Activating the Hope Inside You

Day 8Activating the Hope Inside You

“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love.” – Bradley Whitford

In today’s meditation, we discover that to activate hope within we only need to bring attention to the presence of our awareness: the quiet consciousness that is having an experience of reading right now. Activated hope will then begin to gradually exert its transformative effect in our daily thoughts, feelings, and actions. Life becomes easier, more fluid, and more enjoyable.

OPRAH:

Welcome to Week 2 where we begin to explore where hope can take you.  The journey is transformative.  Today is Day 8 – Activating the Hope Inside You.  I believe hope flourishes when you are in the flow.

I remember a photo I pulled from O Magazine of a woman gliding through water.  It was such a striking image of freedom and possibility.  I put it on my vision board.  Some time later after a swimming lesson I passed by my vision board and I had an “ah ha moment”.  I had become that woman gliding through the water.  For years I’d been a challenged swimmer afraid of the water.  Fighting it I realized all I needed was to learn to move with the flow…literally.

This is one of the great metaphors of life, “Move with the flow.”  Don’t fight the current.  Resist nothing.  Let life carry you.  Don’t try to carry it.  Deepak tells us that if you get this idea, that this is the moment, the only moment you that have, then you live in the present and you move with the flow of that.  The point of arrival is “now”.

So many of us look to the future for our moment of happiness or contentment.  “I will be happy when…”  But when we get there we don’t recognize it because we are not present for “it”.  And that’s how many people lose hope.  They miss the moment.

I also believe that allowing the truth of who you are, your spiritual self to rule your life, gets you into a flow that activates hope and defeats the struggles that show up in life.  As Eckhart Tolle says in A New Earth, “There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living.  The secret of all success and happiness.  ONE WITH LIFE.  Being one with life is being one with now.”  You then realize that you don’t live your life but your life lives “you”.  Life is the dancer and you are the dance.  The hope, joy and vitality that being committed that dance are unmatched by any pleasure you can imagine.  It takes being committed to experience life’s beautiful essence.  And that is the decision that you make daily.

Deepak is going to guide us to activate the hope inside.

DEEPAK:

By activating hope and awareness you bring new possibilities to light within yourself.  You do not have to force yourself to feel hope; you summon it as part of who you are, allowing your trust and optimism to arise naturally.  To activate hope we bring attention to our presence of awareness.  This awareness is like the screen on which our feelings, thoughts and sensations are projected.  Typically we only pay attention to these contents of the mind, but not the presence of awareness which makes all experience possible.

In meditation we experience that inner awareness which activates the qualities of consciousness, including hope.  And then what?  Daily life goes on as before except that a shift starts to occur.  We discover first in small ways that life can take care of itself.  This is the activation of hope and consciousness beginning to exert its organizing, harmonizing, and creative power in our life.  This is a transformative discovery.

Most of us are so used to the idea that we need to control our lives.  The notion that life can take care of itself from our awareness seems impossible.  But the infinite intelligence of consciousness has always been taking care of life.  Your body has always been functioning and thriving without your conscious direction or control.  Your heart beats without you choosing to make it happen.

The struggles and obstacles we encounter in daily life are the result of losing contact with the cosmic intelligence of our present awareness.  Hope becomes real when in any situation you trust that your awareness can lead you to a resolution.  However, this is not passively watching and waiting.  Awareness remains alert to the signals coming to you from inside at the level of insight and intuition and from outside.

In practical terms the process is quite simple.  You recognize an issue that needs attention.  You hold an open and neutral intention for a creative solution, then you let go and you allow the presence of your individual awareness to join universal awareness and show you what’s next.

This is the secret of creative living.  Living with hope and optimism.  When you notice hope arises naturally and effortlessly then you will also notice it is truly activated and supporting you.  Life takes care of itself more and more as awareness expands.

CENTERING THOUGHT

Today I activate my hope.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Om Shara Vana Ya

My awareness is aligned with the creative power of the universe.

DEE:

Before getting sober I had no hope.  I wasn’t in the flow.  The only feeling activated in me was one of feeling shitty.  I would open my eyes to blue-bird skies after an epic night of snowfall wishing I would have awakened earlier to make first tracks in the virgin snow.  I wish I would have awakened with clarity and purpose.  I wish I would have awakened rather than have “come to”.  I wish I would have felt energetic and joyful.

