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9 Practical Ways To Experience Joy During Trying Times

Sheila J. Highland

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Is it possible to move through a global pandemic and a personal sense of uncertainty while retaining an undercurrent of joy? The short answer is yes. We can experience joy even during these trying times. Let’s learn how…

There are many things that you can do, even in the midst of dire circumstances, that will alleviate suffering and steer you toward joy. The following practices, when used consistently, will allow you to feel joy through even the toughest conditions.

Take a Broader View

What you are experiencing now may be uncomfortable, but it is not the end of your story. Rather than focusing on your current level of discomfort, take a broader view. Ask yourself the following:

  • Who do you want to become through the difficulty?
  • What character qualities and values would you like to enhance during this period?
  • If you would like to be a positive person, can you find the little miracles hidden in each day?
  • If you would be more loving, can you offer greater compassion to others?

Challenging times, when paired with intention, can serve as a catalyst for personal transformation.

 

9 Practical Ways To Experience Joy During Trying Times

 

Give to Those with Greater Need Than Yourself

Fred Rogers from the Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood tv show once said, “When I was a little boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

In times of collective fear and need, you can liberate yourself from your problems by serving others. How do you serve during a quarantine? Try these options.

  • Call to check in on a neighbor
  • Offer to pick up groceries for a friend
  • Send virtual cards
  • Make soup for the elderly
  • Leave birthday posters on the doorstep of local children
  • Send videos to teachers

Even giving in small ways will fill your own cup with joy.

Reevaluate Your Priorities

Since many of your usual activities have been suspended, it is a great time to reassess which ones were adding value to your life and which ones were simply time fillers. It is easy to get roped into book clubs, classes, and obligations that feel more like chores than self-care.

Quarantine offers a unique opportunity to reevaluate which activities you would like to reintegrate, and which are best left off the to-do list. Ask yourself which things you miss, and which are a relief to let go of.

Stay in the Present & Experience Joy

Spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, summed up the value of living in the present moment, “Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry—all forms of fear—are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”

There are no real problems in the present moment, only situations that require a response. By living only this day, you free yourself of the regrets of the past and anxieties of the future. Carpe diem! Live this day well for it is the only one that you really have.

Stay Inspired To Experience Joy

During times of darkness, sources of light become even more important. What are your sources of light, those things that lighten your load and encourage you? Are there people, books, online classes, TED talks, YouTube videos, or documentaries that lift your spirits and raise your energy vibration?

Each day make a point to integrate at least three things that inspire you. If you can space these inspirational touchpoints throughout the day, you will optimize your emotional well-being as well as productivity. Think of inspiration as “food for your mood.”

Maintain Your Connections

Humans are social beings. Since the beginning of recorded time, people have lived in villages, communities, and family groups. Within each person, there is a very deep-seated nudge toward connection.

Social distancing has the potential to create an inner conflict, with the logical part of the brain in favor and the reptilian brain against. Yet, social distancing does not have to create isolation, loneliness, and social disconnection. It is important to stay connected through virtual platforms such as texts, FaceTime, Zoom, and online meetings/classes/services.

Double Your Gratitude

You may have lost your job, but you still have your house. The grocery store may not be well-stocked, but you still have food. You might be inconvenienced, but you still have your health. The mind is fertile soil with seeds of panic, uncertainty, and fear scattered in equal proportion to seeds of kindness, beauty, and blessings.

Whichever seeds you water with your attention will grow and produce fruit. During challenging times, the seeds of fear are watered through media outlets, making it even more imperative for you to water the seeds of gratitude.

Become a gratitude detective. On a daily basis, look for all the things in your life that you can be grateful for, no matter how trivial, and consciously give thanks.

 

9 Practical Ways To Experience Joy During Trying Times

 

Practice Compassion

Each person is viewing the COVID-19 pandemic through their own lens. That lens has been created through life experiences, cultural conditioning, social norms, self-work, and spiritual practices.

No two lenses are the same. As people process the changes, fears, and uncertainties that accompany the current state of global affairs, you will see a gamut of emotions, from anger and anxiety to love and support. These emotions reflect each person’s lens.

Instead of feeling upset with someone for not seeing through your lens, endeavor to remain grounded as you hold space for them to see through their own. The practice of compassion is a call to gently allow others to experience life without your judgment.

Experience Joy & Stay Active

Movement creates endorphins. Endorphins relieve pain and stress. Has there ever been a better time for stress relief?

Quarantine is not a time to give up your exercise regime. In fact, it may be an opportunity to explore a new one. From hiking, biking, yoga, and rebounding to kettle balls, dumbbells, tension bands, and bodyweight exercises, the universe has extended an invitation for you to spice up your workouts. Why not take up a new exercise this month? Who knows, you might even find that it is one you would like to keep.

Life is going to look different for a while, but different doesn’t mean bad. Think of this period as an opportunity to explore new physical, mental, and spiritual tools. Quarantine might just be a blessing after all.

