Monday, September 16, 2019

Driving With Your Headlights Always On made it through one of the two Friday the 13th's in 2019.

The term for the fear of Friday the 13th is Paraskevidekatriaphobia. Interestingly, this fear has no reference to itself or Friday the 13th being unlucky before the 19th century. There isn't a lot of information of where this fear started or became popular. It's possible it started with a fear of the number 13 first. That is called Triskaideka-phobia. It's origons have to do with the idea that Judas Iscariot sat in 13th place at the Last Supper, which occured on the 13th day of Nissan on Maundy Thurs, the night before Jesus' death...Good Friday. That ties it in with the Friday phobia, I guess.

Other occurrences adding to these phobias:
  • 1888 - Jack the Ripper's final victim and disappearance
  • 1914 - Rasputin became Russia's ruler-in-fact
  • 1942 - Hitler began major attacks on Soviet Union, Poland, Netherlands, Austria, Greece and Yugoslavia
  • 1956 - Bela Lugosi died and buried in Dracula cloak
  • 1970 - Beatles disbanded (probably the most horrible of them all)
It is mostly an American and British phobia. The Italians are far more concerned about Friday the 17th, the Spanish-speaking countries fear Tuesdays more, as well as the Greeks (influenced by Ares, the God of War). Dutch researchers found F13 a day one would be less likely to be injured, supposedly because people are more careful.

Mark Twain was once invited to be 13th guest at a dinner party. Several of his superstitious friends warned him not to do it, to decline the invitation, but he went anyway, not believing in such things. Twain later commented, "It was bad luck. They only had food for 12."

In 1882, a Capt. William Fowler founded The Thirteen Club of New York, a place where skeptics defied superstitions by hosting dinner parties on Friday the 13th. It usually comprised of 13 members performing a series of "unlucky feats." such as passing under a ladder, having a 13 course meal, lighting the evening with 13 candles, and tipping over salt shakers and not tossing any over shoulders. It later evolved into a national organization with such luminaries as Presidents Grover Cleveland and Teddy Roosevelt.

The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute estimates that more than 17M people are affected by this fear of the number 13 and especially the Friday the 13ths. But it's all a learned fear, like most not based on reality. Now I am not talking about a logical fear, such walking down a dark urban alley or putting our hand in a fire. Those actually aren't fears as much as logically learned things you just don't do. 

False Evidence Appearing Real

The above is the usual anagram for the term, fear. And keeping with our theme this month, fear is something that bends reality. But all those fears are not true, they are merely a story choice we accept. Fear is a closed energy that exists when we do not trust our connection to the infinite part of who we are and buy into some story about what usually will not unfold.
Fear is the opposite of faith.  ~Bishop Carlton Pearson
I believe it is time to detach from fear. To leave behind that something from the past that we allow in the present and prepare with for the future. All that is required is a simple shift in perspective, a surrender to the Universe - to who you are.

I ask you to turn on your brights and illuminate it a witness in present time to what it is, what this kooky idea is that is getting in your way. Here's a couple of ways to do that:

1) Become an observer of your thoughts, ask questions about them, and write it down. Write down all the reasons your fear is irrational and kooky. It is in this practice that you start to re-organize and re-frame that story that has been whirling in your head about the fear or phobia.
2) Get your hand on your heart, breath, and perform this mindful Buddhist practice. Imagine a stone being thrown into a pond. Observe in your mind the ripples it creates. Allow this vision  to distract your mind's eye. This process opens you up to get centered and grounded so that you can then unfold, without doubt or self-sabotage, the story; attack it with heart and logic and rid yourself of the fear. I do it all the time. My brain comes up with some crazy ideas about things sometimes through some dumb fear and, when that occurs, I use one or both of these techniques to sift through the fear, laugh at it, give it a big "so what" that it showed up, challenge it and remove its power. Only your conscious mind can interfere and dismantle these fears. Use affirmations, tell the fear to take a hike, and open up to allow the Universe to inform you of the new story, the True story.

The secret of prayer and its power in the outward life depends upon an unconditional faith in, and reliance upon this inner Presence. ~ Ernest Holmes
Is achieving your goals the only thing that gives life meaning? That's a big NO! Your state of mind and state of being awakens you to a life of purpose. A purpose of revealing the Divinity in you and vibrating at the speed of Divine Intelligence.

