5 Ways To Think Happy
We all know that life spent navigating the hectic pace of New York City can be overwhelming, even frustrating. I ran into a friend the other day, and when I asked how she was doing, I got a shrug and an “eh…” like she was some crotchety old grandpa about to tell me about her sciatica. Apparently the city had been wearing on her. But why let it be a buzzkill? Life is way too short to be kvetchy.
If you ask me, Groucho Marx had it right: “Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead; tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
Of course, we’re only human; I, too, get into ruts, succumb to fits of rage and have my fair share of meltdowns. I am Jewish, after all, and I fight my neurotic, negative tendencies every day. I think Moses must have included these lovely traits with the Ten Commandments when he passed them down to my people.
Here are some techniques that keep me focused on happy, calming thoughts. And yes, unicorns, rainbows and cute little black dresses are included.
Focus on What You’ve Got
You can’t afford your favorite sushi restaurant, the pressure of the holidays is getting to you and the last time you cuddled with someone you liked, Obama was still popular. Well, we all have our share of inconveniences. But what in your life is going right? When you put your energy toward dwelling on what’s wrong, you get stuck there. Instead, focus on the good things you have going on. Soon you’ll not only feel better, but you’ll also draw more good things your way. Having trouble finding a few things to be grateful for? Hot showers and sugared cereal count!
Lose (the Illusion of) Control
Dharma Punx leader Josh Korda once explained to me why we get so down and out in the big city. He said we base our identity on things that are constantly changing: work, friends, our bodies… Everything in life is constantly in motion and out of our control. Korda’s advice? Let it all roll around you, but base your true identity on your deeper self. Really, the only thing you can control is the way you react to the changes around you. So sit back, flow with the chaos around you and don’t let it make you nuts.
Forget Your Goals
We put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best, the smartest and the fastest. When we fall short, boy do we get cranky. Not even Superman himself could be the perfect hero. Yoga principles teach us to be goalless, which might make any city-dweller go mad. But what if your goal every day were to feel joy or simply to be content? You might be surprised to find your greatest achievements grow from that peace.
Endorphin It Up
Sure, you can drink all night, but exercise and yoga give you the same or better effects naturally. Serotonin, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, is released in your brain when working out. Yoga shifts life’s energy around in your body so that you’re in balance, which leaves you feeling happy and slightly stoned. Nothing wrong with that! Throw in a little meditation and green juice and you’ve got yourself a lovely, happy-go-lucky cocktail.
Be in the Now
You’ve heard it a million times on “Oprah” and from Eckhart Tolle, who writes, “Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.” We are only stressed when we are thinking about our future and past. If you concentrate on the present, you’re golden! This moment creates the next, then that next moment creates the following one, and like a domino effect, you’re on the right path.
Life’s too short (or too long, for that matter) to feel miserable. Only you have the power to redirect yourself into the feel-good Now.
V’s Corner: Yoga Teacher Training Week One (hola from Mexico!)
One week through my Yoga Teacher Training here at the beautiful Present Moment Retreat in Troncones Mexico. Our first week was filled with fun, introspection, surf, sand, practice, poses, meditation, and lots of OMs!
This first week there were plenty of asanas (poses) but the real focus was on the spiritual aspect of yoga. Yoga after all means connection– connection to breath, connection to others, and connection to what lies within us. For many the physical practice is what allows us then to really relax–to quiet the business in their head and just “be”. I know for me this is why I fell in love with yoga. It was one of the few things were I could quiet my chatty mind and let go of all that was going on there, and really connect in to what I know is true and important. Sometimes in the craziness of life (especially in a frantic city like NY) we get caught up in our thoughts, our issues, and in all the incidentals in our life, and lose focus on what’s truly important.
Cleansing also came into play this week— physically, mentally and emotionally. We discussed things like letting go and giving up the things that don’t serve us, for these cover our truth and only through shedding layers can it truly and fully experienced. School Yoga Institute uses the Sadhana Yoga tradition which focuses on spiritual practice and was what attracted me to this training program. We’ve delved into a variety of meditation practices, chanted and talked all about methods that can help us further turn inward.
