Tag: Counseling

Healing Happens When You Forgive.

This is the second in a series of articles 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.

forgiveness

 

 

Healing happens when you forgive

This is a more in depth look at a component of forgiveness, that we often don’t acknowledge.

Forgiveness is essential in every major religion on our planet.

The final words uttered by Christ during his suffering reinforce the importance of forgiveness: “”Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34).

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else but you are the one who gets burned” — The Buddha

Who takes vengeance or bears a grudge acts like one who, having cut one hand while handling a knife, avenges himself by stabbing the other hand.” — Jerusalem Talmud, Nedarim 9.4

What is forgiveness:

“Forgiveness is the act of consciously deciding to let go of resentment or vengeance toward another entity who has harmed you in some way (whether or not they’re actually deserving of that forgiveness)”, according to the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

Forgiveness is NOT forgetting or condoning a behavior. It is simply a desire on your part to let go of the burden of carrying the anger, rage and vengeful thoughts…..and giving them to a higher power.

It sounds like a paradox. Forgive, not forget? How do you do that?

I think letting go (forgiving) happens more easily, the more tired you are of carrying the heaviness of those negative feelings. It can be the hardest thing you ever have to do, but conversely, it is also one of the most freeing and miraculous things that can ever happen to you.

The moment you become willing, a space opens up for miracles to occur. Relationships are healed, physical healing occurs and suddenly personal peace and joy is in your life.

I spent years working on forgiving my father. I wanted a loving relationship with him. What we had was too painful for me. I wanted to be able to tell him how I experienced my childhood, but he was not open to that. So I had to do the work by myself.

Today, the memories of my childhood in his house are still there, but the pain, the emotional charge, the hurt and suffering, are gone.

Forgiving a parent is difficult. Our whole outlook on life was developed because of what and how we experienced life with them. I remember the violence I experienced when I look at my father’s hands, but today I just feel love and want to hold them. With the grace of God, I see beyond my father’s unloving behavior, understand the origin of it and see the love behind it.

How I forgave:

There are many different ways you can tackle forgiveness toward others.

Letter writing is one way: You put all your grievances on paper and then burn that letter, or bury it.

There are many forgiveness meditations that walk you through the layers.

Sometimes you have the opportunity to discuss our pain with the offending person.

When I started, I had no idea how to go about it.

Somehow, I prayed my way through it, asking for guidance to find a way to let go, I stepped outside of my wounded self and learned to view my dad as the child he once was. Looking at his childhood, his parents, his upbringing and seeing a little boy who had to develop these coping skills that left him so emotionally crippled made me want to cry.

I imagined how life must have felt to that little boy. He grew up in pre- World War II in Germany during the rise of Hitler. Not only is he a product of the German culture: strict, efficient, judgmental, quiet, orderly, not known for being warm and caring. He also had an incredibly uneducated, abusive father and an although kind, but submissive mother. I can almost see that frightened little boy, growing up without any hugs or praise. Never a gentle word or any encouragement.

There were 4 kids in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment in “a child is to be seen, not heard” world. There were plenty of brutal beatings and degrading, critical comments. At the age of 10, he was inducted into the Hitler Youth. That meant living in a camp with other boys and severe, exacting caretakers for 4 years. I have no idea what kind of abuse he endured there, because he refuses to talk about it.

I don’t believe my dad could allow himself to be loving and soft. He had to develop some hard, twisted ways to cope with that cruel childhood of his. Love was a superfluous emotion.

I was deep in my adulthood, when I realized that he shows his love by feeding you. If he takes you out to eat, or cooks for you, you know he cares.

During the process of forgiving my dad, I sometimes thought I was finished, all done, nothing more to forgive. Yet, when I least expected it, another layer of stuff came up. But I was determined and it was worth it.

We have good conversations now, because on some level he feels that I no longer consider him guilty. We both learned to become softer with each other, trust more and share more intimately. On the other end, my brother, has not been able to let go of his anger toward his father. He still talks about many painful occasions as if they happened yesterday. Their relationship is strained and uncomfortable.

The path less taken:

Typically, when you think about forgiveness, you think of others who have wronged you.

