1. How To Find Meaning In Your Day To Day Life

    August 31, 2013

    In search for meaning

    by Amanda O’Donnell

    Maybe when it comes to meaningful life you’re already set and have your goals defined. Maybe you have several things you’re working towards long term that you know will eventually bring you great life satisfaction. Maybe you’re raising kids and providing for a family. Maybe you have two years until that big promotion, or five until retirement. Maybe… Regardless if you’re lucky enough to have definite direction, playing out your daily life can be disheartening. Reminding yourself of your eventual accomplishments or the future enjoyment you’ll take from your life can get less and less easy. Your mind wanders, fills with doubt. What if this isn’t worth it? What if you never make it to the part of your life you’ve worked for? What if you’re wasting the right now?

    Finding solace in the everyday life can offer you relief from what can sometimes feel like the mundane passing of days and tasks. Here are some simple steps in the direction of your personal fulfillment.

    Remind Yourself Of Your Good Fortune

    Create a schedule or some system of expressing appreciation and thankfulness that best works for you. For instance set aside five minutes three times a day to sit and ruminate about the good things in your life. If your mind wanders and a good thing leads you to a less good thing and then a bad, refocus. Allow one good thing to lead to another good thing. Fifteen minutes a day might not seem long at all, but you’d be surprised about how many things you can give thanks for within a five minute of meditation. If you’re more comfortable writing the things down then do so. If you feel that actually saying the things aloud would mean a little more to you, then give yourself time in the morning to hear yourself say them. What might feel silly at first can really develop into a regular pattern of thought. Focusing your thought flow into a purely positive, appreciative stream (even if only for a few minutes) can make you more likely to naturally return to those thoughts later. You’ll find yourself thinking more positively about your life and situation, even when your five minutes are up!

    Make An Effort To Go Out Of Your Way

    Time and time again it’s been proven that people experience another level of fulfillment when helping others. It’s repeated back at us so often it’s become easy to write off this advice as cliched or empty. If you can’t see yourself taking all that much from an afternoon at the soup kitchen, then don’t spend an afternoon there. Sit down and really ask yourself what causes, groups of people or situations you have a vested interest in, and then think about what you could do to help. If you’re truly interested in the cause you’re helping, you’re more likely to know better how to help! And if you find yourself drawing up blank, then take it upon yourself to find something you have a passion for and make yourself of use. However, don’t think that helping people need always mean signing a volunteer list or setting aside three hours to hand out fliers on Saturdays. There are all sorts of ways you can lend a hand in your day to day life; take advantage of them! Bring a coworker coffee, hold the door open, ask someone who looks down how they’re feeling and offer an ear. When you start training yourself to consider others in various situations you’ll find yourself less focused on your own issues or dissatisfaction.

    Challenge Yourself

    Often feeling dissatisfied with your life or situation can just be a response to boredom. It makes complete sense. As your brain adjusts to the routine of your life and comes to expect certain daily things, the less stimulation you experience and the less chance for experiencing positive feelings! Some of the best feelings come from true accomplishment: setting out to do things we’re not entirely capable we can do and then doing them. You can challenge yourself and offer yourself these experiences in or outside of your daily routine. For instance, set personal goals for yourself in your daily work or at home. Assign yourself to create something. You haven’t read about something before? Do so! Set physical feats. Take weekend trips to places you haven’t been and do things you haven’t done and (better yet) are maybe afraid to do. Give yourself every opportunity to take something from your life and from each day.

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76029035@N02/6829334723


  2. A Break For Poetry

    July 26, 2013

    I'm unique!

    Dear “Dream Positive”,

    I love your blog and read it every week. Thanks to you, I started doing yoga and meditation, it really helped me with my depression.

    Here’s the poem that I wrote for your blog. Hope you enjoy it!

     

    My world is dark and full of pain
    A tragic epic with nothing to gain
    The endless battles and numerous pleas
    I am unable to bury my broken dreams
    No matter how hard I try to be
    I can not handle another tragedy
    The fight for happiness is almost lost
    Maybe I will win but at what cost
    Tomorrow is yet another new day
    But the sun is down and the sky is grey
    I can not wait to be happy again
    Maybe it will cure my heart of pain
    Please someone help me from this nightmare
    I need to escape show me with care
    Grab my hand and pull as hard as you can
    Or else I will go down as a broken man

     

    God Bless!

