Posts tagged spirituality

The Gift of your Creative Potential…..The Power of Thought, Action and Emotion.

The change of season, and the glimpses of new growth, can bring a new awareness of our self potentially living our lives in a new way. This can assist us as a powerful catalyst to instigate change.

This brings us to a wonderful place of really questioning what it is that we would like to be experiencing in our life and most importantly how do we work towards getting to this place. Change does not have to be a hard, lengthy or even a painful process. However, sometimes we do hold this belief that change is something of a huge and gigantic trauma and so we can feel wary or even fearful of moving towards something new. To start with, let us examine this belief. Let us just view change as a simple and fluid process of embracing something new.

We may feel that we would like to welcome in a new experience into our life, or that we are searching for something to be different. If you feel that being in your current job is terrible, why not just for today start by thinking how you could view this position as one step closer to what you would like to be doing. If you desire to be in a relationship, instead of enhancing your loneliness, why not begin by seeing yourself in the process of finding love instead. If we are able to think about this situation (or our selves) in a more harmonious way, then we are also able to elicit feelings and emotions that also represent harmony and peace towards it.

Just bring yourself to think of one situation in your life that you do not find yourself totally at ease with. It does not have to be a major situation, just something that feels a little stuck, and maybe an issue that could use a fresh perspective to help you to embrace it. This could be anything from your journey into work, a relationship or family situation, to your decisions about your career.

Just for a short moment, just think of this situation and what emotions it brings up. Now let us change our thoughts towards it. Using the statement below as a template. Create one sentence that would help you to assist in thinking about this situation in a new way. What a great start.

‘I enjoy the feeling of new possibilities in my life. I enjoy being open to changing my thoughts and feelings towards…….. . I now see the situation of……… only with love and peace’.

How did it feel to say that? Good, a little odd (as you’ve only thought the opposite for so long), like it wasn’t true, or maybe like it could be a new way forward. There is no good or bad, we are all just learning and growing, so always be grateful for what the mind tells you, its another step towards being at peace.

Begin by bringing yourself to this new thought statement, every time your mind wanders to your old negative and disempowering thought patterns. This is just like planting a seed, so just let this new seed settle in your consciousness, as a gentle reminder that you are willing to embrace this situation with a fresh perspective.

Now let us address the emotional side of this situation. How do you feel towards this situation? Anger, fear, pain, upset, confusion, concern, joy, frustration?

Let us now take a moment to think of this situation but this time, allow yourself to align with feelings of peace towards it. So, let us just calm first, with a few deep and relaxing breaths, so that we are able to rest. You can close your eyes, and just feel that your deep, slow breathing is allowing you to breathe out any tension or stress. Now just visualise this situation and imagine yourself in it, at peace, see yourself going through the situation calm and relaxed, seeing it resolved and without stress.

To give you an example of the power of your emotions, lets do a little exercise. Allow your mind to focus on something (could be anything) that brings you pleasure. Seek out the pleasurable points of focus wherever you are now. This may be a flower, an item of clothing you like, another person, food. Whatever it is, seek out something that you like. Now focus on it fully and notice the positive feelings that arise.

Again, it is the simple process or how your positive emotions can arise, as your point of focus is on something pleasurable, rather than painful. Imagine now, how you would feel if you only directed your awareness to situations and thoughts that made you feel good.

By learning that if we allow our thoughts to focus on our willingness to change rather than the lack this situation brings, then our emotions and feelings can also change too.

This is the very first step to acknowledging the influence of our own creative potential in change.

Let us now just think of 1 small action or behaviour that you could undertake which would support your new perspective of change. It could be that you write your CV, research into a holiday that you always promise yourself, join a dating agency, take up a hobby or reconnect with a person you have lost touch. A small action, will affect your process of change by sending out signals that you are truly working towards this new place. No longer will frustration and worry effect you as you realise your internal turmoil was initiated by you not acting on your inner desires, rather than actually facing them. A small shift in your thoughts, beliefs and actions can have a dramatic shift on your life.

With love

Spiritual Psychologist – Nicola Phoenix

Next Time- The Gift of Connectedness…How change can involve Embracing rather than Separation.

Psychologist, Yoga Practitioner, Speaker, Writer

Neal’s Yard Remedies Therapy Rooms, London tel: 020 7379 7662



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A happy union of discipline and urban living: 4 ways to enjoy the efforts of personal practice

We all live busy lives. Work, shop, cook, socialise, relax, keep your shape right, catch up with all social networks, maintain our relationships, miraculously manage to get everywhere in time (-ish), search for a job, house, happiness, yoga class, tai chi, singing, dancing, gym, Saturday’s farmers market and oh, movies. We are all immersed in making a living or making our dreams come true trying to enjoy the process as we go along. We are like individual state governments and all the citizens at the same time, trying to juggle a myriad of responsibilities, duties, preferences, likes, dislikes, meanings and directions accounting to the toughest boss in the word – ourselves.

So we all know the benefits of a little bit of discipline. Consistency bears results whether it comes to going to bed half an hour earlier, sustaining a healthy diet, exercising or studying. But when it comes to a personal spiritual practice we often see that it is tucked away in the corner of our lives for ‘when I have a bit of free time’.
For some reasons it is fun going to classes and learning yoga, meditation or tai chi but hard to sustain the practice at home. A friend once asked me “Once I am at home it is as if I am lacking ideas of what to do with what I have learned…How do you manage your daily yoga practice?”

