Daily Meditation – Compassion

Is compassion a weakness?

Often in our society, people talk about ideas like, “Every man for himself.”, “Only the strong survive.”, and so on and so forth. We hold fast to the idea that, if you work hard enough, you will have everything you need (or at least, everything you deserve). It’s a complicated thought to tease apart and get to the center of- because it is so prevalent in many areas of our culture. Where it shows up often, as of late, is around the idea of public assistance and the debate as to whether or not we, as a society, should be helping those who are in need.

I believe that we, as human beings, are all connected. I also believe that how we choose to treat others often reflects how we actually feel about ourselves. It’s an important thing to look at- the way that you show up for other people. Our behavior can indicate a layer of beliefs about ourselves that we may not even be aware of. So, what does it mean to have compassion or to care about helping others who are in need? I don’t think it makes a difference whether they are in need financially, energetically, emotionally, or in any other manner. It’s all the same in our response, really. If you are able to show up in a truly compassionate way for others (without it being simply a means to prove to yourself that you are better than those who you are helping), it means that you are able to practice self-compassion to begin with.

It takes a certain strength that most of us must consciously develop to really take care of ourselves. For me, it took learning a whole new way of defining myself in order to get to the point of being able to know what I needed and ask for it. I was deeply ingrained in the practice of self-deprecation, based on low self worth combined with the idea that the only way for me to gain value was to work hard and do everything all by myself. As a result of how I felt about myself, my compassion for other people was also limited. Sure, I did volunteer work and I was willing to give donations to the food bank. But I was full of all kinds of judgments when I encountered people in my own life who were in need. I thought they weren’t strong enough. I judged them that they didn’t just pull up their bootstraps and work as much and as hard as it took to get what they needed. I expected them work themselves to the bare bones, and then just figure out how to make due with what they had. Of course, in my own life, I worked long hours at a job I really couldn’t stand. If I didn’t have enough money for groceries, I would rather eat ramen for weeks at a time then ask anyone for help. I suffered through because I thought that anything less would be shameful. And in the process, I applied these same self-judgments to everyone around me.

As life would have it, the Universe came along and swept the old way of being out of my life completely. I found myself suddenly unable to work, or really do much of anything at all for myself. So I was forced to learn self-compassion. I had to ask for help and accept it, without feeling like a failure. It took me a while, but I learned that I deserved the help that I needed. I was valuable, I had a life of purpose (we all do), and getting my needs met through the compassion of others was perfectly okay. More than okay, it was good for everyone involved.

I came out of that time in my life understanding that this is how we were all made to co-exist. Helping each other, accepting the help of others, and turning around and helping each other some more. This cycle ultimately lifts EVERYONE up- no matter where they were when they first received help. It is empowering to all involved, because those who have been given something will jump at the first chance they have to pay it forward. It allows every single person to see their own inherent value, and when we know how valuable we are- then we can really stand up and do the amazing things that we came into this lifetime to accomplish.

Mantra of the day:

Mantra - Compassion

Daily Meditation- Resolving Past Hurts

I’m sure there have been times in every one of our lives when we have had a conflict with another person that ended our relationship to them. Be it a romantic connection, friend, or family member- breaking out of certain connections sometimes includes situations where we have inflicted pain, been caused pain by another, or most frequently a combination of the two. Now that we are rising to another level energetically, you may be experiencing the reemergence of memories from those times. That is because we are being pushed to heal on all levels, including the energetic “garbage” that we still carry from negative interactions in the past. This residue, if left unresolved, is a weight on you energetically that will make it more challenging for you to progress freely.

So how can this leftover material be resolved and released? It is important, first, to take the charge out of the situation by coming to an understanding that both parties were doing the best that you each knew how based on where you were at during that time. Even the worst offenses, while you don’t need to condone the actions, can be understood from a standpoint of recognizing that people who are in pain cause pain to others. It is also important to accept your own part in what happened, realizing that you also acted from whatever emotional space you were in at that time. All can be forgiven, in that sense, because you have learned and moved forward from who you were then.