“Moving with the flow” is a treasured gift I have today.  It did not present itself overnight as living in the disease of alcoholism was a hell I lived through that went on “like forever”.  There are many gifts I have today that are the results of my being a work in progress.  Yes, progress not perfection.  Yes, progress…activation…movement…and purpose.

Allowing the truth of who I am and finding my spiritual self has brought me to a place today of being filled with great hope.  This did not happen by coincidence.  This didn’t happen by my own accord.  This happened because a Power Greater Than Myself knew that I was ready to move on, to fulfill my purpose.  “When the student is ready, the master appears.”

So through a series of incomprehensible and demoralizing events, I was able to admit I need help.  My HP (Higher Power) I didn’t even know yet brought me to a treatment facility where I learned the truth of who and what I am, where I began to find I had a spiritual self, where the beginning of my new life began.  And it was to this HP to whom I learned to turn my will and my life over.  So not easy.  So against every fiber of my being.  But that other way of life was apparently not working for me, so I would just “fake it ’til I make it”.  It worked!  My life got easier; my brain shut off; I got better!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Art with a Message of Inspiration and Hope, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!

*From Deepak and Oprah’s 21-Day Mediation Experience about Hope.

The Secret to Finding Hope Everywhere

Day 7 – The Secret to Finding Hope Everywhere

“Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm, and genuine people.” – Tena Desae

Today’s meditation is about realizing that when you expand your awareness you are shifting your orientation to the world from perspective that only sees problems to a viewpoint that only sees the solutions. When your attention is aligned with the universal intelligence of Nature, then you always find a way through your challenges and difficulties. Another way to understand this experience of unbounded awareness is to realize that everywhere you look, you find hope.

OPRAH:

We’re already wrapping up our first week together, sharing in building hope.  In this first week we learned that hope is a real and powerful force.  The energy of hope can help eclipse fear and anxiety in uncertain times.  Welcome to Day 7 where we uncover “The Secret to Finding Hope Everywhere.”

I find my greatest hope in the space of gratitude.  I just got to tell you because I believe the more grateful you are the more hopeful you automatically will become.  I have volumes and volumes of gratitude journals.  Every night before I go to bed I write down five things that gave me great pleasure or gratitude for the day or five things that I’m really grateful for.

This has been part of my spiritual practice for many years.  Here’s what I was grateful for on October 12, 1996.  That’s over 20 years ago.  Number one…a run around Florida’s Fisher Island.  I had a nice little apartment there with a slight breeze that kept me cool.  Number two is eating cold melon on a bench in the sun.  Number three was a long hilarious chat with Gayle about her blind date with a guy who I will just refer to as Mr. Potato Head.  Number four…sorbet in a cone so sweet that I literally licked my fingers.  And number five Maya Angelou calling to read me a new poem.

What I realize was that gratitude was expanding my awareness as well my happiness and my sense of hopefulness.  The more you praise and celebrate your life, well, the more there, literally, is to celebrate and praise.  Appreciating what shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration you radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have versus focusing on all the things you don’t have.  Gratitude expands your awareness.  It creates unbounded energy to feel and explore every moment and every encounter with freedom and creativity.

A wise thought from our friend Deepak, he says, “The power, the wisdom, the creativity of the Universe, you open the door through gratitude.”  That’s why I say gratitude is the ultimate spiritual solution to help you connect to the power of hope everywhere in everything.  Deepak and I are grateful for you.  So let’s follow Deepak’s path to finding hope in all things.

DEEPAK:

Consciousness is organized and holistic so that every obstacle or problem has a solution.  When we find hope we are shifting attention from the problem to its solution in unlimited awareness.  Realizing every problem or question has an answer or solution

in the light of awareness you find hope in every situation.  When you can find hope everywhere a sense of peace overtakes you.  The burdens of doubt and anxiety are lifted.  Connecting yourself to that cosmic intelligence is an essential part of the journey of hope.

Most people focus attention only on the level of the problem rather than the level of the solution.  Imagine your problem is to find a book in a dark cluttered basement.  You cannot see clearly and you keep banging your head.  If you focus on the problem you might try to protect your head and squint harder as you keep searching through every box.  If you focus on the solution, you pause, find the light switch and turn on the light so you can see everything clearly, and then find the book.

Expanding our awareness through meditation is like turning on the lights.  We automatically open ourselves to the universal intelligence, that light of consciousness which gives us the ability to solve the problem.  Knowing our expanded awareness always offers a solution gives us a reason of hope in every circumstance we may encounter.

