Hope Offers Forgiveness

Day 20 – Hope Offers Forgiveness

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” – Samuel Smiles

In today’s meditation, we explore the role of hope in the healing process of forgiveness. We learn that blame, judgment, and resentment are based on false perceptions of our ego and do not come from our true self. When we begin to see things from the place of present awareness, we dispel the illusion that our core being could ever be hurt, disrespected, or vulnerable. Living in the present moment is living with that clarity of hope, and in that state we automatically forgive ourselves for the misunderstanding and hurt feelings associated with it.

OPRAH:

I’ve always loved an ah-ha moment.  When you hear something that opens up a window in your mind and reminds you of your life and your view of life in a completely new way.  I once had something even bigger than an ah-ha moment; I call it one of the most transcendent moments.  It was when I fully understood the meaning of forgiveness to find in this away.  A guest on the show said,  “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”  That resonated so deeply with me.  It’s being able to let go and not being held hostage for another minute by the past as you know, and accept, that it could not have been any different.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone a behavior or make a wrong into a right.  It simply means you give yourself permission to accept and release; that what was done has been done.  If you haven’t been able to forgive then you’re holding onto something.  You want it to be different.  It takes a lot of energy to hold a grudge.  The truth is if you’re holding a grudge, that grudge is also holding you.

Here’s a huge misperception.  Not forgiving someone doesn’t give you more, it’s actually poisoning you.  Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not for the person who wronged you.  And by giving up the hope and accepting that what has happened has happened, you tap into the healing power of hope; you shift; you become a source of hope for other people and especially yourself and other people’s own need to forgive and be forgiven.  So forgive yourself.  Forgive others and the light of hope gets to gleam brighter.

Let’s listen to Deepak explain how hope offers forgiveness.

DEEPAK:

As hope grows as a force of strength and understanding it also becomes an agent of healing our past through the power of forgiveness.  We cannot forgive when the hurts and disappointments of the past linger in the mind.  Hope allows us to begin the process of forgiveness by bringing forth our true self which is never hurt, never afraid and always open to present experience.

The first step to forgiveness is to bring your grievances into awareness instead of letting them simmer beneath the surface.  That’s a prospect often filled with unease.  Hope gives us the courage to look at our past hurts as well as the security that we can heal them and not be re-traumatized.

The hope that springs from our soul assures us that our true nature cannot be hurt by the thoughts and actions of others.  It shows us that blame and resentment are false perceptions from our ego-self.  All the qualities we associate with forgiveness, such as letting go, forgetting the past and making a new start are shifts in consciousness that occur when the healing power of hope grows.

The healing process begins with an intention to be fully present.  This connects you to the power of hope.  You bypass your revenge fantasies and you stop listening to the voice of blame.  Instead, from the perspective of present-moment awareness, you see that blame, punishment and resentment are counterproductive feelings based on false perceptions.  And you see with a compassionate heart that everyone, including yourself, is doing the best they can from their level of consciousness.

Having taken the responsibility for the healing process of forgiveness, let it unfold inside you.  It’s enough to get out of the way which means that you don’t push the other person’s buttons and you don’t lash out when they press yours.

The healing process requires patience, understanding and loving kindness.  Offer these first to yourself.  Reach a level of self-forgiveness before you approach the forgiving of someone else.  Remember that forgiveness is not an action or thought.  It is a spiritual quality of healing that is supported by the light of hope growing within us.  Live that level of hope and that quality of forgiveness will become who you are.

CENTERING THOUGHT

Every day I move toward forgiveness.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Om Sarvatva Namah

The wholeness of the universe is my true nature.

DEE:

Forgiving myself has been my greatest healing.  Loving myself for who and what I am is the icing on the cake; finally I can be comfortable in my own skin.  This forgiveness did not come overnight nor easily.  But being willing to learn and improve my life and myself through meditations such as this and from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous has taught me to live in the moment, learn from my past, and be hopeful of the future.

I have come to realize that everything in my life has happened for a reason and that reason is to make me the person I am today.  It is up to me what I want to do with that person.  Today I have a purpose, that has come from my past, and that purpose is to share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my Dee bubble.

I only have so much space in me.  Today I choose to fill myself up with positive energy and be rid of the negativity that has come into my life through the many, many experiences I have been blessed to have had in my many decades on this planet.  And when I let that negative shit go, there is so much more room in me to embrace all of the good in this world.  And then I get to attract more goodness.  What a concept.

So love yourself.  Forgive yourself.  Forgive those who have wronged you.  Heal yourself.  Free yourself!

Aloha, Dee

From Deepak & Oprah’s 21-Day Meditational Series on HOPE.

For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!

