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Archive for Life Balance

Do you sometimes catch yourself in sudden, beautiful awareness that you are filled with a supreme sense of joy? Just being in that moment when your heart feels light and your spirit is uplifted and all is right with the world?

Being happy all the time does not seem to be a human option here in the physical world, so we need to develop a keen awareness of “seizing the moment.”  Focused mindfulness on those aspects that create a wave of happiness and optimism within our being are a wonderful step.

Everyone goes through challenges — that is a given. But how we react is a personal choice. And finding those unique moments of joy even within challenging times is essential for our well being. It jumpstarts and enhances our inner strength to weather the obstacles.

So I ask you to begin to catch those fascinating, life inspiring moments of pure joy. Totally and purely embrace those moments — feel the fine, silky, peacefulness of the flow of life at that instant in time — and savor it! Keep that tangible uplifting, exulting feeling with you. Commit it to “sense memory” so it is something you can reach for at other times…

Sometimes when I am holding or playing with a grandchild, I am filled with such a sense of happiness, serenity and love… and I feel at great peace with the world. Or when my kitties are laying near me or on my lap, cuddling and loving — for me that is sweet joy.

When I take a walk along the trail, listening to my favorite music on my headset, I feel uplifted!  When my husband and I are out together, just the two of us, sharing our thoughts, having heartfelt conversation and sharing moments of laughter and fun, that is simply delightful!

And sometimes, just sitting in quiet stillness is so deeply and supremely satisfying.

Whatever feel-good moments work for you are those in which to immerse. Pay attention to those particular components of your own life. Strive to make more of an effort to become consciously aware of the joyful moments, those in which you are aligned with the optimistic stream of harmony and balance.

And when you experience those, hold on to that delectable flavor!

Often when we come to this keen awareness, it becomes easier to find and savor more of these times. And isn’t that what we all wish — to spend more time in the flow of happiness? We need to do the inner work to make that happen…

Affirmations:

  • I raise my awareness of those uplifting moments of pure happiness — and savor them!
  • In times of challenge, I choose to seek out and focus on those positive and joyful aspects within my reality.
  • Finding moments of happiness is a conscious choice I am making more and more!

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Sumérgete en los momentos felices

Por Sheryl Schlmeuss Berger
Traducción de Elena Calderaro

¿Alguna vez has reflexionado conscientemente cuando sientes inmensa felicidad? ¿Cuando en ese justo momento tu corazón está tranquilo, tu espíritu está elevado y todo está bien en tu vida?

Aquí en el mundo físico la felicidad permanente no parece ser una opción humana, por lo tanto necesitamos desarrollar una conciencia aguda para “aprovechar el momento”. Un buen paso para comenzar es enfocando la conciencia en esos aspectos que crean una ola de felicidad y optimismo dentro de nuestro ser.

Todos enfrentamos retos en la vida — es un hecho. Pero cómo reaccionamos es una elección personal. Y encontrar esos ratos excepcionales de felicidad, aún en los momentos desafiantes, es esencial para nuestro bienestar ya que nos dan los bríos necesarios para aumentar nuestra fuerza interior y así afrontar los obstáculos.

Mi consejo es que empieces a reconocer estos fascinantes momentos de gozo total que dan color a la vida. Acoge totalmente estos momentos — siente como la vida fluye, fina, sedosa y pacífica — ¡y disfruta del momento! Conserva esa sensación tangible de júbilo. Internalízala en tu “memoria sensata” para que puedas tener acceso a esta sensación en todo momento…

Algunas veces, cuando cargo a mi nieto en brazos o juego con él, siento gran felicidad, serenidad y amor… y me siento en paz con el mundo. O cuando mis gatos se acuestan cerca de mí o en mis piernas, acurrucados y amoros — esto para mí es felicidad exquisita.

Cuando salgo a caminar por algún sendero con audífonos puestos, escuchando mi música favorita, ¡me siento elevada espiritualmente! Cuando mi marido y yo estamos solos intercambiando ideas, conversando de corazón a corazón y compartiendo momentos de risa y diversión, ¡esto es placer incomparable!

A veces, solamente estar sentada en silencio crea una sensación profunda y extremadamente agradable.

Los momentos que te hacen sentir bien son en los cuales debes sumergirte. Presta atención a esos componentes concretos de tu propia vida. Esmérate en poner de tu parte para tener más conciencia de los momentos alegres, esos que estén alineados con la corriente optimista de armonía y balance.

