SOUL TRAVEL RULES: “Hummingbirds and Their Symbolic Spiritual Meaning”

Ascension Avatar note: I’d been meaning to look up ‘hummingbird omens’ because they often fly to my window if I’m inside, hover and look right at me, as if to deliver a specific message, then zip, zip away… it’s a trip. I thought one might’ve been a message from my Dad. Last week a baby eagle came and perched by my window and let me sing to it… with my cat watching. I find singing to birds and animals probably better communication than speaking, but I’m saving this for an article I started in May, called “Animal Talk”…

.   .   .

 

There are so many myths that have been woven around Hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds are generally believed to carry messages from spirits. Americans believe that these birds have healing abilities and they bring fortune sent by spirits and angels as well. These legends and myths can’t be verified. But one thing can be said for sure that the Hummingbirds spread happiness and positivity around.

Symbolism Associated

These birds are one of the smallest birds and are very light-weighted too. This gives them an edge in flying; they can fly upwards, backwards and can change directions effortlessly.

These light-weighted birds are hence very adaptable. They act as an inspiration to the human beings as we can learn to be adaptable from them. This ability can lend us new perspective, which may prove very helpful.

Their weight can also teach us to get lightened up and do away with all our fears and sorrows. They flap their wings in patterns which symbolises infinity to some extent.

These birds feed on the nectar of fruit, symbolising sweetness. The sweetness is essential to humanity. The nectar of fruits is one of the most important symbols of joy and happiness.

If we talk about their humming sound, many cultures around the world believe their humming sound to be magical in nature and thus revere the Hummingbirds as healers.

Message From The Spirits And Angels

These symbols are not the end of the extraordinary qualities of these tiny birds. It has been said in many communities that these creatures carry messages from the spirits and angels. The spirits and angels choose these birds to give humans different signs and help from time to time.

Their hums carry these messages. Around the world, in many cultures, they say that the loved ones who have died use these hums to send us messages.

Now, I may conclude by lending a piece of advice which will surely be very useful for you, whenever you see a hummingbird hum, listen to them. They may have brought some messages JUST for you.

 

~via SoulTravelRules.com

FIONA REILLY: “Four Tips for Effective Listening”

The gift of being heard is something really precious. Having someone listen attentively to our expression or story is very healing and can enable us find our own understanding, acceptance, balance and joy again. Listening sounds like a very simple thing and indeed it is, yet many of us struggle to listen effectively. Being a good listener requires being present and fully attentive to the other. It is not about offering advice or fixing anything or making the other feel better, it’s simply being there and paying attention.

 

“Whatever life we have experienced, if we can tell our story to someone who listens, we find it easier to deal with our circumstances.”

~Margaret J. Wheatley

 

Four Tips for Effective Listening

So how might we listen more effectively… there are many things that can help! Below I outline four suggestions that I have found to be fundamental to good listening.

Be Present

Initially, it is vital to be present and with the speaker, to give them our full attention. If possible find a quiet place for a listening exchange where you are unlikely to be disturbed. Turn off phones and any background noise. Honour your boundaries, if you feel you only have 20 minutes to listen, say so at the beginning so the boundaries are clear or explain that now is a not a good time and arrange to connect when the time is right. To the best of your ability come from a place of acceptance and compassion and avoid judgement of them or their story. Be fully attentive to them and the energy between you.

 

“Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen.”

~Margaret J. Wheatley

 

Simply Listen

Many of us want to try to fix and make things better for the other person, yet the most beneficial way is for them to work through whatever is arising and to find their own solutions. The way to help someone feel better is to encourage them to be with their pain or confusion or whatever their experience is, to explore it and then they may feel empowered to move through it. Telling someone they need to be strong or things will get better or something similar isn’t effective longterm and can be disempowering. So try not to fix the situation or offer solutions unless they are invited. When listening our purpose isn’t to make a person feel better, simply by having their experiences heard in a non-judgemental and accepting way can allow things to shift and heal.

