30 April 2015

When In Darkness Always Search For The Light

When In Darkness Always Search For The Light

Imagine being plunged into total darkness and not knowing where you are. No one to help. No one can hear you. And you have no idea how long you will be in this darkness. 

Now, add to that, the fear that actual death is eminent. There is no doubt whatsoever in your mind that death will come in moments. It's a feeling so strong and so powerful that you have no conscious control. Your Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) has taken over, locked you out, and thrown away the key. It's too late. 

Your eyes go blurry, your heart feels as though it is going to stop on the next beat, everything inside of you hurts, you feel a burning sensation through your entire body, and there is no way out. This only touches the surface of what an anxiety and panic attack can do to you. I know from first hand experience. Wonder drugs such as Xanax and Ativan are the only refuge ... if you can get to them in time and if they are already in your system. 

Your body has gone into "fight or flight" mode. The mind has determined a threat. It matters not if it is real or not. To the mind ... it is. Millions of years of evolution have now come together to release endorphins, adrenaline, and multiple other chemicals into your body. Your bowels are shut down. Your whole physical being prepares for battle, or to run like hell from the imaginary threat that triggered this reaction. From the view of your SNS, it may as well be a hungry, and angry, Kodiak Bear standing face to face with you and ready to rip you to shreds. The SNS is prepared to stay and fight, or to run faster that you have ever been able to run from the eminent danger. One problem. There is no bear, and there is no threat. It is an illusion and part of the imagination. Yet, you have no conscious access or control to stop this reaction. 

There is only one way that I have been able to better deal with these attacks. I stay mindful and alert of the first signs. I am consciously aware of the very first moment of a possible anxiety or panic attack. For me, the first hint strangely enough is in my butt. I can sense a slight burning sensation. Here it comes. Now if I can't stop this before the SNS take over autopilot, then I suffer I will ... greatly. I have devised a prayer/affirmation and I begin to say it out loud. I confirm it and I believe it. I firmly repeat it with conviction and dominance. Here is what I say:


"I am now speaking directly to my Sympathetic Nervous System. Thank you for always being here for me in the rare event of an emergency or a perceived threat. However, at this time, everything is under control here. There is no eminent threat. There is no reason for fear. I am safe, and I am secure. If you are perceiving a threat at this moment, I assure you that it is an illusion. I am just fine. All is well. There is no threat or danger. I am in the safety of the present moment being guided by my guardians and my Higher-Self of whom you must answer to. I am totally secure and everything is under control. If you would like to stay, you are welcome to, as long as you stay as a spectator. There is no need for your intervention at this time. You may have been called upon by some sort of false alarm that was caused by an unknown source. You were alerted unknowingly, and I appreciate your willingness and ability to respond this time and any time. You are surely good at your job. This time though, I have complete control of the situation. There is no problem or fear that I need any assistance with. It is an illusion. It is not real. I am fine, and you can stop your automatic processes now. I do thank you very much and you are free to leave at any time. Thank you."

If you can catch it in time, this may help you. It has worked for me on several occasions. But if not, down the rabbit hole you go. Darkness comes, fear, desolation, and every negative emotion you can conceive of. The Anxiety and Panic Attacks can last from moments, to hours. They have landed me in the ER on many an occasion convinced that I was having a heart attack and was going to die. If you are a sufferer ... may God/Source bless you with the ability to get through this darkness and once again turn on the light. It isn't easy, and it is uncertain how long this affliction will tie itself to you. It could be months, it could be years. May the energy of the universe help you to accept it. Because you certainly cannot fight it.

Just a thought ... 

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM. 

29 April 2015

The Sad Twisted Truth About Conservative Christianity's Effect On The Mind

The Sad Twisted Truth About Conservative Christianity's Effect On The Mind

Some religious beliefs may alter brain function, making us more prone to anxiety and depression. This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

 “I am 30 years old and I am struggling to find sanity. Between the Christian schools, homeschooling, the Christian group home (indoctrinating work camp) and different churches in different cities, I am a psychological, emotional and spiritual mess.” –A former Evangelical

If a former believer says that Christianity made her depressed, obsessive, or post-traumatic, she is likely to be dismissed as an exaggerator. She might describe panic attacks about the rapture; moods that swung from ecstasy about God’s overwhelming love to suicidal self-loathing about repeated sins; or an obsession with sexual purity.

A symptom like one of these clearly has a religious component, yet many people instinctively blame the victim. They will say that the wounded former believer was prone to anxiety or depression or obsession in the first place—that his Christianity somehow got corrupted by his predisposition to psychological problems. Or they will say that he wasn’t a real Christian. If only he had prayed in faith believing or loved God with all his heart, soul and mind, if only he had really been saved—then he would have experienced the peace that passes all understanding.

But the reality is far more complex. It is true that symptoms like depression or panic attacks most often strike those of us who are vulnerable, perhaps because of genetics or perhaps because situational stressors have worn us down. But certain aspects of Christian beliefs and Christian living also can create those stressors, even setting up multigenerational patterns of abuse, trauma, and self-abuse. Also, over time some religious beliefs can create habitual thought patterns that actually alter brain function, making it difficult for people to heal or grow.

The purveyors of religion insist that their product is so powerful it can transform a life, but somehow, magically, it has no risks. In reality, when a medicine is powerful, it usually has the potential to be toxic, especially in the wrong combination or at the wrong dose. And religion is powerful medicine!

In this discussion, we focus on the variants of Christianity that are based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. These include Evangelical and fundamentalist churches, the Church of Latter Day Saints, and other conservative sects. These groups share the characteristics of requiring conformity for membership, a view that humans need salvation, and a focus on the spiritual world as superior to the natural world. These views are in contrast to liberal, progressive Christian churches with a humanistic viewpoint, a focus on the present, and social justice.

Religion Exploits Normal Human Mental Processes.

To understand the power of religion, it is helpful to understand a bit about the structure of the human mind. Much of our mental activity has little to do with rationality and is utterly inaccessible to the conscious mind. The preferences, intentions and decisions that shape our lives are in turn shaped by memories and associations that can get laid down before we even develop the capacity for rational analysis.

Aspects of cognition like these determine how we go through life, what causes us distress, which goals we pursue and which we abandon, how we respond to failure, how we respond when other people hurt us—and how we respond when we hurt them. Religion derives its power in large part because it shapes these unconscious processes: the frames, metaphors, intuitions and emotions that operate before we even have a chance at conscious thought.

Some Religious Beliefs and Practices are More Harmful Than Others.

When it comes to psychological damage, certain religious beliefs and practices are reliably more toxic than others.

Janet Heimlich is an investigative journalist who has explored religious child maltreatment, which describes abuse and neglect in the service of religious belief. In her book, Breaking their Will,Heimlich identifies three characteristics of religious groups that are particularly prone to harming children. Clinical work with reclaimers, that is, people who are reclaiming their lives and in recovery from toxic religion, suggests that these same qualities put adults at risk, along with a particular set of manipulations found in fundamentalist Christian churches and biblical literalism.

1) Authoritarianism,creates a rigid power hierarchy and demands unquestioning obedience. In major theistic religions, this hierarchy has a god or gods at the top, represented by powerful church leaders who have power over male believers, who in turn have power over females and children. Authoritarian Christian sects often teach that “male headship” is God’s will. Parents may go so far as beating or starving their children on the authority of godly leaders. A book titled, To Train Up a Child,by minister Michael Pearl and his wife Debi, has been found in the homes of three Christian adoptive families who have punished their children to death.

2) Isolation or separatism,is promoted as a means of maintaining spiritual purity. Evangelical Christians warn against being “unequally yoked” with nonbelievers in marriages and even friendships. New converts often are encouraged to pull away from extended family members and old friends, except when there may be opportunities to convert them. Some churches encourage older members to take in young single adults and house them within a godly context until they find spiritually compatible partners, a process known by cult analysts as “shepherding.” Home schoolers and the Christian equivalent of madrassas cut off children from outside sources of information, often teaching rote learning and unquestioning obedience rather than broad curiosity.

