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.

 

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The Weight of the Word

goldy-on-freedigitalphots-net

Today I decided to take a leave of absence from my personal social media accounts. The vitriol in posts, tweets and memes has many of us feeling raw and, quite frankly, exhausted. It’s amazing how emboldened and compassionless people can become in the throes of virtual conversations, whether computers or texts. Some try to laugh it off because the communication is “impersonal”, but the truth is all words count and no words are empty.

I believe words have tremendous power in all forms; they can harm and they can heal. Of course this extends to all of them, not just those we cast out into the abyss of the internet.  And we know this from reading stories that confirm the power of prayer in healing disease or research that proves the lifelong effects of emotional abuse.  This struck me quite particularly while recently reading about the energetic value of words in a section of Jan Engle-Smith’s book, Through the Rabbit Hole.

Words are Energy: Frequency of Words

Those who incessantly try to raise our own frequency would appreciate when Engle-Smith posits that words are energy and possess a frequency of vibration. If you think about it, words do evoke physical sensation and they can even make you feel nourished or depleted.  We’ve all felt our bodies retreat into a state of resistance in response to low frequency words, sometimes even experiencing real physical pain where no physical contact has occurred. Simply put, energy from the words we are exposed to has an immediate energetic effect on us.

And it doesn’t stop there. Those who practice Reiki and other energy modalities rely on the fact that our intentions drive the energy we use for healing. For all of us who manifest our intention into words, we are giving those intentions form.  Dr. Emoto’s research on the effect of human consciousness on water molecules is a prime example.  Frozen water labeled with the words, “you disgust me” produced much different forms than the beautiful crystals in frozen water labeled with, “truth”.

Dr. Emoto water research
Dr. Emoto’s research links consciousness to molecular structure of water

Words are Actions

I’ve really been thinking on this notion of manifesting intention with words, and the power of it. Engle-Smith illustrates this with a sort of continuum when she writes: Energy follows intention; whatever you add to energy multiplies; thought followed by action (here, words) equals form; what you believe becomes.

You may not be ready to label your water just yet, but it could a fun exercise to ponder the energetic value of our most commonly used words and phrases. For example, the phrase “in love” usually means romantic love and doesn’t necessarily require mutuality. But we can be “in fellowship”, “in unison”, or “in war” with others.  So to me, the image of two people mutually intending to live in the space of love is nothing short of breathtaking.

Affirmations  

Affirmations are a great way test whether Engle-Smith’s cycle can bear fruit for you. Of course affirmations are not a tool for changing the thoughts and behavior of others. Rather, they can help us manifest the intention to change our own behavior or to act in a way that will help us reach our own goals.

The philosophy behind affirmations is absolutely worth all of us spending time researching and  practicing.  A piece on affirmations in the Huffington Post  lists a few good examples of affirmations that pack some pretty weighty words of intent:

  1. My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.
  2. I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them.
  3. My nature is divine. I am a spiritual being.
  4. Though these times are difficult, they are only a short phase in my life.
  5. I acknowledge my own self-worth. My confidence is soaring.

My intent is to use my words more intentionally to help take the edge off the blossoming bitterness of late and also in hopes of creating  a powerfully loving reality. Seeing as how the human body is about 65% water, just consider me a nice, cool glass of Emoto-esque research. Here’s to  raising our glasses to words that raise our frequency!

 

 

 

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The Healing Power of the Pen

Journaling

I’ve never been particularly skilled at sharing my story with others. Even when I want to share the most exuberant of experiences, what comes out of my mouth often sounds as rousing as the hum of a dryer full of jeans. Thus, the life of an introvert.

In fact, if I had a dollar for every time someone complained about how flatly I emote or about one’s perception that I lack enthusiasm for their most gracious efforts, I’d be…  Let’s just say I could probably pay for a few trips to Rio de Janeiro for Carnival, or some other colorful and exciting place.  And I’d be so thrilled to there for the action- but you might not know it by looking at me.

Self-expression isn’t only for the social butterflies.

Many people rely heavily on self-expression through verbal interactions with others for their healing and development activities. Afterall, connection is a survival mechanism we humans generally require. Even for an introvert, interaction with others is very important for avoiding isolation.

But rather than judging myself or even attempting to fit into the mold of the mainstream extroverted way of expression around the clock, I have found that carving out time for journaling is a rather useful way for me to process life and to express creative ideas. As a bonus, the time alone allows me to re-energize from the stimulation of interaction.

Journaling can be good for health and well-being.

While journaling is especially helpful for those of us with the penchant for good, quality alone time with self; the practice can have a healing effect for anyone. There are dozens of powerful ways journaling can improve one’s life.  Here are a few reasons why journaling might be for you.

