I have been “cleaning out my karma” for a few decades now. When I first started paying attention to the feelings of the moment, there was a collage of easy to detect feelings.
Usually the events for which we hold grudges are long-time past, yet, deep in our heart is this little hard cold spot where the memory of that event, accompanied with anger and resentment, lives on as if it happened yesterday. That dark negative energy comes up at the strangest moments...
As I felt the benefits of forgiving my ex-husband Werner, I began to look at other grievances and judgments I was holding. Mom was at the top of my list. Could I find my way to forgive her, too? That would require me to mourn the losses of my childhood and let them go. Holding onto my resentment to Mom kept them in place.
One morning, all of us in the group revisited our childhoods to more closely examine those things that still have power over us. We did this in small groups of four persons and, when it was my turn, I revisited some physical violence from my parents. Ever eager to delve deeper, I discovered something I had never seen before.
The heart of Eastern wisdom teaches you to be naturally in the world without rejecting it. Many spiritual paths condemn and judge the world, as if they were enabling one to move beyond desires. But many fail to realize that they are desiring not to desire (a point that the Buddha understood).
Healing the emotional body in the fourth chakra is by far one of the most important things you can do for your health. With years of experience in Ayurvedic lifestyle counseling, I am convinced that heart health is directly linked to our emotional state.
Friends, children, romantic partners, family members – many of us exchange hugs with others on a regular basis. New research from the United States, published today in PLOS, now shows hugs can help us to cope with conflict in our daily life.
Of course things don’t always happen they way we wish they would. There are moments in which we feel we are seeking something that is not meant for us, knocking on doors that don’t open, waiting for miracles that don’t manifest themselves. Fortunately that is the way things are – if everything went the way we wanted...
By choosing to let go of the past, we can sweep out all the ashes that weigh us down and subtly affect every aspect of our health, our relationships, and our peace of mind. And the more we practice the art of letting go of all negativity, the better able we...
Each and every person comes into this life as a unique expression of Source consciousness. This means each person comes in with a unique essence, like an energetic signature. We come in with a unique purpose, along with unique thoughts, feelings, desires and needs. All this and our role within the greater universe is embedded in our essence.
We know that comparatively disadvantaged people, even in rich countries, have worse health and shorter life expectancy than others. But what is it exactly about socioeconomic disadvantage and other environmental difficulties that affects our biology? And at what age are we most vulnerable to these effects?
The Buddha said, "in a battle, the winners and losers both lose". When we're engaged in conflict with a difficult person, our minds become very narrow and our hearts close. When we feel anger and hatred toward someone else...
You hear people say this all the time: "I have a right to be upset because of the way I've been treated. I have a right to be angry, hurt, depressed, sad, and resentful." Learning to avoid this kind of thinking is one of my top ten secrets for living a life of inner peace, success, and happiness.
Has this ever happened to you? Somebody says something to you that immediately triggers negativity within you. You don't have a clue why you are so upset and you wonder just where that feeling came from.
When you’re experiencing recurring unpleasant feelings or familiar unmet needs and self-defeating thoughts, are you generally kind and gentle with yourself? Do you unconditionally accept all of your emotions, sensations, needs, and thoughts? Do you give yourself the empathy, compassion, warmth, and understanding you’d offer a close friend or family member?
There was a time in my life when if someone asked, Are you angry with me? I replied, No-o-o-o. Because I didn't like taking issue with a difficult situation involving a difficult person, we both missed an opportunity to grow together through the experience.
ALLOWING IS THE KEY. That, in a nutshell, is what I learned is the key to life, to creating your own life. Those four seemingly simple words are the basis of the power we can harness in life to use for our benefit. It took me many years to...
Acceptance is a major theme of world religions. In modern life, however, acceptance is tension-filled and problematic. The urge to fix, change, and improve pops up at every turn. Reinhold Neibuhr summed up this tension in his Serenity Prayer, written in 1934: 'God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...'
Sometimes our perceptions can get us into trouble. What appears so clearly to be our reality may not be real at all. Or it may be partially correct, but not the whole picture. We humans have a tendency to interpret our partial experiences as the whole truth and ignore other people's partial experiences.
