Monthly Archives: Nov 2016

Food, Healthy Tips, Mind Health
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From Hormones to Healing

We all experience hormone fluctuations, (yes, even men), and these rapid shifts can be a real pain in the arse. You find yourself cursing at an inanimate object or crying because of something cute on a West Jet commercial (yes, I’ve done that… twice last month to be exact), and once you’ve realized that perhaps you could be being just a tad bit ridiculous, you clue in… hormone surge!

As we all know, experiencing hormone fluctuations can be difficult. A hormone surge can induce anxiety, fatigue, a melancholy attitude, and even straight up rage! We never really feel like ourselves during that time, do we?
But it’s not all sadness, tears and swaddling your pet, like with anything, hormones can help you to heal.

How so?

Well, I find that when I’m experiencing PMS, my conscious mind is on hyper drive running through a series of negative events from my past or some made up fearful event about the future. Of course I recognize that this negativity is ego, but instead of giving into the negativity of what my ego is pissed off about, I get proactive for healing.

All of the negativity and fear that I’m still holding onto is being given a front and center seat in my mind’s eye. Is this an opportunity, or what?! “Thank you hormones for showing me what I gotta heal!” So, really, during PMS I step up my forgiveness game because all of that negativity, I don’t want to hold onto it anymore. I want to let it go.

Now, when you’re experiencing hormone changes and the ego is a little more active than usual, it is up to you to take some gentle control to help yourself out. You are in a body, and this is something you are going to experience, so you may as well handle it positively.

One way I take some gentle control is by letting my fiancé know that I’m PMSing (in case he didn’t notice by my craving for buffalo chicken wings all day and my crying at random songs and commercials). My declaration is a way of me communicating, being honest and taking responsibility for my heightened level of sensitivity. I know that he appreciates my honesty and he helps me to laugh and relax more.

Your loved ones will appreciate your honesty and may even help you cheer up. Everyone wins!

Another way I take some gentle control of the hormonal situation is that I have made a promise to myself to never have a serious conversation or make a serious decision while I’m PMSing. Of course, with life’s hiccups this can’t always be the case, but it is something that I work hard to honour. Essentially what I’m doing here is preventing myself from reacting from my ego, I’m ensuring that I am self-aware and keeping my emotions in check. And sometimes I really do just say, “You know what, I’m PMSing right now, so that’s not a topic I’m willing to invest in right now. Would it be okay if we saved it for another time or when I feel a little more relaxed?” Be practical, be loving.

So, recap!

Being hormonal doesn’t mean being a victim, it’s just another opportunity for self-care.

-Recognize that the situations which anger you while you’re hormonal are what you need to forgive. Take the opportunity for some mind healing!

-Declare to your partner (or whomever you feel) that you are hormonal and may be a bit more sensitive. Ask them to keep conversations light if possible.

-Be self-aware! You may feel sad or angry, but you do not need to react from this state of mind. All the more reason to save certain conversations or decisions for a time where you feel more relaxed and like yourself. Be responsible.

Ways to lessen the impact of Hormone Fluctuations

Drink Green Tea – Green Tea contains L-Theanine, an amino acid which raises the level of dopamine (the loving, feel-good neurotransmitter) in our brains. Green Tea is also great for balancing the entire bodily system by combatting free radicals (the s#*% disturbers) and calming the neurotransmitters in the brain.

Eat Less Meat – Consuming meat frequently increases the levels of hormones in your body. So, if you want to lessen the severity of your hormone levels going up and down like a yo-yo, cut back on meat and include more veggies in your diet. Your hormones will thank you!

Eat Less Sugar – Consuming sugar always causes spikes in your bodily system, which means that there isn’t a lot of balance going on. In order to maintain a more stable hormone level, chill on the sugar and use honey or maple syrup if you need some sweetness. Be sure to avoid chemical sweeteners, they are what they are, chemicals and screw with your whole system. It is never a good idea to use them as they are so harmful.

