Monthly Archives: Sep 2016

Mind Health
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Mind as Cause

On the path of mental health it is essential to put the power where it belongs, at the level of the mind. Not in the external details or complexities.

Mind is the creator of all things. It is the formless creative space where all thoughts and ideas originate. The body and the entire physical world are all effects of the immense power of the mind.

But through the eons we have been dealing with the ego. The ego is “mis-thought” and it thrives off of corrupting your mind. One of the main ways it does this is by making you feel like a victim, ugh…

So, how does the ego attempt to do this?

By confusing your creative levels.

Creation is not just what we inherently are, but it is also a process which is our birthright. It is our innate power. But the ego makes you think that you are not capable of being creative. It wants you to feel powerless and hopeless, a victim. It wants you to be stuck in a mundane routine where you don’t question your reality. It wants you to keep it (the ego) alive. And this is only done by identifying with the ego and all of its chaos.

But I don’t buy this sick dynamic. You are certainly NOT a victim.

“There is a confusion here that you would do well to look at clearly. You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.”
A Course in Miracles T.2.VI.2:4-7

You are incredibly powerful, loving and worthy of genuine happiness. So, in order to embrace the truth of what you are you have to shift your thinking. You have to put your focus at the only creative level there is, the level of power, the level of cause which is, the level of the mind. Essentially…

“You gotta take the power back!” Rage Against the Machine

Mental health is just that, mental. It’s not about the physical symptoms, the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder behaviours, the defenses made against whatever is causing one anxiety, or any of that external stuff. It’s all about the mind. This is where the problem started and this is where the correction needs to occur because here is where your free will exists.

“You do not need guidance except at the mind level. Correction belongs only at the level where change is possible. Change does not mean anything at the symptom level, where it cannot work.” – A Course in Miracles – T.2.VI.3:5-7

So, whenever the ego is tempting you with external preoccupations, bring your focus back to your mind. Check out your mental state for this is where you can soothe yourself, correct your thinking and then take appropriate action if there is even action to be taken. But trust that it all begins with your thoughts for they will determine your reactions, and ultimately the creation of your world.
Remember that the ego loves complexity so it’s going to want you to delve into and be intimidated by all of the details. There is no peace here. Stop looking for peace where it is not. Peace begins within your own mind then shines out into the world. Keep it simple.

Keep your focus at the level of the mind.

Love and focus,
Fiona

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Healthy Tips, Mind Health
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Tips for Moving Past Anxious Moments

Breathe

Hello Lovely,

A few weeks back I wrote a blog on anxiety describing the mental source of it and how truly unnecessary it is. Here is the link: https://www.fionamaria.ca/mind-health/anxiety-why-are-you-investing/

This week I wanted to offer up some tips on how to move past anxious moments. But first, a recap on the mental nature of anxiety…

“Even if he is fully aware of anxiety he does not perceive its source as his own ego identification and he always tries to handle it by making some sort of insane arrangement with the world.”
A Course in Miracles – T.12.III.6:5

Anxiety occurs because we have chosen to take the ego (fear, negativity, crap) seriously. If we defend ourselves against the fear, we are making it real. If we react to the fear, we are making it real. If we talk about the fear, we are making it real.

The KEY to undoing anxiety is to DISIDENTIFY from it.

As mentioned in my earlier blog on this topic, anxiety is a delay tactic of the ego, that is all. And what is the ego? Mis-thought. It’s a mistake, a misidentification. And mistakes, they are to be corrected, not perpetuated.

As I always stress, our minds are incredibly powerful!! That means our imaginations are also wild and powerful. We can come up with some pretty crazy s&#t, can’t we? And our egos love to scare us with that wild, scary nonsense! But here’s the clincher… with all the weirdness we can conjure up with our ego minds, that doesn’t mean any of it is real.