    Jeffrey K.

    Portland, OR

     

    Image Credit: Ashley Webb

     


  3. Top Myths About Reiki

    July 10, 2013

    Reiki

    by Joyce M. Jackson

    Despite the prevalence of many people who can attest to the effectiveness of Reiki, it still has its share of skeptics. Unfortunately a portion of the disbelief or the apprehension is due to the growing spread of myths. Here are some of the more, ahem, “popular” ones:

    Consistent Healing

    One of the biggest misconceptions in Reiki is that it should generate healing. Otherwise, it’s a scam. There are a lot of issues with this thinking. First, a lot of those who opt for Reiki are people who are already in the final stages of their life. In other words, they run to Reiki because conventional medicine cannot do anything for them anymore. Second, like any type of healing process, Reiki doesn’t guarantee complete treatment. However, it provides more than just physical healing; it gives peace of mind, comfort, and spirituality, which only improve the quality of life. Patients can also use Reiki as a conjunctive therapy to drugs and other traditional treatments.

    Reiki Is A Religion

    A lot of people also mistakenly believe that Reiki is just another type of religion. The founder of the practice is a Buddhist, and the majority of those who decide to become a practitioner also follow Buddhism. But one has to remember that Buddhism is not a religion at all since Buddha is not a deity but rather a prince who had achieved enlightenment. In other words, Buddhism is a philosophy. And Reiki, on the other hand, isn’t based on any kind of religion or belief, and it doesn’t discriminate any patient or practitioner.

    Guaranteed To Open Your Spirit

    As Reiki has spread across every corner of the world over the years, different types of the practice have been found, including Tibetan, crystal, and angelic Reiki. Yet none of them ever profess nor guarantee you will be more open to the spirit world and you can already start communicating with the dead and various heavenly beings. Sometimes by opening blockages the spirit becomes more cleansed and the mind becomes more receptive. It is possible for some individuals to experience these effects, but again it does not nor cannot guarantee this. Besides, Reiki is just one of the many things you can do to improve your spiritual journey.

    Exclusivity

    Can anyone practice Reiki? The answer is yes since every person is made up of energy, which he or she can also give to someone who is sick. Nevertheless, the transfer of such life force doesn’t make the practitioner or the giver weak. Like the sun, life energy is renewable and infinite as long as the person is alive.

    Image Credit: Tomas Sobek at http://www.flickr.com/photos/45273580@N04/4335495077


  4. Self-Awareness through Kundalini Yoga

    June 6, 2013

    self-awareness through yoga

    by Rebecca Junck

    “Kundalini Yoga consists of active and passive asana-based kriyas, pranayama, and meditations which target the whole body system (nervous system, glands, mental faculties, chakras) to develop awareness, consciousness and spiritual strength.” —Yogi Bhajan

    What is Kundalini Yoga

    An ancient form of yoga, Kundalini is one of the more spiritual yoga practices. It’s also known as the yoga of awareness, as it focuses on increasing self-awareness and delivering an experience of your highest consciousness. Its emphasis on breathing, meditation, mudras and chanting takes it beyond the physical performance of the poses.

    Kundalini energy is one of the pillars of yoga and is included in one of the earliest yoga scriptures circa 2nd century BCE. It’s been practiced in India since then and has only recently gained popularity in the west.  In 1969 Yogi Bhajan immigrated to America and founded 3HO (the Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization) in Los Angeles to begin teaching Kundalini yoga to a new broader audience. Today it’s practiced worldwide and has attracted such celebrity followers as Russell Brand, Reese Witherspoon and Miranda Kerr.

    Difference from Other Forms of Yoga

    Kundalini is more relaxed that most other types of yoga such as Vinyasa or Ashtanga. Although all yoga is spiritual, Kundalini really focuses on your self-awareness and consciousness. If you’re looking for an up-tempo experience, stick with Bikram or Vinyasa. If you’re looking for a slower pace, chanting and spiritual teachings, try Kundalini.

