Stay Alive All Your Life! – Part 2

by Cheryl Brewster

What makes you come alive and stay that way, even when it’s hard; when you feel yourself shutting down and it takes pure grit to stay true to your integrity and dreams? How do you keep growing to improve personal effectiveness? Author and expert on world mythology, Joseph Campbell knew this one well:

“Suddenly you’re ripped into being alive. And life is pain, and life is suffering, and life is horror, but my god you’re alive and it’s spectacular!”

I love this!  Are you like me? I don’t particularly feel spectacular in the middle of the pain, suffering and horror that’s part of life. But I have been through it enough times, to know that indeed, there is always an equal or greater benefit; something spectacular that occurs through the process, onto the other side. It takes great courage and tenacity to live this way. The results are priceless: Mind mastery and learning how to hold our ground in the face of uncertainty. With an eye to our personal and spiritual development, instead of feeling overwhelmed and beaten, we begin to emerge with skills and mindsets that turn great suffering into great victory.

It takes time, great self-compassion, guts, and the willingness to trust and develop our intuition, to feed our resilience, and to keep the faith, even when it appears counter-intuitive.

As Campbell emphasized:
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about…”

Ahhh, what it’s really all about… the rapture of being alive! Business and spiritual leader, Marsha Sinetar, agrees: “It’s the “burning desire to be or do something that gives us staying power – a reason to get up every morning or to pick ourselves up and start in again after a disappointment.”

The rapture of life can only occur with a burning desire for it. How do we keep the fire stoked when it’s hard?

  1. Science proves it: “high vibe” thinking feeds the flame
    Our brains are hard-wired with a “negative memory basis” to notice potential threats and protect us from harm. Studies done by John Cacioppo, Ph.D., (Ohio State University, and University of Chicago), demonstrate that the brain reacts more strongly to stimuli it deems negative. There is a greater surge in electrical activity, meaning our attitudes are more heavily influenced by negative rather than good news. Research has also shown that a specific ratio of five (five “high-vibe” thoughts to balance out the “one low-vibe thought”) is the magic formula to balance out this negative memory bias.  Worth remembering!  Working “with” our physiology rather than judging ourselves for habitual negative thinking is empowering. It course-corrects us into the extra energy of inspired action that we need for true change and growth to occur over the long-haul. As ancient wisdom reminds us, it is our continued commitment to choose “higher vibration” thoughts to feed the flame of desire that feeds our intent, which in turn feeds our will, which feeds our behavior, and ultimately, feeds our destiny. This leveraging of our negative emotions/memory-bias into holistic, focused, resilient, “alive,” possibility thinking becomes automatic over time. And that’s huge. Now there’s hope, encouragement and something to look forward to, even when life is very hard and hasn’t turned out the way we thought it would.
  2. Give yourself credit and re-energize past successes
    What are some of the toughest times you have been through?
    What helped pull you through? What belief, inspiration or process did you use?
    How did you become a better person through this difficulty? How can you apply that to current circumstances?

    3. Have enthusiasm and clear intent moving forward
    Begin and end each day with vision, re-charge throughout and end it in reflection: spend time in the morning in visualization, prayer or meditation to re-stoke that burning desire and pre-plan how you will “Create Your Day.” It takes just one minute of mindfulness several times throughout the day to keep coming back, to build focus and follow-through. In the evening do a review; celebrate wins and also identify where you can improve. Apply the 5-to-1 ratio to rehearse how you will do things differently tomorrow…. by getting excited about our improvements, now course-correcting becomes more positive, more enjoyable. We have something to look forward to, feel more resilient and capable. Now true change is happening, so that even in the midst of our hardest challenges, we have something to hang onto, a reason to keep going, a grit, tenacity and energy that feeds us, that feeds the rapture of being alive!

