Category: Essence Journey

From My Head to My Heart

Hello, I took a must needed break from social media through the summer.  I am back and want to share why I took the break and what I learned.  It was around my birthday in May.  My life was stressful and I was not intentional in my actions.  I just reacted to everything.  Mindfulness wasn’t in my actions.  I was reacting day to day to people, events, and news from my head not my heart.  So, I had to stop.

During the summer I took time to reevaluate my life.  I started therapy and began writing in my journal again.  I learned that I was such a people pleaser and codependent that my life was absorbed with others needs.  My needs were not even known to me.

So, I began looking at what my heart needed and wanted.  I found that I needed to be by the ocean and I hadn’t been lately.  IMG_1569

I also became aware that I wasn’t stopping and noticing the beauty around me.

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I spent time with family and friends.

IMG_9219trina, sharon, and me

I also began writing again and hope one day to have a biographical fiction to publish.

I learned from this hiatus from social media and my unintentional life that I miss a great deal when I react instead of being present and let my heart lead me.  When I do that I can appreciate so much in my life every day.

IMG_1563          I will be writing here more but I will make sure it is all from my heart not my head.  As Gary Zukav said, “The longest journey we will make is from our head to our heart.”

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How to Avoid Holiday Stress

If you have been following this site or read the book Living from Your Heart you will understand how important it is to practice your Essence Journey especially during the holidays.   The holidays often add stress, anxiety, and a wide range of emotions. To eliminate these feelings, stop doing some behaviors that are precursors to the stress and so on.

The behaviors that you need to stop doing to avoid holiday stress, and permanent stress if you have the commitment, are Wanting, Holding, Assuming, and Monitoring. I will talk about these four behaviors in this article. Most importantly, all four of these behaviors are fine as long as they do not cause pain or suffering to you or anyone else.

Wanting – This is a behavior to stop when you want an item, want something to happen, or want something not to happen and pain and suffering happens if it doesn’t happen. Here are some examples of wanting that needs to stop. Paul wants a promotion at his job. He has been counting on it for months and has already planned what he will do with the increase in pay. Paul did not get the promotion and he was devastated. He became depressed, angry, and was snapping at his colleagues. He felt that his manager didn’t like him and that’s why he didn’t get the promotion. He felt pain in his stomach and his neck. Paul has wanted that promotion too much and when it didn’t occur he felt such pain and so did others that he was around. In order for Paul, or anyone, to stop a wanting that causes pain and suffering he must recognize that he is doing that behavior. He is wanting something to happen to the point that his life will be affected poorly if he doesn’t get that to happen. Next, is for Paul to stop wanting that behavior to happen so badly.

Meredith wanted everyone to celebrate the holidays at her house because she just finished all the renovations. Several family members have made other plans and will not be at her house. Meredith became sad, angry, and felt rejected. She felt pain in her heart area and her lower back. Her anger caused tension within the family and there were a few verbal arguments around this topic. Meredith’s wanting the celebration to be at her house was unhealthy. It would have been best if she noticed her unhealthy wanting and stopped it before it became such a problem.

Holding – Holding is another behavior that can cause pain and suffering when you are holding on to something or someone so rigidly that if you have to let go you will feel pain and suffering. Holding during the holidays is a common occurrence. For example, Ruth holds tightly to traditions that no one wants to participate. Her family always opened one gift on Christmas Eve. Now that her son is married and has a child they don’t do that tradition. They just wait and open all the gifts on Christmas. She is feeling lots of pain and suffering because it’s not going to happen. Ruth felt lots of pain in her heart area and her family was suffering because she was angry and disappointed and not very nice.

Assuming – Assuming can cause pain and suffering. When someone assumes something they are making it up. There is no truth to assumptions. An assumption is something made up that may happen in the future. For example, Edith assumes that her son will have a bad future if he doesn’t go to college. They have both been arguing because he wants to do something else for a few years after high school and she wants him to immediately go to college. She keeps telling him that he will never get a good job or have a financial, comfortable future without a college degree. Their arguing is causing both of them pain. The fact is, neither one of them know if that is true or not. All they know is that is Edith’s opinion. So, for the holidays, stay away from making assumptions about anything or anyone. It’s not true and definitely not worth it. In fact, stop making assumptions all together.

Monitoring – The final behavior to stop if you want to live a happier and more compassionate life especially during the holidays is monitoring. I’m sure you all know someone who is that nosy neighbor or friend who always knows what everyone is doing because he is watching and monitoring. If you look at your daily behaviors you may notice that you monitor, as well.

Jonathan has a wonderful and beautiful girlfriend. However, he notices how so many of the men look at her. He kept monitoring who was looking at her at the store, at the restaurant, at the movies and so on. It was making him angry and uncomfortable. He felt pain in his jaw, his neck was tight and his heart area hurt. Jennifer, his girlfriend, was feeling pain because he kept complaining about all the boys who look and smile at her and she couldn’t do anything about it. Monitoring can cause lots of pain and suffering when the person who is monitoring doesn’t like what they are seeing.

Peter has 6 other brothers. It is Christmas day and as they are opening their gifts he is monitoring what each brother receives to make sure he gets the best of gifts or at least equal to what his brothers get. This year they all got different gifts and some received 2 and 3 gifts. There was no big gift. This was frustrating for Peter because instead of enjoying the moment he was busy monitoring each and every gift that was being opened. This was a painful and suffering time for him. If he wasn’t monitoring everything he could have enjoyed the moments and the gifts.

In conclusion, if we can catch ourselves when we begin wanting, holding, assuming, and monitoring and STOP doing them our lives can be lighter, happier, and much more compassionate.

