PAIGE BARTHOLOMEW: “Your 7 Sacred Soul Tasks”

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Does it feel like something is out of balance in your life?  Maybe you’ve done a ton of healing work, you’ve read all the self-help books, you’ve meditated with the best of them, but still something feels off.

 

Having difficulties doesn’t mean that you’re failing at being a spiritual person.
Your life is simply showing you where you’ve still got some work to do.

 

Here’s what you need to know: your seven chakras aren’t just energy centers.  They are sacred containers of knowledge which contain an enormous amount of specific information for your growth.  Each chakra holds within it a soul task which must be mastered.  If any soul task is left incomplete, painful symptoms will show up in your life and your relationships.  These symptoms are signs showing you where you need to do your work.

First Chakra Task: Keep Yourself Safe

If you’re out of balance in this soul task, you might notice that you put others needs before your own — to your detriment.  You may allow situations or relationships into your life that hurt you.  You may rationalize that you deserve the pain.  You might turn on yourself, speak harshly to yourself, you may even hate yourself.  To improve your health in this chakra, make a commitment to observe the ways that you devalue yourself and let others devalue you.  The truth is — no one is more important than you, and you are no more important than anyone else.  Your needs matter as much as anyone else’s.  Stay mindful every day.  A deep purification process like this takes time, so keep at it until you feel more stabilized.

Second Chakra Task: Connect with Others

We can’t make healthy connections with others if we believe everyone else is better, smarter, or that they matter more than we do (see how the health of each chakra has to be solid before we can fully master the next?).  If you’re out of balance in this soul task, you might notice that it feels hard to make and keep friends.  Connection may feel difficult for you.  To improve your health in this chakra, start with a commitment to daily self-inquiry and examination.  Observe your own behaviors and feelings around others.  Take small steps toward interaction with people.  Set goals for joining in with groups.  Remember, your commitment is all you need.  If you are committed, the healing will come.

Third Chakra Task: Set Boundaries

Symptoms of ill-health in the third chakra show up as either a tendency to be “too nice” and let people walk all over you, or to be “the Big Cheese”, believing you are entitled to more than your fair share.  We must learn healthy boundaries.  If you are out of balance in this chakra, you might have a hard time saying no.  You may grieve a lot about other people’s pain.  You may worry about how someone will feel if you set down boundaries.  Or — you may feel an impulse to run over people to get your needs met.  To improve your health in this chakra, first commit to observing your patterns and discover the reasons for them.  Then make a solid commitment to boundary setting.  Learn to say “Yes” and “No” at appropriate times, both to others and to YOURSELF.  You must learn to say NO to toxic people, places and situations, and say YES to beautiful, fair, kind ones.  The third chakra soul task balances the ego.

Fourth Chakra Task: Forgive

If you’re out of balance in this soul task, you might notice that you have trouble forgiving yourself or others.  You might be hurt or angry about things that happened a very long time ago.  You might hold grudges.  Forgiveness is the soul task that opens the heart.  If we are unable to forgive, we will be unable to move into fourth density consciousness (4th chakra heart), which is vital if we are to shift into the New Earth.  Forgiveness requires a change of heart.  Forgiveness occurs when we accept that our brother (or our self) is, in truth, innocent, and deserves our compassion.  No matter what you did, no matter what they did, the soul is innocent.  If you’re having trouble discerning whether or not to trust someone who is toxic or dangerous, go back to the third chakra — you have more work to do there.

Fifth Chakra Task: Embody Fearless Truth

Symptoms of ill-health in the fifth chakra show up as a fear of speaking your truth.  You may be afraid of the consequences when you say what you deeply believe.  You may fear hearing what someone else deeply believes.  When this chakra is balanced, you’ll know how to discern Truth from falsehood, because you will have effectively grasped all of the soul tasks from the previous chakras.  Here, the soul is becoming pure.  To heal an imbalanced fifth chakra, practice knowing your Truth.  Practice standing firm in your truth.  And finally, practice speaking your truth while maintaining pristine compassion and respect for others.