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HOPE BRINGS SIMPLICITY

Day 19 – Hope Brings Simplicity 

OPRAH:

There are three simple principles that I live by.  They all work together to form a foundation that fuels the truest part of me.  Together these three things keep me grounded in hope.  Welcome to Day 19 – Hope Brings Simplicity.

The first profoundly simple principle for me is to listen for the signals that are always there that are inside me and you and everybody else.  The whispers in our lives lead us to the truest vision for ourself.  They are there all the time, speaking to us, pointing us toward hope and happiness.  What do you want your life to look like?  That’s where it all begins.

One of my favorite Bible verses is, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  You can’t run a company or a family or a life without a vision.  It’s the foundation of your future.  It’s your light.  It guides the way and truly is your hope.

The second principle that rules my life is intention.  For me intention is one of the most powerful principles in life.  It’s the simple rule that the intention you bring to any situation

ultimately determines the outcome of that situation.  Nothing I do personally or professionally is done without first getting clear on my intention.  It is the key, I believe, to authentic power and, I believe, the surest path to a life filled with hope and heart.

Principle number three.  Newton’s Third Law of Motion.  For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  If you put positive energy and hope into the world, that is what comes back to you.  It’s that simple.

Since powerful truth can lead us to the greatest light of hope, let us listen as Deepak teaches us to go deep into our core truths.

DEEPAK:

At the deepest level hope is a spiritual quality that comes from our unified self.  Living from your essence you have no problems because present-awareness is all inclusive, peaceful, stable, and harmonizing.  When you align your consciousness to universal intelligence life flows easily, naturally and simply.  It’s not that we experience less conflict, doubt or confusion because we have fewer people in our lives or less demands on us, but when you think and act from present-moment awareness all the pieces of your life move together with one another instead of independently.  It’s the difference between an orchestra playing a Beethoven symphony together or each musician playing whatever they want.

When we ignore our simple core of awareness we fall into conflict and confusion.  Simplicity goes out the window and so does hope.  When we feel grounded in the core of our being we can join the dance of the universe, without losing our center, the simplicity or being.

Simplicity emerges in the heart, not the mind.  It’s not something you must figure out; it’s something you feel as your true self.  With simplicity we connect with others through our hearts overriding all differences and doubts.

In uncertain times conditions are right for unscrupulous leaders to play upon fear, the emotion that floats in the air when people don’t feel grounded.  But fear never has a good outcome.  Fear is dispelled only by seeing the truth and the light of truth is always available in our core self as the simplicity of hope.

To radiate the simplicity of love and hope you must be that simplicity of awareness.  That is your truth.  Make this a conscious goal.  Don’t encourage complications.  Try to clear up confusion.  Be clear that you aren’t acting out of alterior motives.  If you have mixed feelings or doubts, step away and say to yourself, “There is no use adding to the chaos…ever.”

Our meditation practice introduces us to the simplicity to existence, the unchanging, peaceful, untroubled level of pure consciousness.  When you’re fully grounded in being bringing hope to someone else’s life is effortless.

CENTERING THOUGHT

I offer hope from the simplicity of my heart.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Namah Shee Va Ya

I invoke the infinite potentiality of the universe.

DEE:

All the pieces of my “Dee puzzle”, my life, are finally starting to fit together and make sense!  When I finally stopped living from my head and allowing my heart to guide me, my life changed dramatically.  I found I had a purpose.  And that purpose is to share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my “Dee bubble”.

Yes, the simple, but not easy, act of switching from brain to heart made all the difference in the world.  But that came with the other pieces of my puzzle started falling into place.  The piece of my puzzle that contained my alcoholic self bottoming out in the depths of hell.  The piece of my puzzle that was an alcohol treatment program.  The piece of my puzzle that brought me into Alcoholics Anonymous.  And the treasure of pieces that walked me through the 12 Steps of A.A., helped me to find a Higher Power, and be able to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood that god.  Life changing pieces to my “Dee puzzle”.

So “Keep It Simple”.  Trust your gut, your intuition, and have faith in a Power Greater Than Yourself.  Know that everything at this moment is perfect.  Especially YOU!  Know that the pieces of your puzzle are fitting together just as they should.  Love the process.  Love yourself!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!

From Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience on HOPE.

MAKING HOPE REAL

Day 18 – Making Hope Real

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” – Vaclav Havel

Today’s meditation is about helping to make hope real for others. Of course, fundamentally each person must create hope from within themselves, but we can also play an instrumental role in supporting that hope-building process. The way we do this is to learn how to deeply listen, see, and feel another person. When we can be with and acknowledge another person without any judgment or agenda, then our core hope is supporting their core hope on a real soul-to-soul level.

OPRAH:

Today we set about the business of making hope real.  Welcome to Day 18.  When I opened my school in South Africa I said to Maya Angelou, “You know the girls in this school will be my greatest legacy and Maya surprised when she responded, “You have no idea what your legacy will be.  Your legacy is what you do everyday.  Your legacy is every life you’ve ever touched.  Every person whose life was ever moved or not.  It’s every person you’ve harmed or helped.  That is your legacy,”  Maya said to me.

