Draw on the wealth of talents you have that you haven’t even begun to extract from your being.

Know Thyself!

As the oracle in the movie The Matrix had written above her kitchen door: ‘Know thyself’ (a long-established ancient Greek aphorism).

When you do, there is nothing anyone can say or do to you that would ever hurt you because you will be resolute as to who you are and nobody can take that away from you, unless you allow them to.

 “Empowerment comes from fearing no-thing and facing every day with courage and love in your heart.”

When you are living with the statement ‘be the best you can be’ and you are doing this with all your integrity and might then you have nothing to fear.

Empowerment comes from fearing no-thing and facing every day with courage and love in your heart. Strive to be the best and do the best you can in every situation and you will be living in your integrity and you will know yourself.

Then words or energy that does not fit with your frequency or vibration will not even penetrate your field of self. You have become the master of your life and your reality.

Something worth looking into, wouldn’t you say?

Related article: 40 Inspiring Quotes That Will Instantly Boost Your Confidence

Do you have something that you just can’t not take personally?  What is it and can you perhaps trace when you made the agreement?

Other articles you may enjoy:

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. Get stuck into finding your passion, purpose and joy by downloading some of those books gratis (yip, for free!) 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 also follow Cherie on Facebook (The Art of Empowerment).

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

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31 Ways to Spread More Love Into the World

love heart

By Jordan Gray | Jordan Gray Consulting

Ultimately, spirituality and self-development have the same end goal… be unapologetically loving toward yourself and others, as often as you can manage it.”

– Jordan Gray

Nobody is perfectly loving all of the time. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t aim to be.

We never know whether the people around us are hurting or happy, or some combination of the two. Either way, the only way of being that makes sense in this world is to be unreasonably kind and loving, to everyone that we meet.

Related Article: Love vs Fear: Which One Are You Going To Let Win?

How do we do that? Well, all we can ever influence is our thoughts, feelings, and actions today, in this very moment.

With that in mind, here are 31 ways to spread more love, kindness, and compassion into the world. Pick your favourite, and start with that.

1. Let someone drive into your lane of traffic

Life’s too short to be so prideful. Just let them in.

Let them in even if they’re driving like a bit of a jerk… maybe they’re stressed out because they’re late for their first day of work… who knows?

2. Plug parking metres for people

Walk around with loose change in your pocket with the sole intention of putting it into people’s parking metres that have run low on time.

I’ve dedicated a corner of my dresser to be where I put my “metre money.” It’s my way of tithing to humanity.

(Side note: it’s illegal in some major cities to put coins in other people’s metres so you might have to do this carefully and/or watch out for parking attendants)

3. Speaking of parking metre attendants, thank them

Parking metre attendants have to have one of the most difficult jobs. People are basically never happy to see them. I’ve seen so many of them being yelled at for simply doing their job.

To counteract some of this negativity, the next time you see one of them on-duty, sincerely thank them for doing their job. A simple “Thank you so much for the work that you do – I appreciate you,” will suffice.

Related Article: Love Is Stronger than Fear: 6 Ways Americans Are Defying Islamaphobia

It’s such a rare occurrence for them that they will likely remember you for months.

4. Meet up with one of your parents, on their terms

Are one or both of your parents still alive? Great!

Phone them up and tell them that you want to hang out with them, one on one, doing something that they enjoy. Leave the ball in their court and see what they come up with.

Or, if decision making stresses them out, suggest something that you know they’d enjoy and simply do that.

Get your parents at their best, and the conversation will flow. You never know how much longer you’ll still have your parents around, so make the most of the time that you have.

5. Offer to buy a homeless guy whatever he wants from the store he’s sitting in front of

This is one of my favourite things that I do on a semi-regular basis.

If you see someone who appears to be homeless sitting in front of a store asking for change, ask him if he wants anything from inside of it on your way in. And don’t just lob the question over your shoulder as your feet keep moving. Really commit to it. Stop, look them in the eyes, and say “Hey, I’m just about to head in here to grab something. Did you want me to pick up anything for you? Anything at all?”

Related Article: The Key to Loving Yourself, Other People, and Life

And just in case you’re worried that someone might try to take advantage of your generosity, I’ve done this at least once a month for the last year (whenever I’m in my hometown) and the biggest request that has ever been given to me amounted to a whopping $8.

Make the offer, gift them whatever they ask for (within your financial means), have a quick chat and/or shake their hand after, and be on your merry little way. It’s so easy to do, so just try it out.

6. Smile at a stranger

Politely smile at a stranger as you walk down the street. Whether they smile back or not is irrelevant. The task is complete when you have spread love with your smile.

7. Bear hug!

The next time you see someone that you know, greet them with the biggest, warmest, most sincere hug you can. Let them feel how much you love them.

8. Create a gift for a friend

Paint a painting, write a poem, record a song, make cupcakes… whatever way you enjoy creating, make something awesome and pass it on to someone who you think would most benefit from it.

body-painting-compressed

9. Go out in public with ‘Free Hugs’ signs

And then hug people that come to you for hugs. Also, bring friends.

10. If you notice someone fishing for a compliment, give it to them

Can you tell that someone is fishing for a compliment about their outfit/body/hairstyle/car/profession/etc.? Take the bait!

Feed their egos and be all like, “Yes! You look like a total boss in that new car. I’m so jealous. It fits you so well.” Or, “I know! I can’t believe that profile picture only got sixty likes… you look so good in it!”

Related Article: Compliments Are Powerful: Watch People React to Being Told They Are Beautiful (Video)

Obviously, the more sincere the compliment the better it will land. I’m not suggesting that you lie to people with your praise, just be more generous with it when the opportunities present themselves.

