Attention, Attention – Read All About It

Recently I was exploring several ideas about how things in life work or don’t work. After spending time journaling and further exploring my ideas I soon had helpful inspiration and guidance.

The guidance was that what determines how well you and I do things is how well we place our attention on what we are doing. That makes sense doesn’t it?

I want to suggest a more expanded definition than how attention is usually defined – it is not only the focusing of your mind but also of your heart and spirit.

Are You Ready Yet To Unhook Your Life From The Past?

My home sits near Hwy 101 on a rural part of the Oregon Coast. I see huge trailers and RV’s go by every day. So it is no surprise that I would use the following metaphor:

Today I realized that for all my life I have been towing a trailer behind filled with the past, overloaded with faulty programming, jammed with false beliefs and full of trained self-doubt.

For many years I added more and more emotional and mental junk to this trailer. I needed lots of will power just to plod along through life and try to keep my head up. 

Too much time was spent thinking I am not enough, good enough or deserving. My mind was trained to be a non-stop judging machine of others and myself. I found it easier to play the blame and complain game than to take responsibility for my own life. 

Have you run into any of this? If so, you understand how heavy your trailer can get.

Your Choice: Joy Or Suffering

Recently something became very clear to me. I have known this idea for many years but it has taken time for me to really understand the impact of this statement: We shape our experience of life moment-by-moment by our thinking. 

We all have the opportunity to live a life of joy and happiness. It is a choice we make throughout each day. If joy is not the choice then the results often included suffering. Suffering is a product of our mind running us, not us running our mind.  

The following is a summarization of the mental obstacles to living a joyous life:

A Meeting With Awareness

Today was a very sunny day here at the coast, actually warm if you sat in the sun.  I decided to do an experiment in being aware in the moment. I hope this account of awareness might show you what you can notice by being fully present.

The noise of the ocean was present in waves of sound

My stomach talked to me about what I had for lunch

The warmth of the sun on my skin was comforting

I felt the chilled breeze off the Pacific as it surrounded me

There were moments of stillness and then thoughts coming and going

Crows always had something to say

Be Aware: There Is A James E Holmes In All Of Us

The tragedy in Aurora Colorado was terrible. The people who survived that awful night in the theater will carry the trauma for many years. They, as well as the families, responders and community will all need help to release the trauma for their well-being.

James E Holmes is a fellow human being with the same potential as you and I. Somewhere along the way he went off course, down a very dark road. Here are six ways we can end up in a very dark place: 

1.  Anger is a powerful emotion. People who stuff anger can build up huge amounts of stored negative energy. If anger keeps building it will need expression.  Anger needs to be released in healthy ways.

2.  The mind can go off in extreme directions. Thoughts can grow more and more powerful inside. Thoughts can also rationalize terrible ideas. The mind needs balance and harmony.

3.  The ego is run by fear. It wants to be right. When the ego wants to assert more power and control it can come up with very unhealthy ideas to do so. The ego also often wants attention and can go in search of its “fame” in very destructive ways.  The ego needs to be acknowledged and kept in a more neutral place in our daily lives.

Why Walking Meditation May Be Just Right For You

If you enjoy a good walk, you will enjoy a walking meditation. Walking meditation is a way to be up and moving and yet allows you to enter into a place of stillness and inner peace.

You can walk through a neighborhood, a park, a schoolyard (off hours), on a trail, on a circular path, on the way to and from work, or around your block. Walking in this matter brings you more fully present to the areas you travel through. You may even notice beauty and points of interest you missed before.

Walking meditation quiets your mind, helps release tension in your body and encourages you to tune in and hear the wisdom within. After a meditative walk you are likely to have a more peaceful mind, a relaxed body and an intuitive sense of what is right for you.

Here is my favorite prescription for the ultimate in walking meditation experience:


This is an awesome Friday-the-13th opportunity. I wrote about this on Wednesday and am posting it again so you don't miss this exceptional offer.


This is the formula for an amazing life. 

***I have an offer for you ***

If living in the NOW calls you,

Let me show you HOW

Then your life becomes full of WOW

My offer is: You can receive a month’s worth of personal consultations (4 sessions) to assist you in living in the Now so I can show you How. My regular session fee for 4 consultations would be $400 but for this offer the first 10 people get these 4 sessions for half price $200 (these session are going quickly, act Now). Then together we can celebrate the Wow of life. 

