The World

I found this photo in my Photo Saves.  I don’t know where I got it, nor when, why or from whom, but it must have touched me that day I saw it, so I kept it.  Well, it’s really resonating with me again today, today, at this very perfect moment in front of my nose.

The world is increasingly designed to depress us?  Well, what really is the world?

world

noun

1 he traveled the world: earth, globe, planet, sphere.

2 life on other worlds: planet, moon, star, heavenly body, orb.

3 the academic world: sphere, society, circle, arena, milieu, province, domain, orbit, preserve, realm, field, discipline, area, sector.

4 she would show the world that she was strong: everyone, everybody, people, mankind, humankind, humanity, the (general) public, the population, the populace, all and sundry, ‘every Tom, Dick, and Harry’.

5 a world of difference: huge amount, good deal, great deal, abundance, wealth, profusion, mountain; informal heap, lot, load, ton.

6 she renounced the world : society, material things, secular interests, temporal concerns, earthly concerns.

Ok, yes, if using description 4, “every Tom, Dick, and Harry” is out to get us.  To make us feel less than.  Pieces of shit.  But wait!  They have solutions for us low-lifes out here.  Bandaids for problems we don’t even have.  Does it say “stupid” on my forehead?

Boy, did I fall into the “stupid” category for most of my life.  I wanted to be prettier, younger, richer, famous.  I cared more about what the world thought of me than what I thought of me.  Because I had no clue what I thought of myself.  I had no self-worth.  I took no time for self-love.  I was void of that capacity in those chapters of my life.

I only remember being influenced by “the world” during my formative years, so that is what I took with me to my adult years.  FEAR!!!  My M.O.  Fear that I wasn’t good enough.  That you wouldn’t like me.  Most of my life has been lived with this fear until…

In my forties my greatest fear wasn’t that I could not go a day without drinking, but the fear that I would be found out.  It seemed like I lived a lifetime of sneaking around, buying my liquor at different liquor stores because what if they thought I had a problem, or buying loads of liquor and saying that I was having a party.  Yeah, right.  Then I would take swigs of the liquor on my way home so when I arrived home, I could drink like a lady.  I would hide my liquor.  I would replace liquor in bottles with water so no one would no how much I drank.  Then I started buying wine in a box wondering if anyone would pick it up and feel how much weight was gone since I bought it yesterday.  What an exhausting and wasteful way to live.  Or was I even alive?

You know, it wasn’t wasteful.  It was my story, my journey bringing me to the appreciation of having a choice today on whether or not to drink.  Yep, I got found out.  I just wanted to go somewhere, like the hospital, where I couldn’t get alcohol so I could be “normal” for awhile.  Maybe get my act together.  I thought about being locked up in a jail cell, but, no.  Too expensive for bail.  Everyone would know I had a drinking problem.  Maybe I killed someone.  Yikes!

But I got found out by not “coming to” in time for work like I did forever and FINALLY coming clean to my boss who helped get me on the right track.  FINALLY.  My Higher Power said that Dee was ready for a new chapter for her book!  Thank you, God!  I spent 20-whatever days in a treatment center for alcoholics.  I learned and learned and sponged and absorbed so much during this time, I can’t tell you.  I felt such a weight lifted from me and hope and understanding of me and what made me tick.  It was a life changer and I finally started to feel that Dee was gonna be all right.

But it was scarier than hell being thrown back out to the wolves, which would be me, with my diseased brain, the Devil.  Those hiding places were still there.  Those chores were still there.  My family was still there.  And that job.  How could I do this without alcohol?  One day at a time.

One day at a time I did what was suggested.  Alcoholics Anonymous was suggested.  I did what the fellowship suggested as well.  I got to work the steps.  I got to figure out what to do with this fear-based Dee.  I got to do it with others who didn’t judge me.  One day at a time.

And one day at a time the new sober Dee got feeling better, got to ride the pink cloud, got a life, got to feel comfortable in her skin.  One day at a time Dee didn’t go to as many meetings and didn’t reach out to those in need.  One day at a time got Dee to pick up a drink again after 13-1/2 years of sobriety.  Dee even said, “No, thanks.  I don’t drink.”  But when that shot of tequila was left for her nevertheless, the Devil with his wicked smile yelled,  “Drink me!  Drink me!  No one will know.  You’ll be fine.  You don’t have a problem anymore.  Just one!”  Well, I was off and running again, just like I was taught in AA.  That first drink woke up that part of my brain that was resting for a decade, allowing my heart to be my guide.  It yelled, “MORE!”

