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Simple, Yet Powerful Tips for Self-Love!

Hello Lovely,

Summer is with us and I always so enjoy the lightness that this season brings! With the sun shining and the weather warmer, I always feel like Summer offers the best opportunity for self-work because the environment is friendlier and honestly, who doesn’t feel better when the sun is shining?

With that in mind, I wanted to share with you 10 very practical things that I do every day to contribute to my best self! These 10 things have become part of my daily life and I find that I feel lighter, more relaxed and that also, when negative things do creep up, I feel like I’m capable and strong enough to work through them elegantly.

Here goes…

Deep Breathing – You know I’ve shared this one before and also, when you subscribed to this list you received a document on the Benefits of Deep Breathing! That is because deep breathing is at the heart of every relaxation technique and its health benefits are incredible! I find that taking 10 minutes a day to deep breathe helps me to feel peace and sustain that peaceful feeling. You can easily begin with just 2 minutes of deep breathing a day, or whatever suits you; it is vital that it remains practical for you, but the benefits you can experience are numerous.

Outside of the physical benefits like relaxing your whole system, feeding more oxygen into your body, gaining energy, and even keeping cancer at bay, you will also have mental benefits. These include clarity, mental peace, and even inspiring thoughts. So, it is important to make sure you recalibrate when you can to give yourself a mental and physical breather.

Consume Anti-Inflammatory Foods – I love food for some many reasons! It’s tasty, colourful and is what helps to fuel our bodies! Every day I ensure that I eat many foods that hold anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is at the core of almost every physical ailment, so I really do feel that it is important that we give our bodies some lovin’ and some support through the food we consume. Foods like Organic Berries, Organic Greens, Green Tea, Garlic, Onion, Ginger, Spices and Herbs; all of these are incredibly simple to add to your diet.

Drink Plenty of Water – You’ve heard this before but water cleanses our bodies, improves digestion and contributes greatly to our bodies being and feeling less dense. Drinking water also improves mental clarity and having a glass before bed lessens your chance of stroke, heart attack and also calms down cramping and restless legs. Drink it up!

Forgiveness – I take the time to forgive while I’m walking my dog as it is practical and as is important with forgiveness, I’m doing it when I feel good! Allotting 10 minutes a day to forgive the negative things which are repeating in your mind is important as you are freeing your mind of the stress of things you cannot control. This is true freedom and doesn’t need to take a lot of time. You can simply become aware of what nagging thoughts you are having and where your ego is judging, then forgive these mistakes in your thinking and let them go in peace. You can’t control everything and you don’t have to either, but you can forgive.

Stretch/Walk – This is a two-in-one! It is important to keep the body moving in healthful, relaxed ways, and stretching and walking both accomplish this. Also, when we do both of these, we are releasing negative energy that has been stored in our bodies. And, whenever we work out our brain releases Serotonin, the feel-good chemical, so you are very simply improving your mood by moving your body gently. Easy!

The Mirror Exercise – Say “I love you” to yourself while looking in the mirror. This is a Louise Hay exercise and it does incredible things for your self-esteem. How often do we truly take the opportunity to acknowledge how we feel about ourselves in a positive manner? It is important to do so because you can’t give what you don’t have, so you need to acknowledge the love that you are so you can offer it to those you care about. This is a selfless act and is necessary for good mental health and for dissolving that sense of guilt we all carry. Although it may be uncomfortable at first, you are doing yourself and everyone else in your life a great service! Comfortably be the love which you are.

Laugh – It is important for us to acknowledge that ALL of the negativity in our lives has come from us taking the negativity seriously. Whether it is thoughts or the actions of others, there is a part of us that decided that this negativity was real and worthy of our investment and reaction. This is ego identification and we all know what this feels like! But now that we are on the path to self-improvement, we can all simply recognize that we do not need to invest in negativity if we don’t want to. And this is where laughter comes in! Laughing helps us to shift our energy from seriousness and fear, to light-heartedness and love. We are allowed to feel good but we are the ones who have to make such a decision. Laughter is also known as the best medicine, so you are improving your physical health as well! Remembering also that the mind is the cause, the body is an effect, so when we our minds are happy our bodies will reflect that.

Ask for Guidance – I never make a decision by myself. There is a part of our minds that is in full communication with Divinity and so when faced with anything I like to ask that part of my Mind for guidance and support. Whatever this may look like for you, whether you refer to it as your calmer mind, your happy mind or if you call it God Itself, there is a part of us that is connected to Wisdom and Knowledge. We all know what this feels like; those sparks of inspiration, clarity or purpose, there is no one who has not had thoughts which reflect these qualities. So, why not access It more often? A Course in Miracles teaches that if we knew who walked beside us on the path that we have chosen, fear would be impossible. So, like I shared, whatever this connection looks like for you is perfect for you. We will all do this in our own way and that’s good.

Connect – Following the asking for Guidance is Connection. Like taking the 10 minutes a day to forgive, you can also allot time to just relax and connect with the calmer part of your Self. Some do this through Gratitude exercises and some do it through Meditation, but again, it is personal and must feel good and practical for you. Connecting with Love (or whatever term you prefer) is important for your mental health because, like the “I love you” exercise, it helps to dissolve that nagging feeling of guilt the ego identifies with. So, in an effort to bring your best self forward, you have to connect with that best Self on a regular basis; think habit systems. Like I have shared before, just as we can invest in fear, we can invest in love, and Connection with Love is a way we can commit to a healthier investment.

