Saturday

ET's Biography Eric D. Thomas - Youth Activist, Speaker, Author and Motivator

                                  ET's Biography

Eric D. Thomas - Youth Activist, Speaker, Author and Motivator
Renown speaker, educator, author, activist and minister, Eric Thomas is rising to national prominence by delivering a high energy message that tells youth through first hand experience how to live up to their full potential and greatness and by breaking the cycles of crime, hopelessness and despair that many face daily. Known for his engagingly personal approach, his messages are both dynamic & inspiring. When coupled with his own Cycle-Breaking experience his blunt essays on reality and remarkable ability to reach even the most jaded of minds, has helped thousands of youth nationwide become peak performers academically, spiritually and personally.

Eric has electrified audiences ranging from Fortune 500 companies to urban educators, collegiate athletic programs and inner-city youth development agencies with the message of his own life’s struggles and the principles, insights and strategies he used to overcome them. Eric is no stranger to the ills that plague our communities as he was born in Chicago, IL and raised on the streets of Detroit, MI. His childhood and adolescent years were difficult, and his life struggles and personal identity issues were intensified because like so many, he did not establish a relationship with his biological father until his early thirties.
 At the age of 16, defiant and hardheaded, Eric decided to leave home and drop out of school, choosing to live on the streets of Detroit. By divine intervention at age 17, Eric met a pastor who saw him a young man with tremendous unrealized potential. As a result, their mentoring relationship was born which led Eric to complete his GED and to prepare for college. Determined not to be another statistic, Eric enrolled at Oakwood University where he began reading every thing he could get his hands on. Understanding the struggle of the streets, he realized what his purpose in life was to become, so he reached back to his fellow drug dealers and helped many of them get their GED’s, go to college and incorporate the strategies and self-improvement exercises he learned in order to assist them in developing their own life plans. In so doing, he provided them with a much-needed positive option to the life of crime and illiteracy they then led.

While in college, Eric started Break The Cycle I Dare You, (BTC) a non profit youth development and special event organization that focuses on developing programs for youth who have made bad choices and most often have had family, social, and academic struggles along with the lack of a father figure in their lives. Today BTC has developed and produced many supportive community-based programs and conferences across the country. They provide youth and teachers alike with activities, self-improvement exercises and motivational strategies to help them reach their highest potential in life. Eric now serves as the Chairman of the Organization.

He obtained his Masters degree in 2005 and is currently pursuing his PhD in Education Administration at Michigan State University and serves as Senior Pastor of A Place of Change Ministries, Lansing Michigan. He also serves as a consultant at Michigan State where he has developed The Advantage Program, an undergraduate retention program targeting academically high-risk students of color. In addition to his work with the Advantage at Michigan State, he also serves as a consultant for several collegiate athletic programs across the country. In this role, he provides assistants to student-athletes having academic and social challenges as it relates to successfully transitioning from high-risk schools and communities to a collegiate environment.

Eric’s representation of the merits of higher education, coupled with his knowledge of the pains of the street, inspires young people to break bad habits and reach for new levels of personal and spiritual achievement.
Eric has lived a life of challenges and triumph but has found a way to break the cycle.


Wednesday

Simplify Your Life





Simplify Your Life 
Different people have different ways to spend their lives. As a result, simplifying life would carry a different meaning for each one of us.
I wouldn’t be wrong if I assume that most of us want to spend time with their loved ones, do work that they really like to do, have time for hobbies, spend less time finding important stuff and just be happy. And if we are not able to accomplish most of the above, we need to look at and simplify a few things in our lives.


1. Figure Out What’s Really Important
Figuring out what’s really important to you, what makes you happy and what are the goals for your life is the first step towards the simplification you aim to achieve.
It’s only when you know what’s really important, you can prioritize your tasks accordingly and get things done without being stressed.
2. Analyze Your Current Routine
Spend a day analyzing how you have been spending your days. What is your daily routine like? Has it helped with your work? Has it helped your health? Are you able to take time out for family and friends? Have you been prioritizing tasks according to what’s really important? Is the routine designed accordingly?
If any of these are out of whack, it’s time to change the routine.
3. Simplify Household Tasks
Most people don’t realize that household chores, if not done productively, could easily take up a significant chunk of your time. It’s important to simplify them.
What are the chores you do every day? Which of them have to be done every day? How do you organize your household in a way that it eliminates many chores? These are some questions you need to answer.
4. Get Rid of Things You Don’t Use
Take a look at that old bookshelf that has piles of books gathering dust. You never read any of them twice. Heck, you didn’t even read some of them once! Don’t you think you are better off distributing them to someone who could benefit from reading them?
The same can be applied to your DVDs, CDs, gadgets et al. Either sell them or give them away. Simplify.
5. Don’t Buy Things You Might Not Use
The reason you had that enormous collection of books or DVDs in the first place was because you bought them thinking they’d be of great help. Turns out you were wrong.
So, from now on, only buy things you are likely to use — and use often. When it comes to books and movies (unless you are a voracious reader or a movie buff) you can borrow or rent them instead of buying each new thing that comes out.
6. De-clutter and Organize Your Home & Workplace
Yes, de-clutter. De-clutter your desk, de-clutter your desktop, de-clutter your workspace. Just get started on cleaning up the mess that’s surrounding you.
Make things look clean and simple around you. This is an important step in simplifying your life.
7. Go Paperless
If you look around you, most of the clutter is constituted by paper in one or form or another. So going paperless not only makes your work easier and saves you time, it also significantly reduces workspace clutter.
I understand that a few tasks need paper. But try to use latest tools and software as much as possible to get things done.
8. Delegate and Get Help
No matter how organized you are — and how easily you can get things done — if your work grows, you are bound to get overwhelmed if you are doing it all alone. And that’s not just for your work, but for everything else in your life.
Delegating tasks to others who can do it better than you, collaborating with friends in various aspects of life, seeking help from someone who knows it better…all this helps to keep you sane and carry on with life without getting stressed and frustrated.
9. Disconnect Often
Last, and probably the most important step in simplifying your life – disconnect often. Disconnect from what? From anything that has you connected all day. It could be the internet for one, a cellphone for another. For someone, it might be a musical instrument which he just can’t stop playing for hours.
Take a few hours off every week, and a day or two off every month from what you do every day. Stay disconnected…stay abandoned. Spend time with yourself, with something you like to do but can’t find time for, with someone you love but don’t have time for, with nature. Take time out and thank the universe for the life and the opportunities you’ve got.

Sunday

I AM Spirituality Ep. 0003 - The Body Mind Spirit Model

Ever wonder what the terms Body Mind Spirit really means? Here's the roadmap that explains it all!

Friday

Transforming Illness into Enlightenment

 The  Power To Choose
 Illness into Enlightenment
by Eckhart Tolle

Surrender is inner acceptance of what is without any reservations. We are talking about your life — this instant — not the conditions or circumstances of your life, not what I call your life situation.