During these trying times, we deserve to experience joy. We need to find ways to experience joy in our every day lives. There are several ways to experience joy. These listed here are some tips to do so. It is important that we think positively and experience joy especially during the pandemic. It is during these times that we need to find optimism in everything. Experience joy while you can and believe that there is hope.

Original article by Erin Easterly. She is an Ayurvedic Therapist, E-RYT 500 yoga teacher, and holistic health coach. After working at The Chopra Center for nearly a decade she founded The Vedic Villa, a boutique Ayurvedic wellness facility that provides the finest self care modalities at an affordable cost. She is passionate about helping guests transform their lives through the tools of Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation. She travels the country bringing Ayurvedic workshops to yoga teacher training programs and workplace wellness events. 

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Personal Growth

How to Be Your Best Self on This Life-Changing Journey

Tara Christie

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How to Be Your Best Self on This Life-Changing Journey

Let your best self come out during these trying times. Let us all learn how…

Difficult moments may not be easy to comprehend at times, but there is always wisdom that comes from suffering or any challenge in life. It takes a great deal of grace to look back upon events in your life where you struggled and uncover the lessons.

However, by doing so, you begin to recognize another story was at play, just waiting beneath the surface for you to see and understand it. This story tells the tale of your true self, that part of you that is beyond familiar habits, beliefs, fears, and wishes.

As you explore it, feelings of truth, liberation, and compassion are revealed because it takes you to the core of your being–where your true self resides. If you live from this place of truth, which is authentic to only you, every day can feel like you are living life as your best self.

 

How to Be Your Best Self on This Life-Changing Journey

 

Your True Self Is Your Best Self

Contrary to how you may feel, now is the perfect time to start deeply exploring who you are and what living from your true self feels like. Right now, you are being asked to spend more time at home, and this can be seen either as a prison, or your personal retreat into liberation.

The more you tap into this part of yourself, the more it builds your resilience to external influences and hardships, and offers new perspectives that can help you transcend any fear-based thinking that may be running rampant right now.

As you uncover your story, you may feel inspired to set forth in a new direction that supports your true calling. Be sure to share your gifts and talents with the world—it’s an important part of being your best self.

But what if you have no idea what your gifts and talents are? If you fall into this category, you are not alone. You may have grown up not thinking in these terms. It requires a change in awareness and the faith that you, like every other person in

this world, has something to offer that someone can benefit from.

Here are some ways of becoming your best self.

Maintain Self-Care Practices

Being your best self means thriving—not simply surviving. Thriving means all parts of yourself are working in harmony: mind, body, and spirit. They work together to support the multidimensional being that you are, which is beautifully complex.

Ancient healing practices still in use today such as Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, and indigenous medicine, understood these complexities, and all layers of a person are taken into consideration when healing.

Keep this in mind as you explore your inner world (spirit) and seek ways to support yourself, both physically and mentally, in the form of self-care practices. Taking this approach will enhance your life in profound ways, including living life as your best self.

Gratitude has become an important part of the self-help world in recent years because of its many benefits. When you look back upon your life, there is gratitude for the wisdom you gained, the people you encountered, the precious moments you will never forget, and the list goes on. The more you reflect on what you are grateful for, the easier it is to get into a space of love and compassion for yourself and others.

In addition to gratitude, you may already have self-care practices in place, and if you don’t, here are some to consider implementing:

  • Exercising
  • Meditating
  • Practicing yoga
  • Journaling
  • Starting a gratitude list
  • Taking a daily walk in nature

Try one or two and see how it feels. Find something you enjoy doing. Be sure to give it a few tries before you give up or try another one. This type of work is about long-term results versus the quick cures you may be used to.

Ask the Four Soul Questions

Your transformation will lead to an expansion of self-awareness, and you will notice your inner dialogue start to change. After all, you can’t solve problems with the same level of awareness that created them. Another helpful adage is, “Where attention goes, energy flows.” You will be amazed by what you begin to see and experience just by changing what you focus on.

For example, if someone were to tell you that they just purchased a blue mustang, you might begin to see blue mustangs everywhere you go simply because your attention has been hooked. Your thoughts are packed with energy and information, and when you channel that energy in the right direction, the potential for change is powerful. This is especially relevant as you begin the practice of asking the soul questions.

One of the most powerful ways to cultivate change and find your true self is through meditation. Meditation is a conduit through which you gain access to your inner world, which resides in stillness. Only through stillness can the muddiness of water be settled enough to gain clarity.

Even if you have never meditated before, you have experienced a bit of this stillness more times than you think. You were born from stillness, so it comes naturally to you, even if you must reteach yourself. Think of a walk in the forest, washing dishes, gardening, or listening to a babbling brook.

There are moments in life that still the spirit, even if it’s just a few moments. When you meditate, you gain access to this world more and more.

 

How to Be Your Best Self on This Life-Changing Journey

 

It is in this place of stillness that you ask the questions that every human being has asked themselves at some point. They are called the four soul questions and they may be the most important questions you ever ask yourself.

  • Who am I?
  • What do I want?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What is my dharma or purpose in life?