    A typical Kundalini yoga session includes specific sets of postures (asana) that target a specified part of your body, with a focus on meditation, breathing exercises (pranayama) and chanting (mantra).

    Often grouped together with Hatha yoga, there are some noteworthy differences between the two when it comes to the poses:

    Hatha combines a number of poses that are aimed at stretching and strengthening your muscles and stimulating your internal organs. The postures incorporate sitting, standing and lying down poses, such as cobra, bow, locust and cat.

    Kundalini has far fewer poses than Hatha and they are all sitting poses, including the lotus, the rock and the hero.

    What to Expect in Your First Class

    A class begins with a short chant Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo (“I call on the divine teacher within”) in order to tune the channel of your mind. It’s a way to bring the whole class together and connect with the tradition of Kundalini yoga.

    Next there will be a warm up that improves flexibility and stretches the spine. The main section of the class is called a kriya – a pre-determined sequence of exercises that focuses on a specific area of the body (arms, legs, and torso) in order to strengthen and help them release toxins. The class ends with a meditation followed by the blessing song “May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You”.

    The Benefits of Kundalini Yoga

    All physical activity has benefits for your body including increased vitality, weight loss/control and increased muscle strength. Kundalini includes these as well as:

    • Helping to better the functioning of your cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, digestive and glandular systems.
    • Heightening your 5 senses – sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste – and increasing their sensitivity.
    • Helping to increase your sense of confidence and well-being that comes as you make your journey of self-discovery of your inner self and relaxed mental state.
    • Increasing your control of yourself, overcoming anger and resentment more easily to find inner calm.
    • Strengthening your immune system that will keep you healthy and well.

    Because it has such positive effects on both your mental and physical states, Kundalini has increased in popularity in recent years. Perhaps it’s a sign of how busy life and society has become that we seek out opportunities to promote positive thinking and center ourselves. Or perhaps we’ve only just discovered it.

    Whichever type of yoga that you choose, it’s important to remember that your goal is to improve your overall wellness, health and life. In fitness classes and sports it’s easy to compare your progress with those around you, quietly judging yourself. In yoga, you get to be selfish. Remember that your classmates aren’t paying attention to whether you nailed the last posture or how deep you go into the poses – they’re too busy concentrating on themselves.

    Image Credit: yogamama.co.uk


  5. Discover Your Dharma or How I Quit My Job

    May 26, 2013

    discover your dharma

    by Luba Kholov

    “O Indra, lead us on the path of Rta, on the right path over all evils”

    10th mandala of the Rigveda

    Dharma is an ancient Sanskrit term. It’s literal meaning is “that which upholds, supports or maintains the regulatory order of the universe” It sounds a bit New Agey, but in essence it means the purpose of one’s life. It doesn’t mean the final destination, but the path one takes. The Law of Dharma means awakening oneself and using person’s unique talents to serve the humanity.

    How do you discover your Dharma? You don’t have to ask anyone about it, because you already have the answer. All answers are within you. If you are unable to hear your inner voice, that is the problem you have to solve.

    People started thinking about Dharma concept thousands of years ago and still think about it to this day – of course, if they have time. Most of us just don’t have the luxury of free time and thinking of Dharma isn’t our top priority… We don’t think about the meaning of life. We need to pay bills, finish assignments on time, satisfy a lover, build our career or take care of the kids.  By society’s definition, you need to be on top of all of these aspects of life and perform well in every regard in order to be successful, worthy and respected. Yet, as a result, people get sick, depressed and exhausted. Why? If you have ever spent a day commuting via the New York City subway system, you definitely understand what I’m talking about.

    (more…)


  6. Lets Be Happy – Positive Psychology in Action

    May 23, 2013

    I am back from a week of R&R in Kripalu Yoga Center and feeling very POSITIVE. Seriously positive! It is not only the yoga, meditation, scenery, nature hikes, and being surrounded with nice people, etc. It is also seeing people actively pursuing their goal of living HAPPY lives. As Tal Ben-Shahar, a positive psychology guru, once said “There’s more people wanting to be happy than rich”. Well, we all know “money cannot buy happiness”, so why not go straight to the goal and be happy? Simple eh? Well it is indeed.

