Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Trust in the Awareness of Love


Click to go back to the main menu for Mickie Kent's Love Your Mind, Body and Soul Series

“Self confidence, self belief, a certain amount of modesty, a positive attitude and a serious commitment are all essential elements to self development. Self development involves work, but it is work that will enable you to live your life fully, and give you the satisfaction of making not only your own dreams come true, but helping others to do so too.”
— Adrian Gunter

If you're going from day to day, doing the same thing, the same way, and nothing ever changes then there's a very good probability you're not living consciously. Conscious living is being aware of your life and the things you're doing. It's about taking the time to stop and smell the roses so you can see where you fit into the whole picture. Living consciously is a vital component in enjoying the fleeting moments we have on Earth.

Such preoccupation with one's "self" can seem selfish, but if we can't understand ourselves, there is no way we can understand others - it's often said that before we find others, we must find ourselves. The point being that it's about self-improvement not self-aggrandisement. It is about letting go of the ego, not inflating it. Likewise, experts suggest in creating opportunities for success in our lives, we should not go after success for success' sake, but that success will be a by-product of something you do that is of value to yourself and the living community as a whole.

It is tempting for all of us to remain in our comfort zones. But that is not where we grow, improve, and make the changes necessary to dramatically move forward. The challenge, experts say, is to do the opposite. Look at what you are doing to stay in your comfort zone and think, "What is the opposite action of my instinct? And would this opposite action be the better solution?" Then ask yourself. Are you doing the best you can do?

Although we are neither perfect in achieving our aims, nor in how we treat others, the end result of our life should be that we accomplished all that we could given the life we have lived. We must at least try. We all have plenty of room for improvement. But the good news is that you don't have to be perfect. You can still have vices - as we all do. You don't have to be a super-mum or saint to be remembered as doing the best that you could do. You only have to do better than what you're doing right now.

This type of improvement is not limited to the workplace. Can you do better with your health? Can you plan ahead and do a better job with your nutrition? Can you set aside 30 minutes to consistently engage in the movement that your body needs for optimal health? Did you know that even if you exercise regularly, sitting for prolonged periods can have a major impact on your health? Can you do a better job of following the rules for better sleep, so that you don't toss and turn each night because of the alcohol and energy drinks flowing through your bloodstream? Surely, we can all do better here.

Read more about diet and exercise.

Perhaps just as importantly, are you doing your best when raising your family? Can you spend more time at the park with your children? Are they receiving the best experience you can provide them with given the resources at hand? Or are you spending more time on your iPhone answering email than being present for their milestones? Think about what your family deserves and find a way to do better.

We can't ask for perfection from others or from ourselves. But we can demand better. We must take all the gifts we've been given and make the most of them. And for almost all of us, that means doing a slightly better, or in some cases, a much better job than what we are doing now. You need to decide for yourself where you belong on that continuum.

We will have bad days. There will be days, even weeks, characterised by exhaustion, frustration, and obstacles. But we also have the opportunity to do better in these tough times than we have in the past. Ultimately, we have the opportunity - and choice - to do our best in every given situation. And if we do, we can look back and say, "I could have done no better. This was the best I could do".

If you care enough about yourself and about others the you must be willing to take action, to risk stumbling (but never truly failing), and to get out of your comfort zone in order to create a better world for those around you, and for yourself. Let it be said that you have done the best you can with what you were given. In this sense, it's important to take note of what's going on around us and be aware of what we're doing.

Living consciously brings us an understanding of what we're capable of doing and paves the way for us to get where we want to go. It unshackles us from being slaves in our own little world of self-defeating thoughts. When discussing the benefits of concious living, perhaps you'll wonder, "What's in it for me?" Experts say that conscious living brings with it many benefits, which you may already be seeking in your life. Here are just a few of these benefits:

  1. Relieve stress. Conscious living can be a great stress reliever. Not only does it make life more enjoyable when you alleviate your stress, but it also makes you healthier. Stress affects every process in our bodies and can cause serious disease if it builds up within us.

    Read about natural stress-busters.