White Light Exercise – And finally, an exercise which is to be done in the evening is the White Light exercise. Many spiritual thought systems teach about the power of visualization and certainly it is a powerful device. Studies show that visualization contributes greatly to success and has even been tested on basketball players and has proven to be an asset to their success. For more on the topic of visualization I recommend reading “The Champion’s Mind” by Jim Afremow. So, we can use the art of visualization to our advantage… when you are in bed, before you go to sleep, envision white light (or any colour you prefer) moving through your body and surrounding it. You can even go as far as to envision the light moving through your cells, nerves and organs. This exercise will calm your mind and help you sleep and also leaves your mind in a healing state while you sleep, awesome!!

So, there you have it! 10 practical yet powerful things I do every day to contribute to my mental and therefore bodily health. I hope you resonate with some or all of them and give them a try. The benefits are yours for the taking!

Love and True Well-Being,
Fiona

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The Purpose of Presence

Presence is at the core of our being. It is a state of awareness without judgment. Or, as Eckhart Tolle would describe it, when you become the Observer of the voice in your head.

There is a reason for practicing presence. More than just simply being aware of your surroundings, being present offers you all of your answers, as well as a tangible level of inner peace. It is the most solid of foundations that you could ever create for yourself.

There is a reason people meditate and do yoga (and have been doing so for centuries), it is because practices like these invite presence and guess what? Presence feels good… really good.

So, here are some feel good benefits of practicing presence…

Resiliency – the ability to not react when things happen, but to remain calm and observe the situation.

Confidence – being present develops this sense of self that can be hard to describe, but it’s almost like you know that you are choosing the wiser path, the happier path, by remaining present as frequently as possible. This incredible sense of self is confidence.

Focus – Being present helps you to develop focus because you are dissociating from your ego’s chatter. You will also be taking in important information that you could have otherwise missed because you could have been playing out an ego scenario in your mind.

Connection – One of my favourite benefits of presence is connection. This is when you truly feel the person you are speaking with. Or when you really feel the love of your pet by your side. I even practice this when I’m out walking, I still my mind and feel the peaceful energy of nature all around me. It’s invigorating! There is life energy all around us, we just need to stop and connect with it.

Trust – Being present helps you to develop that level of trust that everything really is okay. You begin to see that what is going on around you is different people playing out their different stories, you can play along, or not. But, either way, you see the stillness behind the busy-ness, and it is this stillness which lets you know that everything actually is okay.

Peace – the ego is complex and it loves to tell a tale. Practicing presence helps you to feel removed from the ego’s stories, so much so that at some point you will truly recognize that the voice in your head isn’t actually you. This is peace.

Solutions – A Course in Miracles teaches that all answers come to a quiet mind. Whether you are thinking about what to do as a career, or for retirement, and even as to what to make for dinner or what to wear to an event, all of your answers are found in the wisdom of presence. Why is this? Because you are tapping into who you really are. Think of it this way, you can’t find a solution if you’re too busy unraveling whatever concept your ego has given you, can you? Your mind is too unfocused when it is analyzing and analysis is an ego trait. I teach that the only point in time you should be analyzing is when you’re figuring out a math problem. Even then, practicing presence would be very helpful for you to figure out that math problem. But you see my point; life, emotions, issues, they do not require analysis, they require peace, presence, and space. Clarity then comes forth and all things are resolved in peace.

How to Be Present

Practice quieting your mind at every opportunity…

Welcome the gap between your thoughts. Once you have that gap, let it grow.
Take a mental step back from judging your surroundings, meaning, observe without attaching or labeling objects.

Deep breathe for a few minutes, uninterrupted each day. Challenge yourself; begin with one minute of deep breathing, then add a minute as it gets easier for you. (Remember the benefits of deep breathing document you received when you first signed up for my blog.)

Invite your family to be present with you. Introduce it and model it. Deep breathe together before bed (an excellent way to get children to calm down) or you could take a few deep breaths together in the morning to help everyone focus before the day continues. Or do both!

When waiting in the coffee line-up, ignore your phone and practice your presence. Breathe in the aroma of coffee, hear the café music, feel your feet firmly standing on the ground, and let your muscles relax.

You could also practice presence any other time you are waiting, like when you’re stopped at a red light, or waiting in line at the grocery store. You could even take the initiative to allot few minute intervals throughout your day to just sit and feel peace.

The positive thing about being present is that you actually end up craving those moments of solace and solitude. These moments are very mentally healthy. My dear friend and Mindfulness colleague, Tamara Hackett (www.tamarahackett.com), describes taking moments of peace as a way of developing your Mindful muscle. Like when you lift weights then notice that your grocery bags are lighter. Tamara describes that your Mindful muscle also get stronger as you use it, and that you will really notice the benefits when you are faced with challenging moments.

Presence is the center of your inner peace. It is the place where the healthy and happy you exists! Go there more often.

