163: Reflections On Choice, Change & Intuition

Perfect stillness comes from the acceptance of perfect truth.

Humans are channels for the divine

Intuition: channeling the divine

In the last nine months living in Madrid I’ve learned to do some things pretty well like speaking Spanish, making soup and teaching high school students. When I went to Peru at the end of 2012 I didn’t know I was going to meet the girl-angel who would tell me about the perfect next step to take after my college graduation. When I committed to moving to Spain to teach English, I didn’t exactly know why I had to leave the USA but I sensed it was the next step and for once in my life, there was no arguing with my intuition. You see, I never thought about it before but intuition really does play a large role in how I make big decisions in life. Now that I’m involved in all the new-agey spiritual woo-woo like chakras and intention, I realize that every time my mother spoke about following her gut she was talking about her intuition and it’s a shock to me to realize that this habit of listening to my inner voice has actually rubbed off on me.

Leaving the perfect boyfriend for a largely unknown reason was hard to explain. Suddenly I was marching off to Spain as a high school English teacher leaving behind the opportunities offered by a 3.6 GPA and an architectural thesis that had won two awards before I graduated. Whenever I tried to defend my decision to either myself or another, I was silenced by a heavy stillness deep inside me and a deafening silence rang out from someplace between my heart and my diaphragm. Over the course of surviving this decision the universe made for me, I have realized the stillness is the physiological manifestation of my psychic senses speaking to me. You can’t imagine how odd it is for me to see those words pouring out of my fingers and forming a sentence. “Me, psychic? Ha. Okay,” says the old Veronica but the new one realizes that these are just the words we use to speak about touching our true center.

Intuition is the guide to creating the best version of ourselves.

Growing up, my family was heavily immersed in the submissive paradigm. I recall being lectured on how children should be seen and not heard and that parents had to love their children but were not obligated to like them. I also recall knowing this was not the way things should be. Where did that sense of right speech come from? Who taught me that truth? I had no role models growing up who taught me that I deserved affection and attention but something inside me has always known that to be true and has always sought spaces where that truth is alive and well. I guess that must be my intuition too.

Anyway, the point is that we all know things without intellectualizing them. Having said that, what makes a long-held belief more valuable than one that is foreign to us? When the inner voice can lead us to prosperous and healthy ways of living, what makes consciously intellectualized beliefs more or less valuable? Just because we’ve lived our whole lives by one set of rules, what is stopping us from changing them?

natureteacher

This is about advocating for our own abilities to create ourselves. Like all self-critical humans, I spent a few years thinking about how I wanted to be, what things I needed to change in order to live a certain paradigm and eliminate certain habits. I was an obnoxious and worried mess until the stress became so intollerable that I just knew there was no way to keep surviving in that mental space; so I started to do some reorganizing. But why wait for the breakdown and the burnout to make the change? This is about our power to change the very fabric upon which we paint our daily lives, simply based on choice.

Crossing the threshold and breaking the cycle of negativity…

So you’re angry a lot; you lie in bed at night listening as the voice in your head screams at the people in your life and the world in general. Amazing! You’ve just crossed a threshold with the simple act of acknowledging that negative pattern, your eyes are now open. Now change the pattern. Seriously, just do it! Find stillness and listen to the inner voice that wants to help you shape better habits. You already know how to be your perfect self. Mindfulness is not easy in comparison to blindness but it’s your only choice. Once you open your eyes there is no way to go back into blissful oblivion. The only way out of the crushing depression that comes from a self-depricating spiral of naming negative habits is the satisfaction and affirmation that comes from the knowledge that at least you’re doing something about your character flaws.

After we make the choice to do something about our negative patterns we have broken the cycle and from there it is all uphill. Like any uphill climb it is harder than going down in the opposite direction and at times the journey can be quite discouraging. Fatigue is inevitable and breaks must be taken but always if the ultimate peak is to be reached the sojourner must keep in mind only two things, the direction of the final destination and the ground immediately beneath her feet. Keep walking. It’s hard, no one will ever deny that who has walked the path of affirming themselves, but we can all tell you: the view from the top is unimaginable. You are already on the path the moment you open your eyes, the only sensible thing to do is keep moving.

Choose change with patience, respect and compassion for yourself.

