We are sustained and fulfilled by the eternal flow of Love. There is nothing else. Why then are we tricked so easily into believing that we are sustained by the material resources, career, and food?
Fall is the time of change and appreciation of the abundance of life. It is a symbol for transformation and receiving gifts. How can we enter this new season with composure and excitement? How can we follow our inner compass during the time of change?
Going through a major life transition, like having a baby, getting married, or getting a new job, can be overwhelming. In addition to the natural stress of adjusting to a new role, we often impose on ourselves a pile of unrealistic expectations and rules about how we need to handle it.
Many of us are currently starting new chapters in different areas of our lives. Whether it is moving into a new home, starting a new job, having a baby, starting a new business, or beginning a new relationship, embarking on a new adventure requires energy, dedication, stability of focus, and clarity of vision. Very often, it is the idea of starting something new that seems frightening to us. As we take the first step, the unknown territory gradually becomes more familiar and we begin to enjoy the process.
Have you ever heard about or used affirmations? Last week, I was interviewed by a friend and fellow freelance writer, Jenna Joanitis, on the topic of using affirmations to improve your mood and productivity. Chatting with Jenna reminded me of this powerful tool for intentionally changing our subconscious beliefs. Louise Hay, a visionary author and the founder of Hay House, pioneered this work in the 1970s. I like using personal affirmations to rewrite my story and create the life I want because it’s such a simple, yet effective technique.
Responsibility has an unduly bad reputation in our society. It is often mistakenly associated with blame and pointing fingers. In fact, it is a very empowering notion. Sigmund Freud said, “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” Taking responsibility for your life is the first step for any change.
While we are thinking that someone or something else is responsible for circumstances that occurred in our lives, any progress is out of question. If I believe that something external controls how I feel, I’m giving away my power to that all-powerful something. It is literally disempowering. As long as I believe so, I will stay in a position of a victim, where anything can happen to me against my will. I can get angry because someone didn’t show up on time. I can get irritated because I had to wait in traffic for an hour. I can get upset because I work with people, who don’t understand and don’t appreciate me. There are many versions of this miserable scenario.
Even though we are used to thinking that way and rehearsed it very well, this is a position that is very far from reality and from the realization of our own power to choose any reaction to any situation. While we keep complaining and crying over spilled milk, life is quietly passing by and we keep wasting precious opportunities for growth. Opportunities for change are always there, but they assume that we are at least open for them instead of being stuck in self-pity. This is not to blame anyone, because it is a learned habit. But we can make another choice. Do we want something new or do we enjoy swimming in the ocean of complains and self-pity? I think the choice is easy! Both options are available to us at every moment in time. The question is: “What do I choose right now?”
In the book “Way of The Peaceful Warrior,” Dan Millman writes about taking responsibility for your life, “It is better for you to take responsibility for your life as it is, instead of blaming others, or circumstances, for your predicament. As your eyes open, you’ll see that your state of health, happiness, and every circumstance of your life has been, in large part, arranged by you – consciously or unconsciously.
In the 16th century, scientists such as Conrad Gessner expressed concerns that the information overload from mass production of books might negatively affect the human mind after the invention of the printing press. Back then, lay people were not accustomed to the availability of scientific and occult knowledge. Such warnings have been made for centuries, and likely will be made for centuries to come as we accumulate even more complex networks of information. However, I see that the issue of the quality of information we consume is even more important than the issue of quantity. Did we drop the standards for the quality of information we consume too low? Is there a correlation between the quantity and quality of information?
During the last decade, we’ve become strangely accustomed to information overload. People are complaining less about it now than before. Many people actually like to have access to more information now than before. According to the 2016 PEW Research Center survey, most Americans do not feel that information overload is a problem for them. Only 20% say they feel overloaded by information, which is less than the 27% a decade ago. 77% say they like having so much information at their fingertips, and 67% say that having more information at their disposals actually helps to simplify their lives.
We live in a world of change. Cambridge Dictionary defines change as “something unusual or new that is better or more pleasant than what existed before.” Changes that we encounter in life can be positive or negative, but all of them have an element of uncertainty or novelty, which we need to adapt to. Even though we learn the most when we are out of the comfort zone, it is something we have to remind ourselves of. Ability to adapt to changing circumstances in an essential skill for success in business and personal life.
This week, I started reading the Complete and Annotated Edition of A Course in Miracles that was recently published by the Circle of Atonement. This edition is published based on the original notes of Helen Schucman. It includes important additional material that was not included in the official edition of the Course.
The first essay at the back of the book called “This Is Not A Selfish Gift” deeply touched my heart. It contains the notes that Helen recorded immediately before she started receiving the Course. First, Helen’s fine-tuned ability to establish communication with her Inner Voice seemed so remarkable to me. Obviously, it didn’t just start happening to her when she heard, “This is a Course in Miracles. Please, take notes.” It seems that she has been in communication with the Voice that she called Christ for a very long time. She could even distinguish changes in the tone of the answers. Even before she started recording the Course, she was receiving very specific guidance on what to do and how to see various situations in her life.
I knew that Helen had visions throughout her life, which is indicative of her psychic abilities, but it was very revealing to me that she communicated with the same Voice before the Course. For example, she writes in her notes, “I was really quite depressed this AM, which is now very unusual, but He says “Be of good cheer – I have overcome the world” [John 16:33]. Helen’s ability to maintain an effortless dialogue with the Voice suggests that she was far from the beginner at that point. In this lifetime or in the one before, it looks like she has developed her skills of being a clear channel.
Share Your Gifts with Others
“To give and to receive are one in truth.” ~Lesson 108, A Course in Miracles
Have you ever felt exhausted or drained after helping someone? Do you feel chronically overworked and tired? Do you feel resentment after being asked for something? At one point or another, everyone had these feelings. The ability to create a balance of giving and receiving is the key to maintain healthy long-term relationships.
4-Step Process of Restoring the Balance of Giving and Receiving
The process below will help you to determine if you are giving too much, and if yes, to learn how to restore the balance of energy. There are 4 questions we can ask ourselves to begin re-balancing our relationships and money issues.
How Do I Know If I’m Over-Giving?
My definition of giving “too much” is when a person feels depleted or hurts himself in the process of helping someone. Resentment, anger, frustration, or despair are signals that tell me that I’m not paying attention to my own needs and over-giving.
In this article, the author Elizabeth Gilbert clearly explains the difference between over-giving and generosity by saying, “…over-giving is not quite the same thing as generosity. Generosity is neither entangling nor aggressive, because the generous person doesn’t expect anything in return. The over-giver doesn’t expect anything in return either—except to be petted and feted and praised and loved unconditionally for the rest of time…”
Yoga is an ancient practice of physical exercises that promotes overall well-being. There are many definitions of yoga. The word “yoga” comes from a Sanskrit root which means “to join.” Indeed, continuous practice of yoga promotes integration of movement and breath, increases strength and flexibility, and improves the quality of focus and attention, among other documented benefits. Long-time yoga practitioners tend experience increased sense of peace, well-being, mental clarity, and overall harmony with the environment.