Recognizing Soul in everyday life

 We sense, intuitively, that there is a soul. 

For me, it feels like eternal wisdom… it is the part of me that knows I am one with everything… that know’s everything is okay.

It is calm, By Michael Pravin from Chennai, India - Surya Namaskar, ccommons.wiki:index.php?curid=41696116

radiating,

loving,

peaceful.

This inner awareness has guided me – when I remember to tap into it.

Pause a moment to  examine how you experience soul… have you found a way to tap into it?

 

HOW TO Travel LIGHTLY

…(therapy-wise)

Worth Reading From Off the Web!

matrix3

But I have my own cheat code.

In video games, a ‘cheat code’ is a password or series of steps that provides access to a particular item, an ability, or level that’s otherwise unobtainable without completing additional steps. And over the years I’ve discovered my own life-hack for tapping into deep feelings of abundance, relaxation and the kind of gratitude that brings tears – all without sitting for years under a tree in the lotus position.

1. Go far away:
And take very little with you. Just by going away to a place where no one knows me, I conserve incredible amounts of energy and focus. I have no expectations or desire to communicate much less impress. I blend in and become nearly invisible. Even the best of us spend considerable effort and energy on people and things outside of ourselves. Both psychologists and biologists call this an adaptive versus natural state.

2. Make no plans:
I make a cognizant decision not to plan a single moment. I don’t plan activities. None. I don’t plan when or what I’ll eat or when I’ll sleep or when I get up. I just go with each passing thought or moment without any judgement. Surfing, reading, writing or just napping in the sun. Another thing people rarely do is simply be present in the moments they are in. Often, our time is preoccupied with the next moment or the day or the week or even worse, the past.

3.Practice Gratitude:

This last step is now automatic. It requires no effort at all once you’ve done steps one and two. Because a funny thing happens after a few days of this kind of travel. By taking away all the ego driven behavior, worries and distractions we can all impulsively to go to at even the first fleeting sense of boredom, my mind starts really processing. And those old axioms, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” and “Out of sight out of mind” become very real.

You get exceptionally clear about who and what you truly appreciate when it’s not at arm’s length anymore. Gratitude becomes more than a nice thought; it becomes a very profound emotion. You also learn what you never missed at all. It’s an effective way to dial in on what’s important to you and what’s not then turn that appreciation into a plan. Because let’s be honest, gratitude is an action and not just a thought. You can tell what’s truly import in your life by the condition it’s in and if it’s not in the condition you want, well then you have some work ahead of you, don’t you?

Aloha,

Posted on April 9, 2014 By 

 

7 Tips for Dealing with TOXic People

Worth reading from off the web – WRITTEN BY: MARC CHERNOFF

7 Smart Ways to Deal with Toxic People

Don’t let toxic people rent space in your head.
Raise the rent and get them out of there.

Surviving the ups, downs, and lightning storms of other people’s moodiness can be quite a challenge.  It’s important, though, to remember that some moody, negative people may be going through a difficult stage in their lives.  They may be ill, chronically worried, or lacking what they need in terms of love and emotional support.  Such people need to be listened to, supported, and cared for. But whatever the cause of their moodiness and negativity, you may still need to protect yourself from their behavior at times.

And there’s another type of moody, negative behavior: that of the toxic bully, who will use his or her mood swings to intimidate and manipulate.  It’s this aspect of moodiness that inflicts enduring abuse and misery.  If you observe these people closely, you will notice that their attitude is overly self-referential.  Their relationships are prioritized according to how each one can be used to meet their selfish needs.  This is the kind of toxic behavior I want to look at in this post.

I’m a firm believer that toxic mood swings should not be inflicted on one person by another, under any circumstances.

So how can you best manage the fallout from other people’s relentless toxicity?

1.  Move on without them.

If you know someone who insists on destructively dictating the emotional atmosphere, then be clear: they are toxic.  If you are suffering because of their attitude, and your compassion, patience, advice, and general attentiveness doesn’t seem to help them, and they don’t seem to care one bit, then ask yourself, “Do I need this person in my life?”