Illness is part of your life situation. As such, it has a past and a future. Past and future form an uninterrupted continuum, unless the redeeming power of the Now is activated through your conscious presence. As you know, underneath the various conditions that make up your life situation, which exists in time, there is something deeper, more essential: your Life, your very Being in the timeless Now.

As there are no problems in the Now, there is no illness either. The belief in a label that someone attaches to your condition keeps the condition in place, empowers it, and makes a seemingly solid reality out of a temporary imbalance. It gives it not only reality and solidity but also continuity in time that it did not have before.

By focusing on this instant and refraining from labeling it mentally, illness is reduced to one or several of these factors: physical pain, weakness, discomfort, or disability. That is what you surrender to — now. You do not surrender to the idea of "illness."

Allow the suffering to force you into the present moment, into a state of intense conscious presence. Use it for enlightenment.

Surrender does not transform what is, at least not directly. Surrender transforms you. When you are transformed, your whole world is transformed, because the world is only a reflection.

Illness is not the problem. You are the problem — as long as the egoic mind is in control.

When you are ill or disabled, do not feel that you have failed in some way, do not feel guilty. Do not blame life for treating you unfairly, but do not blame yourself either. All that is resistance.

If you have a major illness, use it for enlightenment. Anything "bad" that happens in your life — use it for enlightenment.

Withdraw time from the illness. Do not give it any past or future. Let it force you into intense present-moment awareness — and see what happens.

Become an alchemist. Transmute base metal into gold, suffering into consciousness, disaster into enlightenment.

Are you seriously ill and feeling angry now about what I have just said? Then that is a clear sign that the illness has become part of your sense of self and that you are now protecting your identity — as well as protecting the illness.

The condition that is labeled "illness" has nothing to do with who you truly are.

Whenever any kind of disaster strikes, or something goes seriously "wrong" — illness, disability, loss of home or fortune or of a socially defined identity, breakup of a close relationship, death or suffering of a loved one, or your own impending death — know that there is another side to it, that you are just one step away from something incredible: a complete alchemical transmutation of the base metal of pain and suffering into gold. That one step is called surrender.

I do not mean to say that you will become happy in such a situation. You will not. But fear and pain will become transmuted into an inner peace and serenity that come from a very deep place — from the
unmanifested itself. It is "the peace of God, which passes all understanding." Compared to that, happiness is quite a shallow thing.

With this radiant peace comes the realization — not on the level of mind but within the depth of your Being — that you are indestructible, immortal. This is not a belief. It is absolute certainty that needs no external evidence or proof from some secondary source.

Transforming Suffering into Peace

The  Power To Choose
Suffering into Peace
by Eckhart Tolle

In certain extreme situations, it may still be impossible for you to accept the Now. But you always get a second chance at surrender.

Your first chance is to surrender each moment to the reality of that moment. Knowing that what is cannot be undone — because it already is — you say yes to what is or accept what isn't.

Then you do what you have to do, whatever the situation requires.

If you abide in this state of acceptance, you create no more negativity, no more suffering, no more unhappiness. You then live in a state of nonresistance, a state of grace and lightness, free of struggle.

Whenever you are unable to do that, whenever you miss that chance — either because you are not generating enough conscious presence to prevent some habitual and unconscious resistance pattern from arising, or because the condition is so extreme as to be absolutely unacceptable to you — then you are creating some form of pain, some form of suffering.

It may look as if the situation is creating the suffering, but ultimately this is not so — your resistance is.

Now here is your second chance at surrender: If you cannot accept what is outside, then accept what is inside. If you cannot accept the external condition, accept the internal condition.

This means: Do not resist the pain. Allow it to be there. Surrender to the grief, despair, fear, loneliness, or whatever form the suffering takes. Witness it without labeling it mentally. Embrace it.

Then see how the miracle of surrender transmutes deep suffering into deep peace. This is your crucifixion. Let it become your resurrection and ascension.

When your pain is deep, all talk of surrender will probably seem futile and meaningless anyway. When your pain is deep, you will likely have a strong urge to escape from it rather than surrender to it. You don't want to feel what you feel. What could be more normal? But there is no escape, no way out.

There are many pseudo escapes — work, drink, drugs, anger, projection, suppression, and so on —  but they don't free you from the pain. Suffering does not diminish in intensity when you make it unconscious. When you deny emotional pain, everything you do or think as well as your relationships become contaminated with it. You broadcast it, so to speak, as the energy you emanate, and others will pick it up subliminally.

If they are unconscious, they may even feel compelled to attack or hurt you in some way, or you may hurt them in an unconscious projection of your pain. You attract and manifest whatever corresponds to your inner state.

When there is no way out, there is still always a way through. So don't turn away from the pain. Face it. Feel it fully. Feel it — don't think about it! Express it if necessary, but don't create a script in your mind around it. Give all your attention to the feeling, not to the person, event, or situation that seems to have caused it.

Don't let the mind use the pain to create a victim identity for yourself out of it. Feeling sorry for yourself and telling others your story will keep you stuck in suffering.

Since it is impossible to get away from the feeling, the only possibility of change is to move into it; otherwise, nothing will shift.

So give your complete attention to what you feel, and refrain from mentally labeling it. As you go into the feeling, be intensely alert.

At first, it may seem like a dark and terrifying place, and when the urge to turn away from it comes, observe it but don't act on it. Keep putting your attention on the pain, keep feeling the grief, the fear, the dread, the loneliness, whatever it is.

Stay alert, stay present — present with your whole Being, with every cell of your body. As you do so, you are bringing a light into this darkness. This is the flame of your consciousness.

At this stage, you don't need to be concerned with surrender anymore. It has happened already. How? Full attention is full acceptance, is surrender. By giving full attention, you use the power of the Now, which is the power of your presence.

No hidden pocket of resistance can survive in it. Presence removes time. Without time, no suffering, no negativity, can survive.

The acceptance of suffering is a journey into death. Facing deep pain, allowing it to be, taking your attention into it, is to enter death consciously. When you have died this death, you realize that there is no death — and there is nothing to fear. Only the ego dies.

Imagine a ray of sunlight that has forgotten it is an inseparable part of the sun and deludes itself into believing it has to fight for survival and create and cling to an identity other than the sun. Would the death of this delusion not be incredibly liberating?

Do you want an easy death? Would you rather die without pain, without agony? Then die to the past every moment, and let the light of your presence shine away the heavy, time-bound self you thought of as "you."

The Way of the Cross —Enlightenment Through Suffering


The Power to Choose  
Enlightenment Through Suffering



by Eckhart tolle


The way of the cross is the old way to enlightenment, and until recently it was the only way. But don't dismiss it or underestimate its efficacy. It still works.

The way of the cross is a complete reversal. It means that the worst thing in your life, your cross, turns into the best thing that ever happened to you, by forcing you into surrender, into "death," forcing you to become as nothing, to become as God — because God, too, is no-thing.

Enlightenment through suffering — the way of the cross — means to be forced into the kingdom of heaven kicking and screaming. You finally surrender because you can't stand the pain anymore, but the pain could go on for a long time until this happens.

