Self Growth

How Emotional Intelligence Can Make You Better in 2012

Written by Dr. Bradberry . Posted in Inspiration.

For many of us, the new year will begin with a promise—a promise that this year we will accomplish that which has eluded us. Often it’s the everyday things that prove most difficult—managing your schedule, treating people the way you ought to, and keeping things in perspective when chaos is at hand. The sad truth is that nearly 80% of us will fall off the resolution bandwagon by Super Bowl Sunday; and by this time next year, a mere 5% of us will have succeeded in reaching our goals.

There are two reasons why we’re so bad at reaching our resolutions. The first is that we bite off more than we can chew. It may seem reasonable to pick up three or four new skills to add to your repertoire, but that’s an expectation the mind can’t execute. When we try to develop too many new skills at once, they become competing priorities that leave us distracted, discouraged, and overwhelmed. The second reason most self-improvement efforts are doomed to fail is that our emotions have a nasty habit of hijacking our behavior. Without a strong ability to recognize and manage our emotions as they occur, old habits are sure to die hard.

Why Would Anyone Walk Barefoot Over 1,200-Degree Coals?

Written by Joe White. Posted in Motivation.

Why Would Anyone Walk Barefoot Over 1,200-Degree Coals

(The Firewalk Transformation Seminar is a 6-hour seminar that culminates in participants walking barefoot over hot coals.) The answer to the question is easy: you walk for whatever reason compels you. For some, it is to overcome fears and limiting beliefs. For others, it is the metaphor of what is standing in the way of the life that they want. Some see it as pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and others see it as a spiritual journey. Regardless of why someone walks, the Firewalk Transformation is UNFORGETTABLE. 

Relationships 102:Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Most Effective Listener of All?

Written by Rusty Stewart. Posted in Love & Relationships.

Listening is the most important component in communication. “Seek first to understand before being understood.” After 15 years of experience as an educator, psychotherapist, and everyday human being, I can share with you that this is easier said than done. Listening is an art and requires us to get out of our own way and our need to be right. That being said, there are tools we can learn that significantly increase our listening presence. Last month I laid out the seven feedback suggestions for creating an unwavering foundation for authentic communication. This month I am going to go into more detail about how to mirror and listen more effectively.

The Most Amazing Letter Ever

Written by Karen Jessee. Posted in Love & Relationships.

Maddie was my childhood chum, best friends forever.  From children to adults,  we shared our funniest moments, our darkest secrets, the angst of aging mothers, and stories about men.  Enter Jack.

Maddie and Jack met at the Philadelphia Airport waiting in a food line.  They started a conversation, shared a table, and exchanged numbers.   Maddie was returning to Canada; Jack was returning to Georgia.  No problem. They wrote, rang up huge phone bills, e-mailed, and arranged flights, all in the name of love at first sight.

A different kind of Resolution

Written by Suzanne Eder. Posted in Inspiration.

 The Barbara Brennan School of Healing, Class of 1999, spoke these words - out loud and to each other - during our final, sacred ceremony. It was the evening before graduation, and we came together in joy and remembrance and deep gratitude for the journey we had completed and the one we were just beginning. These lovely words penetrated and awakened my very soul that day, and whenever I read or recall them I feel their incredible sweetness. To me they speak of longing.

Appreciate Your Self A Winning Way to Play New Year’s Resolution

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D.. Posted in Inspiration.

This little light

 “This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine!”
 
An inventory is what I call my year-end assessment.  That’s the basis for setting my new year’s intentions.  Some years ago, I switched from the word ‘resolution’ for two reasons.  First, because our collective consciousness has so much “failure”  baggage around this custom of formulating goals for the coming calendar year.  Second, my free associations all reveal a personal negative bias - revolution, revolting, roulette….  

A proverbial question?

Written by Joe White. Posted in Inspiration.

"What is the Meaning of Life?"


I remember a day in high school. when my teacher asked the proverbial question.

The teacher was  hoping  to stimulate thought and debate. After 45 minutes of  discussions and disagreements we were no closer to the truth. 

Cleaning Up Our (Inner) Environment

Written by Suzanne Eder. Posted in Inspiration.

    In April we celebrated Earth Day, an occasion that generates renewed focus on the great need to be mindful and loving stewards of this planet that sustains all life. Much of the focus translates into myriad initiatives to clean up our polluted environment, and those initiatives are noble, worthy and essential. There are countless programs and activities that need our attention and support, and we are called to step up and provide them.