Y cuando experimentes esos momentos, ¡aférrate a esa deliciosa sensación!

Cuando ya has tomado conciencia, es cada vez más fácil encontrar y saborear momentos semejantes. ¿Y no es esto lo que todos anhelamos? — ¿pasar más tiempo en la corriente de felicidad? Todos debemos trabajar internamente para lograrlo…

Afirmaciones:

• ¡Tomo conciencia de los momentos de pura felicidad — y los disfruto!
• En momentos de desafíos, elijo buscar y enfocarme en los aspectos positivos y felices de mi realidad.
• ¡Encontrar momentos de felicidad es una elección consciente que practico cada vez más!

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Are you tuned in, tapped in,  connected — to technology, that is? Do you often check to see exactly where your smartphone is — maybe pat your pockets, check your purse etc.? If you should by any chance forget your phone for a short errand, do you panic and feel naked?

Welcome to modern life and the way it is here in our corner of Planet Earth.

At the beginning of all my Reiki sessions and classes I always ask clients and students to please silence their phones. And though everyone seems quick to agree to do this, I often find that people tend to leave their phone on vibrate. So sometimes during the session or a class, suddenly I will hear this distracting humming, moving vibration going on. It is almost as if people cannot bear to disconnect fully from their devices.

Are you personally guilty of an overly close connection to your mobile device or your tablet?

Don’t be embarrassed to admit it because I too, can totally relate to this feeling.

Our devices play a significant and essential role in our lives. With the internet literally at our fingertips, whatever information we need from that grand “encyclopedia” of the world wide web is right at our whim and command. Plus any kind of music we wish to hear is readily available!

What about that hypnotic draw of Social Media?  It is easy to become addicted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The amount of information, videos, sayings, expressions, et al. can just keep ones attention riveted…

From buying movie tickets to grocery delivery to the huge variety of merchandise on Amazon Prime that comes right to our doorstep in a matter of days, these little devices have definitely revolutionized the way we live and make our purchases.

And our little ones — the children — are also extremely connected at young ages. From having the iPad accompany my grandson for dinner at times, as well as toddler videos playing for him before bedtime as a sleep aid, this way of life is going to shape the up and coming generations — and perhaps some of it might not be all that positive.

That is why, for all of us, no matter what age, it is essential to remember to take a break from those flickering, backlit screens and simply spend some time in quietude and stillness.  Do you make a conscious effort to “disconnect” a little bit each day?

Spending time in nature — whether observing, walking or just sitting peacefully outdoors — begs us to just be in the NOW moment and silence our little chatty, dinging mobile “friend”. Outdoor time is so important for rejuvenating our psyche and our spirit — as well as our physical bodies.  We need to just enjoy the beauty of Mother Earth.  We need to place our feet on the earth — bare feet is even better as long as it is safe ground — to powerfully connect with the vibration of our beautiful planet.

And don’t forget about when you are out socially with other people, turn down the volume or silence the ringer and really immerse yourself in lovely company of your family or friends. Forget about your relationship with your phone for an hour — or four!  I think the younger people are more guilty of this. I consider it “socially incorrect” but probably the younger generations consider it the norm.  I see so many people at restaurants texting and emailing in the midst of family dinners and outings with friends. And do I do it once in awhile — sure — but I make that specific effort to put my phone away and really focus on those that I am with at the moment.

Moments of stillness, silence and peacefulness — even brief — can be remarkably re-energizing.  Sometimes I just hear that little voice in my head (my inner guidance) chiding me “okay, enough work, enough computer/phone/tablet, enough DOING — just sit in the space of stillness for a few minutes.”  Sometimes this “break” is an actual period of meditation. Sometimes it is purely just focusing on some deep slow breathing, just helping me center myself and relax. And sometimes it is just “stillness” — nothingness. No point of attention, no special breathing, just BEING. And I always feel better and re-charged afterward.

My cats do it all the time — engage in the practice of mindfulness, just sitting serenely, so in the moment, so JOYFUL!  Of course, they don’t have little kitty iPhones to disconnect from. Though I have seen some Facebook videos of kitties playing with fishy games on tablets!

So I ask you to be more aware of your technology in terms of knowing when to shut it off or take some time away.  Tune in to your own inner rhythm. Connect with the vibration of the Earth — or the Universe – and allow peacefulness to flow…

Affirmations:

  • I make time each day for moments of stillness and peacefulness.
  • I unplug and disconnect from electronics, and take time to tune in to my inner guidance system.
  • I am a focused listener and pay full attention when someone is sharing their thoughts and feelings.
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Good health — everyone wants it, everyone strives for it. Who does not want to be fully aligned with the flow of well being?

