How Are You Buying Into The Illusion?

island-beautiful-boat-courttio-Favim.com-573018Hey you,

It’s been a long time since we’ve spoken. I apologize for that. My year 2 has started for school and booooooooy is it gonna be a full year. Fulfilling as well. My blog here has been put on the back-burner for the most part, but as always, I will continue to express as and when I can.

Something I want to discuss today is the idea of the comfort zone and what stepping outside of it means.

This year in class we are being pushed to excellence and although it’s going to be a very exciting journey, it also is very scary. It’s scary because in order to reach excellence, it calls for us to step outside of our comfort zone. It calls for us to grow beyond where we stand right now. It calls for us to step into this space that can be very uncomfortable to say the least. It calls for us to deal with ALLLLLL the reasons we aren’t there right now.

The space between the comfort zone and excellence is that space of uncomfortableness. A space we can refer to as the Divine Unknowing. In order to reach excellence, we have to willingly choose to navigate the path of the unknown. The one thing about that is, when we begin to navigate that path there is a natural inclination to want to move back into the comfort zone. We often let fear get the best of us and we move back into what we feel is safe, secure, and what is already known.

If you are ok with your life as it is right now, wonderful…stay in your comfort zone. But if you want to live the life of your dreams, learn and grow, become the best you can be, experience true freedom, and rise to excellence as you are here to do, then it calls that you take a risk. It means that you must choose to be uncomfortable. Yes I said it, you have to CHOOSE to be uncomfortable. You must get comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

What are your dreams? Are you still looking for that dream job, that dream mate, that dream place to call home? What stops you from going for it? I’ve had a lot of talks the last few days that have to do with being in this place of fear. I like to call it “What If” Island.

Imagine you just landed on this mysterious Island in which you didn’t know anything about. You weren’t sure what kind of animals lived there, if there were other people, the weather, what food to eat. How do you go about navigating this Island?

Well most of us suffer from the “What Ifs”. Hence I said SUFFER. What if there are scary animals that will eat me? What if the people don’t like me? What if I can’t find anything to eat?

Now let’s move these What Ifs off the Island and into your real life. What if I make this move and then something else comes along? What if I don’t like it? What if he doesn’t want to date me? What if I run out of money? What if I don’t get this job? What if they like someone else better? What if I don’t have enough experience? What if they say no? What if I’m not good enough?

We can sit there and list a MILLION reasons as to why something MIGHT not work out for us. A BILLION reasons. I have a few questions though. What If the animals are friendly? What if the people do like you? What if you do like it? What if he does want to date you? What if you make even more money? What if you do get this job? What if you get the life you’ve always dreamed of? What if that island is filled with the most loving, accepting, fun people, with the most beautiful wildlife, and most amazing food?Why is it so hard to think about how GREAT your life can be?

What is the number one reason people like to stay in the comfort zone?

Yes, you guessed it…. CONTROL. We like to feel like we have some control over our lives and our surroundings. But guess what. Control is just an illusion of the ego. Think about it. Do you ever REALLY have control? You could walk outside and get hit by a bus tomorrow. Do you control that? You walk around every single day not really knowing what’s going to happen next. You don’t have any more control in your comfort zone than you do outside of it. Yet guess what. You THINK you do. You buy into the illusion. And because of that you feel safe, and secure, and a knowing. And because of that, you try hard to control the next steps, you try hard to know the answers, you try hard to make SURE you know the results. Because of that, you stay in the same life with nothing really changing and never really growing. Because of that, you suffer. Your life suffers.

Remember you must CHOOSE to live the life of your dreams. You must CHOOSE to step outside your comfort zone. You must CHOOSE to reside in the Divine Unknowing. It’s in your choice, where most of the growth comes from. On your way to Excellence, you must risk not knowing. Simple as that. Not only must you risk it, you must be ok with not knowing. Hell, you need to LOVE not knowing.

Maybe some things you are worried about are correct. Maybe he wont like you. Maybe you won’t get that job. Maybe they will say no. The question is, what is the meaning you are putting to it all? What are you choosing to believe about the outcome? How are you letting it stop you? The thing you always have to remember is that no matter WHAT happens… you will be ok. If you believe the Universe is on your side, you will be better than ok. You know why? Because you will have had the opportunity for growth and learning, from taking the risk in the first place. And if you believe the Universe is on your side, when you get a NO, then you know that it only means something better is waiting for you. You have to risk it regardless of the possible outcome.

When you can become ok with the outcome, whatever it may be… You will be supported. It just may not always be in the way you expect. When you can let go of YOUR way and open up for A way to show up, it is then you experience TRUE freedom! It is then you can relax in the bliss of knowing the Universe is on your side. You are MEANT to reach excellence. That is what you are here for.

The cool thing about stepping outside your comfort zone is, as that as you start getting comfortable in the Divine Unknowing, your comfort level will rise. That new space will then become your new comfort zone and you will once again have a new chance to choose to go even higher than before. There is no cap for your excellence.

As we reach the edges of our comfort zone, we get scared. It’s natural. But instead of letting that fear stop you…. how are you gonna use it to move forward? What new job and meaning can you give it?