Yet, the most profound act of forgiveness is self-forgiveness. I think few of us dare to look at the depth of pain we have caused. I don’t know why it is so difficult to forgive ourselves? We are unbelievably hard on ourselves.

It is so deep and heavy that you’d rather not acknowledge it. You might break under the realization that you have caused harm and suffering for others. At times, you may glimpse some of the damage you created. This kind pain can bring you to your knees with self-hatred.

No wonder you don’t want to look at it.

These are the parts that you hide from yourself, from others, that you cover up with a facade, a mask, with lots of activity to keep from having to deal with it.

As a matter of fact, most of us are so good at this cover up that we aren’t even aware of the complex, deeply layered protective mask we have created. I am including myself in this. We are masters at it, the greatest actors of all: Keeping busy, acting defensive, covering up! We can spend our whole lives like that.

When this awareness comes up, it is not a time to do busy work, turn on the TV, get a drink or do anything evasive to avoid it again.

When the pain comes up, it is time to get still and pay attention. Listen to it. What is it telling you? What do you need to look at?

Don’t be afraid! Your fears are just thoughts. They can’t harm you.

This kind of pain wreaks havoc with your body, your mind, your relationships, your daily life.

My father is not able to look at himself. His pain must be enormous, because he has punished himself with such severe physical pain and lack of relationships that it breaks my heart. His body barely functions anymore, he spends more time in hospitals than home and feels alone and unloved.

Because, you see, when you can forgive yourself, there is only understanding and compassion left for others. There is only kindness and gentleness left………and self-esteem!

We see in others what is in us. How can you see goodness out there if it isn’t in you first? The people in our lives are a reflection of ourselves.

Where there is forgiveness, there God resides — Kabir, page 137

In this self-forgiveness miracles happen. Our DNA literally changes, because our insides are no longer twisted up and our cells can work properly again. Healing begins!

There are many who have been healed physically and emotionally through forgiveness. I am incredibly blessed that some of these exceptional human beings are my friends. Exceptional, because they tackled the work of forgiveness. Check out Dr. Vernon Sylvest’s miraculous healing on http://www.vmsylvestmd.com/

What I have learned:

We all need teachers and guidance at times. One of my teachers is an amazing woman, who has been healed of cancer twice, and joy and happiness literally ooze from her being, even across distance. Lauren Lane Powell http://www.harmoniesofhealing.com.

We met when I was writing “How to Create Passion Spirit Adventure” http://amzn.to/2svA4iW and interviewing people who love their work. She subsequently walked through the valley of the shadow of death twice.

Lauren has been teaching me that the pain and anger is lodged in our bodies and cannot be released simply by thinking it away.

She taught me a practice that puts awareness into the body and allows release at the cellular level. This requires energy and sometimes I don’t have it. But there is always more than one way to do forgiveness work. What’s important is doing the practice, NOT pushing the difficult, painful feelings away!

Pain, Sorrow, Fear, Sadness are our travel companions in this lifetime. I don’t know anyone who can escape them. Why not make friends with them, acknowledge them? When you shine a light into the darkness, the power of the fear diminishes. It lessens the intensity of the negative feelings and allows the positive to return more quickly.

Let me know if I can help or if you would like to learn a powerful forgiveness practice.

God bless you!

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Positive Pitfalls and I’ll tell you Why!

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Thinking positive is a great start, but it will not always get you what you desire.

Do you think there has to be more than the law of attraction, positive thinking,Vision-boards, meditation, workshops and willpower??

You’ve done it all! Positive thinking, affirmations, talk therapy and you’ve read all the self-help books you could get your hands on.

Is it working for you?

Honestly!!

If you are like me and all the people I have spoken to….. NO, it isn’t working.

You probably know more about yourself (and others) than ever before. You know what you should do. You know how you should think and act. You have gathered enough wisdom and knowledge to write your own book.

Yet…..

The instructions don’t seem to be clear. Somehow it isn’t coming together.

You believe that you are a spiritual being having a human experience.

You visualize that promotion, put it on your vision-board, practice in front of the mirror, set the intention prior to your meditation, you try to surrender…….and still ……nothing.

You wonder, does it work for others? It must! Maybe something is wrong with you.

NO, it isn’t you!