A physical cleanse also went along with it all, and I experienced my first “raw” cleanse (only taking in foods that are uncooked and pure–no preservatives, etc). Luckily for this crunchy, salad eating, hummus loving yogi, it wasn’t at all jilting. Sure I gave up my coffee with cream and brown rice and cooked veggies, but there were SO many delicious, creative dishes here at Present Moment that I never felt like I was missing out. Big tropical fruit plates, coconut salads, sprouted quinoa and a plethora of made-to-order smoothies and healthy juices. I certainly never felt deprived, and I was amazed at how light and bright and energetic I was. GO raw! Aside from the clay drink we also took down twice daily, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
So, all in all it was a great week. I’ll chat more about what’s happening on the mat next post. I’ve got my first “test” tomorrow, and a 6am daily wake up so this yogi must go to bed. It’s all good though, and I am actually amazed at how much I already know about the different poses, alignments and adjustments. It’s definitely already deepened my practiced and I can’t believe that I’ve learned a whole hatha sequence (class) in less than a week! It’s definitely been a riguourous program, but one that has been so worth the investment.
Until next week…
Forgiveness: 10 Quick Ways to Let Go & Move Forward
Spring is here, a time for renewal and new life. There is no better time to talk about forgiveness and fresh starts. Whether mending relationships, letting go of hurt, or just going a bit easier on ourselves, now is the perfect time to let go of the old and focus on the new. Rebecca Friese Rodskog gives 10 easy tips on forgiving and moving forward.
Ugh……I can’t believe I said that to him.…I screwed up that presentation.…I didn’t work out all week.…I should have called.
Are the voices in your head constantly running down a list of things that you didn’t do quite as well as you were hoping (or what you think others were expecting)? Then you fall into the great, great category of women who are way too hard on themselves.
You might think this is no big deal – it makes you perform better the next time, right? Well, no, it does not, and it IS a big deal. Constantly focusing on the negative buries you in guilt and negativity, and brings more of it your way. In addition, it actually creates barriers for you to accomplish all that you might have if you had a more positive, supportive attitude. Also, let us not forget that the state of constant stress you put yourself in by never being “good enough” is a surefire way to do actual harm to you mentally and physically, in ways we are just beginning to understand.
Sadly, it’s become almost fashionable to be self-deprecating. In a world where performance appraisals focus on the negative/needs to improve more than the “praise” part, we get used to pointing out our faults. But holding on to the things you did wrong (whether real, semi-real or imagined) can stop you dead in your tracks on any road to success. It’s like throwing a big anchor on your ankle and trying to run.
Forgiveness is one of the five tenets I discuss with my clients – the others include Love, Gratitude, Communication, and Integrity.
I grew up a (good) Catholic girl, learning that Forgiveness is the key to living a spiritually enlightened life. However, they never taught us that the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. Here are 10 quick ways to begin to become aware of what you are saying to yourself, and to letting yourself off the hook once in a while.
10 Quick Ways to LET IT GO
- Start tuning in to your thoughts. Keep a notebook with you and try to write down each negative one you have for a day. Once you’ve become more aware of your thoughts, try to say it out loud, as if you were talking to yourself at 5 years old. Hopefully your tone will start to change.
- Tell others. Sharing what you are trying to do with friends and significant others will keep you motivated. Tell them you will give them a dollar for each negative, self-deprecating thing you say about yourself.
- Evaluate fairly. If you are reviewing your performance after something (a presentation, a phone call), go ahead and write out the pros and cons instead of just running through the negative stuff in your head. For the stuff that you were not happy with, make a mini-improvement plan for the next time and then let it go. Try to end with the things you did well, like “kept my mouth shut when my co-worker made a stupid comment!”
- Work it out. Go on a walk or a run and really listen to your thoughts. Ask yourself “is this feedback real, or imaginary, or somewhere in between”. Sometimes we don’t even realize that things we are saying to ourselves.
- Talk it out. Talk to your significant other or best friend about something in particular that you’re upset with. Usually, once said aloud, the thing we are beating ourselves up about becomes much smaller, and your friend may even have a similar story to share which makes you both feel better!