When you delete toxic people from your environment it becomes a lot easier to breathe.  If the circumstances warrant it, leave these people behind and move on when you must.  Seriously, be strong and know when enough is enough!

Taking care of yourself

Taking care of yourself

Letting go of toxic people doesn’t mean you hate them, or that you wish them harm; it simply means you care about your own well-being.

A healthy relationship is reciprocal; it should be give and take, but not in the sense that you’re always giving and they’re always taking.  If you must keep a truly toxic person in your life for whatever reason, then consider the remaining points…

2.  Stop pretending their toxic behavior is OK.

If you’re not careful, toxic people can use their moody behavior to get preferential treatment, because… well… it just seems easier to quiet them down than to listen to their grouchy rhetoric.  Don’t be fooled.  Short-term ease equals long-term pain for you in a situation like this.  Toxic people don’t change if they are being rewarded for not changing.  Decide this minute not to be influenced by their behavior.  Stop tiptoeing around them or making special pardons for their continued belligerence.

Constant drama and negativity is never worth putting up with.  If someone over the age 21 can’t be a reasonable, reliable adult on a regular basis, it’s time to…

3.  Speak up!

Stand up for yourself.  Some people will do anything for their own personal gain at the expense of others – cut in line, take money and property, bully and belittle, pass guilt, etc.  Do not accept this behavior.  Most of these people know they’re doing the wrong thing and will back down surprisingly quickly when confronted.  In most social settings people tend to keep quiet until one person speaks up, so SPEAK UP.

Some toxic people may use anger as a way of influencing you, or they may not respond to you when you’re trying to communicate, or interrupt you and suddenly start speaking negatively about something dear to you.  If ever you dare to speak up and respond adversely to their moody behavior, they may be surprised, or even outraged, that you’ve trespassed onto their behavioral territory.  But you must speak up anyway.

Not mentioning someone’s toxic behavior can become the principal reason for being sucked into their mind games.  Challenging this kind of behavior upfront, on the other hand, will sometimes get them to realize the negative impact of their behavior For instance, you might say:

  • “I’ve noticed you seem angry.  Is something upsetting you?”
  • “I think you look bored.  Do you think what I’m saying is unimportant?”
  • “Your attitude is upsetting me right now.  Is this what you want?”

Direct statements like these can be disarming if someone truly does use their moody attitude as a means of social manipulation, and these statements can also open a door of opportunity for you to try to help them if they are genuinely facing a serious problem.

Even if they say: “What do you mean?” and deny it, at least you’ve made them aware that their attitude has become a known issue to someone else, rather than just a personal tool they can use to manipulate others whenever they want.  (Read Emotional Blackmail.)

And if they persist in denial, it might be time to…

4.  Put your foot down.

Your dignity may be attacked, ravaged and disgracefully mocked, but it can never be taken away unless you willingly surrender it.  It’s all about finding the strength to defend your boundaries.

Demonstrate that you won’t be insulted or belittled.  To be honest, I’ve never had much luck trying to call truly toxic people (the worst of the worst) out when they’ve continuously insulted me.  The best response I’ve received is a snarky, “I’m sorry you took what I said so personally.”  Much more effective has been ending conversations with sickening sweetness or just plain abruptness.  The message is clear:  There is no reward for subtle digs and no games will be played at your end.

Truly toxic people will pollute everyone around them, including you if you allow them.  If you’ve tried reasoning with them and they aren’t budging, don’t hesitate to vacate their space and ignore them until they do.

5.  Don’t take their toxic behavior personally.

It’s them, not you.  KNOW this.

Toxic people will likely try to imply that somehow you’ve done something wrong.  And because the “feeling guilty” button is quite large on many of us, even the implication that we might have done something wrong can hurt our confidence and unsettle our resolve.  Don’t let this happen to you.

