Monthly Archives: Jul 2016

Mind Health, Spirituality
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“Don’t be Judgey!”

Recently, I was interviewed by a staff member of Indigo Books as a promotion for my children’s book, “My Mind Book.” The final question posed to me was absolutely the most important, “What do you think the world needs more of?”

IMG_20150826_143746My automatic response was, “Non-judgment.”

A Course in Miracles teaches that “Wisdom is not judgment; it is the relinquishment of judgment.”

Why is this?

It is because we have the ego’s voice speaking to us and while we associate with the ego, we’re going to judge incorrectly. Ego judgments are all fear-based and are hurtful in every conceivable way. The ego is self-designed to perpetuate nonsense through encouraging us to compare ourselves to others, blame others for our own issues and by ultimately segregating people into different groups and levels where we all appear as different.

The ego thrives through judgement simply because it survives off of our seeming separation from each other. The more we appear separate from each other, the less we recognize that we are united, that we are One.

The mind is formless and abstract and is not contained within a body. It is the conscious mind (home of the ego) which sees separateness. But there is also wisdom resonating deep in our unconscious minds and that wisdom is this, we are all connected. Therefore, the collective mind is One. And somewhere, deep in our unconsciousness, we know that this is true.

This is why it is said that when we judge others we are actually judging ourselves. Indeed we are. In Gary Renard’s latest book, Love Has Forgotten No One, it is written that we should be careful of our judgements of others for the unconscious mind cannot decipher between a “you” and an “I” because there is no “You” and “I”, there is only “I”. A powerful statement, I know.

“Remember, your unconscious will translate whatever you think about others to be a message about you. That’s because even though you’re not aware of it, your unconscious mind knows everything, including the fact that there’s just one of you that thinks it’s here. That’s why everything you think about others is really a message from you, to you, about you. And that’s how your unconscious mind will think of it.”

Love Has Forgotten No One by Gary Renard, page 13

In our esoteric reality, there is no one else out there. There only seems to be. What we witness occurring over and over in our world is actually the perpetuation of fear fueled by judgment. Something fearful happens, the ego judges it as real, reacts to this fear with a further fear-based reaction and defends itself against the fear. All of which only cements the fear in our minds where the fear becomes habit. Fear has become our reality.

Try to recall how many ego thoughts you have had today. Numerous, right? How many of these fearful thoughts did you take seriously and get upset about? How preoccupied did you get thinking about someone or something? If you are busy judging and condemning others, you are hurting your own mind, destroying your self-esteem and polluting your body with negative energy. It is absolutely vital that we change our thinking processes and stop judging in the name of peace.

So what’s the remedy to thinking and judging with the ego? It all comes down to education. You have to understand why judging is not the way to go in the first place and once it becomes desirable to you to give up judging you can then begin actively switching to thinking with Spirit instead. Essentially, you want Spirit to become your habit. And remember, that because of the law of free will, Spirit cannot intervene unless invited to do so. So whenever you feel tempted to judge yourself or another, stop that process and switch it over to Spirit to judge for you. Easy!

There are many ways to invite Holy Spirit to the forefront of your mind. I always begin my day by saying, “Holy Spirit, you please be in charge of all of my thoughts and all of my actions today.” When I feel tempted by fear to judge, I immediately say, “Holy Spirit, take this from me, judging it for me. I don’t know how to judge, but you do. I leave it with you.” However you want to rock this out, go for it! But, if you are open to it, then never stop asking Spirit to be your guide. And when Spirit is in charge and something negative happens, you will see that the negativity is meaningless and only came up so it can be healed and so that you can be a demonstrator of peace.

Ultimately you will feel confident and be less reactive. The positivity, healing and peace that follows will be your evidence that this process is working. Patience and practice are required but, WOW! Is it ever worth it!!

“Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it. This is no sacrifice.”

A Course in Miracles, Manual for Teachers:10.2.5-6

For the purposes of being helpful and offering further clarity on this topic I will include this lengthy but awesome excerpt from A Course in Miracles. Grab a cup of java and enjoy the read.

“The aim of our curriculum, unlike the goal of the world’s learning, is the recognition that judgment in the usual sense is impossible. This is not an opinion but a fact. In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivable wide range of things; past, present and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everyone and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so that his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself?

Remember how many times you thought you knew all the ‘facts’ you needed for judgment, and how wrong you were! Is there anyone who has not had this experience? Would you know how many times you merely thought you were right, without ever realizing you were wrong? Why would you choose such an arbitrary basis for decision making? Wisdom is not judgment; it is the relinquishment of judgment. Make then but one more judgment. It is this: There is Someone with you Whose judgment is perfect. He does know all the facts; past, present and to come. He does know all the effects of His judgment on everyone and everything involved in any way. And He is wholly fair to everyone, for there is no distortion in His perception.

