growing spiritually

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Can You Say No Without Guilt?

Published April 20, 2015 by Stuff My Brain Thinks
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I am a firm believer that we show people how to treat us.  Do you have boundaries in place for your life?  For many years I never had, but as I learned to love myself I found that I needed boundaries, not only boundaries for myself but boundaries for others.

I needed to know what I would, and would not tolerate from the people in my life, and what I would, and would not tolerate from myself.  It took a little time and a lot of digging to figure out just what I would allow.

It wasn’t easy, but I learned to say no without guilt.  That was a big one for me since for most of my life I was a people pleaser.  The first few times I literally felt a spark in my sacral chakra.  I was, admittedly, a little over whelmed but when no one died and life did’t crumble before me, I realized it would be OK, and it was, over time it got easier and easier.  Now the word, no, is just another word to me.

There are so many people in my life that have an aversion to the word no, and because of that they are taken advantage of and are under-appreciated.  I see this in the work place far too much.  There are some who drop the ball and others who pick it up.  I have to tell you from experience it is not the one picking it up that is catered too.  It is generally not the one that goes the extra mile that gets the raise.  Why?  Because it is expected.  It’s as simple as that.

I have clear, set boundaries these days.  I don’t feel the need to do anything I don’t want to do.  This does not at all mean that I am selfish.  In fact, I am more selfless than I have ever been in my life.  I am just more discerning now.  I am more choosy about who I help, and what I do.  It all comes back to the body, If I have a negative feeling about it in any way, I simply do not do it.  It has to feel good for me to be on board.  I have to feel a sense of peace about the situation to move forward.  I trust myself enough to know what is good for me.When-you-know-better-you-do-better

Life without boundaries is terrible.  It’s all tense and thick.  It’s stressful, who needs that?  I struggled against everything in my life for many years.  It wasn’t until I discovered boundaries that I realized maintaining them would be what would give me the confidence and strength to stand up and Be me, to stand up and reclaim my life.  Setting boundaries is what brought me back to who I am meant to be.

My very first healthy boundary was a daily meditation practice.  I committed to it and I am glad I did.  Shortly following the start of my meditation practice a few more healthy boundaries popped up and they were to eat cleanly, get the proper amount of sleep, and to be hydrated every day.

I added more and more boundaries until I felt as though I was living authentically as myself.  I do what feels right for me and on the flip side I don’t do anything that doesn’t.  I don’t feel bad or make excuses for my decisions either, there is nothing to defend, I am simply doing what is right for me.

I have come to realize that I am as important, if not more than, anyone else out there.  I have to take care of me, so I can take care of others.  I used to believe that I could hate myself whole, but now I know better.

And as the great Maya Angelou said “when you know better you do better” 

❤  Michele

Waking up in Northern NY

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This Serves My Soul

Published October 30, 2014 by Stuff My Brain Thinks

This morning I thought I would blog my intentions.  It’s Thursday!  Another one of my seven favorite days of the week.

My overall intentions for my life as of today October 30, 2014 are;

To get up at four in the morning.  I simply love it.  I love the peace, joy and content feelings this time of day gives me.  I love the bliss I feel while puttering around my house in the early morning hours, enjoying my coffee, meditation, dancing and blogging/journal writing.  This serves my soul.

To be energetic.  Having energy fuels productivity and being productive gives me a feeling of success which, in turn, makes me feel alive.  This serves my soul.

To make responsible choices.  Making responsible choices gives me the feeling of empowerment.  This serves my soul.

To be kind.  Kindness makes my heart expand.  Every kind word or gesture expands my heart more and more with love.  No act of kindness is to small.  This serves my soul.

These are simple soul serving intentions.  As long as these intentions are in place all of the secondary things in life will line up for me.  I have faith in God and the universe that the path They have laid out for me is going to be truly amazing, better than anything I could ever hope for myself.

Be Blessed.