Email me (joseph@josephbernardphd.com) today to set up your first session.

If you know someone who would really appreciate and benefit from this offer, please forward this email. I will extend the half-off offer to any friend of yours that you feel would value being more present in their lives.

I would enjoy making a positive difference in your life and you can have more wow.

5 Simple Ways To Chill Out That You Can Share With Everyone You Know

Is your life a rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions? Maybe you have grown impatient with yourself and you wonder when you are going to get your act together?

Good luck doing that without taking a step out of the ordinary and leaving the habits and grooves of life behind. You are stuck in a muck of your own design.

Stop the poor me. Stop the noisy inner critic. Neither ever works for the better. Instead, raise your head up, look into a mirror and see the great possibility in those windows of your soul. You are in truth a soul in the midst of a human experience. Not the drama you find yourself caught up in.

12 Essential Attributes For An Extraordinary Life

My blog is in the midst of a major transformation.  I thank you for your patience as this transformation unfolds. I am so excited about what I am working on and I have much to share as we go. 

The following 12 essential skills/attributes you will need within and out in the world to live and have the most extraordinary life:

  1. Live Mindfully – this key ability is being aware of self, thought, feelings, and body; a sense of connection to self and how you relate to the world. There are many specific mindful practices that will enrich your life in many ways. 
  2. Have Patience – in this fast paced times patience seems like a lost skill but it is even more important. Can you be patient enough to let things happen as they need to and still keep your focus? Step back when you feel yourself in a hurry and worry mode and patiently trust in things working out.
  3. Skilled at Self-Care – taking good care of yourself is essential for your well-being and for your effectiveness out in the world. How are you taking care of your heart, your mind, your feelings, your body, your health, your energy, your spirit and your social life? If you work intensely with people you need to focus even more on self-care.
  4. Are Accepting and Non-Judging – to excepting of yourself as you are and to stop the self-judging are very important if you want to believe in yourself and what you are doing. Once you are accepting of self and stop the judging you can go out into the world and be free of judging everyone or everything as “good” or “bad” and instead be accepting of things as they are.
  5. Courage for Action – the biggest step is often moving into action around ideas that matter you. It takes courage to set your own course, to live by the values that matter to you and to be boldly out in the world making a difference.
  6. Have Emotional Wellness – your feelings are critical to pay attention to because they are clearly telling you when you are on course or have lost your way. When it feels right and alive you are heading in the right direction. Please simply acknowledge all your feelings because they are all okay. Acknowledging and accepting all your feelings brings you emotional health.
  7. Have Wholeness Of Mind – an open mind is essential in today’s world. Many old ideas, strategies and solutions are not working so your mind has to be open to learn, grow and be flexible. A healthy mind is one that questions its own thoughts and knows how to quiet down the endless thoughts. No one has all the answers, if you are absolutely sure of your right, you most likely have a closed mind.
  8. Are Creative In Your Expression – to enhance you effectiveness it is very helpful to access your creativity. Your creativity can come in many forms including your leadership, the way you appreciate others, your writing, the way you parent, the unique viewpoints you come up with, the way you use humor in conversations etc. There never has been found a limit to human creativity.
  9. Live From the Heart – the most powerful tool in the world is your heart, your compassion, your ability to care and your loving kindness. Listening with compassion is the best gift ever for those you love.  Love really has the power to transform you and humanity for the good of all beings and the planet.
  10. Have Appreciation and Gratitude – if you can live in appreciation and gratitude then the whole world seems like a gift. A daily practice of appreciation will enrich your life in many, many ways. Appreciate those you love, the beauty around you, the gift of the moment and everything else.
  11. Present Focused – the only place you can do anything is now. There is nothing you can do ever that will change the past. There is nothing you can do that will control the future. All you have is the here and now. If you can be present to life there are endless possibilities. 
  12. Inner and Outer Connected – first you must find your connection to your inner wisdom, intuition and your purpose, then find your way to move into connection and unity with those around you. When connected you can be work with others in collaboration for the well-being of all of us.

These attributes are all ones you can acquire and get skilled at. My work going forward is to help you develop these personal skills so you can be a positive force for change in your life and in the world.  The times call you and me and everyone to not settle for the ordinary but instead be extraordinary in all we think, feel, and do. You are awesome!

Notes Of Interest #2

Gandhi had a way of stating things that was "no nonsense." We must live by our truths and speak boldly when needed. Too often dogma and doctrine try to claim the power of the world but our truth is a more powerful force for good.