  1. Stress Reduction. Whether a written expression of strong emotions in the moment or a day-by-day acknowledgement of chronic pain, journaling has been found to provide emotional and physical benefits. This includes a reduction in anxiety and worry.
  2. Self-expression and discovery.  Getting in the habit of writing allows us to take inventory of people, things and situations that we like or don’t like. What conjures feelings of happiness, disappointment or confidence? Who are you? What do you really want to do with your life? Getting to know yourself is an important step in loving yourself.
  3. Processing each moment, manifesting the next. Journaling provides a way to reflect on disappointments or situations in a way that makes it safe to see the other person’s point of view. Solo analysis in journaling provides a place to contemplate scenarios for next steps in a way that is sometimes more effective than immediate action.
  4. Healing Past Wounds. Interactive journaling is technique that is useful for those who wish to explore previous experiences that have yet to be processed and released. Not only might this process help to alleviate emotional suffering, but can also have a marked impact on physical health and overall well-being.

Get that pen going.Journaling for Health

Regardless of the reason you journal, you’ll most certainly decide that your journal is a dependable, all-accepting, nonjudgmental friend. But getting started isn’t always so easy.  Here are a few ways I have found helpful when writers block is keeping the paper blank.

  1. Stream of consciousness writing. You can start with anything from why you selected a certain dish for dinner to your most important goals in life. No matter how mundane at the start, commit to writing. And stick with it.
  2. Use journal prompts. There are journals that come with prompts printed on each page, giving you a different topic for each time you write. You can also do a simple search on the internet to find a list like the one on the Daring to Live Fully website. (I’m going to try some of these!)
  3. Gratitude journaling. Some recommend starting with a list, like the three things you’re most grateful for this week. During a particularly trying time in life last year, I made a  gratitude list until I felt satisfied every day upon waking. Then I chose one or two things to write about in detail.
  4. Theme-based journaling. Theme-based journaling guides your writing by topic for a set time frame, allowing for deep exploration and development around a particular subject area. For example, I recently spent a month journaling daily about what I envision to be the “ultimate woman”.
  5. Dream journal. My favorite journal entries to re-read are about past dreams. There are many reasons one would want to record dreams. A consistent recommendation about dream journals is that writing should be done upon waking to ensure you fill in as few gaps as possible when remembering your dream, even in in the middle of the night.

There are no hard and fast rules for journaling. And journaling certainly doesn’t replace working with a counselor or other mental health professional for someone in need of medical attention, though it can be a strong complement to therapy. And maybe it isn’t introverts who most benefit from the cathartic effects of chronicling life in written form.

Regardless, Anne Sexton’s words come to mind as an inspiration for all who commit to pouring out our hearts onto paper, “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”   Happy journaling!

 

 

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The Good Medicine of Balance and Harmony

The observance of Columbus Day this year falls on the heels of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, a stark reminder that remnants of the imperialism carried out by European settlers hundreds of years ago remains alive and well. The fallout from the initial arrival of Europeans to the Western Hemisphere created a power imbalance of epic proportions, ironically devastating nations of indigenous people whose core beliefs centered on the very concepts of balance and harmony.

id-10016250This post is being written on Columbus Day and is offered to honor the wisdom of American Indian cultures and the focus of their belief system that centers on balance and harmony. These time-honored social mores stem from a strong connection between spirituality and health and hold many lessons that critically need applied by the citizens of our world.

Walk of Beauty

American Indian traditions hold balance and harmony up as a critical piece of wellness for humans as beings whose relationship with nature is interconnection and interdependence. The concept extends to balance with self (mind, body, spirit, emotions), as well as balance with the Creator, with others, and with every other aspect of the one’s environment. In the Navajo tradition, balance and harmony means to be in balance with the universe.  This is called the Walk of Beauty and is considered to be good medicine.

These Native American spiritual beliefs connect wellness with the need to maintain balance and harmony with all that is. The following relevant insights from a piece called Native American Religions: Balance and Harmony offers valuable wisdom on areas where we should seek balance:

    • Individual Harmony and Balance enables one to exist in a state of peace with the body, thoughts, and emotions. Native American traditions value the importance of each component that makes a whole person, believing an imbalance in one area manifests in physical or mental illness.
    • Social Harmony and Balance in American Indian cultures is viewed as crucial to people living and working together in community. Traditional systems of Indian law and tribal government are built on the idea of preserving and restoring harmony, and are less about authority figures exercising domain over others.
    • Natural Harmony and Balance applies to people and their relationship with the natural world. Whether demonstrating respect and honor by asking permission and giving thanks when hunting or using fire to nourish and purify lands for plant life, balance harmony with the natural world is important.

Progressing Beyond Progress

The “progress” that has produced our modern mainstream culture in the U.S. has left most of us so far removed from sensing our interconnection and interdependence with the universe. Too many people don’t even contemplate the exploitation and disruption of the universe our way of life requires.  But many of us think about it a lot, and it seems like our numbers are growing.

The support of non-Native American activists during the recent clash over the Dakota Access Pipeline signals that many more are thinking about the value of our ideas about “progress”. While it’s quite common for us to seek personal balance, a broader shift toward seeking balance and harmony in our societal way of living is palpable.  For those of us looking to make the Walk of Beauty, maybe the wisdom above provides a good map toward the path.

 

 

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