11. Pay a table’s restaurant bill without telling them

Just pay and leave. Bonus points if you do this for a table that is clearly celebrating an anniversary, a birthday, or some other major celebration.

12. Do a 30-day forgiveness meditation for someone who you feel/felt has wronged you

Even if you never talk to them again in real life, the world will be a better and more loving place if you have let go of whatever resentment you may have held/be holding towards them, and you will further free yourself emotionally in the process.

13. Buy your partner/best friend/mother in law a bouquet of flowers on a day that they wouldn’t expect it

Just because they’re awesome and you want to show your love for them.

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The Universe Doesn’t Care What You Think…Only How You FEEL About What You Think

Image result for manifesting with the universeWe hear it all the time in the Spiritual community, “Think good thoughts and good things will come to you.” But is that really all there is to it? Of course not. And let me know tell that I’ll be the first to admit that it really grinds my gears that there is so much emphasis on our thoughts when it comes to manifesting when the spark to the flame is actually our feelings.

Of course our thoughts are a vital part, however, we really need to start giving our emotions (energy IN motion) the proper credit they deserve when it comes to what comes. Meaning, it’s about time we recognize that it’s not just what we’re thinking that brings our experiences to us, but how we FEEL about the things we’re thinking about that do.

Furthermore, the Universe doesn’t work in “no’s” or “don’t’s”. It only works with what you give it. So this does come to stress the importance of focusing on what you WANT rather than what you don’t because what you feed energy to is actually what you will give life to as well; so it’s no surprise when it shows up on your doorstep.

“The Universe Doesn’t Hear What You Are Saying. It Only Feels The Vibration of What You Are Offering.” – Abraham Hicks

An example of this is we might have a favorite little black dress that we guard like Fort Knox because we just love it so much and want it to last for as long as it can. We are uber careful not to spill things on it, and we always dry clean after the rare times it actually comes out of the protective plastic. We feel amazing in this dress because it fits like a glove and our ass looks incredible, but at the same time we’re always anxious and cannot relax because we’re always so pre-occupied with never getting it dirty or tattered.

Can anyone think of any other areas that we treat like this poor little black dress??? And at the same time can you also stop and imagine yourself for a moment in that dress, sitting there telling yourself over and over again, “I really don’t want to ruin this dress, I hope no one spills anything on me”. Only to by the end of the night have a clumsy drunk bump into you and manages to spill his fruity peach vodka drink all over you.

Now, you can go on complaining that it’s “just your luck”, or you can realize that your thoughts have a magnetic pull to them and because you were literally focused so much on what you did not want, it’s exactly what you got. Again, the Universe doesn’t know “I don’t want…”, it only knows strong emotions tied to your focused and repeated and prolonged thoughts. So, if you’re going to sit and ponder about your amazing dress all night, remember to at least feel good about it, not fearful and anxious someone’s going to destroy it at any minute.

Image result for manifesting with the universe

There are many simple ways we can begin to witness large shifts in our lives if we take the time to re-frame the way we are saying things; out loud and also to ourselves during inner dialogue. An example might be instead of always talking about things you dislike, talk about things that make you happy. Instead of gossiping, talk about good things in your own life you have to be grateful for. And instead of saying things like, “I don’t want to lose him.” or ”I can’t afford to get sick.”, re-frame it to a positive like, “I want to love him for as long as I live.” and “I’m so grateful for my health so I have the time and energy to do all the things I need to do.”

With small shifts like that, you can turn your own little world around in a big, big way. And the Universe will start to appear friendlier as you realize it doesn’t have a vendetta against you and does not favor certain people over others. It’s merely responding to the way you FEEL about what you’re thinking in that brain of yours. So make it good and if you really, really want it, then be willing to really, really feel as if you already do, and express gratitude that it’s on its way. It takes an enormous amount of practice and trust at first, but once you get it, there’s no losing it. It’s just like riding a proverbial bike, only this one is a tandem and the Universe is doing to pedaling. You just need to tell it where you wanna go, and trust it will get you there. The rest is in the FEELS. 🙂

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

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.




200 Leave KKK After Being Befriended By African-American Blues Musician

Daryl Davis holding a KKK uniform given to him by a former member who decided to quit after getting to know him Credit – Franklin College

By Whitney Webb | True Activist

“Love your enemies” is a proverb that many repeat, but few actually practice. However, Daryl Davis, a respected Blues musician, has truly taken it to heart, with spectacular results. Davis, an African-American, has made headlines over the years for his decades-long effort to befriend white supremacists, an endeavor that ultimately convinced 200 Ku Klux Klan members to turn their back on the infamous organization for good. A new documentary, out this month, chronicles the unlikely friendships Davis has cultivated over the years and even shows him sitting down and joking with cloaked klansmembers, a truly uncommon sight.

Davis’ desire to befriend white supremacists was, in part, motivated by his childhood. Growing up overseas thanks to his parents’ work in the foreign service, Davis was raised in integrated schools in schools all over the world and multiculturalism was something that made perfect sense. However, every time he would visit the US, he would see people segregated by race. Segregation made little sense to Davis as he had “always gotten along with everyone.”

His first encounter with a member of the KKK came in 1983 when Davis played country western music at an all-white lounge. He was then approached by a white man who praised his musical ability, comparing him to Jerry Lee Lewis – a friend of Davis. The two struck up a conversation until the man abruptly revealed his allegiance to the Klan.

“At first, I thought ‘why the hell am I sitting with him?” Davis said, “But we struck up a friendship and it was music that brought us together.”

