Week 23 : Nature…the essence of pure happiness

The necessity of pursuing happiness [is] the foundation of liberty As therefore the highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness; so the care of ourselves, that we mistake not imaginary for real happiness, is the necessary foundation of our liberty. The stronger ties we have to an unalterable pursuit of happiness in general, which is our greatest good, and which, as such, our desires always follow, the more are we free from any necessary determination of our will to any particular action…” – James Locke

In this passage Locke makes a very interesting observation regarding the “pursuit of happiness” and human liberty. He points out that happiness is the foundation of liberty, insofar as it enables us to use our reason to make decisions that are in our long-term best-interest, as opposed to those that simply afford us immediate gratification. Thus we are able to abstain from that glass of wine, or decide to help a friend even when we would rather stay at home and watch television. Unlike the animals which are completely enslaved to their passions, our pursuit of happiness enables us to rise above the dictates of nature. As such, the pursuit of happiness is the foundation of morality and civilization. If we had no desire for happiness, Locke suggests, we would have remained in the state of nature just content with simple pleasures like eating and sleeping. But the desire for happiness pushes us onward, to greater and higher pleasures. All of this is driven by a fundamental sense of the “uneasiness of desire” which compels us to fulfill ourselves in ever new and more expansive ways.

9 - North Creek looking south  - upper portion - altered valley - Hospital Grounds - May 2008Week 23 has emerged as a profound expansion in my MKMMA journey as I continued my vow of Silence while returning to my walking practise now that spring has finally arrived. I spend upwards of two hours daily connecting with nature in our suburban landscape, eager to be surprised by the life forces that have returned to inhabit their surroundings. Yes we walk on ancestral lands that allows us all to connect to the natural law of pure happiness implanted at the core that can motivate us do everything we do.

I share with you an exceptional lecture from Dan Gilbert,  Happiness Expert and author of Stumbling on Happiness in which he explains what science has to tell us about how and how well the human brain can imagine its own future.

Namaste!

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Week 22A : Entering the Silence

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer
light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves it
self into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth. – Mahatma Gandhi

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This week we were asked to make a commitment to Silence. The aim was to consecrate our life completely to the Silence and the Divine. When I shared my intentions with my family and friends, I immediately was questioned if I was serious. I did not defend my actions. Continuing on to breakfast, I stood in goddess pose at the kitchen counter, chopping broccoli and onions while complementing my rhythmic chopping with the ‘ujjayi’ breath. That’s when I had my first auditory hallucination of the day. I smiled, figuring the irrational experience meant I needed some calories ASAP.

Silence is the background against which everything exists. We all understand the Laws of the Universe: earth rotates on itself and the planets revolve around the sun and our cells are constantly moving in our body. But it is in Silence that we hear our truth. Therefore we also need to have a process to Silence the mind. Once we Silence the mind, we can see the Divine everywhere…. whether it be in the red stream of traffic lights or that of an exquisite naturally occurring landscape.

We cannot do this if we focus on the outside world all the time. In the past twenty-two weeks we have been engaged in meditation practice – fifteen minutes at the beginning and the end of each day. One can do this at any time or place, but the seers say it is better to do it in the early morning and at a dedicated place so that the place and time are filled with the correct vibrations and will help us as we continue to practice. My mind was initially filled with bombarding thoughts but slowly I became a passive observer. I had to let the thoughts come and let them go. Then my mind will became still with time; just like the leaves which move with the wind continue to move after the wind has stopped and after some time the leaves stop moving. The fruits of this practice are well worth the toil.

The meditation process requires discipline. This means that I had to commit to the practice and not be carried away by the demands of my everyday life. We commit when we realize that this practice has value and adds value to our life. This effort meant that I failed MANY times, but failure just means another step towards the goal. Re-framing the meditation as service to self helped me to be more effective to communicate, be consistent, conscientious and committed.

I found a phrase that helped me immensely at the beginning of each day: “Open my mind, my heart, my life to your Light, your Love and your Power. In all things may I see the Divine”

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The overwhelming questions that flowed throughout the final hours of my day of Silence were, “will anyone understand what I am doing?” followed immediately by, “do I understand what I am doing?” It wasn’t that I decided to hit the mute button for a day with no goals or intentions guiding the action, but I will submit that I may only know part of the answer to these questions. I was so grateful to leave a considerable gaping hole in my explanation, just in case some unknown fractal of my inner bliss would make an appearance and answer it for me.