  2. Expand your horizons As you become more aware of your surroundings, you'll find that you can better understand the world and your place in it.

  3. Live in the moment. Throughout the day, you'll be more focused on your work because you're consciously acting on a specific task in the moment.

  4. Enjoy more passion in your relationships. While living consciously, your relationships will become more meaningful because you'll be appreciative of them as well as the other person. You'll be more in tune with your partner and aware of every want and need.

  5. Know your importance. Your job will become more fulfilling because you're more conscious of your role in the grand scheme of things. You no longer just answer a phone or hand someone a photocopy, but you are consciously making a difference.

  6. Bring colour into your world. Your surroundings will become more vibrant because you'll notice things like the subtle differences between the shades of the trees and the direction of the soft breeze.

  7. Being conscious of life makes life more fun. When you're living
    consciously, bad days are few and far between.

Experts also say that there are action steps we can take to living consciously, claiming that transforming your life into one filled with vibrant joy is easier than you may think. You can make some simple adjustments to your everyday humdrum routines to live consciously and more fully enjoy your life. Here are some action steps you can take to bring conscious living to your life:

  1. Stop. Take some time to stop throughout the day and look around. Be aware of where you are and what's around you. Become conscious of your surroundings and notice how you fit into them.
    • Notice the details such as the green on the trees, or the condensation dripping down the side of the cup.
    • Become in tune with what your body feels and actually search out the sensations of your fingers and toes while feeling your chest rise and fall with each breath.

  2. Breathe. Take deep breaths and be in the moment. Don't think about what you've done or what you still have to do, just take a minute or two to just breathe.

  3. Learn. Take a few minutes each day to try something new. Pick up a book you've wanted to read or learn a new skill. By doing this, you're starting to become conscious of your life and the things you can do with it.

There are many things you can do to live life to its fullest. Living consciously is one of the easiest changes to make on a day-to-day basis. Take a few of these ideas, integrate them into your routine, and begin enjoying the benefits of living consciously, because success may seem elusive at times. We may strive to achieve goals, read inspirational books and really work hard to make the quality shift we may desire in our lives.

When that doesn't work we blame it on luck. However, some life coaches will point out that success has nothing to do with luck. They will tell you that success is a question of learning the key laws that govern the outcomes of your effort and taking action to move your dream forward. Proponents to this theory have identified what they describe as ten vital keys to life success to help take you to the next level in life.

  1. Challenge your self-limitations: The biggest culprit in destroying dreams is our own self-sabotaging thoughts. We need to work on these before even considering further progress. There are a lot of ways to do this including by working on what I call your negative thoughts and creating empowering beliefs.

    Negative thoughts can be those "protective" thoughts that run in our heads at times and which limit our life by putting excessive fear in risking and in trying out new things. They might tell us things like: "You've failed before, what's to stop you from failing again" or "Don't go out of your comfort zone or you will get hurt". Challenging these thoughts and creating new empowering beliefs is a crucial step to trigger off your journey towards life success.

  2. Charge your body and language: The way we move our body and the language we use have a powerful effect on our feelings and emotions. Experts say that working on particular body movements and specific words we use can create a shift in our emotional status and motivational levels. By energising our body movements and using transformational words we can shift our mental states to more empowering ones.

    Tap into your own frequency.

  3. Clarify your principles and values: We all need a compass to direct our journey. We also need to be aware of who we really are - what innate qualities dwell within us that are just waiting to be tapped and celebrated. Clarifying your core values through specific values clarification exercises is a vital step towards empowering you to take clear decisions without too much hesitation. Clarifying your values will help you to identify your personal gifts and what direction you will choose to honour in your life.

    Read how to identify your core values.

  4. Connect to your dream and life purpose: Clear values will help you to delve deeper and identify your life purpose. By living a more consciously aware life, you can discover the true mission and meaning of your life as well as tap the big dream you want to achieve.

  5. Create it in your Mind: Once you discover your dream and life purpose, the experts say the next step is to start working on manifesting it. The first creation is in the mind. By believing in your dream and doing specific visualisation exercises you will pave the way for success.

