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Archive for September, 2015

Day 15: The Inward Journey: Love Transforms

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On the 24th of May of this year and every Wednesday morning hereafter, you and I started an inward journey to celebrate our humanity.

We began our quest by tackling the inner dialogue  which is chattering  happily away inside our minds. We noted that this inner babbling- particularly when it is negative, incapacitates the ability to find peace, contentment and happiness. We then  set about stilling the mind through the practice of progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and mindfulness. We even considered methods of forgiveness, which is no mean feat and often the accumulation of our life’s work here on this Earth  and at times, it is an impossible thing to do without Divine intervention.

I, like my Irish mother before me, believe that we need Divine intervention  in every aspect of our daily lives. When I speak of the Divine  I am not referring to a particular doctrine or set of religious beliefs, but rather to a spiritual experience that allows us to be part of, and yet detached from, all the hustle, bustle and hassle of this world. Of course, I am unable to explain who or what ‘Divinity’ is, such intricate matters are far beyond the comprehensions of my simple human mind. However, when I practice meditation, focused attention and gratitude, my heart open up to ‘The Presence of the Divine’s Transformational Love’.I do not always get it right. Sometimes I stumble and fall. I eat too much, drink too much. I become anxious and negative. But here is the good news when I wake up in the morning it’s a new day and a new chance to start afresh. For me, gratitude works every time. Mindfulness and meditation comes later bringing with it the stillness and peace of mind.

Keeping a diary and affirming all the good things in life is an effective way to practice gratitude. These exercises which I like to call- ‘Effective techniques for Love Transformation;’ have evolved over the years through my own journey and through helping others with theirs. So many excellent authors have written a great deal on gratitude, that it is impossible to attribute these exercises to one source.

But before undertaking them however, I would like you to do a particular meditative reflection utilizing the medium of art called-Who do you think I am?

Who do you think I am?

This reflection, like many other exercises previously explored in this blog is divided into three parts, the preparation, the exercise and the discussion and it is very similar to the one we did way back on Day 1 of our journey together.

The Preparation

For this, you will need:

  • Pencils
  • Rubber
  • Crayons
  • Paints or colored pencils -I like to use the soft pastels because they can run in together, but it is not necessary
  • Paper to draw on — the plain white variety is best.

It is a good idea to set time aside for this experience. If you are busy with small children or work, do this first thing in the morning, before the children get up, or late at night when they are in bed. Take the phone off the hook and turn off the radio and television. This is your time for you. It is a healing exercise that has nothing to do with how well you think you can, or cannot draw!

The Exercise

  • Start by drawing a body outline. This does not have to be accurate or correct. Some people like to draw themselves as curved lines or circles, while others prefer stick men or some other symbolic representation of how they see themselves. Try to let go of any negative messages you may have about your artistic ability.
  • Next, close your eyes and place your hands, palms down, on your painting. Visualize all the colors of the rainbow flowing in and around and through your body. Keeping your eyes closed, imagine different life situations. If this situation you were a color, what color would it to be? If this situation was absorbed by your body, where would you feel ‘its’ energy?
  • When you are ready, open your eyes. Pick up the pencils or crayons and color in around the body outline. Feel free when doing this part of the exercise. Play with the colors. Slowly allow yourself to pull away from the painting. Close your eyes once more and relax by concentrating on your breathing and the gentle rise and fall of your chest as you remind yourself that you are inhaling energy and light and exhaling any tension from your body.
  • Then bring yourself back to the exercise by gently placing your palms on the drawing and hold them there without thinking. Allow yourself to be open to whatever feelings come your way. Which of these adjectives best describes you at this moment — happy, sad, surprised, fearful, anxious, distrustful, curious, doubtful, betrayed, or confident?
  • During this time of reflection, allow your mind to connect to something greater than you — a loving, compassionate Life Force that is cradling you softly and gently, in the palm of an outstretched hand.
  • From this safe place, look at your drawing again and consider what it is telling you about yourself and your beliefs. This would be a good time to ask yourself if you are willing to listen to the whispering’s of your soul to open your heart to Real Love.

The Discussion

Opening our hearts to Divine Transformational Love is made possible through the practice of gratitude which we will look at in the next few following posts.

These gratitude awareness exercises – including Gratitude Awareness Diary, Affirmations, and Heart-Warming Gifts, foster a more holistic approach to life- one that embraces thoughts, actions and spirituality.