Is your default mood one of irritation or dissatisfaction? When you reboot your perceptions by bringing peaceful attention to your authentic self, a calm starts to guide you away from unhappiness and self-obsession in connecting with your purpose through love and joy.

You trust your strategies and the clever hacks you've learned to find solutions to your problems, yes? Consider tapping into the miraculous power of universal intelligence with meditation, contemplation, visioning, visualizing, using deep and thoughtful heart-felt affirmations and affirmative prayer. 

Know spiritual right action is always there. The Universe is here to serve you through the spiritual Law of Cause and Effect. Remembering this and embodying this into the very cells of your being will give you the courage and clarity to find your way out of any of life’s conflicts.
Trust is what we learn when we want to overcome our fears. It’s called “taking a leap of faith” and trusting in the Power within that’s connected to Universal Intelligence. Remember, the Power that supplies our breath is the same Power that created the Universe.    ~Louise Hay
The opposite of fear is love. Affirm the power of your thought to overcome any fear. We have to drive this life with our headlights always on; making ourselves visible means we're less likely to have another dumb idea of a limiting or lack nature or a fear to drift into our lane. Have our headlights always on reduces and eventually eliminates the  risk of daytime rear-enders of these limiting idea.

Fortunately, Friday the 13th is days past. This Wednesday, September 18th is National Rice Krispies Treats Day...make some, enjoy some. And this Thursday, September 19th is Talk Like A Pirate of my favorites.

I will leave you with this affirmation/affirmative prayer:
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, I Am that I AM, the Kingdom of Heaven is within, between God and me, there is no between...these words, biblical and philosophical are the Truth I live by.
I am reminded of my gift of the wisdom of Divine Intelligence that flows within me and the sacrament of volition, the ability of choice. So I now choose to look beyond appearances to see the wholeness of every being in every situation, and from there act with love, compassion, respect, and wisdom. False evidence appearing real is null and void in my life. I live my life only through, with, for and as my individualized expression of the One Spirit, God, the energy of the Big Bang, the Living Spirit Almighty; one, indestructible, absolute and self-existent Cause. And I do so intentionally, joyfully, consciously and with the full embodiment of a life of vitality, prosperity, love, peace and creativity. 
I remember my faith and love surrounds me. The Divine Presence is here and my headlights are always on to see, know and reveal the Divinity within me. With deep gratitude, knowing the Universe says yes to my Word, I release this revelation....and so it is!

The Lights Are On And I AM Home
I see my greatness, it shines in the Light. I listen for my greatness, I hear It's Call. I feel my greatness, a texture just right. I smell this greatness, a rose of perfection. I taste my greatness, a perfect blended bite. I sing the Light in all I do and power this luminescence into all my words,  thoughts, and feelings.                                                                                                                     
I Am Home...Home In The Light!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Stress Is Our Friend

Stress Is Our Friend....Whaaaat?
Watching some TED Talks last week and came across one with psychologist Kelly McGonical. In it she taught showed the participants how stress can be our friend. We've been told, I've told you, that stress makes you sick anywhere from the common cold to cardiovascular disease. The release of cortisol makes the heart rate goes up and the blood vessels constrict.  Something quite unhealthy in a prolonged state...usually. But what if you changed your perspective on stress? What if you chose to think and feel differently about stress? Could your body react to your belief and thus make stress be your friend? The answer is yes.

In 2011, the Health Psychology magazine published an 8 year study by Dr. Lauren Wisk and her colleagues that tracked 30K US adults. They asked the group, “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?” And, “Do you believe that stress is harmful to your health?" Then they tracked these people using the public death records to discover who died. Those who reported a lot of stress and believed stress greatly impacted their health, had a 43% increased risk of premature death. I took a look at the study and their conclusion was that when you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress. As Hans Selye, a well-known endocrinologist and stress research expert, said, "It's not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it."

