Monthly Archives: April 2013

The 52: Lesson Eighteen — Just WHO Do You Think You Are?

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Just WHO do you think you are?

Here is the answer most people give to this question.  “Well,” they might say,”My name is Jane Doe.  I live at x address.  I am x years old.  I was born in x town.  I went to x school.  I am a (fill in what you do — a doctor, a plumber, a housewife, a  yoga instructor, etc.)  My hobby is x.  I am married to x and have x children. I am single.  Etc.  Etc.

You are describing who you are in the world.  But is this who you really are?

LESSON EIGHTEEN

THE TRUE SELF

In yoga and the spiritual world, those descriptions are interesting but not indicative of who you are at the core of your being, on a transcendent level.  Those answers are good to know if you are at a party and someone asks who you are.  You would probably not say, in the mix of meeting new people at some social function, to your inquiring new acquaintance, these words.  “Well, I am a transcendent and eternal being, completely perfect and bathed in the Light of Consciousness and God.”  Your new acquaintance would more than likely excuse himself rather quickly and move onto the next person and avoid you for the rest of the evening. You might want to stick to the conventional answers discussed earlier.

But what if the answer I just described (the spiritual one) is actually who you are?  What if you are, in some way, both of these?  As a human being in the world , you are the commonly described one who performs functions in the world.  But, on another level, you are much more than this?  Could you imagine that you are the first one, we will call the small “self”, and at the same time you are also the Eternal Self?  And knowing this to be true, you can be in both dimensions.

Does this all sound a little crazy?  It certainly did to me, in the beginning. What does it mean if you thought of yourself as only the one you believed yourself to be all those years, (the small self) when you are actually, in truth, something far greater and luminous than you could have ever imagined?  There was a time when I would have seen this as total nonsense.  During one of my many readings in The Yoga Sutras, the classic book that defines the true essence of yoga, I actually GOT this reality, but it was not easy.  I remember wailing and crying and trying to figure out just who this “Deanne” was and what it meant if that was not who I was.  I grieved for her and wondered what everything meant.  Then, by some odd twist (or maybe it was Grace), I fell silent and into an exquisite state of unfathomable peace.  Some might call it a peace which passed all human understanding.

Swami Muktananda wrote:

You, the traveler, are what you are seeking.

Everything is within you.

The supreme inner stillness…is your destination.

It is God,

The Self,

Consciousness.

In his excellent best selling book, Proof of Heaven, Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who was steeped in scientific theory, writes of his unexpectedly long and vivid near death experience.  He encounters realms of existence and consciousness he could never have fathomed.  After his recovery, he courageously examined what happened to him and comes to the conclusion that the “lessons” he was given, while out of his body and which can be applied to all of us, were essentially these:

You are loved and cherished.

You have nothing to fear.

There is nothing you can do wrong.

These, I would call, lessons that describe true consciousness, the Supreme Self, which is who we are — far beyond our names, what we do, where we went to school and how much we have “accomplished” in the world.

Think on these ideas and take them to heart.  Don’t start judging them. Just for now, accept them at face value.

  • I am loved and cherished just as I am right now.
  • I have absolutely nothing to fear.
  • I am already perfect at the core of my being.  There is nothing I can do wrong.

Just try these ideas on for size.  Imagine that the YOU who lives in this reality is always the YOU every day and minute.

Can you possibly love and accept yourself this much?  Maybe you should get used to thinking this way.  What would happen then?  Maybe YOU, yourself are perfect, just as you are right now.

I think you are!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Are You Lighter and Happier and More Patient?

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Being patient may seem like a trivial thing, especially when we consider gratitude and love and so many other “virtues.” But, make no mistake, a lack of patience results in a lack of peace and wellbeing.  When we are impatient, we have given away the sense of calm and have replaced it with anxiety and “not right-ness.” We are agitated, and who wants that?

Our world, when we engage it too much and take it too seriously, sets us up to be permanently in a state of dis-comfort.  Think of the constancy of the 24/7 news cycle, usually filled with bad news rather than good.  Consider our propensity to compulsively “stay in touch” through texting, emails, and social media.  Everything is happening FAST and, to my way of thinking, this makes patience difficult to attain. 

How about taking some examples from nature?  The great poet, author, and, some would say, mystic, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote this:

Adopt the pace of nature.  Her secret is patience.

