Moving On to Live

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Have you ever seen someone do something terrible and get away without any sort of consequences? Even worse is when they may get rewarded or celebrated and we somehow reap a negative consequence, while they remain unscathed. Sorry if I’m bringing up a foul memory to mind. It’s ok to take a second to let it flare up, stew, and simmer down if you need. I’m going to attempt to help us take that foul stew off the stove and wash it down the drain, so we’re free to enjoy life more with the air cleared.

I recalled this stench of resentment mixed with justice recently as I’ve been re-reading a story. It’s a story in the Book of Mosiah about this guy named Amulon and his cronies, as I’ve come to call them. They were unjust men, who stole from the humble, murdered the innocent, and were beyond any crudeness or lewdness we’ve been seeing on the news lately. Not only that, they were supposed to be the government and religious leaders.

Thankfully, the people finally wised up and had an uprising, but they somehow managed to escape before the people could sentence any sort of just punishment. Fast-forward, and we get to a point where a group of the most humble and kind of the townsfolk are trying to re-settle themselves. Guess who barges in to desecrate the sweet-prairie life they’ve established? Amulon and his cronies not only butt in, but the ruler of the larger kingdom that the townsfolk settled in dubs Amulon king over their little settlement. To suggest that Amulon merely bullied these townsfolk would be an understatement.

Thankfully, for their well-being and sanity, these weren’t your typical townsfolk. They were praying folk. They were inspired to be patient, and obeyed. Then in due time, the Lord miraculously delivered them.

In some ways, despite the miraculous delivery, I’d find this story to be anti-climactic. No just-consequences are ever mentioned for Amulon. He seems to go by with a free pass. But as I was reading this story again, I stopped to observe myself. I realized that in the midst of my justice-nature, there was a vein of loathing, resentment, and unforgiveness. The funny thing is, I’ve been the one shouldering this, while those praying townsfolk who actually went through it merely moved on. The way they let the past drop off and instead focus on enjoying life reminded me of this stanza in one of my favorite poems, “A Psalm of Life”:

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Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!

Let the dead Past bury its dead!

Act,— act in the living Present!

Heart within, and God o’erhead!

 

The example of these townsfolk humbled me to consider that maybe there’s a higher law to live than merely justice alone. Grace.

To me, grace is a state where justice and compassion are held equally. Where there’s a higher hope than just punishment, but a hope that a person can be empowered to healing and freedom from their destructive state. That a past is not necessarily a future. That instead, a person can change and rise to his or her highest self. And we can hope to celebrate their rising rather than revel in their final defeat. Grace isn’t the expectation of witnessing this change occur, but holding the hope and openness that someday they will be freed from the darkness they’re living in, to be a person of light. And in the meantime, our joy isn’t capped by justice alone. We can let the dead Past bury its dead and act in the living Present. We’re free to move on and live.

 

Be Still and Know Yourself

Sometimes when I wake up in the morning I have a flood of clear thoughts that enter my mind before it gets cluttered with my own thoughts, emotions, or agendas.  I have learned to keep a journal and pen next to my bed and record these thoughts and cherish these moments. This pure information is aligned with my life’s purpose and my true nature. It seems for a small moment I am unclouded, I receive pure knowledge, and then it passes.

What if these moments didn’t have to pass?  I have come to understand that there is a key principle one must understand in order to invite these moments to stay and come with greater frequency.  It’s hard to describe in language things that are spiritually discerned, but I believe if you set an intention to be open to new knowledge and have patience for the fallibility of language, I think we can make a stab at this.

Underlying principle = our minds are fundamentally subjective

To be objective we need a source that knows us better than we know ourselves and outside of us. In other words, our thoughts, feelings, and emotions are not who we truly are but only who we imagine we are through a limited lens of reality.  I love the teachings of the Apostle Paul found in the New Testament saying, “we all see through a glass darkly,” and the whole chapter speaks to the power of love or charity to help us rise above this distorted view we each hold (1 Corinthians 13: 12). It is important to recognize that it is not just some of us that see “darkly” but all of us that see “darkly”.  For one reason or another, many outside our control, we have become separated from the love that we were created to receive and give away. Separation from love leads us down false paths to seek approval, comfort, and rest from this feeling. Our bodies even keep score and we have physical effects from the emotions of self-rejection we store in our bodies. When we seek to earn love or seek approval from others separated from love as well it leads to loss of self, dependence, and sometimes slavery to those false sources of love. This type of conditional love never satisfies.  The key to restoring our true nature and wholeness is connecting to an unconditional source of love, a source outside of us, a source that knows us and accepts us right where we are and can show us new steps to take to be truer to ourselves.

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How is this practically accomplished? The idea of finding an unconditional source of love sounds great, but what does that look like as one lives in a less than ideal clouded life or perhaps has little experience feeling this type of love? I have found that while the practices are personal and diverse as we all are, there are some common elements that can help us.

