Effortless Creation

Energy of Attraction

Welcome to the 21-Day Meditation Experience, Energy of Attraction. We are honored you’re joining us as we seek our true nature and discover our path to health and happiness. You will discover your soul’s purpose and create a life in which all things are within reach.

Day 4

Effortless Creation

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

Usually, when we want to manifest a cherished wish or desire in our lives, our first instinct is to act on that impulse. Action of course is necessary, but today we will learn to start with a different approach. To harness Nature’s infinite creative power, we need to release desire into the stillness of our Being. In today’s meditation we will learn to let go of our intention, where it then settles into the field of pure potentiality where all the laws of creation are ready to help manifest it.

This is the most effective way to manifest desires, and the simplest and easiest way to bring your hopes and dreams to life. That doesn’t mean action and persistence aren’t also essential. They are, but they too come in after letting the seed of intention rest into the silence of your true self. This ensures that your actions and focus will be supported and aligned with Nature’s intelligence, not separate from it.

DEE:

OK.  I’m such a novice at this meditation thing.  Harnessing Nature’s infinite creative power.  Still of our Being.  Intentions.  Pure Potentiality.  Way above my head…  So how I’m going to try to fake it ’til I make it, to allow this all to unfold, is to put this all in my God Box.

I have turned my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand God.  This is my Higher Power of my own understanding who is in control and allows me to come along for the ride, learning, growing, prospering, and experiencing what He sees fit.

My God has also taught me to stop thinking so much, to go with the flow and live from my heart.  As an intellect for most of my life, this was a bit difficult.  But once I tried it, I found it worked and I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders.

So when I “feel” in my gut what my God urges me to do, I do.  I have to do the footwork.  That is why I am writing this blog right this minute.  I “felt” a calling.  For this intellect I can’t explain why this is all working for me today, but it does.  Therefore, I’m a believer to just go with the flow and reap the rewards for doing so.

CENTERING THOUGHT

My desires are fulfilled from my true self.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Ahrah Kahrah
My desires have the power to manifest.

OPRAH:

Welcome to Day 4 – Effortless Creation.  Ah, I think you’re gonna love this one.  ‘Cause we all know that wonderful feeling when we’re in sync with the energy of the universe.  That joyful, energizing space where things just seem to come to you effortlessly, flowing, in complete alignment with everything that is.

Now, it’s so easy to slip out of sync with that energy of the universe.  And when we do life becomes a struggle.  You feel more depleted than invigorated.  And you can lose your way.

DEE:

When I am out of sync I am back in the “Dee has taken over control” mode.  I quickly realize that I need to get back right-sized, get grateful, and get humble.  I have not gotten to where I am in this peace and contentment because I willed it.  So I immediately get back in the present moment which brings me back to my Higher Power.  I breathe.  I pay attention.  I am back in sync.

OPRAH:

When we express our deepest desires, set our intentions, do our best and then let it go…surrender…you immediately can get closer to fulfilling your dreams.  We become magnets for goodness to come to us.  We create openness for our deepest desires to manifest, and find ourselves once again.

DEE:

Surrendering and allowing my God to drive me around on His magic carpet ride of life has shown me dreams beyond my wildest expectations.  I am grateful and that emanates from me.  That attracts more goodness.  What we reap is what we sow.

OPRAH:

In today’s meditation Deepak is going to guide us on how to tap into the truth of ourselves, allowing effortless creation to unfold.  Together let us hold the intention of what we most desire, then detach or surrender the outcome, allowing the energy of attraction to flow freely through us with grace and ease.  And from that place we’ll meditate.

DEEPAK:

Struggling to get what you want isn’t what nature intends.  When you let good things be attracted to you, manifestation is easy and enjoyable.  The secret lies in having a desire and letting go.  This is the state of detachment.

Unfortunately, most people try to get what they want by being the opposite of detached.  They have cravings, addictions, obsessions and fixations.  They dwell on what they want over and over again.  This brings up what seems like a contradiction.  

DEE:

OK.  This was me.  As an alcoholic in recovery, the above paragraph describes me to a T.  I want it and I want it now.  Instant gratification.  All about me.  I’m in control.  Don’t care who I step on to get it.  I’ll lie.  I’ll cheat.  I’ll stab you in the back.  My cravings, addictions, obsessions and fixations were who I was and why I lived.  I was exhausted, lost and living in a dark place.

Today I am so blessed, so grateful, that I was chosen to be sober and not dead.  I have purpose today that I get to carry my message of Experience, Strength and Hope.  I am alive and excited!

DEEPAK:

You do need passion to achieve your aspirations.  You need action and often hard work to arrive at the goal.  But if you desire from the level of the true self, these things bring you a kind of effortless joy.  You can stand aside and watch the whole process unfold.

Detachment isn’t the same as indifference.  When you let go you aren’t saying, “I don’t care what happens.”  You say, “I’m open to whatever happens and when it comes I will know the next step to take”.

DEE:

Detachment for me is getting out of the way and allowing what is supposed to happen unfold.  There are no coincidences.  Everything happens for a reason.  I have to embrace that, allow it to happen, learn and grow…and not react.

DEEPAK:

The art of desire can be found in the single verse of the Bhagwad Gita, “Perform action without regard for the fruits of action”.  This is detachment and joy in one.  Because whatever happens you will always be centered in your true self.

DEE:

Go with the flow and know that everything is happening perfectly!

DEEPAK:

Having your desire at the level of the true self and then releasing it is the key.  Being centered in your true self you experience a quiet, relaxed state of confidence.  The ability to manifest what you desire allows you to let go so that your intention can enter the field of pure potentiality. From there the energy of attraction naturally flows with ease and harmony.

Manifestation isn’t the same as wishful thinking.  Action is still required to manifest the life we want but we don’t need to lose our silent center in the process.  The silent center guides us into the things we need to do, weeding out the unnecessary busy work and struggle.

As we prepare to meditate together let’s take a moment to consider our centering thought, “My desires are fulfilled from my true self.  My desires are fulfilled from my true self.”  Now let’s prepare for our meditation.  

DEE:

It’s so awesome to finally experience my true self.  Everything unfolded just the way it was meant to unfold.  I’m an addict/alcoholic.  I lived a dark, selfish and meaningless life.  I bottomed out.  I surrendered.  

I got to learn about my disease and, more importantly, about me from Alcoholics Anonymous and working their 12 Steps.  AA has given me a toolbox for living that is so right on with spirituality and meditation.  I love watching myself and my life unfold…if I just stay out of the way.

Thank you for being here.  I encourage feedback.  We are never alone and have gifts to share with the world.  Let’s do it and make the world a better place.

With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

For those interested in my Artwork with a Message of Spirituality, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and enjoy!

 

DEEPAK:

Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes.  Begin to be aware of your breath and just breathe slowly and deeply.  With each breath allow yourself to become more deeply relaxed.