 

“The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is.”

~Paul Parker

 

Focus On the Speaker’s Perspective

While it’s useful to be able to identify with their experience, telling someone of your similar experience is not usually helpful, so try not to habitually compare their situation to one that you have experienced. It is of course fine if you are having a two way conversation, however if you want to encourage a person to explore their experience, your story isn’t what they need to hear, at least not until they have worked through their own stuff. It can take from what the speaker is saying and turns the attention away from them. Occasionally it may be appropriate to share your own experience, use your intuition on when that feels right. You could check with the speaker if they’d like you to share what happened to you, though mostly I find it best to stay with what the speaker is sharing.

In order to acknowledge their experience and what they have shared, you can reflect back to them what you heard them say, for example “You felt very angry when that happened”. Such a reflection does a number of things, it shows that you are listening, that their feelings or expressions are valid and enables them to go into more depth around the issues. In focussing on the other person you may notice the subtleties of body language, tone of voice… etc., which can sometimes indicate more than their words and again if appropriate you can reflect back what you notice.

Don’t engage in a drama or exaggerate the situation, sometimes what is being shared may arise feelings in you, acknowledge these internally though put them aside you can always return to explore them yourself at a more appropriate time.

Become Comfortable With Silences

For many silences or gaps in conversation cause discomfort and they rush to fill the quietness with something. However allowing a silence lets the speaker know that you are there for them and ready to listen when they are ready to speak. Speaking in order to break a silence usually ends up in directing the speaker in a different direction, than what may have otherwise arose next. If you do feel to ask questions, do so for clarity and understanding. The facts or details usually don’t matter. If you do feel to ask questions try to keep them open ended, you could you phrases like “How was that for you?” to encourage more disclosure or as I mentioned earlier reflect back what you have just heard.

Acknowledge Pain

This is an excellent video relating to how to support a grieving friend and the principles offered could be used with other challenging situations, not only grief. The way to help someone feel better is to encourage them to be with their pain, to explore and accept it and then they may feel empowered to move through it.

 

“One of the easiest human acts is also the most healing. Listening to someone. Simply listening. Not advising or coaching, but silently and fully listening.”

~Margaret J. Wheatley

 

With loving gratitude for all those who have shown me how to listen well and for my continued learning. I wish you well with your listening explorations,

Fiona

 

~via WakeUp-World.com

LIVE BOLD & BLOOM: “12 Of The Most Important Values To Live By”

What values are important to a life well-lived?

What do you want to be known for? What qualities do you admire in others and work to cultivate in yourself?

And how do those qualities reflect your core beliefs?

Your life values are those that, once you identify them, help you with decision-making and provide the building blocks for your character — specifically the one you want to have.

For example, if one of your top value in life is courage, you’ll likely seek out new challenges so you can act in spite of the fear that comes when you’re faced with the possibility of failure or rejection.

And if forgiveness has recently become one of your values to live by, you’ll want to remind yourself of your new commitment when you’re about to spend time with someone who has hurt you in the past.

But what is the point of identifying your values, and how do they contribute to your growth and happiness?

To answer this question, we’re exploring 12 of the most important values in life and showing how they influence everything you do.

But before we do that, it makes sense to explain what values are in the first place.

What Are Values in Life?

Values are about what you consider important to the life you want to live. They inform your priorities and, when practiced consistently, form the character you want to have.

They’re rooted in your core beliefs about what makes for a life well-lived and about the behavior you want to model for others (including children if you have them).

Shared values are the basis for a common code – a value-based compass – that speeds up decision-making and unites those who share that code.

By expressing those values, the common code articulates different aspects of the shared mission and becomes the key motivator for those who share it.

You can take each of the following examples of values in life to create a code or motto that motivates you to practice that value every day, so it will become second nature when it’s most needed.

12 Most Important Values To Life By

 

1. Courage

Courage is about doing what you believe needs to be done — not in the absence of fear but in spite of it.

