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6 Ways to Live Your Truth Every Day

A Great Question…

A friend of mine asked me recently about living your spirituality. She said she understood ‘miracles’, ‘a-ha moments’ and even evangelical epiphanies but she wanted to know how to live day-to-day (and this could apply to any religion or form of faith) — how do you ‘maintain’ your beliefs?

Firstly, any belief is just reiterated thought and/or behavior. This is great news because it can be changed any time you decide something has outworn its use. In other words, it’s okay to change belief. It’s actually natural seeing the only constant is change in the Universe.

Some people cling to beliefs thinking its wrong to take a new perspective on things (especially in the case of indoctrination). However, in my opinion, I think we most certainly will never evolve with that stance.

Read related article: Watch Louise Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life Movie” For FREE (Until October 31)

Zennification Tactics 101

So, on that note, here are some tips on how I maintain my wits on a daily basis:

  1. I question my own beliefs. If they are limiting me or hindering me, I closely examine what could shift or change to serve me better. How do I recognize when I’ve hit a stale belief? When something feels out of alignment — if I say/do/think something that causes an uneasy feeling within or I stumble upon a habit that I’m using that isn’t helping me. It’s like weeding your garden. If you keep on top of these feelings, you’re going to be more aware of things that don’t resonate with you. The more you stop to pull that weed out, the more space you’ll create for better things (or thoughts) to grow.
  2. I know the choice is mine. Instead of believing in negative or positive thoughts or seeing the glass as half empty or half full — I choose to see that the glass is having an experience…lol. The glass is moist, who cares how much is in it, right? Oh, how abstract of you, Cherie!!! Let me explain: Polarity, IMHO, has reached a point where it sucks big time. I’m not going to deny the dimension I’m in (which works on duality), instead I choose to see it as it is. It is what it is. You can see that phrase as a new age cop-out — I choose to see it as a passport to peace. Instead of blowing candyfloss up my own ass and walking around with rose-colored glasses on, I’m seeing life from a different perspective. One that sees the Universe having my back. That way everything is just fricking grooving at its own pace and I refrain from judging it. What I can do on a daily basis is remind myself that I CHOOSE to BELIEVE (just remember that choice and belief are your personal universal rights) that everything is working itself out. In my experience, this works well and things tend to sort themselves out with little to no effort. When I’m faced with a challenge, I visualize how I would like to see it play out and feel into that — then I let it go. I can’t tell you how many times that has worked out for me. Give it a shot. Never dwell on what you don’t want to happen — shift your focus to how you want to see it resolved.
  3. I know perspective is everything. I remind myself to look at things from different perspectives all the time. You can find a wealth of compassion and empathy for others and yourself when you embrace this tactic. It helps with forgiveness too. I love that saying, ‘before you diagnose yourself with depression, make sure you’re not in fact surrounded by assholes‘ (okay, I’m paraphrasing big time here). Trick is, looking at things from multiple perspectives gives you a birds eye-view of things that are taking place. When you look down at a situation and see that nothing is going to change but the way you look at it or handle it, it’s massively empowering. So, the world probably isn’t going to change, it’s you that’s going to change by becoming aware of the multitude of contributing factors that makes this bluish-green globe spin. Perspective offers solutions and understanding.
  4. I simplify wherever I can. This is a new thing for me ’cause I’m quite a complicated little sausage. My new zennification rule is to keep it simple. I’ve drastically cut down on internet time, marketing and all the other things that I thought made me happy but actually made me want to tear my hair out. I’ve identified the culprit (I’m severely allergic to computers and devices) and I’ve made a mental note of what brings me into bliss. I read more, work in my garden more, cook nice meals more, pamper myself more (long hot baths, lots of meditation time, etc) and I only create when I feel inspired to (as opposed to feeling like I have to ‘get busy’, ‘look busy’ or ‘keep busy’). I’ve simplified my ambition. I’ve looked at why I thought I wanted what I wanted and made sure that what I want now is what I really want. Make sense of that if you can!
  5. I have fun. What’s the point of incarnating on this planet if you can’t have fun? I believe that we are creative little balls of bliss and we should be getting daily amounts of joy, laughter and sheer playfulness into every day instead of the little stress balls we have become. Our own stresses and anxieties are usually self inflicted. Rather inflict joy on yourself. Simplify, downscale — question why you need to ‘climb the ladder’, have a gigantic gas-guzzling car, a 2 storied mansion and all the other gadgets and gizmo’s we think we need. What would make you happy — more time with your loved ones or working more to have more money to buy more things that drive you crazy? Find your balance. Having money is, of course, great — but don’t sacrifice your life and sanity for it. Nothing is worth that. Spend more quality time on yourself, your family and watch lots of comedy! Laughter is great medicine for a weary soul and it’s free. Read related article: The Key to Happiness
  6. I love. When you’re loving and kind to people (and animals too! Hell, even plants enjoy a good dose of lovin’), you’ll notice how the energy in your life will pep up. Just the smallest act of kindness — a smile, truly listening to what people have to say, a silent prayer/blessing, holding the door open for someone — can have vast repercussions. The best (but shouldn’t be the only reason) thing is you’ll receive so much good vibes back that your life will never be the same!

That’s all I can think of for now. I hope it helps you to sift out what needs sifting out and to inject more joy into your days to come.

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 Facebookpage (Cherie Roe Dirksen – for new art updates). You can also check out her Facebook band page at Templeton Universe.

This article (5 Ways to Live Your Truth Every Day) was originally written for and published byConscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author Cherie Roe Dirksen and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.

 

 




Vulnerability: The Love You Show is the Love You Grow

The hidden gift of love itself is that you must be willing to be vulnerable, to be open and to have your heart broken in order to explore its deepest depths. When you surrender to your truth and fully expose yourself to another in that way, love will pour into that space in immeasurable ways. This does not equate to rainbows and butterflies where everything is peaceful 100% of the time, but rather it creates a space where conflict can be resolved in a calm and respectful manner that goes less through mirroring and more through compassion, understanding and a mutual goal of both persons wishing to grow, expand and heal their unresolved shadows/core beliefs that are no longer serving them in the most positive of ways.

I truly feel that humanity is headed towards a more heart-based living all around. Relationships, in general, are getting more personal, even if it may appear that the world of technology is pushing us all apart or that war and greed are doing more of the same while also destroying our beautiful Mother Earth. The trick to stopping the cycle of destruction and tipping the scales back to center starts within each and every one of us.

When we teach our children self-love, that their feelings matter, to explore meditation and understand energy and the potentials of manifesting and creating in 3D reality, we begin a new wave of conscious creativity; one that has been dormant since the great Ascended Masters of Atlantis. But the wave is coming, and in fact, it’s already touched a million shores. But to see the change, we need to first be willing to BE IT.

To me, this has always been the ultimate expression of love; self-care. When we take the time to heal our own shit, explore our inner workings, build our talents, share our gifts and go after our dreams we stop being just another face in the crowd and start becoming one who is not only true to themselves, but also is brave enough to be a beacon for others.

And this is the energy and light the wave is carrying across the consciousness of humanity, and it travels on the frequency of L-O-V-E. No shocker there, though right? <3 What will heal humanity is ultimately what we can also use to heal our very own hearts after a break-up. Our feelings are so much more powerful than we’ve ever been taught to believe.

When we enter a new relationship, we often use negative, empty implicating words that we might not notice the effects of like “falling in love” or “losing myself in you” or “you complete me”. All of these phrases imply we are only halves of our true selves and while I get that people want the other to feel wanted and needed, the reason strong relationships last is because they contain two people who can stand on their own, who simply chose to come together for mutual pleasure. Not because the sole underlying drive in our heart is a “need”.

The best way to rise up after falling deeply in love is to fall back into love, but this time with you! Seriously, I’m talking being awesome to yourself and quitting all of the self-sabotage crap. For once, whether you are in a relationship with another person or not, stop and take a minute and reflect in the glory of your OWN awesomeness. You will be surprised at what opportunities just might open up for you! 🙂

Have a love-filled weekend!

And no matter where you are, you are WHOLE and COMPLETE as you are in this moment! <3

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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What Problem? How Denial Repeals Accountability & Growth

Image result for denial quotesLooking back on my own life, I can quickly refer to the times I totally avoided something (or someone). Whatever the reason, if it was because I wasn’t being true to myself or the situation, well, that is some of the strongest energy to have to work through.

