Embrace Curiosity

By Mary Boutieller

When we let go of who we think we are, we open the door to all kinds of possibilities.

What have you always been curious about? What do you think about when you allow your mind to wander? What is the answer to the proverbial question: “If money (or time) was not an object, I would…” Have you ever allowed yourself to think about it?

I’m asking because I’m curious…and because I’ve been pondering the same questions lately. There are times when I think I am really courageous, trying new things, pushing my limits; yet as I’ve examined them recently, I realize that most of the things I do are still well within my wheelhouse. I love to teach, therefore I teach. I love to write, therefore I write an article each month. I really like to exercise, hence the upcoming bike trip for which I’m training. Yet the other night when my husband, John, asked me if I wanted to learn a few chords on the ukulele, my immediate response was “no.”

Then I wondered, for a day and a half, why I said “no.” What was I afraid of? From where was my resistance coming? Didn’t I want to learn a musical instrument? Well, yes, but…(cue the excuses).

Two days later, I asked John to show me a couple of chords on the ukulele (funny little instrument). It felt awkward and hard, and I certainly wasn’t any good at it. Yet, it sparked my curiosity and it made me feel kind of happy. I was reminded of what Walt Whitman once said, “Be curious, not judgmental.”

One of my dear friends is always trying something new: jewelry making, hydroponics, clay work, mushroom growing…I admire that about him and realized one day that maybe this was one of the ways he plays in life. Imagine if we all looked at learning new things as a form of play where mistakes are good and there is no fear of failing?

Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.”

For me, growing up, I was often afraid of failing, of disappointing someone, of being not quite good enough. As a result, I played it safe for much of my early life. And although I’ve since gone on to do some really cool things in my life, I wonder how much of that little child’s fear still resonates? Could I still be afraid to fail, and is that why I don’t break out of my comfort zone more often?

As I write this, I can see how ridiculous this is, if it’s true. I picture myself as strong and capable and fearless, so I take a deep breath as I peel back another layer.

Jillian Michaels wrote, “A bad day for your ego is a great day for your soul.” When we let go of who we think we are (the ego), we open the door to all kinds of possibilities.

What would you do if you didn’t care what anyone else thought? Would you dance in the street, laugh loudly in public, or write a book? Would you try something new, knowing that mistakes are good and failures are just another step in the right direction?

Be in love with the unanswerable questions that draw you closer to who you were meant to be. Let curiosity be your guide and allow your imagination to lead the way. And if for any reason you feel afraid, remember that you are not alone.

Mary Boutieller is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her work experience includes 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 10 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Mary’s knowledge and experience give her a well-rounded understanding of anatomy, alignment, health and movement in the body. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and the ability to heal at all levels through awareness, compassion, and a willingness to explore. She can be reached at: SimplyogaOm@gmail.com.

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The Way

By Jo Mooy

Every soul is on its own path, and each path has its own characteristics and qualities.

I call the isolation of the 2020-2021 “The Great Pause.” As of this writing, it’s lasted 20 months. For some, it’s been unpleasant. For me, it created a break from the routine I’d been following nonstop for the past 15 years. It gave me a long-overdue rest that I didn’t know I needed nor would have taken. It’s been immensely beneficial because I took the time during the 20-month sabbatical to examine where I’ve been, what I’ve done and, more importantly, where I’m going next.

I’ve written many articles about the spiritual journey that one takes in life. It’s been called The Path, a Quest, or The Way, and it’s often described as a long solitary trek towards an end goal. It’s an endless quest that can take thousands of years according to some esoteric traditions. It can be direct or it can meander around and detour into unplanned places. It’s expected to lead to some form of an “enlightened” endpoint.

I discovered that may or may not be true because, while on the path, it doesn’t reveal its “truth” or the direction to take without doing some serious work. That “work” brought me to a different understanding of what the journey is and facilitated the simple unfolding that occurs without any prodding. Sometimes it comes from unusual sources. During my second summer in The Pause, I met a Mandalorian and a foundling named Baby Yoda. The Mandalorian speaks of “The Way” much as grownup Yoda spoke of “The Force.” The Way is a type of Zen path where a code governs the behaviors of the Mandalorians. It’s a spiritual code held within a cultural path of honor that connects warriors or seekers.

On the heels of the Mandalorian path of honor, I discovered the Platform Sutra. I’d never heard of it before. Its author is Huineng, called the Sixth Patriarch of Chan (638-713 BCE.) He wrote, We are what we think, having become what we thought.” When I read those words I wondered if Abdullah, (who taught my spiritual teacher Neville Goddard) may have actually influenced the Sixth Patriarch. Abdullah was descended from a 6,000-year-old Asian mystical lineage whose teachings were similar.

