June 9, 2011
Allowing Your Soul to Shine
When we hide and try to be invisible and unseen by all we are only really hiding from ourselves.
At times, we’ve all wanted to crawl under a rock and hide away from the world. We may have preferred to be invisible rather than let other people see us or notice that we exist. This desire not to be seen often happens when we are feeling very hurt, angry, or simply weary of the world. And while we may console ourselves with the defense that we are shy, an introvert, or a loner, we may actually be hiding.
When we hide and make believe that we are invisible, we can think that we no one sees us even though, truthfully, we are only really hiding from ourselves. And while we may try to live life as inconspicuously as possible, we only succeed in becoming more conspicuous because people can’t help but notice that we are trying to hide our light. None of us are meant to hide; each one of us radiates a unique brilliance that is meant to illuminate the world. When we try to dim our light, we diminish the natural radiance of the Universe, and we deprive the people around us of the unique gifts and talents that we are here to share.
Stepping out of the wings and letting your light shine is actually a way to serve the planet. We each have a responsibility to contribute to our community, and we do this when we let ourselves be seen. It doesn’t do anyone any good when we try to hide. We are all beings of light and we are here to light the way for each other. When we let ourselves shine, we become a bright mirror that others can see their own reflected brilliance through, and they can’t help but want to shine also. Shine your light out into the world, bless those around you by sharing your gifts, and watch the universe glow.
The journey to finding a relationship is just that, a journey that uses all of our life wisdom and experiences.
Before we embark upon the journey of finding the relationship that is right for us, we may want to take the opportunity to refine our concept of who we are and our ideas of what we want from life. That way, we are clearer on the kind of person we want to attract into our lives. Part of the journey of finding a mate is learning how to become our own mate. When we can learn to meet our needs without relying on someone else to complete us, we don’t have to form relationships from the space of needing our emptiness to be filled. We can also discover our intrinsic value, separate from what someone else might be reflecting back to us. Getting to know who we are and learning to love ourselves creates a solid foundation of self that we can bring to any relationship.
We are fortunate to live in a time when relationships can unfold at a pace that is right for us and take unique forms. Friendship, dating, open relationships, long term relationships, long distance relationships, or committed relationships — we are free to choose the kind of relationships that we want. If you want to be in relationship, but haven’t found the right one for you, remember that the universe works in perfect order and, therefore, right now your life is unfolding exactly as it is meant to be. Maybe all this time has been part of your preparation period for meeting your intended partner. Even the relationships in our lives that haven’t worked out as we had hoped serve us by teaching us to make better choices in our next relationships.
Finding the relationship we want can come early or later in life. It may even happen again and again in one lifetime. There is no right or wrong for how to find a relationship nor is there a timeline that you have to follow. Follow your heart, listen to your inner voice, continue to become your own soul mate, and stay open to love. The journey of finding the right relationship begins with
No matter how brave, strong, or levelheaded we are, sometimes we all get scared.
Life can take us on a roller coaster ride full of highs and lows and twists and turns. Even for those of us who enjoy unexpected thrills, it’s frightening to suddenly find ourselves heading for a deep plunge. Yet, it happens to all of us. At these moments, it is important to remember that you are not alone in your experiences. No matter how brave, strong, or levelheaded we are, sometimes, we all get scared.
Our fears may revolve around our physical safety, particularly if we are not feeling well, living under difficult circumstances, or doing work that exposes us to hazardous conditions. Or, we may be experiencing financial woes that are causing us to be fearful about making ends meet. We may also fear the loss of a loved one who is sick, or we may be scared of never finding someone special to spend our life with. We may be scared to start at a new school, begin a different job, move to a new town, or meet new people. Whatever our fears are, they are valid, and we do not need to feel ashamed or embarrassed that we are, at times, afraid.
It may be comforting to know that everyone gets scared, and it is perfectly OK. Sometimes just acknowledging our fears is enough to make us feel better. And while it sometimes takes a lot more to ease our mind, we can console ourselves with the knowledge that life can be scary at times. Giving ourselves permission to be scared lets us move through our fears so we can let it go. It also makes it alright to share our fears with others. Sharing our apprehensions with other people can make our fears less overwhelming because we are not letting them grow inside of us as pent up emotions. Sharing our fears also can lighten our burden because we are not carrying our worries all by ourselves. Remember that you are not alone.
Going on retreat is a time to cocoon so that we may emerge ready to return to our lives with a new perspective.
