Tag Archives: Evolution

Day 28 ~ May Is For Metta 2015: Cultivating Peace On Earth

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My life blazed

with the desire

To serve as a thread

Joining Heaven and Earth

                                                                      ~ Haiku by Masahisa Goi

One of the things that may happen when we are cultivating loving-kindness and compassion is that we become more attuned with these energies and may be drawn into connection and community with like-minded others.  As each being becomes more of an embodiment of these positive qualities, they are not just bringing change to themselves but to those around them and the world itself.  Perhaps you have experienced this is in some way as you have been working with May Is For Metta or holding this intention it is a part of your ongoing personal practice.

One of the qualities we often work with in the Metta phrases is PEACE.  May I be peaceful.  May you be peaceful.  May all beings be peaceful.  In Metta, we see peace as an aspect of loving-kindness; when we feel held in love and compassion, most often we are at peace; and when we are at peace we become more able to connect with energy of loving-kindness.  These qualities go hand in hand.

Two years age during May Is For Metta, I participated in a Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony with one of the communities I am a part of, Heal My Voice.  Heal My Voice is an international organization whose mission is to “empower and support women and girls globally to heal, reclaim their voice and step into greater leadership in their lives and in the world.” At the time, I was participating in a book project called Harmonic Voices: True Stories By Women On The Path To Peace, which focused on a year-long journey exploring moving from chaos to calm and cultivating peace in our own lives so that we might extend that energy out into our relationships and the world.   And, athough I was familiar with the concept of Peace Poles, I didn’t know the origin of them until I attended this event. 

The Peace Pole Project was started in Japan by Masahisa Goi, who was greatly affected by the destruction caused by World War II and the atomic bombs which fell on the city of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  His desire to assist in the creation of world peace was answered when in 1955, the Peace Message, “May Peace Prevail On Earth”, came to him in a moment of great inspiration and deep prayer.

After Mr. Goi authored the Universal Peace Message in 1955, a great number of people gathered in support of his vision and activities to spread the Peace Message were promoted throughout Japan.  Soon after, Peace Poles inscribed with the Peace Message began to appear in various locations across Japan initiating the start of The Peace Pole Project.  The year 1986 was designated as the International Year of Peace and since then Peace Poles are one of the most recognized international peace symbols with more than 200,000 Peace Poles standing in almost every country throughout the world.

The synergy of completing a year-long  journey into peace with May Is For Metta that year seemed to culminate with this peace pole dedication.  Reflecting on these experiences has made me feel more deeply the idea that as we cultivate an energy or quality such as loving-kindness or peace, we are actually becoming an embodiment of it.  So for today’s practice, I felt to focus on peace specifically as our exploration.  When we focus on peace and being peaceful, we are allowing ourselves to become a “living” peace pole, one that is moving about and radiating the energy of peace wherever we go.  I hope you’ll join us in this exploration today.

You may wish to work with the full practice, choosing someone for each category or you may just wish to practice Metta on the spot today.  Take some time to feel into what feels best for you.  As always, our foundation comes from cultivating Metta for ourselves, so be sure to spend some time cultivating peace for yourself so that you may then extend that energy out to others and the world.

Daily Practice:

Find a quiet place and a comfortable position.  Imagine yourself in your circle of loving beings or enveloped in the feeling of loving-kindness.  Imagine a time when you felt held in that way.  Also, for today, tune into a place or a time when you felt a deep sense of peace.  Really allow yourself to feel that peace.  Breathe it into every atom and cell of your being on the in breath and as you breathe it out feel it surrounding and enveloping you.  You may wish to continue to work with all of your phrases or just work with “May I be peaceful” for today’s exploration; it’s up to you.

When you feel ready, move on to practicing for all of the categories or the ones you have chosen for today: Benefactor, Beloved, Neutral Being, Difficult Person and All Beings.  Remember to come back to your heart center for a few moments between each category and reconnect with the feeling of peace you generated for yourself before moving on.  For each category, offer “May you be peaceful“.  If you feel to work with other phrases, please do.

As always, if you become distracted or difficult feelings arise, use the Switchback, returning the practice to yourself until a sense of calm returns.  Use a peaceful time or place as your anchor for today.  When you feel ready, return the practice to where you left off.   To complete your practice, return yourself to your circle of loving beings or envision yourself enveloped in the energy of peace that you have been cultivating.  Really allow that feeling to sink in to you, let every atom and cell of your being be filled with peace.

In honor of the Peace Pole Project, let us also add this round of phrases, “May Peace Prevail On Earth“.  Knowing that as we do so we are supporting and embodying a vision which,

  • Symbolizes the oneness of humanity and our common wish for a world at peace
  • Reminds us to think, speak and act in the spirit of peace and harmony
  • Stands as a silent visual for peace to prevail on earth

May Peace Prevail On Earth

Finally, take a moment to honor yourself for creating the space to cultivate peace in your own life and in the world.  Can you feel how this is one of the most loving things we can do for ourselves and for our planet?

Daily Journal Reflection

Take some time to reflect and journal about any experiences, feelings or awareness that arose during your practice or throughout the day today.  How did it feel to focus on peace today?  Did it feel difficult to work with one quality?   Did you notice areas of your life where it is challenging to feel peaceful?   How did it feel to offer peace to others?  to the world?  What will you do to continue to cultivate peace in your own life, in your relationships and in the world?

Wishing you a most loving and peaceful day.

May Peace Prevail On Earth!

Namaste. 

Beth

My Word for 2015 is…CLARITY

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images-5It’s been a few years now that I have chosen a word for the year. Some years I have to really meditate and percolate to come up with a word.  Last year, my word was ALIGNMENT.   Interestingly, I read something about the current astrology around Saturn moving into Sagittarius in December and how this is fostering a greater sense of alignment.

One thing I have recently discovered about the new year is that choosing a word for the year or making resolutions, doesn’t mean your there.  It means you are setting the intention for the coming year and it will require work through the year to actualize that intention or resolution. This year, I had many invitations to join groups or sign up for courses in December to help me set goals and vision for 2015 so I could be ready when January 1st arrived.

I have to admit I dabbled in this a bit but didn’t get too far. I did struggle seeing others seemingly create a vision and action plan for the new year and feeling like in some way I must be slacking in this or already failing. Then, I remembered the awareness that came to  me last year at this time to really honor the rhythms of nature, of winter and the yin energy of this season.

For me, all the goals, resolutions, etc., need to come from within, not from the mind but from my heart and soul.  And, not from any forces outside myself, only those within.  This requires going slow, being patient, and honoring my own rhythm.  This is what a year of alignment has taught me.  I knew it before but now I feel more able to honor it in my daily life.

So here I am on January 16, 2015, just diving into my word of the year post and feeling my intentions, goals and visions for this year emerging.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few weeks meditating, doing inner work and allowing this year’s word to come forward. Once I created space and ask the question, the word came shining through.  My word for 2015 is…

CLARITY

I feel pretty strongly this energy came from the alignment of last year.  I can’t say 2014 was an easy year; in fact, it was challenging in many ways.  I struggled with finances, relationships and life direction.  Even more so, I had a layer of trauma surface that required my willingness to dive very deeply into old feelings, patterns and beliefs.

Although, I had done this many times before, this layer was particularly painful.  I was surprised at how much I had been continuing to hold patterns that were not my own, but were shaped my mother’s mental illness.  And, I discovered how in an unseen way, these patterns and feelings were continuing to drive my life experiences.

As a shaman, my work is to journey into the darkness to find the light.  I have been on this path for close to a decade now doing my own inner work and assisting others in their journeys.  Still, I was amazed at how powerful a hold the trauma and misperceptions of the past had on me even today.

Seeing it was the beginning of a process of unravelling that has taken the last 6 months and continues.  I imagine the word CLARITY has emerged from this exploration.  On a daily basis, I have been looking at what’s the real me and what’s the false me.  When I feel a feeling or hear an inner voice, I stop to ask it is the true me or a false me.  Each time I do this, I become clearer, stronger and more grounded in my true essence.

I am excited to see what CLARITY brings in 2015!

Do you have a word for the year or an intention you’d like to share?  Feel free to drop a note in the comments below.

Many blessings for a beautiful year!

Love & light,

Beth

Love Yourself, Live Your Life Summer Breakthrough Program

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“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” ~ Lucille Ball

Labyrinth

One of my favorite sayings is “we teach what we need to learn”.  If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is where many of my posts and offerings stem from.  As someone who has been on a spiritual path for quite sometime, I have found there are certain essentials that we work on throughout our lifetime ~ this is part of the being a spiritual being having a human experience. 

Whenever we are creating change or working on healing, we hope that we will get this part and move onto the next piece.  On some level this happens, but more often than not, we find that we cycle back to old patterns, feelings or beliefs and need to work through them in a deeper way.  This doesn’t mean we have failed – actually we are progressing on what we might call the “spiral of healing”.  Cycling back is part of the path to our evolution.

Life is about transformation, growth, self-discovery and finding new possibilities.  The journey of life is a sacred path and it is natural to seek teachers and teachings to help us find our way.  But, as Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj shares so beautifully, “The only true guru (teacher) is the path itself.”  And, this journey is a continuous one.  We might consider it like the labyrinth.  We enter in not knowing the path to center but we find the opening, follow along and eventually we end up in center.  We pause, reflect, set some intention and then begin to move out into the world once again – simply following the open path.

