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)

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

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

The What and Why of Deesigns by Harris

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

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

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

Who is Dee and what makes her tick?

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

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

Affirmations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mana of Hawai’i

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

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

Healing Hands

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

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

Shows

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

Classes

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

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

Videos

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

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.

Hope is Always Available

Day 2 – Hope Is Always Available

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Desmond Tutu

In today’s meditation, we learn that hope is an intrinsic part of who you are, like the love and compassion in your heart. But to make this hope a real and powerful force in life, we need to activate it with self-awareness. Once genuine hope is ignited, it transforms your reality and eradicates fear and uncertainty.

OPRAH:

Welcome to Day 2, “Hope is Always Available.”  Anything can be a miracle, a blessing, an opportunity, if you choose to see it that way.  When you see life through a lens of hope, everything can change.  This can be a challenging concept of practice when you’re in the center of a storm.  I know this is true.  I’ve had a few storms myself.  But what looks like a dark patch or a setback can actually be a beautiful turning point.  Hard to see it when you’re in it.  Maya always used to say, “There’s always a rainbow in the clouds”.

As Michael Bernard Beckwith said on Super Soul Sunday, “I can choose to feel love even when there’s conflict.  What happens I activate my choice muscle, expand my awareness, my life changes.”  Choice muscle…that’s a good concept.

 

When we’re faced with a difficult situation we always have the choice of two reactions…hope or despair.  When you choose hope you open your mind and heart and very naturally you begin to imagine other possibilities.  Are you facing significant life change like getting out of a bad relationship or starting a new job or trying to lose the burden of weight?  Well often we feel chaos or resistance in those moments.  What I do know for sure is that resistance will try to take you down.  So we often put off life-decisions because we don’t take the leap.  Deepak says, “Go for it now.  Hope lives in this moment and every moment.  Don’t waste another second.”

DEEPAK:

We’ve started the journey to make hope real and lasting in our lives.  The first thing to know is that hope is a quality that exists in consciousness, like love or joy.  When a situation looks hopeless we are not seeing clearly.  On its own consciousness is always life-supporting.  Every cell in the body nourishes and supports itself through the wisdom that evolved in our DNA.  Your awareness is just as life-supporting.  But if we make choices that are self-defeating or that deny reality, the mind can lose hope.  The way to heal any situation is to activate hope.  This happens here and now because hope is always a part of our present awareness.  Otherwise hope is mere wishing, which is a dream of the past or future.  Stop and think about the things you hope for at work, in relationships or from yourself.  You will find there is a spectrum of hope that runs from a casual “I hope so” to “My hope is my rock.”  A conviction born of trust and belief in yourself.

Where does such a solid foundation come from?  Your core self.  When you connect with your true-self as we do in meditation, hope develops more strength.  Then “I hope” begins to change your personal reality.  It eradicates fear of uncertainty.  As an example, consider your approach to love.  You may be waiting for the one to magically appear.  An ideal beloved who will make everything right.  You may be in a relationship where love is taken for granted or where the most loving part was at the beginning.  You may feel not enough love.

These are mild forms of hopelessness.  On the other hand a hopeful relationship to love is active and self-directed.  Instead of waiting for the one to magically appear, YOU become the one.  Instead of seeking love, you live and give the love you want by what you say and do.  In both the hopeless and hopeful relationships to love a person hopes to be loved.  Yet only in the second case is this hope active, strong and life-supporting.  At its strongest hope creates the outcome you want in any situation.  It carries the full power of intention.

CENTERING THOUGHT

The power of hope is here every day.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Samprati Hum

My true self is wide awake.

DEE:

Today hope is a strong part of who I am.  And that comes from faith in having a power greater than myself in my life, a god of my own understanding.  And that hope comes from self-awareness.  I didn’t have hope, faith, a god, nor self-awareness until I reached my bottom in my disease of alcoholism.  I just existed on the planet with no purpose, no direction and a huge void in my life.

I don’t believe it was a coincidence when I finally had the desperation to ask for help.  I couldn’t go a day, no matter how much, how long and how hard I tried, to get through a day without drinking.  And that is when my life changed and I became a sponge soaking up this new way of living.

For me a 28-day treatment program and Alcoholics Anonymous has shown me the way to Dee, to understand Dee, to accept and embrace Dee, to love Dee.  And the new Dee has hope because my god is here with and for me to guide and protect me on my journey through life.  And my purpose is to share that with you in your periods of self-doubt and self-loathing, or just in a state of confusion.  We all go there.  We all get over-whelmed.

I just want to share with you that everything is perfect at this very moment.  Stay here.  In the moment.  Love yourself for YOUR gifts.  You have many!  Don’t compare yourself to anyone.  They don’t have YOUR gifts.  And remember that you are perfect just the way you are, right here, right now, on your journey through life.  Keep going.  Enjoy the ride.  Love yourself.  And never forget that you are not on this ride alone.  There are many of us who want to share your journey, to give you hope and compassion.  Don’t deprive us of that.  Please.

Aloha, Dee

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

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

Hope in Uncertain Times

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

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

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

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

…Deepak Chopra

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

…Dee Harris

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

Faith Connects Us Heart-to-Heart

FAITH CONNECTS US HEART-TO-HEART

(from Oprah and Deepak – Become What You Believe)

OPRAH:

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

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

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

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

DEEPAK:

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

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

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

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

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

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

CENTERING THOUGHT:  My faith calls me to love.

DEE:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With much aloha, Dee

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