It was no wonder I drank.  I no longer had an insurance policy against the disease.  I stopped paying my premium long ago when I removed myself from the fellowship and the newcomers who needed me and who I needed to remind myself of where I came from.  I was no longer in service.  One day at a time.  I rationalized so much shit in my head again.  My journey.  My lesson.  I can’t keep it unless I give it away.

So I’m back and even more grateful and humble and closer to my Higher Power than ever.  I’ve been chosen once again to be sober, to live with my toolbox of solutions for a better and meaningful life with a fellowship of genuinely caring, loving people.  They are “the world” with whom I choose to surround myself.  Not “Tom, Dick and Harry” who tell me I am less-than and not worthy.  Today my purpose of carrying the message of “Experience, Strength and Hope” to and with whoever enters my Dee Bubble is key.  It is a gift.  And I can be proud of who and what I am today because I’m not drinking or using.  I am keeping my insurance premiums paid.  I am giving what was so freely given to me when I needed it most.  Life is awesome!

Let’s share with our planet, our humanity, that we together can make a world of difference!  And with our ripple effects we shall get to experience the beauty that is right here, right now, at the tips of our noses.

Aloha, Dee

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

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6 Ways to Combat Doubt and Uncertainty

6 Ways to Combat Doubt and Uncertainty 

You know it all too well: that sinking feeling that you’re not good enough, that you don’t have what it takes to succeed, or that you won’t be able to navigate this next chapter. Even for the most confident people in the world, there are inevitable times when doubt and uncertainty creep in and seem to take over your mind, body, and spirit.

This negative way of thinking can result from both external and internal forces. Perhaps you got passed up for a promotion or your group of “friends” didn’t invite you to a weekend getaway they shared on social media. Maybe you’re watching the state of the world change in ways that bring up fear for what’s next. It might be deeper than that, too. Perhaps you’ve held a life-long belief about yourself that you are stupid, ugly, or a bad person—undeserving of love or respect.

Regardless of how it shows up, doubt and uncertainty can be debilitating if not addressed head-on and swiftly. It can lead to additional feelings of:

•Fear

•Anger

•Sadness

•Loneliness

Don’t let negativity win. Here are five ways to combat doubt and uncertainty so that you can claim a life of strength and resiliency.

Ground Yourself in Reality

Thoughts that lead to self-doubt and uncertainty are most likely not rooted in the reality of where you actually are. Thoughts like that come from places of insecurity, stories, and lies, not honoring who you are and how far you’ve come. In the moment though, it can be difficult to remember what is the truth.

Prepare for those moments by creating a Self I.D. Card that can remind you of your true identity and core competencies. Take a 3×5 index card and complete the follow sentences:

My name is…
I grew up in…
I am gifted at…
I am loved by…
I am uniquely me and have nothing to fear.

You can refer to your I.D. card anytime you feel doubt and uncertainty creep in.

Recognize That You’re Not Alone 

Trust in the fact that you are not the first person to experience doubt and uncertainty, and that you will certainly not be the last. Everyone experiences feelings of uncertainty and fear of “not being good enough” at times—even the most successful people in the world. The simple fact of knowing that you are not alone can help those feelings dissipate.

Breathe 

Take a moment to step back and breathe. Calm your nerves by recognizing that this is a temporary state of being. The anxiety you feel cannot harm you, and you are not destined to feel confused, bewildered, and insecure for the rest of your life.

Practicing pranayama (http://www.chopra.com/articles/breathing-for-life-the-mind-body-healing- benefits-of-pranayama#sm.0001ccqvs16rfdrqrcr1gymoarf7p)—deep, mindful breathing—can help center your being and has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression and decrease feelings of stress and overwhelm. You can find instructions for simple breathing techniques here (http://www.chopra.com/articles/breathing-for-life-the-mind-body-healing-benefits-of- pranayama#sm.0001ccqvs16rfdrqrcr1gymoarf7p).