Three paths that influenced my spiritual education were converging without any proactive effort on my part. Was this how the spiritual journey unfolds? You’re walking along living your life, doing your thing, and something spontaneously drops out of the blue causing you to look up and meander in a new direction. When the Mandalorian “Way” dropped in, it stirred a memory that merged with Neville Goddard’s teachings and the tenets of the Platform Sutra. Those “codes of living” were rooted in the teachings of Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching, which coincidentally, was also written in the 6th Century BCE. All three of those spiritual disciplines came about in answer to devastating regional wars and terrible discord on the land. Each path offered rules on how to live in goodness and integrity during those severe chaotic times.

The teachings are still relevant centuries later, as Covid’s arrival created its own discord across the world. Emotional and behavioral wars between usually well-meaning and rational individuals erupted constantly. In 20 months, the emotional and physical toll it provoked was soul-crushing. Yet, each person, following their unique Path, (whether they were aware of the Path or not) had to navigate the psychic boulders tossed up by the chaotic and cultural explosions, and somehow forge ahead with virtues like patience, tolerance and compassion. Many days it was a near insurmountable task that shattered the delicate social fabric holding us together.

The spiritual disciplines that each person experiences on their journey always deliver tools to help steer through the endless debris fields ahead. In a never-ending teaching mantra, spiritual disciplines affirm the virtues of meditation (or silent, quiet contemplation) and controlled breathing. The Sixth Patriarch said, “Meditation is the essence of wisdom, and wisdom is the function of meditation.” Practiced daily, it can restore harmony to the chaos. Wisdom and insights come forth when the mind is still. The Platform Sutra suggests just sitting. Add nothing to it—just sit and breathe evenly. In that space, (done for about 30 minutes) the discord lessens or disappears, and a sense of ease will return.

Walking The Way is not a technique. It’s a way of living and being. Becoming aware of it forever changes the individual. The Way opens “the code” of who you are. Every soul is on its own path. Each path has its own characteristics and qualities. What we might call a “negative path” has harsh challenges for the person walking it. But only courageous souls choose that path. What we call “good paths” are easy in comparison, for they carry lesser psychic wounds at end of life. Every path is going in the same direction. It seems like there are many paths but there’s only one path spiraling forward like an elongated slinky. Each soul, regardless of the positive or negative qualities expressed on its journey, is always a lighted pearl on the coils of the slinky.

There’s much more meaning to it than this intellectual understanding. Studying or trying to grasp the essence of The Way is a lifelong pursuit. Yet, in one moment of stillness, it can blossom. I’m only a novice with a rudimentary understanding. But every so often, while falling asleep at night, or in the silence of a no-thought meditation, I get a glimpse of the grandeur of the journeys each soul has chosen to walk and I see clearly how each one illuminates the next one. And, I see the magnificence of each soul that has chosen to do this during times of extreme disorder, like the one we’re currently experiencing. When those infrequent glimpses occur, the chaos dissolves, inspiration returns, hope is restored, and I’m good for another 50,000 miles along The Way.

Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. The wide diversity of this training allows her to develop spiritual seminars and retreats that explore inspirational concepts, give purpose and guidance to students, and present esoteric teachings in an understandable manner. Along with Patricia Cockerill, she has guided the Women’s Meditation Circle since January 2006 where it has been honored for five years in a row as the “Favorite Meditation” group in Sarasota, FL, by Natural Awakenings Magazine. Teaching and using Sound as a retreat healing practice, Jo was certified as a Sound Healer through Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing Association. She writes and publishes a monthly internationally distributed e-newsletter called Spiritual Connections and is a staff writer for Spirit of Maat magazine in Sedona. For more information go to http://www.starsoundings.com or email jomooy@gmail.com.

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Spiritual Growth

By Owen K Waters

The universal theme playing out on Earth today is shifting from one of separation to one of integration.

Spiritual growth is the growing awareness of a higher level of consciousness.

A higher level of consciousness brings an expanded view of reality.

The more your view of reality expands, the more you are able to integrate any conflicting issues within yourself.

Why It Matters Today

Spiritual growth has become such an urgent issue today because the frequency of everyone’s consciousness is rising. People may not be aware that they are growing. They may resist it. They may be in denial that today’s great changes affect them. Nevertheless, these are the days of great change, an era called The Shift.

The Shift is a steady rise in consciousness which affects the entire planet. It is similar to the cultural shift of the Renaissance, only amplified several times over. The Renaissance was merely a practice run for today’s transformation.

The Shift into higher consciousness is propelling today’s search for spirituality and meaning in life. Spiritual growth involves gaining a deeper sense of inner awareness. Deeper awareness ranges from light meditation to a complete and blissful union with your true, inner self.