Are you tired of suffering? Are you ready to reach excellence?

It’s funny that most of us dream about Islands for get-a-ways…we seek pictures of Islands as comfort… what if that’s just your soul’s way of calling you to step into the unknown.

You deserve the life of your dreams. GO FOR IT!

xoxo,

barista

 

TRUE LOVE CHECKLIST: Is It Love Or Something Else?

I wanted to make a follow up post to go along with my last post about the misconception that Love Hurts. We discussed that Love is and always will be Love. We also discussed how if it’s not love that hurts then it must be fear. Mistaking  something else for love is not an uncommon problem.  When we have been betrayed, we think it is love that brings us pain, but really the pain was caused by deceit. “How could she do this to me, I love her.”  When we go through a loss, we think it is Love that brings us pain, but really the pain is caused by our attachment. “But I love him.”  When we go through a conflict we think that it is love that brings us pain, but really it is an unmet need.  “She doesn’t love me like I love her”. It’s misidentification like these that allow us to buy into the  belief that it is Love that is hurting us. That someone else is hurting us. If we never loved in the first place, we would be safe. WRONG! It is not how someone else is being that hurts, it is how you are being that does.

“What hurts is not love itself, but rather our unloving actions or reactions, the conditions we place on love, the fear that we are not loved, our resistance to being loved, and even out lack of faith in love… You experience pain when you are thinking, feeling, or behaving in a way that is not loving.” – Robert Holden

Love is a state of BEING. To BE Loving is a choice we must make. And if we aren’t in our loving, we are in fear. Remember, We can not be in both states at the same time. True love never dies. It is unconditional and everlasting. When there is a change in dynamic or even a loss, TRUE love still remains.  If in examples like the ones above can lead you to misidentify what love is, in what other ways may you be mistaking true love? What fearful reasons are really the root of your pain?

In Robert Holden’s book, Loveability, he has a TRUE LOVE CHECKLIST to help you “be aware of any mistakes you are making , recognize the real cause of pain, learn any unlearned lessons, and most of all, choose a better way”. 

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TRUE LOVE CHECKLIST: (the following has been copied directly from the book)

1. Is this love or fear?
“The basic fear ‘I am unloveable’ is the primary cause to suffering. When you identify with this fear, it causes many tears to fall. The fear is not true, but if you believe it, you will turn away from yourself. Feeling unloveable causes you to reject your internal loveliness…When you believe ‘I am not loveable”, it causes you to contract inside, to defend yourself, and to behave in unloving ways that add to your pain. You also experience pain when fear appears to triumph over love: for example when it looks like love is not present, that love changes, that love is being withheld, that love is not enough, and that love dies. In deep pain, the fear is that love has forsaken you. In other words, love has rejected you, too. The temptation here is to reject love. However, when you stop loving, it hurts you even more. Only by loving can you begin to face fear, heal the pain, and walk out of hell. ”

2. Is this love or dependency?
“Many psychologist view dependency as a major source of pain in love. They counsel you against needing anything from anyone, lest you get hurt. One way to counteract this fear of dependency is to be totally independent of others. Unfortunately this causes just as much pain. Independence looks like freedom, but really it is a dead end. It shuts you off to the whole creation. Imagine if you had no relationships in your life. The truth is, we depend on relationships for our growth and evolution. Relationships are how we learn to love and be loved.

Health dependency allows you to ask for help, to be open to inspiration, to cooperate with others, and not to try to do life by yourself. Unhealthy dependency arises when you feel unloveable and see others as the source of your love. You believe it is their job to make you feel whole, secure, and connected to the world, to heal your wounds, and to validate you. Inevitably, though, when you make someone your source of love, they will also be your source of pain. No one does a very good job making someone feel lovevable, mostly because it’s an impossible task.”

People can encourage you to feel loveable, but they can’t make you feel loveable. Making sure you feel loveable is YOUR job, not someone else’s. 

3. Is this love or attachment?
“Can you feel the difference between feeling connected with and feeling attached to someone? When you love someone, you feel a connection that defies all physical laws. You feel connected from the moment you first recognize each other. Your friendship is timeless. You feel connected even if you live ten thousand miles apart. Your friendship knows no distance. You feel connected even when you haven’t spoken in ages. Your friendship is beyond words. You feel connected even if one of you is in heaven and the other is still here on earth. Your friendship is beyond all form. Your love for each other serves as a memory of your true nature, and somehow you know that your connection will continue long after you have forgotten about your visit to this world.

When you are attached to someone, it is still possible to feel that love connects you, but mostly what you feel is fear, anxiety, and pain. Attachments are contracts based on form. Pain arises when the conditions of attachment are not met…Pain also arises when the form of the relationship changes. Children grow up and leave home. Parent divorce and leave home. Our best friend gets married. We get married and divorced. People we love die. We grieve the loss of form, and understandably so. But, in truth, there is no loss in love, not when you allow yourself to feel your genuine connection to each other. ”

4. Is this love or do I have an agenda?
“What do you expect from your mother? What do you expect from your lover? What do you expect from your child? from the world? Whenever your expectations are not met, you will know it, because you will feel disappointed, let down, angry, and hurt. What is the difference between an expectation and a demand? Nothing much actually. Expectations look innocent enough, but they carry an agenda, a plan, and a demand to get something. Each expectation is set on a timer, and if you don’t get what you want in time, the bomb goes off.