You would generally ask these questions right before going into a meditation. By asking these soul questions you begin to create a new dialogue between yourself and the universe. You are telling the universe what you want to place attention on. Think of these questions as seeds you are planting in your consciousness, and you water them each time you ask or think about them.

Don’t worry if the answers don’t come right away. You may find the answers come much later at unexpected moments during daily activity. Remember not to struggle with this process; in the beginning, just simply asking the questions is momentous. Over time, these seemingly simple questions help you expand your ability to uncover the story of your true self as it begins to unfold.

Patience and flexibility are important when working with the soul questions. For example, what you want may not be what you think. Or it might evolve over time. Remember, you are a complex being. Who you are and what you want can be vastly different depending on your current vantage point. Keep in mind meditation helps to get you to your true vantage point.

There are different ways to work with the soul questions. You can meditate with them or journal your responses to each of the questions. If you get into a place where you are feeling a bit down, stop and take a moment to ask yourself the questions. When you do this, it helps to shift your energy and awareness to higher levels of thinking and being.

This is a life-changing journey and it’s different for every single person so don’t compare yourself to anyone else. The amount of strength and resilience that exists within you is awe-inspiring. Use it to start living a life where you can be your

best self and own it. For some, it comes easy; others, it will take some time and perhaps a bit more effort, but you will get there in your own way.

Living life as your best self doesn’t mean every day is going to be perfect. It means that no matter what happens you will be able to navigate any rocky terrain you encounter in life with more ease. Maintain your self-care practices and align with your true self by asking the soul questions. These are simple but powerful tools that will help you live a fulfilling life—one that is thriving.

Original article by Rachelle Williams.

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Enlightenment

The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening We All Need To Learn

Sheila J. Highland

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The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening We All Need To Learn

While a spiritual awakening is often considered a journey, it’s not necessarily a journey of physical travel or pilgrimage; it’s a process of going beyond your boundaries and taking the next evolutionary step.

In the course of a human life, few experiences can be as profound and transformative as those of a spiritual awakening. Identifying with and directly experiencing your divinity represents a paradigm shift of the highest order. A spiritual awakening has the potential to rip apart the fabric of reality as you’ve known it and pull you forward into a new life of conscious growth and evolution.

As the term implies, you “wake up” from the dream of everyday, mundane material-level, ego-based awareness to a higher reality of spirit. And as if emerging from a deep sleep, you can see the dream for what it is—an illusion to which there can be no going back.

 

The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening We All Need To Learn

 

Escaping Ignorance

A spiritual awakening represents the lifting of the veil of ignorance or avidya, which in Sanskrit means “incorrect understanding.” This ignorance shrouds your true nature and keeps you operating in the dark of lower levels of consciousness. This is a state of not knowing what you don’t know.

At the heart of this ignorance is tamas, one of the three gunas, or primary qualities of the universe. Tamas embodies darkness, dullness, inactivity, and entropy and binds you in the physical, mental, and emotional quicksand of inertia. Fortunately, though, the process of spiritual awakening runs directly counter to the currents of avidya in your life.

The evolution of consciousness generates a forward pull, a momentum toward growth, transformation, and change that is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Like a spaceship achieving escape velocity, spiritual awakening punches you out of the limiting gravity well of ignorance and on toward the ultimate destination of cosmic self-realization.

But how does this happen? Well, if you accept that all human beings, and perhaps even all sentient beings, are hardwired for evolution, then it stands to reason that spiritual awakening is your birthright—something you are destined to achieve. And if this process is mapped into your consciousness and your body, then there must be clues or steps to indicate you are on the path to awakening.

The Vision of Your Spiritual Awakening Journey

One of the most useful metaphors for describing the stages of spiritual awakening is that of vision. In this model, five different qualities of sight represent unique steps on the spiritual journey:

  1. Glimpsing: The call to adventure
  2. Closer examination: Choosing a path
  3. Seeking: Following the path
  4. Loss of sight: Losing the path
  5. Seeing: Merging with the path

Let’s explore each of these stages in greater detail.

1. Glimpsing Spirit: The Call to Adventure

The celebrated mythologist Joseph Campbell defined what is known as the hero’s journey, an evolutionary path of growth and transformation woven into all great myths and stories: “When we quit thinking about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.”

At the start of any hero’s journey is the primary pushing off point known as the call to adventure. The call to adventure represents a break from everyday life, a signal that bubbles up from the subconscious, catches your attention, and leads you in a new direction. A call to adventure is the spark that triggers a spiritual awakening.

Every life has a moment, if seized, that will change that life forever. The call to adventure is an awakening incident, a new perception that compels you to look at life differently. This spiritual experience can take countless forms—a trip to a faraway land, the loss of innocence, an illness, a challenge, the death of a close friend, a near-death experience, or the loss of a job.

Regardless of the particulars, the experience shakes your worldview and you see the world with new eyes. You are called to live the ordinary life in a non-ordinary way.