Exposure to the deeper states of meditation have the long-term effect of raising your everyday level of awareness. The higher the frequency of your consciousness, the more likely you are to see the synchronicity of events in your life and gain intuitive insights into these.

The universal theme playing out on Earth today is shifting from one of separation to one of integration. Integration means learning how to love and accept yourself, and others, completely and unconditionally.

Deeper awareness opens the door to an inner sense of the connectedness of all life. You begin to see other people as different expressions of the same Infinite Being. Not better than, not less than, just different than yourself. In the deeper awareness of spiritual growth, the universe is seen to be within, not something separate and outside of yourself.

Inner integration is a process that causes issues of separation to arise so that they can be resolved. In society today, issues are coming up so rapidly that society appears to be in turmoil or chaos. This turmoil is actually a great society-wide healing, with issues becoming resolved one after another.

People are becoming more sensitive in many ways as the frequency of consciousness rises. The search for lighter diets is just one manifestation of this new lightness of being.

The physical senses are becoming more acute. An example of this is people’s sensitivity to the smell of cigarette smoke in workplaces and restaurants. Back in the 1970s, people smoked everywhere and very few noticed any discomfort from it. By the 1990s, however, the majority of people’s sensitivity had changed so much that they couldn’t wait to get smoking banned from indoor gathering places.

With the rise in consciousness comes a rise in personal empowerment. People are no longer willing to tolerate abuse or inequality in any form. Many forms of abuse which were traditionally ignored and tolerated have now come out into the public view for examination and reform.

David: Icon of the Renaissance

The Renaissance movement was inspired by the icon of Michelangelo’s statue of David. The statue portrays David, strong-willed and ready, at the moment that he decides to engage the threat posed by Goliath. This icon of personal empowerment resonated with the cultural shift of the time. People wanted to explore their potential, taking personal initiative in their lives.

Before this, they had seen life as a sequence of events caused by a preordained destiny. Up until that time, people had resigned themselves to a flow of events which they saw as being outside of their control.

When people shifted towards the attitude that they might also be preordained to take some personal initiative, everything began to shift. The floodgates of possibility opened up as people began to explore their true potential.

In that same era, people on Earth still thought that their planet was the center of the universe. The Sun was seen as orbiting around the Earth, and the stars were merely a decorative backdrop in the Creator’s sky.

Today, it is known that the universe measures billions of light years across, contains countless billions of galaxies, with each galaxy typically containing billions of suns. The number of planets in the universe is so large that it makes such an expanded view of reality almost impossible to grasp.

When you consider that all of those trillions of planets were created by one Creator, there is an obvious need for today’s concept of God to expand to fill the new reality. Faced with such a massively expanded view of the universe, how are people supposed to grasp the concept of such a huge Creator in a way that makes sense today?

What would David have done? As he faced the looming Philistine giant Goliath and readied his slingshot, to whom did he pray? Did he invoke the power of an external God for his protection? Possibly, but not likely. As portrayed in the Michelangelo statue, his face was set, but not with a need for protection. It was set in a defiance born of inner strength and determination.

The Power Is Within You

Everyone possesses such inner strength. That same source of incredible personal power is available within everyone, and the source is your inner self. Often referred to as the soul, your inner self is the permanent part of you. While the physical body can pass away from the physical world, and later the spirit body can pass away from the spirit world, your inner self is the real, permanent you.

It is the part of you that is permanently joined with your soul family in vibrant love and harmony. The more you contact your inner self through meditation, the more you can tune into this source of strength, love and harmony.

People’s connection to the Infinite Being always has been through their soul, or inner self.

Inner contact through meditation is the most peaceful, and the most productive, part of any day. Everyone deserves quality time. When quality time becomes the first priority of the day, then meditation will happen regularly and the benefits will automatically be yours.

Put meditation at the top of your to-do list for each day and watch your spiritual growth unfold.

Owen Water is a cofounder of the Spiritual Dynamics Academy and InfiniteBeing.com, where a where a free spiritual growth newsletter awaits you at https://www.InfiniteBeing.com. He is an international spiritual teacher who has helped hundreds of thousands of spiritual seekers to understand better the nature of their spiritual potential. Owen’s life has been focused upon gaining spiritual insights through extensive research and the development of his inner vision. He has written a spiritual metaphysics newsletter since 2004 which empowers people to discover their own new vistas of inspiration, love and creativity. Spiritual seekers enjoy his writings for their clarity and deep insights. Contact Owen via email News@InfiniteBeing.com.

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The Secret of Effortless Action

By Owen Waters

If at first you don’t succeed, there is a reason for it.

