The Reality of Inner Strength

Day 10 – The Reality of Inner Strength 

“Hope is the sun. It is light. It is passion. It is the fundamental force for life’s blossoming.” – Daisaku Ikeda

Despite what modern cultural beliefs tell us, true personal strength is not about power, influence, or domination. Real strength comes from a sense of inner security, peace, and contentment. Our meditation today shows us that this real strength is available in the peaceful, contented consciousness of our true self.

OPRAH:

How do you define success?  For me success is getting to the point where you are absolutely comfortable with yourself.  It takes some work to get there.  Welcome to Day 10 – The Reality of Inner Strength.

For a long time at the beginning of each year I used to ask God through my resolutions to help me master a new virtue.  The year I requested strength I was confronted with one exhausting sole-sucking experience after another.  After that year I quit asking for what I thought I wanted.  Now I just take what comes.

Here’s what I’ve learned.  I can rely on the strength I inherited from those who came before me.  Each one of us has ancestors who were tested with unimaginable hardships; and they survived.  When I try something new or I’m faced with a challenge I bring all of my history with me, all of the people who paved the way for me.  Everything I’ve ever done in my life is a part of who I am.  I take my strength from their strength.

I’ve also come to realize where there is no struggle, there is no strength.  Inner strength comes from having been challenged, having adversity and often pain in the problems that make you want to throw your hands up and shout, “I give in”, and can also build your tenacity. courage and determination.

We all have the ability to stand up, face resistance and walk through it.  If you feel you’re walking into fear, know that you already have the enduring power that you’re asking for.  Then say thank you because you know at your truest core your greatest struggle will produce your deepest strength.

The mantra for today’s meditation rings true for me.  I know it’s ultimately true…being at peace is my greatest strength.  Let’s embrace that peace.

DEEPAK:

Generally speaking many people lead lives that seem stable and purposeful, but deep down they feel insecure and anxious.  We’ve been talking about trust and hope, and nothing destroys hope 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 their 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.  Out of insecurity we build defenses to keep threats away and defenses like castle walls enclose a small protected area while shutting out the great wide world.

When you feel safe and secure inside yourself the world expands infinitely because consciousness is infinite.  When you feel strong inside you don’t feel afraid, anxious and isolated; you are open to life instead.  And in openness there is strength.

In meditation you experience the unchanging level of awareness that cannot be shaken.  This is permanent strength.  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, etc.  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 realized 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.

CENTERING THOUGHT

Being at peace is my greatest strength.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Om Gum Namah

Expansive consciousness dissolves obstacles.

DEE:

As a younger human being I developed the notion that power and strength was external.  Probably too many cartoons.  But today I cherish the power and strength that is within me, not the forceful kind, but the calm and peaceful kind.

It has taken me many decades to finally be comfortable in my own skin and to actually love who I am.  And I owe that to finding and clinging to a Power Greater Than Myself.  I was awarded this Higher Power when I realized I’m a sick puppy, I cannot stop drinking.  I’m a loser.  I have no self-control.  What the hell is the matter with me?  An alcohol treatment program and Alcoholics Anonymous showed me that I can have a higher power of my own understanding and that I can turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him.

So I faked it ’til I maked it.  I made up my own higher power, turned myself over to its care, and my life has never been the same.  I was able to quiet my mind.  I was able to open my heart.  I was able to become rigorously honest.  I was able to shed the guilt and shame.  I was given a new lease on life that I never “thought” possible!

Today I allow my Higher Power to be in the driver’s seat of our pink convertible cadillac, drive me through life, and teach me the lessons I need to learn.  I can just go with the flow doing the best I know how.  And life today is good.  Life today is easy.  No expectations; no disappointments.

Yes, I’ve had my struggles.  I’ve battled my demons.  I surrendered.  I got sober.  My inner strength and hope got activated.  And from that journey I have been lead to a peaceful and contented life.  What is hope for me?  Hope is my Higher Power.  I know, I “feel” that everything is perfect at this very moment.

