The Ego and The Spirit : Voices We Need to Hear

Voices We Need To Hear

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called How the Ego Controls our Minds, written by Gail Florence.

Humans are beings who are most conscious of their decisions, beliefs and feelings. The human mind has a capacity for a person to choose among many possibilities. However, how much is the human aware of his freedom of choice? In this blog, it delves into some insight on what goes on in a person’s mind. It shares about the ego and the spirit that guide humans throughout their lives. Read more to find out the difference of these two special voices within us.

The Ego

First, we look into the ego. In a spiritual context, the ego is a voice that seems so natural to us because we always listen to it. Hope Johnson describes it as the voice controlling our mind, choices and beliefs. We are even unconscious that we are always following the musings and conniving of the ego.

To make an analogy, Hope Johnson shares a story where one of her friends talked about a guy who stole from her. This friend decided to go around and warn everyone about it. There’s a belief in the friend that if the guy gets away with stealing, he’s going to continue doing it. The ego works this way too. It convinces us that our assumptions are real. It is “teaching your mind that you are a separate self and you’re vulnerable to someone stealing from you”, (Johnson, 2019).

The ego convinces us to believe in illusions…

The ego, a voice which has grown into us, convinces us to believe in illusions. Illusions such as we will receive punishment when we make a mistake, we are inadequate so we need to gain and gain, we are … so we feel guilty. Once we allow the ego to determine our actions, we feel anxious, fearful, and little. Because of it being a part of us our entire lives, we choose the illusions offered to us no matter if we feel scared about them. We do this because we believe they are normal. Many people choose the same decisions, ambitions and vulnerabilities, we are hesitant to unbelieve the ego.

Hope Johnson continuous to explain that the ego seems real in the moment. So, we are convinced. She adds, “You’re choosing to use illusions to make you into something you’re not because you’re afraid. You think that you’re guilty for having separated yourself from reality. And in thinking this, you believe that you deserve punishment. So this world is a substitute for that. You are running away from this punishment, which is what you think and believe is a punishment by death, a certain death,” (Johnson, 2019).

Understand too, the ego is protective. It wants to preserve the thoughts it projects. Because it appears that way, Hope Johnson adds, “…you follow the ego’s guidance. Otherwise you’re not going to do it right. You’re just going to lose in the world. It looks like you have to go that way,” (Johnson, 2019). What happens then, we don’t discern the truth anymore because we cling to the protection or defense that the ego projects.

For example, when we eat because of stress, the ego will convince us that it is all right to consume a bunch of fatty and sugary treats. It will tell us, “I will protect you from the emotional pain you are going thru by allowing you to eat all the ice cream”. We do get a momentary joy or relief but, once the ice cream is gone, is the pain gone too? Unless we resolve what pains us, we know, deep in our hearts, the pain is just lurking within us. The reality is, ache is our real feeling, but the ego convinces us that we can escape it thru consuming ‘happy’ food. The question now is, are we enjoying ice cream as it is while we use it as a defense? Is there are true relishing of the sweetness, fruit or cookie tidbits, and creaminess constituting the ice cream? Are we honoring the ice cream as it is or are we using it simply as a tool to make us escape from a trapped feeling?

The influence of our decisions and beliefs…

Why do we need to hear the ego at this moment? It is for us to realize that it may be the voice that has been influencing our decisions and beliefs throughout our lives. So, how do we unlisten from the ego? We listen to the spirit voice. Just like the ego, it is a guidance. What makes it different and way better than the ego is, it is a guidance that comforts. Hope Johnson describes, “…the Spirit’s guidance, it’s like a still small voice, like a still small voice and it feels like a comfort that doesn’t have anything to do with the world though. It’s like this tiny voice telling you, ‘You’re beyond the world, you’re beyond the world’”,(Johnson, 2019).

The spirit voice gives us a relief after listening to all the constricting thoughts created by the ego. It is a calm that feels nothing happened or is happening. People believe this comfort is an, “idea that they’re going to get what they want in the world. That’s not the kind of comfort because it always has an opposite to it. … The comfort the spirit is offering you is that you are beyond the worlds. You are beyond the world and whatever occurs in the world, does not ever touch you,” (Johnson, 2019).

Lean to the spirit’s guidance

Once we lean to the spirit’s guidance, “everything is a benefit,” (Johnson, 2019). We start to see that even undesirable circumstances in our lives are teaching us something. Rather than seeing them as mistakes, we start to see them as opportunities for learning. When we flow through those moments of learning, we laugh at those we believe were mistakes. It is a laughter that allows situations to let them be. We are not controlling them anymore but just allowing them to flow.

When we listen to the spirit’s guidance, we are surrendering our want to control or hold on, our fears, anxieties, and reasons of our sadness and anger. We simply allow for the natural to just flow through.