The importance of questioning everything that matters to you is that it clears the way to direct contact with your soul. Remember you are a spiritual being having a human experience.  My question book called Awaken:100 questions To Expand Your Mind and Open Your Heart is a wonderful aid for the questioning process. (see post below about my new book)

Please take a moment and sit with the words of this picture. Find the place inside where the truth of it is felt. Stay with the connection to the infinite and eternal within you. Now find your way to be a little more self-realized every day.

To appreciate beauty is to transform yourself into something greater. This picture is from the town I live near last night after sunset. I love blue, I love nature, I love the ocean and I love beauty and it is all captured right here.

These photos and quotes all came to me from Facebook and I am very grateful for this inspiration. Peace and joy to you this day.

10 Ideas To Contribute To A Better World Today

The idea of people working together for a better world came to me as guidance from my higher nature. You may have had a similar inspiration. My higher nature is basically the same as yours. This more expanded knowing functions beyond our ordinary thought. If you and I realizing and expressing the potential in us we can encourage the full expression of those around us.  Together we can create a better world.

I found myself wanting to encourage everyone who is interested in co-creating a better world together, so I put together 10 ways you can begin today to make a positive difference:

1.         Be mindful of your thoughts and feelings and encourage those close to you to do the same.  Mindfulness is being tuned inward and self-aware which allows you to be true to who you are and genuine in your interactions with others. Mindfulness is a powerful practice because it helps you be fully present where everything that is possible and everyone who matters awaits you.  A good book to read and share with someone you care about and to encourage mindfulness is Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hahn a Zen monk who writes with great heart.

2.         Explore and express your purpose because expressing your purpose will fill your life with meaning and inspire others. You have a purpose that will make the world a better place if you express this purpose. If you can’t figure out what your purpose is today then try spreading love because that is most likely a purpose we all share. One of the great teachers of our time – Dr. Jean Houston is offering a powerful seminar on purpose. 

3.         As I said in the previous paragraph love is a purpose we all share. If you want to have a big impact on the world all you have to do is explore ways to open your heart, be caring and have compassion for self and others. An open heart is such a positive and powerful force in the world.  There is a wonderful meditation practice called, “loving-kindness” and you can learn more about this practice by studying with great teachers like Sharon Salzberg.

4.         Make kindness a daily practice and your life will be more joyous. Imagine if your job was to be kind to everyone you interact with throughout your day. How would your kindness enhance other people’s lives? How would this practice enhance yours? Make a list of people who could use a dose of kindness, reach out to them and spread a little love with your acts of kindness.  Check out this site about random acts of kindness. 

5.         Happiness is a choice, you can choose to be happy or not. If you choose happiness, you can bring your light out into the world and people will welcome it. Happiness comes easily when you focus on what you appreciate, when you are fully present, when you give to others, and when you connect with your higher nature.   Check out the Happiness Project for inspiration.

6.         Expand your consciousness, because with higher consciousness you bring greater light to everything you do.  The more aware and awake you are the more expand is your capacity to make a positive difference in the world.  If you take the time to tune inward you can access the highest collective consciousness of all intelligent life on the planet. Two excellent awakening books worth reading are: Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

7.         Find your own truth because it will set you free and energize your life. Most of the beliefs and ideas you have came from others. Many of these beliefs and ideas need to be questioned because they are not true. The more you explore your own truth the more you live an authentic life. If you live in truth you can be at peace. No one can tell your what is true for you.  It always helps to tune inward, listen and question.  My own book – Awaken: 100 Questions To Expand Your Mind and Open Your Heart is an excellent resource for exploring your own truth.

8.         Live in the now where everything is happening. Much of the time your mind can be worrying about the future or unable to let go of the past. Today in this moment is all there ever is. In the now is the only place where you make things happen. By living in the now you can connect deeply with yourself and those around you. Joy, love, peace, hope and freedom exist only in the now.  The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a great resource for being in the now.

9.         Express your creativity, creativity opens you up to your genius. Creativity is very powerful and it comes in many forms including: writing, painting, poetry, movement, healing, parenting, business, humor, organization, loving, design, architecture, peace making, social activism and many other forms of personal expression. When you express your creativity it enriches those around you.  The Artist Way by Julia Cameron has inspired lots of creativity.