    Tal happened to be in Kripalu this week teaching the course on Positive Psychology for social workers and therapists. I didn’t attend the course but spoke to some participants and they were totally overwhelmed. Apparently, being happy is SIMPLE! You just have to focus on the right things. Here I’d like to offer this short video by Tal Ben-Shahar talking about the “Incredible Power of Positivity”. Just watch and learn:

     

     

    So let’s start asking these questions: “what’s going well in your life?”, “what’s going well in your relationships?”, “what are your strengths?”. Let’s talk about our happy moments and happy experience and focus on positives. May be this will shift your balance and attitude?

    According to Dalai Lama, “Compassion is a state of mind where you extend how you relate to yourself toward others as well” If you dislike or even hate yourself you’ll create this “hate wave” towards others as well. Dalai Lama teaches us that the key is to start loving ourselves first: “Yourself first, and then in a more advanced way the aspiration will embrace others. In a way, high levels of compassion are nothing but an advanced state of that self-interest. That’s why it is hard for people who have a strong sense of self-hatred to have genuine compassion toward others. There is no anchor, no basis to start from.”

     

     


  7. Happiness – It’s More than Just a Trend

    April 21, 2013

    Golden girl

    Image Credit: Marcos Vasconcelos

    by Brittany Young

    Everywhere you look, there are stories promoting yoga, meditation, and self-care to eliminate negative thoughts and stress and lead you to happiness. There are movies, books, and international movements all designed to provide the answers on how to find happiness. Even the United Nations has declared March 20, 2013 as the first-ever International Day of Happiness. But this emotion common to human nature isn’t so much a trend as it is a primary goal for people all over the world. Whether they want a change in career, an increase in personal investment to family and friends, or to take a leap of faith to travel more, individuals around the globe seek this feeling and are willing to do what it takes to get there.

    As we partake in these extreme efforts to discover our personal happiness, questions naturally arise: Is happiness innate or this emotion something that can be found? How do we get there? And once we are there, how do we preserve it? I do not claim to have the answers, but here are some things that have helped me in my pursuit of happiness.

    MINDFULNESS

    At the roots of happiness comes mindfulness. Simply being aware of our situations can be eye opening. Specifically, in our increasingly competitive society, we may fall victim to criticism and judgment, both of which carry negative emotion and may inhibit happiness. Simply take notice of what you judge and ask yourself why you judge it. Is this judgment toward other individuals or toward yourself? Awareness alone about ourselves, people, and situations is critical to our climb in happiness. Being mindful of our thoughts allows us to accept current situations.

    ACCEPTANCE

    Feelings and emotions come on naturally, and in stressful situations they may be hard to ignore. A basic example of this would be if you accidentally burn your tongue while sipping your morning coffee. You probably aren’t going to be very happy after that. That little fuzzy feeling on your tongue can be upsetting when it inhibits your ability to taste the buttery croissant and sweet blueberries to follow. Rather than get upset, consider it a reminder for the next time you find yourself in the same situation. Today, your taste buds may be altered, but is it worth the emotion? Most likely your own stressful situation causing you negative feelings is going to be bigger than a burnt tongue, but the bottom line is that you have control over how you react. Do you want to feed negative energy and self judgment for a simple accident? Acceptance and patience with a situation, thought, or feeling empowers you to make the choice!

    PERSPECTIVE

    Shifting our perspective in order to see how a current problem or situation is not as big of a deal as we think is helpful as well. In the context of life, and in the grand scheme of things, how does your present situation fit in? If you have stress or negativity surrounding this situation, is it worth it? If it is worth the stress of negative emotions, this is totally acceptable. Simply being aware and putting whatever it is you are going through in perspective may help you realize how you may or may not be acquiring the happiness you deserve.

    PURSUIT OF OUR PASSIONS

    Once we are aware of what drives us and makes us happy, the pursuit of our passions comes in. Perhaps you love sports. Get involved at a local gym, running club, cycling team, or attend a weekly yoga class. If your heart feels melodious when you dance, sing, or play an instrument, take a music class or hit that piano. Love family, friends, or travel? Identify your passion and pursue it. Do not waste your time on things that do not make you happy or move you towards your ultimate goal—life is too short.