It’s as if there is an unseen, but undeniably felt a pull from the ethers when you are not being authentic. The Universe itself shakes you up, but in reality, it is just rippling back to you what you’ve sent out into the world. It took me a lonnnnnng time to understand this infinite, cosmic dance and how to learn to work with it rather than against it.

The first thing I had to do was to stop being someone I wasn’t. I had to let go of behaviors that were not filling my heart up. I used to be a “yes” person and literally did not know how to say “no” to people. This drew in those who were always in need in some shape or form, and while I was often thanked and praised for being “such a good friend”, I often felt drained and empty inside, like there was nothing left to give myself at the end of the day.

When I started to listen to that inner voice (Spirit) and that energetic pull calling me to take better care of myself, my entire life changed. When I stopped denying the fact that I deserved MY help and attention as much as anyone else, and in fact, I should be helping myself first, well, then magical things started to occur in my life; if only because I finally cleaned out the space for them in my life. I made them welcome. Image result for denial quotes

You see, we cannot give from an empty vessel. We must do for ourselves the utmost caregiving in all areas: mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional. When we do this, we put ourselves in a space where we can have the most confidence we can be of service to others. We can rest assured we are living a balanced, harmonious life because we know we’ve personally given each of these areas of our lives the attention each deserves; not expecting others to fix things for us, but seeing those people in our lives are mere puzzle pieces in it.

Another example of denial would be if you had words or conflict with a friend, co-worker, family member, etc., and then act as nothing has happened. I’ve had experiences with this a couple of times in my life. Once it was a simple misunderstanding, another time the person was just the type to pretend if you don’t talk about things, they just go away. Accountability shows you truly care about others and own up to mistakes. It’s how you earn respect in my opinion because it is a reflection of integrity.

This ties in with the expectations we put on others as well, and can be very disrespectful to others, especially if something hurtful, rude, or a genuine misunderstanding did occur. If you act to ignore it, and then furthermore act like you are setting the tone and expect (once again) for the other person to cater to your emotions, well I don’t need to elaborate how that will not help you grow personally or in your relationships.

“Denial does not change reality for everyone else. Only for the one denying it.” – Elle Casey

Growth comes from not avoiding issues or so much trying not to have them, but rather knowing how to handle them when they occur. If you can be open and honest with yourself and with others, you will most likely be an effective communicator and grow quickly from your experiences.

Most of us, however, lol tend to repeat mistakes a few times just to make sure. I think it’s the human way…I know I am one of the most stubborn people on this planet, so I always tend to really learn my lessons. Get them good and deeply ingrained in there so I can grow and expand.  And while I have seen a million teachers in a million different faces, I can always say the girl in the mirror, who was so mean to me for so long, was perhaps my greatest teacher of all; for now she is my very best friend. <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.

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

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The Void We Avoid: How We Are Ever-Escaping Ego Evolution

I feel as if society is about to merge a seemingly ending period of craziness with another that’s just beginning as we roll onto into (or fall down a flight of proverbial steps into) 2021. Last year proved to be the year where the world went to shit, while my own personal little one was blooming me into motherhood. Up was down, in was out and whatever was reported on mainstream media “news” could be outrightly called the exact opposite of bi-partisan reporting. But then again, what else is new?

The media has once and for all gone too far and perhaps has been the catalyst to finally wake the rest of the people up as there remain those so ingrained in their own beliefs that they refused to question anything the talking heads of media told them to do, regardless of how hard it insulted our senses of normalcy or made any sense at all. It was literally the year that showed who has been doing their research and who would rather be governed with lies and told what to do like children.

Any who, that brings us to our dear old friend the ego. Most people think the ego is a terrible thing that must be squished and really has no positive attributes and nothing good to teach us. This couldn’t be farther from the truth as the ego is your greatest emotional compass. If you are at the level of conscious awareness to be able to look at your ego from an objective standpoint, you can observe how it reacts to things, likes to always take the lead, and how it protects itself no matter what. The ego hates change and will do whatever it takes to keep things in your life just as they are.

When we are able to pick up on these cues, we can use the ego as the tool it was meant to be and let it show us those areas that perhaps we need to look at within ourselves. Those places where we hold fear and might put up walls with people. Or those places where we get reactive quickly and our temper takes over. Whatever area you see yourself reacting emotionally is an excellent indicator that it is your ego holding the reigns and not your conscious Self with a capital S who is grounded and centered in the heart-mind.

When we are grounded and centered, we always give ourselves that moment to choose our responses instead of unconsciously reacting to things all the time. And the more you do it, the more empowering it becomes. This is how you evolve your ego (into a more useful tool); by stepping up and calling the shots when you can see how the ego is holding you back in places you know you need to progress. If there’s something you’re struggling with to reach your goal, for instance, say you want to be a motivational speaker, but large crowds frighten you, then your conscious self would turn towards the fear, knowing that is where your growth lies. You would recognize that your ego would want to do a complete 180 the other way.

Image result for egoMost of us have experience making both conscious choices as well as letting our egos do it for us. Some of us are put more energy into making sure our egos don’t rule our lives, while others let it run wild. This is always easy to recognize as what I call “loud insecurities” that often come out in the form of bragging, not appreciating things, taking things for granted, etc.

Another way our egos play a huge role is when it comes to our personal relationships. Unless we have actually taken that time to really get to know ourselves and have put in the work it takes to master habits and consciously create our character, then we will always reflect and project in our relationships. We pretty much all do it, and it’s really how we learn…about ourselves. What we can’t see in ourselves, we will be forced to see in another.

When we choose to depend on others to create feelings within us, maintain certain emotions, or withhold certain expectations is to take control over another life and to at the same time take responsibility for our own emotions and put them in the hands of another, when no one else but ourselves even has the power to do so. It simply appears that others make us feel this way or that way, but they are simply bringing forth things that already exist within us. Perhaps they may feel foreign or like they’ve been laying dormant for decades, but I promise you, everything you have ever needed, need now, and will ever need is already within you. You are not empty, you are full of infinite awareness just waiting to become aware of its own infinity.

 

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 TamaraRant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




Intellectual Intuition: Where Epistemology Meets Enlightenment

I am literally convinced that I came careening into this world an infant epistemologist seeking enlightenment. But, who isn’t? 😉 No seriously. I mean think about it, whether we are aware of it or not, we are all here for a reason, right? And we can choose to believe that reason is meaningless and minute or a pretty fucking big deal. But what I’ve come to learn is the ever-priceless lesson, that no matter what you believe…you are absolutely correct.

You see it is not always that things just ‘are’, but rather they are ‘as we see them’. Perception is an objective woman and she is never taking sides with any one person. She will always cater to the individual and encourage them that what she is showing them; the picture she has designed up based upon past experiences and beliefs, is the absolute truth about what is being experienced in the present moment.

Regardless, whether you believe you played a role in designing your path and now creating the drama unfolding as ‘your life’, it IS unfolding. The only other option I can think of is to believe that shit just randomly happens to us; which is, of course, worth entertaining just as much as the next belief. But which feels more empowering to you? Which one feels like you have a say or get a vote?

I was around significant victim mentality throughout my childhood, and I hadn’t realized how ingrained it was within my own psyche until very recently. It’s hard to love the world that you grew up hearing is nothing but full of people that cannot be trusted. So, subconsciously that is all I have ever done, which is trying to be someone the world will love and trust; unconditionally. And with this core belief running the show from behind the scenes, I was so lost in my own story that I actually believed it was all real. But one thing I must give myself credit for is that I never stopped asking questions or seeking knowledge. At least I was curious about the reality I had invented without my knowledge. 😉

I had to learn on my own that love is best served without an agenda. Have you ever seen someone capable of literally turning off their “love” like a switch? Perhaps over a single act or mistake? I realize this is broad speculation, however when it comes to just an automated reaction over being offended by something you have limited information on, then we need to revisit whether this is coming from a place that is serving us in a positive way. Usually, this happens when we react from the emotional, ego-driven mind, rather than the neutral heart space. Love must be unconditional, or it simply is not love.

I’ve also learned that when you don’t withhold love when people disappoint you or fail to meet your expectations, or don’t fit a mold…you allow people to learn and grow in the space you create for them. This is not a task for the weak nor an excuse for intentional abusive douchebaggery. Learn the difference between mistakes and personality traits, it will save you a lot of heartaches and worry, most likely about shit that is not even true. It’s simple really, don’t judge.