Now gently introduce the mantra, “Ahrah Kahrah.”  This mantra awakens the energy of creativity, transformation and materialization.  As you repeat the mantra feel the activation of the forces of creation and manifestation inside you.  Repeat it silently to yourself, “Ahrah Kahrah”.  With each repetition feel your mind, body and spirit open and receive just a little more.

Whenever you find yourself distracted by thoughts, noises or physical sensations simply return your attention to silently repeating the mantra, “Ahrah Kahrah.  Ahrah Kahrah.  Ahrah Kahrah.”  Please continue with your meditation.  I’ll mind the time.  And when it’s time to end you’ll hear me ring a soft bell.  “Ahrah Kahrah.  Ahrah Kahrah.  Ahrah Kahrah.”   Just mentally, “Ahrah Kahrah.  Ahrah Kahrah.” 

From The Chopra Center

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9-Step Strategy to Make a Decision

9-Step Strategy to Make a Decision 

By Tamara Lechner

It’s no secret that adulting is harder than you thought it would be when you were growing up. Children assume adults have all the answers. As a kid, this leads you to draw the conclusion that when you grow up you will automatically have them all, too.

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You may have been educated into believing that you don’t know yourself best. This begins in school when you are taught to listen to the rules rather than your own internal guidance system. You can no longer eat when you are hungry, move when you feel fidgety, or rest when you feel tired. In following the schedule designed for you, you begin to believe—because it is implied—that your teachers know what is  best for you. 

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Sure, you might want to color the sky green, but when you are told that the sky is supposed to be blue, you think that your impulse to use green was wrong. Eventually, you begin to subtly believe that you don’t know what is best for yourself. And this tiny shimmer of self-doubt grows as your coaches, parents, and peers point out that your music, clothes, sleep schedule, and food choices aren’t good choices for you. By the time you are college-aged, it’s amazing that you can make any choices at all. 

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Finding answers becomes a process of looking outside yourself for advice from experts who can offer experience and an educated opinion. It can also be about making pro/con lists. After you have gathered all the information you need, you frequently find yourself stuck in analysis paralysis—that place where rather than making a choice, you want to keep getting opinions from others. It seems you have lost the  ability to trust yourself. 

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Here’s a simple guide to reconnect with your self-trust, keeping in mind that nobody has your answers except you. 

Listen to Your Body 

Your body sends you signals of what is good for you and what isn’t. Practice hearing them. Sleep when you feel tired, eat a reasonably sized portion of healthy food when you are hungry, and move when your body needs to move. Be mindful of what your body wants.  

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Dee:

HALT…Hungry.  Angry.  Lonely.  Tired.  I realized early on in sobriety that being in HALT explained a lot of unhealthy thoughts and actions I had.  So when I flipped you off on the freeway or vomited out hurtful words that were supposed to remain in my head, I had better get a bite to eat or take a time-out.  Today I strive to stay out of HALT by practicing self-care prior to getting to that stage.

Go Inward 

Meditation allows you to tap into the inner wisdom you were born with. Like any muscle, the more you flex it, the more comfortable it becomes with being used. Listen to these guided meditations (http://www.chopra.com/articles/guided-meditations#sm.00075k7e71eb0fe7rd51mmcjg2a5w) to get you started.  

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Don’t Buy Into the Panic 

When a decision feels rushed, your brain sends out chemicals that signify it is in a state of alarm. These chemicals actually turn off the brain’s ability to process. This was great when our big urgency was that a dinosaur was about to eat us, but choosing who to date, what to study, or where to live shouldn’t create that same panic. Take slow breaths or if time allows, a quick little walk. Allow your body to return to a  more balanced state. 

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Dee:

The alcoholic in me wants to check it off my “to do” list NOW!  The newly-found spiritual person in me says to stay in the moment, be mindful, get back centered and right-sized.  Being mindful of the perfect moment in front of my nose gets me back to being grateful and humble.  It brings me back in touch with the greatest gift I’ve been given in sobriety, a Power Greater Than Myself, over to whom I can turn my will and my life.  

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I can remember that I am not in control.  That my god is in the driver’s seat and I am just along for the ride (a magic carpet ride of a lifetime!) to learn and experience what is meant for me right now.  Ssshhhh!  Quiet my head…  Remember, Dee, everything happens for a reason.  There are no coincidences.  You’ll miss it if your brain is all over the planet. 

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Lean In 

When confusion happens, instead of deciding not to decide, experience and embrace your uncertainty. Repeat your choices slowly as many as six or seven times. The time and the process of repeating the options will allow an unfolding of what you want. 

Dee:

And once I embrace the confusion or some negativity that has entered (or I have allowed to enter) my life, I thank it for coming and then ask it to leave.  In my perhaps imaginary head I can imagine the confusion or negativity being whisked off into the clouds…softly…gently.

I am in that mindful present moment with my Higher Power remembering gratefully that I am not  in control and when the student is ready, the master appears, as shall the answers. 

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Flip a Coin 

Heads is one choice, tails is the other. Usually as you flip it, you will root for heads or tails. This quick process allows you to access information at such a quick speed that there is no time to process, just to listen to your gut. This is called quick logic, and it gets you out of your processing and directly to the answer. 

Dee:

I’ll use this method to decide who will go first in a game.  Or Eeny-Meeny-Miny-Moe.  Maybe even Rock-Paper-Scissors.  But for decisions with a bit more weight, I’ll use my God Box, patience and faith.

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Know Yourself 

The more comfortable you are in your own skin, the easier it is to make choices that align with who you are. Being a student of how your body works (https://store.chopra.com/dosha-quiz), and what your core values are can help. 

Dee:

This is a gift I’ve been given by getting sober, allowing a Power Greater Than Myself to guide me through life, and by working the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous with a person I trust.  I have learned that most of my life had been driven by fear.  Most of it I do not understand as it makes no sense to me.  However, by learning today to live through my feelings and not my thinking, I no longer have to, nor wish to, expend unnecessary energy on the reasons. 

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By learning to live without fear and with the faith that a Higher Power has my back, I have grown to become more comfortable in my own skin.  The person who looked in the mirror and called herself a loser while in active addiction has finally accepted who and what she is, with all her gifts…and flaws.  And by staying in the present moment, learning and growing and becoming a better human being because of my past, and having no fear, but faith, regarding the future…all is perfect.  I am perfect! 

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Encourage Yourself 

Remember a time when you made a hard choice successfully. The stories you tell yourself about your ability to make successful choices will either buoy you up or weigh you down in future choices. 

Dee:

I’m getting older by the minute (and let me add, I wouldn’t go back a second from this content state of being I’m in now!).  It’s taking a lot more energy to accomplish things the older I get.  So today I choose to expend all my energy in a positive direction.  When I have a hard choice, I’ve embraced it, thanked it for coming, and given it to my Higher Power, I know I still have to do the foot work.  I need to get it done, cross it off my list, and move forward.  