When I was asked after the vow ended, “What was the point?” I replied, “Do you want to know the least, middle or most complex answer? . . . Oh, all of them you say?”

1. I gave up something for those who have lost almost everything, and for the acknowledgment and sacrifice to something greater than myself. In the end however, I did not feel as though I had really given anything up at all; it was more like shifting my clarity to a profound appreciation of the moment.

2. I’m asking a sociological question: How important are all the things we fill our lives with? The answer I received during the vow was that some things are very important, and some things are not. My appreciation for things like creative introspection, silence, individual moments and personal relationships grew. The desire to over analyze or get frustrated dissipated.

3. I dove deep into my water element – creating a spiritual vibration, sending out gentle ripples that glide without resistance rather than making waves that crash violently against jagged rocks. I felt transported…making an energetic statement beyond the five senses that is only understood by other energetic entities.

Breathe…it is so magical!

Namaste

Week # 22 : Emotional Mastery, the Dance between Love and Anger

It matters not how strait the gate,5c2f4ac031e3d6329cc93884963d11fe
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

– Invictus by Ernest Henley

As we begin a new month, we also move forward with our daily practise from Og Mandinos  Scroll VI  – “Today I will be master of my emotions”.

I have spent the past fifteen years of my career in the field of Marketing. From the onset, I recognized that the culture of marketing had a strong vested interest in conditioning you to maintain the (false) belief that you need some kind of external validation to feel a certain way. We all know that corporations spend billions of dollars each year to convince you that you need to drink their soda, eat their food, wear their clothing, drive their cars, and shop at their stores to feel happy, cool, fashionable, popular, confident and of course successful. Who benefits most when you adopt the belief that you need to dress a certain way to feel fashionable or drive a certain car to feel cool?

When you understand that you have the innate ability to consciously direct your thoughts to create any feeling you want, whenever you want, you’re not going to make such people rich. But you will be much more free, since you will gain the power of conscious control over your own emotional states. This is a skill that takes practice, but it is a learnable one. For example, in a matter of minutes I can get myself to feel any emotion I want through visualization, and for those I have already anchored, I can put myself into that state in less than 5 seconds. This is nothing unique — experienced actors can do it too. If an actor can laugh uproariously or cry rivers of tears or shout with intense anger over something completely fake, then you can certainly learn to be 100% confident on que as well (and really experience the genuine emotion).

My new favourite emotion is the state of feeling “unstoppable,” which is one I have implanted in my soul since being in the presence of my new mentor. Anchoring means conditioning a specific emotional state to be linked to a simple trigger, just as Pavlov conditioned his dog to link getting fed with the sound of bell. So if I make a certain movement, I automatically surge into this emotional state within a few seconds.  We can witness this state through great athletes such as tennis player Raphael Nadal and the basketball player Michael Jordan  both used emotional anchoring in their athletic careers. Advertisers use anchoring on you all the time. This is why Pepsi will pay someone like Michael Jackson $20 million to be in a 30-second commercial (OK, so that was years ago). They want to condition you to link the emotions you get from hearing a particular song to their product. This emotional conditioning works a lot better than trying to logically argue why you should consume sugar water and chemicals. And it absolutely works … to the tune of billions.

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Dr. Wayne Dyer had written that when he was learning about self-actualization in college, a professor posed this question: If a totally self-actualizing person unknowingly showed up to a formal event wearing overly casual attire, how would she or he react? The answer: She or he would not even notice. That’s the state of total emotional mastery, where no external event can knock you into a negative emotional state. A mind like water.

The problem isn’t that external events have control over your emotions. The problem is believing that they do. Abandoning this belief and realizing that you have the innate ability to control how you feel at any given moment, regardless of your circumstances, is the first step to emotional mastery. Events are neutral. What causes you to feel a certain way is how you interpret an event, how you think about it. The same event (even one so serious as the death of someone close to you) will be interpreted differently by different people. You were taught to represent certain events to yourself as tragic, while other people on this planet were taught to celebrate those same events. The event itself has no meaning but the meaning you assign to it, and that act of assigning meaning (whether done consciously or unconsciously) is what causes you to feel a certain way.

