• The Gift Yoga Brought Me

    I discovered yoga around the age of 19 and felt somehow that my difference was not important when practicing yoga. We were all different somehow but shared the commonality of practicing yoga.

    For many of us growing up was an interesting process.

    We may have been different in some way from the majority of others and started to realise these differences in childhood, in our teenage years or later.

    For me I knew I was gay from a young age, but also knew this was not accepted openly while growing up–by my peers, my teachers, my family. This meant I had to develop skills to keep part of myself sublimated, hidden from others, so my sense of identity became fragmented.

    I discovered yoga around the age of 19 and felt somehow that my difference was not important when practicing yoga. We were all different somehow but shared the commonality of practicing yoga.

    I think I was lucky and found some very open, compassionate, and aware teachers.

    And the magical gift that I discovered was savasana.

    Lying on the floor in the stillness and quiet after doing all these weird postures with belts and chairs and straps on the wall (it was Iyengar!), noticing the quality of the light, the air of my skin, being aware of lying in the room with everyone else but at the same time coming into my own space, and being happy and content just to lie there for a few moments, with myself, at one with myself. I felt integrated, whole, and self-accepted.

    And all of this from within myself.

    Yoga allowed me to find a sense of personal integration and a renewed sense of identity connected deeply within myself. We could argue that the sense of self I felt had a more cosmic meaning, but it didn’t matter because I felt it anyway.

    To say yoga saved my life is cliche, a hackneyed phrase. But if you know, you know.

    This blog was originally a post of Ashley’s Instagram.

    By Ashley Russell

    Ashley Russell is a Senior Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance Professionals and an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) Therapist living in Bristol, UK. He teaches for the Bristol School of Yoga on their 200 and 500 hour programs. With a background of over 25 years of both teaching yoga and working in the mental health field he brings a broad range of skills to the transformative power that yoga can provide. He lives in Bristol, UK with his husband choreographer Adam Hougland.

    Follow Ashely’s Instagram account.

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  • Opening Our Heart

    Each time we look to another to make us feel better or valued we give our power away to them. Feeling better about ourselves, our life, and feeling valued are all inside jobs. Nothing outside of us will give us what we need because we already know deep within what we need. We just need to show up ready to pay attention to ourselves.

    I’m often asked, “How can I open my heart more?” This topic can be really challenging since the key to opening our heart lies in loving ourselves, which is difficult for a majority of us to do. When it comes to putting ourselves on the back burner to serve another, we excel, but when we try to focus some of that attention on ourselves, we often fall short. One of the reasons for that has to do with the way we’ve been programmed which started in our early years, so we honestly don’t know any better. Now that I’m older I can see very clearly how self-love was not part of my upbringing through my parents as my role models, nor any of my extended adult family members. I wasn’t even aware of what self-love was, so I evolved without it often putting my needs last.

    My first awareness that I lacked self-love came at the age of 43 in 2005 at a Debbie Ford workshop at the Omega Center in NYC. I remember her suddenly asking the question, “What do you fear other people finding out about you?” In that moment my life came front, and center and I burst into tears unexpectedly. I wasn’t even aware of what I had been suppressing until that moment. I had just started my journey as a healer, a Reiki Master, and was also in the final months of my Holistic Coaching studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition but the truth was I felt like a fraud because I wasn’t a size 4 talking about healthy eating. I was a size 12. My perception of self was completely distorted, and I broke down in front of the hundred or so people attending the workshop. I could not see my own beauty because I never learned how. My mom was 5’10’’ and a size 14. She was always on a diet and never saw her own worth or beauty so she could not help me see mine. Instead, she always encouraged me to go to Weight Watchers with her. I didn’t get the magnitude of my lack of self-love until this workshop, which was only the tip of the iceberg. My eyes were open to my own pain and suffering; my heart was closed to loving me.

