Every day I see beautiful, talented, smart women who are stressed out of their minds. They are suffering from panic attacks because they feel they're not good enough. They are developing irritable bowel syndrome because their bodies don't feel safe enough to relax (and therefore, digest their food). They are having more and more fights with loved ones because they are constantly on edge. Let's face it, operating from a state of stress has kind of become the norm in our culture. It's become acceptable because we put all of our focus on the external world and what we want to achieve, rather than building a strong foundation in our inner world of how we want to feel.
We can't keep going this way and the world can't handle the stress we are putting on ourselves and each other. Our health, our happiness, our family dynamics, our concept of neighbourhood and humanity are circling the drain - all because we focus more on self and ego achievement than we do about learning to love ourselves or each other.
All stress comes from a place of fear - a fear that we aren't enough, that we won't have enough or that the world won't be enough for us. The only way to combat fear is to actively choose to exit the current reality that we've created where stress is the norm and decide to create our lives from a place of love. When we choose to love ourselves then our health, our happiness and the quality of our relationships will skyrocket. When we love each other, we will see that we're not so different.....and war, racism and terrorism will cease to exist.
It's not naive or idealistic to believe these things. Obviously, we've done a lot of damage to our bodies, our psyche and the world in term of the energy we choose to bring into the world every day and I'm not saying these problems will disappear overnight, but the first and biggest step is to just make that choice....do you want to keep living in this stressed out way that doesn't serve you or the world? Or do you want to be part of the revolution and experience life from a place of really high frequency love and connection?
Here are a few things you can do to start decreasing stress in your body, mind and spirit. Remember: it starts with you, then ripples to your friends, your community, then the world.
De-stressing the body
Your body is usually in one of two states: the sympathetic nervous system or the parasympathetic nervous system. The first is your 'fight or flight' system or your state of stress. This is where most of us are operating from. Whether it's fear of not living up to our boss' expectations, the fear of being single forever or just not feeling good enough in general, we are constantly prepared for an attack. This perception of fear leads to weight gain, stress, IBS, depression and a whole host of other things that destroy your health and happiness.
The way your body knows it is actually safe is all cued by your breath so the first thing you can do to help love your body is to take time out to do some deep breathing. Place your hand on your belly, right up under your ribs and make sure when you breathe in your hand rises and when you breathe out your stomach contracts. Focus on not moving your shoulders at all and instead imagine a balloon in your stomach being inflated and deflated. This will activate your parasympathetic nervous system and help you start to get back into a 'rest and digest' mode.
De-stressing the mind
As Eckhart Tolle said, "You have a mind but you are not your mind." This is the game-changer between people that are emotionally happy and people that aren't. We all have an inner critic that lives in our heads and feeds us thoughts about what's "true" or "real" or "how life is"...but this voice is just that - a voice. It's a voice that is based on fear and survival and trying to protect you which is great....but it's not concerned with how happy you feel or how much love you're experiencing. Whenever you think something that makes you feel like crap, ask yourself "What is the fear around this?" and "What would love do in this situation?" You'll be amazed by how empowering this is and how much happier you will feel.
De-stressing the spirit
Spirit, heart, soul...whatever you want to call it, it doesn't really matter. The point is, that this part of you that holds all your unique passions, desires, dreams, preferences and interests is a part of you. When was the last time you checked in with her? If you feel like life isn't working, that you're disconnected or out of alignment then I guarantee you, that's true. That is your spirit telling you that you aren't living from your values or in accordance with what's true and important to you, Chances are you are doing what you think you 'should' do.
Meditation is a powerful tool to access your inner truth, as well as coaching or counselling. So much of the pain we feel comes from a place that we don't even know exists because we've never given ourselves a moment to hear what's really going on in our heart and soul. Starting with a coach can be a great way to uncover these feelings in a supportive environment where they won't overwhelm you. If you feel strong enough, simply sitting in stillness and bringing your attention to your heart space can be another great way to de-stress your spirit. Once you feel connected to your heart space, ask yourself "What do I need to do right now to feel happy?" and just as importantly, "What do I need to let go of?"
These are not just nice ideas. Practicing de-stressing your body, mind and spirit will change the way you see everything in your life and in the world - I guarantee it. All you need to do is be willing to see the world a different way and to open to the tools that help you to shift your perception from stress to love.
I'm hosting a class in Christchurch on Wednesday 20 July in which we will cover all of these tools and many more. If you'd like to come along and learn how to "Relax and Re-Centre', check out the flyer on my Facebook page.
You know all those beautiful, amazing, incredible things you want to manifest in your life? The things you've dreamt of for years, held close to your heart and pinned to your vision board? No doubt you've asked the Universe for them many times, but if they are failing to show up in your life then you might be missing one vital step.
