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HOW TO PREVENT THE COMMON COLD AND FLU (OR HEAL QUICKER IF YOU'RE READING THIS TOO LATE!)

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HOW TO PREVENT THE COMMON COLD AND FLU (OR HEAL QUICKER IF YOU'RE READING THIS TOO LATE!)

 

The peak season for catching the common cold or flu is nearly upon us. So if you are reading this when first published, you still have time to be proactive in preventing either this year. Or if you happen to be a bit late and are already reaching for the Kleenex, then there are still things you can do to heal quicker and reduce the odds of the next onset. The information shared within this article could save you time, money and discomfort, so it's worth investing a few minutes in reading it!

On average, up to 20% of the U.S. population - approx. 75,000,000 people (!!!) will end up suffering from a common cold or flu this year (source). With similar percentages showing up in other western countries. And although stats vary, if prone to catching these conditions, then the average adult can expect 2-4 colds or flu's each year. Although there is an array of possible reasons for why people pick up these unpleasant symptoms, through my research into the mind-body connection, I've come across a number of common mind-based lifestyle causes of the common cold and flu. In this article, I share what these lesser-known causes are and offer some simple strategies for not falling victim to these uncomfortable and often inconvenient conditions.

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Firstly, what's the difference between a cold and flu? 

Medical research states that colds and flu are caused by viruses, with both being primarily respiratory infections. Here's a quick run down of the differing symptoms: 

COMMON COLD SYMPTOMS:  Runny or blocked nose, sore throat, sneezing, cough, headache or body aches, low-level tiredness. Symptoms usually come on gradually and are gone within 7-10 days.

INFLUENZA (FLU) SYMPTOMS:  Dry/hacking cough, moderate to high fever (not everyone with a flu will have a fever), sore throat, shaking chills, severe muscle or body aches, headache, stuffy and running nose, sever fatigue, nausea and vomiting (most common in children). Symptoms usually come on more quickly and can be sever, usually lasting between 1 to 2 weeks. 

To determine which one you may have, as a general guide, take into account the speed at which the symptoms occurred (slow = cold, quick = flu), how tired you feel (low-level = cold, high-level = flu), or if you are running a fever (high temperature + shaking/chills = flu). If in doubt or concerned, consult a qualified medical practitioner. 

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Common mind-based lifestyle causes of colds and flu's

I've been researching the mind-body-life connection for over a decade, worked with thousands of people via my coaching clinic and written books on the subject - my Body Calm and Calm Cure books include directories of the most common mind-based lifestyle causes for over 100 physical conditions. I believe our mindset, emotions and how we perceive and relate to our life circumstances combine to play a major role in how healthy we are and the kinds of physical conditions we end up experiencing. 

[I am not saying there are no physical causes to physical conditions. I am recommending an integrative health strategy.] 

Read through the following common mind-based lifestyle causes of the common cold and flu [they are similar but different enough to warrant tackling separately] and see if any of them resonate with you:

COMMON COLD CAUSES - Overwhelmed, overworking, fast-paced non-stop living, uncertainty, confusion, need to escape external negativity

∞∞∞ Previous to someone 'catching' the common cold, they have usually been feeling overwhelmed. There's just been way too much to do and/or they've been questioning/concerned about how they can get it all done. Colds are usually preceded by a fast-past/non-stop schedule. It's been relentless; moving from one thing to the next. And/or they have been experiencing chronic uncertainty or confusion that has remained unresolved, bringing with it underlying angst and tension. On some occasions, something they were worried about has recently been resolved (and the cold symptoms are the body healing after a period of stress). And/or they've been feeling the need to escape/get away from some kind of external environmental negativity, either from a relationship, workplace or the wider-world.

Relate to any of these? If yes then you want to resolve them now before you get a cold! 


