Tag: awareness

The Spiritual Truth No One wants to Accept

Sometimes I read an article and I agree with everything in it, like this one here by Will Aylward. I’ve had the same responses and thoughts as Will, so I’ll just share it with you.

“No matter how much I protest, I am 100% responsible for what happens to me in my life.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

Agree or disagree with this statement?

Personally, I agree. Without a shadow of a doubt, we are all 100% responsible for what happens to us in our lives.

There is a chance you’re thinking, “This is absurd, Will, how can we be 100% responsible for what happens to us in our lives? That means being responsible for everything, even all the terrible stuff that happens to us. What about trauma victims? What about the people in the world who lose their homes to natural disasters? What of those suffering from cancer?”

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Now, if this sounds something like your trail of thought, bear with me. I hear you, I really do.

Allow me to share with you my truth. Stepping into this new perspective just might change your world. Part of you may feel daunted, but part of you, I can almost guarantee, will feel liberated.

I first heard this statement about responsibility in 2016, during one of Dr. Dyer’s guided meditations on YouTube. I had really gotten into this particular guided meditation. It was an Ahhh meditation, requiring me to—you guessed it—Ahhh along with Dr. Dyer, and project this ancient sound out into the world.

There I sat each morning, alone on the cool and smooth tiles of my living room floor, Ahhh-ing away.

”Wow, I’m so spiritual, right now,” I would think to myself, just before thinking, ”That’s not a very spiritual way of thinking, is it?”

Anyway, after about 10 minutes, Dr. Dyer would introduce the second part of the guided meditation. In his distinct and deep voice, he would say, ”We will now consider the affirmations of the day.”

~~

On the whole, these affirmations resonated with me:

I know in each moment I am free to decide, and my past is nothing more than the trail I have left behind.

What drives my life today is the energy I generate in each of my present moments.

Naturally, my mind would commentate:

”Nice, so true, we are free to decide—and wow, you’re on fire, Wayne, the past is nothing more than the trail I’ve left behind.”

All of my mind’s commentary sounded like this, positive and in agreement. Well, almost all.

One affirmation just never sat right with me, and you may have guessed which affirmation this was:

No matter how much I protest, I am totally responsible for what happens to me in my life.

”BULLSH*T!,” my mind would scream in ironic protest.

”The other affirmations, faultless Wayne, good job. I’m with you, mate. But this one…I’m not buying.”

My attention now torn away from the guided meditation, I would sit, embarrassed, as if a potty-mouthed friend had just barged in on my ultra-spiritual moment.

”Man, I was doing so well up until that point,” I sulked.

Try as I might, every time I heard this affirmation my reaction was the same. I just couldn’t appreciate it—as far as I was concerned, it was wrong. It was as wrong as if Dr. Dyer had been pointing at a white wall and telling me it was black.

Then, one day, the penny dropped.

I was listening to a podcast, and Tony Robbins, speaking about responsibility, said this simple sentence:

“Responsibility literally means ‘the ability to respond.’”

The cogs in my mind began to turn…

Hang on a minute, so what Dr. Dyer is really saying is this: No matter how much I protest, I am totally able to respond to what happens to me in my life.

Boom. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I got it, finally.

This felt so different from my original train of thought.

The problem with the word responsibility is it has become synonymous with the word blame.

“Who is responsible?” has evolved to mean “Who is to blame?” or “Whose fault is this?”

It was fascinating for me to observe the difference, emotionally, between viewing responsibility in these two lights.

When I viewed responsibility as being about blame, a strange cocktail of emotions came up: shame, shock, helplessness. I felt like a victim. However, now that I view responsibility as our ability to respond, well, I feel empowered, able, liberated. I feel like a victor, an owner of my fate.

Because isn’t it true, no matter what life throws at us, that we are able to respond on some level?

We are able to respond by choosing what meaning we give to events—is this a problem or an opportunity? We are able to respond by deciding what actions we will take in response—will I take on the role of a victim and do nothing, or will I take action and exercise my ability to respond?

You see, we totally have a choice. Not in what happens to us, but in how we use our ability to respond to what happens. In other words, we choose how responsible we want to be.

There are countless stories of humans in the most horrific of situations (Viktor Frankl, for example) who never forget their ability, or I would say power, to respond. No matter what life takes away from us, it will never take away our ability to respond.

Since the penny dropped for me in understanding responsibility, life has been different. Now, when I’m faced with a challenge or an undesired situation, the first step I take is to remind myself that I am responsible for this.

I am responsible because this is the reality that has been served to me. Whether I asked for it or not, whether it was my fault or not, even whether I like it or not, this is my experience in this moment, and I feel powerful when I recognize my power to respond.