“And that’s where the fun comes in. That’s where the fun of it all comes in when you recognize that you don’t have freewill like that. You have freedom of choice, freedom of choice, but not free will. And you recognize that. That’s where the fun comes in because this illusion what’s occurring on the surface can play out any way. You’re still always free to be yourself. You’re still always free to make that choice that serves you and everyone else at the same time who’s actually you and is undoing that self – belief and as that self-belief is getting undone, you get to have all of the fun. …things get more and more joyful for you because there’s not this fear of, ‘What’s going to happen to me?’”, (Johnson, 2019).

How does the spirit voice start to grow on us? When we are willing to listen to it, that’s where it starts. Recognize and accept your spirit voice for how long you want until it is your natural. If you have obeyed your ego your entire life, now is the moment for the spirit to sweep it away. Gift yourself the calm and peace that your mind wants to return to. Remember that it is up to us to accept the truth that nothing happened. Hope Johnson encourages us that it only takes a willingness, even a little, to start believing it instead.

The Truth of Choice

Truth Of Choice

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called How the Ego Controls our Minds, written by Gail Florence.

One of the timeless questions asked is the existence (or non-existence) of free will. Some believe in it, the others don’t. Are we beings who simply follow the ebb and tide of life? Do we really make choices as we move along each day? Let’s find out more as this blog talks about the real meaning of choice.

We think we are making a choice when we choose between two things. For example, Am I going to eat chocolate or vanilla ice cream?,Am I attending to this event? Am I marrying this person? Am I going to work today? The list goes on but all these are just choices from the surface. They are simply illusions of choice, worldly thoughts that we give so much meaning and time. Hope Johnson enlightens us that there is a deeper choice – making, an orchestration from a higher place in the mind. It is listening and agreeing to the voices of our minds. There are two important voices we are offered – the ego and the spirit.

Ego provides with meaning to our thoughts

To put it simply, the ego provides us with meanings to our thoughts. It makes us believe that our feelings are effects of different situations. When we believe these illusions are real, we become vulnerable. On the other hand, the spirit provides us with the truth. It allows us to just feel our emotions. It also gives us choices where we feel happy, relieved, and content.

Naturally, we think of so many thoughts. It is the most automatic function of the mind. It is not about it being the brain or a bodily organ, but as its essence. Whatever thoughts pop out or flow, we don’t have a choice in them. What we can do about them is agreeing, disagreeing, accepting, rejecting, believing, or shrugging them off. It is where freedom of choice comes in.

Am Unconscious Choice

Are thoughts wrong? Are they a problem? No, it is agreeing with them over and over again that is the problem. For example, when we go through a rough patch in our relationship, a lot come into our mind – the events that lead to the conflict, regrets, happy moments with the person, depressing thoughts and so on. Continuously lingering in these things and allowing our minds to constrict because we choose to just believe them, creates the problem. Hope Johnson says it becomes “an unconscious choice because people don’t realize they’re making that choice”. In reality, we are choose to think of the relationship constantly and what came along with it.

What is truth then? What is reality? Reality is the state of being natural, simply allowing the flow of life in the stream of day to day. It is recognizing our feelings and returning to them. We don’t police ourselves all the time when we are thinking this and that. It is just an allowing to let things be until we achieve comfort and inner peace. Hope Johnson beautifully adds, “You’re always making that choice and to choose recognizing the truth just takes a little bit of willingness.” (Johnson, 2019)

Recognize that our freedom lies in choosing the thoughts that will help us go through the motion of life. Become aware of what goes thru your mind and if you allow negative ones only, you have the freedom to change them. Even if the norm will persuade you to continue trusting the ego, you can always lean to the comfort of the spirit. The spirit maybe a tiny voice at first but believe it is within you. It is up to you to lift it up in your mind and make it your focus. Allow yourself to be encouraged by Hope Johnson as she explains,

You’re still always free…

“You’re still always free to be yourself. You’re still always free to make that choice that serves you and everyone else at the same time. … And as that self-belief is getting undone, you get to have all of the fun. You have to have more and more on things, get more and more joyful because there’s not this fear of, ‘what’s going to happen to me?’ … It’s just a matter of it, of looking at that thought your guidance, with your good guide. You could say it with your good guide,” (Johnson, 2019).

We conclude by giving you something to reflect on. What do you choose? Will you give in to your thoughts no matter how they constrict you? Will you choose to linger in those that make you feel guilty, fearful, and anxious? Would you rather opt for letting go of what was and what will be? Will you allow yourself to feel and just let it flow?

Diluting the Value of Thoughts

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called Seeing Past Perception, written by Gail Florence.

