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Today’s Top Tweet – Big Boy and the Serpent (a brand new myth for all ages)

A couple of weeks ago I put together a new blog called msea4ever. Its About page explains the name, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to “come out” and link it to Earthpages or not. So I said nothing here.

Tonight I’m thinking, What the heck. It’s just another side of me.

So this tweet points to a new transformation myth, written by yours truly. I’ve read a lot of myths. Seems the influences here are mostly Ancient Greek and North American.

I hope you enjoy. I had fun writing it!

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“To Tirzah” by William Blake

Stuff Jeff Reads

ToTirzah

Whate’er is Born of Mortal Birth
Must be consumed with the Earth
To rise from Generation free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

The Sexes sprung from Shame & Pride,
Blow’d in the morn, in evening died;
But Mercy chang’d Death into Sleep;
The Sexes rose to work & weep.

Thou, Mother of my Mortal part,
With cruelty didst mould my Heart,
And with false self-deceiving tears
Didst bind my Nostrils, Eyes, & Ears:

Didst close my Tongue in senseless clay,
And me to Mortal Life betray.
The Death of Jesus set me free:
Then what have I to do with thee?

In order to fully grasp this poem, there are a couple religious references which should be explained. First, the name Tirzah “is derived from The Song of Solomon vi.4, and signifies physical beauty, that is, sex.” (Geoffrey Keynes) Also, the words on the robe of the…

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Mysticism and action


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Simple Ideas for Daily Happiness

Image via Tumblr

By Lee Neale

There is nothing particularly new or exciting about the following list. In fact, it’s little more than the mental laundry list that I stick on my refrigerator somewhere between the electricity bill and the pizza menus. Much of this is age-old wisdom, some reworked for the tech age. I’m sure most of it will be quite familiar. However, it’s always good to give ourselves a little reminder that happiness doesn’t just grow on trees; that it needs to be nourished with a little reflective day to day self-awareness.

1. Count your blessings daily. Focusing your energy on the good things in life brings more of them to you.

2. Learn to love yourself as you are. Perfection is an illusion. At every level of being we are in ceaseless flow and change. Embrace a lack of perfection and even revel in some occasional chaos. Crisis is Mother Nature’s way of saying hi!

3. Connect more deeply with your five senses. For example, when you are eating a meal forget everything and be right there with the meal: soak in the colours, savour the tastes, smells and textures. Feel the energy, warmth and nutrition as the food becomes one with your body. Thank the Earth for sharing this blessing.

4. Remember that true power lies within and not over others.

5. Compliment people on their positive qualities. Kindness shared is kindness received.

6. Happiness is a choice: seek out positive alternative opinions to balance out your worldview. There are an abundance of positively oriented news sites popping up all over the web.

7. Reflect critically on the true level of danger you are experiencing. Look out your window. Unless you’re living in a war zone, it’s likely you’ll see a pretty peaceful scene. That peace in the present moment is your reality: work with that, not the latest crime statistics.

8. The thoughts you go to sleep with have a big influence on your waking life. Visualising images of success, prosperity, happiness, generosity, love and kindness as you drift off into sleep, can have a profound effect on improving the quality of your day to day experience. Over an extended period, this practice can be a major life-changer.

9. Forgiveness: do you really want to keep carrying around the luggage of other people’s mistakes in your head? … NO, SO LET IT GO!

10. If you want to see more of something in the world, take responsibility for expressing it to others first. Want to see more tenderness then be kinder, more generosity then give more, more love then be loving. When you connect with these things within yourself, then you will naturally find them present in what is around you.

11. Make a habit of going out of your way for somebody. Even one small act of mindfulness can work wonders. The universe has an endearing habit of repaying you in unexpected and useful ways.

12. Time is the most precious gift you can ever give. Spend less time shopping for people and actually share that time with the person instead. Give them a laugh, a massage, a hug, an ear, cook with them or share one of their hobbies. No amount of luxury items can replace your presence in the eyes of a friend or loved one.

13. Praise and reward people for their effort and not for the success or failure of that effort. Especially children!

14. Social media is designed to enhance social life, not replace it. Balance social media time with real face to face interactions. Turn off the tech for a little while each day and be fully present with friends and family, especially at shared meal times.

15. Feng Shui your PC: shed psychological baggage by clearing your cyberspaces. How much mental clutter is lingering on your computer devices in the form of old emails, cached data, temporary downloads and unused files. Deep cleaning removes blockages from your online expression, which can stimulate more clarity, purpose and creativity in life.

16. Set aside time each day for just being instead of doing. Stop chasing the world. Sit still, relax, forgive, let it all go, be still and breathe deeply!

