God

Global Garden 

Saw this striking plant for the first time today while on a walk. Love the contrast against the green and fuchsia colored landscaping. It reminded me of a quote:

“We were all born to be peaceful citizens of the world. Take care of your global garden and do not allow evil gardeners to try and convince you which flowers are ugly and which should be destroyed. This is God’s universe and he is the master gardener of all. If you see ugliness in his creations, then you see ugliness in our Creator. Wake up. If we eliminate all colors in his garden, then what would be a rainbow with only one color? And what would be a garden with only one kind of flower? Why would the Creator create a vast assortment of plants, ethnicities, and animals, if only one beast or seed is to dominate all of existence?” – Suzy Kassem

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The Basics of Demonic Oppression & Possession

DO DP JMM THE BASICS of DEMONIC OPPRESSION & POSSESSION

Subject to debate, and depending upon different religious doctrines, the premise of demonic energy is the same: It stems from a lower order of angels that fell to Earth from God, or the Creator’s grace. They can also be disembodied spirits. Most religious sects and doctrines agree that no matter the origin, demonic energy is malevolent and inhuman, governed by hatred, and looks for every means possible in order to obliterate anything in its unholy path.

Demonic energy fears anything Godly, and therefore reacts by creating aversions to all that goodness and God, represents. An example of this is illustrated when a blessing or exorcism takes place: The demonic energy is fearful of being cast-out and fights the actions to expel it from the host, or environment.

Demonic Oppression

Demonic oppression is a blend of a human’s free-will and lack of control over the physical, mental and emotional state of their Being. In theory, it is something that happens as a result of what an individual does – and does not do. An oppression is something that occurs over time, be it an abbreviated period, or longer duration. The venue is often due to exposure to dark, or demonic energy whether intentional, or unknowing.

Intent to Facilitate

Whether someone chooses to believe they are actively seeking to facilitate a demonic oppression or possession, there is a laundry list of intentional actions that can open the channels and create a conducive environment for a dark or demonic energy to inhabit a space, or attempt to form an attachment on a human. Instances of intent include a willingness to conduct unholy chants, recite Satanic spells or incantations, use of Ouija Boards, actively seeking Satanic or dark energies for entertainment, and misuse of Tarot or other divination tools. Each of these actions opens the door for a demonic force to cross, and makes way for horrific, and often tragic, opportunity.

Once an exposure to a demonic energy occurs, regardless of reason, the facilitation can take on a number of characteristics in the host, including but not limited to: Absence, or loss in the belief and, or fear, of God, conflict with authority, lack of life purpose, committing acts of hatred and, or violence, irrational fear, anxiety, lack of self-control, a hunger for power and attainment through cruel means, hopelessness and depression that is not a result of a medical condition. Through time, these characteristics can worsen and in turn, lead to a full-blown demonic possession.

Demonic Possession

Once an individual has been oppressed, the function of the demonic energy is to fulfill its desire to annihilate. Symptoms of a demonic possession include, but are not limited to: Extremely reckless behaviors such as violence, lack of self-respect and respect for others, extreme verbal and sexual vulgarity, uncontrolled sexual expression and behaviors, obsession with pornography, split-personality, changed appearance (black, or soulless eyes), vocal annunciation, denouncement of all that is Godly, affirmation of Satan, mania, despondency, and thoughts of committing murder and, or suicide.

Regardless, the basis of oppression and possessions remain the same: A demonic energy will seek out a weakened individual (male, or female), and attempt to take over the physical body, in order to carry-out their work. With every oppression and possession, the ultimate goal is to destroy, be it murder, death, suicide or to create mass chaos.

I will continue to elaborate on this topic in the upcoming post that pertains to the Wendigo. Until then, and as always, keep your focus on light, love and positive energy.

Options: Give Up or Get Up

When the going gets tough, you have a choice: Give up, or get up.

One moment life can be wonderful, and the next minute it can stink. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. There is not one person on this planet that has not had at least one “moment that sucketh”.

It’s all about experience and the give and take of nature v. nurture. There is no miracle formula, just guidelines that help us along the way.

I find it very interesting when someone asks me how I’ve managed to overcome some very difficult hardship and my answer is always: why would I want to give up? The choice is always there and whether you want to find blame, or even if there is someone at fault for the crisis, it’s ultimately your decision what to do.

Even when options may seem extremely limited, or the path dimly lit, it all falls onto the shoulders of the individual facing the issues. Support is wonderful, but it only carries you just so far. Think of support during a crisis as training wheels for a bicycle: they keep you from completely flopping onto your face, but let you experience the wobbles until you gain enough confidence to ride without them. Some need training wheels longer than others, while some never take them off.

When your day is dark, or not going the way you had planned, it’s often hard to see the big picture, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. You must call upon your Spiritual Self to lift you beyond that point, to draw hope and realistic optimism. You must also understand that the challenge, or situation is actually helping you grow stronger.

To me, giving up, is not an option. Through change,  adversity or pain, the lesson is stronger than what the immediate emotions are. The choice to ‘give up’ is purely self-defeating, which breeds negativity and lack of confidence in many aspects of life. It is also caused by fear. Fear, will only bring new problems into your life, which will compound the original issue.