- Write a positive list. One way to bring your best to light is to write them down. Start to list of the things that make you awesome (my one client calls it “My Awesomeness”). When you are having a particularly brutal feedback session with yourself, pull it out and remind yourself of how awesome you are.
- Seek support. Reach out to the people who love you. Whether it’s your mom, dad, or someone else who loves you for all your faults. Try to see yourself through their eyes.
- Eat ice cream. I don’t know, it just always makes me feel better. But then don’t beat yourself up about it, okay?
- Laugh. Fake it at first, and then watch it catch! It is hard to be mean to yourself when you’re laughing!
- Forgive. Forgive yourself for all your blunders, and love yourself because of them.
Spring Clean Up: Make Your Home A Haven
Your home should be your haven, your place of peace from the stress in the world around you. Here are 10 simple & fun ways to add some “soul sparkle” to your domain…
1. Choose décor colors carefully. Pick colors that are conducive to what you want your space to be. If you want a serene room, stray away from red! Red is an energizer and may even stimulate your appetite! Greens are calming colors, perfect for a spa-inspired setting. Or, if you want a cross between calm and amped up, choose a shade of blue.
2. Rid energy drainers: fill holes, fix a squeak, or replace bulbs and batteries for a clean, updated look, and you’ll feel so much better.
3. Circles mean harmony and unity, so make sure you have a circle (wreath) on your door or even inside your home.
4. Choose a meaningful mug or plate. Using something special to eat off or drink out of is a great way to savor the food or drink.
5. Connect with nature. Being outdoors, having lunch outside, or even if it’s just to sit on your porch and watch the birds for a few minutes while you sip your morning coffee, is a huge lift to an overburdened spirit.
6. Take the day “off” and lounge in sweats all day.
7. Get dressed to the nines for no reason.
8. Have a carpet picnic with your significant other. Pick out a nice blanket, fill up a picnic basket with goodies, pour some wine, and stay in for a fun night at home.
9. Clear out your closets, basements, and drawers to make your home as clutter-free as possible. Use boxes to separate yard sale finds, items to donate, things you can re-purpose, and the junk that hits the recyclable bins.
10. Make a picture and hang it in a beautiful frame. Homemade artwork rocks!
Bonus Soul Sparkler!! Once you’ve read a book, write a note in the cover about your thoughts on it, your favorite part, something personal. Create a book-giveaway basket, and every time someone enters your home have them pick a random book without looking inside- whatever they choose is the message he/she is supposed to receive.
Solace In The City: Meditation Hot Spots
Seems like everywhere I go, people are talking up the topic of meditation. People want to be able to sit still but have no idea how to start. They hear it’s good for you, like vitamins or massage, but are anxious about how it all works.
You would think that sitting still and quieting your mind is the most effortless thing we can do, but for quick and speedy city people just the thought of it alone gives us anxiety!
I’ve sampled many meditation groups and sessions in this city and know what I like. I believe it’s best to start out meditating in a group, before you purchase a CD and do it at home yourself. Once you get into a meditation groove in a group, then it’s safe to take your practice home. Until then, everything in your apartment will be distracting!
Meditation relieves your worries, puts you in touch with your intuition, increases your happiness, and keeps you centered. No wonder it’s getting so much of attention. I personally do a double dose when I’m feeling especially moody. Look out! Here are some ways to reap the benefits of meditation in the city:
Ishta Yoga – Take a meditation class with Yogi Alan Finger 5:30 pm Monday and Wed or 9:30 am Tuesday and Thursday. It’s easy to follow with Yogi Alan Finger and a great way to get started — be prepared to do a few yoga poses before the meditation begins. Then you can buy Allan’s CD and do it at home.
Dharma Punks – Free meditation sittings on Tuesday nights for the hip, downtown East Village crowd. Everyone is welcome though and look forward to a large group. Meditation is followed by a Dharma talk by a punky spiritual leader with tattoos and all.
Shambhala Center – This Buddhist retreat in the middle of the city offers free meditation sessions and classes. They use a traditional Buddhist method where your eyes are half open — which can be hard. But you can also meet with a meditation counselor there to check in at any point to get help with your specific practice.