Love and Presence,
Fiona

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The Undeniable and Amazing Effects of Kindness

“Psychiatrists were so convinced of the power of service that they believed that the methods led to ‘organic changes in brain matter.’”

I came across a book the other day which warmed my heart! It is called “The Side Effects of Kindness” by David R. Hamilton.

In this amazing read, David shares the science behind being kind. Turns out that being kind has some astounding effects on our mental state and our bodies! Being kind has been proven to help people overcome depression, low self-esteem as well as suicidal thoughts, and also has proven cardiovascular protective properties.

None of this surprises me, as we all know that negativity causes a great amount of NEEDLESS stress on our bodies as it degrades our mental health. But, it is helpful to hear the numerous and incredible positive effects that being kind creates! It helps to keep us focused on LOVE, which we could all use a little help with.

The physical effects of kindness are well documented and specifically include the love hormone, Oxytocin (NOT to be confused with OxyContin!).

Oxytocin is a hormone released when we think about loving things, like our affection for someone, or when we are doing something helpful and loving for someone else. Mothers, for example, release Oxytocin during childbirth and also when they are breastfeeding or thinking about their beautiful newborn. Oxytocin creates nitric oxide (known as the miracle molecule) which relaxes our arterial walls allowing for improved blood flow to our heart and other organs, and also lowers our blood pressure. Essentially, Oxytocin prevents and can even reverse cardiovascular disease!

That’s some pretty amazing effects for some loving thoughts! Or as the Association for Research and Enlightenment stated in their Venture Inward Magazine, “Oxytocin is a physical reflection of a spiritual condition.”

Being kind also contributes greatly to overall wellbeing as stated by the Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project added this to their “5 Ways to Mental Wellbeing”, “Give… Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness as linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.”

So, why is being kind so good for us? It is because all minds are connected and as we treat others, we treat ourselves. Also, when we are kind to others, we are choosing to unify, this is always loving. It is when we choose to separate from others by being unkind and judgmental that we mentally hurt ourselves. It is never healthy to hurt others and you will never be immune from the negative effects of doing so.

Remember… “To give and to receive are one in truth.” – A Course in Miracles

Being kind is of huge benefit for you personally and for mankind. A Course in Miracles teaches that an act of love is never wasted. If for some reason someone rejects your kindness, the love you gave them is held for them in the collective mind until they are ready to receive. So, never feel that a smile is wasted, or a good deed is no longer good because the receiver didn’t thank you. They will get there in time, and always and forever, you will be the kind person who smiled at them and showed them love.

So, I’ve said it before and I will say it again – being kind, having fun and immersing yourself fully in the love in which you truly are is HEALTHY for you in every possible way! To be love is the sane choice.

Love and Kindness,
Fiona

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The Love of Humility

Think of the last time you witnessed someone be truly humble…

Was it a CEO owning up to his company’s mistakes and that they would do everything in their power to be rectify the situation?

Was it your spouse admitting that they were irrational about a situation and recognized that?

Perhaps it was someone who finally decided to ask for help.

When someone is truly humble, I personally find it inspiring! I think how brave, responsible and honest that person is. I also see how much they must value me, others or society as a whole, to step up and say they made a mistake or accept help.

Those with healthy sense of humility are powerful teachers!

They demonstrate to us all the power of forgiveness, honesty and that all mistakes can and will be corrected.

Essentially, they are stopping the cycle of egoic pride in place of peace, communication and understanding.

Certainly this requires an enormous amount of personal strength! And it is something to be valued.

Those who can take responsibility for themselves are clearly aware that their words and actions affect others. They are taking responsibility for the only thing they can truly control, themselves.

I once had someone admit to me that they were making fun of me behind my back. I never knew they were doing this and could happily have continued on thinking that this person was okay with my presence in this world. But, to have them own up to what they did and how they realized they made a mistake was truly inspiring to me.

How strong I think this person is! She is a powerful soul and I believe she is a powerful teacher. Her selfless act of humility reminds me to always be humble, and for this, I am eternally grateful. Also, I trust her implicitly.

When we are humble, we are dissociating from our egos thoughts and deeds. When we are humble, we are owning up to the loving Spirit in which we truly are.

“With humility, all the contributing factors can be examined, and recovery from every very serious, near-fatal conditions can be achieved, as is seen in spiritually-based recovery groups.”
Dr. David Hawkins – Transcending the Levels of Consciousness

The truth is, we are allowed to make mistakes. This world is a classroom, and none of us will have a perfectly simple physical experience. We are all in this classroom together, and I believe we need to be gentle with each other and ourselves in order for our learning to reach completion. We deserve to offer each other a safe place to learn, for certainly, we have all made mistakes. And for this mistakes which are particularly difficult to swallow, we can at least recognize that the other person needs mental support in order to get to a better place in their minds where they no longer hurt others.

“From previous studies, it was learned that everyone is born under optimal conditions for karmic opportunities; therefore, it is wise to judge not, for what appears as misery or catastrophe may be the doorway to liberation for those who have negative karma to undo. Thus, seemingly catastrophic events may be the very essential and necessary elements for the evolution of the soul.”
Dr. David Hawkins – Transcending the Levels of Consciousness

As we move through this physical experience, we know we are going to encounter our challenges. These challenges are our opportunities to heal! But we will never heal if we do not become humble enough to learn from our mistakes and life’s inevitable hiccups.

