Archive for the ‘Self Improvement’ Category
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Mindfulness and the “Pink Floyd Moment”

mindfulnessThis is a guest post by David Nelson, PhD

A few months ago, Molly and I were having supper together in a real nice little vegan café in Madison, Wisconsin. We were exchanging stories of our ways of helping people cope, and I relayed to her one of the experiences I had in teaching people how to relax.

I also explained how many counselors today are just very boring in their professions, and need to spice it up a bit.

You see, about 10 years ago, a gentleman came into my office stating that he had chronic pain in his lower back. He explained he was a carpenter and that the only thing that seemed to help him manage his pain was smoking marijuana.

He turned to me and said, “I heard you do hypnosis, and I was wondering if you could hypnotize me to be stoned all the time? I don’t want to lose my job with a dirty urine analysis. I figured if I could hypnotize myself to be stoned, it would manage my pain and I could keep my job.”

My first thought was, “Is he kidding?”

Then it dawned on me, “Why not?”

On the spring equinox, dancing and spiritual growth

spring equinox

This year the spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere is Friday March 20, at 22:45 UTC [coordinated universal time].

It’s a day of equal balance of the hours of light and dark before the sun continues its journey towards longer daylight hours and warming temperatures.

The equinox energy is strong for four days before and after March 20th, giving us time to bask in the opportunities and lessons it brings.

WHAT SETS THE SPRING EQUINOX APART FROM OTHER DAYS 

Ancient cultures throughout history have celebrated this time of rebirth of Mother Earth. But what does it mean for us? 

The earth is comprised of 70% water and, on average, so is the human body. That alone is a giant clue as to how interconnected we are.

What happens to the earth’s energy also happens within us, therefore we can experience more harmony if we work with the earth’s cycles instead of ignoring them. It’s not just another day.

Here are some of the aspects of the Spring Equinox and how I incorporate them into my own life so as to better communicate with the spiritual forces of the earth. You may wish to do the same.

WHAT IT TEACHES US ABOUT BALANCE IN OUR LIVES 

The equal hours of day and night represent balance: a balanced life is a healthy life. Do you eat enough healthy food?

  • Drink enough water?
  • Get enough sleep?
  • Exercise?
  • Play?

This is a good time to look closely at our lives and how to improve them.

HOW TO RENEW YOUR ENVIRONMENT 

Even though it doesn’t look like it in the northern U.S. right now, the earth is either starting to green up or will very soon. That greening represents renewal: clearing out the old to make space for the new.

What was dead [the earth by all appearances in this part of the country] comes back to life. What a miracle that is!

There’s a reason Easter and Passover are celebrated at this time of year!

Let spring cleaning be more than just vacuuming and dusting. Start the process of renewing your heart and mind by cleaning out closets and drawers to pass on those things we no longer use or wear regularly.

A good rule of thumb is: if you haven’t used it in the past year, let it go. Let your local shelter or non-profit thrift store benefit.

Holding on to old “material stuff” is also a representation of holding on to old “emotional stuff.” Be courageous and start the process of release and renewal.

If you have sage, smudge your entire house. Or use essential oils such as lavender to refresh and renew the home.

And don’t just clean the house. Clean the earth around it. Why not go for a walk this week and pick up trash along the side of the road? The earth spirits will thank and bless you.

There’s no dishonor in cleaning up after others who disrespect the earth. We are all earth keepers.

This is a good time to clean out the garden and plant something new. Clear out the old growth and dead leaves in your garden and ceremonial areas.

In the Native American tradition, bless your gardens with cornmeal or tobacco or a simple prayer.

If you have no outdoor gardens, bless your houseplants. And renew them: cut off the dead ends, check for insects. Are they happy where they are, or do they need a new location or a new pot?

Let your house plants represent inviting the green to return and bring goodness and abundance into your life.

And as your gardens start to be reborn, so can other projects in your life. What were you thinking about and planning over the winter? Now’s the time to take the steps to birth them into reality.

SURPRISES COME WHEN YOU LEARN TO BE OBSERVANT

As I write this, it’s currently 37 degrees Farenheit here in Michigan, and there’s still snow on the ground. There’s not really any sign of spring.

But the alignment of the earth, sun and moon says otherwise. And we cannot argue with the planets or deny our connection to them. The earth knows what’s supposed to be happening when the sun is at this equal point, and is starting to comply, even if it doesn’t look or feel like it.

