2017: Walking In Source Love (For Real…)

Posted Posted in Breathe Yoga Newsletter, Essential Topics

Happy New Year, folks! It’s so nice to talk to you now, because I’m really excited for 2017. Why? Because of all the ground we’ve been covering lately. 2016 was huge! Whoa. It saw the beginning of some BIG shifts for me personally, which are definitely still taking shape, and they weren’t always fun. I’m not sure exactly why, but that’s just how earth works sometimes. But we’re on it; we really are starting to figure this gig out. And I think I’m finally ready to write it all down in a clear and concise book, too. I just need to make the time for that, and I have absolutely no idea how that’s going to happen at the moment… Anyway, our journey is starting to culminate with a serious foundation of peace, a serious foundation that despite what’s going on and despite the energies that are in my body now (i.e. feelings), I’m okay. And that’s huge! It’ll take bigger and bigger things to rock us. And when we do get rocked, there’s still a knowing that it’s temporary – SO important – and that the true essence of what we are is unchanged. That’s big, too. Again, this is just how we grow sometimes. So we are going to embrace these times more and more to speed things up. That’s something we’ll be talking more about going forward.

This past year, we really started to wade into deeper waters here at A Clean Mind, especially in August (my birthday month, interesting…) with The God PostDeeper Feelings of Peace in YOU, and Plugging In. Check that stuff out. And after that, we talked about the vast near-death research by discussing the book Dying To Be Me. Definitely check that out! So what are we going to do in 2017? We’re going to put it all together by owning, until it’s KNOWN at the deepest of levels, this one thing: I am loved. Anyplace, anytime. I am loved. Right here, right now. I am loved. Regardless of who I am or what I’ve done. Yes, I am still loved.

I know it often doesn’t seem that way, and I alluded to that at the end of the recent Merry Xmas Eve (& Just Do Your Best) post. When we’re feeling really low, if we take a super close look, we might see that what’s at the root of it is that we’re actually feeling unloved. We’re wanting love from someone or something outside of us, and we’re not getting it. In truth, what we’re really thinking is that we need love from that someone or something. It’s like we’re trying to plug our plug into the wrong socket. You see, that stuff is not our Source. If you try to plug a lamp into a pair of socks, for instance, the light won’t turn on; it just doesn’t work that way. And it’s not good or bad; it’s just not how it works. You have to plug it into the right power source. And there’s only one! And it’s all around us, and it’s unconditional. But we sure try to plug into all kinds of various people, places, things, foods, drinks, hobbies, activities, etc. I sure do, and I’m recognizing it more and more. Because it just doesn’t work; not for long, anyway.

So this year, we’ll be stepping up our efforts to obliterate the feeling of being unloved. Why? Because we’re going to see more and more that it is simply not true. All the time. You are loved. The first step is to take a deep look around and learn that you are always loved. And the second step is to own it more and more, especially when you’re triggered. Remind yourself of the truth. And after a while, you’ll be feeling it more and more. So how do we learn that we’re always loved? We’ve talked plenty here about how if you look in pretty much any direction, you’ll find this to be true. The religions certainly say it, but you might have to look past some of the man-made parts (and guilt is a man-made part, by the way). The message is that you’re a being that totally transcends the body that you think you are now. So that’s good news. And that what made you loves you. Unconditionally. The spiritual traditions certainly say that what you are is totally, unconditionally loved. And quantum physics says that we aren’t separate and that we are actually all part of this ONE big sea or field of energy. And some of the folks that have had the spiritual “wake-up” or enlightenment experience have SEEN and experienced that this sea or field is actually love. I’ve mentioned John Mark Stroud before, because he’s helped me so much, and he is one of those people. His experience was in 2011. The astronaut Edgar Mitchell had a similar experience on the way back from walking on the moon on the Apollo 14 mission many decades ago. Since he was such a staunch scientist, the rest of his life was devoted to figuring out scientifically what on earth had happened to him! So he founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). There are lots of these folks if you take a look around.

Finally, the near death experience (NDE) research is VERY compelling, especially if you are super logical. Take the blind person (born blind) that died in a hospital for a few minutes, was revived, and was still blind. Those eyes have never seen. And then she described the scene in the hospital room as they attempted to revive her in what can only be described as visual detail. Folks, when this happens I pay attention. Like, lots of attention. And it has happened… Watch the documentary called Afterlife on Netflix. Anyway, it’s pretty clear from these accounts, and there are tons of them with more coming out all the time, that there’s this feeling – this amazing feeling! – that’s experienced when one “crosses over.” And if this all sounds weird to you, just be logical; that’s my best advice (see: blind dead person above that saw while blind and dead). And note that simply saying “That’s crazy or impossible” is not being logical…

I even met a friend of one of my cousins, and he had had one of these experiences. I want to video him telling his story, in fact. And it was the same – that feeling, that amazing feeling! He couldn’t stop talking about that amazing feeling of unconditional love. Anita Moorjani said the exact same thing in Dying To Be Me, speaking about that amazing feeling that words cannot describe. And an old friend of mine had an NDE when giving birth to her second son, and because of that amazing feeling, she didn’t even want to come back. And she had a newborn and a two-year-old! And my cousin’s friend from above had a wife and two small children, all of whom he loved dearly. And he didn’t want to come back, either! Because the love that they experienced while out of body was so unlimited that even the strongest of earthly loves, that of parent to child, paled in comparison. WOW. Folks, this stuff is real.

So why are talking about this? Because we are still connected to that same unconditional love right now. Read that again. We are still connected to that same unconditional love right now. Most of us have lost touch with it to some degree, though, and this is the year that we are finally owning it. Remember my client that talked about this deeper feeling of peace she was experiencing, even while at work? And I told her that I experienced the same thing sometimes, more and more often. Well, that’s what we’re talking about, that’s the feeling! It really is inside of us, built-in. So we put all of these pieces together, and it points to the fact that love is never missing. It can’t be! It just can’t be. But as I’ve said plenty of times, it sure can seem like it. So in 2017, we are owning the truth more and more. We are claiming our birthright of being loved, always. It’s tricky when we’re triggered, I know. So we try to catch it as quickly as possible and get centered in the fact that we are still just as loved in that moment as we can ever be, despite the situation that’s going on. What we are at the core has not changed, despite this. And we start to live this way more and more, owning that we are big and that we are totally loved, and this feeling becomes more and more our home base, our lived experience. So cool. But remember that we have to get really good at feeling our feelings, because those old energies that we’ve been carrying for so long cover up the unconditional love that sits beneath it all, always.

So there we go, folks! You can see why I’m so fired up. We’ll be getting more and more specific about all of this, and of course we’ll let it unfold naturally as always. And as I continue to deepen and get cleared out myself, I’ll share with you as best I can. So buckle up! Because we’re on quite a ride. But we’re starting to find ourselves more and more on solid ground, even when life gets tough. Especially when life gets tough. Because that’s how we’re learning to roll. So take care, and I’ll talk to you pretty soon, I hope. I’ve been working too hard lately, so I’m on an old school road trip for a little while. I’ll be back soon, though, and ready to go. I’m glad we’re traveling together, and I wish you a wonderful year. And as always, let me know if I can help 🙂

Father Visits In A Dream & Gives The Answer!

Posted Posted in Breathe Yoga Newsletter, Cool Supernatural/Paranormal Stuff

Today I’d like to tell a tale that you just might not believe. I might not had I not heard it myself, straight from the source. And I knew the source personally as a very honest person, the last kind of person that would make up a random story out of thin air, look me in the eye, and tell me. This kind of far out stuff is happening more and more often these days with signs only of accelerating, as we finally start to learn what reality truly is. We’re living in a very woo woo universe, folks, just saying… This will become more and more evident year after year. I might write a book about it, too. Some book ideas have been floating around for me in the last year, and you know what I’ve learned? That books don’t write themselves… All good, though, because as I look back, I haven’t been ready. But I’m getting close! And it’ll be very fun.