What I prefer to do is live life in between these two lessons in what I’m going to call ‘intellectual intuition’. It’s where I will always take into account what my ego/mind/fear has to bring to the table because it drives and pushes me to move and act. And it makes me stronger the more I face it and heal the traumas of the past lingering in the shadows as we all can do. But my heart..beating with the rhythm of life, and rippling out into a wide electromagnetic field, will always be my spiritual compass; both my intellect and my intuition.

And if you can learn to walk the thin line between the two, you will come to find that the opinions of others become less of an influence on you and how your form your beliefs. You begin to trust yourself because you have pulled all that power back that you’ve put out into the world you could never trust. We’ve since learned to trust the Universe. Now…let’s work on trusting ourselves, shall we?

 

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.




How Core Beliefs Shape Your Current Reality

Everyone has things that they tend to like and dislike, enjoy and despise, resonate with, and find repulsive. And I think it’s safe to say that most of us would agree our gift of free will has played an enormous role in deciding what goes where into which category. But what about certain beliefs we cannot seem to shed even though we are consciously aware of the pain they cause us and those around us? Where do those beliefs come from and why is it so hard sometimes to let them go?

When we constantly do something over and over that causes disharmony in our lives and we honestly don’t know why, then chances are it stems from a core belief that is deeply embedded into our subconscious and has been there with us for many, many years.

According to the Riggs Institute …” by age 4, a child’s brain is more than twice as active as an adult’s. The brain continues to consume glucose at this feverish pitch through age 10 and then slows down until age 16 when it levels off at adult values.” Source: https://www.riggsinst.org/brainpower.aspx

Especially around the age of 7, we are literally sponges; soaking up the world around us and being imprinted continuously by our environment and the people within. This is necessary to teach our mind how to survive in the world, however, what we often don’t realize is that we are picking up and storing false information that has been distorted. We are taking on other people’s beliefs of what THEY have perceived this world to be, which is not always an accurate representation of the truth. And not yet having the cognitive capacity to make discernments for ourselves, we take on these beliefs as the truth and they can get so deeply embedded into our psyche, that we don’t even know they are there until we start seeing them manifest later in our adult life as certain problems and issues.

A great example is perhaps our father was an alcoholic who was angry all the time. He saw through eyes that distrusted the world and he was convinced that nothing in life was fair. This made him hateful, unappreciative, and unkind towards his family.  A child living in this environment might take on the same impressions of the world, especially if the father in a drunken stupor is constantly yelling at him, “Son! Don’t you dare trust anyone…people will ALWAYS hurt you and let you down!”

I think we all can see how that could have a huge impact on this child’s adult life. It might make him shun away from certain relationships or life opportunities because he’s learned to be so untrusting of other people and most likely of himself in making decisions. Or if he does enter into a relationship, he may be constantly sabotaging it by convincing himself his partner is unfaithful all the time, even though there is no reason to suspect such actions.

If we are not consciously aware of core beliefs that we each have within us, then we may go through life wondering what the heck we are doing wrong or why things never work out the way we want. We may even convince ourselves that we just are not destined to be happy and sadly many people accept this belief and thus manifest it into their destiny. But what if we are made aware of those core beliefs and we know that they can be healed? As long as we are open to the idea that they are not just “who we are”, there is not one core belief that cannot be overcome, healed, and integrated so that you can live a happier, healthier life. I know some of us like to tell ourselves and the world the story that we are just hopeless or “too far gone” and that you know that nothing will work because you’ve tried everything already. Well, what if I said that was just your ego fighting for its own survival, and that it’s just another core belief you’ve fallen for?

The bottom line is, we are ALL born for great things; each and every one of us! The Universe is a vast and abundant place and it does not know this story of “lack” so many humans are telling themselves every single day. It only knows how to mirror back to you all your beliefs surrounding this story. So, how about we change that story? Who is up for some serious yard work? Because that is what it takes…the courage to first acknowledge that you ARE worthy of abundance because you are not separate from the Source of abundance. And when you begin to resonate with that, a shift occurs in that you begin to treat yourself better overall. How do we treat the people and things we love the most? With utmost care, correct? Well, it is no different from ourselves and self-love.

And once this cosmic ball is put into motion, you will begin to feel a sense of connectedness to all things and for me personally, this instilled a sense of courage in me. I no longer had fear of looking within myself at all the “bad” parts, because at that moment I knew there was nothing bad within me at all. There are only core beliefs that need to be seen, understood, loved, and integrated. Then and only then does the healing begin. And once you start healing the areas of your life where you see yourself struggling, you are literally clearing space for new and wonderful things to come in. So often what we want most simply cannot arrive because there is no room with all our drama going on!

Here’s to everyone out there who is struggling, confused, and suffering. You have the strength to overcome any obstacle in your life, I PROMISE you! But the key to unlocking the gear is first and foremost to believe in yourself. That belief alone can overcome any doubt. And once you do, you will start to see all the beauty within you that has been covered over by your core beliefs. And the deeper you look; you will start to see the beauty within your core beliefs themselves. And finally, you will see the beauty is surrendering the power they have had over you and integrating them into your heart once and for all, because you are love and moving forward, you are closer to your authentic power than you’ve ever been before. Embrace it, rock it, live it! 🙂

 

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

Follow Tamara on Facebook  and Twitter 

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.




11 Ways to Live a Happier Life, According to a Psychologist (Hint: These have nothing to do with money!)

By | TheMindUnleashed.com

(TMU) Opinion – Happiness is something that we all strive for, yet many of us find it challenging to grasp and even harder to maintain. Especially during these difficult economic times, happiness can feel like it is hiding just behind next week’s paycheck, a new job, or a distant raise. However, as Dr. Robert Putnam of Harvard University recently pointed out“money alone can buy you happiness, but not much.”(1) It appears that happiness has less to do with money than we might imagine, and more to do with the people around us, how we live our lives, the way spend our time, and how we perceive ourselves and understand our life experiences.

Based on the latest research in psychology and my experience as both a psychologist trying to understand happiness, and as a human being searching for my own happiness, here are 11 ways to live a happier life…that have nothing to do with money!

1) Practice Gratitude

No matter where they are or what they are doing, happy people recognize that they always have something to be grateful for. Research in the field of Positive Psychology has shown that people who practice gratitude are happier, less stressed, and less depressed! (2) Happy people can easily find gratitude in the world around them, whether they are looking at the cracks in the pavement in the concrete jungle or the sun setting over the ocean. It is possible to find gratitude even in the smallest of things, like a delicious meal, a good book, a challenging yoga class, or a smile from a stranger on the street.

Each of us has a choice on how we focus our attention. Choosing to focus on gratitude for the beauty and uniqueness of life instead of the stressors and problems will make you feel happier and more relaxed.

2) Find a place of Flow

In Positive Psychology, the concept of “Flow” is defined as the “complete immersion in activity for its own sake.”(3) When we are in flow, such as when we are running a race, writing a song, or reading a great book, our self-awareness dissipates, time seems to stop, and we become focused, peaceful, and attentive to the task at hand.  People who frequently experience flow tend to be happy, productive, creative, and focused.

You can reach a state of flow by putting special attention to tasks that you find intrinsically rewarding and enjoyable. In other words, carve out some time to do what you LOVE! For more information about how to find your flow, explore Dr. Mikhal Csíkszentmihályi’s book, Finding Flow. (4)

3) Smile More

If you are feeling down or having a rough day, it is possible to cheer yourself up by simply thinking of a person, place, or situation that makes you smile! Indeed, research in psychology has shown that the physical act of smiling will make you feel happier, even if you are just flexing the muscles of your mouth and not intentionally smiling! (5)

While scientists are not yet completely certain why the simple act of smiling makes you feel happy, it has been suggested that smiling contracts the facial muscles, leading to more blood flow to the brain’s frontal lobes, which in turn triggers the release of dopamine, one of the pleasure chemicals in the brain. (6) So bust out the comedies and get your giggle on (or maybe let someone tickle you a little bit)!

4) Embrace Your Mistakes

We are all perfectly imperfect in this human form, and it is only natural that we make mistakes (sometimes very often!) Living in denial about your mistakes or getting wrapped up in your ego will only make you miserable and block you from learning valuable lessons that will help you grow and improve.

By embracing your mistakes, you will be able to forgive yourself, and the bonus is that other people might actually like you more! According to Dr. Eliot Aronson’s “Pratfall effect” in Social Psychology, making mistakes makes competent people seem more attractive, and more human to others.(7) Happy people seem to intuitively know this, embracing mistakes as learning experiences and not judging themselves too harshly.

