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Free Look Inside | Book Introduction | Introduction: Managing Life
We're fragmented into all these little parts and roles we have to play.
- Julie Erdelon, Education Administrator
Intuitively, I know I've lived many lifetimes, and none more interesting than the one I'm living now. However, being born an old soul somehow did not excuse me from the same job I share with you and that is learning to craft a positive attitude about daily adversity. With a set of mental thought patterns to process our soul journey wisely and lovingly, we can become an observer of our own life. If we have this belief firmly within our grasp, our perceptions of people, career paths, or even our living conditions change dramatically, allowing us to experience our environment in wonderful ways. We can sift out what we want to include in the day's lesson and discard the rest, feeling in control, no longer running on automatic programs. We can feel victorious, energized by circumstances, not victimized. All of a sudden, we notice we have created a fabulous reality based upon our intentions.
As a pre-requisite to having a good life, a lot has been broadcast from the self-help community about the importance of ‘stepping into a vision of who you are.' What does it mean? Our modern day mystics and philosophers are referring to self understanding. The self is your rendition of the spirit within you, your individual spark of divinity. Your God/Goddess within is your true self you become over time. It is your journey to being whole.
Realizing our own divinity, and using it to create a reality free from angst and disappointment, is about living in conscious awareness of who we are. All the time. And we practice being divine by making choices based in the present, using a creative license to choose what we want. If we recognize the Divine within, and identify intimately with that idea, so there is no differentiation between what is God and what is us, then we are capable of anything. Our choices, just like the universe, become limitless. Our purpose then, in this collective soul journey we share, is to become that which is within. It is to become our God-self. It is our inheritance, our innate gift and natural state.
I have not always been this smart. Like you, I have stumbled from one hard lesson after another over the course of many years, wondering why I seemed to revisit the same type of relationships or never felt in charge of my destiny. Why did the same patterns emerge in my career paths? The same disappointments? From bitterness over family matters to love gone astray, I found myself thinking ‘life happens' or ‘it was never meant to be' far too often, as an unspoken acceptance of my lack of ability to overcome.
Beginning as children, we readily accept conditioning by such mantras of non-control, turning our power over to other ideas, food, relationships, religion or materialism. By adulthood, we gather quite a large collection of anesthetics, choosing to bed down with them for long winters of discontent, blaming outside circumstances for our reality. Only we find we aren't any closer to our goals the following spring, we've just invested more energy convincing ourselves why it's not time to receive our good. And this is our biggest mistake. Life is not a nuisance to push through. It is designed to be so much more and I think, living within the genius we call the universal creation, our shared experiences all point to the same signpost: Thoughts Create Reality. This way, it is our choice whether to travel on that path of enlightenment or not.
The complexity that permeates our lives has little to do about what we completed on the to-do list, and much about our difficulty to experience the life we want. There is no plot against us. We've outlined these challenges for our own self-development because we are trying to leave ourselves clues that we are mentally capable of overcoming our environment. We are attempting to teach ourselves we have the ability, present in our own minds, to experience the world as a creator, living life fully and consciously aware. We can manifest what we want. It only takes practice!
How We Blow It
Rather than going within for power to create joyful lives, too often we look to the environment or relationships. Naturally, we crave reinforcement and praise. Who doesn't feel good when a sign arrives, encouraging us to keep putting one foot in front of the other? Feeling we make a difference is important, but where we get into trouble is functioning completely on automatic thought patterns to get the positive strokes.
Physiologically speaking, we wire our brains by our associative memory - our associations with people, places, things, times or events, and assign emotions to those ideas. It causes neurons in the brain to form a connection and when enough connect together a whole series will fire. That's called a neurological network. They are developed by repetition. Neuro nets help us function because they provide our bodies with the ability to function automatically with skills sets such as brushing our teeth, walking or typing. But because humans are complex beings, we're highly integrated in terms of the body and mind. Emotions associated with those complex skill sets can become triggered automatically, affecting our behavior and our bodies by the production of chemicals. Our bodies begin to rely upon those chemicals. No kidding – scientists found we can be addicted to our emotions!
Automatic programs don't serve us well when we rely upon them to propel us through life. For example, if you had abusive parents you may have created a memory of that relationship. Over years of repetition, you might have created an automatic program around this set of ideas, which included certain emotions such as low self-esteem, anger, or resentment. Emotions begin to be problematic only to the degree that we are unconsciously surrendering to them in ways that don't serve our highest good. How can we recognize when this happens?