Eight years later, Davis decided to write a book examining the Klan and tracked down his friend from the all-white lounge, who reluctantly put him in contact with Roger Kelly, the leader of the KKK in Maryland. Davis arranged a meeting, which was “fraught with tension” from the very beginning. Eventually, things calmed down and the pair ended up laughing about their preconceptions about the other. “In retrospect, it was a very important lesson that was taught. All because a foreign entity of which we were ignorant, entered into our comfort zone, we became fearful of each other,” Davis said regarding the meeting. “The lesson learned is: ignorance breeds fear. If you don’t keep that fear in check, that fear will breed hatred. If you don’t keep hatred in check it will breed destruction.”

After that fateful meeting, Davis began to befriend more Klansmen and the Maryland chapter of the organization eventually collapsed altogether after Davis began to make inroads with a majority of the group’s members. Davis ultimately concluded that the best way to improve race relations and heal such divisions is to sit down with the people who disagree with you and talk. “Invite your enemy to talk – give them a platform to talk because then they will reciprocate,” Davis told the Guardian Express. “When two enemies are talking, they’re not fighting.”

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!


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Read more great articles at True Activist.




How To LOVE Even When It’s Difficult

It’s easy to love when you feel like it.

It’s easy to love when you are getting love in return.

It’s easy to love when things go your way in life.

But what about when things are hard, and don’t go the way that you want?

Your ability to love is your freedom. And your freedom is in your choosing love regardless of what’s happening outside.

We all have those moments when it’s easier to be angry and complain, especially when we are staring injustice and cruelty in the face.

Related Article: Secrets of Selfless Love and the Golden Rule

We all have those moments where people attack us and it would be justified to retaliate. But it takes real courage to love when your life circumstances seems unfair. And even greater courage when the people around you are unkind, rude, small and back-biting.

This is when it really counts.

Dare to return hate with love.

Judgment with compassion.

In that moment miracles happen.

In those moments…you become a miracle worker.

We all have those unique individuals who frustrate and challenge us.

Maybe it’s your boss, a family member, spouse, a co-worker, an ex, an in-law, or just someone in your life who knows how to push your buttons the most just by being who they are.

We often give our power away to these lovely folks. We try to change them. We resent them. We argue with them. And as a result they end up taking so much of our energy. Giving them so much of your energy is like letting them live rent free in your mind and heart!

What if those very people who challenge you the most were in fact the greatest teachers for your spiritual growth?

What if you saw those very people as “angels in disguise” sent to inspire you to become who you truly are?

What if they were the invitation to put your spirituality into actual practice in your life?

The people who challenge you the most give you the greatest opportunity to put your love into action.

Are you willing to take on that challenge?

Oftentimes we take what they do personally, but we have to realize that their perception of you is less about you and more about them. Actually, their perceptions about you reveal to you their perceptions of themselves. And when people aren’t clearly in touch with who they are as spiritual beings, they will often project onto you what they perceive you to be based upon their own conditioning and filters—which has nothing to do with you at all.

Remember who you really are.

So, who is one of the most challenging people in your life and what are they here to teach you?

It takes courage for us all to wake up every day and face life. It takes courage to wake up every day and face the unknown. It takes courage to wake up every day and to be human with all its pains and heartbreak. It takes real courage to really be alive. We all have a story. We all carry pain from experiences in our lives. We have all been through so much as human beings and yet are so resilient. If you imagine a flower, that grows on the roadside. All of a sudden a cement block is dropped on it. You would think it would shrivel away and die. But somehow the tiny flower keeps growing. Yes it’s a little crooked, but never the less it keeps growing and reaching for the sun.

We are like this flower. We all have reasons to give up. We all have reasons to be bitter. Some of them are quite good. Yet, somehow, a part of you continues to reach for the LIGHT!

As we enter Valentine’s Day, let’s be more quick to extend the hand of love instead of the hand of judgment.

Maybe that person you’re judging sitting next to you on the train has lost a child.

Maybe that angry person at the supermarket was abused mercilessly by their parents.

Maybe that person who has road rage is in such pain and heartbreak that their spouse left them.

We just don’t know.

We’re all doing the very best we can with what we have in any given moment.

It’s sometimes easy to think that being spiritual is something far removed from daily life. But real spirituality must be found within life itself—in the heart of the wildness, the craziness, the joy and the intensity of life.  We must find our freedom in the midst of it all. Sometimes, life is messy. But to avoid life is to miss life itself. To embrace life, to dive in and love fully is the real freedom.

The real spiritual practice is life itself.  To love is spirituality in action.

You get to open your hearts and love in the midst of it all.  You get to practice living in that moment to moment awareness each day. Instead of trying to get away from life to find peace—take Life on as your guru, your teacher. It’s not about finding peace in the Himalayas anymore. It’s not about finding stillness on a mountain top in Maui. Anyone can do that. It is about finding it within yourself—and living that love boldly in the everyday world.

Related Article: ‘Love and Light’ — What Does it Mean?

And each moment—whether you’re cooking, eating, working, studying, playing, gardening, making love, driving, walking, taking out the trash, paying your bills, dancing or vacationing, embrace life with total awareness and take loving on as your spiritual practice. When you bring your full presence to each moment, it transforms it.

When you love fully who and where you are fully—then who and where you are becomes truly sacred.

It’s when you love fully that you are truly FREE.

This is the yoga.

The practice.

This is the invitation.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love.Now

Kute

About the Author

Kute Blackson is an utterly unique visionary in the world of human potential. Unlike those who promise to simply help people “get” what they want, Kute’s life work instead reveals to people what they have to give, by liberating who they are most truly and deeply. The focus: Freedom.