You might feel disinclined to offer a genuine apology out of fear that the other will reject it, but courage will help you apologize anyway, because it’s the right thing to do, out of respect for the one you hurt or offended. Whether they accept your apology or not is their business.

Courage requires a step outside of your comfort zone. If you have no fear, you don’t need courage, but when something you know you have to do makes you feel sick inside, courage is what makes you do that thing anyway.

Courage code: “I do what needs to be done, even if fear comes along for the ride.”

2. Kindness

Kindness is about treating others the way you want to be treated.

It’s more than just holding your tongue when you’re tempted to say something unkind; kindness looks for ways to make life better for others. It takes delight in lifting others up and reminding them they’re not alone, invisible, or insignificant.

Kindness and compassion are closely related; the latter involves the readiness to see a situation from someone else’s perspective and to give them the benefit of the doubt. It also takes into consideration what the other person has gone through and chooses to respond with kindness rather than anger or vengefulness.

Both demonstrate at least a subliminal appreciation for the connectedness of all living beings; when you show kindness and compassion to others, you benefit (at least) as much as they do.

Kindness to yourself is also important, and it’s the basis for self-care. Don’t forget to be as kind to yourself as you want others to be.

Schedule time each day for reasonable and thoughtful self-care, and practice mindfulness to be fully present for it. In practicing kindness to yourself, you also make yourself better able to render kindness to others.

Kindness code: “I treat others as I want to be treated — with thoughtfulness, patience, and respect.”

3. Patience

When someone is pushing your buttons, taking your time or attention away from something you want to finish, or making your life harder in some way, you practice patience by putting yourself in the others’ shoes, trying to see the situation from their perspective, and responding with kindness and respect.

No one wants to be treated like an inconvenience or a burden, and sometimes your priorities have to change to make room for something (or someone) more important or more likely to help you grow.

Patience code: “No matter how I feel when someone interrupts me or gets in my way, I always treat them with the same patience I hope for from others when necessity compels me to interrupt them or get in their way.”

4. Integrity

Integrity is about acting and speaking in accordance with your beliefs.

If you say one thing but do the opposite, witnesses to this contradiction aren’t likely to recognize you as a person of integrity. They’re more likely to accuse you of hypocrisy.

Though you may not be fully conscious of the disagreement between your words and actions, if you believe one thing but your actions profess a contradictory belief, you might feel a growing unease and unhappiness with the way you’re acting.

It doesn’t feel right. And you’re faced with a choice: either change your belief, or change your actions.

Integrity code: “What I believe is made clear by what I say and do.”

5. Gratitude / Appreciation

When gratitude is a core belief, you make time for it every day. You prioritize both feeling gratitude and expressing it — in your thoughts, in the words you speak or write, and in your attitude and actions.

You might create the habit of writing a daily gratitude list. And if you recognize the importance of emotion to the fullest experience of gratitude, you’ll likewise place a high value on a daily mindfulness practice.

Showing appreciation to others for their words and actions is also essential to making this a core value. Just as you appreciate it when others thank you for a job well done, for a thoughtful gift, or for rendering the help they needed, others appreciate that recognition too.

And far too often, we act as though others must already know how much we appreciate them. Don’t assume that they do; make sure of it.

Gratitude code: “In the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening, I feel and express gratitude for the good things in my life. And I make sure everyone who has done something good for me knows I appreciate them for it.”

6. Forgiveness

Forgiveness is about letting go of anger and resentment toward those who have hurt or offended you.

You’re not saying what they did was okay or not a big deal; you’re acknowledging that what they did was hurtful but choosing to forgive them in order to be free of the anger and resentment (toward them) that are making you miserable.

In forgiving them, you take back your power and choose happiness and peace of soul for yourself, even if the one who hurt you has never shown the slightest hint of remorse.

Everyone has a capacity for forgiveness — just as everyone has the capacity to hurt others with their words and actions — but not everyone has cultivated a habit of forgiveness.