An example would be the automatic program that kicks in when something triggers your memory of your parents. You respond to people who remind you of your parents, or other authority figures, the same way chemically. Most of the time, we don't even realize our dependency on these old programs that prevent us from experiencing healthy, new relationships. Old programs affect our present day circumstances, clouding present-day judgments and opportunities for wonderful experiences because we are using old information, responses, and body chemistry to interpret the way things are today. It's not an accurate assessment of reality.
What can you learn from this quick tutorial in Brain 101? If you produce the same outcomes in life, over and over again, it may be a demonstration of what is, in fact, an old program in your head. You are recreating the same conditions to produce the same chemicals your body craves. For example, surrounding yourself with people who make you feel like your parents made you feel, so you have an anger outlet. Or, substituting loneliness for love because you don't want to open yourself up to the possibility of rejection. So, until the pattern of memory is broken by detaching from emotions you associate from this past relationship, you will continue to search unconsciously for similar experiences. Why? Our bodies naturally seek the chemical comfort. And many of us rely upon such automatic programs without even realizing it! We are more chemically attached to our bodies than we think, often making present day choices based upon our bodies and minds seated in the past.
However, there is hope. Because our brains are more elastic than scientists originally thought, we can actually mold them by creating new programs that help us function. What technical expertise do we need to accomplish this? There is very little. We must simply be strong enough to choosewhat we want to experience, exercising free will. And we need to remember that conscious mind is comprised of power and intention. To produce change in our environment, we need to consciously change. It requires effort!
Fortunately, with the blending of quantum theory, neurophysiology, nanotechnology, brain imaging, mysticism, and some plain common sense, experts are finally confirming what we already intuitively know: we are in charge of manifesting our own reality. Their reasoning? If we continue to build a positive and loving mindset (a memory of our associations with people, places, things, events, and times) that helps us interact with the world in the present moment , life isperceived as a positive experience. We can create new memories to inform a new, present day reality. Pretty soon, our bodies accept it, and we see external changes in our lives which become proof of our own efforts.
We can prune our old connections in our brains, dismantling old networks that no longer serve us well. We can create new neuro-nets just by practice. Just by opening to the concept of forgiveness, we can release old perceptions of relationships and consciously create room for the really good emotions. Reality is based upon how our brains are wired and a good attitude. Everyone has the same opportunity to do so. And that perception can either liberate us or hold us back. People are already doing it. It's called the consciousness movement.
Affirmations Help Reprogram Your Brain
It takes a lot of awareness to mentally and emotionally clean house. If we regularly experience self-doubt, unworthiness, or fear, and can arrest the thought process (know the stimulus that turns those emotions on), and gracefully move our minds to new ways of being, such as receptivity to self-love, opportunity, confidence, abundance, or adventure. We can observe our circumstances objectively and gain dominion over life, feeling emotions we want to experience and those we don't. Science now suggests we can measure the bodily effects of conscious awareness and positive thinking, in the form of more energy, clear thinking, stronger immune systems, and enhanced reasoning power.
This book, in the most practical, lighthearted way, points to where your stress might arrive. It gets you to think about how you might have created past patterns of negative thinking. To change your reality, you first need to construct new neurological networks - new patterns of thinking. It's a discipline learned over time, but our bodies are designed to participate in this conscious process. How do we get started?
Training the mind is part of living in conscious awareness of our environment. It is helpful to recognize old useless emotion for example ‘feeling your needs come last' ‘fear' or ‘low self-esteem,' then repeat positive statements, such as affirmations, with sincere belief and conscious intent. More practice equals the greater the level of acceptance of that thought. An affirmation is simply a positive statement, a declaration to the universe that you choose to take the upper hand and never accept anything less than what you deserve. My affirmations are deeper and more complete self-help messages we can use to change stale thoughts around when the impulse hits. They are prayerfully contemplative, encouraging you to retain a spiritual focus on the big picture.
Let Your Goddess Grow! tutors you to recognize negative thinking before it becomes a habit. A series of 7 lessons are presented on how to become more attuned to that which gives you the foundation of success at work and home. These lessons will help you re-focus your energy and intentions. You'll learn how to thwart negativity by shifting your thought patterns throughout the day. Remember, you must choose to see something negative in a positive light and reprogram your response to that stress. When your reactions change, you can begin to cultivate a new life, filled with robustness, prosperity, love, good health, and happiness.