Bhavani Lorraine Nelson at Kripalu – Bhavani Lorraine does an amazing meditation workshop three times a year the Kripalu retreat in Massachusetts. Find out when and where she teaches on her website here. Once you take her fabulous workshop, buy her CD and continue the peace at home.
Also, to stay motivated at home, take the Chopra 21 day meditation challenge. It started about a week ago but you can sign up late and start it any time. It is a daily online recording about 15 minutes long.
Enjoy the silence!
Check out Ilana’s blog, Downtown Dharma for more zen tips in the big city.
Modern Day Meditation: Finding Peace Anywhere
The other day I was reading Metro and came across an interview with a “meditation consultant.” Is this really a new line of work? What do meditation consultants do? Sit with you and breathe away stress? Where do I apply?
Then I read on. The interviewee, Andy Puddicombe, is a former monk who studied in monastaries all over India, Thailand, Nepal, Australia, and Russia for ten years. Even if I shaved my head to look like him, I wouldn’t attract his clientele—I’d only kill my love life.
Last year, Andy started a non-denominational initiative called Headspace in London, which introduces frenetic professionals to the benefits of meditation. He hosts events in cool spaces, conducts one-on-one private sessions, and even meditates with his clients online and via mobile phone. Since Andy and his partner launched Headspace, the London press has been all over the story. He’s been featured in Vogue, Time Out and other popular publications. He also just signed a book deal and has a TV show in development.
Hmm… maybe I could pull off a sexy bald ’do after all?
I had to meet Andy and talk more about his modern day meditation project.
Andy and I scheduled a call over Skype. Even through the small video screen, he casted a spell—he was jovial, warm, and extra smiley. The bald look really works for him. He’s not technically a monk anymore, and the position of “lady friend” is already filled.
We talked about my experience with meditation: which usually translates into feeling like I smoked something illegal. I explained how after I meditate, I feel present and grounded, glad to have my anxiety and fears vanish for at least a good day or so, before my next sitting.
Andy explains to me that scientific research suggests that after fifteen minutes of stillness, blood flow increases in the area of your brain associated with positive emotions.
The challenge for me has always been getting my butt to meditation classes at least 2–3 times a week. However, Andy promises that once you take his workshop, you will have the tools to practice on your own. He breaks down his lessons into three parts:
1. Approach: Andy offers a philosophical explanation on the importance of having the right attitude in life. For example, meditation is no different to life. To want things to be different from how they are now is to resist reality. When we resist reality we struggle with life. It’s a move away from acceptance. This applies to meditation because if you sit there trying to actually stop your thoughts and emotions, you move away from acceptance and, ultimately, away from peace of mind.
It’s a common mistake to make though, and explains why so many people get frustrated or anxious when learning meditation. So meditation is less about ‘changing’ the mind and more about ‘understanding’ the mind. When meditation is approached in this way, the potential for benefit is huge!
2. The Act of Meditation: Andy recommends sitting still for 10–15 minutes in the morning, so that meditating doesn’t become just another stressful item on your day’s to-do list.
3. Integration: You can integrate the practice into your daily life if you consider that meditation is about compassion and awareness. On the subway, use your commute as an opportunity to be mindful and present. Andy say’s that you have a choice: You can either sit there wishing you were somewhere else, or you can use a meditation technique to cultivate awareness and empathy for your fellow commuters. (Well, maybe not the flashers and disheveled, smelly teenage hipsters—best not to be too aware of some things.)
We both agreed that meditation would become the new yoga and sweep through the West. I asked him to teach me his secrets, so that I could become his disciple and start my own meditation business one day. He explained that although he has thought about going that route, right now he doesn’t feel comfortable claiming guru status and training other teachers.
Rats. I guess I’ll have to train with the Bhuddas directly. I wonder if any of them can be interviewed by Skype? Let me do some research and get back to you on that. Until then, catch ya on the subway.
Top Photo: Flickr
Resolution Reset: A New (and More Effective) Way to do New Year’s Resolutions
Happy 2013 Lovelies! So we’re into week two of 2013 and hopefully you’re kickin’ butt on whatever New Year’s resolutions you claimed. Likely, you’ve been to the gym every day, only eaten celery sticks and maintained your new commitment to never, ever, ever buy a pair of shoes you don’t need so that you can save some dough.