When a situation occurs, there is always this question whether it is a blessing or curse, a boon or bane or a gift or learning. We can see having these dichotomies imply how much we interpret our surroundings and experiences. We tend to think something can be bad or good for us. Whichever seems to progress, people believe it was because of the power of the mind or thoughts. So, we can hear commentaries like, “I practiced positive visualization so, now, I reached this achievement,” or “I always thought bad things will happen and now, I failed my exam.” It even comes to a point where personalities are labelled and declared as, “I am always a negative person,” or “She is so positive all the time.”

We can also examine in ourselves what kinds of thoughts we tend to put on replay in our minds, and what interpretations we tend to claim as true. The reason we believe a thought is real is it has a feeling attached to it. For example, when we see someone as annoying, we believe she is truly so because we feel annoyance, too. Another is, when a dog passes by, we believe it is frightening because we feel frightened as well. Lastly, when we fail at an interview, we believe we are unskilled because we feel inadequate. Then, a blame-game occurs and the negativity ripples.

It is okay to choose it…

So, is it about choosing a positive outlook in life? It is okay to choose it. However, it is more on diluting the value we put into our thoughts and just feeling what we feel whenever a situation comes up. It is how negative feelings become acknowledged rather than denied or suppressed. We recognize annoyance, hurt, fear, anger, sadness and the like to see what’s causing them. We can ask ourselves, “Why is this anger arising from me?”

However, pointing our fingers to other people or a particular situation as the cause of the anger is just buying into the surface perceptions. We need to be willing to go beneath the surface reasons in order to see what’s causing the emotion.

So, when we get angry in front of someone, we can watch the angry feeling and see how it flows out. The moment of seeing is also the moment for healing. Healing it means we are recognizing we are just projecting the anger by believing in angry-inducing thoughts and no one is truly making us mad. Likewise, when we find other people judging, disrespecting, or getting pissed at us, we can heal it by seeing what it is for. We can stop believing others are victimizing us and make a choice for the truth.

Any upset feeling arising like anger, fear, inadequacy or sadness is a blessing. It is an opportunity for us to see what thoughts we are holding against ourselves and we are just making them up. It is like a miracle taking place because recognizing and undoing them changes the way we look at ourselves and the world.

Love is always present and waiting to be recognized again…

In reality, there is only love within us. It is always present and waiting for us to recognize it again. When we see through the eyes of love, we can laugh at any thought nudging in our minds and admit we are just making them up. We can also acknowledge positive and negative feelings and see what’s causing them. So, when there is an upset feeling, we can go back to the truth of our nature after recognizing what the feeling is for. We can also extend calm, joy and love at any moment to others sharing energy with us.

Freedom of Choice, Love and Food: How the Spiritual Sees Them

Freedom of Choice, Love and Food

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called How the Ego Controls our Minds, written by Gail Florence.

What is the essence of choice, love and food? What does it mean to choose, love and eat? Are we just going thru life believing in ideas that seem true? This blog shares some insight in the freedom of choice, love and food. Read more and find out their spiritual importance.

Freedom of Choice

One of the most debatable issues more than politics (maybe) is the human being’s freedom. When we realize we have so much freedom, every kind of possibility pops in our minds like mushrooms. It feels like we are standing in front of a buffet table that offers every dish of each country. The numerous choices leaves us confused rather than joyful even if we are ‘free’.

Our minds are full of choices offered by two special voices – the ego and the spirit. The ego lays out thoughts that seem to be natural happenings in the real world while the spirit taps for the human being to just accept feelings. The ego will give meaning to every thought we linger in. The spirit will comfort and relieve the mind from such meanings. The ego will make us think that it is better to feel guilt, fearful, anxious, and upset because everybody else are doing so, they are the norm. The spirit, on the other hand, will just allow our minds to feel a sense of peace until we can laugh off negativity.

In Hope Johnson’s Wisdom Dialogues episode, the ego constantly convinces us of illusions that seem to be truth. For example, when we surrender to the pressure and accept a job which we are hesitant and not ready for, we just work our butts off in the company and just believe it is the most stressful activity in the world. Then, we quit, look for another job and accept another ordinary one. However, we do this because we don’t want to feel the anxiety and fear of unemployment. The cycle goes on and on without allowing ourselves to fully relish joy, gratitude, contentment and peace-of-mind. We deny ourselves of what makes us truly happy because we are afraid. By listening to the ego, whose claim is we are doing the right thing because we feel guilty if we don’t, positive feelings don’t stand a chance.

The ego convinces us that our negative thoughts are natural. However, our mind has the room for the spirit voice. When we start accepting its message, we allow situations to flow naturally. We release our control of things and simply flow through life. We take our minds to thoughts that are happy, comforting, relieving and innocent. We choose what doesn’t constricts us or scare us.