Enlightenment consciously chosen means to relinquish your attachment to past and future and to make the Now the main focus of your life. It means choosing to dwell in the state of presence rather than in time. It means saying yes to what is. You then don't need pain anymore.

How much more time do you think you will need before you are able to say, "I will create no more pain, no more suffering?" How much more pain do you need before you can make that choice?

If you think that you need more time, you will get more time — and more pain. Time and pain are inseparable.


The Power to Choose
Choice implies consciousness — a high degree of consciousness. Without it, you have no choice. Choice begins the moment you disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present.

Until you reach that point, you are unconscious, spiritually speaking. This means that you are compelled to think, feel, and act in certain ways according to the conditioning of your mind.

Nobody chooses dysfunction, conflict, pain. Nobody chooses insanity. They happen because there is not enough presence in you to dissolve the past, not enough light to dispel the darkness. You are not fully here. You have not quite woken up yet. In the meantime, the conditioned mind is running your life.

Similarly, if you are one of the many people who have an issue with their parents, if you still harbor resentment about something they did or did not do, then you still believe that they had a choice — that they could have acted differently. It always looks as if people had a choice, but that is an illusion. As long as your mind with its conditioned patterns runs your life, as long as you are your mind, what choice do you have? None. You are not even there. The mind-identified state is severely dysfunctional. It is a form of insanity.

Almost everyone is suffering from this illness in varying degrees. The moment you realize this, there can be no more resentment. How can you resent someone's illness? The only appropriate response is compassion.

If you are run by your mind, although you have no choice you will still suffer the consequences of your unconsciousness, and you will create further suffering. You will bear the burden of fear, conflict, problems, and pain. The suffering thus created will eventually force you out of your unconscious state.

You cannot truly forgive yourself or others as long as you derive your sense of self from the past. Only through accessing the power of the Now, which is your own power, can there be true forgiveness. This renders the past powerless, and you realize deeply that nothing you ever did or that was ever done to you could touch even in the slightest the radiant essence of who you are.

When you surrender to what is and so become fully present, the past ceases to have any power. You do not need it anymore. Presence is the key. The Now is the key.

Since resistance is inseparable from the mind, relinquishment of resistance — surrender — is the end of the mind as your master, the impostor pretending to be "you," the false god. All judgment and all negativity dissolve.

The realm of Being, which had been obscured by the mind, then opens up.

Suddenly, a great stillness arises within you, an unfathomable sense of peace.

And within that peace, there is great joy.

And within that joy, there is love.

And at the innermost core, there is the sacred, the immeasurable, That which cannot be named.

Monday

Manifesting Your Desires














I could make it very easy from the start and say that you are already manifesting your desires everyday, but you just don't realize it. Most people are unconscious creators. They go about their daily lives not knowing that the thoughts they are thinking have an impact on their outside world. The Law Of Attraction, probably the most important law governing creation states that all forms of matter and energy are attracted to that which is of like vibration. What this means is that the thoughts we hold in our minds begin to attract similar thoughts and become larger masses of thoughts we call thought forms.

So what are the implications of this for you? Stated simply, you get what you focus on. "But I'm always thinking about money and i never have any," you say. And that is because you never stay focused on the abundance in your life, but are always looking at the lack of what you do have. So that is what you attract into your life. If you could stay focused on one thing and imagined the excitement you would feel if you already had it, it would show up in your life in a relatively short time.

The world you see is only a mirror of all the thoughts you have inside of you. Change your thoughts and you change the perception of your world. Quantum physics teaches us that nothing exists independently of your perception of it. In actuality you get to choose what you see. That is why several people observing the same thing each have different opinions as to what really happened.

If you want to manifest your desires there are a few steps you need to follow. Number one in importance is knowing what you really want. The more definitive you can be, the easier it will be to reach your goal. Number two in importance is the more enthused, excited and emotionally charged you are about something, the faster you will see it show up in your life. Next, you have to allow it to come into your life. What i mean by this is not to expect it to come in a certain way, the when, where or how. Just let it flow into your life. And lastly, you should have a feeling of gratitude, or thankfulness in advance, to be grateful before and for the thing that you want.

Saturday

Inspiration And Purpose

 











By teaching love, that very same love guided me to my purpose.
By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

When you are inspired by a great purpose, everything will begin to work for you. Inspiration comes from moving back in-spirit and connecting to the seven faces of intention. When you feel inspired, what appeared to be risky becomes a path you feel compelled to follow. The risks are gone because you are following your bliss, which is the truth within you. This is really love working in harmony with your intention. Essentially, if you do not feel love, you do not feel the truth, and your truth is all wrapped up in your connection to Spirit. This is why inspiration is such an important part of the fulfillment of your intention to live a life on purpose.

When I left the work that no longer inspired me, every single detail that I had worried about was almost magically taken care of for me. I had spent several months working for a large corporation where I was offered a salary three times higher than I had been paid as a teacher, but I was not in-spirit. That prodding inner knowing said, “Do what you are here to do,” and teaching counseling became my manifested daily purpose.

And public speaking was not a risk; it was something I had to do because I knew that I could not feel happy with myself if I did not follow my heart. The universe handled the details, because I was feeling love for what I was doing, and consequently, I was living my truth. By teaching love, that very same love guided me to my purpose, and the financial remuneration flowed to me with that same energy of love. I couldn’t see how it worked out, but I followed an inner knowing and never regretted it.

You may think it is too risky to give up a salary, a pension, job security, or familiar surroundings because of a dim night-light in your mind that draws you to see why it is turned on. I suggest that there are no risks at all if you pay attention to that light, which is your knowing. Combine your strong knowing with the faith that Spirit will provide, and you acknowledge the power of intention at work. Your trust in this inner knowing is all you need. I call it faith, not faith in an external being to provide you with purpose, but faith in the call you are hearing from the center of your being. You are a divine, infinite creation making the choice to be on purpose and to be connected to the power of intention. It all revolves around your being harmoniously connected to your Source. Faith eliminates the risk when you choose to trust that inner knowing about your purpose and become a channel for the power of intention.

Wednesday

Relating To Others, Practice "Understanding"












Two significant keys in relating, communicating, and understanding others are developing compassion for yourself and empathy for others.  Understand that all of us are flawed in some way, and all of us are destined to make mistakes.  The more risks you take, the more innovative you are, and the more you strive to improve the world or your life, the more mistakes you’re likely to make along the way.

 Try to read between the lines when it comes to others, but also know yourself.  The better you understand yourself and what makes you tick, the better you will understand others.  Many times the very idiosyncrasies you seem to criticize in others may be found in you.  Someone once said, "Beware when you point a finger at someone, because three fingers are always pointing back at you."  Before you criticize others, catch yourself.