How any given solution turns out depends on your state of awareness.  The more unbounded your awareness, the more freedom you have to create and explore.  If you have constricted awareness, on the other hand, your default perception is limited.  You see few solutions, narrow possibilities, worst case scenarios and the repeat of past outcomes.  It’s just like stumbling around in a dark basement.  The brighter your light of expanded awareness is, the clearer your perception is.  This makes your task easier, more enjoyable, and more effective.

It takes no effort to expand your awareness.  In the Worlds Wisdom Traditions it’s as simple as waking up.  Fortunately because consciousness is organized each person’s path is uniquely arranged to send the right signals at a time when they will be noticed.  Your conversation with the Universe belongs to you alone.  Your only responsibility is to see, to be open and alert, and to know that hope is always on your side.

ENTERING THOUGHT

I find a reason to hope in every situation.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Shree Gum Namah

My limitless awareness overcomes all obstacles.

DEE:

Being positive and happy is like living on another planet when you’re deep in the hell of addiction or depression or abuse or whatever seems to be weighing you down.  All energy seems to be on just existing.  While active in my disease of alcoholism I had no hope or gratitude, except irrationally being grateful to be able to get the next drink in me.  My priority became drinking.  Period.  Everything else…life…just got in the way of that “reward”. Thank goodness our cells know what to do to keep us alive!  I needed to hit my bottom, to experience that chapter of my book, in order to move on and out of the darkness.  It seemed like an eternity.  It is what it is.  But I finally reached a place in my life when I no longer wanted to go on living like that, dying like that.  I finally reached out for help.

And that is where the “rewards” really started to appear.  Firstly, to be able to ask for help is so damn freeing.  Why did I not try this before?  To realize that I am not alone or unique and that I would not be burned on the stake because I was “weak” and could not stop drinking.  Secondly, to walk into a treatment facility and have that obsession to drink lifted.  It that odd or is that God?  Yes, I could have walked out anytime to that corner liquor store.  So why didn’t I?  Thirdly, to learn I have a disease called alcoholism.  My dad had it too and died from it.  Genetics?  Doesn’t matter; I have it.

Yes, that is when the miracles started to happen.  I became a sponge soaking up heaps of knowledge and new feelings.  I allowed myself to focus on me and my well-being.  I learned what makes me tick and react and found solutions to make my life easier and brighter.  Crazy, this journey of mine.  Beautiful, actually.

And what is exciting for me today is to help you on your journey and to witness the blossoming of your becoming who you really are.  To see hope in your eyes.  To see your self-worth and self-love evolve.  That is where my journey has brought me.  To have a purpose today that I never had before getting sober.  To share my gratitude.  To share my hope.  Awesome journey it is!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Art with a Message of Hope and Inspiration, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a peaceful day!

From Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation on Hope.

How to Grow in Trust and Belief

Day 6 – How to Grow in Trust and Belief

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou

Today in meditation we learn that hope is not effective if we do not believe in our self or have inner trust. Building a life of hope means we base it on a foundation of self-awareness. This core self is where real trust must come from.

OPRAH:

Welcome to Day 6 of our meditation, “How to Grow in Trust and Belief.”  In a Super Soul Session best-selling author Renee Brown, a master of research on vulnerability and how it can lead to a better life explained “The Anatomy of Trust.”  She told a story about her daughter’s teacher using a marble jar system of discipline and reward system in the classroom.  When the class did positive things the teacher would add marbles to the jar.  And when they did something negative marbles were removed.  When the jar was full the class got a party.  Renee shared a story after her daughter feeling hurt and afraid after some friends broke her trust.  To comfort her daughter Renee used the teacher’s marble jar as a metaphor for trust.  You share yourself and your vulnerability with friends and each time it’s honored and kept safe, your jar fills up with more marbles.  Renee calls them “trust moments”.

Trust is not built on the grandest gestures of others at crucial moments in our lives, but built in very small moment one marble, or one moment, at a time.  We trust those friends and loved ones whose jars are full, people who have built up a store of trust moments with us.  In fact, the most important person you need to build trust with is yourself.  Get still and hone in on the whispering sensation that pulses just beneath the surface.  I think it’s the way the Divine speaks to us.  That is your true being, your truest place of trust and peace.  That is hope and it is magnificent.  Now let’s let Deepak to grow and trust in trust and belief.