Women's Positive Thinking Challenge #1: We Can't Let Go
Through my own real-world research, I have a few observations about the way women think. Over the years, I have interviewed many people, mostly women, and I've asked them all the same questions: What really slows you down? What interferes with your thought process and gets you spiraling down into a negative state? How do you rely upon your wisdom tradition to navigate through disappointment and chaos? And how would you change? Women agree – they need more discipline in shifting negative thought patterns and less energy spent on self-doubt. And they waste too much time analyzing the bad stuff.
Women are the supreme creatures of over-analyzation. I can relate to this. We like to rehash an incident over and over, until finally we are ready to let it go, which drives the men in our lives nuts. The problem is, once we release a negative experience, we just forget about it temporarily when instead we should make peace with it. We don't view it as an opportunity for transformation and refinement. If we arrested the impulse closer to when it entered our minds, it would save us time and energy we could spend on making positive change.
Part of the problem is a consequence of today's auto-pilot pace. We have simply lost the art of living in conscious awareness. Women are so busy managing their multiple lives they think they don't have time to take mental and emotional inventory over every negative occurrence. They feel compelled to provide balance in everyone's world but their own, juggling homes, children, careers, travel, elderly parents, and put far too much energy into anti-aging. So, in an effort to achieve unrealistic perfection, they give up the desire to override old programming and put self-observation at the bottom of the list. Women who spend years living by the expectations of others, unable to separate what they want from the intimate worlds they tend to, are devastated rather than liberated by middle age.
To weed out old programming and get on a positive thinking track, women need to develop the good habit of taking mental inventory immediately after stress and strife are experienced, then permanently release it. They need to take time to self-examine, rather than letting all the little things build up until it turns into one big thing, usually at the worst possible moment, like twenty minutes before the in-laws come to visit. They need to accept the greatest and most complete vision of who they are, which is to be an empowered and marvelous spark of the Divine.
It is possible to demonstrate exactly what we desire from our careers, relationships, and home life without compromising who we are in the process. Our world is, and always will be, a reflection of what is in our heads as long as we have the discipline to let go, devote more time to being rather than doing, and enjoy the ride.
Women's Positive Thinking Challenge #2: Override Old Cultural Messages
Although women's lives have vastly improved in the last few centuries, doubt still exists in many women's minds that they are equally powerful as men. I'll admit – it is difficult to break through the last remaining barriers in organizations, political structures, and even old world family ideology. As women discover the power of their own thoughts in creating the world they want, they will have to inevitably discover something sacred about themselves. Women have a lot of old programming to overcome, perhaps more than men, because of society's residual message from old cultural values and religion.
If women want to discover their own thoughts, and not live the thoughts of others, they must make a supreme effort to disconnect from what appears to be convention and be willing to risk rejection. There is no greater example than the circulation of myths and stories that are crippling to women, such as creation myths spun to challenge our inherent knowledge that we are divine creations. Reliving Eve's responsibility for the downfall of humanity by way of a piece of fruit has made too many women accept from the get-go that they are blemished and stained. That they are flawed. Many women don't believe they can ever feel empowered because of this story, but it's only one among many told over and over again. This, in itself, is a point that should be interesting to the neurophysiology movement because it says something about the power we have as a group consciousness.
When an entire society believes something, and those thoughts permeate our own brains, reinforcing automatic programs within our minds, we become truly unconscious as humans. The power from the outside may be so difficult to overcome, we finally give in and become sedated. It's just easier to surrender to massive, group thinking than to fight it, generate awareness and wake people up. The ones that do usually are labeled heretics, or we execute them. It is unfortunate we wear so much violence on the sleeve of our past.
As we learn more about our brains, and the capability we have to change our thoughts and the world, the past is not so frightening. We can stop falling prey to massive amounts of self-defeating thoughts from the past. We can revisit it objectively, learn from it, and distance ourselves from the emotion associated with that past event, and move forward by living in the present. Women, as well as men, can create newer group thought patterns that serve the greater good that are much more reflective of today's roles. Things are beginning to move that way as women are beginning to realize they are beautiful and whole images of creation.
Women's Positive Thinking Challenge #3: We Don't Believe We Are Divine
Feeling empowered is about creating reality the way you see fit. But to exist in a positive state of exchange with your environment you must recognize the Divine within. You already carry God or the spirit-power within which is your empowered state of being. It's what allows you to makes changes to create a new reality. In order to change your life, you must believe it wholeheartedly. You are not some sub-set of the Divine, or of someone else. You are fully and completely an individual spark of divine power. You are God.