  We all grow up in different environments, with different influences and experiences that shape our opinions and views of life.  In essence, you could say that we all come from different "worlds." Due to these differing views, we have our own individual opinions regarding the things in life that are important to us and the things that aren't.  In spite of our differing views and opinions, it's important to realize that what constitutes a "good" human being can not necessarily be judged by the external things one sees about them.  For example, just because a teenager may have a pierced eyebrow, pierced nose, pierced lip, and tattoos covering his or her body, doesn't mean he or she is a bad person. We must be careful not to prejudge a person's goodness based on how we think goodness should be packaged.  That's where understanding comes in.  We cannot judge someone until we first try to understand the "world" he or she comes from.

 My daughter, now a teenager, is forming her own opinions and establishing relationships.  I find that, initially, my advice falls on deaf ears.  So I have to remember how it was when I was a teenager.  At this stage in my parenthood, patience is a necessity.  Part of being patient is just being quiet and listening.  She may tell me things that shock me, but I just listen.  The world I grew up in and the world she is growing up in are both very different.  She is faced with situations at her young age that I did not have to encounter when I was her age.  However, to merely get angry that the world has changed and that she is confronted with these situations will not help my daughter.  I must try to relate to the world she is living in and offer wisdom, guidance, and sound advice to help her face the challenges that will come her way.

  Perhaps there is someone in your life that you find hard to relate to.  You just don't “get” him or her—the person’s actions or viewpoints.  Take some time to just sit still and think about that person.  What may his or her "world" be like?  What is the person’s background?  Where did he or she come from?  Perhaps they are dealing with insecurities, family issues, or other personal issues.  Think of ways that you can talk to the person or find out about him or her and begin to develop an understanding.  You may never fully understand some people, but endeavor to mentally walk in their shoes as they do.  You don't have to agree with them, but try to understand them and be sympathetic to their plight.
By: John Alston




Friday

A NEW EARTH - ECKHART TOLLE


When you are present in this moment, you break the continuity of your story, of past and future.
Then true intelligence arises, and also love.The only way love can come into your life is not through form, but through that inner spaciousness that is Presence. Love has no form.

- Excerpt from Eckhart Tolle's Stillness Amidst the World


Living in the Now
Nature. A flower - perfect in every way and fully present in the now. The flower doesn't worry about whether the sun will shine or whether it's going to rain. It doesn't worry about whether it will be watered later, tomorrow or next week. It simply exists in the full beauty of itself and for us to enjoy.

It is this sense of being absolutely present that Eckhart Tolle teaches in his writings. For when we are absolutely present in each moment, is when we live life to its fullest. It's when we are absolutely focused and all our attention is now that we are most alive.

When one stops to think about it for even a moment, one couldn't imagine living life any other way, and yet most of us do. We live in the past, in the future, anywhere but here and now.
"What you focus on is what you get" is a saying that describes how people experience their lives. Those who focus on the "good stuff" are happy and content. Those who focus on the "bad stuff" and all the things that are "missing" experience their lives as frustrating and empty.

Connecting with the Breath
Eckhart Tolle gives us a very simple method for bringing our attention into the present. It is something we all do every day and all the time that we are alive. Breathe. All we have to do to bring our attention to the present moment, become aware of our breathing. In and out, In and out. In and out. Ideally there shouldn't be any breaks in between - it should run in a continuous cycle.

Why Do We Want To Live In The NOW?
By living in the Now we can consciously choose what we would like our lives to be like, and we can overcome pain, regret and feeling powerless, and feeling as though we are victims of circumstance. Eckhart Tolle tells us that we are in fact the architects of our destiny.

By focusing on this moment right NOW, and living it to its fullest we choose our outcomes and our destiny. By making the choice to be happy, fulfilled and unafraid in each moment we create our world and the outcomes in it.

The Evolution Of Human Consciousness
Eckhart Tolle's  work is designed to awaken our awareness to the fact that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and as such we are so much more than we imagined we could be.

For as long as we can remember as a species we have experienced suffering. It seems that we have been mistaken and that suffering is not mandatory just because we are human.

  Eckhart Tolle is one of a myriad of teachers that are showing us the way to an evolved human consciousness that understands that suffering is not an inescapable consequence of being alive.
In fact, we are all capable of living joyful, healthy, productive and happy lives.

A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.

About the Author
ECKHART TOLLE is a contemporary spiritual teacher who is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition. In his writing and seminars, he conveys a simple yet profound message with the timeless and uncomplicated clarity of the ancient spiritual masters: There is a way out of suffering and into peace. Eckhart travels extensively, taking his teachings throughout the world.
Eckhart Tolle - Who Is He?
Eckhart Tolle was born in Germany and completed his education in England, graduating from the University of London, after which he went to work as a research scholar and supervisor at the University of Cambridge.

Eckhart Tolle's teachings have now reached millions of people around the globe as a result of his collaboration with Oprah Winfrey. This was done via the "A New Earth Webcast with Eckhart Tolle." Once a week for 8 weeks Oprah interviewed Eckhart Tolle and discussed and reviewed the ideas and teachings found in his book "A New Earth - Awakening To Your Life's Purpose".












Thursday

Feeling Lonely? Change By Understanding A Simple Law Of Life



Loneliness is a feeling...
Loneliness is one of the scourges of humanity. It seems to affect everyone regardless of age or ethnicity. Whether you're a PhD or high school dropout, rich or poor, you're equally vulnerable. What exactly is loneliness? It is a FEELING that intimacy, understanding, friendship, and acceptance are missing from one's life. It is a FEELING of isolation or separation from others, a FEELING of being all alone. We need to realize that loneliness is nothing more than a feeling. After all, you are not your arms or legs, for they are just parts of your body. Similarly, you are not your feelings, which are just parts of your psyche.

Words are a lot like cars. Both are loaded with power. Cars are used to drive home. And words are used to drive home a point. Words and cars are very useful, but when used improperly, they can harm us. There are many poor drivers and poor thinkers because we learn about cars and words from unqualified instructors, such as our parents or friends. Now, let's get to the point. Did you ever say any of the following to yourself or others? "I am lonely." "I am sad." "I am angry." If you did, that is a misuse of language that leads to harmful effects.

Here is something to think about. The words we use imprison us or set us free. For example, if I were to say, "I AM lonely." That is just like saying, "I AM white." or "I AM a male." You see, there's nothing I can do about being white or a male. There is nothing I can do to change what I AM. So, when I say, "I AM lonely," the implication is that I cannot change. In other words, I use words to imprison myself with false beliefs.

However, when I acknowledge that loneliness is a feeling by saying, "I FEEL lonely," I open the door of my prison cell because feelings can and do change. Of course, as long as I continue to say, "I feel lonely. I feel lonely. I feel lonely," nothing will change. For although I opened the door, I have chosen to remain in the cell. To completely set myself free I have to take that extra step by saying, "I feel lonely, SO I'M GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT."

Loneliness is much more than an inconvenience. Left unchecked, it can be a precursor to the solitary confinement of drug and other addictions. For the pain of loneliness may cause one to look for solace in drugs, alcohol, sex, or gambling. There is also the danger of loneliness developing into anxiety and depression. One can become completely immobilized by feelings of self-pity and helplessness. Also, one may try to mask pain by oversleeping or putting in long hours at the office. Finally, the stress imposed by loneliness leads to a weakened immune system, heart disease, and other physical ailments. The moral is clear. If we're suffering from loneliness, it's time to decide to do something about it.

