Ways for Getting Through

3 Powerful Reminders For When Life Gets Tough

by Tanaaz

Life is always going to be bringing us challenges, twists and turns, but no matter where you are on your journey, here are 3 powerful reminders that are always worth remembering-

1. Stay Hydrated

Stress and anxiety can put a lot of strain on the body. While exercising, meditating and eating well is always important, it can be hard to keep on top of these things when you are going through a rough patch.

One quick solution to support your wellbeing however, is staying hydrated. Drinking lots of water is not only beneficial to your body’s cellular processes but it can also boost your energy levels and clear your mind.

Water can also help to flush out heavy emotions and help to detoxify any stagnant energy that may be lingering in the etheric body.

If you are going through a challenging period remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

2. Don’t Think, Feel

Part of our human gifts in this life is being able to understand and rationalize things using our logical mind.

While this is an incredible skill to have, sometimes it is important to remember that not everything can be understood from this place of thinking.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try things are just not going to make sense on a logical or practical level. When this occurs, it is important to stop thinking and start feeling instead.

Our feelings are powerful guidance tools that can actually be far more effective than trying to understanding things from a place of logic. The trick with using our feelings as a guide is to not let our logical mind analyze or interfere with the process.

To do this, simply calm your mind using your breath and then tune into your true feelings. You may just be surprised as to what comes up and how you can use it to guide you.

3. Know Everything Will Make Sense in the End

When you are in the midst of a challenging life period it can be tricky to find the gratitude and understand why things are unfolding the way that they are.

Often the most challenging periods of our lives lead us to the most rewarding places, but it can be hard to see this when going through the motions.

When life is no longer making sense to you, it is often a sign that huge growth and transformation is underway. During this process it is important to step out of the chaos for a moment or two and acknowledge that things will all make sense in the end.

There is always an ending and always a resolution that will arise and the more you can trust that, the easier it will be to moving through the process.

Remember that things always work out and there is already a resolution to all of your problems, all you have to do is keep moving forward.

Need More? Self-Love and Self-Worth are also key

from:     http://foreverconscious.com/3-powerful-reminders-life-gets-tough

Time for Real Connection

Why Do We Feel Lonely in an Over-Connected World?

feel lonely overconnected world

The world has never been so connected as it is now. Communication and internet technologies have made it possible to stay in touch with anyone no matter where they live. Today, it’s probably impossible to find a person who doesn’t use social networks and instant messaging apps, which have become an integral part of our life. Many people can’t even imagine their daily routine without online communication and feel incomplete if they don’t chat with their friends and don’t see their updates in the Facebook feed st least once a day. We are basically never alone and yet, we are lonelier than ever.

This is not just a claim – studies show that the number of people who feel lonely is constantly increasing. For example, a survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that one out of ten people in the UK often feels lonely while 48% of the respondents believe that modern people are getting more and more lonely.

It seems that the feeling of loneliness is a real epidemic of our society. But why do we feel this way while numerous ways of communication with other human beings are available to us at any minute of every day? To answer the question the title of the article asks, first of all, let’s figure out what loneliness actually is. While the dictionary suggests that it’s a state of being alone paired with the feelings of sadness and isolation, loneliness is far more complex than that.

Have you ever been in a company of people you didn’t have much in common with? Or maybe in a company of strangers/acquaintances who were good friends with each other and didn’t pay much attention to you? If you have been in similar situations, you will agree that in those times, you were feeling lonely without being alone.

This is what loneliness really is – a lack of connection and understanding, no matter if you are alone or not. In fact, this feeling may be even more intense when you are among people you don’t resonate with rather than when you are by yourself. Let me cite Robin Williams here: “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”

So isn’t it the reason why we are so lonely in an over-connected world we live in today? Popular culture and our excessive reliance on the social media have basically made us believe that human communication is about quantity, not quality.