The ego’s grandiose pride will tell you that you are weak if you are humble, for to be humble will bring peace, and the ego does not value peace. The ego insists upon chaos and projection; these will never be found in humility.

A Course in Miracles teaches that we want to become happy learner, humility is the key to being a happy learner.

Love and Gratitude,
Fiona

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Less Dense

Have you ever felt that you are filled with heaviness, like you’re carrying around Jacob Marley’s ball and chains?

This weight can be either emotional or physical and is a tell-tale sign that you’re holding onto negativity of some sorts.

It’s not a comfortable feeling, the heaviness, and although it may not be totally unbearable, it can be quite fatiguing to feel it all the time.

In the spiritual world we refer to this heaviness as feeling “dense.” The body feels dense and emotional misgivings also feel dense. One could surmise that the old saying, “lighten up!” originated as a hopeful remedy to the uncomfortable feeling of heaviness.

When you recognize that you are feeling dense, heavy or melancholy, that is your red flag to take some action! So, here are some tips on how to lighten up!

To alleviate physical heaviness you can….

Deep Breathe – Breath work is an excellent way to rid your body of tension, it is also the easiest! Take a moment, hopefully in a quiet area, to slow down your breathing. As you do this, envision your muscles relaxing, focusing particularly on the areas where we hold tension, like our stomachs, backs, hips, shoulders and jaws. Breathe deeply into your abdomen and as you breathe out let the air move slowly past your teeth, tongue and out your lips.

Straighten Up – One of the ways we end up feeling heavy is because of our posture. Have you ever noticed the posture of someone who is upset? Shoulders hunched forward and head down, sometimes they’re even sitting in the fetal position. This causes great strain in the back and adds to the physical discomfort of feeling heavy. So, if you notice your posture is poor, correct it. Straighten your back, lift your shoulders up one inch then bring them back an inch or so. Next, (and this is a big one!) put your head up! It is harder to think of and hold onto negative, emotional thoughts if your head is up! This is scientifically proven, as when you look up the visual part of your brain is triggered and you move out of your limbic, emotional brain which is triggered when we look down.

Add More Sunshine – Take advantage of when it is sunny out! You can do some deep breathing outside in the sunshine if weather permits, but if it’s cold, yet sunny, sit inside next to the window and get some rays on your skin! The light and warmth from the sun is enough to help lift anyone’s mood, so don’t be shy to take a moment and bask in the sunshine. If it is cloudy out, I turn on some warm lighting like my Grandmother’s old softly-hued lamp and I also turn on my salt lamps. The warm hue mimics the sun and brings a level of comfort to my environment. This definitely helps to keep me feeling lighter both physically and emotionally.

Drink Water – The body is easily made less dense by us drinking more water. As water moves through our bodies it cleanses and flushes out toxins while also hydrating our many cells. It is actually quite simple to create the habit of drinking more water when you think about how beneficial it is for your body! Every sip you know helps to purify and fuel your body. You can easily jazz up your water with citrus, fruit or fresh herbs. I like to drink hot water as I find it soothing and it relaxes my system. However you can help yourself to incorporate more water into your daily life, rock it out! You’re worth it and your body will thank you!

To alleviate emotional heaviness…

Forgive – This really is the key to overall lightness. Forgiveness releases stress from our minds therefore helping us to be less preoccupied with negative past events. Grudges, anger, sadness and all emotional pain can easily be released through your practice of forgiveness and it is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself!

Chill on the Judgment – Consistently judging things is a sure way to add stress and tension and therefore heaviness to your life. When you find yourself upset or agitated, give yourself permission to chill out. Stop judging whatever it is you’ve been judging and relax your mind. This may be a good time to follow your breath, watch something funny, do something physical or meditate. Practicing the art of non-judgment is truly freeing and contributes to your mental discipline.

I hope these tips help with keeping you feeling light, as you are meant to be! Implement them for you are worth a healthy, peaceful mind and a relaxed body.

Love and Feeling Peace,
Fiona

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Turn the Other Cheek

‘Turn the Other Cheek!”

This is an incredibly old and wise statement, but it is also widely misinterpreted. Many believe that it means that once you’ve been smacked, turn your cheek so you can get smacked again! Does this seem wise? Does it seem sane? No, not really.
There is a deeper and more helpful psychology to this statement, so let’s delve in!
One of the main messages I share is that you are not a victim of others. You are strong, powerful and perfectly capable in every way. We all are!

When it comes to conflict with others this is where we have the opportunity to really show how resilient and powerful we can be! And we want to show this resiliency not just for ourselves, but as a demonstration of love and strength to the other party.

“Turn the other cheek” does not mean, “hit me again”, it actually means, “You cannot hurt me.” This is a huge distinction!

If someone cannot hurt you and you tell them as much, then you are openly acknowledging their innate Spiritual innocence. Only the ego hurts others, so we want to remind others and ourselves that we are not the ego and that the ego cannot affect us. This helps greatly with undoing us from ego identification and is very healthy for the collective psyche!