Sixth Chakra Task: Become One with the Creation

When the sixth chakra soul task is incomplete, we do not see others as our self — we see them as separate.  It is a very high state of being to actually be able to see others as yourself.  It’s more than just sympathy.  It’s more than just being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.  We are talking about literally seeing your brother as YOU.  Seeing that you are the same being at the core.  The truth is — we are all only ONE being.  Symptoms of ill-health in this chakra show up as subtle projections onto other people: “He is less evolved than I am.”  Symptoms also show up as a sense of separation: “I’m glad it’s them and not me.”  To restore health in the sixth chakra, meditation is necessary.  Become quiet and get to know yourself in stillness.  Practice seeing your neighbor as yourself.  Practice seeing a tree as yourself.  Feel it as though it were REAL.

Seventh Chakra Task: Become One with the Creator

Becoming one with the Creator is such a high state that humans are not capable of maintaining it for long periods of time.  Like the story in the bible when God revealed Himself to the mountain and it crumbled to dust, we dissolve back into All-ness when we reach this eternal station.  We slip into states of Divine knowingness, drink from it, and then we slip back out.  It’s that way by design.  Each time we slip in, the experience changes us so profoundly, we are never the same human being again.  Our soul task in this chakra is not a matter of reaching perfection, because we never will.  This chakra is infinite.  Our task here is to open to the mystery of the absolute as often as possible, and to surrender our small self to its Intelligence.  Practice by meditating on loving your Creator.  Meditate on opening your entire being and offering it to the service of your Creator.  Ask for help from your Creator, for your human self cannot know how to explore the realms of the Most High without help from the Most High.

 

Have fun in your travels, for in truth,
Growing through these soul tasks is the entire reason you’re here.

 

 

 

~via In5D.com

DR. KELLY NEFF: “8 Ways To Stop Over-Thinking And Find Peace In The Present Moment”

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We all do our best to stay positive, but occasionally we can slip into negative thinking patterns that can wreak havoc on our lives. We might worry about our past mistakes or current stresses, and how these could lead to negative outcomes in the future. We might obsess about or over-analyze regular experiences and interactions, reading into them things that aren’t actually there. We might find that as soon as one bad thing happens, we associate it with all the other bad things that have happened in our lives and begin to feel miserable. We might feel anxious in the present, having a hard time getting out of our own heads as we worry and obsess about the things that could go wrong.

If you find yourself in this place frequently, you are what psychologists call a ruminator, or, an over-thinker, and this way of thinking can be harmful to your health. Psychologists have found that over-thinking can be detrimental to human performance, and can lead to anxiety and depression, especially in women, who are much more likely than men to ruminate on stress and disappointments than men.

As a psychologist and recovering over-thinker myself, I have a lot of compassion for people who end up in these spiraling negative thought patterns. Many over-thinkers are lovely, intelligent, nurturing people who value relationships and care deeply for the people in their lives. Unfortunately, they often push away the very people that they are worrying about or seeking support and reassurance from, because they can become obsessive, anxious, depressed, negative and difficult to be around. This is not a switch in the brain that can be easily flipped off, but rather, a pattern from which it requires dedication and work to recover. Based on research in psychology and my personal experiences, here is my advice for how to stop over-thinking and find peace in the present moment:

1) Accept that You Have a Problem with Over-Thinking.

The first step to healing is acknowledging that you have a problem. If you feel like you can’t get out of your own head and over-thinking is stopping you from living a happy life, making decisions, getting things done, or forming meaningful relationships, then you have a problem. If you find yourself spiraling into negativity and depression when a bad thing happens, you have a problem. If your anxiety about the future is stopping you from enjoying the present, you have a problem. Burying your head in the sand or denying this reality will only make the situation worse. If you are not sure if you have a problem, ask your friends and loved ones to be honest with you, because they are usually the ones who will see it even if you cannot.