So I started to rethink that legacy.  Because it’s how you treat that person behind the counter at the store.  It’s how your interaction with your child’s teacher.  It’s your encounters with your colleagues at work, in your family, the people in your neighborhood.  What I know for sure is that to reach people and share the energy of hope, you have to do more than just listen to them.  You have to see them.  I’ve often said that each of the tens of thousands of people I’ve interviewed had one thing in common…they all wanted to be seen and heard.  They wanted validation.

When people are validated, when they know you see me, you hear me, and what I’m saying means something to you, they feel like they’re not alone and that they matter.  That is the deepest reality, the deepest desire, we all share…is to matter.  And that’s the way to make hope real for anyone in your world.  Make them matter.

Deepak guides us to the power of deeply hearing and seeing another person.

DEEPAK:

Often in times of uncertainty and confusion it feels like no matter how hard you try something is bound to go wrong.  For many this sense of hopelessness is tied to depression and anxiety, while in milder forms it keeps others tough, in a state of expecting little in life.

If you believe you don’t deserve much happiness and success, hiding beneath the surface is absence of hope.  The problem is that losing hope buys into an illusion.  Because hope is a quality of the true self, it is grounded in reality.  Loss of hope is grounded in the past.  Old wounds, negative beliefs, low self-esteem and disappointed expectations…these are phantoms of the mind and we believe they are real because we think the fear they generate will protect us from further pain.

When someone is losing hope they will find a solution if they are guided to the deeper reality inside themselves.  Reassuring them that some external factor, meeting a person, acquiring more money or moving to a different place will solve their insecurity is not useful.  More importantly without basing your hope and present awareness the fear of uncertainty never goes away.

Ideally the path of self-awareness is open through meditation.  If this is not feasible for the other person you can still inspire hope in them.  Do they need reminding that they are strong or that they are loved?  Do they need to feel less alone or that others appreciate them?

The first step in making hope real for that person is to ask and listen from the level of the heart.  Don’t try to change a situation according to your own preconceptions.  Let your insight into what is needed come up of its own accord.  When you do speak, talk to the hope you see in the other person, whatever it is.

Also immediate hope is better than long-range hope.  Make it clear that the present moment is a place of hope because it is the only place where change can happen.  Yesterday and tomorrow are only ideas.  Your action plan is to bring no judgment, no expectations, to deeply listen to the other person, offering help, here and now, and, therefore, keeping everything real.  By your example you show that the unknown is not fearful but an opening into renewal and change.

CENTERING THOUGHT

My hope is grounded in a deeper reality.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Om Eem Shreem

My being radiates wisdom and abundance.

DEE:

Today I try to live my life optimistically, with the glass half full, knowing that whatever happens happens for a reason, a reason to make me a better person and to help me grow.  Of course things happen that don’t make me especially happy, that’s going to take my time and energy away from the things I love, but, oh well.  It happened.  Live with it.  Deal with it.  And move on…a better person.

I also try to live my life hopefully, faithfully, again, that what happens happens for a reason.  I have no control over people, places and things.  But I do have control over how I am going to react to them.  I don’t.  I take a deep breath and have faith that a Power Greater than Myself is guiding me through lessons I need to learn.  I am hopeful to learn those lessons.

With time and practice this way of life, at looking at life, becomes easier.  My life goes more effortlessly.  I feel better and freer.  And I try to share this outlook with those who enter my “Dee bubble”.  When one enters my bubble I try my hardest to give them my full attention, mindfulness, eye contact, respect and compassion.  I try to put myself in their shoes.  And then I go within to, “What would Dee do?  What would Dee’s Higher Power have her do?”  And then I share my hope.

Validation is key.  Helping others to know that they are gifts, that they have attributes, that they are worthy.  Yes, they matter!  The beautiful thing is that we connect.  So share your gifts with those who enter your bubble.  Be a nice human today.  Share that this present moment is perfect.  Don’t shit on it by going back into yesterday or venturing into tomorrow.  Be the HOPE!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!

From Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience on HOPE.

HOW HOPE GOES VIRAL

Day 17 – How Hope Goes Viral

“Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay.” – Maya Angelou

We all understand how we can be an agent of change for the people we personally interact with, but we can also affect those around us with whom we don’t have direct contact through the connection of our shared collective consciousness. When we learn to consciously live and act from a deep place of hope, love, and kindness, we are stimulating and connecting to the same level of hope, love, and kindness in others, near and far. As their hope and love is awakened, it increases the strength of the signal, awakening more hearts in turn. This is how hope goes viral.