When facing fear, you must be honest with yourself and acknowledge that it’s there, but not allow it to control your life. Think of it as a reminder that you have strength, and that you need to call on that strength in order to succeed. Once you grasp it, it will help you ‘get up’. That courage – taking off your training wheels to rely on yourself – is what will make you soar, even in the most trying of times. Remember how scary it was when you began to ride a bike with training wheels? You start with two training wheels, then may go down to one, and soon enough, you’re able to ride without them! You must look at the end results: riding down the road with the wind in your hair and the sun in your face, peddling your heart’s content along the path of life!

Self-pity is extremely damaging to your Spiritual Self. It is a signal you have given up. By taking part in it, you are only showing others that you cannot handle your life, or emotions, and that you lack a sense of spirituality. It is also a strong indicator that you need to nourish your Spiritual Self and examine it with brutal honesty. The more you wallow in self-pity, the longer it will take you to heal, which can drive away a healthy circle of support. I strongly caution those who are in funk of self-pity because sooner or later, someone is going to yank your training wheels off and you are going to find yourself licking more wounds from that action alone, in addition to the problems that initially caused your pity party.

By embracing the fact that one day, you will more than likely find yourself on the receiving end of one of life’s curve balls, you will learn and heal – as well as become a teacher. Learning to heal is something that can only come from deep within your soul, by grasping your personal spirituality and having the confidence to let it (your spirituality) rise to the challenge. The act of self-reliance relative to spirituality is a learning and teaching experience. As time goes on, the more that you rely on your spirituality to get you through the hard times, the more adept you will become to make it a daily part of your life. Through those times you will eventually have the tools to help others.

Rising for the challenge is always better than being pushed over, or giving up. Life challenges build character and feeds your Spiritual Self but you must first observe all of life’s imperfections and search for both the obvious and hidden messages. That reflection will create an awareness that will help you see the big picture, instead of the little pinhole that you may be looking through.

There is a tremendous amount of truth to the saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Pick and choose your battles but never, ever give up. You do have a choice, even if you don’t realize it. It may mean changing things around, changing behaviors, starting over, or pulling your training wheels out of the garage for a little while, but that’s O.K Although you’ve taken a tumble, you can still get up in spirit – which is what is actually helping you steer, ride and drive, your bike 😉

Coping & Dealing: Loss and Crisis

Death; it forces us to endure some of the harshest pain imaginable, as well as forces those who experience the related grief, to ironically evaluate life in ways one may have never else wise considered. At the same time, there is no easy answer, or quick fix to help someone who suffers a loss. Exacerbating the subject is the fact that grieving is a very complex, and extremely personal experience.

With that said, I am no stranger to suffering the death of a loved one, having lost my first husband in 1989, both of my beloved grandmothers six months apart in 2000, and one of my best friends of almost 30 years, in 2007. Although each loss was dramatically, and painfully different from the other, it was through the grieving process as a whole, that I have come to develop my own theory, or model if you will, which consists of two distinct phases: Coping and Dealing.

Before I delve into my observations and explanation of the phases, I do want to acknowledge the Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle model. The Kubler-Ross theory consists of five steps: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. On a side note, Kubler-Ross believes that these stages can be cross-referenced and applied to other life situations aside from death which cause extreme personal change and emotional upheaval.

Based on personal experience, I do think that Kubler-Ross’s theory is certainly valid, but have found that it is more of an emotional outline, broken-down into key psychological and psychosocial elements that help with understanding the turmoil that a person may face. I have applied this model to my experiences, but have again, developed my own theory after incorporating some of Kubler-Ross’s stages into it.

Breaking it down into very simple terms, the two phases that make up my theory are “coping” with death or crisis, and “dealing” with death, or crisis. For sake of explanation, I refer to the first stage as The Coping Phase, followed by the second, Enlightened Grieving Phase (or the ‘Dealing’ Phase).

A brief synopsis will show that Stage I primarily encompasses most of the Kubler-Ross model (denial, anger, bargaining, depression), with Stage II predominantly focusing on the aspect of acceptance and moving forward. Additional areas that I incorporate into my own theory are overlapping concepts, which consist of communication, spirituality and hope.

Coping and dealing: So what’s the big difference?

For some, coping and dealing may appear to be one in the same, yet are entirely different. In the early stages of grieving, especially in circumstances of unexpected, or untimely death and/or crisis, life is a matter of survival. The bottom line is that one struggles to merely cope with the death or crisis, and get through each day. Phase I portrays the individual as in the “present moment”, whereas projection into the future, or any thought of such, is often viewed as frightening, intimidating and to some, unnecessary. Phase I is painful, tedious and exhausting.

The Coping Phase begins at the immediate time of loss and the duration is entirely dependent upon a variety of factors including physical, mental and emotional stability of the individual, before and during the onset of their loss. Someone who has not been very stable prior to a loss or crisis, runs the risk of having a very difficult time processing the circumstances and/or events. On the other hand, someone who carries more reason may better adapt to the trauma.