At this pivotal point, Joseph Campbell teaches that you face a choice, to either accept or refuse the call to adventure. In reality though, refusing the call truly isn’t an option, because at the deeper level, your own soul is beckoning you to transform.

If you refuse the call, thanks to your unique karmic influences, the opportunity will only recycle itself like a skip on a record, patiently waiting for you to accept the call to a new life.

In addition, once a transformative and deeply awakening incident has been experienced, there can be no going back. Your eyes have been opened and you can’t un-see the vision of the higher reality calling to you, no matter how much you might want to deny it.

Once you have answered the call to adventure, you step into a larger world. You become a conscious participant in your spiritual growth and evolution. Responsibility becomes the operative word as you begin to navigate your life toward opportunities that further expand your awareness. A subtle shift in perception has taken place and everything feels the same and oddly different simultaneously.

 

The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening We All Need To Learn

 

2. Closer Examination: Choosing a Path

Faced with the realization that your limited worldview can no longer contain your expanding awareness, you come to recognize that your life is on a spiritual journey, an awakening of your consciousness.

While it can be an exciting time, this stage can also feel unsettling and unfamiliar. Everything you once accepted as fixed and stable (ideologies, worldviews, sense of self and others, relationships) can be called into question. You are in search of answers—a means by which you can repeat or return to the glimpse of spirit that initially shifted your perspective.

At this point, you may set out to find a new way—a new philosophy, a different tradition, or practice that will help to contextualize or re-map your worldview. This is when many begin spiritual exploration in earnest.

Often marked by a period of information gathering, self-study, and delving into world religions or psychology, you are drawn to practices and methods that align with your unique personalities and dispositions. According to Vedanta, there are four paths or yogas back to the unity you seek:

  1. Bhakti Yoga: The path of love and devotion
  1. Jnana Yoga: The path of science and the intellect
  2. Karma Yoga: The path of action and selfless service
  1. Raja Yoga: The path of meditation and all its related disciplines

Each path provides a distinctive vehicle for self-discovery and realization. Some may choose one, others may explore multiple paths simultaneously; there are no absolutes or set rules for discovering your path.

What matters is that it feels right for you and serves as an appropriate vehicle for growth. No one can or should tell you what path to follow; only your own intuitive heart can guide you to what method or vehicle will suit you best.

At this stage you would do well to remember the wisdom of the Hindu proverb that states:
There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.

3. Seeking: Following the Path

The next stage calls you to be a spiritual seeker. Having found your path, regular practice, study, and discipline serve to take you deeper toward the greater vision of expanded awareness. The Sanskrit term for the discipline of spiritual practice is sadhana.

Sadhana is the spiritual routine that takes your practice from an isolated exercise to a way of life. You are dedicated travelers on the path, familiar with its twists and turns, up and downs. As your practice deepens, you become increasingly more adept and more knowledgeable, not only of the tradition or practice you follow but also of yourself.

This stage is marked by the birth of self-referral, the process in which your identity begins to shift from external references (such as positions, possessions, and ego satisfactions) to the internal reference of stillness, intuition, and higher guidance. You know yourself as a spiritual being living a human life while fostering the progressive growth of your consciousness.

As you travel their path to expanded awareness, there are two markers, two clues that hint spiritual progress is underway.

  1. The first is an increasing sense of lightheartedness. With consistent spiritual practice, happiness and joy become your ground state. You take life less seriously. Hysteria and melodrama have less influence over you. Carefreeness and detachment flow from you spontaneously and you feel much more at ease in life.

2. The second marker of spiritual progress is the ease in which your desires are fulfilled. Regular spiritual practice removes mental, physical, and energetic blockages that obstruct the manifestation of your desires. As these obstacles fall away, life becomes easier; you step into the flow of life and experience synchronicities, little miracles, and experiences of grace that lead you closer to your life’s spiritual purpose.

4. Loss of Sight: Losing the Path

The spiritual path is not without struggle, however. By its very nature, the path of awakening confronts you with your shortcomings, self-deceptions, cognitive biases, and resistance to change. Growth can be an uncomfortable process at times.

As your chosen path challenges you to change thoughts, emotions, speech, or behavior to be more expansive, compassionate, forgiving, or kind, it is not uncommon to struggle with being in this world but not of it. Worse yet are the external influences that assault the spiritual seeker with temptations to give up the quest for awakening and return to a conventional life.

The most formidable challenges on the path come in the form of what Joseph Campbell called threshold guardians. Threshold guardians are the barriers (literal or symbolic) that stand in the way of important turning points in your life.

They can be enemies, rivals, life circumstances, limiting beliefs, or setbacks that block your progress forward toward a higher level. These antagonists can repeatedly knock you down, test your resolve, and make you question your chosen path. Such setbacks make you doubt yourself and your commitment and may even persuade you to give up the quest.

At this stage, you may feel lost or helpless, as if you have succumbed to spiritual blindness. However, what you often don’t realize is that this blindness or challenges are the subterfuge of your ego—your small self that fears its own extinction in the ever-expanding field of spirit.