    In this workshop, I saw examples of my life flashing in front of my eyes over and over. I remember being young going to visit my grandparents. They were German and always cooked something odd that I didn’t want to eat like pig’s knuckles and sauerkraut. I didn’t like the smell and was sure I wouldn’t like the taste. My mom told me to “Be nice” and “Don’t say that to grandma”. I didn’t realize at five years old that I was already being groomed to ignore my opinions and feelings because they had little value. My job was to make another feel good even if I was not telling the truth. My parents were doing their best, I don’t blame them. They were most likely keeping the peace for themselves through me. Parents teach their children what they have learned. Their beliefs become our beliefs and our authenticity can be stifled. We forget our needs because we are unsure of how to respond out of fear of getting it wrong.

    Where does self-love enter our life? If we’re not taught to love ourselves at home or in school, and there’s no class on self-nurturing, how do we know it’s important to feed ourselves our own love? We really won’t know so we could end up looking for love on the outside, trying to find people who can make us feel the way we would like to feel. This creates more difficulty because we are still giving our power away to another, expecting them to be the one to show us how amazing, beautiful, and special we are. What if they only do that in the beginning and then if things change, they no longer tell us those things we need to hear? We could then be in search of the next person who will tell us how wonderful we are and rely on them to make us feel special. That is called Co-dependence which outsources our power. This is a looping cycle we become locked into like a hamster on a wheel until the one day we walk into the right workshop, with the right mentor, who helps us realize we’ve had the power all along! We didn’t come with a user’s manual so we go through life and experience the ups and downs which will finally make us stop searching outside and go within. We begin to ask questions like, “Why is love so hard?” and “What’s wrong with me?” “Am I unlovable?” The answer of course is that it’s not hard, there’s nothing wrong with us, we are very loveable. We just need to see our own beauty and value.

    The moment we stop chasing what is outside of us and come back within we can shift everything and the need for another outside of us to make us feel whole is no longer necessary. Each time we look to another to make us feel better or valued we give our power away to them. Feeling better about ourselves, our life, and feeling valued are all inside jobs. Nothing outside of us will give us what we need because we already know deep within what we need. We just need to show up ready to pay attention to ourselves. When someone presents a challenge and makes us feel diminished in some way it’s because through soul contracts, we’ve asked them to step up as our mirror so the lack of love we have for ourselves can be reflected back at us. Eventually, enough becomes enough and that’s when change happens. We must take our power back by loving ourselves enough to not want to suffer anymore. This act of Self-love is the first step to expanding our heart center.

    Going within and loving ourselves takes courage. It’s the most important part of opening our heart and establishing a direct connection with our inner being. When we start to work with self-love, we must be in tune to our own heart, which requires we do a self-assessment in order to begin to establish a relationship with ourselves. We must begin to put our needs first in all situations and say no to things we do not feel aligned with. This may be looked at as selfish but it’s an important part of our journey. It helps us connect to what love feels like when we support ourselves doing things that feel right within as opposed to saying yes and suffering through something we don’t want to do.

    What is our inner being? That’s our soul self — the part of us that our intuition originates from. It’s the part of us that will help steer us down the proper path, if we allow it to. This is another key aspect of ourselves we were not taught about at an early age, unless you had parents who were practicing spirituality. Our inner being always has our best interest at heart because it’s the seat of our soul and the very essence of who we are. Its purpose is to love us even when we are not loving ourselves. It leads us to the well within ourselves where love is in abundance. Our job is to recognize its soft voice from the loud voice of the ego which was meant to keep us playing small.

    What is love? Love can feel elusive especially if we haven’t had much experience with it, but in order to know ourselves deeply, we must form a love relationship with ourselves. When we can understand how love feels, we are able to give love to another as well as receive it in return. I’ve had many experiences where I thought I had received the love of another and later realized after a painful experience, it was not actually love. When I looked at this with clarity, I saw with sadness what I had not seen previously — they were incapable of offering me their love because they didn’t value themselves, and therefore, couldn’t value me. If we are depleted from our own love and attention, then we are giving from an empty glass. How could an empty glass fill up another or quench their thirst? It can’t. Love must be given from a loving heart not a heart in lack.

    Many of us have trained ourselves to operate from a place of lack so we are always operating from a glass less than full believing that we are giving the best of ourselves… but are we? If we are operating at half a glass capacity, we don’t have much to offer another. They are not getting our complete best or the fullness of our love because we have not filled our glass. You can equate this to your bank account. You can’t keep giving money out without taking money in. After a while, you will have nothing to give or pay your bills with. Our love works the same. Energy is energy; money and love are both energies. If we don’t have it, we can’t offer it. Now that we see the truth in how important it is to fill our own cup, why aren’t we doing this as part of our everyday routine?