Many adults have a history of childhood abuse. As harmful as these early experiences can be to our psyche, an accompanying form of abuse frequently compounds them. This is the abuse we give ourselves. This form is even more widespread and affects most of us in one way or another.
The time came when my life was disrupted by soul longing for wholeness, manifesting as serious depression. Through grace, I found my way to a workshop on healing into wholeness. There I met Linda Star Wolf who taught us how to discover our power animal.
Susan, a woman in her fifties, came to one of my workshops and asked to work with the process called Healing Relations with the Unborn. She related the following story of an abortion she had undergone as a young woman, with lingering painful after-effects.
Is there anything going on in your life that just wears you out? A thankless job, a chronic illness, a troubled relationship? Have you gone over and over this situation or circumstance without finding a solution or a way out?
When the stock market plummeted in 2003 and I lost a third of my savings, I had a very hard time getting over the fact that I didn’t see it coming. Some young part of myself still believed I should be all powerful and all knowing. It’s a form of magical thinking many of us have developed...
We can get side-tracked by our ego that wants to be right at any price. It doesn't care about lost friendships, or uncomfortable work relations, or families torn apart by pride -- it only cares about being right. How often do we let "being right" step into the way of peace...
Those who recover the best from painful events are those who find something meaningful in the experience. The exercise below helps us see events and circumstances from a different perspective and find meaning in what otherwise might seem to be baffling or meaningless events.
People set themselves up for difficulties through their memories of pain. For instance, in the past, you or someone you know may have lost money, a job, a house, or a relationship. These issues, rife with fear and other negative emotions, establish a deep pattern in memory and...
Forgiveness is radical. Both forgiving and asking for forgiveness go against deeply ingrained psychological and political truths. We fight against it. We reject its premises. We think we want to be -- or at least, want to appear to be -- blameless at all times. By forgiving another...
Reoccurring demands and challenges can be particularly frustrating. Everyone knows what it feels like to go two steps forward and one step back. Your frustrations are actually the key to finding inner freedom. Each one requires surrender and acceptance.
If you think of forgiveness as “letting someone off the hook,” you believe that you are doing someone else a favor by forgiving them. After all, they are really guilty and deserve your judgment and condemnation.
Many people mistakenly think or fear that their choices and behavior will displease others and be the cause of another person's displeasure or unhappiness. It could be their partner, their parents, their children, their friends. The fear is that if you or I do what feels best to us – it might make someone else unhappy.
There are few emotions as uncomfortable as resentment. An old saying sums it up well: "We drink the poison and then wait for the other person to die." Resenting others, we do poison ourselves. When our energy is spent on...
Imagine for a moment all the things you say or don’t say, and all the things you do or don’t do in one day because of what others might say about you. If you wrote out a list, it might take a long time. Do you realize how much power you give to other people’s opinions? What if you could recover that power?
Some of us may believe that the only thing giving us problems in our life is on the outside -- an outside enemy. If this is our perception, perhaps we don't realize that placing the blame on someone else seldom, if ever, solves a problem. Nor does blaming contribute to our achievement of the wisdom we came here to gain...
Some activists believe we must be constantly aggrieved to set right the injustices of the world—that good anger corrects bad anger. But an enlightened activism respectfully acknowledges all anger and sorrow while demonstrating the superior strategy of mercy...
A past experience is stored in your memory like a video with a separate 'feelings' track, which releases these feelings whenever the memory-box is opened. This feelings track can be re-recorded, replacing the original. To do this, you simply go back to the time the event began and rerun...
Blame is a series of actions and reactions. They all work together to generate the Blame Syndrome. The three parts are: The Blame Attack (the initial criticism — no matter how minor); The Emotional Impact (negative feelings caused by being blamed); The Reactive Response (blame is fired back).
If we don’t grow from suffering, we die from it. Suffering can tether a person to the darker side of life so strongly that it makes passion and the enjoyment of life almost impossible. When you’re drowning in the depths of suffering, creativity and your Soul’s expression are the last things on your mind.
It’s easy to be kind or loving to someone you like. Why should you bother to be loving toward the contemptuous, the hateful, the miserable, or people who are simply annoying?