17. Spend time with animals, nature and children: they are treasure troves of wisdom on the art of being human.

18. Try to see life less as a problem to be solved, exploited or overcome and more of a mystery to be creatively enjoyed, explored and shared. In a word: PLAY!

19. Randomize aspects of your life to open up new energy and creativity. Do things that are out of character: take a different direction to or from work, explore different artistic tastes or food, try to consider different points of view.

20. If you can’t get to nature, bring it to you. Let more fresh air and sunshine into your living or working spaces. Bring in plants, play soothing music and spread delicious aromas.

21. Write a list of your very own happiness tips and stick them somewhere you can see them every day! Share them with your friends.

About the Author

Lee Neale is the founder of Shama Gaia. He’s an Australian-born sociologist, language teacher and Shamanic healer living in Japan.


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Creating Possibility for Transformation

Copyright © Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC. All rights reserved.

Transformational Counseling is about assisting another to transform his life. Transforming ones life is not about changing it. While life is much about doing differently, the genesis of the transformation is about a person altering or transforming his belief or thought of who he thinks he is.

We tend to believe that our life is determined or influenced by people, places, things, situations and circumstance and that who we are is the mere accumulation of our past experiences but this is not so. Rather, it is our thoughts and beliefs that determine our experiences and life and also that we are completely and solely responsible for their creation. What we think and believe, especially about ourselves, determines our emotions and behavior in the world and it is our behavior that merely validates what we think and believe about ourselves. Furthermore, we believe or think that we know who we are in life but the reality is that we truly do not. Much of who we are really being we are simply not present to. Much of our life is spent in pretense and who we are really being is hidden from us.

Given that much of our life is lived in pretense, from the construct of ego, becoming present to that which is hidden, to who we are being in life, is absolutely necessary for transformation. It is in that which is primarily hidden from us that one will discover what is determining ones life, referred to here as ones self-limiting belief. The first component of the transformational process is for one to become present to the hidden thoughts and beliefs that have been limiting him in life and in particular to his self-limiting belief. It is in the being of the self-limiting belief that one will discover the primary constraint or barrier to his life, to him living a life that he loves and living it powerfully. We live life from who we think we are. Who we think we are forms the context for our life. Having the awareness or distinction of the self-limiting belief allows one the ability to not be it, to not have his life be merely the probable almost certain future from the past. Without the distinction of the self-limiting belief one will continue to create his life from the backdrop of this ideational barrier and as a result life will appear much as it did in the past.

Becoming present to that which has been hidden, to that which has been truly determining his being in life, allows one the opportunity to transform his life. Once one gets who he has been being in life, the second component of transformative process is for the individual to begin to create his life as a possibility. Once the distinction of the self-limiting belief is gotten, the individual is now able to truly create a new possibility for himself and his life. Getting the self-limiting belief creates the space or an opening for a possibility or possibilities to be invented not as a result or product of the barrier or constraint but from or out of nothing. It is only from nothing that possibility can truly be created. As with the self-limiting belief, possibility exists in language. Once one gets the language that he has been being, that has defined and limited him through being his self-limiting belief, it is at this point that he can begin to recreate himself through the power of his word. Who we are is our word. It is in ones language or word created out of nothing that one has access to possibility and transformation.

The technique described below is designed to assist an individual in becoming present to his self-limiting belief and in the process to create the space or opening for him to invent a possibility or possibilities for recreating his life.

1. Find a relaxing and comfortable space to sit in for approximately one hour. Arrange for this space to be free of any distractions. Just allow yourself to begin to relax. Become present to where and who you are. The use of therapeutic relaxation music can promote the development of a very profound sense of relaxation to enhance this experience.

2. Take a notebook and begin to write down everything that you believe describes or defines who you are. Let your mind wander and do not try to filter or block out anything. Just let whatever comes up about yourself, how you feel and what you think about yourself, to be written down. Who you think you are or that which bests describes you may appear in single words or short phrases. If in a group, share your description of yourself with others. Furthermore, make two lists as there will appear to be both positives and negatives aspects about who you think you are.

3. Sit your notebook down, close your eyes and begin to relax deeply again. Again, the use of therapeutic relaxation music will assist you in the process of creating a very deep state of relaxation. As you begin to move into a deep state of relaxation allow yourself to begin to drift back through time, back through your life, back through your adulthood, adolescence and into your childhood. Allow yourself to become present to how you were being, experiences, thoughts and feelings, through the various phases or stages of your life. Just become present to or notice what appears for you.

4. Open your eyes and return to work on your notebook. Take a look at what you have written and add anything that you became present to about yourself during the above mentioned relaxation exercise. Again, do not filter out anything but merely allow whatever there is to come to the surface, both the positive and negative words that best describes who you think and feel you are or were.