    It’s time to recognize our own importance and focus on ourselves first. When we do things for ourselves that feels good, and it shows. When we tune inwards and offer ourselves love first our cup is full and even overflowing at times, making it possible to share our cup of goodness with others. Doing things that support and make ourselves happy opens and expands our heart center. The more we open our heart the more we feel love, joy, bliss, and believe it or not, freedom! Yes, freedom is part of the heart center package. When we are happy life flows, we flow, and everything just falls in place. When we are not happy and feel unloved or unfulfilled, we are not operating from our fullness. The lack of self-love stops the flow of universal energy, and as a result, our vibration is low. We cannot create or expand our heart when our vibration is low. When our heart is open and full of love, we are in a higher vibrational state of being and universal energy is in great abundance. When we are operating from our heart, we do not notice the lower-level struggle or challenges life throws our way because we step over them with ease and grace. Everything becomes easier. Challenges become diminished in our life experience because they are not a match for our high vibration, which is based in self-love. Did you know that self-love raises our vibration? It does!

    When we are in a high vibe state, full of love, we are naturally more present within ourselves. We gravitate towards doing things for ourselves that nourishes as opposed to depletes us. Things like eating clean and healthy foods may require us to invest time and energy in grocery shopping, as well as preparing our meal. Making time to be in nature is another thing we can do to open and expand our heart center. When we make time to be in nature, we are present with the Earth and everything within her realm. We just need to tune into the energy of the trees, birds etc. to feel joy and contentment, all of which feed self-love.

    Exercise is another thing we can do to help ensure our body stays strong and flexible. Yoga is great for this. One of the beautiful things about Yoga is it brings us within and back to center, requiring us to focus on our posture and form. We can use our practice to gage where we are in serving our-self. A daily practice of poses that would assist and support in opening our heart center would be extremely beneficial in bringing in the energy of self-love. Poses such as puppy pose, cobra, locust pose, and bow pose would be the most beneficial.

    Self-talk is also a very important part of opening and expanding our heart center. Words, thoughts and actions set intention in motion. We must pay attention to everything we are creating, as well as where we are placing our attention. Self judgement through negative thoughts, words and actions can keep us locked in a lower vibration. Positive self-talk is just as important as doing things for ourselves that make us feel good. I see so many people doing amazing things for themselves, but they negate all of it with negative self-talk. This seems to be one of the most difficult areas for people when it comes to loving themselves. Once our vibration falls it takes a lot of work to raise it back up and hold feelings of happiness and joy, which are based in love.

    Love is energy, based in its own frequency of 528 Hz. If we want to feel love and open our heart center, we must tune our vibration to the frequency of love. This means that we must do things for ourselves that are an energetic match to the frequency of love. This is why it’s so important to find out and know what the frequency of love “feels” like within and bring in more of that. We can’t use our mind; we must feel it to know it. If we expect our frequency to be raised by things and people outside of ourselves, we are in trouble. When we hold love we have the power to help shift someone into their own love. When everyone around us feels the power of our love, we all win!

    If you are unsure of what love feels like a simple exercise would be to lay in bed at night just before you’re ready to fall asleep. Place your hands on your heart and tell your heart you love it. As you are doing this think about how it’s always there for you, more than anyone else you know. Think about how your heart holds up its end of the bargain by performing its simple job of beating in each moment to sustain your life. Now take a step back and look at how many years it’s been doing that. See how you have not paid attention to your own heart? We should never offer our heart to another unless they are going to care for our heart the way our heart cares for us.

    Another exercise is to stand in front of the mirror and place your hands on your heart. Look deep into your own eyes and tell yourself how much you love yourself for all the magic you are. Start pointing out all the things that are unique about who you are. You are, after all, the only one like you. Next, look at all the ways you stop yourself from truly experiencing happiness in your life. Make decisions now to improve it instead of waiting until a future moment or event.