5) Maintain an Optimistic Attitude

Happy people tend to respond to negative events in a more optimistic manner than unhappy people. Positive psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman defines optimism as “reacting to problems with confidence and high personal ability,” specifically, recognizing that negative events are temporary and limited in scope. (2) Research has linked optimism with a plethora of positive outcomes including longevity, recovery from illness, overall physical health, enhanced coping skills, and problem-solving in difficult situations.

Overall, optimism is a central component of staying happy and healthy, so when in doubt, look on the bright side.

6) Surround Yourself with Supportive People

Even though this life can sometimes feel like an individual journey, we need other people around us in order to feel happy. In fact, recent research has indicated that social relationships are the strongest predictors of happiness, much stronger than income or wealth. (1) For example, according to Robert Putnam’s groundbreaking study, making a good friend causes an increase of happiness equal to tripling one’s salary, belonging to a social club is equivalent to doubling one’s salary, and so on.

The take-home message here is that social support is a huge indicator of happiness and wellbeing. People with perceived positive social relationships even live longer!8 So be social, surround yourself with people who make you feel good, and release those who make you feel bad.

7) Learn when to say “No”

As psychologist Dr. Thema Davis so beautifully puts it“saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to things and people that stress you out.”(9) Happy people know that they must say NO to people, ideas, and behaviors that do not serve their highest good. Saying yes to everyone and everything can lead you to feel overwhelmed, increase your stress, and leave you less time and resources to take care of yourself! This is especially true when you agree to do things that do not resonate with you or allow yourself to be pressured into situations you are uncomfortable with.

The stress that results from feeling overwhelmed can severely dampen one’s happiness and wellbeing. Before you commit to anything or anyone, ask yourself, does this serve my highest good? If the answer is no, then learn to say NO.

8) Unplug & Spend More Time in Nature

Although it may feel natural after a lifetime of conditioning, human beings were not designed to spend their day hunched over a desk with electronics plugged into our ears and eyes. No, we are meant to be spending time outside, away from the buzz of technology, the radiation from cell-phones, and the blaring of screens. Happy people understand that it is their human birthright to give themselves quiet time to reflect and find serenity. According to the July 2010 Harvard Health Letter, time outdoors in nature has been linked to happiness because light elevates people’s moods, as does vitamin D, a byproduct of spending time outside. (10)

If you really want to maximize the benefits of outdoor time, spend time in green nature – even five minutes of “green exercise” can lead to improvements in mood and self-esteem, according to researchers at the University of Essex. (10) Even better, combine your outside time with meditation, yoga, or other therapeutic movement arts. There is a plethora of research demonstrating that all of these will further enhance your mood and overall wellbeing.

9) Practice Forgiveness

This one can be challenging for the many of us who have been wronged and/or who have experienced traumas perpetrated by other people in our lives. But as my life partner, sound healer Jimmy Ohm always says“forgiveness does not mean that what happened was ok, it just means you no longer want to carry the pain.”(11) When we hold on to anger, resentment, and fear towards people, they are actually occupying a space inside of us, blocking us from feeling truly happy and fulfilled.

Dr. Fred Luskin of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project has found that forgiveness is a huge predictor of happiness and wellbeing, explaining how “forgiveness is the experience of peacefulness in the present moment.”(12) For more on his research, visit his website, Forgive For Good. (13)

10) Try New Things

Happy people are not afraid to push their boundaries and try new things. Research by psychologist Dr. Rich Walker has shown that people who engage in a variety of experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions than people who have fewer experiences. (14) Sure it might seem scary at first, but what’s the worst that could happen? By going beyond your comfort zone, you might actually surprise yourself and exceed your own expectations for what you are capable of accomplishing. And hey if it doesn’t go as planned, at least you still tried, didn’t you?

As Dr. Alex Lickerman M.D. writes in Happiness in this World, trying something new requires courage, it opens up the possibility for you to enjoy something new, it keeps you from becoming bored, and perhaps most importantly, it forces you to grow.(15) So what have you always wanted to try but you didn’t think you had the guts? What are you waiting for?

11) Look in the mirror every morning and say “I Love you!”

For many of us, self-love is the greatest challenge and blockage to happiness. Years of being told by family, educators, and especially the media that we are not good enough, not successful enough, not attractive enough, not capable enough, and so on have left many of us feeling beaten down and unworthy. The truth is that no matter who you are and what has happened in your life, YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE! Say it out loud to yourself until you believe it.

Psychologists have long known that self-esteem is intrinsically connected to happiness, but how does one build self-esteem? I believe we build self-esteem through practicing self-love and self-acceptance. One of the simplest things you can do is to look in the mirror every morning and say, “I love you!” For some, this may come easy, and for others, it may be extremely challenging. I know that at first I tried and tried to do this and I would break down in tears because I felt so unworthy. Eventually, through practicing daily mantras of self-love and self-acceptance, I was able to learn to love myself. And while the path to unconditional self-love is a life-long journey and not a destination, today I feel happier than I have ever felt. ☺ I hope that these happiness tips will help guide you on your journey as much as they have helped me with mine. Namaste.

Author’s Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to live a happier life, and I would love to hear from The Mind Unleashed community about other ways that they have found to live and breathe happiness! Please comment or email me at DrKellyNeff@Gmail.com. Blessings and Love!  <3

References:

1. Miller, J. (July 23rd, 2013). Putnam: Strongest Predictors of Happiness are Social Relationships. The Chautauqua Daily. Retrieved July 9th, 2014 from http://chqdaily.com/2013/07/23/putnam-strongest-predictors-of-happiness-are-social-relationships/

2. The Pursuit of Happiness. Mindfulness and Positive Thinking: Optimism and Gratitude. Retrieved July 10th, 2014 from http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/science-of-happiness/positive-thinking/

3. Cherry, K. (Date Unknown). What is flowing? Understanding the Psychology of Flow. About.Com Psychology. Retrieved July 10th, 2014 from http://psychology.about.com/od/PositivePsychology/a/flow.htm

4. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997) Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life. Basic Books, New York.

5. Korb, A. (July 31st, 2012). Smile: A Powerful Tool. Psychology Today. Retrieved July 11th, 2014 from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/prefrontal-nudity/201207/smile-powerful-tool

6. Wenk, G. (December 27th, 2011). Addicted to Smiling: Can the Simple Act of Smiling Bring Pleasure? Psychology Today. Retrieved July 10th, 2014 from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-food/201112/addicted-smiling

7. Manage Train Learn. Likeability: The Pratfall Effect. Retrieved July 11th, 2014 from http://www.managetrainlearn.com/page/the-pratfall-effect

8. Public Relations Bureau (June 2009). Social Support, Networks, and Happiness. Retrieved July 11th, 2014 from:http://www.prb.org/Publications/Reports/2009/socialnetworks.aspx

9. Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis. http://www.DrThema.Com.

10. Harvard University Health Letter. (July 2010). A Prescription for Better Health: Go Alfresco. Retrieved July 10th, 2014 from http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Health_Letter/2010/July/a-prescription-for-better-health-go-alfresco?utm_source=mental&utm_medium=pressrelease&utm_campaign=health0710

11. Jimmy Ohm McClain. https://www.facebook.com/jameslmcclain

12. Taran, R. (March 7th, 2012). Forgiveness: Making Space for More Happiness. Huffington Post Healthy Living. Retrieved July 12th, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randy-taran/learning-to-forgive_b_1322686.html.

13. Forgive for Good. Http://www.LearningToForgive.com

14. Time Magazine. Health and Happiness: Try New Things. Retrieved July 12th, 2014 from Time

15. Lickerman, A. (April 1st, 2010). Happiness in this world: Trying new things. Psychology Today, Retrieved July 12th, 2014 from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201004/trying-new-things




When Being Positive Can Have Negative Effects on Your Life

Many people think that being spiritual means being positive, but being  spiritual means | Spirituality, Metaphysical spirituality, PositivityWe’ve all seen the motivational memes and inspirations posters reminding us to “Hang in There!” and “Be Positive!” and I absolutely agree that a state of positive force and direction leads to positive action, growth and change. However, if we are not truly embodying what it means to live a positive life and are instead pushing down emotions, hiding behind our feelings and not being true to ourselves when it comes to how we deal with conflict, going for what we really want, and knowing when it’s right for us whether to say yes or no to opportunities that arise, as well as requests from others, then being “positive” can actually have some negative effects on our lives.

