What if We Replaced Resolutions with Miracles?

miracles, new year, new year's, resolutions, mind, body, spirit,

Republished from an earlier post

Around this time every year, we are inundated with reminders that we failed to meet last year’s resolutions, as well as techniques and tips that promise to make our next set of resolves stick. But when it comes to setting resolutions, I’ve noticed a number of friends who are sitting out this year. And it’s no wonder when you consider that, of the 40% of Americans who make resolutions; only 8% achieve their New Year’s goals. But maybe there’s another approach.

This may sound a little far-fetched, but what if we all decided to ditch the resolution idea altogether and focus instead on opening ourselves up to receiving miracles? It may sound like a crazy notion at first blush, but humor me for a few paragraphs. After all, the odds of a miracle don’t seem a whole lot different for those of us who are haunted by unfulfilled resolutions of New Years’ past.

I was recently struck with the possibility of miracles as a path for change while reading a book authored by intuitive coach and energy healer Cyndi Dale. In a section about avenues for change in our lives, she defines a miracle as any occurrence which is divinely engineered, and that furthers us on our path to purpose or completion.

According to Dale, we actually block our own ability to design a life that works for us when we spend our energy trying to make things happen in a specific way. Instead, she believes, we open tremendous potential for miracles when, after declaring our desire, we surrender the “how” to the universe, then let go and allow things to happen.

This idea is supported by her own experiments with students, who experienced miracles ranging in number and impact.  Replacing resolutions with miracles sounding like a good idea yet?

Being a miracle maker is no small feat. But if you’re up to the task, the following principles, based on Dale’s guidelines, will help with developing a list of desired dreams and wishes:

  1. The wish supports your body, mind, soul, and spirit integration. These are the aspects that, together, comprise a human being. An affliction to one component affects the whole, thereby making the connection between each part extremely important to our health and well-being. In other words, does our desire support our need for wholeness?
  2. The wish will help you to cultivate more love for yourself and others. As you love more, you begin to free yourself from suffering and the energy you send into the world becomes more positive for all. If like attracts like, contributing your own love and harmony into the world attracts exactly that to you.
  3. The wish should not injure your relationship with God or your higher self. I don’t see this in the sense of religious dogma, but rather preserving our faith and trust in the goodness and love of God (as we perceive). My personal belief is God is in all places, things, moments, beings- including me. This is my truth and any desire I have should be consistent with it.

These steps were easy enough. But teeing up miracles doesn’t stop there. Using an adaptation of the Universal Guardian Principles, Dale then enumerates the following series of agreements to make with oneself that serve to clear the path for miracle manifestation:

  • Am I willing to manifest the healing I need in order to have what I desire, and to heal through the manifestation of this desire?
  • Am I willing to change what needs to be changed to allow this desire to come true?
  • Am I willing to let go of my images and ideas about how this desire should manifest, and allow it to happen?
  • Am I willing to hold myself in a state of surrender and openness?
  • Am I willing to have my perception of myself change so I can further love myself?
  • Am I willing to be happy, even before I am graced with this wish?

At this point, you might be thinking this will be harder work than a resolution, and certainly much less comfortable for some. But remember that a miracle is an occurrence that furthers us on our path to purpose or completion. Doesn’t this seem so much more worthy of our efforts than the ritual of setting token goals that are so unimportant that most of us drop them like a hot potato three weeks into January?

I’d much rather find my purpose than pursuing some minuscule goal, like trying to swear off caffeine.  And maybe it’s the case that the miracles we truly need require a bit of work to prime the pump, so to speak. At the very least, completion of this miracle making exercise seems to promise development in self-love and holistic healing. But who knows, the miracle of miracles may just be waiting to walk down the path you clear for it.

 

Sources

Diamond, D. (2013). Just 8% of People Achieve Their New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s How They Do It. Retrieved December 31, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/#8bf38c304c79

Dale, C., & Dale, C. (2009). The complete book of chakra healing: activate the transformative power of your energy centers. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.

 

Photo courtesy of satit_srihin on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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A Labor Day Exercise in Mindful Eating

organic food, mindful eating

Originally posted September 5, 2016.  