Freedom of choice comes in when deciding which guide to listen to. Hope Johnson says, “You have two guides in your mind, which thought feels better? There’s options, there’s always options. You get to decide which thought feels better. You’re not going to get it wrong. …You don’t have to go with the more fearful one. You don’t have to go with the one that feels more constrictive,” (Johnson, 2019).

It is up to us where we believe in or which we allow to flow.

Love and Forgiveness

When we allow ourselves to obey the recurring devices of ego, it affects our view and experience of love. Hope Johnson puts it as, “…love is also eternal life. Eternal life is the same thing as love.” When we separate ourselves from reality by believing the conniving and illusions of ego, we go further from love. We need to recognize that there is no separation from love and it is better for our well-being to release ourselves from believing in worldly thoughts. Hope Johnson adds, “We have to be willing to make a choice. Once we’re willing to make a choice, then we’re shortening time and we’re shortening the time it takes for this illusion to be undone and for us to finally not need the dream because we don’t want it anymore. We realize we don’t need something to substitute for reality,” (Johnson, 2019)

So, the ego projects to us illusions of fear, anxiety, being taken advantage of, guilt and so on to our own permission. Starting to recognize which you believe in – truth or illusion, you become alert on what you allow in your mind. Noticing this is an important step to welcome the voice of the spirit. It is also important to allow forgiveness. It is the kind of forgiveness where nothing happened. Hope Johnson says, “In that, you keep on getting uplifted. You become up lifted basically. You keep on getting uplifted because it’s revealed to you that you’re not anything that could be held guilty or accountable or anything like that for anything that occurs in the world, in your mind, anywhere. You just can’t get it wrong,” (Johnson, 2019).

Food

Sometimes, when we are so caught up by the stressful moments in our lives, we automatically turn to objects or activities that we assume can uplift our spirits. As humans, we consider food as a tool, somehow, to make us happy. Of course, it necessary to nourish our body. However, when we consume, for example, an entire box of chocolate because we are depressed, we are denying ourselves of reality. Though we know it is unnecessary to finish up all the chocolates in one go, we listen to the ego who says, “Finish it up because it will make you forget your pain”. We know relief was only a momentary effect because after finishing all the chocolates, we feel bloated. It is how the ego protects. It just showers us with defensive mechanisms that just makes us escape reality. So, we need to accept that our pain stops when we face it and resolve it.

We are also controlled by the idea that we need to maintain a healthy body. We pressure ourselves to fit to the ideal body type. Hope Johnson shares her personal experience and says, “When I was a little kid, it was always taught to me that in order to be thin, fit and have a good body, you basically have to eat food you don’t like… It occurred to me when I was a kid, “I bet you can eat, always eat, food that you like and still have a fit body”. And just in that, there was an energy shift and that’s why I could still recall that moment because it was such a shift. It was just like opening up to another way. It’s not taking on worldly beliefs and what’s being presented to you as if it’s true,” (Johnson, 2019).

Skinny, obese, or a healthy body are not real. They are just illusions that give room to prejudice. We need to remember that the belief of an ideal body type or size is simply to make us feel guilty when we can’t achieve it. So, let food be just food. Relish it as a gift from nature. Believe too, that, “Your mind already knows what you want, the body that you want. Even from the eagle’s perspective, the buyer, your mind already knows what you want,” (Johnson, 2019).

A Bread Offering for Disrespect

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called Lifting the Veil, written by Gail Florence.

“Kung binato ka ng bato, batuhin mo ng tinapay’’ – A Tagalog proverb

The quote above is a Filipino’s way of expressing compassion. Literally, it describes a situation where if a person throws a rock at you, you throw a piece of bread back to him. This saying is oftentimes mentioned in Filipino religious classes and sermons on the topic of kindness. As a Christian country, it is an implication of Jesus’ unconditional love to everyone even to those who insulted, doubted and disrespected him.

A freshly baked bread after the insult….

If this quote is a real scenario now, it is a big question who can avenge oneself by tossing back a piece of bread if he was hurt by someone’s stone-throwing. Definitely, our attack-mode will automatically make us move sans our consciousness. Perhaps, some of us would throw back the same stone and intentionally aim where the person could get hurt, too. Some would even find a bigger stone, shout back, punch the person, call the police and do all sorts of things as defense. However, it could be a handful to none or zero at all who would just give the person of piece of freshly baked bread after the insult done.

Then, again, it is taking things literally. In our day-to-day encounters, what we experience is disrespect. It is a relative concept. For parents, rudeness is equal to kids answering in informal language. So, telling them, “I am no friend of yours. Don’t talk to me that way.” It can also be kids doing silly gestures, banging bedroom doors or throwing their stuffed toys. Meanwhile, in the office, disrespect has a wide spectrum from a boss flipping reports because he is frustrated, a coworker saying offensive things, and to a client’s non-stop invectives about product or service quality.