So this really nice, awesome woman was ready to deal with her alcohol issue, so she went to a rehab. She chose Gulf Breeze Recovery, an innovative place where I used to work a bunch and still give a monthly talk. She learned a lot there about exactly what we talk about here at A Clean Mind, and we were chatting as she was getting close to returning home. And she told me about a dream she had just had. It was actually what I would call a “visitation,” in which her deceased father visited her. People that experience these visitations always say how ridiculously realistic they are, totally unlike a normal dream. A very different quality. And they tend to remember them crystal clear, too, for years and years. Again, totally unlike a normal dream.

NOTE: If this sounds impossible to you, just read on and decide for yourself. But I’m telling you, this stuff is coming out more and more. So it might be good to stay open and admit that you have absolutely no idea what is possible and what is not. Because let’s face it… you don’t! And I sure don’t, either. And life is WAY better when we start to ditch thinking that we know everything. And yes, even stuff like this! I’m telling you… Because when you get out of the way and take a close, honest look, you’ll see that you don’t truly know. Not believe, but know. And the more you get used to that, you’ll find that it becomes a MUCH more comfortable place to live. Back to the story…

So her father had passed away some years before, and a trust had been set up for his children, including her. In the dream, he said something like, “Look at chapter two, paragraph five.” I don’t remember the rest of it, but that was the important part. He didn’t say where to look, though. She awoke right after and wrote down what he had said, knowing it was important. But what to do with this information, she wondered? She had read lots of books while at GBR, and they were scattered around her room, so the first thing she did was to look in each one. She didn’t notice anything significant in this place he had mentioned, though. With no other ideas, she let it go for the time being and peacefully went back to bed.

When she awoke the next morning, she had the idea that maybe he was referring to his will. So she called her daughter, told her where the will was located, and asked her to see if there was a chapter two, paragraph five. And you know what? There was. And you know what it said? Get ready, because this is the cool part. It explained that there was a separate account that was totally off limits, except under certain very specific circumstances. The woman had actually known about this account, but she had never known exactly what it was for; she only knew that it was untouchable. Until now, that is. Because you know what? One of the things it could be used for was rehab! So her dad just saved her over $30,000. In a freaking dream. Bam! I love this stuff…

The first thing I’d like to point out is that as I said earlier, this woman is the opposite of someone that would just make something like this up. She reminds me of my mom, in fact, and my mom would never just make up a ridiculous story of a dream and then go and tell someone, especially someone that had helped her a lot with her life and finding peace. Remember when I wrote about my friend’s premonition dream, another type of interesting “dream,” in which he saw the shark? And I said this is not the type of person that lies! Or even exaggerates that much. As humans go, we’re talking about an extremely real, honest dude. Like, 99 percentile. Well, this woman is the same way. So maybe she just made up this ridiculous story and told me, but I seriously, seriously doubt it. Not many people would do that. Not to one of their helpers, especially. And she certainly wouldn’t.

Another thing I’d like to mention is the quality with which she had the thought to check his will. This thought just “popped in her head.” And that’s really how our wisdom/insight works. New, fresh thought is always available to us if we only relax and listen. And this is in stark contrast to the old conditioned thinking that we’ve listened to for so long. She also knew how timing works, so she didn’t get frustrated when she didn’t find anything in the books. This is because she was starting to learn how things truly work. So she relaxed and went back to bed, and what happened? The answer just popped in her head the next morning. This is not unlike my recent client and the stray dog. It’s the relaxed quality that we’re after. So we feel better AND things work out better. A win-win.

So there we go, folks. I’ve been wanting to tell this story for a while now, and it just popped in my head. And I sure hope I haven’t told it here already, because that would be embarrassing. They say that memory is the first to go… Let’s stay open, because we truly have no freaking idea how things really work and what is possible. And for the Christians out there, if you take away the supernatural stuff from the Bible, you’d have a much smaller book. And have the laws of the universe changed? Nope! And that’s good news. We’re starting to learn the rules of the game more and more, and the possibilities really do seem endless the more we look around. And we’ll be talking about that more and more here. Or in that book. That doesn’t write itself. Peace out 🙂

Puzzle Pieces

Posted Posted in Breathe Yoga Newsletter, Other Cool Topics

The stuff that I’ve been writing about here for almost five years now – wait, five years?! – is really the story of how I’ve been learning – and living – how to get out of the way. Get out of the way and let something smarter lead. There’s literally a Flow that we are all in, all the time; it’s just whether or not we are aware of it (and note that this woowoo-sounding stuff actually sounds not unlike quantum physics, which we do NOT yet understand after almost 100 years!). I’ve been telling clients for a while now that what we talk about in my office is quite literally the art and science of getting out of the way. And we always go to relaxing the body first, because the body is the barometer that lets us know when we are getting in the way, when we are not in the flow. So we relax, slow down, and let things unfold. And life ends up being WAY better.

Which brings us to the idea of puzzle pieces. And it’s been totally blowing me away the last several months or so, to pretty comical levels. Comical. What’s been happening the more I’ve gotten out of the way is that life has gotten so much more smooth, and things often happen without my doing anything. And seemingly separate things fit together like puzzle pieces, in ridiculous perfection. It could be big things or small, but it doesn’t matter. Because each time I notice this happening, I understand more deeply that we are truly living in an intelligent, connected universe. That it’s real. That what Michael Singer describes in The Surrender Experiment is REAL. It is real. It’s real, for you and me, right here and right now, without having to lift a finger. It is the law! But nobody tells us this, so we grow up believing otherwise. And our beliefs are very, very powerful, so it seems like this is not the case. But I’m here to say, it is true. We are living in an intelligent, connected universe. It is a fact, it is the law. And it is good.

It might be that a client has to reschedule because a conflict arose at work, or they are sick. And then an hour later, another client needs to move their session to that exact time. Or a different client needs an emergency session, and that time is now open. And I always say in those cases, “The universe has your back, because that time opened up just an hour ago.” And since I’m finally starting to figure out how things really work (hey, I’ve been on the slow train), I’m more and more in awe every time. And it’s finally sinking in more deeply that this is actually normal, this is actually reality. This can be life, 24/7/365. Wow…

One thing to mention is that we are not in charge of timing. The universe knows the timing, so our opportunity is to get out of the way and just relax as best we can and feel things out, let things unfold. And it becomes more natural with practice, I’m telling you! So regarding timing, let’s just say that it usually takes longer than our ego wants for things to work out. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t take very long at all. Because things work out so much better! So we always relax into things and feel them out as best we can. We slow down and let things unfold. And when we feel to act, we act. So this does not mean we are lazy, not at all; people often misinterpret this, in fact. This is not lazy, but rather smarter and more informed as to how the universe really works. Because we’re finally starting to learn and then trust that we are truly living in an intelligent, connected universe. Again, wow. But believing it to some level and living it are two different things. Living it can take some practice, because our old beliefs run deep. And this blog is all about learning to live it.

Another thing to point out is that it can take some time for things to shift and open up like this. I’ve been at it for a while now. But hey, I’m a math major Virgo! So I was born a thinker, way in my head my whole life, and I finally started to move away from this only about three and a half years ago. They call this the journey from the head to the heart, and some say it’s the longest journey one can take. But things are changing, they really are, and that’s exactly why I’m writing this. And of course this is only my experience, but I know there are many others that can relate.

So keep at it, people! This stuff works, period. The law is the law, period. Facts are facts, period. And the fact is, we are living in an intelligent, connected universe. Right here, right now. You were actually born worthy of receiving its gifts, whether it seems that way or not. Again, facts are facts. But like I said earlier, nobody tells us this stuff. So we grow up believing otherwise, and our beliefs run the show. They are so powerful. We’re starting to figure things out, though, and when we keep relaxing and letting things unfold, we start to see how synchronistic events fit together like puzzle pieces, often without us having to do anything. It is the law! And understanding this and then learning to live in this understanding makes life so much smoother. And the more it happens, the more we trust. And the more we trust, the more we rest. Like puzzle pieces.