Occasionally, we need to pause - and step away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. One way to do this is to get away from our daily life and go on retreat. Far more than a vacation, a retreat offers us time to ourselves to rest, heal, reflect, and renew our spirit. It is a time to cocoon so that we may emerge renewed, refreshed, and ready to return to our everyday lives with a new perspective. A retreat gives us time for uninterrupted meditation so that we may go deep within and spend time with ourselves.
A retreat may offer quiet, solitude, and sometimes even silence. Retreats often take place in humble dwellings with simple fare so that our senses may be reawakened to the beauty of unadorned tastes and the sights and sounds of nature. When we spend days in contemplation, we can more easily hear our heart when it speaks to us. We also are able to really listen when a bird sings, deeply breathe in the smell of flowers, grass, or earth, and delight in a soft breeze blowing on our cheek. When we go on retreat we have time to connect to the sacred geometry of a labyrinth, discover epiphanies through asanas, or take a long, reflective walk through the woods where we can give each step our full attention.
Without the pull of deadlines, relationships, the Internet, or other media, we give ourselves time to go deep into our own solitude where we can fully reflect on our joys, sorrows, and fears, owning and releasing them as needed. We may even come to know and understand our life path more deeply. Hopefully, when we return home, we can take a little bit of this time alone back with us and create the space for deep reflection on a daily basis. We also may come back to our life renewed and ready to take on the world. The beauty of going on retreat is that no matter where you go or how long you stay, you’ll always meet yourself when you get there.
Include all 5 senses while making a home, doing so provides safe haven for your evolving body and soul.
Your home is your oasis. Through your efforts, your house or apartment can become both a private sanctuary and a welcoming, serene, and healthy place to live in and visit. An organized and comfortable home can have a calming effect on you, your family, and guests, as well as be your personal escape from the rest of the world. Creating this nurturing space isn’t difficult. Even a household that includes young children or multiple animals can be a serene and peaceful place. In just a few minutes, you can make a number of changes that can turn your home into a safe and comfortable haven that you can be proud to share with your loved ones and friends.
One way to fill your house or apartment with calming energy is to imbue it with a peaceful ambiance that nurtures all five senses. Soft lighting and soothing colors like blue, purple, and green can make a space feel warm and inviting, while pleasant and calming aromas such as lavender and vanilla can positively affect moods. Peaceful sounds, such as running water in a fountain or gentle chimes can uplift and clear the space, while clearing clutter and making the most of open space can ease internal turmoil and dispel negative feelings. The physical objects in your home as well as your home itself can retain the energy of previous owners and the object’s creator. You can give your household’s energy a lift by visualizing white light surrounding our home, symbolically sweeping out residual energy, or smudging your home with cleansing sage.
The changes you make to your home can be as unique as you are and may involve utilization of space, lighting, new furniture, decorating, feng shui, or ritual. But what you do is not as important as being clear in your intention to set up your household as a soothing and refreshing place to be. Make your home a place of comfort, and you will feel nurtured and cared for whenever you are there.
Like a tree our growth depends upon our ability to soften, loosen, and shed boundaries and defenses we no longer need.
Trees grow up through their branches and down through their roots into the earth. They also grow wider with each passing year. As they do, they shed the bark that served to protect them but now is no longer big enough to contain them. In the same way, we create boundaries and develop defenses to protect ourselves and then, at a certain point, we outgrow them. If we don’t allow ourselves to shed our protective layer, we can’t expand to our full potential.
Trees need their protective bark to enable the delicate process of growth and renewal to unfold without threat. Likewise, we need our boundaries and defenses so that the more vulnerable parts of ourselves can safely heal and unfold. But our growth also depends upon our ability to soften, loosen, and shed boundaries and defenses we no longer need. It is often the case in life that structures we put in place to help us grow eventually become constricting.
Unlike a tree, we must consciously decide when it’s time to shed our bark and expand our boundaries, so we can move into our next ring of growth. Many spiritual teachers have suggested that our egos don’t disappear so much as they become large enough to hold more than just our small sense of self—the boundary of self widens to contain people and beings other than just “me.” Each time we shed a layer of defensiveness or ease up on a boundary that we no longer need, we metaphorically become bigger people. With this in mind, it is important that we take time to question our boundaries and defenses. While it is essential to set and honor the protective barriers we have put in place, it is equally important that we soften and release them when the time comes. In doing so, we create the space for our next phase of growth.
If you feel shy or awkward in social situations, know that many others are probably feeling the same way too.
