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The Secret Diary of An Aspiring Meditation Master – Week Three, “How to Release Negativity & Receive Clear Guidance!”

Body, Mind, and Spirit - 5 Habits that Will Help You Feel More AlignedWelcome back to our journey, following along with Kevin Schoeninger’s weekly messages in Spiritual Growth Monthly.

This week Kevin explores the idea that a younger version of ourselves, commonly called our inner child, still holds keys to what really matters to us in life. He asks us the question, “What is your strongest desire in your life right now?”

I’ve encountered some form or other of that question for years, especially if I’m about to embark on any sort of new venture or considering a change in location or career. Sometimes it is phrased as “what do you really want in your life?”

So, I asked myself the question again. And again, I had to admit that I don’t really know. That wasn’t the immediate answer, of course. “I don’t know” is what I wind up with after I’ve gone through all the soul searching and possibilities I can see.

One thing I have learned about myself is that I am not very good at making choices. My answer to either or questions is usually, “yes.” I tend to buy five pairs of the same shoe, in different colors. When faced with the question of what I really want in my life, right now, or at any time, I still run into a wall. Because I usually want two conflicting things at the same time, like wanting to eat ice cream but also be thin. Or be close to someone, but also independent. One thing always has to be relinquished to hold on to something else.

By this time in my life, I can look back and see that I have gone to at least some of where my childhood dreams wanted to take me. If I have gained any wisdom or maturity, it’s that I learned to stop blaming other people or circumstances for holding me back. The paths I didn’t follow were not really closed by external obstacles. Sometimes to do something that matters to us, we choose to go somewhere different from our dreams.

Eventually, we may find that what we really want is more about the kind of person we want to be, and not an occupation or meeting some exterior goal. And the person we want to be may be someone unafraid to follow unexpected paths.

So what happens to our inner guidance when life hands us different choices than we ever expected to make? For one thing, I believe it lets us know we are in the place where we should be. For instance, when you choose people over ambition, or truth over an easy way out.

Dr. Wayne Dyer has said, “If you have the choice between being kind or being right, choose to be kind.” And when we do, we realize in our hearts that being kind really is more important to us than being the smartest kid in the room.

Facing our inner child.

I was glad Kevin noted our inner child can be a mixture of any of the four types mentioned in Inna Segal’s book, “The Secret of Life Balance: The Essential Guide to Life’s Big Questions,” if no one version fits the bill. Mine appears to be a mongrel, whose biggest desire was probably to leave childhood behind.

For some of us, it is not a comfortable process to look back too deeply. Of course, in the 1950s taking photographs was a more cumbersome process than it is today. Photos look posed and stiff…special occasions in scratchy, uncomfortable clothes. Memories can be scratchy too, but they are evidence we still have work to do.

As an only child, much of my early life existed in my imagination. One lesson of growing up was learning to discern the dreams and wishes that could come true from the ones that never would. No amount of happy thoughts would ever teach me to fly, no matter what Mary Martin said while playing Peter Pan.

But the seed of deep desires stays with us, I have found, and the universe doesn’t forget. The dreams I had at age seven of growing up and working in the theatre, for example, may not have panned out as I originally envisioned them. But here I am in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, working for a community theatre, in a place where my family needs me to be.

What my inner guidance system asks of me now is to accept my choices with grace and love, and act on them with integrity and strength. Choosing different paths, one at a time, may not fulfill all our desires, but it leaves us with fewer regrets.

 

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You get a weekly audio message from me to encourage you and give you more insights into your practice. Membership gives you private email access to me should any questions come up for you. You also get access to our members discussion, plus much, much more.

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www.spiritualgrowthmonthly.com.

Check out the weekly messages on Spiritual Growth Monthly today!

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Deal With Stress

The Secret Diary of an Aspiring Meditation Master – June 2014 – Week Four, “Secrets of Abundance.”

inner-thoughts-improve-your-lifeWe are back again, following Kevin Schoeninger’s messages on Spiritual Growth Monthly. This week, Kevin continues on the issue of Life’s Big Questions, and considers the question “how can I be more abundant”.

What struck me immediately about this question was that it is about being abundant, rather than having or gaining abundance. In our common cultural viewpoint, we may feel grateful for the abundance we already have, or we look at abundance as something we must strive for. It may even be something we think other people can achieve, but not us. Hardly ever, though, do we hear that abundance is a state of being.

It reminds me of an old maxim that you have to be a friend to find a friend. Maybe abundance is like that. Maybe it’s more than just an attitude that colors how we look at the world. Maybe it is more about who we think we are.