♥Michele

 

Spirituality to Me

Published October 28, 2014 by Stuff My Brain Thinks

Every once in a while I like to check in with myself.  I like to ask myself a meaningful question and then journal about it.  This morning’s question is, what is spirituality to me?

Spirituality to me is self-awareness.  It is getting up close and personal with myself.  It is recognizing feelings and behaviors and digging deep to find the meaning behind them.  It’s about learning why I make the choices that I do.  Why I repeat certain behaviors.  It’s about exploring my feelings.  It’s basically making me, my number one project.

Spirituality is about forgiveness.  Forgiveness of others that I perceived to have hurt me and forgiveness for myself.  Forgiveness is a freeing and powerful thing.  To hold onto grudges and judgements only creates tension and stress on the inside.  It draws to you more tension and stress.  Forgiveness is easy with compassion.

Spirituality is about compassion.  In order to forgive myself and other’s I had to find compassion for both them and myself.  I had to understand that challenges are part of the human experience and we all make mistakes.

Spirituality is about living consciously.  Living in the present moment.  It’s about really being with what I’m doing.  Instead of thinking of the future or the past while, for instance, I like to be totally with washing my dishes or with the tasks at my job, for example.  Doing this creates such a state of peace.

Spirituality is about loving.  Walking around with a loving heart.  Love everyone and everything.  Some people may not be what I would consider a “like-minded” person with me but I love them for their individuality.  There are people in my life that don’t always rub me the right way, but when looking deep I can see their goodness.

Spirituality is about connection.  We are connected to everything.  Every one and Every thing.  If there is something about someone I don’t like, I know that whatever it is that irritates me about that person, is inside of me.  This equally true for things I love about people.  We are all connected.  Therefore, how can I dislike someone who has the same quality as me?  To dislike another or hurt another is to dislike or hurt myself.

Spirituality is knowing that I am everything and no thing at the same time.  I am a balance between my human side and my being side.  As I grow spiritually that balance becomes more and more integrated.  Over time I hope for my human side to act in accordance with my being side, allowing my personality to become in line with my soul.  This, to me, would be where ultimate inner peace resides.  It is where bliss and joy reside, as well.

Spirituality is about making responsible choices.  I still struggle with this one, but I know that every time I succumb to temptation there is a lesson to be learned.  I know that I have a lot to learn.  However I am certain that I will  make responsible choices, not only me but for the universe and all things in it.  This in my opinion is the way to peace and Light.

Spirituality is about embracing the uncertainty of life.  It is about going with the flow.  It is about allowing things to happen instead of forcing them to happen.  It is about being aware of myself enough to head the messages of the universe, God, and my intuition.

Spirituality is about clarity.  It’s about living my life with a clear mind.  It’s about removing thoughts that are not 100% supportive of my life.

Spirituality is about evolving.  In order for me to evolve I must begin to make more responsible choices.  A statement from the book Seat of the Soul;  You can either make choices that support the soul or the personality.  To support the soul is to choose Light and wisdom, to choose the personality is to choose doubt and fear.  I have no intention on living my life in doubt and fear, therefore, I am on a journey to make more soulful choices.

Spirituality is a journey without end.  It is an amazing, exhilarating journey.  I have laughed, I have cried, I have gotten angry all in the name of self-awareness.  All in the name of become a better me.  All in the name of love.

♥Michele

 

EFT-Emotional Freedom Technique

Published July 1, 2014 by Stuff My Brain Thinks

It’s such a long time since I have taken the time to write something.  I have been busy exploring new topics to improve myself.  I have recently started the book The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner.  I am excited at the possibilities.  I have also been mentally preparing for a family gathering.  Which is stressful in and of itself.  That gathering was this past weekend.  It was fun, but at the same time a bit nerve-racking.