All right, I feel lonely and want to do something about it, so what must I do? Start by understanding a simple law of life which can help solve almost any problem. That law is: You have to give away what you wish to receive. Our actions are balls that bounce back to us. A corollary of that law is: Don't give others what you don't want to receive. If I punch someone, they will punch me back. If I hug someone, they will hug me back. It's as simple as that. And that is the wisdom contained in the teaching, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Now, let's see what happens when we apply the above principle. I feel lonely. As I sink into the sea of loneliness, I decide to reach out. For the pain I experience reminds me how others must feel. So, I resolve to help lessen the suffering of others by becoming a volunteer or a friend. Perhaps I visit seniors, the bedridden, or those in prison. Or, I may befriend a lonely classmate, coworker, or neighbor. As I do so, what do you suppose happens? Yes, others eagerly look forward to my visits. By becoming a friend, I have gained friends. By offering support, I have won support. By healing the loneliness of others, I have healed myself.

Another corollary of the law of life mentioned above is: You will receive the most when you give the most. So, give of yourself, expecting little in return. Think of others, not yourself. Don't be needy because that will drain the energy of others and drive them away. Don't be needy, be a friend. And build that friendship slowly. Don't overwhelm others with your own problems. Learn to listen to others and they will listen to you. Learn to comfort others, and you will be comforted. Practice the principle of Tennessee Williams (1914 ~ 1983), who wrote, "When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone."

How can you love someone you don't know and don't spend time with? What is true for others also applies to yourself. How can you love yourself, if you don't spend time alone to get to know yourself. Being alone need not be the same as being lonely. For being alone is an opportunity for reflection, self-discovery, and growth. You will never be lonely if you like the person you are with. And no matter where you go, you will always be accompanied by yourself, so get to know and like that person.

The strongest trees are those that grow alone. The greatest dreams are those conceived alone. God can speak to you only when you are alone. Your purpose and life's meaning will be revealed to you only when you are alone. Yes, solitude is not the hovel of a recluse, but the mansion of a master. It is a place of joy. Yet, don't retreat to it to such an extent that you neglect others and deny yourself the blessings of friendship and companionship.

There's nothing questionable about the power of questions. If you're feeling lonely and don't know why, that's because you haven't been asking questions. Take an inventory of your behavior. Are you a show-off? Domineering? Moody? A complainer? A gossiper? Unreliable? Nosy? Short-tempered? A taker that doesn't know how to give? Do you build walls instead of bridges? Would you want to be friends with someone like you? Questions provoke thought and point to solutions. How can you take corrective action unless you ask yourself what you are doing wrong? If you are still mired in loneliness, is that because you're waiting to be rescued? (Don't hold your breath because help isn't on the way.) If you need a hand, you'll find it at the end of your own arm. There are lots you can do such as join a support group to master people skills. Learning about self-esteem, assertiveness, and how to overcome shyness and win friends can be a great deal of fun and put an end to your loneliness for good. Don't deprive others of the blessing of knowing you; be a friend!
By: Chuck Gallozzi  

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Friday

Appreciating The Physical And Spiritual Side Of Life


 Appreciating Life is knowing the negative and positive side of life, accepting that the world is not perfect. Appreciate the physical and spiritual side of life,that we are human being alive today and someday will die and be gone. Appreciate life and believe that you will wake up every morning, and feel that life is always worth living.

It is much easier to appreciate life than to grieve over it. The saying goes.."it takes 60 muscles to frown but 15 to smile' Is easier to be happy than to be sad? Appreciate life now.

Thursday

ARE YOU HONEST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS?

ARE YOU HONEST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS? IS DISHONESTY REALLY THAT HARMFUL?

People lie to one another all the time in relationships. One partner has an affair and swears up and down that nothing is going on. Another person promises that s/he quit smoking weeks ago, then their partner finds they have been sneaking cigarettes daily. Johnny tells Susan he doesn’t smoke pot anymore; when Susan leaves the house he gets high with a friend. Steve swears to Jodi that he hasn’t looked at porn in months; the next day she catches him on a porn site.

There are many different ways to lie: blatant lies, subtle lies of omission, (don’t ask, don’t tell, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”), “tricky truths,” half truths, mis-representations, and on and on. Our culture feeds on lies. Our highest officials blatantly lie to us all the time: (“Read my lips—I will not raise taxes,” “I did not have sex with that woman,” “There are weapons of mass destruction…”). The lies are endless and happen all the time to all kinds of people.

Each example, I have no doubt, would have a different explanation for the lie. One lie is to protect a spouse from pain, another is to protect a country from terrorism, another is to protect a person from losing his job and his family from losing his income, and another is to protect someone perhaps from a hate crime. All are lies, no matter how we explain them.

So why do we tell them?

The lies are unending in part because as long as nobody ever finds out about it, there’s no problem. You see, the seductive thing about lies is they can keep people out of trouble. Lies can hold off a fight, reduce the level of anger and disappointment between partners, protect someone’s feelings, stave off intense pain, stop a conflict, save a job, and can even, on occasion, save marriages--if they’re never found out.
Here’s a sobering reality, though--as much as lies, when not discovered, give people room to avoid difficult conversations, hard realities, and possibly painful consequences, they also destroy trust, relationships, hope, families, and lives--when they are discovered.
When people find out about affairs, the most difficult thing I see the person struggling with isn’t the sex itself, as much as the constant lies told around the affair. “I swear we’re just friends. You’re getting crazy on me…” By the time the partner finds out about the affair, there have been so many lies told around it that the person simply can’t trust what their partner says anymore.

This is true almost across the board with lies. Our country has had soooooo many politicians lie that its citizens barely listen to them anymore. Children no longer wait for Dad to come visit after the tenth time he doesn’t show—they just stop listening (unfortunately that doesn’t protect their broken hearts). Partners eventually stop believing what their spouse says after having been lied to repeatedly—they just can’t stomach another blatant breech of trust.

Lies break trust at its very core. They leave a lingering doubt that sometimes never goes away. Often they leave a deep wound that can never be healed. Before you make the decision to lie and rationalize that decision however you choose, first ask yourself if you’re willing to live with the consequences that lie is likely to cause. Next, ask yourself if you’re willing to have your family live with those same consequences.

Challenge: Commit to live a life of integrity—no matter how difficult it may be. Being honest may be difficult in the short run; however, it is your best chance for happiness in the long run.
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Tuesday

The Universe Within: Finding True Love

















While certainly we all have some parameters when we think of a mate, the truth is that the quality of the relationship is not so much about the "quality" of the two individuals as it is about the quality of the way they treat one another.

 Finding true love is not a matter of finding the perfect mate, but more about being ready and willing to give true love. What is true love? It is not "falling in love." It is what we do in the days, weeks, months and years afterwards. It is all the things described in Corinthians: it is patient, kind, does not envy, is not proud, rude, self-seeking nor easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth;
always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. Truly, that says it all.