Expectations are fear based. They are an effort to grab what you want instead of letting it come to you. The more afraid you are of not getting what you want, the more expectations you have on your list. Expectations are frustrating because they arise from an attitude of getting that blocks receptivity. They create an agenda that acts like a wall between you and the other person. Love doesn’t have an agenda, because an attitude of love is really based on BEING rather than getting or receiving…Love helps you to BE what you want to give and receive.”

Common Expectations That Cause Hurt in Relationships:
* I expect to be loved by everybody
* I expect people I love to love me, too
* I expect people I love to love me more than others
* I expect others to know how I need to be loved
* I expect others to love me the way I love them
* I expect people I love to know that I love them
* I expect others to love me without making mistakes
* I expect others to love me all the time.

5. Is this love or am I trying to get something?
“You can’t feel hurt unless you are giving to take”, says Chuck Spezzano. When you give love in order to get love, it ends in tears, either right away or eventually. Love is not something to get. You can’t get love from people like you get a bottle of soda from a vending machine. If you did a naked dance in front of them, you could probably get their attention, some approval, and even a wild applause. This might feel pretty good, but it wouldn’t be love. If you give love in order to get love, you will end up feeling disappointed and resentful. “Look what I did for you”, you yell. “I even did a naked dance for you,” you cry. When you give love freely, you feel the love you give and you feel loveable NO MATTER WHAT the return.”

6. Is this love or am I in sacrifice?
“There are two types of sacrifice: unhealthy sacrifice and health sacrifice. One is based on fear and the other on love. Knowing the difference is the key to knowing how to love and be loved. Unhealthy sacrifice may appear to work at first, but love and dishonesty are not good bedfellows. Lovers try to play small in a relationship in order to heal power struggles and avoid rejection. Children get ill in a desperate attempt to heal their parents relationship. Business leaders nearly kill themselves for their cause. Unhealthy sacrifice is often well intentioned, but it doesn’t work, because it’s based on fear not love.

Healthy sacrifice is a different story. To be happy in a relationship, you have to be willing to sacrifice your fear for love, independence for intimacy, resentment for forgiveness, and old wounds for new beginnings. Above all, you have to stop giving yourself away and learn how to give more of yourself. You give yourself away when you are not true to yourself, when you play a role, when you don’t speak up, when you don’t ask for what you want, when you don’t listen to yourself, and when you don’t allow yourself to receive.”

7. Is this love or am I in a role?
“Two people in a relationship will play out a number of roles together. When you are happy, you barely notice these roles exist. However, when things are not okay, the roles are more fixed and rigid. They are your position and your point of view in the relationship. They affect your capacity to give and receive. They can cause you to polarize and to oppose each other. This is painful, as you no longer feel like you are on the same team. The perceived separation can cause a power struggle and more conflict.

Roles that are fixed and rigid cause hurt and pain. These roles usually begin in childhood, born of fear that you are not loveable or that there is not enough love to go around…When there is a problem in the relationship, your homework is to find out what role you are playing and also consider what good things could happen if you stopped playing this role. Here are some good examples of roles that cause polarity:”

* Am I loving this person or am I playing the role of a martyr?
* Am I loving this person or am I playing the independent role or the dependent role?
* Am I loving this person or am I playing the role of the parent or the child?
*Am I loving this person or am I playing the role of the rescuer or the victim?
*Am I loving this person or am I trying to be positive or be contrary?

8. Is this love or am  I trying to change the person I love?
“Have you tried to change your partner recently? How did it go? Were they suitably appreciative? I imagine you didn’t get a thank you note for your efforts. Have you tried to change your children? Were they receptive? Did it work this time? Children are willing learners, except when they don’t feel loved. Have you tried to change your parents? After all, they’re getting older now and so they should be weaker and less able to resist your campaign. Has anyone tried to change you recently? How did you feel about that? Did you feel more loved? Are you feeling even more love for that person who wants to change you?

A common mistake in relationships is the belief that your love will change a person, eventually. You can’t love someone and want him or her to change. For a start, when you try to change people, they do not feel loved by you. If anything, they feel judged and rejected. Love does not seek to change people, because love does not find any fault in a person’s true essence. Love can help a person grow and to bring out the best in him or her; but you will not see any of this of you do not love the person unconditionally in the first place. The paradox for love is that when you stop wanting each other to change, you are changed, and this change enables you to love each other more. “Ask yourself:

* Am I loving this person or am I trying t o fix him?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to improve her?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to save him?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to heal her?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to get him enlightened?

9. Is this love or am I trying to control this person?
“Every relationship experiences what is commonly called a power struggle. This is not just in marriage, but also in relationships between parents and children, between in-laws, and between siblings. In a power struggle, both people have to learn to give up trying to control each other so as to experience true friendship and love. When a power struggle is healed, it helps both people feel more equal, more connected, and more loved.