COMMON COLD SOLUTIONS - Slow down, do less and give your mind and body some well-deserved rest before taking time off is forced upon you. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed, recognise that you can only do one thing at a time. Make a list and work through it at a calm and comfortable pace. Look at your list and ask 'What is absolutely necessary?'. For now, focus on doing the necessary, don't resist the length of the list or be attached to getting it all done. This should remove items from your list and free up time and space. If you've been overworking, remember that you are more effective and life is more enjoyable if you have the energy and focus that comes from regular rest. See time off as equally as important as time working. Give yourself regular guilt-free breaks throughout the day and give yourself the permission to do absolutely nothing a few times every week. 

Incorporate meditation into your daily schedule: 10-20 minutes of closed-eye meditating in the morning and evening can work wonders at making life feel easier. 

If the cold happened after you resolved something that had caused a period of prolonged stress i.e. a big deadline, a house move or renovation etc, then it is wise to resolve the reasons why that thing in your life caused stress. If something similar happens again in the future, you won't end up stressed and sick again.

If you are feeling uncertain or confused, then make a list of what you are certain about in your life. If you use my Body Calm meditation technique, use the 'I AM SECURE' Calm Thought with your eyes open throughout your day. If you are confused about certain things, share your confusion with a friend or trained professional (coach, therapist etc.) who can help shine light on any issue that's been playing on your mind.

And if you are encountering negativity in your external environment, whether that be your home or workplace, for example, then it's time to stop taking it on board. My Calm Cure technique is great for getting peace with external life events. If possible, also remove yourself from the situation (physically and/or energetically). If this doesn't seem possible, don't forget you always have a choice as to what you do and where you are. 

[If you want extra support getting peace with challenging life events, get in touch for some one-to-one Coaching.]

Affirm during your day +/or when meditating: ' I am safe when I slow down and rest.'

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INFLUENZA (FLU) CAUSES - Feeling weak and/or vulnerable, too much external negativity, running on empty, finding it hard to carry responsibilities, wanting to get away from it all, needing to justify taking time off/getting away. 

∞∞∞ Previous to someone 'getting' the flu, they've usually been feeling mentally and emotionally weak or vulnerable. But instead of acknowledging it and doing something about it, they've relentlessly kept up with the day-to-day responsibilities (which they've been finding hard to carry). And/or they've been feeling there's way too much external negativity going on. They've want to get away from it all, but haven't felt they can (usually due to self-love / self-worth issues or by believing they are a victim to circumstance, with no choice). Due to feeling a victim to their 'heavy' responsibilities, they've ended up needing to resort to requiring an excuse to justify taking time off and/or getting away from the environmental negativity i.e. by getting sick.

This tendency to get sick in order to get out of doing things they don't want, usually starts at school - when they only got a day off if they were sick. It's a learnt behaviour and a successful strategy as far as the body is concerned because if they get sick, it gets rest and is able to hide away and relax for a while. 

Relate to any of these? If yes then it's wise to resolve them now before you get the flu! 


INFLUENZA (FLU) SOLUTIONS - Take back your power, recognise you always have a choice and that you are stronger and more capable that you may think.

Make a list of the times in your life that you have shown strength and proven you are capable of facing anything that life brings. The fact that you are reading this is proof enough that you have successfully survived EVERYTHING that's happened in your life so far. This is evidence that you are strong and capable. Breathe into that knowing now. If you've been finding it hard to carry responsibilities, then be super attentive to when you go into your head thinking about everything you believe you are responsible for. This is a mind-made story and if you engage this poor-me 'I can't do it' mentality, it will make life feel heavy and hard to deal with. But if you make it a priority to live in the present, you will see that life is only inviting you to do one thing at a time.

Similar to the common cold, you need to give yourself permission to have time off without needing the excuse of being ill. Know that you are worthy of rest and that the world won't end if you don't keep all of your plates spinning. Ultimately, it is the ego that keeps you running for your life because it believes everything will collapse if you have a day off. It won't. Be willing to share responsibilities, delegate where possible and let people know you are having some 'me' time. If they have a problem with it, it is their problem, not yours!