World renowned for creating revolutionary results and a world-shift in consciousness, Kute is widely known as a transformational facilitator, speaker, and leader. Today, the venue for his message may be one-on-one, a vast stadium setting, experiential seminars, and transformational travel intensives all of over the world.  And his uniquely inspiring cutting edge videos have reached millions of people worldwide.

Kute works with clients from all walks of life, ranging from billionaires, celebrities, entrepreneurs, circus performers, politicians, mothers and children in over 20 countries, and for the past 14 years has been a trusted advisor and coach to CEO’s and world leaders.  Acclaimed worldwide for his life changing, one of a kind, transformational experiences, he is considered one of the leading voices in the fields of transformation and spirituality.




New Online Travel Agency Sends Customers On Mystery Vacations (Where Your Destination is a Surprise)

surprise destination

By Caroline Rolf | The Plaid Zebra

This travel agency is one-of-a-kind. The start-up eliminates the stress of planning a vacation by doing all the busy work for you – from booking the hotel to recommending tourist attractions to choosing the destination.

The catch? You won’t know the destination until you’re about to depart.

Pack Up + Go is a website dedicated to planning the most mysterious weekend trips based on your interests and budget. Lillian Rafson, founder and CEO of the start-up believes that travelling all about experiencing new things and taking that experience to the next level by adding an element of surprise.

Related Article: 8 Super Sensible Tips To Travel More for Less This Year

“It’s great for people looking for something new to add to their travel repertoire and people who don’t necessarily know or care where they want to go,” Rafson tells Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station.

1_pack up + go

Sound crazy even for adventurous travellers? Here’s how it works.

First, you decide if you have one destination in mind or would rather take a road trip. The site will ask you to select your preferred mode of transportation and budget. A road trip will cost you between $350-$2,000, while a train, bus, or plane will run you $450-$2,000 US.

Next, you complete a survey, providing your basic information and important details like where you’ve travelled before and what you’d most like to do. This is to ensure you don’t revisit a destination or get directions to an art museum when you’d rather head to the beach. Other details to mention are accessibility needs, schedule restrictions such as work hours and if you’ll be bringing your children.

The last part is the most fun. You are given a list of over 20 activities and asked to select the ones that most appeal to you; the more you check off, the more fun recommendations you’ll receive on your trip.

Related Article: Man Quits Job To Travel In Solar-Powered Home On Wheels

The least fun part? Paying for it. Pack Up + Go is non-refundable, so choose wisely!

2_pack up + go

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE…




Magic Words For Happiness

Throughout time there have been stories, myths, and legends where people merely have to utter some magic words, a spell, or mantra, and POOF! their desires manifest magically before their eyes.

Even if you don’t believe in “magic words,” I’ve discovered a real-life mantra, magic words for unfettered happiness. Well, almost. Actually, it’s even better than it sounds.

I don’t know how I discovered this mantra, perhaps it found me.

A few weeks ago, I was running around Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, pushing my snoozing two-year-old son in the jog stroller. The autumn temperature was beautiful and crisp, ideal for a run. The diffuse afternoon sunlight was filtering through the rice-paper sky of wispy clouds making the panoply of fall colors practically burst each tree into flames. My lungs were breathing deeply and effortlessly in sync with my footsteps making my head feel clear and my body feel alive.

That’s when these magic words just popped out of my mouth: “This is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in this moment!” I repeated it a few times, feeling ever more enthralled with each repetition.

A few days later, while at the playground watching my kid play with all the other kids, I stepped back and repeated that same magic phrase, “This is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in this moment.”

Again, a week or so later,  I was taking an ordinary walk and not really feeling much of anything and decided to try the phrase again to see what would happen.  “This is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in this moment.” Again, almost instantly a wave of happiness and contentment washed over me.

Then, I decided to really put this mantra to the test. A few days later, when I was feeling particularly crabby, and despite my own momentary cynicism about this mantra, I somehow found the fortitude to whip out these magic words, “This is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in this moment,” even though suffering these tight, constricted feelings in my chest caused by crabbiness wasn’t what I wanted to be doing in this moment.

I’ll admit, crabbiness didn’t disappear instantly: I didn’t immediately start dancing and singing around the streets of Brooklyn, like the Maria von Trapp. But it did have a remarkable effect on me by pulling me into the present moment and my crabbiness did subside by substantial degrees. The presence this mantra gave me was to look objectively at the emotions in the moment as physical sensation and adopt the vantage point of observer rather than victim of the circumstances which led me to being crabby.

Cuz, I think this is the thing, here: the magic of this phrase is that it locks me into presence. It wakes me up from projecting to past or future and opens my eyes to HERE.

We stop blackmailing our happiness by insisting that we will only feel happy when the circumstances in our lives align to ways we think they ought to be.

When we take a good look at HERE, we realize that this moment is not only void of the stressors or worries that past and future want to impose on our minds, but most often, this practiced attention to the present helps us to see all the beauty that surrounds us at all moments, perfection which is often masked by momentary emotions that cloud our vision.

The Yoga Sutras point to a foundational pillar of our own evolution called Santosha, which means the practice of personal contentment. When we practice this mantra, we are practicing Santosha in a practical and real way.

Taking it one step deeper, ancient yoga wisdom also states that our most natural comportment is that of boundless equanimity, a joy that exists despite the events or circumstances of our lives. 

 

By dialing in to the perfection of this moment, we cultivate our own capacity for contentment. Soon, we train ourselves to experience this natural contentment as the underlying natural way of being, which is always present, despite events and circumstances.

