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Expanding Your Happiness Day 16: Radiating Grace

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“The quality of mercy is not strain’d . . . it is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” —William Shakespeare

Grace is an important aspect of expanding our happiness, because it is through grace that we express love and blessings completely and unconditionally. We are each a source and conduit of grace.

Grace is a loving power and presence that elevates and brightens whatever the challenge or situation might be. As we mature into our authentic selves, we are more open, receptive, and expansive, and so we naturally feel the influence of more grace in our lives. It is this same expansiveness and openness that makes it easy for us to radiate that grace along to others.

Radiating grace is not about adopting an attitude of sainthood, and offering benedictions to family and friends. It happens naturally, in moments as simple as passing along, or sharing, the fullness of heart that you feel when you offer a helpful gesture or kind word. When we share grace, our happiness increases many fold.

Today’s meditation facilitates this free flow of nature’s grace from your life to others.

Our centering thought for today is:

I share my divine blessings.

Our Sanskrit mantra for today is:

“Prasada Hum.” I am divine grace.

“It’s one of my favourite words, ‘grace.’ It’s the unconditional kindness of the universe, the gentle power and serenity that lifts us up no matter what it is that we are going through.  Grace is perhaps the most simple and most powerful promise there is. It is a state of  pure openness and being available, a space where you can allow a newer reality enter into your very being. Grace fills us up quietly and powerfully. Grace can be inspired by a beautiful moment in nature or spending time with someone we love, or just sitting quietly. It can arise from the most difficult of times. Moments that offer powerful opportunities for us to grow, and be transformed. When I think of grace, I think of someone like Nelson Mandela, a powerful world leader who emerged from his own suffering; who became a leader; who emanated forgiveness, peace, and humility. He radiated grace from every fiber of his being, and he taught us the deep joy that comes from holding grace in our hearts. Today, let’s share our grace with the world, creating wholeness and unity. Let us come together and radiate our grace in the stillness of meditation.” ~ Oprah 

Today’s Notes

Prasad is a divine gift or blessing. Prasad is also that state of divine generosity that uplifts and blesses. Prasada hum aligns our awareness to this state and the process of giving as well as receiving blessings.

Grace is a special quality that resides within. To be in a state of grace means ot be blessed, untouched by harm. It is said that divine grace is unearnea it is given freely from god or the ivine source. if you feel blessed ther eis a natural implulse to share how you feel, to bless others. How do you do this?

First, by example. Second through generosity of spirit. Third, by accepting the equality of all people in the eyes of god. 

Setting an example means that you radiate light because grace is the sensation of being in the light. When you feel this you are light handed rather than heavy handed. You are light in your step, your speech, and your attitude in trying situations. This leads directly to the generosity of spirit, which means that you lighten the burden of others and give from the heart. 

There is an image in eastern and western traditions of a tree so heavy with fruit they touch the ground offering their sweetness to every passerby. This is a perfect image for generosity of spirit. You give with the attitude of overflowing  love, kindness, humour, appreciation. 

Accepting the equality of all people is to adopt nonviolence, ahimsa. It begins by renouncing hatred and anger. The most powerful form of nonviolence embraces the belief that every breath comes from a state of grace, and thus is a devotional attitude.  You see the innocence in all living things, which is how we all look through the eyes of the soul. Once you experience your true self, seeing in this way comes natural because it shows you what grace really is. 

Let us consider our centering thought: I share my divine blessings. 

Now, let us prepare for meditation. Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes. Begin to be aware of your breath, and begin slowly and deeply. Allow yourself to become more deeply relaxed with each breath. Gently introduce the mantra, “Prasada Hum.” Repeat it silently to yourself. Feel your body, mind,a nd spirit open and receive just a little bit more.

My Thoughts & Experience

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Steadfast. Gentle but strong. This must feel how an activist leader feels before a peace walk.