Affirm during your day +/or when meditating: 'I am free to take time for myself to rest and let go of extra responsibilities.'


SANDY'S PERSONAL EXPERIENCE : If I ever feel the onset of cold or flu symptoms, I first check whether any of these common mind-based lifestyle causes have been playing out in my life without me realising. (Hint: They usually have been!). I then take immediate action to rectify things. I aim to bring back more balance between work/play and doing/being. I also ensure I have a healthier relationship with whatever has been going on in my life i.e. I am calmly coexisting with the deadline, workload, expectations, responsibilities etc. (See Calm Curebook for more on how to do this). Since being proactive with this integrative strategy to prevent/heal colds and flu's, symptoms rarely last beyond a day or two (at most) and the frequency of falling ill has fallen massively. Give it a go and see for yourself the healing power of being positively proactive rather than just popping pills. 


 

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13 Scary But True Spiritual Truths

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13 Scary But True Spiritual Truths

 

Walking any spiritual path takes courage. There are several scary but true spiritual truths that anyone with a deep desire to 'wake up' will usually encounter along the way. But be warned, these truths are not for the faint-hearted or those only interested in dabbling in spirituality as some kind of hobby. They are also not for people that are content with only gathering ego-pleasing concepts on enlightenment. The ego may reject or dismiss these truths and provide convincing reasons for doing so, or they may inspire some pretty challenging questions or possibilities. But for those of us who are genuinely serious about self-awakening, they offer a helpful guide for knowing you are on track and doing the inner work required. 



1. Who you think you are doesn't exist

You are the permanently present underlying Self that exists beyond the temporary identities conjured up by the thinking mind.

Most people are having an identity crisis because they believe they are someone or something that, in reality, they are not. They think they are the voice in their head and, as a result, rely on what it says to an unhealthy degree for defining who they are and what they’re capable of. They think they are what they emotionally feel. They think they are their body, having identified with it from an early age. Or they think they are their relationship status, job title, religious affiliation... or the other labels they’ve found to help define who they are. As all of these identities are temporary and can change they are not and have never been who you really are. Instead, you are the permanent and unchanging Self and any true spiritual path will be focused on enabling you to Know Thy Self.

 

2. You need to be willing to be nobody

Your ego needs to be somebody - to be important, powerful and gain possessions, praise and prestige. Your real Self knows it is nobody and one with everything.

The ego is a collection of thoughts from which we gain our identity and therefore, our sense of self.  The ego can be very convincing at telling us who we are. 'When on a spiritual path, it is vital that we are willing to let go of any and all mental constructs that create the impression of being a separate somebody. The ego is petrified of not existing and will go to great lengths to try to convince you that if you let go of the ideas of who you think you are, then your demise will quickly follow. In the simplest of terms, to spiritually awaken one need to be willing to be nobody. But there's no need to worry, when you let of the ego-based ideas of the separate mind-made self, you experience the love and wholeness of the unified-real Self.

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3. You are not an individual you

You are one with source, life, creation, 'God'. When you know and experience oneness, all of your ego-fuelled fears, identities, resistances and attachments can fall away.

Separation is a mind-made illusion that stems from believing you are the voice in your head that sounds like you. The more you identify with the voice in your head, the more the illusion of a separate self is created. If there is a separate 'me' then there's a separate 'you' and a separate external 'life'. But here's what you need to know about that voice in your head and your mind-made version of being a separate self. It is just thoughts. As you continue on your spiritual path you will recognise that you are not your thoughts, that you can let them go, and in doing so, rest into the permanently present unified Self.

There has never been a time or will be a time when you are not one with everything. As you let go of who you think you are, the one consciousness that connects and lives with all of ‘us’ is revealed. By withdrawing your attention from your ego-mind, to instead be fully attentive to the presence of the present moment, your attention becomes aligned with source, life, creation, God. You discover that separation was just an idea and the reality at the heart of life is oneness. Experiencing oneness leads to gentleness, compassion, peace and freedom. You never fear being alone and never need to prove yourself as better, wiser or more special. You see the world with clarity through compassionate eyes – full of love and wisdom. You discover that the ultimate love affair in life is oneness with the still silent infinite presence of the unified Self.