Another impact on this phase and its duration would be the direct, or indirect relationship that the mourner and decedent had shared. Obviously, the more direct a relationship (i.e. parent/child), the more difficult a situation and longer of a transition time from Phase I, into Phase II. An interesting phenomenon may occur however, in cases where there may be no-known relationship but the impact of a death or crisis can profoundly influence total strangers. This would apply to high-profile individuals, or celebrities, or public persona whom have attracted a following, or have through time, captured the attention of millions worldwide. Either way, the immediate relationship should be used as a recovery gauge.

As for transitioning from Phase I, to Phase II; this can only begin upon realization and acceptance of the death and/or crisis. With this transition comes a shift in personal behaviors and attitudes of the survivor, which paves the way for an enlightened period of grieving that will indeed last, for the remainder of their lifetime. It may be signaled by an epiphany, a memory, an event, or something else that ‘flips’ the mind’s switch and makes one see that they are ready to deal with the death or crisis, and no longer need to exist in cope-mode.

Phase I: Coping Phase

As stated above, the Coping Phase begins immediately upon learning of the death, or upon initial impact of crisis. It involves the daily, sometimes even moment-to-moment struggle in which the surviving individual plunges into. I refer to this immediacy as a “private hell” – an onslaught of emotions and behaviors upon the individual whom has been subjected to a loss or crisis.

Private hell is something that nobody else but the affected individual can feel. It is a summary of every fiber within the physical and emotional self that is exposed to the chaos and turmoil impacting that person as a result of the death, or crisis. Although others may be able to identify with someone’s private hell, they truly do not have any clue as to what specifically, that individual is experiencing.

In many ways, survivors grapple with finding simple strength and energy. More times than not, they are overwhelmed with question, yet jaded by too few answers. They are shocked, feel alienated and at times are in denial, with some experiencing ‘survivor’s guilt’ (noted in the Kubler-Ross model). It’s a brutal road to travel and takes a tremendous amount of courage, faith and strength to prevail. During the Coping Phase, one must rely on their spirituality as a pillar towards rebuilding and reshaping the future.

There is also a need to be surrounded by family, friends and strangers. Even in the most private moments of anguish and bereavement, when there seems to be no strength to muster one’s self out of bed, there are people who will come into one’s life to help make the transition to the second phase. Some of these people may already be present, while others may have no direct association, but the common bond in which they share is their ability to help with their healing energy. I refer to these people, who even if by prayer alone, come into a survivor’s life as Living Angels.

Some Living Angels have different missions; they can bring food to the door, help tend to family needs, or assist with planning services, while others may come into one’s life to listen and pray. Living Angels surround us with the light, or healing energy that will be needed in the days and years, to follow. They are also of significant importance for a grieving individual’s ability to transition into Phase II.

“Why me?”

Being such an intense, personal experience, it is no wonder that a grieving person has a tendency to be somewhat selfish. In times of grief and crisis, feelings are deeply hurt – if not devastated – and there is little room to reason as to why a loved one may have been taken away. During the Coping Phase, one tends to feel as though they have been deprived, or robbed of love and joy, with some believing that they will never again, find happiness. What is critical for the survivor and the Living Angels to realize is that these are normal thoughts following a tragedy or crisis. It is the job of Living Angel to instill a sense of comfort and understanding relative to these emotions and behaviors, which ultimately should lead to Phase II, or Enlightened Grieving.

Throughout Phase I, it is also important for every individual to adjust to the changes brought about by their loss, or crisis. They must be vigilant of their own emotions and behaviors and learn not be so hard on themselves. Referring again to the Kubler-Ross Model, the emotional and physical aspects during the most intense period of grief can be overwhelming. In varying degrees, denial, anger, bargaining and depression may consume an individual but caution needs to be exercised as not to allow those emotions to lead to self-destructive behaviors. The long-term goal is for every person to reconfigure their life and adjust to the impact of the loss, and its effects on both the internal and external self without causing harm to him/her self, or anyone else in the process.

Partly instinctual, a mourner in the Coping Phase adapts to shortcuts and skills that they need to perform basic, daily functions. In time, the individual needs to learn, and be shown, how to deal with their feelings, by making positive changes. It never happens overnight, and it will not occur unless the individual recognizes that they hold the power to change.

Overlapping Concepts: Communication, Spirituality & Hope

Communication – Perhaps one of the best ways that one can immediately begin to help him/her self, is by talking about their feelings. Grieving individuals, or persons in crisis should not internalize their feelings, nor believe that they are a bother to anyone. As a matter of fact, the more an individual represses their feelings, the more harm they are going to cause themselves. This is where self-help, support groups and therapy can be extremely beneficial. One must always consider sources that have both a realistic and positive impact upon them. By all means, avoid communication with anyone who is negative or hurtful while in such a vulnerable state.

Remember, communication or expressing one’s feelings, is not only a key to both phases, but is one of the critical elements of healing. Communication should include discussion of how the individual feels about their loved one and the impact they or the situation, has had on life. They should not worry about being repetitive, nor worry about being judged. Every individual is entitled to their thoughts and feelings while mourning or going through crisis and should never have to validate that pain to anyone. Living Angels and Spirit Guides know this.