Here’s a little bit about what is going on physically when we get anxious…
There is a part of our brains, it is called the neo-cortex which is the largest part of the brain, and is also the visual part of our brain! The brain, being an effect of the mind, is a reflection of our minds mass ability to visualize. Which means that anything you choose to visualize is going to trigger a very strong experience. Think of when you are fantasizing, it tends to be a pretty full experience, doesn’t it? There are characters, colours, smells, conversations… that is what we can do with our minds! So, that is why fear is so scary, because when you choose to focus on fear, your incredible mental power is going all in to that fear!

Then there are the effects of fear (anxiety) like upset stomach, rapid heartbeat, sweating, agitation, and many other debilitating symptoms.

You’ve had the fear thought, then you have the bodily effect, and then what happens next? Your ego mind judges the bodily discomfort which leads to more anxiety. So the fear goes around in a big circle. Fear thought, body discomfort, judgment, fear thought, body discomfort, judgment, and on and on and on.

Another KEY to undoing anxiety is to STOP this cycle!!

So, let’s get to it!

Coping Mechanisms 101

Recognize that it is simply anxiety. Your issue is not the actual thing that is scaring you, your issue is anxiety. So, the most vital thing you want to do is STOP ANALYZING the scary thought. The scary thing, whatever it may be, is not actually occurring, if it were then you wouldn’t be anxious, you would be busy dealing with the issue. Anxiety is fear over something that is not occurring. So you don’t want to analyze that which is not occurring because, guess what?! It is totally irrelevant!! And if you don’t take the steps to move past the fear, anxiety is going to become your habit, ugh…. So, stop the reaction. Stop analyzing that which is MEANINGLESS! And if you think it has meaning for you then I will put it this way… if it is causing you to be upset, it is ego, and therefore meaningless. Ego wants you to be upset, Love wants you to be happy, who do you choose?

Next, Conscious Distraction. So as not to invest any further energy into the useless fear thought, distract yourself. In a study on recovering drug addicts it was found that one of the most helpful practices to help addicts move past a craving was for them to distract themselves with a game of Tetris. They consciously distracted themselves as the habitual craving moved through their mind then bodily system.

So, you want to do the same type of thing. The anxiety (fear thoughts) are your habit, and you need help out of that habit. Distracting yourself can be done many ways and you may already know what a good distraction is for you. But for those who don’t, here goes!

Observe your surroundings, note the colours or other qualities of things around you, like this… the grass is green, it is soft with a gentle dew upon it. The couch is charcoal grey, it was purchased at Crate & Barrel. The saleswoman had white hair and glasses. The dog is black. He just got a haircut. He is 9 years old…

Distract yourself with the details of your surroundings which will take the energy out of the negative thought. Your mind can only think one thought at a time, this is a law of the mind, so use that to your advantage. You may still feel the physical discomfort of anxiety as you do this but do not be tempted to judge that discomfort, simply recognize that the residual energy is just flowing through your body and that it will pass. IT WILL PASS.

Change Your Environment. Move out of the environment where anxiety was triggered. Leave the store, the room, the home, whatever you need to do. Try and get outside. Who cares if it is -30 outside, just give it a try, freezing your arse off may turn out to be a nice distraction for you anyway! There is an expansiveness to the outdoors which can relieve the claustrophobic nature of anxiety. Once outside or in a more relaxed space you can take the next important step, breathe.

Deep Breathe. Breathing deeply is an amazing coping mechanism. It’s simple, effective and healthy. Breathing deeply helps you out of anxious moments but it can also help to prevent anxious moments. Whenever you feel a twinge of ego fear, get your breath flowing in a more effective manner. Envision blowing out the negative energy and breathing in relaxed energy. And your focus on your breathing is also a very effective conscious distraction.

Turn on something funny. Remember that the anxiety occurred because you took the ego seriously. The only thing that helps to remove this feeling of seriousness around fear is love and I personally find that laughter is the most effective at bringing love into the dynamic. Lighten up! Raise your vibrational levels! Have an anxious child? Be funny more often, have funny shows on in the background and encourage laughter and light-heartedness. This whole ego mess happened because we took fear seriously, so you gotta laugh in order to let the ego go. Have a bit of a giggle and carry on with your day. Laughter is truly the best medicine!