To really love another is to be loving towards that being. Saying "I love you," often means "I want you," or "I like having you in my life," more than it is a statement about actively loving the other.
Active loving means being as concerned for the wellbeing of the other as for our own. It means getting our ego out of the way, so that we are not needy, controlling, judgmental or demanding. Actively loving another means we are neither critical nor hurtful. We are as careful around the feelings of our partner as we would be if there were a small kitten underfoot. We will go out of our way to ensure our words and actions will not be harmful, even accidentally.

It goes even deeper than this. Truly loving another means that we do not even think negative thoughts about the person. Everyone has aspects of their being that could be judged or criticized, but when we commit to loving another, we commit to hold only the purest thoughts about that person. This is so very important, because if we hold negative thoughts about someone, even if we do not utter them, they will know.
Holding pure thoughts of our beloved is the most powerful nutrient we can add to the garden of our love. It provides a safe and positive environment in which our loved one can blossom. The more that we create this for one another, the more beautiful and bountiful our garden.

Criticism and judgment are like hailstones that come crashing down, damaging the tender plants. Angry words and harsh actions are like strong winds that cause breakage and weakening. Non-communication or days of silence are like winter frosts, stopping the flow of life. Dishonesty or infidelity is like disease that slowly disfigures and eventually kills the blossom, if not the whole plant.

How often it happens that couples bring negativity into their relationship, but then blame the other when the relationship does not flourish. How ironic that some will try to "fix" the relationship by pointing out the defects of the partner. You cannot fix a relationship by bringing pain to your partner.
We can think of two partners as mirrors. If one starts reflecting negativity, it will be reflected back, often increasing in intensity, and gaining momentum with each reflection. If each reflects unconditional love and acceptance towards the other, it is like a hall of mirrors with endless reflections of love.
Truly loving another means only seeing the good, and reflecting that back to him or her. This applies to our children, as well as our partner. Ultimately, it also applies to every other human. This is what it is to be a loving being.

Maybe that is what relationships are for: the opportunity to practice growing in love, even when we are challenged, tired, irritable or cranky. It could be the highest purpose, with the greatest reward.
By: Gwen Randall-Young.

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Saturday

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
















 Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Just Different: Some people take comfort in labeling their sexuality: gay or straight, dominant or submissive, and so on. Having that label allows people to feel part of a group and to get support from others. But what if you're unable or unwilling to pin down your sexuality in this way?

 Perhaps you've been attracted to both guys and girls. Perhaps you're turned on by the thought of being the "doer" or the "done to," sexually speaking. Perhaps you've experimented with cross-dressing or even "passing" as the opposite gender, but don't wish to take a permanent step in that direction. You may identify with the Aboriginal concept of a "two-spirit" person: someone who has both male and female identities.

If you can't put your sexual identity in a box, you face unique challenges and opportunities.In a black-and-white world. Grey people tend to be misunderstood. Even if you feel no need to label your own sexuality, others may want to label you anyway. Not fitting into any obvious group could make it harder for you to get the emotional and practical support you may need. On the other hand, many of today's sexual-diversity groups - particularly those who cater to GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered) youth - welcome just about anybody who stands outside the big box of heterosexuality.

Your free-spirited sexuality will give you the opportunity to form relationships with a diverse group of people. And you're also in a unique position to help other people understand sexual diversity. Just remember that being different doesn't mean you can exploit or harm people, sexually or otherwise. If you handle your sexuality responsibly, there's every chance you'll find a safe place in today's diverse sexual world.

At some point you'll probably want to disclose your sexual identity to the important people in your life, such as parents or close friends. You may find it helpful to use some of the principles outlined in the coming out section for homosexuals, bearing in mind that your own coming-out process may be even more challenging. Even after you've explained why the usual labels don't apply to you, people may want to label you as something you're not.

You may want to launch the discussion by touching on this problem. For example:

 "It seems there's a lot of pressure for people to label themselves as straight, gay, or whatever. I'm having a hard time with that idea. I'd like to talk to you about how I've been experiencing my sexuality, which doesn't seem to fit into any of these categories."
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Monday

Living a Happier Life


















Seven Secrets to Living a Happier (and Less Stressful) Life
We’ve all heard that some people tend to look at life optimistically with a “glass is half-full” approach. Others see life more pessimistically with the opposing “glass is half-empty” view. Those who are optimistic live happier lives because they realize that happiness is not a “thing” to be acquired, but a choice you make for yourself each and every day. Acquiring “things” to make yourself happy creates only a short-lived type of happiness. True, lasting happiness comes from deep within you and will attract all that you desire into your life. Strive for this type of happiness with the seven key steps below:


1. Avoid Complaining and Criticizing -- These produce a negative focus. Instead seek opportunities to praise others, to laugh and to practice kindness each day.

2. Become Non-Judgemental -- Judging others creates chaos in your inner dialogue. Instead strive for inner peace by learning to accept others as they are.

3. Practice Defenselessness – Relinquish the need to convince others of your point of view. When you have no point to defend, you release the burden of defensiveness and feel more relaxed, joyful and free.

4. Appreciate -- Begin to truly be thankful for all that you DO have! An easy way to practice appreciation and establish a positive focus is with a Gratitude Journal. Keep your journal beside your bed and write down five things you are thankful for each night before going to sleep. In no time you’ll realize just how much you already have to be thankful for.

5. Meditate -- Release resistance to your natural state of wellbeing by learning to quiet your mind. Going within promotes inner harmony
and will help you to experience more peace and tranquility in your life. The goal of meditation
is mindfulness which means living fully in the present moment without regretting the past or worrying about the future. Try centering yourself daily by lying quietly on your bed and focusing only on your breathing for 10 minutes, dismiss any thoughts that invade this quiet time and when your mind begins to wander, gently bring your focus back to your breathing. Its as easy as that!

6. Deliberately Choose Positive Thoughts -- Its important to realize that although you cannot control everything around you, you can control your own thoughts and reactions to outside stimuli. When you notice negative thoughts creeping in, pivot to a more positive, better feeling thought of something you would prefer. The key here is to think about what you DO want vs. what you do not want.

7. Have Faith -- People with faith are generally happier and more relaxed because they know that they are not alone. Learning to have faith, letting go and trusting that all will be well will lead to a deep sense of inner peace and to all you’ve been dreaming of.