DEEPAK:

Trust and belief are two other qualities that support our journey of hope.  If you hope for an outcome but don’t believe it will happen you are giving yourself false hope.  If you have no trust that a good outcome is possible that, too, defeats hope.  When belief and hope are weak trust is weak.  Fortunately trust and belief are two things we have control over.

Everyone has core beliefs about how life works out.  These core beliefs are about what we think is fair and unfair, right and wrong.  When someone believes life is unfair they see unfairness everywhere.  To get past restrictive beliefs you can try to examine them one at a time.  But in our meditation practice we go to a place inside where there are no beliefs where negative or positive is not relevant.  This all-inclusive non-judgmental awareness is vital because no matter how uplifting or sensible your beliefs may be they won’t hold true in every situation.

Good and bad experiences defy our belief systems.  But in the World’s Wisdom Traditions there’s an organizing power in consciousness that arranges our lives in an evolutionary way.  By connecting with our own awareness at this level there is no need for beliefs that originate in opinions and limited experience.  The only belief necessary is the belief that expresses itself as the presence of self-awareness.

Where our self-trust lies determines how positive or negative we are and how we see the world.  If we have self-doubt life is pretty bleak; if we have self-worth we have hope and optimism and positivity in our lives.

Trust is very similar.  People develop notions of who can be trusted or not trusted based on a limited viewpoint, basically the ego’s desire to pleasure and avoid pain.  The journey of hope is not about learning to trust others or outside forces it’s about inner trust, trusting your true self.  With inner trust no one else is trustworthy or untrustworthy.  Other people are reflections of yourself, bringing signals from the Universe that you can use or not use; it’s your choice.  When we ignore our inner guidance of self-awareness, however, hope can devolve into denial, self-deception and wishful thinking.  When we cooperate with our own evolution we respond to the signals sent to us at every moment.  Trust that reality is leading you to new insights, truths and creativity.  This is the foundation that invites evolutionary impulses to guide you everyday.

I trust in my core self at every moment.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Om Aieem Namah

My true self is inspired and wise.

DEE:

Hope is not effective if we do not believe in ourselves or have inner trust; as a matter of fact, I don’t believe anything is effective.  Where did that inner trust go?  Why did we lose trust in ourselves?  Where did the self-doubt come from?

From the moment our awareness surfaced we started to have experiences.  Many of those experiences contained other human beings.  Those human beings had opinions.  Those opinions we either took to heart or shrugged off.  And those experiences helped to develop who we are today.

If those experiences were kind and nurturing, we have a pretty high opinion of ourselves and self-worth.  If those opinions were degrading and hurtful, we started to feel pretty shitty about ourselves.  One experience at a time our inner trust was either strengthened and developed or lost to the world around us.  You are comfortable enough to share yourself and your vulnerability with others because you feel good about yourself at your core.  You have trust.  You have peace.  You have hope.

So connect with your own awareness where there is no need for beliefs that originate in opinions of others, where the only belief necessary is the belief that expresses itself as the presence of self-awareness which determines how positive or negative we are and how we see the world.  Shed your self-doubt and those layers of onion skin that do you no good.  Trust your inner-self and live a life full of hope!

Share that practice with those who enter “your bubble”, especially the children.  Bring hope and optimism back into the world.  I guarantee the world will be a better place!

With much aloha, Dee

For those interested in Art with a Message of Inspiration, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!

(Taken from Deepak and Oprah’s 21-Day Meditation Series)

What is Deesigns by Harris? Who am I? What is my purpose?

I have spent the beginning of this year on the business-side of Deesigns by Harris.  I have taken online classes, read a wealth of information, listened to many a tutorial, and done heaps of homework.  I have learned that in order to run a successful business, I must first know my “why” and my “who” with whom I would like to connect.  Here is what I have learned thus far…

The What and Why of Deesigns by Harris

Deesigns by Harris is a business that offers inspiration, hope and motivation to you via the empowering art of artist and owner, Dee Harris.  I am Dee and I create art for you!  My purpose is to  remind you that at this very moment everything is perfect just as it is.  YOU are perfect.  Life is perfect.

My passion of choice is stained glass.  Glass has a life of its own and I use this vivacious media to create works of art that will touch your heart, to let you know that that everything will be okay, that you are awesome, that life is good..  Not always easy in this hectic world bombarding us with chaos, negativity, and the busyness of life.  But just for a moment, be in the now.  All is as it should be.  All is perfect.