We learn to be more forgiving by forgiving more. If you write morning pages, add a short list of people you forgive, adding what you forgive them for and something you appreciate about each person.

Forgiveness code: “I forgive those who have hurt me, because I know I’ve made mistakes and hurt people, too, and I want to be free of this anger and resentment. I choose freedom, and I choose to genuinely want (and work for) the good of those who’ve hurt me.”

7. Love

Love sees the good in everyone, and it wants good things for them. You may not always know what’s best for someone else, but if you love them, you want their ultimate happiness, and you want to see them grow.

You recognize that no one reaches adulthood with their character fixed and unchangeable; we’re all a work in progress. Things your 20-year-old self would say might appall your 40-year-old self. It’s part of being human if you’re a human that continues to grow.

Did someone you love do terrible things in their 20’s or 30’s — things they would never do now (in their mid-40’s)?

Forgive them for not knowing better before they learned whatever stopped them from doing those terrible things. And forgive yourself for not knowing that human beings are all capable of terrible things — just as we’re also capable of growth.

When you love someone, you don’t base that love on the kind of person they were ten or twenty years ago, or on the person, you hope they become or that you wish they were. Your love tells them, “You are enough — just as you are today.”

You recognize that their beliefs and behavior may change as they grow, but since your love doesn’t depend on what they believe or on whether you agree on everything, your love doesn’t lessen with time and with the challenges those changes bring.

Love code: “I love with both passion and understanding; real love is wide awake.”

8. Growth

If growth is one of your core values, you look for opportunities to grow as a person and to help others grow, too.

You take the time to identify your values and your overall mission, so you can live in accordance with it and become more and more the person you have to be in order to fulfill your mission.

You know that growth isn’t a destination but a process, and you want to enjoy that process and help others to enjoy their own.

You might take an interest in coaching or in group growth opportunities, where members support and encourage each other. You recognize true and wholehearted collaboration as an asset and a growth facilitator, and you prioritize growth over comfort and security.

Real growth might mean shaking things up at home or at work, but the more committed you are to your growth and to that of those you care about, the less you mind rocking the boat.

Growth code: “Every day, I’m growing more into the person I want to be.”

9. Listening

If active listening is a core value for you, you value others’ input and invest time and energy in learning how to see things from their perspectives.

So, it makes sense that when someone wants to tell you something, you give them your full attention and thoughtfully consider their words.

Whereas before you felt tense with the expectation of having to defend your beliefs against an unfriendly viewpoint, you’ve learned (through practice) to listen with genuine openness rather than an ego-centric fear of being proven wrong.

You recognize that you don’t know everything, and you don’t see even familiar things from every angle, so you appreciate it when others share their perspectives. And your body language as well as your feedback shows them you’re listening and that you care about what they have to say.

Listening code: “I listen to others with my full attention, so I can learn from them and show thoughtful consideration for their ideas.”

10. Respect

If you want to be known for treating all human (or living) beings with respect, you probably base that respect on something more fundamental than someone’s rank or social status.

Otherwise, why would you consider it a priority to treat all humans with equal respect — regardless of their age, income, or background?

Or why would you put more energy into making sure the least exalted among you is treated with respect than into making sure others treat you with the same consideration.

It doesn’t mean you don’t consider yourself equally worthy of respect, but you find it easy to put yourself in other people’s shoes, so in making sure they feel respected, you feel more respected, too.

Respect code: “I treat all living beings with the same respect with which I like to be treated.”

11. Self-Giving

Another word for self-giving is sacrifice, but self-giving has a more positive connotation. Essentially, you’re giving of yourself — your time, your attention, your energy, your treasure, your abilities — to help or enrich another.

Real love doesn’t hesitate to give of itself until it hurts, knowing that the momentary pain is nothing compared to the benefit won by that self-giving.

The word “selfless” implies that someone has given so much of themselves, they’ve reserved nothing for their own use or enjoyment, but in giving yourself — if you give out of love — your joy is in what that gift brings to others.

