Step 63 - "Creativity and Persistence equal success."  Liza Miles

Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia  (n). The quality of being persistent; steady or firm adherence to or continuance in state, course of action, or pursuit that has been entered upon; especially (of persons), a more or less obstinate perserverance; perserverance notwithstanding opposition, warning, remonstrane, etc.

Given that the words stubborn and obstinate are often used negatively by parents and others when we are children it is interesting to note that in fact they are positive traits and, in my opinion, lead to resilience later in life.  This week along with a colleague I supported a young girl aged eleven who had lost all sense of resilience and was no longer able to "tough it out".  She had literally shut herself down.  Spending the day with her at the hospital and seing her slowly come back to engaging and making contact with others was someting I will not forget.

I found myself remembering an earlier time in my life when I had attempted suicide - I was nineteen at the time.  The suicide attempt was a culmination of loss and self loathing from being raped three years earlier.  Working in the theatre an older man tried the same thing, he was not successful but I shut down.  Was this all I was to the world?  Dying seemed like the best choice and yet, underneath I didn't want to.  I wanted to survive and I called for help.  The human sense of perseverance, reslience, our will to survive is greater than the acts which seek to destroy, stamp out, suppress and oppress.

At fifty five - birthday this past week -  I am surprised how much the memory and impact of the rape still has on me.  That tears still well up as I rember saying please stop and feeling so defenceless.  Yet, my will to survive and triumph far surpasses that experience.  The story that I tell myself - the stories that we tell ourselves are the stories that make things happen differently or the same. 

This journey, is the opportunity to change the story to rejoice in resilience, in stubbornness in obstinacy and re-name them tenacity, perseverance, strength.  An opportunity to recognise the courses of action as a path to a better destiny, one that is fulfilling, meeting the needs of our soul and rejoicing in who we are - each and every one, each and every day.  In the words of George Elliot "It's never too late to become the person you might have been."

There may be historical events in your past which are too horrible to think about. If these events are constantly in your thoughts, it is time to get help and stop permitting the past to be the story of the future. 


Exercise - Positive re-naming


Create a keepsake box - see http://lizam1.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-make-a-keepsake-box for instructions how to do this.  Inside the box place index cards with happy and positive memories from your past or, if that is too hard, select positive messages and motivational sayings, photographs of how you wold like your life to unfold and put them in the box.  When something good happens, however small, say thanks for that and write it down and put it in the box.  Also post your thanks on http://thanksxamillion.blogspot.ca/ use your name or be anonymous. 


Successes.....
Being satisfied that where I am right now, is where I am meant to be
Thankfullness for a birthday - even though this number was a challenge!
Two good 5k walks last weekend and another planned for tomorrow
Writing and recognizing I needed a break


Challenges
Not getting to curves
Chocolate binges :-(
Feeling depleted after helping others and taking longer to recover

Namas Day




 

Step 62 - For all that we can be, in memory of  Erma Bombeck.

Passing the Purple Hat to You

IN honor of women's history month and in memory of Erma Bombeck who lost
her fight with cancer.

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER - by Erma Bombeck (written after she found
out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth
would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it
melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was
stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room andworried
much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the
fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his
youth.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day
because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains..
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more
while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical,
wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished
every moment.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now
go get washed up fordinner.' There would have been more 'I love you's'
More 'I'm sorry's.'
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute.look
at it and really see it .Live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING
THE SMALL STUFF!
Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing
what Instead, let's cherishthe relationships we have with those who do
love us.

If you don't mind, send thison to all the women you are grateful to
have as friends. Maybe we should all grab that purple hat earlier.
Please share this with the women you care about in celebration of
Beautiful Women's Month.
Step 61 - "We first make our habits and then our habits make us" John Dryden

A sobering lesson - to practice what I preach.  Waking up on this beautiful sun-filled spring morning my mind started to race ahead full of "what if''s" and "if only's".  It took a moment but once I got it I changed the mindset and sat down to write a haiku to spring instead.  http://lizam1.hubpages.com/hub/Haiku-for-Spring

Poor decision making in the past has created a set of circumstances that can, when I permit them, feed a very negative and self critical mindset.  Acknowledging responsibility for the decisions and accepting that I cannot change them does not change the circumstances.  Instead it encourages and enables acceptance and giving thanks for the moment right here right now.

