Mama called the doctor

health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, psychotherapy, thoughts for living, Uncategorized

monkey

If someone is sick, you take them to the doctor. Sometimes, paramedics are called in to put the person in an ambulance to take them to the ER.

So where do you go if you are spiritually sick? You go to the Spiritual Doctor. Of course, there are specialists who deal with the brain, the heart, the skin, the kidneys. If you have a cold, you can go to the brain doctor, but it’s not necessary. The brain doctor might choose to not see you because she has more serious cases which require her level of expertise. So you go to the general practitioner who sees a wide variety of common disorders.

How do you decide how spiritually sick someone is? What are their symptoms? And who are the specialists of the Higher Order cases? That’s a tough question for which to determine an answer. Ministers don’t advertise specialties like a doctor does, yet it would seem a similar comparison could be made. What if a Healer was some obscure medicine/religious person who lived in a remote area? How would you find them? And if it’s still ultimately God, God heals us through his people.

You call the Great Healer through prayer, but you still have to pray.

Here are some signs of a spiritually healthy person:

1. An increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

2. Frequent attacks of smiling.

3. Feelings of being connected with others and nature.

4. Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

5. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experience.

6. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

7. A loss of ability to worry.

8. A loss of interest in conflict.

9. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

10. A loss of interest in judging others.

11. A loss of interest in judging self.

12. Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything in return.

 

Stripping away the excess

health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, psychotherapy, Social Trends, thoughts for living, Uncategorized

dear heartMy ego is scared at least a million times a day and the shell of it is so strong that my spirit can barely breathe. I suffocate my soul with layers of roles and labels I pin on myself.

Eventually, though, through aging and, ultimately, death all of these superficial wallpaper titles will be chipped and stripped away and all to remain will be my spirit and soul. It is this untamable, unnamable aspect of self God loves. Fortunately, the indefatigable spirit within me constantly seeks out God.

Briefly and interstitially it peeks out with no attachment to food, caffeine, money, or smooth relationships. In these rare moments, life can just be as it is and I have an opportunity to soar.

In Your Wildest Dreams

Remember to BREATHE

health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, Social Trends, thoughts for living, Uncategorized

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

Has your life knocked the breath out of you? No wonder, as multi-tasking has been tagged as the the working person’s holy grail when it comes to getting it done.

But for all of the star treatment multi-tasking has garnered over the years, efficiency experts are now learning that focusing on one task at a time is more productive than simultaneously attempting to complete many things.

If you find yourself distracted and scattered throughout the day, spending a few minutes paying attention to your breathing can bring back your focus.

According to integrative health physician Andrew Weil, M.D., “practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.”

Breathing by its very nature is a singular activity. Try exhaling and inhaling at the same time. As a foundation to a mindfulness way of life, breathing is the cornerstone.
Here are some tips for beginning a mindful breathing practice:

1. In the beginning, just breathe and pay attention to your breath without any inclination to adjust its depth or length.
2. If feeling anxious, take time to breathe deep into your belly. This breath intention will help dissipate feelings of anxiety.
3. Alternate breaths by covering one nostril and taking one inhale and exhale with one nostril and then switching. This technique will bring more attention to the air that passes through your sinus.
4. Say a phrase that helps you focus on your breathing, such as “breathe in faith, breathe out fear.”

Many books, cds, and dvds are available from a variety of sources for personal use to learn how to improve your breathing technique. Local community groups, such as mental health groups or hospitals, may offer in-person classes.

At its breakneck speed, life takes our breath away. Taking a few minutes each day to catch it, will allow us to be living beings again.

Hit bottom and rise up!

addiction, health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, Social Trends, thoughts for living, Uncategorized

break open

My spiritual director/psychotherapist always thought it was a moment for celebration when someone appeared at his doorway in their lowest moment.

“When you hit bottom,” he would say, “then you can break open.”

As difficult and harrowing the journey to the bottom can be, hitting an emotional bottom is a moment of celebration. When a series of unhealthy choices finally shoves your ego off the cliff of a fantasy life, then you have a chance to break free and fully assess where you might go next. And at your most emotionally and mentally battered, you may be more open to the belief that choices you make on your own behalf will lead you to a pathway of peace and security.

Once you hit the valley and the shell of a fantasy existence has cracked open, you will be able to soak in the oxygen of a world who wants you as you are.

Love and light,
The Being Place

When you return to God, the love is even greater

health & wellness, meditation, thoughts for living, Uncategorized

I’ve been reading books from a variety of faith traditions. This passage from The Essential Kabbahlah particularly touched me. I need forgiveness and this was comforting to me that no matter how many mistakes I make, God will always take me back and love me even more than what He had before. No matter how many mistakes you’ve made, God will love you more, too. Love and light to all of you….

gods-compassion

Is 2017 your year of abundance?

business, health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, small business, Social Trends, thoughts for living, Uncategorized

shine

When I was a little girl I played with Suzy. Everyday was a play date with Suzy as we ran up and down the stairs of the white farm-house where I lived. In all ways, she was the best type of friend a 6-year-old girl could have: she let me choose all the games we played, she always did what I told her, she never hurt my feelings, and I always got to go first.

Was it the skill of her parents that taught Suzy to be the ideal friend? Or perhaps, at 6 years of age, she was just naturally kind, selfless, and considerate? Neither. Suzy didn’t exist–at least not to anyone but me. She was my invisible friend.