The Shaman- "He or She Who Knows"

Written by Kat Yerger. Posted in Alternative & New Age.

 Shamanism, where does it come from? What does it mean, and is it effective? All questions roused by the appearance this ancient form of healing is making in western culture. Archaeological evidence estimates shamanism to be about 30,000 years old or more. 

Managing Your Persistent Fears and Anxieties

Written by Stanley Popovich. Posted in Motivation.

Everybody deals with anxiety and depression, however some people have a hard time in managing it. As a result, here is a brief list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their most persistent fears and every day anxieties.

When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, the first thing you can do is to divide the task into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success.

Couples Journey -- Part 3

Written by Bruce Palmer M.A., L.P.C.M.H.,. Posted in Love & Relationships.


 The initial stage is falling in love and idealized romance in which we project onto our beloved our own images of hoped for perfection; in order to feel whole and complete with our significant other. As this begins to wear thin and we recognize the other as human, neither the Goddess nor Prince Charming, we will often attempt to ‘seduce’ the other into living the fantasy. When they (and I) continue to fall short, remaining a flawed human, the anger stage of relationship will often arise

It All Counts

Written by Suzanne Eder. Posted in Transformation.


            My client sat before me, shoulders slumped and eyes downcast. She sighed heavily with an air of somber resignation. Just moments before she had been brimming with enthusiasm, her posture erect and her voice alive with possibility. Together we had brainstormed different ways she could explore an idea she had about work – not a practical idea about ways she could improve her current job, but a sparkly idea for an entirely new form of work. Work that might fulfill her sense of purpose and nourish her soul. Work that could nudge her lovingly out of bed in the morning. Work that would allow her to develop her innate talents and creativity. Work that that might even be fun.

Love, Not Judge

Written by Jackie Lapin. Posted in Inspiration.

  For most of us, judging ourselves and others is so ingrained in our constitution that we are not even aware that we do it. It’s just a way of life.

 

          We gossip about other people. We assign value to individuals before we even speak to them, determining if they are worthy of our time. We make assumptions about people by virtue of their skin color or the work that they do. We complain about our coworkers, colleagues, relatives, lovers and even friends! We are critical of the way people do things, what they think, how they talk, who they hang out with and what decisions they make in their lives.

Being in Love

Written by Suzanne Eder. Posted in Love & Relationships.

    One of the truly great blessings of adulthood is that Valentine’s Day is no longer a thinly veiled popularity contest, a day when everyone drops cheap cards and candy hearts for their intended into a big box, and then waits with bated breath to see how many of those hopeful offerings have their name on them. I can remember glancing furtively around me every Valentine’s Day during my elementary school years as the cards were handed out, hoping upon hope that I didn’t have the smallest pile.

Inner Light

Written by Suzanne Eder. Posted in Transformation.

  Darkness falls early now. With each passing day I find myself surprised anew at how quickly the sunlight fades this time of year. I never seem to get used to it, even after decades of repeated exposure to the changing seasons! I long for light even as my body instinctively welcomes the darkness, wanting nothing more than to slow down and rest. It seems, at first glance, to be an uncomfortable opposition of forces, this longing for light and darkness at the same time.

The Couples Journey -- Part 2

Written by Bruce E. Palmer, MA LPCMH. Posted in Love & Relationships.

The curious and interesting stages of growth experienced in the evolution of a loving committed relationship

  (Illusionment, Disillusionment, Loving Reality)  is well documented in the plethora of ‘happy ever after’ fairy tales and romantic comedies. Certainly a wonderful experience, and one which helps create the glue and the initial bonding that encourage a couple stay together as they navigate the more difficult and stormy aspects of relationship. The second stage, ‘Honeymoon is Over’ involves the recognition that my beloved does not quite live up to the fantasy projection that he/she should meet my 

A Couples Journey -- Part 1

Written by Bruce Palmer M.A., L.P.C.M.H.,. Posted in Love & Relationships.

 A Couples Journey

We are all aware that the “Happy Ever After” endings to romantic comedies and fairy talestend to be filtered through rose colored glasses and are less than realistic approaches to long term loving, commitment and intimate relationship.

Neither, of course, are the tragedies of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ or ‘Tristan and Iseult’ what we hope for! The question remains; How do we navigate the ups and downs of the couple’s journey over the years?  What are our expectations? Are they realistic, or skewed by either fairy tale or mud splattered lens?

Responsibility and Response-ability

Written by Ruth Cherry, PhD,. Posted in Transformation.