Aloha, Dee

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

From Oprah Winfrey & Deepak Chopra 21-Day Meditation Challenge “Hope in Uncertain Times”.

How to Truly Trust in Yourself

Day 9 – How to Truly Trust in Yourself

“Assurance of hope is more than life, it is health, strength… and beauty.” – John Charles Ryle

Today’s meditation is about finding a deeper understanding of the word “trust.” Typically, trust is something we have in other people or situations. But such a trust is as fragile as the next unexpected event that could change everything. But there is an unchanging, stable presence of awareness within, which is your true self. When you learn to center yourself in that awareness, you trust in your true self. From there you can never lose that inner trust regardless of what others may say or do.

OPRAH:

Welcome to Day 9 of our 21-day meditation experience.  Today is a big day.  You’re opening the door to trusting yourself, your deepest, most essential you.

At some point most of us have been betrayed, hurt or rejected making it difficult to trust other people.  And many times the real problem isn’t that we can’t trust other people it’s that we really can’t trust ourselves.

Best-selling author and spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant says, “There’s no greater battle than the battle between the parts of you that want to be healed and the parts of you that are comfortable and content remaining broken.”

Are you in a fight with the world or are you in a fight with part of you that says, “You’re not good enough” or “You can’t do that.”  Well those battles are struggles of the ego.  When you trust your true self you listen and believe the part of you that knows, “You can.  You can do this.  You can do better.”

Iyanla says the key to trust is going within, following your intuition and facing the unknown.  Even though you can’t control the unknown you can control what you believe.  Your beliefs determine what you manifest in your life.  And when you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you can trust that, no matter what happens, greater and grander possibilities will rise up in your life.

This meditation is about trusting yourself.  Let’s listen to Deepak and let the trust deepen.

DEEPAK:

When the realization dawns that inner awareness can take care of life, there is an end to struggle, self-doubt, pessimism, anxiety and lack of trust.  As real hope grows within

a sense of trust and self-assurance rises with it.  This kind of trust based on an unchanging core of consciousness is quite different than our conventional understanding of trust.

For almost everyone the feeling of trust depends on whether other people do and say what you expect of them.  But if you’ve had experiences where your trust was betrayed you know how fragile trust can be.  If our trust requires that other people in outside situations won’t change, then our trust will always be weak.

Because people’s life situations are always changing and unpredictable, basing trust on the expectation of permanence, is unrealistic and below the surface of that kind of trust.

There is doubt and fear.  Real trust must be based on something unchanging, permanent and, therefore, reliable.  That foundation is inside yourself and you have been experiencing it in mediation.

Trusting in the true self is the same as trusting in pure consciousness, the core of your being.  Trusting in yourself is the opposite of having a big ego.  It’s recognizing your true strength, value and ability for what is.  If you don’t look for this inner trust and strength in ourselves, we can mistakenly believe an outside authority can provide it to us.

There are authoritarian figures who may project supreme self-confidence and strength.  But this projection holds up only if others give their power to them.  Trusting in someone else who says they can protect or save you because they have the strength or intelligence you don’t have will only diminish your connection of your own strength, hope, and self-trust.  This is what it means to give your power away to someone.  But your hope, trust, love and creativity is your essence;  it’s your power, and your life.

When hope and trust are grounded in the true self you don’t need to look to others for direct or strength.  You’re confident in your ability to create your personal reality because your trust in yourself is unshakable.

CENTERING THOUGHT

I trust in life because I trust myself.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Om Eem Hreem

My reality is pure intelligence and wholeness.

DEE:

In order to trust in my true self I must first know who and what my true self is, right?  I have to say I was blessed in finding out who and what I am by being an alcoholic.  It wasn’t until I was in Alcoholics Anonymous that I was given a toolbox for living which included a lesson-plan in Step 4 of The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous which lead me to discovering who I am and what makes me tick.  Exciting, yeah, that that foundation is inside yourself?