Where I live, in Connecticut, we have had a long winter and spring has taken its time to unfold.  Is nature saying, “Come on, you daffodils, get up and bloom!” or “What’s wrong with you trees?  Can’t you start budding and spreading your leaves out to the sky?”  Instead, we wait.  Being impatient will not make a difference in the course of nature.  There is a lesson to learn here.

In like manner, we may give thought to “time.”  Some things take time to evolve. William Shakespeare, in his great wisdom, wrote:

How poor are they that have not patience.  What wound did ever heal but by degrees?

When my mother passed away some years ago, I learned that some people believed that grieving had a time limit.  Someone said to me, after three months had passed and I was still sad and feeling loss — well, I just missed her — that I should just “get over it.”  but that is not the way healing occurs.  We all have our own way to heal, and we should relax, be patient, and let it unfold in due time.

Being patient is being kind to yourself and all that is around you.  Try it!

I am a little impatient to find out what you think of this.  Just kidding!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson 17 – Practice a Little Patience!

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Patience is the companion of wisdom.

Thus spoke Saint Augustine, the Roman Catholic saint and poet, during the 1800’s.  Perennial wisdom does not change with time. Patience, it is said, is a virtue.

Most of my life, I have not been a very patient person.  I wanted things done yesterday.  I suffered because of my lack of patience and my thinking that, by doing more and more, I could speed up time and make things happen faster.  What I accomplished was a perpetual sense of frustration and a loss of living in the present moment.  I was impatient for something to happen in the future. I am happier now as I learn to embrace the gift of patience.  It is an important step..

Take to heart the first quote and these:  The Buddhist philosopher, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, said this:

With love and patience, nothing is impossible.

Thomas Henry Huxley, the botanist, wrote:

Patience and tenacity of purpose are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.

LESSON SEVENTEEN

PATIENCE

It may seem ironic that patience plays such a big role in success.  Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?  Sometimes moving along at a comfortable pace is better than racing wildly.  Action does not necessarily mean “right” action.  And when you are patient in your endeavors, you save yourself all the anxiety that comes with impatience.  You enjoy a modicum  of steadiness and peace while pressing forward.  You are okay just as you are, even while pursuing goals and dreams.  You let go and surrender the fruits of your labor in honoring the “now.”  This is a whole lot easier than going crazy with fear.  It is fear, in so many ways, that brings on impatience.  If it is time you are worrying about, just forget it. We yogis say time doesn’t exist anyway, but you don’t need to take my word for it.

I promised that these lessons would guide you to a life that is lighter, happier and more loving.  Sometimes we should focus on just resting with an idea, like a sense of gratitude for all that is so abundantly given to you — the sunshine, food, family, friends, the birds in the trees. Other lessons may ask you to take action, like monitoring your thoughts or checking how you are breathing or spending some time in silence or meditation.  Yet there is a commonality in all of this: It is to be patient and love yourselves where ever you are at this moment.  To love yourself, right NOW!

  • When you find yourself impatient to see change, to have an accomplishment, or to change yourself, stop for a moment.  Rest where you are. Decide to see yourself as in the right place at the right time.  You might say to yourself — No rush.  Everything is unfolding in perfect timing.  Breathe and relax, even when you look at that list of goals you may have right in front of your eyes.
  • See yourself with loving and nurturing eyes, as if you could stand witness and view your body and your mind resting calmly and patiently.
  • All in good time, you might say to yourself.
  • What’s my hurry?  Especially if life is eternal.
  • Smile at your impatience.  Lighten up.  You’ll get there when the time is right.

We are not here, in this life, to be tortured with a sense of impatience or to believe that, once we have that “thing” we are impatient to achieve or experience, that then, only then, we will be okay.  You are okay right now.  No waiting!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: A Lighter, Happier YOU — So, What Are You Thinking?

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Just what are thinking now?  And all day long? What is rolling around in your mind?  Are you paying attention?

This week’s lesson is focused on a time tested, relevant method for changing perpetual ways of thinking.  For bringing them to light and then acting on them.  Do you realize how important this is?