How we reach to situations?

It doesn’t mean we are in the wrong if we feel insulted or disrespected but it is for us to see how we react to such situations. Are we throwing back stones or pieces of bread? What can we do with our feelings when we know, if we continue seeing disrespect from others, we won’t feel happy at all?

For one thing, rather than watching others’ behavior as if we are waiting for their next move, we can watch our reaction instead. Our reaction will tell us we are resisting or embracing. Resisting will make us defensive while embracing will make us kind. When we are mindful of our reaction, we can take it as an opportunity to extend love.

People are not doing anything to us. However, our ego convinces us to attack their innocence when we perceive their behavior as disrespectful. So, we need to be mindful about our reactions. When we feel upset, we can acknowledge it and love it up. We heal through recognizing the upset feeling and we become very kind in return.

We are mirrors of each other…

When we believe our kids are disrespecting us, they are only revealing what we need to know by reflecting what we are keeping hidden about ourselves. This is because we are mirrors of each other, meaning our feelings are reflected by another through the sharing of energies. So, when we are watchful of our thoughts and emotions, we acknowledge them as opportunities for us to learn and heal rather than attacking back.

Healing is instant…

Healing is instant as long as we recognize our reactions, projections and illusions. The forgiveness taking place is as if nothing happened. We can always extend compassion rather than defenses and restrictions. So, we just need to watch ourselves and we will be guided with our movements and words. When we continuously practice this, we won’t be holding on to upset feelings as if they are reality. We can notice them and let them just flow out. What’s real are expressions of love and joy which are innate in us.

We can always choose between the light which makes us feel better, or the darkness which makes us feel guilty, depressed, and confused. We can change our perceptions of disrespect. We can throw stones or offer bread.

The Business of Being Mindful of the Mind

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called Undoing Guilty Perception, written by Gail Florence.

“The only place to look is inside.”

The mind is a playground. It is a wide space with so many things occurring. It is amazing! As an organ of the body, the mind becomes the brain operating all body parts from the veins, arteries, muscles, bones and senses. Then, when it comes to thinking, perception, analysis and feeling, it becomes the mind. However, it is just one doing these abilities concurrently.

We are awed by masterpieces around the world, auctioning them at rocket prices or marveling at them in galleries when within us is a masterpiece as well – our minds! It certainly deserves a round of applause, too!

However, it is not to say our minds are separate from us. We are one with all its capacities. It is us allowing our minds to drift in thoughts. So, we can say we are the masterpiece. Remember, “We are what we think”?

Be careful with our thoughts…

When we consider our minds as a masterpiece, a feeling of care develops. We become careful with our thoughts just like curators’ meticulous attentiveness towards paintings in museums. We become watchful with our thinking, and the cautiousness is not something to repulse about. It is not to say, “I don’t want to think of my mind as a masterpiece because I want to think freely.” Rather, it is encouraging us to be attentive of our thoughts and interpretations of our surroundings.

To keep the mind intact as a masterpiece, we can allow more thoughts and feelings of comfort, happiness and peace. We allow ourselves to watch the thoughts and emotions coming in, and let them to drift too. We simply recognize what plays in our minds without tenaciously believing or holding on to them. When something arises, for example, an upset feeling, we admit we are upset, look into the reason, and release it free. Physically, we can breathe out the upset feeling and then, go on with life.

Going on with life can mean a lot of things, too. With the upset feeling, we can recognize it and nonchalantly let it drift away. We can also communicate our upset feeling and see how things will go from there. We can also hold on to it and feel upset a little bit longer. What is important is we acknowledge the feeling until we see more clearly the truth behind it. In turn, the truth is what we shine out from us.

Furthermore, masterpieces, whatever they mean, depict and imply, are products of love by their creators. So, we are masterpieces of love by God, our creator. It is our truth – we come from love. Thus, whatever thoughts or negative feelings arise from us are temporary strokes to the bigger picture. As being transient, we can set them free anytime they come. We can tell them, “Hello, visitor!” (recognition), then, “Thank you, good-bye!” (learning and the setting free). We then, go back to serene joy just like the quietness of a home after having days of visitors.

Unhook yourselves from the negativity…

Recognize too, they are temporary strokes which we allow. So, we can say we are making disturbing thoughts and feelings up. Fear, guilt, anger, sadness and disappointment are never real. We are simply convinced they are because we constantly paint our minds with them. However, we can always unhook ourselves from the negativity and return to the peace within us.

So, is it just recognizing they are temporary thoughts and feelings? Yes, it is that simple but, a caveat here: It takes practice. We are gradually nudging our thoughts and feelings out of our minds by saying, “I am making them up,”, “I am okay,” or “I am just interpreting and it is not real.”