It’s funny, I kept getting an itch on my forehead throughout the meditation, almost as if my third eye were opening and giving me some sort of vision for my developing career.  It was as if all the rubble and all the sand and stone that has crumbled around me, that represents what has happened, just started to be blown away by the wind. The larger debris just seemed to be moved up and away and out of harms way. Obstructions feel so gone right now. I am truly divine grace. And so are you…

Namaste

Photo courtesy of Julie Falk

Expanding Your Happiness Day 15: Radiating Bliss

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Welcome to our third week in meditation together! In our remaining days, we will begin to radiate our inner happiness out to the world just as a fragrant rose or lilac bush shares its floral scent freely and effortlessly . . . or in the way an illuminated bulb radiates its light in all directions. In these first two weeks, our inner bliss has become awakened and self-luminous, and now we are ready to spread our light.

Today’s meditation is about letting this happiness radiate – letting our joy shine everywhere. It doesn’t take effort or analysis or strategy. Simply be who you are from your core self, and everything gets taken care of automatically. A flower doesn’t try to be beautiful and fragrant, it simply is what it is, and the rest follows in its natural course.

Our centering thought for today is:

My happiness shines everywhere.

Our Sanskrit mantra for today is:

“Ravaye Hum.” I am the light of radiance.

“Today we want to radiate bliss, doesn’t that sound so good? Radiating bliss? It’s a big promise, but I think we are ready for it.  The last two weeks we’ve connected to our true nature, tapping into our natural joy, practice and living in a state of happiness that permeates all areas of our lives. Now, this week, we want to share the essence of happiness, our brilliant light within. What happens when we radiate it, when we turn that inner joy into outer energy? We become a natural force of good, of inspiration, of transformation. It’s the ripple effect. The very best of yourself, brings our the very best in others. Happiness is irresistible. And when you give it, it grows. It elevates. It expands. That’s the miracle of being connected to yourself and to  everything around you. So put that smile on your face. Now, put it inside. And let’s begin.” ~ Oprah

Today’s Notes

Ravi means the radiance of the supreme spiritual light. It is the radiance of the spiritual sun. This mantra activates the radiance of our spiritual light, expressing our true nature as bliss.

When you start to meditate, it’s natural to want your good experiences to effect others. the question arises, “will my friends and family see how I’ve changed? Will they appreciate  my path and gain some benefit from it themselves?” These are beautiful expectations, but they are often disappointed.

You may have changed inside, but the people around you are much less likely to notice the new you and to benefit from it. This week we will release this expectation. The secret is to radiate happiness in a way that cannot be missed, but other people will still have to play their part. They must be willing and open to accept change. Your part is to give them a reason to.

What does it mean to radiate happiness? Some steps are simple and practical. We can break them down into do’s and don’ts:

Do’s

  • Express your appreciation to others instead of keeping it to yourself.
  • Put out the positive in a given situation and in the person you are talking to.
  • Be open to the other person’s truth, accepting their view point with real interest.
  • Wear a smile and share your laughter.
  • Contribute to the joy of another.
  • You are turning  a state of inner happiness into outer. Expanding awareness keeps the door open.

Don’ts

  • Don’t make other people feel wrong. As self judgement decreases so should judgement of others.
  • Don’t draw attention to how much you have changed, this only arouses distrust.
  • Don’t point out how unhappy another person is, even though you will become sensitive to this. Remember, everyone is doing the best they can at their level of awareness.
  • With these, smooth the transition from inner happiness to happiness of your surroundings and the whole world.

 Now, consider today’s centering thought: my happiness shines everywhere.

And let us prepare for meditation. Close your eyes, begin to breathe deeply and calmly. With each breath, find yourself becoming more and more relaxed. Gently introduce today’s mantra, “Ravaye Hum.” Repeat it silently to yourself. With each repetition, allow your body, mind, and spirit to open and receive just a little bit more. 

My Thoughts & Experience

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I love this meditation because it hits home to anyone on a spiritual path.

We so often try in our hopes for a better, more healthy, more whole, more aware, more conscious life that those closest to us will either keep pace, or catch up at some point; but the fact of the matter is, they may never get to where we are. 

