Dr. Hester O Connor, clinical psychologist, shares her experience as a Mindfulness teacher and a Heartfulness practitioner.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.They must be felt with the heart.’’
– Helen Keller
On the 30th of April 2016 I will celebrate twenty-one years of Heartfulness meditation. I trained as a Mindfulness teacher in the beautiful valley of Triginos in Wales in 2008. For me the Mindfulness practice of being present moment by moment softens me and takes me to my heart. Heartfulness satisfies the longing of my heart. I would like to share with you the love story of my route to Heartfulness. For it is a love story. Every day I get up to re-orient my inner compass to a heart-centered goal that started out long ago when I was a small child in a village near Cashel in County Tipperary, Ireland.
The kindness of Mindfulness is a beautiful place to begin to re-connect with the spiritual heart of Heartfulness.
As the sixteenth child of a family of eighteen children, it is hardly a surprise to say I was raised a Catholic. I recall going with my mother to visit the church before the others would file in from school. The visits were short and the church was just fifty yards from the house. Sometimes we would call over to the grave of my brother Peter who died aged five years having been hit in the head by a horse. These were precious moments with an overstretched mother. I was stealing moments of togetherness that never happened anywhere else in the day-to-day melting pot of meals and wash up. I believe that the intense inner longing of my heart stems from these moments. The childhood yearning of my heart was finally satisfied twenty-five years later when I began Heartfulness meditation.
From the first meditation I can only describe falling in love with what and who and where I cannot describe, but all I can say is that every time I turn inwards my longing heart feels satisfied.
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”
– Helen Keller
What I love about Mindfulness is the non-judgement, the moment-by-moment awareness and aliveness to the visceral sense of connection with the body. In the Body Scan or Sitting Practice, that easing to a spot is calling your attention, curious to where your attention takes you in this moment. Maybe the mind wanders as minds do, to what you will eat for dinner and you learn to kindly bring your attention back to this moment in the body.
What I love about Mindfulness is the non-judgement, the moment-by moment awareness and aliveness to the visceral sense of connection with the body.
After thirty years of practice as a clinical psychologist, one thing I am sure of is that many of us come from backgrounds of trauma, loss, longing, and general unease within ourselves. Most mothers today have deadlines, debts, and pressures of all sorts to contend with. Mindfulness has enormous potential to bring us back to ourselves and I have seen this time and time again while running Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (MBCT) groups with adults. It is a delight to be with someone who has known depression learning to treat their thoughts with kindness. Kindness is something truly beautiful in Mindfulness practice. There is a growing emphasis on compassion and kindness within the Mindfulness movement.
The simplicity of Heartfulness has a great deal to complement Mindfulness. Heartfulness reaches beyond the body to the realm of the spiritual heart with its capacity for infinite expansion that can encompass the whole Universe.
Where Do Heartfulness and Mindfulness Meet?
The simplicity of Heartfulness has a great deal to complement Mindfulness. Heartfulness reaches beyond the body to the realm of the spiritual heart with its capacity for infinite expansion encompassing the whole Universe. For me, getting out of bed every day to tune inwards to my heart profoundly shapes how I orientate myself in response to the ups and downs of daily life. It takes years to become a Clinical Psychologist and I am very glad that the drive to get there has softened to a willingness to let my heart lead the way in meetings rather than that driven-ness that was so strong when I first set out in my studies. I now manage a psychology service and what I do most days in meetings is simply connect us all through the heart; it changes everything. What I believe Mindfulness has to offer Heartfulness is the returning to the breath, this breath, in this moment. The visceral connection with the body that comes in Mindfulness is really precious in today’s world dominated by social media and external attraction where the centre of gravity seems increasingly far removed from us all. The kindness of Mindfulness is a beautiful place to begin to re-connect with the spiritual heart of Heartfulness.
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
6 Of The Most Asked Questions On Google & What They Say About Us
- The Facts:
Google is an incredible resource that helps us get the answers to many of life's questions at incredible speeds. But as our search habits suggest, we seem to be turning to it a bit too much for a number of unhealthy reasons.
- Reflect On:
What are you regularly turning to Google for? Are the answers you're getting actually of value, or are they instead rooted in a deeper issue?
The world is filled with a seemingly endless number of resources for us to tap into or seek out the council of. Yet, when it comes to finding the answers to some of our most important questions we all seem to go to one place: Google.
And while Google may be incredibly effective at providing us access to the answers of many of our questions at what seems like light-speed, it can also be quite damaging.
To illustrate this I’d like to present to you six of the most commonly asked questions that we as a collective tend to turn to Google for, what I believe they say about humanity, and why we need to stop turning to Google for the answers to them.
Please note that these are just six OF the most asked questions, and not the six most. These six are particular ones that stood out to me as troubling and worth commenting on. So here they are in ascending order based on how frequently they are searched per month globally. (All stats found on Mondovo)
A written version of the video is available below as well.
6. Which celebrity do I look like?
Search frequency: 14,800 times per month
While on the surface this search seems purely fun, what concerns me about it being searched with such frequency is that it really showcases how much our thoughts are rooted in comparison.
We all know that social media as a whole is a cesspool of comparison, where the vast majority of us post nothing but the highlight reel captures of our life rather than true snippets of our reality. The last thing we need is to even further compare ourselves to those we aren’t connected to on social media -especially those who for the most part work in an industry obsessed with physical appearances.
We need to keep in mind that the way Katy Perry looks on the red carpet is different from the way she looks upon waking up on a Friday morning. Let’s choose to embrace our uniqueness and spend our spare time being ourselves rather than comparing that person to who we think we need to be.
