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Having a vision of what we want in life is important to our efforts of getting what we want, but we also must take action.
There is a popular misconception that we might be able to just wish our dreams into being. Maybe on some other level of consciousness this is the case, but here on earth what we need to do is take action in our lives. Vision is an important companion to our efforts, but it can't accomplish anything all by itself. When we focus on what we want and ask for what we want, we are initiating a conversation with the universe. Our desires, passionately defined and expressed, bring about valuable and relevant opportunities, which we then respond to by either taking or leaving them.
Many of us are afraid to step out into the world and make things happen, and so we hang back, dreaming and waiting and watching. There are times in life when this is the right thing to do, but this phase of inaction must eventually give way to its opposite if we are to build our dreams into a reality. This can be really scary, and we may fail and struggle, but that's okay because that's what we're supposed to do. Waiting for everything to be perfect before we act, or waiting for what we want to be handed to us, leaves us waiting forever. No one expects us to be perfect, so the best thing we can do for ourselves is to get out there and take action on our dreams.
One of the hardest parts about having a vision is that when we test it in the laboratory of life, it often comes out looking completely different than what we had in mind or, worse, it doesn't come out at all. If you read the life stories of people who have brought their dreams into reality, you will hear many stories about this experience. But you will also hear about hard work, taking action, perseverance, and, finally, the successful birthing of a dream.
True lasting success comes only with surrender, which is the opposite of control.
Most of us were raised and live in a culture that emphasizes the ideals of independence and control. The general idea is that we are on our own and we don't need any help from anyone else, and if we are really successful it's because we are in complete control. However, true lasting success comes only with surrender, which is the opposite of control. We cannot accomplish anything truly great on our own, without any help, and the idea that we can is an illusion that causes most of us a great deal of suffering. Surrender comes when we see that illusion and let go of trying to attain the impossible. Surrender can then be seen as a great strength rather than a weakness.
Even small moments of surrender are powerful indicators of how different our lives could be if we would only let go. We've all had the experience of extending huge amounts of effort and energy to reach a particular goal only to realize that we can't make it happen after all. At the moment of letting go, realizing that we need to ask for help or simply release our agenda entirely, a profound feeling of relief may rush over us. This warm, open sensation is the essence of surrender, and if we didn't feel that we didn't really let go. But it is never too late to let go, even of things in the past that didn't work out the way we wanted them to, because surrender is always an option in every moment of our lives.
When we finally do surrender, our goals actually become possible, because the act of surrender is, in essence, asking for the help we need. This help may come in the form of other human beings or unseen helpers such as angels or inner guides. It may also come in the form of shifting circumstances, the small miracles that we call grace.
To many, the coming of a new year represents an opportunity to begin again. It is a time to step off of dead-end paths in order to create a fork in the road, disassociating from the old, and aligning with fresh possibilities. Harnessing the power of this transformative energy is a matter of truly believing that resolutions can conquer past patterns. If we believe we are capable of changing our lives, we are more apt to believe that we are capable of leaving our mistakes behind. Our dedication, which might otherwise falter, is buoyed by hope. Thus, the beginning of the new year is traditionally a popular time to tackle difficult tasks such as quitting smoking, losing weight, or fulfilling worldly ambitions. But the transition from year to year can also be an opportune occasion to pursue emotional, spiritual, and intellectual growth because we no longer feel burdened by regret and disappointment.
Whatever your reality, it is within your power to create the fork that allows you to walk a more conscious, grounded path. Viewing the start of the coming year as a time of rebirth allows you to focus on what you want to accomplish in the coming weeks, months, and years. Because you are a new person--in other words, a clean slate--you are free to immerse yourself in new experiences with impunity. If you feel a need to reconnect with your spirituality, consider taking up yoga, meditation, or another discipline that challenges both your mental and physical selves. Fill your newly-cleansed mind with stimulating knowledge, poignant wisdom, and useful skills. Clearing your home or workspace of clutter can improve the flow of energy in your life, giving you the momentum you need to stay true to your resolutions. And beginning a fresh journal can be a wonderful way to celebrate these developing aspects of your life.
In the ancient Babylonian, Chinese, and Celtic traditions, the period marking the transition from the old year to the new was viewed as a struggle between chaos and order, in which order always prevailed. Your belief that you, too, can banish chaos and integrate your dreams, desires, and goals more fully into your life will give you the determination and fortitude to change your life for the better.
When we laugh, we give ourselves over to the immediacy of the present moment and transcend stress.
Many people might be surprised to think of laughter as a form of meditation. Yet not only is laughing meditation one of the simplest forms of meditation, but also it is a very powerful one. The physical act of laughing is one of the few actions involving the body, emotions, and the soul. When we laugh, we give ourselves over to the immediacy of the present moment. We also are able to momentarily transcend minor physical and mental stresses. Practiced in the morning, laughing meditation can lend a joyful quality to the entire day. Practiced in the evening, laughing meditation is a potent relaxant that has been known to inspire pleasant dreams. Laughter also can help open our eyes to previously unnoticed absurdities that can make life seem less serious.
There are three stages to mindful laughter. Each stage can last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. The first stage involves stretching your body like a cat and breathing deeply. Your stretch should start at the hands and feet before you move through the rest of your body. Stretch out the muscles in your face by yawning and making silly faces. The second stage of the meditation is pure laughter. Imagine a humorous situation, remember funny jokes, or think about how odd it is to be laughing by yourself. When the giggles start to rise, let them. Let the laughter ripple through your belly and down into the soles of your feet. Let the laughter lead to physical movement. Roll on the floor, if you have to, and keep on laughing until you stop. The final stage of the meditation is one of silence. Sit with your eyes closed and focus on your breath.