The ancient philosopher Lao Tse (“Lay-OTE-say”) gave teachings that were designed to confuse the conscious mind. The idea was that, when the conscious mind tires and gets out of the way, the seeker could discover the deeper truths within.

He is credited with the 2,500-year-old work, the Tao Te Ching, which is full of apparent contradictions or paradoxes. For example, he refers to the Tao (the “Dow”) as that which is everything and yet nothing. What he means is that the Tao—the Absolute, the Is-ness, or Infinite Being—is the transcendent consciousness behind all manifestation. It is not the active manifestation of the created universe, but the original consciousness behind it. It is that which, in silence and unchanging perfection, always was and always will be. And yet, so the paradox goes, all of manifestation came from it and therefore is it.

Similarly, he uses paradox to promote the philosophy of Wu Wei (“Woo Way”) as the way of “action without action.” Sounds impossible? That’s the point. He wanted people to give up making logical sense of the idea and, instead, go within to find the truth behind the paradox.

The principle of Wu Wei really means effortless action. The secret to achieving effortless action is to realize that there is a natural flow of influences at work in all parts of the universe. You sense the natural flow of the moment and act within that flow. If the moment is not right for a certain type of action, then the attuned person delays the task. When they sense that the right moment has arrived, then they act and easily accomplish the task.

It can also mean not forcing a situation to be what it isn’t. If a situation comes about which is beyond your control, then making the best of it is often the elegant solution.

The saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” is attributed to the 14th century Scottish King Robert the Bruce. According to legend, he once took refuge in a cave, where he watched a spider trying to spin a web. It failed several times to make a connection from one area of the cave’s roof to another, but each time it started all over again until it finally succeeded. People today take that saying to mean that, if something doesn’t work, you need to be obstinate and keep trying harder until you overcome all obstacles and eventually make it happen by sheer force of will.

The Wu Wei approach to life is quite the opposite. It suggests that, if at first you don’t succeed, there is a reason for it. It means that you are not acting with the natural flow of energy within that place and time and it may also mean that you need to discover a more suitable solution.

First, take a deep breath, relax and step back from the situation. After that, you’ll be able to judge it objectively and in a state of balance. Then:

A) decide if you’re trying to force something into existence that shouldn’t be, or

B) look for a better solution to achieve your objective, and/or

C) wait for your innate sense of timing to feel right.

One of the benefits of the spiritual consciousness emerging in our New Reality is the ability to sense the natural flow of universal influences and know when the time is right for certain types of action.

Editor’s Note: To open the way to realizing more timeless truths, see Owen Waters’ book, Higher Consciousness: Finding Peace and Joy Above the Noise. https://www.infinitebeing.com/ebooks/higher.htm

Owen Water is a cofounder of the Spiritual Dynamics Academy and InfiniteBeing.com, where a where a free spiritual growth newsletter awaits you at https://www.InfiniteBeing.com. He is an international spiritual teacher who has helped hundreds of thousands of spiritual seekers to understand better the nature of their spiritual potential. Owen’s life has been focused upon gaining spiritual insights through extensive research and the development of his inner vision. He has written a spiritual metaphysics newsletter since 2004 which empowers people to discover their own new vistas of inspiration, love and creativity. Spiritual seekers enjoy his writings for their clarity and deep insights. Contact Owen via email News@InfiniteBeing.com.

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Win the Battle of the Bulge

By Rena Greenberg

The first step to losing weight is making a decision to love yourself and your body.

With all the volumes that have been written about how to lose weight and keep it off, and the varied opinions of the many “experts” in the field, it may seem like a task that is nearly impossible to achieve. One day we are told that eggs are to be avoided, and the next we’re encouraged to include eggs as a staple in our daily diet…There are scores of examples of this type of contradictory advice!

Despite all this outer confusion, the truth is that losing weight is extremely simple and obvious. Eat less and exercise more is the age-old wisdom and solution we know to be true. However, the fact that it’s not always easy to shed those pounds and make a permanent lifestyle change is a result of the habitual patterns around food that are ingrained in the subconscious mind.

The good news is that those habits can be changed!

Another key component that I find essential to success, beyond eating smaller portions and staying active, is remembering to stay away from trigger foods—always! That’s right, never diet, never deprive yourself, throw away your calorie and point counters, and just start listening to your body. It has a genius inside that can guide you. All “Truth” is simple, and it’s no different when it comes to staying healthy and at the right weight for your body. Here are three simple rules to help you get started:

Rule #1: Balance is the key. Give your body the nutritious food it needs to run in an optimal state. Eat only when you are physically hungry and, if you aren’t sure when you are hungry, start paying attention and ask your body to teach you when it needs to eat and what it needs to eat. Speak to your body in a loving, appreciative way.

