your inner life

The Language of the Soul

Perhaps my perspective is a bit skewed, but it seems to me that we, as a culture, are mostly comfortable talking about spiritual consciousness. Even those that are uncomfortable, and uninterested, know that the conversation has merit. They may not choose to get involved, talking the talk - yet. I chose to get involved nearly 20 years ago. A health problem led me into the world of Chinese Medicine, and then on to psychotherapy and I never looked back. Finally there were answers to the imbalance that existed in my life. There were words to put my problems into a context, words like holistic and energy. From the beginning, I accepted and acted on the truth that we are holistic beings whose bodies, emotions, minds and spirits are complex equations with each facet affecting the others. When my difficult to resolve health problem was viewed in this light, my quest to understand myself and humanity began. It has been an incredibly enlivening and enlightening path.

Today I am celebrating that the more I cautiously and carefully speak openly about what I do, working as a holistic Life Coach, people want to know more. As I share that I help people learn to find their way into the happiness that awaits them within, most people become more interested. And I talk about how people come to me frustrated or depressed about the quality of their lives, and I join them on a journey inward. We encounter what seem like big problems along the way, and we take those big problems and turn them into learning lessons about life. Slowly (or occasionally quickly) the clients I work with reconnect to the deeper power that resides within, and they feel ready to make some choices from a place of sensing a new strength, despite the recognition of their vulnerability as well.

My blog this year has been about inviting readers and viewers to connect inwardly. I have been asking you to become more vulnerable to yourself first, by learning to sit still with yourself. My focus has been on informing you that you are the powerful creator of your life. Learning and acting on the truth that I am the powerful creator of my life, continues daily for me. This is not a quick fix prospect. We are not here for a quick fix. We are here to evolve our experience of humanity to a greater knowledge and awareness of ourselves, and what it means to be spirit/soul in human form. And in order to do this well, we need to learn how to operate the machinery well - you know the body, heart and soul within which "you" reside.

Learning to operate the machinery well (I use this term a bit metaphorically), means you need to know where the controls are. They are within. We are mostly conditioned to view life and the way we influence it, by connecting to what is available outside us. You know, get the right job, find the right partner, raise a family, acquire a home (and all those trinkets). When we come up unhappy in any of this, we start changing all this "stuff" and we may or may not, eventually, find some happiness along the way. And, all the time, there is a naturally occurring happiness well that waits within us to be discovered. Often we stay outwardly focused until something about our well-being causes a problem that can't be solved from the outside. That's when the doors to holistic thinking and the language of the soul become interesting.

As a culture, we are sensing that the problems we encounter now are not being resolved by the usual means. I like to think that these self-created problems are leading us further along in our development as a species, to recognize the spirit/soul aspect of ourselves and then to act on this truth. People are becoming more interested in the language of the soul, and holistic thought. Not from a religious perspective, but from a personal perspective. A perspective that says, I am powerful within, and when I act well and kindly on this knowledge, the world becomes a more habitable place. That means solving problems without violence, thinking sustainably since our natural resources are limited, and implementing technology wisely by no longer threatening the natural environment and ignoring the ways we pollute our home, this planet.

Today, may I suggest, that you consider this by starting at home, with and in your individual being. Today, solve each of your individual inner conflicts without violence to yourself or those within whom you are in relationship. Think of your being as a limited resource and do not overextend or misuse any of your resources such as time, health and attention. And consider how you might be polluting your being in thought, word and deed. These are powerful and longer term actions that involve looking inwardly. All effort in the direction of living and choosing more consciously will not be wasted. We are the powerful creators of this world.

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 :)

Laurel's Monday Message 1-30-12

Are you feeling like the powerful creator of your life? Do you feel satisfied with life as you look about you? Are you feeling motivated to make changes? What keeps you from making changes that you deeply desire? Maybe you're feeling ready for a next step after last week's message. Last week's message was to remind yourself that you can begin to recreate your life by saying inside, "I am the powerful creator of my life". It may feel like it's time, as you look at your life, to begin taking inventory. What's working - what's not? The most important attitude you can cultivate with this step is a kind and gentle attitude. Taking our time to consciously craft our lives is like an art project. Allowing the process to develop one stage at time, growing it from a creative place that takes each modification into account, proceeding slowly is prudent. This is not a race, it's important crafting that is worth all the attention and love that you can give it. Click here for today's Monday Message.

Laurel's Monday Message, 1-9-12

What we do with our minds manifests in our outer life. It's difficult to make this connection until we begin to learn the skill of becoming the observer. When we become the observer we can literally watch as our mind rolls out its familiar ways it works. While observing, we can learn our automatic thought patterns, attachments we have to outcomes, expectations, the proportions of time we spend thinking positively and negatively, and a host of other useful information about SELF. It is amazing the discoveries to made by learning the skill of observer. The most powerful aspect of what I am sharing right now, is that as observer we gain intimate knowledge of our conscious process. We shift our locus of control. This means we shift into a state where we become ready to think differently, able to replace dysfunctional patterns, and willing to infuse our mind with beneficial new patterns. This is truly life-altering!

