Stay Alive All Your Life!

by Cheryl Brewster

If there’s a wish that we all had, whether it’s career success, love in relationship or living our fullest potential, underneath each and every wish and goal would be the utter recognition and joy of being alive. That sense of aliveness, of awesomeness in the present moment, whether circumstances are easy or difficult, is the evolutionary consciousness at work in each one of us.  It’s actually the “real us” and what we are really looking for… so often we think we’ll find it in externals; but we won’t because it’s already inside us.  Our external world, therefore becomes the stage upon which we express this ultimate, glorious, inner power that is our great calling.  Albert Camus said it best:

“My dear, In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that… In the midst of winter,
I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

Isn’t this an elegant description of the awe and wonder available to us in each moment, especially in managing change! That inner strength that defies the pain, tragedy and sorrow of life  can be more of our everyday experience. Consider your own life.  Out of the deepest, darkest experiences, will also come fresh new beginnings. Life rarely turns out the way we think it will and hard times can knock us out of the saddle; at times we’re left lying broken and winded on the ground. Life can hurt. A lot. And when we’re in the grit of that knife-edge; when we want to give up on our dreams, we enter the dark night of the soul.  It’s as if we’ve used up our old world, but we must not lose hope that a new one is arriving. This is the time when honest introspection, although hard, allows something more deeply authentic to arrive. It is in this moment of pain, that we have an incredible opportunity to transfer the heavy dullness of a lack-luster trend back to feeling and staying alive. From Camus: “But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?” 

In his book “Get Happy Now,” Joseph McLendon III describes a fabulous process to stay aligned with this harmony, which I’ve modified slightly here:

  1. Recognize that every time we feel a heavy or negative thought or feeling inside of us, we can use it as leverage back to this place of aliveness
  2. That “less than” feelings are indicators of past conditioning that are  ripe and ready for release
  3. Release comes more easily and consistently by, choosing a power word to interrupt habitual focus of  these”less than” feelings
  4. In that interrupt, engaging body movement like punching the air with our power word, and jumping up and down or dancing to some goofy moves, creates a momentary gap that has surprised or shocked us out of past conditioning and into the present.
  5. In that moment we tap into the power of that invincible summer within us; we mentally envision and physically/emotionally see, hear, feel and move as the person we really want to be, right here, right now. We visualize the fulfillment of that desire and feel it NOW. Recalling past successes and peak experiences engages the existing neuron pathways wired for success. Adding a smile that activates the vega nerve releases feel-good chemicals into the body to create a state change on all levels…. physiologically we are integrating the joy of life, our own unique energy system on all levels; physically, emotionally, cognitively, spiritually and intuitively. Add a smile, snap your fingers, use your arms to draw a wide circle in front of you while shouting the word “Magnificent!”
  6. This is called anchoring; combining high emotion with a clear mental image of ourselves and/or our goals, with physical movement. Just snapping your fingers can be an excellent anchor to instantly create a state change of “staying alive” and living from your invincible summer
  7. Give yourself a pat on the back as an additional, final anchor to celebrate the successes of this moment, like “way to go, or “I did it!”
  8. Perform at least five times a day consecutively for 10 days and soon, the ability to leverage heavy or negative-feeling emotion/thoughts becomes automatic… now we’re talking quantum field where the ability to take action becomes more automatic and effortless
  9. Hand write (yes by hand, not typed), a script and read out loud daily, with feeling

One of my favorite scripts that I’ve collected through the years (this one again by McLendon), is called My Magnificent Day:
“I’m healthy, happy, and full of joy and excitement. I smile most of the time and I’m excited about the future to come. I’m enjoying the energy that I have and the friends that I have the privilege of being in my life. I am grateful beyond measure for all of the many blessings that I have in my life and I am ecstatic about the ones to come. My greatest joy is helping others see their happiness and glow with positive energy and expectancy.”

I’ve found the greatest success by creating my own visualizations to capture my goals and creating a morning ritual of waking up to feelings of enthusiasm to create my day. I then read my personal script out loud, with feeling. The profound power of this simple tool is ridiculously enjoyable, easy, fun and SMART! It gets results. It’s vibrancy of life that Norman Vincent Peal so eloquently describes as enthusiasm:

Many often accept the humdrum life without making a fight for a better one. We think in a downbeat way that maybe we just don’t deserve more. One of the greatest human needs of our time is a weapon to fight mediocrity, one that teaches us how to make sure of zest and vitality and the creative forces buried deep within us. Enthusiasm makes the difference between success and failure.”

Call to action:
So often we postpone or delay our peace and happiness.  We live humdrum, mediocre lives. We get caught up in the past where guilt lives. Use guilt productively; it’s a flashing beacon letting you know things have to change…. drop the past by using the physiology of anchoring to get you back into your body, and use it to enjoy this place of invincible summer inside you. What happens when right here, right now, you take just one minute to walk through the exercise above? You’ll feel better and be on your way to enjoying a more magnificent day, enjoying the awe and wonder of you. You will be “staying alive all your life,” deepening personal effectiveness and self-worth.