Spirituality – As discussed in a previous post, I firmly believe that spirituality is something that every human being is born with. Spirituality grows through life experience, and through such experiences of loss and crisis, will be a guiding force. Most of the time, and during especially difficult situations, an individual may question their faith, or even feel as though their faith let them down. Faith, or a religious venue, may also harbor a painful reminder via memories of ceremony (i.e. weddings, funerals), which can cause additional internal conflict and distress. This is where one must see beyond the pain and understand they are not alone; there is a way to get through this.

As soon as one is able, they must dig deeply and let their spirituality both lead the way, and be a pillar for the future. Spirituality does not ‘fail’ an individual, but will help one grow through the experience, as difficult as it may be. Praying and taking time to acknowledge blessings is going to help as well. Spirituality will provide strength when one feels they are at their weakest, and will carry him/her as far as they can go, but they must be willing.

When one lets go of trying to fight the changes brought about by death and loss, the spiritual self will direct the individual towards a path to healing. Eventually, the individual needs to stop asking ‘why’, and understand that more so in times of loss, there is nothing that can be done to change the outcome. Yes, death is the end of the physical self, but accepting that a loved one’s spirit will live on, and that life goes on, will help with the transition into the second phase of grieving and loss. Spiritually, every person is equipped with this knowledge, they just have to let go, allow God and their spiritual self, to take the wheel.

Hope – An indication that an individual is living in the spiritual self and has become spiritually aware is a renewed sense of energy and hope. Holding onto tomorrow, even when today can seem like a massive cluster, is what every person needs to focus on. In turn, hope stems from allowing spirituality to take the reins. As horrific and tragic as the moment may seem, tomorrow is around the corner and there are people who are able to help.

Hope is like a fountain that is constantly being replenished from the spiritual spring. Even when it may appear to run dry, the source of that spiritual spring will carry-on and bring forth awareness that tomorrow is a new day filled with new possibilities and potential for new-found happiness. Hope fuels the spirit and has no boundaries despite any current or past desperation. Hope has the ability to change and transition, so long as one is attuned to their spirituality.

Once a grieving individual, or person in crisis works through the array of emotions brought about by their loss or situation, and only when they learn to communicate, will their spirituality guide them into Phase II: Enlightened Grieving. There is a profound difference in one’s life when they transition from coping, to dealing. Sleepless nights and exhausting days are replaced with more restful slumber and waking productivity; “I can’t do this”, becomes “I am going to be OK.”

Phase II: Enlightened Grieving (i.e. The Dealing Phase)

Enlightened Grieving is achieved when one has successfully managed to cope with their loss or crisis via awareness and acceptance. Respectively, acceptance cannot be truly achieved until communication, spirituality and hope are in the balance of daily life and function.

Acceptance is typically precipitated by deep soul-searching and time. It is the realization that one is ready to begin rebuilding or reconstructing their life by incorporating, yet not forgetting the death or crisis which took place. Acceptance comes with a sense of purpose, renewed strength, determination and awareness of the past, present and future and the understanding that as unfortunate as circumstances may have been, or how devastated one may have felt, the experiences will be part of them forever, but will not identify who they are. The individual is able to ‘deal’ with the situation for the remainder of their life, in ways that are healthy and productive.

During this phase, individual insight and clarity surface. The individual is once more engaging in activities with friends, family and at the workplace; living socially and spiritually, on a daily basis. By doing so, the individual is letting go of the pain and replacing it with reassurance and hope for tomorrow, making positive, realistic changes to better their lives.

Acceptance also draws upon the acknowledgement and awareness of one’s Living Angels, and the healing energy in which those Angels have poured into one’s spiritual self. Awareness too, for the strength one has gained through acts of kindness and prayer by loved ones and strangers alike. It is a time be thankful, as well as to see just how blessed one is.

Finally, Enlightened Grieving is something that will remain with the individual for the rest of their lives. It is a functional type of grieving fed by the stream of hope. Enlightened Grieving brings forth the awareness and acceptance of the death, loss or crisis and incorporates it into daily life as a reminder of where one has been, and how strong one has become through the experience. Enlightened Grieving never prompts the question of ‘why’ but shows one ‘how’. Once attained, it is permanent and never ceases, yet changes and makes life more tolerable with each new day.

Enlightened Grieving is an all-encompassing way of living. It is referenced during future incidents of loss and crisis, and has the ability to instill more strength when needed, even to help give healing energy to others in need. Enlightened Grieving is a silent understanding of the living spirit in which the pain one has suffered and endured from loss does not ever go away, but does not have to consume every breath, or waking moment. It also brings an extremely poignant element of awareness that the loss did not take away a piece of the individual, but planted a permanent memory of the loved one deep within the soul of the living. This memory is signaled by that deep pang felt in the center of the heart; that deep pang is called love.

Enlightened Grieving allows an individual the opportunity to take that love and let it live through example in life and spirit. It gives every human being a gift to share by making positive changes in their environment, and in the world as they know. By doing so, the memories of loved ones will continue to live on. The memory of a loved one never truly dies, for their love – that twinge felt deep within the heart – serves as a reminder that they are with us all of the time, tucked away and guiding us by changing lives, with their love.