As for the energetic residue, how can that be resolved? I have had numerous past hurts to heal, and what I have found is that it often doesn’t require what we might be expecting. I have almost never needed to contact someone in their human form to heal a hurt between us. In some cases where it felt appropriate, I have done that. Many times, however, I have simply conversed with their higher self in meditation and worked to heal the space between us. You can start by sitting somewhere that you won’t be disturbed for a while, and closing your eyes. Take a few deep breaths to get present in your body, then imagine yourself asking to speak to their higher self. Once you have contacted them, you can make your amends however you feel the need to. I know that some people prefer to write, so you could also choose to write a letter to their higher self and say whatever you need to say. Extend your forgiveness to them as well, at the very least in the form of understanding the circumstances that caused them to inflict their pain on you.

Finally, take the time to extend unconditional love to this person. You can envision them surrounded in bright pink light, and even fill the space between you with that healing light of love as well. Release all negative connections, allowing the attachment between you to be dissolved completely.

Mantra of the day:

Mantra - Healing Past Hurts

Daily Meditation- Personal Truth

Do you often feel like other people know more than you do? Like you are on one level and other people are above you somehow? I used to feel that way quite often. I am realizing more and more when it shows up in my life now in many different ways. For example, when I read books- I used to always take the author’s viewpoint as absolute truth. I thought that they must know more than me to be able to write a book on the subject. Now, I am realizing that we all have our own versions of “truth”- there is no absolute. We can share with each other the ways that we each individually see the world, but we don’t always have to be in agreement to both be “right”. So now, when I pick up a book, I ingest the information by weighing it against my own reality. I sit with an idea and see how it feels in my body, and then decide if it’s right for me or not. Sometimes, it isn’t clear right away, so I will sit with it until I know more. It doesn’t mean that I can’t finish the book, or appreciate the material, if it is not “true” for me. Sometimes I will walk away if the material really doesn’t feel right, other times I can look at it and see the value of the information even if it doesn’t necessarily all apply to me.

The same is true in our real life friendships and relationships. We come together as different people with vastly different knowledge and experiences. I have said before that I sometimes see my friends and I as our own separate connect-four games. (Hopefully you remember those from when you were a kid!) On my game board, I may have the first column filled to the top, but the second and third columns only have one or two chips in them, and maybe the next one is completely empty. One of my friends may have only one chip in the first column, a full second column, and two or three chips in the next. And so on, down the line. So we all show up with different “specialties”, and we can learn from and support each other so well because we know about different things. Just because someone shows up and is at a really expert level in a certain subject doesn’t mean that they are “above” you- because they have other areas in their life where they have a lot to learn and you may be an expert there.

The bottom line is that it’s never good to sell yourself short. All interpersonal connections are happening for a reason- so the people around you are learning from you just as much as you are learning from them. Beyond that, it is not necessary to put anyone up on a pedestal, and certainly not to believe that every word they utter is complete and absolute truth. We are all human, we all have flaws, we all get to show up in really messy and unpleasant ways sometimes. Be open to whatever they have to teach you, but trust your own truth along the way.

Mantra of the day:

Personal Truth Mantra

Daily Meditation – September 18th, 2013

There are intense changes happening in the world around all of us. Perhaps even scary changes, because they are so far-reaching. Perhaps you are even needing to constantly shift your beliefs to “catch up” with the new reality that you wake up to each and every morning. So many things are possible within this time, it is a potent place to be. As the old stuff clears away, space is being held for the infinite possibilities of what comes next.

We are being given the opportunity to reinvent ourselves, in many ways. Who do you want to be in the world? What kind of energy to you want to bring to those around you? How do you want to show up as a friend? As a lover? As family? As an employee? As someone who is “on-call” for Spirit? You get to choose! It’s good to be clear and set an intention for who you are NOW, as who you were before falls away into distant memory. Grab a pen and paper, and start to write about it. List all the things that you choose to be NOW, and then begin to become those things in your life.

Recently, I had an epiphany around how I was showing up in the world as a friend. I had come through a time of illness in the not-so-distant past, and that situation had caused me to become quite guarded in some ways. I realized that I had become a stingy friend, set on the idea of “equal exchange” as the only way to maintain balance. I would go out of my way for a friend if and only if they went out of their way for me as well. What I came to realize was that (a) that wasn’t how things needed to be, and (b) that wasn’t really how I wanted to show up in the world. I let go of the old idea (equal exchange), and embraced the reality that the Universe will always provide balance for me. I can give and give and give as freely as I choose, and my only restriction is that I take impeccable care of myself in the process. In other words, as long as it isn’t damaging or unhealthy for me in any way, I can give endlessly. But then how do I keep from becoming drained, you ask? Well, I am constantly refilled by the Love that I direct towards myself. In addition, I have found that the Universe has a way of bringing back to me the same energy that I put out to others, in various forms. So balance is always restored, and my life has exponentially increased in Joy!