I’ll dive a little deeper and explain what I mean by this a bit more clearly. When we see happiness as something to be obtained, or a state that we’ll eventually reach once certain other things fall into place, we put ourselves in a place of constant distance from it. When we are always in a state of chasing happiness, we fail to realize that happiness is always right here in this moment, just waiting for us to simply tune into it. In other words, happiness is a choice…our choice, always to make. If you believe that your happiness is reliant on material things or even other people, then you always put the responsibility of your emotional state outside of yourself. And then we get annoyed when we feel like things happen “out of our control”.

BALANCE IS IN ALL THINGS…

Life is always seeking a middle ground; balance. Nature shows this to us in its endless array of ecosystems that could only survive with each of their unique alchemy of balance intact. Each participating organism has its role and its place and as long as there remains a communal understanding and willingness to participate, the ecosystem thrives. WE ARE NO DIFFERENT! Consider these “organisms” to be our cells and if you want to get a little cosmic here, stop and consider them to be your thoughts!

If one cell refuses to participate and stops communicating with those in its community, a degeneration of the internal natural balance occurs and we call this cancer. So, if we apply this same concept to our thoughts, we can see just how important maintaining a positive outlook is to stay balanced in life. If our thoughts act to support our inner drive, if they trust our Intuitive voice within and work in harmony with it rather than doubting and judging it (which often manifests as “self-sabotage”), then we eventually come to know our own power. And this is alignment with what I like to call “conscious surrender”. It is allowing yourself the KNOWING that things will turn out, based purely on your intuitive guidance, trust of the Universe and yourself, and unwavering connection to your desires. This is, however, much different than knowing how things will work out. Leave that up to the Universe!

This is like playing a little trick on the ego which strives to maintain control over your life and your choices. It will continually scare you into living small and not believing you are worthy of going after your goals and dreams. But when we surrender consciously, we satisfy that inner need to control by making the CHOICE to trust, to surrender, and to KNOW it will all work out for your highest good.

 

WHAT WE RESIST PERSISTS…

So, when does “being positive” open doors to what we might call “negative” events in our lives? Well, this happens solely when you use positivity as a crutch and refuse to actually deal with your issues. Some people somehow maintain a smile on their face 24/7 regardless of what they’re truly feeling inside. They are not being honest with their feelings and eventually it is that repression that can arise in a dangerous, emotional fit of rage. And even less dramatic, yet just as painful things can occur when we refuse ourselves the proper time to process our feelings. We can become withdrawn from people we love and our favorite hobbies, or on the flip-side some of us try to lose ourselves completely in these things to avoid dealing with our own emotions. Sort of like living vicariously through someone or basing how you feel always on what’s going on with one particular relationship or interest.

I like to think that most humans are good people at the core and do mean well when it comes to helping friends and family through tough times. We might think we are helping one another when we offer certain advice, but we must always remember that we are speaking from our own experiences, and may not always resonate clearly with what the other person may need to work through this in their own particular way; the way that was meant for them, to help them grow and expand the most they can from where they are, not where we perceive them to be. It’s always important to remember that you are speaking to someone highly clouded in their emotions, so it would serve us best to not let the same happen to us when offering direction and solace.

This is why all the great Masters advise to “go within”. We were ALL born with the wisdom of Divine Guidance within; that is our birthright. But the key will only work when we are in a state of grateful bravery and insightful curiosity as this allows us to face our deepest fears and our darkest shadows. Further fear of these fears and the “unknown” and buried parts of ourselves we deem unworthy, etc. is why many refuse to even go there while we have no problem at all helping others go there. We can much more easily see grace and innocence in others while often being so hard on ourselves. But when we view ourselves as that hurt child that just has held onto confusion and pain for so long, it’s a bit easier to stop judging and to start listening.

The only way to dissolve fear is to literally face it head on; and not stopping there, but to even go so far as to lean into it. Once we push back even slightly in the face of fear, it begins to lose power over us. And where does that courage come from? Why does it appear that some people “have it” and some do not? Well, I hate to break it to you, but courage comes from the same place and we all have a VIP access card. Yep, you guessed, within us. We just need to stop, look and listen! That splinter of time you allow yourself to even entertain the idea of you being brave IS being brave and thus begins to turn the wheel of positive change! And the momentum only grows with each and every fear you face.

Once you begin to face your fears and heal those buried core beliefs that you’ve been dragging around, you will no longer feel the need to be positive because you will already be too busy being positive. That’s the gift of mindfulness and the act of sourcing happiness from within so we can thus return to the world a fountain of authentic living! This is what makes certain people just so magnetic! They’ve literally learned to trust themselves and treat themselves with the same love and respect they do all others and send out a resonance that yells “BALANCE!”

SO, yes be happy, be joyous, and be positive! But if your constant “positive-ness” is feeling draining rather than fulfilling then it might be time to take a look at where you are sourcing your happiness from. And at any time if what you are doing to stay positive stirs up emotions of guilt, resentment,  or even anger, do not swallow those emotions and push them down to “save face” and maintain this mental image you have of what it means to be a positive person. Instead, give yourself the time to sit with them, and feel your way through them. When it comes to aligning with your joy and establishing habits of true, positive emotional healing, the only way out is through…

 

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. 

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

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How to Outsmart Your COVID-19 Fears and Boost Your Mood in 2021

By | The Conversation

After a year of toxic stress ignited by so much fear and uncertainty, now is a good time to reset, pay attention to your mental health and develop some healthy ways to manage the pressures going forward.

Brain science has led to some drug-free techniques that you can put to use right now.

I am a health psychologist who developed a method that harnesses our rip-roaring emotions to rapidly switch off stress and activate positive emotions instead. This technique from emotional brain training is not perfect for everyone, but it can help many people break free of stress when they get stuck on negative thoughts.

Why the stress response is so hard to turn off

Three key things make it hard to turn off stress-activated negative emotions:

  • First, our genes make us worrywarts. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors survived by assuming every rustle in the grasses was a lurking hungry lion, not harmless birds hunting for seeds. We’re essentially programmed to be hyperaware of threats, and our brains rapidly launch stress chemicals and negative emotions in response.
  • Second, the chemical cascade of stress hormones in the brain associated with negative emotions impairs cognitive flexibility, goal-directed behavior, and self-control.
  • Third, our tendency to avoid dealing with negative emotions puts people in a perpetual cycle of ignoring unpleasant feelings, which amplifies stress and the risk of emotional health problems.
Brain illustration
Thought vs. emotion in the brain. Laurel MellinCC BY-ND

Traditional approaches for coping with stress were based on cognitive-behavioral therapy, which focuses on modifying patterns of thinking and behavior. It was developed before our modern understanding of stress overload.

Researchers at New York University discovered a paradox: Although cognitive methods were effective in low-stress situations, they were less effective when dealing with the high stress of modern life.

Emotional brain training works with these high-stress emotions in an effort to tame them, releasing negative emotions as the first of two steps in preventing stress overload.

Step 1: Release negative emotions

The only negative emotion in the brain that supports taking action rather than avoidance and passivity is anger.

Studies have shown that the suppression of anger is associated with depression and that suppressing anger doesn’t reduce the emotion. A healthy release of anger instead has been found to reduce other stress-related health risks.

Our technique is to switch off stress overload by using a controlled burst of anger to help the brain exert better emotional control and allow emotions to flow rather than become chronic and toxic. After that first short burst, other feelings can flow, starting with sadness to grieve the loss of safety, then fear and regret, or what we would do differently next time.

You can talk yourself through the stages. To experiment with the process, use these simple phrases to express the negative feelings and release your stress: “I feel angry that …”; “I feel sad that …”; “I feel afraid that …”; and “I feel guilty that …”

Step 2. Express positive emotions

After releasing negative emotions, positive emotions can naturally arise. Express these feelings using the same approach: “I feel grateful that …”; “I feel happy that …”; “I feel secure that …”; and “I feel proud that …”

Your mindset can quickly change, a phenomenon that has many potential explanations. One explanation is that in positive states, your brain’s neural circuits that store memories from when you were in the same positive state in the past can be spontaneously activated. Another is that the switch from negative to positive emotions quiets your sympathetic nervous system – which triggers the fight-or-flight response – and activates the parasympathetic system, which acts more like a brake on strong emotions.

Here’s what the whole stress relief process might look like for me right now:

  • I feel angry that we’re all isolated and I can’t see my new grandson Henry.
  • I hate it that everything is so messed up! I HATE THAT!!!
  • I feel sad that I am alone right now.
  • I feel afraid that this will never end.
  • I feel guilty that I am complaining! I am lucky to be alive and have shelter and love in my life.