In a sense there is a bit of a puzzle to solve, but rather than just look at the labyrinth and try to sort it out mentally, we take one step and then we take one more.  We surrender to the path that is before us and in trusting each step is where it needs to be that we discover the divine presence is guiding us in each moment.  In life, when we feel we have a setback or have “spiralled down” rather than up, we tend to see this as a failure or as a wrong step.  The truth is the path is full of ups and downs on the spiral life; we are in a constant state of expansion and contraction.

Sometimes we may feel we have lost our path or have gone astray, but even when this is what we are feeling, we are where we need to be.  There is beauty and wisdom to be found in every experience.  And, as the shamanic path teaches so beautifully – it is the darkness and the shadows that we find the light within ourselves.  Still, we can find ourselves in  times of doubt or confusion that leave us feeling stuck or out of alignment with our deeper purpose in life.  What is it that can bring us back, not to a different place, but to willingness, acceptance and understanding? 

I have found the answer to be one of the essential teachings that I devote myself to both personally and professionally ~ the journey of the heart and the cultivation of greater love and compassion for self.  As we explored during May Is For Metta, loving ourselves is seen in the Buddhist tradition and others as the foundation we need to foster love and compassion in our lives, relationships and the world.  I also see it as one of the most potent keys to change and healing.

I have been devoting a lot of my time this summer to writing the final chapters for the May Is For Metta book.  Immersing myself in the energy of loving-kindness and compassion has opened the door for a new program I have been developing to emerge sooner than planned.     I am excited to share information with you on the Love Yourself, Live Your Life Summer Breakthrough Program. This is an introductory series that will be offered through 5 weekly tele-classes, a Facebook group, guided practices and optional individual sessions.

I am happy to share a Free Gift with you; it will give you a glimpse into what the Love Yourself, Live Your Life Program will be like.  This previous teleclass on “Loving Ourselves: A Key To Change & Healing” is a great way to explore loving yourself on a deeper level.

I hope you’ll take some time to explore and join me for this new program designed to support you in embracing and loving all of who you are so that you can live the life of your dreams!

Here are the details of the program for you to explore:

Love Yourself, Live Your Life
Summer Breakthrough Program With Beth Terrence
5 Session Teleclass Series
Discover The Healer Within
 
Do you want to live more from the heart? 
 
Is it a struggle to be gentle and loving with yourself?
 
Are you ready to step into your soul purpose from a space of the heart?
 
Does your inner critic keep you stuck? 
 
Do you want to have a deeper sense of connection with yourself, others and the world? 

 

In this 5 Session Teleclass, you will: 
 
  • Learn to connect with your heart on a deeper level and live more from the heart space.   
  • Cultivate love and compassion for yourself using a variety of transformational tools including meditation, shamanic journey work, affirmations, self-reflection and creative exercises.  
  • Uncover limiting beliefs and obstacles that prevent you from embodying greater love and compassion for your self and others and also, keep you from moving forward in your life.  
  • Learn to access your essential self and embody your soul purpose from the space of the heart
  • Begin to facilitate your own process of transformation and healing and create a foundation to continue that process in your life.
 Dates: Tuesday, July 22nd – August 19th  
 Time: 7:00 – 8:00 EST 
 Where: Wherever You Are – Call in by phone or listen online
 Audio replays will be available after the weekly call

 

 Basic Package $97, includes  
 – 5 weekly teleclass sessions 
 – an mp3 audio of calls 
 – weekly transformational resource handouts
 – private Facebook discussion group, plus 
 – 2 special audio bonuses 
 
 Register by July 14th for Special Pricing on Basic Package ~ $77
 
 Premium Package $247, includes
 –  Basic Package plus  
 –  One 1 1/2 hour Individual Session with Beth Terrence  
 in person in Annapolis, MD or By PHONE/SKYPE (Reg. $150)
 
Register by July 14th for Special Pricing On Premium Package ~ $227
   
Are you ready to embrace the truth of who you are –  
a being full of loving-kindness and compassion?

How much longer do you want to continue struggling?

Do you want the heart to be a guiding force in your life? 
 
The journey begins with you!
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Bach Flower Of The Month: Sweet Chestnut ~ Easing Anguish & Sorrow

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Sweet Chestnut

The Bach Flower Remedy System Of Healing is composed of 38 different flower essences developed by the visionary Dr. Edward Bach.  The system is based on Dr. Bach’s philosophy developed from learning that came through a long career in medical research, working as a physician and from spiritual studies.   This simple, yet powerful approach is based on the idea that humans are all innately perfect and at the core are spiritual beings.

Dr. Bach saw disease as the result of a conflict between our spiritual and mortal selves.  He held that in order to achieve health, happiness and ease of well-being, we must be in harmony with our own essential nature and follow the path that we feel most called to in our lives and our work.   According to Dr. Bach, 

“Disease is the reaction to interferences.  This is temporary failure and unhappiness and this occurs when we allow others to interfere with our purpose in life and implant in our minds doubt, or fear, or indifference.” 

After many years of treating patients, Dr. Bach abandoned all conventional medical treatments instead choosing to use nature’s “medicine”.  He felt that the healing benefits of flowers and plants were a divine gift and that no special knowledge or medical training was needed to find relief from suffering.  He believed it was necessary to treat the whole person not the disease and he defined seven main categories of imbalances which include:

  • Fear 
  • Uncertainty
  • Insufficient Interest In Present Circumstances
  • Loneliness
  • Oversensitivity To Influences & Ideas
  • Despondency Or Despair
  • Over-Care For The Welfare Of Others

He also identified seven stages in healing disease:

  • Peace
  • Hope
  • Joy
  • Faith
  • Love
  • Certainty
  • Wisdom
  • Love

The Bach Flower Remedies bring these positive qualities vibrationally into our energy field and help to transmute interferences and limiting patterns, feelings and beliefs so that we may connect with our true essence of perfection.

In my work as a Bach Flower Remedy practitioner over the last 15 years, I have come to see 5 specific remedies as being beneficial for what we might term “depressive” feelings.  I’d like to stress that in the Bach System and other holistic modalities, we look at indicating factors but are not treating based on a diagnosis whether for a physical or mental health related condition.  Rather, we are addressing the whole person and looking for areas of interference or imbalance to support a return to wholeness. 

The remedies which I consider when someone reports experiencing feelings of depression are:

You can learn a bit more about each of these remedies in “How To Beat The Seasonal Blues With The Bach Flower Remedies“.

In a consultation, all aspects of a person are considered.  Often even though the motivator for seeking support may be “depressive” feelings or another specific emotional state, it is essential to consider other emotions or personality traits to ultimately uncover the root cause an individual’s suffering or discomfort. 

With 38 different remedies, there are actually over a million possible combinations and it can be beneficial to seek the support of a practitioner or take a course to initially to learn how the remedies work and how to treat with them.

It’s been a few months since I have included a Bach Flower Of The Month post.  The intention of these posts is to offer a way to learn about the remedies and explore working with them.  If you feel you need additional support, I am available for consultations by Phone/Skype or In Person in Annapolis, MD.

Today, I would like to highlight Sweet Chestnut.  This remedy is in the category of Despondency Or Despair; I would add that it is one of the stronger remedies in that category.  It’s indication according to Dr. Bach is as follows:

“For those moments which happen to some people when the anguish is so great as to seem unbearable.  When mind or body feels as if it has borne to the uttermost limit of its endurance, and that now it must give way.  When it seems there is nothing but destruction and annihilation left to face.”

This came up for me this month when I learned of the sudden passing of a dear friend.  Like many of us, I have gone through some periods when losses were compounded.  Since then, I have found that a new loss can easily stir those feelings and at times put me into a state where I feel I have endured all I can.  Often, this state is more acute and doesn’t last too long, especially when supported with Sweet Chestnut remedy, but when we are in it – it is overwhelming.  Any state such as this may dissipate on it’s own but the remedy can help to ease through the extreme anguish that can arise.  At some point, a shift happens into a lesser state of emotion but still the feelings of loss and grief are at the surface.  This is what I experienced this month and found that by taking Sweet Chestnut I was able to move through my emotional experience more easily.  I then continued with Star of Bethlehem for loss and grief.

Here are some of the indicating factors of Sweet Chestnut:

  • Extreme mental and/or emotional anguish
  • Intense sorrow
  • Feeling you have endured all you can bear
  • Uncontrollable crying or tears
  • Feeling forsaken by God/Creator
  • On the verge of a nervous breakdown
  • Overwhelming feelings after a huge loss or life challenge
  • Fear of being abandoned
  • A sense of emptiness due to bereavement
  • Utter dejection
  • Feeling depleted of energy due to emotional overwhelm
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Overwhelming loneliness

Some of the benefits that come from working with Sweet Chestnut include:

  • Freedom from despondency and despair
  • Optimism
  • Peace of mind
  • Recovery of faith
  • Access to inner strength
  • Feeling heard and supported by God/Source
  • Ability to face external struggles with positivity

To learn more about my work with the Bach Flower Remedies, visit www.bethterrence.com.  Bach Flower Consultations are offered in person in the MD/DC area or by Phone/Skype.  Bach Flower Consultations are available as an individual modality or as part of an Integrative Transformational Healing Session, which is a customized session based on individual intentions, combining transformational resources such as Shamanic Healing, Bach Flower Remedies, Body/Energy Healing, and Meditation.