Seen in this way, your spiritual challenges, or dark nights of the soul, become as spiritual teacher Ram Dass would say, “grist for the mill of enlightenment.” Every setback then becomes an expression of your inner doubts and fears—trials and hurdles on your personalized and self-made obstacle course.

Undoubtedly, this stage requires both fortitude and courage to stay on the path as you remember poet Robert Frost’s words: “The only way out is through.” Fortunately, it is from this darkness that you can emerge fully into the light, continue your spiritual development, and become awakened.

 

The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening We All Need To Learn

 

5. Seeing: Merging with the Path

At last, the seeker breaks through to a new stage; visionary, transcendent, and sight beyond sight. At this level you have gone beyond sadhana; you have become the practice. No longer striving to see, you exist in a state of unity in which seer, scenery, and that which is seen merge.

A permanent shift has taken place and you awaken fully to your true identity—the infinite, immortal, unbounded, God-force existing everywhere and in everything. You wake up fully to being the divine observer—the ever-present witness-self of the entire universe.

In this stage, you come back home to yourself, but surprisingly, the process isn’t one of accumulation or gaining more knowledge or experiences. Instead, it’s a process letting go, of continual decrease.

Like peeling the skins of an onion, the “you” gets smaller and smaller until only pure being-ness remains. It’s a journey of insight from here to HERE. This is the sign of spiritual awakening.

The path of spiritual awakening is the grandest adventure you can ever undertake. You are deeply privileged just to recognize the truth that such a journey stands before you. And embracing it is nothing less than following the heroic call of your life purpose and destiny.

Original article by Adam Brady.

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Quotes

25 Empowerment Quotes – Words of Wisdom We Need Now

Shari A. Hembree

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25 Empowerment Quotes - Words of Wisdom We Need Now

Find inspiration from these empowerment quotes…

An artist and a businesswoman, Shari A. Hembree is also a Reiki Master Teacher. She is an author of authenticity and spiritualism. Her first book, Journey of the Lightworker is a breakthrough and speaks of spiritual truths. To get more of the positivity, here are Shari Hembree quotes to keep us empowered. Learn to believe in yourself from these quotes.

 

empowerment quotes

 

Empowerment Quotes On Honesty

 

“A miracle occurs when we shift our perception of a situationand no longer give it the power of our thoughts.”

 

“Be a reflection of what you’d like to see in others. If you want love, give love. If you want honesty, be honest. If you want respect, be respectful. You get in return what you give.”

 

In the midst of our fears, we will find our source of power and strength. It’s time to feel wmpowered again.”

 

empowerment quotes

 

“When you open your heart, you create a shift in your vibration. This allows your talents and gifts to blossom.”

 

“Genuine love is not just about me, it’s about we. There are two parts to any successful relationship. You do deserve the best—your equal.”

 

“Don’t be stuck in the past. Forgiveness is the key to moving your life forward.”

 

empowerment quotes

 

Empowerment Quotes by Shari Hembree

 

“Into me I see = Intimacy, Take time to know yourself on a deep intimate level.”

 

Love is no doubt one of the most powerful forces in our world. It helps us attract everything thast’s positive and good into our lives. But without loving ourselves first, no one else can love us either.”

 

“Never be afraid to do what your heart tells you is good. Your internal guidance system is divinely inspired.”

 

empowerment quotes

 

“Follow your bliss and share your talents to the world! That’s the moment you discover your life’s true purpose.”

 

“Learn from your mistakes. They are not stumbling blocks but building blocks. You got this!”

 

“Lightworkers have a special purpose: To help mankind heal from the effects of fear-based thoughts and to instead make decisions from a place of love. Are you a lightworker?”

 

empowerment quotes

 

Famous Empowerment Quotes by Shari Hembree

 

“My mother always told me. ‘Don’t get into too much trouble.’ Bu half the fun is stepping out into the unknown and just seeing what happens.”

 

“Own it! Open wide now, I trust!”

 

“Perseverance has taught me well. To act with confidence even when I didn’t know how I’d accomplish something.”

 

empowerment quotes

 

“I will make decisions based on what my heart tells me is good–and not let the opinions of others determine my worth.”

 

“Iwas given some great advice: ‘Don’t be eye candy, when you can be soul food.'”

 

“Love is your spirutual fuel. Set your soul on fire and passionately show your love to the world.”

 

empowerment quotes

 

Life can be tough. But there is always room for positivity. This empowerment quotes by Shari Hembreewill give us something to think about. It eases our soul. Keep these empowerment quotes for daily guidance. You’ll find yourself getting a better view of life from these empowerment quotes. Be empowered and keep believing in yourself.

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Enlightenment

4 Helpful Tools In Making The World A Better Place & Find Abundance

Shari A. Hembree

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4 Helpful Tools In Making The World A Better Place & Find Abundance

Here’s an insight into making the world a better place. Let us all learn from the expert…

I was reminded this past week of a very important spiritual concept: The world is an abundant place. The idea of abundance seems straightforward, but do we really believe the idea that there’s more than enough to go around for everyone?