Then the positive:

  • I feel grateful that my daughter-in-law sends me photos of Henry.
  • I feel happy that my husband and I laughed together this morning.
  • I feel secure that this will eventually pass.
  • I feel proud that I am doing the best I can to cope.

After a daunting year, and with more challenges ahead in 2021, upgrading your approach to emotions can be a drug-free mood booster. Our COVID-19 fears need not consume us. We can outsmart the brain’s fear response and find moments that sparkle with promise.

About the Author

Laurel Mellin is a Friend of The Conversation.

Associate Professor Emeritus of Family & Community Medicine and Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco




Now You See Me, Now You Don’t – Why We All Wear Masks to Hide Our True Selves

We might think we know who we are as individuals. We might use words ranging from “organized” to “over-thinker” and while these words can come from a myriad of seemingly reliable and convincing places; past traumas, our parents, teachers, friends, society in general, and even our very own track-record of habits, these words do not make us. Nor do the experiences or sources from which they came.

We can name off all of our favorite things, all of the things that might get on our nerves and everything in between, but do our likes and dislikes really define us? How about all of the material possessions we’ve worked so hard to accumulate over the years? Where does “out there” (as in the world around us) end and “in here” (as within ourselves) begin?

Well, I guess that would all depend on who you’re asking as even the answer to that question is based on perception and one’s own level of conscious awareness. But regardless of where you are with that, what remains true is we are NOT what happens to us, we are NOT our opinions or beliefs (and especially NOT the opinions or beliefs of others). Lastly, we are most certainly NOT our possessions.

If anything, these are all mere extensions of an identity we’ve established for ourselves to maintain the facade of safety the ego requires for its survival. And no matter how real it might appear to be, all is illusory except that which cannot be taken from you. One can spend hours pondering exactly what “this” is, but it’s actually quite simple. What remains when we remove all of that “stuff” is your pure, divine, Conscious Awareness…because THAT, my friend…is who YOU really are.

What we’re talking about here is not the self with a little “s”, but the Self with a big “S” or what some might even call the Higher Self. It is your direct link to Source Consciousness, The Universe, God, whatever term you prefer to use. It has no agenda other than to exist as itself and just BE. This could also be considered your intuition or gut feelings; that inner voice that somehow always seems to save your ass at the last minute…if you happen to be so brave to actually listen to it.

Unfortunately, we are not taught this in school. And for most of us, the truth of who we really are begins to be buried under layers and layers of conditioning, the day we are born. We are stamped with a name, nationality, religion, etc. and all of the accompanying assumptions that go along with being either male or female. If we end up growing up to challenge these labels, we are most often considered a rebel or told it’s wrong and we need to conform, be quiet and simply accept “who we are”.

But as we’ve come to learn, these are all masks that hide our true identity. Upon arrival into this world we are literally nameless; without identity, even if our parents have named us months before. When you remove anything “other than”, we are pure, Divine perfection. We are the union of spirit and skin manifest as dual divine light, to learn of and heal what we might even call our very own darkness. I prefer to say it’s those parts of ourselves we simply forgot to love.

Who doesn’t want to be loved and accepted for who they are? But how many of us actually give this give of acceptance to others? Let us start with ourselves by removing the masks (figuratively AND literally), uncovering the layers, and letting the truth of who we are reveal itself and come to the surface. If we can all learn to create a safe space such as this for not only ourselves, but others as well…just imagine what the world could be like.

We’d have less motivation to be offended, and thus less likely to offend others. Sometimes it’s not always about what you’re saying or doing, but who you are saying or doing it to, rather than with. When we create a space for our authentic selves, then we call our authentic audience which is the audience that actually HEARS you (your true intentions).

If we raised children to be confident in self-expression, to always feel loved, and that their opinions, questions and curiosities matter, then we will help to create adults who are confident, more loving, and more capable of seeing love in others. This, I believe, is ultimately how we change the world…by first letting it change us, back into who we were all along.

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.




How Hope Can Make You Happier With Your Lot in Life

Source:

University of East Anglia

Summary:

New research finds that that having hope for the future can make you happier with your lot – and protect you from risky behaviors such as drinking and gambling.

FULL STORY

Having hope for the future could protect people from risky behaviors such as drinking and gambling — according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Researchers studied ‘relative deprivation’ — the feeling that other people have things better than you in life.

They wanted to find out why only some people experiencing this turn to escapist and risky behaviors such as drinking alcohol, taking drugs, over-eating or gambling, while others do not.

And they found that the answer lies in hope.

Postgraduate researcher Shahriar Keshavarz, from UEA’s School of Psychology, said: “I think most people have experienced relative deprivation at some point in their lives. It’s that feeling of being unhappy with your lot, the belief that your situation is worse than others, that other people are doing better than you.

“Roosevelt famously said that ‘comparison is the thief of joy’. It’s that feeling you have when a friend buys a new car, or your sister gets married, or a colleague finds a better job or has a better income.

“Relative deprivation can trigger negative emotions like anger and resentment, and it has been associated with poor coping strategies like risk taking, drinking, taking drugs or gambling.

“But not everyone scoring high on measures of relative deprivation makes these poor life choices. We wanted to find out why some people seem to cope better, or even use the experience to their advantage to improve their own situation.

“There is a lot of evidence to show that remaining hopeful in the face of adversity can be advantageous, so we wanted to see if hope can help people feel happier with their lot and buffer against risky behaviors.”

The research team carried out two lab-based experiments with 55 volunteers. The volunteers were quizzed to find out how much they feel relative deprivation and hope.

The researchers also induced feelings of relative deprivation in the volunteers, by telling them how deprived they were compared to their peers, based on a questionnaire about their family income, age and gender.

They then took part in specially designed gambling games that involved risk-taking and placing bets with a chance to win real money.

Dr Piers Fleming, also from UEA’s School of Psychology, said: “The aim of this part of the study was to see whether feeling relatively deprived — elicited by the knowledge that one has less income than similar others — causes greater risk-taking among low-hopers and decreased risk-taking among high-hopers.

“We looked at the people who scored high for relative deprivation, the ones that thought their situation in life was worse than those around them. And we looked at those who also scored high for hope.

“We found that the volunteers who scored high for hope, were much less likely to take risks in the game. Those who weren’t too hopeful, were a lot more likely to take risks.”

Another experiment looked at whether hope helped people in the real world. They worked with 122 volunteers who had gambled at least once in the last year. The volunteers took part in questionnaires to gauge how hopeful they are, whether they feel relatively deprived and to measure problem gambling.

Of the participants, 33 had no gambling problems (27 per cent), 32 had low level of problems (26 per cent), 46 had moderate level of problems leading to some negative consequences (38 per cent) and 11 were problem gamblers with a possible loss of control (9 per cent).

Mr. Keshavarz said: “When we looked at these scores compared to scores for hope and relative deprivation, we found that increased hope was associated with a decreased likelihood of losing control of gambling behavior — even in those who experienced relative deprivation.

“Interestingly, our study found no significant relation between hope and gambling severity among relatively privileged persons. We don’t know why this is, but it could be that they are gambling recreationally or better able to stop when the fun stops.”

The research team say that nurturing hope in people who are unhappy with their lot could protect against harmful behaviors like drinking and gambling.

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Undaunting Acceptance: How to Be Okay With Not Being Okay

Image result for acceptanceIf you’re anything like me, you’re often kinder to others than you are to yourself and may have this habit of putting yourself down when you hit a bump in the road on the road towards your current goal.

You may also have trouble asking others for help when you need it, but often assume the role of the giver, listener, healer, and helper for those you love and care about. You may be awesome at giving advice and looking at the issues in the lives of others objectively, but not so great at following that advice or pinpointing clarity when it comes to issues in your own life.

You may love to encourage and uplift those you love and celebrate when they achieve something they’ve set to complete, but you may not even acknowledge your own accomplishments as often as you should…

So, I’ll ask frankly…what’s up with that???

Well, if your anything else like me, then you’re also stubborn as a mule when things don’t go your way. It’s funny because sometimes I swear I can literally hear my inner child kicking and screaming in resentment, throwing herself a fine little pity party! But it is here, within this moment, where we can either go on living as we have been, repeating the same experiences that cause us to get mad at ourselves and our lives and the Universe over and over again, or we can stop, observe and for a moment in time, stop freaking judging ourselves! 🙂 We can stop yelling at the little girl and instead give her a big fat hug.

