Tag Archive | awareness

What Is Spirituality?

I like the idea of “spirituality”, but I often find the word “spiritual” irritating. I’m a spiritual person, but I hear it used so often by people I don’t like, that I refrain from using the word.

Somewhere along the way, the word “spiritual” has become synonymous with supernatural. And this is the problem with labeling experiences which are alive and wonderful, with words that are inanimate, dead and open to interpretation.

The concept of spirituality can narrow our thinking rather than extend it. All too often we make certain things spiritual, and other things “un-spiritual”. For instance, can reading be a spiritual experience? Can having a shower be a spiritual experience? Can giving birth to a baby, or dancing or eating be a spiritual experience? It’s not the experience that is innately spiritual – anything can be spiritual deep down. Rather, our perceptions and states of mind judge something as being spiritual or not.

Being a “spiritual” person is commonly associated with being a “religious person” – but this isn’t always the case. Spirituality has no absolute definition, but generally it is perceived as having a great sensitivity to life, this includes: to other people, to nature, to animals and to our own existences.

Spirituality, the way I interpret it, is the search for meaning, purpose and direction, the journey of self-discovery and self-understanding. It is a desire to become your best possible self, and to transcend who you are, or who you think you are, through either a higher power or our interconnectedness as living beings.

If spirituality is to find purpose in life and to become the best possible people we can be, the first step is to figure out where we currently are. How can we go anywhere unless we first know where we are? This is why we so often find ourselves going around in circles, making the same mistakes over and over again.

Many people go through life without stopping, without questioning and without listening. We unconsciously go from one moment to the next without attempting to cultivate a new way of doing things, or a new way of looking at every experience we have in our fleeting lives.

But how do we find our own spiritual paths? There are several ways. For starters, we can keep an open mind to experience things we may have otherwise rejected with our ‘old’ perceptions of life. We can begin questioning our current belief systems, our current ambitions, dreams and ideas of who we think we are, or should be. And most importantly, we can enhance our awareness of life and of the present moment, by accepting moment to moment without any judgement, resistance or comparison to ideals or memories, that which is presented to us.

Awareness isn’t something very difficult to aspire to. Even eating can become a spiritual experience when we deliberately pay attention to our senses. The taste, the smell, the sight, and the consistency of a meal are all things that go unnoticed to us when we eat while being distracted by talking to someone, or watching the TV.

By being aware of such small things from time to time, we are much more in touch with what is happening in the ‘now’ internally and externally, and thus, we become much more clear about the path we are currently on, and whether we want to be taking the path or not. Spirituality is our Existential GPS.

To the unaware, “dreamlike” mind, the perception of life is one that jumps from one distraction to the next, always touching the surface and never quite feeling any solid ground of significance, or of meaningfulness and wholeness.

This background noise that is always somewhere in our heads can be calmed down in many different ways. For instance, exercise, getting lost in an artistic creation by submergence in the present moment, and meditation, all serve to dissect the concept we’ve built and called reality.

Meditation, for example, can slowly allow us to gain awareness by helping us to become an observer of our emotions and thoughts. It can change our perceptions of life from the subjectively unaware and reactive, to the objectively focused, in control, and aware. This awareness, this understanding of our inner minds, will remove obstacles, discover energies and consequently, help to create paths in our lives.

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Things I love about myself

To be confident enough to acknowledge not only one’s own weaknesses, but also one’s own strengths is admirable. It is also necessary for success. It is a crucial part of self-awareness. All too often we think that the people who are self-aware are the ones who are acutely aware of their foibles.  But he, who is aware of his foibles, may be unaware of his many wonders.  And a person who is unaware of his positive aspects is just as lacking in the area of self-awareness as a person who is unaware of his negative aspects.

This is a sad world that we live in if self-deprecation makes someone “good”. And high self-regard makes someone “bad”. It is no wonder that the root of so many problems here on earth is the lack of self-love. We are confusing self denigration with humility. To regard yourself highly is not necessarily to regard others as low.

I do not think that self-deprecation is an admirable quality. It upsets me that it is the foundation of being liked by others.  Women are the worst when it comes to this. I have observed that if you announce to a woman what you like about yourself, they will look at you with an heir of judgmental disgust. Whereas if you announce to a woman what you hate about yourself, they will rush to your aid by complimenting you and establishing rapport. The lesson we females learn when we are very young, is that the way to get along with other women is to put ourselves down.

Do not mistake self love for narcissism.  It is important to focus on things that cause you to feel good about yourself. Your relationship with yourself is your only guaranteed lifelong relationship.

I am going to make a list of things that I love and appreciate about myself. And I encourage everyone to do the same.