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Magic Waters

Magic Waters

Waters of the Caribbean

Governor Harbor, Eleuthera

I took a much-needed break and went on a 10-day cruise through the Caribbean.  I had never been on a cruise.  In fact, I never thought it was for me.  However, I needed to do something substantial, on the water, and soon.  So, I found this great cruise and thought “why not?”.

It is a Holland America cruise and the people aboard came from many different countries.  It was fun to hear the rhythm of different languages and go to the library on the ship and see books in a variety of languages.  There are some beautiful languages visually and auditorily.

This was just what I needed.  Everything was foreign to me from the appropriate behaviors of being a “mariner” to the different lands we visited.   This “newness” or “beginners mind” allowed me to see each moment with an uncontaminated mind – a pure impression.

My fears and trepidations were high as I handed my suitcase to a steward and climbed the gangway to my home for 10 days.  The ship was huge and full of people moving about as if they knew what they were doing and where they were going.  As I showed my stateroom number and asked which way to my room I noticed how everyone was so helpful and kind.  I thought, well, of course, they are going on a vacation.

Even when I couldn’t communicate verbally with someone we were able to convey our “words” with body language, eyes, smiles, frown, hands, and so on.  It was refreshing to see all the ways to relate to someone who doesn’t speak my language.

One thing I became aware of very quickly is that most people on this ship show kindness and compassion.  The crew, as well as the passengers, were helpful when I looked confused or lost, included me in the excursions, and welcomed me at their tables etc.  I also noticed how the kindness was everywhere.  People were helping people who were in wheelchairs and needed something.  Passengers were so caring and compassionate to complete strangers.   I also appreciated the respect I received when I needed time to myself.  There was no judgment or pressure to join them.  I could be me.

Now, I am aware that this is a vacation for the passengers and we were not working together or had a mutual project to complete etc. but it really seemed that their actions and energy came from their heart.  Maybe they were at a place in their lives that other’s behaviors didn’t matter.  But, one of my theories is that we were on the water.  There is a book called The Healing Power of Water by Masaru Emoto which reports the healing effects of living by, being near, or living on the water.    

The implications of their research create a new awareness of how we can positively impact the Earth and our own personal world.  Since the beginning of time, water has been the symbol of the soul and is seen as the prime substance of the universe.  The fetus is surrounded by amniotic fluid and our bodies are at least 70% water.   Water has many features that make life possible on Earth.   We learned about water in our physics classes.  For example, frozen water is lighter than its liquid form.  Without this quality, rivers would freeze completely in winter; but because a lighter, protective layer of ice forms on the surface, creatures can still exist underneath.  Water has the ability to levitate.  It can flow against gravity, as in the case of artesian spring and wells.  The healing power of water from these sources, for both external and internal use, has been known for generations.

Others have researched and written about the healing powers of water.  I truly believe that when people are on, near, or in water, they are happier, healthier, and more compassionate.

I hope all of you can find ways to be near water especially the oceans or seas. IMG_3629

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Finding Yourself Through Travel

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

 

I believe finding yourself through travel is a true way to regroup with your Essence, your self.  Years ago I traveled to Honduras and India to bring home my children.  It was the beginning of finding my love and appreciation of travel. Map and compas When I travel to a new country, I have what Buddhist call beginner’s mind.  Everything is new as I am experiencing everything for the first time.  It is a wonderful experience because I am also experiencing parts of me for the first time.  I am aware of my need to communicate with a second language and how challenging that is.  I am aware of what it feels like to be a minority.  I am aware of what it feels like to be a mother for the first time.  I am not confident in the culture of the countries and it is so fun to experience things as new and find things about myself as new.

Later I found that traveling to peaceful islands or places near the ocean brings me to a different part of myself.  I find that the water gives me such peace and tranquility that my Inner Essence Practice can be fueled by the time I spend near the water.  My favorite place is an island in the Bahamas called Eleuthera.  It is about 100 miles long and seven miles wide.  The Carribean is on one side and the Atlantic is on the other.   There is very little tourism.  The island has one main road down the middle of the island. Governor Harbor, Eleuthera I am able to be with my Essence in a calm, supportive environment which strengthens my ability to be in my Inner Essence Journey.  It is challenging to be on my journey some days in my busy city with all my life demands in my face.  I want to be able to practice my Inner Essence Journey everywhere but once in a while, it is nice to go somewhere quiet, beautiful, and peaceful to energize myself and strengthen my desire and ability to live from my heart.  Most of the people on this island are perfect examples of living from your heart.  They are compassionate, loving, caring, and helpful.  There are no feelings of greed, judgment, or anger.  Each time I leave the island I am ready to bring their ability to live from their heart back home with me.  Eleuthera is my “go to” place when I need to travel to a place that I can rest, relax, meditate, do yoga, eat healthily, go on long walks on empty beaches and find my true self, my Essence, again.

 

Some journeyers find that going to a spa to rest and relax, eat a healthy diet, get massages and meditate in the mountains, the desert or on a beach by the ocean.  Others find a way to strengthen their Inner Essence by going to a retreat center or an ashram or monastery.

I am sure you have your favorite spot that supports your Essence.  Lake in the mountainsThis place should be a place that you go to find yourself again and spend time there find your true self again.  Some people feel the mountains do that for them.  Camping high in the mountains brings them closer to their Essence.  camping in mountainsOthers like to be in a big city in a different country where no one knows you.  You can immerse yourself in their culture and see yourself through new eyes.

Finding yourself through travel can be a powerful component to your Inner Essence Project.

Where would that place be for you?  Comment below.  I reply quickly.