Your subconscious beliefs are the culprit.

That is the only thing that has not been addressed: the part of your mind that stores the beliefs programmed during your childhood. Beliefs that may be limiting you now.

The fact is, we don’t get what we deserve, we get what we believe we deserve.

You may disagree, saying that you make conscious decisions. You choose to eat the right foods, pick the smart, successful guy or sweet woman, think logically about what to say, your decisions are based on intelligent research…..I’m here to tell you there is more at work than your conscious effort!

Have you ever noticed patterns in your behavior? Are you consistently reacting angry, frustrated, submissive, helpless toward others or situations. Maybe you are never getting that promotion regardless of your efforts. Never feeling quite like you belong, feeling like you always get the short end of the stick, not enjoying sex, always finding something to criticize or feeling criticized, not quite attaining that sense of self-worth, people are always asking you to do more…..

Does any of this resonate with you?

Your subconscious is directing your life. Those are your core beliefs at work!

It’s really very simple. When you enter this planet as an infant, you are completely dependent on the adults around you to provide you with information. You are more open to learning than you will ever be. You absorb everything around you. More than that, everything you see and feel is your truth. The only truth you know.

  • If your parents struggle financially, you learn that it is difficult to make money.
  • If your parents argue constantly, you learn how to be in a relationship.
  • If you are reprimanded a lot, you learn to believe that you are not good enough.
  • If your sibling gets more attention than you for whatever reason, you learn to believe that you are not worth much.

Those are the beliefs you take out into the world. They do not disappear, they drive your life without your awareness.

If you find yourself being very suspicious of others, guess what is at work! If you are constantly struggling with something or more things in life, guess what…

That is why we can’t overcome our deepest beliefs with affirmations or visualizations, although they have their place and are useful.

You must work with your beliefs and perceptions, which reside in your subconscious mind.

I use a remarkable process, which allows you to quickly and painlessly change subconscious beliefs and facilitate positive change.

Free yourself from these limiting beliefs, break out of your prison, experience freedom!

Rob Williams, the founder of this process, says: “Research shows that PSYCH-K creates a Whole-Brain State, which in turn acts as a kind of “gateway to higher consciousness,” elevating thinking capacity to new levels of functionality and creativity.”

For scientific research about this process go to https://www.psych-k.com/psych-h-research

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REALITY: Objectivity is Subjective

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Life is a subjective experience and that cannot be escaped.

This truth is becoming more and more clear to me.

I recently visited a friend who lives in a place of complete disrepair, dirt and discomfort.

In my opinion.

However, because I love her so much, I listened to her perspective of her home. She feels such gratitude for her heavenly, peaceful retreat. While she shared that she dreams of having a functioning kitchen, she simultaneously acknowledged the enormous improvements in her home already. She has a vision of what it is to become and in the meantime she is surrounded by her books, music, art and her home-made gourmet meals.

This was a powerful example to me that every experience I have comes through my own, personal, unsharable viewpoint.

There can be no peer reviews of my direct experience, no real corroboration. This has some major implications for how I live my life. The most immediate one is that I realize I must trust my own personal experience, because nobody else has this perspective, it is all mine.

Another is that I feel more wonder for the world around me, knowing that any “objective” understanding I claim to have of the world is built entirely from scratch, by me.

Of course I am influenced by my culture and environment. Whether I live in Indonesia, Africa or wherever, I will take on that culture’s viewpoint and thought-patterns. But overall what I build depends on the experiences I’ve had, the books I’ve read, and the people I’ve met.

This means I will never see the world quite like anyone else, which means I will never live in quite the same world as anyone else — and therefore I mustn’t let outside observers be the authority on who I am or what life is really like for me.

This means that I must stop judging others!! I absolutely, positively must stop acting as the authority on everyone’s life, because I do not know their viewpoint, background, purpose or goal in life.

This leaves me with the responsibility for my own life, determining what is right for me without hurting others, yet being discerning about what I want to surround myself with.

No one can tell me what I should do, nor can I tell anyone what is in their best interest. That is why a good counselor or therapist will listen, truly listen to your subjective life experience and elicit the best answer for you.

Subjectivity is primary experience — it is real life, and objectivity is something each of us builds on top of it in our minds, privately, in order to explain it all.