New Offering ~ 30 Minute Bach Flower Q&A Session $50 or try a

6o Minute Bach Flower Consultation Including A Custom Blended Remedy ~ $100

Learn more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bach Flower Of The Month: Wild Oat ~ The Remedy Of Soul Purpose

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“We must earnestly learn to develop individuality  according to the dictates of our own Soul, to fear no man and to see that no one interferes with, or dissuades us from, the development of our evolution, the fulfillment of our duty and the rendering of help to our fellow-men, remembering that the further we advance, the greater blessing we become to those around us.” ~ Dr. Edward Bach

Wild Oat

I have been a Bach Flower practitioner for 15 years and have been taking the remedies for even longer.  They were a major part of my process of healing through Fibromyalgia and although I came to them to address a specific issue in my life, over the years I have come to know them as tool to be used for lifelong transformation and healing.  There are 38 different flower essences in the Bach Flower System.  Most folks are familiar with the well-known Rescue Remedy, the only pre-blended Bach Flower Remedy.  With this repertoire of 38 remedies, there are well over a million possible combinations to address each individual at each point in their lives.

The remedies follow the philosophy of Dr. Bach and holistic medicine in that we are treating the whole person, not a specific symptom or disease.  Usually at any given time there are 5 – 7 remedies that are indicated for a person based on what they are experiencing in the lives, their personality traits and emotional state.  Also, each person has two type remedies which are ones they carry throughout their lifetime.  In a sense, this is a pattern that their soul has chosen to work through to have the experiences necessary for their evolution.  It often takes a long time to determine one’s type remedies and I have only in the last couple of years come to know mine.

While taking the remedies, one is not so focused on identifying their type but on addressing what is at the surface; looking at what they are experiencing most strongly on a daily basis is key to selecting the most beneficial remedies.  This is one of the reasons the remedies are so effective – they are addressing what is at the surface and they help to settle whatever feelings and patterns are currently activated by transmuting them so our next layer can emerge.  This is truly an evolutionary process.

At some point an awareness comes that a particular remedy is strongest over time.  After many years of exploration and only when I completed my final training with the Bach Centre in 2011 to become a BFRP (Bach Flower Registered Practitioner), did I come to recognize that Wild Oat is one of my two type remedies.  I have always had a fondness for this remedy and have benefited from it personally and continue to today.  I have also seen tremendous changes occur for folks who take Wild Oat when indicated whether it is someone going through a big life transition, trying to choose their course of study or needing to change careers and/or struggling to know which path to take.   For some this will be indicated at various times in life due to transitions or it may be an overall pattern.

Here is Dr. Bach’s description of Wild Oat from his book The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies:

“Those who have ambitions to do something of prominence in life, who wish to have much experience, and to enjoy all that which is possible for them, to take life to the full.  Their difficulty is to determine what occupation to follow; as although their ambitions are strong, they have no calling which appeals to them above all others.  This may cause delay and dissatisfaction.

I have always been someone who is called to do many things and I love each of them just as much. I have found as a result I tend to fit the description to a tee!  Part of this has to do with being passionate about many things.  I have found that my work as a shaman, holistic practitioner, facilitator, speaker, and writer suits me because there is diversity in what I do and who I work with, but still, I tend to feel there is something more.  Maybe there is something that everything I am now doing is leading to or maybe one path will become illuminated above all others at some point.  When I am feeling uncertain about where to put my energy, Wild Oat is my saviour. And, since I have been taking it as a type remedy, I have gotten much more clarity about my life and my work.  Actually, The Heart Of Awakening  Blog was created during this time!

Here are some questions to ask to see if Wild Oat is indicated:

  • Are you feeling like you have come to a crossroads in life?
  • Do you have issues with finding your true life work, mission, purpose, or calling?
  • Do you have a feeling that life is passing you by?
  • Are you unhappy with your current work?
  • Do you find yourself dissatisfied due to unfulfilled ambition?
  • Are you unable to choose a course of direction for your life?
  • Does it feel like you’re stuck in rut with your work or creativity?
  • Do you lack a sense of ambition or achievement?
  • In some way, do you feel like a ‘lost soul’?
  • Are there so many things you are called to do, that you are unable to focus or progress in any one thing?
  • Are you searching for your “niche” in life?

Wild Oat is a remedy of Soul Purpose.  Dr. Bach not only created the remedies themselves, but left us with a body of writing that is a great guide for living as a spiritual being on earth.  He created the remedies to support our journey in transformation and awakening.  Dr. Bach saw disease and suffering as a sign we are out of alignment with our Higher Self.  There is so much wisdom and understanding to be learned through exploring Dr. Bach’s philosophy and life.  Here is some of what he shares about soul purpose:

“Many of us in our childhood and early life are much nearer to our own Soul than we are in later years, and have then clearer ideas of our work in life, the endeavours we are expected to make and the character we are required to develop.  The reason for this is that the materialism and circumstances of our age, and the personalities with whom we associate, lead us away from the voice of our Higher Self and bind us firmly to the commonplace with its lack of ideals, all too evident in this civilization.”

In our modern world, it is easy to be led away from the deeper desires of our Soul.  Wild Oat can help you to find your true purpose or mission in life.  It can be helpful in resolving occupational issues, finding fulfillment with your work and accessing your creative fire.  In essence, it is helping you to become receptive to the wisdom of your higher self and inner guidance concerning what direction is most in alignment with your Soul.  It offers insight into the path ahead with clarity and purpose.

Wild Oat may also be used as a Polycrest remedy.  This is a remedy that helps to move a case forward when it is unclear what remedies are to be taken.  This may occur between taking a blend of remedies or when there is so much happening at the surface that is unclear which remedies are indicated.  The two remedies that Dr. Bach indicated to use as a Polycrest are Wild Oat and Holly.  Wild Oat is indicated for a person who appear more quiet and passive; they maybe more of an introvert.  Holly is indicated for a person who is more active, intense and extroverted.  The Polycrest is taken in the same way as a regular remedy until the next layer emerges; this may be indicated by a wave of emotion or greater clarity about what issues need to be addressed.

As you can see there are many nuances to the Bach Flower Remedies.  Dr. Bach created them to be used by the practitioner and the layperson; they are considered a complete self-healing system.  In the later years of his work, Dr. Bach treated with the Bach Flower Remedies alone giving up conventional medicine to treat the whole person; he had tremendous success!  Sometimes, it can be beneficial to work with a practitioner for a period of time to experience how the remedies work and learn how to use them effectively or you may just wish to explore on your own.  It’s important to know, the remedies can do no harm as they work vibrationally rather than medicinally.

As always, feel free to stop by to share your experiences with Wild Oat and the Bach Flower Remedies, share any reflections or let us know how you are doing!

Discover The Healer Within

Are you ready to discover the healer within?

Would you like to explore working with the Bach Flower Remedies?

Learn about my Special Offer On Integrative Transformational Healing Sessions (Buy One Get One Free ~ Now Thru 1/21/14)

A Day In My Life: Beginnings & Endings

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Butterfly Beauty

“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live. Which of these two is better only God knows.” ~ Socrates

Today, I was prompted to write about the most important day of my life.  It was suggested that maybe that day was one when you got married, graduated or gave birth to a child.  I spent a few moments brainstorming and came up with a list of about 5 important days.  For some reason when I envision this type of piece, I think that it will be one that is joyful and important because of the excitement and inspiration of that day.

I am not sure if this day qualifies but as I looked at the possibilities, something about this day wanted to be shared.  It was definitely, if not the most important day of my life, the most cathartic one.  I find myself wanting to refer to it as the day as the Trifecta.  In horse racing, a trifecta is a bet in which the bettor must predict which horses will finish first, second, and third in exact order.  Although not much of a gambler myself, for some reason when I was younger, I had a knack for picking the trifecta.  A couple of times I won some good money for my friends.  This is just a bit of an aside to the story, but in fact three big things happened on this one day of my life.

So my day began by preparing to go to a court meeting to finalize my divorce.  It was not actually at the court but at a lawyer’s office.  My relationship of 15 years was over and now all that was seemed left was to meet and sign some papers.  I had met my ex-husband when I was 22 in my last year of college.  It has been an idyllic relationship in many ways and a chaotic one in many others.  The divorce was somewhat obscured by other losses that had happened around that time ~ the death of my mother, as well as the tragic deaths of not one but two of my ex-husband’s cousins, who had been like brothers.

I was less emotional at the meeting than I imagined I would be.  I sat across the table from the man I had spent most of my adult life with.  A friend sat next to me as witness and another of “our’ friends sat next to him.  He was essentially engaged by this time, although not officially until a couple of months later, and although painful, I guess this made it easier to move on in some ways.  He cried a bit and basically said he couldn’t believe I wasn’t showing more emotion.  That was his way, to be all out there with his emotions; maybe not so much now, but at least then, I tended to keep my emotions on the inside or for more private moments.