As a Holistic Practitioner I have done much investigation, reading and soul searching about what comprises good health.  Some people seem to just radiate with it and shine with the glow of positive health. Others are challenged with a myriad of issues and seem stuck in the flow of discord and dis-ease.

When I speak about that topic of overall well-being, I often use the analogy of that old-fashioned pie chart graph, with different slivers/segments relating to different aspects of good health.

So what makes up this chart?  What practices and aspects affect the way we feel here in the physical plane?  I always ask this of my Level I Reiki students to get their take on this and to invite some real thinking, exploring and discussion on this topic.

Many people’s first thought is genetics. They subscribe to the theory that a person’s genes determine his/her health. Though science does espouse this, I believe it is not completely the case. Yet, we can place a piece of the pie under the heading of Genetics, perhaps a very small piece though.

For today there is the science of epigenetics — which encourages us to think about all the other factors that influence our genes. Epigenetics involves genetic control by factors other than an individual’s DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes can switch genes on or off. This recognizes that though sickness genes may be present, there are many external factors which determine whether or not that particular gene gets turned on or off. So, for instance, if you may have a “genetic predisposition” for cancer, it does not mean you are doomed to get it. There are other factors that come into play….  such as all aspects that we are touching upon here!

Which brings us to other pieces of the pie…

Diet and nutrition of course are a segment of this metaphorical pie. I’m sure most would agree that these play a significant role in ones well being.  But how much — 20%, 50%, 90% ????  Nobody knows for sure, except that modern medicine tends to overlook the importance of how we fuel our bodies. (Most doctors seem to be more into the handing out of pills to treat anything and everything.)

Yet today there is so much research pointing in the direction of “you are what you eat.”  A steady diet of junk food, fried food, etc. is certainly not healthy and I am positive most people would agree with that thought. However, ask people and health professionals about what constitutes a healthy diet and you will hear a multitude of different ideas. And what is healthy for one person may not be as good for the next.

So it is up to you to do some research and find the absolute best nutritional program for yourself and that includes foods, beverages and healthy supplements. Ah, definitely food for thought…. (And that also means being knowledgeable about organic foods, non-GMO foods, superfoods , etc. but we could write an entire book about that!)

Now, what about another aspect of our model of good health — that of exercise? Regular exercise and keeping in shape through physical movement are absolutely something most doctors would actually agree on — and most individuals as well.

So why are so many people sedentary and unmotivated to bring movement into their lives? Yes, many people have jobs of sitting in front of a computer screen all day long. And for those people it is even more essential to make time for movement and exercise.  For others, perhaps it is just time management and prioritizing and becoming motivated.

In fact, we should all be motivated to make time for physical activity on a regular basis. As people are living longer, I am firmly convinced that exercise is the key to staying mobile and functional, because it helps your body, your brain and your emotions!

Another piece of the pie chart would be SLEEP. A sound and good night’s sleep is essential for well being. Yet sleep disturbances are so common. Why are we as a society are we so plagued by insomnia? But alas, there could be another book written solely on this — and there are volumes out there! The bottom line is to make sure that you engage in a peaceful, rejuvenating night’s sleep as much as possible.

So back to our pie chart. How about the environment — the area surrounding us, both in close proximity and a little more expanded?  Toxic household chemicals and chemicals used on our grass, our home exteriors, for weed control, pest control? There are bacteria and possibly chemicals in our water supply as well.  These things most likely have a direct bearing on our health…

And this is one slice of the pie for which we may have minimal control.  If we find out that we are actually living nearby to a newly discovered toxic waste dump, maybe we can move, though that can be difficult too. And what about other, more subtle environmental issues, such as being in the flight path of a nearby airport (and I am not just referring to noise pollution) — or chemicals being sprayed to kill bugs and mosquitos in our areas?  And what about air pollution in general?

Then there is the aspect of chemicals in the home. Some of the soaps, sprays, cleaning solutions we use are filled with potent. and not-so-healthy, chemicals.) Some of the makeup, skin care products, etc also have the potential to harm us. It is important to use as many natural, organic, milder products — and so it is essential to read, pay attention to labels, do some research on what is healthier… and to shift over to these better and less damaging versions of those necessary types of products we use on a daily or regular basis.