Physical Activity breaks that cycle of fear. It gives the fearful energy somewhere to go, and in this case it would be best if that energy moved out of the body. We don’t want to carry the energy of negativity and stress in our cells, so this is one of the major benefits to physical activity. Get that negative energy OUT! You know what exercise is best for you so rock it out! I personally prefer squats or even holding plank position which activates the whole body. Also, be open to the beauty of making love to your partner. This is an excellent way to get the love flowing and also, all the stimulation releases very healthy chemicals throughout your whole body. The connection with your loved one will also be very soothing for your agitated mind.

And lastly, recognize that anxiety has never served you. Own the fact that you do not need to live with it nor have it as part of your life. This attitude will help you to be vigilant for moving past the anxiety. Whenever anxiety comes up see it as an opportunity to get that old, negative energy out of you, because that is exactly what it is! Old stuff which was just lying dormant in your unconscious mind. It will lose strength in time.

Try these tips out next time you’re feeling anxious. Remember that you have to be vigilant for your own healing and your healthy mind. When you are doing these positive things to help yourself you are truly serving yourself. You are making the effort to be a happy, non-reactionary and very loving person, so don’t be shy to take care of yourself. There is no one else in this world who can do it for you.

Love and Vigilance,
Fiona

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Mind Health
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The Mental Harm of Routine

“Routines as such are dangerous, because they easily become gods in their own right…”

A Course in Miracles – M.16.2:5-6

When we play out the same rituals, day in, day out, our minds get used to this routine and consequently our brains develop the neurology to support these repetitions. This is actually detrimental to our mental health.

Why?

Because our rituals, routines, or habits have become our idols, our gods.

“Seek not outside yourself. For it will fail, and you will weep each time an idol falls.”

A Course in Miracles – T.29.VII.1:1-2

Routines and rituals keep us looking outside of ourselves for our happiness, which is what the ego wants, for as long as we are looking outside we are not seeing the truth within. We have given something external the power to make us happy. And when we really like something we crave it, search for it and strive to have it with us at all times. This is what I call the “ego habit.”

Our loyalty to our daily routines and rituals have become our ego habits.
Take a moment to think about your daily routine. Has it turned mundane? Are you strangely attached to it? Does everything in your life have to be “just so” or else you start to get anxious?

Once you are aware of your daily routine and the tasks that have turned ritualistic, you want to ask yourself, “Do I have to do things like this every day? Or can I be comfortable without this routine?” Also note where your routine may have become an OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) type behaviour. OCD is just the ego trying to control its surroundings. It’s typically a reaction to anxiety where you fear that anything can go askew in a heartbeat and so you must perform things in a certain way so as to maintain order in your egoic chaos.

It’s not just actions that can be ritualistic and habitual, it can also be your thoughts. Every action is a consequence of a thought, yes, but what I’m specifically referring to here is habit thoughts or what my sisters and I like to call it, “sticky thoughts.”

Ever notice that you are repeating the same thoughts over and over every day? Or perhaps songs get stuck in your head frequently? Or even Friends episodes? These are examples of sticky thoughts. It’s a particularly annoying dynamic and can be quite frightful for those who are anxious or depressed as you are repeating scary or upsetting thoughts.

So, routines, rituals and habits all hinder our experience with daily life. They control us and keep the mind in a subdued state of repetition.

“The attachment to saying or doing something a particular way is time bound. Such attachments keep you chained to the past. They keep you fixed in a false identity.”

Love Without Conditions, page 37

The mind is naturally creative and loving, existing only in the present moment. It is the ego mind which wants to keep the future the same as the past. Essentially, the ego has a very unhealthy control issue.

If you want to be genuinely happier than it is necessary to free yourself from the limits of outdated, unnecessary thinking habits and rituals.

Releasing yourself from your mundane routine can only serve you, so switch it up! Figure out where there’s room for positive change. See where you can do things differently by adding more fun and self-lovin’ to your daily life.