Rule #2: If you’re confused about what foods are best for you and you’re overweight, most likely protein with vegetables and/or salad will balance your blood sugar. Remember that excess carbohydrates just won’t do the trick! You probably already know that from personal experience. Listen to your body!

Rule #3: Never eat for emotional reasons. You are strong, you are an adult, and you can contain your emotions. Remember what you would do if the weather becomes stormy: seek shelter and wait for the downpour to pass. Do the same with the “storms” of emotions that pass through your mind and body. No amount of food will change the downpour of negative thoughts and feelings that sometimes overwhelm you. Food only will distract and numb you. Ultimately, you still end up with all the same problems you had before, only now they are compounded by suffering over the hurtful choices you made with food, and the consequences that your mind and body are left to deal with.

When the emotional storms of life come barreling through our energy field, the wisdom of the ages reveals to us that all we need to do is enlarge the essence of our being. We can’t fight these emotions, think our way out of them, or eat our way around them. We usually can see from past experience that these attempts have only lead to increasing the negativity these emotions evoke within. There is only one place to find refuge, and that is within our Greater Self—within the heart and soul that loves us dearly and connects us to all of life. We connect here through intention, through breath, and by going inward daily with a practice such as self-hypnosis.

No matter how long you have struggled with the battle of the bulge, know that you have everything that you need to be successful. You don’t need to attend one more seminar discussing the perils of eating meat or the obvious benefits of eating raw, plant food. It’s not necessary to sit through dreaded weigh-ins and time-consuming meetings. Throw away the powdered drinks and packaged diet foods. Forget about counting every calorie you eat or buying expensive exercise equipment that will end up becoming a towel hanger. The key to success lies in changing the way you think about food subconsciously so that you naturally prefer the foods that are best for you and are turned off to the foods that are harmful. The first step to achieving this change is making a decision to love yourself and your body, including a commitment to honor and respect yourself.

Stay balanced, avoid triggers, and enjoy every bite you eat. Eat mindfully, consciously, and with awareness. Allow your emotions to move through you like the weather. Connect to the wisest place inside of yourself on a daily basis and inquire, “What do I need today? How will the food I eat make me feel?” “Will the food I am about to eat nourish and sustain me, or will it cause me to desire more harmful foods?”

Instead of berating and shaming yourself, ask: “In what direction am I headed?” “What can I do better today that will help me to create the kind of tomorrow that fulfills me?” “What foods do I enjoy that are healthy and life-building?”

Plan ahead, believe in yourself, and connect to your strongest motivation: Why do you want to live and what quality of life do you want to create for yourself? Remember that you are a creator, and you have the power to turn your health and your life around. You have all the resources you need inside yourself. Your subconscious mind is a powerhouse of creativity, strength, ingenuity, courage, and possibility.

Let go of all the forcing, pushing, complaining, and trying, and simply allow the infinite wisdom in your subconscious mind to guide you by turning toward it fully. Open to the guidance that is in your core—within your deep heart—the part of you that knows exactly what you need to succeed. You can do it!

Rena Greenberg, a Hay House author, can be reached at http://www.EasyWillpower.com. Her weight loss and gastric bypass hypnosis success has been featured in 150-plus news stories including USA Today, Woman’s World, The Doctor’s, CNN, Good Morning America and Nightline. PBS stations nationally aired Rena’s show, “Easy Willpower,” in August 2015. Her wellness program is sponsored in 75 hospitals and 100-plus corporations. She conducts hypnotherapy sessions with people all over the world on Skype.

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Cultivating a Wholesome Life

By Arielle Giordano

How you approach food says a lot about your life and your relationships.

How you eat, what you eat, and why you eat is a reflection of how you view the world and engage in relationships with others.  Are you just consuming food out of habit, or are you in your body aware and appreciating what is about to nourish your body? Do you rush through meals or take your time to savor the flavors and experience of eating?

If you “eat healthy” you might grow your own food and nurture the plants, or perhaps you carefully consider the source of what you buy from stores and how and where it was cultivated, such as from an organic farm that tends the soil, rotates its crops, and gives back to the Earth. You recognize the cycle of life and merge with it through your choices.

If you have “healthy relationships,” you foster connections, always bringing something to the table, and sharing with others. You merge with partners—whether family, friends or romantic mates—to cooperate rather than compete. In other words, you are not consuming them in any way or taking from them.

A wholesome life is about contributing to the world. When you are in this state of consciousness, you will receive abundantly without looking for reciprocity from others around you. You will give without expectations and, in return, the universe will nurture your body and soul.