The habit of not living in the present moment is an easy one to develop.   Past mistakes, memories, future hopes and dreams or even fears beckon our minds and snatch us away from focus and a sense of purpose to accomplish and complete projects we have started.  The habit becomes like a spinning wheel going round and round - we start, we think beyond or look back, we stop.

Take a moment to consider whether you live each day in the moment or, if you live each day with past memories and stories and future fears driving how you think, act and feel.

If the latter is true think about how long this has been going on.  What started it, if you know, or perhaps its a family trait that you have picked up on.  Is it working for you or does it impede where and how you want to grow within yourself?

Eric Berne's model from Transactional Analysis www.ericberne.com  of the parent/adult/child within each of us suggests that our reactions, our relationships within ourselves and our relationship to others are primarily based on whether those messages are healthy or critical and fear based.  Brene Brown www.brenebrown.com also talks about changing the story, understanding where we get the stories from and giving them up, relinquishing the power they have over us.

The good news is that it is very possible and, although not necessisarily easy, to break the habit and shrug off the unhelpful critical messages from our past, change our stories and move on.  Creativity and right brain exercises are powerful tools which can unlock and open the doorways to a future unhampered by historical events.

Exercise

Looking about you find one thing that you really appreciate in the environment - maybe it's the view from your window, maybe it's a birthday card from a friend, maybe it's the steaming cup of coffee you're hugging as you read this.  Study and reflect how you feel in the moment.  Try and stay with the thoughts for at least five minutes.  Begin to write a poem, a haiku, a piece of prose - don't worry about the style just create words of appreciation.  Try and practice this as many times during the next month as you can.  When you find yourself not being in the moment try and bring yourself back to the moment by finding something you like to focus on and write a few words about it.  The act of creativity heals and offers your right brain a say, nurturing you.

Successes....

Accomplishing 30 hubs in 30 days - and continuing to write 500 words every day
Two good walks yesterday
Staying focused and appreciating what I have in the moment

Challenges...

Catching up on housework and laundry
Outside clean up
Time..........balancing creativity, work, physical exercise and chores

Namas Day



Step 60 - "When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power, the world will know PEACE."
Jimi Hendrix

Although Mr. Hendrix was referring to the external world, and referencing a particular time in history, when he made spoke those words, when I read them I am reminded of the power that love offers when we truly accept ourselves and the circumstances in which we find oursleves on this day.

I took my mind off the ball a couple of times this week and created a couple of needless muddles around money and tasks that could have been easily accomplished.  It was tempting on the one hand to shrug and state the mitigating circumstances that led to them both and sidestepping my part, thus not acknowledging the underlying feelings and responsibility or, admonsih myself so that I end up feeling, because my thoughts are telling me, that I am a screwup. 

Choosing neither of the above options and accepting that I messed up, that the mess-ups are fortunately not life or death situations and accepting the mistake means I am not expending tons of energy on a fruitless and debilitating shame based dialogue within myself.

Most of the clients with whom I have worked over the years and indeed in my personal journey the unique and most delibiltating barrier to health and wellness is the underlying issue of shame.

Shame can appear in the most innocent and minor circumstances, it can rear it's ugly head at work, in personal relationships, in families, when and how we raise our children.  Manifesting as anger, sadness, depression, and in the most tragic cases self harm and suicide.

We want to control it, but really we can't.  However we can learn about how it started, learn to forgive oursleves and learn to let go of the story we keep telling ourselves, where it is shame based and continues the cycle of dysfunction.

Exercise for Step 60

The wonderful Brene Brown has recently launched a talk through TedTalks on this subject.  She offers wonderful insights and is very eloquent on the subject.  Before you begin to listen to the talk -  please make sure you have at least  sixty minutes to yourself, or are watching it with someone who is supportive.  After you have watched the talk, paint or write the feelings you had whilst watching the talk and recognize if you need to get professional help for serious and ongoing beliefs that are preventing you from achieving your goals and dreams.

For an online or personal consultation or a list of potential coaches/practitioners in your area please email me at liza.miles1@gmail.com.


http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame.html?source=facebook#.T2OUbBGZkVA.facebook


Successes

TGIF!  Really it was quite the week:-)
Taking control of professional opportunities
Baking some delicious wheat and gluten free cookies - see http://lizam1.hubpages.com/hub/Gluten-and-Wheat-Free-Crunchy-Chocolate-Chip-and-Nut-Cookies

Challenges

Money, money money :-) Due to not being mindful
Fatigue - due to not working out
Aches and Pains - due to ageing and not working out!