I don’t mean this in a superficial, howty-towty, new agey high tower way; I am just stating as Deepak has a fact or the nature of the beast of a spiritual journey. We will lose people on this journey. We always must lose certain people, in order to find ourselves. We can keep hope though. By doing the do’s and not doing the don’ts outlined above, we can radiate our bliss outward into the world, and create some serious ripples. 

What is so beautiful about this process is that there will be people who will fill in the void that is ultimately created as we change, as our needs and wants change, as our vibration and awareness and consciousness changes. 

We needn’t be afraid because there will never be a moment where we are truly alone, not even when there are no other human beings around, there will always be some Being in close proximity. That is the truth of loneliness. That is a truth of being on a spiritual path. This is a soul truth of progress, growth, and of bliss. 

Shine on Beloveds. 

Namaste.

Expanding Your Happiness Day 14: Living Passion

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“You can only feel creative when there is joy. When there is a sense of passion.” —Andreas Moritz

Passion is the powerful, focused force of happiness directed to a specific interest in life. Passion is a tremendous asset in expanding our happiness, because it draws our happiness out.

When we think of passion, we usually think about what we are passionate about – opera, chocolate desserts, skiing, or even salsa dancing. Today we will explore passion at a deeper level as we connect to what really matters, the source of passion within us. If we can access that infinite source of passion and joy inside, then we can live passion in all areas of our life.

At its source, passion is not associated with any particular object, it is rather a deep feeling of exaltation or even spiritual ecstasy. It is the happiness of life exulting in its own existence. Today we will tap into that blissful core of existence and let our passion flow from that place.

Our centering thought for today is:

My happiness energizes and inspires me.

Our Sanskrit mantra for today is:

“Rabhasa Hum.” I am pure delight.

“Well, I can’t say enough about passion. How do you know when you are in the true flow of it? You just lose yourself and find a powerful, instinctive energy. It means you are fully in alignment with your most extraordinary highest self. Whatever you are doing you are most in the flow, you are manifesting the magnificance of your very being and all is sublime. That my friends is happiness in its most exhaulted state, and it is yours simply by being who you are. That is the promise of the divine within you. Take a moment. Take a breath. We are going there, to a truly profound space of living with passion.” ~Oprah 

Today’s Notes

Rabhasa means the passion of living. It conveys the sense of a rushing or surging force of energy. Rabhasa hum, means we identify our consciousness, or life force, with the powerful passionate energy coursing through the universe. It gives us a passionate enthusiasm for life, and growth.

I’m sure you felt a surge of enthusiasm and feel energized. This is your passion, and what matters isn’t the person or thing that excites your passion, but the inner renewal that a lasting passion brings year after year. 

Spiritual passion goes even deeper. We wouldn’t be here appreciating the wisdom of the world’s deepest sages if spiritual passion hadn’t persisted through all the catastrophes of history. 

What makes it unique is that wisdom comes packages with the enthusiasm we are used to. Passion of any kind opens a flow of life we cant help but enjoy. Spiritual passions turns enjoyment into exultation. You feel uplifted by your soul.

There is a hierarchy of needs for spiritual passion. After the need for security and safety, the need for love and appreciation, even the higher needs of  creativity and finding your purpose, there is a need that modern society isn’t organized to fulfill: the need for higher reality where you find inspiration that flows from your own being. 

Spiritual passion fulfills this need and therefore leads to a sublime feeling of happiness.

Being natural, this need isn’t exotic or strange. What seems miraculous? The birth of a baby, an inspired poem, great music, words of profound scripture? Whatever fills you with a sense of wonder and awe is your window into spiritual passion. 

Consider today’s centering thought: “my happiness energizes and inspires me.”

Now, let’s prepare for meditation. Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes. Become aware of your breathe, breathe slowly and deeply. Allow yourself to become more relaxed with each breath. Gently introduce the mantra, “Rabhasa Hum.” Repeat it silently to yourself. Feel your body, mind, and spirit open and receive just a little more.

My Thoughts & Experience

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Lots of twitches. 
Antsy but passionate.
Excited to write my book. 

It was odd, it felt like there was a hand on my right arm throughout today’s meditation. 