Write Down Your Doubts 

Instead of letting thoughts of uncertainty swirl around in your head and hijack your mind, take time to write down each one of your doubts on a small slip of paper. Then, read each one aloud and ask yourself if that doubt serves you. If the answer is no, crumple up the piece of paper and throw it into the recycle bin or burn it (safely, of course). In the off chance that the answer is yes, spend time journaling about why you think that doubt serves you.

This practice can also be done in the presence of a trusted loved one if you need extra support. They can give you the honest truth and help you ground your self-judgments in reality.

Access Your Confidence 

The truth is, you have inner confidence, whether it seems obvious right now or not. Somewhere deep inside is the knowledge that you are worth it and that you have immense value just by being you. In times of doubt, learn how to channel the confidence that’s already inside you. This is a powerful practice that may not come naturally, especially if you’re prone to negative self-talk.

One way to do this is by practicing power poses, which have been proven to boost your levels of confidence. This approach was made famous by social psychologist Amy Cuddy in her TED Talk (https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are) from 2012. While it might sound strange—and feel even stranger doing it—standing in a position that exudes confidence can affect the testosterone and cortisol levels in your brain, which may impact your chances for success. Try this:

Stand up tall, with your feet slightly wider than hips-distance apart
Put your hands on your hips (or your arms open wide) and stand with your chest open and lifted Lift your chin and both corners of your lips (yes, that means smile wide)

Next time you’re feeling a little lost, find a quiet space and strike this wonder woman pose for about 90 seconds. Take note of how you feel before and after practicing the pose.

Be Vulnerable 

While finding the inner strength to battle doubt and uncertainty is necessary to build a personal sense of resiliency, no one is meant to journey through hard times alone. There is power in surrounding yourself with people who will love and support you, even when you don’t have a strong sense of who you are or what’s happening around you.

Being vulnerable with others during times like these can build trust, deepen connection, and make way for acceptance. Opening up about the confusion, doubt, and second guessing helps release the power of those negative beliefs. By speaking them out loud, they cannot fester in the shadows.

And the beauty is, by sharing in your weakness, you invite others to look at themselves in a new way also. They may open up in the ways they didn’t realize they needed to.

We all have moments of self-doubt, but it’s important to remember there’s always hope. Join Oprah and Deepak for our newest, no-cost 21-Day Meditation Experience, Hope in Uncertain Times. Learn More (https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience).

DEE:

My self-doubt and uncertainty really started to escalate and rear its ugly head in the 80’s and 90’s.  No.  Let me take that back.  My self-doubt and uncertainty came from a lifetime of experiences where I constantly compared myself to everyone.  Why couldn’t I be smarter, prettier, richer, white?  My unique gifts and talents were affirmed by my mom, but it just never reached my heart.  I was a thinker, a rationalizer, an intellect.  I was a people-pleaser, a follower, and I lived in self-doubt.

Ok.  Back to the 80’s and 90’s.  It must have been those decades when my alcoholism and drug use became commonplace.  I used them to feel like I fit in.  I used them to perform.  Then I used them because I had to.  I let the drugs go as they were more expensive and difficult to acquire.  But I crossed the line somewhere in that time period where all I could think about was the next drink.  Life got in the way of my drinking.  So during that time in my life I definitely allowed fear, anger, sadness and loneliness to take over my life.  And all that negativity stayed fed and strengthened by more alcohol.  My addiction to alcohol grew stronger by the day until one day I didn’t come to like I did everyday when the kids came home from school.  That’s when I usually pulled myself together to get ready for working the swing shift.

That miraculous day saved my life.  My physical life.  And gave me a spiritual life beyond my wildest dreams!  I got to learn about me.  I was in a recovery center for 21+ days where my only focus was ME (not that the previous 48 years of my life were about YOU)!  And not in that selfish, self-absorbed, destructive way.  It was awesome!  I was like a sponge wanting more, more, more.  Teach me more.  Show me more.  Feed me more.