It’s time to go within and listen to the messages that are coming through you. Do you know what your Spirit-guided “Mission” is yet? We are all here to do various types of work in the world, some more mundane than others. You have “busy work” and then you have “Divine work”. Often, busy work is the stuff that shows up in your life that may pay the bills, but doesn’t light your inner being aflame. Divine work is the stuff of passion and creativity, of ease and grace, of Infinite and Unconditional Love. I believe that part of everyone’s Divine work is to show up in a powerful, supportive, and Loving way for those around us. It just feels SO wonderful to do kind things for other people- whether we know them or not. So go ahead and decide how you want to show up in the world, then take it from an intention to action and create a new reality for yourself!

Mantra of the day: unconditional love

Daily Meditation – Understanding Your Power

Do you truly understand how powerful you are? In our world, we often equate power with control, but it is not in that sense that you should seek power. Control is only an idea, it is never a reality because we cannot ever truly control another person or thing. Self-control is often about squashing the negative symptoms of our issues, instead of seeking and healing the deeper cause. Power is about who you are at your innermost core. It is related to the way that you can change your perceptions- and thus, your circumstances- at any time that you choose. Power is about how you show up in the world- loving yourself, living your passion, loving and giving to others, being present, etc.

We always have choice- we can continue on in a negative way, seeing ourselves as victims of circumstance, or we can choose to try something new. How can you use your power to shift your experience? There are many sources of information available, but I believe that the key is in connecting with Spirit and your Higher Self through intuition.

Many people wonder how to know when their intuition is coming to them. One book that I particularly enjoy on the subject is “Trust Your Vibes” by Sonia Choquette. (available here) In it, the author details many different ways that your intuition can show up. The most basic form of intuition, that I believe everyone can access on some level, is a “gut feeling”. Quite literally, this often shows up as a good or bad feeling in your gut. Another form of intuition is to follow up whenever a synchronicity or coincidence appears. Those are usually signs to pay attention becuase there is something more to be discovered.

Believing in a more powerful version of yourself is the key to letting go of the illusion of control and being able to trust your intuition. Know that, even if you can’t see it right now, there is a Soul version of you that exists far beyond the self that you see today. That Higher version of you may be obscured by your existence in a small human body, but you are connected from there directly to the Source, God, Universal Energy, or whatever you choose to call it. This connection is what allows you to access your inner knowing. It is also the mechanism that facilitates the manifestation of reality based on your belief system, deepest thoughts, and prayers. Thus, it is the basis of your incredible power, if you choose to accept it as such.

Mantra of the day: I am a strong and powerful spiritual being. I use my power to increase the amount of joy that I experience, helping others to see their own potential in the process.

Daily Meditation – Healing Insomnia

Sleep is one of the most important parts of our daily routine. When you sleep, it allows your physical body to renew itself, strengthening your immune system. By going into the dream state, your conscious mind is able to step aside as your subconscious explores other dimensions and helps to uncover and heal any issues that you are facing within. This restoration is essential to our health and well-being, both physically and spiritually.

Many people in our culture struggle with an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. We may be so mired down in stress and worry that it is almost impossible to let go and relax into this restful state. What is the first step in getting through insomnia and finding your ability to sleep again? Deciding that you will succeed at sleeping again. As long as you are attached to the drama of something being wrong, you cannot resolve it. The ego loves to hold on to these things. When we constantly tell ourselves “I can’t sleep.” then it becomes more and more true for us. Thoughts are things, and they absolutely have an effect on our experience. Let go of that thought, and begin to focus on a positive affirmation in it’s place, such as “I sleep soundly every night.” This is step one. Every time you catch yourself thinking the old thought, gently let it melt away and replace it with the new thought.