3) Fearof sin, hell, a looming “end-times” apocalypse, or amoral heathens binds people to the group, which then provides the only safe escape from the horrifying dangers on the outside. In Evangelical Hell Houses, Halloween is used as an occasion to terrify children and teens about the tortures that await the damned. In the Left Behind book series and movie, the world degenerates into a bloodbath without the stabilizing presence of believers. Since the religious group is the only alternative to these horrors, anything that threatens the group itself—like criticism, taxation, scientific findings, or civil rights regulations—also becomes a target of fear.

Bible Belief Creates an Authoritarian, Isolative, Threat-based Model of Reality

In Bible-believing Christianity, psychological mind-control mechanisms are coupled with beliefs from the Iron Age, including the belief that women and children are possessions of men, that children who are not hit become spoiled, that each of us is born “utterly depraved”, and that a supernatural being demands unquestioning obedience. In this view, the salvation and righteousness of believers is constantly under threat from outsiders and dark spiritual forces. Consequently, Christians need to separate themselves emotionally, spiritually, and socially from the world.These beliefs are fundamental to their overarching mental framework or “deep frame” as linguist George Lakoff would call it. Small wonder then, that many Christians emerge wounded.

It is important to remember that this mindset permeates to a deep subconscious level. This is a realm of imagery, symbols, metaphor, emotion, instinct, and primary needs. Nature and nurture merge into a template for viewing the world which then filters every experience. The template selectively allows only the information that confirms their model of reality, creating a subjective sense of its veracity.

On the societal scale, humanity has been going through a massive shift for centuries, transitioning from a supernatural view of a world dominated by forces of good and evil to a natural understanding of the universe. The Bible-based Christian population however, might be considered a subset of the general population that is still within the old framework, that is, supernaturalism.

Children are Targeted for Indoctrination Because the Child Mind is Uniquely Vulnerable.

“Here I am, a fifty-one year old college professor, still smarting from the wounds inflicted by the righteous when I was a child. It is a slow, festering wound, one that smarts every day—in some way or another…. I thought I would leave all of that “God loves… God hates…” stuff behind, but not so. Such deep and confusing fear is not easily forgotten. It pops up in my perfectionism, my melancholy mood, the years of being obsessed with finding the assurance of personal salvation.”

Nowhere is the contrast of viewpoints more stark than in the secular and religious understandings of childhood. In the biblical view, a child is not a being that is born with amazing capabilities that will emerge with the right conditions like a beautiful flower in a well-attended garden. Rather, a child is born in sin, weak, ignorant, and rebellious, needing discipline to learn obedience. Independent thinking is dangerous pride.

Because the child’s mind is uniquely susceptible to religious ideas, religious indoctrination particularly targets vulnerable young children. Cognitive development before age seven lacks abstract reasoning. Thinking is magical and primitive, black and white. Also, young humans are wired to obey authority because they are dependent on their caregivers just for survival. Much of their brain growth and development has to happen after birth, which means that children are extremely vulnerable to environmental influences in the first few years when neuronal pathways are formed.

By age five a child’s brain can understand primitive cause-and-effect logic and picture situations that are not present. Children at this have a tenuous grip on reality. They often have imaginary friends; dreams are quite real; and fantasy blurs with the mundane. To a child this age, it is eminently possible that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole and delivers presents if you are good and that 2000 years ago a man died a horrible death because you are naughty. Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, the Rapture, and hell, all can be quite real. The problem is that many of these teachings are terrifying.

For many years, one conversion technique targeting children and adolescents has been the use of movies about the “End Times.” This means a “Rapture” event, when real Christians are taken up to heaven leaving the earth to “Tribulation,” a terrifying time when an evil Antichrist will reign and the world will descend into anarchy.

When assaulted with such images and ideas at a young age, a child has no chance of emotional self-defense. Christian teachings that sound truewhen they are embedded in the child’s mind at this tender age can feel true for a lifetime. Even decades later former believers who intellectually reject these ideas can feel intense fear or shame when their unconscious mind is triggered.

Harms Range From Mild to Catastrophic.

One requirement for success as a sincere Christian is to find a way to believe that which would be unbelievable under normal rules of evidence and inquiry. Christianity contains concepts that help to safeguard belief, such as limiting outside information, practicing thought control, and self-denigration; but for some people the emotional numbing and intellectual suicide just isn’t enough. In other words, for a significant number of children in Christian families, the religion just doesn’t “take.” This can trigger guilt, conflict, and ultimately rejection or abandonment.

Others experience the threats and fear too keenly. For them, childhood can be torturous, and they may carry injuries into adulthood.

Still others are able to sincerely devote themselves to the faith as children but confront problems when they mature. They wrestle with factual and moral contradictions in the Bible and the church, or discover surprising alternatives. This can feel confusing and terrifying – like the whole world is falling apart.

Delayed Development and Life Skills.Many Christian parents seek to insulate their children from “worldly” influences. In the extreme, this can mean not only home schooling, but cutting off media, not allowing non-Christian friends, avoiding secular activities like plays or clubs, and spending time at church instead. Children miss out on crucial information– science, culture, history, reproductive health and more. When they grow older and leave such a sheltered environment, adjusting to the secular world can be like immigrating to a new culture. One of the biggest areas of challenge is delayed social development.

Religious Trauma Syndrome. Today, in the field of mental health, the only religious diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is “Religious or Spiritual Problem.” This is merely a supplemental code (V Code) to assist in describing an underlying pathology. Unofficially, “scrupulosity,” is the term for obsessive-compulsive symptoms centered around religious themes such as blasphemy, unforgivable sin, and damnation. While each of these diagnoses has a place, neither covers the wide range of harms induced by religion.

Religious Trauma Syndrome (RTS) is a new term, coined by Marlene Winell to name a recognizable set of symptoms experienced as a result of prolonged exposure to a toxic religious environment and/or the trauma of leaving the religion. It is akin to Complex PTSD, which is defined as ‘a psychological injury that results from protracted exposure to prolonged social and/or interpersonal trauma with lack or loss of control, disempowerment, and in the context of either captivity or entrapment, i.e. the lack of a viable escape route for the victim’.

Though related to other kinds of chronic trauma, religious trauma is uniquely mind-twisting. The logic of the religion is circular and blames the victim for problems; the system demands deference to spiritual authorities no matter what they do; and the larger society may not identify a problem or intervene as in cases of physical or sexual abuse, even though the same symptoms of depression and anxiety and panic attacks can occur.

RTS, as a diagnosis, is in early stages of investigation, but appears to be a useful descriptor beyond the labels used for various symptoms – depression, anxiety, grief, anger, relationship issues, and others. It is our hope that it will lead to more knowledge, training, and treatment. Like the naming of other disorders such as anorexia or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), the RTS label can help sufferers feel less alone, confused, and self-blaming.

Leaving the Fold. Breaking out of a restrictive, mind-controlling religion can be liberating: Certain problems end(!), such as trying to twist one’s thinking to believe irrational doctrines, and conforming to repressive codes of behavior. However, for many reclaimers making the break is the most disruptive, difficult upheaval they have ever experienced. Individuals who were most sincere, devout, and dedicated often are the ones most traumatized when their religious world crumbles.

Rejecting a religious model of reality that has been passed on through generations is a major cognitive and emotional disruption. For many reclaimers, it is like a death or divorce. Their ‘relationship’ with God was a central assumption of their lives, and giving it up feels like an enormous loss to be grieved. It can be like losing a lover, a parent, or best friend.

On top of shattered assumptions comes the loss of family and friends. Churches vary with official doctrine about rejection. The Mormon Church, for all the intense focus on “family forever,” is devastating to leave, and the Jehovah Witnesses require families to shun members who are “disfellowshiped.”

The rupture can destroy homes, splitting spouses and alienating parents from children.

For Women, Psychological Costs of Belief Include Subjugation and Self-loathing.

Christianity poses a special set of psychological risks for people who, according to the Iron Age hierarchy found in the Bible are unclean or property, including women. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the combination of denigration and subservience takes a psychological toll on women in Christianity as it does in Islam. Not only do women submit to marital abuse and undesired sexual contact, some tolerate the same toward their children, and men of God sometimes exploit this vulnerability, as in the case of Catholic and Protestant child sexual abuse. But most of the damage is far more subtle: lower self-esteem, less independence and confidence; abandoned dreams and goals.

Why Harm Goes Unrecognized. What is the sum cost of having millions of people holding to a misogynist, authoritarian, fear-based supernatural view of the universe? The consequences far-reaching, even global, but many are hidden, for two reasons.