For ALL chemicals in proximity to us have the potential to affect us.

And what about “toxic” people in our immediate environment. Those difficult, negative personalities that may surround us are not healthy for us either…

Which brings us to a related aspect, one other supremely significant factor — our thoughts and emotions, which we now know have a direct bearing on our well being!  Being in the flow of uplifting, positive thinking can have real impact on your physical body.

Feeling good and joyful in our heads and hearts leads us to feel good in our bodies.  And the opposite is true as well. The more one is in the mode of anger, sadness, worry — how will that person’s body react? Especially if ones emotions and thoughts are in a stressed out, frustrated angry place for a prolonged period of time.

There are so many scientific studies which show how stress can directly affect the body in a negative way and bring on all kinds of symptoms of illness.  That is why I often write about all different aspects of well-being in terms of attitude and positivity — because I believe that it is ultra-significant in maintaining ones overall health.

And what about holistic, spiritual, calming practices such as Reiki and meditation?  I know that they also make up a piece of our healthy pie. All practices that help keep us serene and tuned in to our “core essence” have the potential to keep us aligned with that radiant flow of well being.

Additionally, it comes down to which aspects of our pie chart we can control and which we can’t.  So it is essential to take charge of what we can. Personally, I believe that most of our pie chart is under our direction creation, management and supervision!

So have I covered most everything?  Is there anything you would like to add to this pie chart?  And what do you feel is the most important aspect that contributes to well-being?  How has this affected your own life?

I would love to hear your thoughts. So please post a comment or email me directly.

Affirmations:

  • I create my reality utilizing positive practices to keep me aligned with the flow of well being.
  • I envision myself as completely healthy and working at my full and vibrant potential!
  • I take all steps to keep my mind, body and spirit  joyful, peaceful and in harmony with my highest and best vision of myself.

Are you on that lifelong quest to find joy? Are you seeking that magnificent, colossal Golden Temple of Happiness?

There is an old song called “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places” I think many people can replace the word “love” with “happiness”. When you are spending your time and energy looking for happiness, then you are going about the process in a totally unsuccessful way.

As we all know, there is no specific “place” of happiness…

Many people are just waiting for happiness, hoping and praying it will somehow come along and smack them with joyfulness. But that is certainly not how life works. And yet, certain happenings do occur that give us a sense of temporary happiness (for instance, you get that much-coveted promotion, that unexpected check in the mail, a visit surprise visit from a close friend, a fun vacation, etc)

But we should not depend on external happenings to be the sole cause of our joy and optimistic emotions.

To gain a new perspective on that oft-considered elusive emotion, it is essential to begin to understand that happiness is a way of life, an embracing of the beauty, blessings and mindfulness of the journey, not a specific destination at which to arrive.

In fact, our unique journeys are filled with many joyful aspects and dimensions that fill our field of vision. It is just up to us to notice them. And when life also brings many challenges, it is sometimes difficult — or seemingly impossible — to be able to tune in to the vibration of joy.

However, I firmly believe that happiness is something that exists inside of us, or at least the potential for it exists within our core essence.

So how does one tune in to happiness?

You have to practice — EVERY DAY. Do those things that feel good to you, that bring a smile to your face. Even small actions can be vital and rejuvenating. Especially if you are facing obstacles, it is key to take time to focus on those aspects that are the bright spots in your life. Reach within and connect to that strong, powerful persona that lives within your heart. And remember to nurture yourself with kindness and compassion.

Be sure to find/create regular moments of happiness. Even uplifting memories coupled with some deep cleansing breaths can bring a sense of lightness, relief and joy in a very quick way.

Do not rely on others to “make” you happy. It is not anybody’s job or mission in life to tend to the details of your happiness. It is completely up to you to access this beautiful, optimistic part of yourself.

Spend more time being in the space of gratitude!  Basking in the glow of appreciation has proven to uplift us.

And stop searching for happiness. Begin to focus on just being in the present moment. Find something (whatever calls to you) within your present environment that elicits a sensation of joy within you.

Help others in a compassionate way. Being of service can be positively uplifting!

Embrace the concept that you can create and design your own happiness. You don’t have to run after it or wait for it to find you.