I have a 50-50 chance that it will go my way.  If it doesn’t, learn, embrace, let go and move forward.  I can’t afford nor choose to have anything weigh me down.  It does not serve me.  I’ll be fine.  I’ll be a better person when I can move forward.

Take a Musical Interlude 

Spending a moment blasting your favorite rock n’ roll ballad or listening to a peaceful song takes you to a different part of your brain. When the song finishes, it’s almost like gaining a fresh perspective.  

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Dee:

Aaahhh, Grasshopper.  Such a true statement.  I have bunched my favorite songs together on my computer, phone, and other electronic devices so that at a push of a button, I am a new person.  My body moves.  My blood flows.  I’m in my happy place.  And when I sing, I breathe.  Sometimes unknowingly I am not breathing.  Go figure.

Delay Deciding 

Give yourself a vacation from decisions. If you can wait until tomorrow, sleeping on it allows your brain a little respite from the work of decision-making. It’s amazing that your brain continues to work on integrating information to help with choices while you sleep. You just might discover that the answer is more obvious after a good night of rest. 

Dee:

I love being married no a “normie” (doesn’t have a problem with alcohol or drugs).  He has chosen to not attend, learn about, have anything to do with any support groups, such as Al Anon.  However, he has witnessed me living a life of sobriety, having relapses, working with others, doing homework, reading, etc.  And he has picked up on so much of the spiritual way I strive to live.  And I love it when he makes fun of me on that path I have chosen.  We have good fun.

When I have a decision to make and it’s too late to call my sponsor, he suggests that I sleep on it.  Huh?  I want to get this done NOW!  So I sleep on it and awaken with the answer as clear as day.  These crazy kind of things happen to me a lot and I can’t explain it.  It makes no sense.  Like having the obsession to drink and drug removed one morning when I walked out to the patio.  So bizarre!  (And thank you, God!)

Life is full of seemingly impossible decisions. In the present, they can seem like obstacles to overcome, but your choices define not only who you are, but also how you want to spend your time. Have gratitude that you have the freedom to choose, and know that no matter how your decision unfolds, you have made the right choice for you in that moment.  

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As Anne Frank said, “Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make our choices. Then our choices make us.” 

Dee:

My life has been altered by my being an alcoholic.  In 1998 I did not have choices.  I HAD DO DRINK.  I had to drink everyday.  My life revolved about drinking.  Today my journey has brought me to a calm and beautiful life where I do have choices.  Today I do NOT have to drink.  I can if I want.  But I respect the disease of alcoholism enough to know that ONE IS NEVER ENOUGH.  I’ve tried it.  The first drink caused my brain to yell “MORE!”

Treatment programs and, more importantly, Alcoholics Anonymous (for whom I do not work nor represent, but am a true believer that this program works…for me) has given me a life beyond my wildest dreams.  I have contentment that I never even wanted, but I got it anyway.  I feel good in my skin and love myself for who and what I am.  I make positive choices and practice self-care. 

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Dang!  It’s all such common sense yet I had to go through various chapters in my life to bring me to this page of my book.  I encourage you to find this place of gratitude and serenity in your life whether you struggle with substance abuse, physical and mental abuse, depression, or just life itself.  It’s not easy but you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be!

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Embrace your journey.  Make positive choices.  Know that you are not unique and are not to blame or be guilt-ridden.  Together we can all find peace in this crazy world we live in and share our unique gifts with others in need.  Today I have a purpose and that is to share my Experience, Strength and Hope with all  who enter my Dee Bubble.

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I’m glad you made it!  And thank you for reading.  I encourage any comments, concerns or feedback on anything.  I live a rigorously honest life today, but I’m gentle and compassionate.

With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

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

Commit to making the best decisions and creating the most fulfilled life with support from like-minded women and wonderful speakers at our Women’s Retreat. Learn More. 

About the Author 

Tamara Lechner (/bios/tamara-lechner) Certified Instructor: Meditation 

Tamara Lechner is a happiness expert and Chopra-Certified Primordial Sound Meditation (/articles/what- is-primordial-sound-meditation) Instructor. Her mission is to be so happy that those around her cannot help but step into her light. She enjoys writing, speaking, and teaching about how a positive mindset affects business, relationships, health, and life satisfaction. Tamara is often found throwing epic parties or walking barefoot in the sand. Join her on The Happiness Trajectory (http://www.ahamoments4u.com/free-online–the-happiness-trajectory.html), a free online mindset reboot, or find out more about her at… Read more (/bios/tamara-lechner) 

The Chopra Center 3/28/17

 

The Biology of Time

“The distinction between the past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” – Albert Einstein

In reality, time is not a fixed experience that follows the ticking of the clock. It is a fluid, changeable experience. Our bodies measure time in multiple ways depending upon the biological function in various cells and according to different biological rhythms. Our chronological age can vary dramatically from our biological or psychological age. We can change our experience of time through our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. In today’s meditation, we learn that the more we abide in present-moment awareness, our minds and bodies, our beliefs and behaviors, become attuned to the cycles of Nature. Life flows with the timeless rhythms of the universe.

OPRAH:

Welcome to Day 2 – The Biology of Time.  Today our focus is how to gain a better understanding of the biology of time.  I’m always fascinated by the inner workings of the body.  Each one of us has an internal clock that regulates just about every process within our own bio-system.  When I think about my own heart quietly pumping away as it has done for the last 63 years bringing life to all other areas of my body. sometimes I think about that, it just makes me want to weep at the miracle of it.

I’ve come to appreciate that my body operates at its own pace, breathing, blinking, seeing, and listening all through nature’s course.  All I have to do is stay attuned to it and will experience that wonderful state of flow where everything within me is aligned.  I realize that my body, just like yours, operates with precision.  It knows that I function best on at least 5-1/2 hours of sleep.  Anything less than that and I notice a lack of focus, listlessness, a waning energy, along with less sharper thinking.  I don’t use an alarm clock…yet.  In perfect rhythm I wake up naturally in between 7:16 and 7:23 every morning.

Most work days are filled with projects I’ve committed to, replying to emails and travel and attending meetings.  The pace can sometimes be hectic but, no matter what, everything for me begins and ends with stillness.  I describe it as a conscious awareness of my presence within the greater presence of all…everything there is.

Whether I’m paying attention to the way the sun is rising or how the mist is rolling in over the trees, I pay attention.  In that moment there’s no 3 o’clock meeting to think about or 6 P.M. dinner to plan and I don’t think about the inevitable daily challenges that arise.  I really have mastered staying in the moment.  I simply trust that when the time comes my whole self will be fully connected to the moment and rise to meet each task just as it did when I first opened my eyes.

Now let’s listen to Deepak and then we’ll meditate.