2) Forgive Yourself: Our Brains are Hardwired This Way

Once you can admit that you are an over-thinker, forgive yourself, because the brain is actually wired to make over-thinking a natural tendency. According to Psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, the leading expert in this field, “the organization of our brains sets us up for over-thinking” because our thoughts and memories are intrinsically woven together, not compartmentalized. So when stressors are triggered or you get into a bad mood, it can unlock a ‘cascade’ of racing negative thoughts that have nothing to do with the original trigger for the bad mood. Nolen-Hoeksema gives the example of “when poor job performance causes you to think about your aunt who died last year.”

Furthermore, when something bad happens or someone is feeling negative, they are more likely to think negative things and also see connections (that may not actually exist) between all the bad events that have happened in their lives. The more frequently this happens, the more likely the individual is to engage in this over-thinking pattern in the future.

While the brain might be wired to make these associations, once you become aware you can begin to solve the problem.

3) Breathe More

If our brains are wired in this ‘interconnected spider web’ where one bad event can trigger a tidal wave of negative thought associations, how can we break this pattern?

The first and easiest thing you can do is BREATHE. Breathing will relax you, calm you, connect you to the present moment, and ground you to Mother Earth. It sounds so simple but often when our mind starts to race to bad places, we become manic and frantic when what we need to do is relax the body and mind.

The breathing technique that works for me involves lying down and taking a two-second long deep inhalation in through the nose, followed by a four-second long exhalation out through the mouth. This breathing pattern increases the CO2 in the bloodstream, which can relax the body and calm the adrenal system’s response to the obsessive thoughts. Do this for 10 minutes or until the excessive thinking slows down.

4) Talk Less

So many over-thinkers, especially those of us of the female persuasion, can’t help but want to ‘talk it out’ when we are feeling stressed and worried. While talking about the worries can sometimes help, it usually will make things worse, especially if the person you are talking to is also an over-thinker, and you spend the entire time over-analyzing and dissecting every detail of every negative problem in your lives. You might end up working yourself up into a frenzy of negativity and feeling even more upset after the conversation.

This type of co-rumination, where two ruminators get together to over-think about their lives together, can lead both people deeper into negativity and stress. For example, research has uncovered an association between co-rumination amongst female friends and increases in the stress hormone cortisol.

If you really feel the need to express your issues, you can always write them down, to clear them out of your mind and realize that your concerns might sound silly when you read them back to yourself. This type of free-association journaling has been incredibly beneficial for me.

5) Get Physical and Get Busy

What should you do instead of talking? Well, you already know to breathe to calm the body and mind, but sometimes you just want to let the energy out! In this case it can be incredibly beneficial to do something physical, whether it is going for a brisk walk, playing with a pet or children, doing yoga, playing sports, swimming, or running. Activities that are both mentally and physically engrossing are the best, because they require enough absorption to pull you out of obsessive thinking patterns and into a state of flow.

In addition to physical exercises, engrossing activities that stimulate the brain can also be effective for redirecting obsessive thought patterns. Playing cards, learning a language, or playing all different types of games can be great diversions or interrupters of these thoughts. Or you could always learn a new hobby, make art, draw, paint or take up crafting, such as making jewelry, clothes, dream catchers, hair extensions, really anything, You might actually discover a hidden talent you never knew you had, or be able to start a new career or meet new people as a result.

6) Practice Mindfulness

One of the big things that over-thinkers struggle with is the ability to live in the present moment. So consumed by the failures of the past and the worries over the future, the present moment does not get the attention and love it deserves. Lao Tzu said that “if you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future, and if you are at peace you are living in the present.” So how can we live in peace in the present moment?