Gently notice what you eat, how you eat ,and why you eat. Then, let the finest, most gentle being-ness in your heart occupy your consciousness. Through this process, you will learn new ways to improve your relationships, appreciate life and nurture you.

“Eating is not only nourishing for the body, but also for the mind.”―Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Eat

Transformational Life Coach Award-Winning Author & Speaker, Professional Dancer. Arielle’s Award-Winning book for Best Self-Help Award: Dancing With Your Story From The Inside is available on http://www.Amazon.com. Her professional career includes the Lead Faculty Area Chairperson and Professor for the College of Humanities, History and the Arts at the University of Phoenix. She is a published co-author of Transform Your Life Books 1 & 2 and author for Tampa Bay Wellness, Conscious Shift & Transformation magazine. She has published her 4th book, an Instructor’s Manual for Barlow Abnormal Psychology 4th ed. and authored Psychology, A Journey 3rd.ed. Study Guide published by Nelson Education, Toronto, ON. She has also studied philosophy at the College of Integrated Philosophy with John DeRuiter for twenty years. Arielle has been a featured guest on radio and television, in newspapers, and the media across the US and Canada. She is a certified Essentrics Stretch and Dance Instructor. Arielle offers coaching sessions, classes and workshops and a free 30-minute Consultation. Websites: http://www.dancingfromtheinsideout.com,
http://www.ariellegiordano.com. Email: agbeautifuldance@gmail.com

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Who Needs Need?

By Gregg Sanderson

To be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what you do have.—Ken Keyes

“I love you. I need you,” say countless songs and novels to convey that romantic thought to unsuspecting innocents.

“You can’t expect one person to fill all my needs,” say rationalizing philanderers.

“You aren’t meeting each others’ needs,” say hordes of counselors whose relationships also don’t work.

A need is anything you must have in order to be happy. It’s an expression of lack. Every time you say “I need…” you reinforce the unconscious attitude of “I don’t have…” Brandishing need is the same as celebrating poverty—physical, emotional, and spiritual. You’re just going to get more of it.

Of course, there are the physical needs to keep the body going, it’s the mental needs that screw us up. Here are some ways to recognize when a need interferes with your happiness:

  • You lose peace of mind as you focus on what’s missing.
  • You view the world through the lens of lack.
  • You view people as potential satisfiers or obstacles.
  • You seek to get, and when you get, you worry about losing.
  • When you focus on what you lack, you can’t enjoy what you have.
  • Nothing changes. Patterns repeat. Satisfaction is short-lived.

Needs come in three flavors—security, sensation, and power.

Security needs are deepest and most ingrained, and the dominant emotion is fear. You know you’re centered in security when you’re afraid—very afraid.

Sensation needs are exemplified by sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Food, too. Anything that stimulates the senses. You know you’re centered there when you are run by a craving. Frustration is a good indicator of a sensation need, although it also points to the next flavor…

Power needs: control, prestige, authority. The reaction from the power center is usually anger or some variety thereof.

In other words, NEED IS THE ONLY CAUSE OF SUFFERING, and “suffering” is any emotion that rejects what is here and now.

So what?

  1. When you feel good about the way things are, your emotional reaction is positive.
  2. When life doesn’t fit your pictures of how it should be, negative emotions rule.
  3. You can change those unconscious pictures to include things as they are.
  4. When you do, you feel positive more often and everything works better.

Points 1, 2, and 4 are obvious. Simple observation. But what about point 3? How in the world can you change those unconscious pictures? If I knew what they were, they wouldn’t be unconscious.

There are several ways, and they all work. My choice is Living Love—The Science of Happiness, which presents 12 “Pathways to Higher Consciousness.” It was created by Ken Keyes Jr. in 1972, when he published the Handbook to Higher Consciousness. Whenever I suffer, it’s because my “pictures” or “programming” is out of line with one or more of the Pathways.

When I want to stop suffering, I just have to change the program—like a computer. Instead of: “There’s an app for that,”I know “There’s a Pathway for that.”

Of course, I need to be willing to change. The First Pathway is a good start. It goes: “I am freeing myself from security, sensation, and power needs that make me try to forcefully control situations in my life and thus destroy my serenity and keep me from loving myself and others.”

Note:

“I am freeing myself...” It’s only me, nobody can do it for me.

“…that make me try....” I only try, never succeed at controlling things. Do you?

“...destroy my serenity...” and how! It’s called “stress.”

“…keep me from loving myself and others.”

The bottom line. Love is where it’s at, and we have eleven more pathways to get there. Tune in next month.

