Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thoughts versus Emotions

Because we are all so different, we process things in different ways. Some of us are more "head people" while others of us are "feeling people". Either way, we can all still look at any issue that comes up and trace it back to the belief so that it can be released and shift our lives to a more positive perspective.

People who are in their head a lot use thought to process issues that come up. This is a great place to start because we can be aware of the issue. We can look at the thought that comes into our mind, trace it back to whatever the belief is and question its validity.

On the other hand people who are more feeling types can process by acknowledging whatever comes up in the form of emotions. We can then feel what has arisen and trace that back to the belief. We can shift the feeling and release the belief that is connected to it.

Most times, though, thoughts and emotions are very connected and interrelated. We have thoughts all the time - I'm too tall, too short, too fat, not smart enough, etc. When these thoughts come up there is usually an emotion within us that arises. And it all stems from a belief we have about ourselves. So it is always very closely intertwined.

When we are not feeling safe within ourselves or do not feel we have a safe environment to allow the thoughts and feelings to arise, we can get stuck in one or the other. And often we can use either of these things as a distraction from looking more deeply at the issues so that we can make the connection to the core belief that is affecting us.

Awareness of both the thought and the emotion is key in changing the beliefs that keep us stuck in a place of negativity or stagnant and not growing. When we are open to all that arises, creating a safe place within ourselves, without judgment, we can then release not only the thought and emotion but also the belief behind it. We can see the truth of who we are.

No matter which comes first - the thought or the emotion - we can use either to find our way to the peace and contentment we are seeking.

If we have a thought that we said something stupid, we may have the emotion of fear of being accepted or loved. This could trace back to a belief that we are not good enough - not worthy of acceptance or love. By releasing the fear, we can believe in our own worthiness, which shifts all our thoughts to more loving and peaceful ones.

This week as you go through your daily routines and experiences, pay attention to your thoughts. As each thought arises, be aware of what emotion accompanies that thought. You may have a tendency, if you are a thinker, to not recognize the emotion, but stay with it and trace it back if you can. And if you feel an emotion before you recognize the thought, then as it arises, be aware of the thought that is connected to this emotion. With each of these methods, take another step further into your awareness and connect the thought and emotion to the belief.

Have a wonderful week filled with peace and love.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

No-Control

As mentioned before, we use control for many different reasons in our lives. Usually we try to gain control in order to improve something in our lives - to gain happiness, security, love, support.

But trying to control others or situations to get these things doesn't work. What usually happens is that, yes, we feel better temporarily, but it doesn't last and we are soon enough left with that "empty" feeling again. This finds us in search of something else to control. And so it goes.

The biggest lesson we can learn in this is that we have no control. We cannot control a situation or another person. We can't even control our emotions because at some point they will explode out of control. The more we try the more out of control situations become.

Understanding and accepting that we don't have control is a big step towards finding the peace within ourselves. If we try to control someone else, they still have a choice so are we really controlling them? They choices they have may be less than desirable but they are choices all the same.

Life happens whether we want it to or not. We cannot control it. We THINK we can control certain aspects of it, be the truth is, we can't.

Letting go of control can lighten our spirit, strengthen our self-worth and create a safe place for our own emotions to be felt.

As you go through this week, take a look at ways in which you try to control others or situations and look inside with truth to find what is driving that need to control - what emotions, thoughts or beliefs are connected to that need.

Also, take a look at when someone is trying to control you. Look at what your choices are in the situation - good or bad. See what is driving your decision to make your choice. What emotions, thoughts and beliefs are connected to the choice you make.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Control

Some of us are admitted control freaks, others of us claim that control is just not our thing. But the truth is that we all have ways in which we use control for various reasons.

Usually the need to control a person or situation comes from a need or a sense of lack within ourselves. We need to feel a certain way and we think that controlling the situation or person will give us what we want to make us happy, to make us feel loved, to make us feel good enough.

But the true feelings of love, of peace and of self-worth come from within us and no one can take that away from us unless we allow them to.

The minute that we try to control something or someone for what we feel we need, we are actually giving up control. We are giving the other person the power to make us feel a certain way.

We find ourselves saying, "If only he or she would be nicer to me I'd be happy." "If only I had a bigger house, I'd be happy." "You must do it my way!" or on the other side of things, "If I'm really, really nice to this person and do everything they want then they'll love me." And yes, when that person is nicer to us or we are nicer to that person we do feel happy...for a while. But it doesn't last. Eventually, the same feelings of inadequacy or lack of love or lack of peace come back up again. And then we are on the search again for something else to make us feel the love or self-worth.

And the more we try to control it, the more chaotic it can get. And it becomes a vicious cycle that repeats itself over and over again. And it's exhausting and it's never ending because we are always looking for confirmation, proof that we are good enough.