Well, we have already discussed some of the strategies that can help you quiet the mind and ground yourself to present moment, including breathing, talking less, getting physical and doing other activities that help redirect attention and bring the mind into flow. But one of the best things you can possibly do is practice mindfulness, a form of meditation where you focus on the present moment without judgment. As the obsessive, worrying thoughts come in, you acknowledge them, and then let them go, energetically releasing them and clearing your space. I strongly recommend learning mindful meditation techniques such as Transcendental Meditation, or if you are having trouble doing it yourself, seeking counseling from someone who practices Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

7)   Surrender to the Universe

When we worry, we are essentially hoping to control the flow of life because we are attached to the outcome of a situation. We want things to happen a certain way, and we are terrified that things could go wrong or that bad things could happen. In reality, we have little to no control over the unfolding of events in life, at least not from the conscious standpoint that our worrying will directly impact the outcome in the way we want. So, we can worry and obsess, or we can accept all that IS and let go of our attachment to the outcomes. The universe is way older and wiser than us, and instead of obsessively worrying, we can let go of control and with love and trust, surrender to the universe.

Surrender does not mean giving up; It just means you are willing to go with the flow of the current, instead of trying to swim against it and getting repeatedly bashed into the rocks. Surrender is a form of release and a form of peace, because it means you are willing to trust that everything will work out as it is supposed to: Trust that everything happens in its proper time and place and you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Even the concept of worrying about ‘good’ or ‘bad’ outcomes is flawed from this perspective and nothing more than a symptom of duality, which is only an illusion. As you zoom out to the grand scheme of the universe, there is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – it is all ONE, two sides of the same coin.

8)   Remember, Your Thoughts Create Your Reality

Even though I just said that ‘we have no control over the unfolding of events in life,’ and this is true at least from the part of the conscious mind and its ability to dictate events, our thoughts do energetically shape and create our reality over time. Like attracts like, and so the more you worry about something, the more you will begin to attract exactly the energy you are worried about! If you still haven’t seen the wonderful online series Spirit Science, I strongly recommend you view Episode 1, which does an excellent job explaining how our thoughts create our reality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmN2RL4VJsE

 

We must be mindful of our thoughts because our thoughts have power, more than we realize. If you obsessively fear losing your job, you are actually INCREASING the likelihood of getting fired, not decreasing it. Same if you are worrying about contracting a life-threatening disease or medical condition: The more energy you send in that direction, the more likely you are to unknowingly give permission to your body to manifest this condition.

Your thoughts and feelings will energetically create your life, which is why my life partner, sound healer Jimmy Ohm always says, “Worrying is a misuse of creative energy.” Do you want to create a happy life, living at peace in the moment? If so, you have all of the tools to make this a reality by being mindful and present in your thoughts. You also have all of the tools to create a life of worry and negativity, if you continue to over-think and obsess about negative events. The choice is yours and I lovingly hope that you choose wisely. Blessings and Love!

Authors Note: Do you agree? Are you an over-thinker or recovering over-thinker? Have these tips worked for you? What other suggestions can you make to break this cycle? I would love to hear from you on Facebook!

About the author:
Dr. Kelly Neff is a renowned psychologist, author, founder of The Lucid Planet and the host of the hit new show, Lucid Planet Radio. She has reached millions of people with her articles on psychology, transformation, and wellness, which have been featured on websites like The Mind Unleashed, Mind Body Green, My Tiny Secrets, and now, The Lucid Planet. Before she became a full-time author, Dr. Neff spent seven years as a psychology professor where she helped thousands of students learn about health, relationships, love and sexuality, and co-authored the groundbreaking manual in her field, Teaching Psychology Online. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Neff is an avid participant in the visionary art, music and culture scene in her home state of Colorado and beyond. You might find her traveling the globe to give workshops, speeches and do research at transformational festivals. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Light and Love!