One is the nature of the trauma itself. Unlike other harm, such as physical beating or sexual abuse, the injury is far from obvious to the victim, who has been taught to self-blame. It’s as if a person black and blue from a caning were to think it was self-inflicted.

The second reason that religious harm goes unrecognized is that Christianity is still the cultural backdrop for the indoctrination. While the larger society may not be fundamentalist, references to God and faith abound. The Bible gets used to swear in witnesses and even the U.S. president. Common phrases are “God willing,” “God bless,” “God helps those that help themselves,” “In God we trust,” and so forth. These lend credence to theistic authority.

Religious trauma is difficult to see because it is camouflaged by the respectability of religion in culture. To date, parents are afforded the right to teach their own children whatever doctrines they like, no matter how heinous, degrading, or mentally unhealthy. Even helping professionals largely perceive Christianity as benign. This will need to change for treatment methods to be developed and people to get help that allows them to truly reclaim their lives.

This article was adapted from “The Crazy Making in Christianity” Chapter 19 in Christianity is Not Great: How Faith

Fails, edited by John Loftus, Prometheus Books, October 2014.
Salon.com / Marlene Winell and Valerie Tarico - AlterNet

22 Signs You Are Embodying Your Higher Self

22 Signs You Are Embodying Your Higher Self

My thanx to Gustavo Castaner and Body Mind Soul Spirit for this informative post today.

1. Higher Sensory Perception

Your intuition is developing at a rapid rate. Other higher senses like clairvoyance and clairaudience can also be turned on. These higher senses allow you to access information and wisdom that otherwise would be unavailable through the use of your rational mind. Harmonious lucid dreaming and out of body experiences are also ways to access higher dimensional information.

2. Knowing Your Soul Purpose

With your higher senses turned on, it has become crystal clear what your Soul’s Purpose is. Not only you know what your mission here on earth is but you are fulfilling this mission by taking action and walking your path. Your are fulfilling your basic human needs of self-growth and contribution by being on the path of eternal self actualization and being at the service of others.

3. Meeting Your Soul Family

Your frequency has attracted you to people with whom you resonate at a soul level. When you met these individuals you felt a strong and undeniable connection with them, like if you had met them before (from a past life). Even if they live on the other side of the world, the spiritual ties between you are so strong that years can go by and when you meet again is like no time has passed.

4. Meeting Your Twin Flame or Soul Mate

You are in a relationship with a person that highlights and enhances your best qualities. As well, this person will mirror back to you everything you need to work on yourself. This relationship thrives on self-growth, contribution, higher giving love and fulfillment. A necessary step for the manifestation of this relationship is cutting cords of attachments and karmic ties with previous relationships.

5. Synchronicities and Accelerated Manifestations

Your connection with the universe and life is evident. Your questions are answered through synchronicities and hidden messages are easily revealed to you by the power of your higher senses. You find messages and answers in books, nature and even random conversations. As well, you become aware of how strong and powerful your intent has become. Whatever you focus on manifests at a much faster than ever before.

6. Taking Responsibility For Your Happiness

As you embody your Higher Self you realize how powerful you are and how you co-create reality through your thoughts and emotions. You take full responsibility for your own happiness and you stop blaming other people, the government or any other outside sources. Victimization is a thing of the past and you take full charge of your healing and evolutionary process.

7. Embracing All Emotions

You have finally transcended the spiritual bypass that some emotions are ‘bad’ or ‘negative’. Instead you embrace all e-motions and instead of repressing them you allow them to flow through you. You can use anger for passion or motivation. You can easily empathize with others while maintaining the integrity of your field.

8. Holographic Nature of Reality

Like Rumi said ‘You are not a drop of water in an ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop of water.’ The holographic nature of reality is encoded within you and you can sense the interconnectedness of everything. It is obvious to you that we live in a multidimensional matrix and that you have a multidimensional anatomy. You also feel very attracted to sacred geometry.

9. Alchemical and Healing Powers

Whether it’s hands on healing, soul retrieval or any other type of healing modality you have learned how to direct your intent and manipulate energy to remove energetic blockages. You can easily connect to your Higher Self and disengage discordant energies that hinder your spiritual evolution. Often you will assist others in their healing and ascension process with your siddhis.

10. Activating Your DNA

DNA activation is the process of accreting more light into your morphogenetic field by activating the dormant strands of DNA that correspond to your Higher Self. You have at least a 12 strand DNA template that allows 12 dimensions of consciousness. DNA activation is the key to spiritual ascension and the embodiment of your Higher Self. It’s quite common for a person who goes through DNA activation to progressively experience all the other signs mentioned in this page.

11. Unconditional Self-Love

Your 4th strand of DNA corresponds to your heart chakra. One of the main benefits of DNA activation is being able to access and embody a state of unconditional self-love. No longer do you feel the need to extract love from other people, instead you see yourself as an infinite source of love. A sense of wholeness begins to unfold as you love ALL aspects of yourself, including your shadow self.

12. Integrating and Transcending Your Shadow Self

Your shadow self is the part of you that is running in reverse. It is mainly made up of archetypes, personas and complexes. Some examples are the Professional Victim Persona, the Rescuer Archetype, the Sorcerer, The Tyrant and the Absolute Perfectionist. The shadow self is what causes self-sabotage and causes you to create chaos in your life. The shadow self is created by making decisions that are not aligned with your Higher Self and manifest as reverse codes in your DNA.

13. Frequency Resonance

As you continue to raise your frequency you notice how some people begin to fall out of your holographic reality. You understand that your frequencies no longer match. The same can happen with your job or even your country of origin. In turn your higher frequency attracts you to a new grid of people, places, times, things and events that are in line with your Higher Self.

14. Honest Yes and Honest No

You are not afraid of saying ‘no’ to other people when you inner guidance tells you not to do something or go somewhere. You are not afraid of other people’s reactions and you are true to yourself. Every time you are congruent with what you want and what you don’t want you feel more powerful. As well you embrace the art of an honest ‘yes’ when the universe delivers what you desire. You don’t try to appear ‘humble’ or ‘spiritual’ by rejecting what you truly desire in your life.

15. Harmonious Family Relationships

‘If you think you are enlightened, go spend a weekend with your family.’
Ram Dass

You have realized that enlightenment doesn’t happen in a cave. You have cleared the cords of attachments and karmic ties with your family. Gone are the days where you kept experiencing the same old family drama. Your family members have shifted their approach to connect with you to higher ways and you accept/love them just how they are.

16. No Guilt, No Shame

Shame and guilt are the two lowest frequency energetic blockages in humanity. In order to embody your Higher Self you have let go of the identification with shame and guilt. You have cleared the guilt and shame you inherited from your parents through the DNA and you have released the shame and guilt that has been implanted by society and religions. Instead you choose to embrace the states of joy and bliss. You have become immune to guilt manipulating strategies often used by victims.

17. Making Decision In Line With Your Higher Self

Instead of making decisions based on fear, righteousness, competition or lack you are making decisions in line with your Higher Self and ultimately with Source-will. You are aware of Source’s intentions: the Law of One, Unconditional Love, Cooperation, Evolution, Perpetual Motion, Cause and Effect, Non-Judgment and Free-will. Even though we all have free-will and can ultimately go against Source-will (you’re unconditionally loved), you’re aware that making such decisions will trigger the Law of Cause and Effect and create a karmic imprint to re-mind you must heal that karmic miasm at some point.

18. Inner and Outer Abundance

Lack and limitation are a thing of the past. You have embodied a state of absolute inner abundance that is being reflected onto your holographic reality. You no longer seek to extract love, approval and appreciation from other people, you are the source. Happiness is within you. As well you have transcended the spiritual bypass that money is ‘evil’ and you know that money is just energy, made up of consciousness just like everything else. You enjoy financial abundance and use this abundance to create a more harmonious reality for yourself and others.

19. Mind Unplugged From the Matrix

One sign that your mind has been unplugged from the matrix is that you can clearly see the hidden agenda of those who desire to control this planet. You no longer resonate with the news and their ‘official story’. You inner truth detector can sense when someone is lying and you have become immune to the low frequency strategies and implants that constantly try to tell you ‘you are not enough’. Mindless consumerism and the herd mentality seem absurd to you.

