Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Lighter, Happier YOU in 52: Lesson Three – Worrying

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butterflyblueskyAs we open the third week of “the 52,” I have some new information to share with you.

You see the image of the butterfly in the sky, ascending toward the light.  I have chosen this to accompany our course. Here is how I see it: The light is the light of eternal love. The blue is significant to the higher energies within our being.  And the butterfly — not only is it beautiful and a symbol of eternal life, it signifies metamorphosis. 

As  child, I remember my parents put a caterpillar into a jar with lots of leaves.  Soon it formed a cocoon around its body.  In a short time, a beautiful butterfly emerged.   We watched with wonder as it flew off, in all its beauty.  We too are like this. From one form to another, the beauty of our spirits soar into eternity. 

Let me know what YOU think of the image I’ve chosen.

In the first two lessons, we deeply implanted the thought, “I love myself completely NOW,” then we devoted attention to reducing tension and stress signals in the body. Now we turn to a habit and thought pattern that unseats many of us.  We will spend this week learning to find new ways to address that widespread epidemic called worrying!

LESSON THREE

His Holiness, The Dalai Lama XIV said these wise words:

If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry.  If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.

We may know that worrying does nothing good for us, yet we do it anyway. I was expert at it for many years.  I found plenty of opportunities for worry —  about the state of the world, about my health and everyone elses, about my past and future, about money, about family and friends.  I was a “worry wart.”  Worst of all, I thought my worrying was helpful to myself and others.  What a mistake that was.  But it was a habit and habits can be broken.

Just knowing that worrying is not beneficial is not enough.  We must find ways to break the pattern. Here are some ideas to try this week.

  • Let all your worries be placed on a schedule.  For example, when a worrisome thought arises, decide to mark it in your mind to go to the time when you will worry.  Here’s an example: Give yourself worry time, on the hour for three minutes.  During those three minutes you can analyze whether you are wasting your time worrying or, go ahead, worry your head off.  Then STOP.  Worry time is over until the next scheduled worry time.  You can choose your own schedule.
  • Put your worries in the worry box.  Literally, find a box (not too big I hope), and whenever a worry comes up, write it down on a piece of paper and slip it into the box.  Then forget it until you have time to open the worry box.  You are not allowed to think about the same worry again unless you open the box.
  • Sort your worries.  If  they have seemed so important for so long, you might not be able to drop them immediately.  Pick the ones you choose to have disappear.  In time, they might all be gone.

At the same time you are doing these exercises on worrying, don’t WORRY about how you are doing them.  Lighten your body through the stress practice you did last week and continue reminding yourself that you love yourself completely NOW, no matter what is happening.  In the next weeks, we will find new and different ways to break patterns of negative thinking.  But don’t WORRY about it now.

Please feel free to pass these lessons onto to others who might benefit.  My mission is to help and make our lives lighter and happier!  And let me know how you are doing!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, please go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Two — How Calm and Relaxed Are You Right Now?

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butterflyblueskyThe body is the temple of the spirit.

Amrit Dasai

It’s time to scan your body.  That’s right.  It’s the body that seems to contain your Eternal  and Divine Spirit.  Just how light, happy, and full of love can you be if your body is tight with anxiety, like a twisted knot?  It is important to take every part of our being into account on this joyous ride of Love.  We don’t leave behind any aspect of ourselves, including our physical presence.

LESSON TWO

LOVING AND NURTURING YOUR BODY

This is the focus of Lesson Two — getting to know when and how your body reacts to stress.  Tense muscles.  Tight jaw line.  Scrunched shoulders.  The back held in a noose.  Do you recognize these stress symptoms? Some bodies choose to display stress in one or two or all of these ways at once. Then most of us walk around all day long, unconscious and never noticing.  But, once you know, you can start eliminating the body’s reaction to stress and negativity.  You can have a new dialogue with your body, while being compassionate and kind all the while.

You can talk soothingly to your body, reassuring it and sending it  love.  “Go ahead, shoulders, take a little break.  Soften up,” you might say.  Or “There you go, you tense back, how about a little rest right now.  Stretch out.  Doesn’t that feel good?”  It’s YOUR body, after all.  You can have a friendly chat with it.  You might not want to do it out loud if you are in a public place, but then people will maybe just think you are talking on your cell phone. Or that you are little odd.  No matter!

I used to work in a place that was vibrating with tension.  Executive decisions were made, then rescinded all the time.  It was the land of the ten minute decision — in ten minutes there would be another, conflicting decision.  The stress was palpable and everyone worked in close contact, seated in the same area.  The only retreat was a bathroom stall.  I would go in there and stand for a minute or two and imagine a flow of soothing warm water pouring over my body, washing away tension.  I imagined the stress dripping off of my fingers and pooling at my feet, then flowing away. It worked.  That was then.  Now I don’t need to go anywhere; I can do the scan and the imagery where ever I might be.  You can too, once you are used to the idea.

