“When all you can feel are the shadows, turn your face towards the sun”
I’m a great subscriber to the belief that we are ‘already healed’ – it comes up again and again in spiritual teachings throughout the ages and I’m happy to see that modern science is now catching up on the benefit of ‘turning your face towards the sun’.
I believe many of us spend too much of our time focusing on what’s wrong with ourselves, others or the World and not enough time focusing on what we want and what we are doing right.
I spent a lo t of time a few years ago trying to ‘fix’ myself and everyone else around me. Eventually I realised that if I spent a whole heap of time looking for what was wrong with me then, guess what, I was sure to find an ever increasing list of issues, ailments and problems.
All of the work that I do with people now is focused on strength training and how you can achieve self mastery by using daily practices and simple techniques to slowly but surely change your old habits.
Neuroscience research now tells us that whatever you focus on strengthens the neural networks around that type of behaviour. So the carrot and stick approach both work to strengthen the behaviour they make you focus on. That is, using the stick brings the attention to the negative behaviour and hence strengthens the neural networks around the NEGATIVE behaviour.
YES you got it! That’s why beating yourself up about whatever you have done wrong actually strengthens the negative story about yourself or others…
Also – I think we should all recognise the interconnected nature of ourselves and the World. In Visioning I recognise the five parts of being – physical, mental, emotional, material and spiritual. All affect each other. Ignoring one is to the detriment of all. Working on each one affects the others.
So – here we go:-
- Choose to love yourself UNCONDITIONALLY– yep – no conditions – acknowledge that beating yourself up is of no benefit to anyone including you and just sets you down a slippery slope. So, make a choice that even if you do things you are not happy with do not beat yourself up – simple Acknowledge and Re-direct. That is – “Ok I see I’m not happy with what I did. I acknowledge the behaviour and now I choose to redirect to what I want”.
- Be fully emotionally expressive– check the research on this by Google-ing ‘Neurocardiology’. There are neural networks around the heart which act like another brain. Denying your feelings might seem like a strategically good thing to do to get what you want but won’t feel so good if it results in a heart attack. Try using the phrases “When you, I feel…” and “I understand what you are saying however I feel… and I want…” If it all seems too hard refer to #1 and remember you deserve to be heard.
- Exercise Your Imagination– here’s the mental part for you. Researchers say we have about 50-60,000 thoughts every day (women more than men of course) BUT 90-95% of them are the same ones we had yesterday! Ooops Ground Hog Day! You know what happens when a horse and cart goes round the same track over and over again? Yep – ruts! Same in your brain. So – reading, painting, writing and any form of creative play – including day dreaming!
- Move Your Body– Taoism tells us that the chi or life force enters us through the top of our heads and goes out through our feet into the Earth. Emotional blockages cause the energy to get trapped resulting in physical pain – hence acupuncture to clear blocks. Modern energy medicine supports this – see EFT or TFT. Neurobiologists also have identified the link between the body and the chemical triggers in the brain – see the work of Candace Pert. Hence – move your body or get your body moved (by massage and body work) – to shift energy and remain strong.
- Connect With Nature– this is about being spiritually nurtured. So what is spirit anyway? – How about the acknowledgment that we are part of something bigger than ourselves? An overwhelming focus on the self and our own issues causes us to become smaller not bigger. So – take the time to LOOK UP! See the trees, the birds, the clouds, the sun, the moon, and the stars. We are the bridge between Heaven and Earth – our role is to bring light and love onto the Earth plane. Take time every day to connect with nature and give love.
- Give Stuff Away– yep – this is the material side of things. To get stronger give things away to others. There is an aspect of this in all spiritual teachings however the one that is most specific is the American Indian culture where they have a Give Away Ceremony. The aim is to give away things to other members of the tribe. This shows your abundance and is a demonstration of faith that you will be looked after by spirit. Many people who have much material things are actually poverty stricken inside – afraid that others will take away what they have. To be abundant take care of others and give things away.
- Never Wait Just ACT!– waiting constricts one to a position of hope. Hoping for something or someone to come along and make things right. This by its very nature dis-empowers you. Action by contrast has power. We live in a material world so action precedes results. To be strong you must ACT. Turn the wheel of dharma and create.
- Manage Your Focus– last but not least is the habit of managing your focus. We create what we habitually focus our attention on. If we focus on what is wrong with the world or us we put energy and intent into that. Instead do these two simple things: in the morning before you get out of bed ask “What is my intention today?” and at the end of the day before you go to sleep ask “What did I do right today?”.
So – there you go – 8 ways to be stronger. May your life be blessed!
“Whatever we build in the imagination will accomplish itself in the circumstance of our lives.”