20. Bye-Bye Idolatry

As you awaken to your co-creative powers and God-like nature, you no longer put other people on a pedestal. Your inner guru precedes any external guru and you see teachers as a reflection of your own unlimited potential. The forces of your worthiness and deservedness drive you to achieve whatever you set your mind upon. You have become the master of your own reality.

21. Overflowing with Gratitude

Gratitude is your attitude. Gratitude is your prayer. The sense of lack has become foreign to you, instead you cannot stop counting your blessings. The feeling of gratitude multiplies whatever you have and brings you even more positive experiences. You are even grateful for the challenges and setbacks that are inevitable in life, you can’t help to see them as opportunities for growth. And you probably have a gratitude journal.

22. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Life is meant to be fun, you know that. Being extremely rigid and disciplined suck the fun out of everything. Even though you are adamant when it comes to working on yourself and achieving self mastery, you always allow yourself to make mistakes. In fact making mistakes is part of the learning process. You have a great sense of humor and you don’t take yourself too seriously. Your inner child is thriving and you often feel energized, inspired and overflowing with creativity.

My thanx to Gustavo Castaner and Body Mind Soul Spirit.

About the Author:
Gustavo Castaner is the founder of AscendedRelationships.com and In-Light-Ment.com. Gustavo specializes in helping people change their frequency so they can embody their Higher Self and manifest higher vibrational relationships.

26 April 2015

What Was It That You Were Trying To Say

What Was It That You Were Trying To Say

English. What a troubled language. You can use it to communicate but for some reason, when we talk in English to another person who speaks English, they frequently say "what do you mean by that?"

See, I spoke Greek before I learned English. Although my English is now far superior to my Greek, I can tell you one thing for sure. You will never see two Greek people talking to each other and hear one of them say "what do you mean by that?" The reason is ... that the language is perfectly clear. There are no grey areas. They know exactly what the other one said. It's not open to individual interpretation.

Now back to English. Not only does it become difficult at times to communicate the proper message by spoken word, but then we have to turn to the written word. Now we have a real problem. When you have 3 Lawyers looking at the same document and you end up with 3 different opinions and definitions ... there's definitely a problem. 

I've been through many legal battles in my life, and no matter what, one simple sentence can find itself being interpreted as many ways as there are people who are reading it. This ultimately cost money, time, and additional assessment time to clarify what is being written or said. 

Now let's bring it down to the lowest level. Social Media such as Facebook. Someone will make a post, then someone else will comment, then from there ... anything goes. It can turn explosive and aggravating in a very short period of time. And all because of a misunderstanding of what was stated. It doesn't matter how simple it is. It doesn't matter how complex it is. There's always some level of confusion and it frequently gets out of hand.

Suppose I were staying at a family members house for a few days. I go on FB to say: "sure would be nice to have some peace and quiet today." Now ... what I really mean by this is exactly what it says. I may be stressed out, trains, traffic noise, airplanes overhead, the neighbors dog barking, etc. But my Brother-in-law sees my post and replies: "so my kids are too much for you huh?" Then my Sister-in-law chimes in: "well, you're the one who asked to stay here remember?" Now what do I say? They've both taken what I said completely wrong. And even worse ... it is in writing, with no emotional presentation to help.

This "writing" without emotional assistance has led to much trouble. For example, you return a hammer to your neighbor Bob which you have had for a year. You leave a note that says: "here's the hammer I owe you." Now, what kind of emotion is attached to this written statement? Is it smartass? Is it sarcastic? Is it grumpy? Or ... is it more like: "hey Mike, I almost forgot I had your hammer. Sorry my friend, here it is." See, we rarely consider the emotion attached to written word. The same can be said for ancient scriptural text. We don't know the emotion that was attached to it when it was written. 

So, in closing, my final point is to try and be as clear as your possibly can when saying or writing something. Consider the emotion, use adjectives, smiley faces or emoji's. Be as clear as you possible can ... especially in English. Because "plain simple English" ... just isn't. 

Just a thought ... 

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.

A Better Understanding of What Ego Really Is

A Better Understanding of What Ego Really Is

The biggest confusion for people who get into spirituality is with regards to their “Ego”. It’s common for spiritual people to consider Ego as negative; but in Truth, it’s not Ego that’s negative but thoughts based in fear that are negative. 

Ego is Ego; it’s not negative or positive. What you “think” determines whether you are aligning with negative or positive. The way to see Ego is that it’s the structure in your brain that gives a “person” identity; it serves a very practical purpose for physical interaction of humans.

Bashing your Ego is just a movement of “negativity” in you, it’s not spiritual or “pure”, it’s just a negative pattern, and if you sense it you will know that it’s just “violence” within you. 

When you truly become rooted in the Truth of your being ... who you really are spiritually ... you will not find any problem with your Ego and you will allow it to play the “practical” part that it’s supposed to play in the movement of physicality. 

What is needed is that you stop identifying yourself as the Ego, and know yourself to be the “wholeness” or pure consciousness and then allow the Ego to do its part in the play of physicality.

Get rid of negativity, not the Ego:

The root of suffering is identification with negativity/fear based thoughts. If you think low of yourself, it’s negativity, if you think low of others, it’s still negativity. Is it Ego that is thinking low of others? No, it’s just a negative thought pattern. 

Don’t confuse a negative thought pattern with Ego. The Ego is simply a structure of identity in the brain, and even the most enlightened person has this identity ... or he/she would stop responding when their name is called. Imagine that?

So don't spend too much time talking about the Ego, and focus more on letting go of negativity ... because it’s the negative thoughts that create suffering for you and create negative realities in your life and other peoples lives.

A person who is rooted in an ongoing positive outlook can be considered to have a “positive Ego” and a person who is rooted in negativity can be considered to have a “negative Ego”. So if anything, you might want to move towards having a positive Ego so that you are more in alignment with life. Everything has polarity ... even ego.

The Ego’s unique preferences have a huge value:

You are unique as an expression of universal consciousness and your uniqueness is reflected in the preferences or desire that your physical being comes up with. This uniqueness is what your brain/mind/heart come up with ... the desires based on its unique natural conditioning/external conditioning (the structure of personal Ego). 

Each of your desires have a huge value because it causes expansion in life and you act as a co-creator of new realities. So your Ego has a very important part to play in the game of co-creation. The Ego desires new realities through its preferences and the universal consciousness brings forth the manifestation of these realities and keeps them in place. We are all One and connected to universal consciousness.

So give up on the negative loop of trying to ditch your ego, and allow yourself the freedom to express your uniqueness through your desires/preferences. Life is not here to condemn you for your desires, it’s here to embrace all of it and bring it to manifestation. Get in charge of ego. Let Spirit lead.

You are totally loved by life just the way you are, it has no conditions for you, it’s is totally appreciative of the value you provide through your uniqueness – it’s important that you realize how valuable your presence here is. You are an intricate piece of the entire puzzle.

Just a thought ... 

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.

My thanks to Calm Down Mind

The Spiritual Definition of Ego And Beyond

The Spiritual Definition of Ego And Beyond

In this article we will discuss the spiritual definition of ego and hopefully present a better understanding of it's role in our lives. The actual word "ego" comes from the Greek and means "I or me."

-Spiritual definition of ego

From a spiritual perspective, ego means considering oneself to be distinct from others and from God/Source due to identification with the physical body and impressions in various centres of the subtle body. 

In short, ego is what is leading our life as per the thinking that our existence is limited to our 5 senses, mind, and intellect ... and identifying with them to various degrees.

According to the science of Spirituality, our true state of existence is identification with the Soul or God-principle within us ... and living our day to day life with this Christ-consciousness. As the one and same God-principle exists within everyone, from a spiritual perspective there is unity in all Creation. There is no separation or division. 

However, depending on the level of our ego, it affects our  identify with the God-principle within us, i.e. the Soul, to varying degrees. If our ego is high, we identify less with the Soul or the God-principle within us. This is our base nature lower-self vs. our Divine Higher-Self. 

-What is ego from a psychological perspective

In layman's terms, one can define ego as "pride about oneself." Thoughts such as my body and mind, my intellect, my life, my wealth, my wife and children, I should acquire happiness, etc. arise from ego alone.