Afterwards, everyone wanted to go get breakfast at a nearby diner.  It was me, my freshly declared ex-husband, and our two friends.  I didn’t really want to go, but also didn’t want to seem like I wanted to get out of there for some reason.  Not really sure why now as I look back.  Even without showing a lot of emotion, I was feeling a lot inside.  This was the ending of life as I had known it and it turned out taking this time may have caused me a loss in another kind of way.  I did my best to make it through the breakfast and part way through, my phone rang.  I had been awaiting a call about a friend who was in the hospital, but this was not that call.  This was one of my closest friends calling to say she had given birth during the night.

She was at a hospital a couple of blocks away and this gave me a good reason to say goodbye to my past life.  Within about 20 minutes, I was at the hospital visiting my friend and holding a newborn baby in my arms.  An ending had flowed into a beginning.  Not having any children of my own, I hadn’t been so comfortable around little ones but my friend insisted I hold her new addition.  I felt more comfortable than I imagined and it was such a joy to welcome this new life into the world.

I stayed and visited for a bit until it was time to let mother and baby rest.  I had one more stop to make that day.  It happened to be another hospital in another state, not too far away.

The weekend before had been the weekend of Passover; I had gone to back to New York to visit my family.  On the train on the way home, I had gotten a call that my dear friend and mentor for energy healing was in the hospital.  At first it wasn’t clear what was going on, but it seemed he had an aneurism and was in a coma like state.

I had seen him just the week before.  We met to do what we would usually do, check in, discuss our work, and explore what energetic shifts we and others we encountered were experiencing.  It was all big picture kind of stuff.  I never felt so understood and in conscious awareness as when I was with this mentor.  He had gifted me with the support to come to know my own gifts as a healer and how to truly be a spiritual being having a human experience.

During my divorce, I had taken on a full-time job to transition and figure out my next steps.  Due to my schedule and the upcoming divorce, I was able to get to the hospital to see him right away.  That Friday afternoon was the first chance I got to drive around DC to Virginia.  I had been told by my close friends that he wouldn’t know I was there.  Maybe this was part of my delay, too.

On that last day that I saw him, we had our usual fun.  Yes, fun.  He helped me to see the lightness of life even when I was feeling so hurt and so heavy.  We did some very deep intensive healing work as I trained in a process he had developed and yet, there was always a joy in it.  On that day, he was really excited as his son had just gotten accepted to college.  He had finished a project he was working on and had “cracked” a case with a challenging client.  He told me that he felt complete, like he had done all he came here to do.  He said he didn’t know what his next steps would be but that he was content and grateful for this beautiful journey of life.

I was still in the midst of my life crumbling and yet, having this amazing friend and teacher, helped me to see and know that joy and peace were possible.  From him, I had also learned that all of what I experienced in feeling and seeing energy was “normal”.  In my marriage, there was not space for me to talk about energy or spirit; that was taboo.  And, so I had hidden much of myself and my experience for many years.  It was in connecting with this teacher that my life truly changed, and so I guess not surprising that my marriage had ended around that time, too.

It took me quite awhile to make it around the DC beltway into Virginia that afternoon.  It was just past 4 pm as I arrived in the parking lot of the hospital.  Just as I pulled in my phone rang.  It was a friend calling to tell me that Bill had passed away about an hour before, while I was stuck in traffic.  Again, she stressed that it may have been best, for although his body remained, he had seemed gone right away.  Still, here I was at the hospital, coming to say what I imagined would be my farewell, at least in the physical, but I was too late.

I was supposed to be meeting another friend in the lobby who wanted to go see Bill, too.  So, I went in and he was there waiting.  I had to now tell him the news I had received on the phone.  I didn’t realize until I did that he had no idea how serious things were.  He had just heard Bill was in the hospital and so planned to come visit.  He was in shock as was I.  We sat and cried in the hospital lobby.  There was nowhere to go and no one to say goodbye to.

There’s a bit more to that day, but it feels like this is enough to share.  After that day, I felt like my whole life had washed away.  Like there was nothing left of the me I knew before.  I felt like I had beared so much and could bear no more.  Bill had helped me through a major transitional time in my life.  Some of that was outer changes like loss of loved ones, my marriage ending, moving, changing my work, etc.  Most of it was, inner changes such as coming to know and understand my path as a healer, learning my own inner guidance system and how to trust my experience.

I truly believed I would not have made it through this time without his support.  And, with him suddenly gone, I didn’t feel like I had the foundation I needed to go on.  I wandered in this lost state for several weeks, even months.  The pain was so great that I am not sure how I functioned, but somehow I did.  I had already experienced loss in many ways, but there was a potency to this day and to having the experience of divorce, birth and death happen in such a proximal way that I will never forget.

Life is journey that includes many beginnings and endings, many gains and many losses, many births and many deaths.  As humans, it’s so natural to want to hold on to how things are but that is not the nature of existence.  I think the beauty of having all of that experience in one day showed me how important it is to just be with life, to flow and to trust that wherever we are is where we need to be.

Perhaps there is a day in your life that feels most important or impactful.  I hope you’ll take some time whether in writing or in life to share or reflect on that day, on what you felt and what you learned.

Namaste.

Finding My Way Into 2014

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“The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.” ~ Steve Maraboli

Today, I attended a workshop called Revolutionary Resolutions.  I’m not too big on resolutions or the idea that we need to use the beginning of the year to create change in our lives.  I believe any day can be our “new year” and really every day needs to be that to be a conscious, authentic and evolving human being.

I understand the importance of goals and goal setting in terms of achievement and success.  This year for some reason, I was inundated with folks offering their new program to help me meet my goals in 2014.  It felt like anyone and everyone had spent most of 2013 planning for this rollout and quite honestly it felt pushy, plastic and inauthentic.  I found myself more than ever wanting to avoid the mass movement toward “resolutions”.

You may wonder, then, why had I signed up for this workshop?  Overall, it was kind of a feeling thing.  But, I do like to gather with others to explore and I was hoping I get some different insight into how to begin this New Year.  For some odd reason, I was feeling a bit like doing nothing for most of the holiday season.  I am usually quite proactive and so was just observing this in myself throughout December and into the New Year.

I was happy when I arrived at this workshop and found that there would be a burning bowl ceremony.  I find Fire Ceremony to be a powerful way to honor our transitions.  There was a focus on identifying what we needed to let go before we began to explore what we would bring in for 2014.  One of the things that had happened during my time of “non-doing” was that I got clearer on some of the feelings, patterns and beliefs I need to let go of and work to transform.  So, when the time came to write down what you would let go on little slips of paper, I was ready to release!

Later on in the workshop, the facilitator mentioned that she wasn’t starting her new program until February.  I thought that was interesting.  While I was “doing nothing” and thinking about all of what I “should be doing” to prepare and put things out for the new year, I found myself feeling very strongly to not start anything in January but wait until at least February or early March to begin my new groups and offerings, too.

The subject of the Chinese New Year came up and we discussed that this is the last month of that cycle.  This year is the year of the Snake according to the Chinese cycles and the energy of the snake is all about letting go, releasing and as they do “shedding” their skin.  The facilitator mentioned that this was a factor in her postponing her beginnings and as she shared that, I realized this is exactly what I was feeling.  Now is not a time to be birthing new things, it is still a time to be clearing and letting go.  It is also a time for spiritual discoveries, creativity and a desire for inner truth, what better energy to support a foundation for new beginnings!

I have been very focused on clearing my space – outwardly in my home and my office, inwardly in feelings, patterns and beliefs, which are no longer serving me.  Over the last week or two, I kept butting up against the massive movement to be rolling the new out, to be done with letting go and clearing, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  I considered that it is still the height of winter, a more inner time, but hadn’t consciously considered the energy of the Snake.  This potent energy has brought a lot of turbulence to this past year, which many folks have been experiencing emotionally and energetically.  It feels so important to take this last month and really allow what needs to be released to go.

According to the Chinese calendar, the coming year will be the year of the Horse; this begins on January 31st, 2014.  The Horse brings an energy for movement and power.  This year will carry the element of Wood as well, which is all about growth and new beginnings.  It feels like there is an intensity to this shift and taking time to be present with ourselves is key.  Clearing and releasing creates the space for more of ourselves and our deeper intentions to become manifest.  This is more important than any resolution or goal – this is life!  What greater resolution is there than to create space to allow our essence to emerge and our light to shine out into the world.

It is possible that I am feeling this all the more because I was born in the year of the Horse; I’m not totally sure.  What I do know is that it is important to listen to our own inner rhythms, to connect with natural cycles and to find ways to harmonize our being inside and out.   A big part of this comes from just being willing to be still and listen to our own inner voices.

I hope you’ll take some time this week and over the next few to listen your inner voice and to explore what you are ready to release and let go of.  Perhaps you have already set your goals for the New Year or maybe you are like me and still considering them; either way, take some to ask what you are holding onto that may keep you from achieving your goals and what can you do to let that go?

As always, please feel free to stop by to share your experiences, thoughts and reflections.

Namaste.

The Heart Of Awakening is an online resource for transformation and healing written by Beth Terrence.  Beth offers Integrative Transformational Healing Tools For Individuals, Groups & Organizations.  To learn more, visit www.bethterrence.com.