I know some remarkable people, even some who are considered great human beings, but I have never known anyone whose heart is open all the time. Even the Dalai Lama speaks of anger arising and of saying things that, much to his chagrin, can never be taken back. Forgiveness of oneself and others is...
We all experience everyday annoyances with the people around us. What turns an irksome characteristic, situation, or event into a source of continued frustration? It’s our expectations, our “shoulds” that cause aggravation and annoyance...
Perhaps you have questioned or judged yourself for being too sensitive or not feeling at home in the mainstream. When I ask my seminar audiences, “How many of you believe or have been told that you’re weird?” Almost everyone raises their hand.
Using the analogy of the hologram, the entire hologram now reflects back to me my decision. For example (and I know you will relate to this), I have decided to purchase a Volkswagen. I am now seeing Volkswagens all around me. They weren’t there before, but now I can’t get away from them!
Victor Frankl said, “It’s the last of all human freedoms, the ability to choose.” We can choose to look at whatever we want. So if we choose to hold bad thoughts about someone, simply release them and send love to the people who bother you...
I’ve spent my life hiding my scars. I cope so well that no one, not even my husband knew the extent of what I deal with on a daily basis. Therapy has revealed my deepest hurts, brought them to the surface, and forced me to experience the pain I’ve been hiding so deeply in order to finally release it.
I have been asking myself deep questions about the next stages of my work and my life: how do I teach? How do I live? What, now, is my highest calling, my deepest contribution toward creating a peaceful, kind, compassionate, thriving world that supports and respects all life, human and non-human?
Gossip gets a bad rap. There’s no doubt that the act of gossiping about someone can sometimes be damaging and negative.
We must learn to take care of ourselves, to reconnect with who we are and what we want. By learning to practice some self-compassion, you can begin to treat yourself like a friend and give yourself the time and presence that you would give to someone else.
If you want to sustain yourself for the work ahead, here’s some advice: It doesn’t matter whether the other side “deserves” anger.
As a result of years spent trying to teach people to rewrite their prejudicial stories about themselves and others, I am keenly aware of how prejudice can spread. It can develop into embedded beliefs and cause inordinate amounts of stress.
Most of us have some corner where we cannot forgive ourselves. Our hearts ache for the choices made or denied, and we bury that ache beneath a blanket of guilt or high-minded justifications.
When news breaks about wrongdoings of our favorite politician, the other side inevitably argues that we have a scandal on our hands.
Is it possible to run out of empathy? That’s the question many are asking in the wake of the U.S. presidential election.
Often in my readings I was simply validating the suspicions, insights, or intuitions that they already had about themselves and the changes they needed to make in their lives. Sometimes these readings ignited an inner physical and spiritual healing process.
There is almost always a cringeworthy public apology to watch. Most recently, it was YouTube star PewDiePie, who had to apologise for alleged anti-semitic content in his video posts.
While feelings are a central component to caring, caring is not an entirely emotional experience. There’s also an intellectual component to caring, a mental stance that one must maintain to create lasting closeness. This stance is that your partner is fully human.
There’s no denying it anymore: Hatred is erupting all over the United States, after having long simmered beneath the social surface. In the face of such upheaval, how can you prepare to protect those who are being threatened—to stand up for the worth and dignity of every person, even when it’s uncomfortable or scary?
You have a constant stream of thoughts running through your mind, and we use the term “inner critics” to describe the thoughts that criticize you or tell you that you should be ashamed or feel guilty if you do what you want to do.
In 1960, I was fourteen years old and my mother was the first civil rights activist that I knew. She did not march the streets. She lived her beliefs. She had Blacks, Muslims, Gays and other minorities over to our house for dinner almost every Sunday.
Like strangers, and every person in our path, we encounter acquaintances and friends for a reason. More accurately, we attract them. Sometimes the reasons appear obvious, and at other times the reasons are not obvious at all and may take months or years to dawn.
My heart aches for the division and anguish revealed in our November election. The fabric of our society is indeed torn and I wonder, can we find a way back together?