Ego, awareness of the self, pride, conceit and ‘i’ness are words related to the word ‘ego or aham’ but on a psychological plane. All of the negative thoughts and actions also arise from ego-centric direction.

I invite you to use your imagination for a moment. Picture a person standing up in front of you. Now look at their center, near the heart chakra and solar plexus. Imagine now a dark circle covering and keeping locked within it, another circle or ball representing the Soul. Kind of like a hard boiled egg. The white being the ego, the yolk being the Soul. 

If the ego of a person is high, they do not identify with the Soul ... it is blocked out. Due to the ego ... a covering of black energy has collected around the Soul. Also when one’s ego is high the flow of grace from God/Source is blocked.

Now that you have a general understanding, let's go deeper into the world of ego.

The ego is an identity of our own construction, an identity which is false. If we take all the beliefs of what we are – beliefs about our personality, talents, and abilities – we have the structure of our ego. It's that simple. 

These talents, abilities and aspects of our personality will be attributes of our skills, but the mental construct of our “self” is artificial. It is only the accumulation of our experiences. And while this description might make the ego seem like a static thing, it is not. Rather, it is an active and dynamic part of our personalities, playing an immense role in creating emotional drama in our lives.

The ego operates kind of like radar on a ship. Always on the lookout, and referencing back to past experiences in order to make a decision. When we have thoughts about our self that we agree with, we construct a self-image. The kinds of thoughts that contribute to the ego structure are:

“I’m not good at math.”
“I am smart.”
“My weight limits my abilities.”
“Nobody likes me.”
“I am better than you.”
“That was stupid of me.”

The ego hides behind the “I” and “me” in those declarative thoughts and statements about our identity. It tries to form it's own concept of who we are, back on our experiences and those around us. 

When we have such similar thoughts like the ones above, and we agree with even the slightest conviction that these ideas define us and are true ... then we are building, or reinforcing, our ego.  

We first have these thoughts when we are kids, perhaps when we were teased on the playground, or when reprimanded or praised by a teacher or parent.  In all cultures, developing a self-image is a normal part of socialization.  

Problems arise, however, when that self-image is negative, inaccurate, or even overly positive. Considering that we develop our concept of “self” as children, it is inevitable that our self-image doesn’t map to reality as adults. All too often though, it does. 

The Ego Unmasked

Why is the ego so hard to explain or describe?  The ego is difficult to define because the ego isn’t one specific thing.  It is actually made up of many different beliefs that a person acquires over their life. Those beliefs can be diverse and even contradictory.  

To further complicate matters, each person’s ego is different. If someone were to clearly identify and describe all the parts of their ego and what it drives them to do, you might not get a good description of what yours is like.  

The challenge of becoming aware of what your personal ego looks like becomes more difficult because our culture doesn’t reward us for directing our attention inward and noticing such things ... which is highly unfortunate. Even in the realm of religion, most systems point the way to a God outside of us ... which is the furthest from the Truth. Profitable, but not Truth. 

How to Spot the Ego

The ego is difficult to see, because it hides behind opinions that appear true – our attachment to descriptions of our identity – and because we haven’t practiced looking ... we are not aware. You can get a glimpse by noticing certain thoughts, similar to those listed above.  

The easier way to spot the ego is by the trail of emotional reactions it leaves behind: Anger at a loved one, a need to be right, a feeling of insecurity in certain situations, feelings of jealousy that are unexplained, the need to impress someone, and so on. 

These emotions can be attributed to the false beliefs that comprise the ego. In the beginning it is easier to see the symptoms of resulting emotions and drama, rather than seeing that the ego has caused it.

One of the most deceptive aspects of the ego is that it generates powerful emotional reactions, and then blames us for how it made us feel. Whoa. That's crazy right? But believe it. The anger we react with comes from ego based beliefs of being right and “knowing better’ than someone else.  

Perhaps there is also a victim interpretation of betrayal or injustice underneath it all. Kind of like "why me? it's HIS fault not mine." The ego will always look to place blame outside of itself ... one someone or something else. It will not accept responsibility for it's own actions. 

After we overreact with anger we might feel badly for what we expressed. The ego shifts to a “righteous self” that “knows better” and berates us for overreacting with anger.   At the same time, it assumes the identity of being the “stupid idiot” that didn’t know any better and takes the blame for overreacting.  

All these attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs take place in the mind, and even though they are completely different, we assume all of them come from us. If they really were expressions coming from our genuine Divine Higher-Self, they wouldn’t contradict, and we would be able to stop them.

To the unaware person, it is difficult to discern the difference between what is ego and what is really them.  They are left to wonder, “What came over me that I reacted that way?”  Even their post-emotional analysis lacks the consideration to see the different parts of their belief system at work as separate from themselves. 

As a result, everything they express is blamed on “themselves” by one of the condemning voices in their head. In effect, the ego hijacks the analysis and turns it into a self-criticism/blame process. When the ego controls the self-reflection process you have no chance of seeing the root cause of your emotional dramas, as the ego reaffirms itself and hides in the self-criticism. You become trapped in the illusion.

Is the ego arrogant or insecure?

“Having an ego” or being "ego-centric" is usually associated with arrogance, and is a term used to describe someone who thinks they are better than others. Yet this is only ONE part of the ego.  

In fact, it is possible to have some positive self-esteem and some negative self-esteem ... and we are aware of these different beliefs at different times. The negative beliefs about our self make up our negative self-esteem, while our positive thoughts comprise our positive self-esteem.  Together, the negative and positive esteem forms our ego. A bit complicated. 

Quite often, these two aspects of our personality are nearly equal in magnitude and offset each other emotionally.  A person who is very hard on themselves with their inner critic may have feelings of worthlessness.  

This is a painful emotion to live with, and in order to mask the pain, they might cover it up with bravado, projecting an image of security and confidence, all the while struggling with feelings of insecurity, worthlessness and inadequacy.

Arrogance is markedly different from the confidence that doesn’t come from ego. A person can be completely confident in their ability, skill, or self-acceptance, without letting it “go to their head” and impacting their interactions with others. 

And while humility may often be mistaken for shyness and insecurity, a person of true humility is fully present and at peace with themselves and their surroundings. Confidence without arrogance, humility without insecurity, these are manners of personality that are without the self-image dynamics of the ego.

Letting Go of the Ego

Because the ego has multiple aspects, it is not practical or effective to dissolve all of it at once, nor is it likely that you could do so ... nor do we really want to. We just want to keep it in check. Lead by Spirit and not ego. Much like a tree or large bush that is overgrown in the yard, you don’t just lift it out and throw it away – you prune it ... you know, cut off manageable pieces instead.  

The same approach is effective with letting go of the false beliefs that make up the ego. You begin by detaching from individual thoughts that reinforce the ego, then let go of beliefs, separating yourself from the false identity of your ego. This is how we begin to understand the illusion. 

We have spent years. decades, building our ego self-images, living inside of them, and reinforcing them.  Extracting our genuine self out of this matrix of false beliefs will take much awareness, a bit of time, and a lot of work. 

Yes, it will take a while … so what.  It also took a while to learn to read, do math, walk, and develop proficiency at any valuable skill. Things worth doing take time and practice. Ever taken guitar or piano lessons? What better thing do you have to do than let go of what is causing you unhappiness, harm, and not just for you ... but for others around you.

Just a thought ... 

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.

My thanks to the Spiritual Research Foundation and Pathway to Happiness.

24 April 2015

How To Eliminate Negative Thinking

How To Eliminate Negative Thinking

Having a successful life, and achieving your goals, are skills that everyone can learn using Mind Power. To do so, the most important point you need to remember is: "What you focus on you attract." I'll say it again ... what you focus on, you attract. Good and un-good. 

Simply put, you train your mind to think about what you want in life, and you avoid thinking about what you don’t want. Worry, fear, negative thinking, these are all allowing the mind to focus on what you don’t want. Not only does this drain your energy but it is counterproductive. That is why fear is so destructive and why despair and hopelessness must be avoided. They are in many ways Mind Power in reverse.

So how do we eliminate this negative thinking? The first step is to recognize the importance of eliminating them, and the second step is to be aware when negatives are happening to us. Here we go ... 