Remember your body reacts to what you think and say to it.  It knows when you are sending it nurturing and love.  You can love ALL parts of your being at once. Try some of these ideas:

  • Honestly scan your body and be aware of tightness and stress.  give conscious permission to let it.
  • Repeat this scan often throughout the day and even at night in bed, if you are awake enough to notice.
  • You will see that your body reacts to these changes.  Each time it will be easier to calm the body.
  • Think of any parts of your body that have been problematic or are sensitive to negative thoughts.  Actively send kindness and love to these places in particular.
  • Imagine Love and Light massaging and filling those parts of your body. Perhaps inhaling Love and Light and then exhaling away judgement, pain, and anything negative lodged in those spots.
  • Take a class in deep rest and meditation.  I teach Yoga Nidra (sleeping meditation) and it works so well at de-flating stress.
  • See your body, from which you will surely part one day, as another expression of Divine Consciousness, of God.  Treat it with tenderness and respect.
  • Say these words over and over until they ring in your mind — I LOVE MY BODY AND MYSELF COMPLETELY NOW.

I am honored to join you in learning to love yourself more.  It is the true purpose in living, though that thought may, for now, seem unlikely.  but, over time, and with following The 52, you will see the incredible power in understanding this thinking. I am here to help if you need me.  Just ask.

With love and namaste, Deanne

More at www.deannemincer.com and share this blog with your friends who want to be lighter and happier and more full of Love.

(c) A Lighter, Happier YOU in 52 (weeks) by Deanne Mincer, 2013

More Thoughts on Lesson Two: A Lighter, Happier YOU

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butterflybluesky

‘Welcome back!

As I am hearing from you, I realize that some are calling the course “the 52”  I like that.  If that rings for you, we can all be on “the 52” together.

Let’s do a little check up:  Is your body less tense in the last day or two?  How are you right now?  Any tightness in the shoulders?  The neck?  Is the jaw locked in tension?  Is your back strained?  Just asking!  I am hoping that you are regularly asking these questions.   I promise that, if you are, you will experience change.  And you are loving your body at the same time.

You see, we want our bodies to be the recipients of all the tender loving care we will be experiencing in the upcoming weeks.  So we are sending a wave of softness to soothe the body — right from the crown of the head to your feet.  In a short time, this can become second nature.  It will only take a second or two to calm your body, to feel your shoulders drop down and relax.  There is a reason the expression about carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders became so well-known.  That is exactly how it feels sometimes.  I know.  I remember feeling that way.

If you would like some feedback, write back to me.  If you have engaged someone to be your on the spot support system, I would like to know how it is working.  Over the coming weeks, you will develop a dialogue of common life changing habits and thought patterns.  It is fun to watch the change in yourself and others.  This is meant to be fun — like a game.  And you will always be the winner.

I am here for you!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more information, go to www.deannemincer.com and read some of the other blog posts.  Thanks!

 

Lesson Two: A Lighter, Happier YOU in 52 (Weeks)

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In our first lesson, we reminded ourselves to say our mantra:  I LOVE MYSELF COMPLETELY NOW. 

In lesson two, we will be turning to the outer-most part of our being — our  bodies.  This is the physical presence we wear in the world.  It is our costume in the play.  It is the vehicle that transports us.  Of course, that body changes over time.  Which model do you have now?  It isn’t the one you had ten years ago — or even yesterday.  We want to keep it tuned up.  But how do we do this if the body is overwhelmed with stress and tension?  We must learn to love every part of our being in this course.

Think about this:  How light and happy can you be if  your body is as tight as a twisted knot?  We may say our affirmations and that is very good, but our outward demeanor may serve to undermine those words. 

We are human beings of multiple levels  and that includes the  body, breath, mind, senses, and spirit. Each of these must be attended to if we are to stay in balance.  A wholistic approach is what I am suggesting to becoming lighter and happier.

As Yogi Amrit Desai, the founder of Kripalu, one of the largest and oldest yoga centers in the United States, said,

The body is the temple of the spirit.

We want that temple to be shiny and welcoming to ourselves.  Don’t forget. too, that we include the body in loving ourselves completely now.  No part of us is left out, no matter what its outward condition.  We learn to love all of us.

Now  I will suggest a simple practice.  We will keep it simple, just as I promised.

LESSON TWO

I am calling this a weight-loss lesson. Why?  Because we are going to find ways to “take the weight of the world” off our shoulders, our back, our neck.  Now that is a weight loss program we can ALL use.