    PRESERVATION

    Happiness. The beauty of acquiring this emotion is that every person is different. There is no right or wrong way to create it, and there is no exact science behind how each individual attains it. It truly is his or her prerogative. By practicing mindfulness and acceptance, shifting our perspective, and pursuing our passions, we learn how to preserve our own happiness. Circumstances constantly change, and monitoring our thoughts and actions moment to moment may help us maximize those positive feelings. However, I think the true secret to preserving happiness is: once you’ve found it, share it with everyone around you.


  8. Human Energy Field: What Is It and How Does It Affect Your Body?

    February 19, 2013

    energy healing by Debra Wright

    Reconnective healing, energy healing, and healing through Reiki has become highly popular. These types of alternative healing are said to help individuals have a better physical well-being by clearing or smoothing out a person’s energy field. But what is this energy field they are talking about? How does this affect your body?

     

    Energy Field Explained

    An energy field, also called an aura, is the force of energy found outside your physical formsurrounding you.Each person has their own aura and they differ in shape and colour. Some have colourful auras that are well defined, while some have dull auras with spiky or fuzzy edges. The size of the aura is also different which each person and it changes from time to time. It expands or tightens up depending on a person’s current emotion, mood or life experience.

    The aura is said to have many different chakras which are energy centres. They play an important role in the physical, emotional and mental health of a person. These chakras are said to connect the hormones, nerves and emotion.

    There are 7 major chakras found in the human energy field and each of these has a direct correlation to a person’s physical body.

     

    7 Chakras and their Physical Correlation

    The 7 major chakras found in each person’s aura are represented by different colours and are connected to different physical body parts.

    • Base or Root Chakra – This is represented by the colour red. This is located at the base of the spine and physically relates to the legs, feet, bones, kidneys, intestine and rectum.If this chakra is imbalanced it can lead to constipation, arthritis, weight gain, spinal tension, knee problems and insecurity.
    • Sacral Chakra – It is represented by the colour orange and relates to the sexual organs and the reproductive system. This chakra is located below the navel and its imbalance leads to sexual problems, jealousy, anger and allergies.
    • Solar Plexus – Represented by the colour yellow, it is related to the muscles, nerves, liver, stomach and digestive system. It is located right above the navel. Its imbalance leads to ulcer, diabetes, fear and lack of confidence.
    • Heart Chakra – It is located at the middle of the chest area and is represented by the colour green. It relates to the lungs, respiratory system, arms and hands. If imbalanced may lead to high blood pressure, heart problems and being emotionally unstable.
    • Throat Chakra – It is represented by the colour blue and is located at the throat. It relates to the throat, neck, thyroid glands and arms. If this chakra is imbalanced it may lead to communication issues and physical problems with the throat, neck and ear.
    • Brow or Third Eye Chakra –Represented by the colour indigo, it is located between the eyebrows. It physically relates to the lower brain, left eye, nose and nervous system. If imbalanced it may lead to eye problems, headaches, unpleasant dreams, lack of concentration and detachment.
    • Crown Chakra – This is represented by the colour violet. This chakra controls the whole being and is located above the head. It relates to the upper brain and right eye. If imbalanced may lead to migraines, depression, being confused and uninspired.

     

    How it Affects the Body

    A person’s energy and life force flows through the chakras. If the chakra is blocked, the life force can’t flow freely and this will then manifest physically. When the chakra’s energy flow is disturbed, the person’s health, mind, spirit and emotion are also disturbed. Chakras because they are interconnected, need to flow freely without blockages. The overall health of a person would depend on the chakras functioning properly. Just like the physical body where it needs all of its organs to function properly, the chakras’ energy system need to have all of its chakras working correctly.

    One reason why chakras become blocked or disturbed is due to unprocessed, unresolved and unreleased emotions. These may be pent up emotions such as anger, resentment, fear or guilt. So what you don’t deal with emotionally, you’ll have to deal with physically.