Control is a form of fear. When you are tempted to control the relationship, it’s because you are afraid that you are unloveable and that you might lose someone’s love. Unfortunately, the more you try to control a relationship, the less loving it feels. Too much control makes the other person passive or passive aggressive. The more you control someone, the less attractive and interesting the person is to you. Control stunts growth, it kills aliveness. Here are some points to consider:

* Am I loving this person or am I playing it safe?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to protect him?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to protect myself?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to keep the peace?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to hold on to her?

10. Is this love or am I trying not to get hurt?
If you believe that love hurts, you will be afraid to love and be loved. This fear of love makes you want to protect yourself against love. Your ego creates an arsenal of defenses that stop you, for instance, from loving too much or loving too easily. You employ these defenses to feel safe, in control, and emotionally insured against any injury. And still you get hurt. And hurt again. Eventually, by some act of grace, you consider the possibility that these defenses are the cause of your hurt. And so it is, because defenses are made of fear and fear keeps you stuck in the experience you are trying to escape.

Until you realize that love doesn’t hurt, love will always seem to hurt you. That will be your story anyway. If you are willing to let go of your story, even for just a moment, you can start to have a different experience of love. As you begin to  dismantle some of your old defenses, you notice the love course runs more smoothly. Eventually, your defenselessness opens you up to experience pure love.”

 

If you are feeling pain or loss of love in any moment, stop and ask ask yourself, is this true love or is this something else?  It isn’t until you discover what it REALLY is, that you can start to heal and return to loving.

What are some ways you mistake pain for love? In what ways can you think, feel, and BE more loving? Leave your answers in the comment section below.

xoxo,

barista

Ending Year One and Remembering What Has Always Been

thumbnailI remember when I was a really small child, maybe 5 or 6, and having an “Inner Body Experience” as I would like to call it. I could stare at my hand for a few seconds and all of a sudden feel myself as a soul inside of my body. It was as if I was watching a movie or a play and watching my thoughts and watching life happen in front of me. I would trip out a bit thinking about how I am a person with a body and this is all real yet having this knowing that I and everyone else was much more than what I could see or comprehend at the time.

Having this experience was almost like a high for me. I remember the first time I did it, i felt weird and didn’t really know what was happening but after a few times of having this experience, I was able to control it and all I had to do was look at my hand and I would disappear into this Inner Body Experience. I could look into the mirror, look at my face and know that I was not my body or my thoughts. I was a soul. I was the Universe. I knew that I was Love.

As I got older and started identifying more with myself as my ego, the Inner Body Experiences happened less and less until they didn’t happen at all anymore. Not that they couldn’t, but as experiences happened, I simply started to forget who I was. I identified with my body, with my thoughts, with my behaviors. It wasn’t until recently that I even remembered the Inner Body Experiences ever happening at all.

After going through a really depressing stage in my life, probably one of the worst times ever, back when I was 23 years old and pregnant with my first son, I started to rediscover my Self.

“A certain desperation is usually necessary before we’re ready for God… Until your knees finally hit the floor, you’re just playing at life, and on some level you’re scared because you know you’re just playing. The moment of surrender is not when life is over. It’s when it begins”
-Marianne Williamson

It felt like I had dove head first into a never ending well and couldn’t stop. I was taking seminars, and reading books, and watching movies, and learning a bunch of things that resonated with every single thing I felt I ever believed in during all the years before. My “knowing” and my inner feelings were being expressed through these things in ways that I could never express outside myself. The best part was that none of this felt like I was “learning” anything but rather was “remembering” it all.

I would open a book and everything I read was like something I already knew inside and I was getting validation for my previous thoughts and beliefs. It was the learning how to BE these things that became the hard part. After living years and years in my ego, forgetting what I felt and knew when I was 5 and 6 years old, living this more conscious lifestyle wasn’t so easy. Especially because the ego will do anything it can to make sure you hold on to it.

When I discovered the University of Santa Monica, the school for Spiritual Psychology, my heart almost fell out of my chest. To take classes and get hands on experience in learning how to break down the barriers that are preventing me from living the full expression of my soul, seemed like I had stepped into a miracle. Everything I had ever connected so deeply with, was being taught in an experiential way through this school. So not only was I going to further the “remembering” but I was going to get practice in learning how to “walk the talk”.

This last 9 months of school has been nothing short of amazing. There was not a moment that I felt I didn’t want to be in class. I craved the environment we all created and the loving energy that existed by stepping foot into the classroom, even being pregnant. It was safe, and accepting. Loving and vulnerable. I had connected so profoundly and deeply with almost every single person I ever talked to in that classroom. I had seen myself as them when they spoke and I knew they saw themselves as me when I spoke. The feeling of unity and oneness was experienced every weekend that I had class (which was one weekend a month). It became impossible to look at anyone in my class and not just love the shit out of them. It was impossible!!!

We had a 6 day lab as the last week of school; It was the chance to really go deeper into our experience of healing and resolving. We set intentions about what we wanted to get out of the lab. Most people wanted to go where they were afraid to go before. To touch on the things they were afraid to touch on before. To jump off the ledge and prove to themselves that they indeed knew how to fly.