Dee:

It seems for me as well that just a few moments after opening my eyes in the morning the list of “to do’s” starts to take over my brain.  Before the fog lifts and totally fills my head, I stop to enjoy the moment, to be grateful, and to turn my will and life and “to do” list over to the care of God as I Understand Him.  In other words, I let my God drive while I enjoy the ride in the passenger seat knowing that all my cares, worries, and “to do’s” will be taken care of just the way they’re supposed to.

If I try to control and perfect my to-do list myself I become pretty overwhelmed pretty quickly.  My head takes over; my heart gets turned off.  Old behavior comes into play.  I forget to stay in conscious contact with my Higher Power.  I forget to be humble and grateful.  So I turn it all over and everything that needs to get done today gets done, usually in a way more successful way than I could have ever done myself.  Pretty sweet!

Deepak:

Looking at carefree children playing we may say wistfully, “They’re having such a good time.  I wish it could last forever”.  But children lost in play have stepped out of time; their experience has nothing to do with clocks, deadlines, or anything of the sort.  This is an important clue about how to approach the reality of time which is a fluid and malleable experience.

We assume time is like an arrow moving in a straight line from past to present to future and measured by a ticking clock.  But time is actually measured by your cells.  It’s a biological function in the body.  The body has dozens of clocks that control long periods of time like when baby teeth appear, or puberty or menopause.  There are medium-term clocks for things like sleep and digestion along with short-term clocks like the rhythm of your breathing and heartbeat.

Our biological age is not necessarily tied to our chronological age.  The body of a stressed-out, unhappy 30 year-old may function like a 50-year old’s body.  How we interpret our experience affects our biology.  Chemical changes in the brain determine whether time is racing or slowing down.  Moments frozen in time are human perceptions.  Even the experience that time vanishes when we go to sleep is an experience based in biology.

So looking at time from the inside isn’t simply psychological.  It’s the right perspective for changing anything you want.  Einstein had a profound thought about this when he said, “The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

Go past the illusion and you realize two amazing things.  First, you are the master of time because your beliefs, attitudes and lifestyle choices alter all the effects of time.  Second, if past, present and future are illusions, you are timeless.  This may seem beyond our experience but in our meditation practice we discover that our present awareness is already timeless.  Ever-present awareness is who and what we always are.  That state of peace and calm allows us to navigate the world of clocks and deadlines without being overwhelmed by it.

Dee:

Weird to think about when I was active in my alcoholism, the “good” Dee was still in there waiting to come out.  Now that I am in recovery I must remember that the “bad (alcoholic) Dee is still in there waiting to come out.  Being active in alcoholism and being active in my recovery definitely alters my beliefs, attitudes and lifestyle choices during that time.  The “getting out of self and feelings” that occurs while active in my disease might seems comforting for the moment, but the fact that “more, more, more” comes into my brain when the first drink enters my body is so not comforting.  It’s slavery.  It’s negative.  It’s sick!

Staying in the present moment of recovery always gets me back into gratitude and humility.  I am so grateful that today I do not HAVE to take a drink.  I have a choice today.  My choice is to pass for right now so that I can avoid the “more, more, more”.  I can experience the state of peace and calm so as not to be overwhelmed by clocks and deadlines.  Peace, calm, gratitude, recovery for me all comes with and from a solid relationship with a Power Greater Than Myself.

Mastery of time is a mind-body project because both are involved in how we experience and process time.  Pay attention to your natural biorhythms, especially sleep.  Sleep resets biorhythms that have become distorted during the day.  Time becomes your friend when you attune yourself to the flow of life as your body is meant to experience it.

Dee:

While actively drinking my mind and body were enslaved to alcohol.  Life got in the way of my drinking.  I never slept; I just passed out and came to.  Good REM?  I think not.  I am now fortunate to sleep most nights without an alarm clock waking me in the morning.  Just my body and mind excitedly saying, “Sweet!!!  We’re ready to take on the day!!!”  I once again feel friends with not only time, but life itself, and, more importantly, I’m friends with ME!

As we prepare to meditate together let’s take a moment to consider our centering thought, “I attune myself to the flow of life.  I attune myself to the flow of life”.  Now let’s prepare for our meditation.  Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes.  Begin to be aware of your breath and just breathe slowly and deeply.  With each breath allow yourself to become more deeply relaxed.

Now gently introduce the mantra, “Shara Vana Ya.  Shara Vana Ya”.  This mantra attunes our mind and body to the cycles of nature.  As you repeat the mantra feel your mind and body absorb the beneficial influence of the universe.  Repeat it silently to yourself, “Shara Vana Ya.  Shara Vana Ya.  Shara Vana Ya”.

With each repetition feel your body, mind and spirit open into an expanded state of awareness.  Whenever you find yourself distracted by thoughts, noises or physical sensations in the body, bring your attention back to silently repeating the mantra, “Shara Vana Ya.  Shara Vana Ya.  Shara Vana Ya”.

CENTERING THOUGHT

I attune myself to the flow of life.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

Shara Vana Ya
My awareness is aligned with the creative power of the universe.

Dee:

My awareness is aligned with the creative power of the universe, my Higher Power, my God of My Own Understanding.  Life is sweet.  I wouldn’t go back one day, one minute, one second.  I finally feel a contentment with myself and my life that took 62 years to achieve.  Today I have many good years to give back, to live with purpose.  When I was 20 I had nothing and felt like a waste of space on the planet.  Nope.  Wouldn’t go back one second.

Aloha, and have an awesome day loving yourself…Dee

For those interested in Art with a Message of Inspiration, Recovery and Hope, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  For those interested in signing up for my email updates with new products, the story behind the art and me, the artist, and special deals, please sign up for my email updates at https://mailchi.mp/f96bf32af105/welcome.

From Deepak and Oprah’s 21-Day Meditation Series, “Making Every Moment Matter”, a Chopra Center Meditation.

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!

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: Tips and Tools  

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: Tips and Tools  

By EmilyHolland

The neighbor with the perfect lawn. The friend with a successful, high-paying career. The stranger on social media that you’ve never met but assume, given their seemingly perfect photos, that they lead the perfect life.

In today’s world, where it has become the norm to spend countless hours scrolling through photos of friends, family, celebrities, and complete strangers, the temptation to compare ourselves to others is at a cultural high.

While competition has long been a basic function of the human condition, it would seem that the rise of the digital age over the past several years has put an unnecessary, and even harmful, precedence on who’s in the lead. As if it were possible to measure all human successes on a single scale (or worse, by number of ‘likes’).

But even before social media’s take over, the groundwork for social comparisons was already in place. Social norms have long been established along with the relentless reminders that we’ve yet to live up to all of them. A 30-something woman sees her friends getting married and panics that she’s still single. A hard-working employee watches his co-worker move up in the company, prompting him to ask, “Why him and not me?” These comparisons can become so habitual that often you may not even realize you are doing it.

Reasons to quit may go beyond the fact that they’re simply unproductive and leave you feeling poorly about yourself. Making these social comparisons can be damaging to your health, both physically and psychologically. Being aware of how harmful comparisons are could serve as great motivation to give them up.