Call to action: on those tough days; dig deep – bridge the gap of where you are to where you want to be by applying the 5 -to-1 ratio to this very moment… right here, right now. From this viewpoint you actually are where you want to be, only now you get to enjoy the ongoing journey as a way of life, not just sporadically. To paraphrase Campbell…. my god, you’re alive to your innermost being and reality…. and that’s spectacular… that’s what it’s really all about! Draw on the power of intuition to keep feeding the sacred flame within you – that’s its job and you can trust it to help you come alive and stay alive all your life.

 

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.

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: 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.

 

 

 

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.

 

How to Bounce Back from Massive Disappointment

by Cheryl Brewster

barbaraDisappointment. Shock. Trauma.
How do we bounce back from massive disappointment?

As Conscious Changemakers in these turbulent times, we must take heart to keep ourselves empowered and focused. I’m inspired by Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard (photo) who reminds us that “Our Crisis is a Birth!”  This is echoed in Barbel Mohr’s  use of the ancient Hawaiian prayer “Ho’oponopono” as outlined in her book Cosmic Ordering where:

• I assume the origin for every problem lies within me – therefore resolution does too
• If I tidy up inside myself, the outside world will automatically return to order because it is only an expression of my internal energy
• From this perspective, I start to feel that everything is energy and discover how this energy from the world within expresses itself in the world around me.
• I begin to experience expanded states of flow and begin to realize that nothing can happen in the world around me without a resonance existing within myself.
• Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len who brought this ancient prayer to the mainstream says we need to ask ourselves; since everything is one, how have I created this? As soon as he discovered a reason within himself he cleared it by saying: I’m sorry, I forgive myself, I love myself.

Consider the personal implications of this practice!
1. When you do it, what happens is that Divinity takes the painful thought and neutralizes or purifies it.
2.  You don’t purify the person, place, or thing. You neutralize the energy you associate with that person, place, or thing.
3.  Neutralizing this energy, takes us out of the conditions that created it, allowing for immediate peace, an expanded mindset and new, more harmonious experiences

So the first stage of Ho’oponopono is the purification of that energy.
When we think of massive disappointment in our lives, something powerfully transformative can now occur. Not only does the energy of disappointment, shock and trauma get neutralized; it also gets released! All you have to do is notice any problem you are experiencing physically, mentally, emotionally, whatever. Once you notice, your responsibility is to immediately begin to clean, to say, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

Here’s a powerful exercise I’ve adapted from Mohr’s book The Cosmic Ordering Service:
Anxious or annoyed with someone? Ask yourself:
• If I were behaving like the other person, why would I be doing so?
• If I were to behave in this way, how would I feel in doing so?
• How could I have created this situation?
• How could I have drawn this grievance into my life?
• What feelings does this situation create within me? When you have found something, acknowledge it:
• I am sorry
• I forgive me
• I love you/I love me (you are speaking to yourself here… you love both yourself and the feeling you discover within yourself

We stand at a very important crossroads in history…individually we have to do our part to bring what is good and just inside our own minds and lives so that we can mend the tipping point in our outer world.  This is what it means to become a “Universal Human” which Barbara Marx Hubbard defines as seeing “that the meaning of our crisis is to activate our new capacities.”  Let us stand together with diligence, persistence and commitment. Doing so increases our intuition and creativity, for more empowerment and prosperity. Interested in working learning more about Ho’oponopono? Download more information here: hohoponono-for-blog and call or email us with your insights, questions and experiences.

Cheryl Brewster is a transformational speaker and coach, helping individuals and organizations to drop stress and engage more mindfully for greater results, resiliency and rapport. To learn more or to book a consult, attend an event or book her as a speaker, email or learn more at TheIntuitiveLife.com

 

Stay Inspired – How to re-frame “failed” goals (part 2)

by Cheryl Brewster

This is part two of how to re-frame your goals… see part one before you read on. What appear to be “failed” goals are part of the structure of life; they’re unavoidable and important “pause points”. They carry with them, hidden treasures that point us in the direction of our dreams and accomplishment of our goals.