Introducing… A Clean Mind 3.0!

Posted Posted in Breathe Yoga Newsletter, Essential Topics

Hello again, good folks! It’s been a hot summer here in lovely and magnificent Pensacola, so I gave the staff at A Clean Mind the month off. We have exciting things on the horizon, though, including a rather interesting award that I’ve won. It’s still a secret, though, so I’ll let you know as soon as it’s been made public. It’s a testament to how powerful this work is, though, as well as a testament to how the world is changing and we’re starting to wake up to the fact that we’re much bigger and more powerful than most of us have thought. Which brings me to the introduction of the third phase of the evolution of this “work,” A Clean Mind 3.0! It’s still coming into focus, but I thought it would be fun to go ahead and talk about it.

When I started this gig over five years ago, I already knew that feelings would move if we would get out of the way and let them. And I knew that we could think calmly about things, too. We didn’t have to freak out and worry and think really fast all the time. We didn’t have to criticize ourselves so much, either. Then I started working at Gulf Breeze Recovery and learned about the Three Principles, and this began the second phase. In many ways it put words to what I had already been discovering, but it deepened things as well. I learned that our feelings came from our thinking, or how we see things, and I owned them as being self-created. And without judgment, too; just a fact. So it’s all an inside job – that’s how powerful we are as creators. And we have a good source of thinking built-in, whether you call it inner wisdom or plain old common sense. Listen to that more and more rather than the chatterbox, and the feelings will take care of themselves.

I was really still coming from a place of smallness, though, from the place of being a body, a meat suit, an ego, a separate self, or whatever you want to call it. I had a strong idea in my head that we were something much bigger than that, that we were actually whatever power it is that animates the body. Because there happens to be a whole slew of near death experiences and out of body experiences that are very compelling for a logical math major like me! There are tons of these accounts, and the most likely explanation in my mind, after surveying enough of them, is that we really are this amazing soul or consciousness or whatever the hell you want to call it. Words are just words, by the way, doing their best to point us to some meaning, so we don’t get too hung up on them.

Anyway, this third shift has really been about finally owning it. For real. Owning that yep, what those people experience in the out of body state, in all its glory, magnificence, power, innocence, and unlimitedness – well, that simply must be true for me, too. Otherwise it would not make any sense at all. The essence of each and every human, beyond the temporary body, simply has to be equal. Inequality just would not make sense. And so I’ve been owning that, breathing it in, letting it sink in. Undoing layers and layers of belief in smallness and guilt. And I’m not trying to understand with my head at all. Been there, done that! And then some…

So I’ve been owning that I’m not what I thought I was, and what I am is clearly WAY better. The other thing that makes it all click is the idea behind the book that I love so much, The Surrender Experiment. It is the fact (yes, fact – it takes a while to really get this! And I feel like I’m just getting started, by the way) that there’s an intelligence behind everything that is good and loving. And it wants us to thrive and be happy. So we keep getting out of the way, letting this intelligence be in charge. And things start to shift and click. And we start to see that wow, I think there’s really something to this, I think this really is how things work. So cool…

It also hit me a couple of months ago how deeply unworthy most of us feel. Unworthy of good stuff like an awesome life, whatever that means for us. So I’ve been breathing in worthiness, letting it sink in, deep in the body. Because if I’m really owning that I’m a magnificent, unlimited soul, then worthiness comes with the package. It has nothing to do with the “Ashley” that I’ve been thinking was me, and it most certainly doesn’t have to be earned. It only has to do with my true identity, which is the power that temporarily animates Ashley. Again, a major upgrade! So I’ve been spending some time owning my worthiness by closing my eyes and breathing it in. Just letting it sink in. I really will do video someday so you can see how simple this is (in the meantime, come see me (or Skype) if you’re curious). But it sure feels like some blocks are being removed. And I get the HUGE gift of seeing what happens in the lives of my clients as they start to live this way. Owning that they really are unlimited and that there’s a flow that wants them to be at peace.

Folks, this stuff works! I’m seeing the coolest shifts in my clients, as well as in me. And I know this is all new and it keeps unfolding, so of course I’ll be sharing the journey as that continues to happen. It is simply a deeper understanding of what the deal is, that’s all. A deeper understanding of what we really are. And that there’s something good in charge that lives inside of us and flows through us that can handle the details of our lives much better than we can. So there we go, A Clean Mind 3.0. It’s early, and it’s a bit clunky, but let’s just put it out there. Why wait? It’ll evolve faster that way anyway, I think. This is the art and science getting out of the damn way and knowing that at the end of the day, it’s all good. And I know that might sound crazy! Especially if you read the news, ha. It can take some time, but when you get a taste of it, you’re hooked. And my understanding is that it just deepens from there, never ending. And your life will never be the same. Thanks for being a part of my journey, and as always let me know if I can help 🙂

P.S. Let’s start a revolution, people, because it’s time for us all to wake up! Life is much more awesome that way. If anyone you know could use this understanding, then please send this to them or send them to me! I want more! It’s an honor to connect with people in this way. It’s just too fun, and it helps me hone my ability to communicate this as well. And it all just keeps spreading and spreading, too. And after a while, this “crazy train” Earth place will be totally transformed. But it doesn’t start with saving the environment or stopping wars or how you vote or any of that. It starts with you, and what you think you really are, now. And what you think is really in charge, now. Good stuff, and as always, let me know if I can help 🙂

Book: Dying To Be Me

Posted Posted in Breathe Yoga Newsletter, Cool Supernatural/Paranormal Stuff, Spirituality/Religion

Hello Good Folks. So we got The God Post out of the way, and then we talked about these deeper feelings of peace that supposedly live inside each of us, underneath our old pain and wounds. Now let’s talk about the amazing and transformative book that I’ve recently mentioned, Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani. Because what often happens is that I’ll read or listen to an amazing and transformative book that I know will be perfect for this blog. And then a couple days pass. And then a couple of weeks pass. And then a couple of months pass. You know where this is going… And I’ll remember how awesome the book was, but the details will have faded. And it never gets written about. But not this time! Let me start with the brief synopsis I wrote in The God Post. So I am plagiarizing myself. I think you can do that… And beware, this is another long post. We’re covering some major stuff here, though, so let’s just let it fly.

Dying To Be Me is one of the more detailed and amazing accounts of a near death experience (NDE) to date, coupled with being one of the more miraculous cancer comebacks. As in, a true medical/scientific miracle. From knocking on death’s door, body totally done and actively dying, to slipping into a coma and experiencing the true magnificence of what she is (and you and me, too, right now!), to making a total comeback. And in record time, too. That might be the most inexplicable part to modern medical science. They kept testing her for cancer cells and she kept saying not to bother because she knew the cancer was gone. And they were basically thinking the machines were broken since the cancer had left her body so quickly. And she had been full of tumors the size of lemons just a few weeks prior! The doctors said it was impossible that the cancer had left her body that fast, and other oncologists have since verified the medical records. The other cool thing is that she knew things she could not have known, like a conversation her husband had with a doctor while she was in a coma. But they were not in the same room, and they were out of earshot, and she even knew which doctor it was because she saw him (there were many doctors that attended to her). And there’s more that she knew as well. So for a skeptical type, this is very, very rich.

Part One sets things up with her childhood, and while it’s fairly long and drawn out, it’s important to understand the cultural pressures and that type of thing that were innocently placed upon her, leading to inner turmoil and conflict later, which eventually contributed to the creation of her cancer. And yes, you read that correctly – inner fears and stuff that contributed to the creation of her cancer. There’s more to cause and effect than meets the eye, good folks, and we’re starting to figure it out.