What happens to the body when there is stress? Well, it lowers dopamine levels, a chemical that signals the brain for motivation, feelings of pleasure, and happiness and increases cortisol levels, a chemical that triggers the body to produce epinephrine which affects cognitive performance. And this is very interesting:  in the brain, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenocortical  axis (HPA), which regulates the release of cortisol, cannot distinguish the difference between a physical or psychological stressor; thus a psychological stressor can produce a physiological response as much as a physical stressor. So the belief (psychology) that stress creates illness or death, prolongs and worsens the physiological aspects. But the belief (psychology) of stress as a clue to take action, decreases or eliminates the negative physiological aspects of the condition.
You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. ~Christopher Robin
How does my belief change the physiological conditions of stress. Well, your belief in stress as a help to a situation vs. a hindrance and danger to your health, will bend the reality of the ravages of cortisol, etc. by knowing and informing the brain that it is time for another hormonal release to occur …. oxytocin, the cuddle hormone.

Here's an experiment Kelly McGonigal did with the TEDX audience. It is a Social Stress Test. Imagine you are giving a five-minute impromptu speech on your personal weaknesses and that there's a panel of expert evaluators in the audience. Remember, you are on a stage with bright lights and a camera in your face. All the audience have been trained to give you discouraging, non-verbal feedback...hemming and hawing, sighing, moving around in their seats, etc. What would that be like for you...telling your deepest, darkest secrets onstage, lights a-blaring and a camera filming you, while an audience does practically everything to show their boredom and disappoint, but boo and heckle you. Pretty demoralizing, yes?

Now how about taking a math test? We're going to all do this together and it's going to be fun...but not for you. I want you to count backwards from 996 in increments of seven. Do this out loud and as fast as you can...starting with 996.....Go! Come on, go faster. Faster please. You're going too slow!!
Stop. Stop, stop, stop. You made a mistake. We are going to have to start all over again. Imagine that scenario. Feel a little stressed out...heart pounding., breathing faster, maybe breaking out into a sweat? Normally that would equal anxiety, signs we aren't coping with the pressure.

But what if you viewed them as signs that body was being energized, preparing you to meet the challenge at hand? Well, that's what participants were told in study at Harvard University. Before they took the social stress test above, they were taught to think the usual stress response as helpful to them. That the pounding heart was the body prepping for action. That your breathing faster meant more oxygen was going to the brain. The participants who learned to view the stress response as helpful were less stressed out, less anxious, and more confident. The usual physical stress response of constricted blood vessels stayed relaxed and the heart pounding became like the hearts response while in joy or courage. It was the oxytocin.

Oxytocin is a stress hormone. The pituitary gland pumps this stuff out as part of the stress response and, like adrenaline, it makes your heart pound. Interestingly, this stress hormone, when released, motivates you to seek support. It's biology nudging you to tell someone how you feel. When life is difficult, this hormone wants you to be surrounded by people who care about you, primes you to do things that strengthen close relationships, and makes you become more compassionate and caring. Oxytocin acts on the body, too. It protect your cardiovascular system from the effects of stress, is a natural anti-inflammatory, helps your blood vessels stay relaxed during stress, helps the heart cells regenerate and heal from any stress-induced damage, and actually strengthens your heart muscle.

Here are a few activities (not including sex and childbirth) that naturally raise oxytocin levels:
1.  10 Hugs a day
2.  Playing with animals
3.  Playing games
4.  Guided meditation
5.  Getting a massage
6.  Dancing or Exercise
7.  Sharing a meal
8.  Soaking in the tub
9.  Give gifts/notes of encouragement/appreciation
10.  Laughing
11.  Karaoke
12.  Talk with positive people
13.  Holding Hands / Love

Your choice in how you perceive the stress equals how you receive the stress

Winston Churchill tells the story of an old man who, on his deathbed, said that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened. I think of stress as a message from the Universe, through your hormonal response in stressful situations or lifestyles, to get in touch with your heart. After all, a compassionate heart creates social connection and more oxytocin release.

We don't want cortisol streaming through our bodies, unless we need to lift a car or are being chased by a lion or tiger or bear. But we do want to bend the reality of stress and cortisol to not mean death, illness or destruction of our immune system, and to mean the reality of stress and oxytocin equals motivation and courage, and choosing love and compassion.
Make stress your friend. Take a breath, take a moment and take back your stress response. It's your decision!