Pause Point#1: The only failure is the failure to learn
Too often we assign value, meaning, self-esteem and success to positive outcomes while assigning the opposite to less than desirable ones. Remember the story of the birth of post-it-notes? It was a glue formula that “failed” and created a multi-billion dollar product!  Success was already there, just not in the form the inventor expected. So too for you. Less then stellar results are not the end of the world, they’re important steps of progress. The only failure is a negative attitude that disregards the learning.

Pause Point#2: Tell the truth to yourself
Blind spots hold incredible treasures within them. Repeated unrealized goals are guiding you to this treasure. What are you not seeing? What are you not willing to do differently? Truth is the bridge. Humility and the willingness to see and do things differently are the toll required. This requires a positive attitude and the ability to translate what we don’t want into what we do want.

Pause Point#3: Drop irrational judgment
The willingness to see and do things differently means “letting go” of the irrational judgments that our blind spots contain. There is within each one of us, an infinite intelligence that supplies our ideas, creativity, wisdom and resources. By continually blaming ourselves or others for goals not yet achieved, we are totally unplugging from that power source! Irrational, continual, unrelenting blame or regret literally choke out prosperity consciousness. What we most fear then becomes what we most create. We inadvertently energize exactly what we don’t want! We do this both consciously and unconsciously. How do we know? By the results we are getting.

Pause Point#4: The power of 4: Forgiveness, faith, focus and follow-through
Awareness of irrational blame or judgment requires a decision to forgive… without it, we’ll never have a strong foundation to build on and the success we long for, we’ll never have. We may achieve great things, but if we don’t achieve peace of mind along with them, then they’re just that… things without greatness. Here’s a powerful 4-step process to stay on track:

Forgive: yourself and others, and refuse to let blame or regret rule your life. Be willing to let go! Blame not only hurts, it keeps us stuck.
Faith: Prosperity consciousness is the resolution to apply the immutable force within. Prosperity is not outside of us… it’s expressed from the inside out! This can be a tricky concept but it’s a vitally important one.
Focus: ONLY on the thoughts, feelings and consciousness that support your prosperity. Be committed to this as a new habit.
Follow-through: lead from your power-source; take inspired action and keep dropping judgment or fear as they come up. Cross the bridge of truth from what you don’t want to what you do want with the humility and willingness to think, feel and do things differently… let the “inner substance within” that underpins everything, flow through you. What is this substance? It’s the same intelligence that drives the force of nature, beats your heart and breaths through your lungs… you can’t get it from anywhere outside of you… it’s already here. How exciting is that?! Our only job then, is to be still enough to let it lead, and to follow with faith, focus and follow-through. How will you do that this week? Email us! We’d love to hear your experience of applying these concepts! For extra support, be sure to sign up for our daily inspiration on our home page.

Cheryl Brewster helps people become aware of their strengths and the mindsets that sabotage them. She works with both organisations and individuals to help each person create greater resilience and sustainable results in life and business. She offers keynotes, coaching and private consultations to a local and international client base.

Mindfulness – the Super Power You Cannot Afford to Overlook!

by Cheryl Brewster

How does Mindfulness work, how can it help you improve your life and build resiliency? Whether it’s big, little, voluntary, crisis, opportunity or adversity, change is a part of your Hero’s Journey.  When we understand how our “Reptilian Brain” works, embracing mindfulness becomes a “no-brainer” (excuse the pun) because of how it frees us from irrational fears, thoughts and habits!