Dee:

When in school from elementary to high school I remember wishing my family had more money, that I could be more popular, even be famous.  I wished I was prettier, smarter, more self-confident, yet I had everything I could ever want and need.  Where did all this self-lack come from?  Why could I not just be comfortable in my own skin and love who I was?

It wasn’t until decades later when I found my wish list changing to “I wish I wouldn’t drink today” or “I wish I would stop at just three” that I found myself in a treatment center for alcoholism.  Yes, “found myself”!  It was then and there that my wish list dramatically changed as did my self-worth and opinion of myself.

But this did not happen overnight.  I needed to undo the decades of “my” thinking which is an ongoing process.  One day at a time, yeah? just like not taking a drink today, maybe tomorrow.

Sobriety, recovery and solutions has changed my life…given me a life…given me purpose.  First I “got to” learn and understand what alcoholism is, a disease, not a self-control problem.  From there I was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps and the Big Book.  I “got to” make up a Higher Power of My Own Understanding to whom I could turn my will and my life over to.  I “got to” switch my life from a thinking human being to a feeling human being.  Slowly.  One day at a time.

And the miracles, evolution, journey continues.  I have turned that fear-based waste-of-space-on-the-planet to one who is finally comfortable in my own skin and loves me for who and what I am!

Harmful Effects 

In 1954, social psychologist, Leon Festinger proposed the theory of social comparison (https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/social-comparison-theory), which argues that your own feelings of self-worth are dependent upon how you think you measure up to those around you. You may be constantly evaluating how you stack up to others, in turn creating our self-image. A self-image based on anything other than intrinsic factors is destined to have harmful effects.

For one, making social comparisons can have a devastating impact on your self-esteem, particularly when comparing something you are already insecure about or sensitive to. For example, if you suffer bodily insecurities and follow nothing but fitness accounts on social media, you are setting yourself up to make not only an unhealthy comparison but an unfair one at that.

The majority of social media users show only what they want the world to see. They are less likely to expose their own insecurities and overcompensate by pushing perfection instead. It essentially boils down to a comparison between one’s reality to another’s best attempt to portray perfection. Not only can this influence your self- esteem, but it also distorts your perception of reality.

The stress that results from constantly making social comparisons that deflate your self-esteem and hinder your self-image can harm your physical health as well. Chronic stress (http://www.chopra.com/articles/how-to- reverse-the-effects-of-chronic-stress) can lead to high-blood pressure, heart disease, hypertension, and a weakened immune system. Moreover, when left unchecked, which can easily occur when you are unaware of its cause, chronic stress can lead to psychological problems such as depression and anxiety attacks.

In addition, social comparisons can hold you back from reaching goals and pursuing what matters most. Accomplishments stem from self-confidence, motivation, and clarity—all three of which can be hindered by images of others who you think are already a few steps ahead of you. In short, making social comparisons can be paralyzing and leave you wondering, Why bother? 

(http://www.chopra.com/online-courses/the-quest/on-demand

Dee:

Because of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps, and my toolbox for living, I discovered how fear-based I was living my life.  How important your opinion of me mattered.  That was because I did not feel worthy of your opinions nor expectations.  I felt “less than”.  Today I realize that I have God-given gifts and talents.  I was chosen to get sober and share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my “bubble”.  And that is the purpose today.  It took me 48 years to realize this.

When I can be grateful for who and what I am today, for my journey and my story, I can share this and give hope to those who do not have “light at the end of the tunnel”.  When I can realize that if I do the best that I can at any given moment with any given talk, that I am progress not perfection, that everything is perfect at this moment in time, I can be okay with myself.  I can be light, grateful, humble and content.  

I know today that not everyone is going to like me.  And that’s okay.  There are those of you I would rather not be around.  But I don’t have to react nor prove myself nor take it personally.  You are who you are with your story, and I am who I am with mine.  Just perfect.  Right here.  Right now.  What a weight off my shoulders being able to live this way!

Tips to Stop Comparing 

It may sound simple to just suggest putting a stop to social comparisons—but the question is how do you actually stop? Here are some ways to help you stop making social comparisons.

1.Limit (or eliminate) time on social media. As mentioned, social media is often used as a place to share what you want people to see, not necessarily what’s closest to reality. Whether or not its content’s even accurate, at the very least it’s likely exaggerated. Cutting back on social media (http://www.chopra.com/articles/comparing-yourself-again-4-tips-to-survive-social-media-envy) or taking a break altogether can do wonders for your mental health. Spend the extra time understanding the triggers that lead you to making social comparisons so that when you log back into your accounts, you’re prepared to let those things go.

Dee:

What do we hear about on social media, the news and newspapers?  What sells the most, draws our attention and brings in the most money?  Negative news.  Tragic news.  Although most of life around us is good and positive, it does not sell news.  So one straw at a time we get weighted down with negativity.  If not careful, that negativity finally breaks our backs and we lower ourselves to that mentality.  Don’t do it!  Remember the 95% of the good things happening on our planet and with our humanity that does not sell news.  That’s our focus.

2.Make a list of accomplishments you’re proud of. The more confident you are in yourself, the less inclined you’ll be to evaluate how you stack up against others. Write a list of your proudest accomplishments, traits, strengths, and even things you’re grateful for. This will put you in a healthier mindset, making you less likely to engage in the comparison game.

Dee:

I am sober.  I have a Higher Power over to whom I can turn my will and my life.  I have a purpose.  I can be of service.

3. Become clear on what you want. When you’re unsure of what you want in life or how to go about achieving it, you can tend to feel unanchored. Become more grounded by gaining clarity as to the direction your life is going. Write out your short-term and long- term goals and steps necessary to accomplish them. Once you feel more secure in your own life, the temptation to over-invest in others will dissipate.

Dee: 

When things start to feel unclear, I HALT.  I check myself to see if I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.  If so, I treat those symptoms.  I go to an AA meeting.  I get back in the moment.  I appreciate the here and now right in front of my nose.  I quiet my mind and open my heart.  I re-center.

Theodore Roosevelt said it best when he stated, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” If you want to become your best self, making your mental and physical health top priority, you must choose joy and resist the urge to make unhealthy comparisons.

Become your best self with The Quest: Spiritual Solutions for Creating a Life You Love, our online course led by Deepak Chopra and Martha Beck. Learn More. (https://www.chopra.com/online-courses/the-quest/on- demand)

About the Author 

Emily Holland Certified Health Coach

Emily is a certified Health Coach and freelance writer with a focus on psychology, mental health, and optimal living. A combined interest in healthy living and human behavior led Emily to pursue a certification in health coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as well as a master’s degree in General Psychology. Her personal struggle with anxiety motivated her to research and implement a variety of holistic approaches into her lifestyle, such as changes in diet and the adoption of mindfulness meditation. She credits these lifestyle changes as well as many others with helping her better manage symptoms of anxiety and everyday stressors. She is most passionate about sharing what she has… Read more (/bios/emily-holland)

From The Chopra Center

Dee: 

I am not a representative of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I only know that when I could not stop drinking, the fellowship and the Big Book offered me solutions.  Today I am sober.  Today I am happy, joyous, and free!