Lessen Your Alcohol Intake – We all know the guideline, less alcohol, the better. A glass of wine or beer a day is fine and is actually good for you. Binge drinking is just very hard on your system and can really add to the severity of your hormone fluctuations.

Up Your Relax Time – What a chore, right?! 😉 Take more time for deep breathing, meditation, yoga, exercise, and laughing!! These practices are always good for you and will help you to maintain a peaceful mind at all times, but the benefits of these practices can really be there for you when your hormones decide to go for a ride.

Most importantly, do not feel guilty for being hormonal! You’re in a body, just like everybody else, so we really are all in this together. Be gentle with yourself and think Balance, Balance, Balance.

And also remember to laugh more often! The ego is going to try and have some fun with you, and you’re really going to notice this dynamic when your hormones are fluctuating. And when you think one negative thought and take it seriously, it’s so much easier to think more negative thoughts and send yourself into a cycle of fear. So, it’s up to you to make a conscious decision to lighten up and laughing is the easiest way to do so! Remember that the ego can only get you when you take it seriously.

A Course in Miracles teaches that we should learn to gently laugh at the ego’s dictates, not in a condescending way but in a “nope, that’s not going to work on me” kind of way. We are literally showing the ego that through our laughter and commitment to love, it cannot get us.

Love and Gentle Laughter,
Fiona

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Healthy Tips, Mind Health, Spirituality
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Ego and its Effects

Unconsciousness

The ego series continues with the “effects of the ego”, what they are and how to deal with them.

The effects of the ego are numerous, they range from mild irritation all the way to full blown, murderous rage. But they all exist under the same umbrella, the umbrella of fear. So, although they may show up as differing in degrees of harshness, they are all the same because they are all products of the ego, keeping you identified with the ego. Do not be deceived, it is never mentally healthy to hold onto any seeming degree of negativity.

Now, the ego is conniving and it will always make you think that you are justified in holding onto its effects, a dynamic I like to call, “the obligation of the ego.” The ego wants you to get stuck into the details through your analyzing, calculating, defending and questioning of every fearful scenario.

But, this need not be. The obligation of the ego is your devotion to fear. Your analyzing of fear-based scenarios is also your devotion to fear. Again, this truly need not be.

A Course in Miracles teaches that fear is not scary for what it is, but for its hiddenness. Which is true when you think about it… for example, a boogeyman would be scary if he popped out at you out of nowhere! He wouldn’t be nearly so scary if he was chilling out next to you on the couch all afternoon, would he?

We want to see this ego dynamic clearly and for what it is because here we see that fear can actually become quite transparent when we acknowledge its lingering presence.

So, you look over to the boogeyman on the couch and say “Hey, what’s up? Why are you here?”

The power in acknowledging fear is that you haven’t denied it thus repressing it, you’ve called it out and now you can see it for what it is, ego. And what is ego? A mistake in your thinking. So, the fear is present because you made a mistake in your thinking, you identified with your ego.

When you see that fear really is just a mistake in your thinking, it’s lost its creepiness. Remember that in order for the ego to keep fear around it has to make it desirable to you in some way, the ego will then have to label the fear one of its many names to make it special to you. Feelings like shame, resentment, embarrassment, anger, frustration, and betrayal, are examples of a few fear names the ego will use in order for you to feel obligated to it and pick the situation apart, or for you to repress it because it seems just too painful to look at.

Elaborating on this; analyzing the effects of the ego will strengthen the idea in your mind, and your brain will develop the neural pathways to support your egoic thinking. Repressing the fear will send it back into your unconscious mind where it will surely jump out of the closet again to terrify you at some point in the future.

So, when fear creeps up, you have an opportunity to use it for healing and therefore not let it be a burden which plagues you. It is fully within your power to make this choice as it is also a Law of the Mind, the Law of Free Will.

Those of us on the healing path have chosen to take responsibility for our lives, our experiences and our perceptions of the world and in so doing we have given fear the green light to come up so we can deal with it. You have signed up to come from the level of cause, the level of your mind, and not let the world happen to you. This is using the effects of the ego to your advantage so you are no longer a victim, AWESOME!!

