Healthy Tips, Mind Health, Spirituality
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Ego and its Effects

Unconsciousness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love and Correction,
Fiona

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Ego and Forgiveness

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

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

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

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

Forgiveness is what unifies us.

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

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

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

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

So, if you don’t like it, forgive it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love and True Forgiveness,
Fiona

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The ego… Let the Dissociation Begin!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, let the dissociation begin!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love and Vigilance,
Fiona

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What is the ego?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How does the ego function?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love and Free Will,
Fiona

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Selfish to be Selfless?

As we trod down the path of mental health we may at times feel selfish for focusing on ourselves. I have had many clients and students feel this way, in fact, most of them have. So this week I would like to share about the importance of you taking care of you, and giving yourself permission to do so.

Feeling selfish for taking care of yourself is a very transparent ego game… you need not play along.

I watched Arianna Huffington on Dr. Oz the other day, and they were speaking about the plague of insomnia sweeping our busy society. Arianna shared a perfect analogy for why you would want to sleep more; you know when you’re listening to a safety demonstration on a plane and they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others? (Surely how can you help someone else if you’re gasping for air?) Well the same goes for life… how can you help others if you, yourself, are struggling?

The answer is, you can’t. You may burn out, become reactionary, and end up hurting yourself and the others you were trying to help. Worst of all, you can become resentful of others.

There is no winning with this ego game.

In an effort to switch this thinking, let’s take a look at what it means to be selfless through an esoteric lens.

Remember where I always teach that the unconscious mind sees us all as One. It cannot decipher between a “you” and an “I”, there is just “I”. So, when you take care of yourself you are in fact helping the collective whole; you are helping to heal the collective mind. This healing is absolutely necessary! So, in that regard, it is never a waste of time for you to focus on yourself.

Next, let’s recall one of the laws of the mind shared in my book, MY MIND BOOK, “Your Actions Come From How You Think”. Therefore, it is helpful for everyone when you are in a good place in your mind, because then your actions and your words are going to be kind. When we engage with others we want to be aware of their feelings and their triggers so that we ensure we are communicating lovingly, but we can only have this higher level of awareness of others when we are feeling good!

Remember also that love extends out, so when we love ourselves that love is extended out into the world. A loving perception of the world arises only from a loving mind. And, when we love ourselves and take care of ourselves we will be less tempted to project negativity onto others remembering also that how we feel about ourselves is how we treat others.

From a loving state of mind we become more altruistic, caring and supportive. So, never feel guilty for taking care of you, because it is through self- care that you are a better friend, lover, sibling, child, employee, and citizen of the world.

Love and Selflessness,
Fiona

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Vitamin D and Mental Health

Sunny Smile

“Go out in the sun for 20 minutes a day when it’s sunny, and take vitamin D3. Those two things combined will help prevent a lot of problems, including depression”
Love Has Forgotten No One, page 88

Vitamin D is known for its amazing bodily support! The benefits of taking it are numerous as it helps to regulate normal cell function, ensures proper communication between cells and also helps to regulate immune functioning. Here are a few benefits to get you excited about taking your vitamin D (or maybe I’m the only one who gets excited about taking vitamins??)!

– Prevents cancer, cancer polyps, colds, the flu, bone breakage, multiple sclerosis, heart attacks, winter fatigue, amoung many other things
– Lessens the severity of arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma, eczema, diabetes, amoung many other things
– Normalizes insulin levels and blood pressure levels

Beyond all of these AMAZING and innumerable bodily benefits, Vitamin D also helps us mentally, which is again, very exciting!!

“…although we know it’s really thought that causes these things (depression, anxiety). But these suggestions (taking Vitamin D and going out in the sun) will help you feel good, and if you feel good, you’re more likely to remember to apply the right thoughts. The better you think, the better you’ll feel. And the better you feel, the better you’ll think, especially if you have a discipline like the Course (A Course in Miracles) to guide you.”

Love Has Forgotten No One, page 88

Vitamin D has been talked about as being a helpful aid in combatting depression and also anxiety! So to help prevent the winter doldrums, get proactive! Either start taking your Vitamin D or up your current dosage to what’s best for you, including taking into account which area of the world you live in, your age and your skin colour.

For those who live in Calgary, Alberta, like I do, we can be tricked by our title as one of the sunniest cities in North America! We may assume that we are receiving enough Vitamin D by taking in the sun’s rays during the winter, but this is a falsehood. Although Calgary is very sunny we are also at a point on the earth where the sun hits us at an extreme angle during winter months, meaning the Vitamin D loving sun rays are not actually reaching us.