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4. You have no past or future

You need to stop defining yourself by your past or relying on the future for hope. Waking up involves living with an undivided awareness of the reality of now. 

The holy grail for anyone on a spiritual quest is to live in the here and now. So far as to say that any true spiritual path will have learning how to be present at its heart because waking up is about going beyond the illusions of the thinking mind. Time is a mind-made construct that, in reality, doesn’t exist. Yes there is day and night and time can be useful for catching a movie, yet there is ultimately no such thing as 9 a.m., for example. The past is a collection of memory-based thoughts and the future is only ever fictitious fantasies, also conjured up by the thinking mind. When you recognise that there is no past or future, you stop giving so much attention to past or future based-thoughts. In doing so, you let go of the concept of time to return all of your attention to now and go beyond time's linear borders and boundaries to experience the timeless reality of the present. I often refer to it as ‘real-ity’, as a reminder that this moment is the only ‘time’ that is real. 

 

5. It doesn't matter how you feel

Only your ego-mind cares about how you feel. Your awake Self doesn't care about temporary feelings because it is a permanent presence of peace.

Emotions are also remnants of the past. Shadows of how your mind was made to feel a few moments ago. Take a moment to notice it requires a subtle ‘checking out’ of the present-moment reality to know how you are feeling. For you to know that you are happy or sad, anxious or frustrated, involves engaging in some form of mental activity, i.e. by asking: What am I feeling? and then assigning a mind-made label to the energy. When thinking, your attention leaves the present-moment reality to instead focus on thoughts about the past.

Emotional energy may be within you now. But it exists because of something that happened in your mind a few moments ago. With all of your focus on this moment, you can be aware that you are feeling something, but without the mental constructs of ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. This higher-level attentiveness to the here and now  makes you far less interested in or concerned about the temporary emotions passing through. You stop being so fixated on your feelings and therefore don’t have to manage and control them. You become free from having to constantly keep your mind happy. You see, the only part of you that cares about how you are feeling is your ego and you are waking up to live free from the problems produced by this very same ego. An enlightened relationship with your emotions comes from being so filled up by this moment that you don’t care how your mind feels about the past or future. When that happens you are emotionally free.

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6. You are not in control

Control is an illusion that stems from the idea that you are an individual that is separate from source, life, creation, 'God'. Thy will is always happening.

Although it can be comforting to think that you are in control, in reality, control is an illusion that comes from the idea that you are not one with everything. I appreciate me saying you are not in control flies in the face of the many self-help books that are encouraging you to 'take control of your destiny' - and the thought of having no control can be rather scary. But before you freak out and try and control some more, take a moment to consider how much easier and enjoyable life might be if you could stop being such a control freak.

Most people invest a huge amount of time, energy and money in trying to control their thoughts, control their emotions, control their physical body and control their external world. They try to control their careers, money, relationships... almost everything - all so they can create a life that they believe will make them happy and safe, eventually.  How's that strategy worked for you? Has controlling everything been relaxing? Has it taken you to a place of peace? Does it make you truly happy? Are you free?

What if there is an intelligence (that you are already one with, which is far more intelligent than your individual thinking mind) that is operating through you? An immensely powerful and infinitely creative intelligence that has got your back and is tirelessly creating all that is happening? What if all your attempts to control everything is actually preventing you from more easily having a life beyond what you dream is possible? It boils down to a 'my will' versus 'Thy Will' type-scenario. When you let go of the idea of there being a separate 'me', you are one with source, life, creation, God. From that space of infinite potential and grace, you can see life is unfolding before you and your job is to notice, appreciate and enjoy creation - in all its weird and wonderful ways. 