    For your energy system to function well, you’ll need to clear the blockages in your chakra. One effective method is through Reiki healing. A person’s energy field may be positively influenced through this type of energy healing. Other methods people follow are acupuncture, yoga, qi gong and Tai chi. These methods clear out the blockage of a chakra and help the person achieve emotional balance.Once you have emotional balance and your energy field is free-flowing, you not only have a healthy emotional self, you also maintain a healthy mental and physical self.

    Your energy field may not be something youevidently see, like your physical body, but it is just as important. If you wish to have an overall healthy self, your physical body is not the only thing that you should take care of. You also need to take care of your energy field.

    Article Credit: ReikiHealingSydney.com


  9. Spirituality and a Positive You

    February 13, 2013

    by Gail Clarke

    Image by Gail Clarke

    First let me declare that if I have to state a religion I describe myself as Spiritualist.  That said I honestly prefer not to attach labels and to me, it’s more a way of life than a religion.  So for the purpose of this article all that really matters is that you believe, or are ready to consider, that there is ‘something out there’.  That ‘something’ can be God (or a god), your spirit guide, a relative that’s passed on or simply the energy of the universe.

    First I am going to ask you to stop for a moment, put aside all your worries, frustrations and busy activities and think for a while about the bigger picture.  Imagine yourself looking back a year or two from now.  Simply imagine whatever is on your mind at the moment as you might see it in the future.  You may find it easier to look back at a tough time in your life in the past.  Either way, what I want you to do is try and put what’s happening NOW into perspective.  Right this moment it probably seems important but  a couple of years from now …..?

    So with that in mind, ask yourself how much time each week or day you can set aside for what I like to call ‘positive relaxation’.  If you can only manage 20 minutes on Monday and 20 minutes on Thursday then that’s fine.  You may have to be little stricter about keeping that time free than someone who feels they can manage 30 minutes a day but hey – we all have to start somewhere.

    Learning to Switch to Alpha Brainwaves

    There are 4 basic stages of brain activity and it’s worth learning a little about this to understand why the Alpha stage is so important.  Alpha brainwaves come between being conscious and alert and being in a deep sleep.  To slip easily in and out of an alpha state in something that requires practice for most of us.  We all know about taking a siesta but did you know the best siesta is one that lasts between 10 and 20 minutes?

    For the first week or two, simply practice letting go of all your thoughts of daily life, any worries or mental lists of things to do.  Don’t try and clear your mind – this simply won’t happen.  If you find your are working too hard at this, play a little game.  Try and clear your mind and watch for a thought popping in.  When it does just think to your self – ‘wow, where did that come from’ then let it go.  Eventually you should find the thoughts are fewer and more random rather than things to do with the days tasks.  This is the point at which you can move on.

    Sending Our Positive Thoughts
    Once you are confident you can achieve a relaxed almost sleepy state you can start to send out positive thoughts.  They can be ‘big’ or ‘small’ or anything in between.  Now let’s be clear about this.  You may think a positive thought is about a big win on the lottery but no, that’s a ‘wakeful’ thought.  Let me give you 3 examples of what I feel are positive thoughts:

    • A work colleague has said something nasty about you behind your back.  You might send out a thought for the situation to resolve itself.  That doesn’t mean that you hope he/she gets the sack or otherwise suffers for this.  It simply means you are asking for a solution that means it no longer causes worry and negativity in your life.
    • The dog is very ill and you would like it to get better.  Not all things are possible but a positive outcome might be an old dog is no longer in pain, whether that be medication or a release from this life.  It might be that you personally are able to cope better and know when to do the right thing.  It may actually be a miraculous recovery – all things are possible.
    • You have money worries.  Send out a thought for a solution.  This may be  way to earn more money, a sudden windfall, a new job or simply a more positive you that is able to pick up the phone and deal with the bills.

     

    Getting Feedback
    Not everything is about problems as such.  It may be about choices.  This is where I want to ask you not to question too much regarding what you do or don’t believe in.  If you have a spirit guide and they talk directly to you that’s fine (as long as you aren’t fooling yourself).  For most of us it’s enough that we trust that there is ‘something’.  Answers won’t always be black and white and they won’t necessarily come in the expected form, but trust that they will come if you stay positive and allow that ‘something’ to guide you.