    We must be present to see all we are creating. We want to make choices that are highly aligned with our own joy and happiness in each moment. This means doing a personal inventory of what feels good and not just going with the flow because everyone else is doing it. When we go with the flow we are not in our own personal alignment and this will bring our energy down. Being present and showing up for ourselves must be our priority so we can be at our personal best for ourselves and everyone else around us. Self-love is the key to expanding our heart and opening us up to our greatest joy.

    By Maria Deesy

    Maria is an Energy Intuitive, Ascension Guide and Wayshower working within the energetic blueprint of both Gaia and her clients to access and assist in transmuting trauma at all levels. Maria’s also able to read to solar frequencies of the cosmos and can provide insight Into the energies presenting in order to better navigate our physical experience during our Ascension. Her work supports the awakening process of humanity. Connect with Maria on the following sites: website, blog, Instagram, or Twitter. Copyright©2020 MariaDeesy.com

    Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

  • Things Do Not Change–We Change

    We can analyse our problems for years – but nothing changes until we change the sensations we link to an experience in our nervous system – the power of your brain. Reframing your mindsets is the key to breaking patterns.

    Things do not change – we change.  And if we want change, then we have to do things different.

    We need to adopt the belief that we can change in a moment – after all, if you can create a problem in a moment, you should be able to create a solution too – right? You and I both know that when people finally do change, they do it in a moment, don’t they? There’s an instant when the change occurs. Why not make that instant NOW? Usually, it’s the getting ready to change that takes people time.

    One of my favourite mantras is: “Too much analysis leads to paralysis!”

    We can analyse our problems for years – but nothing changes until we change the sensations we link to an experience in our nervous system – the power of your brain. Reframing your mind-sets is the key to breaking patterns.

    People who feel stuck or blocked are locked into points of view. We tend to act in this way through habit and an inability to welcome alternative ideas. In this situation we allow the past to create our present. Everything is subject to reconstruction and renewal. The “re” factor is the basis of resurrecting, reshaping, regenerating, reviving and rejuvenating.

    Creative persons live in a state of constant search and exploration. The creative way of looking at the world assumes multiple truths and interactions among them. As Walt Whitman expressed it, the individual person contains multitudes. And so, the most fundamental skill of the creative person is the ability to constantly re-vision the world. The patterns of the constructed self CAN be broken, transcended to reach new heights.

    In fact, there are 3 specific beliefs about responsibility that a person must have if they are going to create long-term change. You want to know them? Here they are.

    1. First, we must believe, SOMETHING MUST CHANGE – not that it should change, or that it could or ought to change, but that it absolutely MUST. It’s only when something becomes a “must” that we begin the process of truly doing what’s necessary to shift the quality of our lives.

    2. We must not only believe that things must change, BUT WE MUST BELIEVE, “I MUST CHANGE IT”. We must see ourselves as the source of the change. Otherwise, we’ll always be looking for someone else to make the changes for us, and we’ll always have someone else to blame when it doesn’t work out. We must be the source of our change if our change is going to last.

    3. Third, we have to believe, “I CAN CHANGE IT” – without believing that it’s possible to change, we stand no chance of carrying through on our desires.

    Humanity is a kingdom of Nature which, according to the Ageless Wisdom Teachings, suffers more conflict than any other kingdom. Life on Earth is a process of constant conflict, pulls and counterpulls. What we see as a problem, that which is not agreeable to us, becomes the obstacle. We have to include all those elements to complete the experience of Oneness. And when the personal viewpoint no longer exists, when we perceive the so-called “good” and “bad” as two aspects of the One Background, then we are living in a greater Reality.

    It is a training in achieving HARMONY THRU CONFLICT. The nature of life is to contain both chaos and order. But it is this uncertainty that you feel inside yourself that becomes the Doorway to Wisdom.
    One of the world’s most universal spiritual exercises involves establishing empathy and respect for adversaries and annoyances.

    Opening the heart to the disturbing situation enables us to invert its energy. So when we use our disturbances as materials of expression, we see that everything in life is fuel for the creative process. Creativity puts toxins to good use. This will show us that Humanity’s job on planet Earth is to bring Love into the world of Duality. And the Christ-mass Festival is a reminder each year to rise above our personal likes & dislikes and give out the Light & Love to each other and step into that sense of ONENESS which is WHOLENESS.