 

7. You need to surrender everything

You need to be willing let go of your temporary thoughts, feelings, actions and circumstances to fully discover the permanently present underlying Self and reality.

Learning to let go is an absolute must and surrender is at the heart of all true spiritual paths. Learning to let go is a key part of meditation and being calm, happy, well and free. In being willing to let go of your temporary thoughts, emotions and circumstances you can discover what remains permanently. Also, by being willing to let go of any fixed ideas about how your mind, body and life should be, you can fully embrace the love and grace that continuously flows through every moment of existence. 

By letting go and letting this moment be, as it is, your mind will naturally be more still. You need to make being calm more important than being right and make peace more important than things going to your plan, for example. If something unexpected or ‘bad’ happens, then do your best to deal with it gracefully and without any rejection of reality. Wishing things hadn’t happened only attaches you to a past that cannot be changed, while pushing back at life only tires you out and puts your peace and prosperity on hold. Surrender is the secret to being still and enjoying a truly successful life - one that you love.

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8. Your life may not go to your plan

You need to be willing for source, life, creation, 'God' - which you are one with - to take you to places you don't think you want to go.

Linked with the 'You Are Not In Control' and 'You Need To Surrender Everything' spiritual truths, you need to be willing for your life to go in directions that sit outside the parameters of what your mind may have mapped out. You may think you want to have a house, a life partner, two children and a dog... and end up with none of it. You may think you want to live in a certain town/country, drive a particular model of car, have an ideal amount of money in the bank and a specific type of social life. And again, none of these things may materialise. You need to be willing for any and all life eventualities to happen. Does this sound unappealing? 

It depends on what you want. Do you want what you think will make you happy or do you want to be happy? I'm not saying you can't want/have any of these things or work towards achieving them. You can still make plans. But to be spiritually free you need be willing for life to not go to your plan. When you relinquish control and open up to the unexpected, life becomes one big adventure and you experience true abundance. The key is to not be attached to any of it ever happening and let the loving hand of life guide you. Then anything that happens in a bonus and you can't help but align with, and fulfil, your life purpose. 

 

9. There are no external signs of enlightenment

There is no rule book for what an enlightened person looks or acts like. Evidence of awakening is all about the inner experience of your Self.

It is common for us to pick up a vast array of ideas about what 'enlightenment' looks like. Accidentally, we can end up trying to live up to a rather large list of criteria and completely miss the point. We can end up creating a spiritual identity or judge others who we believe can't be conscious due to some external evidence. They can't be enlightened if they aren't vegan. They can't be enlightened if they don't do yoga. They can't be enlightened because they aren't always calm, they don't wear the right clothes, don't have enough crystals or drive an expensive car. Letting go of the ideas you may have relating to the external signs of enlightenment can be a big relief. But even more importantly, recognising that enlightenment is all about the inner journey of exploration of Knowing Thy Self, you stop distracting yourself with external fluff and free your time and attention to work on what's really matters - your inner experience of oneness with source, life, creation, God. 

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10. Some people may not get you

You may press some people's buttons and they may judge you when you step outside the societal status quo or their ideas of what's 'spiritual'.

Truth isn't always popular, isn't of much interest to the mainstream, yet, and can press some people's buttons; making them uncomfortable - causing them to sometimes project out with negativity. Misery loves misery, like attracts like, and happy people tend to piss off those who are dwelling on what's wrong. I get it, its hard to hear about peace, perfection and heaven if you're anxious, judging everything and living one hell of a life as a result.

Accepting that some people may not get you can be a tricky one. With many people quitting their spiritual path because they don't want to rock the boat and in order to maintain certain relationships. The truth is that you may find certain people (that you love or want to be loved by) may not want to take any kind of spiritual journey with you. They just want a safe and relatively comfortable life. They are happy with hating their a 9-5 job, they are willing to have a few weeks holiday a year to 'get away from it all' and stay within the societal status quo. 