Realize that it is difficult to avoid negative thinking entirely. Sometimes negative thoughts just pop into our mind. What we can do, however, is to be vigilant and aware, so that we immediately recognize when we are thinking negatively. And when we catch ourselves thinking negative thoughts we can use any of these techniques:

Change the negative thought into a positive one. For example, if you are worried and focusing on what could go wrong in a situation, change your thoughts to what could go right. The mind can only think one thought at a time; so changing the negative into a positive eliminates the negative. You can't drive in reverse and forward at the same time.

Use an affirmations. Begin affirming to yourself with something positive and self-supporting. The mind will focus on what you are repeating to yourself. It can just be a simple phrase such as "things are already great, and they're about to get better."

Use humour and fun. We get very serious and stressed when we’re thinking negative thoughts. Think of something funny to change the energy, or do something fun like going to a movie or having a night out with friends. Don’t let your negative thoughts have power over you. Be proactive in eliminating them. You can rule when you are consciously aware.

Remind yourself that the negative thought you are thinking is “only a negative thought.” It has no power other than what you give it. Negatives gain momentum from your thinking them over and over again. So stop thinking them. Replace them with positives.

The key is to be diligent in monitoring what you are thinking, to catch the negatives before they have time to become entrenched. Run tight Security on the mind's gate. Only let in things that are good and positive. 

With practice you will notice right away when you are thinking negatives, and you then can take the appropriate actions. The mind is a creature of habit, so encourage positive thoughts and eliminate negative ones. 

You wouldn’t allow toxins to build up in your house without taking action would you? Likewise don’t let negative toxic thinking build up in the inner sanctuary of your mind. We are responsible for the thoughts we think. Take action to eliminate negative thinking.

Just a thought ... 

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.

My thanks to John Kehoe

The Subconscious Mind Is Our Powerful Assistant

The Subconscious Mind Is Our Powerful Assistant

While most of us are aware that we have something called a subconscious mind within us, there are very few of us who know much more than that about it ... let alone how to harness it's power. This is unfortunate, because your subconscious mind can and should be a great ally in achieving success in your life.  

All you need do is to establish a working relationship with your subconscious mind. In order to do this, one must become conscious and familiar with this hidden, mysterious aspect of ourselves, and the role it plays in our life. Remember, our subconscious mind has no conscience. Anything goes ... good or un-good. There is no filtering. 

One of the ways we work with our subconscious mind is by affirming to ourselves for several minutes each day, “My subconscious mind is my partner in success.” By doing this we are re-educating ourselves as to the fact that we possess a second powerful mind, and that it is our partner in success. Becoming conscious of our subconscious, and moving beyond thinking of it as some abstract concept or figment of our imagination is a very important step. In many ways, it can be our Jin ... or Genie. 

The second step, is to be aware of how our conscious and subconscious minds work together and to learn the individual functions and roles of each one. 

The subconscious has two main functions in our life. The first function is to attract to us conditions and circumstances according to the predominant thought patterns that reside within it. In other words ... our thoughts become things. The SM is our Creator.

An awesome mantra is, “What I focus on I attract.” Now with this information, you can begin to understand why this is true. Your subconscious mind is not limited in any way and will forever attract to you according to your thoughts. It is the echo coming back at you from the canyon. It has no volition of its own and will simply act upon what resides and vibrates within.

Even more, your subconscious mind will act upon ANY request or instruction you give it. Good or un-good. Any thought that is repeated over and over again will take an imprint within the subconscious, which cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. This is why it is so important to be aware of your thoughts.

Visualizations, affirmations and repeated images can have a powerful effect in our life. By doing these exercises we are creating images within ourselves which the subconscious then acts upon. Be sure not to use negatives. For example, do not say "I will not have a bad day today" but instead say "I will have a good day today." The SM cannot think in negative form. It will hear "bad day" and you'll get a bad day. Or it will hear "good day" and you will get a good day. 

Our conscious mind is the guardian to the gates of the subconscious. We must remain aware of our thoughts. It is the conscious mind’s role to make sure that only the highest quality thoughts gain entrance to the subconscious. When we fully understand that whatever thoughts and beliefs gain entrance to the subconscious, will eventually manifest in our life, we become very diligent in monitoring and directing our thoughts.

Just a thought ... 

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.

My thanks to John Kehoe

Tips And Advice For Attaining Peace of Mind

Tips and Advice For Attaining Peace of Mind

What Exactly Is Peace of Mind?

Peace of mind is a state of mental and emotional calmness, with no worries, fears or stress. How awesome is that? In this state, the mind is quiet, and you experience a sense of happiness and freedom.

We think that such peaceful moments are rare, but they may not be as rare as you think they are. We have experienced them in the past, at times when we were engaged in some kind of an absorbing or interesting activity. Here are a few examples:

~Watching a non-stressful movie or TV program.
~Being in the company of someone you enjoy.
~Being absorbed in reading a book or article.
~Lying or taking a casual walk on the sand at the beach.
~On vacation, when you experience some sort of mental numbness, forgetting your work and your day-to-day-life.
~In deep sleep, REM, when you are not aware of anything.

Such activities, and other similar ones, help to take away the mind from its usual thoughts and worries, replacing them with a calming experience of inner peace. The polar opposite of a Wall Street trading experience.

The question is then ... how do we bring more peace of mind into our life, and more importantly, how to experience it in times of difficulties and ordeals. How to stay UP and peaceful during the storms and tempests we face. 

You might also ask, whether it is possible to turn it into a habit, and enjoy it always and under all circumstances. Truth be told, there are a few things that you can do to actually enjoy more peace in your life.

Tips and Advice

~Minimize the time you spend on reading newspapers or watching the news on TV. Since most of the news is negative news, and you cannot do anything about it anyway, why should you think about it and feel stressed and anxious?

~Stay away from negative conversations and from negative people and situations. You don't want their thoughts and words to sink into your subconscious mind and affect your own moods and your state of mind.

~Don't hold grudges. Learn to forget and forgive. Nurturing ill feelings and grievances hurts you and causes lack of sleep. Forgiveness releases you of the burden and the debt. It isn't for the other person(s).

~Don't be jealous of others. Jealousy means that you have low self-esteem, and therefore, consider yourself inferior to others. Jealousy and low self esteem, often, lead to a definite lack of peace of mind.

~Accept what cannot be changed. This saves a lot of time, energy and worries. Every day, we face numerous inconveniences, irritations and situations that are beyond our control. If we can change them, that's fine, but this is not always possible. We must learn to put up with such things and accept them cheerfully. We must learn to say it just is. 

~Don't dwell on the past. The past is not here anymore, so why think about it? Let bygones be gone. Forget the past and focus on the present moment. There is no need to evoke unpleasant memories and get immersed in them.
Learn to be more patient and tolerant with family, friends, co-workers, employees, and everyone else.

~Don't take everything so personally. A certain degree of emotional and mental detachment is extremely helpful. On many occasions, it would be useful to inject a certain measure of detachment and non involvement. This would bring into your life more peace, harmony and common sense.

~Learn to focus your mind. When you can focus your mind, you can more easily reject worries and anxieties, refuse to think negative thoughts, and reduce the constant monkey-chatter of your mind and ego.

~Meditation is awesome but not everyone has interest in it.  But if you have the time, and are willing to try it, even just a few minutes a day will make a huge difference in your life. You will become more peaceful, relaxed and happy. People have practiced meditation for tens of thousands of years. 

Inner peace eventually, leads to external peace. By creating peace in your inner world, in your mind, you bring it into your external world, and as a positive side effect ... you also bring it into other people's lives.

Peace of Mind in Daily Life

Learn to free your mind from stress, worries and negative thoughts, and you can enjoy a state of inner peace in your everyday life. Practicing these lessons, even for just a few minutes a day, will calm your restless mind and create inner peace in your life.

Just a thought ... 

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM. 

My thanks to Remez Sasson

Who Controls Your Mind?

Who Controls Your Mind?

Few people are aware of the thoughts that pass through their minds. Most thinking is done in an automatic manner. You don't even pass much attention to them. The thoughts wander sometimes like a passing ship, and sometimes they get stuck ... fixated on something. 

Our minds are like a small child, who accepts, and takes for granted, whatever it sees or hears, without judgment and without considering the consequences. There are no boundaries, no watchman at the gate. Everything enters and inhabits a place. The Medulla Oblongata in the brain is like a door that is wide open unless you place Security at the entrance. 