Gregg Sanderson is author of Spirit With A Smile, The World According To BOB. He is a licensed practitioner in the Centers for Spiritual Living, and a Certified Trainer for Infinite Possibilities. His earlier books were, What Ever Happened To Happily Ever After? and Split Happens—Easing The Pain Of Divorce. His latest project is the New Thought Global Network, where subscribers can enjoy the best in New Thought presentations from anywhere at any time. You can see it at http://www.newthoughtglobal.org.

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LOL!

By Linda Commito

“We don’t laugh because we’re happy—we’re happy because we laugh”.—Dr. Madan Kataria

Who doesn’t need a good laugh these days? It seems like such a rarity for many of us, especially with this global challenge, but not for Hannah Bellaff, who created Facebook/laughteradaykeepsthedoctoraway. She believes what new research indicates: “laughing with friends releases feel good brain chemicals, which also relieves pain.” Within a week of creating her Facebook page, it had a life of its own, and now has more than 1,000 members and growing. Hannah feels, “I’ve done something good here”. No politics or sex bashing . . . just pure fun for everyone to enjoy.

During a small community gathering, I drew the Just Ask 1 2 3 question: What is a funny thing that happened to you? I shared my laughable mishap and called it: “NO SOUP FOR YOU!” :

I’d just started a new job as a manufacturer’s gift rep and was ready, in my finest dress, for a big day at the Denver Merchandise Mart, meeting and writing orders for customers. At some point, I decided to take a quick trip to the restroom. As I was rushing back towards the showroom, through the atrium, I heard a loud “OOOOOPS!” just as the caterer carrying the huge tureen of vegetable soup for the cafeteria stopped too short as he tried to avoid me. With vegetables flying through the air, I soon I found myself covered in soup! He told me to come to the kitchen where he handed me an oversized kitchen smock.

Luckily, I kept my sense of humor. Imagine the surprised looks and mouths agape as I faced my boss and customers wearing my white smock, with potatoes in my shoes and carrots in my hair! I was laughing so hard I couldn’t say anything except, “I have to go home, but I’ll be back.” When I arrived home, my roommate’s dog could hardly contain itself . . . a sensory feast had arrived! A quick shower and a fresh outfit and I was soon back to business. But that cafeteria worker would never come near me again, backing off especially if I dared to order soup. (For Seinfeld fans, it reminded me of the scene: No Soup for You!)

While I have never been quick at getting jokes, I will admit that I can crack myself up over crazy things that I’ve said or done and hoped that no one witnessed. But it is often those silly things that offer the greatest opportunity to laugh at our human foibles. Ok. I’ll share one (if you will): Today I looked down at my hand and noticed a sliver. (If you knew me, you’d know that I hate needles and used to run down the street as a kid whenever I sensed that I would be getting a shot.) But my partner, Francesco, said he’d help and we got out the tweezers and hydrogen peroxide. I closed my eyes and turned my head so as not to look, as he tried a couple of times to no avail. I said, “I’m going to put my glasses on so I can see it better.” And then I burst out laughing. It wasn’t a sliver after all, but an ink line that was easily rubbed out! LOL! (Ok…no “getting old” comments please!)

It may be harder to find things to laugh at these days, but we need it more than ever. The staff at the Mayo Clinic says: “When it comes to relieving stress, more giggles and guffaws are just what the doctor ordered. Whether you’re guffawing at a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that’s no joke.”

How can we help each other and ourselves by focusing on things that make us laugh . . . cartoons, funny movies, quotes and sharing those things that lighten up our moods and perspective on life?

I’m finding that the more I can see the humor in a situation, the easier it is to deal with, and the more I can have a good laugh over something, the better I feel about it. We can all use a little laughter in our lives these days and a little vacation from our much too serious selves.

Linda Commito, author, speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and teacher, is passionate about her vision to leave this world a kinder, more loving, and interconnected place. Linda’s award-winning book of inspirational stories, Love Is the New Currency, demonstrates how we can each make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others through simple acts of love and kindness. Her latest project, the card game Just Ask 1 2 3, was inspired by a desire to connect people of all different ages, beliefs and lifestyles to share our individuality and find commonality. Linda also created “Kindness Starts with Me,” a program, book and website for children. For more information visit http://www.LoveistheNewCurrency.com or visit the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Justask123game.

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Move Forward with Wheel Life

By Terez Hartmann

It’s time to trade the box for wheels and get rolling!

Even if we have never met, I already know something about YOU.

YOU are a dynamic, ever-changing, ever-evolving being. YOU are not—nor have you ever been—a static thing that is meant to be labeled, contained, or placed on a shelf.