    By Derek Seagrief

    By Derek Seagrief is an internationally recognised astrologer, teacher, lecturer, author, and astro-therapist, grounded in PsychoSynthesis. Born in London, August 1952 and living in Denmark from 1978. For more than 24 years Derek has travelled throughout Scandinavia and England offering a wide variety of workshops and personal consultations. Originally started his career as artist and sculptor with exhibitions in both London and New York. Started to teach himself both Tarot and Astrology at the age of 17. From the time of arrival in Denmark he has been working full time in the field of intuitive astrology, combining psychology, Psychosynthesis and psychotherapy together in a living and meaningful wholeness. Derek has a rich experience with the many branches of astrology and this led to the creation of a unique 2-Year education The Unicorn School of Astro-Psychology. The School was among the first to offer students a professional training in counselling, combining Astrology and modern psychology through the inspiration of PsychoSynthesis. Among its teachers was Tad Mann and LiseLotte Mann. Derek established the School for Living Kabbalah in 1999. Derek has been a regular contributor to many magazines, both Scandinavian and international throughout the years, and been a key speaker at international astrology Conferences. Author of 9 privately published books. www.seagrief.com. Derek has also been a guest lecturer at The Hercules School of Astrology.

    Photo by prottoy hassan on Unsplash.

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  • Happiness Advice from an Expert: How to Find Happiness When You’re Stuck in a Rut

    The most profitable business in the world is the one that spends the least money to make the most money, and the most joyful person in the world is the one who spends the least effort to get the most joy! Instead of trying to do a whole lot, simply commit to doing what you can every day, no matter what. It’s consistency, not intensity, that makes the most difference over time. In other words, prioritize consistency over intensity.

    Hi Rob-

    Please help!

    I can’t seem to get out of the rut I’m in. It feels so unrealistic to have happy thoughts on a regular basis, but that’s what I want most!

    For starters, my life isn’t where I want it to be; I’m not as successful as I thought I’d be. My living situation sucks, I don’t have a job I like, and my relationships are terrible.

    What’s worse, I know I won’t be happy, even if all these things fall into place. I get that, but I still want these other things.

    Finally, I feel like I’ve been working at this happiness thing forever. It’s so hard to keep my mind in a state of acceptance and appreciation, let alone happiness and contentment.

    For example, I’ve kept a gratitude journal for over 3 years, but I’ve dreaded it most of the time! I’ve noticed that it doesn’t work if I don’t work it, but it’s tough.

    I’ve read so many books, tried lots of things, and seen tons of therapists, but nothing seems to work! Becoming happy just feels impossible!

    Can you please help?

    Desperately,
    Debbie Downer

    ***

    Dear Debbie-

    First, thank you for that very honest, heartfelt message.

    I’ve been there, trust me. It can be so frustrating, infuriating even. But I got through it, and you will, too!

    To that end, please find below a few quick tips, tricks, tools, and techniques that I’ve found helpful over the years.

    I hope that you find them helpful, too.

    1. But first, happiness!

    In short, prioritize happiness above everything else.

    If you can get happy without all the stuff you want, you tend to get all the stuff you want.

    And you get it faster and easier than you would or could if you were coming from a needy, desperate, unhappy, unhealthy vibrational place.

    So put happiness first, and then trust that happiness will lead to everything else you want, too.

    In the Bible it says, “Seek the kingdom of heaven (inside), and the rest will be added.”

    Another way of saying that is, “Seek happiness inside, and everything else will follow.”

    That’s what I’m saying.

    If you take care of happiness, happiness will take care of success; if you take care of happiness, happiness will take care of you!

    Said in another way, happiness is not only the greatest success; happiness leads to success, too!

    Science agrees.

    Happy people experience more success in all areas of their lives. They make more money, live longer, are healthier, are rated as more attractive, get married sooner, stay married longer, and are happier in all of their relationships, whether they are married or not.

    Further, happy people are also kinder, more charitable, and more generous than their unhappy peers.