Fake it until you make it. So you’re not feeling especially adventurous today? Perfect. Take a seat on that bench over there and spend time looking out over the valley you’ve just started to climb out of. If you’ve even taken two steps up the hill, you deserve validation. Tomorrow you can climb some more and if the day after that, you realize you need to climb down a bit, that’s okay too; you’re the only one who’s going anywhere – the mountain is not. You’ve opened your eyes to the fact that valleys and peaks even exist at all when yesterday, there was nothing. Congratulations! I’ll see you at the top.

compassionAt the beginning of my journey into myself I didn’t know that’s what I was doing and I certainly didn’t have any proof that it would work out for the better. I didn’t know that what I would find at the center of me was my intuition, I just did what all the most successful adventurers have done: I jumped. The more times we take that leap of faith that comes from following a hunch or listening to our gut, the more easily we begin to recognize the intuition’s cues which guide us to our gorgeous mountain top. We are never alone, there is always a still, peaceful place at the center of our being just waiting for us to return for guidance. A deep breath will take you to your center and then it’s only a matter of choice: will you listen and choose action or won’t you? You’re already on the path, you might as well take advantage of it. With your intuition as your guide choose change; keep moving and keep your gaze on the ground ask you tackle the journey one step at a time and feel the distance to the peak of perfection as it shrinks .

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139: Loving Change (For The Weird People)

rom the "Humans of New York" project: "I have this theory. You ready? So we are on earth for a finite amount of time. And time is a manmade perception. And we perceive time passing through change-- seasons, aging, things like that. So to expand our time on earth, we must incite as much change in our lives as possible." "Interesting. I haven't heard that before." "That's because I made it up!"

From the “Humans of New York” project: “I have this theory. You ready? So we are on earth for a finite amount of time. And time is a manmade perception. And we perceive time passing through change– seasons, aging, things like that. So to expand our time on earth, we must incite as much change in our lives as possible.” “Interesting. I haven’t heard that before.” “That’s because I made it up!”

I am weird. Perhaps you observed this already but I bet you didn’t know how proud I am to be different and I bet you didn’t know that unlike most humans, I love change.

I don’t struggle with fearing change but that does not necessarily make my life any easier, I have a different struggle. This weirdness I love is a double edged sword. It makes me unique but also makes solving my issues more challenging because the advice to do so is not readily available and so I present a post to combat that imbalance. I hate imbalance. Let’s see what we can do for the weird people, shall we?

Whenever I see posts about change float across my inspiration feed (Facebook, blogs, books, etc.) they are almost exclusively about reminding people to accept change and go with the flow. Now I have realized, there is another side of change that ones of us prone to depression would be better advised to study. The masses are familiar with the idea that only constant is change but the reverse which we don’t discuss is the idea that whatever heaviness or pain you feel today, must eventually go away.

I have some injuries in my leg that have been a daily struggle for the last seven years. I find myself praying for change, my biggest fears are not at all related to the stuck-ness so many self-help gurus are speaking out against. Actually, what’s stuck is the idea that I’ll always be in pain, that at 16 my life ended and the new one built around pain began. I fear change will never come. Do you? I named this fear a week ago and since then, a whole new part of my being lit up and I felt energy flowing where I had never felt it before.

Here’s the thing: I don’t really know what to do about this fear other than naming it. It’s silly, I know change is constant and nothing lasts forever but fears are never logical. Actually, from past experience facing fears I know that this naming is half the battle but now that I’ve discovered the entrance to this deep well, I know there is a long way down left to climb. Using some of my favorite teachers’ advice, I’ve tried to identify the place in my physical body where I feel that fear. It’s in my stomach, the place identified as the third chakra. When I start to feel nauseous and unmotivated I look into this pain and ask it: what have you come to teach me? Since the third chakra is located at the solar plexus (the word solar=sun) where our power and fire is generated from, I have been reminding myself of my own ability to co-create change in my life with the help of energy from God/Nature/The Universe/Angels. Even the biggest clouds can be seen moving across the sky.

Here’s a mantra that just came to me from last week:

My energy is the energy of the universe.
My power is my own.

What do you love about change? What are you learning to love about change (i.e. things you might describe with that h-a-t-e word)? Was there a point in your life when change took on a new meaning for you? Share your experiences with change below!