Ok, that’s a bit extreme, but let’s get real. New Year’s resolutions rarely work. If you’re one of the lucky ones who keeps your resolutions through June, you go girl! But for the rest of us, we need a new way.
Try this instead: Reflect, Realize and Refuel new hopes.
Reflecting: Resolutions fail because we don’t really understand why we want to achieve the new goal. We need to understand the motivation behind our resolutions. You may know that you don’t like the extra 5 pounds you gained during the holidays, but losing weight just to lose weight is about external appearance. We know from research that extrinsic motivation rarely works. Rather, you need to dig deep into your soul and ask yourself why losing weight matters. Do you not feel beautiful? Do you want to truly love yourself? Do you want to be able to more easily play with your kids or finally run that marathon that has been on your bucket list?
Reflect on what you really want and then claim it: “I want to love myself completely!” Doing this will not only help you lose weight, but will also bring into your life all sorts of miracles that help you see yourself differently.
Realizing: In addition to knowing the motivation behind our resolutions, we need to believe that the commitment is important to our heart and soul. This is where most of us fail. In her book “The Right Questions,” Debbie Ford states that when we aren’t getting the result we want, it’s because we have an “underlying commitment” to something else. For instance, you say you want to lose weight, but eat the cupcake anyway. Why? Likely, because you have an underlying – or unconscious – commitment to doing whatever you want without adhering to societal norms! When I read this book, I asked myself, “If I say I want a long-term committed relationship, why do I keep dating the wrong men?” I closed my eyes, meditated and realized that I had an underlying commitment to being free and independent. I was floored, but it made sense. As the youngest of three born into a very opinionated Jewish family, others were constantly telling me how to do life. I had spent my life saying, “I do it! I do it!” like a 3 year old!
Uncovering our underlying commitments empowers us to realize old beliefs that holding us back from getting what we really want in life. And once we are aware of those old patterns and fears, we can look them lovingly in the eyes and say, “No thank you. I don’t need you anymore.”
Refuel New Hopes: When we resolve, it is absolute. While such tenacity feels empowering, it also adds a lot of pressure that can boil over into self-hatred when we don’t follow through. Hope is different. Hope inspires us because it awakens our spirit with motivation. According to researcher, C.R. Synder, hope literally ignites action. It fills our soul with possibility, our brains with ideas, and our hearts with potential. In this manner, hope is like magic fairy dust.
Ask yourself: What am I hoping for in 2013? You may hope to live authentically, to deepen your friendships, or for inner peace. Hopes like this are visionary and therefore they fuel our hearts and set intention for action.
So, if your New Year’s Resolutions are working for you, keep at it. If not – or if at some point, you want to try a new way to true inner joy, try this. I promise it will be one of the greatest gifts you give yourself this year. Here’s hoping that you get everything you hope for in 2013!
Carin Rockind (aka “PurposeGirl”) is the Woman’s Positive Psychologist. She is a life and career coach, motivational speaker and author. Her philosophy is simple: we each have a unique purpose on earth and we’d be happier if we were living it! As one of only 250 people in the world with her masters degree in Positive Psychology, the scientific study of happiness from Penn, her work is grounded in science yet fueled by love, spirit and lots of crazy life experiences. For more, check out www.purposegirl.com
Ringing In The New Year: 5 Reasons To Raise Your Glass
Here’s a novel thought… we choose to be happy… Know that? So why are you still lazy, sick, selfish and unhappy? The US alone ranks well over 100 on the scale of global happiness. Choosing to be happy can lead to serenity, bliss and joy. Aiding in chemical-free treatment of depression and so many other free and easy benefits. So stop complaining so much, ditch the prozac, stop being such a victim, or an ass, stop the whining. It’s obnoxious. Start making change. Create change within and reap all of the benefits of being happy!
Let’s toast to the douchebags! Well.. wait….. Sorry that’s Kanye’s line.. still hilarious in itself… Let’s toast to you NOT being a douche this year and being GRATEFUL + HUMBLE and HAPPY! Word up.