Be strong in spirit,

Jill

If you, or anyone you may know have threatened suicide, or are suicidal, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, or call: 1-800-273-TALK.

Caring For The Living Spirit

So, how can we take care of our spirit, while living in the physical sense? Below, I have outlined (and would suggest), the following information to assist with cleansing and re-energizing your spirit. These simple tools can make a difference in your life, and help to guide you along a path of a more fulfilled and positive sense of self, and spirit. These steps will also aid in ridding negativity, as well as can help to curb negative behaviors.

Part I: The Basics

Eat Healthy – One of the best ways to cleanse your spirit is to develop healthy, or healthier (for sake of small steps), eating habits. The American Dietetic Association, or ADA, is a great reference tool for nutrition. I would also suggest bookmarking a calorie-counting site on your computer.

Food journals are also beneficial when you are trying to make healthy dietary changes. This tool works wonderfully to help you establish your eating patterns.

The most important thing to remember: Never approach healthy eating as a temporary diet plan, but a life style change. Replace junk food with healthy snacks, drink plenty of water, and eat well-balanced meals. Try not to skip meals and do not eat past 7:00 PM.

A healthy body, leads to a healthier and more energized spirit!

Schedule a Physical – Do yourself a big favor and schedule at least one physical with your family doctor, per calendar year. The older that a person gets, the more concerns they should have. It is recommended that you review family history of illness and disease, as well as any personal health concerns that you may have.

Simple blood tests are critical and can determine if you need to be more vigilant about your health. Your doctor can order blood work to test for High Cholesterol, Blood Glucose (Diabetes), Iron (Anemia), as well as a CMP that will survey your overall chemistry to ensure that your ranges are within normal limits. Potassium, Calcium and other indicators from the CMP are important, as they are critical in regulating and supporting proper cardiac function.

Women should schedule annual appointments with their GYN doctor, as well as have a routine, or baseline mammogram conducted at the age of 40, and repeated every 1 to 2 years. Once a woman reaches the age of 50, it is recommended that they have an annual mammogram, unless directed otherwise by their physician.

Colonoscopy: Colon cancer is often a silent killer. Unless you are having problems before the age of 50, it is recommended that men and women have a routine (baseline) colonoscopy at age 50, and then a follow-up test once every 5 to 10 years. Again, this is dependent upon your current condition, and whether or not you have a family history. Your physician may schedule one sooner, should you be experiencing any concerning symptoms.

Sleep – One of the biggest favors you could do for yourself begins with getting enough sleep. The body becomes practically useless in function with inadequate sleep. Sure, there may come a time when you have to stay up well past your typical bedtime, or get up super early to conduct business, but you must compensate for that lost sleep. Going to bed at a regular time, and getting at least 6 hours sleep, will do your body and mind wonders.

Rest – Just as much as sleep is important, so is the need to rest, especially if you are experiencing high, or unusual levels of stress. Even after a long day at the office, or running around town doing errands, sometimes it is very beneficial to just sit and rest for 30 minutes. You don’t have to sleep, but just take some time to desensitize yourself.

As a parent, (and when much children were young), I would often come home from work and read to the kids on the couch for a half hour, or talk about the day. It’s a great way to communicate with family and give your self a break at the same time! Don’t rush to make dinner, as that will just lead to more unnecessary stress. Instead, you should try eating, or offering a small, but healthy snack during this ‘un-wind time’. Doing so will help stave-off the urgency to make dinner and make the transition home, more positive.

Part II: Adaptations

New Beginnings – Embrace each new day! One of the first things that I do when I wake up is say “Thank you, Lord, for granting me this day and for watching over my family and I while we slept”. Every day is a new beginning that you have been given to enjoy life.

The blessing that you have been given to be able to start a new day in itself, is invaluable. You have this opportunity to make wanted changes, finish business, and follow your dreams. Whether you see it as a time to practice self-improvement, or to help family or others in need, or to simply go to work and appreciate your job, celebrate this time. There is not guarantee that you will have a tomorrow, so make the most out of today!

Establish Realistic Goals

Time Management – Although this may take some getting use to, it is perfectly achievable if you are willing to do it – and do it right. Time management involves two critical elements: Learning to prioritize and the willingness to say ‘no’.

Some may say that people may toss out comments such as ‘you’re anal’, or ‘too uptight’, but in a world filled with so much to do, but too little time, time management skills will help alleviate unnecessary stress, as well as keep you on task.

Establishing these skills can definitely help with juggling family and a career. One of the most important bits of advice that my mother has ever given, was to tell me (while pregnant for my first son), “Jill, develop a schedule and stick to it, even if it means saying ‘no’ to people.” Boy – she could not have hit the nail on the head with more precision.

You must prioritize your tasks and access your timetables and stick to it! Sure, you may want to go out after work and catch the latest, greatest feature at the movie theater with your, but you have to consider what will go to the wayside if you do? If it is going to interfere with another task, just say ‘no’. If you explain the predicament, most people will understand your decision. If they try to tempt you, be strong and stick to your guns.