This truth has world-shattering implications for the roles of religion and science in the lives of those who grasp it.

This contemplation was written in conjunction with a piece by David of Raptitude.

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couples therapy

How we can help

Statistics show that American women are increasingly unhappy, dissatisfied and depressed.

Have you tried the law of attraction, positive thinking and workshops, but are still stuck?

Have you given up on living an inspired, stress-free life?

We all need help and clarity to live our best life…….Read more

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Counseling

Life is full of obstacles, storms, fog and inclement weather. In times of confusion it helps to have some clarity and understanding how to move forward, to feel more in control, to figure out how to deal with those events in your life.

We will determine what approach works best for you and get you back on track. Read more

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Peru Retreat

Mar 31 – Apr 10, 2016

May 24 – June 4, 2016

Want some inner peace and joy in your life?

Need a powerful, sure-fire way to change things, while making a difference in a country that needs our help?

Come join us on a magical exploration of Peru

Read more

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Bali Retreat

Imagine yourself on an exotic, beautiful, tropical island for 10 days. You feel the ocean breezes and you are being pampered with massages and savory, healthy meals.

Peace, tranquility and smiles all around you.

This is the atmosphere you will find yourself in as your transformation takes place to reconnect with your enthusiasm and purpose for life. Read more

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Gratitude

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Gratitude turns what you have into enough. When you are in a grateful state of mind, you’ll feel more positive, life is better and you’ll start attracting more positive people and circumstances. Thankfulness is an attitude that you can practice and develop. The whole experience of gratitude—is really about forcing ourselves to pay attention to the good things in life, things we’d otherwise take for granted. Start a journal about feeling grateful. I don’t think it’s necessary or even all that good to write every single day. There is the tendency to get numb to all the good things in our lives. It is similar to the numbness we develop when watching too much violence and suffering.

Start by feeling grateful for being alive. Give thanks for your body, even if you don’t like everything about it. Imagine not having this body, imagine not being able to touch, see, feel and hear the life around you.  Now look at your hands! Appreciate all they do and feel. Feel your skin as you rub that lotion in, notice as you touch that fuzzy blanket, your furry pet, that round stone from the beach. Hug someone in your family or a friend and really feel them. Do that with your eyes, your ears, your sense of taste and smell………..

So pay attention to your senses! What are you seeing? Notice the things you normally take for granted, like the colors of the flowers or the glistening of the snow. Notice the details in the landscape you see every day. Look at it with new eyes.

Listen, especially when it is quiet. Can you hear the wind rustling the leaves in the tree? Do you hear that dog barking? If he annoys you, imagine not being able to hear anything? That joy of hearing the birds in the morning. People laughing, a song you love, the sound of your kids’ voices……….notice the sounds of life all around you.

Enjoy the taste of your food. We usually gobble our meals without really considering what we are eating or drinking. Savor your food, anything can become a feast if you slow down and appreciate the flavors.

Smell that fresh coffee in the morning. The air right after it rained. The food, the flowers, that perfume you love, the smell of a newborn.

If it all gets to be too much, you are overwhelmed and no amount of goodwill is going to make a difference: get away! Leave the house, the job, the kids, maybe the country. Take some time off. Explore a different way of life. It’s ok, we are all just doing the best we can.

Avoid the trap of being grateful for something that is better than what other people have. Instead, compare whatever you are grateful for and imagine how you would feel if you didn’t have it at all. What if you wouldn’t have that family, those friends, or even your problems. What if you had Steven Hawkins’ problems, or President Obama’s or even your neighbor’s or friend’s problems? Practice gratitude and appreciation for everything in your life: people, abilities, experiences, our planet, plants…..the list is endless.

Usually our best memories are made when we are playful, light-hearted. Realize beauty in every moment, and in everyday activities. Make time for those moments. Be spontaneous. The most playful people are the ones who are most “tuned in” to the present. They’re so fascinated by the world at the moment that they’re always finding ways to engage it! For me one of the best ways to have fun and be completely present is boogie-boarding. It is pure joy to feel the water against my skin as I glide along on the wave.