Top 13 Posts Of 2013 On The Heart Of Awakening Blog

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It’s hard to believe that it’s not even been 2 years since I started The Heart Of Awakening Blog.  It’s been a joy to journey and explore with folks from all over the world who are interested in transformation and healing.  This year, I have found much more of a community forming here on HOA and I have some new ideas to expand that in 2014.

I have so much gratitude for all of you who have been a part of HOA this year.   The mission of The Heart Of Awakening Blog is to support:

Living from the Heart

Embodying Awareness, Authenticity and Purpose

Integrating a Holistic Approach to Being

Embracing the Interconnectedness of All Things

Honoring and Respecting the Sacredness of Life

As we are moving toward to close of the year, I just thought to share the top 13 posts from 2013.  This year marked the third annual May Is For Metta virtual sangha (2 years on HOA) and I plan to continue this in 2014.  I’ve also added some new features this year including the Bach Flower Of The Month post and a Poem Of The Week.  As you can probably tell by now, I live on spirit time and so my week’s and months may vary! but I hope you have enjoyed these additions.  My intention is to share resources, tools and inspiration to support The Heart Of Awakening mission.

Also, if you have any personal favorite posts or topics that you’d like to see more of, please stop by and drop a note in the comments so I can know.  I have some special events planned for 2014 including teleseminars, group discussions and more.  If you’d like to stay up to date,  you might like to sign up for my Discover The Healer Within E-News where I share information on Upcoming Events, Transformational Tips, Integrative Transformational Healing Programs, Holistic Resources and more.  Sign Up Now!

The Heart Of Awakening is an online resource for transformation and healing written by Beth Terrence.  Beth offers Integrative Transformational Healing Programs For Individuals, Groups & Organizations in the MD/DC area and virtually.  To learn more, visit www.bethterrence.com.

Poem Of The Week: Standing Tall By Jamie McKenzie

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“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I felt strongly to share something by or about Martin Luther King, Jr. today in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March On Washington For Jobs & Freedom and his famous, “I have a Dream” speech.  I came across a poem this morning and am thankful to have connected with the author,  Jamie McKenzie, who has so graciously allowed me to share it here.  Jamie is a poet and director of From Now On, an educational technology journal that supports engaged learning and literacy.

Here are a few words from Jamie about the poem:

“Of all the many poems I have written, Standing Tall has been read by the most people, as many groups have asked to share it with their members on MLK Day. This gives me great satisfaction, knowing I could help celebrate his contribution to racial and social justice.  Back in 1983 when I wrote this poem I was Assistant Superintendent in Princeton,
NJ, and many states were just starting to celebrate his birthday. I wrote this for the children in Princeton and it was published in the local newspaper.  Dr. King was a great hero for me, growing up and being a young man in the sixties. I remember the horror I felt when he was killed. I can think of no other American who has done more to advance the cause of justice.  When you look back at the terrible system he helped to end, the use of dogs, guns and fire hoses to keep segregation alive, his contribution to American life is just huge.”

Standing Tall

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some kings rule their kingdoms sitting down
Surrounded by luxury, soft cushions and fans
But this King stood strong
stood proud
stood tall

When the driver told Rosa
“Move to the back of the bus!”
When the waiter told students
“We don’t serve your kind!”
When the Mayor told voters
“Your vote don’t count!”
And when the sheriff told marchers
“Get off our streets!”
using fire hoses, police dogs and cattle prods
to move them along
This King stood strong
stood proud
stood tall
Speaking of peace
of love
and children
hand in hand
free at last
free at last

When some yelled for violence
For angry revenge
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
He stood his ground
Preaching peace

And when some spit out hate
He stood there smiling
Spreading love
Until it rolled like the sea across the land
Sweeping away Jim Crow
Breaking down the walls
Ringing the bell
Joyfully
For Freedom

Until
Standing on the mountain top
They shot him
Coldly
Hoping to see him fall
Hoping to put him away
To bring him low

But this King
even in death
even today
stands strong
stands proud
stands tall
And we remember

© Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved.

So wherever we may be today, let’s take some time to honor and remember Martin Luther King, Jr. and the legacy he has left us that inspires us toward freedom, peace and goodwill for all beings.

To read more of Jamie McKenzie’s poetry, visit http://fno.org/poetry/index.html.

Voices Of Peace: Peace Pilgrim

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“We who work for peace must not falter.  We must continue to pray for peace and to act for peace in whatever way we can, we must continue to speak for peace and to live the way of peace; to inspire others, we must continue to think of peace and to know that peace is possible.” ~ Peace Pilgrim

I remember the first time I heard about Peace Pilgrim.  I was at meditation gathering in NYC and the leader read a bit from the book Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words.  I had heard about many saints, mystics and sages who carried the message of peace, but most of them lived in other parts of the world or in other times.  As I learned more about the life of Peace Pilgrim, it was hard to image a woman who had so much strength, courage and faith to make the journey of “25,000 miles on foot for peace” right here in the United States.  And, as it turned out not only did she achieve that goal, but she surpassed it, becoming a guiding light for peace in our world whose message continues to inspire people today.

Peace Pilgrim was born Mildred Lisette Norman in Egg Harbor City, NJ on July 18, 1908.  She was the first woman to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in one season in 1952 and this led into her journey of walking for peace.  She began her walk for peace in Pasadena, California on January 1st, 1953, intending to cross the country for peace one time and when she died in 1981, she had walked across America seven times, possibly even more.  She had stopped counting when she achieved her goal of 25,000 miles for peace in 1964.

As Mildred set off from the Rose Bowl Parade in 1953, she left behind her name and all of her belongings, taking on the title of Peace Pilgrim.  It was there that she began her journey of walking for peace with just a blue tunic labeled “Peace Pilgrim” on the front and “25,000 miles for peace” on the back.  She carried a few belongings in her pockets but had no money and no organizational support.  She was a woman on her own choosing to walk for peace.  As she began her pilgrimage, she vowed to “remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food.”

Peace Pilgrim’s journey spanned close to three decades; she continued to walk until her passing in 1981.  She walked for peace through the period of the Korean and Vietnam Wars and beyond.  During that time, Peace Pilgrim was a frequent speaker at churches, universities, and on radio and television.  She was a true messenger of peace!

Today, the Friends Of Peace Pilgrim continue to carry her message and share her legacy of peace with the world.  Reading her book, Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words, is like being on a pilgrimage with her.  And, her final talk given on the day before her death has become a spiritual guidebook for cultivating peace, Steps Toward Inner Peace.

Here are some of the words of Peace Pilgrim offered:

“You have much more power when you are working for the right thing than when you are working against the wrong thing.  And, of course, if the right thing is established wrong things will fade away of their own accord.  Grass-roots peace work is vitally important.  All who work for peace belong to a special peace fellowship — whether we work together or apart.”

“In order for the world to become peaceful, people must become more peaceful.  Among mature people war would not be a problem — it would be impossible.  In their immaturity people want, at the same time, peace and the things which make war.  However, people can mature just as children grow up.  Yes, our institutions and our leaders reflect our immaturity, but as we mature we will elect better leaders and set up better institutions.  It always comes back to the thing so many of us wish to avoid: working to improve ourselves.”

“The world may look at you and believe that you are facing great problems, but always there are the inner resources to easily overcome the problems. Nothing seems difficult. There is a calmness and a serenity and unhurriedness—no more striving or straining about anything. That’s a very important thing I’ve learned.  If your life is in harmony with your part in the Life Pattern, and if you are obedient to the laws which govern this universe, then life is full and life is good but life is nevermore overcrowded.  If it is overcrowded, then you are doing more than is right for you to do—more than is your job to do in the total scheme of things.”

“We can all spend our lives going about doing good. Every time you meet a person, think of some encouraging thing to say – a kind word, a helpful suggestion, an expression of admiration. Every time you come into a situation, think of some good thing to bring – a thoughtful gift, a considerate attitude, a helping hand.”

“In this world you are given as you give
. 
And you are forgiven as you forgive –
While you go your way

Through each lovely day

You create your future as you live.”

Of all the messages that Peace Pilgrim shared, the message of her life and her commitment to peace is the one that speaks to me the most.  She showed us in her words and her actions that peace is a choice that we can all make and as she shared so beautifully,

“One little person giving all her time to peace, can make news.  Many people giving some of their time, can make history.” 

What can you do today to choose peace?  How can you create more peace in your own life? In your relationships? In the world?

In the spirit of Peace Pilgrim, I have begun walking daily with the intention of cultivating peace.  For now it is just in my neighborhood, but imagine if each person would just walk a few steps for peace each day, how that might change our world.  I hope you will join me in taking a step toward peace today.

Peace ~ A Body, Mind, Emotion & Spirit Approach

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“If we’re frantic, life will be frantic… And so our goal in any situation becomes inner peace.”

~  Marianne Williamson

I have been working on a story for an upcoming Heal My Voice Collaborative Book project.   This will be my second time participating in a Heal My Voice Writing Circle and the focus is on Peace.  It’s been a couple of months that I have been gathering ideas and exploring what story might want to emerge for the book.  And, I have been diving into what peace means to me, how I experience it and where in my life I am not experiencing peace.

