Monday, December 27, 2010

Remember Who You Are

We just celebrated Christmas. Most of us in the Christian world accept that through the birth of Jesus we learned for the first time who we are as children of God. He proclaimed that we are part of a new lineage by grafting ourselves in the true olive tree. Unfortunately, Jesus was killed before establishing his own true family to manifest the lineage of God on earth. Now, 2,000 years later, we have a second chance to graft ourselves into the lineage of God, by learning about a new revelation regarding Jesus’ mission and joining into cross culture marriages to manifest his teachings.

"Every decision you make - every decision - is not a decision about what to do. It's a decision about Who You Are. When you see this, when you understand it, everything changes. You begin to see life in a new way. All events, occurrences, and situations turn into opportunities to do what you came here to do."  ~ Neale Donald Walsch, Author of Conversations With God

I chose the title for my essay from words of encouragement we gave our children every day before they left for school. In order to counteract the barrage of information we are all exposed to every day, we need to continuously expose ourselves to words of truth and principles.

How to find meaning in life?

Just recently I was watching a short video by Victor Frankl on how to keep our daily orientation and our attitude:

Victor Frankl survived years of extremely harsh treatments in Auschwitz. Because he found his “why” in living for his faith in God, he was able not only to survive the inhuman exposures, but lived to teach us today how to find deeper meaning in our lives. Here is a quote from his book “Search for Meaning” which describes his basic attitude:

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, by they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Why are we struggling?

Why are we struggling with day to day issues of esteem, behavior, relationships and other problems? Religions teach us that we became separated from our creator. In fact the word “sin” means to break divine law or to offend against a principle/standard.

We are not exactly sure who has the right laws and who’s teachings is the best. But as Mr. Frankl discovered if we are not focused on a higher principle, we end up living below the human standard.

As Jennie Jerome Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill put it, "Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light."

Never before in all of history have people been more aware of personal responsibilities and that we have to change the direction of our lives. With all the modern day advances and discoveries, we have more sickness, stress and struggles. Maybe it is time to include our creator in our lives and get the directions from him? Therefore, the Christmas time is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Christian teachings.

Steve Bow once said, "God's gift to you is more talent and ability than you will ever use in your lifetime. Your gift to God is to develop as much of that talent and ability as you can in your lifetime."

How to change your self-esteem?

1. Believe in yourself

2. Accept yourself (for the person God has created and God loves); receive compliments and praises graciously.

3. Appreciate yourself (find your hidden talents); live up to your reputation

4. Approve of yourself (be accountable for your behavior); it’s in your attitude that you can change your actions.

5. Stay humble

6. Get rid of your emotional garbage

7. Be grateful

8. Trust in God, your parent

9. Enjoy the exciting ride in PEACE

Rather than giving specific ideas on how to do all of the above I like to stimulate your mind to seek out who you are. Find it in your heart to connect with our father God. It can be a wonderful New Year’s resolution to live a more authentic life. That is something nobody else can do for us. By being still, praying and asking for help, we can all experience a new insight about our true identity. It is not so much about what we have to learn but rather about what we have to let go off, like certain beliefs, harmful habits and destructive attitudes.

Have a wonderful time doing it and Happy New Year 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Blessings

You know you are Blessed:

When you feel God’s love

When you understand that the mystery of God lays in the relationship between the parent (God) and his children (all mankind)

When you learn that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ

When you are surrounded by family and friends

When you know you are forgiven

When you have a warm bed and a roof over your head at night

When you know who you are

When you follow your dreams

When you believe in magic

When you keep the heart of a child

When you take time to smell the flowers

When you hear the small voice inside and follow it

When you have your health

When you wake with a smile on your face

When you don’t have to go to bed hungry

When you can be a blessing to others

When you can sleep peacefully at night

When you when you can see the good in others

When you ….

(Please add your own ...)

Or you can do as Bing Cosby in the classic song:

Count Your Blessing (Instead of Sheep)

When I'm worried and I can't sleep

I count my blessings instead of sheep

And I fall asleep counting my blessings

When my bankroll is getting small

I think of when I had none at all

And I fall asleep counting my blessings.

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads

And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds

If you're worried and you can't sleep

Just count your blessings instead of sheep

And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings.

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads

And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds

If you're worried and you can't sleep

Just count your blessings instead of sheep

And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings.

