2018 Week 47: Stuff Your Stocking

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I do hope you took the time to do Week 46’s task of HaMakom…making your PLACE.  These last few tasks are going to take thought, contemplation and journaling.  The perfect thing to do in your special place!

Week 47’s task of 50 Weeks to a Lighter More Loving You is to STUFF YOUR STOCKING.

Many, many, many years ago, a dear friend of mine shared one of her family traditions.  Sometime during the Christmas season, each family member would take time to think about what THREE GIFTS they would give to Jesus.  They would write them down and put them in their stocking.

The THREE GIFTS were based on the Magi bringing three gifts to Jesus in the bible.

The gifts are not necessarily material things, but parts of their life that they would like to put in Jesus’s hand or something they’d like to do to bring more peace into their home/life.

Things such as…

  • turning over concern/worry in regards to finances, school, a relationship
  • better self-care in the area of ________
  • be more grateful, compassionate, or kind
  • a start of or increase in tithing
  • reading their bible more
  • more prayer
  • more consistent church going
  • be on time for things
  • serving others
  • being more patient
  • making an effort to be a better friend
  • saying “I Love You” more
  • sharing toys with siblings
  • looking for ways to make mom happy

They didn’t need to share what they choose with others unless they wanted to. The paper would stay in their stocking all year and be looked upon at the next Christmas to see how their gift giving went.

If it helps, use the Magi gifts as a guideline.

Gold

Gold is the metal of kings. When gold was presented to Jesus, it acknowledged his right to rule.

What is out of your control or do you worry about that you could give to God/Higher Power to make your life more peaceful?

Incense

Incense, or frankincense, was used in the temple as a form of worship.

What could you give to God/Higher Power or to your self that would show adoration, love, honor, care?

Myrrh

Myrrh was used for embalming. We do not know precisely what the wise men may have known or guessed about Christ’s ministry, but we do know that the Old Testament again and again foretold his suffering.

What in your life needs to die, so to speak, or sacrificed for you to live a lighter, more loving you?

What thing/thought do you need to say, “Remember, I embalmed that”  “It’s gone,” “that no longer is in my life,” “that once may have served me, but now I’m done with that” ?  (Maybe something you’ve been saying about your self that is not serving you or your life.)

This week your task is to STUFF YOUR STOCKING with THREE GIFTS written on a piece of paper and then put in your stocking (or other item you only bring out this time of year.)

Cheering You on to a Whole Stuffed Stocking Heart,
Barbara

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CHECKING IN on Week 42: BOO!

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Week 42‘s task was to grab your journal and list everything that scares you.

As a side bit of awareness, think about how you react to fear.  The reaction maybe different with different kinds of fears.   Do you laugh, cry, get angry, run, scream, freeze, fight, etc?  Go down your list and write your most typical reaction next to as many of your fears as  you can.

What does this have to do with a Lighter More Loving You?

If you’ve been following these tasks, you may be discovering that the more aware and mindful you are about your self, your thoughts, your reactions, the more you can pause and choose a different thought, way of being, or response that is more loving.

There are probably things on your list that are “normal” scary and your reaction to them are a typical human response (fight or flight).

Are there reactions or other fears you have that you wish you didn’t have?  Or that are causing issues in your emotional, mental, physical, social, professional, and spiritual life?  Reactions that you know, if you could change them, would bring you more peace, joy, fulfillment, or better health?

There may be physical reasons (chemical imbalance) or a big traumatic event that is causing the fears and anxieties. Those should be addressed and processed.

I’ve heard said that the only real fears we face are death and falling.  (Obviously all the skydivers I see from the skydiving school down the road from my home, have overcome or are facing these two fears.)

Death can mean physical death, but it can also mean death to our EGO…

  • the part of us that is defining who we are by past experiences;
  • the part of us who has taken on the job of keeping us safe;
  • the part that keeps us safe by trying to be better than others whether through titles, levels of success, money, etc.;
  • the part of us that keeps us safe by not wanting to have to look at unloving behaviors;
  • the part of us that wants to keep us safe at all costs and often to the detriment to health, relationships, and living a lighter more loving life;
  • the part that resists change because it (the EGO) fears its death!