Awhile back, I came upon a course listing from a fellow Zero Balancer. Zero Balancing® is a type of body/energy work that I utilize in my holistic practice.  And, interestingly, it was one of the best modalities I have experienced that facilitates and supports a deep sense of inner peace.  The title of the course was “The Peaceful Body.   Just hearing this term stirred something in me.  I realized that so often we tend to think of peace in terms of a peaceful mind or peaceful spirit.  Suddenly, I felt strongly that in order to truly experience peace and embody it in the world, it really seems beneficial to consider it on all levels.

In my life and my work, I have tended to take a holistic approach – one that addresses body, mind, emotion and spirit and the integration of all of those parts into a balanced whole.  This feels like an important paradigm to bring to the cultivation of peace.  Gandhi’s famous words,”We must be the change we wish to see in the world” comes to mind here.  We often hear that we cannot bring peace to our world if we are unable to cultivate peace within our own selves.  But what does that mean?

It’s easy to say we need to cultivate peace in our lives but learning how to actualize that awareness and how to live and embody peace is another story.  My sense is that by taking a holistic approach to peace, we can create a framework for developing and deepening our ability to be Peace Beings, on all levels – body, mind, emotion and spirit.

A peaceful body

A peaceful mind

A peaceful emotional state                         =  A PEACEFUL BEING

A peaceful spirit

Many Peaceful Beings  = A Peaceful Planet

I have been told often that I have a very peaceful presence.  I find this interesting as I have tended to experience stress and anxiety and continue to work through old traumas.  Even when I might not feel calm, I seem to project that energy outward.  My sense is this comes from 30 plus years of meditation and cultivating stillness within.  Even when I may not feel peaceful inside, others tend to feel peaceful around me.  This may also have to do with the fact that having come through traumatic experiences, I know how to be calm in the face of crisis and chaos.

I share this because, for many years, I saw this as a strength and I have to admit that it still does come in handy, especially when facing a crisis or dealing with a chaotic situation.  However, what I have learned in my years as a body/energy worker, healer and most of all a being in search of peace is that there is a price to pay when we hold the façade of peace and yet, our center continues to hold turmoil and chaos.

It is often this gap that creates the greatest disharmony in our individual selves and in our world.  If we consider this from purely an energetic perspective, most of us have a sense of when we feel chaotic, unbalanced and disconnected and we probably, also have a sense of when we feel peaceful, balanced and connected.  I use the following sketches to illustrate this:

Image #1 depicts an energy body that is chaotic, unbalanced and disconnected.

Image #1 depicts an energy body that is chaotic, unbalanced and disconnected.

Image #2 depicts our energy body when we are peaceful, balanced and connected.

Image #2 depicts our energy body when we are peaceful, balanced and connected.

There are many ways to shift our energy from a chaotic state to a balance and peaceful state.  Also, just having the awareness of these variations and recognizing how we tend to move between the two states can be the beginning of a practice to become a more Peaceful Being.

Exploration: A Holistic Approach To Peace

Taking a holistic approach to Peace offers a framework for actively working to cultivate deeper peace in our lives and in our world.  In order to feel peaceful, balanced and connected, we need to attend to the our whole self- body, mind, emotion and spirit.  And, we need to also find ways to integrate all of these aspects of self.  Take some time to explore each level and how you might work to create greater peace and balance in your life.

Body – Do you feel healthy?  Are you following a diet that supports well-being?  Are there foods or chemicals you are taking in that may cause you to feel out of balance or be harmful to your body?  Do you get enough rest and relaxation?  Are you experiencing tension or discomfort in your physical body that needs your attention? Take some time this week to do a holistic self-care review and consider what changes may support your body in being more in a state of peacefulness and balance.

Mind – Do you experience a calm mind?  Are you able to create space for stillness?  Does mental chatter or busyness keep you from feeling peaceful and balanced?  Are you holding beliefs that are in opposition to being at peace, e.g. the world is unsafe, I am undeserving of peace or happiness, there is only one way to peace, etc.  Take some time this week to explore a practice that helps to quiet your mind, such as meditation, yoga, or even a walk in nature.  Also, do some journaling to explore beliefs you may be carrying that are keeping you from a deeper experience of peace.

Emotion ~ Are you holding in feelings that need to be expressed or released?  Are you in denial about feelings you are experiencing?  Are you unable to connect with what you are actually feeling?  Are you picking up on the emotions of others due to a depleted or chaotic energy field?  Take some time this week to explore what you are feeling.  Are there unresolved feelings you need to work to let go of?  Be open to really listening to your heart and what it needs in order to move into a place of peace.

Spirit – Do you feel a sense of connection to your self? to others? to the world? to Source?  Experiencing a sense of connection is one of the foundations for Peace.  When we are disconnected, we lack a sense of support and stability which is inherent in the energetic quality of peace.  Take some time this week to explore your sense of connection.  Do you need to do some inner work to connect with your own self?  Do you need to connect with community?  Do you have a spiritual practice which supports connection and fosters peace in your life?

In addition to considering each level on it’s own, it is also important to consider the interrelationship of various aspects of self as well as overall integration.  For instance, sometimes we are holding emotions in the physical body that need to be released or discharged.  Sometimes body/energy work can support this; sometimes emotional release work or even some type of physical exercise is needed.  Be open to exploring what practices and tools support you in achieving a sense of wholeness and well-being.  This is another foundation for becoming a Peaceful Being.

A simple practice for cultivating peace ~  When you have a moment where you recognize you are feeling chaotic, stressed, unbalanced, etc.  Take a few deep breaths.  Breathing in for a count of five and out of a count of five.  Then, let your breath move to it’s own natural rhythm.  Continuing to follow the breath with your intention and awareness – on the in breath invite in the energy of peacefulness and calm in to your body, mind, emotion and spirit.  As you breath out, let go of any tensions, worries, stresses, or obstacles to peace that you may be carrying in body, mind, emotion and spirit.  You may wish to do all the levels at once or work with one at at time.  (Note: This practice can also be used to explore what you are feeling or experiencing on each level)

I hope you have a beautiful week.  May it be filled with peacefulness, balance and connection.

As always, feel free to stop by to share your thoughts, feelings or reflections on Peace.

Change Your Life Message #1

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“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~ Viktor Frankl

Original Artwork by Beth Terrence

Five Steps To Becoming Your Own Agent Of Change

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“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ~ Alan Watt

1. Accept responsibility for your own change or healing process.

The most common definition of the word responsibility is “the quality or state of being responsible” and sometimes this is seen as a burden.  I had an Aha moment with this word when I attended a college psychology class with a friend.  Oddly, I had dropped out of school at the time but while visiting went to class  and heard his professor define responsibility as “the ability to respond”.  I can’t even tell the exact nature of that lecture or the class overall, but hearing those words impacted in a way that has shaped my life.

Interestingly, part of the reason I had dropped out of school at that time was because I had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and some of the symptoms such as fatigue and severe muscle pain caused me to be unable to attend classes consistently.  At the time, Fibromyalgia was a relatively new diagnosis and there weren’t a lot of treatment options available.  I learned quickly that if I were to regain my health and return to college, I needed to take “responsibility” for my own healing process.

Having that alternative definition of responsibility opened a door of possibilities for me as I began to explore holistic and alternative modalities so that I could become better able to respond to what I was experiencing and create change in my life.  “Being able to respond” is a core concept  in my personal work and in the work I share with others and I view it is a key to becoming your own change age

 2. Be curious and open to exploration.

As I began to explore alternative and holistic modalities, I began to learn and grow in ways I never imagined.  Carrying a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia for a young aspiring 20 something seemed like a burden, even a curse at times, and yet, this burden, led me to a path of self-exploration and discovery that defines who I am today.  This burden ended up being one of greatest blessings in my life and has led me to a life path I feel passionate about.

Some of the tools I explored were very beneficial, others not so much, but either way, I was building my toolbox and getting to know myself on a much deeper level in the process.  We don’t know what will help us in creating change until we try it and what works for one person may not work for another.  Being open and curious is such an important part of any change process.  In meditation and other spiritual practices, it is often suggested to come to it with a Beginner’s Mind.  This is a great way to approach life and change as well.  When we come to our explorations with this type of openness, new possibilities emerge that we may not have been able to see if we hold the “I already know” paradigm.

3. Track your experiences and build your personal transformational toolbox.

By now you are probably getting tired of me talking about the importance of journaling as a transformational tool, but without somehow tracking your experiences, it is difficult to truly identify what is working and what is not working in your change process.   Also, one of the keys to becoming your own change agent is to build a transformational toolbox that can support you in the changes you are currently making and in future changes.  Having some type of journal, log, and list becomes your personal guide to change.  And, no one can truly write this book but you.   In Five Steps To Mastering Anxiety, I share an example of some ways to track your experience and begin to build your toolbox that may offer some ideas to explore.

 4. Be willing to be uncomfortable and roll with the resistance.

This is a step that most of us don’t like and it is often where we tend lost our steam in the change process.  Being willing to roll with the resistance that arises as we initiate change is a vital component of any transformational process.  If we approach change with some of the above steps, we can be more conscious of our resistance and awareness as it is arising and this s a key to working with it.  Also, often doing some deeper work, such as an inner child process, can help to create safety and security within, which is often where our fear of change arises.  Developing practices that support being present with what is arising, such as meditation, can help.  Also, be sure to develop a good support system and use it

5. Recognize the need to continually adapt.

In the words of Greek philosopher Heraclitus,

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.”