  • I am kind.
  • I am loving.
  • I am adorable.
  • I am inspiring.
  • I am curious.
  • I am intelligent and wise.
  • I am committed.
  • I am genuine.
  • I am original.
  • I am generous.
  • I am fascinating.
  • I am a visionary.
  • I am extremely deep.
  • I care.
  • I am brave.
  • I am sensitive.
  • I am creative.
  • I am compassionate.
  • I am idealist.
  • I am romantic.
  • I empower others
  • I love to laugh.
  • I am a good writer.
  • I am a good listener.
  • I am extremely gracious.
  • I am feminine.
  • I can admit my mistakes
  • I have good taste.
  • I am good at languages.
  • I am good at singing.
  • I am a good hearted person.
  • I am physically beautiful.
  • I am a good friend.
  • I can find beauty in anything.
  • I am interested in life.
  • I am not afraid of the shadow aspects of myself or other people.
  • I am dedicated to decreasing suffering on this planet.
  • I am dedicated to being as conscious and self aware as I possibly can be.
  • I crave to see other people and beings happy and thriving.
  • I can explain well a lot of things.
  • I love being a woman.
  • Bad experiences make me stronger (I am able to learn from them).
  • I focus on my true desires.
  • I am a shining example of how one can change.
  • I am open to new things and new ideas.
  • My connection with the source energy is mystical.
  • I have a bright future ahead of me.
  • I know more secrets about the universe than most people do.
  • I have a great appreciation for life.
  • I am committed to living consciously.
  • I have great imagination.
  • I am willing to say I am sorry.
  • I am willing to admit I was wrong.
  • I am able to experience oneness.
  • I am a stream of consciousness conscious of itself.
  • I am a joyful expression of source energy.
  • I am worthy and deserve love and happiness.
  • I am all and all is me.

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What is the purpose of life?

Today I have had an interesting conversation about the meaning of life with my family members. This conversation inspired me to think about my own ideas and beliefs that I have about life and existence in general.

We were discussing if life has a meaning and purpose. My family members said that we do not know this. That no one really knows and if you think you know it, you might be wrong. This is interesting to me because I spent so many years figuring it out and I think I know the answer.

From the teachings I have studied over the years I have created my own philosophy, my own “religion” based on information that resonates with me. The answer to the question if life has a purpose would according to myself be this: I do believe that life has a purpose. I do not believe in accidents of any kind. I believe that the purpose of life is the expansion of the universe. We, in our physical lives, are a thought which Source (which we are an extension of) thought into existence. We are a thought which now… thinks. And it is our thoughts (which hold a vibration of desire) which inform Source what to become the vibrational equivalent of. Evolution is the natural byproduct of life.

But at the same time I believe that life has no meaning. What I mean by this is that no situation has a built in meaning. All the circumstances are neutral. They can be experiences in both ways – positive and negative. But the meaning you give it, the definition you assign to any given neutral situation is exactly what determines the effect you will get out of that situation. They can create for you a negative or a positive reflection that is solely determined by what attitude and belief system and definition you assign to that situation. So no matter what anyone else’s intention in any given circumstance might be toward you, if you assign only a positive meaning to that circumstance and situation then you will only receive a positive effect out of that circumstance no matter what anyone else experiences.

Some people disagree with me. They say that I have no evidence that supports these claims. How can I know that it is true? The reason that I believe in this is because of all the philosophies that I have studied and researched, this makes most sense to me. It resonates with me. My intuition tells me it is so. It is natural to me. I do not follow these ideas like an ideology. I think of myself as an open minded person. I question my beliefs regularly. I might be wrong.

But what if these ideas are not just a philosophy? What if these are laws of the universe? What if this is in fact physics?

Nobody here on earth questions if gravity is real. We all know that it is. We experience it in our daily lifes. Nobody also questions the fact if the air is real. We all know it is real. So what if these what we call philosophical ideas are laws of physics too? I do believe that they are.

For example, I believe without a shadow of a doubt that consciousness creates reality. For me it is an undeniable fact. I think it has been proven many times in our world. There have been experiments in which thousands of people were focusing their thoughts on a city.  The results of these group meditations are overwhelming. It has been scientifically proven that positive focus can decrease crime, violence, accidents, and illness. You can do more research on this when you google “The Maharishi Effect”. Another example would be the effect that thoughts and words (vibrations in general) have on water crystals. I think many of you are familiar with Masaru Emoto and his fantastic research. These are just two examples, I am sure that there are many many others. In fact, quantum physics says, that the universe we live in appears material but it’s not. It is Divine Intelligence expressing as a physical universe that’s aligned with our thoughts.

I would like to know your opinion on this. Do you believe that life has a meaning and purpose? If so, what do you think it is and why?

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The most beautiful feeling

Today I have been able to see myself in a whole different light. I have never been so proud of myself in my entire life. I have realized that everything that I thought that was bad about me was an illusion. Everything I ever thought was wrong with me never really was wrong.