I learned the true power of intention during this time. The true power in following through with what you intend. One after one, all week, people were healing and growing and loving and knowing. Including myself. Everyone just seemed so beautiful and light filled. It was intense and nothing I had experienced before.

As I woke up on the last day of class, I felt like my heart was on fire. I felt like it was the end of something even though class would start again in 3 short months. Through out the year I had judged my process so much, and this time I finally felt like my heart was just opening. As I stepped into the classroom and saw all the beautiful faces of my classmates, I felt so overcome with love that I just wanted to cry uncontrollably. Every person I saw, I saw past their body, I saw past their thoughts, their behaviors, their personalities. I saw right into their loving essence.

My intention for that last class was just to remember WHO I AM. That morning I remembered how when I was 6 I would look at my hand and have my Inner Body Experiences. I started to talk about who I am as a Soul and my Authentic being, my truth.

I am not my body, I am not my thought. I am not my behaviors or personality.

I AM ACCEPTANCE, I AM JOY, I AM PEACE, I AM VULNERABILITY, I BRAVE, I AM COURAGEOUS, I AM FREEDOM,  I AM THE UNIVERSE, I AM LOVE!!!!!!

I AM EVERY SINGLE THING I SEE IN EVERYONE ELSE. This means that All the great awesome qualities I was seeing in my classmates, I Am those things too. I AM! All I have to do is remember that. I was finally getting it.

I left my last class feeling the best I had felt in a very long time. I was finally remembering it all. I was finally returning to love. My heart was burning with what had always existed inside.

The one thing that trips me out is that I started class 4 months pregnant. I grew a human being inside of my body during 5 months of the year. Class was the last place I was before going to the hospital and giving birth to my baby boy. They say your consciousness exists in every cell of your body, so to think of the consciousness my child entered this world with blows my mind. He’s he happiest baby I’ve ever seen. Crazy thing is that, when I started this journey at 23, I was pregnant then too and I was going through an intense spiritual growth period. My son that was born then was always super happy and chill. I’m convinced that this awakening has a lot to do with it. People ask me now how did I get so lucky, my reply is “USM!”. 🙂

The journey has not ended by any means, there is still a lot of work to do, but I have clear intentions on what I see for my life. How I want to serve others, and I can’t serve others without honoring my SELF. This first year was only the beginning! I am returning to Love.

Here’s to the end of a miraculous year. To all the classmates I met and connected with, and even the ones I never got to talk to,  you are beautiful. You are loved!!!

Can’t wait for year two! watch out world, WE’RE COMING!

xoxo,

barista

Are You Staying True to Your Inner Moral Beliefs?

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“With the self as a focal point, you sustain the illusion that you are your body, which is a completely separate entity from all others. This sense of separateness leads you to compete rather then cooperate with everyone else” – Wayne Dyer

Being that it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday, I thought today was perfect day for this post. MLK represented a man you was very connected to his intention and Source. He consciously chose to act out of his loving instead of his ego, even through the hardest of times, which lead him to making great connection with many people on many levels.

I hear and read so many people, myself many times included, that have the intention of being and acting one way (kind, love thy neighbor, accepting, compassionate, empathetic) yet many times have a hard time staying connected to that intention and can end up acting in a way that can be quite the opposite (judgemental, mean, rejecting, jealous). I know sometimes I can feel so passionate about something I perceive as negative that I also respond in a negative manner. In reality, this is making me no different then the source that caused my reaction. As Dr. King has said “Darkness can not drive out darkness, only light can do that”. So how can we learn to stay connected to our inner most intentions and project light onto all situations?

Integrity

One of my goals for myself is to continue to discover and define my inner moral code and consciously, with intention, chose to live by that code during all situations. One of the things that gets in the way of that intention is my ego. We all have one and in respect we all NEED one. The ego can be very successful at helping us achieve the things we want in life with its goal minded orientation, but it can also harm us in many ways, especially when it comes to continuously acting out of our Authentic Self. The Self that wants to maintain our intentions and inner moral code.

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday, I would like to quote a section from Wayne Dyer’s book, The Power of Intention, in his words. May we all strive to live a life of personal integrity and stay true to the person we have the intentions of being.

Seven Steps for Overcoming Ego’s Hold on You

1. Stop being offended. The behavior of others isn’t a reason to be immobilized. That which offends you only weakens you. If you’re looking for occasions to be offended, you’ll find them at every turn. This is your ego at work convincing you that the world shouldn’t be the way it is. You can’t reach the power of intention by being offended. By all means, act to eradicate the horrors of the world, which emanate from massive ego, but stay in peace. Being offended creates the same destructive energy that offended you in the first place and leads to attack, counterattack, and war.

2. Let go of your need to win. Ego loves to divide us up into winners and losers. The pursuit of winning is a surefire means to avoid conscious contact with intention. Why? Because ultimately, winning is impossible all of the time – Someone out there will always be faster, luckier, younger, stronger, and smarter – and back you’ll go to feeling worthless and insignificant. You are not your winnings or victories. There are no losers in a world where we all share the same energy source. Let go of your needing to win by not agreeing that the opposite of winning is losing. Be at peace, and match up with the energy of intention. And ironically, although you’ll hardly notice it, more of those victories will show up in your life as you pursue them less.

