After a long weekend of spending time with family and friends, celebrating a religious sacrament for my youngest daughter and remembering the lives of two of our friends relatives that have passed on; one of stroke a couple of days ago and the other, a young victim of a very violent murder 2 years ago today, I have been reminded of the importance of forgiveness.
How often do you ask for forgiveness from others, forgive others or forgive yourself? I know many people who are very good at forgiving others but hold themselves locked up in the bondage of self-judgment. Then there are those people who forgive themselves everything but cannot seem to forgive others for anything and are equally as unsettled in their hearts.
I could not get forgiveness out of my mind the past couple of days and wonder if I have forgiven all those I could or if I should be seeking forgiveness. So, I decided to look a little deeper into what forgiveness is …
Oprah had mentioned in one of her life classes that forgiveness is "letting go of the hope that the past can be changed."
Mother Teresa said “We need lots of love to forgive; we need lots humility to forget. It’s not complete forgiveness unless we forget also. As long as we cannot forget, we really have not forgiven fully. We need humility to forgive. It is through meekness (love and compassion) and humility that completes forgiveness. Before we forgive somebody we must realize that we need forgiveness. This is where humility of heart comes. Forgiveness is the greatest presence of peace.”
Deepak Chopra says “The best way to understand forgiveness is to realize that to forgive and to ask for forgiveness is the best use of one’s energy and also one of the most important paths to self-healing. The absence of forgiveness is holding a grievance or resentment and also a subtle desire to seek vengeance. In short it is hostility. Learning how to let go of toxic emotions such as hostility is the essence of learning how to forgive, because forgiveness is basically releasing your attachment or identification with the conditioned response.”
From all the reading I did, I learned that when forgiveness is complete, it brings you peace in mind, body and soul. Forgiveness will remove any weight or burden you may feel.
The forgiveness shown and taught by one man in particular hit the epicenter of my heart like a tsunami. His name is Azim Khamisa and not only did he completely forgive the man (who was a 14 year old gang member at the time) that shot and killed his son, but he embraced the man’s entire family and has become a role model and father figure to the murderer. When this man gets out of jail, he has been offered a job to work with Azim in his organization http://www.azimkhamisa.com/
How do we forgive? In Azim’s book The Secrets of a Bulletproof Spirit he states that when you forgive, you simply give love ahead of time. You give+before
before you get an apology
before you see any change in the other person
before the situation improves
before the anger subsides
before you think it’s deserved
before you feel like it
It’s entirely natural to feel resistance to the before part of this formula and the giving love part might push your buttons too. It’s helpful to understand the following things about love;
It can be a completely internal experience
It is something you do for yourself – it’s not about anyone else
It does not require you to say anything to anyone
It does not require you to do anything at all
It has only to do with your own thoughts
It is a discipline that can be learned
Love is not a feeling or even an action – it is a way of thinking. When you forgive by giving love ahead of time, your motivation is your desire to free yourself from the residual pain that is keeping you from coming out on top of the hit you have taken. When you give love ahead of time, you are consciously choosing to have faith that forgiveness will help you bounce back from the bullet that hurt you. Everything you think and do in this process benefits you directly and works to heal your heart and your life. The Forgiveness Formula is the for yourself formula – it works at every level and it will work for you if you learn it and practice it.
Wow, I thought I was good at forgiving and forgetting, but I realized after my reflection, that I have some work to do!
What action could you take today to forgive yourself or someone that has hurt you and let go of that excess weight in order to gain peace within?
I may be a psychic but it hasn't excluded me from experiencing worry or being
side-swiped by anxiety, anger or stress from time to time.
Have you ever opened an envelope to see an unexpected and large bill? Having just completed your taxes, maybe you feel like you've been hit by a Mack truck. Perhaps your kids are experiencing stress and peer pressure and you feel like you're unable to help them. Maybe a loved one has just been given "notice" at work or is ill. At this point in time, there is a lot of doom and gloom, stress and negative news in the world. No matter what your experience is, I want you to know that YOU CAN HANDLE IT!
It's not difficult to dissolve anxiety, anger or stress. You don't need to be a Yogi or meditate like a Tibetan monk to get into your calm zone. Here are some of the methods I have used in the very toughest of times:
Once you notice you have lower vibrational feelings, STOP for a moment from whatever you are doing and recognize them. At this point, ask yourself "whose stuff is this?" Many times, the feelings we have are actually the projection of someone else's reality on to us. For instance, if you've just hung up the phone from listening to someone complain for an hour straight, you may feel drained and miserable...but that's not your stuff, it's theirs! As soon as you realize it's not your feelings, you can let them go.
