Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rising Above Your Circumstances

One of the books that totally changed the way I think is the Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stage of Power and Healing by Caroline Myss. This fascinating book emphasizes that every thought we think and every emotion we feel becomes our biology. Our thoughts have more power than we realize to impact our health. Our cells, organs, and muscles pay the price for our negative thinking.  
It’s through reading this book that I finally forgave hurts that I had hung onto for almost thirty years. I was on a cruise and had spent much of my free time deeply engrossed in reading this book. I clearly remember the day I was in Antigua, floating on my back in the ocean as the sun danced off the turquoise waters and soaked into my skin. I said a prayer of forgiveness and opened my hands to symbolize that I was letting go of the painful memories I’d been holding onto.

I was tired of the anger, bitterness and resentment and was so relieved to finally feel peace. Reading this book opened my eyes to the connection between my intense negative thoughts and emotions and the health problems I was experiencing. It inspired me to pay more attention to what I allowed myself to think about. It also inspired me to look at life from a different perspective - a perspective that would give me more peace and help me rise above my circumstances.
There is so much I’d like to share from this book, but for now I will share some of Caroline’s ideas in how we can become a more conscious person. She writes, “the goal is to be able to handle any and all changes in our lives – and in our bodies – without fear...”
Here are a few of her suggestions on how to do this:
  • Develop a practice of introspection, and work to become conscious of what you believe and why.
  • Recognize defensiveness as an attempt to keep new insights from entering your mental field.
  • Interpret all situations and relationships as having a symbolic importance, even if you cannot immediately understand what it is.
  • Work toward releasing any thoughts that promote self-pity or anger, or that blame another person for anything that has happened to you.
  • Practice detachment. Make decisions based upon the wisest assessment you can in the immediate moment, rather than working to create a specific outcome.
  • Refrain from all judgements – not just those rendered against people and situations, but those that concern the size or importance of tasks. Rather, remind yourself continually of the higher truth that you cannot possibly see all the facts or details of any situation, nor visualize the long-term consequences of your actions.
  • Learn to recognize when you are being influenced by a fear pattern. Immediately detach from that fear by observing its influence on your mind and emotions; then make choices that weaken the influence of those fears.
  • Detach from all values that support the belief that success in life means achieving certain goals. Instead, view a successful life as a process of achieving self-control and the capacity to work through the challenges that life brings you. Visualize success as an energy force rather than a physical one.
  • Keep all your attention in the present moment – refrain from living in the past or worrying about the future. Learn to trust what you cannot see far more than what you can see.
I don't know about you but that list is enough to keep me busy for the rest of my life!

Today, why not pick one of those items and incorporate it into your life? Maybe next week you could focus on another one. After awhile, you'll start to notice how you are better able to transcend the situations that would typically frustrate and annoy you. Remember, YOU have the power to choose how you will respond. You can rise up and rise above.

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