Happy Holidays

Monday, December 13, 2010

This Christmas - Give Yourself the Gift of Forgiveness

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." ~~ Mahatma Gandhi

You may never have considered forgiveness as a gift but according to the Science of Forgiveness it is the greatest present you can give yourself.

"The concept of forgiveness no longer falls solely under the umbrella of religious thought. Social scientists are beginning to recognize the powerful practical and therapeutic benefits that forgiveness offers in a broken and isolated world."
~~ K A T H E R Y N   R H O A D S M E E K

What is the Meaning of Forgiveness?
In ancient Greek language, the word for forgiveness is aphesis and it means to let go. It is from this definition that the deeper meaning of forgiveness can be had – and from this perspective, we see that the act of forgiving is a process and a means of releasing.

The word “forgive” means to wipe the slate clean, to pardon, to cancel a debt. When we wrong someone, we seek his or her forgiveness in order for the relationship to be restored. It is important to remember that forgiveness is not granted because a person deserves to be forgiven. Instead, it is an act of love, mercy, and grace.

English proverb that "to err is human, to forgive divine."

Why is it so hard to forgive?
As humans it is the hardest for us to see things from the other’s point of view. We are very self-centered, and that doesn’t allow us to forgive easily. We have our own opinions, especially when we were hurt, we feel justified to be mad. Our pride and/or our self-esteem are injured; our expectations and/or dreams are disappointed. When we lose something so valuable, we want to retaliate; we want revenge. Whom does that hurt more: us or the other person?

How to practice forgiveness?
There are many different approaches to the practice of forgiveness:
* Start with a willingness to let go.
* Stay in the present moment as much as possible. Negative emotions always bring up the past.
* Decide to be happy rather than being right. This gives you another perspective on the person or situation. Self-righteousness is just another emotional baggage.
* Be humble. With humility it is easier to let go.
* Keep your forgiveness personal; you don’t have to disclose your decision to anybody.
* Write your story down; this is better than telling the trespasser. Forgiveness liberates you from your grudges and burdens; it doesn’t take away the responsibility of the trespasser. It will relieve you of your negative feelings and bring you freedom.

"Forgiveness will not be possible until compassion is born in your heart."
~~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master

Some years ago I was reading a book by Colin Tipping on “Radical Forgiveness.” Mr. Tipping gives us a 5 step approach to release a past hurt or resentment.

1. Telling the Story
2. Feeling the Feelings
3. Collapsing the Story
4. Reframing the Story
5. Integrating the New Story

Louise Hay, in her book “You can Heal Your Life,” suggests that whenever we are ill, we need to search our hearts to see who it is we need to forgive. Practicing Forgiveness just like practicing gratitude are important spiritual practices.

The most powerful way of tarring down the walls around my heart has been through The Emotion Code. Dr. Bradley Nelson introduces a way of releasing negative emotions which have build up around our hearts as well as lodged in our body as cellular memories. Through a process of muscle testing we can 'talk to our subconscious mind." The technique is very easy to learn and has a most rewarding impact on our emotional wellbeing.

“All disease comes from a state of unforgiveness.” – The Course in Miracles

Benefits of Forgiveness:
1. Forgiveness reduces depression
2. Forgiveness makes you smarter and clears your mind by releasing trapped energy.
3. Forgiveness releases stress
4. Forgiveness is good for the heart
5. Forgiveness makes us more altruistic
6. Forgiveness makes us more compassioned
7. Forgiveness improves overall health
8. Forgiveness makes us more emotional stable
9. Forgiveness gives us peace
10. Forgiveness makes us happy
11. Forgiveness helps us to grow spiritually
12. Forgiveness makes us free

Please accept my present this Christmas and find ways of forgiveness. The benefits will be longer lasting than the joy of opening any other gift this holiday. Jesus, whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas taught us in the

Lord's prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

That seems to be the most fundamental prayer because it touches on all aspects of our lives. The grace we receive from forgiving and being forgiven is our greatest blessing.

Here is another link for forgiveness:


Monday, December 6, 2010

Stress Busters - Just in Time For The Holidays

We all experience stress at some time in our lives. Stress  is our inner response to circumstances which challenge us to adapt and change. According to Dr. Hans Selye, a pioneer in the stress response, stress is a coping mechanism. He distinguishes between positive stress and negative stress. Basically, it depends on the underlying emotions which cause the stress.