Anita was from an Indian family in Hong Kong. Now, I have lots of friends from India, and I LOVE them! You have no idea how much I love these people. They’re the most ridiculously nice people I’ve ever met. In fact, I thought one of them was going to give me his first born child once because I’d done something nice for him back in college and he was so appreciative. So how should we say this… India is not exactly the most advanced place in terms of gender equality. Women are pretty much raised to get married and be subservient to the man. And Anita’s soul screamed hell no, that’s not me! She ended up with an awesome and devoted husband who did not want the “slave” version of a wife anyway, so it all worked out. Still, there was some inner turmoil regarding living up to the expectations of others. And then some friends got cancer, and she became obsessed with it. This obsession led to a ton of fear surrounding cancer as well as most cancer treatments. Cue up more inner turmoil… And she eventually got cancer herself. She had a four-year dance with cancer in which she tried all kinds of treatments from holistic to conventional western treatments. After four years, her body was done. Toast. End of the line. Oxygen mask, feeding tube, totally frail, organs shutting down. She was actively dying.

Part Two begins here, as she’s being rushed to the hospital in this state and slips into a coma. And all of a sudden, she wants to tell her husband and the medical staff, “It’s all okay! I feel great! Why are you worrying so much?” And then she realizes they can’t hear her, because her physical body is in a coma. And the real Self that she is experiencing in that moment is not confined to a physical body anymore. Wha?? She is experiencing what might be called the Soul, the I Am presence, the true Self, or other names. And it’s limitless and feels AWESOME, by all accounts. You know everything. There’s total clarity, and it’s all so simple. And you need do nothing. Repeat, you need do nothing. Your simple existence – I Am, I Exist – is your ticket to unconditional love, always. Which she says, by the way, is freaking amazing! Words don’t even come close to describing it. There’s no judgment, either. And this is HUGE! As she says, “Judgment is a here thing (meaning earth), not a there thing.” It literally doesn’t exist. Bam! I’ll take some of that. A huge serving of total innocence, please! Wow… Our guilt, for most of us at least, is SO deep and unconscious. But we are starting to awaken to the truth of the matter more and more. And that’s what my life’s mission, and that of so many others at this time, is all about. Learning that, experiencing it, and sharing it with others. So it’s nice to be on the awakening journey with you. Awakening to what we already are.

Part Two is just amazing in so many ways, as she experiences the presence of both her father and her best friend, both of whom had died a few years prior. And they were (are) pure love. Pure love? Wow. And the message, the fact, is that as crazy as it might sound, pure love is literally your (and my) essence right now, without having to lift a finger. Almost all of us here on earth don’t remember, though, so that’s what we’re waking up to. And I’m in the exact same boat as you, trust me! In fact, I’ve recently been given some opportunities to see where I’m thinking I’m small, as opposed to this infinite, already perfect Self. Anita also experienced that time is not what we think it is. Just focus on something and you’re there. You can go anywhere in time and also slow it down and speed it up. And the new physics would agree, so that’s nice. And she experienced at least one “past life,” which she calls a “parallel life” since time isn’t actually real (it only seems to be linear and sequential here in the physical world).

And there’s lots more, too. Like the things she knew while in the out of body (OBE) state that checked out later with her husband, mother, brother, and the hospital doctors and nurses. They were all truly baffled. There’s lots of it, which is great for the skeptic! Because our worldview must explain how this is possible. And note that every person in every one of these accounts over the years has to be lying or else this is legit. And there of tons of these experiences, across cultures, generations, gender, age, socioeconomic status, predominant religion, etc. As a math major, it’s ridiculous to think that not one is telling the truth. Probability almost zero. Also I’ve noticed how skeptical folks can innocently come up with very detailed, complicated, and convoluted explanations for these phenomena. There’s one really simple explanation, though: This stuff is legit, it is actually more real than our earth world (doesn’t your past seem sort of like a dream?), and it’s just like they say. There are just waaaay too many of these accounts by now to ignore; take a look for yourself. And remember that it’s ultimately good news! This is really important to remember if it starts to rock your beliefs and worldview. I know from experience that this can be uncomfortable, so please know that I’m not minimizing it. And do let me know if I can help – seriously, you have support.

Now we get to the best part, which is Part Three, the final part of the book. It just keeps delivering the gold, right through to the Q&A at the end. This third part is where she’s had this amazing experience of her – and our – true Self. And this is what you and I are right freaking now!!! And I know that this is really hard to believe, trust me on that. We are literally already perfect, totally innocent, infintely creative and powerful and loving, and we don’t need to grow or heal or evolve. We need to remember. We come to earth and forget what we are, and I have no clue why. I’ve heard plenty of ideas over the years, and I’m working on it all the time – and I will always keep you posted on what I find out when I find it. And to be honest, this has made me pretty frustrated and pissed off over the years, wondering what the whole point is! But that hasn’t helped. Some say we simply like these experiences, literally as if we’re playing a totally realistic virtual reality video game. And as crazy as earth life can be, that makes as much sense to me as anything else.

So she’s had this amazing experience, and she chose to return to the body, making that choice from her full I Am power, the same power that’s YOUR true essence right now. Since she made the choice from the infinite power of her true Self, she absolutely knew that the cancer would have no chance. And you know what? There’s a medical chart at a hospital somewhere in Hong Kong that proves this. Her body “miraculously” made a full recovery, and she now has the rest of her life to live. How are things different? What did she learn? How has she changed? This is where it gets really good, in terms of stuff that we can learn to help us awaken to what we really are. The gist of it is that she knows that the mere fact that she exists gets her permanently into the party of unconditional love and worthiness. She is simply here to be herself, and that’s good enough. And by being ourself, our path will unfold. Done. And self love naturally comes into play as well. If we’re really this magnificent, eternal being, and we got confused and thought we were a body that was insecure at times and going do die someday, getting sick a bunch along the way, then OF COURSE we would do some terrible, selfish, mean, and fearful stuff! How would that not happen? So being super hard on ourselves is gone. Withholding love from ourselves is a thing of the past. Self love is the way, all the time. We’ve talked about this a ton here at this blog, especially back in February of this year, and experiences like hers validate that even more. And again, there are TONS of these experiences. Take a look around. This just happens to be a very rich one.

Another big shift for Anita is that when she’s stressed, the first thing she does is get centered. She’s found that when she does so, the situation will often work itself out, or will at least get way more manageable than before. When she tries to handle the situation while stressed, though, she inevitably won’t do as good a job. And again, after getting centered it will often resolve itself! We’ve talked about this here before, but the cool thing is that from her point of view, she experienced that each of us is literally the center of Oneness. So “getting centered” is not just expression, it’s the literal, factual truth! Whoa. And we are at the center of our universe all the time, it’s just that when we’re stressed or triggered, we’re not aware of it. So she might take a walk, listen to music, sit on the beach, have ice cream, meditate, or whatever it takes in that moment. And then when she feels centered, she will revisit the situation as appropriate. So cool. And you can start experimenting with this today if you’d like 🙂

There’s so much more, really too much to cover here. She talks about diet, religious and spiritual paths, feelings, growth, feeling perfection in any moment, manifesting/attracting versus allowing (but as the Self, not the self – big difference), doing versus being, self-judgment as one of our main problems, living your life fearlessly, how to let your path unfold (just be yourself – don’t be lazy, though!), and more. And she sums it all up with the analogy of the blind person, and we will close with this. This is big. She said her experience out of body was like if a blind person could suddenly see for the first time. They’ve lived their whole life trying to understand things like color, with people trying to explain it to them over and over again, in many different ways: “Blue is cool, red is warm, etc.” And then suddenly they can see! “Oh, that’s blue. And that’s red. Wow, the words just couldn’t do it. Now I know!” Can you imagine how there’s simply no substitute for being able to see? Then she said if that person were to become blind again, even though they could no longer see, they would have the memory. So they’d be in a totally different boat than they had been in before. And that’s Anita’s experience now. She’s no longer in that state, but she remembers. So she feels way more expanded and free than she did before her NDE. And you and I are using experiences like hers and so many others to start chipping away at our beliefs of smallness and our misperceptions about what we really are. So cool. I’m sure we will be talking more about this. And I know this is powerful stuff and can shake your foundation, too! I respect that a lot, trust me. So keep in mind that the moral of the story is that our true reality is way beyond anything than our earthly minds could even imagine. And way better! And you have support if needed. Much love to you.

