self-empowerment

Connecting Physical and Spiritual Energy, Laurel's Monday Message 8-27-12

Today's message calls on you to directly experience the uplifting quality of spiritual energy by tuning into your physical body in stillness. We have the opportunity to experience this enriching aspect of our humanity, but we must be willing to practice stillness in order to receive this amazing energy. I hope today's message will inspire you to learn to get quiet with yourself!

Connecting Emotional and Physical Energy - Laurel's Monday Message 8-13-12

This week's message focuses on connecting your awareness of your emotional energy and your physical energy. During the month of August I will be focusing inwardly on how to make good use of the physical energy in your life - and not in the usual ways! Join me this month connecting the dots between your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energies! Empower yourself with your own inner wisdom.

The Opposite of the Need to Control: Trust the Process

How are you with trust? Do you trust in yourself to make good decisions in a moment-to-moment way? Do you trust others to behave well? Have you developed faith in “right” outcomes? Trusting the process of life can be a radical shift in the way many of us live. Trusting in life means letting go of the illusion of control, or ending the habit of falling into the need for control as a pattern of living. Instead of attaching to the outcome and attempting to manipulate others or events, we can trust the process (or life), let go of illusions, and live in the moment.

This entails trusting yourself. Some of the ways to develop self-trust include: • behave well - make it better and change when you don’t • make good judgments without being judgmental of others • align your behavior with your true values and not necessarily those of the culture • make healthy choices in your relationships • learn to set healthy boundaries • be honest and true to your inner self • speak with integrity • acknowledge both your talents and gifts, learn about your limitations, honoring it all without judgment or self-criticism.

Trusting the process (or life) also means trusting others. We learn to trust others in the ways listed above. Consider others in light of those specific behaviors, and learn about them through moment-to-moment, direct interactions. As we learn about others, our level of trust either raises or lowers as we determine the integrity of the individual and the quality of the relationship. Accepting others for who they are by observing their behavior and then setting the appropriate boundaries in relationship with them, is each individual’s responsibility and is a matter of healthy self-care.

Trusting the process (or life), we honor ourselves through self-trust, through honoring others by acknowledging the truth of the relationship as it exists for each individual, and then moving through interactions, in real-time, making each next move or decision based on the immediacy of what is developing rather than a predetermined goal that you attempt to achieve through your own personal sense of control. This is about living process oriented versus goal oriented. We may still develop and work towards goals but without sacrificing the truth that emerges from directly experiencing the process.

When we develop trust in life, our inner need for control naturally diminishes. With this shift, our life path becomes flexible and winding, flowing with the energies of life rather than a rigidly pre-determined path that may not fit with the emerging conditions of life. It is a gentler approach to life that causes us to feel empowered, live respectfully of others and speak honestly as a way of life.

Laurel's Monday Message 2-6-12

Are you paying attention to your life? Most importantly, are you paying attention to what is happening inside - in your inner world? There is a gold mine within, waiting for you to enjoy the treasures. You are the only one who can - the only one who can discover the riches inside. Others will benefit from them when you discover them and live them, because you will naturally express them. Maybe they are buried right now behind fear or anger. Maybe you are afraid to look inside because it feels chaotic or scary. Maybe you need some help to get going. One of the best ways to begin the process is to slow down a bit and starting taking a peek here and there. Let yourself begin to honestly look at what is happening in your inner world. If you afraid to do it, then simply start allowing yourself to feel the fear a little bit, but look anyway. You will build up your courage with practice and also with support.

I hope this message inspires you to pay attention! Looking within is a big step towards creating what you deeply desire.

Emotions 101

How about a quick lesson in emotion "management"? Think of emotion as vital energy that fuels your life. When you are experiencing smooth flowing emotion, your life is running superbly. When the emotion is flowing fully, you are empowered with great force. When you are cultivating positive and healthy emotion, you feel empowered to direct your life well.

Some Details.

When we resist emotions (commonly anger and sadness), we set up blocks within us as a way to manage the emotion that remains within, rather than the emotion flowing out of us. We unconsciously use energy to keep the emotion contained, or to keep it compartmentalized, or to not fully feel the feelings that accompany the emotion. This is tiring, exhausting when this is habitual. Those inner walls that contain the emotion within us, keep us blocked from other aspects of life, simply as a byproduct of "I can't go there". "There" is more that you realize.

When we experience emotion fully, in a healthy way, we feel the feelings fully, we physically respond by raging when angry, crying when sad, trembling when fearful. We do not hurt others when we are expressing this emotion, instead we learn to let it flow and find appropriate ways to discharge the energy. This can range from taking a jog, to hitting a punching bag to journaling or even dancing (the urge to dance around when we are happy!). The idea though is to move the energy.