    Happiness is not only the cheat code or master key to success, then.

    It is also your gift to your success… and the world!

    2. Do less, better.

    You don’t need to know a whole lot to be happy. You likely know enough already. In fact, you probably know too much!

    Similarly, you don’t need to do a whole lot more to be happy, either. You probably do enough already. In fact, you probably do too much!

    In other words, you need to do less, better.

    You need to focus on quality, not quantity. You need to focus on baby steps. The smaller the steps, the better.

    Less is more!

    So, you don’t need to learn more. You just need to apply what you already know! Knowing is doing; knowing and not doing is not knowing. An ounce of doing is worth a pound of theorizing.

    Instead of learning more or even doing more, try choosing the one or two things that you can easily commit to doing every single day, no matter what.

    What happiness activity is currently getting you the greatest results with the least amount of time, energy, effort, and money or resources?

    Stick to that.

    Who are your favorite teachers or authors?

    Stick to them.

    If certain videos or books really help, listen or read them over and over again.

    This is called this “lazy intelligence.”

    The most profitable business in the world is the one that spends the least money to make the most money, and the most joyful person in the world is the one who spends the least effort to get the most joy!

    Instead of trying to do a whole lot, simply commit to doing what you can every day, no matter what.

    It’s consistency, not intensity, that makes the most difference over time.

    In other words, prioritize consistency over intensity.

    Tony Robbins is right, “We overestimate what we can accomplish in a year, but we underestimate what we can accomplish in ten.”

    Bruce Lee is also right, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but the one who has practiced one kick, 10,000 times.”

    Choose your kick.

    Then, practice it. Every day.

    3. Have more fun!

    Most people think that I’m very disciplined, but I don’t see it that way.

    Yes, I get up at 4am every day, meditate, read, and workout for a few hours. Then, I come back and see clients for 12-14 hours.

    Some people might call that discipline, but I call it “blissipline.” By blissipline, I mean that I’ve made a commitment to fun. If it isn’t fun or I can make it fun, I try not to do it at all!

    So, that’s my encouragement to you, too.

    Happiness should be something you do for the fun of it – for the joy of it, for its own sake – not just to get a result.

    If you try to get a result, you won’t get the result. If you try to get good at it, you’ll never get good at it… or enjoy it.

    However, if you try to enjoy it – really enjoy it, instead – you’ll get good at it really fast.

    And you’ll enjoy it, too.

    4. Have faith.

    You’re on the right path- just persist.

    And the way you persist to keep it playful, keep it fun.

    And when you don’t feel like persisting, take a nap!

    You’ve got momentum behind you, and there’s no stopping that or you now.

    You might not see a whole lot of progress, but it’s happening beneath the surface.

    The check is in the mail a long time before you see it show up in your mailbox, so to speak.

    Trust this.

    Have a little more faith… in faith.

    5. Delegate it.

    One of the keys that I discovered along my journey from clinically depressed and suicidal to happy has been this:

    Let other people do the work! Ha ha.

    In other words, the challenge – and opportunity – for most of us is that left to our own devices (thinking), we resort to negativity.

    We don’t reverse decades of negative thinking or unhealthy habits overnight. It takes some time and energy.

    However, we don’t always have the time, energy, or interest to do that work. I get it! We all get it!

    And that’s ok.

    When possible, then, we can outsource or delegate this happiness thing! We can let other people or resources do the work – do our thinking – for us!

    Seminars, workshops, online talks, videos, audiobooks, and books are my favorite go-to tools to this end.

    In short, start consuming positive content all day, even if that means just letting a video out audio play in the background while you go about your day.

    Occasionally, it’s nice and very helpful to let somebody else do the thinking for you.

    6. Start right.

    If you have to, get up a little earlier than usual just to set the tone for the day.

    Don’t start with technology, unless it’s watching or listening to something positive, uplifting, or inspiring.

    Exercise or a little movement or stretching is transformative in this way.

    It’s the equivalent of taking an antidepressant. It has that powerful of an effect on your mood, minus the side effects.

    7. Sleep.

    Sometimes it’s helpful to play something peaceful or positive when falling asleep at night.