Growth never occurred from being stuck in the past. Growth occurs from honouring the beauty of who you are in the eternal now. Let every moment of your life serve you and refresh you. That’s a choice you can make every instant of every day.

Love and Thinking Free,
Fiona

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Mind Health, Spirituality
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Why is Change So Scary?

People fear change, but why? A Course in Miracles teaches that it is because our first “supposed” experience with change was that we thought we separated from the Source of Love. The result being that we now fear change because our first experience with it was so incredibly frightful!

But this fear is unfounded and is therefore simply an egoic misperception.
Honestly, how can you grow and thrive without becoming accustomed to the inevitability of change? Surely it is easy to recognize that change has always been with you. Yet it is through the fearful perception of change that we get ourselves into trouble as we attempt to control our familiar (yet not always comfortable) life situations. Clinging desperately to our rituals and our sometimes unhelpful belief systems.

The lesson here is, resistance is what always makes us upset.

“All inner resistance is experienced as negativity in one form or another. All negativity is resistance. In this context, the two words are almost synonymous. Negativity ranges from irritation or impatience to fierce anger, from a depressed mood, sullen resentment to suicidal despair. Sometimes the resistance triggers the emotional pain body, in which case even a minor situation may produce intense negativity, such as anger, depression, or deep grief.” Eckhart Tolle

Knowing that change will always be a part of our lives, it would be helpful to embrace a healthy attitude about it.

There was a time, over three years ago, when my entire world was caving in. I was unhappy with my job, my house, and my social life. The only things that made me truly happy were my dog, my family, teaching my ACIM classes and my health. These were my foundation, but everything else was swirling around me, well at least it felt that way. What was actually swirling were my thoughts about the changes I was experiencing. I was most certainly in limbo.

But what truly helped me through was my trust in Spirit. A wiser something was telling me that all of these changes were happening for a reason, and I knew I would be a fool not to sit back and let the changes flow. My resistance made everything harder but my Spirit told me to breathe. “Don’t pigeon-hole it,” I thought to myself. “This is not my forever, it’s just right now. Let it flow.”
Once I changed my perspective, I actually got excited. “What’s on the other side of all this change?” I often wondered. Within a very short amount of time my life began to settle in very new and refreshing ways. Looking back I was grateful that I didn’t waste the lesson I was being given. My life is so incredible now! The months of limbo were what brought the greatness I have now into my life’s experience.

“Some changes look negative on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being made for something new to emerge.” Eckhart Tolle

To help with the idea of embracing change let’s see it through a spiritual lens…
Let’s begin by changing the reason why we are here on this planet. In Western society we definitely embrace the idea that we are here to live a perfect existence. But honestly, how impractical and outlandish is this ideal? We are not here to have a visually perfect life with beautiful clothes, the “perfect” body, and consistently well-behaved children. We are here, on this planet, to heal our minds. This is our purpose and forgiveness is the means by which we do so. I mean, how can our minds heal if we aren’t faced with adversity at times?

So, don’t ever feel self-conscious for going through the tough times which change ushers in. They are your lessons, learn them and love yourself for getting through them. Remember also all the beauty that change brings as well! Loving people, relationships, and opportunities! Change is not a narrow one-way street of challenges. It is the bringer of that which makes you stronger if you choose to forgive while going through it.

“The purpose of time is to forgive. That is the only viable answer to life. Act accordingly, child of God.”

I always teach that you want to be like a tree. Trees have a great foundation which is strong, loving and secure. A tree does not fight the wind, if it did, it would crack and break. It instead goes with the flow, letting the wind do what it does. And all the while, through the wind gusts or a gentle summer’s breeze, the tree’s foundation is secure. It knows what and who it is.

In our perspective a great foundation is the love we truly are. Our moral compass, our families, our partners, our pets, our planet and how we see and treat others. And through all of our adversity, our foundation is strong and we have no need for rigidity.

Be centered in Spirit, let change flow.

Love and Ease,
Fiona

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