My Purpose:  To share my experience, strength and hope with others to bring hope, optimism and light into their lives.

Who is Dee and what makes her tick?

I remember my counselor asking me who I am when I was in rehab.  I thought for a moment and responded, “I’m a mom.  I’m a wife.  I’m a grocery checker.”  “No.  You are not.  Think harder.  All these responses can change in a heartbeat”, she replied.  “You are a woman.  You are of Chinese descent.  You are an alcoholic.  These will not change.”

It was during these 28 days in a treatment program for alcohol abuse that I started to really think, more so, to really feel.  To start  having moments of clarity.  To begin my journey in learning who I really am and what I really stand for.  Yes, today I am still an American woman of Chinese descent.  I am still an alcoholic in recovery.  I am gratefully still a mom and wife, but am no longer a grocery checker.  Today I am an artist who offers emotion.  Heart-felt emotion from the core of my being to the core of your being that we can share.  Together we can share our experience, strength and hope.  We can love and appreciate each other for who we are with all our flaws and defects and insecurities, knowing that we all have our own unique gifts that we can share with the world!

Affirmations

While in rehab one of the exercises we did every morning in Community was come up with an affirmation (noun:  1 an affirmation of faith: declaration, statement, assertion, proclamation, pronouncement, attestation; oath, avowal, guarantee, pledge; deposition; formal averment, asseveration. ANTONYMS denial.) and recite that affirmation every morning to the group.  My affirmation was (and still is) “I am a good person.  I am a whole person.”

Coming out of a pretty heavy alcohol addiction (dabbling with other substances as well leading up to that point) I felt anything BUT being good and whole.  I had no purpose.  I was a waste of  space on this planet.  I would look in the mirror and see “LOSER”.  I hated myself and who I had allowed myself to become.  Repeating this affirmation every morning allowed me to have hope, to have vision. to “fake it ’til you make it”.

One day at a time I began to feel more and more like a good and whole person.  I began to learn about the disease of alcoholism.  I began to learn about myself via the Twelve Step of Alcoholics Anonymous.  The door was open and the seed was planted.  I was a sponge excitedly learning who I am, like a baby adventuring out into the real world.  And to this day I awake excited every morning to experience what the day, what my Higher Power, has in store for me to learn and expand my horizons.

My Mission:  To remind you that you, too, are a good and whole person. 

I shall create art that brings out your emotion…good and bad emotion…but taking you to that place of gratitude and humility.  I shall create art that reminds you of living in the NOW, to feel proud of who you and and where you came from, about what matters and what doesn’t.

My Unique Value Proposition:  Create art that makes you feel, that brings you back into the moment, to appreciate who and what you are.

Human beings (not human doings) on a spiritual journey whose  lives can be enlightened by the message of Experience, Strength and Hope represented in my art.  My target market is people who care about mankind, our planet (plants and animals) and, most importantly, themselves and sharing their message of hope and light.

My Target Market:  Adults living a full life who need to be reminded of their gifts of self, their priorities, their journeys and accomplishments.

The Mana of Hawai’i

The honu, the aina, the aloha, the healing and nurturing, the people, the calmness, they all beckoned me to Hawai’i.  I am  blessed to live on the Big Island living a calm and peaceful life of joy and contentment, of service and passion.

One of the joys the islands have brought me is weaving lauhala.  When my husband and I were unexpectedly care-flighted to Oahu for my husband to have an immediate bypass surgery, I found a Pandanus tree on the hospital grounds from which I plucked and prepped her lau to weave some bracelets.  This was a very trying time with just the clothes on our backs, but I was able to stay calm and in the moment by weaving a ton of lauhala bracelets.  I was able to be present and nurturing for my husband, while the island was present and nurturing for me.  (My husband and soul-mate has  recovered beautifully, by the way!)

Healing Hands

For as long as I can remember hands have talked to me.  They are so powerful and magical and strong.  They are so healing and loving, protective and nurturing.  This is the reason I create so many pieces of art with the Healing Hands, hands that carry a message that words could never say.

The fun and imaginative part of creating this pieces is that one never knows whose hands they are.  I leave that up to the recipient and where that recipient is at that moment in time.  Do these hands belong to our kupuna or our keiki?  Are these God’s hands  or those of our elders?  Are they yours and mine?  You choose.  The hands and message will change as you change.