To be abundant means to be plentiful and prosperous—to have enough of what you desire. So why would we choose to view our world from a place of inadequacy or scarcity instead?

Have you found yourself getting up in the morning, then immediately rushing around, and soon you are focusing your attention on what isn’t going right in your day? You become frustrated, and then your day just seems to spiral out of control.

Things seem to keep getting worse as the day progresses, and all because you’re focusing on the “lack” or the negative aspects of your life: what you can’t get done, what went wrong yesterday, and what you aren’t able to accomplish today. You feel you lack an abundance of time to do the things you want to do. To transform that into something positive, I challenge you to say, “The world is an abundant place” and shift your perspective.

It’s true that we all have insanely busy lives these days. There’s so much more to do than our linear view of time will allow us to accomplish. To make matters worse, we desire things we think we’ll never attract because we’re not deserving of them. We think there’s not enough “good stuff” out there to go around, so perhaps focusing on less, not more, is the right solution.

I’d love to change your thoughts to “the world is an abundant place” and help you believe that God intends for you to have everything you desire – love, money, health, time, etc. So how do we change our thought patterns?

Below are some tools in making the world a better place:

 

4 Helpful Tools In Making The World A Better Place & Find Abundance

 

1. Start your day by taking a deep breath and finding fifteen minutes in the morning to focus your attention on your abundance.

This will be the most important fifteen minutes of your day. Breathe deeply and do a short meditation—be grateful for every wonderful thing you’ve attracted into your life thus far.

2. Think about the positive things you expect to attract.

Notice I use the word “expect”—not what you “would like” to attract. The Law of Attraction dictates that by setting an expectation and then “feeling” that you already have these new things in your life . . . you automatically begin to attract them, because you believe they will occur. This does take a bit of practice, but in the midst of our crazy schedules, it can be a very powerful tool to shift your thoughts and transform your life.

Each evening, take ten minutes to write in a journal of gratitude. Jot down all the things you accomplished that day and the abundance you’ve already attracted into your life. Keep a list of what you expect to attract and plan out steps to make it happen.

For example, if it’s a relationship you desire, write down the wonderful qualities of that special person and how he or she would treat you. Imagine the feeling of being happy because this person has come into your life. Know that person is just around the corner because you deserve him or her! Find meaning in making the world a better place.

3. Be grateful for every person who asks you out on a date—even if he or she does not become ‘the one’ you envision dating.

Write in your journal the wonderful qualities of the person you attracted. Don’t view the person as “lacking” what you desire; instead, appreciate that person’s kindness. Tell them so, too, even if your answer is no.

 

4 Helpful Tools In Making The World A Better Place & Find Abundance

 

4. Write in your gratitude journal every evening to show your appreciation for all the things you’ve attracted thus far.

There is more than enough abundance in the world, and you don’t have to settle for less than you desire! Shine your Light in every situation, and you will attract more of what you desire.

Remember, the world is an abundant place because you opened yourself up to receiving it. You’ll find that making the world a better place is not so hards at all.

Have a week filled with amazing joy and abundance my friends! XO Shari A. Hembree, Author www.shariahembree.com

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Enlightenment

5 Steps to Unleashing Joy, Opening Up, & Being More Yourself

Sheila J. Highland

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“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

How much of the time is the authentic YOU showing up in the world?

Do you have a different persona for your work, home life, friends, strangers, and the check-in person at the airport?

Stress, grief, past or current pain or trauma, illness, or anxiety can cause us to retreat inward.

Just like preparing a house to survive the impact of a hurricane, we can close the shutters, protect fragile points of entry, conserve resources, stock up on necessities, and retreat inside.

If you have found yourself hiding the real you from the world, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Unless you are age four or under, crafting an ever-shifting-persona is a natural protection mechanism.

We learn as we grow-up that opening up and being authentic can lead to a slug of pain and a slap of heartache. Intuitively we find out what psychologists have tested to be true: people like those who mimic or mirror their body language. People also find it easier to like those who are similar or share the same interests and passions.

So is it any wonder that all at once everyone is wearing the same color of teal or using the same slang? Is it a surprise that individuals in a group can converge in dress, tastes, interests, and values?

Here are steps to opening up and be more of yourself towards others:

 

5 Steps to Unleashing Joy, Opening Up, & Being More Yourself

 

Step 1: Find Your Joy

Can you name five concrete experiences that bring you joy?

Joy is delight fused with serenity and evokes a sense of connection to others, nature, or the divine. Joy is playful and generous.

The first step towards opening up and being authentically you is to uncover what brings you joy. List at least five experiences which bring joy into your life on a daily basis.

Next, you can explore and remember what caused a flash of unexpected joy in the past few months. Recall moments of bliss from your life and write them down too.

List at least five surprises which bring joy into your life sporadically.

Be warned against ascribing to your cultural or familial imprinted definitions of delight. Whereas joy for everyone around you could be a rainbow sprinkled ice-cream cone, for you, it could be a cup of tea and dramatic rain clouds shifting across the sky.