Her invisibility didn’t make her any less real to me although my parents probably thought it odd to hear me talking to someone who didn’t answer audibly to them. As I became older, I transitioned from playing with an invisible friend to trying to make myself invisible. Clumsy and nonathletic, I held up my hands to defend myself during Dodge Ball hoping the football players would have mercy on me as they slammed the balls across the mid line in the gym.  In high school, I signed up for algebra not realizing this subject was going to be explained to me by a fast-talking math whiz. As he rattled off questions to the class, I shrank down in my back row seat and looked away from the teacher so he wouldn’t call me. But no matter how much the teacher wanted to help me he wasn’t able to because I didn’t believe I could learn a subject foreign to me. Comprehending was invisible for me.

But like my friend, Suzy, the invisible is made visible once someone believes. It’s the disbelief that shrinks the possibility of what can be. Visibility is revealed in layers and for most of us our largest stage on which to appear is in the work arena. Some are overachievers; they work their way up the corporate ladder yet have a difficult time giving a hand to help the next person up the rung. These co-workers can be recognized by the way they snap at others or roll their eyes when asked for assistance on a project. Their inability to believe in abundance creates a protective shield around them with the end result of harm because they could help others but choose not to.  They believe their achievement will ultimately be stolen by those they help.

But then there are people who work at invisible jobs but their gratitude for what is makes them visible to all they encounter. There’s the convenience store clerk who makes sure she styles her hair and puts on makeup everyday and sincerely asks everyone she serves “what else can I do for you?”  When someone pauses for a moment to consider her existence and ask how she is, she responds: “fantastic.”

The difference between the two mindsets is the core belief within each. The former–despite her superficial success–believes there is lack and the other–within the humble position she holds– believes she has a special mission in the place she serves and she creates abundance where none or little existed. A core belief can be changed once someone makes the commitment to make visible the thoughts that have been invisible to them.

For 2017 what story will you believe in and act on: abundance or scarcity?

Pray to God and then plant a tree

health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, thoughts for living, Uncategorized

 

nature_big_tree_hd

I thank you, God, for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. e.e. cummings

We plant a tree and have faith it will grow for decades to come. When we see trees on our walks and Sunday drives, we can offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the anonymous person who years ago planted it for the mothers, fathers, and children he would never meet.

If we can take ourselves out of the equation and make decisions based only on what’s beneficial for future generations, we are in God’s will. At a conscious level, we frequently are not aware of how far out our ripples extend.

Prayer and meditation improves our conscious contact with God who then directs us to plant trees. Otherwise, we bumble through life, benefitting from others’ hard work but not contributing to the comfort and security of our children.

Life’s vulnerabilities

meditation, mindfulness, thoughts for living

envoyMy vulnerability compels me to turn to God who could protect me. The mystery is that Eternity is kept behind a light-blocking curtain which is only pulled back when we cross over. I accept death as a part of having been born although today it’s with resignation and not peace.

All of the certitude of the certain Christians makes me feel vulnerable because I am scared my doubt and skepticism puts me in a position to be harmed by God. I defend against my vulnerability with anger.

Let I AM be in your “it is what it is” life

thoughts for living

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ Exodus 3:14

“It is what it is” is the newest cliche. Usually people say this in response to a situation they don’t like, such as a divorce, a firing, a death in the family, and they don’t have the will or capacity to change it or the patience to wait for God to change it. It’s their polite, civilized way to say “f*** it, I don’t care anymore and apparently neither does God.”

The human tendency seems to be to cave to the forces of the outside world but at a spiritual level this attitude just doesn’t jive with who God presents Himself to be.  If God is only the God of “it is what it is,” then, frankly, He falls short of the brand he’s trying to represent. Either God is Everything or He is Nothing. It doesn’t seem like there’s too much in between for the concept of God. If God is no better than “it is what it is,” then it’s quite a dilemma for the apologetics. “It is what it is” implies the singular moment to be lacking and falling short of Everything, consequently making it and God Nothing.

problemsYet to the Christian or the devout follower of God of Anyone’s Understanding, God is not Nothing . And if He is not Nothing then the only other option is He must be Everything because to be only Something implies pieces of Him fall short of the capacity of a definition of God. So where does this leave God in the world of “it is what it is?”

In the May 23, 2014, post of Mindblogging in Psychology Today, psychology professor Liane Gabora discusses the “it is what it is” phrase as a reference to potentiality. The phrase itself is a representation of the potentiality of what could transform from the state of ground zero of here and now.  “It is what it is” right now doesn’t need to mean it will be that same manifestation a minute from now. However, the positive reframing of this phrase doesn’t accurately reflect the context in which the phrase is most commonly uttered.

And that’s where the mystery of God could enter. “It is what it is” is based on imposing human will onto a situation in which we honestly want God to intervene but aren’t too sure He will. It’s a blurting out of our hope that God will recognize the blundering we have contributed to up to this moment and inject a little grace and mercy. Our resigned acceptance of “it is what it is,” is instead a plaintive prayer that He will intercede on our behalf and rescue us from the mire of “it is what it is.” It’s our heart’s yearning that God will take this “it is what it is” assessment of our crumbled life and use it as a springboard for a more profound spiritual connection.

This “Is What It Is” we should just “Let It Be.”