Despite this, I urge you to stay committed to your path and not stop, even if some relationships stop being what they used to. Everyone and everything benefits from your choice to wake up. 

 

11. You can't do it on your own

It is wise to have a Teacher so that you don't only rely on your ego-mind to tell you how you are getting on waking up from your ego-mind. 

To keep control the ego-mind may try to convince you that you can do it on your own and you don't need a Spiritual Teacher. It will often tell you that you don't want to give your power away or even that the 'era of the guru' is over. To be honest, this is complete bulls**t. There are only a few ways to truly spiritually awaken. One is to be born enlightened. If you didn't, then I'm sorry to say you've missed that boat! Another way is to have a spontaneous spiritual awakening. These kinds of awakenings are more rare than being stuck of lightening so I wouldn't wait for that option either. The third way to wake up is to find someone who already has, and be humble enough to receive on-going guidance from them on how they did it. 

My advice would be to find a Teacher who wasn't born awake or didn't spontaneously awaken because they don't necessarily know how they did it. It just happened. So all they can really tell you is what life is like from the 'other side'. This can be helpful, to a point. However, more useful is to learn from someone who knows how they did it. Personally, I wanted someone who had been there, got the t-shirt, lived a 'flawed' life and was humble enough to know they are still on a journey. Every day I'm grateful for having a Teacher in my life who doesn't want to take anything from me, but just wants to give me the most calm, well and free experience of life possible. I know it can be a dent in the ego to admit that you can't do it on your own, but at the same time, how wonderful that you don't need to. 

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12. You can't figure it out

You may gather cool spiritual concepts along your journey, but you need to go beyond them all to directly experience the truth.

Waking up can be a real head f**k at times! To experience enlightenment is to go beyond the thinking mind and rest in the still silent presence of your awake Self. We are so used to using our mind to think our way through life; to think about how to fix, change, improve and achieve stuff. We are so used to the idea of 'good things coming to those who wait' and believing anything good must involve effort, doing, and the passage of time. But to wake up, we are less mind-and-time-orientated and more present-moment-experience focused. It takes no effort to be what you natural Self. It takes no time to arrive to the now. 

You need to be willing to let go of thinking and the past and future otherwise spiritual awakening can become very confusing and only a gathering of spiritual concepts. With some spiritual concepts being very enticing to think at length about to fully 'understand', it can be easy to believe that you need to find the 'missing piece of advice' that will finally make everything clear and catapult you into enlightenment. The truth is there is ultimately nothing to understand. There is nowhere to go. There is no concept that you need. There is nothing you need to figure out. You need to be more attracted to the moment, than your mind, and stop waiting until later. 

 

13. Your spiritual path has no end

Source, life, creation, 'God' is infinite. There is always more peace, love and joy to be experienced. Your exploration of your Self is therefore endless. 

Be weary of anyone who tells you they are enlightened. How would they know, really?  'Yep, I'm enlightened, I've arrived at the destination', says the ego mind.  How rubbish would it be if you did all that 'work' to wake up and then you reached the limits of love or the outer parameters of peace? That would suck! Isn't it a more appealing prospect to know there is always more?  Yes, when you have transcended the limitations of the ego-mind and are resting fully aware of the divine presence of the present moment, you tend to experience peace, love, joy, freedom and oneness... But there is no concept of 'I'm enlightened'. In reality, you realise that the 'me' that you once thought you were didn't become enlightened. 

When living from this free space, you don't care if you are enlightened or not. You have no desire to leave the moment to engage in any thought. You are empty. Zero. Yet, you are full and infinite. It makes no sense, it no longer needs to. This one conscious and alive space, that you now know you are, has no end, and it is so exciting to wake up every day to keep exploring.


SUMMARY : The 13 Scary But True Spiritual Truths

 

  1. Who you think you are doesn't exist - You are the permanently present underlying Self that exists beyond the temporary identities conjured up by the thinking mind.