Namas Day

Step 59 - Be good to youself.  "Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end." - Scott Adams

In the interests of health and wellness and a healthy lifestyle balance, being good to ourselves - being kind to ourselves is essential.  Self critical thoughts, put downs and frustration are often times a normal part of how we deal with situations.  Time to stop, re-frame the messages and gently re-create new ways of coping and self talk.

Have you noticed that sayings we use or that others use oftentimes have an edge of judgement to them.  Does that help or hinder our progess?  There is a difference between motivational thinking and critical put downs disguised as helpful motivators. 

For example:  A teacher saying to a student you need to think about it more, I know you can do it is motivational - saying you need to think about it more, you can do better is critical.  The you can do better undermines the work that has been done to date and is a value judgement. A simple word change makes the difference.

I often find myself saying "I'm stupid" in a joking kind of way.  In fact the joking part disguises that about somethings - technology and fixing cars I do not have the skills or knowledge to do some of the things I would like to do myself.  That does not mean I am stupid - but making that statement can and does take me down and escalates the potential for procrastination on other unrelated projects that are challenging and that I do have the skills and capacity to do.

Self talk is perhaps one of the most important and powerful resources we have - and it's free - it can also be the most damaging and negative destructors of opportunity and growth.

How to change it. 

Exercise 59 -

Write down on an index card sayings that you and your family use every day about all sorts of things.  Write as many that come to mind or look on-line if your mind goes blank.  You will find them.

Identify which are positive - those are the keepers,  Now identify which are negative or critical - those are not keepers.  Find ways to make the critical messages into positive ones.  Post the index cards about the house for you and others to see.  Make a game of this with your family and or friends and each time you or someone uses a negative message put some money into a charity box.  Donate it.  When you use a positive one put some money into a treat jar and save up for something you and the family or friends will do together.

Overtime you will notice that your moods are more even and that you start to see things that are challenging in a more positive way - with solutions or potential solution.  You will also generate more energy and a peaceful mindset.

Successes....
Writing today
Commencing a business and marketing plan for workshops and websites
Making pancakes for the first day of Spring Break for the girls - see http://lizam1.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-make-vanilla-pancakes-from-scratch for a really great recipe and pancakes that are delicious everytime.  For lactose intolerant or milk and dairy free exchange the milk for almond milk.

Challenges.....
Housework and laundry
Coming up with different meals to make this week
Transportation

Namas Day







Step 58 - Spring is almost here yay!  No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. - Proverb

We are two and a half months into the journey to our inner Fiji.  The dark months are behind and new life and longer light beckons.  Carpets of colour start to appear as the tulips and daffodils and crocus push through the gound and blossom bursts into life on formerly bare branched trees.

I love this time of year, I feel my body respond and wake to the riot of colour.  I sense rejuvenation and the promise of well being.  The lighter evenings bringing more time to the day.

Time again to look at the changes in body weight and physical fitness as well as the psychological benefits of more light and sun. 

Exercise has been challenging for me this last few weeks.  Partly due to not having a car and the dark evenings after I finish work,  I have not been getting to curves.  I have, as a result of "carlessness" been walking more and on the whole I see evidence that staying wheat and gluten free, the walking and reducing calories is paying off.  However, since not going to the gymn I have lost muscle tone and it is important to address that when you are in middle life as well as when you are older.  I suggest minimally a 20 minute walk every day and if a gymn is not an option invest in a DVD that offers strength building exercises through stretches and toning postures.  This site offers some alternatives for most fitness levels.  www.gaiam.com › FitnessFitness DVDsCached

My friend and neighbour Joyce recently sent me a link about a new product - please note I do not have a financial interest in this product nor do I get paid to promote it, but I think it is worth considering and taking a look at.  The link is :http://www.isagenixpodcast.com/2012/03/the-power-of-product-b/.   If you want more information I suggest you contact Joyce directly at jc_moores@hotmail.com and mention Finding Fiji in your email to her.