I cried tears of joy today. I am so happy to be the person that I am. It feels like I am in love with myself. I know it probably sounds super narcissistic but I don’t think is. Just because I think of myself highly doesn’t mean that I think I am better than other people. In fact, the more self loving I am becoming, the more I love and appreciate other people.

It is crazy to me that I used to believe I was worthless. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a part of the infinite creation. I exist. The simple fact that I exist means that I am worthy. Creation doesn’t create pointless things. If I exist, it means that the creation thinks I am necessary for it to be whole. Without me it would not be “All that is”. It would only be “All that could be”.

I love the person that I am. I wouldn’t want to be anybody else. I enjoy playing this game called life. And I enjoy being this character. I value my gifts that I have been blessed with. I love my personality traits. Everything I used to think was wrong with my personality can actually be seen as a plus and as a strength.

Now I can look at myself in the mirror and I like what I see. I might not be beauty queen by society’s standards, but I am myself. This is my body and the only body I have in this life. It is healthy and functioning. It is perfect for me. I value it for what it is and I wouldn’t change it if I could.

It is my desire for all of you to know how beautiful you are. There is no better feeling than self love and self appreciation. It doesn’t matter what other people are telling you, what society is telling you. There never was and never could be anything wrong with you. You are wonderful, magnificent and perfect from the sources perspective. Your worth is inate. You could never take away from it and you could never add to it. You are allowed to love yourself just as you are in this very moment. It is your choice.

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Dealing with self worth

Through the process of shadow work I found out that my core belief is “I am worthless”. I can see this core belief being active in many situations in my life. These are a few examples on how is this belief manifesting itself in my life:

  • I care about what other people think of me.
  • I am afraid to express myself.
  • I hate speaking in public.
  • I feel guilty when I make a mistake.
  • I am afraid to talk to other people because I fear rejection.
  • I have no close friends, I keep everything to myself because I am afraid of judgment.
  • I do what other people expect me to do and not what I want to do.

This belief is present in pretty much all of the areas in my life. It is everywhere I go. I deal with it like 100 times per day. Today I am ready to change it. I am going to use Teal Scott’s process on changing a belief.

I have already completed the first step which is identifying the belief. Now I have to decide if this belief is beneficial or detrimental to me. This belief is definitely detrimental. It is limits me in every way. I can not grow into my highest potential as long as I have this belief. It does not allow me to express myself. Because of this belief I always attract people into my life that are making me feel worthless.

Now I have to decide what would I like to believe instead. I would like to believe that I am worthy. I would like to believe that I am enough.

The next step is to determine the emotions that are holding me to the belief. There is always a hidden positive intention behind any belief. If we did not believe that it is in some way, shape or form serving us, it would make no sense to have such a belief. When I am being really honest with myself, I found out, that when I believe that I am worthless I get pity from other people. That pity feels like people care about me. When I think thoughts like “I am not good enough”, I give up the responsibility of having to try something new. I give up the responsibility over my own life and my own decisions. I have to decide if the emotional pay off is worth keeping the emotion or not. To me it is not worth it. I would rather know and express my true worth and people will naturally care about me. I am ready to take the responsibility for my life and try new things.

Now I will seek out alternative evidence and alternative explanations which undermine the validity of my belief “I am worthless”: For years I took my mothers words and actions as a proof that I am worthless. But when I was little and made decisions that were embarrassing to my mother, she was the one who felt worthless. She then yelled at me and expressed her anger, because I made her feel worthless. I simply adopted her own belief.

I had no friends growing up. This one can be easily explained. When I felt like I was not good enough, other kids felt that rejection and that fear that was present within me and they did not bother to talk to me. They were simply reflecting to me my own rejection of self. I know I have the belief that I am worthless for many years now. I am aware of the fact that I can change it. And yet, after all these years, the belief is still here. It means I failed in changing my belief ans that means I am worthless. The reason behind why this belief is still here is because I am invalidating it. I reject it. I say it has no positive meaning, I resist it. And what you resist persists. It does not mean I am worthless.

What I will do now is that I look for evidence and proof to back up the beneficial belief I would rather believe. I ask myself this question: How am I good enough?

  • I have had successes.
  • I successfully completed high school.
  • I am now a collage student.
  • I have people in my life who love me for who I am and appreciate me.
  • I have worth which is inate.
  • Unconditional love is what I was created from.
  • When All That Is created me, it obviously thought I deserved to exist.
  • Therefore I must be equal to every other creation, otherwise I would not have been created.

As the next step I am going to be using affirmations that I do believe. I begin to tell myself things like this on a daily basis: I value myself because I care. I am an interesting person. I know many things that could help other people. I am smart and loving…

The last step is taking some time for my reality to change itself. I can not expect myself to be completely self loving at this moment. When I spent 15 years of my life hating myself, it would be cruel to expect from myself to completely change it in a second. I also can not resist hating myself anymore. Because what we resist persists. My reality will surely change if I allow it to change.