Therefore lay judgment down, not with regret but with a sigh of gratitude. Now are you free of a burden so great that you could merely stagger and fall down beneath it. And it was all illusion. Nothing more.”

A Course in Miracles – Manual for Teachers, Section 10

When we embrace the Spirit ever-present in our minds, we begin to see love everywhere. We see the uniqueness and talents of ourselves and others. We see the beauty in different cultures. We become inspired by the accomplishments of others. These are loving ways to view the world and its supposed differences.

In one of my favourite books of all time, The Disappearance of the Universe (a must-read for any student of A Course in Miracles!), there is an excerpt which concludes the book. The conclusion is one of the most beautifully written reminders of our Oneness. I say this quote in my head whenever I know someone has an issue with me or if I have an issue with them (judgment!). So I use this quote to remind myself of our Reality. “I love you my brothers and sisters who are really me but do not yet fully know it. Be grateful for the opportunities to forgive each other and thus yourselves.”

Love and Non-judgment,
Fiona

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Mind Health, Spirituality
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The Benefits of Laughter

Buddha

“Laughter is better than any other form of medicine.”
Love Has Forgotten No One by Gary Renard, page 88

One of my greatest tidbits of advice for anyone who is upset is to go and watch a funny movie. Tough homework, I know. But people and their egos are so damn serious about things!

Whenever I was sick with a flu or what have you, I immediately made a date with Bridget Jones or Fawlty Towers. Why? Because I knew that the sickness was caused by a fear-based attitude so I had to counter that negativity with positivity! I had to help myself by loving myself and I often choose to love myself through watching something funny. Even before I go to bed, I ensure that I watch something funny or recall silly commercials or moments with my fiancé, Eric.

It is so good for you to laugh, especially before you go to sleep!

I understand that there are times when emotions will be heavy and that hard times will happen but there is nothing worse than staying in the doldrums unnecessarily. As usual, you have a choice, once the initial upset is gone, are you going to remain melancholy (ego identification!) or are you going to pick yourself up and put a smile on your face? The choice is yours.

Laughter is right-minded thinking. (Laughing at other people’s misfortunes is not the type of laughter I’m talking about). But I am talking about the gentle laughter that comes with feeling relaxed, positive and confident in love.

Remember that the ego is going to make you feel obligated to guilt, fear, or any other negative preoccupation. And if you take the ego seriously, you’re going to feel those negative consequences.

But suppose you didn’t take the ego seriously? What would happen then? Or how about when you have that twinge of anxiety? What if you chose to take a deep breath, not analyze the anxious thought and watch something funny instead? Then what? Anxiety and the initial anxious thought would be gone! Not only are they gone, but the anxious thought has lost some intensity and wouldn’t be as scary. The more you practice this, the less scary all of your fearful investments would become.

This is a dynamic I have practiced many times as I know that when I have an upsetting thought, it was my investment and seriousness about the thought that made everything worse. What if I chose to laugh it off instead? AMAZING results! Try it. Get used to it. You’ll see.

Being serious about this world would cause anyone to be depressed.

When we look at the Map of Consciousness we can see the different levels of emotion and perspectives. One of the greatest things that helps lifts us up through the levels of Consciousness is laughter.

consiousness

Observe yourself before and after you have had a good laugh. What happened to your energy? I bet that you felt a bit more hopeful after you had a giggle. I also bet that you forgot about some of the negative things that happened throughout your day after having a gigglefest.

So, what is the spiritual relevance of laughing?

Well, as I already mentioned, one of our ego issues is that we take things so damn seriously! The world being an illusion was made real by our mistake in taking it all seriously. Laughter takes you out of the mental state of seriousness and helps you to relax into love.

I often pose this question to my class attendees, “If you are not laughing or forgiving, then what are you doing?”

My intention with this question is to bring people’s attention to the thought system they are investing in. It would be helpful that if you want to focus on improving your mental wellbeing to realize how often you are identifying with the ego. When we choose to take time to be positive and have a good time it will then be easier to think more loving thoughts, more often. If you are laughing or forgiving, you are definitely in the state of love.

I invite you to bring more laughter into your life! If you have children, include more humour into your daily routines! Give it a try and see what happens. Spirit wants you to be happy, that is our Reality.