To demonstrate this contradiction, let me ask you two simple questions: How many friends on Facebook do you have and how many of them do you have a really deep connection with? I bet that most of you have hundreds of Facebook friends and yet can name only a few individuals you are truly close to.

As you see, what we lack in the modern world is a deep and meaningful connection with other people, which inevitably makes us feel lonely. We are constantly surrounded by people (if not physically, then at least virtually) and yet, we rarely feel truly close to someone mentally and emotionally.

If you think about it, it makes sense why human communication has become so superficial, since the entire mainstream culture is based on superficiality and shallowness. We are made to believe that all we need is to satisfy our physical needs and fulfil our selfish desires.

To sum up, remember that the only way to avoid loneliness is not about being and communicating with people all the time. It’s about establishing a deep connection with the right people along with being a self-sufficient individual who doesn’t need approval from others.

 
 from:    http://themindunleashed.org/2016/07/feel-lonely-in-an-over-connected-world.html

The Benefits of Quiet Sitting

20 Ways Sitting in Silence Can Transform Your Life

by Elle

4 33

by Samuel McCree

Silence is a source of great strength.” ~Lao Tzu

For over two years I spent one out of every four weeks in silence. At the time I was living at a Zen Monastery and every month we would have a week-long silent retreat.

During this retreat we sat meditation in silence, ate in silence, worked in silence, and only communicated through hand gestures and written notes.

At first living like this was hard, but over time I learned to grow to appreciate silence. By the time I left I learned that silence was my friend and teacher.

What did silence teach me?

1. Satisfaction

I used to think I needed to watch TV every night. But at monastery I went without and discovered I didn’t need it.

Silence taught me to be happy with less. Pick something that’s weighing you down and let it go. Your life will thank you.

2. Expression

When you can only talk by writing a note, you only say what’s important. Before the monastery I talked a lot but said little.

Silence taught me that a few simple words well spoken have more power than hours of chatter. Think of one simple thing you can say that would help someone feel better and say it.

3. Appreciation

Being able to speak makes life easy, but when I couldn’t talk I learned how much I relied on others.

Silence taught me to appreciate the value of relating to others. The next time you see your friends or family, try to really listen. Deep listening expresses deep appreciation.

4. Attention

Several times at my first retreat I thought my phone was vibrating. But then I would remember I didn’t have my phone. It showed me how my phone divided my attention.

Silence taught me how important it is to let go of distractions. The next time you are with someone you care about, try turning off your phone and putting it away. It will make paying attention easier.

5. Thoughts

I once sat a retreat next door to a construction project. What amazed me was how easily my thoughts drowned out the noise. I realized if my thoughts were this loud, I’d better make them as wise as possible.

Silence taught me the importance of shaping my thinking. Take time each day to notice your thoughts and let go of thoughts that don’t serve you.

6. Nature

Because I sat retreat in every season, I know that the sound of wind in fall is different than it is in winter.

Silence taught me to notice nature. Take a short walk outside in silence and you’ll discover the wisdom and peace that nature has to offer.

7. Body

During retreat I noticed that whenever I got lost in thought, I lost track of my body. And when I focused on my body, my thoughts would calm down.

Silence taught me to be in my body. Close your eyes and ask, “What sensations do I feel in my hand?” Learning to feel your body can calm your troubled mind.

8. Overstimulation

Whenever I went into town after retreat, the world seemed so loud and fast. I came to realize how much our senses have to process most of the time.

Silence taught me the importance of reducing the stimulation. Enjoy some quiet time everyday. The less you see and hear, the more settled your mind can become.

9. Sound

People would come to the monastery and remark how quiet it was. But living at the monastery I knew all the noises, from frogs, to owls, to the sound of sandals on the sidewalk.

Silence taught me that the world is a rich texture of sounds. Sit in front of your house and close your eyes. You’ll be amazed at what you hear if you listen long enough.

10. Humanity

During retreat I was surrounded by imperfect people who were doing their best. Some were happy, some were sad, but all were wonderfully human.