Without passion, there is nothing. We need it I think to survive. We need it to live. And to love and to live some more. Passion is vital for any human, but especially for healers, for artists, for creatives, for romantics. Especially us romantics. We need it. We breathe it. It runs through our veins. It is our vital energy. 

It beats and pulses red throughout our bodies. It is our essence. With more passion, we so are more happy. We may be odd, or a bit over the top. But we have verve. And that  is a key to living a life worth living. 

Namaste.

Photo courtesy of B Mully

Expanding Your Happiness Day 13: Living Gratitude

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“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”  —Meister Eckhart

Today we explore the role of gratitude in expanding our happiness. It’s obvious how feeling thankful for the good things in one’s life powerfully contributes to a greater sense of happiness and wellbeing, but this version of gratitude still depends on our mood at the time. It also is limited by our beliefs about what is positive, and our understanding of what is good.

There is a deeper kind of gratitude that goes beyond our conceptions and beliefs of good and bad. This expanded sense of gratitude rejoices in life exactly as it is, right now . . . life is perfect in spite of its imperfections. We find ourselves grateful to simply breathe and greet the sunrise. We feel privileged to engage in the full range of human experiences: busy traffic, strong coffee, and missing a loved one. Our heart is big enough to embrace and appreciate life as a whole, just as it is, without worrying about whether it is “good” or “bad.”

This gratitude has reverence and appreciation for the entire dance of creation right now. This is the perspective that today’s meditation will help foster in our life.

Our centering thought for today is:

I am thankful for all I have.

Our Sanskrit mantra for today is:

“Shreem Namah.” I am thankful. 

Today’s Notes

Shreem is the goddess of joy, abundance and beauty. Namah means respect, by bringing our full conscious being into appreciation or gratitude. This mantra cultivates a feeling of appreciation and gratitude for the abundance in life.

My Thoughts & Experience

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Taking simple moments and showing our appreciation or gratefulness for not only the many conveniences we take for granted such as running water, indoor plumbing, unpolluted drinking water, and Central Air; but for the simpler things like a loving partner, a warm Spring day, or the laughter of children; this is what it means to be on a spiritual path, especially that of Reiki.

In Reiki we have a key principle of gratitude, to “Just for today, be thankful for your many blessings.” 

Because no matter how bad it might seem, Beloved, it can always be worse. 

These moments of humility show us that there are many “good” and “bad” aspects to everything in life, and shows us that we can even be grateful for things that we ourselves may not have but that others do. This teaches us to let go of envy and jealousy and see that there are already so many things to be happy and grateful for in our world.

When we catch ourselves in moments where our minds are running rampant, we can calm them with our awareness alone, and sink into a deeper more focused mindset or higher state of consciousness to access spiritual growth, and truly jump in away from petty concerns to do “The Work” as my friend Debbie would say, or “Finish the Important Shit First” as Leonie Dawson teaches at her Amazing Biz, Amazing Life Academy.

Being grateful expands our consciousness and vibration, and it truly shows. You needn’t fain actual gratitude, but when you do feel it, when you feel that happiness, let others know. Share your gratitude. Be gratitude. Live gratitude. 

Namaste

Natural Pools vs. Chem Pools

“Chlorine used to disinfect swimming pools is widely recognized as a health hazard. New research suggests that children who swim frequently in chlorinated pools may have increased risks of developing allergies or asthma. Among adults exposure to chlorine in swimming pools has been linked with other health problems including bladder and rectal cancer and, possibly, an increased risk for coronary heart disease.”

“To protect yourself in chlorinated pools, consider wearing a mask and snorkel to shield your eyes, and after swimming, leave the pool area and inhale fresh air to flush the gas out of your system. Shower quickly and thoroughly to wash the chlorine off your skin.

Sunblock won’t protect against the effects of chlorine. Instead, lobby local officials and public pool managers to switch from chlorine to safer, more modern disinfection methods. I use a Sigma System silver-copper ion generator in my own pool. Chlorine-based disinfection of swimming pools is obsolete.”

Natural pools, or salted pools just seem like the healthier, more practical, less expensive choice.

Just sayin’, Namaste~

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