My heart is ready to receive the insight I require with ease and love. From this moment on, I transform all my thoughts, feelings and beliefs into a powerful prosperous party. I celebrate my ability to bend reality for my greatest good, best life and optimized fabulousness. I am open to any inspiration, suggestion, revelation, influence, genius and vision that reveals how to bust through, soar and zoom.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

What Are You Forgetting?

Last month our theme was...
We learned that, again and again, we should treat our mind with mind candy, knowing we are the ones starting the healing process, in co-creation with the Universe, by going back to our factory settings, especially when faced with chaos or trauma.

This month's theme is...

We bend reality all the time, using our perceptions on life. For example, some people feel unloved. It probably started with some stupid thing and hurtful thing our parents said. And no matter how much we are show or told how wrong we are, this idea continues to bend reality through that dumb learned belief of being unlovable. It became a subconscious habit, a core inner dialogue etching. We all have similar triggers. Do our perceived “truths” eliminate the Truth?  Or have we just forgotten? 

Faria Sana, psychology professor at Athabasca University wrote:

The information flowing in actually doesn’t stick unless you put effort into it and concentrate and engage in certain strategies that will help you remember.
There is something call the forgetting curve. It is described as the timely decline of memory retention, if no attempt to retain it. It happens within 24 hours. And, after a few days, you usually can only recall one fourth of what you read; a few days after that, you're pretty much a goner, retention-wise.
We must use our brains and minds on purpose, if we want to retain the tools and tenets of this philosophy. We want to do more than learn, we want to transform.

Massive change requires some form of transformation. Professor Emeritus Robert Boyd, a Psychologist, and the Director of the Laboratory of Group Dynamics at Univ of Wisconsin-Madison tells us:

Transformation involves experiencing a deep, structural shift in the basic premises of thought, feelings, and actions. It is a shift in consciousness that dramatically and irreversibly alters our way of being in the world
Transformation allows us to irreversibly see the world in a fundamentally different way. It is an expansion and evolution that takes place in our brain and throughout our entire Divine Matrix of heart, mind and gut.

Here's a couple of examples of transformational learning:

     You start a business, it fails, you lose a ton of money, it’s painful, but you look back at what may have gone wrong and learn what to do and what not to do the next time you attempt your next business.

     You may be extremely ambitious at work, stress takes its toll and you fall’s painful, but once you recover, you make a commitment to take better care of your health.

This type of transformation comes from satori learning . Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening, comprehension; understanding.

Another type is a gradual accumulation of experiences that shifts the way we understand how we fit into the world through insight. It is a type of transformation from kensho learning, a Japanese term from the Zen tradition. Ken means "seeing," and shō means "nature, essence;" "seeing one's (true) nature." One is usually chock with painful experiences – satori, the second (evolving over time) is usually more slow in the download – kensho.

So how do you shift from just learning to transforming? Here's a few ways to lock in learning and turn it into transformation:

Critical Reflection Sometimes it is advantageous to assess your fundamental assumptions and beliefs honestly through a critical reflective practice, whether as a voluntary process or taking advantage of some dilemma you just experienced. Through meditation, contemplation, using spiritual mind treatment or affirmative prayer to unlock insights from the Universe on what's going on in that belief system of yours.

Think of a belief that limits how you experience life right now. We all have one or some. We bend reality by thinking these beliefs are 'truth:'  “I’m not smart enough” or “People just don’t respect me.”
Ask yourself, "What was the stacking of ideas, beliefs and learning from childhood to now that makes me arrive at this particular form of identity? Did I create these beliefs based on my own experiences? Or did I inherit them from fathers, mothers, preachers, teachers or the news media?

Once identified, find a specific example how you came to this belief. Maybe recall an embarrassing, shameful, or traumatic moment in which this 'truth' took hold. For example, maybe in elementary or junior high school, you raised your hand in class to ask a question, and everyone laughed at your question. After that, you decided to never risk that kind of exposure again. Now you play it safe and wait before you speak. It has happened to a lot of us. Okay, then picture yourself back in that specific moment, but then imagine yourself finding your voice. Tell those involved how you feel about what just happened or what they said or 'did' to you. Reflect on how different your beliefs about yourself would be if this event never happened. Many times these beliefs stick because we haven't expressed ourselves on purpose about them.

