Relieve Anxiety

Feel Your Inner Bliss: Why You May Not Know How Wonderful You Really Are

Bliss from the love of a petI recently read advice from a dermatologist, to throw away our magnifying mirrors. It seems we stare into them and hunt for flaws that no one else would ever see. As a result we harm our skin far more than if we just left it alone.

What about our other flaws? Do we magnify those in our minds the same way? Chances are we stare and analyze until we find what we are looking for. Aha! There it is; an emotional wrinkle. A sag in your career path. The flabby spot in your relationships.

The truth is, your mirror is not your friend, even when it’s an imagined one. It’s okay for a quick glance to make sure your clothes are on straight. But basically everything a mirror tells us is backwards. What you see all depends on your point of view.

Want a true reflection of how great you are? Ask your dog.

Even if you don’t have a dog, you probably know what I mean. Animals love without any judgment. They don’t care about your social standing, your IQ, or your jeans size. When you look at your reflection in their eyes you see the same amazing person they know you to be.

Pets have total faith in us. They believe we can do anything we want to, and I wonder if they sometimes wish we’d just stop worrying so much and have more fun.

What if we could see ourselves as our pets do?

Just imagine if we accepted the truth in how our pets see us. Maybe they know something we don’t. If we simply decided to believe what they see, wouldn’t we feel stronger, braver, and more full of bliss?

If you don’t have a pet, you can still conjure up the feeling.

Most people can remember a friendly dog from some time in their lives. And even cats consider you an equal on their exalted plane. If you don’t have a pet, just imagine the total devotion they feel, and try loving yourself the same way.

There is a wonderful dog food commercial that you may have seen. A female soldier comes home after a long tour oversees, and her giant Irish wolfhound has been waiting patiently for her return. When he sees her, the dog erupts with joy.

On his hind legs the dog is taller than she is. And at the end the soldier is lying on her back on her driveway, with the enormous hound covering every inch of her with love. If ever there was a real life picture of “I love you this much,” this is it.

Our bliss comes from letting ourselves be loved.

Many faith traditions talk about divine love, as well as the love we should give. The moment we accept being loved without reservation, we can let go of our imagined flaws and just rest in how good it feels.



Deal With Stress

How to Open Your Heart and Discover Your Inspiration

sunriseRecently we explored what to do about negative thoughts that lead you to feel bad and derail your best intentions. We pointed to Theory U developed by MIT researcher Dr. Otto Scharmer that describes the inner power you have to move past intrusive thoughts. In this week’s post, we’ll move into a next stage of that process–how to work with uncomfortable feelings in a way that opens your heart to inspiration.

Because of over busy-ness, stress, exhaustion, and pain, it’s understandable that you might shut-down your ability to feel. This may help you handle things in the short run, but, in the long-run emotional shut-down leads to increasing inner tension and subconscious reactivity. When you close off your heart because of fear, disappointment, anger, and sadness you also end up cutting yourself off from creativity, love, and joy. You lose touch with the inspiring feelings that make life worth living and sharing.

To interrupt that cycle, Theory U suggests that it’s essential to become aware of your fears and uncomfortable feelings and shift your relationship with them. It’s important to realize that you don’t need to be afraid of “negative” emotions. When you turn toward them with acceptance and compassion, you open your heart and initiate self-healing.

Here are some empowering questions to ask:

1. What are my persistent uncomfortable feelings? (for example: fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, disappointment, depression. . .)

2. Is it possible to accept these feelings and allow them to be O.K.? Can I feel my feelings without believing they define me? Is it possible to notice valuable information in them that can help me move forward?

3. What are the thoughts that accompany these feelings? What words and images repeat in my head when I’m feeling that way?

4. What do I do when I have those thoughts and feelings? (Some possibilities include: do I believe them, act on them, argue with them, blame others, observe them, wait for them to pass. . .?)

As you are able to recognize, accept, and gather information from your feelings instead of believing they define you, you realize that you can choose among many options in how you relate to them. As you really understand that, you gain incredible inner power. You discover that it’s O.K. to feel your feelings. They are just giving you information about what is happening inside and around you, so you can decide how to respond. When you make new choices, you have new experiences.

As you recognize and release old emotional patterns, you open your heart to “feeling” again and to being in touch with what truly inspires you. You start to feel the inner sensations of inspiration inside your body. You realize that you have the power to live your inspiration by what you choose to think, feel, and do, no matter what has happened in the past, what anyone else says, or what is going on around you. You can choose to discover and grow your core inspiration in this moment—right now.