    Rewire your mindset for success.

  6. Commit yourself completely: Many experts will emphasise that commitment is a crucial factor in ensuring success. You can't look over your shoulder once you have a passionate Dream to follow. There's no turning back when you have inspired yourself to achieve higher standards and identified what you will no longer accept in your life. There comes a time when you will need to "burn your bridges" and march forward with a clear sense of commitment.

  7. Convert your passion into action: Positive thought must be backed up by inspired action. There is no such thing as effortless success. Don't believe anyone who tells you that you can just sit back and attract good luck and abundance simply by thinking yourself into it. In order to succeed you must take massive action - right away after you take the decision to live your dream.

    Acting-to-become is effective to change.

  8. Continue persisting with consistency: Experts say persistence and perseverance is what finally births success. It is the sheer will to continue on your chosen path, the focus of consistently hanging on to your dream, watching the signs that Providence provides and immediately acting on them.

  9. Consolidate and expand: Once your dream starts manifesting, it's important to continue raising your standards, expanding your boundaries and taking time to recreate yourself. Consistently doing things that raise your standards will ensure that you develop yourself to your peak performance.

    Don't coast through life.

  10. Contribute to a higher cause: Achieving self mastery will prompt you to look beyond your self-fulfilment. Your new confidence and success will attract others to you and you will find yourself able to lead and communicate a shared dream. More importantly, doing good will forge a chain with your aspirations to a much higher cause, therefore adding value and purpose to you and your life. In this way, your ability to create a legacy of goodness that will outlive you will be the apex of true life success.

The need for change

The only thing you can count on is change. We know change is essential. We know change is inevitable. We know change is the doorway to bigger and better things. And yet often we are scared by it, burdened by it and do everything we can to dig in our heels and avoid it. We even know that if we desire our lives to be any different than they are now, change will be required, so we know we have to find a way to be empowered within the change. In other words, we just need to know HOW to change.

If you want to take things to the next level in your life, experts say it is time to make change our friend. What if you shifted from being scared of change to being excited about change? What would be possible for you then? some life coaches provide four steps, which they say are important to learn and implement, because they allow you to take your power back and step into being a deliberate creator of change. The logic goes that we are less in fear of something we can understand or control.

  1. Recognise. Identify what the situation is and how it takes you away from that joyful being that is your true nature. Describe the entire situation or circumstance that surrounds you feeling less than joyful. The minute you become aware and can recognize that you are out of the state of well-being, you have the power to change. Be real and honest so that you can clearly look at it and so that you can change it - not just this one time, but forever.
  2. Acknowledge.

    Part A: Who is responsible for creating this? If you adhere to the law (or laws) of attraction, you will believe that you create everything in your reality, wanted or unwanted, no exceptions. Instead of judging yourself and beating yourself up for this situation, which is never productive or useful, experts in this field claim you need to figure out WHY so we can change it for the future.

    Part B: Why did you create this? What would you have to believe to create this type of situation in your life? Write out a list of ten reasons that you would have created this. Don't censor it. Just allow your consciousness to flow from the pen onto the paper. Then go back and read each one and ask yourself, "Is this true? Does this resonate as truth to me?" You may have a few reasons why you would have created it. But now you are aware and you can do something to change it.

  3. Forgive. Instead of beating yourself up for the reason or the limiting belief that you just discovered, forgive yourself. Truly love yourself enough to forgive so that you are bringing a different energy to yourself and to the situation. Forgiveness is so healing. Once you do this step then you can go onto the final step.
  4. Change. How do you want to feel? What do you want to create? What do you want to believe? Then take a moment to step into the vibration of that new energy. If you want to feel powerful in your life, step into that feeling of being powerful. Even if you have to make it up, shift the energy so it feels better to you. This is where you can use different techniques and processes that you feel suit your uniqueness and works best for you. Life coaches remind us that everything in your outer reality is a direct reflection of your inner reality. If you want the outer to change, you need to shift from the inside. This means moving, shifting and changing your energy. From that change the energy of like frequencies will be attracted into your life.

