Category : Spirituality

Food, Healthy Tips, Mind Health, Spirituality
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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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Mind Health, Spirituality
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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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Mind Health, Spirituality
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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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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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Healthy Tips, Mind Health, Spirituality
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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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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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What’s the Deal with Gratitude?

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This week I wanted to share about Gratitude and its importance in our happiness. It is a bit of a hot topic lately so I felt it was important to explain what’s behind all the buzz…

Gratitude has a psychology behind it. It’s more than the simple recognition of what you have like a car, a family, a healthy body, a safe country to live in, running water, hot water, and such… Gratitude is an art, an act of mindfulness. And it is also extremely powerful because it is loving. All things loving are powerful, all things fearful are weak and will fail. That’s an important note to remember.

Gratitude is a natural response. It shows up when we are given something loving or when we recognize that something is amazing, beautiful or genuinely awesome. But as we go through our daily lives we may forget that the simple conveniences which adorn our lifestyles are equally worthy of gratitude and that through our acknowledgment of them, we are improving our state of mind.

Now, I am not suggesting that you be grateful for a spoon every time you use it, you have to be practical. But it doesn’t hurt to stop for a moment here and there and develop your sense of appreciation for your life. And what you are really accomplishing here is so much more than feeling good, you are attracting more goodness into your life!

Any of you who are aware of the Abraham-Hicks material would be familiar with this wisdom (if you haven’t checked them out yet, I highly recommend you do so!), that you can only attract that which you are energetically aligned with. So, if you want to attract positivity, it is only going to come from feeling positive. This is where gratitude really comes in handy. By noticing that which you are grateful for you are placing your powerful mind in a state of positive attraction.

We are always attracting as the law of attraction is a law of the mind. In my work, I call it the Law of Perception. That which you focus upon you will perceive and therefore it is real for you.

So, you see, the law of attraction is a very real concept, one that is always at work in our lives. Our strength comes in using it correctly; for ourselves, not against ourselves.

Gratitude ignites a positive attraction experience.

Now, when implementing gratitude you are implementing mindfulness and creating a mental experience. I invite you to focus upon that which you are grateful for frequently. Take the time to get into the feel of it. Associate with it and bring it into the moment. Relate with it and let the feeling grow within you.

Stay with it.

This is a powerful mental exercise which reduces stress, disciplines your mind and brings goodness forth to you.

Now, a big part of gratitude and attracting, is that you feel worthy of these positive things. You are worth of everything beautiful in the physical world, and more. The only way we can hurt ourselves and limit ourselves is through our own ego’s decision which stems from a feeling of unworthiness.

“Only you can deprive yourself of anything. Do not oppose this realization, for it is truly the beginning of the dawn of light. Remember also that the denial of this simple fact takes many forms, and these you must learn to recognize and to oppose steadfastly, without exception.” A Course in Miracles – T.11.IV.4:1-3

So, remember to shake off any feelings of littleness and limits then get creating!

“Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful and the holy. Do not forget this.”
A Course in Miracles – T.1.VII.2:1-2

You have no other functions then to forgive the negative and to create the positive! To help you get in touch with the love that you are, and to help you improve your life, I hope that you give true gratitude a try. It is an incredibly healthy, humble habit!

Love and Grateful for You,
Fiona

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Getting Unstuck

The Brain is Plastic

I believe that one of the worst feelings we can experience is the feeling of being stuck. It is so unpleasant because what we actually are is formless, our essence is formless mind. So to be stuck within limitations is actually a very foreign feeling to our true nature. This feeling of limitation shows itself in different ways in our lives and can occur in one aspect of our life at a time or in many, either way, it’s never pleasant to think that this is how things need to be.

But notice the key word I used in that sentence, think. Just because we think something (judgment), does not mean that’s actually how it is. It is not without purpose.

Those who believe that they are stuck are missing a key piece of information, which is, the mind is malleable. If the mind is malleable then things can change.

This is nothing to fear for change is inevitable. But you do want to put your best thoughts into the changes which will naturally occur in your lifetime.