This Eckhart Tolle quote serves as a great reminder, as well:”Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

Whatever happens to us between now and the rest of our lives, we are responsible.

Let’s never forget the huge power we hold in our ability to respond.

 

See Will’s original article here: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/09/the-spiritual-truth-no-one-wants-to-accept/

 

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Limbo……not the dancing kind.

You want it! You know you want it. You’ve been preparing, visualizing, praying, expecting and putting lots of action behind it! Tony Robbins calls it “massive action”.

Yet –  nothing happens.

We’ve all experienced it: limbo. Never-never land, where our plans or expectations don’t come together, while life marches on.

You could call waiting in line a form of limbo, being on hold on the phone or waiting for something or someone.

Sadly, this indeterminate state is part of life. For the most part it’s brief; we just have to muddle through it, be patient and it’ll pass.

But what if you are experiencing an extended limbo state, one that lasts for months or, God forbid, years?

What do you do? What can you do?

I’ve experienced this state of uncertainty more than once. Years ago I lived in a location I disliked very much. It didn’t resonate, I didn’t fit in. My kids didn’t fit in.

I was determined to change our situation, but the place was like a black hole. It didn’t let us out. I left no stone unturned, no possibility unexplored, but it felt like quicksand. The more we tried to claw our way out, the more we sank.

It was a painful situation! I was unhappy.

The kids had nothing to compare it to, just some vague sense that things weren’t right.

Initially I had a lot of hope and enthusiasm because I couldn’t believe that the door was closed. I took massive action, for years.

Some situations require our determination and action is important to change our circumstances.

What if it doesn’t work? Like in my case.

Sam put several years into his education to become a psychologist later in life. He spent many late nights studying, doing research, writing papers. Then interning for a year, while raising his kids.

Interning is like volunteering; most agencies won’t pay anything. His didn’t.

 He and his wife agreed that she would support the family for the time being. So of course they were both excited and ready to finally see him graduate and begin this new life.

Graduation was a big celebration among his family and friends; the following Monday the résumés went out. One after the other without response.  Some places were kind enough to thank him for his interest, but said they hired someone more suited for the position. He did not understand how that was determined since he never even had a chance to speak to anyone; the whole process was automated and every agency wanted him to apply online.

He sent out more résumés, he talked to people who might be in a position to recommend him. He called on the friends he made in school.

Several times he came close to a potential job: he was called in for some interviews, but didn’t get the position. His wife’s resentments built and they fought more often. He was shorter with the kids as he became increasingly frustrated. He felt useless, worthless and confused.

Had he made the right choice by going to school?

One night when the tension was unbearable, he sat down with his wife and they explored some other options he might have overlooked. They were one year into it and things were looking bleak. She suggested hanging out his shingle and offering counseling just to bring in some money.

This required marketing and he approached that with gusto, although technology and social media was not his strong suit.

Long story short: Two years later he was still in the same position and his marriage had reached a breaking point.

This is an extended limbo situation, wherein things seem to be deteriorating in life, while we wait for our plan to come together.

What was Sam’s option? He and his wife had carefully considered all angles, figured out how to support him through school so they could later enjoy a satisfying life together while raising their children. It was a good, well thought-out plan.

Being in prolonged limbo requires some tough soul searching. Our human nature urges us into a “doing” mode when things aren’t coming together.

If we try to force progress, we exhaust ourselves. We put extra strain on ourselves by trying to go against the flow.

Our mind may say “I don’t know what’s going on. We have to figure this out. Do something.”

Yet, we have to learn to live with uncertainty, especially during those times when nothing is coming together.

Uncertainty doesn’t stop you from living your life, because the mind is not the captain of our ship. We use our minds, but there is more at play than we can see.

At times planned projects fall away, as in the case of Sam. Many aspects of who we think we are have to fall away. Sometimes it seems that nothing comes to replace them.

Not for a while. Not yet.

We are living in limbo.

We have to trust that life brings us what we need to navigate through these stormy waters.

We could listen to our mind, but it doesn’t know what’s coming. It only wants illusory certainty. It grasps, searches, and clings.

Life seems to know when and where we need to go.

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The One Thing That Will Change Your Life

happy life

How do we change? Some of you have heard me talk about this before, but it’s so powerful, it’s good to hear it again.

Most of the time we learn through pain. I am no different.

There it was again, this sense of feeling trapped and helpless in my situation. Someone who means a lot to me had done something that rocked my world…..not in a good way.

This triggered old thoughts and behaviors, like “no one really loves me and I am a bad person”. I went into a downward spiral, feeling overwhelmingly alone and betrayed.