5. Once you have come to a completion of creating the lists, both positive and negative, consider that the positives of who you think yourself to be form the pretense of your life and that their design or function is to fix the negatives of who you think you are.

6. Allow yourself to become present to the negatives you have written down. Notice which one of the negatives best describes who you are, what you commonly believe and feel about yourself, what you have experienced in your mind in the past and even now. Declare the negative aspect that is familiar to you to be your self-limiting belief.

7. Place your notebook in your lap. Allow yourself to become fully present to the fact that what you have written is you, is who you believe yourself to be. Become present to an inauthentic way of being, the positive as pretense and the negatives as that which we hide from ourselves and the world.

8. Place the notebook into your past. If you are right handed place your notebook to your left. If you are left handed place your notebook to your right. Place the notebook approximately three feet from you.

9. Once you place your notebook into your past allow yourself to become present to where your notebook is in relation to your body, to your right or left. Allow yourself to again become present to that which you have written in your notebook is who you believe you are and that it exists to either your right or left.

10. Once you become present to who you believe yourself to be, to the description of yourself as you have written, allow yourself to become present to what now lies in front of you. Given that who you think you are is either to your left or right, become present to what exists in front of you is nothing, an opening from which everything and anything is possible and can be created.

11. Inside the nothing that appears in front of you, invent a possibility or possibilities for yourself and your life. Declare your possibility in language or word, of who you will take on being in life, for yourself. Furthermore, this declaration becomes your personal affirmation of who you will be in and for the world.

12. Repeat this exercise everyday. Repeating this exercise daily will allow one to continue to stay present to his self limiting belief so as to not be it and also to the possibility or possibilities that he has created and invented for himself and his life. Continuing this exercise will also allow the further possible unveiling of the self-limiting belief. The self-limiting belief that one initially becomes present to may reveal even deeper meaning for who one is or has been being.

The exercise outlined above is about the work of the first two components of Transformational Counseling and one beginning the process of transformation. Once one gets the distinction of his self-limiting belief and creates a possibility or possibilities for himself and his life, the third component of transformation involves learning the process of enrollment. Enrollment is a powerful technique for allowing one to stay living into his possibility and out of his self-limiting belief. The fourth component of transformation is about creating a daily plan. The daily plan allows one the opportunity to continue to live into or generate his possibility in his life on a daily basis. The fifth component of transformation involves a commitment to stay in the conversation of transformation. It is in staying in the conversation that one experiences the nonlinear nature of transformation thereby keeping the process alive in his life.

Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC
enhancedhealing.com

“Creating Possibility for Transformation” Copyright © Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC. All rights reserved.


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Personal Transformations

Agraulis vanillae butterfly.

Agraulis vanillae butterfly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Copyright © Anagarika Eddie 2012. All rights reserved.

. . . The last time I looked, personal transformation was not on America’s top ten list of achievements. Success, family, happiness, friends, wealth, respect, health, religious beliefs or spirituality, satisfying work – these took priority. Our spiritual institutions follow suit with the most successful and prestigious requiring little of their flock as far as personal introspection is concerned. The prevailing ambiance is one of levity, music and celebration – seldom one of self-inquiry.

Permanent, positive transformations are not common; and usually result from flukes or untoward events of some kind; for example, serious illnesses, near death experiences, trauma, or accidents. These are about the only things we can count on these days to mystically alter our personalities. We try to be good, but it just doesn’t work. For some reason, humanity has always had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into a true spiritual life.

The positive aspect of these shocks and disasters that transform lives is that our previous fear and obsession driven existences are replaced by feelings of fearlessness and ease; a fearlessness, for some odd reason, that rarely involves dominance over others. Our new personality, having had its brush with death, now experiences a new bravery that courageously and easily accepts and handles whatever situation it finds itself in. We have been at the threshold of annihilation, and it was okay. Actually, it was extremely peaceful, and now, with the fear of death no longer hanging over our heads, we not only no longer fear death – we don’t fear anything!

The fearful ones, those afraid to face death or even the loss of material things, are the ones who overreact with violence. We seldom find the brave seriously indulging in selfishness; actually, we usually find them helping others in whatever capacity they can. They have simply stopped worrying about themselves in their newfound freedom, and as a result, have gained a greater capacity to see the needs of others.

Those who have had these near death experiences or spiritual occurrences will tell you that although they can’t express or explain what happened, they now find that the world has little to offer compared to that which they have been mysteriously exposed to. If we can believe what these people say, and they are very credible as well as consistent, we might conclude that there is more to life than meets the logical eye.