“You can indeed afford to laugh at fear thoughts, remembering that God goes with you wherever you go.”
A Course in Miracles, Lesson 41

Love, Laughter and Lightness,
Fiona

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Mind Health, Spirituality
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Conscious, conscious and C(c)onsciousness

Nope, you did not read the title wrongly, nor did I make a mistake. This week’s blog is about defining some well-used words which have different meanings!

There is a ton of spiritual literature out there, or as my Mother would put it, “the market is saturated.” It is through my reading of many of these literary works that I have noticed that the terms conscious, unconscious and consciousness have both positive and negative definitions. Welcome to the world of duality! The world of good and bad. So, I thought it may be helpful to explain these terms so that when you are delving into your spiritual library, you are on board with the lingo. And also so you understand yourself more.

So, here goes!

Conscious

The first definition presents conscious as a level of the mind. It is the mental level where you are wide awake. Here on this mental level you judge, analyze, decide and take action. In your conscious mind you can easily become agitated because your untrained mind is racing, chatting incessantly and you are also judging quite a bit.

Michael Singer, author of “The Untethered Soul” describes this chatty mind like so, “It has something to say about everything you look at: ‘I like it. I don’t like it. This is good. That’s bad.’ It just talks and talks. You don’t generally notice because you don’t step back from it. You’re so close that you don’t realize that you’re actually hypnotized into listening to it.”

A familiar dynamic, is it not?

Unless you become proactive in dissociating from your chatty mind, meaning, stop judging every thought, then you will be sucked in by it and you will be stuck in your ego mind. You will become frustrated and reactionary as your conscious mind is not clear.

You can choose to use your conscious mind appropriately though. Through choosing love, peace and non-judgment, you have made conscious decisions to be loving and these loving thoughts will directly affect your waking life and mental state positively.

Now, onto Conscious.

Eckhart Tolle would say that a person who is mindful is Conscious. Using the term Conscious this way refers to an individual’s level of awareness.

This is the type of person who notices that a few feet in front of them is a woman who is juggling some bags and will require some help opening a door. You, as the Conscious observer of your surroundings, is happy to help and go open the door for this woman. You are blissfully aware of, but not judging, your surroundings. You are the observer.

When you are Conscious, you are being your best self. You are truly hearing the words that your friend says, you are tasting the food that you are eating and you are speaking with intent. Your actions are purposeful and there is a deep feeling of trust. You are not resisting things, you are accepting. You are not controlling, but letting life flow from and through you. This is to be Conscious.
Unconscious

Along with what Eckhart Tolle described as a Conscious person there is the opposite, the unconscious person. An unconscious individual is scattered, disorganized and mindless about themselves and others.

When you are unconscious you are reactionary when dealing with others and only hear your side of the story. This is the level of awareness where you may find yourself also being quite careless. You are bumping into things and people a lot, you are forgetful and you may think that the world is out to get you. This is where you are reacting to the world instead of taking responsibility for your views about the world.

The positive version of Unconscious is that you are so good at something it has become an Unconscious action. During my Life Coaching training I was taught that a Life Coach should aim to be Unconsciously Competent. Anyone who has an innate talent for example, has an Unconscious Competence when it comes to performing that talent.

The Unconscious part in this definition refers to the level of the mind. We have become so good at something that it has become part of who we are and we can do it exceptionally well without thinking about it (Unconscious).

Consciousness

The negative definition of consciousness refers to the separated part of the mind which thinks it is separate from God or Source. Here is where we find perception, the place where we have to perceive things in order to find meaning as opposed to knowledge where we inherently know the meaning of Who and What we truly are.
According to A Course in Miracles, “consciousness is correctly identified as the domain of the ego. The ego is a wrong-minded attempt to perceive yourself as you wish to be, rather than as you are.” T.3.IV.2.1-2

When we compare consciousness to the Mind of God, we can see what is meant by what A Course in Miracles says in that quote. When we are in the state of mind known as Heaven, we have become enlightened and we recognize that we are One with the Mind of God. We KNOW. This is the state of knowledge. In ego land we do not know things, we see them and judge them to the best of our intellectual ability and this is consciousness.

Now to the positive! Consciousness can also be referred to as the spiritual meaning of being awake. You may know that Buddha said, “I am awake”, it is this state of Consciousness he is referring to. Michael Singer states in “The Untethered Soul” that “Consciousness is the highest word you will ever utter. There is nothing higher or deeper than consciousness. Consciousness is pure awareness.”

In my opinion, Michael Singer’s definition of Consciousness refers to the human experience. He goes on to describe that when you are in your Consciousness you are the observer of all, much like Eckhart Tolle’s description of being Conscious. A Course in Miracles as a spiritual guide is always sharing the difference between the ego physical human experience AND the formless Spirit or Mind.