Always trust in your intuition. That is the most powerful guidance for helping you navigate a more Joyful path… In which direction to move ahead and in which direction to steer clear of… Your heart is always a great barometer of both feeling and wisdom. Tap into the knowledge that exists within, because it is absolutely connected to the wellspring of joy…

 Affirmations:

  •  It is easy for me to find and focus on those aspects of my now moment that feel joyful to me.
  • Happiness begins within — and I reach into my core essence to connect with my inner joy and feelings of hope.
  • I tune in to my intuition and the wisdom of my heart to guide me on a joyful, uplifting path.

Focusing on the breath of the very now moment. Does that thought of “just being” resonate with you, intrigue you? Does it suggest to you some quiet, downtime for yourself?

Or is life too fast-paced, complicated and ultra-busy for you to want to even think about this concept?

Life here on planet Earth is a full-bodied, multi-faceted adventure, especially in the big cities (and certainly here on Long Island where I live.) The pace of life gives us so much to take care of, to accomplish. And we often feel driven to do, do, do. Our schedules are filled to the brim with tasks of all varieties.

I always think about that old cartoon that read “Nobody wants their epitaph to read ‘I should have spent more time at the office.'” And maybe a modern version would be that nobody wants their epitaph to read, “I should have spent more time on my smartphone, tablet, etc.” Why are we so tied to these technological playthings? Believe me, I am as guilty as anyone with this at times.

But these devices are only one aspect of an ultra-busy lifestyle.

It is essential to seek some downtime, time to just “be.” Time to tune in to your own core essence. Time to just have the emotional freedom to unplug, relax and just “chill.”

You need to make that time, carve that time carefully. Make sure you take care of YOU. Give yourself that energetic break from the fast-moving current of life.

Sometimes, I just sit (not even meditating) contemplating and letting my thoughts deliciously wander. Not paying attention to the clock. Then I feel guilty about squandering or wasting time, not being productive. But fortunately, I give myself permission to “veg out” and just plop myself into the now moment. Not letting that gush of thoughts about what needs to be done interrupt me.

And I focus on the exquisiteness of:

Just being.

Just being me.

Just being me in the moment.

Make sure to take these breaks and just spend time being present, even if it is just ten minutes — though longer is better. Which means that you release the busy chatter from your mind. Particularly important to release difficult thoughts. Brush them aside. (And make sure all devices, including the TV, are off for this period.)

You can meditate if you wish — in any way that feels comfortable or right to you. Or spend time in quiet contemplation.

Strive to do this every single day. You will reap the calming, feel-good benefits.

It will help alleviate and reduce stress levels.

It will help ground you, give you focus.

And it will help you glide joyfully into the stream of well-being.

Although I posted the following video several years ago, its message is very apropos to this post. If you have not seen it before, please check it out. It is only 3 minutes long, and hopefully will give you a brief respite of peace and being present. And if you have seen it before, let yourself go back again and take a few moments to just relax with it.  (Affirmations are within the video!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGwNThRH9vg

World tragedy of any sort impacts all of us on some level. In this past month, the horror of the Boston Marathon bombings drew riveted attention, compassion and solidarity from people everywhere, not just those local to Boston.

Most of us were very focused on the situation — the news played that one video of the explosions over and over ad infinitum — or so it seemed. From a journalistic aspect, that is what one would expect. From an emotional aspect, I personally needed a visual reprieve from all the gruesome details.

How did you react to this tragedy? Were you feeling infuriated, judgmental, angry — even vengeful?

Becoming immersed in the saga that unfolded over those several days may have weighed quite heavily on ones emotions, and takes an intense toll on one’s overall harmony and well-being.

I am not suggesting burying ones head in the sand. What I am suggesting is that it is important to know your emotional limits. If you are overwhelmed, step back. Don’t sit glued to the TV if you will become extremely upset and agitated by doing so.

Other peaceful and involved options are to offer prayers, going into a state of meditation, sending Reiki or other healing energy, sending positive intentions — anything that resonates with you in a more placid way but gets you out of the negative energy of the situation.

As much as I admit a concerned fascination with what transpired, I definitely felt I had to keep my emotional involvement in check as it was distressing to see replay after replay. (Shut the television, I admonished myself!)

Of course, I was relieved when the suspects were out of the picture and Boston was once again safe, knowing that the city had been in a state of lock-down until that happened. What a disturbing reality that had been!

So the message here is to not obsess with the dark events of our times, as that can well impact you in a negative way. Watching the news every day is enough to depress anyone. You have to carefully choose what aspects you bring in to your reality.

I wish there was a station that would report only positive news stories and maybe call it “Good News TV.” It would feature stories of heroic and altruistic acts — real, feel-good stories. But alas, such a program would probably never be commercially viable.