Now that I’ve finally discovered my true self, I can be comfortable in my own skin.  I can finally love the person that I am, defects and all.  I can realize that I am not just a barrel-full of defects, but that I also have my God-given gifts.  And one of these gifts is sobriety.  And in order for me to keep that gift (which I wouldn’t exchange for anything in the world!) I must give it away.  So now I have a purpose as well…to share my experience, strength and hope with all who enter my “Dee Bubble”.  I had none of this before surrendering to a Power Greater Than Myself (another huge gift of Alcoholics Anonymous) and being sick and tired of being sick and tired in my disease.

I can trust my thoughts and actions today because I have turned my will and life over to my Higher Power.  I’m just along for the ride of my life which is so much easier and lighter and fulfilling and pleasant since I have changed my thinking and myself!  Yes, I trust in life because I trust myself…and my Higher Power!

I am not a spokesperson nor representative of Alcoholics Anonymous, but I am a true believer of the Steps and Traditions.  If you find yourself needing to discover who you really are, there are a wealth of support groups to fit your needs.  I highly recommend taking some time to delve deep within yourself, to shed the shit that weighs you down, to focus on your gifts and to share those gifts!  Get out of your comfort zone (or shall I say “uncomfort zone”) and discover the gifts the Universe has waiting for you!

With much aloha, Dee

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

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)

When You Are Real, You Have Infinite Hope

Day 5 – When You Are Real, You Have Infinite Hope

“Hope… is the companion of power, and the mother of success; for who so hopes has within him the gift of miracles.” – Samuel Smiles

Being hopeful is often considered impractical and naïve in our society. But the kind of hope we are talking about here is eminently realistic because it is rooted in your essential nature. Our consciousness is a field of infinite possibilities, a source of unlimited creativity. When hope springs from this place of unbounded energy and intelligence, then it is powerful and real.

Today’s meditation connects us to this source of infinite hope as our true self and makes our actions effective and purposeful in an uncertain and chaotic world.

OPRAH:

Welcome to day 5, “When You Are Real, You Have Infinite Hope.”  A big part of my life’s work has been to create a public space on television, in O Magazine, and online where people can share their truths.  One of my favorite people, best-selling author Glennon Doyle-Melton, millions have found inspiration from her sharing what she calls “the ugly truth about herself,” finding the courage to speak her real story unlocked a spiritual awakening for her.  Glennon says, “Pain is a hot potato.  Pain is a traveling professor and it just goes and knocks on everyone’s door.  And the smartest people I know are the people who say, ‘Come in and don’t leave until you’ve taught me what I need to know’.”  That’s what Glennon says.

Well, it doesn’t help to convince yourself that you’re fine when inside you’re feeling hopeless.  We’re all hungry for the real truth.  That’s the place of connection with yourself, and the important people in your life.  Glennon says, “Everytime you tell your truth it clears the field for other people to tell their truth.  Then the truth gets bigger and bigger.”

Well, as Deepak will show us, it’s human nature to want to control our story to stay with what is safe and familiar.  With today’s meditation we begin to open to the truth.  The unknown is not the enemy; rather it brings hope and the opportunity for positive change.  Deepak will help us listen and welcome infinite hope.

DEEPAK:

Everyone knows the story of an innovator who was told his discovery was unrealistic.

But overcoming conventional thinking is how new possibilities emerge and how yesterday’s unreality becomes today’s reality.  Therefore, a better definition of reality would be the field of infinite possibilities.  Where there are infinite possibilities there is also infinite hope.  This is not our everyday experience because we limit our personal reality to whatever is safe and predictable.  No one can predict what their next thought will be.  And yet we try to predict the unknown by forcing our story on it.

People who consider themselves practical often believe hope is impractical and unrealistic.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Hope is completely realistic because it is based on consciousness as the field of infinite possibilities.

How do we get past the old, narrow vision?  First, adopt the attitude that the unknown is not your enemy.  It’s an opening.  Next, seek out new things near the edge of your comfort zone.  Read visionary writers and scriptures from the World’s Wisdoms Traditions.  To change your perspective view yourself as open and welcoming, willing to live in the now.