Right now, take a few seconds to mentally scan your whole body.  Where do you feel stress or tension?  Is it in the shoulders?  In your jaw line?  In your lower back? In the neck? For the majority of people these are the most common target zones.  So, first, we need to know what to look for and how to help ourselves.

Sit in a chair or stand up, which ever is most comfortable. Close your eyes. Scan your body.  Note any tightness. Resolve to soothe and calm the body. Imagine a warm fluid flowing over your body, from the top of your head downward,  melting away any tension and sore muscles, wherever they may be.  As you breathe, feel that each breath calms any areas that are holding tension.  Allow your shoulders to release away from the neck and give way to gravity. Say to yourself:

My body is softening.  My body is growing calm.  I am relaxed.

It is simple to do.  But you must repeat it often. Certainly, whenever you feel tension returning. Do this body scan even when you aren’t aware of tension. Tension can be insidious and become a habit.  Whenever you feel anxiety or stress, let it go, wherever you are – in the car, at your desk, washing dishes, in a meeting, at the grocery store, in bed.  Remember that you are being kind and loving to your body so that it can support your happier life. 

Become a student of your own body, but not like a rigid task master.  Instead be a kind and compassionate observer.  Be the kind of person who says:

I love myself AND MY BODY completely now.

Remember you can invite someone else to travel this transformation journey with you.  A supporting helpmate could be just the thing you need. Or consider me your fellow traveler. I am here to help.

Be sure to follow this blog so that you know when new postings occur and look at other, earlier postings and go to www.deannemincer.com for more information.

I am honored to share with you this path of transformation.

With love and namaste, Deanne

 

Are You Happier and Lighter and Loving Yourself?

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Here we are, part way through the first week and lesson.  I hope you have taken the opportunity to repeat the affirmation, I LOVE MYSELF COMPLETELY NOW. It’s not too late to start.  Maybe you only remembered to say it once.  That is once more than you would have said it otherwise.

The more you repeat it, the greater the benefit.  You might not feel a miraculous change in an instant – then maybe again you will.  It happens, you know.  That instant spark.  The way it is shown in cartoons – a lightbulb appears over your head. Wow!  This makes a difference.  I GET IT!  A lightening bolt of recognition.  The heavens part. 

Okay!  Most of us don’t experience that dramatic scene.  Most of us have to keep reminding ourselves over and over.  We usually have plenty of mind messages saying negative things, so (drip, drip) a few words of self-love make a bigger and bigger ripple. In this 52 week program, I urge you to resist any impulse to judge yourself or to get frustrated.  Whatever you are doing is just fine.  Really!

Lesson Two will be introduced by Monday.  This way the lessons will be there on a calendar week, right at the beginning.  You can combine lessons from various weeks.  No problem.  Because this course/makeover offers ideas for the WHOLE person, we will be talking about the body, breathe, senses, mind and spirit.  We will alternate between all of these.

But for this week, remember: I LOVE MYSELF COMPLETELY NOW.

Let me know how you did with this first lesson.  Write me!  I’m on your team!

And for more writings, go to my website www.deannemincer.com and check out my other posts.

With love and namaste from Deanne

Are You Loving Yourself Completely NOW? Lesson One

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Love is the beginning of the journey, its end, and the journey itself.

These are the wise words of Deepak Chopra, a renowned medical doctor, prolific author, and spiritual guide.  Have you begun the journey of love?  It starts with you, no one else.  By loving yourself completely and unconditionally, the love spills from you and, like a fragrant flower, is enjoyed by all those around you.  You share that love secretly,  like a gift that only you can see.

But maybe you want to share it openly. Perhaps you would like to bring another on the journey with you, like a traveling companion.  Sometimes sharing spiritual practice has a special pleasure all its own. Maybe you want to invite someone — a friend or neighbor, a co-worker or spouse, a parent or a child.  Then you have the chance to support one another.  You can ask “Are you loving yourself completely now and reminding yourself of this as often as possible?”  If conflict arises or it seems hard to remember to stay on track, you can talk about it with a kindred spirit.

Of course, you know I am on this journey with you as well.  You and I are traveling together.  Even though I have followed this practice for a long time, I am giving special attention to this all week.  A few people have remarked on how happy I seem right now.  Could it be the practice?  Who knows?  Perhaps our combined effort is lifting all of us.  I do know that I am having fun! So, if you need to ask me any questions or make comments, I am here.  You do not nor will you ever travel this road alone.

In 1 Corinthians 4 of The Bible, NRSV, it is written:

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing; but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all thing, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The strength and power of Love is our gift and our blessing. You can count on it, always.

