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What I Want is to be Myself Again

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I’m learning that when we lose faith in our feelings, we lose faith in ourselves and become outer-directed. That is, we look to the world to tell us how to feel and what to do.  We seek approval and love from others so we can prove to ourselves that we are worthy.  Paradoxically, to be outer-directed is to be self-absorbed. How can this be?  We feel so unsure of who we are , that we cannot let go, be spontaneous or real.We can reclaim ourselves by becoming inner-directed.  This means looking within ourselves for the direction we need.  When we’re just beginning to learn to trust our feelings, this can seem to be truly agonizing.  It means trusting the reality of our needs and our right to express them.  Only then can we find the faith in ourselves and in life, that we have lacked.

Becoming inner-directed takes self-acceptance and self-love.  It also takes time. Until then, there will be no real peace because it is the only way to find ourselves.

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You Are In Integrity

“You are in integrity when the life you live is an authentic expression of who you are.” — Alan Cohen

 

I Am a Vessel Containing Life

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“What is the deepest loss you have suffered?  If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine… And if the earthly no longer knows your name, whisper to the silent earth: I’m flowing.  To the flashing water say: I am.”  — Rilke

It’s not that I want the Universe to change everything about me or remake me to perfection. (OK, maybe I do). It’s not that I wish I was other than who I am, some days I even like who I am.  It’s more that I want to have faith in myself, a deep-down, constant faith that steadies me.  I want to have roots deep in the earth, not fragile roots of glass.

Strong and deep roots are made of self-esteem, hope, love, willingness, humility and faith.  My longing to be grounded in life may take the form of wishing I was not afflicted by defects of character, but that’s a cover-up for the deeper things I truly want.

Working on one’s self by undertaking an effort toward personal growth reorganizes one’s personalities, indeed one’s very soul, around new, spiritual principles.  We stay, to some degree, dysfunctional or defective and always will be, yet that doesn’t prevent us from possessing faith in ourselves and the courage to keep growing.

We are all vessels containing life.  We are vessels that have been shattered and mended, and will endure.

Make Every Attempt to Live Life by the Golden Rule

“My life is… a mystery which I do not attempt to understand, as though I were led by the hand in a night where I see nothing, but can fully depend on the Love and Protection of Him who guides me.” – Thomas Merton

When I laugh, God laughs. When I weep, God weeps. When I need, God says, “Yes.”

 

I have come to know that there are many ways to express spirituality and know that the Universe is showing me my way. Spirituality is not defined only as religion. Spirituality is the yearning of the heart toward something larger than ourselves and the wish to leap the chasm that divides us from the infinite to the eternal.

For some, spiritual expression is a shout of gratitude and praise. For others, it is a journey through a desert, darkness or frozen tundra. For still others, it is a search that happens unconsciously, without their really being aware of it. As I continue to grow personally, my progress depends on a spiritual life lived each day and must be true to my spirituality. I must trust it, no matter how difficult the journey. Nothing is too great for the Universe’s unconditional love – not addiction, not fear nor unwillingness. One’s happiness matters to the Universe, who loves us and leads us through life.

The Silva Method: Mental Housekeeping

“What you think about expands” – Alan Cohen

 

To learn something new and apply it to one’s life, it is often necessary to do a “mental housekeeping” of sorts beforehand.  Our minds often seem to have tapes playing – some with positive messages or affirmations and others with negative, oppositional messages.  Positive thinking means thinking and talking about the things we want and not the things we don’t want.  Negative thinking is thinking and talking about the things we don’t want.

“I can’t…” or “I don’t want…” indicate negative thinking; thoughts that provoke the exact opposite of what is desired.  Negative thinking is like a photographic negative; just the opposite of the outcome hoped for.  Try avoiding phrases like, “That makes me sick,” “I can’t see that,” “He gives me a headache,” “A pain in the neck,” and the like.  These phrases create pictures in the mind of what we don’t want.

But what to do when negative thoughts are evoked and the negative tape is playing?  Jose Silva found the “cancel, cancel” technique to be effective and began teaching it to students before teaching them how to relax and get to alpha level.  The way the “cancel, cancel” technique works is, when a negative statement is made, say or think right away, “cancel, cancel.”  Think of as pressing the “delete” key on your keyboard.  Immediately replace the “cancelled” statement or thought with a positive statement or positive mental image of your desired goal.

Use positive statements about being healthy, being in control or being blessed.  Try counting your blessings.  Jose Silva believed the phrase “Better and better” triggers the mind to count our blessings and keep thinking about our goals and the outcomes we want.  The “Cancel, cancel” and “Better and better” techniques that have made big differences in my life.  The “Cancel, cancel” technique always seems to be one that people around me notice in our conversations and I always find myself grinning when I hear someone else in my life pick up its use.

Faith is another concept that Silva training defines as it applies to their techniques.  The word “faith” for many evokes thoughts of religion or religious beliefs.  For the purpose of learning the Silva techniques, faith is made up of want, belief and expectancy.

Desire is the motive force, the force that pushes us toward our goals.  Desire, being a pushing, motivating force is of the physical dimension. Without want, one would never even begin a project.  To increase the strength of one’s want, students learning the Silva technique are encouraged to repeat mentally or verbally what it is that is desired, along with the reasons for wanting that particular success.  Once able to enter the alpha level of consciousness more desire and reasons for success are manifested.  Why?  Both hemispheres of the brain are functioning and working together giving twice the results.

Belief is what sustains between want and expectancy; from the driving force and the goal already created in the mind.  Believe in yourself and your right to what you seek.  Believe it is possible; avoid setting goals you cannot believe you can do.  Anything your mind can conceive and believe and your heart desires can be achieved.  Expectancy is of the alpha, the subjective, and the dimensional.  It is the goal.  If want is the propelling force, then expectancy is the target in sight.

 

 

Life is a Question Mark

 

“Therefore, will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.  I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”  — Thomas Merton

I am experiencing one of those times when I don’t seem to know where I am going.  There are many changes going on around me and great insecurity which have caused me to feel far away from the love of the Universe and I don’t know how to find my way back.

During times like this, when I have no answers, is it enough to simply just ask questions?  My inclination is to be in control, to put my mind to work and figure things out.  But I am finding that some things simply can’t be dealt with only with logic.  All I can seem to do is ask the questions, have faith in the answers as the Universe reveals them to me, and let go.

I’ve been told that I’ll find new faith by working through these situations where I don’t have the answers right away.  Part of life’s wonder is its mystery.  It takes faith to not only accept the mystery, but to embrace it and love it.

Faith is…

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Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.  — Ramona C. Carroll

Faith

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Faith in thought is powerful,
but faith in action is magnetic
.

Willingness is Like Faith

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“The readiness is all.” – William Shakespeare

Willingness is like faith.  We know it’s real because we experience it, but we can’t define it.  Nonetheless, the sense of humility, surrender, and peace that accompany willingness are our indicators that it is real, indeed.

A recovering addict who recently finished treatment told this story: “I was walking downtown and I got at least three offers to buy drugs and have sex.  I said no.  My willingness at that moment was to say no.”

We move forward often without knowing where we’re going.  But in those rare, shining moments of willingness when we conform our will to the Universe’s, we see our direction clearly.  And we are transformed.