If you leave the gate wide open, and let your mind behave in this manner ... giving it complete freedom to jump from one thought to another, you will lose your freedom. This I can guarantee you. 

We are constantly flooded with thoughts, ideas and information coming through the five senses, other people, the newspapers and TV. These thoughts, ideas and information penetrate the mind, whether we are aware of this process or not. And whether we are awake or not. This is why it's never a good idea to fall asleep with the TV on. While you're sleeping, anything can get in your mind. 

This continuous flow of thoughts affects our behavior and reactions. It influences the way we think, our preferences, likes and dislikes. It even forms our belief system. Usually, we automatically accept these thoughts, letting them shape our life. This actually means that we lose our mental freedom. We are incarcerated, imprisoned by our thoughts. 

Most people think and believe that their thoughts originate from them, but have you ever stopped and considered whether your thoughts, desires, likes and dislikes are really yours? Did it occur to you that maybe they came from the outside, from other people, and you have unconsciously accepted them as your own? Everything we are is a culmination of everything our senses have experienced. 

If you do not filter the thoughts that enter your mind, you stop being a free person. and behave and act like a puppet on a string, though no one would like to admit to this. We become someone else's marionette. And they are pulling the strings. 

You may object, and say that the thoughts that pass through your mind are yours, but are they? Have you deliberately and attentively created every thought that entered your mind? It is highly doubtful. So why let outside influences control your mind and consequently, your life? Why let other people's thoughts control YOUR life and mind?

Do you want to make your mind free or do you prefer to enslave it to other people's opinions and thoughts? If you leave your mind open to every thought that passes by, you put your life in other people's hands, and without realizing it, you accept their thoughts and you act in accordance with them. Thoughts are things. All thoughts will manifest into form. So when you think like someone else, you will then act and respond as someone else. 

Every person is affected differently by external thoughts. Certain thoughts and ideas we ignore, and others provoke us to immediate action. Usually, thoughts concerning subjects we love have more power on us than other less desirable thoughts, but even thoughts and ideas that we don't care about ... if we are frequently exposed to them ... eventually sink into the subconscious mind and will affect us.

Everyone has desires, ambitions and dreams that he or she may foster from all the way back to their childhood. However, it is possible that these are the thoughts of parents, teachers and friends, which have lodged into their sub/unconscious mind, and were carried throughout their lives like baggage on a train. 

Are these thoughts necessary? Do we need all this excessive baggage? In order to reduce the power of outside influences and thoughts on your life, you need to be aware of the thoughts and desires that enter your mind, and ask yourself, whether you really like them, and if you are willing to accept them into your life.

You do not have to accept each and every thought that enters your mind. Find out whether it is your own thought, or someone else's thought. Also, decide whether the thought is useful for you, and if it is for your own good to follow. This will lead to more control over your thinking process. Be sure that no one would be harmed, including you, by your thought(s). 

It might not be so easy do at first, because the ego power of your mind will probably revolt against this control. However, if you want to be the master of your mind and of your life, you should not let other people's thoughts rule your life, unless you consciously choose so. Choose wisely. 

Just a thought ... 

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.

My thanks to Remez Sasson

23 April 2015

Losing Control

Losing Control

When we are afraid of panic attacks we want to be in control, desparately. Many people say, "I feel like I am losing control." And the sufferer goes into a deep inner search to somehow stop these fearful feelings while fretting over the future panic that is yet to come. But let's put "in control" IN perspective:

I will say that we never have conscious "control" and it is a futile exercise to try to attain it. In fact, what "control" we do have is all on the autonomic and subconscious level - nervous system, breathing, heart beating, swallowing, blinking, etc. 

When we attempt to exercise a CONSCIOUS control over our autonomic systems is when we get into trouble. It's highly stressful and it is simply not possible. If I am worried about not being able to swallow (because of a dry mouth or lodged food) and then try hard to control it CONSCIOUSLY, you can bet that I will feel like I CAN'T swallow.

The resulting fear and focus will prevent more swallowing as it becomes exceedingly difficult and the subconscious control is all messed up and distorted. Why? Because we are trying to CONSCIOUSLY control a function that left to our autonomic nervous system will function just fine.

The fear that we feel in a panic attack is similiar. Fear is created by your nervous system which is an automated bodily response. Trying to gain control over fear creates tension and more desire for conscious control. 

When we STOP trying to control our fear, which includes worrying over it, we don't lose anything ... sanity or consciousness or identity. We don't even get amnesia. There is no control to lose. But in reality the "old" feelings, the old "YOU" before panic attacks began, was a state of mind of NOT trying to control your fear because you didn't feel the overwhelming fear that a panic attack brings. 

The point is that fear is a natural response to what you are informing your nervous system about. It reacts AUTOMATICALLY. And you can't do a thing about it except let it happen. Or medicate it away.

"In control" is an unreasonable expectation that furthers panic attacks. The desire for such control becomes the basis for the apprehension many times that sets the panic in motion. "If only I could control this damn fear then I would feel better" 

But this wish ... is unrealistic and never attained until the suffer gives up all hope for conscious control and by this method settles down the nervous system and returning a feeling of "control." Just let go.

Just a thought ... 

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.

My thanks to Jeff at Panic End.

Losing A Friend

Losing A Friend

Today just by sheer coincidence, I was on the Internet and found a website dedicated to a radio station that I used to work for, 98.9 WMMO Orlando. We were an amazing radio station that was launched from scratch. A brand new frequency, and call letters. Entirely new to the Orlando Radio Market. 

There were several unique features. First, the station offices and studios were located on the 28th floor of the Sun Bank Tower (now Sun Trust) in downtown Orlando. Not only that, but ALL the equipment and broadcast facility was in the tower. 

Inside one of the four turrets, engineers found a way to incorporate the radio tower as part of the buildings skeleton. The very top room of the tower was our transmitter site. Down on the 28th floor, the broadcast studio was in the corner of the building with floor to ceiling glass walls offering an amazing view of the city, and well beyond Disney. The fireworks at night were amazing from such a place. 

I was doing the morning show ... 5:30am-10am M-F and 10am-3pm on Saturdays. Frequently, Metro Traffic Control would call me and ask for a birds eye view of the traffic snarls from my unique vantage point. There were some downsides. Parking for one. I had to pay to park, about $60/month if I remember correctly and it was not in our building. My garage was several blocks away and I would have to walk through the downtown streets of Orlando in the dark at 5AM to get to the station. I ran into quite an array of characters during those hours. 

 Our Program Director was the brilliant and highly respected Cary Pall. He had the secret to the format in his head. It was Adult-Rock, but on the softer side. No playing single releases, always the album version. No talking over the front or tail ends of the songs. Nothing was played that reminded people of war or violence. And the regular song rotation was close to 1,000 songs rather than the typical radio station playing 250-300 songs. If it reminded people of Viet Nam ... no play. If it reminded people of the Kent State shooting ... no play. 

So powerful was the launch, and so new was the approach, that all of us had to un-radio ourselves. We had to completely change our style to a much more laid-back casual style. We also had to be knowledgable of the music and the Artists. We provided a tremendous amount of trivia and information about what we played on the air. We were encouraged to learn as much about the music and the era as was possible. 

So successful was this new venture, that it won Billboard Magazine's "Radio Station of The Year" and Cary Pall was voted Billboard's "Program Director of The Year." Not too shabby my friends. The entire country knew about WMMO Orlando. There was no hiding. We had become a serious contender. You always knew it was us by the signature two tone sounder at the top of every hour underneath a live spoken ID. It was a piece of a Yessong, and it was our signature. 

Now I am not a morning person. I struggled with this shift. And there weren't too many times when I got there early. I would roll out of bed at 3:30am, shower, and hit the road by 4:45am. A quick stop at the all night McDonalds for an Egg McMuffin and a coffee, and down I-4 I rolled. Not a soul in sight. Just the eventual view of the downtown high-rises lit up in the distance. Top down on the convertible for the awakening factor, and eventually I would get downtown.