Yet in our own lives, we can seek out those better-feeling stories to bring light into our personal world. We can minimize the time we spend mired in the grip of difficult events.

Each of us has a unique perspective — and only YOU know on a “gut level” what brings harmony into your own life — and on the flip side, know what brings discord.

It always comes back to the concept that when you focus your attention on the positive and highly joyful, you magnetically attract more of that into your life. And you feel good! And feeling emotionally good is powerfully essential for your well-being…

Affirmations:

  • I give focused attention to those positive, uplifting aspects of my personal environment.
  • I know my emotional boundaries and make smart choices about how to process challenging events.
  • I let my love, compassion and radiant inner light shine in the face of turbulent and discordant situations.
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Is it easier to be stressed, anxious and discordant rather than being happy, peaceful and zen?

Just from observation and life experience, it appears to me that most people gravitate toward disorder in their lives. They find themselves caught up in the negative aspects of human existence.

To be calm, serene, in the flow of exuberance and joy often seems to take substantially more effort.

And I can’t figure out why that is.

Yet it has been my own life experience as well, stemming from what I learned during my childhood. Children learn what they live — and personally, I lived with plenty of negativity. Discord and drama were rampant in my household. Of course, we did manage to have some fun in between, and I did consider my mother to be a nurturing woman. But both my mother and father thought that yelling and a raised voice were the only parental way to get things done and let their authority be known.

So for a good part of my life, I fell into the trap of perceiving turmoil and commotion as the norm. What follows from that sort of norm unfortunately is much unhappiness.

It took quite a bit of growing up and my path of holistic healing that brought me to a more enlightened way of looking at life. I finally began to realize that maybe — just maybe — that joy was part of the purpose of life, a part that we are all worthy of.

Yes, I am saying that you DESERVE to be joyful. It is your right. And if you can authentically claim it, you will realize how powerful you are and will become better aligned with your soul/life path.

Of course, I am not saying that your joy should come at the expense of another. As you are pursuing and delighting in your joy, make sure that the component of compassion flows within you. Allow yourself to find delight and satisfaction in the joy of others. If you can do that, then your own sense of fulfillment, your own sense of being in the stream of harmony, light and abundance will increase.

Know that you CAN leave negative patterns behind, that you can reach for higher-vibration, uplifting thoughts. When you grasp and embrace this concept, your life will make an immense shift for the better.

And yes, we all are guilty of falling back into negative patterns once awhile. For doing so just seems to be a part of the human experience. Staying in those patterns can be our emotional downfall. Remain keen and observant, and try to catch yourself before you fall too far. Then gently lift yourself up into that sweet perspective of joy. Because you CAN do it — and the result is exhilarating…

Affirmations:

  • I know that I can choose my attitude — so I strive for a positive one!
  • I am a powerful life creator and choose to stay in the flow of optimistic, uplifting thoughts.
  • An outlook of joy comes naturally to me.

 

In my own thinking, I had always believed balance was a positive state of being. After all, I would always tell people, as I had learned from my Reiki teachers: “Reiki is about bringing harmony and balance into one’s life.” However, I had all my beliefs radically questioned when a holistic teacher told me her point of view, culled from her own life experience, plus from a definitive book that she had read. And this was that we should not even mention the word balance. Could this be? Was she saying that balance is BAD?

From my past experience, most inspirational teachers, as well as my healing mentors, had always heralded balance as a beautiful, peaceful state of being. After all, didn’t Dr. Wayne Dyer write an entire book about “Being in Balance?” Eric Pearl, founder of Reconnective Healing, often mentions balance as being a profound and GOOD space for one to be in — a space of healing.

So this new theory from this holistic teacher shattered my previous views — or at least made me think twice or more about them. And though I was not particularly thrilled with this take on the “balance” idea, perhaps it was something that I needed to ponder and give some serious thought to in order to come to my own conclusions.

The dictionary has several meanings for balance: state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight amount; mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.

So what could be negative about balance? Balance in the extreme can be considered a place of “no growth.” A state of being that lets one marinate in stagnation as opposed to being able to thrive and bloom with expansion. As the combination of human/spiritual beings that we are, we are here in this physical plane to learn, create, love and grow on numerous levels. If we were in a constant state of balance, we would be losing out on a huge part of our purpose and soul calling here on planet Earth.

