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.

 

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.

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.
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