So, there you have it! What I hope is a good reference for you while you’re pursuing your spiritual path or bettering your mental health (both of which are the same thing).

If you have any questions you can leave a comment below or email me directly at fiona@fionamaria.ca

Love and Clarity,
Fiona

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Mind Health, Spirituality
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“Wo! I Just Had Deja Vu!”

Everyone experiences déjà vu. It is a very interesting experience and kind of shakes you a little bit. To me déjà vu has always induced a sense of amazement about the mind and the information it has held in its infinite vastness. The experience of déjà vu has also encouraged me to question my reality.

When you experience déjà vu you truly feel that you know you have been in a certain moment, with all the details of that moment feeling eerily familiar. Like trying to explain a dream you only vaguely recall, déjà vu is equally difficult to articulate. How can you explain that feeling of familiarity to another person?

“Um… the red shirt and that guy who is wearing it! The sun shining from that angle. The green grass. The person walking by right now! I don’t know, I’ve just seen this all before! I’ve been here in this moment before.” What you find so familiar in your déjà vu experience is so tricky to explain to another person, but you know the moment and you feel that knowingness in your bones.

Déjà vu can also be experienced on a much grander scale than a simple momentary feeling of knowingness in this lifetime. Déjà vu can open you up to the world of past lives and where you may have been mentally once before.

Have you ever traveled to another place and you again, you know in your bones that you have been there before! The feel of the cobblestone streets, the smell lingering in the air, or the language of the culture you are visiting, it is just all so familiar. It truly is an amazing experience!

Déjà vu literally means, “already seen”.

So, what is meant by “already seen”? This definition states that this has all happened before. Well, from a spiritual context, that’s true, this has all happened before.

Some spiritual teachers believe that déjà vu is Spirit’s way of telling us that we are on the right path, like a check-in point so to speak. Others believe it is precognition. I believe it is what, A Course in Miracles, says it is, déjà vu is our conscious mind recognizing that we have been here in this moment before. The great ACIM teacher, Kenneth Wapnick would say that we are simply replaying a videotape we have chosen to replay. We can either choose the Holy Spirit’s videotape or the ego’s videotape. One will reflect the choices of love, the other will reflect the choices of fear. Both paths have been played out before, but it is our minds and then our brains experience that we move through time in a linear fashion.

“Not only has it been already seen; it has already been lived through at the mind level, and we are merely experiencing it again. It is that reliving that is the crucial idea here.”
A Vast Illusion, page 31

Time has been proven by science to be an illusion. Some scientists have proven the universe to be holographic. If you think about this, time is actually a form of measurement and does not actually exist without a human to judge and say “this is what time it is”. Space, being holographic, means that our world and the universe are not occurring in a linear fashion like we experience it actually happened all at once.

According to, A Course in Miracles, “Time is a trick. A sleight of hand.” Time does not reflect our reality at all as we actually dwell in eternity. And, if you think about it, really think about it, this present moment is all we have anyway. It is the ego which gets us caught up in the guilt, regret and pain of the past, and it is the ego which gets us caught up in being afraid for the future (this is anxiety!!!). And thus we miss the present moment quite frequently as our untrained minds have not dissociated enough from the past and the future. With training though, this will change.

So, what are the benefits to realizing that we are experiencing again?
The benefit is the understanding that we have a choice in which thought system, which videotape we want to play. This is our free will to choose the loving path or the fearful path. Whichever you choose, you will get more of; love or fear. If we are reviewing mentally what has already gone by, why not choose the happier video?

Back to déjà vu! If you trust your déjà vu experiences, your inner knowingness, then it would seem that a part of yourself is trying to tell you something…. You’ve done this all before.

I see déjà vu as evidence supporting the fact that we are non-spatial beings having a spatial experience. This is where, A Course in Miracles, would say that it is actually only a small part of our minds experiencing physicality. For example, imagine a ray of sun thinking it is independent and alone. But this is clearly not the case. We see that the sun ray is still one with the sun. That is like our physical experience here. We feel independent, separate and alone, but like the sun ray being one with the sun, we are in fact One with our Source. It is that small part of our minds which believes it is separate from Source that we are working on healing so we may return fully to the mental experience of our Reality, our Home.

The beauty of déjà vu is that it helps you become convinced of the power of your mind. You are getting a taste of the fact that you are so much more than this body and this daily physical experience, EXCITING!

Every moment we have the choice to relive that which was loving, healing and helpful, or that which was painful, repetitive and fearful.

Learn from your déjà vu, learn that you are a beautiful and powerful mind and your view of your purpose in this world will change for the better.

Love and Happy Reliving,
Fiona

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