Warning: Crabbiness, and all the other negative emotions will continue to surface. But with practiced presence, we cultivate Santosha, contentment, and these emotions will have less and less power to pull you away from presence. In fact, with practice we can use those negative emotions, and all temporary emotions, as a way of feeling into this moment and becoming more present.

This may be a lifelong practice to perfect. Just take it moment by moment.

I invite you to practice these magic words, “This is EXACTLY what I want to be doing in this moment. ” Starting today, cultivate your own capacity for deep, lasting contentment and a happiness that isn’t dependent on events or circumstances.

I’ve recorded a Yoga Nidra (guided meditation) that feels amazing by cultivating this joy beyond events or circumstance. It takes about 30 minutes.

Click here to listen to the free recorded practice.

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in New York City and when he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to trail run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Hawaii and Amalfi Coast and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program

 




How a Hobby Can Boost Your Motivation and Change Your Life

gardening hacks

By Jessica Freeman |  Tiny Buddha

If you want to be happy, be.” ~Leo Tolstoy

We’ve all hit a low motivational point in our lives at one time or another. I am completely aware of that feeling of having nothing to fight for. In those reoccurring periods of despondency, I couldn’t find a reason to get myself out of bed.

It’s funny that I got the life-changing question at a job interview. It was a stressful situation, and the hiring manager made it even more overwhelming when he looked at me straight in the eyes and asked: “What motivates you in life?”

I can’t remember what I answered, but I do remember the devastation I felt from the true answer I found in me: “Nothing, nothing motivates me.”

That was the turning point. Lots and lots of meditations later, I realized where all that frustration was coming from: I didn’t have a single thing that made me happy.

Why was I so incomplete? I couldn’t get a job that made me feel useful, and all my friendships were superficial. I’ll spare you from the details of my reasoning process. I didn’t read, I didn’t write, I wasn’t trying to learn anything, I didn’t have a special someone in my life, and I didn’t have a hobby.

A HOBBY! The sole thought of it made me burst in laughter. I’d never had a hobby. I basically had nothing to lose, so I decided I would give this idea a try. Picking a hobby was all I needed to do, and that’s how I ended up making endless reading lists.

I found different reasons why I needed a hobby:

It helps people express their creativity.

I had an office job at the moment, and I was a total slave of routine. I needed that ‘escape’ activity that left me alone with my thoughts.

I was already meditating every day, but I couldn’t call that a hobby… it was more like a responsibility for me. And, to be honest, it was making me even more miserable: I knew I needed a and I knew I didn’t have the courage to leave my job. A hobby like gardening, jewelry making, painting, knitting, or anything else related to creating would allow me to keep touch with the inner artist.

That special activity clarifies the mind.

It doesn’t matter what hobby I would pick. My options included reading, yoga, piano playing, running, or walking—all these activities have a meditative effect on the thoughts. The entire awareness is focused on the thing we are doing, and we can shut out every negative thought that was present before. In a way, when the hobby merges action and awareness, it becomes meditation in motion.

Most hobbies have a social aspect.

They give us the opportunity to interact with people who share our interests, so we develop connections that are not shallow at all. Let me tell you a secret: I have great communication with the people I met through Goodreads. We can Skype for hours and we never run out of topics. All discussions related to the activity I picked made me feel appreciated as part of something greater. That leads me to the next point:

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE….




Why Change is So Easy to Want From Others & So Hard to Make For Ourselves

Image result for personal changeIf any of you have ever participated in the American tradition of making New Year’s resolutions for positive change, then you might also know that come March, you’re usually over it, right? Wracked with guilt, stammering with stress, and full of shame over another year of failure. But for what, and WHY? Why do we do this to ourselves? Being a self-help nut, and spiritual alchemy enthusiast (to put it mildly) I am obviously a proponent for self-exploration and healing of past traumas, but what I’m not for is doing it society’s way, which is always with the motivation that something is wrong with us, to begin with.

Whether it be to lose that winter weight from being a little too thankful during the holidays, or to finally quit smoking, if it’s something that you’ve set out to do in steps or stages, and especially if you’ve struggled with this issue before, I know for me personally, come St. Patrick’s Day, I am out of self-loathing mode enough to let go of the guilt and promise myself that I will try again next year. But after repeating this nonsense for nearly a regarding smoking cigarettes and never succeeding, I realized the reason I was failing is that I wasn’t doing for me. I was doing with the expectation if I quit, those in my life would love and respect me more and perhaps some would stop judging me for other poor decisions I had made.

“We Cannot Become What We Want By Remaining What We Are.” – Max Depree

I was jumbling up all of my poor choices and things I was currently working on and learning in my life into one bad habit. Telling myself if I quit smoking, then my past deeds would be forgiven, I’d get the respect I’d been missing and finally feel loved in the way I had hoped for. But because I didn’t love and respect myself enough to make quitting smoking a priority, and just set the goal for myself, by myself under my conditions during a time of the year of my choice, I just made excuses and took advantage of New Year’s as the time as when it’s merely expected for people to change something, but not really change anything. It was a perfect little sub-conscious ego party plan to keep on smoking. And it worked beautifully for years.