We are constantly told that we have the power to make these changes and to become neutral to the things that take us away from that power. Advice often provided tells us we should start with the small things that are not as energetically charged. Once you develop the skill with the smaller things then move onto the things that are a deeper issue for you, or have more of an energetic charge to them. This will help you have more confidence in your ability to shift the energy, and create your life the way you desire.

Fear and excitement and different names for the same emotional charge, and the key to embracing change, lies in shifting how you define your feeling of fear (when it comes to change) to a definition of excitement. An example of fear and excitement being the same thing (but which definition you attach to means the difference between failure and success) can be illustrated by imagining yourself asking an Olympic athlete right before their event if they are scared. Most will say something to the effect of, "No way, I'm excited, I'm ready to go."

If they define themselves as scared, their instinct will be to shut down and stop moving; fear by definition typically paralyses us. However, when they name it as excitement, there is so much positive change, that they are amped up, but ready to move. The next time you feel scared of change, say to yourself, "I'm not scared, I'm EXCITED and ready to move!" Experts say that by employing this technique you'll be amazed at the momentum this shift will create.

The need for improvement

Life coaches advise continuously that we need to work on ourselves. To "go inside" in a state of meditative contemplation, to still our mind and listen to our inner voice. In this way we are connecting with our infinite source of power, because the only real and lasting truth is your own.

Focusing on the moment can help us perceive the situation correctly, and some believe is essential to achieve happiness. If we're playing with our children, the only thing that matters at that point in time is giving them our undivided attention, praise and love. Likewise, if we're out to dinner with our spouse, we should treat it like a first date, with all the respect and appreciation that goes with that. When we're in a business meeting or anything to do with work, the same applies.

This is, in effect, is the art of meditation, the art of being present. There's nothing clever about doing twenty things at once - usually just the opposite. When twenty things at once come at you in life, it's better to prioritise and calmly deal with it one thing at a time, giving your full and appropriate attention on each.

Read about the power of meditation.

Patience is advocated to attune yourself to this sort of calm; experts say it takes time to develop inner communication, especially after a lifetime of neglect. When you persevere and keep working on yourself, gradually it will come to you, and when it does, you must learn to trust in your inner guidance. The ultimate test of self-development and improvement comes when you become consciously aware of your own workings, and the impact others around you can have on you. Thus sometimes, even when the whole world tells you that you are wrong, if your inner instincts tell you different, then you need to build up a trusting relationship to know which to believe in what circumstance.

It is hard work to trust yourself when all those around you doubt you and call you crazy, but some believe it is the job you came here to do. The only real and lasting truth is a "self-realised" one. Messengers, self-help gurus can come and go and shout their truths until they're red in the face, but it will not be your truth, until you have realised for yourself, deep within the core of your being, that it "feels" true for you.

Being consciously aware means that we should never accept something as true, just because someone tell us it is so. But when your inner voice guides you, and you feel that old warm feeling of excitement welling up from somewhere deep within that says, "Yes! I knew it!" - then hold on to that feeling.

Feelings are the language of your soul. We must guard it carefully, and challenge old and our new-found beliefs in many ways. Some believe our soul was designed this way, to test us. A belief that is true to our spirit must be able to withstand the test of time, and will be given a thorough examination. Hold fast to it, so long as it is what you know to be true deep within.

Keep an open mind, but if you have a healthy soul, allow nothing or no-one to pull you from your path, no matter how fiercely they contend with you. Realise that they, too, are just doing their job, even if they may well not even be aware that this is what they are in fact doing. They are performing an important service to you, and you should be grateful to them for that.

It is all part of the process of learning about the energy and wisdom of what some term as the higher self. Connecting and listening to your inner voice is described as a way of channelling the soul (the totality of your being), and indeed some believe that this is the next stage of evolution to allow us to access even higher faculties of the brain.

In practical terms, this means channelling the energy and quality of your soul, letting your soul speak through you and colour all your perspectives of life. Through constant attuning in this way, you begin to live the life of the soul, even while you still have an active personality. A soul-led life is a purposeful one, based on love.