Religion has had society in a conundrum over this idea. As a consequence of politics and power plays when scriptures were assembled, somehow we've cultivated messages of fear and self-doubt over our own God-self. Many people believe they must surrender their lives completely, abdicating the human experience in favor of a specific set of rules or religious dogma created by an outside, higher power who chooses for them. They have forgotten the power of their own mind and of the choice they have in making their lives a participative, creative endeavor with God. They favor the rules rather than setting their own intentions. In many cases, if they don't select the right channel, an eternal life of damnation awaits. It doesn't sound too nurturing.
Women cannot realize their true power, which is the power of being a co-creator in their own lives, if they accept old religious doctrine that doesn't say anything positive about being female. If women truly believe they are less divine than men, how will they ever align to the idea that they are capable of being a full participant in creating a world that reflects their values, hopes, and dreams? There will always be a reason why they can't succeed. It's old mental programming needing major removal.
Often, religion works great for men. Since today's mainstream religion does not embrace a female deity, God is clearly labeled He even this was not always the case in many ancient religions. In our culture, He is perceived to be more powerful than She. Many outdated religious messages linger, translated into policies, laws, and family values that send messages to women that they are far less important than men. Most women are not raised with any images of a female god or female saviors nor are they told there is a sacred part of the All that can be thought of as feminine. It's not a very empowering state to be. So, when we think women can't be happy, it may very well be they have accepted that thoughts can create their own reality but when they attempt to practice it, they still can't cross the final bridge to believing they are truly divine because society and religion tells them they aren't. There is a lot to be undone in that respect.
Women are complexity managers and overwhelmed with life in general. They wear too many hats, leaving little time to contemplate their own spiritual inheritance, and by that I mean knowing who they are and where their power arrives, and finding the time to practice it. What would help? Women need to stand up and admit they are divine, as an image of their creator. They need to celebrate it, in the form of spiritual practices that make sense to them that integrates their intuitive natures. These are part of a woman's special needs in being able to create their own reality.
Remember, to be divine means we have assumed our divine state as creators that orchestrate our own reality. We are in charge of what we experience and can create anything out of our own manifested thoughts. The world, seen from this viewpoint, is a playroom, a laboratory, a practice ring, a place to try out and see what feedback we can obtain from what we think. We can make the world fabulous or we can blow it up. We have a choice to do either, as we have power to do anything we want. There's nobody telling us how we will use our gift of self within the world we inherited to experiment. It's up to us.
Women have a tough time with this empowering thought because they don't see themselves in images of God. They don't believe they are same substance that is called God. The divine feminine principle has been squashed and reformatted, as religions adopted a male referent system, which still has a strong influence upon a woman's self-image. It is a reason women don't believe they are worthy and equally as capable as men. Challenging religions, and finding a structured spirituality that reinforces a woman's values and recognizes her as an individual spark of the Divine, seems like a big hurdle to overcome. But it's the final barrier between a woman being able to create her own reality and stepping into it in the form of her life.
Why Should We Grow Our Goddess Within?
I think reviving an image of the Goddess can bridge this conceptual gap for women, because they see themselves in the face of the Divine. The Goddess becomes an entity they can relate to, someone who affirms their worth. They don't have to give up Father God to do it, they just need to acquire new knowledge on the subject of the feminine principle and integrate Her in their images of a spirit-power. Long ago, this was all very normal in female oriented religions. It made spirit more accessible.
The reason we are living unbalanced lives, and seeing an unbalanced world culture, is because we do not recognize a balanced image of divinity. It has even affected men who created the policies and religions. So, we cannot complete our thought process to produce the effects of what we want in our life, unless we recognize we are divine, both men and women. For those who can't jump directly to a genderless image or concept, we need to revive Mother God to get us over the gap. God can be imaged as a Mother/Father God. It's not a new idea!
The Gnostics conceived of God as a triune: Father/Spirit, Mother/Psyche-Soul, or the physical aspects of our existence, and Christ Consciousness, who was the spirit embodied in the physical. Our job, according to the Gnostics, was to become a Christ, who created reality through thoughts. He didn't do it by falling out of the sky in some sort of invisible, ethereal body, waving a magic wand, conjuring up a Patronus. The story of Christ exemplifies that there is a way to access your spirit power within. It is not accomplished through denying your body, or your individual soul - which is to honor your individual expression of spirit – but by embracing body, spirit, and soul simultaneously and with passion.