Today I “get to” honor who I really am.  I am a woman.  I am of Chinese descent.  I am an alcoholic.  I am gratefully in recovery.  I “get to” feel comfortable in my own skin.  I even “get to” love myself.  Don’t think that would have ever happened in my lifetime had it not been for AA.  And I don’t have to think anymore.  I can live from my heart.  I can turn everything over to a Power Greater Than Myself.  I am free!!!

Alcoholics Anonymous has given me so many gifts.  Not just sobriety, but the comfort of fellowship.  Being able to comfortably ask for help.  Been grateful to offer help.  Giving away what was so freely given to me.

And during this time in my recovery I have learned about self-care.  Staying in the moment for me is key.  Yes, breathe.  Witness, feel, hear, see everything that is happening around me right here and now.  Don’t miss a beat…of my heart…which keeps me alive with a purpose with or without my brain focus.

So love yourself for who and what you are.  We all have our unique gifts.  Share them with the world.  Stay in the moment.  Live a positive and hopeful life.

Aloha, Dee

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

Written by Melissa Eisler, The Chopra Center, March 2017

Hope Holds the Future of the World

Day 22 – Hope Holds the Future of the World

“Hope is not dead, it is just larger than our imaginations: its purpose extending far beyond our comprehension.” – Kathy Hobaugh

Even though the world will always be unpredictable and filled with uncertainty, we can choose how we react to that. Uncertainty doesn’t mean we need to be fearful and anxious. Today’s meditation shows us that the final use of profound hope is to remain rooted in your vision of change as a welcome source of creativity and renewal. As we learn to live in ever-present awareness, our true nature, we are at one with the source of infinite creativity of life itself.

OPRAH:

Today we offer you one final meditation.  The intention over the last 21 days has been for these meditations to start you on the path to expanding hope and using it as a force in these uncertain times.  This meditation experience was designed to inspire you to experience hope within your soul, in the present with courage and simplicity.  Today Deepak is going to show us how hope holds the future of the world.

I know for many of us the news headlines can become so overwhelming that you become numb to it.  What can we do?  Well, we can embody the energy we wish to experience, our own soul’s work is a work in progress.  In everything that’s showing up in the world is here to show us who we are or who we choose to be in this moment.

Every morning we get another chance to wake up to choose curiosity over cynicism.  We get to put aside despair and find something positive in the day to hope for.  When we set our intention and activate hope as a verb, we change the possibilities and we also change the vibration and the actual shape of our lives, minute by minute, every day.

My prayer is that hope in the now remains a steady and guiding force for all of us, that hope connects each of us to the Source, with a capital “S”, of all creation and that your hope will be a light for others to follow.  Deepak brings us together in the energy that hope holds the future for the world.

DEEPAK:

The world will always be uncertain and unpredictable; this can be a source of pessimism or a source of hope.  The world embodies the constant change of evolution with billions of interconnected paths unfolding together.  By its very nature, this is uncertain.  Yet at a deeper level, this is how the dance of cosmic intelligence works.

If each person’s path is evolutionary, hope is the practical link that keeps us connected to the flow of life.  A certain hope in the now makes the anxiety of an uncertain future insignificant.  Once you envision that the light is guiding all evolutionary paths you can live your vision by offering hope to everyone else as our paths twist and turn.  By living in ever-present awareness you’re being the change you want to see in the world.

We all live in a state of separation or duality.  Light plays off the darkness and gives a contrast.  Good contrasts with bad, pleasure with pain.  Fighting against the state of duality only deepens it.  The Worlds Wisdom Traditions exist to show the way out.  Be in a state of pure consciousness.  Know that you are there and then enjoy life as you discover how best you can help others.

The final use of hope is to remain steady as this vision unfolds, step by step, in your own life.  Your individual core-consciousness is one in the same as the universal consciousness that takes on myriad forms to create everything within itself.

Wisdom Traditions can tell you this truth.  They can point to the Kingdom of God within or the Eternal Peace of Nirvana.  But in the end you feel and know it at the core of your being.  Let this realization unfold inside you.  Let it fascinate you and draw you forward.  The allure of the light is more fascinating than anything else.  In it lies your future.  And as each person walks the path the future of the world becomes one of hope.

CENTERING THOUGHT

I live in the world of my vision.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Aham Brahmasmi

I am the wholeness of universal existence.