Because of how we are conditioned from early on in life, we literally tend to be our harshest critics, but personally, I’m a Capricorn and we take that stuff to a whole new level! It’s also always been hardest for me not knowing HOW things were going to work out and in just the last year, that has literally been my signature lesson to learn. More times than I can count I’ve had to trust in the Universe and just KNOW that everything was going to be okay and you know what? Every single time everything DID turn out okay! I’m not saying the struggle disappeared instantaneously, no, but a simple shift in my perception of the experience and the outcome, and the letting go of my need to control every little aspect of it, was in turn, what set me free…the less I focused on the lack, the more value I was able to see in what I had all along…

Sometimes my stubbornness had backed me into a proverbial corner of my own self-sabotaging consequences and it was all for an illusion stemming from a fear of lacking control. See, the stories we tell ourselves can literally make or break us! And if we keep telling ourselves the same old negative story full of fear and lack, eventually we do believe it at a cellular level and that can manifest as sickness or even worse, disease.

In letting go of my need for judgment, I created a space for acceptance that wasn’t there before. And with that came the ability to not feel the fear that exists with not knowing how things will turn out, but still being able to face the day and do the things you need to do with your head up, regardless of the fear you’re feeling. It’s not the repression or denial of fear, but the use of it as a tool for learning and growth. When we can accept was IS, we allow what will be…

What I’ve come to learn is that we all need one another and we all have gifts, talents, and abilities to share with the world. Furthermore, for us to not ask each other for help or to refuse assistance is to deny others their own opportunities for expanding these abilities and denying them a great opportunity for their own soul progressions.

So, while in the midst of the dust storm it’s hard to imagine the beauty of a clear, blue sky…in your heart, you always know it’s there. It’s that level of knowledge you must show up with for yourself and once you begin to do that, you will naturally begin to trust not only in yourself and your decisions but in the Universe as well and while you will never stop hearing from that inner child of yours, at least now she’s more likely to be singing your praises. And you deserve it!

We are all splinters of Divinity, which is perfect. We are not broken, we are “flawed” so our light can get out and shine upon the world. In doing this, the world reflects back to us our illusions of imperfection which we can choose to believe or not. It’s when we forget our Divinity, that we fall victim to our stories and struggles. Let your pain stretch and mold you, but never let it make you hard or bind you. Let it expand your heart, not make it cold. When you accept yourself, you tell the Universe you are willing to let go of your old stories. So, what are you waiting for? As soon as you allow it to be okay, it will all be okay. And you know what? It will always be okay…even when it’s not!

 

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.

Follow Tamara on Facebook and Twitter 

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 The Best Teachers Know They Are Ever-Expanding Students

To truly master something, we know that it takes dedication, practice and often requires much repetition of the same action or actions. Over time, we develop muscle memory if we are learning a dance routine or new yoga moves and our body adapts and becomes more fluid and limber. It begins to flow more freely and work with “what’s next” because it’s prepared for it; it’s been training hard.

When it comes to conscious habits, it’s not always so “smooth” or easy-going as repeating certain workout moves. Training the cognitive brain or “ego-mind” is a completely new territory because this is the realm of the ego. In the mind, we have the ability to play with free will and can either keep going or give up at any time on anything we are attempting to learn.

Now, it’s good to mention that training the mind is different than training the ego-mind which can be trained either consciously or subconsciously. Some ways in which to do so would be by using NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) or Hypnosis. You can literally train yourself to quit smoking in your sleep, and that would be speaking to the brain, not the true, higher mind.

The mind is not a physical “thing” or entity, and therefore it’s not so much a thing to be trained as it is a thing we should listen to and learn from. If anything, your mind is what moves you. It’s your momentum; it’s your inner fire. I would even go so far to say it is your “Higher Self” or Spirit/Intuition; your Higher Mind…the Observer within of all thoughts.

And perhaps it’s that first moment when we realize that we are not actually our thoughts that we realize that the potential for learning is ever-expanding; just as we are. As all relationships reflect our own inner shadows back to us, so that we can best heal the wounds within the deepest, scarred parts of our hearts, we see a glimpse of the beauty of infinite creation with every skill and every lesson learned.

But what does it mean to truly master something?

Does practice ever really end? Are you the “best” until someone “beats” you? Or is this all mere perception? What does it truly mean to personally master an art or craft or skill? And does it really have anything to do with anyone else? Well, yes and no…

See, I believe that the final stage is learning is teaching and that we cannot fully know something 360 degrees until we have taught it to another. We must see it from the other side and be able to conceptually and perceptually explain it to others for it to truly take final root not only in our psyche but in our hearts. And to me, that is what it takes to truly master anything.

There are some people who are just amazing at stuff and they know it and they love to let everyone else know it. Awesome. But unless reaching that level of skill has instilled a certain level of humility in your heart, you will always approach your skill from a place of competition and separation/fear. This prevents that deep-rooted connection to your heart I mentioned earlier that I feel I absolutely necessary for true mastery of any skill.

Therefore, I would always recommend that you stay humble no matter how many skills you feel that you have mastered and to remember that the best teachers always know they always have more to learn…

…Because life is forever unfolding; as we are. When you are humble, you are light and you are float more freely. Let us all embrace and embody our divine imperfections as we learn to master the art of joyfully creating our lives!

Tamara 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 

 

tamaraTamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

Follow Tamara on Facebook and Twitter

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




True Freedom: None But Ourselves Can Free Our Minds

In a reality where the “free” world has been slowly dismantled and taken over by tyranny, it seemed appropriate to write about none other than “freedom”. Now, freedom is a concept that can mean many different things to many different people. One might consider freedom only in the context of nations, war, government, and politics. Others might narrow it down a bit further to a personal level and say that freedom is in fact a state of mind and that true freedom involves taking full responsibility for the choices you make in your life.

Where does freedom come from? Is it given to us by our President and government officials? Do more freedoms “get assigned” to certain people over others based merely on the chance of where one incarnates onto the planet and/or what class our family happens to find itself in? (With the richest getting afforded the most freedoms, of course).

Or is freedom something we’re irremovably born with and because we are part of Source Creation, we can never be denied this truth? That as an infinite part of the All, we are thus rightly gifted with the freedom to be our authentic, co-Creator selves, living in full awareness of who and what we are, clear in our purpose, path, and power?

Well, I believe both to be simultaneously true. How so? Because I believe that in this world of duality that we live in, there are illusory freedoms and organic freedoms. The illusory freedoms are the ones we are taught to believe are real via our parents, schools, churches, society, the media, Hollywood, and cultures under various types of governments. These are the status quo cogs that keep the wheels of the Matrix system of permits and licenses running.

On a more personal level, each and every thought we have is either a submission of consent to a current belief system, an outside opinion or influence, or is affected by new information/other thoughts and is therefore changed. So, if you think about it, each and every thought you have can be a radical act of rebellion! This makes me think of Orwell’s 1984: “thought criminal”. And this is also how “freedom” on the purest level, truly is an inside job; because no one can ever take away your soul’s essence; your inner fire and spark that makes you, YOU.

You, (regardless of what is occurring “out there” on the outside, in your surroundings) retain your power to choose one thought over another. Will your next thought imprison you further into a negative belief system or free you into a new possibility? The energy surrounding this obvious transformation of society is literally forcing us a species to acknowledge our individual power and to finally realize that the only thing that separates us is our own beliefs of separation.

That inner space where when you part the waves of thought creation and all is still, the place where connection to Source and zero-point occur…that is where you are most free; because in that space there is no time. There is only the infinite expanse. It is here we can for limitless moments; remember what it is to be free of physical form and the weighted heaviness of the third dimension. It is here we are light, in weight and Source frequency, and therefore are unattached from any false “rules” applied to us by other humans, entities, astral beings, etc. It is here where healing can occur, contracts can be removed, blocks can be overcome and shadows can be integrated.

I like to think that those who drafted our independence from Great Britain back in 1776 were a bunch of rebellious badasses who had definitely flipped the bird to King George III as they first set sail for America…maybe even a port-side mooning or two. But regardless, they were definitely one thing that cannot be denied; owners of their own freedom. They took matters into their own hands when their “illusory” freedoms were not up to their satisfaction and definitely did something about it.

America since then has quite a long, sometimes depressing, sometimes hopeful, sometimes embarrassing tale to tell, yet one thing remains unchanged…the fact this country never stops changing. Now, we’ll leave it up for debate which direction it’s heading on the good/bad duality scale and save that for another article, yet you have to admit that we’re definitely one country that must just look like one whirlwind tornado storm all its own from space. And once the dust settles the illusory divide between American citizens will no longer be ignored and there will be a choice for every person to make…do you want to continue to be fed your reality via TV programming (there’s a reason they call it that) and literally surrender the reigns of your emotions over to some talking head? Or do you want to perhaps question things that make no sense, don’t seem right or fair, and fight against tyranny to preserve Liberty and Justice For All?