These transformed individuals have acquired a certain wisdom, a positive understanding that is perhaps not spoken of but ingrained into their new personalities. They believe that what they do in this lifetime will greatly affect their next existence which they now have no doubt is real, and although they attempted to be good and generous before their traumatic events occurred, it was all playacting and not coming directly from their hearts, for the heart is where the bank account is. Now they find that their bank accounts are no longer in a vault, but in a much more secure place.

If the natural compassion and generosity we express during our lifetime, without coercion or premeditation, affects the quality of our afterlife, what can we do to instill within ourselves a thirst to affect a continual personal transformation toward these virtues? How can we resist continuing blindly down roads of worldly accumulations and aspirations that are so subject to loss? Any personal transformation would indeed be a radical change for us, and probably the reason why few make the transition. Without the help of a harrowing event, that is.

What’s at stake is not only our contentment and happiness presently, but possibly later as well, after moving on from this earth. Much is written on this subject, some saying there are many mansions in heaven, and some saying that there are many realms to be reborn in. Either way, eternity is a long time – we might find ourselves in a mansion surrounded by our relatives for eternity! That could be interesting, especially if we can barely stand them during a three-day holiday! But kidding aside, we might want to end, once and for all, the common suffering and conflict we undoubtedly experience on earth.

So the questions come down to these: Will the security of things and relationships really make us happy? Has it made us happy so far, and if so, how long can we count on it to continue to do so? Then, we might ask ourselves, “Is there something greater, and if there is, how can we get in touch with that something greater without waiting for a traumatic event to occur in our life? Is there something we can do proactively in order to come face-to-face with that . . . something, while still living on this earth?”

And if we were successful in creating a personal transformation in ourselves, might this help change the world?

Anagarika eddie is a meditation teacher at the Dhammabucha Rocksprings Meditation Retreat Sanctuary and author of A Year to Enlightenment. His 30 years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Thervada Buddhist monk.


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Moving Through Breakdowns With Transformation

articles_mtbd.jpgCopyright © Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC. All rights reserved. 

Success in recovery, or rather, staying in recovery, is dependent upon a variety of factors. For example, it appears that attending daily NA or AA meetings and staying in communication with ones chosen sponsor will definitely assist an individual in successfully implementing his recovery plan. Getting and staying committed to working the 12 Step Program also appears to increase the probability of the person staying abstinent from drugs and alcohol. While the above-mentioned elements of a persons overall recovery plan are crucial to his recovery, another major factor that will greatly influence an individual’s continued abstinence is how he is able to handle the breakdowns that happen in life.

Knowing about breakdowns, what they are and how to manage them, is absolutely necessary for one to stay committed to his recovery plan. Breakdowns are what brought an individual into treatment and eventually created the space for him to begin his recovery. Breakdowns also happen while a person is in treatment and will continue to take place after he leaves. Even after successfully completing a treatment program, breakdowns are almost certain to happen as one returns to the community from which he came. In fact, both the client and his counselor should expect breakdowns to occur after treatment. It is for this reason that knowledge of the structure of breakdowns and how to transform them is very important if not crucial for the individual wanting recovery.

What are breakdowns? Experientially breakdowns start to occur when an event or events happen that the individual believes should not happen or ought to happen differently than how they take place. As a result the individual starts to feel frustrated, angry, disappointed or even sad about what is happening in his life. Inside these types of emotions the person starts to become resentful, creating a story about the event and to which he will eventually begin to blame, be it other people, places, things, situations or circumstances for that which is appearing. A breakdown eventuates into a relapse when the individual believes that his experience is intolerable, feels inadequate with respect as to how to handle it and chooses to use drugs or alcohol to reduce the emotional component of that he is experiencing. In this case, a breakdown and ones inability to transform it leads directly to relapse.

Inside the work of transformational counseling, the process of enrollment will assist the individual in becoming authentic where he was being inauthentic and also allow that person to stay in his recovery. Enrollment is the third component of transformational counseling the utilization of which allows the individual to again move out of his self-limiting belief and back into being his created possibilities. When one begins to experience a breakdown he has gone back into being his self-limiting belief. Their will be the pretense of what is happening and that which is again hidden from him hence the created inauthenticity. The technology of the enrollment process allows the individual the ability to transform the experience by being authentic and as a result regaining his power and freedom through being his possibilities. Utilization of the process of enrollment as with transformation itself is a practice that requires a great deal of commitment. As with any skill the structure of enrollment is taught and it is in communication with the persons coach or even sponsor that its implementation is brought forth into the individual’s life.