People who have a strong sense of gratitude and count their blessings are generally happier and healthier. It is tough to feel thankful when things aren’t going right and you are stressed to the max. For that reason it is absolutely essential that you take a deep breath, get in the moment and find something to appreciate. You may tell me that I don’t understand because your deadline is in 5 minutes or the house is on fire……. but I maintain as long as you are physically safe – stop, breathe and find something good about your life right now. Like the old saying goes, “The past is history, the future is a mystery, and the present is a present”.

I love this prayer from Unity Church:

The light of God surrounds me;
The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects me;
The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is and all is well.

It helps me to become present, to know that in this very moment I have all I need and everything is well. The world will not end because I am late for my appointment or I forgot to send that email. Choose Gratitude!

  • Become present. Know that in this moment all is well.
  • Relax! You can’t appreciate anything when you are stressed
  • Pay attention to your senses.
  • Every once in a while get away from it all.
  • Be playful!

To become a grateful goddess contact me.

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Living an Inspired Life

 

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Do you ache for more excitement, authenticity and meaning? Do you long for a way to break out of this crappy rut you have created for yourself? You want more from life, but don’t have a clue where to start?

How do you become inspired to live this passionate and enthusiastic life? A life that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and start your day. The most powerful inspiration comes when you pursue your very own distinctive, unconventional, unusual path that breaks away from the pack (the sheeples, I like to call them).

Have you ever noticed when there is a line forming, everyone stands in the one with the most people even though there are three other counters? Those are the sheeples, who follow the herd. We have been conditioned from infancy to follow the norm, to fit in, to believe what authority tells us, etc.  Everywhere you turn, you are asked to conform. If you want to feel alive, you need to work at being you, not some copy of someone else. As you get to know your real, true self, the more inspired you will become.

So who are you? How can you discover who you are?

Look at your life now. What do you like to do? When are you your happiest? It may not look like something tangible, like cooking or woodworking; it may be reading, or watching people. You may have an eye for detail in fashion or decorating. You may enjoy sailing, perhaps listening to others’ problems. As you are reading this you may be saying: Yes, that sounds great, but I need to make money. Look at the many ways people create income: Someone came up with stuffing a teddy bear with filling and a heart, giving it a name and birth certificate.  There are professional waterslide testers,Storm Chasers, Video Game Designers, Coffee/Tea Tasters just to name a few unusual actual jobs. People come up with new ways to make a living every day and you can too!

Pay attention and don’t dismiss anything. There are clues in your daily life.

There are 8 simple steps that are required for an Inspired Life. One of those is meditation.

Learn to meditate, wait…. before you say you can’t sit still and empty your mind….there are many ways to meditate. Some people do it while running, surfing or taking a walk. Being still and listening is a learning process for everyone.  You have to be willing and generous with yourself in that every second you remain still is a victory. A little at a time is good enough.

Guided meditations are a great way to begin, if it is difficult to sit and be completely still at first. Only in the stillness can we hear the answers that come from that sacred place within us.The more frantic and stressed we get, the less we find any answers. So learn to calm those racing thoughts and listen to what comes to you!

Be open. If you get invited to participate in something new: do it! If someone suggests taking a different path while hiking or walking: pursue it. If you feel the urge to take a trip: go. In your willingness to be open, doors open and you may be led to the very thing you have been searching for. Doing the same things again and again and expecting different results was defined as insanity by Einstein. So take a chance, open your mind and heart and allow new people and things into your life.

Sometimes we watch and learn from others; this is called modeling and while it is a powerful learning tool, it is only effective for a short while, as merely imitating someone else is ultimately not likely to be truly authentic or inspiring for you. What if they are living exactly the kind of life you want to live: Does that mean that you should model yourself after them? You can learn a lot from them, but you need to tailor it to your unique self. After all it’s very likely the people you admire were inspired to pursue their own unique path.

You CAN have an empowered, passionate, meaningful life ! Reaching your true potential requires a different kind of wisdom, one that requires you to develop a different concept about what is possible and a new attitude about life in general. You’ll want to acquire new life skills in order to produce higher quality results. Sound difficult? You do it one step at a time, taking  little baby steps.  It is no different than learning to ride a bicycle or eating with chopsticks.

You can do it!

If you need more help, contact me.

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