The next step is to quiet your mind and release your fear/worry/anxiety. Relaxing into meditation every single day is a wonderful way to begin to learn how to quiet your mind. Or you can find a yoga class that includes meditation and breath work. At night, begin to focus your intention on releasing the thoughts in your mind before bedtime. Imagine each thought as it arises just fading out to black. Be gentle with yourself as this may take some time to become a habit. Just keep with it. With very thought that comes into your head, exhale it out and let it go.

Ask for your Guides to help you with resolving your fears and worries. Request their help as often as you need to. Embrace the concept of releasing anything that you cannot control. Many of us worry about finances, for example. Do you get paid to worry? If not, then it isn’t doing anything to help your situation. It is only harming you, so it is time to let it go. Ask your Guides to help you and trust that your needs will always be met.

Mantra of the day: I sleep soundly every night- healing my entire being- by releasing all thoughts, worries, and fears.

Daily Meditation – Love and Healing Light

Love and Healing Light is available to you all the time, whenever you need support in any way. You can do a simple and quick meditation to tap into the source of this energy any time that you start to feel weighed down or held back in any way. It can even replace your morning coffee as a new way to energize your entire system. What is the source of this Love and Healing Light? Well, people call it by many different names. Spirit, Divine Source, The Universe, God, etc. The moniker is not the important part. What matters is that you understand that this resource is available to you, to help you stay strong and continue moving forward on your journey.

One of the most useful ways to incorporate this Love and Light Energy into your life is to use it to overcome your fears. Set your intention to connect to this Source in order to increase the Love within you and release any and all fear that you are facing. Our biggest fears are usually around the idea of not being ____ enough (good enough, smart enough, educated enough, etc.) and around what it feels like to put our true selves out into the world. These fears absolutely must be faced with courage in order to fulfill our Divine purpose in this lifetime.

Set aside 15 minutes to connect to this fear-busting Light Energy. Find a quiet place to sit in meditation, where you will not be disturbed. Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath. Let any distracting thoughts that enter your mind melt away without judgment. Clear any fear or negativity from your energetic space (within your body, in front of you, behind you, to your left, to your right, above you, and below you) and release it all to the Earth below. The Earth will turn all of this energy into Love. Then, once you have released fear, bring your attention up to the highest point you can imagine, out in the cosmos. Find the Love and Healing Light from whatever you call your Source, and bring it down to the top of your head, and then down through your entire body. Allow it to exit through the soles of your feet and travel down to the center of the Earth, grounding you through that connection. Then, bring the Loving Energy of the Earth back up that cord to the soles of your feet, and up through your entire body, connecting back to the cosmos out the crown of your head. Breathe deeply and allow your connection to Love and Healing Light to energize your entire being. When you feel complete, gently allow your eyes to open.

Fears can be persistent, and sometimes return again until we can change the ways we think that allow them in. Continue using this meditation technique as often as you need to.

Mantra of the day: I connect with the Love and Healing Light of my Source to energize my entire being. This Love overcomes all fears within so that I am free to fulfill my Divine purpose.

Daily Meditation – Honoring The Human Experience

Too often in our quest to become more spiritual, we forget to honor our human experience as well. I have found myself in the past forgetting that ALL of my experiences are sacred, from the most amazing clear visions of the Divine in meditation to the lowest emotional points that I have ever been at. In a spiritual sense, it is all an illusion, and yet- from our human experience, it is all so very (sometimes painfully) real. Both perspectives are needed, in combination, to get the most out of being a spiritual being living within a human body.

Some of the things that we take for granted every day are things that you will only experience in this way during your time on Earth. Tasting chocolate. Having amazing sex with someone you feel so deeply connected to. Feeling the breath of your child on your skin as she falls asleep in your arms. Riding your bike into the wind. Dancing in the rain. All of these sensual experiences are to be cherished, and cataloged in your memory of what it feels like to have a physical body. Allow joy in your life every day by basking in these moments when they arise.