  1. Seek Stillness: Emotion is energy in motion. We need outlets to release low-level emotions to clear and align our thoughts. Through those outlets we eventually arrive at a peaceful states where we capable of letting go of our distracting thoughts and low emotions.  Tools such as yoga, journaling, prayer, reading inspirational text, deep-diagram breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, listening to uplifting music, a walking in nature are a few examples.  We all need to experiment with different tools to determine for ourselves what calms our mind and body.
  2. Seek an Attitude of Humility: “Humility is the catalyst to all learning,” and putting aside one’s own thoughts, biases, and accepting one’s need for knowledge readies the mind to receive. New ways of seeing yourself and the world can then come in.
  3. Have Self-Compassion and Curiosity: “It is what it is.” Self-rejection keeps us from being able to understand and arrive at what is amiss in us and learn from it. Research shows that acceptance is the precursor to change. Be kind to yourself, you are doing the best you can according to what you understand.
  4. Unpack your Baggage with an empathic Source: For me this is generally my higher power, but to others it may manifest itself in the form of a close trusted friend, spouse, or even a journal. Shame cannot survive empathy so when we feel loved and accepted just as we are, we can begin to remove the block that shame creates. We can move forward.
  5. Ask for what you Need and Be Specific: After unpacking as indicated above, I can often begin to see steps forward or identify what is missing. I find that when I ask my Source specifically for help with these unmet needs, I get small simple steps I can take to help meet my own needs. Sometimes, in the most desperate of times, these needs are met without my involvement, often through others. However, I have found that most often I am called to be a partner in my own healing. I must act on my own behalf.
  6. Have Trust and Gratitude: As my relationship with my Source grows, and my trust in my own abilities increases, I become truly grateful for the guidance and feel more desirous to keep coming back. I am connected to Abundance and I am enough!

My goal is for you to recognize and witness who you are “Clearly” and not who you perceive yourself to be “Darkly”.  You are created perfect and worthy of love. This accurate and “Clear” you holds the keys to the healing and wholeness you seek if you can just be still and know her.

Abundance: A Simple Question That Will Change Your Life

by Allyson Chavez, Author & Guest Contributor

In this age where so many negative connotations are assigned to different words, it’s refreshing that ‘abundance’ still carries with it a feeling of hope and excitement for the future. Even though technically abundance simply means a large amount of something, most people associate abundance with things that are good.

As The Ultimate Prosperity coach, I’ll use abundance and prosperity interchangeably, because there is such a close connection between the two, mentally speaking. For example, if I asked you, “Would you rather be abundant or prosperous?” the answer is usually, “Is there a difference?” And in today’s conversation, that answer is no!

If you want to create more abundance or prosperity, you must focus on them! To do this, I suggest a simple yet powerful exercise to instantly feel more abundant and prosperous, no matter what is going on in your life.

Ask yourself a simple question:

“Wouldn’t it be nice if…”

When you’re feeling discouraged or anything that is the opposite of abundant, ask yourself something like, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I felt abundant right now?” And then stop. Your mind will answer the question, and the answer is yes!

You can then ask, “what would it look like if my life were abundant right now?” In that very moment, you’ll literally begin to feel abundant as you begin describing what your life would look like.

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Asking this question regularly will change the course of your life.
The great thing is, you don’t have to limit the question to something as generic as abundance. You can ask yourself, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I were my ideal weight?” Or “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take that fabulous vacation?” You can fill in the blank with anything you desire!

You were born to be abundant. You are only one choice away from totally changing your life. Choose abundance!

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Bio:  Allyson Chavez is a wealth mindset expert and the Ultimate Prosperity Coach. She is an international speaker on the topics of mindset, prosperity, and the inner work to create lasting outer wealth. She is the bestselling author of The Prosperity Approach, an energy practitioner and a sales and communications trainer. Allyson teaches live webinars and online prosperity courses to entrepreneurs, as well as high end private mentoring. Visit prosperityapproach.com/webclass and allysonchavez.com for more information.

Email Allyson at Allyson@allysonchavez.com
Facebook.com/simplyallyson

When You’re Feeling Yanked Around…

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Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

There are some days (let’s be honest, some seasons) where I just feel yanked to the next thing from the moment I arise ‘til the time I hit the hay. Do you know that feeling? During these days, we may even get our mindfulness practice in still, but it feels like we’re robbed of the day-long calmness we were told we’d have. I must admit though, during those days my practice is more on the rushed side than the truly mindful.

Because I’ve been going through a season of these pulled, yanked, and rushed episodes, I decided to take some inspired advice I’d read on Sunday—to retire early and arise early “that body and mind may be invigorated” (Doctrine and Covenants 88: 124).

Have you ever thought to yourself during your yanked-days, “I think earliness is the answer”? Well, the promise of an invigorated body and mind was too sweet to pass up so I went for it. If this feels impossible, I actually found that it wasn’t as hard as I thought to get in an extra 15 minutes of earliness going to bed and getting up. It’s worth trying.