When you are feeling stuck it is your willingness which is going to be the catalyst for positive movement. Nothing positive can be accomplished without your willingness, a truth which is reflected in the law of the mind, the Law of Free Will. You need to choose before “it” can be done. This is a critical step in positive change!!

So, when you’re feeling like there is nothing positive for you in a certain situation, use that dissatisfaction as a power for good and kick your willingness for something better into gear!

Of course we can’t have willingness without a glimmer of positivity, so when faced with that glued-in feeling, do what you can to change your attitude. You can do this by listing the positive things about what you feel stuck in, for example, if it is your job you’re stuck in, find some qualities…

I’m grateful that my job is a safe job. I’m grateful that I love my office
neighbour. I’m grateful for the opportunity that I get to help people by doing my job. I’m grateful that I’m respected by my colleagues. So on and so on.

Nothing positive comes from dwelling on the negative. Certainly it is stewing in the negativity that diminishes your quality of life, your state of mind and ultimately your self-esteem and how you interact with others.

“Success is about more than simple resilience. It’s about using that downward momentum to propel ourselves in the opposite direction. It’s about capitalizing on setbacks and adversity to become even happier, even more motivated, and even more successful. It’s not falling down, it’s falling up.”
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

There is an opportunity in feeling stuck and it is that you get to pick out what you like and what you don’t like, what you’re willing to put up with and what you’re not willing to put up with. You also get to recognize any patterns (repetitive patterns are our flashing lights of what we need to forgive!!) and heal those patterns. Truly this is seeing things differently, positively.

When we look at life through a spiritual lens we see that all things are purposeful and feeling stuck is definitely purposeful. I have felt stuck many times in my life and it is this feeling which is oh so familiar now that I use it as a guide as to where I can improve. Do I need to immerse myself in my work more? Do I need to slow down and go for a hike in the mountains to clear my head? Do I need to have a strategy meeting about my next business steps? Or do I need to write out some personal goals to give myself some direction?

What I’ve learned is that it is vital to have a better attitude towards the “stuck” feeling because it is not a hindrance, it’s a motivator!!

Science has proven that the brain is plastic and it is this plasticity which proves that the mind is malleable because the brain is an effect of the mind. You can use this to your advantage so you can create your world!

So, beyond the pigeon-hole ego perspective, there is healing, opportunity, growth and life all around us!

See beyond!

Love and Movement,
Fiona

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Food, Healthy Tips, Mind Health, Spirituality
2

Slim Down by Feeling Good!

box-3

Whenever I teach a class, I always get a question which pertains to diet. “Is there a way of eating spiritually?” “What should I not eat?” “As a spiritual teacher, do you drink alcohol?” And so on and so forth, and it all seems to be the same question asked many different ways.

These days the message seems to be that in order to be spiritual you have to be vegan, completely sugar-free or anything else that embraces strictness. Essentially what students and clients are inquiring about is, “should I feel guilty for eating meat, wheat, sugar or for drinking caffeine or alcohol?”

The answer is a resounding “No!”

As you continue down the path of mental health and spirituality you may notice that you have cravings for certain health foods, or you may feel the need to eliminate certain foods altogether. This has certainly been the case for me. I have definitely felt guided to eat more avocado and honey, drink more water and there is always a point in the day where I would step over my own mother just to get a cup of green tea! Just kidding Mom 😉

But as I have continued down my own path of spirituality, I have made changes to my diet all by following my inner guidance system. Eating is about slowing down, listening to yourself and enjoying the bites of goodness that you take.

The key thing to remember is that practicality is a must! As I always say, in regard to mental health practices or eating practices, if it isn’t practical, you’re going to find it hard to stay on track. So be chill about it and let your mind wrap around the new habits you’re creating.

But above all, don’t feel guilty! If you feel guilty for what you are eating then you are polluting your food with that energy and you are also inviting your body to reject what you’re taking in.

Remember what I wrote about in the blog sent the week before Christmas in regard to sacrifice… Sacrifice is an ego issue, a device designed to make you feel guilty and like a victim, so if you feel like you’re sacrificing then you’re identifying with your ego and again, you’re not going to stay on track for very long. So lose the sacrifice for it just reinforces your unconscious guilt!

Food is very important, it is a major part of what fuels us as beings and
contributes to how we behave in the world. We have a personal responsibility to feel good about it!