3. Let go of your need to be right. Ego is the source of a lot of conflict and dissension because it pushes you in the direction of making other people wrong. When you’re hostile, you’ve disconnected from the power of intention. Letting go of your need to be right in your discussions and your relationships is like saying to the ego, I’m not a slave to you. I want to embrace kindness and I reject your need to be right. In fact, I’m going to offer this person a chance to feel better by saying she is right, and thank her for pointing me in the direction of truth. When you let go of the need to be right, you’re able to strengthen your connection to the power of intention. Keep in mind, the ego is a determined combatant. I’ve seen people willing to die rather than let go of the need to be right.

4. Let go of your need to be superior. True nobility isn’t about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than you used to be. Stay focused on your growth, with a constant awareness that no one on this planet is any better than anyone else. We all emanate from the same creative life force. Let go of your need to feel superior by seeing an unfolding of God in everyone. When you project feelings of superiority, that’s what you get back, leading to resentments and ultimately hostile feelings.

5. Let go of your need to have more. The mantra of the ego is more. It’s never satisfied. No matter how much you achieve or acquire, you’re ego will insist that it isn’t enough. You’ll find yourself in a perpetual state of striving, and eliminate the possibility of ever arriving. Yet in reality, you’ve already arrived, and how you chose to use this present moment  of your life is your choice. Ironically, when you stop needing more, more of what you desire seems to arrive in your life. Since you’re detached from the need of it, you’ll find it easier to pass it along to others, because you realize how little you need in order to be satisfied or at peace.

6. Let go of identifying yourself on the basis of your achievements. This may be a difficult concept if you think you are your achievements. I can  hear your ego loudly protesting. Nevertheless stayed tuned to this idea. All emanates from Source! You’re not this body and its accomplishments. You are the observer. Notice it all; and be grateful for the abilities you’ve been given, the motivation to achieve, and the stuff you’ve accumulated. The less you need to take credit for your achievements and the more connected you stay to the faces of intention, the more you’re free to achieve, and the more will show up for you.

7. Let go of your reputation. Your reputation is not located in you. It resides in the minds of others. Therefore, you have no control over it at all. If you speak to 30 people, you have 30 reputations. Connecting to intention means listening to your heart and conducting yourself based on what your inner voice tells you is your purpose here. If you’re overly concerned with how you’re going to be perceived by everyone, then you’ve disconnected yourself from intention and allowed opinion of others to guide you. This is your ego at work. It’s an illusion that stands between you and the power of intention. Leave your reputation for others to debate, it has nothing to do with you.

When I think of Martin Luther King Jr. and the type of man I have learned he was, I conclude that he succeeded in these seven steps. He and others with the loving centered heart like his (Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Jesus, Buddha) are the epitome of what living with personal integrity and intention are about.

Overcoming the ego is what allows people to stand out and stay remembered in a good manner. They connect with the masses and they exert a light into the darkness of others. The lift you up and they stay true to that inner voice directing them in ALL circumstances.

Let us all see this and use it to become a better version of ourselves. To emanate the purpose of our existence. Don’t let the darkness take control. Spread love and light to the world! Live a life of intention!

Happy Tuesday

xoxo,

barista

Are You Having A Hard Time Staying Motivated? Here’s Why

Competition

“A lot of people jump into higher consciousness, and forget about lower consciousness. They haven’t done their ego work, their feeling work. They’re bliss’d out. It’s just another mood alteration, and it’s a hell of a trip. I did it myself….it became very important to me to realize all of that was a kind of intellectual defense – a wonderful mood alteration, compulsive spirituality. It was a way to stay out of my feelings. I think all that stuff is really valid, but if you don’t do your ego work – what I call the original pain work – it WILL pull you back” – John Bradshaw

Have you ever felt highly motivated about something, you feel great about it and slowly but surely that motivation fades away and you feel like your back where you started? I feel like that happens to me a lot in a lot of different areas. One for example is when I want to start working out and feeling healthy. I will start to wakeup early, maybe do some morning exercise videos. Eat a healthy breakfast, maybe even juice and drink some tea. Go to the gym after work, occasionally fit in some bikram yoga. Start a nice bedtime routine and feel wonderful like “This is how the day should go everyday“. Then slowly but surely over the course of a few weeks, sometimes even just a few days, some of the new habits starts to fall off until eventually I’m back where I started agonizing over why I can’t keep going.

One of the first things we learned in class was the different realms we work from. At the top there is the physical realm. The act of DOING stuff. Underneath that is the Mental realm which is our THINKING. Next under that the Emotional realm which of course is our FEELING. Together the Mental realm and the Emotional Realm is what we call our EGO. Underneath that is the unconscious, things that are there but we do not remember whatsoever. And lastly under that is our Spiritual Realm aka our Authentic Self which is one of Love, acceptance, peace, joy etc. It’s who we TRULY are, our SOUL.