Most of all remember that you are supposed to be happy and that the purpose of life is joy!
By Terry Marshall
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Friday

Loving and respecting GLBT for who they are…

  GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender)
You might argue rather convincingly say that such things are best left unsaid, that it's personal, that we should keep quiet about it, out of respect for the sensibilities of others.
Such a course of action, however, is really a denial of whom and what we are, and yet one more form of condemnation. It is a message that says our homosexuality is so shameful and disgraceful that not speaking about it is the best course of action. That silence is the only appropriate response.
This is the human affect of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. We have the drive, the skills, the passion and determination to serve our country. Yet we have been denied that opportunity because we are homosexuals. In order to serve, we have been told, we must violate the very principles of the armed forces: You must lie. Our military stands to defend all that is great about America: diversity, equality, and freedom. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is an affront to these core American values. DADT seeks to silence diversity, it chokes out the principle of equality, and it violates the freedoms of thousands of LGBT Americans who want to serve their country, but are not allowed to do so.
How can our needs be met when we are not even free to say what they are?
It's a bit of a spiritual cruelty to demand that homosexuals be dishonest, to praise honesty in others but condemn homosexuals for it. Why should anyone be so shamed of what they are that they would even consider trying to cover it up and pretend to be something different?
Our rights, which include the right to equality, freedom, to freedom of opinion, the rights to political freedom, and the right to remove oneself from trouble and oppression. The right to marriage, to protect one's honor, the right for privacy and security of private life.
I wonder, if it meant to include or exclude homosexuals. Do homosexuals, have the right to "dignity, and not to be abused or ridiculed"? Do we have the right to remove ourselves from "trouble and oppression"?
Or are these rights the exclusive property of heterosexuals?
By speaking the truth in these matters we can reach some conclusions, perhaps even go forward.
In speaking the truth, we can reveal who we are, and what we are, and what our needs are. What our hopes and dreams are. The world can begin to see that we as homosexuals want to be accepted and understood and be part of the community. We want to attend our local place of faith - we don't want to stay home due to fear or shame or indifference- we don't want to be left to fend for ourselves in the spiritual wilderness. We want the ability to get married and carry on committed loving, lifetime relationships in full view of the community - we don't want to be trivialized and marginalized and forced to find fleeting solace in discos and Western-style bars.
For homosexuals to be dishonest carries a heavy pricetag. We spend an enormous amount of time and energy maintaining a double life. Our feelings become split: in some situations, we are free to be ourselves; in other situation, we must put on our "straight" face and pretend to be heterosexual.
We complicate our lives needlessly. Parents continually ask when we will "get married" - we long to tell them the truth and put such questions to rest, but know, we cannot.
On and on it goes. We are continually pretending to be something we are not, trying to remember "who knows" and "who doesn't" and who is it safe to talk to and who is not. We are constantly juggling the truth with the lie depending on the situation and the place. One's entire life begins to revolve around the "dirty secret".
It goes deeper.
To live one's life with the knowledge or belief that we are unworthy, that we should be condemned, that there is something wrong with us, creates any number of emotions from sadness and shame to fear and rage, and can result in depression, suicide, despair, hopelessness, spiritual conflict and turmoil.
Because these feelings are never shared with loved ones especially parents, it cause all sorts of damage. Fear is what keeps us in silence.
But it's not just the fear of physical violence; it's also the fear of emotional and psychological violence.
What about young man or woman just entering adulthood? How do they, in the turmoil of adolescence, dare approach their parents, or even their friends, with such a secret that makes us feel dirty and a shame of who we are?
The truth will set us free. "The truth will set you free".
It is this facing facts and honesty that we need in the debate on homosexuality. As homosexuals, we need to be honest about who we are; and be able to address our concerns to our community; we need to be heard, and understood; we need compassion and love.
For its part, the world needs to be more educated about homosexuality. It needs to be aware of the consequences it carries in the lives of people like us when we are treated with disrespect. Policies of hatred and discrimination are directed at relatives, friends, and co-workers. These policies reduce the quality of life and happiness of all those involved. They weaken the community, and sometimes destroying relationships, friendships and families.
People you less expect are homosexuals… it can be a friend, your sister, your brother, your son, your daughter, your mother, or even your father and you will not know it.
 They are treated with love until you find out, then suddenly they’re different to you. Where is the love and respect we have for one another?…This world would be a better place if we love people for who and what they are, not what we want them to be!
By: ABodyMindSpirit
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Tuesday

Living With Unconditional Love In These Difficult Times


 Living with Love
The power of love is held within each of us every moment. This wondrous energy is available merely by our use and conscious recognition. When we choose to love one another we transcend the lower personality perceptions and rise to a higher truth. We recognize our oneness, wholeness and interconnectedness.
 
This is not a conditional love or the type of love one may try to use to earn favors or expect validation, rather this is a universal and unconditional love that recognizes the beauty in life every moment. It is of a higher nature. It is a natural expression that does not expect an outcome. It is giving just for the sake of giving.
It is in the sharing and giving of love to others that we receive the same that we give. Give love and surely you will experience love itself. Express love to the world around you and the world will reflect back to you the power of love.
 
Each of us desires to understand and realize this experience of love. Just listen to the lyrics of music and you will quickly see how much the notion of love plays a part in our personal journey of life. We seek it in our families, relationships, careers, religions, hobbies, and even at times we look to nature itself. All the while, it is right within us ready to be given out and experienced.
Love is such a powerful force especially. when shared

Act of Love
When we allow ourselves to understand the impact our actions have not only on ourselves but the planet we live on, we realize the necessity to take loving action. We each have the power to correct conditions within as well as to affect the world we live in.
 
There are so many ways to apply love in our everyday lives. Yet, if we do not take care of ourselves, it is virtually impossible to feel and share love with the world around us. As an act of self-love, we can begin to educate ourselves and learn to take care of our physical bodies as well as keep our thoughts and feelings positive and loving. Nurturing ourselves also teaches us how to nurture life around us. 
Practice constant acts of kindness and you bring kindness upon this planet.  Forgiveness is the easiest and most powerful act of kindness you can make.  Both for yourself and for others, this activity promotes unity, harmony and oneness that transmutes the old into the new.

This magnificent planet is filled with opportunities to experience love, tolerance, peace and joy. When we, as individuals, realize our potential to love
unconditionally, we transform ourselves and the planet at the same time. Such is the power we wield every moment of every day. The choice is ours to create a world of joy
and happiness, love and goodwill.

Every moment of every day is a new beginning. This can be a powerful mantra or affirmation. The meaning held in these words opens us to a new way of living and experiencing life.  Each moment holds a new beginning of possibility and an opportunity to create without limitation. We can let go of what we perceive or believe is before us and allow our personal potential to shine through.  Start each day as a new journey of self discovery. Let go of yesterday and tomorrow and embrace the power of now. Remind yourself daily of the newness of life in the moment.
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Thursday

Row New York 2010

Seeing Row New York Team in action…is what LOVE is all about. You see...with LOVE, Hard Work, and Dedication Anything is Achievable!!
Row New York Video, by: Sophia
Charlotte at Crash B'S, by: Pili


Congratulations Charlotte, You achieved your goal...ROW NEW YORK Girls... thank you for all the love and support. WE LOVE YOU "ROW NEW YORK" http://www.rownewyork.org

Deepak Chopra on Keys to Healthy Relationships

Healthy Relationships:

Becoming aware of our emotions and how we manage them influences every aspect of our lives. Our emotions indicate our connection with other people and the world around us.As humans, we share a common set of emotions—we all can relate to feelings of anger, sorrow, pride and joy. Our ability to feel these emotions and empathize with others as they experience them is what keeps us connected. Deepak Chopra and David Simon, cofounders of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, share some practical steps to create and maintain emotional balance and freedom in our relationships.
 