Recently I came across a wheat and gluten free weight loss program which appears well balanced and claims to expedite weight loss.  I am always concerned about diets (well diets in general) which promote weight loss quickly, but sometimes we need to see results in order to keep motivated.  This programme is also helpful changing our eating habits so the diet becomes a healthy way of eating and enjoying food which promotes health and wellness.  Healthy food, healthy and happier you!

If you want to take a look at this I have posted the diet suggestions on hubpages at: http://lizam1.hubpages.com/hub/Wheat-and-Gluten-Free-weight-loss-plan?done

Exercise

With the coming of Spring, time to do a springclean of the set goals that you created at the beginning and reviewed by creating a collage during step 28.  Time for another collage!  This time for spring! Write down some positive words that you associate with Spring and find images or pictures to go with them - now collage that.  If you can't think of positive words, turn the words you have into positive ones by writing the opposite.  This will, for sure, feel fake but it's how we start to change the story and live new beginings.  For more on how to make a collage go to my link at:  http://lizam1.hubpages.com/hub/How-do-I-make-a-collage#img_url_6235768

Successes....
Spending a beautiful day with my teen daughter
Helping a friend raise money and collecting bottles
Great feedback from  a funder about a recent workshop through ARCC Society (www.arccsociety.com)

Challenges.....
Making time for the "mundane" less preferred tasks such as cleaning up:-)

Namas Day







Step 57 - Resiliency .  "Having a rough morning?  Place your hand over your heart.  Feel it?
That's called purpose.  YOU are alive for a reason - don't give up."  ANON

The following fifteen statetements written by E.H. Grotberg I HAVE,  I AM,  I CAN,  is a resource used in parenting courses.  The statements assist parents to provide, for their children, positive and anxiety reducing critical thinking skills.  Equally, for adults, the statements are a helpful guide to understanding what it is we need to work on within ourselves to overcome adverse and difficult situations and re-gain or affirm resiliency.

I HAVE

  • People around me I trust and who love me, no matter what
  • People who set limits for me so I know when to stop before there is danger or trouble
  • People who show me how to do things right by the way they do things
  • People who want me to learn to do things on my own
  • People who can help me when I am sick, in danger or need to learn
I AM

  • A person people can like and love
  • Glad to do things for others and show my concern
  • Respectful of myself and others
  • Willing to be resposible for what I do
  • Sure things will be alright
I CAN

  • Talk to others about things that frighten me or bother me
  • Find ways to solve problems I face
  • Control myslef when I feel like doing something not right or dangerous
  • Figure out when it is a good time to talk to someone or to take action
  • Find someone to help me when I need it
Exercise:

Review the list and examine carefully which of them you do not believe or which of them you have conflicting messages about.

For example "I can talk to others about things that frighten me or bother me."  If your past experience has been an unsympathetic, non empathic or a critical listening ear, you will feel conflicted about asking for help.  Your thoughts will tell you it is not safe to ask for help.  To change these messages try and source where they first came from and why you believed them.  Recognize that this situation now is not the same as it once was.  Try to reframe the story you keep telling yourself.  (for more on this read or watch the author Brene Brown -  http://www.brenebrown.com/books/)

Successes.....
Managing my work and professional commitments
Creative solutions for practical problems
Giving myself a break

Challenges.....
Containing and managing the urge to bury my head in the sand
Working with families who are in desperate situations and feeling overwhelmed - remembering they are not MY problems

Namas Day





Step 56 - Overcoming adversity.  Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity”  ~Lou Holtz

Grumbling to myself about the cold weather as I waited for the bus I caught myself and decided to change the "stinking thinking".  It's so easy to see the downside of inconvenience yet in fact I have so much to be thankful for.  I can walk, see, have money to take a bus, live in a city where buses run pretty much on time and are safe, have warm clothes for the weather and was going home later to a nice hot dinner.  Nothing to complain about.  Interestingly as soon as I started to re-think the situation a colleague drove by, stopped and gave me a ride to my destination - despite it being out of her way.  Thank you Sheila!

We, in the west, are for the most part pretty well taken care of.  For sure there is poverty, horrific family circumstances for some children and some families and individuals do seem to have more than the lions share of adversity.  Yet those times are often the times we become the strongest, discover friends and neighbours we didn't know we had who help us and find faith in capabilities internal and external we  thought we didn't have.