The first component of enrollment has to do with recognizing when one is in a breakdown. The key to such awareness is to be found in how the individual is feeling about what is happening in his life at any one moment. There are many times in our lives where we do not stop to monitor or become present to how we are feeling. Sometimes we have a tendency to merely ignore or move away from how we are feeling about something or someone. Breakdowns have certain emotions attached to their design. Those most common are emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, frustration and sadness. The first part of utilizing the enrollment process is to monitor ones feeling state, to become present to how one is feeling and to do so to the point that it becomes part of ones very way of being in the world. Learning how to stay aware of ones emotional state is crucial to being able to successfully transform the breakdown experience that is being created.

The second component has to do with becoming present to the story that the person is creating with respect to the breakdown. While the emotional state of the individual is very important to become aware of, listening to the story that he is creating is also equally of importance. Within a conversation of transformation, every emotion is created by a thought. When there are negative emotions present in a person’s life as he is experiencing a breakdown there are also corresponding thoughts taking place. The thoughts that are taking place will appear as a story in the person’s mind. Within a breakdown the story will be other oriented, involving external people, places, things, circumstance or situations. Within the structure of the story, inherent to it, will be the belief that the external events are the real or true cause of how the person is feeling. It is with these thoughts that the breakdown and inauthentic way of being exists, a pretense that it is about another, hiding what it is truly about. As mentioned above, blame and resentment will eventually result. Becoming present to the story is vital if one is not to impulsively act upon it and as a result bring its destructive consequences into existence with respect to his life. Becoming present or an observer to ones story is crucial to transforming a breakdown.

The third component involves becoming present to ones self-limiting belief, to the source, to that which actually created the breakdown. Becoming present to ones self limiting belief, to that which has determined ones life up until the process of transformation began to take place, is the first component in the process of transformational counseling. Even though the distinction of ones self-limiting belief will create the space for the person to begin to create his life anew, it does not go away, become fixed or get cured. The self-limiting belief, much like a virus that has appeared in the human body, continues to exist. As with any idea that we have or create about us, it is also a way of being. We be or exist by what we think and more specifically by what we think about ourselves. What we are familiar with is being our self-limiting belief in the world. It is familiar for us to think and feel that the world is more powerful and real than we are and furthermore, that it is something that must be controlled and even survived. We will eventually experience a breakdown given our sense of inadequacy with respect to the world as this is how we have been in the community in the past. However, once the self-limiting belief is again distinguished the inauthenticity begins to weaken or be dissolved.

The fourth component of enrollment involves creating a possibility inside the breakdown experience. This act of creation can be to invent a new possibility or enroll oneself back into a person’s previously chosen possibilities. Creating possibilities for ones life is the second component of transformational counseling. However, once we get it that we are being our self limiting belief, that the source of the breakdown is the self limiting belief and not that which the story tends convey, it is at that moment that we can generate a possibility to be at that moment, a possibility to stand inside given the breakdown experience. It is by generating a possibility by our spoken word that the experience itself will transform. The breakdown only happens because of who we are being. It is by causing a possibility to come into existence through our word that the inauthentic way of being completely dissolves and with it the breakdown itself. It is with the creation of a possibility that the person’s power and freedom are once again restored.

The final component of the enrollment technology is acknowledgement. Once the experience is transformed it is important for a person to get the victory that his possibility has made for himself and his life, to acknowledge the difference of such a victory. Acknowledgement is about getting how the created or invented possibility has transformed the breakdown from what it was to that which is truly a breakthrough for the individual, especially with respect to the event or experience occurring. Acknowledgement is about getting the power of our word for allowing us to transform breakdowns into breakthroughs, to once again become our possibilities. It is this acknowledgement that strengthens ones process of transformation leaving the person’s power, freedom and self-expression fully restored. Acknowledgement is about standing in ones possibility, celebrating ones power and freedom having given up being a victim.

The practice of enrollment will make a difference for the person wanting recovery. Applying the technology of enrollment will enable the person to transform a breakdown when it happens and as a result avoid the destructive and possibly even lethal consequences that would have happened as a result of staying in a breakdown. For the individual in recovery, staying in a breakdown only increases the chances that he will turn to drugs and/or alcohol to reduce the emotional component of a breakdown. Staying in a breakdown as opposed to being able to transform tends to lead to relapse. Clients at the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program in North Miami Beach, Florida are taught to distinguish their self-limiting belief, create new possibilities for their life and furthermore, how to utilize the power of enrollment technology. The success of utilizing enrollment and even recovery itself, especially in the early stages of sobriety, will necessitate the person staying in contact with his sponsor or counselor especially when breakdowns happen. It is only in communication with another that the individual will continue to be his possibilities in life.

Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC
enhancedhealing.com