Our mind is a masterpiece of love…

Remembering the mind as a masterpiece means we are seeing the thoughts and feelings we allow it, and caring more for it. The watchfulness about what comes and goes in there means doing it to return to our intrinsic joy and love. Interpretations, thoughts and negative feelings are always temporary markings. What is permanent is our being a masterpiece of love. Our minds remain innocent so, we are innocent. Thus, the business of being mindful of the mind.

Be Ageless, Be a Bundle of Joy

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called One Thing, One Purpose, written by Gail Florence.

Ever remember your parents describing you as a bundle of joy?

When we were swaddled in a baby wrap looking like a bundle and sleeping soundly in the arms of our mom or dad, for sure, there was a moment, our parent whispered, “What a bundle of joy.” Whatever we did as babies – woke up in the middle of the night, cried for milk, relieved ourselves at different times, crawled here and there – we were only seen as bearers of happiness. We might even wish now, for whatever reason, to be just babies or children again because we yearn for their carefree and happy lives.

However, we don’t need to wish or yearn our childhood.

We can continue being a bundle of joy even at our age. Why? It is because we were created for joy so, it never left us. Unfortunately/fortunately, our different experiences and the things we learned, covered up the joy within us. Each experience (especially ones that hurt, upset, or scared us) and assumption of life was like mud thrown over the bundle until it was all concealed in filth. So, at some point in our lives, we believe there is no happiness for us anymore.

First, let’s go through why it is an unfortunate circumstance. It is okay we experience different situations. Life is colorful and we see all those colors because of everything that we go through. However, believing that what is left of us are only pain, insecurity, inadequacy, fear, sadness, and so on is the unfortunate event. When we believe in our thoughts which only make us feel guilt and self-doubt, we are burying our intrinsic joy more and more.

They are not reality…

Once our thoughts offer fear, anxiety, or sadness, they can look real because we firmly hold on to them. It is as if, we are laying out our future for negative re-occurrences because we are forwarding the same negative feelings. We forget or maybe deny that all thoughts are just perceptions. They are not reality. We deny we can still make a choice not to believe them. We can remove all the mud and bring out our being bundles of joy again.

Meanwhile, what makes our experiences and assumptions of life fortunate events? It is when we see them as opportunities for learning and recognizing truth. When we start to see what we have been believing as unreal, we are just making them up, clarity takes over our minds and happiness starts to sprout from within. We can return, then, to our being bundles of joy.

Reality is we are all one with one purpose…

Reality is we are all one with one purpose – to expand joy and love. We can say our thoughts, past and future, fear and doubt are nothing. Reality is, life is just flowing and all beings and circumstances are part of it. However, as humans with perceptions, we believe thoughts and concepts like money, sickness and death, are real. Removing all of those, what remains is an ocean of love and all are bearers of love. So, wherever we go, whatever we see, we extend love. It can also be, if we constantly hold on to our fears, wherever we go, whatever we see, we extend fear.

So, it is up to us how to perceive what thought or feeling arises within us. We don’t need to suppress or deny negative ones. We can recognize their presence, examine their root, let them play out until we see or feel the truth again. We can say, until we feel love, joy, and contentment again.

Once a fearful, sad or guilty thought spring up, we can tell ourselves, “I am making it up”. It can be difficult at first but constantly lessening its intensity, stillness remains. We will just feel calm.

If there is something to believe, it is we are bundles of joy for eternity. (Baby laughter all over)

Lack of Money is Nonsense

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called There is no such thing as a lack of money, written by Gail Florence.

What do you think an adult will do if you give him 5$? Someone might think it is too little, another might ask for more, and another might just save it and work diligently to increase it. How about giving the same amount to a child? We say, “Here’s 5$ for you.” One child might shout from excitement considering the money as a gift, another child might automatically say, “Thank you!” thinking you’ve given something special and another might say, “What’s this?” or just put the money someplace else, forgetting all about it.

Adults can think of the 5$ by it is amount so, giving it value. On the other hand, children can think of it of just another object. To them, it can be a gift like a toy, it can be something mundane or an object that can be brushed off. Now, how about we look at money through the eyes of children?

Certainly, many of us will react to that offering in a shocked way. Automatically, in many minds, considering money as just another object is difficult. “No, how will we survive if we just think of money that simply?” To think that way is alright. However, to many of us who have ‘seen so much of the world’, we can choose how we perceive what surrounds us whereas children, only perceive through innocence and innate feelings.

So, is lack of money real? Lack can be a perception of money. It is just an idea like many thoughts we make in our minds. We believe there is a lack because we are afraid of not having enough, the incapacity to survive or a future without security. We are afraid to simply surrender to the natural flow of life.