My mother tells me stories of times when, as a teen she was coming home from school with sirens warning about a bomb attack.  Her father in law was killed by a bomb falling on the place he worked.  Today in many places around the world children and adults live in regimes that are cruel, unjust, without food, medical supplies or basic shelter.  Despite their circumstances people, as they have in Libya and are currently doing in Syria stand up for the right to survive.

Exercise Step 55

Reflect back on your day today.  Was there a monent when you grumbled or complained about something happening?  Be it small or large, consider if there is a different way to look at the situation.  Turn it around.  Doing this may not change the situation but it may give you a glimpse of the strength and supports you have which will enable you to grow through it.

Successes......

Getting up and making the day happen - when I really wanted to roll over and stay in bed:-)
Organizing supper this morning, in the slow cooker,  and having a nice long evening with my girls
Catching myself thinking negatively and changing the thought
Staying on track with calories and wgf
Beginning to implement by $10,000 challenge (see http://lizam1.hubpages.com/lizam1hub/My-10-000-challenge

Challenges....

Yet again not at Curves:-(
Having lots of loose ends to tie together
Having a hub unpublished by the "hub team" grrrr  (my re-thinking challenge for this step)

Namas Day





Step 55.  Humility - Wolf.  "Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."  Albert Einstein.

This is the last of the seven sacred teachings we began a week ago.  How have those teachings, or reflections about the teachings impacted you?

Our belief about ourself, our capabilities and the individual gifts we have comes from a healthy sense of ego and messages from parents and teachers and the peers and mentors we choose along the way.  For some those messages will be healthy and encouraging, for others they may be destructive and harmful.

Children who grow up in abusive homes are less likely to have a sense of self worth and be able to identitify their gifts. A boss who is a bully can shatter the confidence of a worker and cause a breakdown.  A natural disaster or bereavement can create long lasting doubts that recovery from grief is possible.

The word humility is a double edged sword.  Oftentimes it has been used to control or create a subservient attitude yet here, if we explore the word it is a word that encourages us to believe in ourselves, in our gifts, our talents.  To be thankful for them by using them to promote wellbeing in others and in community so that we will be well ourselves.

I have had a long lasting belief that I am stupid when it comes to math. In fact I have numeric dyselxia - now I am able to let others know I cannot understand numbers and ask for help. I am also very patient and have an ability to teach others how to do things - not math.  I do this from a place of  accepting the good in others as I share with them something I am good at
By accepting things we are not good at and asking for help or sharing the gifts we have we do a service to others, and our community.  This is the action of humility.

Where is your genius?  What gift do you have that you use or perhaps do not use?  Maybe you are a wonderful writer or listener or drummer or engineer?  How can you use those gifts to promote wellness in others?

Exercise 55

Write the word humility on a sheet of paper and then write any words that spring to mind - it doesn't matter if they are not connected logically.  Do not edit out any words.  When you have wriiten all the words turn them into a Haiku - that is a 3 line structure of 5 words, 7 words and 5 words.  Add in words if you do not have enough.  Reflect on your Haiku - what does it teach you?  Maybe that you are a great poet, or maybe a different way of looking at your gifts.

Successes....

Staying on the journey and believeing
Making time to reflect on the steps and share my thoughts
Creating a better work life balance - taking time to do things I love as well as doing things for others.

Challenges........

Wheat and gluten free - tucked into pizza on Saturday :-(
Making decisions about financing a car or not


Namas Day



Step 51 - Truth   "Unless your heart, your soul, and your whole being are behind every decision you make, the words from your mouth will be empty, and each action will be meaningless.  Truth and confidence are the roots of happiness"  Anon

The following exercise is from The Gift Project - a seven week art therapy program for individuals and groups based on the seven sacred laws.  I wrote this program at the end of 2010 and 100 people from seven countries around the world participated in the exercsises.  The complete program of exercises is available for individuals or group facilitators as an e-book or printed spiral bound edition at www.arccsociety.com

Step 51 Exercise

Read the following paragraph

Long ago, there was a giant called Kitch-Sabe. Kitch-sabe walked among the people to remind them to be honest to the laws of the creator and honest to each other. The highest honour that could be bestowed upon an individual was the saying "There walks an honest man. He can be trusted." To be truly honest was to keep the promises one made to the Creator, to others and to oneself. The Elders would say, "Never try to be someone else; live true to your spirit, be honest to yourself and accept who you are the way the Creator made you."   (Ref: Radiance Creative)


2)  Reflect on and write down the thoughts and feelings that came to you as you read.  Record, all words and statements, that comes to mind.