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January 2014 (month review)

January has been a month of intense changes for me. I have never experienced such an exciting and challenging month. It also feels like the longest month ever – so many things happened that I can not believe that just a month ago I was a completely different person.

I have made lots of life changing decisions. At the beginning of this month I thought I was going to study medicine. Now I want to become a psychologist (see a previous post on how I chose my career for more details).

Besides the fact that I made such radical changes in my future career, I have also faced many different challenges. It feels like all of my fears that I was suppressing my entire life came to surface. I could no longer avoid them. I saw them clearly. Each day of this month I did some shadow work. I digged deep into my personality. I reconsidered everything that I knew about myself. I faced all of my fears. And the result from this process are astonishing. Things that were causing me to feel terrible about my life and myself no longer feel so bad. Actually, I started to enjoy them. I started to enjoy all the challenges because now I know that I am strong enough to achieve any goal.

For the first time in my life I can say “I love myself” and I really mean it. Nothing feels better than self love and self empowerment. It feels like you have your best friend with you all the time. And my best friend is myself. I no longer make myself feel guilty for things that I have done or have not done. I completely accept my past, I value it and appreciate it. Without everything I went through I would not be here where I am now. Every single experience, no matter how painful it was, served a positive purpose. And now I can see clearly why I chose to experience everything that I have experienced. I see why I chose to be born in this family, why I chose my appearance, why I chose this theme to explore in this life. I do not regret this decision.

I know that I have an infinite potential. My future is not set in stone. I know that it is a blank canvas and only I can decide what do I paint. I can feel the freedom to choose any perspective in any given moment. I feel the excitement that comes from knowing that I am the creator of my own reality. I know that whatever happens, I can always choose to experience it in a positive way. I no longer have any problems. I only face challenges. And every new challenge makes me even stronger and more aware of my true self. Life is really wonderful when you choose to see it in this way!

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How to change a belief

Last time I told you what beliefs are. Today I am going to tell you how to consciously change a belief. This process is based on Teal Scott’s teachings on how to change a belief. I find it really helpful and it works for me so I hope it will work for you too. The steps for changing a detrimental belief are:

1. Identify the belief. If you do not know how to do that, read the article on Shadow work that I wrote just recently.
It is important to work with a core belief. For example the thought “I hate speaking in public “is not a core belief. It is an emotional reaction to a core belief. A core belief can be “I am not good enough”. You always want to be working with the root belief when you are dealing with changing your beliefs. Because if you do not, it will just keep coming back.

2. Decide if the belief is beneficial or detrimental to you.

3. Decide what you would rather believe instead. Let your non beneficial beliefs be your inspiration towards beliefs you want to believe.

4. Determine the emotions that are holding you to the belief like glue. Decide if the emotional pay off is worth keeping the belief or not. For example: If I believe that I am not good enough, if I am being really honest about the emotional pay off it might look something like: I get pity when I feel like I am not good enough and that pity feels like people care about me. Or: when I think thoughts like I am not good enough, I give up the responsibility of having to try something new. You have to decide if the emotional pay off is worth the limitations of the beliefs which you are holding. If not, decide you are ready to let go of it. Nothing will help anybody to change something if they do not want to change it.

5. Seek out alternative evidence and alternative explanations which undermine the validity of your detrimental belief. Replace the evidence you’ve been using to back up and support your detrimental belief with evidence that undermines it! For example: If you believe that you are not good enough, this belief may be backed up by this kind of evidence: my mother always told my that I was not good enough. An alternate explanation may be something like this: When I made mistakes, it was an embarrassment to my mother. She was the one who felt as she was not good enough. I simply adopted this belief.

6. Look for evidence and proof to back up the beneficial belief which you would rather believe. And example would be: How am I good enough? I have had successes (you can list them). I have worth which is inate. The things that I have to say could really benefit other people. You want to look at as much proof and evidence that is possible. Make it your focus.

7. Use affirmations that work. These are affirmations which feel good to think, that you DO believe… NOT affirmations which make you more aware of where you aren’t and feel like a lie because they contradict your own sense of intelligence. Because when you believed for decades that you are not good enough and you say something like “I am good enough”, it sounds to you like a lie. You can use things like: I value myself because I care (if you do believe it).

8. Without immediately taking inventory of your reality (out of distrust of the process), simply giveyour self some time to let the new beliefs take root and ALLOW your reality to change. Soon after you change your thoughts, you’ll be looking at tangible proof in a reality that backs up your new thought to such a degree that the new thought will then become a firm belief. But this time, it will be one which benefits you and your life!