Three Components of Healthy Relationships

As we embrace relationships, along with the energy we share with our family, friends, co-workers, and our self, we see how critically significant these interpersonal interactions are to our own emotional development. These evolving relationships are the most obvious barometers of our emotional well-being. At their heart, all relationships are spiritual experiences. They nurture us, teach us and connect us to the soul of others, and most significantly, to the depth of our very own souls. Through the growth of these various relationships, and our continued journey on the path of emotional freedom, we discover extended states of awareness, which stretch out from our soul. This aspect of our humanity is the mirror of relationships. Each relationship is a reflection of our own soul and therefore a mechanism to take us to higher states of consciousness.


Emotions are released to restore balance in our psyches. The limits we impose on our emotions originated with the discomfort of our parents. We formed our boundaries by reacting to theirs. They also were taught as children to recognize when an emotion was too much. Their sense of appropriateness was inherited, and they had little choice but to pass it on. What this means is that our emotional life isn’t completely ours. It comes to us secondhand. Every tear we shed, every angry outburst and every peal of laughter reflects the emotional comfort range of parents and grandparents—people other than us. The emotional intelligence that is unique to each of us can be recaptured, rekindled and more highly developed if we acknowledge its potential and significance and incorporate three components into our daily activities:
 

Place attention on your emotions

Each day, from the moment you awaken to the moment you go to sleep, place your attention on your emotions. This critical first step will allow you to truly experience love and emotional compassion.
 

Practice empathy

After the first step has been forged, you are able to look beyond yourself to others. This leads you to the second component of emotional intelligence: empathy. Noticing another’s emotions is the essence of communication. Can you feel what another person is feeling? By this I do not mean simply to understand what another person is feeling, but to actually feel it as if it permeates every cell in your body.
 

Manage relationships

The third component of emotional intelligence is the ability to manage relationships. This is a sensitive combination of being true to oneself, being generous of heart and being fully present. This is often easier said than done, but reaching out to another with love, compassion, understanding, defenselessness, empathy and spontaneity takes you to higher planes of spiritual existence.

Managing relationships requires honesty, willingness and an open heart. This sometimes more difficult for individuals who are unwilling to make themselves vulnerable. Yet for those willing to take the chance, emotional intelligence is a lifelong gift that provides the gateway to spiritual intelligence—the interdependent co-arising of events: synchronicity, magic, alchemy, miracles. We all have the capacity to reach that plane of existence if we start with a foundation of emotional intelligence.

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Tuesday

How do we communicate our needs?

Uncovering Our True Needs
An emotion is the fundamental mind-body experience. We call emotions “feelings” because we feel them in our bodies. An emotion is a sensation in the body associated with a thought in the mind. Emotions are designed to ensure that we are paying attention so we can respond to what is happening around us. All emotions can be reduced to two primary feelings—those of comfort and those of discomfort. Whether or not we are aware of it, every choice we make is based upon the expectation that the choice will lead to greater comfort. The anticipated feeling drives all our choices.There is a simple but seldom-recognized principle that can help us achieve emotional freedom: the recognition that all emotions derive from needs. When we feel that our needs are being met, we experience feelings of comfort. The better we are at getting our needs met, the more peaceful and comfortable our lives will be.
The key question to achieving emotional freedom is, “How do we communicate our needs in such a way that we are more likely to have them met?”
Drawing on the work of psychologist Marshall Rosenberg, there are skills of conscious communication that can be learned. Focusing your attention on these four steps can lead the way to emotional freedom:
1.Identify the event that triggered your emotional upset.
Being an astute observer can help you move out of reactive modes into more conscious communication of your feelings and needs. Saying to your friend, “You are never on time,” will be less useful than saying, “We agreed to meet at the theater at 7 p.m., and you did not show up until 7:30 after the show began.” Be as accurate and precise with what has happened so you do not waste precious emotional resources arguing about how a specific event fits into a pattern of behavior.
2. Take responsibility for your feelings.
When describing your feelings, choose words that express the sensation you are experiencing, as in “I feel…sad, lonely, frustrated, jealous.” Try not to use labels, such as “I feel that you are…self centered, rude, arrogant.” Also, avoid words that reinforce your sense of victimization, such as “I feel…neglected, rejected, betrayed.” When you take responsibility for your emotions, you are informing rather than blaming the people in your life.
3. Identify what you want that you are not getting.
As infants, we had caregivers continuously trying to figure out what we needed. As adults, identifying your own needs increases the chances that you will get them fulfilled.
4. Ask for what you want.
Ask for specific words or actions that will fulfill your desires. For example, if you are seeking more attention from your partner, do not ask him or her just to spend more time with you. Ask your partner to take a walk after dinner or go to a movie on Saturday night.
Express your need in the form of a request rather than a demand. We all have an inherent impulse to resist demands, whereas our self-esteem is raised when we are able to fulfill requests. Practicing this simple process can be remarkably effective in transforming turbulent relationships into harmonious ones. As we feel increasingly confident that we can get our emotional needs met in a relationship, we can spend more time celebrating, rather than lamenting, our lives and our loves. David Simon, MD, is the CEO, cofounder and medical director of The Chopra Center and the author of groundbreaking books on health, balance and complementary healing. 

Seven Steps to Emotional Release
Use this technique when you find yourself in emotional turmoil, as well as when you’re feeling depressed, “flat” or empty. It can help set you on the path to a new sense of self, a fresh perspective on life, even a childlike calm.
1. Identify the emotion. Find a quiet place and ask, “What am I feeling?” The one-word answer may be anger, sadness, fear, guilt, frustration, anxiety, etc. Define and describe the feeling as clearly as possible.
2. Witness the feeling in the body. Notice where you feel it. Is it located in the stomach, heart, throat, genitals or the base of the spine? Observe closely and allow your attention to stay on the sensation. Breathe into the feeling. Fully experiencing the physical sensations allows the emotional charge to dissipate.
3. Take responsibility for what you are feeling. Understanding that you have a choice in how you respond to and interpret your experience is the key to healing the emotional body.
4. Express the emotion. Write about the emotion. Speak it out loud in private. Describe the situation and the effect it’s having on your heart and soul. This step offers clarity and insight while releasing emotional toxins.
5. Release the emotion through a physical ritual. Experiment to discover what works best. Dance with abandon, exercise deep breathing, go for a run, get a massage. Such activities help release the tension stored with the emotion.
6. Share the emotion. Once you’ve released it and calmed down, share what you felt and experienced with the person involved. Having completed steps 1 through 5, this may be done without blame and without intent to manipulate the other person toward approval or pity.
7. Celebrate! It’s time to reward yourself for identifying and releasing the painful emotion. Treat yourself to favorite music, a wonderful present or a delicious meal.
Source: by Dr. Deepak Chopra ; Dr. David Simon
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