10.         Join together with others and have meaningful conversations. Meaningful conversations make you feel alive because you are a social being. Meaningful conversations come about when your heart is open and your feel compassionate for others. An open mind is also helpful for meaningful conversations because then you have the ability to listen and not judge.  After looking for good reference materials, I decided maybe it is time for a group of people to get together and create a meaningful conversations handbook.

There are many more ways to create a better world together than there are ways to create a better world by yourself. If you can find one other person to join you, your power to be effective multiplies. The world is waiting for you and I to step up and get involved. Are you ready to make a difference?  

Between Sparkle And Uncertainty

Last night as I was doing my walking meditation I saw the waves sparkle under the bright moon. I love to be in the sparkle of life when beauty shines, when life fills us with encouragement, when inspiration flows like a giant endless river.  Lately it seems I have been dancing on the edge of sparkle and uncertainty. I am sure this is where there is much growth but sometimes the uncertainty can weigh heavily on the mind. When it does, I have to remind myself that happiness is just a choice away and easy to come by if I live in the appreciation of the moment. Self-reminders are a good thing to carry in your thoughts and your pocket.

There is a lot going on of late with my new movement idea bubbling to the surface and my just published book. These times are ripe for creation, can you feel in the air? The creative flow is there also like happiness when I am in the now. As I have said often, “now is where all the action is.” In this moment if I take the time to tune inward then inspiration and intuition are their waiting. Give the moment a try, pose a question, sit quietly and listen for guidance and be ready for inner messages, images, impulses, synchronicity and other forms of deeper guidance.

The next thing I wanted to talk with about is my new book. Awaken:100 Questions to Expand Your Mind and Open Your Heart.  This book is a life changer, if you take the time to explore these questions. I am not claiming any special powers to change your life, but I am promising you that if you ask yourself the important questions, you will be deeply affected by those questions and your responses to them. As counselor I have seen people’s lives change just be the asking of a simple question.  I know when I turn inward and ask myself questions I am forever altered by the exploration.

Questions are powerful because they invite us to expand our thinking, to broaden our viewpoint, and to go searching for what is truth for us.  Questions also have the ability to open us up to more love, greater compassion, and ways to be more engaged in the world. Just a simple question like, “how can I be more kind to those I love,” will give you an abundance of ideas that will enrich the lives of yourself and those around you. 

It is my guarantee that if you read this book your life will be enhanced in many ways. These questions have great power.

The Better World Together movement has been percolating now for a few days and I am getting lots of ideas, which I will share with you soon.  I welcome your ideas too. I can be reached at josephteach@hotmail.com

Experiment Update: Also if you read my posts regularly you know I started this experiment about inner focus versus action with the belief that my inner work was more important for success than my outer actions. I am now well into week two and what I am noticing is that my focus on inner work is more rewarding than my focus on action. When I am in the introspective mode, I fee most alive. When I meditate or do other practices, I feel fully present and inspired.

This week I have been doing actions with much less inner focus and I have noticed worry and fear more in my awareness. Actions are great and may at times help with the concerns but they are not near as effective at soothing the heart or quieting the mind. Of course this may seem obvious that inner work has a greater inner benefits. It is not near as obvious as when you take time to highlight both inner work and outer actions and see which best enhances the quality of your life.

Through this experiment I have become even clearer about the importance of taking the time to tune inward throughout my day so that my actions are always guided by my inner knowing. I will now integrate that into my daily routine. My plan is to now take at least 5-10 minutes every couple of hours to tune inward in addition to longer periods of inner practices in the morning and in the evening. I want to fill my life with the vibrations of this inner work so that all my actions sparkle with inspiration. 

New Book – Awaken: 100 Questions To Expand Your Mind and Open Your Heart

I am very excited. My new book Awaken: 100 Questions To Expand Your Mind and Open Your Heart is now available. Over the last 4 months this has been one of my projects I have really focused on. The power of intention and attention are manifested in this book. My daily intention is to spread light and love, consciousness and compassion out into the world. This book comes from all the attention I have put into asking questions that promote and encourage positive changes in the way people think, feel and take action in the world.

