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Archive for April, 2016

Cat-Love

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Thanks to JD

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Easter…Bird?

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Thanks to MJS

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“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
~ Henri Nouwen

Thanks to MJS

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  • “Be a rainbow in somebody’s cloud!”
    from an Oprah video
    Thanks to MJS

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By Nanice Ellis

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Spontaneous Spiritual Awakening is not the norm. I’m not saying that it never happens, but it is infrequent and unpredictable. If you wait for that magic moment, you may wait forever.

But what if you had the power to quicken your own awakening? There are, of course, many paths to spiritual awakening, and the process is unique for each one of us, but there is one thing that you could easily practice that would exponentially hasten your path to awakening.

I personally spent many decades seeking spiritual awakening. I tried every technique and teacher I could find. There were several times that I believed I had awoken but the “experience” wore off and I was back where I started. Years later on my journey, I would realize that I mistook many mystical experiences for that of true awakening. If I had known then what I know now, I probably could have saved myself many, many years of seeking…

What I now understand is that spiritual awakening is accessible to everyone, and you don’t need to travel to a special part of the world, or do any bizarre yogi tricks in order to awaken. You don’t even need to meditate. Right now, you have the innate ability to wake up.

Many years ago, I visited Zions National Park in Southern Utah; in the middle of a pitch black night, I sat alone on the edge of one of Zions’ famous towering cliffs. It was a difficult time in my life and the challenges desperately made me want to wake up – in order to release the pain. As I sat there, I yelled out into the dark canyon, “I want to wake up!” I heard a voice call back, “Jump,” it said. I slowly crawled away from the edge. Happily, I did not listen to the voice, but the message never left me. “Jump,” it said, but what did it mean?

Don’t Let the “Real” in Reality Fool You

Who you really are is awake so if you were to peel away all the layers, you would suddenly find yourself to be completely present, free and awake. These layers include the roles we play in life and everything in which we attach our identities, but these layers are illusions, and not who we really are.

The world we live in appears so real, but don’t let the real in reality fool you – there is nothing real about reality. Everything, including you and me, is energy – moving, vibrating, living energy. This infinite and conscious energy is malleable and limitless, but anything that is made of energy is still just energy and energy is not tangible. It is all smoke and mirrors because energy can only create illusion.

What gives the illusion power is belief – your belief. When you believe that something is real, for all intents and purposes it appears real, and reacts real.

Every time you give your attention to illusion, it takes on your consciousness and it interacts with you in a very real manner. This is how life operates and it is also what keeps you immersed in the dream – keeping you asleep. Illusion can only control you if you believe that it is real. In order to wake up, you simply must let go of the illusion.

Letting go is the one practice that has the power to exponentially quicken your path to awakening.

On the spiritual journey to awakening, many of us have been taught to let go of attachments, roles and identities, but unless you are a monk or someone who does not live in the “real world” it is virtually impossible to let go in this way. For me, as much as I desired awakening, I wasn’t going to leave my young kids in order to attain it, or move them to a remote area where they couldn’t grow up with the comforts of home.

The thing is, you do not need to change anything in your life in order to awaken. The only thing that you must release is the attachment to your thoughts. You let go of attachment to thoughts, when you no longer believe every thought that you have.

Who says you must believe all your thoughts?

For years, I had a practice of discerning the good thoughts from the negative thoughts and that was very effective in helping me to reclaim power in my life, but in order to awaken, the secret was not to believe any thoughts. At first, I wondered how I could live my life without believing any of my thoughts, but after a little while, an interesting and unexpected thing occurred. My thoughts were no longer running me or controlling my life. Something Else – something deeper or greater than me, and my thoughts, kicked in. It was as if I had found a magic switch that allowed me access to a world beyond thoughts; a world where all action was inspired and effortless and everything just flowed.

If your goal is to live a happy and satisfying life, it is important to let go of the negative thoughts and turn your focus to thoughts that support the life you desire, but if you want to fully wake up, it is essential to release attachment to all thoughts. Full Spiritual Awakening requires that you let go of the good as well as the bad. The awakened state is a state of constant letting go – of everything.

Without believing your thoughts about your relationships and your experiences, you are present in this moment with the purity of connecting to life in the fullness of every experience. In other words, you are awake.