Silence taught me that people display great beauty. Find a good spot to people watch with an open heart. What you see may inspire you.

11. Space

For a long time anytime something difficult came up, I would just distract myself. But retreat taught me that if I avoided something it would never go away.

Silence taught me that space helps me face hard times. The next time you face something difficult, pause and honor whatever’s arising.

12. Love

I used to think love was this big thing. But in retreat I found that I felt love for so many things.

Silence taught me that love can be simple. Think of someone you haven’t said I love you to recently and tell them.

13. Courage

I used to think courage was about facing danger, but during retreat I realized that real courage is about facing yourself.

Silence taught me the courage it takes to be still. When we stop moving everything we’re running from catches up. The next time you are afraid, stop and wait for it to pass. There is immense courage inside your heart.

14. Perseverance

Every retreat reminded me that speaking is easy, but staying quiet is hard.

Silence isn’t flashy, but it has an immense power to endure. The next time someone doubts you, instead of disagreeing, silently vow not to give up. Action is speaks volumes.

15. Faith

I often ask for reassurance or feedback. But living is silence meant I had to trust my instincts.

Silence taught me to have faith in myself. The next time you begin to feel anxious, sit in silence and see if you can find the space of deep faith that lives in your heart.

16. Honesty

I used to lie so I wouldn’t have to explain myself. But when I couldn’t talk I began to notice this impulse and how much it degraded my integrity.

Silence taught me the importance of telling the truth. Notice times where you tell little lies and try telling the truth instead. It isn’t always easy but it’s the first step to trusting ourselves and others. 

17. Gratitude 

During retreat I didn’t have a lot of comforts. It helped me see how much I took for granted and how much I had to be grateful for.

At the end of every day sit in silence and ask yourself what am I grateful for. You’ll be amazed at the blessings you discover.

18. Simplicity

I used to love drama and conflict. But at retreat I found I was happier when I kept it simple.

Silence taught me that simplicity and joy are close companions. Pick one space in your home you could simplify. Keep it simple for one month and enjoy the ease it offers your life.

19. Connection

I used to think I had to talk in order to feel connected. I realized during retreat that I can feel connected just by being near people I care about.

Silence taught me that words can get in the way. Do something in silence with someone you love. It will be awkward at first but eventually you will see what it means just to be in someone presence.

20. Truth

I studied philosophy in college and I thought I could read about truth. But retreat taught me that truth is found in silence.

Silence has taught me a deeper truth than words ever could. Sit in silence once a week and feel the truth in your heart. It’s there whether you can express it in words or not.

from:    http://www.zengardner.com/20-ways-sitting-in-silence-can-transform-your-life/

Lessons fr/Drill Sergeants

Paula Davis-Laack Headshot

7 Things Drill Sergeants Taught Me About Life

Posted:
DRILL SERGEANT

Four years ago, I began a professional journey that profoundly changed me. Having burned out after spending seven years as a commercial real estate lawyer, I decided to change careers and study stress, burnout and how people can build their own resilience reserves. I never in a million years thought that part of that journey would include working with drill sergeants, soldiers and their spouses in the U.S. Army.

I wanted to be part of the team working to train soldiers in resilience because of my grandpa. He was in the D-Day Normandy invasion and was forever changed by his experience fighting in WWII. Getting “help” wasn’t what he chose to do after the war, and instead his demons got the better of him on many occasions. I wanted something different for other families.

Part of my training included learning how to speak Army, figuring out the rank structure, and understanding a vast alphabet of acronyms. It was all worth it because I learned so much from the soldiers with whom I worked. Here are just a few of the biggest lessons I learned:

Authenticity is cool. I started this work with my guard up. I vowed not to let people see who I really was or know the full extent of my story (the trips to the ER because of stress, the weekly panic attacks during my burnout and more), because if people knew who I really was, the perfect veneer I had spent years trying to build and maintain might shatter. Instead of connecting with the soldiers heart to heart, I connected with them through facts, figures, and knowledge — I wasn’t about to take the risk to expose the flaws.