If we decide to remain a “victim” then we are amplifying the ego in ourselves and others. Also, when we judge someone as guilty and punish them, we are only making the feeling of guilt stronger within them and the consequences of this are not so pretty. Sadness, self-hate, shame, embarrassment, hatred, revenge and the like all stem from this place of “you did me wrong!” So, we are again, amplifying the ego in ourselves and others because it is only our egos that would make someone feel guilty and it is only our egos that would accept that ego judgment as true. We amplify their guilt by responding to their negative behaviour and seeing it as a real attack upon us. But, this is an ego trap we don’t want to step into for it puts us in a place of being a victim and them as victimizers.

We quite simply need to be stronger than that!

I once had someone who was very upset with me, and they let me know about it. Although I felt that they were unjustified in their feelings, I did recognize very clearly that they were in a bad place. There was a lot going on in their life and although I was admittedly hurt by their feelings about me, I knew they were also in mental pain and I didn’t want to contribute to that pain and make my own pain worse. So, in my email reply to them I wrote, “Your opinion of me does not affect my opinion of myself. Your opinion of me does not affect my opinion of you.” I reminded them that I do like them and care about their feelings and that I would not take any part in this negativity, but when they were ready to speak in a calm manner, I was absolutely willing to have that calm and loving conversation.

We need to rise above the ego temptation to say “poor me” because if we remain in victim-mode, no healing occurs. No good and no healing would have come from me feeling like a victim of that person. I knew that in the interest of peace, I had to rise above my own pain with forgiveness in my heart, in order to see their life situation and that they were not a mean person, they were a hurt person.

Negative moments can easily be used for what they are truly for, healing.

Negativity can catapult us to a place of higher awareness, where we recognize our inner strength. But, we will never heal if we are too busy being a victim and making someone else feel guilty.

The biggest thing to know that will help with turning the other cheek is the remembrance that hurt people hurt. So those who do lash out at us are coming from a place of self-pain. Never discount this, because it is true. We all know what it’s like to be in a place of mental anguish; we are sensitive, reactionary and vulnerable. In this state we require patience and compassion from those around us in order to help us through it, and others deserve the same from us when they are going through something, whether we know them personally, or not.

We can certainly learn to handle negativity differently, better and in a solution-focused, non-accusatory manner. And this all begins with turning the other cheek!

Love and Peace,
Fiona

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The Habit of Seeking

As humans, we have a habit of searching and it is the ego prompting the search. We are receiving a constant directive to search outside of ourselves for meaning, for happiness, for love.

This is a major error and a useless habit.

If we continue to search outside of ourselves for meaning, we will be lost, searching forever.

The truth that all we require is already within us. It has to be there because of the simple (yet I understand hard to believe) truth, that Love, Source, God, It is part of you, not outside of you. The sooner you recognize this, the better your life will be and the more you will relax into the truth that you really need not search for anything, including Love. You’re it! You’re ALL of it!

In Gary Renard’s book, The Disappearance of the Universe, it is taught that it is the arrogance of the ego which tells us that we are not part of Love. But really the arrogance is thinking we are separate from our Source, from Love. How’s that for a switcheroo in thinking?!

So, you are not arrogant for thinking that you are perfect love, you’re actually right on point. And the more you identify with love, the more the experience of being love will be real for you, the evidence will speak for itself.

The Love which is present in our lives through our romantic relationships, familial relationships, even the love of a pet, these are representative of the Love which is within us and that we have extended out into the world! The beauty of a flower, the joy of playing your favourite sport, or even having a case of side-splitting giggles, these are reflections of love. You can see love in a work of art, in an animal, in nature… all of it. The point is that you are the one seeing it, therefore it’s coming from you. To “see” literally means to “perceive.” So, it’s all up to your state of mind!

This is why the eternal quest for Love outside of you is therefore senseless because it comes from your perception.

The reality is that we attract those who are like us into our spheres. We partner up with these attractors in many ways and they can show up as business partners, spouses, siblings, friends and even enemies.

Essentially, you can see how you’re doing with your attraction levels by taking a good look at those you decide to spend time with. This could be a good realization, or a bad one.

One of my favourite books, Love Without Conditions, teaches that, “You demonstrate love by giving it unconditionally to yourself. And, as you do, you attract others into your life who are able to love you without conditions.”

Powerful wisdom! And so true.

It continues by stating, “Your attempt to find love outside yourself always fails, because you cannot receive from another something you haven’t given to yourself. When you withhold love from yourself, you attract others into your life who are doing the same thing.”

We really never give ourselves credit for our major role as the Director of our lives, and the reason for this is because the ego wants to keep us irresponsible for our own happiness and helpless victims of a cruel and senseless world. Why does it do this? So, it can survive. The ego doesn’t survive in the presence of love, so if we discover that we are love itself, the ego dissolves. The ego is very threatened by this and is why it is such a struggle for us to feel secure in love, peace and joy. A Course in Miracles teaches that we are actually afraid of love more than we are afraid of fear because of this ego dynamic.

Essentially, we are the ones who need to develop and strengthen our relationship with Love. It is part of us, we just need to let it grow.

So, how can you incorporate more self-love into your life? Will you be more patient with yourself? Forgive more frequently? Take time to breathe and relax? Give yourself permission to enjoy the hug from your loved one? What does self-love look like to you? Explore and let yourself be happy, everyone around you will thank you.