So what it is that is so hard about making positive changes in our lives? We often see how quickly people can pick up habits that cause problems in their lives, often not on purpose of course, but in reaction to dealing with something terribly painful, our incredibly stressful or both. Often times people are unable to handle intense emotions and feelings, especially if they’ve never allowed themselves to feel them before, or if they’ve been raised to believe that it’s a bad thing to express your emotions, they might have an extra hard time with this and with good reason. Related image

If anything it’s a good reminder that we don’t always know what other people are going through, and since we’ve known the sh*t we’ve been through in our own lives and how painful it was, we are best to be kind and compassionate to others with the understanding that they just might be going through something like that as well. It’s also a good reminder that just because you might have reached a level of self-awareness that you know how to apply the information received during self-reflection, others may not be there on the same level with you. So, again it is best not to judge and to remember that everyone is walking their own path and it’s never our job to tell them which way to go.

We can, of course, offer advice to slow down, speed up, veer left or right if we’ve seen similar terrain and have mastered a great way to traverse the course, but we cannot expect other people to listen, to take our advice, nor can we allow their choices to affect our own because ultimately, we are all learning as we go and we all need to remember that the only life we are ever truly responsible for is our own. Even our children we must eventually set free out in the world as their lives are only ours to guide, never to own. And if anything, they are greater teachers to us, not the other way around are they not?

Related imageSo, next time you find yourself expecting another person to change, just think back to how difficult it is to change something about yourself. This quickly puts into perspective the chance that you have of changing someone else. Because as you also know, in order to change, you have to first want to more than anything else that has priority in your life and you have to have the guts to even begin trying. Because believe it or not, starting, (and starting again, and again…) is the most difficult part of stopping something!

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

 

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.




A Magic Mantra for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and family tension go together like turkey and cranberries–a barely tolerable experience that often leaves a dry and bitter taste in your mouth.

Actually feeling true, heart-swelling, gut-wrenching gratitude on Thanksgiving seems a faaar cry from what actually happens on this holiday, something which could oftentimes be best described as emotional dodgeball.

But it doesn’t have to be like this, whatever your family dynamics, and I have a magic mantra that puts you in control of your emotions this Thanksgiving.

This magic mantra doesn’t change crazy Uncle Eddy from breathlessly talking at lengths about Nascar. It doesn’t  miraculously causes Grandma to stop asking completely inappropriate questions about your love life. Instead, it does something to YOU that won’t allow any of that other stuff to get at you. It’s simple and profound. Here’s the magic phrase:

“I don’t need to have an opinion about that.”

(Drop mic. Exit stage)

Allowing our emotions to be directed by what other people say and do is essentially handing over our emotional steering wheel to anybody who offers to drive. And for some reason our family seems to often drive our emotions off a cliff. But allowing anyone else to drive your emotions is like letting Grandma drive you home in rush-hour traffic, despite the fact that she’s had her driver’s license legally confiscated, simply because she says she is going to do so. Instead, use the phrase, “I don’t need to have an opinion about that.”  Things can just be. They don’t need to be approved or disapproved by you.

It’s not that you don’t need to have feelings or turn into a cold and heartless person. But using the phrase, “I don’t need to have an opinion about that,” empowers you to allow inconsequential events to roll off your back. It also allows you the freedom to choose to respond rather than react to almost anything that occurs, even barbed comments hurled from your stepdad.

This might take a little practice so start practicing a day early.

When that jerk cuts you off to steal your parking spot at the grocery story after you’ve already been circling for 10 minutes, repeat “I don’t need to have an opinion about that.” And when you get elbowed out of position to get the last Dutch Crust apple pie, repeat, “I don’t need to have an opinion about that.” And when you stand in line for two hours only to buy two items, all the while a toddler is screaming ceaselessly  behind you, repeat, “I don’t need to have an opinion about that.”

Don’t be surprised if after using this mantra that feel as if you’ve had the best Thanksgiving of your life. At the end of the day, Uncle Eddy will still be yammering on about Nascar, and Grandma will still be asking whether or not you’re having sex. But YOU will be different and that will create a wonderful effect for everyone around you.

And from this unperterbed place, perhaps true gratitude can find a place in your heart. And if not, well I don’t need to have an opinion about that.

Photo by Seneca Moore

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in New York City and when he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to trail run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Hawaii and Amalfi Coast and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




Use The Force: How to Be an Awesomely Conscious Creator

Editor/Author’s Note: In honor of one of my all-time favorite movies regaining consciousness this weekend, I wanted to share a previous article of mine from earlier this year. Enjoy, and May The Force Be With You! 🙂

 

According to Wikipedia – The Force is a binding, metaphysical, and ubiquitous power. It is the supernatural flow of energy originated from the concept of Prana, or qi/chi/ki; “the all-pervading vital energy of the universe”.

If we understand The Force to be the energy that provides life within us all and connects us all within and to the Universe itself, then it would serve us well to see it for the amazing tool that it is. One would be wise to take the time to learn how to use it proficiently as understanding the Force is key to consciously communicating clearly to the Universe what kind of life we’d like to live.  Consider the Force to be our cosmic loud speaker or radio and whatever station we choose to broadcast out, the Universe will echo back in physical manifestations in your life accordingly; under the illusion sometimes that you had nothing to do with it at all (unless you are aware of this awesome symbiosis taking place of course). This is how most of us fall under the guise of thinking we have no control over what happens in our lives and is what I imagine to be a driving cause for the continuous survival of Deterministic beliefs.

It matters not, though if you are aware this is what is happening, but the Universe always has and always will be…your life canvas; manifest delivery system…and shows up merely as replies and answers to calls you have made. If they were drunken calls made at 3 am, well you know how that goes. :) We might see the results in the morning and wonder where we are, how we got there and why we are broke and feel like we got hit by a truck? But if we call fully conscious and aware of what we are doing, which is simply setting intentions, building energetic foundations on which you are welcoming a certain resonance to come into your life, then we begin to see just how our lives can shift in big ways.