In another situation, you might remind yourself that these beliefs are a product of your experience. Then, you might imagine yourself being raised in a loving and supportive family.  Notice how differently you feel about yourself? Once you choose to reclaim your potential, you cease being a victim of damaging circumstances. Remind yourself, over and over again (re-treat) that “I don’t need to be imprisoned by my past if I choose to free myself from my limiting beliefs.”  You may want to do this kind of shadow work with a professional, but the transformation you will feel and have as you take control and command of these limiting beliefs will be exponential in living your greatest life.

Contemplative Study & Writing Using my talks, other talks, classes, the weekly affirmation cards (see this week's below), and integration of SOM principle like you would in a class with a test. Not to memorize facts and figures, as such, but to comprehend and integrate the information. This will commonly lead, over time, to the accumulation of what is called, changed meaning-schemes. Not schemes, as in something nefarious, but in an conglomeration of ideas from various deep learning experiences that you work on and allow to stick.

Sharing Talk with like-minded friends or start a small group at your home. These gatherings develop new frames of reference, integrating learning into practice. Like a movie or book discussion club, this type of conclave of friends, works the brain to integrate these concepts on a deeper level.

Application Like riding a bike, learning an instrument or new skill, you gotta work this stuff. Through spiritual practice, you work your new or remembered knowledge. It is essential that this not be just an intellectual process, though it may start that way. The application of this information requires it to be worked logically, scientifically, whole-heartedly, spiritually, and holistically - it is a full body experience!

Steven Kotler, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated author, wrote:

We need to start moving from a mono-phasic state of existence to a poly-phasic state of existence.
Though we may start there, to effectively transform, we need to go from doing (mono-phasiic) to being (poly-phasic). Mindfulness meditation or other contemplative practices create a lasting transformation. You are more than your experiences! There is an infinite potential of possibility awaiting you. And it matters not your age, gender, height, weight, schooling, culture, etc. Once you learn to see how your beliefs are informing you and do the work of transformation, you are free to bust through, soar...zoom into your greatest life.

Witness your thoughts and recognize the story they are telling you. Don’t confuse them with the truth. You can always rewrite your story. Immersion leads to inspiration, which leads to transformation. See and experience “painful” moments in a different light. Go ahead and allow to experience the initial pain of the experience of change, but quickly then turn that pain or shame, blame, guilt or embarrassment into something that doesn't pull you down, but informs you. It is an indicator you are on the cusp of new growth, a course-correction of the direction of your life. Use to expand and evolve, then life becomes an ever-growing unfolding of new ideas, insights, and awakenings into those Aha moments. I know life can suck sometimes, but using the concepts I talked about last month (see top of blog or previous blogs at this site), you will go from victim to victor. 

Memory must be the storehouse of all ideas that have passed through my mind. Memory is active, for my thoughts come back to me. My thought is conscious of my body; my body is operated upon by my thought, and it must be operated upon by my memory, since memory is active; but since memory is the result of conscious thought, memory of itself is an unconscious operation of what was once a conscious thought. This is one of the most important conclusions which the mind of [humankind] has ever made.   ~Dr. Ernest Holmes

So, don't just learn the Truth, become the Truth! You know, an acorn doesn't learn to be an oak tree, it becomes one and a caterpillar doesn't learn to be a butterfly, it transforms into one.
By changing [their] thought, [one] could re-mold [their] affairs; and by right thinking [one] could bring new conditions into [their] life.  ~Holmes
Next time you experience a painful moment, as we all do in life, ask yourself this:  “What have I learned from this and how can I grow?”  And when you do, you’ll quickly realize that pain is nothing more than the Universe’s way of directing you to take the next step. It is a time you are in that liminal space (see previous blog), at choice. It is a time to choose to remember your heritage, your factory settings and transform your core beliefs.

What are you forgetting? Nothing! It is there in your memory, waiting to come out .... grab it, learn it, absorb it, and transform yourself into constantly and consistently Being It. The power in you is always at the ready to transform your life so you can bust through, soar and zoom into your best self.

I Am Evolving
I move through the world around me with confidence, kindness, compassion and grace. Today I calmly challenge the status quo of my life, enriching it with thoughts of joyous prosperity and feelings of gratitude.

The Evolution Is In Full Swing
I live in the world I choose, experiencing the abundance I choose; confident my awakened consciousness points True.