We need to be in the fluidity of the stream of life, to navigate the ebb and flow of our everyday experiences, gain our lessons from the realities that we live. Learn strength and knowledge from overcoming hardship. This profound movement along our life path is what makes us unique as well as enriches our journey. At least that is one way to look at it.

An ongoing state of absolutely ultra-perfect equilibrium might keep us from engaging in the unfolding of our life purpose.

But, the flip side of the coin, is we often CRAVE balance in our lives. Particularly when the current of our lives has been turbulent for a long period. That is when we seek a calm port in a storm. When we yearn for a semblance of peacefulness, of sameness, a state of just being present and tranquil. So a little balance is definitely welcome.

Our lives are ever-changing, whether or not we yearn for — or find — balance. A pure state of equilibrium is rarely achieved and generally short-lived. But attaining even an iota of balance — even a delicious touch — helps us connect with our inner guidance, helps us be present in the moment, helps us be in a lovely space of bliss.

So after the diverse views I present here, I still believe, at the heartfelt level, that overall balance is a positive aspect to embrace in our lives.

The richness of our journey is what life is all about and life is certainly a glorious process, so do relish each step — whether you are in perfect balance or not!

What do you think? Is balance good — or bad? Is balance something to be desired? Or something that stunts our spiritual growth? Please leave a comment here on my blog, as I always appreciate hearing your thoughts and perspective!

Affirmations:

  • I enjoy the ongoing multi-faceted journey of my life and I welcome personal growth on a daily basis.
  • Achieving a state of calm, non-judgmental peacefulness can enhance my life experience.
  • I accept the fluid motion of my life as it unfolds, enjoying the opportunities for growth and expansion that that are abundantly present each day.

 

Mention the word “ego” to people and you certainly get a variety of reactions, spanning the gamut of responses. To some, the ego represents the blessing of being part of humanity and to others it may seem like a “curse.”

The concept of ego has a multitude of definitions. The dictionary defines it as the “I” or self of any person; distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thoughts.

The Freudian understanding is quite different. It is believed that the ego is part of the personality that mediates the demands of the id, the superego and reality.

The Freudian ego supposedly prevents us from acting impulsively on our very basic urges, helping us behave with some form of normalcy and tact. For example, without the ego, if someone takes a parking spot that you were waiting for, you would simply get out of your car, go over and confront the other person. You might even exert physical force on the other driver in retaliation. Since we have an ego, we know (at least most of us) that this course of action is not the way to go.

I believe we do need our egos to survive here in the physical plane. They make us who we are as unique individuals. They help us persevere in the midst of all the challenges, choices and confusion that we face on a regular basis.

We need to consider our egos in a a gentle, caring and diplomatic way. It is when ones ego takes over in a non-compassionate, unkind way, expanding to give one a controlling, belligerent worldview of intolerance that this facet of our personality becomes a negative one. Thus, the expression such as: “He’s so egotistical. He thinks he is better than everyone else.”

Are you familiar with the idea that the word EGO is just an acronym for “Edge God Out?” When one’s ego dominates in such a way as to cause a person to believe in separation and duality, then he has truly edged out any connection with the Divine.

As a holistic healing practitioner, I embrace the concept of letting my ego step aside while I am facilitating a healing session. I do believe that the most effective sessions are when I relax my own preconceived notions of what needs to be healed, and let a Higher Power determine exactly what healing is appropriate for my client.

However, in every day life, our egos serve an essential role, as long as we keep them in check.

To bring balance and harmony into our ego-driven lives, the inspirational masters and teachers advise us to “drop down into our heart space.” This way we can gain a more open, Divinely-connected and compassionate perspective.

So if we strive for balance between our egos and our soul-selves, with a healthy, confident sense of who we are as well as compassion for others, perhaps that is the place of greatest joy for us here in the physical plane.

What do you think? What is your take on the human ego? Is it a virtue or a vice, a blessing or a curse? Please take a moment to leave a comment here — thank you in advance!

Affirmations:

  • I am happy and confident with who I am, and I feel secure in my joyful connections with others.
  • I let my ego guide me in a positive, gentle and compassionate way.
  • I strive to achieve the balance between taking nurturing care of my self and loving care of others.
Comments (2)

Genuine friendships come in all shapes and sizes — and in many varied places, both near and far. We all have friends who are dearly, deeply and profoundly close to us — friends who share in our ups and downs, our tragedies and our triumphs, friends who have clearly and joyfully wound their way into the coziness of our heart space.

Additionally, we all have acquaintances, those who lives touch ours, brush against our reality, but who do not impact us so closely.