Let’s recap the steps to letting fear go safely…
– Recognize that you are upset.
– Acknowledge that the upsetting issue is fear itself. Name it as fear, not as a label of fear. All negativity is under the umbrella of fear. Don’t make it special, it’s not. Just call it what it is, fear.
– Remember that fear is of the ego.
– Remind yourself of what the ego is, a mistake in your thinking.
– Declare that mistakes are to be corrected and that you would like to have this fear thought corrected in your mind.
– Let Love (whatever name you have given for Love is perfect here) make the correction.

If the fear thought pops up again, remind yourself that you have asked Love to correct your thinking and you leave it there. One of the biggest steps in letting fear heal is TRUST. Again, the ego is going to want you to feel obligated to fear and that if you choose to heal, it will become very threatened and may very well amp up a bit, but don’t give in! Your vigilance is required!

Now, remember that when we have a fear thought we are going to feel a physical effect reflecting that fear. Nausea, tension, pain, and the like are all the physical effects of egoic thinking. When you have taken the steps to correct your mistaken thinking, you may still feel the residual uncomfortable physical effects of the initial fear thought, so be patient and let the effect subside, don’t judge it further which will just send you into a strong cyclical pattern of fear.

Next, also remember that we all have some pretty deep neural pathways of fear, so essentially fear is a strong habit for us which makes it easy for us to continue to think negatively once we’ve had an initial fear thought. Again, vigilance is vital to undoing your ego. Take a deep breath, and build the neural pathways of Love. Practice, practice, practice!

Make fear meaningless to you, make Love your habit, that is your Free Will.

Love and Correction,
Fiona

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Mind Health, Spirituality
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Ego and Forgiveness

Forgiveness is nicely explained through what I call the Miracle Equation:
Future – Past = Present.

Forgiveness releases the past from our idea of the future leaving us only with the present moment. I have shared before that in order to truly experience the present moment you have to do some major forgiveness work, because if you don’t, the past is going to creep up in your thoughts until you do finally decide to let it go.

Forgiveness is critical in your dissociation from the ego because forgiveness is what heals your mistaken thinking. Forgiveness is the correction.

Now, one of the ways the ego works is by keeping us focused on the past. Why? Because that is where the egos exists, in the past. The ego knows that we can choose to dissociate from it and therefore it may not necessarily be around in the future, so it preoccupies us with the past as a matter of self-preservation. This is why the ego loves to throw the past in our faces (and also loves it when we do the same to others), like dangling meat in front of a dog. It does this so we will feel obligated to fear and ultimately so we don’t trust others which reinforces the idea that we are separate, an idea which keeps the ego alive in our minds. Everything the ego does is to make us feel that we are separated from each other.

Forgiveness is what unifies us.

As with all things, there is an ego interpretation and so one of the biggest reasons I hear for someone not to forgive is that they feel that through doing so they are condoning the negativity. This is a huge misunderstanding orchestrated by the ego! So, let’s take a look at the distinction between ego and forgiveness a little more closely… When something negative is occurring (ego), you have two choices, perpetuate the negativity by choosing not to forgive OR heal the situation by choosing to forgive.

Your decision not to forgive has invited the negativity to come back around (this is what we call bad karma). Nothing screams more of condoning something than to invite it to come back around!

Forgiveness is the RELEASE from the negativity. Forgiveness opens the mind to relief! And since all minds are connected, it is not just your mind that is healing, the “perpetrators” mind is also healing through your forgiveness.

Law of the Mind: The Law of Forgiveness overtakes the Law of Karma, every time.

So, if you don’t like it, forgive it.

As, A Course in Miracles teaches, the desire to heal is the only sane response. Therefore, the ego is insane. Forgiveness is sanity.