  2. You need to be willing to be nobody - Your ego needs to be somebody - to be important, powerful and gain possessions, praise and prestige. Your real Self knows it is nobody and one with everything.

  3. You are not an individual you - You are one with source, life, creation, 'God'. When you know and experience oneness your ego-fuelled fears, identities, resistances and attachments can fall away.

  4. You have no past or future - You need to stop defining yourself by your past or relying on the future for hope. Waking up spiritually involves living with an undivided awareness of the reality of now.

  5. It doesn't matter how you feel - Only your ego cares about how you feel. Your awake Self doesn't care about temporary feelings because it is a permanent presence of peace.

  6. You are not in control - Control is an illusion that stems from the idea that you are an individual that is separate from source, life, creation, 'God'. Thy will is always happening.

  7. You need to surrender everything - You need to be willing let go of your temporary thoughts, feelings, actions and circumstances to fully discover the permanently present underlying Self and reality.

  8. Your life may not go to your plan - You need to be willing for source, life, creation, 'God' - which you are one with - to take you to places you don't think you want to go.

  9. There are no external signs of enlightenment - There is no rule book for what an enlightened person looks or acts like. Evidence of awakening is about the inner experience.

  10. Some people may not get you - You may press some people's buttons and they may judge you when you step outside the societal status quo or their ideas of what's 'spiritual'.

  11. You can't do it on your own - It is wise to have a Teacher so that you don't only rely on your ego-mind to tell you how you are getting on waking up from your ego-mind. 

  12. You can't figure it out - You may gather cool spiritual concepts along your journey, but you need to go beyond them all to directly experience the truth.

  13. Your spiritual path has no end - Source, life, creation, 'God' is infinite. There is always more peace, love and joy to be experienced. Your exploration of your Self is therefore endless. 


 

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FOUR LIFE-CHANGING PRINCIPLES FOR TRUE EMOTIONAL FREEDOM

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FOUR LIFE-CHANGING PRINCIPLES FOR TRUE EMOTIONAL FREEDOM

Peace with the full spectrum of emotions is incredibly liberating. Just think how free you would be if you weren’t worried about how life might make you feel. How free you would be if you weren’t scared of standing out or being seen, not resistant to the possibility of people judging you, or perhaps not succeeding at your first attempt. If we aren’t going for grandiose goals, it is often because we are held back, not by circumstance, but by a fear of how life might make us feel. Imagine what would happen if you were emotionally free!

Humans have inhabited this planet for around 200,000 years. Yet despite the passing of so many generations, many of us still find it hard to live with a major component of being human: namely our emotions. Similar to life, emotions are happening, however much we may wish we could flick a switch and turn them off at times. Emotions are an intrinsic and inevitable part of the human experience. Each day, we experience a spectrum of feelings, some comfortable and others less so.

How you relate to your own mind and life plays a major role in the emotions you experience most often. The more you get ‘lost in your thinking mind’ and you are in conflict with life, the more ‘negative’ emotions you will end up feeling. At the same time, many of us have also been conditioned to have an unhealthy relationship with our emotions, which is a core cause of much stress, struggle and suffering.

Watch this video to learn four principles for enjoying emotional freedom:



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THE TOP 12 HABITS THAT LIMIT LOVE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

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THE TOP 12 HABITS THAT LIMIT LOVE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

It is easy to fall into the trap of making relationship conflicts about the other person. What they said or didn’t say. What they did or didn’t do. What they meant or didn’t mean. But to be proactive about moving from conflict to connection, you need to focus on cleaning up your side of the fence.

For the best relationships, look to sort whatever is happening within you, instead of trying to fix, change or improve other people so that they are more loveable.  It is not anyone else’s job to make you happy or feel loved, it is yours. How you feel is down to your relationship with the particular relationship, which is a perfect reflection of your relationship with yourself.

Lots of ‘relationships’ mentioned then, but the only relationship that I would recommend focusing on healing is the one with your self. Whatever you are feeling in relation to someone else is caused by what’s happening inside you, so that’s where to look to resolve any issue that may be standing between you and more kind, connected and loving relationships. 