Yes, you have your specialties. Yes, you have your preferences. Yes, you have your unique personality. And yes, you came into this world with certain challenges, but rather than let yourself be defined by seeming limitations or by unimaginative people with fixed ideas about what a human can or cannot be, I’d like to encourage you to trade the box for a wheel…

Life inside the box:

àBoxes contain and limit inanimate objects.

àBoxes are made up of flat surfaces and sharp edges.

àBoxes provide only so many angles with which to view life.

àBoxes have no power—they can only be moved by someone or something else.

Box life is limited, lifeless, flat, offers minimal perspectives, and is powerless = yuck.

Life as a wheel:

àWheels are based around a circle and have curves of infinite possibility.

àDepending where you are on the wheel, you get to have multiple vantage points/perspectives.

àWheels allow for a variety of speeds based on choice.

àWheels are made to MOVE.

Wheel life means infinite possibilities, multiple perspectives, lots of choices and options, and movement = awesome!

In other words, boxes = STOP. Wheels = GO!

Get Rolling!
Yes, boxes are a great option to store and categorize INANIMATE things, but if YOU want to be an ANIMATE being who continues to move forward in your precious life, take your sweet SELF out of the box and get rolling! Give these ideas a spin:

Box Life: Operation Breakout! Though it is NOT always required, for many, identifying the aspects that keep a part of your life limited or stuck can be a helpful first step to finding your way OUT of the box. If this process resonates with you (or for coaches, if you feel this process would be helpful for your client, have them), take a moment to answer these questions:

1. Beliefs Ready for UN-BOXING: What limiting beliefs, ideas, or attitudes am I OPEN and WILLING to change/upgrade to allow for more forward motion?

Use these life areas as a jumping-off point. Write down at least one “in the box” belief in each area or focus in on one life area for now. Allow these ideas to flow naturally.

àBelief/s about where and how I live:
àBelief/s about my body and mind and/or my capacity for well-being:
àBelief/s about my relationships:
àBelief/s about my career and life flow:
àBelief/s about money/abundance:

2. Beliefs OUTSIDE the Box: Your “Wheel Life Target”: What NEW beliefs, ideas, or attitudes could help me break out of the box and are more conducive to allowing continued forward motion?

Use these life areas as a jumping-off point. Write down at least one NEW belief in each area or focus in on one life area for now.

àNEW Belief/s about where and how I live:
àNEW Belief/s about my body and mind and/or my capacity for well-being:
àNEW Belief/s about my relationships:
àNEW Belief/s about my career & life flow:
àNEW Belief/s about money/abundance:

Wheel Life: This is How You ROLL!
Rather than focus on labels or aspects that limit you or your life, use these questions to open yourself to life’s infinite possibilities and get rolling!

1. Motion-Ready Beliefs and Ideas: What beliefs do you currently hold that CAN propel you forward?

àList at least five existing beliefs.

2. Motion-Ready Qualities and Skills: Which of your current qualities and skills can help you move forward NOW?

àList at least five existing qualities and skills.

3. MOVE: Based on your “Motion-Ready” answers above, choose at least ONE action that you CAN take NOW to roll Onward, Upward & Forward* toward embracing a powerful NEW “Wheel Life Target.”

The Bottom Line: Move Forward With “Wheel Life”
YOU are and always have been far more than any moment in time. You are more than your history, more than any role or “identity” that has been assigned to you—or that you have assigned to yourself. Just like every thriving thing in the universe—whether you look inward to your cells or outward to unfathomable spiraling galaxies—I believe that YOU were also made to MOVE beyond and boldly GO for the benefit of Life, the Universe and EVERYTHING. What if “real life” can actually be “wheel life?”

Here’s to putting boxes in their proper place, rolling Onward, Upward & Forward*, and living a “wheel life” on FIRE!

“I am as big as the sky
As bright as the stars
Fuller than the ocean
With all the love in my heart
Free like the wind
Strong like a mountain
More.”

~from “More” TTRH © (p) 2010

*For more “Wheel Life” ideas and tools to help you move Onward, Upward & Forward, visit https://store.transformationacademy.com/products/onward-upward-and-forward for my new “Onward, Upward & Forward!” online course.

Terez “Firewoman” Hartmann is a Visionary Creative & top-rated instructor, Law of Attraction & Allowing YOUR Success specialist, published author, speaker, singer-songwriter, recording & performing artist & composer, “Catalyst for Fab-YOU-lous” and true Renaissance Woman who has already helped over 10,000 students in over 130 countries allow success and live life on FIRE. She is deeply passionate about helping other Powerful Creatives and Leading-Edge Thinkers live unique, empowered lives on their terms by cultivating the courage to dream, to express themselves boldly & authentically, and to focus Onward, Upward and Forward into new possibilities. http://www.terezfirewoman.com

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