Before I knew it, I was in a dark pit, taking me to a scary place…… making me feel like this was the theme of my life.

Yet, some small part of me recognized that I had felt out of control like this too many times in my life!

There had to be a better way!

This led me on a journey where I discovered that there is an easier way to change old patterns than practicing psychotherapy. Don’t get me wrong, I believe it is invaluable to explore the origins of our thoughts and behaviors.

But it takes a long time…..and doesn’t always work.

I know……. I had spent my life exploring and analyzing and, still here I was, falling right back into my old patterns. It happened in a flash, like someone else was pulling all the strings.

You may recognize this. It’s not just something that only takes hold of me. I’ve seen this with clients, in classes and retreats.

A trigger sets off an avalanche of emotions and behaviors. We are feeling trapped in ourselves.

We don’t always recognize the fork in the road. I didn’t at the time.

Sometimes it’s an article, a workshop, a retreat or a person who has something powerful to share, but you aren’t quite ready to hear it all. That’s how it started for me, years ago.

However, a seed was planted. When the soil was ready, specifically, when I was open enough, when I had had enough pain, this seed began to sprout. From there it was almost magical. Information, people and situations showed up that guided me along and showed me the way to change my life.

Here is what I discovered: Being willing to stop, breathe and observe, changed my life.

It may sound simple, but it isn’t necessarily easy. It requires practice.

It’s a skill we have to develop, a muscle we have to grow.

We think we are our thoughts, we believe we are our feelings. Yet they are only a part of us, not the entirety. We are so much more!

  • You are not your thoughts

We think, all day long, as long as we are awake. That is what our minds do…..one thought after another. Random thoughts, habitual thoughts, deep thoughts, shallow thoughts. Our mind analyzes, plans, remembers, likes, judges, compares, blames…… thoughts perpetually rising and falling.

We identify with those thoughts. If something happens, our mind jumps to certain thoughts and runs with those, like I’m no good, for example. You know that you can create a whole painful scenario from that one thought.

Yet, when you stop and watch your thoughts, you become aware that they are impermanent.

When we are willing to stop, breathe and recognize that we are thinking, when we step back and watch ourselves thinking, we can take back our power!

It requires a willingness to observe without judgment, like a scientist.

It is similar to lying in the grass watching the clouds or sitting by a river, just observing what flows downstream.

You recognize this is not you!! These thoughts are not a fact. You are so much more than these thoughts. They cannot take your equilibrium, your peace, your happiness.

Because, you see, just by being willing to observe your thoughts, you acknowledge their existence. Whenever we are willing to acknowledge something, it loses its urgency.

  • You are not your emotions

Emotions arise from our thoughts.

We may not recognize when a certain feeling originated, what thought began the wild ride downhill. But if we are willing to step back and observe ourselves feeling a disturbing emotion, we create the space in which we can recognize that we are not this emotion.

There is no need to fight or resist what is there. Just breathe and observe.

This is not you! It is simply an emotion that arose from thoughts, which are floating in and out of our minds, because that is what minds do.

We may think that these feelings are facts, because we have felt them for so long. Whatever we think repeatedly begins to appear as fact. But that is not the truth.

Simply observing without judgment, allows us to move through whatever is there. You’ve heard the saying: “What you resist, persists.”

If we don’t resist, there is no need for anything to persist.

By simply observing your emotions, you will uncover patterns in you that are keeping you stuck…..in pain, in destructive relationships, in self-sabotaging situations.

Once we become aware and observe our thoughts and emotions, the resistance disappears and this creates a space for life to show up differently.

It has the power to change relationships, to ourselves and others. It changes what we attract into our lives.

It heals our life!

  • You are not your thoughts. You are not your feelings. They are part of you, but not the entirety of you. Learn to be aware of them rather than become them.
  • Like all things in life, we must practice this. You can’t wait til you need it and expect yourself to be proficient.

 We had to crawl before we walked, we had to practice holding that spoon and aim for our mouth, we didn’t learn that new language overnight.

Practice by giving yourself time throughout the day to sit quietly, without distractions, to notice, to observe, to be…….like a scientist, without judgment.

Practice, when you are in conversation with others, when you are working on something, when you are watching TV…..

Just observing, not judging.

If you forget, it’s ok. Do it next time…..

Be kind and gentle with yourself…….and don’t forget to breathe.

To learn more, come to our classes http://www.mindfulnessevolution.com/events-and-classes/

or contact me http://christina@christinadevalencia.com

 

 

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The Unexpected Break – Mind/Body Science

 

This is the first in a series of newsletters looking at how our feelings affect our lives and bodies. It is powerful knowledge that can help eliminate pain in all areas of your life. If you are struggling with something, send me an email or call.