I feel very positive about the quality of the questions and have no doubt that if you explore them, you will be a more expanded human being.  The journey of life is a long and winding road and it helps to have a positive mind filled with inspiration and an open heart full of courage,

Here are five ways this book will enhance your life significantly: 

If you are interested in expanding the possibilities of your life then this book will ask you just the questions to set you on a clear path for fulfilling your dreams.
If you want to expand your capacity for compassion and be a more conscious human being these 100 questions in this book will assist you in doing so.
If you are a seeker of personal freedom, these questions and hints will offer you the opportunity to set yourself free.
If finding your own truth is important to you, this book will help you discover what your truths are and inspire you to live them.
If you find that life sometimes gets off course, you get too busy, or off center, this book will act as a compass to get you heading in the right direction.

I know you will want to rush out and get one, but you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home.  My book is available at Amazon and it can be in the mail and on the way to you shortly. 

This book would be excellent if you work with groups of people and want to encourage meaningful conversations.

I really look forward to your comments and to hear how beneficial this book is for you and your life. 

Is Suffering Even Necessary?

This is something that is important to realize in your own life. When you are suffering, most of the suffering is caused by your own thoughts. You would be best to give up the idea that others cause you to suffer. That is not true because they are not your thoughts. Your thoughts are all your own.

Your thoughts create how you feel. There is no one else you can blame for how you feel.  Your feelings come from your thoughts about what is going on in your life. If you play the blame game for how you feel, you are basically saying other people have control over my brain and make me think certain thoughts that cause me to feel how I feel. That is not true nor is it ever true.

With this is mind; there are some other important considerations:

  • It is important to know what you are thinking, what is the internal dialogue that goes on in your head? If you don’t know what is going on inside of you, you are a train without an engineer. 
  • Thinking and awareness come into conflict because it is very difficult to think and be aware at the same time. There is however a part of you that can be aware and knowing simultaneously. That knowing is not a thought but more a sense of what is true. The source of this higher knowing is you beyond your ordinary thought. What is it? You can call it what you want; it is a knowing that comes from your higher mind, your higher nature, your soul/spirit, the part of you that is infinite and eternal.  Are you aware of this higher nature in you?
  • You can step away from the noise upstairs and enter into a observing watchful mode, this observer self is free of judging, accepting, seeking the truth of the moment. Truth is usually best known through the watchfulness of your higher self. This Self is one with your soul, your spiritual nature. This eternal aspect of yourself is within the collective intelligence of all of life on the planet and not separate from the source of all creation. “Not separate from,” is a way to say at one with but many will argue for their separateness from the Source of the Universe.
  • You can free yourself from the limits of your own mind by being aware of the limits of your own thoughts, by being aware that all thoughts need to be paid attention to and often questioned. The mind wants to hold onto the familiar and will even refuse to release beliefs that are false and don’t work.  Have you every caught yourself arguing for a belief you then realized was no longer true?


Enter into the place within you that is quiet, still, and knowing. There in that place you can shape your experience of life with clarity and then shape your thoughts to support that life. Now is the time.

*Update of the experiment – I am finding it difficult not doing more in the way of actions other than tuning in. My one hour of intense actions is often more like two hours. My writing keeps calling me for more than an hour. All kinds of things in life get me distracted. I also see that my mind can use some additional focus.

There is really turning out to be a learning experience more than an experiment.  I will keep working at it though because I feel the value of it. I also feel the inner conversations with my higher nature are too easily mixed up with the sly workings of the ego-mind.  More on all of this as the light becomes brighter.

Is It Our Actions Or Our Vibrations That Create The Most Powerful Results - An Experiment

The doing of life so often distracts from the deepening inward. I keep getting caught up in stuff instead of the light of a deep connection with spirit. It is surprising how often things like emails, Twitter, and Facebook (even though they are part of my social media enhancing strategy) take up so much time.  There are so many ideas out there that I find myself exploring, yet inward the most important exploration gets set aside. As I write this I wonder if the inner work will take care of all the rest and immediately my inner voice says YES!

I think it is time to do an experiment. That experiment will be to sort out which of two strategies will create the best results. I guess I better define the two strategies and the results I want to measure. I use the word measure here because I think the results have to be more than what feels better, or what seems better. The results have to be things that can be measured like number of new opportunities that come my way, new social media contacts (followers/friends) or income generated or other measurables to be determined as the experiment continues.

My hypothesis includes:

That the inner work is just as, if not more important than the outer actions taken

That the higher vibrations of inner work creates more positive results

That actions in themselves are positive but informed actions guided by intuition, heart and/or spirit are more powerful

That the outer world is not the source of supply, the inner world connection to Source is my supply.

That I live in an abundant universe and what I need to do is open to the flow of that abundance.