DEE:

Uncertainty no longer weighs me down with fear and anxiety since I have been introduced to a Power Greater Than Myself.  This introduction occurred in a 21-day treatment program where I found myself when I could no longer deal with my alcoholism.  Whether or not you have an addiction, having that Power to rely upon, a God of Your Understanding, that Source with a capital “S”, to have faith in takes the weight off your shoulders.

I no longer have to react.  I know longer have to think I am in control.  I can just go with the flow and know that I am being cared for, protected, and that I can enjoy the journey to grow and learn as I trudge the road of happy destiny.  Today I choose to live my life optimistically and hopefully.  I find the glass half full and this way of living attracts more fullness in my life.  And I share this optimism with those who enter my “Dee Bubble” hoping they, too, can see the light at the end of the tunnel and to embrace positively all events that occur in their lives.

My evolutionary path of living in the darkness of an alcoholic hell has led me to the light of recovery and gratitude and humility.  It has taught me, through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, what makes me tick, that I no longer have to live a fear-based life, that I no longer have to think I am in control, that I no longer have to live my life alone.

Today I get to have a purpose in my life which I never had before recovery.  And that purpose is to share my Experience, Strength and Hope with others, whether they are struggling with addiction, abuse, mental disorders, or just life itself.  We do not need to struggle alone.  Please do not deprive me of helping you on your journey.  It is my true purpose.

Aloha, Dee

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

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

The Secret of Enlightenment

Day 21 – The Secret of Enlightenment 

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” – Lao Tzu

The idea of enlightenment is generally understood as a remote, hard to attain state of knowledge and peace. And it is true that the fully matured state of spiritual awakening is far removed from the typical everyday existence of most people. However, the secret of enlightenment is that the seed of enlightenment is always with us and has always been a part of every moment of our life. Enlightenment is self-realization, and whenever we notice the presence of our awareness – that thing inside that is having an experience right now – we are touching our enlightenment. That self-recognition is the starting place of enlightenment, of freedom.

OPRAH:

Well, friends, we’re reaching the end of our meditation experience.  Today on Day 21 we follow a path of hope to explore the secret to enlightenment.

I have a busy life like so many of you.  There are entire years I can barely remember because I was rushing from one thing to the next.  For 25 years every morning I drove from a basement car garage to another car garage and then had my time dictated and measured in hours and minutes and, even, down to the seconds.  I know that many of you feel the same way about your life right now.  “It’s too busy.”  “There’s not enough time.”  “It’s too chaotic.”  “Too much.  Too much.”

Whelp, I’ve learned that the secret to slowing down time is bringing your full attention to it is your breath.  Just breathe.  Take a deep breath.  Right now.  Do it.  And see how that brings you right back to this moment.  And throughout the day I find moments just to do just that.  Inhale.  Exhale again.  Taking the time to notice your breath.  It snaps you into the present moment.  It also, for me, gives me a little charge, a surge of energy, that reminds me, “I’m alive.  I’m here.  Right now.”  And I get to be fueled by hope, if I choose to in this moment.

Buddhist monk, teacher and writer, Thich Nhat Hanh, says this, “When you breathe in and are aware that you are alive, you can touch the miracle of being alive.”  “That is a kind of enlightenment,” he says.  The secret to enlightenment is to live happily in the here and now.

Being present turns up the volume in your life; you’re tuned into awareness instead of the jumble of thoughts in your head and you begin to understand that you are not your thoughts; you are much bigger and deeper and wider than the thoughts.  I’ve learned that the constant chatter in your head only holds the power you choose to give it.

Let’s follow Deepak’s guidance toward enlightenment.

DEEPAK:

Every moment of hope brings the light into your life or another person’s.  You know this is happening by experiencing more joy, beauty, and love.  This opens the way for the possibility of living in the light all the time, which we call enlightenment.

Hope is the engine of consciousness that leads us to enlightenment.  Hope is what impels awareness to realize its true potential.  Society fosters the belief that enlightenment is rare and even difficult.  The Worlds Wisdom Traditions take the opposite view.  They compare the process of becoming enlightened to recognizing yourself in a mirror.  A dusty mirror reflects the light of you dimly.  A clean mirror reflects the light without dullness, blemishes or distortion.  But recognition of your true self is not difficult or time-consuming.  It is simply recognizing yourself as the presence of awareness that is always there.