Self-giving can be overdone but only when the motive is pride (or insecurity) rather than love.

Self-giving code: “I give of myself to others not only to connect with them but to acknowledge our connectedness. What I give to them, I also receive.”

12. Vision

You may be used to talking about vision in the context of a specific person’s “vision for the future,” but the larger sense of vision is not something that you own or that comes from you; it comes through you and inspires you and others.

Because the larger vision isn’t confined to your ego, the power of that vision is free to attract, illuminate, and flow through you.

Your vision is connected to one that is infinite and uncontainable — you do not exist to serve yourself at the expense of others; you exist to cooperate with others in the creation of a community that benefits all living creatures.

Your personal vision — what you see as your response to the larger vision — informs your personal mission and the process by which you live out that mission.

It’s not about the lifestyle you want or the things you’ll have when you’re “successful.” It has more to do with allowing yourself to be led by the greater vision through your personal links to it — your intuition and inner wisdom.

Vision code: “I live according to a vision guided by my inner wisdom and judgment.”

Now, it’s your turn.

What are your values? And what will you do today to put one (or more) of them into practice?

One small action today makes more of a difference than you probably realize.

Think of each small action as a seed you plant that, as long as you nurture it along the way, grows into a healthy tree with roots and branches, shedding seeds of its own.

Your values are the life in every seed you plant. Choose the best values, and make them part of your blueprint for personal growth.

And may your courage and passion for growth influence everything you do today.

 

~via LiveBoldandBloom.com

ALETHEIA LUNA: “Being Spiritual Doesn’t Mean Sh*t If You Can’t Hold Space for Others”

“If we ever hope to grow at a deep level and feel authentically connected to others, we need to learn how to hold space for both ourselves and others.”

~Aletheia Luna

 

So, here’s the thing. We might do Instagram-perfect yoga. We might meditate for at least an hour a day. We might pray. Say mantras. Do mudras. Send love to the world. We might have a hoard of crystals and other spiritual trinkets. We might do elaborate daily rituals, eat a cruelty-free whole food diet, and fast every month. We might burn incense, smile all day, say affirmations, and say “love and light” or “namaste” a lot. We might call ourselves spiritual seekers, healers, empaths, intuitives, old souls, or yogis.

But in my humble opinion, all of this doesn’t mean sh*t if we can’t show compassion and be there for others.

The Hypocrisy of Saccharine Spirituality

Firstly, I want to start by saying that I am by no means innocent. I have judged others before, turned a blind eye, shown unkindness, and committed spiritual bypassing — all while under the self-designated label of being “spiritual.”

I think to some extent, we all have. That is why I feel that the topic of this article is so important to cover — hypocrisy is something that we’re all capable of. The tendency is latent within each and every one of us. And I think we all need to understand and work to be aware of that.

But there are some things in life that tend to trigger, bring out, and exacerbate this hypocrisy. In this case, I am referring to a certain popular variety of spirituality. I call it Saccharine Spirituality — and it is a type of spirituality that is defined by a sickly sweet emphasis on “good vibes only” and “love and light” without much depth or real-life rawness.

Saccharine spirituality is the type of spirituality out there that involves worshiping the “feel-good” and “high vibe,” but actively avoids, denies, or shuns anything negative and uncomfortable. Saccharine spirituality is all about feeling empowered, developing self-love, and celebrating forms of spirituality that look good on the surface — but at the same time, it produces a phobia of anything too real, too emotionally challenging, too blood-and-dirt, too “unawakened” or “low vibe.”

And it doesn’t take much to see that saccharine spirituality is alive and thriving more than ever. We can literally see it everywhere: on social media, in real life, and in all spiritual and religious spheres.