That what I focus on expands, the more my thoughts are on living in a wonderful life, the more wonderful my life will be.   

 The two strategies are:

1. Action - Spend my day blogging, commenting, twittering, reaching out to other bloggers, interacting with Facebook, generating and using my email list and promoting my book(s) and services.

2. Inner Focus - Spend my day being mindful, tuning inward, listening to my intuition, raising my vibrations through inspiration (reading and videos), meditation, out of body experiences, and visualization.

The next question is how much time do I spend doing each strategy? If I spend one day doing one and another day doing another, how will I determine what create the results I get. I could do a half-day of each but that would really make the results difficult to measure. If I spent one week doing one strategy and another week doing another strategy the results would be easier to measure. Can I spend an hour of each day doing the work of the non-primary strategy or would that mess up the results?

Lots of questions always come up in these kinds of experiments so the goal is so reduce the variables so I can get cleaner results. The challenge is that I have been using these two strategies blended for a while so I need to figure how to sort them out in a way that makes the two separate from each other for this experiment. My thinking is I will reduce one of the strategies to one hour per day while I full focus on the other strategy and then switch those the following week.

The following are measures I will use in the first experiment. I will take notes as I go and fine-tune for the next two weeks.

Scale 1 - 5                                            

Low – 1     Neutral – 3    Positive - 5

Overall sense of self         ____

Degree of self-awareness  ____

Receiving intuitive guidance  ____

Sense of accomplishment  ____

Note for scale:

Number of positive indicators noticed ____

Interactions that created significant positive opportunities ____

Write out positives noted

As I read this again I see lots of uncontrolled variables but I will go forward anyway and make adjustments as needed. One of the questions I have is, the follow week may be where the results of the past week show up. How do I measure that? 

I welcome your suggestions and ideas. I think within a month, I will have some very interesting results if I keep good notes on the process.

Notes Of Interest

I read a very interesting article this morning that I want to share by Rick Hanson, His latest book Just One Thing is awesome for anyone interested in developing more peace of mind and well-being.

I have a regular post coming today which I am sure you will find interesting.

Lastly and most importantly I want to say Thank You Martin Luther King for the person you were and the light that still shines from your life. Here is a picture and quote I think shares his message well.

Peace and love to you all.

3.5 Simple Steps To Inner Peace In 2012

How is your year going so far? This is going to be an amazing year and challenges could arise that could make it hard to find your peace within. I have a free guide to inner peace here at this blog if you want to access it – look above in Free Stuff section.  I also want to offer you a basic plan you can use every day to build a momentum of inner peace within you. Everyone one can use a little extra inner peace in reserve.

Here are my three steps for you to have more peace of mind in 2012:

1.  Occupy your own mind by becoming mindful. With about 50-60,000 per day there is one heck of a lot of things going on upstairs. If there are old stuck ideas, negative inner dialogue, or a critical voice going on in your head then becoming mindful is essential to your well being. You cannot have any inner peace if you thought keep you feeling worried and depressed. 

Take the time to become acquainted with the tone and content of your thoughts. Notice what is going on up there by listening inward. Most people believe their minds are doing just fine until they really listen to how they talk to themselves, how they beat themselves up, how they judge themselves so harshly or how they have such unrealistic expectations on who they should be. Albert Ellis, a famous cognitive therapist, says, “People need to quit ‘shoulding’ on themselves.” If your inner talk is unkind then it needs to change.

Being mindful is a way to be kind to your mind. If you get to know how you think and talk to yourself, you can better shape your experience of life.  Mindfulness enriches your experience of yourself because it is about finding who you are and just being present in a supportive way.  This makes inner peace much more available. In the future I am planning on doing a series of short video podcasts on mindful practices

Remember you are not your thoughts.

2.  Be in touch with how you feel. Your mind is the source of most of what you feel. If you mind is off course your emotions may be very disruptive to any sense of peace within you. The place to begin with feelings is to note what you feel, acknowledge those feelings and then accept them as okay. Feelings naturally change on their own when they are acknowledged and accepted.

Feeling can be understood as signs of how you are doing or at least how you think you are doing. If you have feels of fear and worry then something is not going well for you and a change of direction or focus may be needed. If you feel at peace then your mind and your circumstances are most likely how you want them to be.