    When you’re falling asleep, your brain is most suggestible. It’s in what’s called the “Alpha-Theta” brain wave state.

    That’s why it’s good to meditate or listen to positive content when you’re sleepy. It’s that relaxed state that lets it all in!

    8. Stick to lifters.

    Stick to lifters, not downers.

    If there are certain people who bring you down, limit your interactions with them.

    Or, better yet, eliminate those people from your life entirely.

    9. If you can’t be positive, be quiet.

    Sometimes being quiet is infinitely better – and easier – than being positive.

    The key is to pay more attention to your physical senses as you do what you do, instead of paying so much attention to the story in your head.

    This is what “micro-meditations” are for.

    A micro-mediation is just one, single breath that you take for the joy of it alone. You take – and deeply enjoy – that one breath while you continue doing whatever you’re doing.

    And you try to enjoy that breath like it’s the last one you’ll ever take on earth again.

    Who knows – it could be!

    While you take that one breath, take it through the nose and from the stomach or diaphragm.

    And, most importantly, as you take it, let all of your thoughts go. Don’t try to fight or change any of your thoughts at all. Just ignore them all.

    Practice those micro-meditations as often as you can throughout the day, no matter what else you happen to be doing, and do it for the joy of it alone.

    Remember, happiness is not only present; happiness is Presence itself. It’s being here and now. Really, it’s just Being, full-stop.

    So, as you practice this micro-meditation – or do anything else for that matter – don’t focus on the past or future. Focus on the present.

    If you take care of the present, the present will take care of the future. If you take care of the present, the future will take care of itself.

    10. Get help!

    Reach out to a therapist, coach, or other helping professional if you want or need more help.

    If I can help, just let me know! You know there you find me…

    Happily,
    Robert

    By Rob Mack

    Robert is a happiness coach & author. He writes and speaks to people about how to live happier lives from the inside, out. Robert’s work has been endorsed by Oprah and Vanessa Williams, among many others. In addition to serving as a Celebrity Love Coach for the television show, Famously Single, on E!, Robert has been a featured guest expert for shows like The Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, CBS Early Show, The Balancing Act, and AskHer.com and magazines like Self, Health, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Upscale. Robert has also served as a National Media Spokesperson, Management Consultant, and Executive Coach for companies like Capital One, FitBit, Buffalo Wild Wings, Microsoft, Carnival Cruise Lines, Deloitte Consulting, McCormick & Spice, IFF, Plus Consulting, and Falcon Credit Management. Robert was born in Pennsylvania. He was educated at Swarthmore College, where he received his Bachelors of Science in Psychology, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (M.A.P.P.), an ivy-league degree held by only a few dozen people in the world. Robert lives in Los Angeles.

    Photo by Jacqueline Munguía on Unsplash

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  • COURAGE versus FEAR

    Love transforms fear, and the way to that is the practice of courage. So in order not to lose anything, we have to give and share. When we do that, we are moving from one polarity to the other polarity i.e. from fear (energy of separation) to Love (energy of Unity).

    When you are fearful of something outside yourself, it is only a sign, a symbol of something you are afraid of within yourself – it is a belief.

    Anger is a result of fear.

    Impatience is the result of fear.

    Fears we have do not allow us to trust.

    LIFE is teaching us to TRUST.

    We need to learn to trust that within ourselves. When we fear, we do not trust. When we give up our fears and separateness, our manipulations and hidden agendas, we surrender to life. When we let-go, we have everything, and that takes trust – we are surrendering to the soul.

    So what is fearlessness? Being without fear? Is that what it means?

    It means acting as if fear does not exist.

    And what enables us to do this?

    COURAGE – Acting in spite of fear, recognising a need, and responding to the requirement.

    To live more courageously, we forget about our fears. The attitude and action of forgiveness, which is the ability to let-go, accompanies courage. The word “courage” comes from the Latin root “heart” i.e. action of the heart. So courage is the acting from the heart, and the heart is the center of Love and Will.

    Fear is acting from the lower part of our body, the Solar Plexus chakra and the centers below. The heart is located in the upper region of the body and courage therefore implies a maturity.

    Choosing something greater, something more real, is an act of Will. We let go of the lesser reality.