You must learn to schedule ‘wants’ for open time slots and do not fool yourself into thinking that you can move things around to compensate for what you ‘need’ to be doing. You can certainly have fun, providing you are not finding yourself caught in a cycle of want-need juggling.

Tools such as daily planners, notepads, homemade calendars, and smart-phones are efficient ways to develop and stay on schedule. Once you get the hang of it, you can help others who may need some time reinforcement. It’s OK to be a time stickler; it is professional and again, will help avoid unnecessary stress.

Practice Patience – Considering that the former topic is Time Management, there is no irony that patience follows. Even when you are organized or utilizing your time management tools, it is always beneficial to be patient. As for daily tasks, time management will afford ample time for setbacks or mishaps. Rushing and acting in haste only leads to higher stress levels, which equate to more negative, than positive energy.

In situations where you believe that your patience is being tested – well – it more than likely is. I tend to go by what I refer to as ‘fair patience’. Fair patience is a term that I use to determine when I need to stop being patient and either; just let it go, or become more aggressive (AKA: patience has worn out and something needs to give).

Practicing patience, more than aggression, is optimal for good health and promoting positive energy. Practicing fair patience allows for time to be both a buffer, and a way to re-evaluate the situation. There are many times that through patience, or time, knowledge is learned, which can grossly affect the outcome of the situation.

Patience also is conducive for a cool down period and affords more clarity to circumstance. By practicing fair patience, you are not being taken advantage of, nor are making decisions in haste. Establish limits and keep communication lines open when practicing fair patience. This method shows respect, yet creates limitations and boundaries. Use patience to foster positive problem-solving skills and beneficial, meaningful outcomes. This is also a great way to develop and enhance parent/child communication.

Of course there may be situations, which warrant immediate attention. In such cases there may be no room for patience, but just keep in mind that it is best to exercise it, whenever possible. Practicing patience will again, lead to less stress, clarity, and opportunity to obtain and gather pertinent information. In turn, patience will create positive energy. Things will work out just they way there were meant to, and your ability to embrace this, rather than fight it, will help you on your life journey.

Kick The Habit – Admission is the first step. Kicking a bad habit (or two), will work wonders for your body, mind and soul. The key is to assess what those habits are, and tackle them one at a time. Whether the habit is alcohol, drugs, caffeine, soda, over-eating, too much television, shopping, etc., ridding yourself of this nasty baggage will re-energize your spirit and lend to a more productive and overall healthy, life.

Prioritize your habits from ‘terrible’ to ‘not so much’. Pick the top ‘terrible’ habit and write down some strategies that you think would help you overcome the problem. Look at support groups as a positive means of dealing with it, especially if it is an addiction. Also try researching the topic to see which tools are available to you. The next step should be to develop a plan to begin ridding yourself of that habit.

I love coffee! There is nothing more enticing or invigorating than a delicious, hot cup of java in the morning. I’ve learned that as much as I may want to drink an entire pot by noon, it is so not healthy therefore I limit myself to one steaming cup per day. On rare occasions, there may come a day that warrants that second mug. I refer to this as a ‘two-cupper coffee kind of day’, and will indulge for an extra round however I have made a promise to myself and do not drink any more than two within a 24-hour period of time.

Again, set realistic goals and actually tell yourself that YOU CAN – AND WILL – SUCCEED! Do not put yourself down. Stay positive and focused, and surround your self with positive, supportive people who will help you.

If you find that your habit is actually a serious addiction, please seek proper, professional help. I have incorporated a list below that may get you going in the right direction:

Alcoholics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous
Over Eaters

Develop or Enhance A Creative Outlet or Hobby – Believe it or not, a hobby is very valuable for your spirit. Sports, creative venues such as art, music and dance, reading, collections, are all wonderful ways to enhance your spirituality.

Dedicate time each week, even for just 30 minutes time, to develop or enhance a hobby or creative endeavor. It will both restore and boost your positive energy, and is an excellent way to communicate your personal feelings. Hobbies are also useful for deterring and helping to stop bad habits.

Hobbies and activities tend to relax the body and mind, which in turn, are nurturing to the soul. Whether you are doing the activity alone, or in a group, the benefits will outweigh any issues that you may have scheduling the activity itself.

Children can also benefit from developing a talent or hobby. Encourage them by including them in your own activities, and then help them explore their own unique potential. This will help them develop a sense of self, and also assist them with their skills, education and socialization.

Part III: Emotional Enrichment

Purge The Past – Accept your past as part of life learning. Acknowledge your failures, appreciate your success – move on. Dealing with the past can be painful, but is part of spiritual growth.

Think about the experiences in which you were a teacher, and other times when you were the student. Incorporate those lessons into the future without dwelling on the past to the point that you stagnate yourself or stunt progress. With time comes change, and part of dealing with change involves letting go of what went before.

Embrace the future with excitement and do not let mistakes or old habits, burden you. Purging the past will allow for you to travel the road of life with a much lighter mind and soul, ultimately making for a much more positive journey.