The God Post

Posted Posted in Breathe Yoga Newsletter, Essential Topics, Spirituality/Religion

NOTE: If you’re here to check me out as a potential counselor, this might or might not be a good measuring stick of what you’ll find, depending on your beliefs. I love to write about my take on “deep stuff,” but I’m an excellent and effective counselor for an atheist, too! I do my best to teach facts about our thoughts and feelings that alone can change your life, and you don’t usually get it in a counselor’s office. Such is that state of counseling now, lots of theories that may or may not help you. I prefer facts when possible. There are all kinds of posts on this blog, so take a look around as you wish. Thanks for stopping by, and all the best to you whether we meet or not. Here we go…

So we’ve been talking about the idea that we might actually live in a neutral universe, meaning that all the judgments that we constantly – and largely unconsciously – put onto everything are simply our own unique creations and not The Truth. Then we talked about the cool exercise of viewing people as trees, which is along the same lines and really makes the point. And we talked about how neutrality means that there’s no ultimate good or bad. Which means that there’s no judge to decide ultimate good or bad. But what about what people call “God?” Isn’t that the ultimate judge of good and bad?? So basically, my own blog pulled one over on me and very smoothly Jedi’d me into writing about what God might mean and might not mean, totally unbeknownst to me. I’ve been trying to stay away from this! I’ve had HUGE shifts recently in this department, though, so the timing is absolutely perfect. And this is really why I’m here anyway. When I started this “work” as a therapist and blogger five years ago (YAY!), and even when I wrote the post about neutrality just a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea it would lead to this. It’s like if you’re playing chess and someone starts to work you into a corner several moves ahead. They know where it’s headed, but you don’t. And then you’re there. And that someone is the whole universe, or God. And it’s probably not the idea of God you’ve learned about in church (unless you go to Unity or something more like that).

And please know that this is simply the beginning of a discussion about the concept of God, the truth about what God really is, and of course any mis-truths about it. Let’s be super chill as we read this and just ponder it. You are in charge of your beliefs, and only you! So all is good, all is relaxed. The earth is still spinning just fine, and there’s no rush for anything. Just let things sink in if they want to sink in. It’s just the beginning of a discussion, not a finished product or idea, no big deal. Okay, let’s do this…

As I recently wrote, I left religion when I was 17, because while I saw some divine in it, I perceived that it was wrapped in way too much man made stuff. Or maybe we should say human made stuff? Actually, the women are probably happy to let the men be blamed for this, which they actually are largely responsible for. And yay, the Goddess is finally returning! Wait, enough men bashing… Anyway, I’ve had quite a journey since. That was 25 years ago. And yes, my genes and immaturity make me seem much younger than I am. And I drink lots of water, too. Health tips from Ashley! Probably not the best idea…

Fast forward to just a month or two ago, and what a journey it has been! I never could have imagined what’s been happening, and I feel like it’s just now getting to a good place to really take off, to be honest. And I’m talking strictly about my “level or consciousness” or inner peace. Everything else flows outward from that. And speaking of levels of consciousness and peace, I think those are just a direct result of how much of “what we really are” is coming through this temporary being called Ashley (or insert your own name). How much of the soul is coming through and how much is ego. And trust me, there’s still plenty of ego in this body! Hey, I am where I am. And it’s actually quite perfect, which I’m finally starting to see and not resist so much.

So recently I realized just how much baggage I had with the word “God.” I’ve known this for years, but I’ve recently seen it more deeply. There was just a deep sense of separation in what that word meant to me. And I know that this is only one person’s experience, my own! So I have no idea what yours is. But I saw that no matter what I tried to tell myself consciously, deep down God meant a being that was separate from me. And there was implicit judgment and fear associated with this being. And I was never even into the mean, insecure Old Testament God, either! Which is an example of making God in man’s image, by the way, as opposed to the other way around. I was consciously believing that there’s no such thing as separation, but I was not feeling and experiencing that. Folks, this conditioning is very deep and unconscious in many, many of us… All good, though, because we are starting to figure it all out!

So my friend and teacher that I’ve mentioned before, John Mark Stroud, said to just call God “All That Is” instead. Because it’s just a freaking word! Don’t let a certain combination of three letters of one random language derail you. That’s pretty weak… So “all that is” helped a lot and really got me started towards a new understanding. And I’m doing my best with this whole capitalization thing, by the way. Let’s not be too picky about that. After all, words are just pointers…

So then I listened to the book Wishes Fulfilled by Wayne Dyer, whom I just love, and he calls God “the creative source of the universe.” Which is not separate from its creations, by the way. So you can see that we’re hammering away at this idea of separation and moving into Oneness. Or oneness, ha. There’s the capitalization thing again… And remember that the quantum physicists did the same thing almost one hundred years ago! And we’re still teaching separation to our children. It’s shifting, but as I’ve said before, this can be like turning the Titanic. But it’s happening. Even science obliterated the idea of true, 100% separation I think in the 1920’s. True separation does not, and cannot, exist in this universe. Let that sink in for a moment… (And know that it’s very good news)

So fast forward to just a couple of weeks ago, and the book Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani has BLOWN ME AWAY! Wow….. I’ve been listening to it on Audible like I did Wishes Fulfilled, and I just finished it this morning as I’m writing this. And I’ve been sending it to just about everyone I can think of. Audible lets you text or email a free copy to friends. The app is super convenient, too. I’m sure I’ll be writing about this particular book in much more detail soon, so let’s just give a little bit of background. It’s one of the more detailed and amazing near death experiences (NDEs) to date, coupled with being one of the most miraculous cancer comebacks. As in, a true medical/scientific miracle. From knocking on death’s door, body totally done, and actively dying, to slipping into a coma and experiencing the true magnificence of what she is (and you and me, too, right now!), to making a total comeback. And in record time, too. That might be the most inexplicable part to modern medical science. They kept testing her for cancer cells and she kept saying not to bother because it’s gone. And they were thinking the machines were broken since the cancer had left her body so quickly. And she had been full of tumors the size of lemons just a few weeks prior! The doctors said it was impossible that the cancer had left that fast, and other oncologists have since verified the medical records. The other cool thing is that she knew things she could not have known, like a conversation her husband had with a doctor while she was in a coma. But they were not in the same room, and they were out of earshot, and she even knew which doctor it was (there were many doctors that saw her). And there’s more that she knew as well. So for a skeptical type, this is very, very rich.

So how does this play into our discussion of what “God” might really mean? Speaking from my own journey, or course… We’ve gone from a being that’s separate from me that might or might not judge me, but for some reason I sure judge myself and feel fear and guilt regardless! And we’ve moved to “all that is” and “the creative source of the universe,” which is not separate from its creations. So it’s really the same as “all that is.” Remember, these are just words doing their best to point to meaning. And then we come to what Anita discovered and experienced: “And then I was overwhelmed by the realization that God isn’t a being, but a state of being… and I was now that state of being!” Are you starting to see – and perhaps feel – what a major shift this is? I can only speak from my experience, but it’s hard to explain how profound this has been for my self concept. For many, many years, I’ve believed consciously that we are not our body but rather something huge and awesome that animates it. Call it the soul or whatever. But unconsciously, I’ve totally believed the opposite! My body tells me all the time when I’m thinking I’m small. If I KNEW that I were infinite, eternal, and pure love, which is what Anita experienced, then I wouldn’t get triggered all the time. My buttons wouldn’t get pushed. In fact, I doubt there would even be any buttons to get pushed! We’ll be getting into this in far more detail in the future, because it’s just now coming into focus how my work is shifting. But here’s a summary for now: it’s all about what you truly believe yourself to be: big or small, soul/spirit or body, etc. – and everything else is merely an effect of that. Done. So we will be talking very specifically in future writings about what that looks like for us here on earth.