DOING leads to THINKING leads to FEELING. Things that are in the unconscious are unknown of course (otherwise we’d be conscious of them) and those things will come up as they need to when its perfect time for you to deal with them.

So to explain this method of DOING something and feeling motivated and then regressing back to your original state, we have to look and work on our ego. Our ego likes to play tug of war with our authentic self. It doesn’t like being pushed to the side and forgotten about. So in moments when we feel our Authentic self and we act on it, our ego will feel a bit left out so you know what he does? He gently and sometimes not so gently will start to a game of tug of war with our soul. 

The soul has us thinking and feeling “You will feel wonderful…you will be at peace and grateful and full of love and wanna dance in the field of happiness with the world”  well the ego pulls back and says “oh no….you can’t forget about me…I’m gonna make you feel separated, jealous, intolerance and anger” and he lead us into situations in which we will be forced to deal with all the mental and emotional unresolved issues that were stopping us from acting from our Authentic selves in the first place.

We might feel very spiritual and authentic in a moment but unless we have the knowledge, skills, and experience etc to deal with and resolve the stuff the ego has brung forth, we will be unable to sustain the positive physical actions. On the other hand when you are able to resolve them, when you find yourself in situations, the feelings the ego will try to push on you will no longer bother you and it is then when you can consistently start to move forward in the physical task you are wanting to progress in.

I have come to see how this pattern has been true for me. I have been living in a sort of spiritual entertainment state for the last 4 years. Reading the books, attending the seminars, helping others, feeling the bliss from the positive physical actions. But I also know I have done very little to really work on the ego aka original pain work. I just haven’t had the right skills to be able to effectively do so. So with no fail, I do find myself pulled back into a war in which my ego likes to win. That one time I skip out on going to the gym or eat something bad takes me to a place of negative self talk, shame, and all the pain work that had me in a place of “not-doing” to begin with and that discourages me until im back at…..you guessed it NOT DOING!

The question then becomes, Well Barista, how do we deal with ego and the pain work? How can we work to dissolve it?

Yoga at the nature

That answer can be different for everyone. I don’t know if I have that answer. Previously for me the answer was to read lots of spiritual books, listen to online conferences, read uplifting blogs, immerse myself in spirituality and while that all is awesome, without doing the “pain work”, it’s nothing much different then alcohol or drugs. It became addicting because it’s was giving me the blissful feeling without having to deal with the hard stuff. And when stuff did get hard it became really easy to blame others…well he isn’t doing all the “work” I’m doing so he just doesn’t understand.

Listening to people talk and reading blogs are good but it’s just words. It’s just someone talking or me reading. Doing yoga, juicing, exercising, attending seminars, even me making a move and applying to school and any other “spiritual” practice is all good stuff, definitely GREAT STARTS but if you’re just using it to temporarily forget about the “pain work” and not experiencing and dissolving the ego then you WILL find yourself back in the same place you were before you started.

This is one reason I am highly appreciative and grateful for my school in this moment. It is giving me the tools and most importantly the experience in a safe environment which is VERY important. I am able to not only work on myself through experience with my classmates but I also get to experience these classmates as other souls working on the same goal. Connect to their loving essence. This is teaching me to release judgement and learn self compassion and compassion for others. Having this experience in this type of environment then allows me to enter into the “outside world” which may not feel so safe all the time, and allows me to fully practice and recreate the feelings I have created inside the safe environment. Not only that its one full weekend at a time.

Although I do highly recommend USM to everyone on the planet, I’m not suggesting its the only way to go. But I am suggesting to find the support that works for you. One that allows you to practice without judgement and one that is full of love and acceptance. You’re current practices may work but when you see that ego surface use that opportunity to figure out the underlying pains and work on dissolving those.

A common thing for us to do is to blame and try to change the outside factors so we don’t have to deal with what’s going on inside of us. but it’s when we learn to take responsibility for those moments that we start to dissolve them. Those moments may not always feel so great. There is crying, and headaches, and lots and lots of turmoil, but there’s also connection and love and forgiveness and acceptance…most importantly in yourself. The ego can then no longer sustain our authentic selves and our soul becomes stronger. It’s when feeling and thinking those qualities in ourselves that we no longer have to blame the outside world. We then welcome it with open arms and love. These are the moments in which you grow and good news is, those are the moments that prove you are willing to feel alive. If you aren’t feeling the Ying and the Yang, you are moving through life dead and we all know there’s no fulfillment in that.

In what areas do you find yourself highly motivated but then regressed? Do you notice if you are pushing away the ego or do you work on dissolving it? Take a moment to look at your practice and see where you can improve on the pain work.