On that note…let that be a reminder that in all the fast-moving, ever-changing chaos of our everyday lives, to slow down and remember to consciously free our own minds daily. No one else will or can do it for you. By that, I mean, take even one conscious moment to just hear yourself breathe a single breath in and out preferably without an oxygen-depriving mask on your face!

This connects you with yourself, with your body and all of your cells and brings you into this very moment providing a centering and rebalancing effect. You are now FREE to be an awesome, conscious, aware, and open co-Creator.

This is the End of the Beginning…

Let’s party like it’s 1776!

 

Check out these other articles on freedom below:

Freedom – A Condition of the Human Heart

How Does ‘That Tapping Thing’ Put Freedom at Your Fingertips? (Video)

10 Layers of Freedom You Must Achieve To Be Absolutely Free

 

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. 

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

Follow Tamara on Facebook, and Twitter




How to Create Congruent Conditions for Optimal Living

Alignedcongruence, in tune, synced up, connected…

These are all words I would use to describe how it feels when things in my life are going great! And you could ask, “Well…what exactly are you feeling aligned, in tune, synced up, and connected with?”

And I’d answer that question with a question. 🙂 Have you ever had a gut feeling that something was or was not for you? Like a little voice deep within tugging you in one direction over another? Or perhaps a deep feeling in the pit of your stomach telling you to avoid a person or place?

You have? GREAT! So, THAT would be my answer. That voice; that feeling that is so terribly difficult for us all to ignore is what I am aligned and connected with when life is at its best. And we can actually call it for what it is; our Intuition.

Being in tune with your intuition and knowing how to read and decipher the signals and signs it sends to you is vital to creating congruent conditions in your life that will naturally draw in the experiences that you desire. This pertains to all categories of our lives…from work to love to family and education. In fact, living a truly congruent life actually means having all parts of your life existing wholly as they are. A life lived in balance and harmony. The energy that is manifested via your own creative expression that you bring to these various areas of your life. " No one can experience authentic happiness without living an authentic life in which beliefs and behaviors are congruent." Dr. Paul TP Wong.:

It is when we put too much focus into one corner of our lives, or intentionally avoid another that discord arises and our lives fall out of balance. The natural order of the Universe is to be in balance and it will always try to get you back there as well, but we silly humans have convinced ourselves that we must fight to survive; that we must struggle against this natural order of balance and abundance in order to get balance and abundance. It’s quite an exhausting way of thinking…if you stop to think about it lol.

The Art of Creating Congruent Conditions has 3 main parts, each having their further depth and lessons.

PART 1 – IDENTIFY DISORDER

  1. Explore the main areas of your life to see where you are unhappy. For most of us, this should be a simple task as by nature we tend to focus there the most instead of on creating what we want. This exercise will show how to do just that by first acknowledging how we are reacting to/responding to these areas of our lives.
  2. Once you have the main things you wish to work on in your life for this exercise, feel through each of them to see which one gets the most rises out of you or where you feel the most pain in your heart. This shows where the deepest wounds lie and where healing needs to occur; this will lay a path for us to follow on how to best prioritize our focus in Part 2.

PART 2 – PRIORITIZE FOCUS

  1. The one area that causes you the most pain and discord in your life is what we will focus on here and how we work through this issue will be a blueprint for any remaining areas in our life that still feel out of balance and require healing.
  2. Start to pay extra special attention to how you’ve been thinking and feeling about this issue in the past and how you can consciously choose to change how you think and feel about it in this very moment. Feel how freeing it is to forgive yourself and others involved in conflicts or to face a fear that has been looming over your head. Own your feelings and you immediately take away their power to own you.

PART 3 – CULTIVATE CONDITIONS

  1. Here is where the magick happens! Instead of letting the same old programs play over and over in our minds, we are going to install some new software. Call it an upgrade of sorts! It may sound difficult or complicated, but honestly it is quite simple because it is merely surrendering to All that is. Some may call it “hacking the Matrix”. This is not to be confused with giving up, as this is more in accordance with “letting go”. It’s a careful dance between control and responsibility. While we wish to take the reins of our lives and be responsible for what is ultimately created within it, to do so we must also be willing to relinquish control of part of that process. “Which part”, you ask? The “HOW”. Your part is to think of the amazing life you want, to FEEL that life NOW regardless of what your senses are telling you is going on “out there” (resonance or being in tune with the life you want will only draw it towards you!
  2. Be the observer of yourself. When you see yourself falling into old habits of wanting to complain and throw a big ‘ol pity party, don’t judge yourself, but don’t let yourself continue to think (and ultimately live) so small when you were destined for greatness! In order to live a congruent life, we must be willing to look at those areas of our lives that are not currently congruent! We must do this with a fierce kindness and patient awareness of ourselves, otherwise our egos will just stall us, distract us and/or guilt us back into stagnation and disharmony; which ironically is quite comfortable to many people! We need to change that and feel GOOD about our lives like we were all meant to.

An “optimal” life will look very different depending upon whom you ask, but I think we can all agree on one thing. We all enjoy being happy, and a simple shift in the perception that happiness is somewhere we eventually get to or that it is dependent on “outside” things such as material items, to one that knows that simply being alive, incarnated onto planet Earth as sentient human beings instills the birth-right of abundance to us all. The vibration and resonance of “lack” is taught and is a state of mind, no matter how much material wealth you may have or not.

It is always possible to choose how you see ANY situation. This is not to condone one way of life over another or show apathy towards those born less fortunate, not in the least, but this is rather to empower people back into their own minds. No matter what riches it appears we are born into or not afforded in this lifetime, absolutely no one has the ability to take our thoughts, which are our power tools for creation! Once you learn how to use your thoughts, a manifestation is at your fingertips and the Universe WILL respond. This is resonance, cosmic harmonics, and how the Divine speaks across all dimensional fragments of space.

Tune into that fact and you are whole, complete and empowered with the knowledge of your true self. I cannot think of anything more powerful than an empowered human being on a creative journey of self-expression. The goal is not so much to master ourselves, but rather to master the process of creation. It is the poetry of existence; it is how we honor creation…by BEING creation.

And there are two ways to create; auto-pilot or manual. The term “manual” implies that we must do it ourselves, and while that is partially true, we must only think, feel and push out the energy of our desires and the Universe abruptly responds (by taking care of that resounding “HOW”). So, while our emotions often get crushed, our hearts get broken, our fears come to life, learning in 3D is an expansive growth process that comes with one fail-safe; the Universe ALWAYS has your back! So, while yes we must do the work to observe and heal ourselves, the Universe works its creative magic to align the cosmos to our desires in return. To me, there’s simply no question. Auto-pilot living (being in constant reaction-mode and allowing life to form you rather than you forming your life) is simply not for me.

As more and more of us are beginning to awaken from the so-called “American Dream” (which has ultimately been a nightmare for so many), we are seeing more and more people no longer willing to settle for an “OK” life or one that is constantly a struggle and/or out of balance. People are beginning to cherish themselves more (in a non-egoistic way) and therefore are able to begin to cherish others in the same way. This has begun a cosmic wave of humans that are refusing to play other people’s games any longer. And if you feel the pull to serve others from a sacred heart space rather than from a sense of obligation and necessity, like you are here for a greater calling and your current job is simply not fulfilling you, then you are most likely riding this wave as well.

Congruent living isn’t some new fad or something we need to fight for. It’s returning to our natural state of being. It’s a release that is long overdue. If we can learn anything from the vast and mighty universe it would be that in order to bring the greatest light to a situation, it must often be ripped apart. When we can embrace the letting go, the destruction of our comfort zones, then we are truly free and living in the flow of creation. When we finally realize how important we are as individuals to the Whole, then we begin optimal living. This often reminds me of physics’ Chaos Theory which states that a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the world can contribute to a tornado on the other side of the world, also known as ‘The Butterfly Effect” in that we seldom stop to think of the global implications of our actions and most certainly not our thoughts. But everything is energy, and with thoughts being the beacons of light upon which your life is shaped and formed, it would serve us (and everyone around us near and far) to begin to mind our thoughts with care; to keep them…congruent for the collective.

 

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

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

Follow Tamara on Facebook, and Twitter