Because of our belief in our fear, we tighten our grip on those we think we need like objects (e.g. money, possessions), people, or concepts (e.g. ideas of our identity, past and future). So, there are situations where we declare, “I own this. You own that,” or, “Don’t touch this because it is mine.”

It also strings to the idea of stealing. From our fear, it ripples to controlling and it expands to the belief anyone can steal. We need to remember that stealing can happen because the person’s needs are not met. He also feels an extreme lack. However, it is up to us to recognize that lack is impossible and all of us are enough as we are.

We may not stop negative situations out there. What we can do is to change our perceptions, how we view ourselves and what surrounds us and undo guilt-inducing projections. For example, if we feel guilty the moment we think of money, we can contemplate on it, look into where the feeling is coming from and release the feeling and thoughts. Then, we move on with our lives without identifying with the guilt.

Identifying with an illusion like the scarcity of money or fear of people exploiting us, intensifies the thought so, we think it is real. However, when we don’t identify or believe it, the intensity lessens until it becomes nothing. What is left of us is a stillness, a sense of calm.

We can let thoughts be thoughts, and feelings be feelings. We can just watch them and see where they are going without strongly attaching to them. Spirituality encourages us to see how our energy plays out given a situation. We can do it with our perceptions on money too. We can ask ourselves, “How do I feel about money?” or “How am I using this?” When we think we lack money, we can watch how we feel about it, and from our feelings we will get guidance on what we can do.

We can also remember to laugh. When we recognize that our thoughts of lack, fear, guilt and anxiety are all made-up, we can laugh about them. We can allow them to flow out of our minds and then, give ourselves a laugh for the silliness of our perceptions. We can also follow the guidance that only speaks of love, compassion, and happiness.

Lastly, we can ask others how they feel about a situation. For example, when there is something we want like a burrito, we can ask, “Would you please not touch this food?”, “Can I have this for my snack later?” By asking, we don’t imply a separation between what’s ours and theirs. There’s still a sense of freedom. Everyone is allowed to flow with their energy.

A Spiritual View on Parenting

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called The Spiritual Aspect of Parenting , written by Gail Florence.

Becoming a parent is one of the most beautiful gifts of our existence. It is the sole opportunity to produce a new life, see it grow, and nurture it even after it can create a new life, too. Even after allowing children their independence, parents are parents for a lifetime. No one can remove that. It also means for the rest of a parent’s life, there are changes, challenges, and discoveries to go through. So, it is natural to celebrate milestones of children’s development, react about unwanted behaviors, feel concerned for the children no matter the age, and hope they live a life better than ours.

It is alright to sometimes say that parenthood is tough, or for those who are more optimistic, it is challenging, or even more, that the entire experience is exciting. It is better to acknowledge however we feel about being a mother or father. Whatever emotion we are having, recognize it. That’s how spirituality encourages us to commune with our existence.

So, how does spirituality tackle issues on nurturing children? Before going through the common parental concerns, please remember that this is an alternative view and it is up to us which to apply once we are out there with the grace of children.

First scenario: I believe my kids are behaving badly and I am disciplining them to teach them a lesson

One way to understand discipline is the lack of something that needs to be filled in. We believe our children don’t know proper behavior (they lack proper behavior) so, they have to be punished in order for them to learn their lesson. The urge to discipline can also mean that there is a lack within us which we believe makes us unworthy of love. So, there is a tendency for us to project it to the younger ones and say that we are disciplining them. No matter the form of discipline, it always carries a feeling of restraint. The question now is, is there love in all that?

When we take the spiritual sense, we depend on our energy flow, and see how we can address a situation. When we are aware of the presence of our spiritual voice, we will act or speak accordingly to how children or any other being behaves. The spiritual voice will always make us move with love and other than that is the doing of our ego voice. Most of the time, the ego’s intention is to make us believe we are doing something wrong, we lack something, and we deserve to be punished. Listening to it also makes us perceive others as something wrong, lacking and punishable. Now, it is up to us which voice we follow. Do we watch how we feel about a situation and let the feeling guide us what to do or do we believe the prejudicial thoughts playing in our minds and apply methods to stop those prejudices?

Second scenario: My children annoys everyone for attention

In the spiritual view, we can recognize how we feel about the actions of our children and let that feeling guide us in responding to their actions. How we react to others’ behavior will support or extinct their behavior. When we show that our children’s behavior is no big deal, they will understand it. When we demonstrate that their ‘annoying’ behavior is nothing to us, we are cool about it, their habit or conditioning can be undone.