When the soul illumines the personality, the ego becomes confined to a function of individual-awareness (where it can still be useful), rather than having free range as the master of the personality (where it can cause chaos). And as that soul-influence becomes stronger, you will find yourself increasingly channelling the highest aspect of your total being: the higher self.

Experts on this theory underline the point that when you channel the energy and wisdom of your higher self, you will not need to channel any other source. Everything you need, and need to know, is accessible through the higher self, and channelling the higher self will eventually become the only form of channelling that is relevant to you. Most of the answers we need in life are hidden within us.

This takes time, there are years of programming to erase, and blockages to clear, before we gain a clear path to our soul. Channelling the higher self is an advanced stage, indeed experts will tell you it is the ultimate stage of the whole meditative process of channelling.

It's all about acquiring relative control over your existence. While generating sufficient power in the body, reaching a specific emotional state in the mind, and focusing on the desire for the correct duration of time, you emit a pulsation of energy that acts as a pathway to your soul within your physical experience. Many experts who believe that our destiny is coded into our soul, believe we will never attain or discover our purpose without first training ourselves to link up with the soul.

In the world of psychology, psychologist James Hillman - who studied with Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung in the 1950s and later became the first director of studies at the Jung Institute in Zurich - founded archetypal psychology. This is a school of thought aimed at "revisioning" or "re-imagining" psychology - Hillman argued that the therapy business needs to evolve beyond reductionist "nature" and "nurture" theories of human development.

Over a period of almost five decades - until his death in October 2011 - he wrote, taught and lectured about the need to get therapy out of the consulting room and into the real world. Conventional psychology has lost touch with what he called "the soul's code". Overrun with "psychological seminars on how to clean closets or withhold orgasms," psychology has become reduced to "a trivialized, banal, egocentric pursuit, rather than an exploration of the mysteries of human nature," he wrote.

One of the greatest of these mysteries, Hillman believed, is the question of character and destiny. In his best-seller The Soul's Code, he proposed that our calling in life is inborn and that it's our mission in life to realise its imperatives. He called it the "acorn theory" - the idea that our lives are formed by a particular image, just as the oak's destiny is contained in the tiny acorn.

Will we find the purpose in our lives by "decoding" our soul? Is our destiny, then, weaved into our soul? For example, was it "meant to be" that the right person showed up in your life at exactly the right moment and said the words that set the wheels of your life spinning in a new direction? There are some that believe there are those events for which there is no explanation that we can imagine, unless we throw in the fate factor.

Deciphering a code for the soul

“In dreams some of us walk the stars and none are beyond our reach. Some of us in dreams, cannot reach beyond the walls of our own little sleep.”
— Mickie Kent

In Hillman's The Soul's Code, he proposed that each of us has a calling, and inborn imperative, coded into our very soul and that in order to find fulfilment with our lives, we have to realise that calling. This invisible guiding force, ever urges us toward our destiny, ever prods us to live our highest truth. The Romans called it our "genius". The Greeks called it the "daimon".

How many of us are living according to our soul's code? How many of us are following our deep-seeded spark of genius? Looking at the state of the world in 2012, my guess would be that only a small percentage of us are. The majority of us have forsaken it - set it aside for various reasons. Maybe because we have to be responsible grown-ups and work at jobs and pay rent and raise our children and survive? Maybe because we don't know what our calling is in the first place? But the lifeblood of living is passion, and when we deny our calling, when we shove our destiny deep down within us, it turns on us.

Instead of being the higher voice of the divine inspiring us to our greatness, it becomes the demon that eats away at us from the inside because we won't let it out into our life. It feels apt then, that daimon is the Greek derivative of the word demon. When every, other thing takes precedent over listening to the call of your purpose, your life will always seems out of sync - flat.

Experts say living with this rabid daimon, leaving it in a cage creates havoc. Are you depressed? Are you constantly enraged? Does everything you touch turn to dust? Do you wonder why your life does not seem to go anywhere? Or brings no lasting joy or pleasure? In this context, Hillman's approach suggests that when we stop denying our soul's code, and start doing what we were meant to do, everything shifts.