Things you must know about your Reptilian Brain
(from Shawn Smith’s book The User’s Guide to the Human Mind…. amazing book….. a “must have”:

1. In its effort to solve problems, the human mind can create the very thing we fear – like an over zealous body guard/worry machine, it never stops looking for problems!
2. An anxious mind does not defer to logic and tends to remember events with a lot of emotion attached to them, making us respond as if the past is about to reoccur.
3. Emotions have a way of sneaking under our radar and driving our behavior without our awareness so we train ourselves to avoid what we “think” is coming.
4. The mind creates a “false dilemma” – either I can have the thoughts and feelings OR I can live my life (example: I must get rid of these self-critical thoughts before I can…”)
5. We attach emotional content to thoughts, symbols and memories… sometimes the memory of a painful event (or fear of something we’ve never done) evokes more distress than the actual event.
6. The primitive mind’s response to pain and fear is: avoid, avoid, avoid… it persuades us to avoid things by giving us the pain of anxiety and sadness. (geez, thanks)
7. When we approach something dangerous, the mind tries to smack us with one form of pain or the other – systems like the amygdalae are regularly dishing out punishment to keep us safe!
8. Our limbic (emotional) system and flawless recall can keep us focused on that one single fender-bender, ignoring thousands of times we’ve driven without a problem.
9. The mind’s only job is to protect us and if we’re not careful, we can start to believe what it says…. the more we allow the mind to control our behavior, the more entrenched we become in the kind of thoughts that are dominated by fear, anxiety and depression.  We can begin to see all of this like a frantic dog barking at squirrels… all of these thoughts, feelings and sensations are not threats!

So here’s the juicy part! Once we understand the reptilian brain is just trying to do its job, we can free ourselves from the death grip it has on our ideas, creativity, dreams, goals, communications, desire for authenticity and greater success and happiness in life. In understanding how and why it does what it does, we build awareness…. in that awareness we stop limiting ourselves and free ourselves from irrational fears and unhealthy, reactive outbursts. Through Mindfulness we “pop ourselves out” and even if it’s just for a few moments, done over time, even just 10 minutes a day, the effects of mindfulness are profound!

Definitions of Mindfulness:
1. Mindfulness is the ability to know what’s in your head without getting carried away by it! (Dan Harris, author of 10% Happier)
2. Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, non-judgmentally (Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living)
3. Mindfulness is me living an authentic life, being present and okay in the transition of uncertainty and shadow as I evolve and grow (Me… Cheryl Brewster)

Benefits of Mindfulness:
1. It’s simple, can be done anywhere and is scientifically validated to improve cognitive functioning, emotional intelligence, health and wellness, decision making and a whole lot more!
2. Mindfulness is breaking a lifetime habit of unconscious repetitive thoughts and fears – it brings us to choice and the ability to take necessary action
3. It drops regret, guilt, perfectionism, self-sabotage and stress and builds up self-awareness, self-esteem making us better communicators and healthier members of society
4. Measurable on brain-scans, mindfulness helps to create new neuro-pathways which means you are evolving your actual physical brain, let alone your ability to enjoy life more!

How it works:
1. It’s simple, can be done anywhere – – just sit straight, notice the feeling of your breath coming in and going out and focus your full attention on the feeling of the breath – that’s it!
2. Notice when thoughts come in and just keep starting over when they do
3. By withdrawing just minutes a day from the chatter of the mind and the incessant worry machine of the reptilian brain, we “harmonize” to the greater wisdom within
4. This “super power” frees us from past conditioning and can bring clarity and focus even in the transition of uncertainty by helping us stay “in the present” not the past or the future which is where the reptilian brain is accustomed to taking us.

The “empowerment” muscles that are formed are priceless…. imagine the possibilities of your Hero’s Life!   It’s as simple as ABC – Aware, Breathe, Connect to the solutions, peace and prosperity that are always present. The reptilian brain may not feel that way, but the truth is, our greatest potential can only be accessed through mindfulness. While this “sounds” easy, it takes commitment, courage and grit to ride the waves of emotion that may come up in befriending that reptilian brain and making it our ally, but it’s so worth the effort…. If you enjoyed this blog, let us know! Cheryl Brewster’s mission with TheIntuitiveLife.com is to support Conscious Changemakers in their Hero’s Journey to clarity, peace, empowerment and confidence through the ABCs of Intuition and Mindfulness. To book your intuitive consultation, coaching mindfulness training for you or your organization, contact us!