As the emotional energy moves and we can think clearly again (clear thought is impossible with inner intense emotion), we re-consider the event that caused the emotion and how we responded to it. How A (the event) brought about B (the emotion). Now is the time to understand yourself more. What caused the anger and what do you need to change? What caused the sadness and what does this teach you about yourself? What brought up the fear and what does this inform you about how you feel insecure? What brought on the guilt and what could this mean about your behavior, your history or your inner life?

When you can honestly answer these kinds of questions in response to the emotional experience, you can put your emotion to good use by using it as fuel to organize your life in a way that reflects who you are and what you value. For instance, if your friend brought up enormous anger in you when she ditched you for a date - yet again, it's time to reconsider the friendship and the place it has in your life. Once that "friend" is in or out of your life in the proper place (this is up to you to take care of) then you will not be stuck in the anger. You can forgive and move on.

This theory is simple and it works. Sometimes it's the putting it into practice that does not always feel easy. But that's what we are here for - to develop our skills as humans, to navigate the waters of emotion and to learn to sail the seas!

I would love to hear follow-up questions from anyone struggling with learning to use their emotions efficiently. Let me know what else I might be able to share that could help :)

Common Knowledge

What kinds of ideas do you consider common knowledge? Maybe these are some. The grass is green. The sky is blue. In America, we elect our President every four years. Coffee and tea are typical morning beverages of choice. If you suddenly need medical care because of an immediate health problem, head to the emergency room of a hospital. Women, not men, give birth to babies. Cars need gasoline to operate. The time has come for us to understand how our inner worlds operate. The knowledge is available, but one has to voluntarily acquire it. Knowing the basics will change your life forever, and empower you in new ways. Consider some of the basics and muse about how these ideas might change your life.

We can direct our thinking. Living in a culture in which it is common to find people saying they are stressed out, it’s common to find people feeling stuck in negative or fearful thought patterns. Worry is a common complaint of many – worry is fearful thinking. We know that altering our thought patterns deeply impacts the quality of our life. We know that gratitude thinking actually changes our brain chemistry, helping us to feel good! Learning how to direct our thinking can be common knowledge.

Wow, feeling power over our brain chemistry - that's exciting!

What we feel inside contains a powerhouse of personal insights and knowledge about humanity. Often we lack the skills to manage how we feel. We have not been taught well, if at all, how to use the power of emotion to identify important aspects of our unique self and help us to interact well with the world. Many people are walking around with a bundle of unexpressed and repressed emotion that clouds healthy, balanced thinking, leaving many feeling like a victim in their life. The way to utilize our feelings is first to feel them, then accept them, followed by expressing them in a healthy manner, and then understand how they teach us about humanity and our personal experience of it.

Wow, not feeling trapped by our feelings, burdened by them, or tired of them - that's fabulous!

We are naturally creative beings. Watching a child grow in a healthy environment, we see their interest in creating – making up stories, pretending to be someone else, playing teacher, doctor, pirate, mother or father. Some of that creative energy goes underground when children make their way through the “school system”. It isn’t gone, it’s just lost inside, maybe buried under a belief adopted along the way that “I’m not good enough, smart enough, or creative enough to make the grade.” This is sad - a true loss for the world. As an adult, we can decide to take responsibility in reconnecting with our creative nature, impassioning our life with this energy.

Wow, reconnecting with an internal source of energy that naturally improves our life - that's fantastic!

Be a part of making this knowledge, common knowledge. Embody it, live it and express it!

Laurel's Monday Message, 1-23-12

It's Monday! And I am here to remind you that you are creating your life moment-to-moment. Yes, you are creating the QUALITY of your life. Your life has a rhythm that is defined by your family, your friends, your work, your personal needs and your priorities - yes - your choices. You have created the rhythm and are making it what it is this day. Have you chosen consciously? Do you feel trapped in a pattern of life and feel stuck with choices that now seem ill-fitting? It's never - with a capital N - too late to make new choices. If the choices were big ones, start small. Little changes can be confidence builders, they can remind you that you are more powerful than you might remember in this moment. I hope my Monday video message inspires you to exercise your authentic inner power, causing you to pay attention to each little choice you make. Remember, you are the powerful creator of your life.

My First Monday Video Message

One of my goals is to inspire and motivate you, and those with whom you connect, to take a risk and look within, especially at whatever is troubling you. Through giving yourself the time, attention and love it takes to heal any inner troubles, your self-investment reaps huge dividends. The dividends come in the form of feelings - no longer feeling troubled, but rather feeling proud about the choices you make, feeling empowered by your inner authentic strength, and feeling excited to create from your heart. When you feel this way you become a part of creating a world in which each of us lives our highest good. Each Monday I will be posting a short video on YouTube to keep your motivation in motion for continuing on your healing path. Click here to go to today's message. And please, pass the link on to anyone you know who might benefit from my message!