Third scenario: My negative words are ingrained to my children’s minds and now they lack self-confidence

When we take into consideration that how we perceive others depends on our ego or spirit, we know that the ego will convince us of anything negative and the spirit, anything comforting. We need to realize where our negative perceptions are coming from. Our ego will tell us that our children lack self-confidence and it is our fault. It will also constantly make us feel guilty with our actions and words. However, when we look deeper in ourselves, we realize there are thoughts that will make us feel comfortable and see a situation in a brighter perspective. It is up to us then which thoughts to lean to.

If we are always thinking our children lack self-confidence, we don’t need to believe it. We or our children are not victims to anything. Believing that our past words or actions affect the present is a thought we are just making up.

We can watch our children and observe how our energy plays out with them. There’s always a feeling-effect we can practice. When we acknowledge, accept and take care of our feelings, we will speak or act with a feeling of love and compassion.

A few more words…

It takes a great recognition to see how much we have allowed some thoughts to manipulate our view of what’s outside ourselves, our words and actions. When we constantly believe in thoughts that bring us down and makes us feel guilty, it affects our being a child, parent, friend, or any role we fulfill. Such awakening is necessary for us to realize that we can also lean to thoughts of love, joy and comfort. Once we see through love and compassion, we extend it to others too through our words and actions.

Freeing the Mind from Tension

Freeing Tension From The Mind

Freeing the Mind from Tension

 
 
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This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called Freeing Tension from the Mind, written by Gail Florence.

Our minds are constantly playing past and future thoughts. Upon waking up, we think about what we will do throughout the day. As the day passes by, we either have thoughts about yesterday or wonder about the future. Even as we sleep, our minds produce dreams, sometimes a marathon of them that we either remember or forget completely the next day. Our entire bodies are busy as we breathe especially the control center, our brains.

With the thoughts our minds present to us, there are emotions involved. There are images or dialogues we simply brush off, some we linger for a bit because of the happy, excited or comforting emotion they tag along and there are other thoughts we replay in our minds no matter how gripping, painful or guilt-inducing they are.

We don’t have a choice on the thoughts popping out in our minds and there’s nothing wrong with the mind functioning so. Our choice only boils down to two – is it love or fear we permit to extend?

When we choose love…

When it is love we choose, we are honest with our feelings, we are true to our being and we are open and accepting of others as they are. However, if we choose fear, we believe the illusions of the mind as reality. Illusions make us feel guilty, anxious, insecure, hostile, and controlling. Despite these, we consider the negativity as normal or true.

As one entity, what the mind does affects our bodies. Our bodies respond to the fear brought by the illusions by tensing up. There is a tightening in our solar plexus, the muscles between the navel and the chest bone. Tension is even felt in other parts of the body like the thighs, hands, behind the ears or neck, or the back.

Thinking adds tensions

Our bodies are innocent and doesn’t need to feel any tension. However, thinking causes it to tense up. It signals an unwillingness to rest the body from the thoughts playing in the mind. There is a lot of undoing involved when we are in the grips of fearful thinking.

First, when an upsetting, fearful or guilt-inducing thought creeps up, accept, allow and see what happens rather than suppress it. When we are willing to get the feeling-effect of a concept, admit that we don’t know what’s going on and allow the spirit to take care of our feelings, it will bring us back to clarity.

Second, take a step back when feeling constantly upset, scared, anxious or guilty from illusory thoughts. Let the pursuit continue until it burns out on its own. The good guide in the mind will show us what we are holding against ourselves. Our willingness to get the feeling will make us immediately see its release. If we do this over and over again, we will know we are not guilty and it is all energy-game. Fear created by our thoughts is never going to have any effect on us. So, we don’t need to believe the illusions of the mind.

Third, we can always ask help outside our limited minds. It can be from a higher power that appeals to us. It is the kind of help where we ask to change the illusion so we can feel better temporarily or to see who we are taking us back to our core and ingenuity.

Undo our minds

We also need to remember we don’t need a time limit to undo our minds. It is unnecessary to push or force it. Whatever higher power we believe in, it is using time exactly as it needs to be used. We just need to let the thoughts unfold and stay in the asking until we are clear of our questions. Once we share the perception of the higher power, we don’t have any questions anymore and we don’t have to ask anything.

Lastly, when we feel any tension in our body, we simply take several deep breaths and observe where the tension is until it gets released. When thoughts come in, the tension rises again. When it happens, we just need to completely rest our bodies and allow it to float in space to get its healing.

Freeing the mind to allow the spirit to move

Freeing the mind is allowing our spirit to move and take care of the self. It will demonstrate its innocence which is worthy of love, care and support. When we are guided by our spirit, we will know what works for us and we are not fearful of any opinion or judgement. We are also not afraid of other people letting go of us. When we trust our spirit, we don’t have to play mind-games with ourselves and we become open and accepting. How we also respond to other people and circumstances is how we regard our spirit. So, when we are willing to put the spirit in high regard, it will also put us in high regard.