Moving through Life’s Passages

At varying times in our lives, we encounter life passages. I’m not convinced there is a specific age associated with this time in our lives as much as a state of consciousness as related to our circumstances.

When we arrive at a place in our psychological/spiritual development in which we begin to feel that our outer world may not be supporting our inner world, this causes us to pay attention and make changes.

During these passages, certain feelings may arise:

  • we may feel unfulfilled or bored;
  • we may find that we have unrealistic expectations;
  • we may have an overly negative attitude;
  • we may feel uninterested in our life situation;
  • we may have work or family difficulties that were not expected.

It is at these times that we are often ready for change or what has been termed a “rebirth.” Our old compasses may no longer work and the new compass needs to be held differently. It may be a time to revisit our intentions and goals in order to course correct.

Also, throughout our lifetime, we must recognize that things cannot stay the same. Part of life involves change and growth. How else are we to learn?

So we can ask ourselves some questions:

  • “How might I see or participate in my current circumstances differently?”
  • “What am I avoiding feeling or doing and how might I embrace this?”
  • “Am I willing to change, and if so, how?”
  • “What have I not yet ‘become’ and am I willing to embrace this now?”
  • What plan might I create for myself and how can I take my first step?”

As we then embrace this time, instead of resisting the feelings and circumstances, we can see it as a twist or turn on life’s path that takes us into new realms that can further our life lessons.

Create Your Life

Do you sometimes catch yourself verbalizing thoughts that are self-defeating? Do you hope desperately for something yet limit what you think you deserve, thereby dividing yourself against yourself?

Or do you find yourself able to understand that your thoughts do, in fact, create your reality, yet still feel unable to move your awareness into any conscious action to change?

It is my view that awareness is the first step toward conscious living.

One must understand the dynamics of thought and how our thoughts create our reality. So how do you move through awareness into action? A necessary second step is willingness—that is, the willingness to hold consciousness in the moment toward what you wish to have or be.

For example, I may desire a more loving relationship with my spouse. My desire may not be congruent with my thoughts. Throughout the day, I may be lamenting that I do not have a loving relationship and focusing on the lack and the desire.

So what can you do to align your thoughts with the reality that you wish to create?

  • Begin to act as though you already are what and where you would like to be. Concentrate less on the behavior and more on your thoughts.
  • Stop yourself from verbalizing or thinking thoughts that are self-defeating. Bring your awareness back to the present and remind yourself that you are your thoughts.
  • Use the power of visualization to support your conscious thoughts.
  • See yourself manifesting what you desire. If you wish to be out of debt, visualize yourself out of debt. Add an affirmation that you repeat consciously each day: “I am free of debt” OR “I draw wealth to myself.” Choose words that resonate for you and that match your positive visualization.
  • Marvel at all the wealth you actually have—water, air, food, sun, clothes, shelter, friends, love, laughter. If you find yourself lamenting over what you do not have, remind yourself of two things you do have. A wonderful thing happens when you delight in how really wealthy you are—more and more of what you want and need flows to you.
  • Above all, be willing to do whatever it takes to make your visualization happen.

You may find it helpful to use the Heartliving mantra: “Ask the universe for what you need. Visualize yourself receiving it. Know that you will receive it. For you are worthy.”

Inner Strength

We have all had those moments in our lives in which we relied on our “strength” to get us through.

I can recall numerous times when I needed to pull myself up and continue despite the pain I was experiencing, especially emotionally. I didn’t view myself as being strong. I simply did exactly what I needed to do to keep going, to be fully alive, and to honor my commitments to myself and others. For someone else, strength may involve enduring a painful relationship or even getting out of one.

Even those who have experienced horrific conditions, report having survived in part because they felt no one could take their spirit. It is as though the person locks into a life force reserve that guides them through the treacherous time. They are able to hold onto something beyond the current fear to a future vision of peace and safety.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” –Ambrose Redmoon

Something beyond the fear guides us, allowing us to be both present yet a witness in the moment, attached to our safe outcome.

When you encounter difficult circumstances, how might you remain strong?

  • In moments when you know to your core that you belong or don’t belong, remain true to yourself;
  • Practice forgiveness, let go of the past, and focus on shared future;
  • Let go of behaviors that do not serve you;
  • Be still and remain patient;
  • Trust and act on what you know;
  • Know that change may be a catalyst for growth.

What gives you strength?

Mind Full or Mindful?

Feeling relaxed is a natural feeling when you are in a state of balance. In order to understand balance, you must first allow yourself to experience a state of true relaxation, so that you have a reference point for what it feels like to be in balance. Why is this important? For some people, anxiety feels natural.

How might you gain greater balance? An important tool to practice using is “mindfulness.” Mindfulness is actually a natural activity that we can all use to help us discover and sustain balance. To be mindful means to bring your attention fully into whatever you are doing or experiencing at the moment. For example, if you are washing a glass, you focus on and experience that activity without letting your mind wander into some other task. You notice the feeling of the warm water and the soap on your hands, the feeling of the sponge as you hold it to wash the glass. If you are eating a bite of an apple, you eat it slowly and taste and feel that bite. Mindfulness can change even routine behaviors, and in turn, can enhance your life.

Most of us make a life of multi-tasking which generally means our mind is rarely focused on where we are, and we’re not fully present to the experience we’re having. If you learn to bring greater mindfulness into even a small fraction of your activities, you can add years of quality experience to your life. Research suggests that there are tremendous health benefits to mindfulness.

From an energetic perspective, love and mindfulness vibrate at a similar frequency, and we know that love is the highest vibration there is. By practicing mindfulness, you can create a stillpoint to return to in moments of chaos or anxiety.

One of my clients did a class project on mindfulness which she called “stopping.” She simply sat very still in a chair and took several deep breaths and relaxed for five minutes each day. She didn’t do anything during that time nor did she try to “think” of anything. This activity, she reported to her class, at first was so hard for her! She was so used to keeping her mind and body busy at all times that she felt like she was wasting time. Yet as she stayed with her project every day for 8 weeks, she came to realize that this stopping was a time when she began to let herself “feel” rather than to keep “running from herself.” By slowing down and becoming more focused, she became more purposeful about where she was putting her energy and what she was choosing to do and how.

If you’d like to practice mindfulness, a wonderful exercise is to use awareness of your breathing as a balancing force. Sit calmly in a relaxed position and focus on your breathing for a few moments. Breathe in slowly and notice your breath as you breathe in, feel the expansion of your chest, and then release slowly–feeling a state of surrender on your exhale. Breathe in and out for several moments with full awareness.

In the words of the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh– “The secret of your transformation lies in your handling of this very moment.”

A Tale of Two Wolves

two wolves
I was reminded of one of my favorite Native American legends and wanted to share it with you again:
One evening an old Cherokee chief told his grandson about life.
He said, “My son, a fight is going on inside me.  It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.”
“One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.”
“The other is good–he is joy, peace, love, hope,
serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”
“This same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”
-A Cherokee Legend-
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