Sometimes the things you will experience in your physical body are not so pleasant, sometimes even deeply painful. This is when it can help to honor both sides of your experience. Recognize that, in a spiritual sense, this trauma is not real- it is an illusion. It exists to teach you a lesson. It could be as simple as learning that you have the ability to get out of bed every day and be strong enough to overcome. It could be that, once you have healed, your experience is preparing you to help other people through similar situations. Beyond the spiritual perspective, though, honor your human experience as well. Be devastated if that’s what you feel. Allow a range of emotional expression to move through you- cry, scream, laugh, talk, be silent, dance, run, hug, sleep, cry again- until you have reached the bottom of the emotional well inside and it has been emptied. Then, look up again and climb back toward the light above. You will find that when you reach the top of the well, it’s like the ground has been raised up six feet from where you started. This is how we expand ourselves in this human world. And, just like all the joys and pleasures we find, this too is a sacred experience.

Mantra of the day: I honor all aspects of who I am, Spiritual and Human. All of my experiences are sacred, from the highest highs to the lowest lows, because each one is a chance to learn something new.

Daily Meditation – Finding Hidden Stores of Emotion Within

For those of us who have ever repressed our emotions around any kind of hurt or trauma, however big or small, the Universe may set us up to excavate those emotions in the present time. What does this mean? Well, have you ever had an event happen in your current life that you reacted to far more deeply than the situation might require? Perhaps something was said, or you read an article that was shared on Facebook, or you watched a favorite TV show- and suddenly, you found yourself on the edge of a deep well of old emotion. It can be a scary moment. The easiest response would be to tell yourself this has nothing to do with the present moment and move on without dealing with it. You can send that emotion back into the recesses of your being and leave it there forever, if that’s what you choose.

However, this moment is an opportunity. Now is the chance to release whatever depth of emotion that you have found you were holding within. You don’t need to carry it around forever. Usually, you won’t begin to uncover the emotion until you have already consciously re-framed the way that you look at the situation that caused it. Shifting and healing in your conscious mind is a wonderful first step, but it is not the end to resolving a past trauma or hurt. If your emotions are beginning to surface, then the next step has just appeared to you. This process cannot really be forced, it should show up as a natural progression when you are ready to handle it.

So now is the time to get it all out. I don’t mean to be destructive, to cause pain, to feel that your emotion is a free pass to speak or act without regard for the well-being of yourself and others. I am talking about finding safe and productive ways to give your feelings some space to be felt. Processing emotions safely is all about moving through them and releasing them as you are able, not dwelling in them forever. Ask for the help of a trusted friend or a therapist to witness your journey, support you in your action steps to move forward for your highest good, and hold you accountable to release safely and completely. Emotion can feel scary, but this is just part of being human. It’s nice to know that it’s something we all have experienced in one way or another. And Spirit wants to remind you that you are never alone.

Mantra of the day: I ask for the help I need, and I remember that I am never alone.

Daily Meditation – What Does It Mean To Love Yourself?

What does it truly mean to love yourself? Des it mean to take a break every day for yoga or meditation? Does it mean treating yourself to your favorite kind of coffee every morning? Does it mean going to the gym and getting in a good workout?

Well, let’s look at what it means to love another person. And when we do this, lets include the idea of unconditional love. When you love someone else, sure, you will probably accommodate all sorts of lovely things for them- from their favorite coffee in the morning to a yoga break at the end of the day. But this alone is not the basis for love. Love is greater than just caring for someone. Love extends in many different ways. When you love someone, you become their greatest cheerleader, supporting every wish or desire they can possibly dream of. When you love someone, you bask in the light of their beauty as often as you are able. When you love someone, you believe that they are infinitely capable of allowing magic to happen in the world. When you love someone, you can only imagine speaking the sweetest and kindest words to them. When you love someone, their very being makes you sing with joy.

So how does it look to unconditionally love yourself?

It means that you are your own biggest fan, believing fully and completely in every single endeavor that you take on. It means that you support every wish and dream that comes to you, from a fragile little seedling all the way to full expression. It means that you bask in the tremendous beauty of who you are. It means that you believe in your infinite capability. It means that you speak only the sweetest and kindest words to yourself. It means that your very being causes you to sing with joy.

It may sound like you have a long way to go to accomplish all of these things. And that’s okay, because mastering it all in a day is not the point. What matters is to begin to put these things into practice, a little bit at a time. Let your love expand a little bit more every day, and soon these ideas won’t seem so far fetched. The key is to take the first step.

Mantra of the day: I believe in my infinite capability to allow magic to happen in the world.