Remember, there is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.  Most toxic people behave negatively not just to you, but to everyone they interact with.  Even when the situation seems personal – even if you feel directly insulted – it usually has nothing to do with you.  What they say and do, and the opinions they have, are based entirely on their own self-reflection.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

6.  Practice practical compassion.

Sometimes it makes sense to be sympathetic with toxic people whom you know are going through a difficult time, or those who are suffering from an illness.  There’s no question about it, some toxic people are genuinely distressed, depressed, or even mentally and physically ill, but you still need to separate their legitimate issues from how they behave toward you.  If you let people get away with anything because they are distressed, facing a medical condition, or depressed, even, then you are making it too tempting for them to start unconsciously using their unfortunate circumstance as a means to an end.

Several years ago, I volunteered at a psychiatric hospital for children.  I mentored a boy there named Dennis, a diagnosed Bipolar disorder patient.  Dennis was a handful sometimes, and would often shout obscenities at others when he experienced one of his episodes.  But no one ever challenged his outbursts, and neither had I up to this point.  After all, he’s clinically “crazy” and can’t help it, right?

One day I took Dennis to a local park to play catch.  An hour into our little field trip, Dennis entered one of his episodes and began calling me profane names.  But instead of ignoring his remarks, I said, “Stop bullying me and calling me names.  I know you’re a nice person, and much better than that.”  His jaw literally dropped.  Dennis looked stunned, and then, in a matter of seconds, he collected himself and replied, “I’m sorry I was mean.”

The lesson here is that you can’t “help” someone by making unwarranted pardons for everything they do simply because they have problems.  There are plenty of people who are going through extreme hardships who are not toxic to everyone around them.  We can only act with genuine compassion when we set boundaries.  Making too many pardons and allowances is not healthy or practical for anyone in the long-term.  (Read Who’s Pulling Your Strings?)

7.  Take time for yourself.

If you are forced to live or work with a toxic person, then make sure you get enough alone time to relax, rest, and recuperate.  Having to play the role of a “focused, rational adult” in the face of toxic moodiness can be exhausting, and if you’re not careful, the toxicity can infect you.  Again, understand that even people with legitimate problems and clinical illnesses can still comprehend that you have needs as well, which means you can politely excuse yourself when you need to.

Off the web, from: http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/12/08/7-smart-ways-to-deal-with-toxic-people/

Changes Happen in a Spiral

Always going deeper…

PersonalGrowth

Personal growth doesn’t occur in a straight line; it happens in a spiral.

You will continually come back to things you thought you understood and see a deeper truth…

and we can never go back to exactly where we were in the past. It isn’t possible!

People will often tell me that their journals are repeats of the same stuff – year after year:

“Recently I happened to look at some journal entries from the year 2000. I was shocked to discover I am still whining and  complaining about basically the same stuff as 15 years ago! Different place, different time, but not much has changed. It really hit home for me!”  (anonymous)
•••••
 … but that isn’t really true. The topics may be similar: romance, our significant other, self-destructive patterns, feelings of loneliness, etc. Journal entries can look the same because most people write when they are struggling. TIP: Go back to your journal entries and, with another colored pen, write what you have learned since then. You may be amazed! :) .. because we grow, in spirals.

Why Do People Become Addicted?

Worth Reading from off the web! By  ~ 5 minutes read

why do people get addictedWhen discussing an addiction or dependency, most standard beliefs center around the continued repeatability of use of a substance and/or behavior, in which the user loses site of the ramifications of his/her actions. The user can become so attached to substances or an action (pornography, gambling) that the instant gratification of the moment far overrides the consequences.

It is like having a little voice on your shoulder telling you everything will be fine–go ahead–just one more. Someone who is fighting an addiction or dependency is fighting both urges from the outside world and a battle with voices inside of themselves.

Negative Reinforcement: I am Worthless Because You Say I Am

Many of my clients have suggested their addictive behaviors began with the need to escape or numb from the world around them. They understood the consequences of their addictive behaviors, but the pain—through either anxiety or depression—was so intense they could not seek any other alternative.