I realize that letting go of thoughts can be challenging because thoughts can be relentless, but no thought is true. It only becomes true when you believe it to be so. Letting go is not a one-time thing. It is a practice that you partake until you reach a state of wakefulness. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Tuning Up to Awakening

The typical thought system of mankind is limited in perception because it is tuned into a dense frequency of the current state of humanity. Therefore what you perceive and think about is limited to that frequency. This is why so many of us are living in fear and stress. In other words, every time you believe thoughts of limitation, which are most thoughts, you are tuning yourself further into dense reality – where the pressure of that density causes us to stay asleep.

Because this is not your natural state of being, when you let go of the limited human mind by letting go of thoughts, your frequency rises and you organically tap into universal mind that is omniscient and omnipotent.

Because universal mind has the answers to all problems, what once caused fear and stress can now be resolved. Letting go allows you to rise up, much like letting go of a helium balloon – without effort you peacefully arise. You naturally awaken.

What are You Letting Go “To”?

One of the reasons that it is often so challenging to let go, is because we don’t consider what we are letting go “to.” If you do not know what you are letting go “to,” it can be quite scary. This is where your own spiritual beliefs come in. Do you believe in something greater than the human you? That is what you are letting go to – be that Source, Universe, The Divine, Big G…. You are letting go to your all-knowing, all-powerful Higher Self.

Yes, this requires trust, but that is the point. Letting go requires that you trust whatever it is that you truly believe in, but you must find out for yourself. Do not take the word of religion, parents, society or anything else. You must make this discovery and this connection for yourself – on your own terms.

I have come to the conclusion that I, as the human me, have no idea what is best for my life, but my Higher Power does and this is something that I can trust. From this perspective it is quite easy to let go.
When you let go to this all knowing source, you rise up and you become that which you trust; you discover that you are now relating to your life from a higher level of awareness, where you naturally know things rather than just think them.

How Do You Let Go of Thoughts?

We are told that mediation is necessary for awakening but it is not necessarily the mediation that awakens us – it is the letting go that transpires during meditation that is the key for awakening. When you meditate, you stop listening to your thoughts, and when your thoughts turn off, you are present and awake. As soon as you start listening to your thoughts again, you fall into sleep. Understanding and utilizing this Stop and Start Switch gives you immense power to awaken.

In the past, a thought pops into your head, and you naturally believe it. This belief invites other similar thoughts to manifest in your mind. Before you know it, you have a full blown story and the emotions that go along with it. The shift is simple. When that first thought pops into your head, don’t believe it. Just let it be without inviting other thoughts to join it, or maybe ask yourself, “How do I know it is true?”

If you can be the watcher of your thoughts, you will begin to awaken. Just watch the thoughts – without believing or even disbelieving – just watch and see what happens.

By releasing thoughts, you are also releasing emotions and attachments which originate from thought. You let go of mental attachments and emotions, simply by letting go of thoughts. Let everything just pass on by. You will still experience attachments, emotions and thoughts but they will begin to lose their power over you.

From a completely awakened state, you will be able to choose thoughts, emotions and attachments in order to consciously create. Each of these elements are tools for creation, but first you must become the master of your mind instead of the slave.

I now understand that the voice that spoke to me on the cliff was my own voice telling me to let go, but it wasn’t the tangible that I needed to release. It was simply my attachment to all my thoughts.

It may be challenging to let go at first, but you have the power to believe any thought or let it go. The more thoughts you let go, the freer you will become. Here is the best part, releasing thoughts allows you to be present here and now, and then something remarkable happens. It is as if “Life Pops” – everything is clearer, colors are brighter, sounds are heightened and your sense of being alive is intoxicating. This is the Awakened Experience, and it is available to you right now, simply by letting go – Nanice.

Even Gandhi Got Hungry and Buddha Got Mad

From the editor…

It’s easy to express your spirituality when life is going the way you want it to, but what happens in the middle of everyday chaos, when your days are not long enough, your car breaks down, and your significant other is driving you crazy?

Nanice Ellis’ book “Even Gandhi Got Hungry and Buddha Got Mad!” is not about Gandhi… or Buddha — it is a book about you and your spiritual journey through the chaos of daily life. It is the challenge of the modern day seeker to find his or her spiritual center. This book will help you to discover the secrets to making every day the spiritual adventure it is meant to be, and what it really means to be a spiritual being having a very human experience…

“Even Gandhi Got Hungry and Buddha Got Mad” is available here on Amazon.com in paperback and kindle editions. Or check out Nanice’s other publications here on Nanice.com

Previous articles by Nanice Ellis:

About the author:

Nanice Ellis has been a professional Life Coach for over 17 years, successfully coaching women and men from all over the world. She is also an author, Theta Healer and Master Neuro Linguistic Practitioner.