Spirituality, by its nature, does not adhere to any one religion; however, most religions assume that we are ‘Loved’ by something that is greater than ourselves. Developing a spiritual, intellectual and emotional state of well-being allows optimum energy, healing and growth.

Note to self

MOMM

So stay tuned my friends, as your life and mine – with God Grace, opens up to the gifts of courage, knowledge, wonder and awe, right judgement, wisdom and understanding

And above all enjoy the experience.

 

 

Your Irish Mammy is back with her Wake up Monday Morning Call.

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Good Morning Guys it is wake up time again. Last night I  set my alarm to call me  at 2.am,3.am and 5.am to see the infamous eclipse and Blood/Pink Moon. I was  tired this morning when the alarm went off again at 7 .30.am

But here is the good news, it is possible to effectively  energize  the body  with certain breathing exercises like the one listed below:

  • Say to yourself: ‘I am breathing in goodness and light, and breathing out any exhaustion that is trapped in my body.’ Repeat this five times.
  • With your eyes closed, imagine your sight extending beyond your scope of vision, and returning back to you, refreshed.
  • Open the palms of your hands and imagine your fingers reaching to the heat and energy of the sun, and returning to you refreshed.
  • Listen to the sounds around you, and allow your ears to extend as far as the farthest whispering of the universe, returning to you refreshed.
  • Inhale the aromas that are surrounding you. Now, let your senses move out from your immediate experience to all scents of the planet, and return to you refreshed.
  • Next, allow your mind to take a mini holiday with the following therapeutic day dream

You are walking along a beautiful medieval street which is sparkling in the summer sun. In the distance you will observe a wooden bridge. Picture yourself crossing over this bridge, if you meet anyone on the way smile at them, tell them you are seeking mental  refreshment and will be back soon. When you reach the other side of the bridge there is a gate,slowly open it and leave the busy world behind you. Imagine that you are in a lush green meadow surrounded by trees and hills. The sun’s rays are filtering  through the leaves  casting  shadows on the soft green grass. It feels warm and soft underfoot as you tread, gazing out at the beautiful opulent countryside. Hear the sound of the leaves as they rustle in the soft breeze. Feel the fragrant air on your face and neck.  Allow your eyes to focus on the greenness of the vale as your entire body is inhales subtle sweet scent of the freshly cut grass. The more you watch the countryside, the heavier and more relaxed your eyes become. Inhale deeply, drawing serenity and peace into your body.

  • Be amazed the beauty of your imagination and enjoy.
  • Now, bring your senses back to your immediate experience and become aware of the rise and fall of your chest as you inhale and exhale deeply.
  • Know that you can return to this peaceful pace at any time but for now, today on this Monday of Mondays, take another deep breath, stretch your legs and arise from your slumber refreshed and ready and to face the challenges of your day.

Note to self

Have a good one you guys.

See you next Wednesday for the Final’ Leg’ of the Inward Journey

Day 14: Forgiveness: A Vital Component of Inward Journey.

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In the last 2 posts – Day 12 & 13, we looked at how physical body techniques and utilising the written word in angry letters as effective means for releasing pent up emotions. However there may be times when forgiveness is so difficult that ‘Divine’ intervention is needed. And on these occasions I recommend participating in a ritual. The idea of using ritual in forgiveness is not new. Rituals of forgiveness and atonement are a recurring theme in most religions, whether primitive or developed. These sacred rites are seen as the means by which the person re-establishes or strengthens his/her relation with others.

Scripture refers to the power of forgiveness as a gift received from God. Catholics ask God to forgive them their ‘sins’ through the intercession of a priest in the Sacrament of Confession. It is a religious practice that has kept me carefree and happy  over the years!

It is important to stress, however, that the ritual I will refer to in this post is not taken from any religion. Nonetheless, it is a solemn activity accompanied by the burning of incense, sage and the lighting of candles.

Partaking in ritual allows us to acknowledge the sacredness of our being, to accept that a violation has occurred to our sanctity, and to recognise that special assistance is required to help us let go, forgive and move on.