Well, that’s enough for now, folks. This represents the beginning of the next phase of the work that I’ll be doing. And if it’s a bit clunky, please cut me some slack! This stuff isn’t always easy to talk about, and you know that I’m always doing my best. And this is brand new for me, too. I’ll continue to get out of the way more and more and just let it come through. And what’s coming through me is equal in essence to what is inside of you right now. There are no levels; it’s just how much is coming through. Let that sink in! And that includes all the great ones of this time and before – they are not any better than you truly are right now. So take these words in and see if it’s perhaps good news regarding your concept of God. Perfect love with absolutely NO judgment, which we’ll be talking about soon, sure sounds like an upgrade… And if you find yourself feeling triggered right now or defending a version of God from a path you’ve been on, that’s fine, too! But if you get honest and don’t truly KNOW, then you might want to drop into “show me the money” attitude. And I highly, highly, highly recommend reading and/or listening to Dying To Be Me. It answers SO many questions. It’s all right there, clearly explained. And no beliefs, but rather experience. Let’s leave the world of beliefs behind. And it’s just her experience, but if you look into this type of thing, you’ll find lots of similarities in different people’s stories. And it’s generally very, very good news. Because it means you’re innocent, right now. Despite all the reasons you think you might be guilty. Also relax and give it some time. There’s no rush at all. Let things shake out a bit. Just “chop wood and carry water” for now, as I think the Buddhists have said. We’ll be talking much more about this, I’m sure. I’ve always thought it was going to be in another blog called A Deep Mind, but I’m starting to wonder now. I don’t really want two blogs anyway, because I have enough trouble keeping up with one while still maintaining my social life. And there’s only one truth, whatever it is. So we might as well talk about it in once place. Thanks for reading, and I send you love on your journey of discovering what you already are.

Feeling Without The Story… HUGE!

Posted Posted in Breathe Yoga Newsletter, Essential Topics

I’m writing today to talk about chapter 11 of The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. It’s called Pain, the Price of Freedom. You see, we’re pretty much all carrying around old woulds, old hurts. Old pain. You can call it anger, sadness, or whatever. We all have our own flavors based on our own individuality and personal history, but it’s there. And for most of us, it’s not very fun to feel. But it’s there, and it wants to leave. And we want it to leave! So we have to learn how to feel. When it is fully felt, it is gone. So we aren’t suppressing or denying it, because that doesn’t work. That’s the “pay later” plan. But we aren’t wallowing in it and living in a story about it, either. That just perpetuates it, rather than allowing it to leave. There’s a fine line in between those two options, and that’s simply feeling. Being present with an energy in the body, and allowing it to move, which it actually wants to do.

I’ve written about Michael Singer’s book The Surrender Experiment before (here), and I knew I’d write about The Untethered Soul at some point. As often happens with my busy life, along with my “interesting” state of organization and discipline, is that I’ll read something and will know it’d be great to write about, but I won’t do it right away, and then time passes and it’s not fresh in my mind anymore. So the next best thing in the case of The Untethered Soul is this one chapter, which to me is pure gold. My friend and teacher John Mark Stroud had already given me the above description of feeling, walking that fine line between suppressing and wallowing. Simply being present with an energy we might not like, but without labelling it and judging it. And that’s pretty much exactly what Singer is saying in this chapter, but he goes into a bit more detail (it’s a pretty short chapter, though). The key, according to both of these living masters and others, is that it’s energy that wants to move through my system. So let it. Get out of the way and allow it to do what it’s programmed to do. Allow it to do what we can’t stop it from doing, not for very long, anyway. Well, I guess that’s not true. Many of us have been carrying this stuff around for decades and decades, and lifetimes if the reincarnation crowd is correct. Decades is long enough, though. It’s time to learn how to release this stuff. We are way beyond ready.

So Singer makes it very clear that we all have this old, old pain we’re carrying. It’s just a fact. So it’s really not even very personal. If you’re a human, you’re probably carrying around some old pain. I imagine it starts when we come out of the womb. We leave this awesome home of fluid that’s the perfect temperature where we just chill all day long, and then we pop out and it’s like, “Welcome to earth, kid. Now learn to breathe! And you have no choice in the matter, by the way. And you have have to do it now. So let me slap you on the ass! Oh, yeah, let’s cut that umbilical cord – scissors on your skin feel great! Are you having fun yet? Why are you screaming and crying??” That’s the beginning of our trauma here on earth. Welcome to the party.

Then we go through childhood, puberty, teenage years, schooling, making friends, whatever our family situation is, maybe some health issues, you name it. Then we become adults and have a new set of pressures. Life gets more heavy and serious. More health issues. And social pressures throughout the journey. You get the picture. And it continues, on and on until we lay the body down. But here’s the thing, nobody is teaching us about feelings! We aren’t learning that they’re simply energy that’s normal, harmless, and has to move through our system to leave. They might hang out for a while depending on the severity of the situation, but they’re all temporary. Temporary! There’s never been a permanent feeling. Nobody tells us this stuff, so of course we stuff them down or act them out. Of course we don’t want to feel. And our pain reservoir fills and fills. And now we’ve had enough, and it’s time to allow it to be released. Enter chapter eleven of The Untethered Soul. This might help you find the freedom that is actually your birthright.

So when you are triggered and have an emotional reaction, you can learn to witness it as an energy moving through the body. Be present with it, meaning you aren’t identified with it. You don’t think it’s part of what you are. It’s simply something you’re noticing. There’s a you that is totally independent of the feeling, and it’s totally fine, always. Fact. A great analogy is the sky and the clouds. You are the sky and the feelings are the clouds, the weather passing through. If the sky thought it was the weather, it would freak out a lot, especially during a big storm. But it knows by now that one hundred percent of these storms have passed fully, leaving no trace. It’s the same blue sky after the weather passes. So the sky is chilling the whole time! No big deal. Any kind of weather can come and go all day long, and it’s still the same sky. It’s fine. And that’s what we learn. No big deal. Do I like it? Maybe not. But as John Mark says, we learn to have an innocent relationship with it. An innocent relationship with anger, sadness, etc. He says they’re actually neutral, just like the color yellow. Some people like yellow and others don’t. Yellow itself is neutral, though. And so are these various energies moving through our systems.

This is pretty cool stuff, and I’m finding out more and more how it really is an integral component to our awakening. Awakening to what we really are, which is way beyond any feeling or energy. And way beyond our physical body, by the way. Nobody tells us this stuff growing up, though. Oh well, we will just have to learn it now. And as we release this old stuff, we feel lighter and lighter, and what’s underneath it just might start to shine through more and more. And those that have gone down this road already say that what’s been there the whole time, underneath these other layers of feelings, is a big ass ocean of peace and love. Amen!

Let me close by saying that staying out of the story can be very tricky, very subtle. So we practice. I first heard about all of this feeling business over ten years ago from a teacher named Gangaji. Then I heard about it again about five years ago through The Sedona Method. And I’ve done my best ever since to just feel, but looking back, I’ve been WAY into the story the whole time. Putting this into practice is a lot different than reading about it and understanding it intellectually. We have to be willing to be honest with ourselves when we’re wallowing. And when I say “the story” or “wallowing,” I’m talking about the commentary about why I’m feeling this way and how terrible or unfair it is. “I can’t believe this or that happened,” “This is unfair,” “Life sucks,” “I’ll never feel good again,” etc. When I have that chorus of thoughts accompanying the feeling, it can’t freely move.