If you’ve ever been to a social gathering where you’ve felt awkward and uncomfortable, chances are you are not alone. While social gatherings can be very enjoyable, especially when we are surrounded by people whose company we enjoy, there are social events that we attend where we sometimes find ourselves wishing we were someplace else. Such occasions can sometimes be the cause of much anxiety and self-consciousness. We may even feel like everyone else is having a good time except for us. Yet the truth is that everyone has felt shy and awkward on occasion. One of the best ways to overcome self-consciousness or get past your feelings of shyness at social gatherings is to focus on the people around you. If you can remember that other people might also be feeling awkward or shy, you might find the thought of speaking to them less intimidating or overwhelming.
The next time there is a social event you feel nervous about attending, you may want to try this exercise: Spend some time with your eyes closed and breathe deeply. When you feel ready, create your own zone of comfort by visualizing yourself surrounded in a warm white light that is protective yet accepting of others. Imagine people at the event being drawn to you because of the open and warm feelings that you are radiating. When you arrive at the event, take a moment to spread this same light of loving acceptance to everyone around you. Smile and greet people warmly. Try going up to someone who is standing alone and introduce yourself. When you radiate acceptance, openness, and receptivity, people can’t help but respond to you in kind.
Focusing on how we can make other people at a social gathering feel at ease can help us forget about our own insecurities. In the process, we end up making the very connections that we seek. The next time you attend a social gathering, invite people to join you in your zone of comfort that you have so lovingly and intentionally created. Let yourself enjoy being encircled in the warmth of their friendships.
Try not to take everything personally, things that people say and do don’t always have anything to do with you.
Every time you interact with others, you have the choice to listen to, acknowledge, and let go of their words, or you can take what they are saying personally. Taking things personally is often the result of perceiving a person’s actions or words as an affront or slight. In order to take something personally, you must read negative intent in an individual’s words or actions. But what people do and say has no bearing upon you and is usually based on their own experiences, emotions, and perceptions. If you attempt to take what they do or say personally, you may end up feeling hurt without reason.
If you are tempted to take a comment or action personally, creating some distance between yourself and the other person can help you. Try to determine what is at the root of your feelings. Ask yourself if the other person’s words or actions are just reinforcing some insecurity within you or if you can really be sure that an offense was intended. You may even want to ask them what they meant. Finally, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Instead of taking their words as the truth, or as a personal affront, remember that whatever was said or done is based on their opinion and is more reflective of what is going on inside of them, rather than having anything to do with you. You may have been an easy target for someone having a bad day, and their comments may have been offered with no ill intentions.
When you recognize that what anyone says or does doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with you, you will no longer feel hurt or attacked. While it’s easy to take things personally, you should never let anyone’s perceptions or actions affect how you see yourself or your worth. Your life is personal to you, and it is up to you to influence your own value and sense of well-being.
Because we instinctively know that nature is good for us on many levels, it’s not unusual to feel powerfully drawn to it.
In this modern age, we spend so much time indoors, focused on the busyness of our lives and disconnected from the earth. But much of what we truly need can only be found under the naked sky, alongside tall trees, on open plains, or in the sound of running water. Spending time in nature allows us to commune with other living beings and to find comfort in the nurturing embrace of Mother Earth. You can’t help but experience a different sense of self while walking in a wood or traversing a mountainside. Being in nature connects us to the earth, grounding us as we walk, unhindered by concrete, upon her. Surrounded by other living beings, both bigger and smaller than we are, we remember that human beings are simply one form of life in this vast universe.
Because we instinctively know that nature is good for us on many levels, it’s not unusual to feel powerfully drawn to it. Even if you live in a city or find it difficult to travel to a forest or the countryside, there are a myriad ways to reconnect with nature. When you step out of your door each morning, pause for a minute and close your eyes long enough to let your senses absorb your surroundings. Listen and breathe deeply, until you hear the wind rustling through branches, smell rain on damp grass, and see the reflection of leaves brushing up against windowpanes. If you have time, crouch down and closely examine any nearby grass and soil. The sights, sounds, smells, and sensations we experience that are part of nature can remind us of all the gifts Mother Earth grants us each day.
Spending time connecting with nature nourishes the soul, reminds you that you are never truly alone, and renews you by attuning you to the earth’s natural rhythms. Taking a walk under the stars or feeling the wind on your face may be all it takes for you to reconnect with nature. Remember, you are as much a part of nature as are the leaves on a tree or water bubbling in a brook.
When we take ownership of our thoughts we are less likely to project our issues or disowned qualities onto others.
We all have issues, as well as undesirable qualities or traits that we don’t like about ourselves. Most of us realize that we are not perfect and that it is natural to have unpleasant thoughts, motivations, desires, or feelings. However, when a person does not acknowledge these, they may ascribe those characteristics to someone else, deeming other people instead as angry, jealous, or insecure. In psychological terms, such blaming and fault finding is called projection.