I first witnessed saccharine spirituality growing up in the Christian church I was raised in. I remember how the church abandoned, passively shunned, and ignored one of the women who had been attending the church for 20+ years. This woman’s husband had been prosecuted for child molestation and was going to prison. I was the only one who spoke to this gentle soul, despite the fact that we were all supposed to be “brothers and sisters in Christ.”

I now witness this type of abandonment and hypocrisy in the spiritual realm.

I hear and witness self-described sensitive “empaths” show an extraordinary lack of empathy and self-entitled judgment towards others.

I watch “old souls” tear each other apart like animals.

I see spiritual seekers ostracize and react harshly to any person who thinks critically.

I look on as “healers” rush to fix, ignore, predict, or diagnose the suffering of others.

I watch as “psychics/mystics/witches/yogis” (*insert spiritual label here*) love talking and posting about themselves, but ignore meeting others on a deep level.

I’m sorry. I don’t care if you’re a talented healer or psychic. I’m not interested in whether you’re a self-identified empath or spiritual seeker. I don’t want to hear about how much mystical power or intuitive prowess you have. Being spiritual doesn’t mean sh*t if you can’t hold space for people.

What Does Holding Space Mean?

Holding space is very simple. It means being completely present with another person. Holding space means giving another the opportunity to be completely heard, seen, and understood. I’m not talking about trying to fix, give advice to, or pathologize the other person — when I say holding space, I mean it in the most simple way possible: just being 100% there for the person, without trying to change or force advice onto them.

To witness another person and be completely receptive to what they have to share is scarcely practiced. How often have you felt deeply heard, seen, and understood by another? How often has someone sat down with you and genuinely asked: “Hey, share with me how you feel” and held space for all your joy or sorrow? If you’re like most people: pretty rarely.

It’s no wonder that most of us are so emotionally starved. It’s no wonder that most of us are so desperate to be seen.

In a world full of stress, incessant business, emotional isolation, and self-absorption, holding space for someone is the most precious gift you can give. That is why I say that being spiritual doesn’t mean shit without this one important practice. Who cares if you possess extrasensory gifts or can meditate for six hours straight? Who cares if you have deep self-knowledge or can enter alternate planes of consciousness at will?

If you can’t bring those skills into your life in a down-to-earth way, they mean nothing.

If you can’t practically apply them in the blood-and-grit of daily life, they mean nothing.

If you can’t connect or show kindness to others, they mean nothing.

If you can’t sit down with a person and ask “Hi. How are you really?” and actually listen wholeheartedly, don’t even bother.

In the end, if your brand of spirituality encourages self-absorption and a superficial feel-good denial of other’s pain, it’s a waste of time.

“Your pain, your sorrow, your doubts, your longings, your fearful thoughts: they are not mistakes, and they are not asking to be ‘healed.’ They are asking to be held.” ~Jeff Foster

 

How to Hold Space for People

Holding space is about giving space.

Too often we jump to the part where we want to fix, instruct, or heal the person — or even worse, hog the conversation, talk about ourselves, and “one-up” the other person’s pain. But the truth is, most people (including ourselves) are just looking for a person who will sit with them in all of their joy or misery, and BE.

Mindful presence is the core of what holding space means. In other words, holding space means that we simply sit with a person and give them our undivided attention in the spirit of kindness.

“Undivided attention!?” you may think, “I don’t have the energy to do that!” Don’t worry. I realize that holding space for others isn’t always possible. You’re not alone. If you’re anything like me, your energy reserves are very limited. So it’s unrealistic to expect ourselves to always hold space for others, especially when we are tired, stressed, or sick. In which case, don’t be a martyr. Take care of yourself. Have a break. Step away. Have a nap. Top up your energy reservoir.

But if you’re still struggling to hold space for others, there might be a deeper underlying issue that you need to work through.

For example, do you often feel yourself talking over or interrupting others? Do most of your conversations center around your issues, thoughts, and feelings? Do you feel uncomfortable when others get too emotional? Do you find deep topics of conversation unsettling? These are all signs that you aren’t holding space for yourself. In such a case… how can you hold space for others when you aren’t holding space for yourself?