Isn’t it funny how in some families there seems to be a prevalence toward judgment?  I have always felt a bit inadequate and unworthy in the presence of my family.  Don’t get me wrong, I love them all dearly, and I suppose if I am honest, I am probably the same.  It’s hard to feel inferior amongst those that love you.  I know that this inferiority stems from perceptions from childhood.  I also know that with some exploration I have found that some events that I made out to be catastrophic as a young person, simply were not.  After a more adult evaluation of the circumstances I see these situations for what they are, a part of life.f78d6e23acd05956dac41c05600df679

It is what it is!  I know that as a child I allowed the opinions of other’s define me.  I took on judgments and layered them over me as if they were my own.  I allowed other people’s fears of their own self to become mine.  If I only knew what I know now I would have loved myself enough to tell myself that it would be OK, that life is a series of lessons and this is just one of many.  I would further explain that each and every lesson is a necessary ingredient in my journey.

As a young person I believed it when I was told that I needed to lose weight for someone to love me.  I believed I was diseased and un-loveable.  There was a time in my life when I remember walking down the street at about eleven or twelve years old thinking I was a martian but at the same time being thankful that I at least had good hair.  Of course at the age of forty-six I know longer feel that way.  Although it has been a slow work in progress it was worth every step.

I have had to learn where my fears and self-loathing came from in order to forgive the people who put them there.  I had to become one with them and feel their own self-loathing and sadness that drove them to judge me.  It also helped to grow spiritually which I did from learning from the best, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Louis Hay, Michael Singer, Don Miguel Ruiz and Eckhart Tolle to name just a few.  These spiritual teachers taught me how to accept life for what it is and to change my thoughts to change my life.  They all have been a blessing in the lesson of stillness.  Through them I have learned to become still enough to allow my intuition to guide me.  To trust in my inner-self, my soul, my inner voice of God.

One of my favorites is Eckhart Tolle.  Listening to him speak is a meditation all on its own.  Eckhart has spoken so many inspiring words that have resonated with my inner awareness.  One of them being the time I heard him explain a passage from the bible where Jesus says “forgive them for they know not what they do”.  Eckhart explained it to mean that people operate from their own level of consciousness.  The very unconscious know not what they do.  The egoically driven person cannot possibly know what they do.   They simply are one with their thoughts.  They believe what the mind tells them without question.  He describes this as a maddening of the mind.

I have been there.  I get it!!  At the time of my deep unconsciousness I had no idea that I was not only hurting myself but everyone around me.  Thankfully a deep depression took over and allowed me to awaken and put a stop to it.  I was blessed enough to suffer greatly, as suffering speeds up the awakening process.  With this in mind how can I not be grateful for it?  Without it I would still be living within the madness that was once my mind.

Ah to be free!

 

 

Excited for the Possibilities

Published June 3, 2014 by Stuff My Brain Thinks
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I felt drawn to this tree yesterday on my walk

I trust in you, God.  I know that you can do leaps and bounds over what I can do.  I am only to be present and excited for what the future holds.  Do I know what that means or what I will be doing?  No…  I am completely uncertain as to where my path is going to take me, but I can say this, I trust it will be amazing.  I will not manipulate it in any way.  I am simply to be observant and still.  I am to build a bridge between the Human that I am and the Being that I am.

Contrary to my ego’s belief that “it’s just to hard”, I know that it is not hard.  It is different.  It is living purposefully.  Yesterday, was the first day that I made it my intention and purpose to be aware of the observer in me.  By having this connection I was able to keep my mind from running away with itself.  I was able to keep that sense of deep inner peace with me while I performed my responsibilities of the day.

Being that yesterday was the end of the month at the office, it was extremely hectic.  I found that two or three times during the day a feeling of stress began to rise within me, but being that I was connected to the spirit in me I was able to let those moments pass.  It took less than a minute to feel, it recognize it, and shift away from it.  LESS THAN A MINUTE!!  This from a girl who was chronically stressed for most of her life.  A girl who would let some small challenge leave her reeling out of control for weeks.