Deep Friendship

This fall I attended a conference held by Hay House Publishing. For those of you who don’t know who Hay House publishers are, here is a link to visit them - http://www.hayhouse.com/. Louise Hay began her career after age forty, and since that time has changed the world with her mind/body messages and ability to share the truth that “you can heal your life”. Her timeless wisdom is available in many books, including the bible book for many, You Can Heal Your Life. Ms. Hay offered us an inspirational message the morning of 9/11/11, our last morning together that weekend. Although we did hear from Ms. Hay, the conference was led mostly by an old and dear friend of mine, Cheryl Richardson with a supporting role by Reid Tracy, president of Hay House. The reason I write today is that I had a profound experience while I was in attendance, and it has taken me till now to properly express what happened.

The reason I waited with this one was because I wanted to do justice to the message. Busily writing a book proposal and remaining one-focused till last week, my mind was not open enough to let the experience sift deeply into me and return outward with the depth of expression I wanted it to carry. I am willing to pause now, wait for the distillation to finish, to let the experience percolate within, seeking all the inner connections and places within me that want to impress the original idea or experience. I think of it as a birthing process, not to be rushed, given it’s proper incubation time. This experience has grown within, and is ready to share.

Sitting from my chair in the audience of close to one hundred attendees, I watched Cheryl banter and tease and play with Louise who sat in the front row. Louise was there with us throughout most of the weekend conference, her energy inspiring many of us simply through her presence. Their bond was apparent, the friendship clear. Cheryl’s admiration for Louise’s work and her wisdom was palpable. For me, it was a pleasure to watch from afar.

Tears bubbled up more than once during that weekend as words Cheryl spoke resonated deeply with me. The words are unimportant now. It was the feeling in the words that struck into my heart and solar plexus. What I knew was that I had women in my life like Louise, wise and loving women who hold me in life. There were one or two particular things that Cheryl said and I thought, my dear Cyn has said that to me. The inward knowing that my life has been blessed with a certain quality and depth of friendship that nurtures my inner being, friends that see me for who I am deep within, and who hold space for me to share my innermost self, was the truth that brought me tears. My friendships are gifts beyond measure.

We all deserve to have friendships like these, friendships that call to our hearts and souls - that push and pull us as we discover our innermost truths and strengths. Sometimes I think we settle for less, that because we might not know what to look for in friends, we accept a less than supportive quality and feel we are without the intimacy we seek deep within. Without this kind of intimacy in our friendships, we often look for it from sources that will not or cannot provide what we seek. And we are disappointed.

In order to find quality friends, it is critical to learn to be a quality friend. Here are ideas that help nourish relationships, build trusting bonds, and encourage reciprocal support.

• Learn to be a good listener. Do not interrupt, give advice or correct while the other is speaking. Develop the tool of simply listening and wondering, silencing inner chatter in order to be present and available to another. • Do not share with others what you are being told about another’s inner life. Privacy of information is essential for building trusting relationships. • Move slowly in new friendships, take time to get to know one another before asking another to hold confidences or to listen to struggles and burdens you may be experiencing. Give the friendship time to grow a little before challenging it. • Be willing to speak up when you disagree with what someone is doing or saying. Learn how to speak in “I” statements so that you can express what is happening for you clearly when you are disagreeing. • Risk sharing your vulnerabilities after the friendship clearly becomes a safe one to do this. Prematurely becoming vulnerable can cause problems in future friendships if we develop trust issues. • Have more than one intimate other. Expecting the other to be our sole confident and trusted other can feel like a burden. It’s a good life skill to seek other healthy and fulfilling friendships, even when we have great ones in place. • Do not ask another what you would not willingly give. Check in with yourself about this before any request is made. • Be honest and truthful. If you cannot be, be silent. Search within to discover what holds you back from being honest. • Practice compassion. This means sitting with an open heart and listening, withholding any judgment. Simply allow the other to be natural with you. Compassion is a quality we develop with practice. • Express your gratitude regularly to those who support you and love you.

Having quality friendships is life enhancing. Our loneliness is soothed when we can be our true self with others, when we are seen and heard for who we are deep within, and when we learn about our inner depths of compassion, love and giving through being a kind and trusted friend. Practicing any of the ideas above will help support your journey to finding trusted others and developing the quality of relationships you desire. Developing these skills may take time and patience, but the investment will be well worth it as you experience new and fulfilling qualities in your friendships.