Remember, you can’t give what you don’t have. Love yourself, others, and the world a little more.

Unconditional Love,
Fiona

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What if Everything Actually is Okay?

“There is one thought that should be remembered throughout the day. It is a thought of pure joy; of peace.”
A Course in Miracles

Have you ever felt the relief of knowing that everything is okay? For a moment you genuinely feel peace; you may take a deep, relaxing breath or a sense of euphoria may come over you.

We’ve all had this feeling to some extent and it is truly a blissful experience.

So, why can’t we feel this way more often?

The truth is, we can!

I once held a class where I was sharing about the power of the mind and a gentleman raised his hand and asked me, “So, how do we become happy?”

I simply replied, “You have to choose it. It’s a conscious decision.”

It is your free will to choose for happiness and peace, and no one can take your free will from you. Your mind is yours, the power is in your hands.

I understand that this may all seem easier said than done, but why is that?

It’s because of our sense of self-worth. If you don’t feel like you’re worth it, you’re not going to do anything positive for yourself. All good work comes from the motivation that the project, goal or in this case, person, is worth it! You’re never going to commit if you don’t feel that you are worth the incredible work it takes to commit to building the habit of happiness.

“The problem is not one of concentration; it is the belief that no one, including yourself, is worth consistent effort.”
A Course in Miracles – T.p.63-4

The ego has set us up to have a consistent feeling of doom and gloom, an underlying fear potent enough to always be felt to some degree.

Of course you know, this is ego. But, it is very important to recognize where the ego is at work in your life so you can overcome it. So, are you done with feeling a consistent level of fear?

I know I am!

So, here are some actions steps to help you know that everything actually is okay…

First, recognize that you are worth being happy! You deserve to heal from your mistakes (which also stops you from repeating them) and you deserve to be the best person you can be! Because, a happy you helps everyone and the world!

Second, trust that you are where you are meant to be at this moment. A Course in Miracles teaches that we can’t help but be at the right place at the right time. To help with this idea remember that if you feel you are stuck in some negative situation, then that situation is occurring so you can heal it to move past it. Nothing is without purpose! So, take some control and forgive the situation, see it differently so you can heal it and move on!

Third, release your day to Spirit! This will help you to release your ego’s control and it puts your mind in the right place. Every morning say, “Spirit, you please be in charge of ALL of my thoughts and ALL of my actions today.” Easy. Let the day flow from there.

Fourth, build the habit of feeling that everything is actually okay. Allot pockets of time throughout your day to commit to this idea. Sit in a quiet space, even just for a moment and feel peace. You need to develop this idea within your own mind to help it grow, so it will take practice, but remember that the mind is malleable, so good ideas require your hard work!

Remember that you are worth the commitment, and it is a commitment! I love what Gabrielle Bernstein teaches, that it may take time and energy to feel good, but it also takes time and energy to feel like shit. So, where are you going to put your time and energy? You’re going to feel one way or the other, which is up to you.

Love and You’re Worth It,
Fiona

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Mind Health
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Don’t be Sorry

In this week’s blog I am sharing about something which we all do, that is no good for us! It is saying, “I’m sorry.”

As a Canadian this is particularly tricky as a large part of our cultural identity is to apologize for the simplest of things, all the time. Truly, I am curious, what are we actually feeling so sorry and guilty for?

Canadian culture aside, guilt is a driving motivator for ALL the NEGATIVITY in the entire world! Nothing good ever comes from acting from your guilt, for when we do things because we feel guilty, we are only compounding the guilt in our minds.

Guilt is ever present, subtly hanging out in the unconscious mind fueling the ego and popping up here and there to scare you!

We were all taught that it was polite to say “I’m sorry” after making a mistake, but it’s not the healthiest thing to do for your self-esteem.

To understand this we have to remember the sensitivity of our unconscious minds. The level of the unconscious mind is expansive and it is the level where ALL the information we take in, goes to. Even the things we don’t remember we were exposed to, they head straight to the unconscious mind. Information like what our peripheral vision sees, or conversations going on in the background. Also, our quips or snap judgments which we make about ourselves or others, although brief, these head straight to the unconscious mind. These judgments, all of this information, it is never gone. So, we need to be careful about that which we choose to judge, for everything that we judge, we are binding ourselves to!

Now, let’s take a closer look at the word “sorry.” It seems pretty harmless and even polite, but I assure you that it is quite the opposite.

If you look up “sorry” in the dictionary you will see that the origin of the word stems from fear-based words and ideas. For example, in Old English the word “sorry” derives from “distressed, grieved and full of sorrow”; in Proto-Germanic, “painful”; in Middle Dutch, “sore, sad”; and in Old High German “sore, full of sores, pain” (physical and mental), relating to “suffering, sick and ill.” Meaning of “wretched, worthless and poor”… ugh.

The synonyms for “sorry” (used in different manners) include; regretful, sympathetic, pitying, unhappy, depressed, sorrowing, grievous, mournful, painful, abject, contemptible, worthless, and shabby.

If we, for some reason, at the end of reading this unfriendly list of words require further clarification we are invited to check out the definition of “wretched.”