I first heard about this idea from Dr. Henry Grayson (see previous post and check him out online at www.henrygrayson.com.  One day he suggested that I monitor my thoughts by writing them down all day long, noting those that are troubling.  I looked at him with glazed eyes.  “Are you kidding?” I thought.  Who has time to do such a thing?  We laughed about it, but what he said was not lost on me.  I began noting those thoughts that were self destructive or, if not so extreme, just repetitive and damaging on some level.  These were things like telling myself : I wasn’t organized enough.  I wasn’t teaching enough classes.  I wasn’t caring enough to my friends and family.  I wasn’t reading enough books.  I wasn’t good enough, strong enough, kind enough… Blah, blah, blah.  And those were the easier ones I told myself. 

As I began thought monitoring and deleting those thoughts, I noticed tangible change.  Not that some of those thoughts didn’t slip in and I missed them from time to time, but I saw the pattern.  I saw that a lot of it revolved around a sense of lack of worthiness.  Noticing this changed my life.

I am not saying I liked acknowledging how lomg I had held onto terrible thoughts and how deeply set they had taken root, even in my childhood.  It hurt quite a lot to acknowledge this.  I had spent much of my life acting in ways to deny how much fear and sadness was there..  But now, like a miracle, it was out in the open.  It was no longer cloaked in dark places. I began to find new ways — thanks to Dr. Grayson and my intense yoga spiritual studies and beliefs — to start dissolving those fear based thoughts. 

In future lessons,we will give attention to removing these sad core beliefs, to set new core beliefs in place, and to penetrate the depth of those beliefs to excise them.

For now, I hope you have begun thought monitoring. Please don’t be afraid to clear this clutter. It cannot hurt you.  You are much bigger than any thoughts you have. You are the essence of love.  Believe it!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more. go to www.deannemincer.com and visit on Facebook

The 52: Lesson 16 – As You Think, So You Become

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If you really want to become lighter, happier, and more abundant in Love, maybe you should think about dropping some of those negative thoughts.  I am talking about the ones you have probably been carrying around for a long time.  The ones that get replayed day after day and nip away at your natural state of joy.

Do you believe that your thoughts form your reality?  Do you think that, by changing how you think (like flicking a switch), can actually make a tangible difference in the quality of your life?  On the surface, it sounds too easy to be true.  And yet it is!

Thoughts have power and energy within them.  They have more power than most of us can even imagine, so it’s worth paying attention to what you are thinking.

Eckhart Tolle has said:

What a liberation to realize that the “voice in the head” is not who I am.

Who am I then? 

The one who sees that.

In upcoming lessons, we will delve more deeply into the question of who we are. For now, let’s think about the  “voice in the head.”  We are thinking about it, so thinking has a worthwhile purpose.  Yet most of the thoughts we have are random, repetitious and even potentially damaging.  Most of us pay little mind to how and what we think, even as those thoughts construct the person that we seem to be.  It is worth taking note of what you think — about yourself, others and the world around you.

LESSON SIXTEEN

THOUGHT MONITORING

Here is the beginning of a practice I learned from a man who has spent years as a therapist, author, energy healer, and teacher.  He is Henry Grayson, Ph.D. and the authors of several books.  The latest is quite revolutionary, Using Your Body to Heal Your Mind.  I was a student in a course he taught several years ago, covering many methods of energy healing.  We learned his program for thought monitoring.  This is it:

  • Notice what you are thinking frequently during the day.  If you are feeling agitated or any level of discomfort, check to see what you are thinking at that moment.  It will likely be a negative thought and something that is unsettling to you.  Put a “check” next to that thought. Note that it it may be a recurring thought that keeps you locked into negative self assessment.
  • Now that you have pulled that thought out for investigation, label it. “Oh, there goes another one of those negative thoughts again,” you might say.  Now it is out in the open and no longer hiding from you.  You have brought it out into full view.
  • Ask yourself this question: “Do I want to continue to have this thought? ”  Do not analyze it. If the thought isn’t good for you, you will answer no.
  • Because we know thoughts are repetitive and we’ve found this little culprit, the thought,  lurking in our minds, we want to find a way to get rid of it.  So we say, “I choose to delete this thought.”  Or you can use the word “cancel” or “dismiss” or “burn out” or say words that seem right to you.
  • Now that you have dropped the thought, you have created an empty space where that thought was.  So now you will fill it with something positive, to form a habit of positive thinking.  You could use the affirmation I love myself completely NOW or something that puts a positive on the negative thought or a mantra or, from A Course in Miracles – God is but love and therefore so am I. 

Experiment with this thought monitoring.  Play with the words you use. Don’t be shocked if you find that you have been creating a lot of negativity everyday by what you were thinking.  Now, you are “sweeping the deck” clean.  Be patient and loving to yourself in the process.