And of course, we all experience a range of relationships that span the gamut in between those two ends of the spectrum.

The challenge is to balance it all out, to acknowledge and cherish all of the above in the best and most sincere way possible. Clarity, contact and communication are what I think of as the “Three C’s” of a healthy friendship. These three aspects also need to be offered in an authentically caring, supportive and nurturing manner.

Most essentially, these need to be offered in a non-judgmental way, which is, perhaps the most difficult perspective to cultivate. Over the years, I have been learning to infuse my friendships with as much of this perspective as I can muster.

However, this doesn’t mean sitting back and accepting unhealthy or uncaring treatment from certain “friends” who may not always have your best interests at heart.

In the last few years, I have “lost” a few long term friendships which I never expected to be gone from my life. They were painful losses, but in the long-run, appear to have resulted in a healthier and less stressful aspect of my life experience. These were profound life lessons for me, and helped me understand how important it is to cherish, nurture and support those healthy friendships. I have also begun to distinguish between what I personally need from a friendship in order for it to be a strong, happy and beneficial bond.

Most everyone is familiar with the classification of “fair weather” friends — those who only stay with us when we are in a joyful, optimistic or positive stage of our life. These kind of friends seem to suddenly and conveniently disappear when challenges arise for us.

But I have also experienced that there are “foul weather” friends — those who might gravitate toward taking charge of us in our misery, drama or tragedy. They may feel the extreme need to be needed, thrusting themselves into that role of caretaker or life manager. They often DO serve a genuine role in assisting us through the hard times. However, when the turbulence is over for us, giving rise to more radiant days, these friends seem to suddenly relegate themselves to the background of our lives — or become completely absent.

The very bottom line is that friendships have to be genuinely sharing — an exchange and flow of emotions, talk and genuine concern (yes, even LOVE) for each other.

Anyone who is in a friendship that does not encompass these essential facets will feel slighted and even taken advantage of.

So it is important we set conscious intentions to feed and nurture those friendships that lovingly surround us in order to maintain them and help them grow.

Here are seven basic suggestions:

  1. Connect in person. In this age of a million technical communication devices, it is still key to connect face to face. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a blitz of text messages will do the trick. Spend quality and pleasurable time with those who are close with you. And do this regularly — or as often as both your schedules will allow.
  2. Stay in touch between actual visits. Sometimes nothing beats that old-fashioned phone call with a good friend, just catching up with what is happening in both your lives. And of course, emails and text messages here are a perfectly wonderful way to say a quick hello or give an update. Even using Facebook or Twitter to give brief updates to friends is a newer and far-reaching way to get messages out to a group of friends.
  3. Be bold and confident enough to share true sentiments and emotions. A friend will understand just where you are coming from and be supportive through all emotions, scenarios and challenges.
  4. Be a good listener — and a good ASKER. Cultivate the skill of listening patiently. And afterward or in between, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification, for more information about what your friend is feeling or how they may want to approach a challenge in their life. Everyone loves having focused attention on themselves, will know that you are listening — and will appreciate this.
  5. Express appreciation verbally. Let your friend know how much they mean to you in whatever way you are most comfortable. With a really close friend, you may be able to say “I love you.” On some verbal level, let the friend know that you DO cherish the bond. If a friend has gone over and above what you have expected, tell them so, gratefully.
  6. Let your actions speak for your commitment to the bond. Go the extra mile, particularly for a friend who is down or facing life hurdles – send a bouquet of flowers, a card (even an eCard) or make an in-person visit to help out, cook a meal or lend a shoulder to cry on — whatever will be helpful to a friend in need. Remember birthdays and anniversaries too!
  7. Know that friendships can ebb and flow over the years, and be understanding of this. If a relationship is truly unhealthy and severely negative, you will sense it and feel it in your heart. And if it continues in a prolonged way, you can always let it go as diplomatically as possible.

Friends exist at every level. I treasure my friendships — the full range of them — from those who are close in-person friends to those whose lovely and uplifting energies I have connected with on Facebook and the internet. Be open to all new friendships and possibilities. Let your life unfold with a heartfelt desire to joyfully connect with others who resonate with you, as this will definitely enhance your journey!

Affirmations:

  • I gratefully cherish all the close and caring friendships that warm my life.
  • I make the time and effort to express appreciation to my friends, and I feel joyful!
  • It is easy for me to listen patiently and supportively to others and I know that I will receive the same attention.