The realization of the self is the essence of enlightenment.  What takes time and practice is the process of clearing away the dust from the mirror.  Every time you experience your true self in mediation, every time you feel compassion for the suffering of another, every time you accept someone just as they are, you remove more and more dust from the mirror and facilitate that self-realization into higher states of consciousness.

Hope is the promise of our spiritual awakening, the way a seed is the promise of a blossom.  Enlightenment is possible for you because pure awareness is already present in every experience you have.  Your current experience without the mind’s commentary and analysis is the simple reality of the true self.  Nothing is simpler or closer than recognizing yourself.  As the experience of the true-self matures awareness realizes it remains unchanged even though the party in mind change.

Self-knowledge is only the beginning of enlightenment.  Awareness continues to expand and see itself in others.  Seeing oneself in another is the experience of love.  Seeing oneself in an object or perception is the experience of beauty.  This irrepressible impulse of life to expand into greater expressions of love, joy and beauty is the spiritual force of evolution that drives our enlightenment.  This is true hope.  The knowing light in our heart that shows us that regardless of uncertainty around us our life is always unfolding into greater knowledge, love, joy and beauty.

CENTERING THOUGHT

In every moment of hope, I free myself.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Sat Chit Ananda

Life is absolute bliss consciousness.

DEE:

Really, what is enlightenment?

enlightenment (noun)

sharing her musical enlightenment with her children: insight, understanding, awareness, wisdom, education, learning, knowledge; illumination, awakening, instruction, teaching; sophistication, advancement, development, open-mindedness, broad-mindedness; culture, refinement, cultivation, civilization.

The journey I’ve been on these past decades of my life from the “in the depths of hell” alcoholic I was to the “enlightened” recovering alcoholic that I am today has given me all of the meanings of enlightenment above that I am crazy grateful to be an alcoholic in recovery.  I never had enlightenment when all I was obsessed with was my next drink, how to sneak it, where to get it, how to hide it.  Today that space of the active disease that fully engulfed my entire body and mind has been freed up…my awakening.

Now that I know who and what I am from working the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and practicing all of the suggestions offered to me by my fellows living in the “solution” on a daily basis, I can live in the now, and I can have hope.  I can turn off the jumble of thoughts in my head by embracing them and then asking them to leave.  I can live from my heart!

So today, rather than wallowing in my confusion and self-pity, I have freed up the space within me to be in the moment, to be mindful, respectful, and compassionate.  Not only with those around me, but with myself.  I can be loving, nurturing and accepting instead of judging.  I can be me…the true me that was meant to be!

Today I wake up with gratitude and hope for what the day will bring.  I am excited what I will learn today, how I will grow.  And as Deepak says above, “The knowing light in our heart that shows us that regardless of uncertainty around us our life is always unfolding into greater knowledge, love, joy and beauty.”

Aloha, Dee

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

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

Hope Offers Forgiveness

Day 20 – Hope Offers Forgiveness

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

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

OPRAH:

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

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

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

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

DEEPAK:

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

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

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

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

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

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

CENTERING THOUGHT

Every day I move toward forgiveness.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Om Sarvatva Namah

The wholeness of the universe is my true nature.

DEE:

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

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

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

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

Aloha, Dee

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

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

HOPE BRINGS SIMPLICITY

Day 19 – Hope Brings Simplicity 

OPRAH:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DEEPAK:

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

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

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

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

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

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

CENTERING THOUGHT

I offer hope from the simplicity of my heart.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Namah Shee Va Ya

I invoke the infinite potentiality of the universe.

DEE:

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

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

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

Aloha, Dee

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

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

HOW HOPE GOES VIRAL

Day 17 – How Hope Goes Viral

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

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

OPRAH:

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

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

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

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

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

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

DEEPAK:

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

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

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

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

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

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

CENTERING THOUGHT

I bring hope into the present moment.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Samprati Hum

My true self is wide awake.

DEE:

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

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

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

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

Aloha, Dee

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

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