Aloha, Dee

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

10 Lessons to Learn from Your Kids

10 Lessons to Learn from Your Kids

written by Melissa Carver

Parenting is a non-stop job. Anyone who has children will tell you it is the most difficult, yet most rewarding aspect of their life. Even the most well-behaved children can drive you to your wit’s end.

Why do children who are thankful, respectful, and well-mannered still push you to your point of needing a break from them? In addition to having all family members who live together eventually needing moments of alone time, there are deeper aspects when it comes to your children. Heavy responsibility as an adult may dampen your sense of excitement and vitality for life that so often (and easily) shines through for children. Kids have it all figured out—you may on the other hand have programmed yourself into being a more responsible version of them.

While you do have responsibilities, are they as serious as you make them? Are there tricks you can learn from your children to enjoy life and the chores all at the same time?

The answer is yes, and here are some of the lessons you can learn from your children.

Dee:

A main focus of mine is to stay in the moment.  That way I don’t allow myself to beat myself up over yesterday nor dread tomorrow.  In other words, I don’t have to shit on today, on this very perfect moment in front of my nose.  Tomorrow is past.  Tomorrow may never come.  This moment is magical.

That does not mean I do not get my daily responsibilities done nor the big projects on my “to do” list.  But if I take some time during these tasks for me, for getting back in the moment, everything seems to flow more easily and successfully.

I have learned in Alcoholics Anonymous, a program and fellowship that has saved my life, given me a life and a purpose, many things.  One key thing I practice is to stay out of HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired).  When I find myself starting to react, and usually in a non-productive and negative manner, I address what part of HALT I am in and remedy that as soon as possible.  Again, getting back into the moment.

Get Excited

A child can get extremely excited over the smallest things. It may be playing with a dollar toy, having company come over, seeing the mail man pull up, or better yet, nothing at all. The thought of something exciting can send a child on a 10-minute, high-on-life excursion.

Often adults will tell them to calm down—that it’s not that big of a deal. In reality, you need to get that excited too! Everything can be a gift when you change your perspective and appreciate more. This level of energy not only has the potential to make you much happier, but also helps you to manifest more of what excites you. If the Universe speaks in frequency, nothing is more powerful than excitement!

Dee:

I remember walking in the neighborhood and noticing the hugest snail crawling on a rock wall.  I was mesmerized by this little thing with the hugest shell on its back sliming its way along the wall.  And then this lady stopped her car and asked where I lived and what I was doing.  I did not react and tell her to mind her own f*ckng business, but I told her I was checking out this snail.  She saw it.  Didn’t care.  Then told me there had been some recent burglaries.  I was even excited I didn’t react, but sad she didn’t enjoy the snail.

Use Your Imagination

What can you imagine? When a child tells you a story or a goal, can you see it? It may be the most outlandish explanation you have ever heard, but what is your first reaction? Do you dismiss it as “just a kid” talking, or do you engage and go on an adventure in your mind? Are you an adult that says, “Go for it!” or “That’s impossible”?

Whatever you can imagine, you can create. Play and downtime sparks the imagination. Do you take that time? If not, make a list of how the imagination could help with goals you have now, and begin a journey once a week to gain that childhood trait back into your life.

Dee:

As a kid, didn’t you ever lie on the cool grass gazing at the clouds and imagining what their shapes were?  No worries in the world!  I still try to do that.  Get unbusy.  Get back in the moment.  Notice what is around me, the sights, the sounds, the smells, right now, right here.  How many birds singing have I missed.  I many small wildflowers have I stepped on?  How much laughter from the children have I missed because my brain was full with busy-ness?

Express Unconditional Love

Your children are the humans on this planet who actually make you understand what this truly means. They get it!

Have you ever got upset with your child then later realize how much you blew the situation out of proportion? You feel horrible, prepare yourself to beg for their forgiveness, and by the time you get to them, they have already forgotten all about it? They love you—no, like really, soulfully love you—to your core. The good, bad, and ugly—they have seen it all, yet are more than happy to hug it out and spend the rest of the day with you.

This is not to say it’s impossible to push a child to the point of not wanting to speak to you or be around you, but even then, they will still have deep love for you. Loving someone doesn’t always mean you have to like them or their actions—that is unconditional love. In hopes of spreading this throughout your world, it starts at home.

Dee:

This one hits home with me.  As an alcoholic in recovery I spent most of my life fear-based, especially as a child.  I was a people-pleaser.  I wanted your approval.  I was not comfortable enough in my own skin to feel the self-love, self-esteem, and self-worth I deserved.

Alcoholics Anonymous has helped me to stop living in fear, to stop taking the weight of the world on my shoulders alone.  It is so freeing to finally love myself for who and what I am and not worrying about what you or anyone else thinks of me.  I am what I am.  And if one person gets a glimmer of hope from reading this, I have achieved my goal.  Icing on the cake if that person is a child!

Have Patience

Okay, so they may not be the most patient creatures on earth, but they sure will make you turn yours up a notch, or five. From the baby stages of waiting for them on the potty, to the countless check-ups, doctor appointments, activities, and the famous school car line—your patience is tested in every way possible.

Instead of complaining or thinking about what else needs to be done, think about what you would tell them when they are waiting on you. For example, every parent pulls their child to some event or long car trip that they don’t necessarily want to be at. I would guess you say the following line in these situations: “Take something to do/entertain yourself.”

Take your own advice: get out of the car and walk or soak up some sun instead of sitting in the car line, catch up on a good book or some articles, or play games on your phone (that’s what they would do). Did you know playing phone games can be a form of meditation?

Dee:

I LOVE phone games, but I always thought they were a waste of time.  Great to know they can be a form of meditation.  But more importantly, when I find myself waiting…in traffic, in line to check-out or for an appointment, wherever, I feel that God is asking me, “What’s the rush, Dee?  Just breathe.”

Cultivate Confidence

Kids show up with an “I can do anything” attitude. The dreams that children have are backed by a heap load of confidence. This only lessens in them when they hear, “You can’t do that” or “That’s impossible” multiple times by people they love or respect. Even then, many rebel toward such negative attitudes. They are intuitive enough to see that particular adult has been jaded and failed at their own desires.

Inspire them to keep the confidence, speaking on a failed attempt as an opportunity to improve. Allow their determination to spark your confidence as well.

Dee:

Such an important message.  We’ve got to let our kids know how awesome they are.  Everything about them is a gift.  We’ve got to help them love themselves for who they are and feel comfortable in their own skin.  And when approached by a bully, they can know that they don’t have to lower themselves to the bully’s level.  That the bully has unresolved issues and is lacking the love and self-worth that our kids have.  And when the world throws hardballs, let your child know he does not have to go it alone!