This forgiveness ritual which I have called The Stage Exercise has evolved through my childhood experiences. When I was young my mother encouraged us to make up stories and enact these stories in little plays. Often she would tell us to swap roles and pretend to be the person we didn’t like. Many a row between my siblings and I were ignited and or resolved during these plays. My mother unknowingly has stumbled upon and used with her family, a modifications of psychotherapeutic techniques. But then again she was a very wise woman.

The Process:

The Stage Forgiveness Exercise provide us with an oppertinity to examine painful memories in a non-threatening way.

When we release anger safely in a therapeutic environment, the chances of our projecting outwards and hurting someone else is greatly reduced. When we hurt someone, we need forgiveness. Before we are ready to ask another for forgiveness, we must first forgive ourselves. Forgiveness of the self requires a deep understanding of the fragility of human weakness. When we put our painful memories into a script form, we are playing a role rather than experiencing it. In this play, life scripts can be rewritten, giving us an opportunity to forgive or to tell someone that we love them.

And, when we do manage to forgive others, and ourselves we evolve into more compassionate, loving and spiritually aware human beings.

So let us begin this important healing work….

The Preparation

Before starting this exercise, light a candle and allow yourself some personal space to participate fully. Take the phone off the hook and go to a place where you know that you will not be interrupted. If you are a parent, this may mean that you will do this ritual in the early-morning hours.

Encourage your mind to focus on your senses, starting with your sense of touch, and moving in to your senses of taste, smell and sight (with your eyes closed, imagine you are seeing a soft, pale purple or blue light). Finally focus on your hearing, and allow it to expand by imagining that you are listening to the furthest sound and all sounds beyond it. This allows the hearing to become wide and free. Connecting to the senses in this way helps you to clearly focus on the task at hand.

The Ritual.

When you are ready, begin the play. During this ritual, you are going to rewrite a painful scene from your life, using the tools of the theatre.

Imagine yourself sitting in a theatre, watching a play. You are in the audience, looking at the characters on the stage. Visualise a scene from your past, in as much detail as possible; this particular scene that you have chosen, is now being played on the stage. The scene could be a joyful reminiscence or a sad or angry memory. Perhaps you need to visualise a person whom you want to forgive or say goodbye to. Maybe you never got the chance.

Allow yourself to see the players:

  • What are they wearing?
  • What are they doing?

Fill in the scenery: night-time or daytime; urban or rural; indoor or outdoor.

You are there, with the other actors.

  • What age are you?
  • Can you get in touch with your feelings at that time?
  • How do you feel — afraid, angry, upset, and lonely?

When you are ready, imagine yourself going on stage to acknowledge your other self. Embrace that self and tell ‘it’ that you love ‘it’. Acknowledge each of the other players in turn. Say what you need to say to them. Express your feelings without fear — it is only a play after all.

For example, you could say: ‘Peter, you hurt me. As an adult, I can try to accept and understand the reasons for your actions, but as a child, I was confused and hurt. What you did was wrong. Now I will try to forgive you.’ You may find it difficult to say this, and in your heart you may not believe it to be true, but the articulation of the words can help you to forgive the person who has hurt you. Then say, ‘I am letting you go; you no longer have power over my life or me. I am putting you into my past. I am moving on and I am leaving you behind on this stage with my blessing.’

When the time feels right, leave the stage. Walk firmly and purposefully down into the audience. You are leaving your old self behind with all the players. Symbolically you have let go and forgiven the people on the stage who have hurt you. Soon the ramifications of your actions will be felt in the real world.

This Stage forgiveness ritual allows you to let go, or partly let go, painful past memories.

It may be necessary for you to revisit the stage several times in a spirit of reverence and prayer, before you can let go.

You can modify this script to suit your needs, for example

  • If you want to forgive yourself for a violation you have committed, place yourself at that time in your life on the stage, and say what needs to be said, forgive and walk away from the stage.
  • Or if you want to tell someone who has died, that you love him/her, or alternatively that you forgive him/her, or you wish to ask his/her forgiveness. Place him/her on the stage and talk to him/her as if he or she was still alive.

The script is yours- your personal life story, which has helped you to become whom and what you are today.  You are a unique and special person, on your own journey of life, learning the necessary lesions along the way, some of which can be hard, very hard indeed.

Partaking in ritual allows us to acknowledge the sacredness of our being, to accept that a violation has occurred to our sanctity, and to recognise that special assistance is required to help us let go, forgive

Then one day you will be free and the emotional wounds that festered and infected your life will be cleansed.