It is important to recognize that all forgiveness is really self-forgiveness, because we are all ONE, but also because it is our judgments that make things real in our minds. So, when you are forgiving, you are forgiving your judgments of negativity, you are forgiving your judgments of someone else’s actions, you are forgiving your condemnation of another. Essentially, you are forgiving yourself for your mistaken thinking, and in so doing you are letting the ego go, correction by correction. Very mentally healthy!!

What happens next is that you become less invested in defending your ego. You actually become less tolerant of negativity and use more of your energy toward being peaceful and preserving your peace. How freeing! Isn’t this the type of inner peace that we’ve all wanted?

So, through your decision NOT to forgive, you have invited the situation to come back right around into your life in some manner. You have given the ego a free ticket to join you in the future.

Through your decision TO forgive, you have freed your mind and your future. You have actually determined what your future will look like.

Remember that when you take on forgiveness you may find yourself forgiving the same thing over and over and over again. I absolutely understand that this can seem daunting, even annoying. But know this, our karmic ego stuff is all stored at the level of the unconscious mind, and there’s a lot of stuff there! What happens as we go through life is that the unconscious material surfaces into our conscious experience, this is where we can end up being quite surprised by a negative event that just seemed to pop out of nowhere! Or we can experience the same type of situation over and over and over. But all of this negativity is there in the unconscious and it needs to be healed! So, although you may have experienced something negative and taken the time to forgive it, it may pop up again. (You may remember my personal story I shared in last week’s blog where throughout 2015 the same dynamic was playing out for me over and over, just through different people).

So, forgiveness may seem tiresome because you seem to be forgiving the same thing over and over, but think of it this way, what needs to be healed is like an onion. Layer by layer you peel an onion, it still looks like an onion, but a layer of the onion has been taken away. Forgiveness is the same. So although you feel like you’ve been forgiving the same thing over and over, trust that what you are forgiving is being removed layer by layer, it just looks the same.

Your evidence that forgiveness is working will be a mental experience. You won’t be as focused on the situation, you will begin to see the person a little differently and even have compassion for them. Essentially your thoughts and ideas about the situation will change towards a loving perspective.

“The emptiness engendered by fear must be replaced by forgiveness.”
A Course in Miracles T.1.IV.4:1

So, the next time you are questioning whether something is worth your forgiveness, think of all the benefits of forgiving, also, think of the pain and heartache you are holding onto by not forgiving. If you choose not to forgive then your mind will be busy justifying why so and so is not worthy of your forgiveness. This is a waste of your incredible mental power.

Think of all the beautiful things you could be focusing on instead!

Love and True Forgiveness,
Fiona

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Mind Health, Spirituality
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The ego… Let the Dissociation Begin!

The most important truth about the ego is that it is not real. So do not be afraid of it! If you’re afraid of it, you are judging it, and what does judging do? It makes things real in your mind. Remember this quote which was written in last week’s blog, I share it again because it is powerful and is your key to mental health…

“Do not be afraid of the ego. It depends on your mind, and as you made it by believing in it, so you can dispel it by withdrawing belief from it.”
A Course in Miracles – T.7.VIII.5:1-2

It requires work, vigilance and commitment to dispel your belief in the ego, but this type of mental work is the only thing that will lead to your true happiness.
Like Gary Renard shares, “It will take vigilance to change your mind, but that vigilance is the only thing that will lead you to happiness. There’s nothing in this world that will do it.”

In this statement Gary is not only referring to the vigilance that is required in achieving genuine happiness, he is also stating (in the last sentence) that nothing in this world will make you genuinely happy. This is a powerful distinction because it puts your power where it needs to be, at the level of your mind. Meaning, it is your perception (your mental state) which will showcase a world of happiness, peace and beauty for you. Remember that the world is simply a reflection of your state of mind.

Buddha said, “Every mind is a world.” So, what does your world look like? Your answer to this question will show you the state of your mind and will also highlight how frequently you are associating with your ego.

So, it is through our mental work of dissociating from the ego that will lead to our genuine happiness and the world will then reflect our inner state of happiness. That’s how it’s done!

Now, let the dissociation begin!

