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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in positivity

Instead of harsh or self-punishing resolutions, why not just clear the way and create the space for the Divine to flow? This video offers inspiration and suggestions for how to do just that, and to make this your best and most magical year yet.

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10 Ways to Transform Drudgery into Positivity and Magic

When you're a kid, being a grownup seems very glamorous. But after the 400th toilet scrub and 7th trip to the DMV, things can start to seem a little less magical and a little more like drudgery.

...UNLESS you're proactive about it. And here are 10 ways to be just that.

1. When you're brushing your teeth, consider what a gift you're giving yourself. Think of freshly growing mint, and shimmery pearls. Remember that the mouth, in Chinese face reading, symbolizes the place where blessings and abundance enter your life, and clear the way for goodness.

2. When you're waiting in line at the bank, consider the rapid and immense flow of money that surrounds you. Soak it in and feel your energy field being drenched in the energy of affluence. Bless the money in your own account, and give thanks for it, seeing this gratitude naturally multiply it in your mind's eye.

3. When you're driving, trip out on this: you're maneuvering a huge, horseless carriage wherever you want to go. How powerful are you, sliding around paved roads at this super human speed?! It's like you're an astronaut. It's like you're living in a sci-fi novel.

4. When you're folding clothes, unabashedly inhale their freshness like a lady in a detergent commercial. Congratulate yourself for your cleaning efforts and feel that wherever you go, you are spreading fresh, sparkly light throughout your home. Fold light and love into the clothes so that whomever wears them (even if it's you) feels this glowing energy of love.

5. When you're working, no matter what type of work you are doing, remember that you can change lives and spread love simply by the energy you exude. Something as simple as an authentic smile or compliment, fueled by love and acceptance, can create lifelong, extremely positive changes within a customer or coworker that ripple out everywhere, forever.

6. When you're preparing food, think about all the glowing sunlight, fertile earth, and flowing water that went into these ingredients being here now in your kitchen. Then think about all the helpful people that contributed to harvesting, packaging, transporting, and making it available in the store. Oh, and the precious pollinators! Truly: what a miracle, this food. What an invaluable, delicious miracle.

7. When you're grocery shopping, think of a cave man or woman. Then notice that from their perspective, the grocery store is a most magical, glowing forest of edibles, all safe to eat and ripe for the picking. What an amazing, luxurious thing humans have created, this grocery store! And what a gift to be able to shop in it!

8. When you're taking a shower, remind yourself that you are in an in-between time. When you're in the shower, you can't check your email, tone your glutes, make financial decisions, or advance your career. So give up on worrying about all that stuff, and just enjoy the feeling of the water and all those negative ions literally bathing you in positive energy. Let yourself revel in the sensual pleasure of it all. After all, there's nothing else to do!

9. When you're vacuuming, aren't you in luck! What a wonderful invention, this broom that powerfully sucks everything up into a bag, making a clear and sparkling floor where before there was dust. If you have a carpet, what could be better than those lines the vacuum makes? It's like raking the sand in the Zen garden that is your home.

10. When you're sweeping your doorstep, clear the way for blessings. According to feng shui wisdom, the entrance of your home is the place where you define what type of energy enters your home. So clear the decks, sparkle it up, and let that sparkling energy flow in.

image: flickr.com/AlicePopkorn

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_grateful-car-sm.pngYou know how action movies usually include some kind of chase? Usually it's one car chasing another through tight alleys or the turns of a parking garage. Depending on the period, the chase might launch itself on foot, on horseback, or through interstellar space by starship.

One of my yet-to-be-finished screenplays lays out a skateboard-and-bicycle chase.

Yesterday, my spiritual journey (and my career as Belly Queen) took on the flavor of an action film: Driving my red Honda Element, I chased a white Ford Explorer through the streets of Asheville.

I was on my way home when I noticed, and deciphered, the license plate on this vehicle in front of me. I so wanted to get a picture of it. One hand on the wheel, one hand rummaging in my purse for my smart phone, I more or less kept my eyes on the road. The Explorer kept pulling ahead and out of camera range. I passed the turn off that would have taken me home and kept going, praying the traffic light at the top of the hill would be red.

The light was red, but the Explorer was turning right on the green arrow. I followed, hoping the next traffic light would be red. It was. I whipped out my camera and clicked just as the light turned green and the Explorer veered left onto the interstate. I followed, not sure that the snapshot I'd taken through my windshield had captured the plate.

Once on the interstate, the Explorer pulled out of sight. I took the next exit and went home.

b2ap3_thumbnail_grateful-car-inset.pngChecking the photo on my phone, there it was: IMGR8FLL

Thank you, synchronicity. Thank you, bestower of grace. Thank you, personalized alert system that messages me however it can.

Yes, gratitude. Yes, I'm grateful.

I'm currently in love with Barbara Fredrickson's book Positivity (Random House, 2009). Gratitude is one of ten positive emotions she champions. Along with joy, hope, interest, pride, serenity, amusement, awe, inspiration and love, the felt sense of gratitude leads to human flourishing — feeling "more alive, creative, and resilient" as she says.

The key to flourishing is embodying these positive emotions three times more frequently than negative emotions, which she identifies as various shades of anger, fear, contempt, and shame.

What do positive and negative emotions have to do with belly wisdom? How do positive emotions such as gratitude relate to deepening breath and awareness into our body's center and energizing our hara?

My friend and Integral Bodywork originator Everett Ogawa says that, for him, lowering the breath into his body's center leads him into a bigger circle of understanding. He recognizes how life is so much larger than any human can comprehend. In the presence of such enormity he's thankful for whatever may be the span of his life, his tiny place in the great scheme of things. And he's moved by compassion to devote his time to helping others. Deepening his breath, gratitude becomes a whole-being experience, a felt sense of the precious gift that is the body, that is life itself.