OPRAH:

This is Day 17.  Today’s meditation is on How Hope Goes Viral.  One of the greatest joys in my life right now is gardening.  I love harvesting vegetables and posting those photos sometimes on Instagram and Facebook.  And nothing makes me happier than walking my dog through a basket full of greens.  Some photos of my harvest days have gone viral.  Imagine that!  Pictures of a bowl of fresh-picked tomatoes going viral!

I think it may be because people inherently love nature themselves and the idea of growing things, gardening, you know, is not a complex thing.  What makes it so satisfying is it’s connection to the simplest joys to the earth.  You plant a seed.  You nurture it.  It brings itself to fruition.  And those impulses are part of who we are.  I believe the root of hope lives in all of us.

And isn’t a garden the perfect metaphor for hope going viral?  You tend the soil, again.  You plant it.  You fertilize it.  You nurture it with a hope it will grow vibrant.  You begin with that hope that a seed turns into something fruitful or beautiful.  And when that seed is grown you share it.

In nurturing our hopes and dreams we often begin with just a seed.  We grow and nurture our hopes and sharing the fruits of our realized hopes and dreams is one of life’s greatest joys.

Ultimately growing a garden is about giving back and sharing with others.  You can’t eat all those tomatoes yourself!  I love to drop in on my neighbors with baskets of freshly picked anything…lettuce, snap peas, tomatoes…because I grew it and I don’t want to waste it.  And life is better when you share it.

So don’t waste the fruits of your hope.  Let it grow to abundance and share it with the world.  And may it become viral.  Let’s hear from Deepak and how to cultivate viral hope.

DEEPAK:

We’ve discovered on our meditation journey that hope is activated in the present moment.  Present moment awareness is simply conscious experience without the mind’s analysis or conceptualization, including the thoughts and feelings about the past and the future.  Present moment awareness experience is your true self and it is always fresh and new.  It is the very essence of hope, of love, of compassion and joy.

Absorbing the qualities of the true self happens effortlessly in our meditations.  But you can encourage the inner shift outside meditation.  Start at the level of beliefs.  In any situation allow yourself to be present to the experience without mental analysis and interpretation.  And you will find that you naturally drop the belief that you know what is best for someone else.

This does not mean that we sacrifice our beliefs or don’t stand up for what we think is right.  Rather we recognize that instead of trying to force people to change it is more effective to be the example of hope, tolerance and love.

Particularly in times of uncertainty negativity and aggression lead to more negativity and aggression.  But hope and compassion also beget more hope and compassion.  As this happens you now have an understanding that everyone wants to grow and evolve in their own way and at their own pace.  Know that at some level they are listening and that their consciousness is responding to your hope and compassion.  Even if you detect resistance on the surface.  Understand and feel that at a core level they share your hope.

If you adopt this approach hope will go viral wherever you are.  Social research has already proven that personal attitudes, beliefs and habits go viral all the time.  If you have a friend or family member who overeats, for example, you’re more likely to overeat.  While on the other hand if a friend or family member goes to the gym you’re more likely to do that too.

What’s mysterious is you don’t actually have to be in direct contact with the other person.  What’s at work is the power of collective consciousness.  When we become a living example of the power of hope we become a catalyst for the transformative force in others, a force that can never be extinguished.

CENTERING THOUGHT

I bring hope into the present moment.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Samprati Hum

My true self is wide awake.

DEE:

It’s the ripple effect.  When one shares hope, that hope can be carried clear around the world.  That seed can blossom into amazing abundance.  That’s why we must remember that we do count, our voices will be heard.  We must share that hope!

I learned that lesson the hard way in my sobriety.  One of the hardest things I ever did was to get clean and sober.  But what’s harder?  Staying sober.  I learned early on the slogan, “You can’t keep it unless you give it away.”  That was in reference to my sobriety and recovery.  And once I thought life was going great and I was getting “well”, I ceased going to so many AA meetings, I ceased being with the fellowship that could call me on my shit, I ceased hearing what it was like to be a newcomer, and I ceased giving away my gift of sobriety.

So unbeknownst to me when asked if I wanted a drink at a barbecue, I said, “No, I haven’t had a drink in over 13 years.”  When that drink was left for me in case I changed my mind, it yelled at me until I drank it.  To me this was a Godsend, only because I was graced with another chance in sobriety.  Some aren’t so lucky.  They never get back.  But this time around I don’t take this gift lightly, I stay close to my meetings and fellowship, and I give back what was so freely given to me when I needed it most – HOPE.

And when I work with those in need, whether sponsees or people who randomly (yeah, right) enter my “Dee bubble”, I oftentimes get to witness their hope and joy being shared with those who enter their bubbles, and on and on it goes.  It’s magical!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!

From Deepak and Oprah’s 21-Day Meditation Experience on HOPE.