What I got today during those extra 15 minutes of mindfulness and prayer this morning was an unexpected lesson on my limited concept of time. It became a re-training of my mind in regards to the scarcity of time, and actually to the concept of scarcity at large. Here are some things I learned that I thought you may enjoy as well:

  • There is not a scarcity of time, energy, health, wealth or ability. There is only a learning curb that blocks us from understanding how to have plenty.
  • Rather than straining to get more of these items or that there’s just not enough of them to go around, we can have a sense of peace towards them as we shift our intent to use them as tools rather than as our pursuit.

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    Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash
  • It’s easier to see how this is the case if we think of them in the context of a game, like Mario for example. Time, wealth, and health are tools in the game, but not the end pursuit. We collect stars to speed us up in time, coins to unlock opportunities, and mushrooms to give us health. All the while, we’re moving forward not with the intent to just collect the tools, but to use those tools to accomplish our pursuit—reconnecting with our loved one, Princess Peach in this case.
  • When we live to collect the tools of time, energy, health, wealth, or ability, we’re not living out our purpose and thus we’ll always be met with scarcity and that yanked feeling. If instead we seek them as tools and live life using them as tools to fulfill our purpose, then we’re able to live more freely. Our attitudes can shift, for example, from thinking our family members drain our time, energy, or finances, to appreciating the connection we have with them and the unique perspectives family adds to life.

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    Photo by Ana Tavares on Unsplash

 

If you’ve been going through a yanked season lately, I hope this shift in perspective of using the tools of time, health, and wealth frees you from the constricted feeling scarcity can create. Use the 15 minutes of earliness to allow you space so you can have more creative energy to think of opportunities to collect more tools if you’d like, and reconnect with your purpose.

Chaos and Crumbs

For the past few weeks, I’ve watched how the feeling of things being out-of-control can suddenly switch us from able to disabled. The “out-of-control thing” can be a feeling of trying to set a routine and it keeps slipping away. A partial opinion someone has of us that we just can’t help them see our full picture. Trying to support a sick loved one. Or the clutter that has crawled into our closet, kitchen, or computer from loved ones or ourselves as we’re trying to manage life’s demands. Whatever that out-of-control thing is for you, know that you’re not the only one who gets incapacitated by it every now and then. We’re not weak for feeling that way. We’re growing.

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Photo by Jordane Mathieu on Unsplash

When chaos comes, we may feel all we have left are crumbs of ideas, energy, support, or solutions.

But at least we have crumbs.

I’ve been thinking about this when random moments of chaos have affected me or those around me lately. For some reason, the idea of crumbs brought me solace. In the midst of pain and pressure from chaos’ crumbliness, I think we can learn from our little leftover remains.

  1. Its ok to have days of hearty harvests and days of scraping from the bottom. Just like the seasons, our days will vary in abundance. Some days we’re functioning at a Spring state with bounteous energy and flowing ideas. Other days we’re more in a huddled, frigid Winter state. Both seasons, we have something to give and receive. When I have those free flowing days with buckets full to share, I find myself still needing to receive my husband’s counterbalancing thoughts to prune and hedge my decisions. During the winter freeze and crumby days when I have little to give, I can still offer warmth to huddle next to. What this looks like may be extra delegating, voicing my needs more, or drawing loving boundaries for activities or people to better care for myself.
  2. Every crumb counts. Imagine your favorite meal or desert. Every last drizzle and morsel of that deliciousness is savored and celebrated. That means that when we’re depleted, every little bit that we do have to give to ourselves, our families, or our work is enough. Even if they say otherwise, let it be a truth we can anchor in knowing that our best is enough (1). Because our seasons can change, that means our best also changes. We can give ourselves some space in productivity, in helpfulness, in nurturing, and wherever we tend to excel in or be leaned on, knowing that it’s ok for our status and abilities to fluctuate. But what we do give, if given with our best, will be for good.
  3. Be determined to move forward. Crumbs can only support us for so long. I’ve used these crumby moments to be a flag and indicator to myself that things have got to change. And the things I can change are 1) my attitude and 2) my actions. For my attitude, there’s nothing like listening to a favorite song that anchors me to remember truths or to be grateful. A few of my favorites are “Blessed” by Martina McBride, “Baba Hanuman” by Shantala, or any song by JJ Heller. As for actions, you know the list: exercise, sleep, talking/counseling, nutrition, praying, serving, exploring nature, acupuncture, or reading.
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Photo by Abele Gigante on Unsplash

This has been a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while and so writing it was actually a challenge because it’s been a learning by observing process rather than anything measured or clinical. I hope through this conversation we can each be more patient with ourselves through the chaos and crumbs. We’d love to hear what you’ve found helpful when you’ve felt out-of-control or crumbly. Who knows, if we as women link our crumbs together, maybe we’ll end up with a loaf to share.

(1) Ruiz, Miguel. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. San Rafael, Calif: Amber-Allen Pub, 1997. Print.