People often get caught up in emotions, but they are simply way-showers. It serves us best to not get too attached to them. And to also not try to avoid certain ones simply because they are unpleasant. What we resist persists and if we bury certain emotions over and over, they soon start to cause distress and discord and disharmony in the body; which are setting the stage for the manifestation of? Yep, you guessed it…dis-ease. Emotions point the way as guide posts to areas of our lives that require tending to either because they cause us undo stress, pain, and disturbance and therefore need to be looked at, accepted, love, integrated and hopefully learned from so that it can be fully healed and no longer cause disruption in our lives.

Or on the flip side, things that instill a sense of connection to life (anything that gives you that “woohoo” feeling or makes you say “holy crap, I feel alive!!!”) is indication you need to keep doing these things…because they are literally feeding your soul…replenishing your spirit…refueling your Prana or Force. All in balance/moderation of course, we all know the phrase “too much of a good thing”. The way I see it, whatever helps to keep you centered (which is being neutral love) does incorporate and integrate both positive and negative emotions. It is only our human condition which teaches us to avoid pain and sadness. But these both can be some of our greatest forms of release, reflection and growth. When we relinquish our judgments on our emotions, we allow ourselves to let them flow freely though us as intended and to not sit within us, stagnant.

Keeping your energy level at optimum levels is vital to being a Conscious Creator. When you are a natural-born-giver (like myself), you tend to give of your own life force to others. This happens usually unbeknownst to you, and especially with those you care about.  It can literally leave you feeling drained and horrible even though your conscious mind will always tell you that you just did something nice or were a good friend, etc. Being empathic, it took me years to understand why helping others was such an ingrained calling, but didn’t always feel good tome. I often felt selfish for even expecting it to feel good as I thought giving is giving; you don’t get anything from it.

But what a lesson has come from just letting that load of nonsense go! To serve others from a fully conscious heart space, where I no longer give from my own energetic reserves (which always came with a subconscious expectation of a thank you or returned favor someday) is the most freedom I have ever felt in my life. Now when I give, it comes from a completely different place; a place that is constantly free-flowing and tapped into the love of Source. A place that does not know lack or going without, so there is no fear, and no expectations, from myself or from others. Whereas before I would even judge myself after being depleted…did I give enough? Could I have done more?

Now it flows from me without even having time to think if it’s enough. I think less and feel more in my giving and this has done wonders for my relationships all around; with others and especially with me when it comes to manifesting. It all ties together in where my perception lies about how I feel about myself and I notice the more I choose to love and accept myself (as perfectly imperfect, flaws and all), the more easily I am able to allow positive things and awesome opportunities to flow into my life. Because on a subconscious level, my perception has shifted from unworthy to worthy and this stems simply put from originally feeling disconnected to Source, the Universe and others. When you can clearly see the connection within all things and you see how beautifully and delicately you and your life weave into this enormous cosmic web, you can rest a little easier, feel a little safer and have a lot more trust in yourself and your world. Because you begin to take on the awareness that it is you who is creating it, and simply with that awareness comes such a rush of empowerment that I can only describe as literally dancing with The Force itself. Or perhaps even surrendering to the flow of All that Is.

It has taken me 36 years to even muster the courage for me to say that when it comes to knowing how to manifest great things into my life, I “kinda get it” now. I am still a constantly evolving work in progress, and I love doing daily little life experiments to see simply how my own reaction and my own perceptions of these so-called things “happening to me” can alter the outcomes of these said events. And every single time I consciously choose to look at the issue at hand in a brighter light, and change my perspective from victim mode to student mode (what can I learn from this?), the situation itself seems to lose steam; lose power in its ability to instill fear and panic within me. The dust seems to settle that much faster and therefore I can also see a clearer next move much faster as well. This is BEYOND empowering, and something I have just caught onto I’d say within the last few years…and have only recently really begun to sink my teeth into, to see just how deep this manifestation rabbit hole really goes.

For years and years I was under the subconscious impression that life had to be difficult, if you didn’t work hard you didn’t deserve anything (life does not just provide) and that if you ever put yourself or your needs first, you were selfish and that was unacceptable. But after years of being in relationships that always felt one-sided and left me utterly exhausted and drained, I realized something. I realized that things never went “my way” because I was always so fixated on specifics, had so many tight expectations; from myself and everyone else in my life, and if either one let me down I tended to retreat and/or withdraw. I had an underlying expectation of struggle and therefore always found myself struggling…in all areas of my life including relationships, jobs, etc.

However a simple shift, a single seed planted in my subconscious mind that I love myself enough to create the life I want…has literally put everything in motion. As soon as I consciously began to treat myself better (quit smoking, eat healthier, do daily yoga and meditation, and surround myself with people who are also empowered rather than “complainers” or “Debbie downers”), my entire life began to shift in huge ways. New opportunities opened up that would never have shown up prior because I never thought they were even possible due to my lack of confidence.

By using The Force, I instead chose to wake up each day with a smile (as annoying as that might sound lol), and no matter how shitty of a day I could’ve been having, I was viciously aware of my perceptions and reactions to things and was constantly on my own ass to see things through different eyes; in a more production, positive, “what can you do FOR me” way. It’s not an easy feat by any means, especially if you are used to be reactive rather than proactive. You must retrain your subconscious to let go of the reigns in these vital times and let your conscious mind take the lead.

By consciously choosing reactions, we are taking full responsibility for ourselves in the hugest way possible. We can no longer blame others for “offending” us, because we have taken on the awareness that their words really did nothing to harm us, it was our perception that caused the pain…and our reaction simply shows us now there’s something there that needs to be healed. Once it no longer causes a reaction, then the work is done. Many great minds have said we have so much learn from that which annoys or pisses us off and I couldn’t agree more.