Shows

Currently the only show I am committed to is the Pure Kona Green Market which is the most awesome, feel-good market around!  Many vendors share our hand-made and -produced local art, organic produce, baked goods, Kona coffee, and healthy foods with you.  It’s such a fun market with live music I could listen to all  day.  And the people who attend and allow me to connect with them enrich my days…and my life!  This market is held every Sunday at Amy Greenwell’s Botanical Garden in Captain Cook, Hawaii, from 9am – 2 pm.  The rest of my sales come via my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com, Facebook at facebook.com/DeesignsByHarris, or word of mouth.

Classes

I have been approached to teach classes in stained glass, mosaic making and lauhala weaving.  It is my hope to someday soon be able to offer small and intimate classes in which I can share my passions with you.

I have put mosaic and lauhala bracelet kits together which I shall soon offer on my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Before I post these though I would like to put together tutorials with fun and easy to use instructions.  Please bear with me while I get my  act together.  I’ll keep you all in the loop!

Videos

Another suggestion I learned from my recent business classes is to put together videos.  I now have a wealth of information to use so that I can use videos for my social media, blogs, newsletters, etc.  I know I’d much rather watch a 3-minute video than read, read, read.  How about you?

Releasing Fear and Anxiety with Hopefulness

Day 4 – Releasing Fear and Anxiety with Hopefulness

“Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!” – Barack Obama

In today’s meditation, we see that our hope is undermined by fear and anxiety. Past disappointments lead us to anticipate present and future disappointments. We learn that if we awaken to the presence of awareness, then our past will no longer be our present reality. When we recognize that our fear and anxiety is based on an illusion, we become free, hopeful, and fearless.

OPRAH:

Today Deepak guides us to imagine the darker expectations within our hearts and begin the journey to knowing the darkness does not have to be our truth.  Welcome to day 4 of our meditation, “Releasing Fear and Anxiety with Hopefulness.”

There are many ways to confront what is really holding you back from living the life you want.  Tony Robbins, a powerful life coach, believes that most people are wired for fear and worry.  He says, “There is a highway to upset and a dirt road to happiness.”  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  What road are you on right now?  What are you afraid of?  What fear is stopping you in your tracks?  Do you expect that things won’t go your way?  Fear is a powerful and convincing emotion.  Find out where your fear is coming from.  Only then can you let it go.

Through meditation we can connect with openness and trust, defensiveness, self-doubt and let fear diminish.  Centered in deep awareness we expand when we stay in the present without anticipating.  Anything is possible.

You become what you believe, not what you wish for or what you want.  You become what you expect in your heart.  Let’s open our hearts to the positive possibilities of uncertainty.

DEEPAK:

When you have true hope you meet every situation openly, without fear or feeling the need to retreat or defend.  The situation is just another new possibility life has presented.  Your attitude is not complicated by self-doubt or self-criticism.  You are hopeful because experience has shown you uncertainty can bring out the best in you and can be a win-win proposition.  Either you win because the situation turns out well or you win because you have found something to heal and improve.  But emotionally this can of hope is undercut by fear and anxiety.  We’re afraid our hopes won’t come true because of pass disappointments.  Wounds from the past feel very real and strongly affect current behavior.  But this fear is an illusion…the ghosts of painful memory.

Reliance on the past makes you expect pain in the future.  To overcome fear and anxiety we stop looking to the past and live in the present.  Anytime you’re in a situation expecting the worst, pause, take a deep breath, exhale slowly and say to yourself, “Fear is not real.  My presence of awareness is real.”

When you contact your true self in meditation you place yourself where there is no fear in the peace and calm of pure awareness.  You have a choice anytime you want to center yourself there by closing your eyes, taking deep breaths and taking notice of present experience.  When you are centered deeper awareness can expand and bring a better outcome.  This is where uncertainty is your ally.  Good things happen without being anticipated using the power of awareness to reveal the solution.

The Worlds Wisdom Traditions say, “All experience is a mental construct.  Anything you perceive, feel, think, say or do is a function of consciousness.”  You already use your awareness to create the joy and fulfillment in your life, and the barriers, obstacles, and resistance you experience are also created in consciousness.  As self-awareness grows you gain more creative control over your personal reality and this not only conquers fear and self-doubt, but it gives you confident hope you will reach the goal.

 

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Om Durgaya Namah

I am fearless.

DEE:

Live in the moment!  Try hard!  Forget the past that weighs you down.  Don’t worry about the future.  Don’t shit on today!  Be free, hopeful and fearless in this present moment.