But because nature loves to take care of us, during the winter months we are not left wanting, we just need to supplement for what we’re missing. We can learn from the Eskimos of Canada and Native Americans who get their Vitamin D through diet, and so we can eat more salmon (wild, not farmed!! Farmed salmon is horrible, hormone-filled, red food colouring tinted crap… just don’t get me started…) so, WILD salmon, sardines, egg yolks (ORGANIC!!), tuna, yogurt and cheese are good sources. And then of course there are the vitamins themselves.

Essentially Vitamin D improves your overall mood and physical functioning. It is a natural, easy and impressive vitamin to add to your daily, feel-good regimen! And like the quote earlier on mentioned, you want to help yourself to think feel-good thoughts so don’t forget to take the time to laugh more during the winter to help lift your mood. Rent funny movies, watch more comedic shows, or go see stand-up comedians. Remember that the ego wants you to be serious and upset, so get some loving thoughts grooving to combat the ego and to help yourself feel good!

Love and a Healthy, Happy Winter,
Fiona

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Social Media – A New Era of Responsibility

Social Media; engaging in it is awfully tempting, for it is speedy and briefly fulfilling. But like many things which are young (less than 20 years old with facebook itself being just over 10 years old), it is a breeding ground for immaturity and irresponsible curiosity. Its nature is like all things in this world, dualistic, where there is both the good and the bad. And like all things, it is up to you to be responsible and decide for what is good and to lay aside that which is bad.

With social media still in its infancy, we, as a society, really do not know what we have gotten ourselves into… it is like a science experiment on human emotion.

With its accessibility and speedy efficiency, people are not given the luxury of time to think before they share. Reactions are now on speed dial and the ego is rubbing its hands gleefully because of this. Many words have been written which have led to people’s emotional downfalls and in extreme cases, to suicide.

We have never lived like this before where we are literally overexposed and overexposing. And quite honestly, I don’t think everyone can handle it. For example, there is nothing to prevent a certain presidential candidate from blurting tweets at 3am, only to have his latest target wake up and see that they have been publicly ripped to shreds. And as we know, he is not the only one who does this, he is just a high profile person who does this but is still an excellent example of social irresponsibility.

All of this literary abuse is very unhealthy for our collective psyche. Remember that the unconscious mind is very sensitive and cannot decipher between a “you” and an “I”, it sees only an “I”. Therefore that which you say to others you are actually saying to yourself. That which you do to others, you are doing to yourself. And most importantly, that which you think about others, you are thinking and therefore reinforcing in yourself. So everything is just accumulating in our minds.

Social media makes it easy to share and reinforce our judgments. So, where we always do have the opportunity to ignore our ego’s judgments, we instead can feel tempted to keep those judgments, share them and therefore perpetuate them. Very mentally UNhealthy!

Also know that your social media arenas are part of your energetic and emotional space. You are welcoming people and their opinions into your world, so you want to be picky about who you’re inviting into your emotional world. You could think of it this way, would you have that person over for dinner? If not, then it may not be worth connecting with them on social media. You don’t want to judge them of course, but you have a right to keep your energetic and emotional space clear and healthy.

In order to support your own healthy mind-set it would be ideal to keep your energetic and emotional space as positive as possible, meaning, be mindful of that which you are allowing into your life. As I have shared many times before, forgiveness is the key to healing the mind, and it is hard to forgive negativity when you are constantly being bombarded by it. So, you do want to forgive the negativity, it’s just easier to do your forgiveness work when you are feeling happy, relaxed, and willing, three qualities which don’t come when you’re immersed in negativity.

So, I invite you to clear your social media world. This can be done gently. Facebook allows you to unfollow people but still remain friends with them. Remember that this is not about judging others or their choices, it’s simply about supporting yourself to have better experiences when you are conversing in the online world. Social media is a great place to connect with like-minded people and engage with causes you care about, so many beautiful things are possible with social media, but you have to make the choice to be part of the positivity and detach from the negativity.

Several other tips for having a good social media experience:

1. Watch your posture! Ever notice people who are on their phones? Heads down, shoulders hunched, legs crossed, ugh! Keep good posture and keep your head up!
2. Don’t compare! The ego thrives off of comparisons and this is easily done when you’re checking out social media, so when you see others being positive and you wish you could be that way too, remember that you can be that way. Don’t be jealous of others, be inspired! That’s a major distinction! All the beauty that is within them is within you too.
3. If you’re not sure on if you should comment on something, then don’t. Only share what feels totally natural and right. As written in my children’s book, My Mind Book, “ask if what you are about to do is equally loving for everyone involved.”