Throughout primary school, I became accustomed to being in the crossfire of two opposing camps. When a French friend would insult my English friend, I would raise my hand, step forward, and launch into my own variation of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech...
For many women, people of color, LGBTQ people, Muslims and immigrants, the victory of Donald Trump seems to have endorsed discrimination against them.
What we’re being called to do as a species before we either destroy ourselves or most of life on our planet is to meet ourselves fully. We must have the courage to meet our own prejudices and encounter every single place within us that would rather resort to blame than to face the collective human pain body.
A few years ago, I discovered that a friend was cheating on their partner. This immediately blackened my perception of my friend. Then I remembered that I had done something quite similar some years earlier.
Social media is a wonderful way to connect with others, share experiences and opinions and express ideas. But it can have a dark side for body image, which requires a critical and thoughtful approach to counteract.
Guilt is a difficult burden to carry around with you. And guilt perpetuates what you are guilty about; how does it do that? Guilt is a very negative, destructive energy. It is different from remorse, the feeling we get when we know we have done something wrong and we’re dreadfully sorry. In the case of remorse...
Reading this will help you to identify the two voices that make you human: your ego with its chatty, self-serving endless quirkiness, and what I’m calling the wise Observer that is patient, non-judgmental and loving. While they appear to be completely different...
I saw a documentary that introduced Jawara women who wear the bones of their dead husbands around their necks. In some cases, the widow totes the man’s skull. In our culture many of us also wear the skulls, bones, or remnants of dead husbands, lovers, family members, business partners, or friends around our necks—not physically, but energetically. We hang past memories, resentments, and upsets...
A friend told of a family situation that you may relate to. For many years, she’d been estranged from her sister, who now lived across the country. Growing up, they’d been very close, and my friend could hardly recall why they’d stopped talking. Year followed year, and my friend could never bring herself to call.
If you're waiting for a change and frustrated it's not happening, maybe it would be beneficial to give up all hope! Sounds strange? "Hope" is a double-edged word. Hope in its best sense is something that keeps you going in difficult times. But "hope" can also be...
Thousands of case studies proved beyond any reasonable doubt that cancer can be cured by a change in one’s thinking! In the patients who were able to resolve the conflict through recognizing their innocence and mistaken self-blame and guilt, not only did the pattern in the scan resolve itself (disappear), but so did the cancer.
The tragic mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando has sparked renewed interest in the causes of homophobia.
It’s necessary to be conscious of the way we store events in the body and how they create layers of similar emotions—grief with grief, joy with joy, anger with anger, and love with love. These layers are like the strata in rocks, building great cliffs of emotions that are touched each time another similar emotion is experienced.
What’s the downside to not apologizing? Little by little, not fixing our wrongs becomes a pattern. In our relationships it destroys trust, openness, and true closeness. We carry this secret burden and it nags at us.
Nearly every religion, family, and belief system plays on guilt to keep its adherents in line. Yet there are ways to escape from the prison of guilt. Here are the top seven, along with practical applications to become free.
When I was growing up, I was basically allowed to express one feeling, and I had to go to my room to do it. When I came out of my room, I was expected to feel “better,” even if I didn’t. The basic message was that feelings were to be barely tolerated and best kept hidden.
Why do you need forgiveness to reach your Dream? When you’re not forgiving, you’re angry and tight. You’re holding onto old hurts and hugging your rightness around you like a parka against the stinging winds of change. Your arms are crossed and your mind is crossing out possibilities. If you think about it...
Ending guilt asks only that you accept what is right now, and stop forcing your mind to dredge up and continually relive old wounds, pains, and regrets. Forget the past; it is gone and is therefore unreal. Healing can only occur by aligning with Reality, which is located in the present.
The line between “intended” and “unintended” pregnancy can be blurred. Some unintended pregnancies can lead to wanted births, and some intended pregnancies are aborted. But women should not be blamed for getting pregnant accidentally, because factors outside their control are often involved.
I closed my eyes, preparing to list off my offenses. Within minutes, I felt complete forgiveness for all my actions! My first thought was, “Wait. This was too easy! I haven’t worked and sweated hard enough to earn complete forgiveness. I haven’t even gone through the whole list.”