We are constantly changing, as is our world.  Our cells our changing, our relationships are changing, nature is changing and yet, we somehow long for things to stay the same.  This is where much of our suffering arises.  By acknowledging that we are always changing and that we will continue to change and by recognizing that as a result, we need to continually adapt, we truly become agents of change.

At times, it may feel like we need the majority of people to change for our world to change, however I feel much like Margaret Mead,

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world.  Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Each step we take toward change in our personal lives and in our relationships creates the potential for transformation to occur in a greater way in our world as we are all connected through the beautiful, amazing web of life.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and reflections and most of all, enjoy the journey!

7 Ways to Cultivate Love and Compassion for Yourself

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Learn to trust your
Feelings and, most of all,
allow yourself to
grow;

Perpetual expansion
is the way of the
Heart and the Soul
.

– Maria Lucia

One of the earliest posts on The Heart Of Awakening was “7 Ways To Cultivate Love And Compassion For Yourself”; this continues to be one of the most popular and what I feel is one of the most important posts found here. In my personal journey of healing and transformation, learning to love myself was the key that opened the door for new possibilities to emerge.  Although I had tried to work on this on my own in various ways, I had not had tremendous success as the patterning and critical voices I carried overpowered any voices of self-love I might have tried to develop.  Even having focused for years on the heart as a focal point of my spiritual practice, I still felt like I wasn’t worthy enough of my own love and compassion.

In 2003, I had the blessing to connect with a teacher of the heart, Maria Lucia Picaza and spent a year devoting myself to the heart as guide through her program, School Of Spiritual Heart Studies, aka “Heart School”.  This year was a turning point in my life. Interestingly, I was in the beginning of a period of tremendous change – relocation, the loss of my mother, separation, financial stress and a lot more was to come over the next few years.  I call this a blessing because had I not begun to devote myself to the heart and to loving myself at that time I don’t really know how I would have made it through that difficult time.  I continued to have intense major losses for a period of about 3 years and much of that stirred up old traumas and patterns I had not resolved.

Being gifted with the tools that Maria Lucia shared in addition to my spiritual practices and a number of other heart-centered guides in my life, I was able to consciously work to let go of old patterns, feelings and beliefs that were no longer serving me and to move into a new way of being – one of love, compassion and acceptance of myself and others.  If you explore, you may be able to find a copy of Maria Lucia’s book, The Heart’s Unraveling: The Birth of a New Evolutionary Directive, which offers a foundation in shifting our consciousness from a mind based directive to a heart based path.

The post “7 Ways To Cultivate Love And Compassion For Yourself” developed out of an essay I wrote that summed up what I learned about the heart during that year of devotion to the heart.  As I mentioned, even though I attended to this in various ways, previously, this was the first year I totally devoted myself to the heart and it has become my path ever since.  These steps have become a foundation in my personal life, in the work I offer to others individually and in workshops, and in my writings.

I hope you enjoy the post and as always, feel free to share your thoughts, feelings and reflections.

The Heart of Awakening

Perhaps one of the hardest and most healing things we can do for both for ourselves and for the world is to cultivate love and compassion for ourselves.  In the Buddhist practice of Metta, or loving-kindness meditation, it is taught that in order to have love and compassion for others and the world, we must begin with offering those energies to ourselves. In the practice, we begin by generating the feelings and qualities of love and compassion and then repeating phrases like these: 

May I be happy. May I be peaceful. May I be free of suffering. May I have ease of well-being.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is understood that without a strong foundation of compassion for ourselves, we will not have the ability to truly embody those qualities in the world and extend them to other beings.  For many of us, who have grown up in western culture, it goes against…

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Dancing With My Inner Critic

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Transformation

One of the themes I have been working on this year in my personal work, workshops and in my writing is Transforming You Inner Critic Into Your Inner Cheerleader.  Actually, this is a piece I have been working on personally for a long time.  My mentor, Shaman Ross Bishop, author of Healing The Shadow and a shaman of almost 40 years, actually certified me as being one of his hardest cases in this area.

I have progressed tremendously and as a result, I am able to help others in shifting this pattern.  I continue to work on it on my own.  And, it continues to show up – sometimes stronger and more often, with less fierceness than it used to.  It still shows up but it’s no longer paralyzing or totally self-sabotaging in the way that it was when I was younger.  I have found the key is to cultivate love and compassion for myself; this is at the heart of my life, my work and my writings.

Why am I focusing on this today?  Well, we’re on Day 6 of the Blog Challenge today and I am just writing my fifth post.  I was packing and traveling yesterday and beginning my vacation.  I thought once I got settled in that I would write it, but didn’t.  In the evening, I spent time with friends, staying up later than usual and having fun.  Missing a deadline for fun – this is somewhere my inner critic would have gone ballistic in the past.

Also, historically, I would have beaten myself up so badly that it would have been difficult to get back in the saddle again.  In giving instructions for the 31 Day Blog Challenge, facilitator Lesa Townsend offered that if you miss a day it’s best not to worry about it, just write two the next day or make up for it somewhere along the way.  That sounded reasonable and yet, I could feel the expectations percolating within myself to not have that happen.  And, now to encounter this so early on.  What an opportunity to explore and grow!

I share this because I know I am not alone in it.  I can see even more clearly how this pattern keeps me stuck and in a cycle of perpetual pain and suffering.  And, I now know that I can transform it.  It’s still going to come up but by working on it in a proactive way and in the moment it is arising, I am able to create a paradigm shift in my life.  Just like any part of life, it’s a dance.  So, in approaching this aspect of healing in a willing, present and creative way, the door is open for healing and transformation, both personal and collective.  That’s what The Heart Of Awakening is all about!

In my workshop on Transforming Your Inner Critic Into Year Inner Cheerleader, which I have offered several times this year, I share five steps to working on creating change in this area.  Additionally, I offer a variety of tools and experiential practices to support this transformation.  There is no magic formula – each person is different and needs to explore and find the tools that support them and their individual journey.  However, one of the tools that I find most beneficial in the process of creating change is journaling.

Journaling is a powerful way to develop self-awareness, track our experiences and cultivate change in our lives.  There are many ways to journal and it’s important to find a way that works for you.  For some it’s hand writing, for others on the computer, jotting notes on your phone or even recording a voice note.  In the process of transformation, the important thing is to develop a method that helps to you to track where you are, what tools you are exploring and what changes you maybe noticing.  Also, lists are a wonderful way to develop clarity and have beneficial resources at hand when you need them.

In working on transforming the inner critic it can be helpful to explore the following:

  • How your critical voices show up, e.g. guilt tripper, taskmaster, shamer, etc. Be creative – describe them, what they look like, feel like, you can even draw them to have a visual – this is part of bringing what is unconscious into our conscious awareness where it can begin to transform.
  • When you’re critical voices show up, e.g. work, relationships, family, etc.
  • Triggers you may become aware of e.g. paying the bills, public speaking, etc.
  • What tools/interventions are you exploring?  Do they help?
  • How do you feel after using a specific tool?
  • What are you noticing overall as you work on this pattern?
  • Are you willing to stay present with your exploration even when it is uncomfortable, knowing this is part of the process of change?  If you get thrown by your inner critic, are you able to come back to your practices when you notice?
  • Are you able to become a good friend to yourself?  What are the challenges with this?  What would you say to a good friend who is feeling as you are?  Would you keep a friend who speaks to you the way your inner voices speak to you? (Just consider that!)
  • Identify people in your life who are outer cheerleaders/good friends/mentors and ask for their support in this process.
  • Work with affirmations in your journal practice and in your life.  You may wish to create your own affirmations in response to your specific critical voices. This helps to bring in a positive energy but can also help to surface our negative or critical voices, which tend to come up in response to positive words being offered to ourselves.  This dual aspect makes affirmations a very powerful tool in transforming the inner critic.
  • Do Mirror Work and journal about what comes up.
  • At least once a month, do something to celebrate yourself.  Create a list of things in your journal that you would like to do and that will support your inner cheerleader in emerging.

There are several posts on The Heart Of Awakening that may be helpful to explore:

Transforming Your Inner Critic Into Your Inner Cheerleader

7 Ways To Cultivate Love & Compassion For Yourself

Bach Flower Remedy Of The Month: Pine

Bach Flower Remedy Of The Month: Rockwater

From Comparison To Compassion: From Perfectionism To Gentleness

Actualizing The Power Of Intention

May Is For Metta (I have found the Buddhist practice of Metta to be one of the best tools for this work.  Not only is it an amazing spiritual practice, offering an opportunity to create loving-kindness and compassion for ourselves, it can also stimulate those critical voices as we begin to practice.  This is where our work lies and so Metta can really help to peel away the layers while at the same time we are creating a new foundation.)

I also really recommend Ross Bishop’s book, Healing The Shadow.  The new 2nd edition was published last year and offers even more insight and tools to support transformation and healing.  I have found this book to be an incredible guidebook for life on earth and it’s one I come back to again and again.

Stay tuned for most posts on this subject.  And, I may have another post today or I may save the missing post for when there is a burning topic that wants to show up.  My affirmation for today is, “I am gentle and loving with myself.”

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, feelings and reflections.

Have a beautiful day!