We also control our own thoughts and emotions. A feeling of anger comes up and we judge it, telling ourselves that we shouldn't feel that way. And what do we do with it? We shove it away, suppressing it, letting it churn around inside us until one day it explodes out of us unexpectedly. This is also control - we are controlling our emotions. Again, the more we try to control it the more out of control it becomes.

What if we were to let go of that control? What if we were to allow those feelings of fear, anger, resentment and hurt all to come up in us, to feel them fully and then release them, forgiving ourselves for whatever it is we feel we have done wrong.

It is then that we can clear the barriers and connect to the love that is in us, to feel the self-worth and to reach that place of peace that we have always desired.

Take a look at your experiences through the week and be aware of how you may be trying to control - other people, situations, even your emotions. And when you become aware of it, look within yourself and ask, "What is driving me to control this situation? What do I feel I will gain from doing this? Is it the truth? What would happen if I let go of control and accept what is?"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Issues Are the Barrier to our Happiness

We all have issues. This is not a new concept. We learn as we grow, adopting certain beliefs and with those beliefs come issues. As long as we are in relationship with others, those issues will come up.

We're only human after all. And that is part of our journey and the human experience. But also a part of this experience is to find our way past the issues that we meet with every day, to the peace and love that we have within. This is what leads us to the contentment we all want to feel.

There are books everywhere telling us that positive thinking and changing our beliefs can help us to live more present, more abundant and with more love. But how do we do that?

Simply, the path to love and peace and a better connection, not only with ourselves, but with others is to be in the awareness of what we are thinking and feeling, tracing it back to our beliefs and questioning if those beliefs are valid or not.

We get in our cars and someone cuts us off. We feel the anger rising and maybe even yell at the other driver from the safety of our own vehicle. But where does that anger come from? What belief has caused us to feel this anger?

Our experiences sometimes bring us to our old pain based on our beliefs. "Being a good girl or boy will bring me love." "Being angry will cause love to be taken away." Believing this will cause us pain in the present if we do not feel the love within.

From this belief, we react to the situation through the pain of our past experiences. This reinforces our belief and we continue to live with this pain. But what if, when we are faced with a situation that triggers us, we took 30 seconds to breathe into it, to recognize from that place of awareness that we do not need to feel the pain in this experience, that we can let it go and then respond instead of react.

Reacting comes from a place of pain - fear, anger, resentment, hurt. Responding comes from a place of love and awareness.

Reacting feeds the fire of negative beliefs and feelings/thoughts. Responding allows each person to be all that they are without judgment.

Give it a try sometime. When you are faced with a situation that triggers your anger or fear, take a deep breath, breathe into the feeling or thought, connect to the awareness in you that knows it is not the truth, release and then respond.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Truth in Beauty

The truth in beauty is that it comes from within. We are most definitely the drivers on the road of our destiny. Our happiness, our sadness, our love, our joy and our peace are all results of how we choose to look at the world and at ourselves.

We are born into this world as beautiful creations of pure love and joy. Part of our journey as human beings is to live in this very human, egocentric existence. It is our lesson.

If we wish to learn about the light, we must first learn about the darkness. Because what is darkness, but merely an absence of light?

Depending on the parents we choose, our journey is long and arduous or short and full of possibilities.

Our parents teach us everything we need to know about the darkness of living as a spiritual being in a human body. They show us their frailties, their self-doubt, their yearning to be loved. And we believe in all of it.

After all, we are simply open, loving little individuals when we are small. Our parents are the ones who are protecting us, guiding us, teaching us. We have no one else to show us the ways of this world.

They do the best they can, use the tools they have gathered through their lives, mostly from their parents. They love us and want the best for us.

We swear, as we get older, that we will do things differently, better, give our kids a kinder, gentler life, or more strict, or whatever we felt we didn't get when we were children.

But somewhere along the line, we speak and there it is. We have become our parents! Those exact words and, sometimes, even the same tone of voice. We're afraid. We don't want to make the same "mistakes" our parents made with our own children. We want them to grow up well adjusted, have meaningful, loving relationships and raise well-adjusted children of their own. And most of all, we want them to be happy.

So how do we make that happen? How do we teach our children to be well-behaved, kind, loving, respectful? How do we ensure that they take responsibility for their own well being in all aspects of their life?

It’s important that, first, we are well-adjusted. It is important that we inspire our children through our own self-discovery to be all that we are and allow them to be all that they are as well.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Guilt

Guilt can kidnap us and hold us for ransom. We are prisoners in a cell that binds us to the pain of others.

What freedom we find when we face the darkness of that guilt – when we realize that we are guilty of nothing. Our guilt is merely of our own making, an illusion we have brought upon ourselves to keep us in a place of blame, resentment and anger.

We are not prisoners to anyone. We have all the freedom we want and need if we are willing to let go, to forgive ourselves. For it is not the forgiveness of others that will soothe the sting of guilt. It is forgiveness of ourselves. The willingness to walk through the fire of our pain and come out on the other side, reborn in our own love and peace, free to fly, to be all that we are, inspiring all around us.