Live Without Regret – Part of spiritual cleansing involves accepting regret and learning to let it go. Although you cannot change the past, you must ‘own’ it. Everyone makes mistakes but you have to come to terms with remorse and move on. You will never be able to make progress if you continue to dwell on misfortune and regret, be it due to something you have done, or something that was done to you. Think of the experiences as an opportunity to grow and become a better, wiser, more spiritually healthy individual.

Do Something Good For Someone In Need – As discussed in prior posts, nothing can be more gratifying than helping someone in need. By volunteering within your community, offering to assist a neighbor, or helping family members in need, you are sharing positive energy with others, as well as enhancing your spirituality. You would be surprised how much your actions mean. Lending a hand is an exquisite healing tool that will revitalize your sense of purpose and energize your soul.

Here is a site that may give you a starting point as to donating your time and energy to a cause:

VOLUNTEER SITE

Think Positive & Be Hopeful Minded – Positive, realistic thinking and remaining hopeful can be put through quite a test. So many life experiences are always trying even the most positive thinking individuals, and has the ability to extinguish an innate sense of hope.

Positive, realistic thinking is something that most anyone can do with effort. Once you become acquainted with positive thinking and positive living, it will come as a natural response to the trials and tribulations that life may toss into your path. The realistic aspect of positive thinking means having the ability to use your reasoning skills in a practical and/or realistic sense relative to the experiences and situations in your life.

Positive, realistic thinking means paying careful attention to not fool yourself about these experiences and/or situations and understanding limitations. One must take into consideration that positive, unrealistic thinking can actually lead to denial and in turn, be counter-productive and self-destructive. Denial can lead to a negative thought pattern which only sabotages your progress and loads down the self (physically, mentally and emotionally).

Hope will also help promote a more positive mindset. Draw upon hope when you begin to feel stressed from the force of negativity. Do your best and cherish what you have; think of hope as an eternal spring that feeds the soul and helps to deflect impurities, or negative energy that enters life. Although hope can be diminished, it finds ways to replenish the spiritual self, even in times of extreme pain and desperation. Hope evolves, and teaches not only on a personal level, but globally.

Let Yourself Love and Be Loved: You Are Worthy – In order to love, and to be loved, you must love your self. As cliché as this may sound, it is without a doubt, one of the most significant concepts needed to live a life filled with purpose and joy. After all, love is one of the most basic human needs, and you are worthy!

Every individual on this planet has imperfection and weakness; some seen, and others unseen. You must learn to understand and embrace this powerful concept as a foundation of your Being, from which your spirituality will grow.

Once you have come to understand this notion, it is important to work on individual strengths, or positive attributes, in addition to working on any weaknesses, or negative attributes. Honesty is crucial. With true self-evaluation, you will be able to identify poignant barriers which may be deterring you, or blocking you from enjoying love on some, or all relationship levels. Upon this identification, you can break down these internal/external barriers, and begin to enjoy life more fully.

Slowly, with time and through accepting and dealing with painful internal conflict, you will learn to rebuild your spiritual foundation. This will help you launch healthier relationships, and develop a greater sense of purpose and love of Self.

Seek Goodness – This is a virtue by which your day and your life journey, should be guided. By holding firm to this way of living, you are going to surround your self with more positive people, and create more optimism. It will also create a more accurate sense of intuition, which can assist in problem solving, and in dealing with many of life’s hardships.

Helping others, ‘righting’ a wrong, creating win-win solutions and doing the right thing, are just a few examples of seeking goodness in life. This mindset will assist in deflecting and managing negativity. Staying mindful of who you are in respect to your family, friends, the community, the Universe and your Creator will powerfully impact your actions/reactions to life experience.

Reaping good will sow good. If you practice this with intent, you will find that your environment, and your Being, will be more harmonious, in turn creating a higher level of spiritual contentment. Let good be the guide, and pay attention to your intuition. If you sense you are not doing the right thing, chances are, you are not. Try to find a more positive solution, or situation that will benefit not only you, but also the world around you.

Reminisce – Memories can be very influential relative to the healing process. Reminisce about times that lent great joy and peace in your life. Allow your self to feel and re-experience the vast emotions that are associated with those special times: the laughter, the love – the nostalgia. This can be a valuable tool when you are facing times of stress and despair. These flickering remembrances of love and happiness truly have the power to recharge the spirit and restore your faith.

Get In Touch With Your Inner Child – Just as much as reminiscing can be beneficial, so can channeling your Inner Child. The innocence, laughter, joy, and sense of discovery that occurs in childhood can promote healing, and create a healthier life. Part take in activities with your friends, family, even your own children, that lend a sense of silliness and abandon. Listening, singing and dancing to music, playing games, watching television shows and movies, can help you merrily regress. Allocate time to experience the sensations and emotions of your younger years; it will rejuvenate your soul. Bit of advice: Of course you should practice responsibility when channeling your Inner Child, as well as avoid doing so too frequently. Remember, it’s all about balance and after all, you are an adult!