Shall we reflect on all of the wonderful things to toast to?:
1- Your Health!: A priceless gem that most of us take for granted, until something unfortunately arises. But how “healthy” are you?? Take this simple, yet witty quiz. You have one precious mind, body and soul. Treat it, respect it, feed it right, don’t compromise!
2- Your Loving Friends and Family: Be grateful, thankful and happy they are in your life. Even if things are not always perfect (admittedly, they definitely aren’t in my world) you must learn that family is much like a bunch of apples… sweet and tart at the same time.. a few bruises…but nothing that you can’t turn into a sweet apple pie. So be grateful. Mom loves you. Read between the nagging, that’s love.
3- The Job that you Possess: Or don’t. Be grateful that you have a job in your hands… with the unemployment rate still at approx 8.6% that means that the other 91.4% of you should be grateful.
4-Somebody does LOVE you: Having love in your life is nothing short of amazing. (Take that from a girl who’s been single for almost 4 years.) I love nothing more than the feeling of a big hug, a smooch or a cuddle. Spooning anyone? The feeling from human touch is priceless. Isn’t that why we love massages/reiki? Shoot, I mean I do.. So give away some free hugs. Go tell someone you love them ______THIS_______ much. Get old skool and draft a card, a letter or call! Texting, BBM, Email, Facebook, DM, etc etc is all great, but social media ain’t got nuthin’ on a good BIG, warm hug. Don’t lose your clutch and be so digital. Who wants to date their BlackBerry? Not I.
5- The Good Life: I always say that life is full of great taste. And in this country? That’s nothing short of the truth. I have been to some of the poorest nations on this globe and they were so incredibly happy, with absolutely NOTHING. Imagine that? Kids in Indonesia played with sticks and old tires… plastic bottles and wore the same dirty clothes daily. And yet they were SO happy. So while we throw away tons and tons of food daily, pout about mayonnaise on our sandwich and how I wanted the French vanilla creamer in my coffee, not half and half… here’s a thought.. Shut the eff-up. Suck it up and change your thought process. Living the good life also means having a deep soul. It means enriching your life and others through happiness, comfort and joy.
Be well friends… nothing but love and smiles in 2012! xx ❤ck
Expect Miracles: 5 Steps To Making Them Happen
I believe in miracles. Period. Full stop.
For some of you, that may be a pretty ballsy statement. For others, it may seem like an unrealistic pipe dream. Still others may want to believe in miracles but encounter resistance. Why have miracles become a cute concept we tweet about, or a possibility we turn to only when all hell breaks loose? Why aren’t miracles an everyday occurrence, a moment-to-moment thought, an expectation?
A miracle is simply a shift in perception from thoughts of fear to thoughts of love. Many of us lost track of this simplicity because we fell for fear instead. When our thoughts are focused on fear, we block miracles. Fear becomes the norm and we deny the potential for peace and love.
Six years ago, I could no longer deny my need for a miracle. My life had hit bottom and I had no other choice but to call on a miracle for help. My call was answered when I was guided to the metaphysical text, “A Course in Miracles,” designed to restore our perceptions of fear to right-minded perceptions of love. I’ve been a student of the “Course” ever since. Through my dedication to the “Course,” 365 daily meditations and the teacher’s manual, I’ve begun the journey of restoring my faith in miracles. Through my internal transformation, my external world has exploded with light. Even in the darkest situations, I ask for a miracle and I’m relieved of my fear, only to return to love. One day at a time, I choose a miracle, and now I live a miraculous life. I work miracles like a full-time job.
Working miracles requires faith. If we don’t believe in miracles, we won’t experience them. When our focus is on “lack, fear, anger and attack,” then “lack, fear, anger and attack” will be our life’s experience. But when our focus shifts to peace, a miracle can occur. “A Course in Miracles” teaches, “Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.” The moment we shift our perception from fear to love, we experience a miracle. It’s as simple as that.
We can all be miracle workers if we choose to be. If you want to perceive your world in a bright new light, then follow my five-step plan for workin’ miracles.