~viaBodyMindSoulSpirit.com

ALEXA PELLEGRINI: “Forgiving Your Family and Finding Empowerment”

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If there’s one thing most of us are taught during our childhood years, it’s that family is important and should be a source of joy and security in our lives. But what if your family didn’t fit the paradigm we see in movies and on television? What if your family has become a dark, well-kept secret, or a source of shame or trauma in your life? Reconciling your expectations of what family should be and the reality of what family is can be incredibly challenging for those who have come from abusive homes. As an adult child of an alcoholic, I’ve struggled intimately with how the cracked foundations of a childhood home can bleed into adulthood and make loving yourself a tremendous feat. But even in your darkest hour, it’s important to recognize that there is always hope for you to heal, to step into your own power and leave the pain of your childhood behind. All it takes is three simple steps.

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Step 1: Be Kind and Forgiving to Yourself. 

Adult children of damaged parents tend to be hard on themselves. I know this firsthand: for years, I struggled with crippling perfectionism, an issue that stemmed from needing to impress my parents, particularly my father, in order to gain their love and attention. Making mistakes gave me terrible anxiety, and if anything went wrong in my home I automatically blamed myself. This behavior continued well into adulthood until I realized that the only person I needed to impress to be happy was me, and that I was never to blame for my parents’ faults. And even now, I’m still struggling to put these concepts into practice on a daily basis. 

If there’s one thing adult children of dysfunctional homes need to do, it’s give themselves a break. A devastating number of us are chronic perfectionists, workaholics and masochists. It can be difficult for us to take compliments, to believe that our partners love us. Practice mindfulness by monitoring your inner dialogue every day, paying careful attention to the way you react to any slip-ups you make. Support yourself with positive self-talk, not self-destructive speech. And don’t hesitate to compliment yourself for your achievements and for simply being the amazing person you are. Lose yourself to joy, to silliness, to feelings of hard earned success. Reward yourself. You deserve it.   

Step 2: Keep Moving Forward – Don’t Look Back. 

Breaking down a dysfunctional family is like peeling back the layers of an onion: it’s arduous, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s difficult not to be brought to tears while doing it. Especially when someone else is doing the peeling, and it’s your family! This is why I quit therapy. I became tired of having therapists deconstruct the defects of my parents, flaws I was already understood all too well. I discovered that the more you obsess over the past, the more you lose focus on the beauty of the present moment.

When I reflect on the past, I do so with a non-judgmental perspective. The past cannot be changed: it can only be accepted for what it is. This concept has allowed me to dislodge the resentment I had toward my parents for taking away the normalcy of my childhood. Looking back on the past with the intention of accepting someone for who they are and leaving your expectations behind allows you to move one step closer to finding freedom from the pain others have caused you.

Step 3: Break Off Harmful Relationship Patterns That Mirror the Past. 

Adults from dysfunctional families frequently encounter situations that eerily mirror the dynamics they had with their parents. Many of us become ‘rescuers’ for damaged partners and we like to have excessive control, which sabotages the healthy relationships in our lives. Why? Adult children of alcoholics, in particular, tend to have serious issues with control and self-worth. After all, we develop self-esteem from how our parents reacted to our feelings and needs. If our parent(s) were distant, critical or failed to be our mirror, developing healthy self-esteem as an adult can be challenging. Not to mention that living in a chaotic environment can quickly create a deeply insecure person who craves control and order to feel safe.

FamilyAs we discussed, the past can’t be changed. But what you can change is your attitude toward yourself. Your self-image is the one thing you can undoubtedly control. Although long held negative beliefs you’ve had about yourself – that you’re unworthy of love because your alcoholic mother did not love you, that you’re damaged beyond repair because your narcissistic father left you – may seem too powerful to control, they can only define you and affect you if you give them permission to do so. Who told you that you’re unlovable because you had a parent who struggled with their past and also felt unlovable themselves? As an adult who has made it this far, the definition of who you are begins within you. What your parents, siblings or relatives think of you has no meaning unless you believe it has meaning. And taking the shortcomings of your parents personally will always hold you back from healing.

As your self-awareness grows and you can confidently look yourself in the eye and tell yourself that you are lovable, you’ll encounter others who believe the same — and reaffirm that you’re worth it, and always have been.

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