    Will, Wisdom, and Love are the components of courage.

    Am I willing to risk and take the consequences? Will involves choice and decision-making. Courage always involves sacrifice, as we respond to the need. Sacrifice, properly understood, is a form of dying, as we choose the greater and let-go of the lesser.
    Acting courageously allows us to get outside of ourselves.

    All fear is based on a sense of lack or sense of loss. And all fears are related to instinct, a basic, primitive urge within our bodies. Every instinct gives rise to fear, so by satisfying our desire we seek to overcome fear and therefore come closer to what we believe is the acquisition of happiness.

    A simple example is the desire to eat. What is the fear behind this? Well, if we don’t eat, we die, so it is a fear of death. Another example. Sex is a basic instinct. What fear is associated with sex? You might say doubt about being attractive, or potent, but no, the deep underlying fear here is the fear of separation and thus the desire for unity.

    What’s the fear arising out of aggressiveness? Weakness? Possibly, but no, the core issue is the fear of failure. We assert the little self, spelt with a small “s”, or we could demonstrate Self-assertiveness with a capital “S”.

    The ego-personality is the principle of separation, whereas the soul is the principle of unity. So we recognize two directions. We hold onto the personality profile, and the other direction is to let go.

    Love transforms fear, and the way to that is the practice of courage. So in order not to lose anything, we have to give and share. When we do that, we are moving from one polarity to the other polarity i.e. from fear (energy of separation) to Love (energy of Unity).

    If there is an issue it is because we have denied one side of ourself. When you have a fear – identify the opposite. For example, if you focus on health, the chances are you will become ill. Learn to perceive them together, not as negative & positive, but whole. It is because what we reject or deny becomes negative that the answer lies in arriving at a synthesis – the total acceptance of both.

    We have to go through the negative to reach the positive. This will break your self-image, your perception of yourself, but it’s ultimately healthy! And it is the heart that provides us with open communication, the power to attune with both polarities.

    To get rid of a fear is not to eliminate things but to include and therefore transcend – to increase our love. We must give thanks to these fears because they are leading us to true unity within ourselves.

    Fear actually pushes us to master these illusions. This is because fear exists when we deny one side of the reality. Fear does not exist when you accept both sides.

    Our fear of death is essentially a fear of Enlightenment! The ego’s last defense is a Fear of God, disguised as the fear of death. Our greatest fear, even more than our fear of death, is to awaken to our Christ Spirit within, to awaken to our real invulnerability & power.
    To finish this section, here are two Affirmations to help you deal with the underlying causes of all Fear. Both will lead to an awareness of I AM.

    To deal with the Fear of Loss: AFFIRMATION: “I HAVE NOTHING – SO I HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE!”

    To deal with the Fear of Lack: AFFIRMATION: “I HAVE EVERYTHING – THEREFORE I LACK NOTHING!”

    By Derek Seagrief

    By Derek Seagrief is an internationally recognised astrologer, teacher, lecturer, author, and astro-therapist, grounded in PsychoSynthesis. Born in London, August 1952 and living in Denmark from 1978. For more than 24 years Derek has travelled throughout Scandinavia and England offering a wide variety of workshops and personal consultations. Originally started his career as artist and sculptor with exhibitions in both London and New York. Started to teach himself both Tarot and Astrology at the age of 17. From the time of arrival in Denmark he has been working full time in the field of intuitive astrology, combining psychology, Psychosynthesis and psychotherapy together in a living and meaningful wholeness. Derek has a rich experience with the many branches of astrology and this led to the creation of a unique 2-Year education The Unicorn School of Astro-Psychology. The School was among the first to offer students a professional training in counselling, combining Astrology and modern psychology through the inspiration of PsychoSynthesis. Among its teachers was Tad Mann and LiseLotte Mann. Derek established the School for Living Kabbalah in 1999. Derek has been a regular contributor to many magazines, both Scandinavian and international throughout the years, and been a key speaker at international astrology Conferences. Author of 9 privately published books. www.seagrief.com. Derek has also been a guest lecturer at The Hercules School of Astrology.

    Photo by Armand Khoury on Unsplash

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