When we are the target of projections, it can be confusing and frustrating, not to mention maddening, particularly when we know that we are not the cause of another person’s distress. Even people who are well aware of their issues may find that sensitive subjects can bring up unexpected projections. They may feel insecure about a lack of funds and thus view a friend as extravagant. Or, if they really want to get in shape, they may preach the benefits of exercise to anyone and everyone.
While we can try to avoid people we know who engage in projecting their “stuff” onto others, we can’t always steer clear of such encounters. We can, however, deflect some projections through mindfulness and meditation. A useful visualization tool is to imagine wrapping ourselves in a protective light everyday. At other times, we may have to put up a protective shield when we feel a projection coming our way, reminding ourselves that someone else’s issues are not ours. Although it’s difficult not to react when we are the recipient of a projection, it is a good idea to try to remain calm and let the other person know if they are being unreasonable and disrespectful. We all know that it’s not fun to be dumped on. Likewise, we should be mindful that we don’t take our own frustrations out on others. When we take ownership of our thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings, we are less likely to project our issues or disowned qualities onto others.
Our bellies can be wonderful monitors of our emotional health and the truth can always be found there.
So often, emotions that we long to express get stored in our bodies instead. The space where this most often happens is in our bellies. Rather than telling people, our even ourselves, the way we truly feel, we may stuff our true feelings deep inside of us, where they take up space until we are ready to let them go. Stuffing our feelings in our bellies may feel like the “safe” response, since we then don’t really have to deal with our emotions. Yet, doing so can actually be detrimental to our emotional well-being and physical health.
One way to connect with and release your emotions is to do a focused exercise with your stomach area. Take a moment to center yourself with some deep breathing and quiet meditation, relaxing your body fully and turning off the chatter in your brain. With your right hand on your stomach, tell yourself three times: “Please reveal to me my true emotions.” Listen for the answers. Repeat the exercise as many times as you would like, allowing yourself to drop deeper into your body each time. Notice any physical response in the stomach area, whether you have a warm, relaxed feeling in the middle of your body or if you feel tight knots in response to any emotions that do come up. You may even want to write down any answers that come to you. Remember that the body doesn’t lie.
Releasing our pent up feelings from our bellies can prevent disease and allow us to live more authentic and expressive lives. Sometimes, if too much emotional energy builds up inside of us, a blowout can result that can cause discomfort. You can help to alleviate this compression by doing the same exercise and adding sound to your emotional release. The more guttural the sounds released through your mouth, the more emotions you are likely letting go. Releasing your emotions from your belly doesn’t have to be painful and hard; rather, it can be organic and effortless. It’s important not to judge whatever comes up for you. We tend to stuff our feelings in our bellies when we are ashamed of them or not ready to express them. There is nothing wrong with having feelings, whatever they may be. You can’t help your feelings; if anything, you can help yourself by acknowledging the truth of your emotions so you can set yourself free.
Red flags often come in the form of feelings urging us to pause for a moment, listen to our intuition, and reconsider.
Just as the universe wants to provide for our needs, it also seeks to protect us from dangerous situations, destructive relationships, and even minor inconveniences. Frequently in our lives, perhaps everyday, we encounter psychic red flags warning us of potential problems or accidents. We may not always recognize the signs. However, more often than not, we may choose to ignore our intuition when it tells us that “something just isn’t right.”
Red flags often come in the form of feelings urging us to pause for a moment, listen to our intuition, and reconsider. We may even experience a “bad” feeling in our bellies. This is a red flag letting us know that there may be a problem. We may not even know what the red flag is about. All we know is that the universe is trying to wave us in a different direction. We just have to pay attention and go another way. We may even wonder whether we are paranoid or imagining things. However, when we look back at a situation or relationship where there were red flags, it becomes easy to understand exactly what those warning signs meant. More often than not, a red flag is not a false warning. Rather, it is the universe’s way of informing us, through our own innate guidance system, that our path best lies elsewhere.
We may try to ignore the red flags waving our way, dismissing our unease as illogical. Yet it is always in our best interest to pay attention to them. For example, we may meet someone who outwardly seems perfect. They are intelligent, attractive, and charming. Yet, for some reason, being around them makes us feel uneasy. Any interactions we have with them are awkward and leave us feeling like there is something “off” about the situation. This is not necessarily a bad person. But, for some reason, the universe is directing us away from them. Red flags are intended with our best interests at heart. No harm can ever come from stopping long enough to heed a red flag. Pay attention to any red flags that pop up. The universe is always looking out for you.