Resiliency – Your Hero’s Journey to Peace of Mind

by Cheryl Brewster

How resilient are you? Let’s face it… left unattended, our resiliency can be worn down without our even knowing it! Have you ever found yourself in the position where the energy to be creative, focused and passionate seems a bit, well, shall we say challenged?  If so, you could be suffering from “resiliency burnout” which can happen with sudden, difficult, unexpected change, or over time, with constant stressors that don’t appear that big, but eventually take their toll.

Here’s what you need to know to keep resiliency operating at optimum levels:

Hands holding sapling in soil on black


Resiliency is defined as “that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes.”   Even after misfortune, resilient people are blessed with an outlook that allows them to catch their breath, change course and carry on.

1. Get out of your head and into your heart
Mindfulness is a practice that focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them. Judgment wastes an incredible amount of mental and emotional energy. Its labeling into categories takes us “out of flow,” out of awareness of what’s happening here and now and contributes to stress and perpetual mind-loops. To build resiliency “witness your experience as an impartial observer.” And when you catch yourself judging, see that as a form of growing awareness (yay me, I caught myself!) and kindly, gently bring yourself back to the present, in the here and now.

2. Embrace Grit
Personal resilience must be a radical commitment. Without it, you won’t sustain your highest ideals. You’ll be short-changing yourself and the people around you.  Angela Duckworth, at the positive psychology center at The University of Pennsylvania, discovered that “grit” and disciplined self-control predict more success in life than IQ or natural talent.” Grit defined as “the tendency to sustain interest in very long-term goals,”  combined with self-control, over months, years, and even decades, is key to attaining goals and living your true passion in life. Where do you need to make a radical gritty decision in your life? What would that look like? What impact would it have? How would it change the direction and quality of your life? How would it help you embrace uncertainty?

3. The One Minute Meditator!
To remain focused and productive throughout the work day, take mini-breaks to refresh and restore – set a timer so that for every 20 minutes, you take 60 seconds to do something fun:
Daydream about something really pleasurable.
Practice a minute of “Grit” and see/feel yourself totally overcoming challenge.
Be still and absorb the quiet effects of a beautiful picture.
Meditate on your top values.
Then launch back into your work feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Research has found this to be one of the most important tools for reducing work stress and increasing productivity – frequent mini breaks that reward and replenish….If science has proven that you’ll get more done, increase your confidence and self esteem levels, then isn’t that worth a 3 minute investment every hour? Imagine the power of potentials becoming tangibles!

4. Embrace Your Hero’s Journey

Mythologist Joseph Campbell uses the Hero’s Journey to describe the cycles of life that we all go through, including “the call” to be our authentic, best selves. The Inherent pain in such a journey is unavoidable; however it can feed our resilience.  Within this journey, we discover our shadow,” (in Jungian psychology, the unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself). Because we tend to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of our personality, the shadow is largely negative so we tend to judge it. We experience inner conflict and struggle within ourselves. However, positive aspects may also remain hidden in our shadow. Resilience is our ability to recognize the shadow when it’s triggered, to remain the impartial witness and accept the gift of emerging consciousness. As Jung said, ‘there is no coming to consciousness without pain.” The paradox is that we can use this pain of growing awareness to actually feed resilience, not drain it dry. Having a clear understanding and foundation in the Hero’s Journey is life-changing and transformative.

Within these four steps, we see that resilience is both innate within us, yet requires nurturing and commitment.  Perhaps the bravest thing we can do, is to live a resilient life… the courage to come back, and keep coming back…that is the Hero’s Journey.

If you enjoyed this blog, let us know! Our mission at TheIntuitiveLife.com is to support your Hero’s Journey in transforming uncertainty into comfort, confidence and resilience. If you would like to learn more about Cheryl Brewster’s intuitive consultations, workshops or keynotes, we’d love to hear contact us here. For upcoming events, see our calendar.