As mentioned in last week’s blog, the first step to dissociation is awareness and I encouraged you to notice when you have been identifying with the ego or reacting to its dictates. Dissociation does not need to be difficult nor need take up a lot of time, but it does require your active participation. Every time you are upset, frustrated, inpatient, melancholy, pissed off, trying to convince someone you are right, anxious, depressed, or even slightly irritated, this is the ego. Know that there are many other forms of the ego as the ego is very complex, in fact, you can trust that when a situation is complex, that’s all ego. Spirit has no interest in being complex, it is perfect, pure and true, and has no need for justification or complexity.

So, once you have recognized that you are upset the next step would be to acknowledge that you are upset not because of someone else or an external situation, but because you have been associating with the ego and you are now reacting from the ego. In this acknowledgement you are taking responsibility for having made this mistake in your thinking, which is all the ego is, a mistake in human thinking.

A Course in Miracles has an excellent affirmation you can say to help you at this point.
“I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.”
T.5.VII.6.7-9

Remember that the ego wants you to be a victim and it also wants you to feel guilty. So, although it may be tempting to put the blame for an upset on an external factor like traffic, or a person, the problem is not them, your problem is your reaction to them. The responsibility for your reactions is critical to your freedom and your peace, do not be afraid to step into this role because your mental peace depends on it.

To help you with this and to show you it can be done, I want to share a brief personal story of when I had to step into this role… In 2015 I went through 11 months of people being pissed off with me. My spiritual mentor would call this a “high burn rate”, which is where there are times, sometimes months, sometimes a couple of years, where you are hit incessantly with challenges. 2015 was my “high burn” year. Some people were upset at past decisions I had made, some were pissed off that I had used my voice to stand up for myself, and some seemed to be threatened and irritated by my simple presence in the room… ugh… BUT, and that’s a big BUT… the whole time I knew it was old ego “stuff”, my stuff, that needed to heal and I was not going to waste this amazing opportunity for healing!

I used the wisdom of A Course in Miracles to help me through. I reminded myself that with every egoic situation presented to me I had a choice, I could choose ego and blame these people for misconstruing my intentions and for straight up judging me, or I could choose Spirit and take responsibility for my reactions to them and decide to heal instead.

Of course I chose sanity, I chose to heal these situations and friendships. Like I said before, like hell I was going to waste this incredible opportunity for healing my mind!

So I got to work and took my dissociation from the ego moment by moment. It was very emotional at times to feel that level of projection and negativity, so when I needed help I would cry in my fiance’s arms or sometimes (and I’m not ashamed to say it) I would use “f#$@ it” therapy while vacuuming the house (didn’t want the neighbours to hear me cursing). When I felt like I had released enough emotion I practiced deep breathing, I watched funny movies, meditated and worked out. But the best thing I did was tell myself that the ego wasn’t real, a step I accomplished through forgiveness.

Forgiveness is so much more than what the world makes it out to be, and in next week’s blog I will get into the importance of forgiveness and why it should be part of your DAILY life.

The ego with all of its judgments, nonsense, victim-mentality, stress, fear mongering, and anger, was not me. It was not Fiona at all. I knew that I deserved better than the ego but also, and just as importantly, I knew that the people who were upset with me also deserved better than the ego. So, for everyone involved, I chose love and guess what? It worked.

All of those relationships and situations healed. Every single one of them. By the end of December 2015, I felt so much lighter and incredibly stronger!

Dissociating from the ego gives you your true power back. The confidence in who you really are (Love) comes shining through and the ego’s fear fizzles out in its light. You feel more like you and it’s an incredible gift you can give yourself. Seriously, you become less tolerant of ego crap (negativity) and you become genuinely happier and more vigilant to maintain your level of happiness.

Don’t let the ego get you and don’t fight it (that would be making it real), just calmly dissociate from it and say that voice, that ego voice, that’s not me.”

Love and Vigilance,
Fiona

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Mind Health
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What is the ego?