Part IV: Spiritual Enrichment

Reflect Upon Life & Death – Reflecting upon life and death is something that helps to evaluate and also guide you along your life journey. Discussions, research and support groups are a valuable resource to help fill in the gaps as you draw life experience. Acknowledging that death is a part of life, can help you make defining decisions as to how you want to live, as well as prepare you for death. When you reflect upon life and death, dig deep into your own thoughts and feelings and incorporate those of family and close friends. Through these actions, you will better be able to enjoy life NOW, and again, live with more peace and purpose.

Appreciate Nature – Nature is such a personal experience. Spending time outdoors, or even looking through a window into nature, is relaxing, peaceful and inspiring. The sights, sounds and emotions can feed your soul as you quietly watch the natural cycle of life.

Consider a long walk in a natural setting, or just sit and absorb its beauty and wonderment. I highly recommend meditating in an undisturbed location by the sea, in a field, in the woods, on a rock next to a tranquil stream, or outdoors underneath the night sky, or any other comfortable, quiet location. Absorb the smells, the sounds and feel the air against your body as you let go of stress and recharge your spirit.

Not only does nature help you heal, observation can generate a deeper awareness of the life and death cycle. A great exercise in this even through gardening. Think about planting a small herb garden or selective vegetable garden, should you not have adequate space or the environment for a large outdoor garden. From planting, to harvest, the experience can be very fulfilling, and enriches the soul!

Acknowledge Your Creator – Being thankful for your blessings, understanding that you are loved in the eyes of your Creator, and having awareness that you are one human being in a world of many, will bring strength and renew your spirit. Whether you make the time to go to church, commune with nature, or sit and quietly reflect upon the Universe and your Creator, this connection will help you when it comes time to make life altering choices, or in facing setback or sorrow. Additionally, your bond with your Creator will enhance your happiness and is a fortifying experience when celebrating your life journey.

Let Go & Let God: Of Any Internal struggling whether it is in your family life, personal relationships, or career, there often comes a time when one must accept that they need to ‘let go and let God’. Even after a most commendable attempt at problem solving, or even when ‘fair patience’ has been utilized and stretched to its limits, you must hand over the issue and give it to God.

The maternal side of my family has always practiced this and it was not until I reached my mid-twenties, that I was able to fully realize the power of this advice. I recall quite a few times whereas I would be at wit’s end about a matter and enveloped in worry. My grandmother, aunt and mother would always tell me to ask God to lift the trouble from shoulders and to put my trust in Him to help direct me. Admittedly feeling a bit strange when initially doing so, I came to realize that this was a way to restore my strength and alleviate worry about pressing matters.

When you are feeling overwhelmed, indecisive, or are in need of direction, let go of the problem(s) and ask God, or your Creator, to take over. Releasing the burdens that weigh heavy upon your shoulders will make you feel lighter physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually. Simply ask for direction and strength – and accept that His will, be done. In due time, you will have a restored sense of energy and be able to more clearly deal future issues.

Prayer – One of the most wonderful things about prayer is that you can do it wherever you want, whenever you want. There have been many times that I have sat at work, at a family event, and countless other places, and have discretely bowed my head and quietly prayed.

Prayer releases, and attracts positive energy. Prayer is also part of the defining traits of hope. It heals, it cleanses, it revitalizes, it emanates through time and space. Regardless of ‘religion’, prayer is a way of communicating with your Creator, as well as the Universe. It reinforces the bond between the physical aspects of life, as well as the spiritual.

I cannot count the number of times that I have had prayer answered, as well as have sat for days – even years – wondering if God was listening, but I have never given up, or ceased doing so. Prayer is a form of love and compassion that knows no boundaries and will heal, regardless of the results. Understanding the prior (letting go, and letting God), will help you appreciate the fact that what will be, will be and at times, although we may want one outcome, the lesson will come from another, less desirable.

Embracing this communication and exchanging positive energy will nourish the body, mind and soul. Do not feel as though that your only outlet for prayer is in your house of worship, but recognize that you can talk to God, or your Creator, wherever and whenever you want to, for whomever you would like to help – including your self.

Think Globally – Times are without a doubt, most troubling in this day and age. From issues involving the economy, health care, and other issues, it is often difficult to see the ‘bigger picture’ when thinking about life.

The fact is that millions of people around the world face similar, sometimes far worse conditions and situations than the average person does. Consider thinking about your personal impact on society and how you can better conditions not only for your self, but also for those in your community, your country, and the entire world.

Instead of breeding contempt in the world, and harboring negative energy, make it a point to be positive and share compassion. Even small gestures can have a huge impact. Whether you choose to help someone privately, or on a community level, that act of kindness will double and touch the lives on many.

Practicing tolerance and educating your self on issues that have become a sore spot in society will help to create awareness of differences. Instead of choosing sides ‘just because’ you are this, or that, instead of truly evaluating the issue or problem, is only going to cause more friction and spread negative energy. Make it a point to seek resolve, peace or understanding, rather than anger, hatred or discontent. By thinking globally, you will better recognize how the energies of the world will benefit from even one considerate action, and in turn, will energize your spirit and create a more positive, tolerant environment.

Take care of your self; take care of your spirit. Today is a gift that will unfold a thousand treasures. Open this precious gift and learn to take steps that provide nourishment for a better body, mind – and soul.

Jill