       So much of spiritual attunement is being available. Attunement implies a sensitive attention and readiness. A spiritually attuned life is not one that is planned in advance. It is not one that knows the answers or even the questions. Attunement is a process, a way of being. If the “doing” aspect becomes too important, the attunement is lost. Whether it is doing good works or doing evil deeds or just doing the list of chores the job demands, it is the attitude and the attunement that count.

A Spirituality of Your Own

Written by Ruth Cherry, PhD,. Posted in Spirituality.

            Isn’t it time that we move beyond religion and rules and belief into honest spirituality which is based on personal experience?  Religion offers community which feels comforting and guidelines for behavior which build character.  But true spirituality requires an adult’s presence to her own experience.  Thinking about what an authority tells us is at best a jumping off point for us to assume our own authority.

Hate and Fear

Written by Ruth Cherry, PhD,. Posted in Personal Growth.

       We hate what we fear.  It’s more comfortable to feel hate than fear because somehow it seems less vulnerable and being vulnerable is to be avoided at all costs, we’ve learned.

             We don’t always say we hate, though. We’d rather say, “That’s illogical” (and, thus, not to be considered seriously) or “That’s immature” (and, so, unworthy of attention) or “That’s what they asked for” (and I can’t do anything about their poor choices). We separate ourselves from “them,” having already separated ourselves from what we fear inside ourselves–vulnerability, pain, sorrow, hopelessness.

Transcending Limitations

Written by Ruth Cherry, PhD,. Posted in Transformation.

Working in a men’s prison, I reflect on the experience of being incarcerated.  The men can’t walk too far in one direction, can’t stand in groups on the yard, can’t watch cable television or research the internet or choose their meals. What they can’t do outnumbers what they can do by about 1000 to 1.

So many of them say they are angry about being in prison but they admit they were angry before they entered prison. They say it frustrates them that they can’t work for pay but admit they didn’t show up for work when they lived “on the streets.” They say that when they are released they will be happy but confess they never have been happy.

Peace

Written by Ruth Cherry, PhD,. Posted in Spirituality.

     When I walked into church on Sunday, the small congregation was singing, “Peace will fill the world when we finally understand that only from within can it spread throughout the land.” Peace isn’t an external matter that can be legislated and enforced.  Peace is a way of being­-–in harmony with ourselves, with others, and with the physical planet.

Lost and Found

Written by Suzanne Eder. Posted in Personal Growth.

Lost and Found

“This is the first time I’ve decided to leave a job without having something else lined up,” my friend Tonya* confessed to our small women’s support group. We applauded her daring, self-affirming choice and offered words of encouragement to bolster her confidence in stepping into the unknown. She knew she was doing the right thing, but wasn’t at all comfortable with the prospect of not knowing what was next.

     As I reflected on it later it occurred to me that, in our culture, we have trained ourselves to tolerate the wrong kind of discomfort. We have become like martyrs, enduring the endless drudgery of tedious jobs or the relentless demands of 70-hour-per-week careers. We convince ourselves that our choices are somehow noble – or we convince ourselves that we have no other choice – and busy ourselves with developing “coping mechanisms” to mitigate the negative effects of the psychic pain that, by now, has become chronic. We don’t acknowledge that this kind of pain is our soul’s way of letting us know we’re off course, because we don’t know what other course to take.

      And that, paradoxically, is the point. In order to get back on course, we must be willing to not know how - to be lost, at least for a little while. And we’re not terribly good at feeling lost. We’d rather rush to figure things out so that fear doesn’t have a chance to step into the gap between the world we know today and the world we will come to know.  But the world we’re longing for is created in the gap; if we think and act only from our known world, we’ll keep getting more of the same. We need to remind ourselves that beyond our daily routines and habits of thought lies an endless source of ideas and inspiration to lead us step by step into our brilliant future, if we will but take that first tender step into the unknown. That is the kind of pain – the squirmy discomfort of not knowing – that we must learn to sit with. And as we do, it begins to soften little by little. The willingness to not know invites a new knowing, the kind that can transform our lives.

      I’ve come to understand that the pain we associate with not knowing is caused by the belief that we’re supposed to know; we’ve been taught how to plan our lives from here to retirement, so doing something as radical as leaving a job without having a tidy five-year forecast to make sense of it all seems to offer proof of our stupidity. But what if we could drop the belief that we should know what we’re going to be doing for the next five years? We might find that setting it aside ushers in a sense of freedom and possibility we’ve not experienced before. Will we have to deal with fear? Yes, we will. Is that something worth learning to do? Absolutely.