117: Activating Power

In this life, power has been more of something for me to overcome than something to discover or activate. I’ve always been confident and now you’re thinking, “whaaat a lucky duck!!” but I want to assure you it’s not all roses and sunshine on the flip side of the shyness coin and I invite you not to be jealous of the way over-confidence made women hate me and men intimidated by me.

Since stepping onto the path of living an aware life, I’ve toned down my power by becoming aware of its nuances, how my power affects others and how theirs affects mine. Since I did a third chakra meditation this morning, I thought I’d share this list of 15 things highly confident people don’t do as an exploration on ways not to give away your power. You can find the original list here.

1. They don’t make excuses.

Highly confident people take ownership of their thoughts and actions. They don’t blame the traffic for being tardy at work; they were late. They don’t excuse their short-comings with excuses like “I don’t have the time” or “I’m just not good enough”; they make the time and they keep on improving until they are good enough.

2. They don’t avoid doing the scary thing.

Highly confident people don’t let fear dominate their lives. They know that the things they are afraid of doing are often the very same things that they need to do in order to evolve into the person they are meant to be.

3. They don’t live in a bubble of comfort.

Highly confident people avoid the comfort zone, because they know this is a place where dreams die. They actively pursue a feeling of discomfort, because they know stretching themselves is mandatory for their success.

4. They don’t put things off until next week.

Highly confident people know that a good plan executed today is better than a great plan executed someday. They don’t wait for the “right time” or the “right circumstances”, because they know these reactions are based on a fear of change. They take action here, now, today – because that’s where progress happens. [Although sometimes, it really is okay to take a break until next week.]

5. They don’t obsess over the opinions of others.

Highly confident people don’t get caught up in negative feedback. While they do care about the well-being of others and aim to make a positive impact in the world, they don’t get caught up in negative opinions that they can’t do anything about. They know that their true friends will accept them as they are, and they don’t concern themselves with the rest.

6. They don’t judge people.

Highly confident people have no tolerance for unnecessary, self-inflicted drama. They don’t feel the need to insult friends behind their backs, participate in gossip about fellow co-workers or lash out at folks with different opinions. They are so comfortable in who they are that they feel no need to look down on other people.

7. They don’t let lack of resources stop them.

Highly confident people can make use of whatever resources they have, no matter how big or small. They know that all things are possible with creativity and a refusal to quit. They don’t agonize over setbacks, but rather focus on finding a solution.

8. They don’t make comparisons.

Highly confident people know that they are not competing with any other person. They compete with no other individual except the person they were yesterday. They know that every person is living a story so unique that drawing comparisons would be an absurd and simplistic exercise in futility.

9. They don’t find joy in people-pleasing.

Highly confident people have no interest in pleasing every person they meet. They are aware that not all people get along, and that’s just how life works. They focus on the quality of their relationships, instead of the quantity of them.

10. They don’t need constant reassurance.

Highly confident people aren’t in need of hand-holding. They know that life isn’t fair and things won’t always go their way. While they can’t control every event in their life, they focus on their power to react in a positive way that moves them forward.

11. They don’t avoid life’s inconvenient truths.

Highly confident people confront life’s issues at the root before the disease can spread any farther. They know that problems left unaddressed have a way of multiplying as the days, weeks and months go by. They would rather have an uncomfortable conversation with their partner today than sweep an inconvenient truth under the rug, putting trust at risk.

12. They don’t quit because of minor set-backs.

Highly confident people get back up every time they fall down. They know that failure is an unavoidable part of the growth process. They are like a detective, searching for clues that reveal why this approach didn’t work. After modifying their plan, they try again (but better this time).

13. They don’t require anyone’s permission to act.

Highly confident people take action without hesitation. Every day, they remind themselves, “If not me, who?”

14. They don’t limit themselves to a small toolbox.

Highly confident people don’t limit themselves to Plan A. They make use of any and all weapons that are at their disposal, relentlessly testing the effectiveness of every approach, until they identify the strategies that offer the most results for the least cost in time and effort.

15. They don’t blindly accept what they read on the Internet as “truth” without thinking about it.

Highly confident people don’t accept articles on the Internet as truth just because some author “said so”. They look at every how-to article from the lens of their unique perspective. They maintain a healthy skepticism, making use of any material that is relevant to their lives, and forgetting about the rest. While articles like this are a fun and interesting thought-exercise, highly confident people know that they are the only person with the power to decide what “confidence” means.