Once we understand this, we can begin to take conscious control over these assignments. When stricken with a terminal illness, some people interpret it as terrible and go into a deep depression. Others interpret it as a challenge and find a way to overcome the illness. And still others see it as a wake up call to reevaluate their priorities and make the best possible use of the time they have left, developing deeper bonds with the people around them and living much more fully. To some people it’s an ending, while to others it’s a new beginning. But this doesn’t have to be a subconscious reaction — it can be a conscious choice. Whenever something happens that you would normally say “makes me depressed,” you can choose to find and assign an alternate interpretation that makes you feel empowered instead of disempowered. Instead of failure you can see a learning experience. Instead of a loss, you can focus on deepening your feelings of gratitude for what you do have. Instead of rejection you can see a temporary mismatch and a renewed opportunity to find the perfect fit.

Between stimilus and response lies the opportunity for conscious choice. You can be fired from your job and turn it into a victory instead of a defeat (Lee Iacoca did). You can go bankrupt and move on to even greater wealth (Donald Trump did). You can be dumped by your girlfriend, feel suicidal, and yet still bounce back (Billy Joel did). And on the other hand, you can enjoy outstanding external success and yet abuse yourself to the point of death (Philip Seymour Hoffman did).

For any seemingly “negative” event, you can find someone who turned it into an empowering experience. And for any “positive” event, you can find someone who interpreted it in such a way as to destroy themselves. Avoid the trap of letting events subconsciously control you, and use the power of your consciousness to decide your own interpretation of events for the greatest good of all.

Please enjoy Sue Austin’s journey to her paradigm shift to be free from the opinions of others:

When you reach the point of becoming independent of external events, you are truly free. This is the state of being detached from external events, knowing that you can exert direct conscious control over your thoughts instead of needing something external to do it for you. Dr. Wayne Dyer refers to it as being “independent of the good opinion of others.”

No matter what happens to you, you can still choose to be at peace.

Be Love!

Namaste

Week #21 : The Truth of the matter

Truth happens to you in a wordless silence, in deep, deep meditation. When there is no thought, no desire, no ambition, in that state of no mind TRUTH descends – Osho

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In Week 21 of the MKMMA Alliance, we are asked to concentrate on the Truth; to realize that the Truth shall make you free, meaning nothing can permanently stand in the way of your perfect success when you learn to apply the scientifically correct thought methods and principles. It is in Silence which offers us the unlimited opportunity for awakening the highest conception of Truth. Omnipotence itself is absolute silence, all else is change, activity and limitation. Silence thought concentration is therefore the true method of reaching, awakening, and then expressing the wonderful potential power of the world within.

One of the methods of organizing victory is to think big thoughts. The real secret of power is consciousness of power. The Universal Mind is unconditional; therefore, the more conscious we become of our unity with this mind, the less conscious we shall become of conditions and limitations.

Large ideas have a tendency to eliminate all smaller ideas so that it is well to hold ideas large enough to counteract and destroy all small or undesirable tendencies. We also become conscious of a larger world of thought, thereby increasing our mental capacity as well as placing ourself in position to accomplish something of value.

The predominant thought is the magnet, and the law is that “like attracts like”, consequently the mental attitude will invariably attract such conditions as correspond to its nature. This mental attitude is our personality and is composed of the thoughts which we have been creating in our own mind; the mental attitude is patterned after the mental pictures which have been etched in the brain; so if we do not like the pictures, destroy the negatives and create new pictures; this is the art of visualization. We will begin to attract new ideas, and the new thoughts will correspond to the new pictures.

From the onset of our journey with the MKMMA Alliance we have been impressing on our mind a perfect picture of two pivotal needs which we wish to have objectified and continue to hold in our mind’s eye until results are obtained. If the desire is one which requires determination, ability, talent, courage, power or any other spiritual power, these are necessary essentials for our picture; they are then expressed combined with feeling and thought to create the irresistible magnetic power which will manifest through the Law of Attraction. They give your picture life, and life means growth, and as soon as it beings to grow, the result is attained effortlessly.

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There is no limit to what this law can do for you; dare to believe in your own idea; remember that Nature is plastic to the ideal; think of the ideal as an already accomplished fact.

The real battle of life is one of ideas; it is being fought out by the few against the many; on the one side is the constructive and creative thought, on the other side the destructive and negative thought; the creative thought is dominated by an ideal, the passive thought is dominated by appearances.

On the creative side are great individuals who have spend their time in laboratories, side by side with the great individuals who have dominated the commercial, political, and scientific world; on the negative side are those who spend their time investigating law and precedent, individuals who mistake theology for religion, who mistake might for right, and all the millions who seem to prefer precedent to progress, who are eternally looking backward instead of forward, who see only the world without, but know nothing of the world within. To recognize that all power is from within and that no human being has any more power than any other human being, except such as may willingly be delegated to oneself.