If you enjoyed this blog, let us know! And check out the services offered to support you in this very important and powerful process.

To your magnificence as a Conscious Changemaker and the continued mastery of stress management.

 

Is it time for a Self-Care Makeover?

by Cheryl Brewster

Energy. We love it. It makes us feel good. When we have it, we enjoy life and get more done with less hassle and more ease. It makes sense then, to think the thoughts and do the things that energize us. However, as we know, day to day living and unforeseen events can distract us and take huge withdrawals from our energy reserves. If we’re not careful, an overdrawn energy account becomes the norm rather than the exception. Before you know it, we’re running on fumes. Literally. And that’s not fun. Left unchecked, burn-out and its twin sisters fatigue and exhaustion come to visit and it feels like they’ll never leave. It can seem like we’ve lost ourselves, and the ability to bounce back to previous energy levels can be challenging.

I know. I’ve been there. Big time. We all have or will at some point in our lives. However, the essential wisdom that can arise, if we’re open to it, is pure gold. Out of great tragedy can come great triumph, out of great pain; purpose, and out of great confusion; clarity. It’s why I’m so passionate about the work I do… as each of us re-frames what drains us into what empowers us, miracles of being and doing occur. We become living legacies! So it’s important to ask:

  • Are your self-care strategies solid?
  • Are you evolving them to step into your greater potential?
  • How often do you use them?
  • Are they working?
  • What stops you?
  • In the changing fortunes of time and circumstances, asking “why” self-care is important, you anchor the deeper meaning of your life. That personal anchor is important. It needs to be strong so that no matter what the seas of life are doing, you’re equipped for the weather. Nothing is more exhilarating.

Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential.  It’s about actively looking after your own health and well-being, so that you have the energy to support the people and the things you love. To commit to self-care is to value yourself, your loved ones, your calling and your profession. Not holding your self-care as sacred, important and meaningful short-changes the very people you’ve sworn to protect and the very fabric of your soul. From my perspective as a professional intuitive, self-care is a life-long discovery and practice that supports the purpose of the life-time.

Self-care “IS” energy – it’s the ground in which the five cornerstones of life; health, relationships, career, community and Self are fed or famished. Compassion fatigue is a risk found not only in the care and wellness industries, but in every avenue of life; if we stretch ourselves too thin, a chronic depletion begins to occur. We must interrupt that pattern.

Feeling good about yourself and your life is energizing. To be really effective in supporting your loved ones and your community, is the willingness to master what is de-energizing. That’s the fast-track to more energy. It may not make sense to the logical mind, but we’re not talking theory here… we’re talking about the quality of your life!

Need more energy? Choose thoughts and activities that energize. From Stoicism (an ancient philosophy of self-control that overcomes destructive emotions that drain energy) we learn that:

  • If an event happened, then it was meant to happen, and we are meant to make the best of it.We don’t get to choose what happens to us, but we can always choose how we want to feel about it.
  • Feelings are emotional energy and nothing is more energizing than using obstacles to our advantage. From that perspective, every event in our life holds a sovereignty that supports us. Everything. We transform victim into victory.

Recent studies from a university from North Carolina show that “acceptance coping” contributes to “post-traumatic growth.” People whose lives had been totally devastated were not only able to move through it, but go in a new direction. As Peter Levine, trauma expert has said…

 “Trauma is a fact of life, it doesn’t have to be a life sentence.”

Energizing declarations calm down the flight/fight response of the brain’s amygdula and are super simple and effective in replenishing lost energy. But you must be firm. You must be a warrior with your own mind. Use these energizing declarations to divert energy from drain to gain:

  • What once stopped me now advances me, so I choose to be kind to myself and accepting of this moment.
  • Events don’t matter as much as my response to them , so I choose to…
  • I use all circumstances to my advantage which means…

Call to action: repeat, repeat, repeat… baby steps advance big results… be patient and be willing to see time as your friend – drop expectations of things needing to be a certain way, and use them to your advantage by being at peace with the journey.  See your life as the work in progress that it is. Creating effective self-care strategies is like highway construction; it’s messy work, there will be plenty of delays and detours, and it takes time. But with vision, commitment and the proper set of energizing strategies that feed the soul, a new super highway is built. And that highway is your personal unstoppable resilience and your personal path to freedom.

About Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc., Transformational Speaker, Intuitive Consultant and Life Coach: Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is equipping my clients, whether individuals or organizations with self-care strategies as a path to success.  If you’d like to learn how my intuitive consults, coaching programs or speaking services, can support that, please contact me for a complimentary exploratory call.   As an interfaith ordained minister,  I also offer spiritual counselling and officiate ceremonies for life’s most meaningful moment.

Resilience: The Tension of Opposites

by Cheryl Brewster

Resiliency is the ability to bounce back and stay more centered through life’s difficult events. It is our capacity to manage change, using it to feed our souls, even after it feels like we’ve been drained dry.  Remembering this, especially when it’s hard, helps us make sense of our worlds when they feel chaotic.