“You owe me” is resentment. “I owe you” is guilt. And the longer our interactions go on like this, the more impoverished we become. We lose our balance, the heart is thrown askew. The gut tightens. The eyes cannot open fully. But forgiveness rebalances the mind and brings kindness to the senses.
One morning Rose began our session by saying it was time for me to take a very important journey. “It’s a journey we all must take within this lifetime. It’s the journey that takes us from being a child to becoming an adult. And what you need to make this journey are the powers of love and forgiveness.”
The sentencing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for the Boston Marathon bombing and the sad aftermath of Dylann Roof’s racial killings in Charleston, South Carolina have raised the question of forgiveness in an acute fashion.
A fellow set out to find a particular saint who lived in a remote village. The shopkeeper told him he would find the saint under a certain tree, teaching disciples. Excited, the seeker made his way to tree, but instead of finding the saint he saw a drunkard blabbing with a couple of guys.
When we cut through the smoke and mirrors of guilt, we can see that the thoughts and emotions that ignite guilt are all made up. When our self-awareness “muscles” strengthen, we find that we’re less apt to fall into the default pattern of simply reacting to the unconscious flow of our thoughts and emotions.
It has been well established that people have a “bias blind spot,” meaning that they are less likely to detect bias in themselves than others. However, it hasn’t been clear how blind we are to our own actual degree of bias, and how many of us think we are less biased than others.
Disgust is a universal emotion – we all get disgusted by things, just as we all experience other “basic” emotions, such as happiness and sadness. Disgust has many functions. It protects us from products that might cause us harm (food that has gone off), it can give us a moral compass (when we see someone being treated unfairly) and it keeps us away from things that remind us of our animal nature (dead bodies).
Have you ever been lied to or betrayed by someone you loved and trusted? Has anyone not believed you when you were telling the truth? Has anyone you loved walked away from the relationship and refused to try to work out the differences? Everyone has been hurt by someone else. How do we get rid of the hurt and move on with our lives. How can we forgive?
One of the teachings that is emphasized by many teachers is that of acceptance. Accepting what is. What exactly does that mean? Does it mean accepting the way things are? Well, yes it does. It is an impartial observation: I see how this is, I acknowledge that this is so. Yet, does it mean that nothing can change?
I like the anonymous quote, “Holding resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” This poison can negatively affect every aspect of your life. Make a commitment towards love and clarity in your relationships.
I had a nasty neighbor who regularly picked fights over all kinds of issues. People drove too fast past her rural home; her neighbors partied too loud; vandals were supposedly stealing from her water line; trees encroached on her property line; and on and on...
After 9/11, I was writing (and publishing online) inspirational messages that focused on peace... Now twelve years later, we stand at the precipice of who knows what, and peace still eludes the planet...
As long as people are determined to cling to their preconceived opinions, mistaking them for Truth and refusing to consider dispassionately the positions of others, they can neither escape hostility nor arrive at blessedness.
The pain from the past that people experience often follows them to their deaths. I had been visiting Vince weekly for five months, and every week he began by telling me about his distaste for his brother, whom he hadn’t spoken to in twenty years. His animosity had to do with a...
Is there a resentment that lives inside of you? When we first started our counseling practice, a woman came to us that had been raped. We asked her to try forgiveness and compassion. She looked at us like we were crazy. One month later...
We can upgrade all kinds of old patterns and situations in a much shorter time than it took to create them. Before we can do that, however, we have to let go of the notion that healing takes a long time, is hard, and requires pain...
Daily dedication and a willingness to heal our past will automatically move us forward on the spiral path of transformation. When we let go of old, outworn patterns that no longer serve us, we can energetically free up space in our psyches so that learning from the future becomes not only possible but the most...
Many of us find it hard to forgive. Yet, what if we had to forgive the killer of our son, or wife, daughter, husband... Would we be able to forgive in that situation? Would we want them to be sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole?
Wayne Dyer pointed out that when you squeeze an orange you get orange juice. What comes out when you are squeezed is never the fault of the squeezer. It is only the explicit expression of what was already implicit within your mind.