“The ego is a confusion in identification.”
A Course in Miracles T.7.VIII.4:7

For the sake of your mental health you would be wise to ask yourself these two questions, “What would I rather be? A victim of the ego or a mentally strong, confident and peaceful person?”

To help you find an answer I thought it would be helpful to offer some more clarification as to what the ego is and what it isn’t. The power here is that by knowing what it is, you can then begin to dissociate from it.

The ego is more than the common idea that someone is full of themselves, that idea is just one characteristic of a very complex thought system.

The ego is the representative for the thought system of fear.

Being the head master of fear though does not mean that the ego is some growling demon creeping around in hell, it simply is mis-thought, a mistake in human thinking. It is a voice in the unhealed part of your mind and it is your belief in it that keeps it around. Just like the old tale teaches, that the wolf we feed is the wolf that survives. So, like the questions I posed to you at the beginning of this blog, which would you rather be? Ego or love? This tale reiterates the same message, which wolf are you going to feed? The wolf of fear or the wolf of love?

“Do not be afraid of the ego. It depends on your mind, and as you made it by believing in it, so you can dispel it by withdrawing belief from it.”
A Course in Miracles – T.7.VIII.5:1-2

The clincher in undoing the ego is that you recognize that you are the one investing your powerful mind in the belief of the ego and that is how it survives. You are certainly not a victim to it, you are an investor in it. No one else has control over your mind and this is where the powerful Law of the Mind comes into play, the Law of Free Will. Exercise your Free Will correctly and you will never see yourself as a victim again.

Another point is that the mistakes in our thinking are to be corrected, not punished. So, for the sake of our mental health we want to focus entirely on the correction that is required, not in punishing ourselves for having a fear-based thought. The correction occurs through education, awareness, and most importantly, your vigilance to dissociate from the ego’s voice.

“The ego is a wrong-minded attempt to perceive yourself as you wish to be, rather than as you are.”
A Course in Miracles – T.3.IV.2:3

So, now we know, the ego is that chatty, annoying, self-sabotaging voice in the unhealed part of your mind.

How does the ego function?

The ego functions through perception and finding comparisons. It perceives through the eyes of fear and therefore every judgment it makes, is wrong and only seeks to perpetuate itself. The ego judges only for selfish reasons. The ego never perceives for your good, it perceives to keep itself alive. This is a major distinction which will help you to question whether you want to keep identifying with the ego, or not.

“Perception always involves some misuse of mind, because it brings the mind into areas of uncertainty.”
A Course in Miracles – T.3.IV.5:1

The ego behaves like the math functions of “greater than” (>) or “less than” (<), there is always someone you are better than or less than, and again, it is through this comparison that it survives. The ego will never see the truth of who we are in relation to others, that we are in fact “equal to” (=). Through its perception the ego sees levels and hierarchies to support its “greater than” or “less than” approach. The ego separates us through colour, gender, religion, political affiliation, class, sexual preference, nationality, neighbourhood, etc. It sees differences everywhere which is one of its diversionary tactics, a diversion from the truth that you and everyone else you see, are in fact One. Where does the ego hang out?

“Consciousness is correctly identified as the domain of the ego.”
A Course in Miracles – T.3.IV.2:2

The ego hangs out at the level of the conscious mind, when we’re awake and perceiving our world around us. You may find that when you wake up you are hit with a negative thought, that’s the ego’s way of saying “Good Morning! I’m awake!” So, with all the seconds you are awake and are perceiving the world around you, you’ve gotta be vigilant to dissociate from the ego’s noise. How to do this will be the subject of next week’s blog.

In the meantime though, I encourage you to start noticing your egoic thoughts as opposed to identifying with them which only makes them real in your own mind. So, when you find yourself aggravated, reactionary or melancholy, try and bring into your awareness that these are effects of egoic thinking. When you catch yourself in mental states like these, try and observe this state, don’t attach to it.

It is our ego’s investment in these states that leads to all mental health issues! So, using the powerful mental law of Free Will, try and see where you are making the wrong investment and recognize that you have a choice to think a better way.

Love and Free Will,
Fiona

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