The Divine Mind is the Universal Mind; it makes no exceptions to favour any individual; but when the individual understands and realizes his or her Unity with the Universal principle he or she will appear to be favoured because they will have found the source of all health, all wealth, and all power.

So how about doing the same? Investigate the Mind. Practise focused concentration. Create pure intent. Here is a Science that you can prove or disprove on your own. You don’t need to be a mathematical genius or own a PHD in physics to begin with. Should you decide to follow these suggestions, my request is that you do so with an open heart and mind. If you are filled with much doubt and scepticism, even before starting, you are already defeating the whole aim of seeking for real answers.

See it – Believe it – Act on it!

As you think about the Truth of what Charles Haanel wrote this week and the observations he made — and those that you made yourself — you come to a recognition of your powers, of your abilities and your potential.

That will connect you with Life — and make a “live wire” of you.

Allow it to happen. Yes, allow it.

Take advantage of your life.

 

Week #20 : Power of Belief

“I am so happy and grateful now that money comes to me in increasing quantities through multiple sources on a continuous basis” – Bob Proctor

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Harnessing the power of absolute belief begins with understanding the difference between wanting something and truly believing that you’ll have it. In his classic on the Law of Abundance of the Law of Attraction, Napoleon Hill wrote:

“There is a difference between wanting something and being ready to receive it.”

Everyone wants money. Everyone wants to be happy and everyone wants to meet their perfect soul mate. The reason people don’t get what they want is because they either don’t know how to ask for it or, more importantly, they don’t truly believe they’ll receive it.

Absolute faith only comes when you erase doubt by becoming actively involved in the pursuit of what you want. This means taking action, and the more action you take towards getting what you want, the better prepared you’ll be for responding to the universe, your subconscious or to your higher power, when you’re presented with opportunities to get what you want.

Belief cannot be built trough spoken affirmation alone, you must also invest energy towards getting what you want by taking action on your plan for achieving your soul purpose. Physical energy is a huge faith builder, and even the book of James in the New Testament says that faith without action isn’t true faith.

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Thankfully, the actions invested towards getting what you want don’t have to be right on target. Instead, you start taking action and you correct course along the way, refining your plans and moving faster towards your goals as you do so.

Through knowing what you want and through following the steps above and becoming actively involved in building faith in your ability to reach your goal, you can invoke one of the most powerful laws in creation: the Law of Abundance.

Three words that came up frequently this week as as I entered into the flow of persistent action were: aware, understand and know. As I understand it, they are layers on top of and within each other:

Awareness: having a concept introduced through the heart intelligence. The heart may even reject it a few times, resisting the unknown and the unfamiliar.

Understanding: after the heart accepts its awareness, it passes that on to the mind. The mind puts all the information together, all the history from the heart along with the other concepts the mind has acquired, to bring it to the level of…

Knowing: where the mind has completely integrated everything. Once something is known, the heart and the mind can rest, for the concept now resides and is part of the soul level.

The concept here is Prosperity.

The concept here is Abundance.

The concept here is without Limits.

I am a powerful creative woman, able to do, be and have what I want in life; able to do what I love, and create it in my own way.

Namaste

 

Week #19 : Embrace abundance

“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

“Embody abundance”. I heard someone say those two words the other day. What does that mean, really? To truly embody abundance, do we need to have everything we want? Or can anyone who holds space for truth experience a way of being that is free  of lack?

Maybe to embody abundance is to recognize the realness that underlies the illusory film that covers much of what we see in our day-to-day lives. Maybe abundance is always there, but we forget to see it.

Just prior to forming my alliance with Mark J and the MKMMA Alliance, my vision was constantly clouded with the daily distractions and frustrations from traffic, crowds, and consumerism.

What if we could remember to look past the traffic, past the crowds, and past the consumerism? What would that view really look like? In a matter of months, my vision has become laser focused. When I am in heavy traffic and all I see in front of me is a sea of red lights, I now imagine a field of poppies, insistent at opening their petals to the sun, spreading sunshine to the cosmic sky.

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What if instead of seeing poverty, despair, pain, and cruelty in the world, we saw opportunities for growth, seeds of hope, room for  healing, and the sharing of compassion? What if we could truly embody abundance in every thought?