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Exploring A Holistic Approach To Living & Well-Being

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Chakras

“To be great, be whole;
Exclude nothing, exaggerate nothing that is not you.
Be whole in everything. Put all you are
Into the smallest thing you do.
So, in each lake, the moon shines with splendor
Because it blooms up above.”
~ Fernando Pessoa

As human beings, our life consists of four basic levels: spiritual, mental, emotional and physical.  In order to create a healthy, balanced way of living, we need to give attention to each of these aspects of ourselves.  As we do so, we become able to heal the specific parts of ourselves that are in need in any given moment and we begin to create a greater sense of wholeness by attending to all aspects of ourselves.  Life is always changing and so are we, but as we deepen in our experience of ourselves, all aspects of ourselves, we begin to create a foundation for living a more joyful and balanced life.

When go through life transitions, we tend to lose the structure of caring for ourselves or we may have never even had one.  Also, when we are desiring to create a certain change in our lives,  a new structure is needed and in the transition, we are lacking a foundation to support that change.   This is a natural part of the change process.   Although there may be discomfort with the  uncertainty and instability that accompanies  change, there is an opening for a new way of being to emerge.  By being willing to look at where we are, what we have experienced and what changes we wish to bring forth in our lives, we have a great opportunity to delve deeper into ourselves and to create a new structure for living life in a more loving and conscious way.

In my personal healing journey and in my work with others, I have found that taking an integrative holistic approach to life and well-being supports a return to balance.  This model also offers a structure for self-reflection and action during the change process.  It can also be used in an ongoing way as part of a holistic self-care plan.

Defining The Four Levels

Spiritual:   This is our soul or our inner essence that connects us to universal source and the oneness of life.  By developing this part of ourselves, we can begin to experience a sense of belonging to a greater whole, to having deeper purpose and meaning in our lives, and to feeling we are more that just an individual.  This level creates a foundation for all the other levels of our being.

Mental:  This is our intellect, our ability to think and reason things out.  It includes our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and values.  Developing this level supports us in our abilities to think clearly, to be open-minded and to be discerning.  Through our minds, we are able to gather information and knowledge from our life experiences and from the world we live in.

Emotional:  This is our ability to relate to others, to ourselves and to the world on a feeling level.  It allows us to experience life deeply and to have meaningful connections with others.  Developing this level supports us in having a full range of experiences and to bringing fulfillment to our relationships with others and ourselves.

Physical:  This is our physical body.  It includes our ability to survive and thrive on the material plane.  We develop this level through caring for our bodies and learning to be connected to our physical being.  It also includes the development of skills to live and manage life in the material world.

Caring for the Four Levels

Caring for all of the levels is equally important.  To live a balanced and healthy life, we need to focus time and attention on each level.  Most of us develop certain parts more than others depending on our life experiences.   We may have been supported or discouraged from developing certain parts.  At certain times in our lives, we may need to focus attention on a specific area to assist us in where we are and what we are experiencing or in healing traumas and wounds from the past that may exist on any level.  There is no right way to heal or change.  We can proceed by developing one area or working on all at once.  Allowing our lives to guide us by being present with where we are and accepting who we are is a major part of the process.  We cannot change where we have been, but by being gentle, loving and present with ourselves in the now, we can create positive changes in our lives.  And it is this moment, which creates the next.

Here are some ways to explore caring for each of the levels.

Spiritual:   Develop or explore a spiritual practice, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi or studying a spiritual teaching.   Spend a few moments in prayer each day.   Create a gratitude journal and write in it.   Spend time in nature, gardening or hiking.  Practice mindfulness in your daily activities.  Spend some time each day checking in with yourself and asking for inner guidance.  Take time to be alone and quiet, just “being” with yourself.  Explore creative activities such as painting, dancing, singing.  You know it’s a spiritual practice when you feel it feeding your soul.

Mental:   Pay attention to your thoughts.  Write down some of your repetitive thoughts and beliefs.  Make a list of core beliefs and examine where they came from.  Explore which beliefs support you and which limit you.  Be open to exploring new ideas and letting go of old ones.  Explore things you do well and like to do, as this is part of your native intelligence.

Emotional:  Honor all of your feelings.  Ask what they are about; allow the feelings to guide you to what you need.  Learn to appreciate your different moods and emotions.  Journal about what you are feeling.  Get help or support on emotional healing from friends, family, a therapist, a healer or a support group.   Have healthy boundaries.  Give yourself time and space to process your feelings.  Be open to receiving love and support.

Physical:  Tune in, feel and listen to your physical body.  Consume plenty of water.  Eat a diet that is appropriate for you.  Eat regularly.  Get plenty of rest.  Get fresh air each day.  Get regular exercise and daily physical movement.  Heal you addictions.  Experience physical touch, affection and closeness.  Cultivate your ability to practically manage aspects of living in the material world.  Get some bodywork or massage.  Listen to your body’s innate wisdom and follow it.

A Holistic Self-Care Exploration

Take a few moments to answer these questions.  The intention of looking at each of the four levels of existence is to see how you are experiencing these aspects in your life at this time.  Notice any areas that may need attention and notice those areas that feel developed and balanced.  Also, be open to noticing and exploring any resistance that may come up about any of the levels.  Write down any ideas you have about how you can create more balance in any specific area or overall.  Also, write down anything you have done in the past, particularly before recent transitions, which may have supported you in any of these areas.

Spiritual:    Do you feel a sense of connection to your spiritual source?  Do you have a relationship with your own inner wisdom or intuitive guidance?  Do you feel you are a part of a greater whole?  Do you spend time alone just “being”? Do you have a spiritual practice, which supports you being?

Mental:  Are you satisfied with your intellect?  Can you think and express yourself clearly?   Do you have a belief system that supports you and works for you?  Are you open to new ideas without being overly impressionable?  Do you have clarity?  Are you able to stay focused?

Emotional:  Are you in touch with your feelings and able to express them appropriately?  Do you allow yourself to experience a full range of emotions or do you find you shut down certain emotions if they arise? (E.g. fear, sadness, anger, joy, love)  Are you able to set appropriate boundaries with others?   Are you able to be open and honest with others and your self about your feelings?  Can you relate to others in a close, intimate way?

Physical:  Are you physically healthy and active?  Do you feel comfortable in your body?  Do you like your body?   Do you eat a healthy, balanced diet?  Are you comfortable in the material world?  Are you practical and down to earth?  Are you financially stable?  Do you enjoy your sexuality?

This review can be useful in the process of creating changes in your life.  It can also be used regularly as part of a holistic self-care plan.  It is a great way to do a check-in or review of where you are in the change process.  I tend to use it monthly just to touch base with the various aspects of myself and to see where I may have moved out of balance or need to give more attention based on what is arising in my life.  It is also great to see the progress and how I have grown in certain areas as well.

As always, please feel free to share you thoughts, feelings and reflections.

As I Began To Love Myself: Reflections On A Self-Love Poem By Charlie Chaplin

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Charlie Chaplin
It’s so interesting how when one journey completes a new one emerges.  On the last day of May Is For Metta 2013, I was preparing to lead a workshop on Transforming Your Inner Critic Into Your Inner Cheerleader the following day at a women’s recovery retreat.  One of the points I share in that workshop focuses on loving ourselves as a key to healing and transformation, which is at heart of my personal journey and my work.  It is a major focus here on The Heart Of Awakening Blog as well.  I often like to close my workshops and gatherings with a poem and although I had one in mind, for some reason, I felt to google “self-love poems”.  I was surprised to find a poem by Charlie Chaplin on this subject, but as I read it, I was just amazed and inspired.

I ended up sharing the poem with my writing group a few days later and we were all really touched by it in a deep way.   What emerged was the idea to use this poem as a practice.  So for as long as it takes, we will be working with one stanza a week as a prompt for writing and for life.   We are just coming to the end of the first week and I have found this prompt to be a great catalyst for self-exploration as well as writing.  The focus of the first stanza is on Authenticity and is as follows:

“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.  Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.”

Although the concept that Chaplin shared is not new to me, by holding that awareness in the forefront of my consciousness, I found was more able to recognize when I was in a place of alignment and when perhaps, I was going against my truth.  I wasn’t focused on changing anything specifically at this time, rather, my focus was just about noticing when I felt anguish or emotions arising and what that was about.  It was almost like the breath in meditation.  Each time I felt something, I checked in with myself.  I believe one of the great “dis-eases” in our modern world, and perhaps, one that causes many of our illness and imbalances both individually and societally, is our disconnection from our feelings.

It is a very common experience to learn or be taught to suppress and override our feelings and it takes practice to begin to allow them to just be.  I found this exploration really helped with that practice and in a way that I was not attached to changing or working with the emotions but just noticing.  That’s all it really takes to allow one’s feelings.  I shared a bit about this exploration in a guest blog post on the Heal My Voice Blog.   Here is a link to that post, “A Journey Into Awakening”.

I’ll be sharing more as this exploration continues.  Feel free to join in as you feel to and as always, your thoughts, feelings and reflections are always welcome here or on HOA’s Facebook Page, too.

Here is the full poem for you to read:

As I Began To Love Myself By Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.  Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me.  Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.  Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment.  So I could be calm.  Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.  Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm.  Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself.  At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.  Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time.  Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future.  Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening.  Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick.  But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally.  Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!