So here are 4 points to make discipline work for you:

1. Whatever you do must be enjoyable. As Minna mentioned in another blog post if you have an idea that meditation, contemplation, yoga, jogging or tai chi is a duty, then it will be a duty, getting heavier every day. Enjoyment comes from finding a deep meaning to your practice. So whether you are giving a practice a try, are curious to see results or want to seriously commit – find your meaning. Know what you want from it while remaining flexible in that knowing. Now that’s a science!:)

2. How do you find meaning? Personalise it. It is your life, your breath, your movement and your stillness. You may have learned it from someone but you have got to live it yourself – otherwise you will be mocking someone’s life! You have got all the intuition and wisdom in the world to sense what it is that works for you – be brave to explore it and live it!

3. Have a fixed time for your practice, but be prepared to break the rules you have created. The whole mechanism of our minds functions best in patterns. We have patterns of eating, sleeping, working and also patterns of times when our minds are still. When you set a time for your practice, you gently guide your mind into a new pattern of peaceful collaboration.
However, don’t forget to constantly review your life circumstances to suit you! “Fixity of goal, flexibility of routine” – a Kriya yoga master Yogiraj teaches. Your newly discovered freedom and personal growth ends the moment when the rigid concepts of righteousness and solid routine are established in your head. How to figure out this rather fragile balance of having a routine versus having none? Sounds very mystical, but it is not: follow your heart. It is a matter of fact that you can sense whether you are pushing yourself too much or too little, whether you are being fanatic or lazy, let your guide your heart ways in a smooth fresh stream.

4. Set realistic goals and your priorities right. If you are working 40 hours a week, study, socialise, have kids while still managing to invest your time in other activities you love – acknowledge that and don’t feel pressurised to spend two hours daily in serene meditation. If you have got 15 minutes, then happily accept that you have got 15 minutes. Whatever you have got is perfect! Once you start your practice rolling the priorities of busy living will shift naturally according to your needs. However, if you keep telling yourself that you will take your practice seriously someday or some year in the future, don’t fool yourself. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why it is called present. The time is always now. Make this fun and joyous leap!

Persistent personal practice is a discipline undertaken in the pursuit of a goal. Yogi Bhajan said that a personal practice, in various Buddhist, hindu and mystic traditions reffered to as Sadhana, doesn’t give you a written guarantee from God.

“The one who does Sadhana builds himself such a powerful personality he can conquer anything! That is why I do my own Sadhana. I have been doing it for years. I do it even now.”
Some people ask me, “You are a Master, why do you do Sadhana?”
I say, ” To remain a Master!”

– Yogi Bhajan

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Love circle – soul food on a cold winter evening in Camden

Tuesday evening yoga class with an uplifting title and a seductive headline:
~~Waves of Love rising silently from the Deep devaOcean//Relentlessly forming with an Effortless Grace into//Rolling Circles of Truth~~
Surely I am up for it!

I don’t know what to expect, actually I do not expect anything. I don’t want to look great or advanced or needy or disappointed. I don’t want to have a great time or time to remember. I am just going to this evening with an excitement of a child. And presence.
Reading Eckhart Tolle on the tube: “Being one with life is being one with Now. You then realize that you don’t live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer and you are the dance.” Present. I feel present. And my goal is to be fully alive as I am.

7pm, Upper Room community hall in Camden uplifted from mundane to sacred by the radiance and creativity of the organisers, Amir and Katie. Candles, subtle fairy lights, a gong, Tibetan bowls, all sort of percussive instruments and a piano – it feels warm, cosy and safe.

We comfortably sit in a circle, the atmosphere is great and I feel at home. I know that’s the right environment and I don’t need to be anyone or act in any way. Time for being. The class starts with a well guided relaxation, deep breath, Tibetan bowls and my body is vibrating with core sounds surrendering to the gravity of the body and the limitless nature of the soul.

We flowingly proceed to name and intention sounding. Wow – what an honour. To sing the name of each person with your soul voice and have your name sang by a bunch of angels. It was empowering: I loved and I was being loved, honesty, intentionally and selflessly.
Love, joy, presence, satisfaction, consolidation, freedom, faith, nothingness and more… these were intensions of the beautiful beings that shared the love with me. All and every single one of you – I really wish it becomes your reality now!

Warm ups – a phrase never encouraging enough. I have been doing intense yoga warm-ups for 4 years and never has it been so fun. Surrender and let your inner child take over. Why not? We played congas that weren’t there, we danced free style, we danced our bodies into circles and we sang and laughed as it felt right letting go of everything that needed letting go. Simplicity of being – joy of a child.

Kundalini yoga kriyas were physically and mentally challenging but liberating, extremely energising and well worth a try. “There are two characters in your mind: a master and a victim – you choose which one you want to be” – Amir reminded us out loud just when I needed it. It is surprising what an enormous shift in experience can our inherent right to choose our own perspective manifest. We make our own reality and it is all about our attitudes.

Chanting, relaxation and a sound bath. Another wow. Food for the soul, every cell vibrating with the mysterious power of a gong, Tibetan bowls, percussions, piano and an angelic voice. I peacefully flow and let my body relax from all the rush and buzz of the day.

And a final wow: what other class is so creatively packed with soul-nourishing food?

This moment is all I have got and maybe in 20 years from now I am not going to remember that I went to this class and how good it was (again, perspective!) Perhaps it will be just a distant dream, but I will remember that I spent time being deeply present. That’s one thing that doesn’t need effort to be remembered and doesn’t fade into an illusion of a distant dream. Mission completed!

Love Circle – every Tuesday, 7.00pm at Upper Room, Camden. More details here

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