When an encouraging experience happens, stop and notice it.  Affirm this reflects your newfound hope and trust in the unknown.  Also notice whenever you repeat yourself

using the same old phrases or opinions.  When you become aware of this habit, pause.  Ask the other person what they think or wait until new words come to mind.  You can only think change what you’re aware of and when you think and act habitually you remain unconscious and unaware.  Change happens only in the now, triggered by self-awareness.

We develop trust by holding hope for a positive outcome without trying to control it.  For many hope is a constricted demand, like a child who wants a certain toy and won’t be happy with anything else.  But the Universe doesn’t work according to a wish list.  The force of evolution unfolds through an unrestricted vision bringing us what we actually need, not the next ego-demand.  When you draw upon consciousness as your reality, then hope is open-ended but powerful.  Trust you will be guided to the best outcome without expecting to know what that outcome will be or how to get there.  The path to fulfillment is unpredictable by its very nature.  But this doesn’t make it untrustworthy.  It makes it interesting and beautiful.

CENTERING THOUGHT

I have every hope in the world.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Aham Brahmasmi

I am the wholeness of universal existence.

DEE:

Hopes to me are dreams…visions of a bright, optimistic and positive future.  Perhaps being hopeful is impractical and naïve but living in my cartoonish Loony Tunes world works for me.  It keeps me light and stress free and living in the moment.  It lets my inner child roam about.  Yes, it works for me.  It keeps me real in my childish and care-free, yet responsible way.

But let’s get realistic for a moment.  Yes, I can still go there.  I do have ugly truths about myself and I, too, have experienced great pain.  Living a life addicted to alcohol and whatever other substance I could get my hands on put me in a deep and dark hellish existence.  And I spent a lot of time there, a big chunk of my life, wondering, “How did I get here?  Why did I get here?”  All I was doing was basically existing.  I had no purpose.  I was void of a reason for living except to get that next drink into my body.  Actually, I was just a waste of space on this planet.  I couldn’t understand why people were happy and joyful and light-hearted and grateful.  I just couldn’t get it!

But now living in a life of recovery thanks to an inpatient treatment program and Alcoholics Anonymous (please note I am not a representative nor spokesperson of this most awesome organization in the world!) has helped me to answer some of these questions.  And because of my sobriety and recovery and fellowship and Twelve Steps I now know I have a Higher Power, a power greater than myself, a power of my own understanding.  And this power has shown me the answers.

I am here to share my experience, strength and hope with those in need of compassion, hope, optimism, whether in the disease of addiction or depression or abuse or life on life’s terms.  I’ve been led on my journey through life thus far to bring me here and to this purpose.

And because I am no longer hopeless and have been taught to live a rigorously honest life, I have experienced a wonderful connection with myself and with those who have not coincidentally entered my “Dee Bubble”.  So I, too, have found as Glennon says, “Everytime you tell your truth it clears the field for other people to tell their truth.  Then the truth gets bigger and bigger.”  It’s awesome!

Thank God I’ve been shown how to emerge from my safe and predictable place which is no longer in the bottle (which, by the way, was anything but predictable…nor safe).  I didn’t read the Worlds Wisdom Traditions nor visionary writings and scriptures, but what was put in front of me was The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  It has helped me tremendously to learn about a disease I didn’t even know I had.  It has helped me tremendously to learn about what makes me tick.  It has helped me tremendously by offering me a solution to my “maladies” and has given me a tool box for living.

There are many other great organizations and groups that are available to you so that you do not have to struggle through your “maladies” alone, if A.A. is not the right fit for you.  But, please, do know that you are not unique; others have suffered through what you are going through now and have come out on the other side full of hope and optimism and the eagerness to share their experience, strength and hope with you.  The road to happy destiny was not meant to be trudged alone!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Motivational and Inspirational Art with a Message, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a Loony Tunes day!

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.