Play

No, not a night out on the town or an adult vacation. Play seems to mean a new categorical list from childhood to adult. Here I am speaking on good ole fashioned childlike play. Get outside, jump on the trampoline, hula hoop, swim, skate, climb up the monkey bars, and go down the slide. You’re not too old! What are you afraid of exactly? Will your clothes get dirty? Maybe, but the fun you will have by the end will take all cares of that stain away!

Dee:

“I don’t want to grow up.  I’m a Toys ‘R Us kid,” resonates in me when I allow myself to let go, have fun, be me, be free.  I instill that message into my kids, too.  Life is too short to be so “adult” all the time.  Have fun.  Be a kid.  That kid is and will always be in us!  And don’t worry who will see you.  No one cares.  Get over yourself!

Play increases your health (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4771152/) by raising your heart rate, decreasing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and most importantly, boosting your happiness.

Relax

Adulting is time-consuming. It often takes more effort to relax than not because your brain is still focused on what you need to be doing.

Let’s change the perspective and programming on this a bit. Just for a week, give this a try. Instead of yelling at the kids to get off their butt and clean up their shoes, sit down with them. For 15 minutes just relax and breathe for a bit—can you hear your breath? It’s probably the first time you’ve heard it all day. After 15 minutes is up, go back to your chores. Now ask the kids to help you. Pay close attention to how differently you are asking now verses how you may have spoken to them 15 minutes ago. Kids work hard and play hard but they know the importance of some good chillax time.

Dee:

Again, getting back in the moment.  Closing off your brain and getting back into your heart.  I don’t want to react so I take time out to make sure I’m not getting into HALT, and give myself some “me” time.  Even 5 minutes works wonders!

Release Worry

Ever notice how much you get on your kids’ nerves when you explain what could, maybe, possibly, or might happen? You know the dangers of this world; it’s everywhere you turn when it comes to any social media or news, not to mention what you may have lived through or witnessed in person.

Here’s the trick though: Kids really do see, feel, and know the bad in life, but they live as though they are always safe. They trust their intuition to guide them away from harm should it come close to them. They have an understanding of it’s only a part of reality, not totality.

“Worry is like praying for something you don’t want.” – unknown

(http://www.chopra.com/online-courses/basics-of-meditation/on-demand)

Dee:

I don’t want to be stupid about my safety, but I don’t want to live in fear either.  Alcoholics Anonymous has allowed me a Higher Power of My Own Understanding that I entrust with my safety and protection.  I ask for guidance.  I turn it over.  I know that everything will be just fine.

Release Judgment

Children see people for their soul. They just want to be around loving, fun humans and critters. It doesn’t matter where you live, shade of skin, what hobbies you do or do not enjoy, sexual preference, or what you did “bad” in your past. They genuinely do not care! How are you treating them in the now? That is where their attention flows. If you hear a child being prejudice, racist, or judgmental in any fashion outside of the frequency they feel coming from someone, it has been programmed toward them to repeat it. We could all use a lesson from this category in some way or another.

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Dee:

Go with your gut feelings; it doesn’t lie.  Today I am able to live from my heart and get rid of all that rationalizing, destructive brain bullshit.  This certainly did not come easily nor quickly.  I had to unlearn decades of living intellectually and to delve deep into my heart and allow it to open up.  Only when I found positive results from this practice did I start to have faith that this really works.  My gut doesn’t lie.

Nurture All Aspects of Your Personality

You may see a child in a superhero costume and 15 minutes later they are playing with a doll. This same routine goes on all day long, skipping from one character to another. They love many aspects of life, including personalities and archetypes. Rarely do they tunnel vision in on one category. A kid wants to explore all the thoughts and interests that can pop into their mind at any given moment, as should you. Those thoughts spark imagination and lead to roads of deep passion and authenticity. While some are short-lived, a gift will always be a part of the journey. One new factoid or epiphany of self-knowledge is worth the effort.

Adults want to ask children what they want to be when they grow up. It is my personal opinion that you should dump this question. I mean do you even know what you want to be yet? You change every day; your ideas, perspectives, and passions change with each new experience. Your career may be long-term, or maybe just a stepping stone to the next adventure. What you do now for your bill money may be your dharma, but even in the midst of a dream job, the universe may have another surprise to keep you on your toes. Your life is not about working to collect money and spending it on responsibilities—it’s about engulfing in your happiness so much that you no longer see work as a restraint.

Learn a natural, effortless style of meditation that helps make every day fun and fulfilling with Basics of Meditation, a self-paced online course guided by Deepak Chopra. Learn More. (https://www.chopra.com/online-courses/basics-of-meditation/on-demand)

Dee:

Because today I am sober, I am in recovery, I have the fellowship, Steps, and toolbox that Alcoholics Anonymous has so freely given me, that I can now “go with the flow” and know that great things await me.  I am not in control.  I have a Higher Power that is in control, that guides me to be the best me I can be, that protects me, that teaches me.  Nope.  I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and I’m 62 years old!  I just know that I wake up excited every morning to see what the day has in store for me.  Such an awesome and joyous way to live!

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About the Author

Melissa Carver specializes in Metaphysics, guiding her clients through the art of manifestation with one-on-one webinars and in-person sessions. Melissa is also a graduate of the Chopra Center University, completing her certification in the Perfect Health: Ayurvedic Lifestyle (/teach/perfect-health-certification-program) program. She and her husband, Leo Carver (/bios/leo-carver), are the core of Holistic Life Sciences (http://www.choprateachers.com/HolisticLifeSciences), providing the Chopra Certified Ayurvedic Health Course throughout the state of Kentucky. Melissa also received her PH.D. in Philosophy… Read more (/bios/melissa-carver)

THE INNER CHILD REBORN

The Inner Child Reborn

“Hope is the thing with feathers, / That perches in the soul, / And sings the tune without the words / And never stops at all…” – Emily Dickinson

Even as adults, we all still retain that part of our personality we had when we were children. The positive, healthy aspect of our inner child expresses our innocence, joy, exuberance, and hope. This accepting and fresh view of life comes from the true self. This egoless state is always there within us.

In today’s meditation, we learn how to reawaken the inner children in ourselves, as well as encourage it in others by seeing their inner child with the innocent and accepting eyes of our own.

OPRAH:

Welcome to week 3 of our 21-day meditation experience.  In week one we moved into the space where we experienced how hope is real and can be a powerful force to overcome fear and anxiety in certain times.  In week two we explored the expanse of where hope can take us and we practiced how, through meditation, we can use hope to create inner strength even during our darkest hours.  Everything is better when you share it so in week 3 we will navigate how we can offer hope and inspire it in others.  Let’s begin Day 15 – The Inner Child Reborn.