Positive emotions cause positive stress. With positive stress your body produces a number of chemicals including endorphins, serotonin and dopamine which help to provide a relaxing feeling or enjoyment. Positive stress helps to increase our creativity and productivity; it gives us a feeling of wellbeing and happiness; and strengthens our immune system to the point where it makes us resistant to inflammation and illness.

In contrary, negative emotions such as fear and anger, cause negative stress. When the negative emotion engages the “flight and fight” mechanism, it mobilizes the stress hormones released by the adrenal glands, mainly cortisol which gives us momentarily energy. This is all good and well, when we have the emergency situation, and we need the extra muscle strength to run from the enemy. The problem starts when we don’t have that external emergency to burn off that extra energy. The cortisol hormones will be stored in the cells where they can cause inflammation, obesity or other diseases.

This is where negative stress becomes ugly. It causes anxiety, depression, loss of productivity, frustration, avoiding social contact, loss of immune function and eventually illness. From there it is not anymore what happens to us externally but rather how we can manage our emotions.

"Stress is a form of energy expenditure - mental, emotional, or physical - which must be offset by a balanced commitment to energy recovery." ~ Jim Loehr, LGE Performance Systems

So what can we do to deal with stress properly?

When we understand, it is not what happens to us but rather how we react to it, can we develop the best response.

“Without stress there would be no live.” Dr. Hans Selye, Austrian-Hungarian Endocrinologist, coined the term stress in 1930.

In that sense we have to watch our emotional response to any experience and make sure that we seek out positive emotions. Every emotion creates a certain (energy) vibration and based on the resonance in the body we are happy and healthy or feel tired and depressed. We now know that stress is caused by an energy imbalance in the body.

Albert Einstein proved in 1920’s with his E=mc2 that everything is energy. From then on science has gotten away from the Newtonian physics which believed that everything in the universe is solid matter. When we see the human body as an energy system with more than 70% being water and empty space, rather than solid flesh and bones, can we have hope that eventually the medical establishment can also accept that it is our beliefs and perceptions which create our health (Dr. Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief).

Here are some stress busters we can use:

*  Decide that this stress is not going to get you down.

*  Feed you immune system. Good nutrition and extra vitamins during the winter months are crucial to have the best defense.

*  Protect your heart – I mean your spiritual heart. It is essential to keep negative emotion in check and find ways to release unwanted emotions. I have become familiar with The Emotion Code, developed by Dr. Brad Nelson. It is a simple way to release negative emotions on a regular base.

*  Do something enjoyable, actions disburse nervous energy.

*  Laugh – find something funny or just imagine it, laughing releases tension.

*  Exercise - Muscle Relaxation – stress influences our thought process and makes us tense our muscles. Tense and relax each muscle consciously, it de-stresses quickly.

*  Walking – get outside, enjoy the sunshine, get fresh air and relax

*  Breathing – Take a deep breath, again and again. In times of stress our breath becomes compromised. Sometimes we even stop breathing or just breathe very shallow.

*  Use stress as a motivator - Engage all 5 senses and become creative. Smell a beautiful flower, eat a piece of chocolate, listen to some soothing music, touch an animal or get a hug.

*  Be Present – Live in the moment, and you don’t feel stressed. Think of how you will think of your stress in 7 days or even 7 years. Take a new perspective on the situation.

*  Think on a larger scale - think of others who are in a worst situation. By taking a bigger perspective, your problem may be very small.

*  Pray, meditate or just get quiet. Listen to that small voice inside.

There are various breathing techniques from yoga to qigong practices. We know from the law of inertia which states that no object changes direction or moves without extra force acted on it.

Power Breathing

I like to introduce a power breathing technique which is a combination of bagha and deep breathing through the mouth. Power breathing creates great physiological changes in the body and contributes to new energy and de-stress.

Sit up with your back straight. Fold your hands together or just touch your hands. Put your tongue against the upper front teeth (Bagha) and start breathing through your mouth. Take deep breaths (inflate your belly); breathe in and out for 10 seconds. Slow your breath if you become lightheaded. Repeat several times until you feel energized. By that time you may have forgotten what your stressor was.

Here are some more resources for distressing: (short video to calm down quickly) Articles with 2 minute stress buster Relaxation Methods with Laura Silva from the Silva Life System. Instant Meditation for Stress Relief by John Hudson by Martial Arts Expert & Power Breathing for Life creator Sang H. Kim by Mark Baxter