But then the soldiers started to tell their stories, and I got to witness their “aha” moments. They talked about the mistakes they had made both personally and professionally, friends and loves lost, and regrets they had. That made me think, “If the toughest men and women on the planet could open up a little, maybe I could too.” And then it all changed for me. Thanks to the soldiers and their spouses, I had the courage to finally step into the fullest version of my story. As a result, my mission became clearer, my writing became richer and my connections with others deeper. I learned that vulnerability is not weakness; rather, it is courage in its purest form.

Take good risks. I realized that seven years of practicing law caused me to play it safe in life. I got comfortable in my little corner of the world and stopped taking good risks. Being part of this training team required me to get outside of my comfort zone on a number of occasions. I traveled to the Middle East and rode a camel in the middle of the desert (I never imagined that this sentence would ever have come out of my mouth), acted out skits to illustrate teaching concepts, and danced in front of rooms full of soldiers (considering I dance like Elaine from Seinfeld, I nearly gave myself a panic attack the first time I had to do this — no joke). When you push your boundaries and succeed, your brain says, “I can do more.” Thanks to the push I got in this program, taking good risks has become a fundamental part of my life.

Have a battle buddy. Connection is a fundamental tenet of resilience. In the military, a battle buddy, or battle, is the person a soldier assists both in and out of combat. In the military, a soldier always has someone to count on for assistance, and I think it’s a concept civilians should adopt. My battle, Lorrie, has helped me in countless ways both personally and professionally, and it’s so comforting to know that this “bestie” exists in my life.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. When you put your life on the line for a cause, as soldiers do on a daily basis, things like waiting in a long line at the grocery store become less of a big deal. When you get deployed multiple times in a few short years and miss family events and births of kids, a little traffic jam isn’t so stressful. Getting the wrong order at Starbucks isn’t the end of the world. I gained a new appreciation of what it means to sacrifice.

Humor is a survival strategy. When I first started this work, I was taken aback at how many soldiers cited “humor” or “laughing” as a resilience strategy. Given the intensity and seriousness of the situations they often encounter, using humor as a coping mechanism seemed misplaced to me, but I was wrong. Humor is often the very thing that gets them through the intensity and the seriousness. I try to find the funny in stress now.

Lead like a solider. One of my colleagues said that we should create a hotline for civilians to call a solider in times of adversity because they are that good at solving problems (she called it “Dial an NCO”). Whether it’s creating a mobile hospital in the desert from scratch, securing a forward operating base, or organizing the mass exodus of 200+ people from the basement of the Sheraton in Philly during a fire drill (which actually happened), soldiers understand the core of what it means to be a good leader.

Connect with something bigger than yourself. For some soldiers this means God, for others, it’s a sense of spirituality. For others still, their “something bigger” is their service in the military. The Army soldiers we train live and lead by a specific set of values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.

I helped teach resilience skills to thousands of soldiers and their spouses, and every time I said goodbye to a class, I got choked up because I saw my grandpa in every one of their faces. He would have been so proud of this work, and I thank these men and women for changing my life in the best possible way.

Paula Davis-Laack, JD MAPP, is the Founder and CEO of the Davis Laack Stress & Resilience Institute, a practice devoted to helping busy professionals prevent burnout.

from:    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paula-davislaack/7-things-drill-sergeants-taught-me-about-life_b_5679897.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS%20for%20the%20Soul

Moving into True Seeing

Removing the Veil

Posted by February 15, 2014

FLickr-Nebula-NASA-GoddardDr. Stewart Bitkoff

“You yourself are under your own veil.” -Hafiz

Q:  I have been traveling the road to higher consciousness for many years and it has been a long hard journey. Fortunately there have been occasional Divine Breezes along the way, but I cannot say I feel any closer to God for my efforts. Also, sometimes traveling gets so lonely and I wish I had someone to talk to about this struggle; can you help me understand, why the difficulty and mystery?