We are born in the flesh with an opportunity to create reality by how we think. And by embracing the significance of the Mother Goddess, who is a reminder of our body, the earth, and our emotions, we are consciously aware of the responsibility we have to maintain our systems in balance. She gives us a world to manipulate. In doing so, we utilize our vehicle of power which is our brain. It is an acceptance of our own divinity. With conscious awareness, we can become a channel for our spirit-power. And THAT is the true state of empowerment.
What This Book Can Do For You
The 7 spiritual lessons presented in this book are ways in which we achieve access to a greater and more productive mental state. There's not a lot of theory. My lessons are fairly lighthearted because we do need to keep our sense of humor about the process of living. We're going to make mistakes. It's why were here! But we can unpeel the layer together and examine the rich and robust fruit of who we are.
Some lessons you will find familiar - perhaps others will point out ways in which you have developed negative programming. You will discover the source of negativity and reset your thinking to reprocess your experiences positively. Many ideas you may have absorbed over the years from people or events or just fallen into a habit of mental laziness. Overall, these lessons allow you to take a closer look at ways you can develop more personal power, leading to a healthy and balanced life.
How the Lessons are Organized
My 7 spiritual lessons are called: Insight , Balance , Resiliency , Your Authentic Self , Abundance , Corporate Soul , and The Divine Feminine. Each directs you to find the source of old hurts within yourselves, families, relationships, and everyday home life. We then look at how to overcome adversity by embracing spirit within, and manage change to stay strong. For those of us who buck the status quo, I reinforce why we should treasure being different and rely upon knowing our true self, and not our image as reflected in others. A lesson in abundance thinking will help you unseat old, negative past programming about money and form new attitudes to manifest financial success.
For women who are part of organizational life, a lesson reminds you to guide your workplace efforts by appreciating a feminine value set, helping you experience personal growth, both inside and outside the office. As you journey to the seventh path, you have an opportunity to unseat old negative programming about being a woman. If we attempt to change a negative thought, but forget about accepting that we are spirit then our brain can't fully accept our new belief. It's a package deal. In the seventh lesson, by affirming your true self is a construct of both God and Goddess power, a constant source of strength, you can magnify your own sense of what it means to be a fabulous individual filled with light and positive energy, lovingly connected to everyone.
In each chapter, I share my spiritual perspective along with comments from a variety of women who are just like you. At the end of each chapter, a series of questions helps you Analyze where your blockages reside, then Affirm what you want to become permanent in your life with a positive statement. In Walk the Talk , I encourage you to list actions and realistic changes that will help you achieve a new set of goals. Finally, if you belong to a forum, sacred circle, or discussion group, you can share your personal strengths and strategies, putting your new awareness into practice. We learn to Move Forward by allowing others to help us create and stick to new changes. In the process of healing others, we heal ourselves.
If you would like more affirmations that will help you reprogram your mind and get you on the path to creating new neurological networks, I have written a companion book called The Women's Book of Empowerment: 323 Affirmations That Change Everyday Problems into Moments of Potential. It's a quick way to find the source of your stress, anxiety or negative thinking and quickly readjust. Use it in conjunction with Let Your Goddess Grow! and between both books, I know you will be able to make better sense out of life.
Move Forward and Know That All is Well!
Remember, we can survive but we can always do better than that – we can create reality. There really doesn't seem any other way to live – how healthy can it be to choose to stay underneath piles of loss, disappointment, grief, and old family resentments? There is only one way out and that is to dust off your boots and climb out. I will help you take the first step and find courage, energy, and inspiration in the process. In that way, together we can become modern, female beacons of light, guiding even the most demanding curmudgeons we encounter.
Above all, know that we are beautiful entities – and the soul's journey is a gift, a miracle. We are beloved treasures who have an incredible opportunity to learn. People who are our greatest critics are there for our own benefit. By harnessing our own capabilities to create a world where we express our own divinity, we can evolve together. And who knows where it will lead? Consciously engaging in the process of true self discovery will certainly give us more comfort in knowing we are meant to be here, exploring our limits. And, with a light heart and a good attitude, I think we will find it easy to share our wisdom and insight with others on the same workpath. We just might find a bit of humor in our daily journey, and yes, even love for those around us who are helping to refine our soul. My greatest wish is that you can join me in thanking them for allowing us yet another opportunity to grow.
Charlene M. Proctor, PhD.
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