Your personal resilience (or lack of it) reveals where you are taking an honest look at your  reality.  Challenge will create a tension of opposites. and this tension is designed to support you being true to you. This intuitive resilience is built in to all of us and is tied to the magnificence of your Soul. Its job is to ensure that you honestly, actively identify and honour your own needs as you take care of others and life’s responsibilities.

What’s important to remember about resilience, and the “tension of opposites?” Our commitment to personal resilience will always help us grow from challenge or adversity. Just as “need is the mother of invention,” challenge is the mother of resilience. Making peace with these apparent opposites is where our power to excel gains quantum fuel. What makes a magnet so powerful is the opposing forces that result in a powerful magnetic energy field. The same is true of resilience:

  • Confusion leads to clarity
  • Boredom creates innovation
  • Pain can feed productive purpose
  • Anger reveals where change needs to happen
  • A lack of energy can reveal the need for more creativity
  • Challenge can feed enthusiasm
  • Creativity transforms resistance
  • Difficulty can reveal easier ways of doing things
  • Struggle births flow

So the next time, you go through something difficult, and start experiencing the “opposite of resilience,” which would be a lack of energy, or not feeling creative or capable, try a “One-Minute Resiliency Recharge.”  Your true desires are being revealed; you need to find out what they are! Set a timer for one minute and:

  • Be Curious: How could this current challenge compliment, rather than oppose or contradict what you’re trying to do?
  • Be Aware: Where are you losing energy? What will help you gain it back?
  • Be Wise: If the tension of opposites supports resilience, what is the new insight or action that is being revealed here?
  • Be Creative: How is this showing you to think, be and act in more empowered ways?
  • One of my all-time favourite “Mindful Minutes”  is to ask myself…. “what would happen if…”
    I chose to be ____________________ about what’s happening (and drawing from my favourite list of words, like: enthusiastic, creative, bold, daring, smart, cheeky, happy, peaceful, confident, successful, enlightened), etc.Robert Fritz echoes this in his book The Path of Least Resistance:

“From this choice the meaning of the word desire changes for you, from “idle wishes and hopes” to “true vision of that which is the highest in human aspiration and vision… as you learn to master your own creative process, you develop a capacity for truth. Good, bad, or indifferent, you will still want to know accurately what is going on.”

The more accurately we can “read” our own lives, complete with strengths and shadow, the more we grow our awareness, intuition and confidence to act.

Call to Action: How will you use the Tension of Opposites to recharge resilience? Email me, I’d love to hear about your experience!
About Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc., Transformational Speaker, Intuitive Consultant and Life Coach: Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is inspiring my clients, whether individuals or organizations to re-frame difficulty as a path to tangible, measurable results.  If you’d like to learn how my intuitive consults, coaching programs or speaking services, can support your success, please contact me for a complimentary exploratory call.   As an interfaith ordained minister,  I also offer spiritual counselling and officiate ceremonies for life’s most meaningful moments.

Getting Things Done: Heaven or Hell?

by Cheryl Brewster

Are you creating heaven or hell in your daily duties, projects and priorities?
Wouldn’t it be great to “have fun to get more done?”
We’re usually taught the opposite… that we can’t have fun, “until” it is done.

Rumi’s wisdom reminds us of the power of choice we have:
The world exists as you perceive it.
It is not what you see, it is how you see it.
It is not what you hear, but how you hear it.
It is not what you feel, but how you feel it.

  • If the world exists as I perceive it,  then “having” to get things done, can take on its own form of hell
  • Yet we do this to ourselves all the time through over and under commitment
  • However as Carl Jung says, “no tree, it is said can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell,” which means that we live in a world of paradox and it’s important to make peace with that paradox and find its sweet spot.

One way of doing that is to realize, that we have an inner stillness inside, that has never been disturbed and never can be. This inner  success mechanism is our essence… even when it “appears” not  to be.  Daily calibrating to this higher frequency inside of us, along with daily clearing of old limiting beliefs are essential to our well-being and our productivity.

  1. It’s not what you see but how you see it.
    Take a look at your “to do list” today. How you see it can be from a place of:
    …worry; I’ll never get things done (aka, stress!)
    …confusion; I don’t even know what to do/what to start first (aka, panic which leads to paralysis which leads to procrastination.)
    …frustration; how can I get anything done when I’m  not well and don’t have the energy? (aka, helplessness which leads to despair.)

I find it helpful to work with “The Law of Opposites” to come back to a more balanced perspective. As Neal Donald Walsh, author of Conversations with God notes: As soon as you decide who and what you are, everything unlike it will come into the space… you may choose to see this “opposite” as a gift bearer, bringing you a chance to experience and express peace or as a thief, stealing your peace from you.

Rather than judge ourselves for not getting enough done, or missing something, we can remember to declare our “Stand” for what we do want, so that when the opposite shows up, we see it as a gift of growth through self-inquiry. Using Rumi’s wisdom and asking, how am I really seeing this situation can now change the entire experience! Joe Dispenza teaches in his “Create Your Day” philosophy:  “The reason nothing changes is because you have not mastered self-observation.” The more we follow that self-observation, the more we can appreciate how our innate wisdom, our intuition, is guiding us into greater states of flow.