      Tonya knows this, in her heart of hearts. She knows that the pain of staying in a job that suffocates her is far worse than the heart-fluttering bouts of panic that chastise her for making the choice to leave. She knows she can negotiate a new relationship with panic, but her soul’s desires are not negotiable. They are just waiting for her to peel away the filter of the known so she can see them with new eyes.

      And so it can be for each of us. As we give ourselves a little distance from our known world – as we step into the gap of the unknown and let the initial waves of discomfort wash over us – we gain a new perspective. And from this place our soul’s desires can be seen for what they are: the beacon that is forever lighting our way back to our true selves. It turns out that being in the unknown doesn’t mean we are lost - it means we are willing to be found.     

* Not her real name    

 

 

2009: Birthing Awakening from Chaos

Written by Sri Ram Kaa and Kira Raa. Posted in Alternative & New Age.

      With the first quarter of 2009 nearly at completion, we find ourselves faced with the recognition that our lives are changing.  Each of us has experienced some degree of personal chaos perhaps in the form of career or relationship issues.  Or does of sense of peace get unsettled by the media reminders that our financial structures are changing, our Earth’s eco-systems are injured and our global safety is seeking stability.

      As humanity sails into the power-enriched storm of shift are we ready to brace the mighty wind of awakening that is calling to every soul on the planet?  This single question brings forward the familiar call from our heart that compels us to keep moving forward regardless of the many outward expressions that seek to keep us stuck.  That is, do we allow fear to provoke us into reactive decisions or do we use the winds of change to lift us to new perspectives?

We are Not Truly Alone

Written by Jamie Eachus. Posted in Angels.

Angels

 “An angel named Indriel came to earth bringing light and beauty, wearing a heart around her neck.”

 Unconditional love.  Consistent and abundant support.  Undying loyalty.  Unwavering patience.  These are all things that we as humans seek out on some level whether consciously or subconsciously.  These are things that “feed” us and keep us strong and moving in a forward progression with our lives.  When one of these is missing, we find that we become “lost,” feel very alone, depressed, and even stagnant- each to varying degrees.  The good news is these are not a reality; we as human beings were meant to believe. The bad news is that we get so caught up with the everyday challenges we face that we forget that we are truly very abundant in all of the areas above. 

The Art of Positive Thinking

Written by Suzanne Eder. Posted in Transformation.

The Art of Positive Thinking

            There was a time in my life when the notion that our beliefs, thoughts and language create our reality seemed utterly preposterous, and I dismissed it out of hand. I was, after all, a rational thinker (or so I thought!), a scientifically-minded person who believed in a fixed reality “out there” that I could navigate and possibly manipulate to meet my goals through the sheer force of willpower, planned action and hard work.

Growing Old Without Losing Your Mind

Written by Dr. Deborah Gleason . Posted in Inspiration.

Once upon a time people worried about dying from a heart attack. That was replaced by the “Big C”  when cancer became the fear du jour. Since then, medicine and nutrition science have done much to help us prevent, fight and live through these afflictions. But we now have a new scare taking center stage that as of yet has no known cure: Alzheimer's Disease. If you ask people how they would least like to leave this world, the A-word is today's front runner. It is the most dreaded of all forms of dementia.

Saying it with Flowers

Written by Lisa Sherwood. Posted in Love & Relationships.

I've yet to find a 12-step program to help me break my latest addiction -- reading (and enjoying!) historical fiction books AKA romance novels. Ah, escapism from my very hectic world!
 
It fascinates me how repressed people were back then, such as the Victorian era. (Although, a century from now I wonder how our social customs will be viewed!)
 
Repressed in that "don't hold my hand unless you are planning to marry me," "kiss me and we?ll be engaged by the end of the day," ...and let's just say "risque" behavior beyond that could have a young lady marked with a scarlet letter for the rest of her lifetime. (Oh wait, that's another book in itself!)

Healing Comes in Many Forms!

Written by Reverend Anna Marie Trotman. Posted in Enlightenment.

My first experience hearing about shamanism was in a class I was taking on alternative healing in 1972 at the University of California in San Diego. Our distinguished guest was Dr. Andrew Weil. Dr. Weil had just returned from the Amazon jungle where he traveled to Huautla de Jimenez , gathering information about medicinal plants and healing.  That trip turned out to be more than a plant gathering experience for the young  Dr. from Harvard.  I was mesmerized as he talked about his experiences with the shamans of the region. 
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