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Here are the top 12 habits that hinder loving relationships. If you find you are doing any of them, try using the Calm Cure technique (shared in my Calm Cure book), to help to heal them once and for all:

HABIT 1 - EXPECTING: Expectations are often not openly expressed and the other person is left oblivious. Nonetheless, you then make it their fault for failing to meet your expectations. Conflict occurs when your expectations aren’t met. Ask: What expectations do I have that are not being met and how does it make me feel when I don’t get what I expect?

HABIT 2 - COMPARING: You compare your relationship with past partners, other friends or family members, your ideas about how loved ones should be, or couples who appear to be more in love or happier. Conflict arises when some other relationship appears to be better. Ask: What comparisons am I making and how does it make me feel when other relationships appear to be better?

HABIT 3 - ASSUMING: Assuming other people see the world the same as you and should therefore act the same way too. You also assume that they know what you want or that you know what they want. Conflict kicks in when assumptions are not accurate and/or not met, e.g. ‘I thought you’d buy me a bottle of water, if you were buying one for yourself.’ Ask: How does it feel when my assumptions are not met?

HABIT 4 - MIND-READING: Attempting accurately to predict what someone else is thinking, why they did what they did, what their actions mean, e.g. ‘The kids prefer Dad because they went to the shops with him instead of staying home with me.’ or 'He didn't text me last night so he doesn't care'. Ask: What mind read am I making and how does it make me feel when I do?

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HABIT 5 - TAKING: Engaging relationships with a ‘what’s in it for me’ attitude. If you are taking, you end up in conflict due to inevitably being let down at some point. It’s also a performance-based relationship, which is not love-based. Ask: What do I believe is lacking within me that I need to take from others, and how does it make me feel to lack it?

HABIT 6 - COUNTING: Linked with taking, this is when you do nice things but keep a tally, e.g. ‘I did x for you and you’ve not...’ Conflict occurs if you don’t get back in equal measure to ‘your giving’. You’re not giving if you are doing so to get something back. Ask: How does it feel not to get back in equal measure?

HABIT 7 - PERFECTING: Trying to achieve your idea of ‘the perfect relationship’. Snoring and difficult days aren’t permitted, for example. Conflict occurs when life doesn’t fit your ideas of perfect. Ask: What do I think is imperfect about the relationship and how does it make me feel not to have a perfect relationship?

HABIT 8 - TRAP-SETTING: When you test the other person’s love by setting traps for them to fall into. Like not telling them that you’ve had your hair done or pointing out a new outfit or saying how your day went – to see if they ask or make a comment. It is trap-setting if you intentionally hold back to see if they notice. Ask: What is going on within me that makes me feel the need to set traps?

HABIT 9 - ANALYSING: When you excessively analyse everything that’s said or done. The relationship becomes very ‘heady’ with lots of thinking and little heart connection, to the point you are thinking about the relationship more than you are relating. Ask: What am I overanalysing and what feelings are driving my need to do so?

HABIT 10 - SAVING: When the relationship is based upon saving the other person or you are focused on fixing them. These types of dysfunctional dynamics are based upon the other person’s brokenness and your efforts to rescue them. Ask: How do I feel when I see someone that I think needs saving?

HABIT 11 - NOT PRIORITIZING: Not giving time and making other things more important than love. You keep working when the other person wants a hug or take the relationship for granted and don’t invest time or effort in nurturing it. Ask: What am I making more important than love and why?

HABIT 12 - NOT COMMITTING: Being half-in the relationship. Love ends up limited because your lack of commitment creates doubt, constant questioning if it’s right, testing of the relationship, holding back until you’re sure etc. Ask: How does it make me feel when I consider fully committing to this relationship?

(I actually share 20+ habits - and how to heal them - in my book Calm Cure. CLICK HERE for details.)



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