Earth Phase: Physical & Spiritual 

“The lower self prevents you from remembering God.” -Traditional

In the spiritual journey, each traveler is both question and answer; goal and door which blocks the way. That is the Design, or earth phase, that we have immersed our self in; one of physicality and spirituality. This duality of knowing and not knowing; seeking and finding are one of the universal laws of our earth experience. Yet beyond this duality of knowing and not knowing, is the first universal law: Oneness of Creation.  For you see, knowing and not knowing while at polar opposites are both part of the One; this Oneness may be experienced in spiritual states like the Beloved’s Caress or Oneness of Creation experience.  These are sublime experiences and many seek to repeat these states over and over; yet, when thinking and working this way, they miss the point of the journey

One day, I asked my teacher; why this struggle? Why this struggle between the ego (daily consciousness/lower self) and the wisdom of our heart (continual awareness of God).  Wouldn’t it simplify things if we were all born being continually aware of the Divine?

He answered, the ego serves as a boundary between this world and the next. Without the ego, we would all be lost, absorbed in the splendor of God and of no use in this earthly life. This journey is much more than being continually absorbed in God; the journey is about serving others as God’s Servant. Added spiritual capacity is necessary for specific tasks and functions; these are a tool to manifest something Higher.

Manifesting the Real

In order for that which is hidden behind the veil of our daily awareness, to be revealed, 2 processes must be at work. And the outcome of both of these processes is always dependent upon Grace; because in this endeavor, ‘love is never earned it is bestowed.’

Quieting the Lower Self/Ego. The first process involves working on and refining our worldly consciousness or what has traditionally been termed ‘the ego.’ Often our worldly consciousness (lower self) blocks the higher consciousness with its concern for our physical, emotional and intellectual well being. We are multi-level beings and to fully enjoy and participate in this earthly experience, there are many stimuli, thoughts and experiences which are necessary for daily life. So, in this journey, of both physicality and spirituality, the traveler must learn to still and quiet the lower self; in order to allow that which is deeply hidden to manifest.

Often this stilling or quieting of thought, for a time, involves unlearning many things, examining how our consciousness operates and practicing techniques designed to still the lower self. Stilling the lower self is much different than destroying it; this aspect of consciousness, because it is very complex, as indicated, is needed to function in the world. Typically we cannot not have a thought, but can learn how not to act on it and minimize its effect on our total consciousness.  This pushing aside by quieting, temporarily, for most travelers takes much work and guidance by another.

Awakening of Spiritual Centers. The second process involves awakening our inner spiritual centers (or chakras) which must be done gradually and in a certain order.  This awakening of our spiritual centers can be done while the traveler is learning how to still troubling thoughts which create noise in the consciousness. This stimulating of spiritual centers is often accomplished through exercises, guidance of one of the teachers and the Grace& Mercy of God.

When the traveler is ready, spiritual centers can be awakened or activated by the Light at any time or place. It is a question of readiness and the process has been termed organic and part of a natural maturation.

Enlightenment & Misconceptions

When done correctly, adding of spiritual capacity is accomplished gradually so it does not disrupt others portions of a traveler’s life.  This adding of ability is mysterious to most travelers, because they have limited exposure to this learning structure, further outcomes and processes are rarely discussed.  Often this structure cannot be accurately put in words, it is multi-level; and because few have limited exposure to what is actually required and how this is being done, there are many misconceptions and resultant frustrations.

Typically most travelers view this developmental process like other learning situations in their lives. For example, look I have read all the books, said my prayers, given money to charity and talked to every ‘teacher’ I could find. I have been at this activity now for 4 years and worked very hard; certainly if I was going to high school or college I would have my diploma. Yet mystical states elude me, I still get anxious and worried and I certainly don’t feel God/Light aglow in my heart when the kids start fighting and screaming.