The cross I found while walking to work

The cross I found while walking to work

I also found myself needing less food.  I didn’t think about it.  Being present seemed to curb my appetite which I had a feeling it would.  I mean I am self-aware enough to recognize that I eat for other reasons beside being hungry.  I am an emotional eater as well as an empathetic eater, meaning I will eat my feelings and yours too.

Last night before bed I had no thoughts of eating until I heard my ego pipe up and say; You haven’t had much food today, you are going to be hungry in the night.  Again being that I was so in touch with the God within me I was able to calmly dismiss it as a judgement.  Something I am working to take out of my life.  I took a deep breath and returned to that place of peace, and you know what?  I didn’t get hungry in the night ☺  Surprise…  My ego was wrong….

I woke feeling alive and excited for what today is going to bring.  I am excited for the possibilities.  ♥

It’s Time to Shake Things UP

Published June 2, 2014 by Stuff My Brain Thinks

I am going to approach life in a different way for a bit.  I think it is about time that I shake things up.  I am going to focus my attention on becoming a fully conscious human being.  I am going to do what I can to create a balance between the Being that I am and the human that I am.  By that I mean to live my life fulfilling my responsibilities while being fully aware.  I want nothing more than to learn to live my life as a conscious person.

I want to experience that magic that life has to offer when living it in pure consciousness.  I am fully aware of the spirit within myself at this time, as I write.  Instead on using my focus to try to do “the right thing”, such as, making healthy choices.  It occurred to me that if I learn to live my life consciously I wont have to “try” to do anything.  The right things and the right opportunities will just present themselves clearly.  This is my mission.  I know that it will take some practice, but I just so happen to think enough of myself to take the time.

Living consciously will diminish worry and bring about moments of synchronicity that I also like to call miracles, this I know.  Therefore, for the next week I am going to pay close attention to what I am thinking, if any thoughts seem like junk, or should I say, serve no purpose, I will dismiss them immediately and concentrate on my breath.  As I know that the breath is the key to being present.

I will notice how it feels when the air enters my body, how my chest and stomach rise with the inhalation and fall with the exhalation.  I will notice how, with each breath, I will be filled with love and compassion and release stress and negativity.  During this time I will record any and all moments of synchronicity that shall become known to me.

Oh, and I almost forgot.  ☺  Below are some pictures that I took over the weekend.  I was blessed with a beautiful weekend filled with family, fun and laughter.

 

Recognizing a Spiritual Growth Spurt

Published January 5, 2014 by Stuff My Brain Thinks

It’s kind of nice that spending time with certain people no longer affects me the way it used to.  It is still a little difficult at times but the nice thing is, is that I can now recognize their ego’s need to be right which allows me to also recognize that what they says and do has nothing to do with me.  For some reason these particular people have an uncontrollable need to be right.  It is greatly important to them to tell people how to live their lives.

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Image provide by New Sober Life

I know that this is something that they are dealing with from deep within themselves.  I wish I could help them, but I know that I cannot.  That the only help they can receive is that from themselves.  At least through my own self-awareness I have come to understand that my reaction to another persons abrasiveness was my ego’s need to defend itself.  It was my ego’s need to be right.

There were times I would come home from spending a couple of hours with them and over eat and become severely depressed for a solid twenty-four hours.  Now I can see that I was the one causing my own depression.  People cannot depress me.  Only I can depress me.  I have learned to take responsibility for my own happiness and it feels amazing.  It is so amazing that I wish there was a way to help others who are suffering do the same.  Then again, I have to reiterate, I am responsible for my own happiness, therefore others are responsible for their’s.

As much as my ego would love to be the hero, this is something I am not capable of doing.  I am incapable of giving others their peace back.  I am incapable of showing people what it means to live, to find the happiness that lives deep within their own core.  The happiness that cannot possibly come from any outer situation or thing.  I am, however, capable of sending blessings and prayers their way.  I am capable of asking God to help guide them to their own inner peace, as He has done for me, and on that note I have to say Thank You God.  I could not, or would not have found myself has it not been for your guidance and support.

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