Looking for some daily joy-list inspiration? Here’s my daily joy-list:

1. The first sip of espresso in the morning.
2. Strolling barefoot through the dew-covered grass and examining my garden.
3. Laughter or delight (anyone’s around me, or mine).
4. An unexpected bright dash of color and white space.
5. A smile from a someone I don’t know.
6. Hugs.
7. Listening to the rhythmic breath of my sleeping children.
8. Writing.

9. Chocolate and a captivating book.
10. The last ten minutes of yoga.

Looking for some irregular joy-list inspiration? Here’s my sporadic joy-list:

1. Breathing fresh air and taking a break from the digital while hiking up a mountain, or skiing down one.
2. A day spent swimming in the lake and then picnicking on the shore.
3. Seeing someone I love who lives far away again.
4. Dressing up to celebrate someone.
5. Mastering a new skill.
6. Connecting with someone new, or someone dear, in a deeper way.
7. Going dancing.

8. Cutting and arranging fresh-cut flowers or greenery from my garden.
9. Giving the perfect gift or crafting the perfect experience for someone.
10. Spending a day walking and playing in the woods.

Ready to make your own personalized joy-lists?

 

5 Steps to Unleashing Joy, Opening Up, & Being More Yourself

 

Step 2: Schedule in More Joy Moments

It turns out, you can actually add more joy to your life at little cost. Who knew?

By scheduling more of what brings YOU joy into your life, you will be

illuminating the authentic you; you’ll begin to be more of you with everyone, everywhere you go.

The truth is that joy is contagious. The positive energy bounces off you and out into the world. People around you will feel your ‘good vibrations’ and respond with a smile.

Unless they are grumpy sour-faces. Then they will resent you like hell until of course, they ask you why you are so dang happy.

In which case, you can tell them. You can even show them your list, and ask them for their Joy Top Five.

Step 3: Relate in a New Way

When you meet someone new, which YOU do you present? What is the first question you ask?

The first question a lot of people ask is, ‘so, what do you do?’ or ‘what do you study?’ or ‘where are you from?’

It is natural for all of us to be comparing. The ego likes to rank where we stand. We can have the very best intentions, but when we ask about someone’s job, it will be challenging to resist ascribing judgment based on their profession. The same is true for where they come from.

Try it. If I say that I’m an award-winning artist living in New York City, what happens? If I shift to telling you I’m studying astrophysics in Russia, what is your reaction? What about if I answer I am a housekeeper in England?

Now try asking someone about their sources of joy in their daily life. What will happen?

They will most likely answer honestly.

People don’t tend to lie about what brings them delight. You can sense a genuine answer by the way their eyes light up when they talk about their source of joy.

Then you will either find out that you:

1. Share a common source of joy
2. Discover something new and authentic about the person
3. Could try the idea on for yourself

Step 4: Be Brave. Control the Conversation.

Perhaps it’s time to shift the conversation.

The pressure of kicking-butt at work and adding being a source of support and joy to those we love can get intense.

Most of the time, we have a feeling that we are letting someone, or something important in our lives, down. We just know we could or should be a better parent, partner, friend, daughter, son, sibling, employee, entrepreneur, artist, cook, or [insert what matters to you most].

The problem is that the world today is so loud and so busy, that it can all feel overwhelming.

It can feel overwhelmingly negative.

Sure, we’ve all read that optimists live longer, enjoy better health, and attract more friends and success. The problem is that when stress, anxiety, illness, or just pure bad-luck kick in, that extra dose of negative news or interaction with your boss can pitch you into negativity.

Just like joy vibrates outward and is contagious, so too is a dark mood and outlook. Get one person complaining bitterly and watch the conversation take a turn for the worst.

The next time those around you are in a stressed out funk, try shaking them up a bit. Ask them about their favorite time of day, or the last time delight flooded out the noise of pressure and expectation.

Step 5: Yoga Yourself to Opening Up

Why does yoga boost your self-esteem? You start to build an inner fire when you show up every day on your yoga mat. You will feel proud that you commit to practice and follow through, even if this commitment is just ten minutes per day.

With time you will master poses you never thought possible, achieve flexibility you only dreamed of, and gradually slim to a healthy weight. There will be a surge of confidence the first time you kick up into a handstand, or your heels touch the floor in downward dog.

When you start a regular yoga practice you begin to show up for yourself by taking responsibility for your physical, mental, and perhaps spiritual wellness too. By engaging in self-respect, if not self-love, you will raise your self-esteem.

 

5 Steps to Unleashing Joy, Opening Up, & Being More Yourself

 

Bonus: Give Dark Emotions Space to Be.

Yes, you read that correctly. First I told you to write out a joy-list, to add more of those experiences into your life, and to talk more about joy with everyone you meet.

Now I’m telling you to sit on the ground and do nothing.

Yes, I mean literally.

Meditation is a way to open yourself up and to be more of yourself by feeling connected to everyone and everything.