Laughter brings with it a host of positive effects that operate on both the physical and mental levels. It is also fun, expressive, and a way to release tension. Learn to laugh in the present moment, and you'll find that joy is always there.
When I first started my counseling and therapy work I resolved to trust my training to the Universe and trust the client to bring to me what they needed for me to help them with, and to trust myself that what I did would lead to the most benevolent outcome for all concerned. I cannot remember it ever not working.
Of course I doubted often, and still look to be aware of my ego, it is part of being human.
What I am saying is if you love and are open and trust yourself and that the other person will show you what they need to be reflected back to them, then there is absolutely no reason to be afraid of what you might say to anyone. You will always do the right thing by them even if they get peeved, slam the door in your face, break down and cry their heart out, or get up and hug you and fall in love with you.
The power of love works miracles even if a person goes away and you never see them again. I have seen time and again the result of these miracles even if it is 20-30 years later. Love is never ever wasted. It is the truth and the proof of free energy.
You are love incarnate and so you can do anything. No longer any need to be afraid of ego. You have learned well how to be aware. It is a most beautiful safeguard and keeps us awake.
Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one thing we have - and that is our attitude. Life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes."
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
Life is painful and messed up. It gets complicated at the worst of times, and sometimes you have no idea where to go or what to do. Lots of times people just let themselves get lost, dropping into a wide open, huge abyss. But that's why we have to keep trying. We have to push through all that hurts us, work past all our memories that are haunting us. Sometimes the things that hurt us are the things that make us strongest. A life without experience, in my opinion, is no life at all. And that's why I tell everyone that, even when it hurts, never stop yourself from living.
Got those Thanksgiving blues? A sodden garden, overcast days and longer hours of darkness may lead to seasonal affective disorder. Can't get out of bed or off the couch? There are a few simple actions you can begin today to fight back and energize your life. They are totally free and can improve your relationship with the world and the people in your life.
Start a gratitude list. Everything seems to be going wrong -- can you think of one single thing to be grateful for, no matter how small? Shout it out to the world! A gratitude list is a powerful tool that can restart your life.
There are plenty of variations, but start with this one: Take a few minutes before bedtime to list at least three things you are grateful for. Begin it with "I am grateful for ..." Maybe you woke up in the morning after a good night's sleep; the day held the bluest sky, rolling clouds, a harvest moon; a hibernating ladybug; discovery of a great mystery writer with a long backlist; a daughter's laugh; a delicious dinner cooked by your husband; a purring cat. There are no rules -- be silly, be free. You think you are the glass half-empty; this is your time to be the glass half-full.
Do this every day for a while. Reread your lists if you feel down. Be patient: strange and almost magical things will start to happen. One day you thank someone you love for a thoughtful action; her face glows. One day you thank a co-worker for helping at your workplace; he pauses and smiles back.
Don't wait ... take a few minutes today -- smell autumn roses, ramble in the garden by yourself, take a walk with a friend you haven't seen for a while. Reach out and talk to a special someone you've lost touch with before he or she walks through the door of the next journey. We walk through a fall garden that lives in the eternal now that includes winter-blooming bulbs fed by summer sunlight whose roots draw nourishment from their leaves' decomposition.
And then there is the gratitude box. It's not a box you stand on but a box you can lean on to chase the blues away. Choose a small box and decorate the outside and inside -- or not. File gratitude lists or loving letters and cards from the people in your life inside your box for later reference. Give a homemade gratitude box to someone as a thank-you gift or to say I love you. Enclose a poem or keepsake, or include a list of "Reasons I'm grateful to you."
Keep a gratitude box as a family. Put little things inside that remind you of happy times. Write down favorite memories of shared moments, wishes and loving messages for one another.
A gratitude list is a celebration of the gifts already present in our lives that are often taken for granted or hidden. Like your garden -- once planted and established -- your gratitude gifts will grow.
All the situations in our lives, from the insignificant to the major, teach us exactly what we need to be learning.
Many of us long to find a spiritual teacher or guru. We may feel unsure of how to practice our spirituality without one, or we may long for someone who has attained a higher level of insight to lead the way for us. Some of us have been looking for years to no avail and feel frustrated and even lost. The good news is that the greatest teacher you could ever want is always with you˜that is your life.
The people and situations we encounter every day have much to teach us when we are open to receiving their wisdom. Often we don‚t recognize our teachers because they may not look or act like our idea of a guru, yet they may embody great wisdom. In addition, some people teach us by showing us what we don‚t want to do. All the situations in our lives, from the insignificant to the major, conspire to teach us exactly what we need to be learning at any given time. Patience, compassion, perseverance, honesty, letting go˜all these are covered in the classroom of the teacher that is your life.
We can help ourselves to remember this perfect teacher each day with a few simple words. Each morning we might find a moment to say, „I acknowledge and honor the teacher that is my life. May I be wise enough to recognize the teachers and lessons that I encounter today, and may I be open to receiving their wisdom.‰ We might also take some time each day to consider what our lives are trying to teach us at this time. A difficult phase in your relationship with your child may be teaching you to let go. The homeless person you see every day may be showing you the boundaries of your compassion and generosity. A spate of lost items may be asking you to be more present to physical reality. Trust your intuition on the nature of the lesson at hand, work at your own pace, and ask as many questions as you want. Your life has all the answers.