From the moment we are born we are filled with experiences.  Some of them we take more to heart.  Some of them hurt us and start filling up our jar of fear marbles.  As this jar fills up with uncomfortable, humiliating and even traumatic marbles, we begin to change from that innocent and light-hearted child to adults weighed down with fear and anxiety that we are not enough, we are less than, we are not worthy.

Get back in the moment.  Go back to that care-free child.  That child is still within you.  Remove those haunting experiences from your life and know that you have done the best you can and you are the best you can be and you are perfect just the way you are.  Remember that you have your special gifts that no one can take from you.  You are awesome!

I believe good things happen in our lives for a reason, as do bad things.  The bad things, the uncomfortable things, the humiliating things, have taught me much more than the good things ever can.  For that reason I believe these experiences have happened to bring me to a higher level, only if I can get past them and realized that they are only experiences and not who I am, not what I caused, not what I deserved.

I use these experiences to share with others in the same or similar situations that they have strength and hope that the future holds great things for them.  That we have a purpose to share our lives and experiences with others and to help them dig out of their hells.

So shed those fear marbles and turn them into hope marbles.  Be optimistic.  Be happy for the experiences you have had and turn them into hopeful and positive truths.  They have happened.  They are gone.  Don’t dwell on them and allow them to ruin this beautiful day, this beautiful moment, this beautiful YOU!!!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Inspirational and Motivation Art with a Message, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a great and in-the-moment day!

From Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience, Hope in Uncertain Times.

Hope in Uncertain Times

Nothing destroys hope and trust more than feeling insecure.  The opposite of insecurity is strength.  What does it mean to be strong?  Looking around we can see the strength of an authority figure like a boss who dominates others.  With or without consent they take charge and make it clear that only their will, their desires and emotions are important.  This is a sad distortion of true strength.  Society rewards this distorted strength by giving some people power and millions of others seem more than happy to give away their power to those who appear strong.  All of this comes about because we haven’t learned how to be strong inside ourselves.

In practical terms becoming strong feels like a puppy who is safe only beside its mother until its curiosity lures it into the outside world.  At first the puppy rushes back to its mother’s side when it feels unsafe.  But over time standing on its own feels natural and right.  It has no more desire to be protected by another.

The self behaves the same way.  It starts out needing protection or the illusion of protection by clinging to externals like money, status, ego strokes, the bonds of relationships, developing a fit body, etcetera.  These are good things on their own.  But they aren’t good if they reinforce the attitude of “me against the world” or “us versus them”, in other words, a defensive posture.  The secret is to experiment with standing up for yourself, speaking your truth, holding fast when you must and always taking responsibility.

When your inner strength and hope gets activated you realize there was never a “you against the world” or “us versus them”.  There was only the power of hope in your consciousness and the reality it constructs.

…Deepak Chopra

The message here is learn to love yourself, like you did when you were a child.  Nurture yourself.  Grow.  Know that you are the best you can be…today.  Your past is the past and you’ve grown immensely from your experiences.  The future is not here yet so don’t go there.  Stay in the moment and realize all of your gifts.  No comparing your gifts with those of others.  Your gifts are your gifts…unique to you…special.  Give away those gifts.  Make someone’s day.  A smile.  A hug.  An open ear.  Be yourself.  Love yourself.

…Dee Harris

For gifts with an inspirational message of loving yourself, please visit my website at http://www.DeesignsByHarris.com.

Faith Connects Us Heart-to-Heart

FAITH CONNECTS US HEART-TO-HEART

(from Oprah and Deepak – Become What You Believe)

OPRAH:

I believe our greatest power is our ability to love.  That’s where all power is…to show love, to receive it, to BE love.  There are a lot of ways to describe love.  It’s grace and kindness; it’s understanding; it’s forgiveness; it’s respect; it’s cooperation; it’s harmony and reverence for light.  You have the entire power of all that is at your disposal.

Love is trusting and having faith in something larger than yourself.  Every opportunity you get move in the direction of love.  That’s where your greatest power lies.  It’s the power to connect us all in peace…heart-to-heart.

As my friend, Marianne Williamson said, “Love is what we’re born with, in our hearts.  Fear is what we learn.”  The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts.  Love is the essential reality and our purpose being here on earth.  To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.