I hope this Monday message motivates you to start working on healthier patterns, today. Every small step we take is important, empowering ourselves with the needed skills to create a life we feel excited with - every day. Click here to listen to my message.

Relationship Growth and 2012

Here we are in a new era of relationship awareness and growth. Spending time talking with clients about what they want in relationships, what feels uncomfortable and individual patterns that they want to change are topics of importance to everyone I encounter. The quality of our lives is deeply impacted by the condition of our primary relationships, so it seems natural that giving good attention and finding understanding about how we are living in our relationships is key to life satisfaction and fulfillment. In fact the more we evolve and learn about our humanity, we are discovering that relationships are at the heart of our personal fulfillment. Unfortunately, we often feel frustrated and blocked in our relationships and the patterns of interacting and communicating currently established. To push for change may mean that we risk ending important relationships. We avoid change when we fear others will not do the work of self-reflection and acceptance that is required as we sort through the history of our patterns and behaviors, working to develop more effective and supportive ways of approaching our intimate interactions. Indeed it can be a risky proposition to confront unhealthy patterns that we no longer wish to live within but are perpetuated by our inability or unwillingness to address them. In order to find true inner peace, eventually we need to get to the business of addressing and confronting the difficult.

The good news is that with new skills, addressing difficult and sometimes threatening-feeling topics can be – not so bad. We often make drama and extreme scenarios the reality in our minds because of our fear and because of our inability with how to proceed. The new era I refer to is the era of learning the skill of navigating relationships well. Risking the relationship for new beginnings, for more happiness and fulfillment, for inner integrity and honesty by speaking up and learning how to work through whatever issues keep you feeling dissatisfied with your current life circumstances when it comes to relationships - these are skills that I love to share. Finding new life in relationships means confronting what limits us from within, looking at how we might be keeping ourselves, and essentially others, stuck in places we do not want to be.

What limits us from within are the beliefs and patterns we hold onto. We hold onto unhealthy patterns for many reasons, some of which include - because we don’t know what else to do - or because we fear loss or being alone - or we because we avoid confrontation and rejection - or because we are immobilized by others patterns that overpower or minimize what is important to us. We can turn all these patterns around, we can learn new skills, trusting that our inner world wants our attention and communicates to us through any inner distress. The beginning of change and growth is our willingness to risk taking the first step. Often this means we identify and state what we really want, wanting something healthier than the safety of what we already know.

I invite you to listen to a four-part interview that I recorded with Kinlen Wheeler, co-founder of Sacred Pathways. Kinlen shares how she navigates change in her relationship and risks the known for a deeper and more authentic expression of herself in her primary relationship. She shares the tension of taking responsibility of fulfilling inner needs, breaking down old patterns to establish a sense of new life and authenticity in relationship, and turning inward to become clear about personal fears and needs. It is a provocative and compelling sharing that I hope will inspire others to risk looking inward at the truth of what we co-create in our relationships. Click here to access Part I. You will find all four parts of the interview on my YouTube Channel.

Watching these short videos is a great way to start 2012, focusing on the possibility of what life might look like as we awaken to the power of our individual consciousness. Be a part of creating the new world that is arising in 2012 by taking a risk, challenging the status quo. We are the new Earth when we think and behave with true integrity.

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!

Making Good Use of the Next Year

Greetings Friends,Today, 12/21/11, we are a year away from 12/21/12, the day that the prophesies say will be a new beginning. Many have been focused on the ending aspect of this shift in our collective consciousness. Let's commit this day to focusing our minds on the truth that it will be a new beginning, a time when we more deeply understand humanity and our role here on Earth.

As I lay awake throughout the dawning hours this day, my mind rolled along with thoughts about how I will make the new year full of activity that is meaningful to me. My energy focuses on helping people connect with their heart wisdom. The mind is a wonderful resource when we have learned to utilize it well, because it is indeed one of the great resources we are gifted with as a human. Many continue to suffer though mind-based activities like worrying, mental catastrophe creating, and judging. As we continue with these activities, we continue to suffer. When we commit to change, training the mind to focus on gratitude, creative energy, and wondering, our entire being begins to shift into a new experience of life. The most effective way to personally shift into this new way of living is to reconnect with your heart.

Reconnecting with your heart in some respects is quite simple. There may be a period through which you will pass when it can be uncomfortable to make this powerful shift. During the time of shifting, we become more in touch with our emotional energy and must learn the skill of experiencing and directing this vital life energy towards healing and self-understanding. As we heal and come to understand ourselves more deeply, the natural next steps become about using our energy to serve and create in ways that impact the world in healthy and positive ways. Knowing how to do this arises organically from living through the heart.

As we wonder what we can do to find our life purpose, to live a "happy" and meaningful life, we must remember to begin with what is basic and truly under our control - our world within. The most basic step to take is to connect to your heart. Breathe into your heart. Heal any wounds that you carry in your heart - wounds that wait within you in the form of anger, hurt and loss. As you heal those wounds you will discover a new strength and purpose, this energy will surface spontaneously and you will feel like you are living a new life. You will indeed be a transformative force in the world, part of this new beginning where we live consciously and purposefully.

Happy New Year to all. I hope you choose to connect with the infinite energy that your heart holds. It's waiting for you.