Many years ago family counselor and author, John Bradshaw, revealed to our Oprah Show audience his concept of the wounded inner child.  I often refer to an exercise he took our audience through.  It remains for me one of the most transforming moments of my life, really.  John said we first see the world through the eyes of a little child and that inner child remains with us throughout our lives.  No matter how outwardly grown up and effective we appear to become.  If our vulnerable child was hurt, abandoned, shamed or neglected, that child’s grief and anger lives on within us.  That is so powerful to know.

You see so many adults now acting out the hurt, abandonment, the shame and neglect that they suffered as children.  As the son of an alcoholic, for instance, John’s wounds were so profound that he became an alcoholic by the time he was only thirteen.  His inner child exercise was an Oprah Show moment that changed the way I felt about myself and the way I looked at the world.  Each time I talk about I learn something new, really.

He had us imagine peering through the window of our childhood home.  You can do this for yourself.  Go to the window of the house that you grew up in, look through and find yourself in that house.  And what do you see?  When you take a good look at your life as a child, what do you see and, more importantly, what do you feel what’s going on with you and your relationships with everyone in the house?  What gift did you possess that others may have overlooked or missed?  What burdens were you made to carry?

What brought you hope?  What made you sad?

I believe that healing the wounds of the past is one of the most hopeful endeavors that we have in our lives.  When you rekindle the innocence and hope that precedes pain, you free yourself to truly live more fully in the present.

DEEPAK: 

At this stage in our journey you can, if you like, reach out and bring hope to others.  The world needs beacons of hope everywhere.  This applies to the most successful and fulfilled among us and even more so the people who are losing hope.  Everyone needs hope to move forward and open new possibilities.  How can you help?  Innocence is the quality of hope that removes judgment and criticism.

Children are naturally innocent which allows them to experience hope, joy and optimism every day.  That innocence gets diminished or even erased by traumas, emotional wounds and failures.  These create a feeling of hopelessness that we then struggle against.  As adults most people do not want to be innocent again seeing it as too vulnerable and impractical.  Yet as adults our personalities still contains an innocent child, a universal archetype with both constructive and destructive aspects.

On the constructive side your inner child expresses joy, hope and innocence.  On the destructive side it expresses dependency, helplessness and uncontrolled impulses.  When hope is fading in someone’s life so is the positive side of their inner child.  To restore hope in someone first realize their inner child is still within them.  When you see the innocent self judgment is not possible.  The person we judge against is a later development created by the needs and demands of the ego.  Childhood innocence is an egoless state.  Therefore, it is closer to the true self.

In our meditations we reawaken the inner child.  To enhance this awakening in yourself and others, make time every day for play in any form you choose.  Be lighthearted as your general attitude.  When you’re carefree you trust in life and don’t worry or try to control situations.  Set judgment and skepticism aside.  Accept people in the best light.  Be gentle and allowing in your interactions with others.  Don’t be a critic or rule-enforcer.  As you cultivate this more innocent side of yourself people will notice that you’re more warm and welcoming.

Remember how, as a child, you were totally involved in playing?  How you looked with fresh eyes at everything?  That freshness and lightheartedness is the basis of hope and still exists inside you right now ready to be revived.

CENTERING THOUGHT

I see the hopeful inner child in everyone.

SANSKRIT MANTRA

So Hum

I am.

DEE:

Looking through that window into my childhood I see my dad carrying me into the house from the car.  I’m in my pajamas with the feet.  I feel little.  I feel safe.  I feel like that again today but, as a child, that is the only time I felt safe with my dad.

My dad was an alcoholic.  He was a stranger to me.  He was unable to love and nurture me the way my mom did.  When he and Mom divorced when I was thirteen, I don’t even remember his leaving us.  I remember mainly the bad times.  A lot of bad times and a lot of nightmares.

Dad and I did get together a few times since he and Mom divorced.  It was good, but still uncomfortable.  He was who he was and I love him for that today.  You see, I, too, am an alcoholic.  And once I hit my bottom and went to a 21-day treatment facility for alcohol abuse, I started to understand the disease.  And then I got to understand my dad.

When Dad died we flew one of his “friends” to California from Rhode Island for Dad’s service.  The family was told that my dad died in the gutters of Rhode Island.  This pains me immensely…his battle with alcoholism.  But everything started falling into place and the pieces of the puzzle showed me that because of alcoholism, my dad was unable to show love, nurturing, attention, or even carry on a conversation.  Perhaps it was his upbringing as well.  Who knows.  Doesn’t matter.  But I know that when I was in the depths of my disease, I either needed a drink, was drunk, or hungover.  Not a very nice person to be around.  That was my dad.  I understand.

Today my dad is with me constantly.  He’s got my back.  We love each other, have fun together and, more importantly, understand each other.  Right before going to rehab I pleaded with my dad in heaven to help me stop drinking, “I think you know what I’m going through.  Please help me!”  Soon thereafter I was gifted with a whole new life with purpose and meaning and lightness and joy.  Self-acceptance and worthiness came.  Life was good.  I had a Higher Power who guided me and taught me to appreciate, be humble and grateful.

I’d say for the first half of my 13-1/2 years of sobriety I stayed close to AA and did what was suggested.  My life was full.  Full of good stuff.  Then I allowed the gifts of sobriety to make me too busy for my gift of sobriety.  I “one day at a time” stopped going to meetings, practicing the Twelve Steps of AA, being sponsored or sponsoring, and, most of all, I failed to give away what was so freely given to me when I needed it most.  I forgot what it was like to be a newcomer.

So when offered a shot of tequila I unthinkingly and bogusly said, “No, thank you.  I haven’t had a drink for 13-1/2 years.”  “Well, I’ll leave it for you in case you change your mind.”  That drink yelled out me so loudly.  I had no insurance from going to meetings and being of service and remembering what it’s like to be a newcomer.  Damn.  I drank it.  Immediately the disease shouted, “More!!!”  And so the lying, cheating, sneaking, and all the negativity that comes with being in the disease came back like a ball of fire.  I continued to sneak drinks.  And when sneaking at my son’s wedding the next week in Puerto Vallarta, a relative of my daughter-in-law came to me at the reception to say, “I have to tell you this.  Your dad’s presence is SO STRONG here!”

For real?  My dad died in the gutters of Rhode Island the year before my son was born.  Why would he be here?  Ah hah!  To save my ass once again.  You see.  He really did love me but just didn’t know how to show me when I was little in my yellow PJs with the feet.  And to this day I have such comfort knowing that my dad is here with me.  Always.  Forever.  That’s what I see through the window.  “I love you, Dad.”

My life is once again awesome today.  But I shall not take this gift lightly.  I shall stay close to the fellowship and pay my insurance premiums.  I shall give what was so freely given to me.  I shall not forget what it’s like to be a newcomer.  I shall not forget that I am an alcoholic, a grateful alcoholic in recovery, sharing the message of Experience, Strength and Hope.

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 weekend!

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