Like you, the objects you encounter have stories to tell as the previous owners have left their vibrational imprint.
Because our bodies exude energy, we leave behind a vibrational imprint each time we touch or live in close proximity to an object. These imprints, which may be positive or negative memories, emotions, or impressions, can become part of the history of an item. Like you, the objects you encounter have stories to tell. Psychometry is the natural art of reading an object’s history in regard to the people and events it has encountered. The objects we associate with are by no means silent bystanders. A house in which a tragedy has occurred may feel cold or silent, while handling a much loved toy may make you feel good. It is widely believed that all human beings possess psychometric abilities. All objects vibrate at specific frequencies, and psychometry asks only that one tune in to those frequencies.
It is common to learn the art of psychometry by using items such as jewelry or a watch, because these objects spend much of their time in close physical proximity to its owners. Information sensed using psychometry usually has to do with an object’s owner and may be related to a location, a feeling, or an event. Emotions tend to be easier to sense, though it can take time and diligence to perfect your psychometric talents. To exercise your psychometric skills, relax and sit in a quiet place with your palms facing upward. Have a friend place one of their treasured possessions in your nondominant hand. Let your mind wander until you receive any impressions. Finally, relate what you have seen, heard, or felt.
By simply by holding an object in your hand or putting it to your forehead, you can sense an object’s past and vicariously experience the emotions, sounds, tastes, scents, or images that have transpired around it thus far. While psychometry is most often performed on small objects intimately connected to its owners, it is possible for humans to leave an imprint on a large object like a home or automobile and to receive impressions from these objects. Once you know an object’s story, you can release it of its memories or marvel at the wealth of information cradled within.
Tears are as natural to us as breathing and there is beauty in allowing yourself to be open to the pain of tears.
How wonderful it feels to give in and let tears flow when we are overwhelmed with emotions, whether we are happy or sad. Tears come from the soul, from our well of feelings rising from deep down. When we give in to the prickling behind our eyes and the lump in our throat to let teardrops fall from our eyes, we allow our feelings to surface so they can be set free.
Proud parents shed tears of pride in a child’s accomplishments, a baby’s first step, birthdays, and graduations. Long lost friends fall into each other’s arms, tears rolling down their cheeks when they reunite after years of separation. Tears may flow from us when we are witness to a commitment being made at a wedding or even while we are watching a love story. Tears of relief may spring forth from our eyes when we hear that a loved one has survived an ordeal, and tears may fall when we bow our head in sorrow over a loss or death. Tears born from heartache can flow like they’ll never cease, whether our tears are for a love that is over, a friendship lost, or an opportunity missed. We shed tears because of disappointment in ourselves, tragedy in the world, pain, and illness. Tears of anger can burn with emotion as they fall down our faces. Tears offer us a physical release of our feelings.
Shedding tears can sometimes make us feel better, although it can feel like the tears will never end once the floodgates are open. There is no shame in letting tears flow freely and frequently. Tears are as natural to us as is breathing. There is beauty in allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to shed tears. Open up, release your tears, and let your feelings flow.
People you feel drawn to reflect your inner self back at you, and you act as a mirror for them as well.
When we look at other people, we see many of their qualities in innumerable and seemingly random combinations. However, the qualities that we see in the people around us are directly related to the traits that exist in us. “Like attracts like” is one of the spiritual laws of the universe. We attract individuals into our lives that mirror who we are. Those you feel drawn to reflect your inner self back at you, and you act as a mirror for them. Simply put, when you look at others, you will likely see what exists in you. When you see beauty, divinity, sweetness, or light in the soul of another, you are seeing the goodness that resides in your soul. When you see traits in others that evoke feelings of anger, annoyance, or hatred, you may be seeing reflected back at you those parts of yourself that you have disowned or do not like.
Because we are all mirrors for each other, looking at the people in your life can tell you a lot about yourself. Who you are can be laid bare to you through what you see in others. It is easy to see the traits you do not like in others. It is much more difficult to realize that you possess those same traits. Often, the habits, attitudes, and behaviors of others are closely linked to our unconscious and unresolved issues.
When you come into contact with someone you admire, search your soul for similarly admirable traits. Likewise, when you meet someone exhibiting traits that you dislike, accept that you are looking at your reflection. Looking at yourself through your perception of others can be a humbling and eye-opening experience. You can also cultivate in you the traits and behaviors that you do like. Be loving and respectful to all people, and you will attract individuals that will love and respect you back. Nurture compassion and empathy and let the goodness you see in others be your mirror.