Kevin addresses our western attitude that abundance equals money. But of course, money is something we have or don’t have. So if we want to be abundant, that must exist beyond what we own. And maybe whatever we choose to be is what determines what we have, both now and in the future.

Kevin calls this idea a fundamental principle…that “your consciousness shapes your experience.” Now sometimes the very word “consciousness” can throw people off. So Kevin offers an easier way to think about it. Think of your perception, your perspective. Think about your point of view.

If you have a family, or have ever shared living space, you are sure to have experienced how our perception determines our daily experience. One person looks around a room and sees a mess, while another person thinks everything looks fine, and wonders why on earth the first person gets worked up about it. Or maybe your five year old, who has been playing in the dirt outside, sees no reason to take a bath. A little dirt is fine from his perspective, even if mom doesn’t see it that way.

The reason perspective is so important, Kevin explains, is that it determines what possibilities we see existing in the world. What we see as possible, and what we think is important, are what determine what action we take, and action is how we share the abundance of ourselves and our talents, to create more abundance in our lives.

Just as our perspective about household clutter determines whether or not we’ll get up and fix it, our perspective about any action we take depends on whether we feel the action is worth taking, or if we can achieve some desired result.

Kevin offers five steps, to help us change our perspective about what is possible, and spur us into what he calls “inspired action.”

 1. “Value Who You Are and What You Bring To Others.” Part of being abundant means that we feel we have value and can add something positive to the world. When we feel we have gifts to share, and believe our efforts will be productive, we take the steps needed to receive gratitude, love or paid compensation in return.

2. “See the World as Full Of Possibilities.” It is hard to take action if you feel your efforts will be futile. The more possibilities you believe exist, the more new doors you will recognize opening, and the more inspired you may feel to move in unexpected directions.

Seeing possibilities helps you look beyond difficulties, or understand how you learn and grow when life gets tough. Without those possibilities, difficulties are all you can see. When you expect possibilities, you see them as opportunities, rather than obstacles in your way.

3. “Be Bold in Your Vision.” To give abundantly and live abundantly, we need to have a vision of what we want to experience or achieve in our lives. I really love Kevin’s way of explaining this…”A vision gets you up off the couch.”

This is why clutter and depression can be so effective in blocking actions we might take otherwise. It makes us feel that there are no dreams out there, and nothing to take action for. Or we may even feel so overwhelmed that hiding on the couch becomes all we really want.

The encouraging thing is that even taking a few steps gives us confidence to dream of bigger steps and bigger visions of what might be. The bigger and bolder the vision, the more action we take and the braver we feel.

4. “Make a Plan and Take One Action Every Day.” I don’t know what it is about the human experience that makes us feel we have to do everything at once, but it seems to be a common theme. Promises of drastic weight loss and get rich schemes all prey upon our desire to have everything now.

At the same time management experts tell us to break our huge challenges down into doable tasks, and check them off one at a time. They encourage people to do that for one simple reason…it works.

Kevin suggests we move toward our desired vision the same way. Taking one step every day keeps our momentum going so we don’t lose our focus or our direction. And eventually, one step a day gets us toward our goal.

5. “Trust that Life Has a Bigger Plan.” Even if believing this idea is difficult, Kevin asks us to consider “what if” it were true. Would we be more confident about our dreams and actions? Would we recognize our abundance more easily? How would we approach each day if we really trusted that Life watches over us, and has an ultimate plan?

Have you ever had the experience when everything seemed to be going wrong, only later to realize that missing out was really a blessing? Have you ever caught yourself feeling happy that things turned out the way they did, because otherwise you would not have had this better opportunity, or met that wonderful person you chose to spend your life with? Maybe Life looks out for us far more than we know.

These are only some highlights from Kevin’s article, and I encourage you to read the complete post. He has much more to share, including how taking these steps…from changing his perspective about his value and his work to the daily actions he took…led to family vacations in Maui. That sounds like a point of view worth trying. Check it out at www.spiritualgrowthmonthly.com.

 

P.S. Want to be part of a community of like-minded souls committed to applying spiritual practice in their lives? Well take a look at Spiritual Growth Monthly. This is our members only community where we share insights, tips and group coaching to support your continued growth.

What do you get as a member of SGM?

You get a weekly audio message from me to encourage you and give you more insights into your practice. Membership gives you private email access to me should any questions come up for you. You also get access to our members discussion, plus much, much more.

Go here to get a 3-week trial for just $1.

www.spiritualgrowthmonthly.com.

Check out the weekly messages on Spiritual Growth Monthly today!