So, to sign off here I’m going to go full Star Wars nerd on you and recommend a little Jedi mind trick I use on myself that helps with developing your Conscious Creator skills. Whenever you feel overwhelmed or a victim to your thoughts or reactions, simply stop in the moment, breath deep to connect and remember that you are NOT your thoughts, but the observer behind them. You are NOT your emotions, but the Consciousness that gives them light and meaning. You are NOT a victim, you are a sliver of Source no less than the vast and great cosmos. So, don’t just sit back and admire the stars, love yourself enough to know you are one, and then BE one. Shine on. <3

TamaraRantTamara 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. 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.




Do What Excites You: How to Push Through Fear and Make Bold Choices

woman-climbing-mountain

By Miranda Hill | Tiny Buddha

“You’ve got to do things that feel unnatural if you want to grow.” ~Jon Morrow

“You’re leaving, aren’t you?” my boss said.

“Yes,” I nodded.

“What do I have to pay you to make you stay?” he asked.

I just stared at him. No words would come.

“There’s nothing I can do, is there?” he said.

More silence. But my inner voice was anything but silent. I was consumed with doubt and deafened by the bloody battle raging inside my head.

Related Article: The Secret Wisdom of the Inner Voice

On one side was caution, armed with the strong, fight-to-the-death breed of soldier. Her battalion was fuelled by countless victories over the dozens of glorious ideas that had fallen on their swords before.

On the other side was courage, armed with nothing but hope and crazy determination. There was no battalion. Only a thin veneer of pluck.

Courage won. Only just.

I could have balked at any moment, backed down from my insane plan and taken the easy way out. I could have taken the lucrative job at one of London’s top investment banks that was being offered to me on a silver platter.

But my gut screamed, “No, you’ve got to go! You’ll never find what you’re searching for if you stay.”

Days later, as the plane touched down in the Russian capital, my breath caught in my throat.

A lone, skinny, baby-faced blonde with a crazy notion to catch the train across Siberia.

What the hell was I doing? Caution had stowed away in the recesses of my mind and now screamed in my ear.

Was I mad? Probably. Was I terrified? Definitely. Was I excited? Out of my skin.

Looking back, I believe courage won the battle that day because it was backed by my overwhelming desire for discovery. I wanted to discover the world and my rightful place in it.

And the reason it won? Because I listened to my subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind is the feeling mind. Its ancient roots are primitive, and it’s the home of emotions such as fear, anger, and desire. The subconscious is powerful and tireless. Within it, both my fears and desires became formidable forces. But desire was stronger.

The subconscious’s nemesis, the conscious mind, driven by logic, reason, and foresight, showed its face in the battle that day as caution and attempted to derail my desire.

But it’s a fundamental truth that whenever the two minds are in conflict, the subconscious always wins. Deep emotional feelings overpower reasoned thought every time.

Deep inside my subconscious mind, I knew I was searching for something I could only find by pushing myself to my limits.

I knew I’d never find it if I continued with my dreary job. I knew that if I’d not found it in my current life already, it wasn’t there. I knew I needed to look someplace else.

I knew I had no choice but to go.

So I went. Here’s what I discovered on my journey.

Discovery #1: Fear works in two ways: it will make you run or it will paralyze you.

Fear is a curious beast. It manifests itself differently in everybody, but the result is always the same – you fight like heck or you run as fast as you can. But you can’t run or escape a mental threat, so escape becomes paralysis. You escape through inaction. By avoiding the decision itself.

I experienced both impulses, avoiding and fighting, that day. Terrified by what lay ahead, I nearly caved and said “yes, I’ll stay,” as it was the easiest way to flee my crazy idea. But my fight response kicked in, fuelling my swift and steadfast decision to go.

Discovery #2: For every decision you make, caution will present hundreds of safer alternatives.

Successful life decisions are all born as “what ifs.”

It’s easy to be confused by the volume of possibility and the memories of past choices, and miss the best decision.

Sure, I could have decided to take the banking job and make lots of money. I could have decided to build a great career with the help of a strong advocate. I could have decided to remain in the U.K. long enough to secure citizenship that would open doors in my future.

But the strongest and best decision for me was to leave. Because when I fought through the waves of fear and listened to my deepest desires, going on this journey felt right. The prospect filled me with the most glorious excitement out of all the possible outcomes.

Discovery #3: You’re sharply aware of every door you close but blind to all the doors you could open.

It’s true. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. The trouble is that it shadows our foresight. I could clearly see every door I was closing that day. Each opportunity reared its stubborn head as I slammed the door in its face.

But when it came to my future, I was blindfolded.

None of us have a script for what lies ahead, but we all have a critical role to play in casting the characters and choosing the scenes.

Related Article: Morning Inspiration: How To Take The Plunge (Motivational Video)

I chose to be a bold, fearless character that day. I wrote the opening scene and stepped through the door.

Discovery #4: Every fear conquered today makes tomorrow easier.

Life isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s damned brutal sometimes. But every battle you face makes you stronger. You’re better equipped to deal with the next inevitable blow you face.

I faced my fear that day, and in the days that followed. The moment I stepped onto the airport tarmac with my heart in my throat, I wanted to run. The moment I arrived at the crowded train station, feeling confused by the language and scared by the strange faces, I wanted to run. The moment the train shuddered to life and began its fourteen-day journey across Siberia, I wanted to pull the emergency break and run.

But I stayed. My resolve had been fortified by my hard-won battles of yesterday.

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