To someone overwhelmed in the moment, long-term recovery seems as difficult and tedious as climbing a mountain. On the other hand, their addictive behaviors can be instantly satisfying.

All of the judgment and opinions from friends and loved ones in fact become reinforcement to continue. To a certain extent, it is socially acceptable to use alcohol, gamble, or shop when emotionally stressed, as long as you don’t cross certain social norms. When a user does violate those norms, the reaction of others reinforces the feelings of weakness, worthlessness, and being out of control. So, he thinks, I might as well keep using.

As Robin Williams once stated in Weapons of Self-Destruction: “As an alcoholic, you will violate your standards quicker than you can lower them.”

When talking about any kind of addiction, it is important to recognize that its cause is not simply a search for pleasure, and that addiction has nothing to do with one’s morality or strength of character. Experts debate whether addiction is a “disease” or a true mental illness, whether drug dependence and addiction mean the same thing, and many other aspects of addiction.

Pleasure Principle: This is Your Brain on Drugs

 The brain registers all pleasures in the same way, whether they originate with a psychoactive drug, a monetary reward, a sexual encounter, or a satisfying meal. In the brain, pleasure has a distinct signature: the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, a cluster of nerve cells lying underneath the cerebral cortex. Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens is so consistently tied with pleasure that neuroscientists refer to the region as the brain’s pleasure center.

All drugs of abuse, from nicotine to heroin, cause a particularly powerful surge of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. The likelihood that the use of a drug or participation in a rewarding activity will lead to addiction is directly linked to the speed with which it promotes dopamine release, the intensity of that release, and the reliability of that release.

Even taking the same drug through different methods of administration can influence how likely it is to lead to addiction. Smoking a drug or injecting it intravenously, as opposed to swallowing it as a pill, for example, generally produces a faster, stronger dopamine signal and is more likely to lead to drug misuse.

Is it a wonder that a depressed individual would seek out this pleasure—any form of relief from the darkness that surrounds their soul?

Diagnostic Criteria for Addiction

Based on the criteria by the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV) and World Health Organization (ICD-10) an addiction must meet at least three of the following criteria:

  • Do you use more alcohol or drugs over time?
  • Have you experienced physical or emotional withdrawal when you have stopped using? Have you experienced anxiety, irritability, shakes, sweats, nausea, or vomiting? Emotional withdrawal is just as significant as physical withdrawal.
  • Limited control. Do you sometimes drink or use drugs more than you would like? Do you sometimes drink to get drunk? Does one drink lead to more drinks sometimes? Do you ever regret how much you used the day before?
  • Negative consequences. Have you continued to use even though there have been negative consequences to your mood, self-esteem, health, job, or family?
  • Neglected or postponed activities. Have you ever put off or reduced social, recreational, work, or household activities because of your use?
  • Significant time or energy spent. Have you spent a significant amount of time obtaining, using, concealing, planning, or recovering from your use? Have you spent a lot of time thinking about using? Have you ever concealed or minimized your use? Have you ever thought of schemes to avoid getting caught?
  • Desire to cut down. Have you sometimes thought about cutting down or controlling your use? Have you ever made unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control your use?

Many people with addiction issues who I have spoken to shared how they had a high tolerance, and could drink more than peers when in their early stages of drinking. At the time, one who could chug the beer and down the shots and still be able to stand was regarded in high esteem. Many clients have told me, though, as life went on, having a high tolerance for booze became a curse as it became a thirst that could not be quenched.

Relapse and Recovery

Symptoms of addiction include tolerance (development of resistance to the effects of alcohol or other drugs over time) and withdrawal, a painful or unpleasant physical response when the substance is withheld.

Many people who are addicted deny it. They often emphasize that they enjoy drinking or taking other drugs.

People recovering from addiction can experience a lack of control and return to their substance use at some point in their recovery process. This faltering, common among people with most chronic disorders, is called relapse. To ordinary people, relapse is one of the most perplexing aspects of addiction. Millions of Americans who want to stop using addictive substances suffer tremendously, and relapses can be quite discouraging.