If you are finding yourself trying to be super effective only to find yourself losing ground, then take heart! Self-observation is key, and when the Law of Opposites shows up in your life, remember that it is here to HELP you! Apply Rumi’s timeless wisdom and ask your own reflective questions; here are some samples;

The world exists as you perceive it.  (Is this the world I really want to keep creating?)
It is not what you see, it is how you see it.  (Am I looking through the eyes of heaven or hell, through love or fear?)
It is not what you hear, but how you hear it.  (Am I hearing this objectively or taking it personally?)
It is not what you feel, but how you feel it.  (Am I feeling this with compassion or with loathing)?

  • Take Your Stand for what inspires you.
  • Use that inspiration when the law opposites show up
  • See the law of opposites as the gift-bearer of choice: will you see it as a way to express peace or as a thief that steals peace from you?

Our perceptions do create our realty. In each moment, we have the opportunity to take personal responsibility for more empowered living.  We begin to see where we are not victims of our circumstances… in fact, the opposite is true… we are dynamic and victorious when we use the Law of Opposites for what it’s meant for. As Neale Donald Walsch so eloquently writes: “you will rejoice because you will see “opposition” as a sure and certain sign – that you are on the journey of transformation; the road to glory; the higher path.” He echoes Rumi’s timeless wisdom with his own:

“If, at any given moment, you are being afraid, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being joyful, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being annoyed, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being harassed it is because you choose to be.

If you are being loved, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being ignored it is because you choose to be.

If you are being helped, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being hurt, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being wise, it is because you choose to be.

If you are feeling wronged, it is because you choose to be.

This list could go on forever. Indeed… it actually does.”

Call to Action: How will you use the Law of Opposites in getting things done? Email me, I’d love to hear about your experience!

woman_speaking_to_audience

About Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc., Transformational Speaker, Intuitive Consultant and Life Coach: Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is inspiring my clients, whether individuals or organizations to re-frame difficulty as a path to tangible, measurable, powerful results and solutions in the areas of life and business that matter most.  If you’d like to learn how my intuitive consults, coaching programs or speaking services, can support your success, please contact me for a complimentary exploratory call.   As an interfaith ordained minister,  I also offer spiritual counselling and officiate ceremonies for life’s most meaningful moments.

How to Live Your “Calling”

by Cheryl Brewster

Do you have a “calling“? That deep sense of purpose or urge within you that “must” be explored.

Are you:

  • Feeling a shift coming; a hint of something new that hasn’t quite arrived yet?
  • Already working on your passion with great enthusiasm but results are taking longer than expected leaving you with a feeling of stagnation?
  • Feeling that your life is in the doldrums… not much is happening and you’re not sure what to do?

These occasions can be very unsettling and we can begin to:

  • Doubt ourselves and the bigger picture of our lives.
  • Give up hope and slip into confusion or despair.
  • Romanticize about the good old days before we followed our passion.
  • Feel anxiety about our future, regret decisions and condemn mistakes from the past.

In short, when things get difficult or seem to have run their course, we get scared and shut down. But we need to do the opposite; we must keep our hearts open.

Gregg Levoy in his book entitled “Callings” describes this ebb and flow beautifully:
“We love to quote the philosopher and poet Goethe who said that “whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. But we forget that he also said, “To put your ideas into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”

And from poet Stanley Kuntiz: “The poem in the head is always perfect. The challenge comes when we try to convert it into language. This is especially so when we discover, as we often do that saying yes to a calling requires not just one act of heroism and risk-taking, but a prolonged period of action that can stretch into years.”

We must remember this when things get hard. We must continue to “take our stand” for our callings. Our callings have two fundamental features to them; they give great meaning to our lives… and they always come with a way through. But we must listen to that intuitive heart centre to find our way!  So how do we stay open to our callings and the new directions they take us in?

6 Simple Steps to Feed the Calling of Your Soul

1. Know Thyself!
Philosopher J. Krishnamurti reminds us that “the mind is the result of the known; it is the result of the past.” This past includes the limitations of a conditioned mind. In order to free ourselves from those limitations, we must be willing to see what’s ineffective in our thinking and release it. Observe yourself – watch how consciously or unconsciously you do things… as awareness and self acceptance increase, so does authentic personal power. These “aha” moments of, “oh, that’s what I really do” are life-changing when we follow through on them.

2. Practice Silence
An occupied mind is a busy mind, too full for anything new, original or creative. Mindfulness steeped in self-compassion keeps the heart and mind open to receive insight. Receiving equals energy – this is critical for those prolonged periods of action that our callings require. Practice silence by moving attention away from a busy, consumed mind, and instead, into the quiet, the stillness.

3. Practice “one-minute comfort breathing”
Risk taking and heroism arise from your bigger sense of self  – your “little I” will be challenged… expect that and be prepared for it.  A breathing exercise that brings immense comfort is “breathing in, I see the me that is uncertain.  Breathing out, I smile a hug into it.”