Meditation will unleash your joy in a way nothing else can.

Sitting and watching your thoughts glide past as you focus on your breath will unleash some negative emotions.

The noise and business of life can block out the anger, sadness, shame, and fear. All of those emotions can bubble up while you sit still, in silence. You may have been unaware they were just below the surface.

Do you know what is gorgeous about giving dark emotions space to surface? It may take weeks, or months, or years, but the fear will seep away.

With time, the negative emotions will roll through you without invoking a knee-jerk reaction to smother them with food, entertainment, noise, achievement, work, or positive experiences.

You will be able to allow anger, sadness, pain, and fear to flow in without losing your balance.

You will be able to stop running and to stop grasping, knowing all things pass, and this, whatever it is, will move too.

TAKE ACTION:

Step 1: Write your daily, monthly, and year JOY-LISTS.

Step 2: Schedule JOY into your daily life, as well as mini-month joy-cations.

 Step 3: Relate to people in a new way by asking and sharing sources of joy.

Step 4: Turn the conversation to sources of happiness instead of negativity, gossiping, or complaining.

Step 5: Yoga Time: Find a YouTube video or head to your local yoga studio.

Step 6: Meditate. You can start with just five minutes a day to make a difference.

 

Be yourself. Start opening up and unleash your joy. Opening up is a way to free yourself from, stereotypes. Opening up makes you love yourself more. Opening up makes you become a better person. When you are ready to change, opening up is the best way to start with. Make your life worth it by opening up to the world. Opening up your feelings and being your true self is something you can carry along until you’re older.

Original article by Heather Lenz. heather is a writer, yoga instructor, wellness coach, and CEO of the wellness company Delicious Glow. She wishes you to feel empowered to live your definition of a healthy, happy, and more purpose-filled life.

 

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Enlightenment

Surround Yourself With Positive People At All Times

Shari A. Hembree

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Surround Yourself With Positive People

Here’s a powerful message to share this week: Surround Yourself with Positive People. A couple of weeks ago I discussed that “the world is an abundant place,” and since last week’s post, we have been practicing our statements of “I Am.”

So, next I’d like to share this powerful message: Surround yourself with positive people. While this sounds like something we should naturally be doing, there are often people in our lives who distract us from focusing positively. What can we do to change that?

First, ask yourself a couple questions: Do you focus your life in a positive, loving manner to attract people who have your best interests at heart? And do you say no to the people in your life who are negative, destructive, and focused only on their own agendas? Ah . . . the second question is the key!

 

Surround Yourself With Positive People

 

What It Means To Be Surrounded By Positive People

Too often, there are well-meaning people in our lives (family members, friends, or even significant others) who love to complain about things, focus negatively, or only contact us when they have a specific agenda to fill. These are the people to whom we need to say a resounding “No!”

I realize that it can be complicated to say no to a family member who loves to go on and on about all the bad things in his or her life. And then there’s the coworker who just loves to focus negatively, expecting the worst from everyone.

The best tool I can offer you here is two-fold: Try to turn the conversation around by speaking about the positive aspects of the situation or ask them to change the subject if you’ve already covered it thoroughly. Repeating the same negative words over and over again will not change anything!

I have many close friends who I’ve known for years, but I am always forming new friendships, too. A couple of years ago, I met a new friend, and at first, we really seemed to connect. We spent many evenings talking about our lives—new jobs, boyfriends, and all the changes that were naturally occurring.

I was in an “unwinding” period; I needed some time to vent, as I let go of some old relationships and prepared myself for the new things entering my life. After a time, I began to notice that our conversations always seemed to be negatively focused. We never finished our complaints to move on to the good things that were happening. She complained about everything—and I just naturally listened as good friends do.

Focus On The Positive Side of Things

After a while, I realized that I was becoming drained and that I needed to focus more positively. I tried to change the topics to a more positive focus, but it didn’t seem to work. Eventually, I gently reminded myself, “Surround yourself with positive people.”

I wasn’t able to change my friend’s behavior, so I started to distance myself from her, choosing instead to spend time with uplifting, fun, and supportive friends. I made a good choice, because as much as I love to help someone, I also realized that, in this particular relationship, I was not being of help to myself. This was an old habit I definitely intended to break.

 

Surround Yourself With Positive People

 

If you realize that your friend, family member, or coworker is an “energy drain,” and you can’t positively redirect your encounters, then spending the least amount of time with that person will ultimately benefit you. If that person notices that you are spending less time with them, perhaps that will initiate a shift so that they can try to make some positive changes in their outlook.

Today, I choose to say “Yes!” to the wonderful people, places, and events in my life that are positive and lift me up! I know there will be well-meaning people who focus negatively, but I will do my best to shift their outlook to a more positive one, if possible. I will carefully choose with whom I spend the most time, and these will be the people who inspire me and shine their light in a loving manner.

Thank you, everyone, for your kind and positive thoughts this week! XO Shari A. Hembree, Author www.shariahembree.com

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