Marianne goes on to articulate so beautifully the power of love when she says, “When our minds move in harmony with love, through forgiveness or prayer or the simplest tint of thought, then mountains move and the Universe shifts.”  When we believe in the power of love to move mountains to shift the Universe, miracles will no doubt occur.

DEEPAK:

The strongest imagined bond in the world is the bond of love.  A total transformation occurs when enemies are turned into loved ones.  In the World’s Wisdom Traditions love is deeply connected with spirit.  As the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment.  It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation.”

To find the heart of creation, you must explore your own heart.  Inside it are stores many experiences of love and non-love.  These two side are in conflict which is why many people find it difficult to place their faith in love.  They have had too many experiences of non-love.  Whether they were experiences of betrayal, rejection, fear or abandonment, trusting in love is hard when painful memories still linger.  That is why we restrict our search for love, in order to not be too exposed or vulnerable or put ourselves in harms way.  Matters of faith must be proven in real life.  This is certainly true of love when we go beyond the personal, expanding love to include more and more people.

The first step is to aspire and live as a loving person.  The second step is to look for situations where love can help.  The third step is to reach out and perform an act of love.

The ego is afraid to be exposed and vulnerable.  But this is a misperception.  An act of love doesn’t mean putting yourself on the line or saying “I love you” out loud.  It means performing an action that helps another person the way you would like to be helped.

Help can come even through a loving thought.  It can come through an act of generosity, an understanding word, or by simply asking, “Are you okay?”.  Your heart already knows what to do.  In fact when we extend ourselves, it is almost always from the fullness of the heart.  When you act out of love you expect nothing in return from the other person.  Love makes no one a victim or a martyr.  Love connects people from heart-to-heart with mutual benefit for both.

A mother finds it easy and natural to turn her love into action.  There is a connection of the heart that bonds mother and child.  Feeling vulnerable or exposed doesn’t come into the picture.  The bond of feeling is unbroken.  This is the idea to keep in mind in extending your love beyond your family and close friends.  Find a sympathy of the heart that feels right.  In this way you avoid stress and strain in the name of love.  A world based on the sympathy of one heart to another would be a perfect world.

CENTERING THOUGHT:  My faith calls me to love.

DEE:

When Oprah says, “Love is trusting and having faith in something larger than yourself”, my heart gets so grateful and full that today I have faith in something larger than myself.  This has changed my whole life, my outlook on life and, more importantly, this has changed ME.

I wasn’t given this life-changing gift until I reached my bottom in the disease of alcoholism, miraculously asked for help, and slowly scraped my way out of the depths of hell.  Prior to this surrender I knew my life was void of something but I couldn’t figure it out.  I had everything that every middle class American woman would want…a family, a home, two cars, a dog and a cat, a job, a loving family and friends.  What was missing?

A Power Greater Than Myself, a God of My Own Understanding, was awarded me by Alcoholics Anonymous.  Not only have I learned to turn my life over, I have learned to stop thinking and to live from my heart.  I have learned to let my god do the driving while I ride along in the passenger seat of our pink convertible Cadillac and enjoy the ride of life (the pink cloud).

When Marianne Williamson says, “Fear is what we learn”,  I thank my AA sponsor for walking me through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to teach me how fear-based I have been my entire life and how to let that go.  Being able to finally get comfortable in my own skin and to love myself for who and what I am is so empowering.  And to learn that my purpose is to share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my bubble gives me a reason to excitedly arise every morning!

When Deepak says, “Matters of faith must be proven in real life.  This is certainly true of love when we go beyond the personal, expanding love to include more and more people,” I am honored to practice AA’s 12th Step, “Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs,” in my everyday “real” life.  When I continue to stay active in my recovery, then Step 12 is a no-brainer for me and I can actively accomplish Deepak’s three steps above.

I know for a fact that as I got and stayed sober “One Day at a Time”, I got “unsober’ that way as well.  When I ceased attending meetings, working with my sponsor, picking up the phone, connecting with the fellowship, that void came back into my life.  And, oh yeah, I picked up a drink after over 13 years of sobriety.  The disease immediately reared its ugly head and once again took over my life.  All I could think about once again was the next drink.  Cunning.  Baffling.  Powerful.  The disease of alcoholism.

So don’t go there.  Take it from me.  Learn from my experience, strength and hope.  Stay mindful.  Stay connected.

With much aloha, Dee

For those interested in inspirational gifts, art with a message, please visit my website at http://www.DeesignsByHarris.com.