3)  Reflect on the word truth – what the word means to you, how you use the word to describe yourself and others.  What are the intrinsic qualities you think are essential for honesty.  Use a dictionary or thesaurus to help you identify other words you connect with honesty and some of the values.  For example, ethical, genuine, without disguise etc. etc... .

4)  Think of a time when your honesty or ability to be honest was compromised – perhaps to protect yourself or someone else.  ALTERNATIVELY, think of a time when you were honest and no one believed you at first – consider the boy in the story of the Emperors new Clothes.

5)  Draw a large square on the poster or Bristol board.  Around the square glue the words you have written about truth and the values.

6)  Begin to paint an image of truth, reflecting the words and thoughts you have had up to this point in the exercise.  Notice if your perception has changed or shifted.  Put in the painting your thoughts and feelings about honesty.  If you are stuck, start with a colour and let the colour tell you how and where to paint it.

7)  When you have finished painting, find a comfortable place to sit.  With your eyes closed, imagine you are sitting in a field full of red and yellow flowers.  It is warm and the birds are singing.  Say aloud thank you that I am who I am, for the way that I am and for my life today x 3. 


Successes.....

Organizing my daughters birthday
Making time to write
Co-organizing a successful International Women's Day Tea

Challenges.......

Managing interpersonal conflict with a colleague
Owning responsibility for past decisions
Candy, candy and more candy :-(

Namas Day



Continuing the steps .  Love (48), Courage (49, Wisdom (50)  -   "Loving-kindness and compassion are the basis for wise, powerful, sometimes gentle and sometimes fierce actions that can really make a difference - in our own lives and those of others."  Sharon Salzberg

I really like that the above quote combines the three steps we have taken since Saturday, based on the teachings of the seven sacred traditions.

It is hard to be courageous if we don't believe in our potential and, to believe in our potential, we have to love who we are and trust our inner wisdom.  Looking back I can see soooo many missed opportunities simply because I didn't believe in myself and trust my instincts.  I have also screwed up royally on a number of things, usually because I made an emotional decision, not based on good process and due dilligence.

The road to health and wellness depends on balance - that is balancing our emotional and cognitive responses to situations.  I see spirituality as being a natural part of both the emotional and cognitive process and, although this sounds counter intuitive that includes agnosticism and aetheism.  After all if we are secure in our faith, or non belief, that is balance. 

Fanaticism (for definitions see http://www.dictionarygeek.com/?url=http://www.wordnik.com/words/&word=fanaticism) whether it be religious, intellectual or physical is the opposite of life in balance and, therefore, can taint our natural and good instincts.  Love, courage and wisdom can become negative and retroflective doctrines.

I will post again on Thursday - and in the meantime continue with the next three traditions - truth, respect, honesty.   

Successes.....

Maintaining mindfulness and reflecting on the steps
Not rushing into purchasing a car - waiting for "right one"
Being reflective about how I use my time
Being thankful for things I used to grumble about
Staying wheat and gluten free

Challenges
Confession - still have not made it to curves.  Partly the transportation problem, partly a mental block.
Mindtalk about meeting some of my stated financial goals.
Procrastination!

Namas Day













Step 48 - 55 The Seven Sacred Teachings   

 "Honor the sacred. Honor the Earth, our Mother. Honor the Elders. Honor all with whom we share the Earth:- Four-leggeds, two-leggeds, winged ones, Swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock people. Walk in balance and beauty." Native American Elder

The seven sacred teachings appear in many different bands across the US and Canada. They are written differently and some of them include animals, whilst others do not.

Having always been curious about different spiritual beliefs and pratices, when I came to Canada I wanted to find out more about the spiritual practices of the Aboriginal peoples. Given that there are so many cultures within the Aboriginal communities this is a work in progress.

As a "white girl" from the UK I was raised in the Christian tradition. Although aspects of that faith are still very important and helpful I embrace and include spiritual practices from other cultures to support health and wellness on this journey to (hopefully) being a kinder and respectful citizen of the world. The Seven sacred Teachings are, in my opinion, a beautiful ethical code to live by. I have also created a seven step art therapy program for individuals and groups based on these teachings. The Gift Project is available at www.arccsociety.com

Steps 48 - 55 Exercise:  Reflect on the following teachings.  Choose one each day and consider how it relates to you in your life write down your thoughts and keep them with your other writings.