Vulnerability leads to connection. Connections allows us to see we aren’t alone. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and share your thoughts or story in the comments section below so that you can open the opportunity for a connection with someone else

Stay tuned and see how my process is developing along the way while attending USM.

xoxo,

barista

Ps: If you are indeed ready to start working on dissolving the issues that are holding you back, I am Very very proud to announce USM is still enrolling students. The only requirement is that you want to become a better YOU. While, if you qualify,  you can get your Masters Degree, there are people that aren’t working on that. Being that it’s only one weekend a month, you can live anywhere on the planet and attend. There are people in my class from Boston, Florida, Virginia, Canada, Mexico and many more places other than Los Angeles. Invest in YOU. ITS YOUR TIME!

for more info click here

May Cause Miracles: Final Review

As promised, here is the final review of May Cause Miracles. I will admit after I finished with day 42, I put the book down until yesterday. I think I mentioned in the last post how I am realizing that I have a hard time finishing stuff. Especially books. I have this tendency to ALMOST finish but many times never quite getting there. I’m curious as to why. Maybe I have a problem with things ending?!?! hmmmm something to look into.

Ironically, one of the first things the book says after Day 42, aside from the story of  the Golden Buddha (which I actually suggest you read first), is  one of two things that typically happens upon finishing the assignments.

1.  You become so inspired by the work that you commit to these principles in all of your affairs, deepening your spiritual practice more and more each day

2. You feel great and therefore conclude that the work is over. Within a few weeks (maybe even days), the ego convinces you that you’re healed and no longer need the daily practice. You lose sight of your miracle mindset.

What’s interesting is that as I just wrote that, I realized that one of these two options can be common for people during any process of changing bad habits. When spending a long period of time used to one way of life, and then trying to change for the better, your ego can go through a rough time and it will do what it needs to do to make sure you aren’t ignoring it for too long. Even if it is making you feel great for your progress convincing you that everything is fine, like in example #2. It’s like a sneaky little ghost, because over time, if you don’t continue your practice, the ego WILL sneak  its way back in convincing you that it knows best. It’s like when people who lose a lot of weight, they are told they have to continue their healthy practices to keep the weight off otherwise it can be easy to gain it all back.

I think the difference between success and failure (for lack of better words) is the difference between #1 and #2. When you find something that works for you in a positive way I think it is highly imperative to actively continue your practices. Humans are creatures of habit, habit is built by consistent repetitive behaviors. I’ve heard the average time it takes to form a new habit is around 60 days and that’s with daily repetition, but to KEEP that habit has to become a lifestyle.

I could already see myself slipping into #2 right after Day 42. I mean it took me a few weeks to even finish the book. I want to work on #1 and keeping everything I have  learned in mind so I can continue to practice choosing love over fear. I can admit, over the years, choosing fear has become the easy thing to do. Going the route of #2 is the EASY thing to do. Sticking to #1 takes effort and practice. Moment by moment we have choices to make. I’m ready!

If you have noticed, each week there were 7 basic principles to practice when learning how to choose love over fear. Witness Fear, Willing to choose Love, Shift perspective, Foster Gratitude, Practice Forgiveness, Expect Miracles, Reflect. Gabrielle puts the story of the Golden Buddha at the end because like in the story, we need tools to uncover our light within.

Sun_Light_Energy

“Cracking open to your golden light is one thing, but nurturing your glow is another”. Here are 8 ways Gabrielle’s suggests to KEEP your light shining bright:

1. Be Patient “Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait and wait without anxiety” – (A Course In Miracles)

2. Seek to Find Joy In A Joyless Place “It’s easy to be committed  to love when everything is going great in our lives…It’s entirely different to be committed to love in the midst of the dark periods”.

3. Look At The Problem So It Can Be Solved “Upon recognizing each of our problems as assignments to grow, we can be guided to perceive them differently…Accepting this truth will help you honor all of your life’s experiences, the good and the bad”.

4. Don’t Obey the Ego’s Interpretation of Fear“Acknowledging your ego’s fear is much different from believing in it”.

5. Let Go of External PerceptionsYour external experiences doesn’t dictate your internal experience…Your happiness doesn’t rely on something outside of yourself.”

6. Deny the Ego’s Interpretation of the World – “Witness the ego in action but remember that the false perceptions are not your truth.”

7. Be Mindful Not to Make Your Practice Special – “There can be a tendency to make yourself special for choosing love…that specialness creates more seperation…be mindful”.

8. Learn the Happy Lessons of Forgiveness“Through forgiveness you will be released…Accept each encounter as an assignment and you will be released from the ego’s story”.

We all have fearful thoughts, we all can feel controlled by these  fearful thoughts from time to time, therefore I think this book can be a great read for anyone. Even if you consider yourself to be a mostly happy person, there’s always room for more happiness. May Cause Miracles takes a very subtle approach to recognizing your everyday thoughts and strengthening your power to CHOOSE love every time.

Whether you are trying to lose weight, stop an addiction, change your attitude, strengthen relationships, Following your dreams, etc… It all involves learning how to choose loving thoughts over fearful ones. Fear halts your life, while Love moves you forward.

You can read my progress throughout May Cause Miracles by clicking on the links below:
Week 1: Here and Here
Week 2: Here and Here
Week 3: Here
Week 4: Here
Week 5: Here and Here
Week 6: Here and Here

Think about any changes you are going through…how can what you’ve read above help you in your practice? Feel free to leave a comment below.

xoxo,

barista

Don’t forget Gabrielle has a 6-week live online course for May Cause Miracles starting starting soon. For more info and to sign up CLICK HERE