I LOVE MYSELF COMPLETELY NOW!  There, I said it again.  If you could see me, you would know I am smiling

Be sure to “Follow” this blog so you miss none of the lessons.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more spiritual thoughts: www.deannemincer.com

 

 

The 52: A Lighter, Happier YOU in 52 (weeks) – The Makeover Starts Now

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52!  Weeks, that is.  By this time, next year, you could feel happier and lighter.  More joyous and peaceful.  More at home in the world.  Less stressed and more comfortable in your life.  You could find yourself transformed and at ease.  Made over, in effect, yet with feelings of love and compassion for the person you “used” to be.

We know that lasting change seldom occurs overnight.  If too much is expected, most of us are destined to become frustrated.  We just give up.  It is easy to make resolutions that are far too ambitious at this time of year, the new year.  So be easy with yourself.  Little by little, week by week, see how you feel.  If you skip a lesson or decide it’s not resonating with you, just keep reading the weekly lessons and see if something strikes you.

It won’t take a year for you to notice that you are changing.  It begins the minute you decide to start.  Like NOW!  And whatever happens, this plan does not have any space for guilt or self judgment.  It is not designed to harp at you or castigate you.  It is here to offer gentle and nurturing ideas that are easy to embrace in short periods of time. You will see that there will be an array of choices and types of ideas that you can choose to implement on your own.  Even choosing a few and then following them continually, yet easily, will afford tangible results.

What you will read here is the result of my more than twenty five years of teaching yoga and spiritual practices, of working with numerous students who wished to feel happier, stronger, better able to cope with their lives. My work is also personal.  I have probably been where you have been – discouraged, afraid, disheartened, grieving and alternatively – joyous, happy, hopeful, and full of love.  We humans are all the same in this regard.  At the core of our being, we search for the same things.  I have been blessed to meet certain people, read and understand spiritual texts spanning yoga, Christianity, Buddhism, the Sufi branch of Islam, Judaic writings.  Somehow, the wisdom in those writings merged into one simple understanding about Divine Love.  From that Source of Divine Love, these writings are being shared.

Each week, I will offer tangible methods you can employ in your daily life.  They may engage thoughts and affirmations, breathing methods and body movement, or using your senses to experience the world differently.  They will be easy, I promise, yet they will emanate from profound spiritual teachings.  And I will want to know what you think and how you feel.  We will share and guide and teach each other.  All of this process will be bathed in love, gratitude, and acceptance.

LESSON ONE    

Here we go!.  This is a lesson on love, my favorite topic.  Try this:  Say to yourself “I love myself completely now.”  Say it on the hour.  Say it before sleep and on rising.  Say it when the phone rings or the dog barks.  Say it when someone says something upsetting or when you do something you wish you hadn’t. Find a cue to remember those words. Write it down and put it on a sticky note where you can see it.  No one else needs to see it.  Say it even if you are saying it by rote. Even if you find it hard to believe.

This lesson on love is one of the most popular topics in my yoga classes.  I always tell my students about this: One of my best friends, a kindred spiritual “sister” and artist, told me this story:  She was teaching a special children’s art class at the ashram (a spiritual monastery) where she lived.  Her guru (spiritual teacher) requested that she take on this task of teaching the children.  As the class ended, the children’s parents arrived.  It was my friend’s responsibility to inform them of what had been taught in the class.  When she began to speak to tell them, only gobbledygook came out of her mouth.  Try as she might, she could make no sense.  They stared at her in amazement. She grew embarrassed and then felt like a fool.  To make matters worse, she felt that she had disappointed everyone, especially her guru.  Afterward, she sat in meditation, looking for answers.  Then the answer came!  She was to take out a sheet of paper and write and say, “I love myself completely now,” over and over again until she knew it to be true.  Until the pain and humiliation subsided and until she remembered that there was NEVER a reason to do anything but love herself completely.

Now, you can do this.  Even when you are ashamed or lost or fearful. Let the words sink into your heart.  The love will move through you and around you.  You will call forth potent powers of love to surround you.  But you must say it, silently or out loud.   All week-long.

In Believe in Love, Swami Gurumayi Chidvilasananda said:

The great devotional scriptures of India teach us that to cultivate and purify our experience of love is a sadhana, a genuine spiritual path.  On this path, the means is love and the goal, again, is love.

I LOVE MYSELF COMPLETELY NOW!  Say it and see what happens.

Next week: Lesson Two.  Stay tuned and spread the word to anyone who might like to be lighter and happier in their life. The more the merrier.  It is my gift to you and you can gift others.  Share on Facebook or to your address book.  Please let the Love flow…

With love and namaste from Deanne

For more teachings, go to: www.deannemincer.com