What we want to do looks more like this: just go right to the body and feel the feeling, without even naming it. This is powerful, folks! “I feel energy in my chest or in my head, or even all over.” And then breathe right in the middle of it. Explore it and play with it. But you are literally not even using language to name it! There’s not a whole lot of thinking involved; that tends to get it stuck and to go back to a story. Just tell yourself, “This is energy moving through my system. And that’s okay. I’ll let it flow as it wants to. And I am being freed from some old pain now, and that feels AWESOME. Because when it’s gone, it’s permanently gone. I am being cleansed right now, that is a fact.” Wash, rinse, repeat. And as we do this each time it arises, we clear out all of this old stuff. Of course, that leaves the new stuff that I create, but since I’m learning to live in my wisdom/common sense and not in the chatterbox, I’m flowing through life WAY more smoothly and peacefully than before. So we are good on that front.

Awesome stuff, folks. Let me say that I’m learning all of this in real time and sharing it with you. So I’m practicing right along with you. This is big, big, big, though. Really big. An integral part of our awakening. So check it out, play with it, and just do your best. Keep the pressure down, though, because this should really be taught in middle school. So we are learning it now. Later, we’ll talk about how some of these old energies are superimposed onto present situations, and the feeling we get is really amplified. It’s cool when you notice this and can bust it, letting the present situation just be what it is, without throwing pain from decades ago on top of it. Awesome. So happy practicing and exploring folks! And as always, let me know if I can help.

The Final Exam

Posted Posted in Breathe Yoga Newsletter, Client/Friend Stories

A friend of mine wrote a beautiful, insightful, and very true post on Facebook not long ago, talking about how sometimes things happen that would’ve triggered her with a strong reaction in the past, and she’s noticed that they don’t anymore. And she’s thinking something like, “Wow this is awesome, but when did I graduate from this lesson?? I really am growing!” So cool… And that friend, by the way, is Tara Taylor, one of the owners and teachers at Breathe Yoga & Wellness, where I work.

The post went like this: “The ‘final exam’ for many of my life lessons seems to be given after the Graduation I never knew I had…. Sometimes I find myself in situations that in the past would have caused a whole storm of anxiety, self-doubt, or stuckness; only to realize that instead I’m completely amused, open, and accepting of exactly what is. At those moments, I think: ‘Holy Sh*t! I’m a completely different person.’ I know. We change. We grow. We evolve. But sometimes, it sneaks up on me. And it’s a really, really pleasant surprise.”

Bam! Isn’t that awesome?? So true, too. Exchanging a storm of “anxiety, self-doubt, and stuckness” for a feeling that is “completely amused, open and accepting of exactly what is” sounds like a GREAT plan to me. I’ve written before about the idea of “measuring sticks,” which are things (people, situations, etc.) that have triggered us in the past. The holidays are a great example. Or certain people in your life that you feel triggered by. Or your job, or certain aspects of your job. Or co-workers. The idea is that you are now owning your feelings and your experience, so you actually look forward to these things. You’re thinking might be sort of like this: “Okay, this has sucked in the past and has been a total buzz saw, but I’m owning it and I’m going back in! I’m in charge of how I feel and I’m determined to not be so triggered by this! It’s on me, and this is how I learn! I’m going to figure this out!” And over time, you might see that your emotional reaction is less and less.

These are more conscious, though. What Tara is talking about is not, and that’s why it’s so cool. You didn’t even know that you’ve transcended or outgrown this or that, which used to trigger you. And then it happens and it’s not even a big deal. And you might not even notice that it wasn’t a big deal until way later! And then the insight comes in, the remembrance that this same thing used to be a very different experience for you. And wow, awesome feelings arise in your body as you see it all. And you might think, “Even when things are up and down, even when I feel clueless or don’t feel so hot, even when things aren’t “perfect,” I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m headed in the right direction. Wow, that feels really, really good (stop and breathe in that awesome feeling). I am coming more and more to peace, I really am. It’s working.”

Let’s take a more specific look at the measuring sticks, since we’re more aware of these ahead of time. You have a desire to figure it out, overcome it, transcend, etc. And you’re really open and just really curious about what’s going on inside of YOU to be so triggered. Curiosity instead of judgment. Because remember – another person or situation doesn’t have the power to create a feeling in your body; it just doesn’t work that way. Your feeling comes from you and how you see things. Most of it is unconscious, too, so that’s why we use the ingenious guidance system of the body and then ask questions. “Why do I get triggered when this happens? Hmm, let me ponder that…” And I’m doing it with my good voice (built-in wisdom/common sense) rather than that conditioned critical voice that tends to speak first and loudest; I’m just not listening to that anymore. And this is important – I’m not in a rush; I’m letting things unfold naturally. You might sort of “breathe with” a question, repeating it like a mantra: “Why does this trigger me? Hmm… Why on earth would this trigger me? Interesting… I wonder what it specifically is about this that triggers me?” All of that was said very s-l-o-w-l-y, breathing and opening the body in between statements. The body is totally relaxed.

And here’s a big one – there’s no judgment, as if something were wrong. Because nothing is wrong. In fact, if I’m taking an honest look at what’s going on in my mind and body, then everything is right! Because I’m finally starting to look and see, whereas for the rest of my life until now it’s been unconscious. So I’m 100% curious, no different than if I’m pondering, “Why is the sky blue? Hmm, let me think about that… What could be the reason…” I know the idea of no judgment might sound impossible, by the way, but like everything else we talk about here at A Clean Mind, you gently practice it. And cut yourself some slack! Because is it easy to change a lifelong pattern of judging the living sh*t out of yourself and everything else?? Umm, nope. Big nope. So go easy on yourself. Be your own best friend and supporter. Or at the very least, give that a try. For two weeks or a month to start! After all, you just might like it…

Can you feel the higher quality of how we’re doing things? Much different than the inner critic that demands an answer yesterday. Open up and breathe with it, and the answer will come when it’s ready. That’s just how it works. You start to see what’s going on behind the scenes of your mind. Maybe a person is bossy, and it drives you crazy. And the insight might pop in that that’s something you hate about yourself. So what’s the answer? To forgive yourself, or to begin to forgive yourself, and then to gently practice not being that way so much. Try to dial it back ten or twenty percent to start. Or one percent! That’s a step in the right direction. And this is important, you’re loving yourself the whole time and not saying “I suck, I suck” all day long. Because let’s face it, that hasn’t worked. It didn’t work for me, anyway…

When you’re living this way, you’ll inevitably start to have times like Tara described when things happen that used to be a big deal and you see they’re just not anymore. It’s because you’re paying attention. You’re trying. You’re putting forth some effort. You’re not being a slave driver, though. Instead, you’re being relaxed and open and loving towards yourself. Because it works faster that way. And by the way, I was not born this way! Not even close. So if I can have some progress in this department, anyone can. You can take that to the bank. So embrace these measuring sticks, and also be on the lookout for the times that Tara is talking about when it just sort of happens and then you notice later. And when you see it, rejoice! For it is very much worth rejoicing. Because you see that the data is in, the results are in, and you know what? You’re growing. That’s a fact. And that’s a really, really pleasant surprise.

Nothing Happened

Posted Posted in Breathe Yoga Newsletter, Client/Friend Stories

Hello folks, today we have a pretty cool story. Well, at least I think it’s cool… This is the kind of thing we can really learn from, too. A friend of mine was involved in some road rage activity while driving that almost left her without an arm. Almost. In truth, nothing happened to her arm except that a nice breeze gently rolled across it. Seriously! That’s the fact of what happened. Something entirely different was very close to happening, though. So her imagination got a hold of things, and the story started to spin out of control, which of course caused her to feel anxious and start to freak out. So she texted me, and I called and we had a very brief but great chat, really nailing it in its tracks. What she did is something that we all do, so it’s a pretty good story to consider. It’s actually really freaking cool when you stop and think about it. Here’s what happened…

I think her friend was driving, and they got into it with another car on the road. You know how people get mad at each other while driving and then one of them will actually tailgate the other one and sort of chase them? Well, that’s what was happening. Which I think is insane, by the way – and I used to do it some! I think there’s a future Road Rage post brewing. Back to the story… I don’t remember the details of who did what, so my friends might’ve been more the victims of someone else’s crazy driving. Or they might have been contributing as well. In the end, though, this other car came really close to side swiping them. And my friend’s arm was hanging out the window. And the other car came really close to hitting it. Which would’ve totally sucked! It quite literally could’ve taken her arm off. Whatever happened was a very close call, so her mind went off to the races. And that’s what most of us would’ve done. The mind starts thinking as if our arm had already been taken off. And that’s cool and all, except for the fact that our body is constantly reflecting what the mind is up to. We are feeling our thinking. So when the mind goes to the worst case scenario that didn’t even happen, our body feels that. And it does not feel good. Panic attack, anyone?