4. Use fear to your advantage
As Thich Nhat Hanh encourages, “we have the power to look deeply at our fears, and then fear cannot control us. Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch nonfear, you are free.”  How do we touch nonfear? Accept yourself as you are now, while simultaneously dropping self-defeating thoughts. We tend to think we’d be free if we didn’t experience fear, but that’s just not the case! If you can be free even though you have uncomfortable feelings, then you really are free! Let’s face it, there’s always going to be something that challenges us, but when you’re not overcome by those uncomfortable feelings, you really are free. So now, we are giving birth to impertability – we begin to cultivate a mind that is beyond disturbance.

5. Practice “what if”
What’s that one thing you’ve been really wanting to do but you’ve been putting off? What will you feel like when it’s done? Just a few minutes visualizing that can free up the energy to take that one first step… and then another, and another.

6. Be strategic with intuition
What does your soul need to replenish itself? If you took just one mindful minute right now to ask that question… you would be tapping into the energy of your calling… you’d be cultivating the wisdom and strength required to do the most difficult thing possible… put your ideas into the world. And that is the joy of living your calling – Take Your Stand!

Call to Action:
Rather than judge your emotions as good or bad…. see them all as equally important. Enjoy experimenting with the steps above and share your experience with me… I’d love to hear from you. Or better yet, if you are new to my work, let’s book a complimentary 15 minute exploratory session. And if you are an existing client and it’s been a while since we’ve connected, let’s get you in for that one-on-one session or workshop to explore and rejuvenate your stand with complimentary 15 minute post session follow-up!

If you enjoyed this article, let us know! Individuals and organizations find Cheryl Brewster’s expertise as a Professional Intuitive, Transformational Speaker and Coach refreshing and timely. Her private clients experience greater clarity and confidence in taking action during transition. In her corporate workshops, Cheryl inspires focus and follow-through. To explore her work further, visit TheIntuitiveLife.com or email cheryl@theintuitivelife.com.

 

 

 

Radical Joy is a Choice

by Cheryl Brewster

Radical Joy is an attitude. A decision.  An acceptance. The path of the peaceful warrior. It cuts through whatever is going on, from minor disappointment to major catastrophe to focus on what’s most important; the power and freedom that come from accepting things as they are, not on how we wish them to be.

This acceptance isn’t giving up or apathy. It isn’t wearing the rose coloured glasses of positive thinking to escape reality.  Instead, acceptance faces reality. Yes, it can be difficult. It can be painful, even excruciating. But better the momentary pain than resigning ourselves to years of it.

Three things happen by accepting (and yes, even loving) what is:
1) Empowerment. In acceptance comes choice; with choice comes action.
2) Non-judgment grows to quiet our internal dialogue; in that stillness creativity emerges.
3) This expanded awareness grows emotional intelligence, critical thinking skills and more accurate intuition.

I love the expression “others get giddy – but I stay gritty.”  I call that “Take Your Stand.” By developing and articulating that stand every day, by recognizing that things will not always be easy, in fact knowing they will be hard, over time we develop an inner resilience and the capacity to actually start looking forward to those challenges. We can handle them. Not only that, we can even find the joy in them.

By dropping the condemnation of an event and its players (including ourselves), we free up more energy. It’s like living an oxymoron, which is why it’s so radical… by accepting what is, we transcend it.

Call to Action#1:  Baby Step or Big Step?
Each step has its place… choose something you’ve been avoiding… what has been your pattern? Are you trying to do too much, or not enough? If too much, then take some pressure off! Take baby steps: what’s a better feeling thought you can have… and another…. and another.

If you find you are not making progress, then you may need slow it down even more… again the oxymoron of pausing to get more done… And if you are ready for that big step… you’ll know it… just do it. The joy of that action, even if you are hesitant, has a sweetness to it that over-rides the resistance.

Call to Action #2: Email me!
There’s nothing sweeter than sharing the radical joy of doing things differently. It deserves celebration. And there’s nothing more powerful in anchoring change, then to celebrate it.

Here’s to your Radical Joy!

Cheryl Brewster is a professional intuitive, transformational coach, speaker, and ordained minister/wedding celebrant. She encourages self-inquiry to drop the stresses in life that detract from accepting and enjoying what is . Whether speaking to business organizations or  consulting in one-on-one personal sessions, Cheryl’s clients appreciate her practical, grounded, inspiring approach to problem solving.

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” ― Eckhart Tolle

 

Radical Joy: Embracing Your Shadow part 2

by Cheryl Brewster

Radical Joy means embracing the shadow parts of us that we don’t like; seeing them as potential power houses rather than shameful attributes to be hidden and avoided. Embracing our shadows frees up their creative potential to move us forward, rather than hold us back. This is why the word radical is so important. We must be diligent in pursuing our joy… we must be radical in cultivating it in our lives, which includes being radical in how we look at our shadows and their inherent repressed emotion.

Radical both as noun and adjective are defined as:
a) “of going to the root or origin; fundamental”
b) favouring drastic reform
c) a person who holds or follows strong convictions or extreme principles

When it comes to joy, going to the root or origin of joy is fundamental to our health. We must nurture it, and if we haven’t been (how many of us really do?), then we definitely need to favour drastic reform, which means getting clear and strong in our convictions.