Helping people to make quantum jumps in their lives, Nanice’s very unique coaching style is often referred to as the “Nanice Effect”. By using powerful and proven manifestation techniques, Nanice coaches people to tap into the power of the Universe and live their dreams, bridging the gap from the imagination to the realization of that dream. She works with leaders, coaches, healers and anyone who wants to live life to the fullest. You can learn more about the coaching programs offered at: Coaching Programs with Nanice.

Nanice is the author of several books, including the inspirational The Infinite Power of You! and Even Gandhi Got Hungry and Buddha Got Mad! She is also the host of radio show Chai with Nanice. Her books are available at: Nanice.com/6/Books and here on Amazon.

To connect with Nanice visit Nanice.com or book a free consultation with Nanice here

Thanks to LST

 

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“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
– Plutarch, ancient Greek philosopher

Thanks to HDK

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All of us have dreamed about fundamentally changing various aspects of our lives. For some people, this kind of unrealised longing becomes almost habitual. What’s stopping them from taking the first actual step towards realising their desires? The problem is that sometime we just don’t know where to begin. Thankfully, it’s possible to turn for help here to well-known blogger Mark Chernoff, who suggests 30 simple steps that can really change your life for the better.

 

  1. Start spending time with the right people
    These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.
  1. Start facing your problems head on
    It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them. Problems will not disappear unless you take action. Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done. It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch. These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.
  1. Start being honest with yourself about everything
    Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become.  Be honest with every aspect of your life, always. Because you are the one person you can forever count on. Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there.
  1. Start making your own happiness a priority
    Your needs matter. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.
  1. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly
    Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.
  1. Start noticing and living in the present
    Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past.  Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.
  1. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you
    Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress. If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning. Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again. Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving. Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures. One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.
  1. Start being more polite to yourself
    If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will.
  1. Start enjoying the things you already have
    The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind. You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now. So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.
  1. Start creating your own happiness
    If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out. Smile because you can. Choose happiness. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow. Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it. If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it. But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too.
  1. Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance
    In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.
  1. Start believing that you’re ready for the next step
    You are ready! Think about it. You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward. So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.
  1. Start entering new relationships for the right reasons
    Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment. And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.
  1. Start giving new people you meet a chance
    It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made. People and priorities change. As some relationships fade others will grow. Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work.  Trust your judgment. Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.
  1. Start competing against an earlier version of yourself
    Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be.  Aim to break your own personal records.
  1. Start cheering for other people’s victories
    Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for those who are making progress. Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.
  1. Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations
    When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope. Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times. And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.
  1. Start forgiving yourself and others
    We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others. And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long.  We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go. Forgiveness is the remedy. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
  1. Start helping those around you
    Care about people. Guide them if you know a better way. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness.  And so on and so forth.
  1. Start listening to your own inner voice
    If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition. Be true to yourself. Say what you need to say. Do what you know in your heart is right.
  1. Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks
    Slow down. Breathe. Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose. When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity. These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.
  1. Start noticing the beauty of small moments
    Instead of waiting for the big things to happen – marriage, kids, big promotion, winning the lottery – find happiness in the small things that happen every day. Little things like having a quiet cup of coffee in the early morning, or the delicious taste and smell of a homemade meal, or the pleasure of sharing something you enjoy with someone else, or holding hands with your partner. Noticing these small pleasures on a daily basis makes a big difference in the quality of your life.
  1. Start accepting things when they are less than perfect
    Remember, ‘perfect’ is the enemy of ‘good.’ One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are.Sometimes it’s better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal. No, you shouldn’t accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.
  1. Start working toward your goals every single day
    Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen. Get out there and DO something! The harder you work the luckier you will become. While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it. By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result.
  1. Start being more open about how you feel
    If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it. Talk to those closest to you. Tell them the truth about how you feel. Let them listen. The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.
  1. Start taking full accountability for your own life
    Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them. Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will. And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own. You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. And no, it won’t always be easy. Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them. But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles. Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.
  1. Start actively nurturing your most important relationships
    Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty. Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.
  1. Start concentrating on the things you can control
    You can’t change everything, but you can always change something. Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation. Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.
  1. Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes
    The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it.  The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward. No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things. Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on.
  1. Start noticing how wealthy you are right now
    Henry David Thoreau once said, ‘Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.’ Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective.  You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You didn’t go to sleep outside. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning. You hardly broke a sweat today. You didn’t spend a minute in fear.  You have access to clean drinking water. You have access to medical care. You have access to the Internet. You can read. Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.

Thanks to LST

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