Eating, like anything else, begins as a mental process. Preparing our food, putting it on a fork and chewing and swallowing are the actions, but everything else around eating like, what to make? What should I eat? How do I feel about what I eat? These are the questions which fuel our mentality around eating.

If we don’t eat then we are crabby and reactionary. If we eat a lot of sugar, we end up being hyperactive and strengthen the body’s addiction to sugar. If we eat too much we feel full, sluggish and guilty. If we have too much dessert, we again feel guilty.

What are your thoughts like around food? Is it a healthy relationship?

A Loving Perspective of Self

The most important tip for maintaining a healthy attitude towards food is to maintain a healthy attitude about yourself. Caring about yourself and heightening your self-esteem are going to be your greatest allies in regard to eating healthfully!

Personally, I’m not a calorie counter. I couldn’t tell you the amount of calories in a slice of bread for I am so ignorant on the topic. I also can only give you a rough guess as to how much I weigh. To me the numbers aren’t important, it’s how I feel about myself which counts. I like to use the mirror as my gauge for how I’m doing with my eating and workouts. But the ultimate thing I use the mirror for is to look at myself right in the eyes and tell myself, “I love you.” Every day, after my shower I hold my hand over my heart and remind myself that my body is to be used as a communicator of love in this world and that I am grateful for what I am.

What this mirror exercise (popularized by Louise Hay) does is reinforce in my mind what my body’s true purpose is, an exercise which helps to eliminate ego judgments.

We all come in different shapes and sizes, none of which matter. A heart is a heart, a mind is a mind and that is how I choose to see myself and others. This is a very mentally healthy perspective because it keeps us all equal (which we absolutely are!!) and the body will follow the loving perspective of the mind.

So, when it comes to eating and drinking, I know that I’m fueling my body to do helpful things in this world and to enjoy the activities of my daily life. As a spiritual person I do drink coffee, red wine, Guinness and sometimes have meat (which I’m picky about but I do eat it from time to time) and also, there is no way in hell I’m ever going to give up on pasta! But I feel good about everything I eat because, like my thoughts, if I don’t feel good about it, I don’t want it.

Be comfortably you. Be gentle with yourself and let your mind get used to any healthy habits you want to create. These things aren’t done overnight, like our habit of relating with the ego, it takes time to switch our habits back to thinking with Love consistently.

So, with a healthy perspective in mind I wanted to offer up some healthy food choices which help slim down the tummy area (as this is the area of the body I hear the most complaints about, from both men and women).

Tummy Slim-Down Foods

Blueberries; these little gems are amazing for slimming down the stomach area. Splurge on Organic for if you don’t then you are missing out on the antioxidants which fight free radicals.

Oats; real oats! Not processed quick oats flavoured with palm sugar. Oats are excellent for slimming down stomach fat! I like to top my oatmeal with cinnamon, organic plain yogurt, honey and organic blueberries. Note: I have also stopped buying Quaker Oats and have switched to a local brand because Quaker is part of the problem of wiping out the forests in Indonesia for production of palm sugar and because I don’t feel good about that, I don’t eat their products (Watching my mentality!)

Green Tea; the ultimate tummy slimmer! Green Tea is loaded with antioxidants called catechins, L-Theanine, and ECGC’s (Epigallocatechin Gallate) which all boost metabolism. Green Tea also boosts your fat burning capabilities while you work out!

Water; Drink more water as it helps to flush out toxins and also helps your body to hydrate and actually eliminates water being held stagnantly in your system. Ideally you should be urinating once every hour.

Watch your sugar intake! The easiest way to slim down your stomach area is to be aware of hidden sugars. Cooking with fresh food and making your own sauces, salad dressings and soups can really help you eliminate added sugars put in food products by the food industry.

As a perk, here is my Blueberry Bran Muffin Recipe which I created when I was working as a Baker a few years ago!