This does seem a more spiritual approach to self-help than is we would expect from a psychological point of view, but ultimately all approaches will be about "value-giving" - what brings value into your life, so that you can value yourself? However, Hillman also believed that the old psychology wasn't working because the only focus was on the individual. Hillman believed the focus has to be put on changing society, too. Although society's larger problems can't be addressed by solving solving individual needs alone, yet it's a myth that we see the world as it is and react to it; we see the world as we are.

We are not merely passive recipients of external information that enters our brain through our sensory organs. Instead, we actively search for patterns (like a Dalmatian dog that suddenly appears in a field of black and white dots), turn ambiguous scenes into ones that fit our expectations (e.g., is it a vase or a face) and completely miss details we aren't expecting.

In one famous psychology experiment, about half of all viewers told to count the number of times a group of people pass a basketball do not notice that a guy in a gorilla suit is hulking around among the ball-throwers. We have a limited ability to pay attention (which is why talking on a smartphone while driving can be as dangerous as drink driving), and plenty of biases about what we expect or want to see. Our perception of the world isn't just "bottom-up" - built of objective observations layered together in a logical way. It's "top-down," driven by expectations and interpretations.

Therefore, some will set goals and meet them, one at a time, without looking too far ahead, some will have a major goal in mind, without thinking too much of the small steps. Some will subscribe to the idea of knowing what they want and "sending it out to the universe" - while some do this with a caveat. While the universe is getting ready to deliver, they know that the universe helps them who helps themselves with inspired action. So they busy themselves marshalling their own resources to help the process along.

This includes all the other billions of brains on planet Earth immediately absorbing the pulsation you emitted and acting, through their own accord, in a way to serve the means in which your intentions may be directly and indirectly fulfilled. It's believed that even nature itself responds to the pulsation of your intention, synchronously working with geological systems, weather systems, other life forms, and all the elements so the outcome you desire is best delivered.

As we become more conscious and sensitive, people are ready to leap forward and at the same time, need to take a step back and make sure they are going in the right direction. It's believed by some that this is causing missteps, date confusion and turmoil of different sorts. For instance, there are weather patterns in the world that seem to be causing things to go awry. With the news of a hurricane hitting the United States (Hurricane Isaac is expected to reach New Orleans exactly seven years after it was hit by Hurricane Katrina) some see the weather as a reflection of what is happening in the energy of mass consciousness.

The hurricane/tropical storm patterns are affecting the south-east and south-west and there are threats of earthquakes and wind-storms and forest fires in numerous places around the globe. This has been transpiring for a couple of years now, and some say it will continue until things calm down in the energy field of the masses. Experts in this area say the best thing you can do as an individual is ground into the centre of the earth, meditate and do what you can to be still and accept what is. Take time to journal and see what comes out of your pen that you need to be aware of. There is much coming up from people that needs to be seen and healed.

Many who have been isolating themselves for a long time, are now longing to be with their old friends. Those who did not isolate themselves, are glad to have time for themselves and be alone. Things are switching and seem a bit topsy turvy for many as balance is needed for each of us. Proponents to such theories claim that when we balance the yin and yang energy within, then things will become calmer and more balanced in the world. Some would argue that deciphering the soul's code is about learning balance.

Therefore it's believed we should expect these weather fluctuations to continue until we learn what we came to learn at this time. Are we doing the best we can do? Are we linked-up to that inner voice, to communicate with our soul and decode our purpose? And if our destiny is written in our soul, then we take it with us wherever we go. Some are considering moving to better climates, but you will be drawn to weather that matches your energy and that will continue to fluctuate. Stay put until you are absolutely certain that you will not be going round in circles by moving to find a panacea that does not exist in the outer world.

To find a panacea, means to be content, happy, satisfied with your current lot in life and know that everything you desire is unfolding for you in divine timing. Wherever you go, there you are. Be aware, be in the present. Living consciously with that knowledge will bring inner peace, and when there is peace in our home - so it's believed - will there be peace in the world.

Yours in love,

Mickie Kent