Labor Day gives us a well-deserved day off, a day to reflect about the contributions of us working folk that make our society great. In addition to providing a break from the daily grind, it’s also a day where we take pause to savor the final days of summer and enjoy the remaining bounties of fresh produce before heading into fall.  In the spirit of the true history behind Labor Day, I feel like it’s also a perfect occasion for an exercise in mindful eating.

According to The Center for Mindful Eating (TCME), the relationship we have with food reflects the attitudes we have toward the environment and ourselves. TCME describes one who eats mindfully as someone who cultivates awareness about various aspects of the experience of eating and how food choices support one’s health and well-being.  And true mindful eating goes beyond healthy practices of self. It also involves awareness of the interconnection of earth, living beings, and cultural practices and the impact of their food choices on those systems.

As I cut strawberries for my Labor Day shortcakes, I’m reflecting about the life cycle of this delectable little fruit. And not just about how much pesticide I’ve spared my kids’ systems by choosing the more pricey organic variety.  I ponder about the work it took to grow, harvest, and transport these berries to the nicely arranged display where I found them.  I sit with that- the work and the people who do it.  It’s a lot.

Organic food
Conscious decisions about our food sometimes unconsciously exclude treatment of farm workers.

Many of us dream of having romantic lives as homesteaders, where we raise our own food in a humane, ethical and chemical-free way. But the reality for most of us is that we rely on the agricultural industry (and its workforce) to ship our organic, ethically sourced foods into our urban and suburban supermarkets. We are so far removed from the growing process that this rarely crosses our minds.  But today, it’s on mine.

So I ask the internet: What is work like for those who grow our food?

Impeccable timing for an activist like me! My search results tell me that this Labor Day, the United Farmworkers of America will be honoring the 50th anniversary of a nearly 500-mile march to the state capitol of Texas, where farm workers called for better pay and working conditions, as well as bargaining rights. Surely they’ve come a long way in 50 years.

Then, I read countless stories about today’s farm workers who still endure long, physically demanding shifts with no breaks for poverty wages- far less than $10,000 for a full season. And no overtime pay. Many of these workers are immigrants, sending money to family back home while existing in paltry living conditions here. I’m shocked to read that some workers are being whipped, sexually harassed and even deprived of the pay they’ve earned.

This is so unjust, I think to myself; but surely organic farming is different.  Retailers and suppliers who cater to conscious consumers like me must share my value system and the goal of raising the vibration of our planet. Right? At the very least, they know people like me want our hard-earned cash going only to those with the most ethical of business practices.

It turns out, though, that labor is an important part of the food chain which may need our focus and attention, even in the organic and ethically sourced space.   Although many organic farms are smaller in scale, with a significant part of the workforce being family; large industrial companies are also creating a niche for organic produce.  And while workers on organic farms escape a lot of the chemical exposure borne by their counterparts working on large industrial farms, the absence of protective labor standards are the same.

In fact, workers in Washington State have helped to organize an ongoing boycott against one of the largest berry companies in the world. The Washington workers are working with a group of striking workers in Mexico, some of whom are paid as little as $6 and $7 per week.  The groups are hoping pressure will force the company to hold its growers accountable for the violations of labor rights and deplorable working conditions. In the year 2016 this is happening!

I don’t necessarily think of where my food comes from every time I go to the store. It’s my health and well-being that are ordinarily at the top of my mind when I make food choices. (Okay! Most of the time.) But mindful eating means I am also aware of the impact my food choices have on others. This includes my brothers and sisters who cultivate and harvest my food no matter how far away.

As I think about how much I’d love to spend Labor Day in any one of those Texas communities celebrating that march on Austin 50 years ago, I realize that the strawberries I bought for my own festivities bear a label being boycotted by workers who want to be paid fairly and shown respect for their hard work.   And I sit with this- their work. Our interconnectedness. My gratitude for their work.  And which berry label I will look for until their dispute is resolved.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/46646401@N06/8745509772″>not WORKING ON MY TAN</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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Kids and Reiki

Early in my Reiki studies, I inquired of one of my teachers about how this modality could help my moody (then) tween. This esteemed Reiki Master, for whom I hold tremendous regard, expressed hesitance toward attuning children to Reiki. Her belief was Reiki attunements, opening one energetically, exposes kids to unnecessary vulnerability. I didn’t press the issue then, but remain curious as I contemplate developing a Reiki program for kids in my area.