A peaceful heart is a key component of feeling at ease inside. Your heart when open and flowing with compassion and loving-kindness will bring peace to how you feel. If your heart is closed and guarded there will not be peace inside.  If you want to feel at peace, open your heart and let it flow out into the world in ways that feel good to you.

Peace and hope can only happen in the now.

3.  Exploring your silence is so important. Your days can be full of noise, your mind can be overflowing with words, your body uptight with tension, and your feelings like a rollercoaster. Sometimes you can get go so out of touch with yourself that you don’t feel at home in your own heart. Silence is the way back home.

Silence is golden because in the silence you access your higher and more peaceful nature. Your higher nature shows you how to live your life in ways that feel right and that allow the best in you to be expressed. This intuitive knowing you have is always waiting to guide you towards more peaceful and rewarding outcomes. Listening to your intuition reduces suffering.

In the silence is also the voice of your soul, this is your connection to the collective and infinite wisdom of humanity, the universe and the Divine. When you sit quietly with your soul, you know peace as it truly is. This peace is the pure freedom to be all that is possible within you. In the silence of your eternal nature there is a world of peace that extends forever.

The peace of silence is a wonderful oasis in trying times.

.5  Slowing down is part of finding the silence. You live in a hurry and worry world filled with impatience.  Sometimes even to wait for a moment is a bother. Impatience can be off the chart. Slowing down is easily as taking a less direct path to enjoy the moment, to see the beauty, to tune in and just be with yourself. Try a day when you start slowly, go patiently and wind down before you ever wind up.  Smell the roses, watch kids play, dance to a song, read something that lifts you up, write a poem. Slowing down feels so good.

*My new posting schedule is going to be Monday and Thursday*. Sometimes I may add other shorter posts during the week. I am really focusing on additional writing, new directions I am exploring, and ways to make more of a difference, so my posting will be less frequent. Let me know if there is any way I can be of assistance to you.

2012 - Let’s Replace Power And Control With Peace and Hope

I have spent a few days working on this post because I am deeply concerned about the world and the dominance of the ego-mind.  The following is not as well written as I would like it to be but it shares what concerns me and I hope you will find it thought provoking enough so you join me is working for peace and a better world in 2012:

In additions to my work in mental health for 35 years I have been a passionate advocate for peace. I consider war to be insane and always caused by the human ego in search of more power and control. From my viewpoint there are no legitimate reasons for starting or being in a war, no matter how much war is rationalized by our leaders. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are about gaining power and control not for the reason we were told. Our next war will be with Iran because we want more power and control. This ego-driven need for power and control is willing to kill people, ruin people’s lives, destroy countries, crush our economy, and do many other terrible things just in hunger for more power.

Sadly there are also great financial benefits to corporations who profit from wars. Leaders who seek more power and control drive these companies. Our defense budget is 100% about having more power and control. All the military leadership is about gaining more power and control. Many corporations are run by the ego’s need for power and control rationalized as seeking profits.

We have a world run by those who care most about power and control. This world is a reflection of our fears. We elect people who we think will protect us from our fears. This makes for: more money for bombs than education; a government run by people who only care about power and control; people having their homes taken away; a large percentage of our population in prison; a great inequality in resources; elections dominating by the funds to keep corporations in power and control; a health care system based on power and control not on healthcare for all; laws that take away our legal rights and allow us to be detain indefinitely; and ultimately the decline of a once great nation caught in the ego battles for more power and control.

The Occupy Movement, which is being suppressed by those who want power and control, is the first hopeful movement in many years because it stands up to the ego domination in this country. Peace rallies and marches do very little to stop wars and to bring about significant change these days because the dominate mindset is about fear and the need for more power and control.

It is time we come up with some more effective strategies. There are no clear answers to breaking the cycle of ego’s need for domination except by removing the ego from the drivers seat in our government and in our corporations. Change in governmental leadership can only come by eliminating the influence moneys of those who are seeking power and control over our government.  Election reform is essential because the buying and selling of influence is very destructive to a democracy. Corporate rights need to be shifted away from personhood to serving the needs of the people.

Fear is the other aspect of the ego’s power over the world. When the ego wants more power it simply does what it does best - it spreads fear. People will give all their power away if they are afraid. Therefore governments seeking power, corporations seeking power all use the same tactic. They spread fear. This all adds up to the ego running the world and no one stands up and says we have had enough. It is time we move past the old manipulation of fear and see the more accurate truth of power seeking running the world.