Again, ugh…

Using a word like “sorry” is simply not good for your psyche, and your mind knows it.

Not all is lost though! As it is humble to acknowledge our mistakes and it is important to be compassionate and polite to each other, we can use some replacement terms. I replace “sorry” with the words “pardon” or “excuse.”

For example, “Please excuse my lateness, I got lost on the way here.” Or, “Oh, that’s what you meant! Pardon me, I mistook what you said.”

Now, if you’re going to invest in making this switch, know that you’re going to have egos who will want you to say “I’m sorry” for this or that. If someone really wants you to say “I’m sorry” then keep in mind that it is their ego that wants to hear that word. The ego wants you to feel guilty and it wants you to own it.

As usual, when it comes to the ego, you need not play along and that is always your choice and your free will.

So, for fun, let’s take a look at the origin of the word, “pardon.”

“To grant, to forgive.”

Oh look! One of my favourite things, forgiveness! The only thing which heals the mind of its ego identification.

Remember that the ego believes that you are a sinner, deserving of punishment and death. It is this belief which perpetuates all the world’s problems. Sin, punish, sin, punish, sin, punish. The whole time this cycle continues, negative karma accumulates and the feeling of guilt compounds for both “sinner” and “punisher” while in turn making the “punisher” a “sinner” and vice versa. Messy, right? That’s ego!

The only thing which breaks the ego’s sick cycle of hell is forgiveness. Remember it this way, the Law of Forgiveness overtakes the Law of Karma, every time. Meaning, there is a way out of mental hell.

As I never like to perpetuate guilt, I am always aware of the words I use, because I know that my sensitive unconscious mind has its ears wide open! So words like “sorry”, I have no time for. If I catch myself saying it, it’s all good, but I do take the time to correct myself in my mind and I say…

“I am not sorry. I am not guilty. I know what I am, I am innocent.”

If someone says they are sorry to me, I politely say, “Please don’t ever be sorry. It’s all good.”

You may wonder, are we letting someone off the hook by doing this? Your ego would say yes, but your Spirit knows better. We don’t want to set ourselves up as judge, jury and executioner. This is very unhealthy for the mind and leads to a lot of mental clutter.

If you are having trouble moving past something and you do want an apology from someone, that’s all good, just simply be aware and be gentle with yourself. This is a process; it’s personal and it’s all done in your mind. It really is, for you.

The mind needs time to get used to new ideas, but it is our willingness which helps us get there.

Love and Inner Peace,
Fiona

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Healthy Tips, Mind Health, Spirituality
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My Self-Help Book List!

Hello Lovely,

I have been on the self-improvement path for twelve years, seven of those years have been as a Teacher, where I have taught the theory of the metaphysical program, A Course in Miracles, and also on the topics of Relationships, the power of the Subconscious Mind and how to overcome anxiety. I have also, as you know, authored a children’s book, where I introduce to children how the mind functions and offer communication tips for caring adults in the accompanying parental guide. All of this means that I have read a TON of books!!

All of them on the topic of mental health and how the mind functions.

In fact, the last fictional book I read was the Da Vinci Code when it was first released. So, I’ve been all up in the non-fiction, self-help world for over a decade.

So, I wanted to share the books that I have found to be both eloquent and helpful in their own unique way.

Their teachings reflect my own passionate quest for understanding myself and our collective purpose here on earth.

As what prompted me to delve into self-help was a bout of anxiety, I began with the book “From Panic to Power” by Lucinda Bassett. This book was critical in helping me out of anxiety as it normalized all of my feelings and even presented the commonalities in people’s fears. These commonalities made it clear to me that the ego was just playing a game with me, and fear’s working became transparent. This book is a gentle first step towards relief for anyone who is going through anxiety! Expose the fear with this helpful book.

Next on the must-read list is, The Disappearance of the Universe” by Gary Renard. As you know, I quote this book a lot. It is ideal for students of, or those interested in reading, A Course in Miracles. If you plan on reading this book, be prepared to spend some time with it, it took me about two months to complete it. The reason for why it takes so long is not that it is lengthy, (it’s longer than most books but nothing compared to The Pillars of the Earth), but it takes long because it challenges your present perceptions. If you’re looking for a mental challenge, put down the “brain games” and give this book a try! It’s humorous with some tasty historical tidbits and makes the path of enlightenment desirable and achievable. Open your mind and delve in! To read excerpts from this book visit http://www.garyrenard.com/Preview.htm

“The ego is a master illusionist. From your birth it diverts your attention by giving you – and this calls for another drum roll, please – problems.” The Disappearance of the Universe

Let the mind bending continue with “A Vast Illusion” by the late Kenneth Wapnick. This book delves into the illusion of time and how we can use our experience in time for the best possible purpose, forgiveness. This book is excellent for students of, A Course in Miracles, who are curious about the science behind the theory of ACIM. This book also explains the personal detriment of holding onto grudges, or fear of any kind. (Yes, there is a correlation between the experience of time and choosing fear.) It would be difficult not to forgive after reading this book. Personal responsibility is what you can expect after reading this hidden gem.