Your true self or essence is untouchable and unchanged and it is full of all kinds of loving thoughts and ways.  The ego was formed, like many layers of blankets, over your true self or heart.  The layers were created by experiences that where fearful or painful with its total purpose to protect you, again, from the pain or fear.

None of us escapes painful and fearful experiences.  We all have blankets around our heart, our true essence.   It seems to be a life long process to take off the blankets in order to live the life we dream.

Love is paramount.  The more you love and trust you, the less fear you will have.

Here is a list of how fear expresses itself:

  • anger and passive aggression
  • jealousy and envy
  • comparing to see how measure up
  • anxious and impatience
  • criticism and judging others
  • very few boundaries
  • defensiveness
  • stubbornness
  • discord
  • suspicious
  • avoids truth or lies
  • greed or hordes
  • peace keeper (co-dependency)
  • unhappiness and depression
  • procrastination
  • over striving
  • seclusion and avoidance
  • smallness or low self-worth
  • guilt and shame
  • easily hurt or offended
  • attacking or blaming

Here is a list of how love expresses itself:

  • compassion
  • understanding
  • patience
  • acceptance
  • forgiving and seeks forgiveness
  • peace
  • harmony
  • seeks truth
  • peace maker
  • healthy boundaries
  • self-care
  • caring
  • commitment
  • open
  • daring
  • generous
  • service
  • empowering
  • joy
  • healthy self-esteem and self-worth
  • willingness
  • trust

Most if not all the tasks given in this series are to help see your fears, be curious about them, take a leap of faith, muster bravery, and live a fuller life.

Cheering You on to a Whole Brave Boo Loving Heart,
Barbara 

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CHECK IN Week 36: Bushwack Part Deux

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Checking in on Week 36′s Task of 50 Weeks to a Lighter More Loving You.

Your task is to SIT and BE CURIOUS about one of your thoughts that is causing “suffering”.

This can be done in your journal, through meditation, or by talking with a trusted friend, coach, or counselor.

How is that going?

Do you ever wonder why the things you don’t like in your life don’t change?

One reason might be TIME.  

  • Life seems too busy and I have to keep going.
  • Who has time to SIT?
  • Sitting seems like a luxury.
  • The spouse, the kids, the job, the house, the dogs, the yard, and on and on….how can I possibly take time to SIT!!

Another reason we don’t SIT and BE CURIOUS is FEAR. 

Fear will stop us from sitting and being curious because if we actually do see what is going on, we will have to change.   No one likes change.  The status quo, the well-worn trail, SEEMS much easier, familiar, comforting.   And, yes, it can be, yet what risks might you face a year or years from now if you don’t alter that thought that is causing you discomfort and dis-contentment?

Then there is the combo of the TIME and FEAR.

  • “I don’t have time to delve into my suffering thoughts.  I might become a basket case and not function well.”
  • “Looking into my thoughts will make me feel worse about myself because I’ll see how “ugly” my thought life actually is.  I just don’t have time to feel worse about myself.”
  • “I delve into my thoughts I might have to deal with unpleasant past experiences.”

I totally get all of those.


Here are some thoughts on those:

  • When you are really ready to change and have a better life, you will find the time.  Hopefully this will be before something falls apart, like your health or marriage or relationships or finances.    Time is only an excuse.   So many things are out of our control in life, how you spend your time is not one of them.
  • What if I told you it will be EASY to change if you keep SITTING and BEING CURIOUS?  What can happen when we do sit and be curious is what some call a miracle, a break through, a giant AHA.  What that really means is a CHANGE IN PERCEPTION, a CHANGE OF MIND. In the bible it’s called REPENTANCE which actually means a change of mind/thought.  When that happens all of a sudden it is easier to choose differently, to think differently, to be different, and thus, a change in your life.  Those “miracles” help us see more clearly, expand our awareness, and open our hearts.
  • When you sit and be curious, the idea is to not beat yourself up over those “ugly” thoughts.  You are allowed to have thoughts and those feelings that might accompany them.  You are not a thought or a feeling.  You are the “being” that is having them.   If you didn’t have that thought who would you be?  The answer to that question is closer to who you really are than that thought or feeling.   (Any time I’ve asked my self that question about a thought or feeling, the answer is usually, more at peace, more compassionate, more loving.   I’m actually a great human being….as are you!)
  • A definition of LOVING-KINDNESS is returning someone or something to its loveliness.  As you are curious about your thoughts, meet them with loving-kindness.  Meet your self with loving-kindness.  Loving-kindness includes compassion, understanding, patience, gentleness, acceptance, and non-judgment. No need to become a basket case or throw yourself into despair.   As  you do this, watch your thoughts and your self become more lovely.  A side benefit is you may notice your energy increases.  Fear and effort to change will not be an issue.  It just starts to happen.
  • Will you have to meet and deal with a PAST experience?  No one will escape life without experiencing someone’s inability to love well or love you the way you needed.  Nor will we escape hurting someone due to unloving behaviors or not loving someone the way they needed.   Unless you’ve already done some forgiveness work, (and do so on a daily basis, because encountering and handing out unloving behaviors, known and unknown, happen daily), I dare say, YES, you might have to deal with a past issue that has caused a suffering trail in your thinking life.  Even a natural disaster or accident can leave a “suffering thought trails,” like anxiety or anger.  In those incidences, we try to find someone to blame. Sometimes it ends up being our self or God.  Again, forgiveness is going to play a part here.   Check out Week 6 for more info on forgiveness.
  • If we could have a totally vulnerable SIT with a group of people, where everyone is being totally honest and real, we would discover everyone has “ugly” and “suffering thoughts.”  No need to beat your self up about this.  Welcome to the HUMAN RACE CLUB!  I club that is more exclusive, but wide open to everyone, is the SIT AND BE CURIOUS CLUB!
  • Will you ever be FREE of those kind of thoughts?  I believe it is possible.  Eventually, they stop appearing altogether because they have been brought into the LIGHT…into awareness.  You will be able to catch them, see them for what they are and where they came from, then choose a different way to act when they are present.   Their power has been reduced and thwarted as a force in your behavior and choices.  One day you may just notice that you haven’t gone down that thought trail in a long time.

Lastly, a word about being CURIOUS.  Being curious means one is open to learning.  Be open to learn about your trails and how your particular mind is working.  Be open to learn how all our minds work in general (check out THIS LIST).

Being open to learning will provide you with opportunities for those “miracles”, those shift in perspectives that can start you down different trails, different ways of being and choosing, to a better life of more peace, joy, and love.

Cheering You on to a Whole Miracle Experienced Heart,
Barbara

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2018 Week 36: Bushwack Part Deux

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Task 36 of 50 Weeks to a Lighter More Loving You is an extension of Week 35:  BUSHWACK…Part Deux (two).

(If you are just joining this or missed last week, click here.)

Now that we have written out and become more aware of our thoughts, how does one go about BUSHWACKing a new trail in our mind…especially the thoughts that cause suffering?

Suffering?  

  • Any thought that causes pain and often manifesting as guilt, shame, sadness, anxiety, depression, anger, tension, stress, fear, self-hate.

  • A thought that leads to or is full of blaming another, justifying a behavior, and/or defending your self.

  • Thoughts that cause us to act un-lovingly towards our self or others.

If you came to me and said something to the effect of wanting more peace, joy, and  love in your life, we would spend the majority of our time looking at what you are thinking and believing.

Our thought life creates the life we live.  What we think we will bring about because what we think effects our choices and our behaviors.

If you did last week’s task, you’ve done the first step, which is AWARENESS of the thought.

Journaling is a great way to see and be aware of your thoughts.

Meditation is a wonderful way to watch your thoughts.

AWARENESS is the first step.

Second step?

SIT!!

STOP and SIT!

I know you will be in conversations and situations where you just can’t plop down for a SIT.   But you can recognize you are on the a “suffering trail” and halt yourself before doing something unloving towards another or yourself. Then go sit.

Your job while sitting is to be curious.

  • Did something trigger me to go down that trail?

  • What am I feeling?

  • Is that a past feeling?

  • Is there fear?  And about what?

  • What am I believing that might not be true?

Your task for this week is to SIT with one of your “suffering trails”…one of your thoughts that are causing you to live or act in a way other than you desire.

Bring your journal to your SIT, write it all out.

OR find a loving, non-judgmental friend who asks really good questions, and talk through it.

OR contact me and we will explore your trail together.

Cheering You on to a Whole Sit and Be Curious Heart,
Barbara

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