If we ever hope to grow at a deep level and feel authentically connected to others, we need to learn how to hold space for both ourselves and others.

Here’s how to do that.

Holding space for ourselves and others:

1. Mindfully tune into yourself

How can you become receptive and open to others without doing the same for yourself? Tuning into your thoughts and feelings is a practice called mindfulness. It requires you to become curious about what is going on inside of you. And to do that, you’ll need to slow down and breathe a little. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling at the moment?” “What type of thoughts/stories are running through my head?” Also be attentive to your body and notice whatever sensation, ache, or pain you feel. Simply note how you feel and move on with your day. If you need help doing this, I highly recommend that you use an app I use called ‘Calm’ — it will motivate you to develop mindfulness as a skill.

2. Be transparent with yourself

Express how you feel in an authentic way. Allow yourself to be seen by yourself. To do this, find a notebook or journal that you can dedicate to your thoughts and feelings. Journaling every day about what is worrying or concerning you will create more clarity in your life. Not only that but when you make this therapeutic tool a habit, you will feel more emotionally balanced and capable of truly holding space for others.

3. Release pent-up emotions

Don’t allow your emotions to build up inside of you. Find healthy outlets to express them such as through artwork, intense exercise, catharsis, or simply having a good cry. When we are motivated to “help” others out of the need to relieve our own internal discomfort, we’re not being kind. We’re not being empathetic. We’re just not. Instead, we are using others as a way to feel better about ourselves. Finding a safe form of catharsis will allow you to be calm and centered enough to show compassionate attentiveness to yourself and others.

4. Learn to listen more than talk

Master the art of listening. If you are a person who is used to chattering away, experiment with being quiet and allowing others to talk. How do you feel when you don’t talk so much? You might feel a sense of relief, or alternatively, you might feel unseen or ignored. Journal about these feelings. If you feel uncomfortable with allowing others to speak more than you, ask yourself “why?” In what ways are you depending on others to be seen and understood, rather than yourself? Practicing active listening involves making eye contact, letting others speak uninterrupted, indicating that you understand what the person is saying, and listening without judgment.

5. Let your mind be like water

Listen to other people without forming responses in your mind. How often has someone shared something interesting, and you miss the rest of what they say because you’re too busy constructing a clever/insightful reply? It’s tempting to fill the spaces in conversations with thoughts. After all, our minds think around 800 words per minute, compared to 125-150 words we speak per minute. But experiment with listening wholeheartedly to what a person says. If thoughts come into your mind, gently refocus your mind on what the person is saying. Then, after the person has stopped talking, give yourself a few seconds to gather thoughts, then respond. I promise that your response will be much more engaging and interesting to the other person because you have gathered all the nuances and details (instead of prematurely forming a response).

6. Let compassion guide you

The purpose of holding space for another isn’t to be a saint. It isn’t to be a martyr. It is to be entertained or to get karmic brownie points. To hold space for a person is an act of compassion, an expression of love for another human being. It not only makes you feel good, but it also makes the other person feel seen, heard, and understood. What could be more precious than that?

7. Practice with a friend or family member

An easy way to practice holding space is to schedule time every week with someone close to you, and to exchange mindful presence with each other. Notice how it feels to be completely received by another person. Imagine giving that to others on a regular basis!

8. Know your limits and take self-responsibility

Are you tired, cranky, overwhelmed, or otherwise incapable of holding space for another? Relax. It’s normal and 100% fine to feel that way. But make sure that you take responsibility for how you feel.

Final Thoughts

Holding space for others doesn’t mean that you have to be a pushover, doormat, or unnecessarily submissive person. Sometimes you will need to hold space for yourself more than others. Sometimes you will enter long periods of life where you are incapable of being present with others. That is normal. Not all of us can be Eckhart Tolle 24/7. So do the compassionate thing and draw a line. Learn to say a gentle no to others and be OK with it. If someone is becoming overly clingy or needy, be assertive, draw clear boundaries, and step away in a firm but caring manner. It is OK to be selective about who you hold space for, particularly if you dislike the person and struggle to stay present with them. (Hey, we’re all human!)