    Some examples:

    • You and your partner aren’t getting along.  You don’t know what to do.  You send out your thoughts for a positive resolution to this.  Maybe several days later you are having a coffee while shopping and overhear a couple talking.  You realize you and your partner have so little in common that you know what you have to do.
    • Your teenage daughter is giving you a hard time because she wants a certain outfit you feel is inappropriate.  You wonder if you are right to say no.  The following day your friend tells you about problems with her own daughter and not being able to trust her.  You suddenly realize how lucky you are that you can trust your daughter and that you can feel easy about letting her grow up a little.
    • You feel stuck in a rut but don’t know what to do about it.  A childhood friend makes contact and tells you about their life.  Perhaps they are a vet, let’s say.  Suddenly you see that you would love to be an animal nurse/kennel maid/open a cattery etc.

    Making Room for Something New
    Personally I think this is one of the most important things we can do.  If our life is so busy that there is little free time, then we are not leaving room for anything new to come in.  Send out a few thoughts for ways to leave space in your life and be open to the answers.  They may be proactive things like giving up a time-consuming hobby, doing less overtime at work, planning your shopping by the week so you don’t run to the shops every day or even simply turning off the TV a couple of evenings a week.

    In my own life I have found redundancy led me to open a Post Office.  That took me to a different part of the country which in turn opened up more opportunities.  Of course I could have rushed straight into another job similar to the old but leaving that space for a while and sending out positive thoughts allowed something new to come into my life.

     

    I hope I have inspired you to set a little time aside in your busy life and trust that something higher will help and guide you.  Even in the early stages of this journey you will find peace and tranquility and I wish you every success on your life path.

    Gail Clarke writes on many subjects but has a particular interest in Spirituality.  One of her websites is Other Focus – a New Age


  10. 10 Grateful Steps to Happiness

    February 6, 2013

    Reprinted from PsyBlog at http://www.spring.org.uk

    Gratitude

    PsyBlog has gone gratitude-mad this week, what with reporting experimental evidence that practicing gratitude can increase happiness by 25% and reviewing ‘thanks’ , the book by the study’s author. To round it off here are Dr Robert Emmons’ top 10 tips for actually becoming more grateful, and consequently more happy.

    1. Keep a gratitude journal

    Sit down, daily, and write about the things for which you are grateful. Start with whatever springs to mind and work from there. Try not to write the same thing every day but explore your gratefulness.

    2. Remember the bad
    The way things are now may seem better in the light of bad memories. Don’t forget the bad things that have happened, the contrast may encourage gratefulness.

    3. Ask yourself three questions
    Choose someone you know, then first consider what you have received from them, second what you have given to them and thirdly what trouble you have caused them. This may lead to discovering you owe others more than you thought.

    4. Pray
    Whether you are Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim or atheist, a ritualised form of giving thanks may help increase gratitude.

    5. Use your senses
    80% of people say they are thankful for their health. If so, then get back in touch with the simple human fact of being able to sense what is out there: use your vision, touch, taste and smell to experience the world, and be thankful you can.

    6. Use visual reminders
    Two big obstacles to being grateful are simply forgetting and failing to be mindful. So leave a note of some kind reminding you to be grateful. It could be a post-it, an object in your home or another person to nudge you occasionally.

    7. Swear an oath to be more grateful
    Promise on whatever you hold holy that you’ll be more grateful. Sounds crazy? There’s a study to show it works.

    8. Think grateful thoughts
    Called ‘automatic thoughts’ or self-talk in cognitive therapy, these are the habitual things we say to ourselves all day long. What if you said to yourself: “My life is a gift” all day long? Too cheesy? OK, what about: “Every day is a surprise”.

    9. Acting grateful is being grateful
    Say thank you, become more grateful. It’s that simple.

    10. Be grateful to your enemies?
    It’ll take a big creative leap to be thankful to the people who you most despise. But big creative leaps are just the kind of things likely to set off a change in yourself. Give it a try.