Enlightenment, or added spiritual capacity, typically occurs within the ordinary human personality. Enlightenment involves bringing forward latent spiritual skills and capacity to operate alongside all our other skills and capacities. This coming forward is additional capacity that we consciously use to serve the situation and Higher Destiny.  Typically, this ability is not for oneself but to help others and the majority of work to enable this function involves removing from consciousness, for a time, those thoughts, ideas and hidden motives which stand in our way.

Measuring Outcomes

I remember one day, I asked my teacher, look I’ve been at this spiritual study stuff now for 3 years and really don’t feel anything is happening. How do I know I am progressing? With a smile on his face and a kind voice, he offered, “do you think about God now more than you did before coming to see me?”

And of course my answer was, ‘yes.’  However I was looking for outcomes of a different sort: reading minds, knowing the future, being God’s BFF and living in peaceful harmony. Because of my expectations, I had created my own frustrations.

Strangers & Loneliness

One of the technical terms for the followers of the Path, is that travelers are ‘strangers.’  Strangers to themselves and others, yearning for something they cannot define and must find.  Each traveler has an unsettling awareness that they don’t quite fit into the world as most people define it, and for a time may be unclear what the inner unease and burning is about.

If you find yourself on the long road and it is raining and dark, to ease your pain, consider the following.

  • Talk to God/Light. Tell God how you are feeling and what you need. God is inside all of us and listens to all our prayers. Tell God what you want and need, and in time, as God Wills, it will be Given to you. “Remember, if you take one step toward God, God will take ten steps toward you.’
  • Call a friend and find out how they are doing. Share your feelings and experience.
  • Help another. Reach out and assist someone who is having a difficult time.
  • Get-up, do something physical that is fun or helps another. Get out of yourself. A healthy mind and body thrives on activity.
  • If you need the company of like minded believers, reach out and contact one of the many organizations set-up for this purpose. Remember be careful in your choices, there are many who would take from you.
  • Ask the Universe for whatever you need. You are the son/daughter of a King and this has been promised to you.

Just because you do not see a thing
It doesn’t mean it ceases to exist.
The sun also shines in the night.
-A. Hussain

from:    http://consciouslifenews.com/removing-veil/1170688/

On Grounding

5 REASONS TO GROUND YOUR ENERGY by Cynthia Revesz

earthmother tree

Grounding helps you to:

  1. Be more fully present.
  2. Feel stable and centered.
  3. Release heavy energy. (Yes, the Earth can recycle jangly, nervous or heavy energy of negative emotions! But, don’t worry, the Earth is not harmed in the process.)
  4. Improve your vitality.
  5. Bring your imagination down to earth, give it form, and manifest your dreams!

We access Earth energy through chakras in the soles of the feet and the root chakra at the base of the spine. Here’s how you can ground your energy:

From:  http://cynthiarevesz.com

Sit on the edge of a chair with both feet flat on the floor. Your feet should be at 90-degree angles below the knees and your spine straight.

Close your eyes and visualize energetic cords, like the roots of a tree, descending from the base of your spine, and from the soles of your feet, deep into the Earth, through the soil and the rocks, traveling way down into the molten core.

Allow Earth energy to flow up through the feet, legs, and the base of the spine, allowing it to collect in the energy center, or dantian (which means elixir field in Chinese), located approximately 2-3 inches below the navel.  Feel how, like tree roots, these energetic cords anchor you to Mother Earth.

Then, take a few deep breaths drawing up more Earth energy as you inhale. As you exhale, release any stale, heavy energy, or excessive emotion, down into the Earth.

Feel how you are stable, solid, centered, balanced, present, safe and secure. Use this practice for grounding your energy to help you maintain, or re-establish balance.

from:    http://www.newrealities.com/index.php/articles-on-human-health/item/2865-5-reasons-to-ground-your-energy-by-cynthia-revesz