Step One: Recognize Your Fear
Asking for a miracle welcomes the correction of your mind. The first corrective step in undoing your discomfort is to recognize that your problem isn’t “out there.” Your problem is the fear in your mind. The “Course” suggests, “Say to yourself that you must somehow have chosen not to love, or the fear could not have arisen.” This step helps you see your fear as nothing more than a misguided thought.
Step Two: Be Willing to Choose Love
The “Course” teaches, “Fear arises from lack of love.” Identify your fear as nothing more than lack of love. This step will quickly help you disassociate with your fears and prepare you for a full-blown surrender.
Step Three: Surrender your Fear
The third step to working miracles is to surrender. Surrendering comes through prayer. Simply say a prayer to God, the Universe, angels, Grandma (whomever you like to talk to), asking for a miracle. You might say something like: “I need a hook-up. Things aren’t working out and fear has consumed my mind. I surrender my will. I ask for a miracle.” Give up your fear fully and let the Universe do her thing.
Step Four: Receive Perfect Love
The “Course” teaches, “The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.” Once you open your energy to receive a miracle, a lot will begin to shift. If you surrender fully, you’ll recognize your fear and resentments as not real. You will no longer feel connected to fear. You will be inspired to forgive, choose love and release attack. You will welcome perfect love. This doesn’t require any work on your end. Just stay committed to love and the miracle will occur naturally.
Step Five: Expect Crazy Sexy Miracles!
We must commit to working miracles for the practice to become involuntary. The goal is to practice surrendering your fear to love all the time. The more you practice, the more you can expect Crazy Sexy Miracles.
For more lessons on “A Course in Miracles” and free downloads of my lectures visit my website.
Are you ready to work miracles? Gabrielle Bernstein believes that simple, consistent shifts in our thinking and actions can lead to the miraculous in all aspects of our daily lives, including our relationships, finances, bodies, and self-image. Check out her new book May Cause Miracles, and all of her miracle-making good stuff on her website!
Making Change Happen: Tips To Transform Your Life
Change is hard. Or so we commonly believe. We become comfortable in our daily routines, we get used to our habitual ways and so we resist change. And yet, we deeply want it. We yearn for a deeper relationship, a different job, to lose weight or to begin a new healthy habit. Of course we do…
Change is natural. It is part of the biorhythm of life. Just look outside at the bright red and yellow leaves that are beginning to appear. Consider how a woman’s body changes to become a mother. In fact, according to research at Stanford, our skin completely regenerates in 7 days and all of our cells are replaced every 7 years. Put simply, change is as essential and organic as living itself, so naturally our bodies and brains and souls crave it.
But how do we make the change we want? Often, we’ll wake up one day and say “That’s it – no more sweets!” Or we’ll hear a friend say “Forget it – I’m done with men!” And then weeks – or even days later, we find ourselves just having a little bite of cake or back online looking for a guy. So what’s going wrong?
I propose that we aren’t respecting the natural process of change. Change is not instantaneous. We don’t see a tree go from fully green one day to suddenly bright red the next. Change takes time. We need to honor this natural cycle and apply it to our own lives. As my friend and colleague, Louis Alloro says, change can be “full of ease and grace.”
First, we must be clear about the change we are hoping for. Not just that we want a different job, but specifically, what attributes of a workplace and colleagues matter, how do we want to feel about the work we do? Positive psychology, the scientific study of well-being, tells us that hope is very powerful in igniting change because it gives us agency to make change and it empowers us to develop the pathways to change. And change is made by creating new pathways.
According to research out of MIT, habits are neural pathways, or patterns, formed in our brain to quickly respond to certain triggers. This means that when your brain senses the trigger (ie: walking by a bakery), your brain is prompted back to the old habit. Routines or habits you’ve formed took time to establish and now you must take time to change them. You must begin to create NEW neural pathways – new habits. When you walk by the bakery and your brain thinks “let’s eat!” – instead say in mantra, “I am healthy”. Do this every time you walk by a bakery and begin to see the habit change.
Autumn is a natural time to reflect on the change you want in your life. I hope you use this cyclical gift of nature to get more of what you want in life.
Ready to make real changes?