Perhaps then we can embody our abundance to experience and remember all that is, absent limits and free of lack.

Perhaps we can each take our life situation for what it is—a situation—instead of a sentence or definition; busy or not, and let it be a way for our being, our true self, to experience all that is worth experiencing.

Each life situation is a unique chance to embody the abundance that is already in us. We can all embody abundance. 

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So I imagined walking through a grove of pregnant coconut trees following a sunlit path that ultimately leads to the edge of the earth. My toes are finally cooled by the waters edge while my skin baths in the rays of the morning sunlight reflecting off the ocean. I breathe deeply in the physical sensations bearing witness to the immense horizon line as it expands the mission of your soul. Quiet. Stillness. Focus. Loving the immensity of the present moment.

Imagine your sacred space. Take time to serve you. Enjoy silence. Be loud when being loud helps. Dance with your lover, talk to your neighbor, let the snow or rain melt onto your skin, and be in awe of the ever changing skies above.

Abundance is not just about how much money you make. It’s beyond the cash that you have in the bank. Let me share with you a fantastic book entitled E-Squared by Pam Grout. Through a series of nine 48-hour experiments, the book reveals that the laws of the universe are limitless, abundant and accommodating.

My mind is now shifted to believe that abundance is about the capacity to live fully as an expression of your divinity.

You are able to express the truth of your being through the things that you do.

Shine in your brilliance!!

Namaste

Week #18 : Big 5

We are entering the 5th Week of our MKMMA version of Ben Franklin’s Makeover, I have shifted my focus to the virtue of Persistence. It is no coincidence that the journey of self discovery is entwined with the one’s persistent daily action of small tasks towards one’s goal.

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We were also reminded from our mentor Mark Januszewski that focusing on five small habits daily will have a profound ripple effect on our happiness state. What are they you ask?

1) Three Gratitudes.  In Shawn Achor’s book, “The Happiness Advantage” he writes about one key to happiness is to acknowledge three things every day that you are grateful for. We could all probably use something to start our day on a positive note.

2) Remember to Breathe.  Take time each day to meditate and center yourself.  The power of breathing helps lower cortisol, your stress hormone, and will balance if not improve your mood.

3) Pay it Forward.  Take the time to do something for someone else.  Try to do random acts of kindness as often as you can.  Remember the intention is to be random, not pre-meditated or to do so for reward or recognition.  Today, try opening the door for another person, letting someone else go in front of you in line or pay for another person’s toll or coffee.  You might find yourself doing these on a daily basis.

4) Moderate Exercise.  Exercise increases blood calcium, which stimulates dopamine production and uptake in your brain. Try 30 to 60 minutes of walking, swimming or jogging to jump-start your dopamine levels.

5) Take Notes.  Keep a journal to record on the positive things in your daily life. Include either bigger elements (e.g. a loving family) you’re grateful for or small moments in the day that made you smile (e.g. seeing the first crocuses bloom in your yard). As a daily practice before bed, keeping a journey can improve your sleep quality and give you a better perspective on the next day.

As we proceed into this new month with the daily reading from Og Mandino’s Scroll V – “I will live this day as if it is my last”, I find myself in alignment with another Big Five concept… yes, there are no coincidences…

Rather than tuning into mindless car radio play, I take the opportunity to listen to my collection of “Success” Audio CD’s in which the publisher, Darren Hardy, interviews successfully personalities from all aspects of business and life. I smiled when I found myself listening  this week to a 2010 interview with Robin Sharma in which he recounts his experience on safari in South Africa.  He tells the story of his epiphany upon learning about the ‘Big Five’. The term “Big Five” was originally coined by hunters, and referred to the five most difficult animals to hunt on foot in Africa. The Big Five wasn’t chosen for their size, but rather for the difficulty in hunting them, and the degree of danger involved. The famous Big Five are: the Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino, and Buffalo.

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In the interview, Robin Sharma explains how the term helped him coin ‘The Big Five’ goal process that he implemented in his daily practise. He describes it as follows:

The Big 5: Ask yourself, “What are five things I need to do before the last hour of the last day of my life here on this earth in order for me to feel like I have lived a truly extraordinary life?”

Write this down somewhere and review it at the beginning of each month while you’re looking over your monthly goals. Plan your goals and your life around your Big 5.

The Daily 5: Every morning, ask yourself, “What are five little things I can do today to make today a valuable day?”

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Be sure to share your favourite tips for boosting your mood!