2) BREATHE DEEPLY
I know it sounds cliché right? But breathing deeply just a few times and placing your hands over your heart or your solar plexus brings awareness to your body to make the mindbody connection and help begin the process of bringing you into self and away from the issue. This reduces your fight or flight response in the body, as it brings energy back into your core.
3) STEP OUT
Move physically if you can, do a few jumping jacks or push up's, clap your hands together 20 times really fast, posture your body in a silly way that would make a child laugh, take a brisk walk outside or march on the spot inside. Another way to step out is to visualize literally stepping out of your body. Try to view yourself from a different angle as if you are watching a movie. This technique works amazing once you get the hang of it.
I give this useful tool to almost every client I see. The FLOW technique is good for both emotions and physical pain. Visualize your body as a window screen. Imagine that all of the things you don't like (words, actions, feelings) are flowing through your screen horizontally and are getting filtered. They just flow right through you without resistance or judgement or agreement....just flow. All that gets caught in your screen are gold nuggets or "good things".
For pain, use the same strategy but let the FLOW take place from the top of your head and filter down through your body and out the bottom of your feet. Let it go.
After trying one or all of these techniques, you should feel lighter and be able to see the situation from a better perspective. After all, it's your life and your mind. Create your life, don't follow it!
When you think about it, mother was right. . . "just ignore it", "take a breath", "walk away" or "let it flow like water off a ducks back"! All that advice we were given as children was actually tools to put in our toolbox for living a happy existence.
Of course, if you want to go deeper into your journey of awareness and relaxation, you can always visit me at www.soulwavesunlimited.com
Until next time, stay in the FLOW and just BE
The past few days I have been trying to live more in the moment, more aware and more consciously. The following is a detailed recounting of my five minute
experience into awareness today.
When you stop to take five simple minutes and feel the sun on your face, I mean really experience it, a whole new world can open up.
Today, as I was sitting outside in a park, I decided to try and pick up on every possible sound, smell and sight that would come into my awareness within five minutes.
There I sat with eyes closed. The first thing I felt was the warmth of the sun on my cheeks, then the feeling of heat spread to my head, down my hair, on my lips, the tip of my nose and through my eyelids. As I thought about the beauty of the sun and all it gives us, my body filled with the heat from head to toe. Suddenly, like the change of a movie scene, I instantly began to smell the grass, it smelled so green, sweet and fresh. I could smell mother earth and feel her blowing gentle wind through my hair like a
whisper. Crunch, crunch, crunch, what was that sound? I heard the crunching of grass under foot that sounded like someone biting into a granny smith apple as people were walking by. There were birds chirping many different songs and ducks
quacking. I was too tempted to look so I opened my eyes.
As I opened my eyes, I noticed not just the people walking by, but also the green grass, the many different shades of green and yellow of the different blades and lengths of grass. The grass was calling me to run my fingers through it. As my fingers gently swept through the grass, it felt like time slowed down and I saw frame by frame as my fingers picked up the moisture from many blades. My eyes quickly hopped over to some small black ants carrying probably twice their weight on their backs. They were marching with determination over towards a big tree. At the base of the tree was a monarch butterfly who had landed and spread its wings open wide. It's the first time I ever noticed how beautiful the colours were and how the wings actually vibrate much like a hummingbird.
I looked up and noticed the beautiful big maple tree whose leaves were only starting to unfold, bright, brilliant, smooth and green. My eyes are drawn to the incredibly detailed patterns and caverns of the bark on this tree. It resembled the Grand Canyon or perhaps a miniature version of the Canadian Rockies. Her branches spread out in every direction, reaching out to the sun.
Ahhh, back to the sun, and I feel that warmth on my face again. I suddenly feel like the whole scene makes sense. The sun is our creator, the heat I fill myself with is my beliefs, the grass is the earth I walk on. The ants are those following their lives, feeling burdened while the butterfly is the possibility and the metamorphosis we can all experience. The tree is representative of the strength we all have, our connection to heaven and earth and the many different ways we can connect to each.
As I bring my attention back to my children, they are looking at me wondering what I'm doing and why I'm not paying attention. My husband is wondering what kind of herbs I've ingested! I stay there a moment longer smiling from ear to ear feeling invincible, infinite and at peace.
If I can notice another world within me and around me in five small minutes and feel glorious, what could I experience in other areas of my life if I brought in the same awareness?
Helping people to realize their potential, become empowered and start creating the reality they desire is my passion and my pleasure.