ASKING OTHER PEOPLE! If you're on a spiritual journey, chances are you've gotten pretty good at asking the Universe for things - but the truth is that the universe works through people. Miracles and magic are not performed by a being outside of you waiting in the sky to grant wishes. It is an force that works through you when you live in the energy of what you want to attract. When you're in this space then the law of attraction will send you people and circumstances to help you in manifesting what you desire. But - you need to take some aligned action and start asking the people who can assist you in fulfilling your dreams. We've become pretty good at being a self sufficient society and "asking for help" has often been portrayed as weak or that we must be lacking something if we can't do it ourselves.
Which is total bullshit. "No man is an island", as poet John Donne would say, and with this many people populating the globe it's time to let go of the tired notion that we are not all here to help serve and love each other. Most of us don't ask other people for things because we don't want to seem "less than" or we're worried that they'll say no. Well....if they do, realistically what's the worst that's going to happen? You'll never know if you don't ask and most of us are missing out on so many opportunities by assuming we already know the answer.
The reason asking is so powerful is inherent in the etymology of the name, because although we tend to think of it as a question, the Hebrew origin of the word actually meant to "claim" something, so asking for something was stating your claim to making that request happen. In the Bible it is said "Ask, and you shall receive." Several thousand years later Abraham Hicks wrote "Ask, and it is given." What's my point? When you are in the energy of what you want and you actually ask for it, consider it done. Whatever you want is already on the truck, and on its way to you.
If you want some more insight into the power of asking, check out the book "The Aladdin Factor". It gives so many examples of famous and successful people who have got to where they want to be by asking for what they want. When it comes to manifesting anything in life, this book gives a great blueprint:
"First, you have to figure out what you want. Second, you have to decide that you deserve it. Third, you have to believe you can get it. And fourth, you have to have the guts to ask for it." - Barbara de Angelis, "The Aladdin Factor"
So who you can you share your dream with today and who can you ask for help? There are a lot of genies in the world waiting to make your wishes come true - all you have to do is ask!
If you're like me, you're probably one of those people who gets routinely heartbroken by watching the news. The terror attacks in Brussels, the suicide bombing on Easter Sunday in Pakistan... I wonder when it's ever going to end. I wonder when we're going to start doing things differently, since the way things are being done clearly aren't working.
And it's not just the huge things, like terrorism. It's the little things that are subtly linked to living in a world governed by fear. It's going to the grocery store and realising that no one makes eye contact with anyone any more. It's realising that people don't smile at each other when they pass by on the street. It's seeing litter and shit scattered around beautiful neighbourhoods by people that feel no connection to their own community. It's seeing hundreds of non-recycleable take away coffee cups overflowing from bins that decorate the streets. It's knowing that there's a campaign in NZ to make sure that kids are sent to school with lunch and then having $26 million dollars spent on a flag concept. In other words, it's the feeling that the world has gone crazy and we are focusing on all the wrong things... and no seems to be worried about the important stuff.
When we see all this stuff, we often feel this 'jolt' in our heart, this voice of reason that says "there must be a better way... I don't want to live in a world like this!" But for most of us, myself included, sometimes, we buy into this idea that "that's just the way the world works." "It's too hard to change it", or "people don't want the change" or "the money's not there for it." And let's face it, a big part of why these comments stick is because we've been disempowered and kept small for so long that we think we couldn't possibly be smart enough to have the answer. I'm the first to admit that I don't know much about politics...but I know what feels right and what feels wrong and the kind of world that I want to live in. You don't have to be a political genius to create change, but we've been taught that we're not smart enough / talented enough / whatever enough to make a difference. If we only knew the 'full story' we'd realise that what we are wanting isn't possible. "That's not the way the world works."
Now, more than ever, we need to realise that our thoughts, actions and behaviours dictate how the world works. How the world works is not rigid or set. How the world works is not pre-ordained. How the world works doesn't come from outside us, it takes place from within. How the world works is a decision in the mass consciousness of the people who live in that world. The future of our world, our education, our health, our resources, our environment is always being shaped by the actions we take, and if we don't like what we see in the world, then we need to take positive and loving action against that as well.
We are powerful beings and we can shape every area of our world: our own health, our finances, our communities and our environment. When we don't believe this, we become a victim to ourselves and our world. We give in to bad health or being overweight. We resign ourselves to always being in debt. We accept that neighbours don't get to know each other anymore. We start to think of terrorism as 'normal' because we see it so much.
You're not a victim. You are a creator of the world - no more or less deserving and capable than anyone else. Realise the divine power you carry within you to make change. We need to hear your voice.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."