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The majority (maybe all, but who can prove it) of our physical ailments, diseases or accidents originate in our minds.

I’m a believer in the body/mind concept: The health of our minds and our bodies are inextricably connected to the transformation of our spirit.

In other words, much of what plays out in our bodies is generated by subtle thoughts that we may not even be aware of. We are all conditioned, beginning in childhood, not to pay attention to our feelings and thoughts. These thoughts, which generate feelings, play over and over in our minds until they take form.

An easy to understand example of the mind/body connection is our fight or flight response, which begins with a thought that we are in danger. This activates a hormone and our bodies respond with an increased heart rate and a quicker, more shallow breath.

Another one we are all familiar with is stress. Consistent stress creates tension in our bodies, lowers our immune system and leads to a variety of dis-eases, including heart dis-ease, headaches, etc.

I just broke my right wrist and I have never had a broken bone in my life.

Something wanted my attention!

I am right-handed ……and yes, I’m writing this with my left hand.

But the really crazy thing is that it has been a deeply spiritual, sacred experience for me, because I almost immediately realized why this happened.

Ironically, I also wanted to learn to become more proficient with my left hand, because the left side of our bodies accesses the right brain and our feminine side. Maintaining harmony between the right and the left side, the masculine and feminine, is the key to wholeness.

It happened after it had been raining for days and I wanted to rescue my water-logged plants on the back deck. I opened the french doors and stepped out in my bare feet. My foot slipped on the wet wood and the rest was a blur. That pain has to be an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. All I could do was lay there in the rain; neither my brain nor any part of my body functioned for several minutes.

After I used my good side to get up and walk back inside to the couch, crying in frustration and pain, I had the awareness that I didn’t really understand what my daughter went through when she broke her arm years ago. Realizing how we don’t know what anyone goes through unless we’ve walked a mile in their shoes, I cried for the suffering of others.

Then I gave in to fear.

I don’t know what it was all about. Fear of aging, laying there helpless, of the unknown, the state of the world……it just spiraled out of control.

I knew I had to call someone, but the person I wanted to call was my girl-friend in another state. It didn’t make sense.

In retrospect I know that I was being guided!!

My friend was out walking on the beach with a Body, Mind, Spirit Counselor, Dale Bach http://dalebach.com/. I don’t even know why she picked up the phone, except that is how everything falls into place when it’s meant to be. My friend quickly put Dale on the phone, who went into healing mode and reminded me that I am always connected a higher source, our creator, God. She instructed me to breathe in that light connection and affirm my ability to heal.

Recognizing that truth, I became instantly calm.

In my pain, I had forgotten what I know as a teacher and counselor:

All our healing, inner and outer, take place as we connect to a higher state in which we forgive and choose love (but that is a topic for another time).

In the emergency room and after wards, while on strong pain medication, I kept having these lucid thoughts, which showed up almost like a movie……..what this “accident” meant and what I was to do with it.

I knew what was going on within me prior to the break, but I chose not to pay attention.

“When we are on automatic pilot, trying to get someplace else all the time without being attentive to where we already are, we can leave a wake of disaster behind us in terms of our own health and well-being, because we’re not listening to the body. We’re not paying attention to its messages; we’re not even in our bodies much of the time,” explains Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD.

For weeks, I had been working constantly for someone else at something I didn’t want to do. Every day, sometimes 12 hours a day. I felt exhausted and unhappy about it, but didn’t know how to extricate myself from it. Gradually, I had taken on another person’s problem.

I knew I needed to step away, but I kept talking myself out of doing the right thing. Partly, I think, I didn’t want to be thought of badly and I felt needed.

Frequently, we all feel conflicted within: We pray for answers, we know what we should do, but choose not to, because it’s difficult. I’m no different.

Breaking my wrist took care of that. Now I can’t do that particular work anymore.

I am, instead, taking responsibility for myself again. A friend of mine calls it “keeping her side of the street clean”. Sometimes helping is not in the other person’s best interest.

If you call it the universe, or God, or my own mind that engineered this situation…..it was unavoidable under the circumstances.

What this means, however, is very clear.

  • We are never alone.
  • We are always shown our path!
  • We are never victims.
  • We only have to choose to become present, notice the signs and follow the guidance.

I’m so willing to pay attention now and not continue to help manage someone else’s life.