A final word.

Rather than crippling us, the bleakest darkest times experienced will, if we forgive, teach us profound lessons. Contemplation on, and the sharing of, these lessons will bring deep healing into our lives and into the lives of others who are willing to learn from our experience.

Note to self

Good luck in your healing work — believe it, you’re worth it. And remember, the world needs people like you who are brave enough to face up to the challenges of life and live with hope to enjoy another day.

Day 13: The Inward Journey: Releasing negative emotions through the medium of the written word

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‘You cannot heal a wound by saying it is not there.’(Jeremiah 6:14))

When someone hurt us in the past, or if we have done something that we are ashamed of, we may have felt compelled to keep silent. Perhaps we felt too intimidated or frightened to respond, or maybe it was impossible for us to express our feelings.

Today, let us articulate our anger through the use of writing and rewriting of negative letters. I say ‘rewriting’ because you may have to make several attempts at these letters before you actually get in touch with your feelings.

I like to call this healing process Angry Letter Exercise.

Note to self

MOMM

You can do these exercises alone however, it is good to have a listening ear of a trusted friend or qualified therapist to help you work through this process.

It is important to stress however that these letters are for your eyes only and when written you destroy them immediately.

It is such a good feeling to tear these letters in tiny pieces, bless him and burn them, saying loudly as that ‘I release you and let you go. You no longer have any hold over me.’

The blessing, burning and releasing is a vital component of the healing process.

The Process: Participating in the Angry Letter Exercise

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 Preparation

Before you begin, set a sacred space for yourself by allowing an uninterrupted hour for this exercise. Furthermore, you will need plenty of pages to write on and a fireplace or some safe place where the letters can be burnt without interference.

Have a full box of matches handy — it is terrible when you go to all the trouble of writing these letters and then cannot burn them!

The Ritual

Start your letter as you would any other with the usual greeting — for example, ‘Dear Mary’. If you are writing to yourself, address yourself in the third person.

Don’t worry about neatness, grammar or spelling It is important to express exactly how you feel, using bad language, if necessary, since this mechanism will allow the venting of angry feelings. Using the left hand helps us to get in touch with the emotional part of the brain, or vice versa, for a left-handed person.

When you have finished writing, tear the letter into tiny pieces, saying to yourself that it doesn’t have to be this way. Say something like: ‘These feelings no longer rule my life; I am in control; I release you; I release myself from the pain of the past.’

When the letters are reduced to a tiny bundle of paper, bless them with holy water or salted water and burn them. The ritual of burning and blessing is a symbol of cleansing and renewal.

Allow yourself some time to recover after doing the writing, blessing and burning. Imagine that you are breathing in energy and light and releasing stress from your body. It may be necessary to repeat this ritual on several different occasions, learning to forgive takes time and patience.

When we release anger safely in a therapeutic environment, the chances of our projecting outwards and hurting someone else is greatly reduced. When we hurt someone, we need forgiveness. Before we are ready to ask another for forgiveness, we must first forgive ourselves. Forgiveness of the self requires a deep understanding of the fragility of human weakness. When we do manage to forgive others, and ourselves we evolve into more compassionate, loving and spiritually aware human beings. In the next post I will introduce another forgiveness exercise which I refer to as a ritual, the reasons for which will become clear on the day.

Important note to self

MOMM

I will not post Irish Mammy or otherwise for another fourteen days. The reason for this is simple, time is needed for relaxation when participating in work of this nature. You have worked hard and your body needs time to recover. Thus, for the next fourteen days I would ask you to participate in the relaxation exercise below for ten minutes in the morning and evening. Trust me you will be surprised how more energetic and alive you will feel.

The Relaxation Exercises

This time like before in the other relaxation exercises, I will ask you to still your mind by focusing on the senses. And, just like we have done so often we will begin this exercise with the breathing.

  • As you focus on your breathing, say to yourself: ‘I am breathing in goodness and light, and breathing out any stress that is trapped in my body.’ Repeat this five times.
  • With your eyes closed, imagine your sight extending beyond your scope of vision, and returning back to you, refreshed.
  • Open the palms of your hands and imagine your fingers reaching to the heat and energy of the sun, and returning to you refreshed.
  • Listen to the sounds around you, and allow your ears to extend as far as the farthest whispering of the universe, returning to you refreshed.
  • Inhale the aromas that are surrounding you. Now, let your senses move out from your immediate experience to all scents of the planet, and return to you refreshed.
  • Take several deep breaths and as you do repeat the following words:

I am breathing in goodness and light, and breathing out any stress that is trapped in my body.’