I was due on the air at 5:30am. There was always a song that would start at 5:30 and it was my time to sign on and say hi. Ending his shift every morning, was the amazing Paul Resnik. He was an encyclopedia of rock n' roll, and a damn fine human being. I will always remember occasionally he would bring this jar filled with some sort of fermented cabbage called Kim Chee. It stunk up the whole building, but he loved to eat it. I still tell stories about it.  

On those mornings when I was running down to the wire to get there, I would literally run down the hallway to the studio as the song was ending, Paul would have the door propped open, and he would hold my headphones open in front of the mic so I could just step in and do my quick break at 5:30 ... as if I had been there having coffee and reading the paper. He covered my ass more times than I can count. I followed him on the air every weekday morning, and on Saturdays as well. We were co-workers, and we were friends. I would bitch about stuff, and he would tell me everything was gonna be alright. 

One Saturday, a girl that worked for one of the pizza delivery companies somehow convinced the security guard downstairs that we had ordered a pizza and she was delivering it. I'm sure the Daisy Dukes and tank top were instrumental in getting past the security guard. He called us upstairs and said she was on the way up the elevator. Ok, bonus ... free pizza right? We were both the perfect gentlemen, gave her a tour of the station, tipped her some cash, thanked her, and sent her on her way. She was a fan who worked delivering pizza and wanted to bring us one. Innocent and thoughtful.

However, when her boyfriend heard she had stopped by, he assumed the worst. Instead of investigating, he beat the living hell out of her. Put her in the hospital for weeks. Broken bones, broken jaw, knocked out teeth, and he was on the run from the law. He was also looking for Paul and I next. We ended up having to be brought to our cars by security personnel as added protection against this guy. They eventually caught him, he went to the big house, and 3 years later we saw the girl at one of our outdoor concerts. She had recovered, gotten married, and had a baby. 

Eventually, I went back to radio in Washington, DC, and Paul left to go to work for Seagate. He was a big computer guy and had a great offer. Years later, when Maria and I returned to Orlando to run my Voiceover business full-time, I took a weekend gig at Smooth Jazz WLOQ in Winter Park. My first shift, I answered the request line, and there was Paul. "Welcome back to Orlando" he said. It was great to hear his voice. We swore we would get together soon, but time passed and he lived so far from where I lived. 

We talked on the phone a few times and were trying to set up a lunch meeting. Thats when my pacemaker lead broke and I went through surgical and recovery hell for two years. We never got that chance to get together, and today ... I learned that Paul Resnik has passed on the the afterlife. He was suffering from COPD and it got the best of him. Paul was 63, I am 57. It hit me hard. Especially since I had no clue that he was even sick. And to read about it on a dedication site with "deceased" next to his picture and name ... I was devastated. For the last 9 months I have been dealing with Anxiety and Panic Attacks. This was fuel for a very bad day. 

I wish the best for Paul's remaining family, his wife and kids, and I know that somewhere in the afterlife, he's winning at Rock 'n Roll trivia. Do yourself a favour, if you intend on seeing an old friend, don't keep putting it off ... or else it may be a very long time before you are reunited in the realm of Spirit. 

RIP Paul Resnik. You'll be missed. I hope you're cruising the galaxies ... and lighting up the skies.

Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.

21 April 2015

The Secret Magic of The Void

The Secret Magic of The Void

All Alone in Here

Sitting on a restaurant, I was observing people. All types of people ... adults, kids, elderly ... and what I noticed was that 
each one of us, no matter what we are doing or with whom we are doing it with, or where we are ... is essentially in our own little world. Not necessarily lonely, but alone, our thoughts, longings, our selves on some core level, seemingly separate from everyone and everything around us. A sort of detachment.

Every human being experiences this essential aloneness. Sometimes we’re not aware of it at all, and sometimes the awareness, can be very profound. But whatever the case, it’s always there.

What Conceals Reveals

Kabbalah explains that in Truth there is nothing but God/Source. Everything that exists, whether physical or spiritual, is simply a highly limited expression of its Creator, somewhat like each of your thoughts and actions is a little expression of you. Everything emanates from Source ... and is Source. Nothing is separate or divided. 

The infinite light of God/Source, as its name implies, is overwhelming, filling every space. Left unmuted, this all-encompassing light would make it impossible for anything else to exist, just like a ray of light cannot exist as a separate entity within the body of the sun. 

So, in order to allow for Creation in all of its limitless details and forms, the All That Is ... had to conceal the source of infinite light. This concealment, known as tzimtzum, is what enables us to be. And more, it allows us to experience ourselves as real, solid, and the center of our universe. It is our Divine Spark within.

This ‘Big Lie” – this core illusion of aloneness and solidity is what allows us to exist as seemingly separate and unique human beings. In its raw, unrectified state, it cuts us off from the Truth. But ultimately we are destined to see through the walls, transcend the illusion, and fulfill our potential as uniquely magnificent expressions of the Divine.

The Sound of the Void

The illusion is powerful, but not total. If we were completely cut off from an awareness of what lies beyond, chances are we would be perfectly content. There would be no reason to question ourselves or our existence, no drive to continuously experience more.

But we are not cut off completely. A glimmer of the Infinite light from before Creation surrounds and permeates each person who walks this earth. 

This light is what gives us the profound sense that there is something else there. Only the something doesn’t always feel like an actual something. It often feels like something that's actually, well ... missing - a void.

This void, this missing, hovers at the edge of our consciousness, threatening our comfortable sense of solidity and bringing with it an essential longing for .... something. Something more.

This sensation of something "missing" is actually the glimmer of something that is there, but too vast and amazing to be perceived by our ordinary senses. 

But as physical beings in a physical world, we are not naturally inclined to relate to it in this esoteric way. In fact, the non-physical all too often makes us feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. 

So, instead of slowly allowing our eyes to adjust to this more subtle light, we avoid the experience altogether, or seek to fill the void with physical things. We buy more stuff, bigger houses, etc. looking to fill this void. 

The subtle awareness of the void pulls us relentlessly toward the next high, the next success, the more exciting relationship, the bigger, flashier toy. The feelings it triggers - like sadness, depression, anxiety or dissatisfaction – drive us to eat too much, drink too much, work too much, spend too much, need too much; in short, whatever it takes to avoid facing the threatening insubstantiality of it all.

But, as uncomfortable and threatening as it can feel, if you are willing to face the discomfort, to stop running and listen, you can begin to explore the secret of the void, to expand your ability to see and hear things that lie outside your normal range.

Like a beautiful dream whose impression lingers, like a song that stirs memories and feelings from long ago, like the scent of perfume that lingers faintly in the air ... the music of the void can stir forgotten memories and open your heart. It can speak to you of where you came from, where you are destined to go and who you are destined to be.

A Deeper Level of Life

In Hebrew, each letter of the alphabet has a gematria, a numerical equivalent. Whenever the letters of one word are numerically equivalent to the letters of a different word, it points to a secret esoteric relationship between the two.

It is fascinating to know that the Hebrew word for void, 
'challal," is exactly numerically equivalent to the word "chaim," which means life. Many years ago I had a German Shepherd who I named "Chaia." I was working with Larry King at the time and his daughter's name was Chaia ... therefore I knew the meaning.  

The message is simple. In being willing to embrace the vulnerability, to stop running away and instead stay present and expand your ability to see, you can begin to reconnect with what has been concealed from you, the part of you that is most truly and infinitely alive.

In closing, on 12/28/2012 I had an NDE and after being rushed to surgery in the morning, I was stabilized and waiting my turn as I lay on a cold stainless steel gurney in the 55 degree pre-op room. As I lay there, with all the other patients awaiting surgery, I listened to them being read their legal rights. My Surgeon was late, so I heard a lot of them. 

It gave me a chance to just lay there and reflect on life. I didn't know if I would make it through surgery. I had no idea what would be waiting for me if I did. I knew there were still so many things that I wanted to do in this life. My daughter was going to get married in September and I would really like to be there. 

And in the dead calm, in the stillness, in the quiet of the pre-op waiting area, I realized I was truly alone. Just me. There was no supernatural being standing beside me stroking my head and telling me everything was going to be alright. I was literally just me. Me and the void within. That thing ... that God/Source I had been seeking was there in the nothingness. The void is where all potentiality and unlimited, boundless potentiality is born. There, I found what God/Source truly was. I was ALONE ... ALL ONE with everything and everyone. 

Just a thought ... 

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.

My thanks to Shifra.