In her book Molecules of Emotion, American Neuroscientist and Pharmacologist, Candace Pert says….
“I believe that happiness is our natural state, that bliss is hardwired. Only when our systems get blocked, shut down, and disarrayed do we experience the mood disorders that add up to unhappiness in the extreme…. My research has shown me that when emotions are expressed… are flowing freely – all systems are united and made whole. When emotions are repressed, denied, not allowed to be whatever they may be, our network pathways get blocked, stopping the flow of the vital feel-good, unifying chemicals that run both our biology and our behavior.  This I believe is the unhealed feeling we want so desperately to escape from.”

This is where intuition, faith and follow-through come in. In the spiritual awakening process that we are going through en masse, our intuition is leading us to the places that we have been avoiding…. As Eleanor Roosevelt said so wisely, many years ago “you must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Ugh! That’s hard! Yet we are being shown a better life, if we would but trust our heart’s guidance.  Faith in our natural state of being hardwired for bliss means a radical shift in perspective… it means that we must forfeit “apparent success” for the foundation of “what’s real.” Not easy. But necessary.

We must be radical in embracing our natural state of bliss which includes embracing shadow work which doesn’t feel so blissful. This is the faith and follow-through of sound spirituality and communication with self and others…. The ability to observe, to practice mindfulness and to understand and embrace and transmute previously denied emotions. If left denied, they will tear us apart and we remain ignorant of their true function… to help us integrate our humanity and our divinity.

Over time, as author Michael Singer outlines in his book The Untethered Soul, “you will come to realize that the center from which you watch disturbance cannot get disturbed… you will understand what it means to be transcendent. This transcendence can only come from embracing the shadow which eventually drops the insistence that things be different than they are. When we are willing to let that go, the inner force that sustains, feeds and guides us from deep within returns us to the ocean of energy that we came from. We will still have thoughts, emotions and a self-concept, but they will just be a small part of our experience.  We begin to stop identifying with anything outside the sense of Self and over time, we never have to worry about things ever again!”

How radical is that?! To embrace the shadow with its terrifying emotions, knowing that in doing so, we are channelling that previously stuck energy into productive pathways that are nothing less than pure freedom.

Radical? Yes! Necessary? Absolutely. Viable? Only to the extent that we are willing to experience the temporary pain of letting go of our long-held suffering. It takes time. It’s not comfortable. But it’s the most authentic life we will ever live.  Keep going. Be strong. Have faith. Listen to your heart. Purify the mind, drop the insistence that things must be different than they are, and experience the mystery of “peace that passes all understanding.”

Radical Joy is Radical Self-Acceptance… giving yourself the compassion and respect that you so desire from your world. From the inside-out, radical joy embraces the shadow for a radically different life.

Call to Action:
Rather than judge your emotions as good or bad…. see them all as equally important. As Pert outlines in her research, we do this “first by acknowledging and claiming all our feelings, not just the so-called positive ones. Anger, grief, fear – these emotional experiences are not negative in themselves; in fact they are vital for our survival…The goal is to keep information flowing, feedback systems working and natural balance maintained, all of which we can help to achieve by a conscious decision to enter in the bodymind’s conversation.”

If you enjoyed this article, let us know! Individuals and organizations find Cheryl Brewster’s expertise as a Transformational Speaker and Coach refreshing and timely. She inspires growth in empowerment and connection through creativity and transition. To explore her work further, visit TheIntuitiveLife.com or email to book a complimentary 15 minute exploratory session.

 

 

 

Radical Joy: Embracing Your Shadow part 1

by Cheryl Brewster

Ugh. There are parts of life that we just don’t like. And they will always reflect parts of “US” that we don’t like. The parts that we have repressed, suppressed and denied, tucked away where we can’t see, so we don’t have to deal with them. All those parts of us that we’ll address another day, when we have more time; when there’s not so much going on. But one day, suddenly, much to our  horror… we’re stopped. Dead. Our creative genius, the energy behind peace, purpose and productivity goes on strike.

Has this ever happened to you? You’re bopping along, doing just fine. Or think you are. Sure, there are some things you need to change, but it’s just not convenient to deal with them right now, so you carry on. Until suddenly, your creative genius says, “that’s it, nothing more until you look at this!”  It’s the weirdest, most uncomfortable feeling in the world. Not understanding why you feel so immobilized, just knowing that you do, your gut is telling you that you can’t afford to ignore this any longer. What? Slow down? Change gears? Do something different? That’s the very last thing you want to do. You want to shake this feeling, bust out of the weirdness of this no-man’s land, this twilight zone, and get back into action and finish your important projects. Ah, but those projects driven by your creative genius, have undergone the ultimate mutiny… they’ve been abandoned, and you’re left behind, holding the empty bag of your hopes and dreams, with nothing to show for it.  And now the anxiety is starting to set in… big time!

Welcome to “Divine Discontent.” 
The problem is, divine discontent is rarely, if ever, convenient. But it does herald positive change! Behind it however, we must embrace…. our shadow. Yikes! Ugh. All those uncomfortable emotions and regrets of shoulda, coulda, woulda.