Return to you day feeling refreshed and ready and to greet the joys and challenges of you day and smile. You are alive: A Miracle of Creation

Good Morning All on this Monday of Mondays! Ireland lost in the Rugby World Cup Warm up. Galway Lost the All Ireland Hurling Final. Mayo lost in the All Ireland Football semi-final: The wheels of the bus go round and round and help is at hand with your Irish Mammy

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So let’s begin with a simple relaxation techniques you can do just about anywhere –even in bed!

And…

  • As you focus on your breathing, say to yourself: ‘I am breathing in goodness and light, and breathing out any stress that is trapped in my body.’ Repeat this five times.
  • With your eyes closed, imagine your sight extending beyond your scope of vision, and returning back to you, refreshed.
  • Open the palms of your hands and imagine your fingers reaching to the heat and energy of the sun, and returning to you refreshed.
  • Listen to the sounds around you, and allow your ears to extend as far as the farthest whispering of the universe, returning to you refreshed.
  • Inhale the aromas that are surrounding you. Now, let your senses move out from your immediate experience to all scents of the planet, and return to you refreshed.
  • Take a deep breath and imagine the following a peaceful scene. You are walking along a beautiful deserted beach. It is a sunny summer’s day. You are wading barefoot on the soothing white shore. It feels warm and soft underfoot as you tread, gazing out at the beautiful turquoise sea. Hear the sound of the waves as they crash onto the rocks. Feel their hypnotic stereophonic sound seeping into you, relaxing you, soothing you. Overhead, the seagulls are flying — their circular movements mesmerise and enchant. Gaze at them flying in the summer sun, their reflection shimmering against the pale cotton-clouded blue sky. The more you watch them, the heavier and more relaxed your eyes become. Inhale deeply, drawing serenity and peace into your body.

Be amazed the beauty of your imagination and enjoy. Now, bring your senses back to your immediate experience.

Where are you right now?

Bring yourself into the present moment by focusing on the rise and fall of your chest as you inhale and exhale deeply and smile.

You are alive.

What joy

So what if you lose sometimes.

It’s part of life.

And you are alive, living, breathing and being.

You are A Miracle of Creation

Note to self.

Have a great Monday you guys

See ya on Wednesday where we will do more Inward journey work

Day 12: The Inward Journey: Using Forgiveness & Energy Exercises to Release Negative Emotions such as Anger and Hate

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Welcome back to the Journey of Forgiveness. Today we are going to look at exercises that provide an opportunity to acknowledge the life force within your body— in particular, any negativity you may have about yourself or other significant people in your lives, any deeply embedded hurts.

These exercises include the following

  • Pound a mattress with your fists, feet, elbows or knees and ankles.
  • Scream into a pillow.
  • Turn up your favourite music in the car and sing with it at the top of your voice (close the windows first!) or alternatively sing loudly when mowing the lawn or trimming the hedge (make sure it’s a noisy mower!)
  • Sing for no reason, or join a choir and participate in sacred songs.
  • Go for a long walk or a run and talk to yourself on the way.
  • Laugh at least once a day. Laughter does not need a reason, but telling jokes is a good way to get started.
  • Dig holes in the sand or in a sandbox, if you prefer, and entertain some children in the process.
  • Dig holes in the earth and plant shrubs. Weeding is great.
  • Dress up in clown’s clothes and paint your face. Do it with a friend and clown around.

At times incredible anger can well up deep from within, and overflow into our behavior, manifesting itself in fits of exasperation and rage.

Alternatively, internalization of negativity festers  away destroying  bodies and minds

Utilizing the Energy Exercises described above provide an opportunity to express and release any destructive emotional tempestuousness energy that may have become trapped in the body over the years.

Note to self.

MOMM

I never ask anyone to do anything that I have not experienced myself.

Honestly guys, not only  are these exercise mighty at releasing frustration they are also great fun.

So in the next few days, pick out one or two that appeal to you and as they say here in the West of Ireland. ‘ Go for it a Gra!!‘ 

See you Next Monday DV

Hugs and love

Mt

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