Fiona’s Blueberry Bran Muffin Recipe

Ingredients
½ cp. Unsalted Butter, softened
½ cp. Maple Syrup
2 Eggs
1 Egg White
1 cp. Wheat Bran
1 cp. Oats
½ cp. Plain Yogurt
½ cp. Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 tsp. Vanilla
¾ cp. Whole Wheat Flour
2 tbsp. Ground Almonds
¼ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Nutmeg
2 tsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Baking Soda
1 cp. Blueberries

Topping

Ground Walnuts and Cinnamon

Directions
– In mixing bowl, cream together unsalted butter and maple syrup
– Add eggs and egg whites one at a time until smooth
– Add vanilla, plain yogurt then apple sauce
– Add wheat bran and oatmeal
– In a separate bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, ground almonds, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda
– Add dry ingredients into the mixing bowl mixture until just combined
– Fold in blueberries
– Scoop out generously (as these do not rise very much)
– Sprinkle with ground walnuts and cinnamon
– Bake at 325 F, for 18-20 min.

Enjoy!

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Mind Health, Spirituality
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Sacrifice or Joy?

Christmas Star

“Fear not to recognize the whole idea of sacrifice as solely of your making.”
A Course in Miracles

Sacrifice is the idea that we have to give up something in order to obtain our innocence, our happiness. Feeling that you need to sacrifice all the time comes from the ego’s idea that you are not worthy, undeserving of happiness and that you constantly need to repent for even breathing.

This whole ego dynamic is what is referred to as “littleness”, and is a way of living which keeps you feeling limited, small and unfulfilled. Feeling “little” lowers your self-esteem and is horrible for your mental health.

This Christmas I invite you to give yourself the greatest present of all, your love.

“This Christmas give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt you. Let yourself be healed completely that you may join with Him in healing, and let us celebrate our release together by releasing everyone with us.”
A Course in Miracles T.15.XI.3:1-2

In A Course in Miracles we are guided to give all that can hurt us up to the Holy (Wholeness, Oneness) Spirit (What we are) for correction. We are taught that Christmas is a time to embrace what we really are and to let go of the idea of sacrifice. ACIM shares that the only thing we ever really need “sacrifice” is fear itself… doesn’t sound like much of a bad thing, does it?

No, but it does take work.

So, in the Spirit of Christmas let’s give ourselves some love and delve into some “Right-minded” thinking…

You are already enough. Not only are you enough, you are all of it and One with everything for at your core is perfect Love itself. The Love that binds us is in you too. Remember, that no one is left behind in this thinking for unity is what heals our minds and separating is what hurts our minds.

To embrace who you really are and to heal your mind, all you need do is truly forgive yourself for your misperceptions and for taking the ego seriously. You are already the perfect love in which you seek, so don’t look for it outside of you, get to the Source of it and look within. The love which surrounds you is a reflection of the love which is inside of you. Without your perception of love, you would never recognize it, so your perception is very important and this is also why it is so important to undo your ego, because the ego is skewed perception. If you always listened to the ego, well, that’s a malady we don’t want to explore any further.

There’s a way I like to remind myself of staying away from ego temptation and it is a quote from Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves… yes, the Kevin Costner movie. In one scene there is a little boy who curiously lifts the cape of Christian Slater’s character exposing a sharp sword. Christian’s character grabs the boy’s hand and simply says to him, “Nothing there but trouble, boy.”

Now, aside from trying to get comfortable with Christian Slater’s British accent, I have always enjoyed that quote and I frequently say it to myself when the ego’s voice flares up. I don’t need to play along with the ego and I’m happy to remind myself of that fact. How will you remind yourself?

“…removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence.”
A Course in Miracles T.Introduction.1:6-7

Our innocence is inherent and so is our genuine happiness and joy. These qualities exist within us at all times, the ego has just tried to block us from recognizing this, but the ego can never eradicate the love in which we are. It is a true paradox that the ego needs our mental power in order to survive but it tries to tell us that we do not have any mental power. Do you see how deluded it is?

So, again, it is up to us and our thinking habits to make the decision to “sacrifice” the ego so the Love in which we are can shine.

This Christmas let yourself enjoy the season through the perspective of Love. Correct any mistakes in your thinking, that’s totally cool, but don’t beat yourself up for mistaken thinking. Practice seeing through the eyes of Love, that’s you being who you really are.

Love and Merry Christmas,
Fiona

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