The deeper truth is that if we all stand together there is nothing to fear. We human beings have much more in common than differences. We all hope for a better world, we want the best for those we love, and we all want to have love, joy and peace in our lives. Together we can bring an end to the dominance of the ego-mind and instead live with compassion and caring for our fellow human beings.

Let’s all begin 2012 by being mindful when our egos want to run our lives. We know when the ego is in charge because we are afraid. We know when the ego is not in charge because we feel love, hope, and peace of mind. Our emotional state will reflect our mental state. A healthy mind run by our higher nature is about peace and joy. 

We can bring peace to the world by finding the peace within.

Time For A Revolution Of Love

How can you make this year exceptional for yourself, those you love and the world? I just watched an incredible TED Talk by a truly inspired teacher, John Hunter. If the world could attend his 4th grade class all us on the planet be so much better off. This got me thinking that we all have special talents and purposes like this wonderful teacher. I want to propose to all who read this post that together we more fully explore and express who we are for a better world in 2012.

I believe greatly in all human beings if they have the true chance to express who they are. Every person has a purpose that can change the world. In 2012 if we listen inward, we will hear the call to make history by expressing our genius and greatness. We can all be part of a real shift that will truly enrich the world. The following are two ideas whose time has come to expand us all and make the world a better place.

Two Steps For A Better World:

  1. First Step is to find, heal and fully occupy our heart.
  2. Second Step is to start a revolution of love.

Now The How:

First Step - we feel and honor our heart center, we heal whatever wounds exist there, and we live our lives spreading loving-kindness and compassion. The affirmation for this method is “I totally love and accept myself.”

We all have issues from growing up that limit us today. Feelings of not deserving, not being enough, self-doubt etc. come from very early in life (the first few years). As a child we lived in an imperfect world with mixed messages, struggles of figuring out how to be human, and needs not being met. Some of us even endured trauma and abuse that significantly damaged our sense of self.

These past experiences cause us as children to make decisions about life that shape how we see it today.  Most of us have a need for deeper healing. Since tha t is the case it makes sense to do an inner survey of what from the past needs to be healed, reprogrammed and released so we can live more fully in the now. 

Self-healing suggestion: Over the next week or so (longer if needed) take time each day to ask your intuition and/or the child within, what part of you needs healing. Listen and pay close attention because the messages of needed healing may come as a quiet whisper, as a bodily discomfort, as a piercing emotion, as sadness or tears, or in a number of other ways. Please hold those inner messages in your heart with kindness and explore them until you understand what healing needs to take place.

Once you have a sense of the inner needs, go again inward and ask what would bring about the healing? There is great wisdom inside of you that knows what is needed. Trust that knowing. It may be helpful to write about the parts in you needing healing and about your sense of how to do that in a journal or notebook. Writing often brings more clarity. As the methods of healing are presented to you, continue to ask questions until you have a strong sense for what will work the best. Once you know where you want to go begin the process by breathing into the healing. Breathe and explore until you feel balance and harmony has been restored. Your body, heart, mind and spirit will tell you what is needed and guide you back into wholeness.

If after you explore the healing in the ways you sense are right and there still seems to be unfinished aspects of it, then you can seek professional help. The best is to work with professionals who specialize in trauma, energy psychology or other forms of healing focused work. If you experience the healing professional as supportive and compassionate, you are in the right place for positive changes.  Short-term work combined with you inner focus is what is usually called for most often.

Second Method  - is about bringing our loving self out into the world. By loving and accepting ourselves completely, we can share our love with others. The goal is to spread our love, compassion and kindness out into the world in as many ways as we can. Imagine a world in which kindness guides all of our actions, where compassion shows us the way to interact with all those around us, and where love is a powerful source for peace, for cooperation and for hope.

Love is the greatest force for good on the planet. The more we all access the unlimited capacities of our heart the more the world will naturally move toward greater well-being. A compassionate world provides for everyone, promotes our shared hopes and dreams, and encourages of healthiest expression of potential and possibilities.

A world filled with people who love themselves and are able to love and accept others will be a wonderful world.  If we let love do its thing, the revolution of love will profoundly change things in ways that will benefit everyone.

*** Blog Note: I am transitioning in my posting here at my blog to longer posts several times per week rather than shorter ones 5-6 times per week. I want to write about and explore ideas more fully.  I also want to send out emails to let people know when the latest post comes out.  You can signed up for my emails at the Peace Tweets ad to your right. More on changes to come in 2012.