So let’s take a closer look. When it really comes down to it, nothing happened to her arm. Nothing happened. Nothing. Happened. Her arm was fine, exactly as fine as it was before this happened. Her arm was not even touched by the car. Not touched. Not a scratch. A wind rolled across it, and that’s the extent of what really happened. Yes, the wind was caused by a car that was inches from her arm! And I know that’s very scary, I really do. I’m not trying to minimize that. But the fact – the fact – is that it was still just some wind. And some wind can’t hurt your arm. Just saying…

So when she texted me, she was pretty panicky with the “what-ifs.” And who would not have been! She wasn’t doing anything wrong. In fact, she was acting totally normal for a human in 2016. Keep in mind, though, that we’re growing beyond mere normal here at A Clean Mind. We’ve already done normal, and it was really stressful and painful. So we’ve decided to look more closely at things. We’re doing our best to practice getting out of the way and looking at what’s really going on. And when we do this, we see that lots of our reactions are simply not necessary; they aren’t what we really want. They don’t bring us more peace, but rather quite the opposite. And we come to realize that we actually have much more choice than we had previously thought.

What do we mean by choice? What my friend thought was that if something like this crazy road incident had happened, then she had to freak out and be upset all day. And she had to tell everyone she knew and re-live it, staying freaked out all day. And hoping they gave her some sympathy and agreed about what an a**hole that other driver was. And she is free to do that! But when we talked, we were able to stay in the breath, let the body calm down, and stick to the facts. And she saw that the fact of the matter was that nothing had happened. I almost lost my arm. Almost. Big difference! And this brought her big relief as she breathed in the fact of “my arm is safe, my arm is fine, my arm is literally fine.” She breathed that in, so that her body would feel the safety and calmness. And her body relaxed pretty quickly; it worked like a charm. Then she saw that she could totally choose to tell others, but only if she really wanted to. And if she did want to, then the quality of the tale would be totally different. Because she knew she was fine. She was okay. So in telling the story, she wasn’t in need of validation or sympathy or anything like that. It was more matter of fact, which means she was more at peace. So cool.

It was just cool for me to see her really relax into the fact that her arm was fine, 100% fine. Nothing happened! Wow, what a close call. Maybe we should re-examine how we interact with other cars on the road? Or maybe not. Again, I don’t remember their role in this. If I’m freaked out all day letting the chatterbox run wild, though, then I’ll miss any lessons I might learn. And finally, let’s take one more brief look at what the mind actually does in so many situations: It acts as if we’ve already lost our arm. It goes to the worst case scenario, even if that is unlikely or impossible. Let that sink in. The mind goes to the worst case, and then our body feels that. Folks, this is not a fun way to live! And we’re all doing it to some degree. And we are totally free and innocent to do this. I’m just trying to share stuff as I learn it, though, about what’s really going on in our minds as we go through life. And when we see what’s going on, we now have a choice where there was none before. So start seeing it first! And then see if there actually is a choice, another option that you didn’t see before. And as always, let me know if I can help!

Am I Really Mr. Positive?

Posted Posted in Breathe Yoga Newsletter, My Stories

Today I’d like to clear something up. I am not positive! Stop calling me positive! I’ve been accused of this for years now, and it’s gotten worse since I declared 2016 to be The Year of the Happy Train. We must stop this madness. Because you know what? I’m not really that positive. I’m realistic. That’s what I’m going for, anyway, and life is so much smoother that way, at least for me and for most of the people that I know and that I see in my office. Relax as best you can and just stick to the facts. “What’s going on right now? What’s the situation? What am I reacting to? Is there anything that can be done? What’s the first step?” Most people are just so negative, though, that in comparison I look like Mr. Sunshine.

I’m making light of this, but there’s an important point to it. People come into my office all the time assuming they should “be more positive.” And then they crucify themselves when they’re not. Pretty clever mind trick, huh? Nobody can say we aren’t brilliant, even in our madness. Especially in our madness… That’s why I’m not so into this positivity stuff; it ends up being just another opportunity for us to fail and then beat ourselves up. If I notice I’m thinking that same old negative chatter, but I’ve learned that I should be thinking more positively, what do you think the next thoughts might be? It might sound something like this: “You suck! You’re supposed to be thinking more positively now! You’re failing at this, too!” Nice. And I’m talking this way to myself??

So here’s the difference. Positive thinking is oftentimes unrealistic. Let’s say we want to tell ourselves that it’ll all be fine. Well, the problem is that we know it might not all be fine. The outcome that I don’t want to happen totally might happen, and I know this deep down. So my attempt at positive thinking sounds sort of like this, with the chatterbox giving its commentary in bold: “It’ll all be fine… BS… It’ll all be fine… BS… It’ll all be fine… BS…

What, then, does the reality version look like? Maybe something like this. And read it s-l-o-w-l-y, because that’s how our built-in intelligence talks. “Wow, I notice I’m really hoping this certain outcome happens [relaxing, loving breath]. I sure hope it does; that would be awesome [relaxing, loving breath]. What if it doesn’t, though? [relaxing, loving breath]. If it doesn’t, then I’ll have to do deal with it; but by doing one thing at a time, of course [relaxing, loving breath, while maybe thinking through the scenario slowly]. But I’ll do my best regardless. In the meantime, is there anything I can do now? Let me think about that for a minute [relaxing, loving breath].” And now you’re in a totally different place; you feel different. And there’s more space in your mind for inspired ideas and solutions to pop right in, just like that. And it doesn’t take much effort; it’s actually the opposite of efforting.

Can you feel the difference? And we’re talking about the same exact situation. One has potential failure built in and the other doesn’t. One has thinking that we might not fully believe and the other doesn’t. One needs a certain outcome to happen, which we’re usually not in control of anyway, and the other gets cool with whatever happens. “I know I’ll be okay, even if the worst can scenario happens. I might not want it, but I’ll be okay; I’ll make it. I’ll thrive anyway.” And then allow yourself to feel that okay-ness, that safety. Breathe that feeling in, all the way down to your toes, basking in it for several seconds. The cells of your body just love this, and they will really sing. This feeling component so important; it really speeds things up. It anchors that feeling of safety in your body. And over time, your peace will become less and less dependent on outcomes that are not totally in your control. Instead, it’ll be known as something that’s inside of you. Wow, what a better plan. What a better plan. And it just takes some learning and then some gentle, loving practice. And by reading this, you’ve already learned it! Also let me say that if positive thinking works for you, go for it! You are the expert of you. This forced version is what most people are trying to do, though, and it really doesn’t work long-term. So that’s why I’m writing about it here.

So the next time somebody calls you positive, feel free to smack them in the face and tell them, “Stop calling me that! I’m realistic!” Just kidding… But do think about this some if it resonates. This way of thinking works much better because it feels much better to most of us. All that pressure to “think positive” or “think right” or “do it right” is GONE. And you have a source of intelligence built in that you can ask what you should do in any given moment. Call it wisdom or common sense, intuition or instinct, it’s really all the same. And it came with the package. And it usually doesn’t have a whole lot to say. Just the facts. And that beats positive thinking any day of the week. And after living this way for a while, you’ll probably have more of a glow. You’ll be more relaxed. And your friends might even start calling you positive…