Our purpose is to first learn to love ourselves. Self-Love is not arrogance or entitlement (that’s insecurity). Love thy neighbor AS yourself, Mark 12:31. It is only in being kind instead of critical, patient instead of harsh, loving instead of condemning to our own flawed selves that we can learn to extend that to others. When we finally learn to listen to what we are being guided to do, we can stop interfering in others’ lives. We each have our own journey.

I feel blessed, almost giddy, with my new awareness. It’s no longer just an intellectual knowing. Next time, I plan to learn without hurting myself.

If you are struggling with seeing the purpose of something in your life, send me an email or call. We don’t have to go it alone.

 

804-306-7287

 

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More on the Law of Attraction

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It has become such a common topic of conversation and it seems that everyone is an expert. Yes, just think better thoughts and your life will change.

Believing in the law of attraction seems to be the norm now. At least in my circles and also in most things I read. But the really honest people have begun to voice doubts and are raising questions.

Well, if it’s that easy, why hasn’t anything manifested? Why has nothing changed?

These are people who are doing the work. They meditate, they have laser like focus, they have a vision board or some kind of written goal, and they practice a positive outlook.

Yet…..nothing.

What is going on?

I do believe in the law of attraction. I do believe that our creator has put laws in place for us that rule our earthly existence. But when has anything been really simple?

Has it been in your life? It certainly hasn’t been in mine.

We believe because we have had an experience that confirms our thoughts.

First my story on why I believe.

When I lived in Virginia, I created vision board with just a few pictures. Material possessions weren’t a main goal at that time, my lifestyle was my top priority. I wanted to live in California, by the ocean, with a garden, restaurants and stores within walking distance and freedom in my work and way of life. The pictures I cut out stirred my soul and made me smile every day. I taped that vision board on my refrigerator and looked at it every morning while drinking my tea or coffee.

Within a year I had everything on that board. I didn’t even realize what was going on while it was in process. My husband got a job offer in California. We packed up a huge house full of stuff. He came out before I did and chose a place to live. All my previous work led up to this and gave me the financial freedom to live my desired lifestyle. I created my garden.

Success!

That was many years ago. In the meantime, I was led to work in a different arena where I spoke to many people about life.

This is what I have seen so far:

  • We often do not recognize our deepest beliefs (such as a deep sense of unworthiness or guilt).
  • We may be carrying old stuff, such as past life trauma or beliefs (that’s a topic for another time)
  • We may be so conditioned by society that we “want” what we are taught. In other words, we don’t really want it.

So of course, when we layer a desire on top of those deep-seated old patterns, it cannot bring you the consciously desired outcome.

You may get close enough to almost have it, but then it vanishes. Maybe that has happened to you more than once.

Depending on your general outlook on life, it can leave you frustrated to the point of giving up (wanting it) to feeling deep despair to giving up this life. I have seen that close up. It breaks my heart.

So, what is the solution?

Life on this planet is constantly expanding. Wouldn’t you agree?

We are experiencing things, awarenesses, lifestyles and possibilities we have not had before. A simple example is flying. A century ago my grandmother didn’t fly anywhere. She traveled by car at best. Then only the wealthy or well to do had the opportunity to get on a plane. Now, it seems everyone has been on a plane.

It’s the same with our awareness. A century ago we were still very focused on survival, fitting into a rigid society, we now have reached a way of life in which we can give attention to more esoteric topics.

Let’s go out on a limb here.

Life is energy, vibration. Many invisible forces are at work.

Some people on our planet are connected to these forces. They can see your energy, your vibration, maybe your past lives and deepest beliefs. They can channel God’s love and healing powers.

Check out “John of God” in Brazil, for example.

Maybe you have had a past life or experienced a traumatic event that has etched itself into your cellular memory. These things are difficult to eradicate with visualization only.

Maybe you feel deeply unworthy and are not aware of it. It’s a common human condition.

Utilize the abilities of these healers. See an intuitive, a psychic, a channeler. Go to workshops, retreats, get acupuncture, acupressure, cranio-sacral work, nutritional guidance.

There is so much out there. You will know or sense what is in your best interest.

If money is an issue, find people who have a deep trust and faith and will ask for donations only.

Even if you just explore, you will get answers you did not have before, which will guide you to your purpose.

For example, I have had only two cranio-sacral treatments in my life. After the first one, I couldn’t even have told you what it was. I only knew it was a powerful, life-changing experience for me.

Now I can tell you more about it, since the second one was equally powerful.

What I am saying is: Don’t give up!!! Explore, try different things and trust that your life is on purpose.

Check out our retreats, complete with healers and access to higher vibrations.

www.christinadevalencia.com go to Retreats and Events

or contact me christina@christinadevalencia.com

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