To appreciate the grips of addiction, imagine a person that “wants to stop doing something and they cannot, despite catastrophic consequences,” says Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “We’re not speaking of little consequences. These are catastrophic. And yet they cannot control their behavior.”

Many in the addiction recovery field suggest that it takes more than just “not using” to fully recover. Recovery needs to come from the heart and the way one perceives him or herself.

The following are important points your clients in recovery should know:

  • Check into your values; what’s important to you. What are the things that mean more to you than remaining addicted.
  • Develop and practice the skills you need to manage your life without relying on your addiction
  • Learn how to control addictive urges through mind management techniques
  • Find and appreciate the rewards that come from a “sober” (non-addicted) lifestyle
  • Build and appreciate personal relationships and turn to positive communities for support and companionship
  • Find your purpose and plan a future that leads to accomplishing your life goals
  • Mature into a new, non-addicted you — a person who simply and naturally rejects addiction in all forms

“I am spinning the silk threads of my story, weaving the fabric of my world…I spun out of control. Eating was hard. Breathing was hard. Living was hardest. I wanted to swallow the bitter seeds of forgetfulness…Somehow, I dragged myself out of the dark and asked for help. I spin and weave and knit my words and visions until a life starts to take shape. There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore. I am thawing.” Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls 

Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net       Why Do People Become Addicted? | Psych Central Professional.

 

 

 

Here’s a way to “Un-Do” Your Beliefs

99Problems.CTB

“If your beliefs are stressful and you question them, you come to see that they aren’t true — whereas prior to questioning, you absolutely believe them. How can you live in joy when you’re believing thoughts that bring on sadness, frustration, anger, alienation, and loneliness? When you believe those thoughts, you think that the world is making you unhappy. But it’s your thoughts about the world that are making you unhappy.

My mother became a believer, and then I became a believer. But when I was 43 years old, I began to think for myself, somehow, by fluke and by grace. And I thought, “Oh, my. I was so mistaken.” The world isn’t what I believed it to be. I am not what I believed me to be, and neither is anyone. So now I live in a state of grace, where I don’t have to know.

I realized that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but when I didn’t believe my thoughts, I didn’t suffer. And I’ve come to see that this is true for every human being.

So, the first two questions in The Work — “Is it true?” and “Can you absolutely know that it’s true?” — are what I saw when the thoughts appeared. No thoughts are true. They can’t be. I saw that with absolute clarity. The third question is “How do you react when you believe that thought?” Well, that was obvious: sadness, anger, despair. I saw that all these things are the effects of believing a thought that isn’t even true. Then I saw that there was no identity until the thoughts appeared, so the fourth question is “Who would you be without the thought?” Then what I call the turnaround, which is a way of experiencing the opposite of what you believe, occurred. I saw that for every thought, the opposite is just as true, or even truer. I realized that it was all upside down and backward — what was true, what was not true, what was the dream world, what was the real world.”
Excerpts from talks with The Work of Byron Katie

Re-wiring the Brain

youAre

 

We CAN re-write our own history… 

One of the fastest ways to rewire the brain (in changing any behavior or emotion) is to stay in the present moment. When we take in a sunset, catch the scent of a spring flower, dance, or tune in to body sensations like our heart rate, breath, the tightness in our muscles, we are activating the right-brain, creating new neuro-pathways.

But what about the thoughts that keep arising? Whatever judgements/opinions you have that take you away from the present moment, I invite you to write on Byron Katie’s worksheet: the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. That is where all fearful, or “stuck” judgments about others, the world and self belong.

Katie shares her philosophy:

So how do I come to know what is true and what really matters? I identify and question the thoughts that take my awareness away, that take “me” away from my life now and plunge me into horrors that don’t exist in the “right here, right now”.   I find it kind to test them first, on paper, running them first through my authentic self.

What we cannot transcend through mindfulness, we can rewire by meeting it with a new understanding.

 

Excerpt from: http://www.byronkatie.com/2015/01/fearful-judgments-belong-on-paper/

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