Surely a child would similarly benefit from self-Reiki the way adults do. I’ve thought about this in relation to my own healing journey, like when Reiki energy has helped to calm my anxiety in a tough work situation. The self-realization and sense of balance many of us love about Reiki can’t be good only for adults.

My own kids have benefited from many a Reiki treatment. They have their preferences on what music we will play, the pillow arrangement, and the length of treatments they request. And our post-session discussions about their Reiki experiences have been beautiful and affirmative. They haven’t been attuned to treat themselves; but I’m very interested in teaching them and other kids this wonderful modality.

I’ve heard stories in various circles about the benefits of Reiki for kids, like a young girl with a very ill mother who comforted herself by placing her own hands on her belly. Or the teenager who was able to become more aware of her disruptive behavior at school and home while she was dealing with peer issues. As a non-invasive and safe modality, it’s no surprise that many kids learn and love to use Reiki in their daily lives.

Reading books and studying programs designed to educate kids about the basics of our subtle energy bodies has me jazzed about the prospects. It is often said that kids learn to speak foreign languages and to play musical instruments more efficiently than adults. And the openness of kids makes them acutely more apt to embrace the healing energy of Reiki. And let’s face it; the benefits often associated with Reiki could make the world for many teens (and their parents) a much calmer and more peaceful place.

 

Photo courtesy of  Daniel St. Pierre on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Purging with a Pantoum

So many emotions and thoughts are swimming around in our hearts and minds these days, as many of us wonder and worry about the direction of our world.  If you’re like me, the pens have been burning through journal pages like a muscle car burning down the drag strip.  But journaling, as cathartic as it can be, does not always do the job.  Especially when the emotion filling those thoughts want to take on a poetic feel.Journaling

Months ago, I attended a women’s retreat where French Pantoum poetry was incorporated into a series of free writing exercises.  While I loved to write poems as a kid, I cannot say that I am a natural-born poet by any stretch.  Yet the French Pantoum gave me a creative outlet to give a beautiful form to many of my thoughts and feelings. And it is super easy to do!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Do some free-writing about whatever is on your heart.  For my first couple poems, I plucked lines from my journal that spoke to me.
  2. Pick six phrases from your writing that really resonate with you. Don’t give it too much thought.
  3. Using the form below, plug your six phrases into beautiful stanzas of poetry.  There is no rule or limit on the number of stanzas your poem should include.

French Pantoum

STANZA 1
Line1:___________________________________________________________
Line 2: __________________________________________________________
Line 3: __________________________________________________________
Line 4:___________________________________________________________

STANZA 2
Line 5 (repeat of line 2 in stanza 1):__________________________________
Line 6 (new line):__________________________________________________
Line 7 (repeat of line 4 in stanza 1):__________________________________
Line 8 (new line):__________________________________________________

STANZA 3
Line 9 (repeat line 6 of the previous stanza):___________________________
Line 10 (repeat line 3 of the first stanza):______________________________
Line 11 (repeat line 8 of the previous stanza):__________________________
Line 12 (repeat line 1 of the first stanza):______________________________

Below I shared my first French Pantoum, written during a time of great reflection in my life.  I’m certainly no expert on writing poetry, but I definitely recommend this form of creative expression. Write your own Pantoum. 

 

The Crosses We Bear

How different our lives would be without incessant clutching to our baggage, the crosses we bear
The sting from that time when someone else refused to acknowledge a part of you
Visualizing it, this feeling would be a thick, gray, inflexible mass
If only I could read my life story aloud with conviction and in a poetic sort of cadence

The sting from that time when someone else refused to acknowledge a part of you
What made me stronger when I couldn’t live anymore, not for one more day?
If only I could read my life story aloud with conviction and in a poetic sort of cadence
I tried to be helpful, but probably wasn’t very

What made me stronger when I couldn’t live anymore, not for one more day?
Visualizing it, this feeling would be a thick, gray, inflexible mass
I tried to be helpful, but probably wasn’t very
How different our lives would be without incessant clutching to our baggage, the crosses we bear

Photos courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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