This is a powerful practice.  You may not tell everyone you are “thought monitoring” though having a friend participate is a good idea.  You can share the nuggets you find hidden in your mind, then watch as they begin to dissolve.  You will be lighter and happier.  Trust me on this!

And let me know how it goes.  I am here to help.  Always.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Five — More on the Breath and How it Can Change Your Life

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Here is a life-changing story!

One of my yoga students told me this story years ago.  She had taken classes from me for a long time.  She was aware of the power of the breath and how to effectively use the breath in life situations.  What she told me illustrates just how valuable it is to know how to breathe properly.

She received a telephone call and was told that her husband was in the hospital.  He was in serious condition, perhaps having suffered a stroke.  She rushed to the hospital emergency center.  As she entered the building, where there were two sets of doors, she walked through the first automatic door and was about to go through the next door.  She stopped herself.  She knew she was panicking.  She remembered our lessons about the fight/flight response and how you can control this through your breathing.  She knew that, if she didn’t do something right away, she would next be seeing her husband.  He would know that she was frightened.  Her mind would not be able to function in a methodical, calm way in order to make the right decisions for him.

Here’s what she did:  She consciously checked her breathing.  It was high in her chest (fight/flight breathing).  She made it deeper and moved it into her belly.  Then she slowed and smoothed out the breath.  In moments, she brought her breath and herself under control.  By the time she entered through the second set of doors, she was calm enough to handle whatever she would encounter.

Now that’s a skill worth knowing.  See how powerful the breath can be!

How are you breathing right now?

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Fifteen – SIMPLY BREATHE

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butterflyblueskyYour breathing should flow naturally, like a river, like a watersnake crossing the water,

and not like a chain of rugged mountains or the gallop of a horse.

To master breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds.

Each time we find ourselves dispersed and find it difficult to gain control of ourselves by other means,

the method of watching the breath should always be used.

Thich Nhat Hanh

How are you breathing?  Right now?  Do I seem to repeat myself?  Have you seen this another lesson? Yes, I do repeat myself.  Some lessons bear repeating.  We keep doing it until we do it right.  Paying attention to your breathing is one of these lessons.

We have already talked about this basic function of living — breathing — and how there are subtleties of breathing that often escape our attention.  How we breathe has a lot to do with how we feel and how we live our lives.  For example, if we breathe shallowly, up in the chest, we may be missing the depth of our being and our lives.  Or, if we hold our breath and stop breathing completely, we may be holding back our feelings and emotions.  The breath is a great teacher — if you take the time to notice.

We want to experience the pleasure of breathing.  The richness and joy of breathing.  The breathing is right there with you, all the time.  You can study your breath and learn a lot about yourself.  Remember, you are learning and witnessing, not judging or using breath as a way to castigate yourself.  “Oh, look at what a bad breather I am.”

Don’t go there, into judging.  Not ever.

LESSON FIFTEEN

HOW ARE YOU BREATHING THESE DAYS?

Here  is a simple way to watch your breath:

  • When you breathe, does it seem that the breath is jumpy, agitated, rough? Or it is soft and smooth?  Be a connoisseur of your breath quality.  If your breath is soothing, then your mind and body are being soothed as well.
  • Do you hold your breath between the inward and outward breath?  If so, try to keep it going, ever-moving like a wheel turning.
  • Are you aware of breathing all the way into the belly or do you hold it high up near the throat?  Drop it down and feel the lower torso expand.
  • Give your self a cue to keep checking your breath throughout the day.  At a certain time, (e.g. every half hour) or in a specific location, (e.g. when I take a sip of water).
  • When you have a few minutes, try counting your breath.  Inhaling, slowly and smoothly, to one count and out to the same count.  Try five and five, or more or less.  Increase the number over time.
  • Then try this count:  Five on the inhalation and ten on the exhalation.  Exhaling is the easier and requires less effort than inhaling.
  • Do this “breathing to a count” for several rounds.  You will begin to notice how much more the breath responds to you.

It is amazing to think that something as simple as breathing can help to guide us in our lives.  But it does!  See what happens when you and your breath work in tandem — all towards a lighter and happier YOU.  Remember that all of these practices are meant as acts of love — for yourself and for the energy you hold and exude.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com and visit me on Facebook