Take a walk outside. Be observant. Look closely. Look for buds and shoots coming out. The signs are there and, when you see them, they will bring joy to your heart. 

Native Americans teach that one way to develop your intuition is by developing your powers of observation. Ask a question, then go for a walk outside and observe the natural world – the trees, grasses, flowers, animals, insects. Somewhere along the way, your observations will bring answers to your question.

WHAT THE EQUINOX CAN TEACH US ABOUT DETOXIFICATION

Our bodies naturally gain about 5 pounds each winter, as a way of helping insulate us from the cold. And in the natural course of things, we would lose those five pounds in the spring, as our activity level increases and we eat lighter food.

But the reason such a large percentage of the U.S. population is overweight is that we don’t lose those five pounds each spring because we don’t increase our exercise or lighten our diets. As a result, we’re gaining weight every year!

Spring is the time to change your diet. Start moving to lighter, easy-to-digest foods, and avoid dairy, fried or oily foods. Eat local, fresh fruits and vegetables as they become available.

In fact, you may intuitively feel yourself wanting change your diet this time of year.

You might even talk to your holistic health practitioner about doing a detox cleanse.

WHY THE EQUINOX IS A TIME FOR GRATITUDE AND CELEBRATION

Give thanks for all the joys, gifts and lessons of the winter.

Give thanks for all the good things springing up around us.

Give thanks for what you have and trust the Universe to continue to bring you more of what will serve your highest good.

I like to make a special meal and put some on an offering plate to be put outside for the nature spirits. This is an age-old gratitude prayer practiced by indigenous people all over the world to give thanks for the food that we eat, another gift from Mother Earth.

Celebrate the return of light and green and goodness.

And dance as if no one is watching while you’re at it.

[A version of this post was published on March 20, 2014].

The One and Only Thing That’s Missing From Your Life

The Seeker, The Search, The Sacred

Something is happening today that could transform untold numbers of lives — including your own… and here’s how you can be a part of it.Right now, as you read this, over 200 leading authors and experts are sending out this vital information so you and people around the world can start living fully, freely, and fearlessly. And it’s all happening today, March 12th.Watch this stirring short video to find out what’s going on:

http://www.YourImmortalSelf.org/special/P1935/

The big news is that my friend Guy Finley has written a new book that opens the doors to your brighter, more authentic life. It’s called The Secret of Your Immortal Self, and it’s being simultaneously released today in 142 countries. This book is so illuminating, and Guy is so well respected by his peers, that over 200 leading authors and experts are joining to spread the news. It’s a wave of enlightenment that’s racing across the planet right now.

If you’d like to learn the deeper secrets of your own self, and unlock all the love, vibrant energy, and confidence that lie within you, here’s the key — along with a FREE live webinar with Guy Finley, and over 120 additional free bonus gifts.

Visit this link now for all the details. This could be the turning point of your life.

http://www.YourImmortalSelf.org/special/P1935/

All best wishes for true happiness,

Molly Larkin

The Ultimate Guide to Positive Thinking: Top 50 Posts

positive thinkingDo you struggle with staying positive?

Are you someone who sees the glass as half empty?

Research shows that people who practice positive thinking are less likely to be unemployed and more likely to be physically healthier and live longer.

That should be some good incentive to try to think more positive.

Yes, it does take practice. But the good news is that anyone can learn to do it.

I used to be chronically sad and depressed. All the clothes in my closet were navy blue because I had the “blues” all the time.

Then one day a friend I hadn’t seen in a month asked me how I was and I started saying, “Well, I’ve been having a hard time lately…”

How to Boost Your Compassion: 20 Simple Acts of Kindness

compassion

When someone cuts you off in traffic, do you feel indignant?

If you’re like me, your answer was probably “yes.”

For many people, the first reaction in that situation is a negative one.

But given the state of affairs in the world, wouldn’t it be a good thing to put out a higher vibration?

To add good vibes where they’re needed?

To make the world a better place?

I’m sure you agree. But how does one do that?

I believe practicing compassion is one of the very best ways to do it.

Tweet: “Compassion is the radicalism of our time.” Dalai Lama

We never know what challenges and hardships another person may be dealing with that might cause them to act in a way we don’t like.

My friend Teri told me this story about herself:

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