But here’s the exciting paradox… “That shadow is not a bad thing… it’s not negative or evil, but instead dark or not yet illuminated. It consists of all the things inside us that we don’t want to face… those things that appear harmful but also potentially enlightening… all that we have rejected, denied, disowned or repressed… it is simply unintegrated energy, and until we learn how to tap into this energy and transmute its power, we will never become a fully integrated or fully awakened human beings.” (Charlie Morley, in his book Dreaming Through Darkness). Phew! What a relief. And an exciting added bonus is this – as the legendary “shadow master” Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung put it:

 “The truth of the matter is that the shadow is ninety percent pure gold.”

WOW! I’ve had my fair share of radical shadow experiences, but I have to say, that using this approach totally revolutionized how I’m choosing to look at the shadow… with far less fear and far more appreciation for the insight, healing, energy, focus and clarity that it offers. Peace, calm and clarity come, not from “running away” from the shadow, but instead “running to it.” No, it’s not easy, and yes, there is pain… but far better to have it be a temporary pain of release than the excruciating pain of existential angst that sucks the soul dry and makes life a living hell.

It’s that freedom from worry that I call Radical Joy… the effervescence of life within us, just itching to come out and create a life that’s meaningful, happy, productive and spectacular… it’s time! 

1. What is your Divine Discontent telling you? The longer you wait to ask it, the more it hurts.
2. Listen. Your heart knows the way. Ask it. You must create the quiet time to ask your intuition, and integrate rather than shun, what your shadow tells you.
3. Be willing to go into the void – the place of not knowing. That’s where releasing of old limitations happens. That’s the place, and the only place, where new insight and integration can begin.
4. Have courage. The way out is the way through. Be diligent in making your life count.
5. Know that you are not alone. Reach out when you need support and trust that whatever it is you are going through, every great person that you admire, has gone through it too… break on through to the other side through your effort to “go all the way” into self-realization.
6. Learning how to work with your shadow is worth the effort! It teaches us how to drop worry, be empowered and joyful.

As I continue to embrace and teach the exciting concepts in “The Hero’s Journey,” as a metaphor for life… I’m simply in awe of this process.  What an incredible adventure! So take heart, know that your deep dark spaces are important gateways in this path to awakening to the True Self within… this awareness and immutability of peace and joy. It’s only through purification of our minds, the willingness to feel and transmute painful emotion, that we experience deeper expressions of our talents, gifts and abilities. Life is too short not to take this to heart and I wish for you this call to action today: be still, go inside, and ask your shadow what it is really trying to show you, what it really needs from you. You’ll be so glad that you did.  Your shadow is simply radical joy, trying to show you something better.

Cheryl Brewster of the Intuitive Life is a transformational speaker and coach to organizations and individuals keen to experience and promote “Radical Joy in Life and Business.” Her motto is that we get far more done when we’re having fun… she uses her dynamic expertise to inspire audiences and coaching clients how to do that, even through the most challenging circumstances.  “Radical Joy… is the relief, energy and comfort that comes from knowing that no matter what happens, you can and are handling it for the best outcome possible.  In addition, Cheryl provides intuitive consultations and spiritual counselling for those wanting to add a deeper component to discovering and living their joy. She is also an ordained interfaith minister, and legal wedding officiant, offering “Intuitive Celebrations” for life’s most meaningful moments.

If you would like to learn more about Cheryl and her services please email or call 604-781-4022 or visit TheIntuitiveLife.com.
We’d love to hear from you! Please take a moment to share your insights from this article with us!

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Focus in Confusion

by Cheryl Brewster

Do you struggle with finding focus in confusion? Is it sometimes  hard  maintaining the energy for your goals, dreams and aspirations? Many factors can impede our “burning desire.” Commitment, faith and follow-through to our bigger dreams and purpose are essential. They help stoke the “fire of desire” back to life when disappointments or setbacks take their toll.

One key ingredient that has surfaced from my own experience and studies in mindfulness and neuroscience is the necessity of compassion. Without a compassionate mindset we can unconsciously  berate ourselves and others for “what could have been.” Instead of building up our “fire of desire” to feed the vision of our higher mind, we can spiral into negativity, self-doubt and confusion. Decisions can become messy, difficult and anxiety-ridden.
To use confusion as a focus for clarity:

1. Begin with a Clean Slate
What would happen if in this moment…
You reflected and forgave yourself for the ways you’ve sabotaged any dreams, goals or intentions?

What would happen if in this moment…
You TRULY forgave yourself and dropped the constant mind chatter of the critical voice? How different could this moment be? How different would your life be over time?

What would happen if in this moment…
You let your resentments go and instead channeled that “victim” energy into creative insight?

2. Keep the Slate Clean
Call on the power of the ABCs of Intuition to continue dropping those super strong unconscious patterns and habits that need to go: Awareness of Behavior = Change. It will take time! However it’s worth the investment. And  it’s very exciting. Using mindfulness to drop thought and focus on the breath is the precursor to emotional intelligence; we get good at dropping intense emotion and coming back to our centre, just by focusing our attention on the breath.  The key is the willingness to be in the discomfort of change! Establish a practice of immediately redirecting negative and limiting thoughts to a “mindful minute” of tenacious peace, followed by a decisive visualization of how you are CHOOSING to respond to life.

3. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Research has found that mindfulness leads to calm and clarity.  Mark Robert Waldman, neuroscience researcher and author discovered that “When you intensely and consistently focus on your spiritual values and goals, you increase the blood flow to your frontal lobes and anterior cingulate, which causes the activity in emotional centres of the brain to decrease. Conscious intention is the key, and the more you focus on your inner values, the more you can take charge of your life. Thus, meditation – be it religious or secular – enables you to more easily accomplish your goals.”

4. Use Beginner’s Mind to Course-Correct with Compassion
Achieving our goals or creating new systems and sticking to them costs us something; effort – the effort to overcome resistance, to stay in alignment with what’s most important by practicing resolve. We must remember that hesitation magnifies fear while prompt, decisive action crushes it. We must resolve to manage both our memory and our imagination – mismanagement of either creates inferiority, worry and mental monsters that create and keep confusion. Ironically, our willingness to be beginners, to NOT be very good at first, provides acceptance. In that space of course correction, we fan the spark of inspiration within to feed the fire of desire to step up even in the midst of setback and disappointment.  Course correction is the art of compassion in action – it’s transformation at its finest. It’s finding focus in the confusion, finding the energy when we feel we don’t have it, starting where and are, and not stopping.

From Clarity to Confusion: for more information contact Cheryl at TheIntuitiveLife.com to learn more or to book me for a private intuitive consultation, coaching program, lecture for your organization or staff training.

 

Stay Inspired in Difficulty – Part 2

by Cheryl Brewster

The Obstacle is the Path. I know this to be true. The very thing that creates confusion in my mind or terror in my gut is the very antidote to that stress. And the answer to that confusion, terror, difficulty, heartbreak, disappointment or challenge is this… it’s here to be used to my advantage.When I approach life from this perspective, I go to a whole new level of awareness and effectiveness.

How about you?

Scott Peck said that “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

That’s huge! Life-changing! It helps us tackle the things we don’t want to, because we have discovered an inner power that transcends our resistance, procrastination or limitations. What are 3 simple steps we can use to develop this kind of life-altering perspective?

1. Use difficulty to your advantage.
Challenge and change are unavoidable. But your perspective is totally your creation. The question is… have you created consciously or unconsciously? Awareness will course-correct perspective to help, not hinder you. It sounds simplistic, but when you “take your stand for inspiration in difficulty,” postponing peace or your sense of capability, is no longer an option. Difficulty is used to your advantage… immediately. Want proof? Identify a current difficulty and list at least 5 ways you can use it to your advantage… you’ll probably find more. Decide on the one tiny baby step you can take right now, in this moment… and then the next and the next.

2. See difficulty as your servant, not your master
What do these names have in common? Terry Fox, Rick Hanson, Nick Fugicic, Christopher Reeves, Maya Angelou, Anne Frank and Victor Frankl? That’s right, they used their obstacles, difficulties and tragedies as inner paths to freedom. Their capacity to see life from this perspective is the same path of power available to us…  Our willingness and commitment to embrace the obstacle as the path redefines us, makes us aware of points of inner power that we didn’t see before. We can start from the humblest beginnings and yet lead the most extraordinary of lives. Immediately.

3. Recognize that all difficulty is the invitation to peak performance.
This perspective cuts through emotional baggage, irrational fear, worry and stress. Difficulty is the very thing that brings out the best in us. The result is knowing we can handle the situation immediately… in the now, the present… “while” we face our shadows, worries or innermost demons.. because the truth is, the hardest battle we will ever fight is with our own thoughts and emotions…. Will we be true to what calls us and stand up for what matters? That’s the call to inner truth, self-trust and personal development and mastery. It’s what gives us the grit, courage and tenacity to do the right thing. It’s what frees us from the insidiousness of  unchallenged fears.

By staying inspired in difficulty, we drop the habit of “hoping the problem will go away,” and embrace a strength that was here all along, but wasn’t being used. Staying inspired in difficulty helps us surpass all forms of mediocrity, victimization, self-doubt and exhaustion. We stop projecting the past onto the future and begin to truly enjoy the present moment. We master the very things that once held us back.

Stay inspired. It is difficulty’s equal partner. The obstacle is the path. Begin today and if you’re stuck or not wondering quite where to start, that’s okay! Start anyway… what’s just one small step you can take right now? Take it! Nothing is more rewarding than “right action!” That’s you mining the gold in the shadow of your subconscious. It’s worth it. And it’s waiting for you!

woman_speaking_to_audienceAbout Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc., Transformational Speaker, Coach and Celebrant. Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is inspiring my clients, whether individuals or organizations to re-frame difficulty as a path to tangible, measurable, powerful results and solutions in the areas of life and business that matter most.  If you’d like to learn how my intuitive consults, coaching programs or speaking services, can grow your success, please contact me for a complimentary exploratory call.   As a Celebrant, I also offer officiate ceremonies for life’s most meaningful moments.