You might also be short on time, but still wish to hold space for another. In this case, explain to the other that you only have a couple of minutes to spare, or set another date and time to catch up.

Remember, holding space needs to come out of a place of compassion and the desire to help others be seen, heard, and understood. If you are doing it out of obligation, pressure, or duty, take a step back. Change course. Do something else.

The most important ingredient for holding space for another is the ability to hold space for yourself. By genuinely taking the time to wholeheartedly listen to your inner thoughts and feelings, you will be better equipped to show the same to others.

Spirituality is not just about learning to love ourselves. It is also about learning to extend that love and care to others in a down-to-earth way. One of the best and easiest ways to do that is by simply listening to others. You don’t need to always give them pep talks. You don’t need to always rush to prescribe a solution to their problems. Often, what people need the most is just a person who is receptive enough to simply listen without judgment.

To be completely seen, heard, and understood in the presence of another living soul is one of the most healing forces in the world. I hope you take the time to share this gift with others.

 

~via LonerWolf.com

CONSCIOUS REMINDER: “Your Body Is Smarter Than You Think”

The human body is a temple of thoughts. It has the wisdom of its own.

For centuries, healers have pondered the connection between mental and physical health. In recent years, science has begun to recognize the powerful connections through which emotional, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly affect health outcomes.

As research in the field of mind-body medicine is finding, emotions and thought patterns can contribute to imbalances within the body, and therapies like hypnosis, visual imagery, meditation, and yoga are being used to re-establish balance and promote health. The mind and body connection happens on both a physical and chemical level.

The brain is the hardware that allows you to experience mental states that are labeled the “mind.” This concept of the “mind” encompasses mental states including thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions. Different mental states can positively or negatively affect biological functioning.

The human body is a temple of thoughts. It has the wisdom of its own. There are a lot of positive energies that run through our body and a person should channelize those energies for effective results. Meditation is the best way to keep our minds focused and it also helps in maintaining an effective connection between the mind and the body, helping us to act prudently.

Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. It is about not trying to turn off the thoughts or feelings. Through meditation, a person learns to observe them without judgment.

And eventually, he might start to better understand them as well. Meditation is of several types and the correct one should be chosen depending on the type, habits, and nature of the person who will be meditating.

The different types are Loving-kindness meditation, Body scan or progressive relaxation, Mindfulness meditation, Breath awareness meditation, Kundalini yoga, Zen meditation, Transcendental meditation.

In order to establish a good connection between the mind and the body, a person should be able to listen to his body. In order to do that, one must be a good listener and must be very patient.

The use of hot water is a very effective tool which helps in relaxing the mind so that a person can pay attention to his body. Discussed below are a few things that can be under a shower which will help a person to listen to the wisdom of the body.

When you are under the shower, try to close your eyes and feel the hot water running down your body. Keep yourself calm and don’t let other thoughts disturb you. Focus on the sensation of your body. Use your hands and massage your body a little to make it feel better.

After a long hard working day, you must be exhausted. While under the shower try to find the part of your body which aches the most. Try and concentrate on soothing that part of your body, leaving out all the rest.

For better results use some lotion or oil on that area. It helps in increasing the sensation. In the end, ask that part of your body that what does it want you to know.

Hot water helps in relaxing the nerves of our body and helps to calm the mind. This, in turn, establishes a good connection between the mind and body.

After the question has been asked, there is a thought, vision or intuition that pops up in the mind. Trust the instincts and follow out the order. This is the first sign that the body is communicating with the mind.

After this, you can either choose to do the same with the other parts of your body that might be troubling you or leave the shower. By repeating this method on a daily basis, you will know how to listen to the wisdom of your body.

 

 

~via ConsciousReminder.com