Love and Healthy Sharing,
Fiona

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Don’t like it? Stop Talking About It

This week’s blog is about the dangers of repetition and reinforcement. I have already shared many times that things which are repeated become harder to undo in the mind, so you want to be cognizant of what ideas and thoughts you are repeating. Surely if they do not serve you, you would be wise to stop investing in them.

But more specifically I would like to write about our “stories,” the tales we tell about ourselves. Whether it is a poor relationship, a nagging physical ailment, the way someone speaks to you or whatever else it may be, you talking about it, complaining about it, or venting about it leaves you in the same low energy.

Where is the relief? Well, it has to come from you. It would be helpful for you to give yourself permission to move beyond the story.

Thoughts grow stronger the more you share them, this is a fundamental law of the mind. So, as you try to seek solace in sharing your negative stories with others, you are in fact making them stronger in your own mind and therefore in your physical experience. (The same goes for anxious thoughts by the way! Don’t share them! Relax and breathe through the fear, it will pass.)

I understand fully that it is super tempting to share your story with many people. It can feel therapeutic. But following the previously mentioned law of the mind, you want to ignore the ego’s temptation to share the story with many people. Because what can start as therapeutic can easily end up to the ego being gleefully stroked.

When I have an issue with something I prefer to speak to one person I trust about it as opposed to sharing the issue with many people. By trust, I mean someone who will hear you but not see you as a victim. Someone who lets you cry it out but then throws on a funny movie and holds your hand. Someone who doesn’t personalize your anger or sadness. Someone who, when you’re ready, helps you to move forward positively and see the situation in a healthy, new light.

I invite you to identify which people in your life you can trust to speak with about any issues you may have. Perhaps there may be a person who is better for you to talk about business with and another who is better for speaking about romance with. But choose wisely. Think of it this way, you’re not going to ask your Grandfather for fashion advice, are you? Probably not. Or your brother who orders pizzas all the time, you’re not going to ask him to hear your foodie ideas for your cocktail party, are you?

Now, if your particular story has something to do with a past event, then let it go. Easier said than done, sure, but here are two quotes about the past to help you along; “The one wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here.” A Course in Miracles, Lesson 8 True. So, why do we give the past so much power and energy? It’s not here. Decide to move on from your past stories. Keep the lessons, apply forgiveness, but let it go. Don’t give something which is not occurring any power.

The second quote helpful quote is; “Forgive the past and let it go, for it is gone.” A Course in Miracles T.26.V.14.1

There is a difference between dwelling in the past and learning from the past. Dwelling in it means that you have not freed yourself or others from it. You hold yourself in the past and hold the past against others. This is hardly productive or healthy. You and others deserve more than to be held prisoner to the past.

“Remember the good in your brother. Remember the good in yourself. Let all fears and judgments dissolve where they arise. Admit your mistakes and be tolerant of the mistakes others make.”
Love Without Conditions, page 45

This is what I mean from taking the lessons learned with you, and letting everything else go. Keep the love, lose the fear.

Now, if your particular story is occurring in the present, like physical pain or daily challenges with a co-worker, then you require a shift in your perception about the situation. Become proactive for your own comfort. Can you seek holistic treatment for your physical ailment? Do you need to be more active or eat a little better in order for it to go away? Essentially, ask yourself what positive changes you can make to support your physical body in feeling better. Also, acknowledge any thoughts which correspond with the physical pain and shift them.

For dealing with challenging circumstances or people, remember that the situation or person is in your awareness so it may heal. So, again, how can you shift from a negative story to a positive one? What do you need to forgive? And what new healthy tone do you need to set? For example, the next time one of your confidants asks you about your story, you can shift it like so, “You know, I’ve felt compelled to shift my thinking around it and so I’ve made some positive steps to remedy it. I feel good about my actions and am curious and excited to see the positive developments. So, how was your weekend?”

Remember that when it comes to creating positive change it is essential to use the mind appropriately so you are properly supported. Trying to change others or the symptoms does not work. As you read in last week’s blog about working at the level of the mind, it is you that has to change your mind about the situation in order for you to feel true and lasting peace.

By letting your story go you are clearing your mind of past preoccupations. In this clear space is where a new and brighter future begins for it is in this precious, quiet and perfect present moment of non-judgment where healing truly occurs. Give it a try.

Love and Healthy Sharing,
Fiona

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Mind Health
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Mind as Cause

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

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

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

So, how does the ego attempt to do this?

By confusing your creative levels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep your focus at the level of the mind.

Love and focus,
Fiona

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Healthy Tips, Mind Health
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Tips for Moving Past Anxious Moments

Breathe

Hello Lovely,

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

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

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

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

The KEY to undoing anxiety is to DISIDENTIFY from it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, let’s get to it!

Coping Mechanisms 101

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love and Vigilance,
Fiona

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