Witness Everett's expression not only of gratitude but also of awe, inspiration, interest, serenity, and hope.

These and the other positive emotions that Fredrickson names are forces of attraction, connection, and bonding, linking us with others and with our essential selves.

In contrast, her roster of negative emotions are forces of separation, distancing us from others and from our essential selves. (James Joyce describes one of his characters: "Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body.")

My hunch: If we need to get all bioscience about it (and I'm not sure we do), the negative, separating emotions follow from the cranial brain's capacity for analytical thinking — a.k.a. sequential sorting and ranking and judging. The positive, unifying emotions follow from the gut brain's capacity for simultaneous synthesizing and encompassing.

With all of psychology's current fascination with neuroscience, the goings-on between the cranial brain and the rest of the body, I'm waiting for the day when these investigations expand to include the gut brain, the enteric nervous system.

[Be forewarned, this paragraph gets technical.] Cranial brain and gut brain communicate with each other through the tenth cranial nerve, the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve also connects cranial brain and heart. Current fascination with neuroscience includes detailing the vagus nerve's role in, for example, heart health and social engagement. Fredrickson's research suggests that positive emotions increase a person's perception of social connection, which in turn increases vagal tone, an indicator of physical health.

Energetically, emotions such as joy, serenity, and love reflect a state of being in which a person's life force (prana, chi, ki) is flowing fully and freely. Emotions such as anger and fear reflect a situation in which life energy is stuck and unbalanced — too much in one place, not enough in another.

Deepening awareness into the belly, energizing the body's center with movement and breath, activates the hara as our central powerhouse. Our body's center serves us as a dynamo, generously pulsing vitality through our whole body and being.

With our hara-powered life force flowing fully and freely, we're susceptible to feeling all kinds of positive emotions. Chances are that we and our lives will flourish.

For that, for the dynamo of life energy centered in our bellies, I'm grateful.

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Working with the energetic momentum of whatever it's your intention to shift - rather than against it - is almost always ideal. The Cauldron of Lilac Fire visualization is invaluable for doing just that. It naturally balances and powerfully purifies pretty much anything you'd like, including (but not limited to) people, objects, relationships, physical spaces, and situations. And the more you practice, the easier and quicker it becomes.

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My Dear Fellow Empaths,

I know it can seem overwhelming to live in a world with so much cruelty and violence. Especially when you're so sensitive that your heart breaks for even the most passing challenging emotions experienced by your fellow creatures...I feel your pain--literally! Because I'm an empath too.

But it's important that we learn to overcome emotional paralysis and live fully in this world. Not just with tolerance, but with actual joy.

Why? Well, first, because we're here anyway so we might as well make the most of it. But on a grander scale, consciousness is contagious, and compassion transforms challenges into blessings. So our fellow humans, animals, and plants need nothing more at this particular time than for us to spread our compassionate and loving state of being.

That's why I thought I'd share the three main things I've learned about living comfortably in this modern world.

First, it's important that we recognize that our empathy is a gift, not a curse. Yes, it can be overwhelming at times, but our capacity for grief is exactly equal to our capacity for transcendence. The very sensitivity that can pierce our hearts with excruciating pain can also elevate our consciousness to the realm of the miraculous. Would we willingly renounce our ability to connect with other creatures at the deepest of levels, or to see infinity in a raindrop? Never. I'll take excruciating emotion over a more mundane, less painful level of consciousness any day.

Second, it's important that we clear, shield, and recharge our energy field on a regular basis. Employing the gift of empathy effectively and sustainably requires that we wield our power consciously. This way, we can recognize what feelings are coming from us, and what feelings are coming from others. And, we can shift feelings in a positive way rather than letting ourselves get bogged down in the negative. To do this, we must clear and shield our auras regularly and be sure to recharge our energy fields by spending time in nature, taking sea salt baths, and devoting plenty of time to rest, play, and loving self-care.

Third, it's important that we use our superpower for good. Once we follow the two guidelines above, we are empowered to shift the overall energy of the planet to greater harmony, rather than letting it shift us into greater discord. And doing so regularly takes us from a place of overwhelm to a place of joy. We no longer feel buffeted about by the negativity in the world and instead notice the ever-increasing positive. Yes, we will still feel the pain of others and even weep from the depths of our soul on occasion, but it will be different. Because we will know that we are an important piece of the growing wave of energy that is even now transforming cruelty into compassion, and violence into peace.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    It is so important for we empaths to have perspective on our talents and tools to deal with them!
  • Tess Whitehurst
    Tess Whitehurst says #
    Francesca, I am so glad you agree!
Magical Mood Mastery (Or Why Happy Doesn't Equal Good)

Have you ever been in the midst of an almost frenetic happiness, only to have lonely, uneasy feelings creep up on you as if out of nowhere? I have: plenty of times. Just a few nights ago it happened, actually. And while in decades past I would have reacted with resistance, worry, or even panic, it struck me that these days, I react totally differently, and it makes all the difference. Let me explain.

First of all, can we just face it? Our culture is weird about mood. In countless ways, we clearly receive the message that happy=good, sad=bad. Not only does this oversimplify the nuances of our emotions and moods, it also makes it all too easy to think, "Oh no, I'm having "negative" feelings, what's wrong with me?" Of course, it doesn't help that television ads reinforce the belief that something is indeed wrong with you if you're not completely happy all the time. And have you heard of "New Age guilt"? It's when you feel guilty for feeling bad: you must not be saying enough affirmations or something...I mean, seriously, can't we cut ourselves a break?

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