“This interpretation ties the future to the present, and extends the present rather than the past. But if you interpret your function as destruction, you will lose sight of the present and hold on to the past to ensure a destructive future.” Kenneth Wapnick

One of my favourites on this list is, Power vs. Force by Dr. David Hawkins! It is one of my faves because it exposes how horrible aspartame is for the human body, but also because it brings to light the differences in human experience consequently inviting a more compassionate viewpoint of others. In this book you will also find one of my go-to resources, “The Map of Consciousness.” This map highlights the human emotional experience and the corresponding actions and vibrational levels (read this book to learn more about vibrational levels, very cool) of the emotions. Ultimately this book teaches that we have the Power of Love within each of us, and that this power for good is what will bring personal peace and joy.

“This is the first time the anatomy of consciousness itself has been delineated in pure form in its entirety…” Dr. David Hawkins

Next up, another one of my favourites, Love Without Conditions by Paul Ferinni. If you want to learn what real love is, this book is for you. Simply through reading it, you become more compassionate both for yourself and your human experience, but also the collective human experience. It teaches that we cannot fix others but that we can certainly love them and love them without conditions. Essentially, if you’ve ever wondered how you can be the love which you truly are, this book guides you to that truth. Implement its principles and your day will go well.

“You demonstrate love by giving it unconditionally to yourself. And, as you do, you attract others into your life who are able to love you without conditions.
Your attempt to find love outside yourself always fails, because you cannot receive from another something you haven’t given to yourself. When you withhold love from yourself, you attract others into your life who are doing the same thing.”
Love Without Conditions, pg. 50

If you’re sick of your self-talk, The Untethered Soul, will quickly become your best friend. Written in layman’s terms and through relatable examples, Michael A. Singer, guides us through the annoying inner roommate, how we build up defenses against our own happiness and ends with the importance of our relationship with Source. I personally loved that peppered throughout this book are practical exercises to release resistance and increase self-awareness. If you’re an anxious person, this book would be number two for you to read after “From Panic to Power.” The helpfulness offered by this book makes it worth millions. Personal happiness is on the other side of this cover.

“To end suffering, you must first realize that your psyche is not okay. You must then acknowledge that it does not have to be that way. It can be healthy. It is truly a gift just to realize that you don’t have to put up with, or protect, your psyche.” Michael A. Singer

Now, for something a little different… Elon Musk – Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance. I always appreciate a big thinker! I feel the world needs people who demonstrate incredible courageousness, and who relinquish the need for external opinion. Enter, Elon Musk… at least, his biography.

From getting his arse kicked repeatedly by bullies and enduring the stern, endless ramblings of his father, all the way to consistently dismissing naysayers, losing a child and blowing up a few rockets as an adult, Elon has proven to be a shining light in the entrepreneurial and visionary world! His biography is both interesting and inspiring and truly proves that you can start with a few dollars and unwavering personal belief to become a game changer for the entire human race. Literally, you can reach the stars!

“‘I came to the conclusion that really we should aspire to increase the scope and scale of human consciousness in order to better understand what questions to ask.’ The teenage Musk then arrived at his ultralogical mission statement. ‘The only thing that makes sense to do is strive for greater collective enlightenment,’ he said.” Elon Musk

Now onto my favourite realm, the realm of happiness; The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. This book is loaded with SCIENCE, specifically, the science of happiness. I always enjoy it when fear is shown to be nothing but a hindrance and we are given permission to be happy (what a concept). After reading this book I am now shamelessly able to watch Billy Connolly skits, because, guess what? It’s good for me and it makes me a better person 😉 Seriously, a giggle goes a long way and this book shares how and why to include “being happy” in your daily regimen. Most importantly, it shares that we should focus on our inner happiness in order to gain external success! So, there you have it, lose the useless fear and go watch something funny!

“Science has shown that seeking out the positive has too many tangible advantages to be dismissed as mere cockeyed optimism or wishful thinking.” Shawn Achor

Now, I present ancient wisdom, the Tao Te Ching. I love this book, its wisdom radiates through its cover and sucks you into a world of a-ha moments! When I’m feeling mentally agitated, I read from the Tao Te Ching. Written by Lao Tzu (meaning “Old Master”), the Tao Te Ching is presented in 81 short sections and although it is over 2500 years old, its meaningfulness has not changed, and it never will. Its correlations with the teachings of, A Course in Miracles, are obvious proving that the truth does not change, it is simply presented in different forms. I highly recommend reading the Tao Te Ching, it invites you to take the higher road.

“There are three jewels that I cherish: compassion, moderation, and humility. With compassion, you will be able to be brave, with moderation, you will be able to give to others, with humility, you will be able to become a great leader.” Lao Tzu

And finally, my literary true love, A Course in Miracles. This book is actually a guide to the undoing of the ego and a path to enlightenment. It is also a lifelong companion. Like the Tao Te Ching, every word is purposeful and there is no error. A truly uncompromising work. Self-described as “simple”, A Course in Miracles, states that it is our egos which make things difficult. ACIM teaches about the mind, the different mental levels and the functioning of both the ego and Spirit. If you’re ready to question every value that you hold, lay littleness aside and feel the magnitude of God (I’m not kidding), ACIM is here for you…

“Forgiveness is the means by which we will remember. Through forgiveness the thinking of the world is reversed.” A Course in Miracles

Love and Happy Reading,
Fiona

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