Love (Eagle)
To feel true love is to know the Creator. One's first love is to be the Great Spirit. You express love for the Great Spirit by loving yourself and how the Great Spirit made you. Only then can you truly love others. Children are to be loved, for children are gifts from the Great Spirit.
Courage (Bear)
To have COURAGE is to have the mental and moral strength to listen to the heart. It takes courage to do what is morally right. First Nations people were told to be proud of who they are and never to deny the way of life the Great Spirit gave to them.
Wisdom (Beaver)
To live in wisdom is to know that the Great Spirit gave everyone special gifts. Showing wisdom is using your gifts to build a peaceful and healthy family and community. When we know and use our gifts, we become an instrument of the Great Spirit, helping to bring peace to the world.
Truth (Turtle)
Always seek the TRUTH. The truth lies in spirit. Prayer was to be done every day at sunrise to give thanks to the Great Spirit for the gift of life. Each of the gifts and ceremonies were given by the Great Spirit to the Original human beings to help them find the truth and the true meaning of their life on Earth. Living the truth is living the Seven Sacred Teachings, living from the heart.
Respect (Buffalo)
First Nations people were told to always RESPECT all life on Mother Earth. To show real respect is to share and give of yourself for the benefit of all life. Respect the Elders from all races of people who uphold the sacred teachings of the Great Spirit.
Honesty (Sasquatch)
To be HONEST with yourself is to live in the spirit of how you were created. Never lie or gossip about each other. The more honest you are the bigger you become as a person.
Humility (Wolf)
Always carry out actions in HUMILITY. Think of your family, your fellow human beings and your community before you think of yourself. To know humility is to understand that you are not more or less important than anyone else. Being humble is surrendering to the Great Spirit, who has created and who directs all life.

From: http://lightworkers.org/blog/38336/the-7-sacred-teachings-given-first-nations-people-be-shared-with-all-our-relations

Successes.....
Writing every day
Maintaining weight loss goals
Following mindfulness practise and discovering the root causes of the challenge!  (see http://lizam1.hubpages.com/hub/Becoming-Mindful-a-journey)

Challenges.....
Intending to go to curves and not going
Procrastinating on creating fliers and marketing to promote workshops

Namas Day



6 Days into Mindfulness  -  You see everything is about belief, whatever we believe rules our existence, rules our life. ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

The practice of mindfulness, adjusting not only what and how we approach matters as welll as what we believe is, for me, still a work in progress.  I have certainly found the last few days challenging and recognize both resistance and stubborness as some of the root causes.

I also admit that I have not been practising or giving time for a daily meditation.  Thus the impact of how I think has certainly impacted how I feel emotionally and physically.

As busy people it can be hard to find a few minutes a day to spend in meditation or prayer and yet, research and those who practice this on a daily basis prove the efficacy and health benefits to individuals and community alike.

If busyness is one of the challenges the following brief exercise in mindfulness may help.  I am certainly going to try this.  For the first time use the above quote or one of your favourites, whichever is the most helpful:

Get centered — Take a moment to just notice your body here, noticing any tension and seeing if you can choose to let that tension go. Become aware that you’re breathing.
  1. Read the quote twice – Reading it twice allows it to settle in a bit more.
  2. Allow the words to simmer — Close your eyes and see if you can let the words roll around and notice what arises for you physically, emotionally and mentally. In other words, let these words percolate in your mind and body. Do any thoughts, memories, or associations arise? Is there a tension or loosening in the body? Do emotions of fear, joy, or calm arise? Whatever arises this is grist for the mill.
  3. Bring your mind back if it wanders — You may notice the mind going off into thoughts of what you need to be doing or judgments such as “how is this going to be helpful to me?” Just note where it wandered to and gently guide it back. As Larry Rosenberg says in his book Breath by Breath, repeat this step several billion times.
  4. Come back to the breath – Thank yourself for taking this time-out of your daily busy-ness to engage with this mindful inquiry for your health and well-being.
 from Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.  http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2010/04/5-quotes-that-can-change-your-life/


Namas Day