5. Why did I get married?
Search frequency: 49,500 times per month
With divorce rates being where they are, we all know that the institution of marriage is rapidly crumbling before our feet. And while whether that is a good or bad thing is a matter of opinion, I still don’t think we should be turning to Google for reminders on why we opted to participate in it.
Rather than reading someone’s blog on why you should appreciate your partner, or another person’s rant on why we should all run from marriage like the plague, choose to spend that time instead of having an open conversation with your spouse.
Be honest about where you stand with things and come to a collective conclusion as to what you can and cannot do as the next steps.
4. Who unfollowed me on Instagram?
Search frequency: 74,000 times per month
This is my personal favourite on the list because there are few things that amuse me more than seeing the importance that so many of us put on our “Instagram ratio”.
Long gone are the days where we happily followed and liked everyone and everything, and here to stay are the days where we handpick who we follow to give off a “celebrity status” based on the seemingly much higher amount of people who have chosen to follow us.
If you care so much about your following count dropping from 714 to 713 that you need to look into who it was that you lost overnight (or even if you realize that the drop happened at all) you’ve got some serious self-worth issues that you need to address and work beyond.
3. How to make money online?
Search frequency: 135,000 times per month
As someone who has not only worked for various companies who have made substantial amounts of money online, and who has several initiatives to do so myself, I can tell you one thing: it doesn’t come easy!
It not only takes persistent and high-quality effort to build a YouTube subscriber base or to create a website that generates regular traffic, it also takes money to make money.
We need to debunk the belief that the internet is a great way to get rich quick. Realize that everyone who is advertising their online course, seminar, or book designed to help you do this, is doing that as their primary tactic to attain wealth -and they’re paying a hell of a lot of money to get their ad in your face. Those who have attained it have much bigger and better things to do.
2. How to lose weight fast?
Search frequency: 301,000 times per month
On the surface, this too seems well-intentioned since it’s great to see that a large portion of us are regularly searching for ways to improve our health. But what concerns me about this is largely the last word: fast.
We live in a world where we need instantaneous results (hence why we’re turning to Google in the first place) or we don’t bother. Long-term solutions exist but we have virtually no confidence in our ability to commit to anything, so we instead opt for ways to cheat the system.
If losing weight or gaining muscle is truly important to you, than focus on what you’ll need to do to keep yourself motivated to put the work in to get there rather than what can zap it away.
1. Any and all health advice
Search frequency: Unknown but seemingly infinite
We’ve all done it. We go to Google for advice on a persistent pimple and three minutes later we’re convinced that we are mere weeks away from being on our deathbed.
While there are plenty of great articles and medical journals scattered throughout the net, there is also a lot of “click-baity” crap with nothing to support much of what it suggests.
Please understand that this is NOT an attack against alternative media outlets, I firmly believe that even the most widely-accepted forms of media are ladened in questionable sourcing and ruled by greed. So rather than taking your chances, why not instead turn a trusted healthcare professional who can diagnose your unique circumstance?
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
When You’re Feeling Like Crap, Don’t Personalize It!
- The Facts:
Sometimes when we are feeling like crap, we make the stories we tell ourselves very personal and thus make it part of who we are. We have the ability to see past this and instead see the reason why we are feeling this way.
- Reflect On:
Why do we give so much power to the stories we tell ourselves? Why do we get so stuck in victim states all the time? Keep on practising, stay patient and know that there is information in our feelings about what we need to reflect on.
We all go through moments of feeling down, when you’re in it, try not to personalize it.
When you personalize you grab onto the pain and linger on it; you keep mulling the thought over and over in your head.
When you’re going through hell, keep going.
You can’t make the distance shorter but you can move through it faster. So push to get to the worst feeling as quick as possible – the relief lies beyond that.
The down periods will never go away; you need to let go of that idea. You just get better at managing it all.
You have to get better at managing it: you get a bigger empath load as you progress to a higher vibration.
This is why the lows are still so low even though you’ve shifted so much and grown so much; you’re pulling bigger volumes of energy to shift from the morphic field.
The reason it feels like you’re rehashing the same stuff? They send you loads of whatever energies you’re already good at shifting… so the stuff you’ve already previously let go of and shifted.
That’s the stuff that should be easy for you to shift because you’ve faced the personalized layer where the examples cause you pain.
What do I mean?
If you hear about someone cheating, you listen with interest maybe. But if you think of yourself in their shoes (personalize), or draw on your own past painful example, then you immediately feel the fear and pain.
Try it… let’s say someone was cold last night, maybe they froze to death. You feel some empathy sure.
But if I say it’s YOUR child that froze to death…? Even the words shocked you.
You may give a passing thought to the cold homeless people, but if your child was lost outside on a freezing night, you’d get no sleep. You wouldn’t be able to think about anything else in fact.
It’s only EMOTIONALLY relevant to you when you attach a personal example or story and attach it to the people in your life.
If you want to break this cycle permanently, you need to train yourself to find higher level lessons in your shifts – when you find the higher lesson, the need for the lower lessons fall away.
So an example is realising you’re not accepted by people unless you behave the way they want you to and give them what they want.
On a personal level, this hurts, because it’s a reminder of your loneliness, isolation, lack of worth etc. It’s a reminder that people don’t want what you have to offer as you; they really only use you for what they can get. Stings hey?
However cycle that up to a god level lesson (how God views man), and it becomes the pattern of how people treat gods. They only turn to the gods when they need something or want something, using God like a servant, to fetch and carry.
Basically, this is the way everyone treats divine beings by default – and this behavior is just a standard human behavior.
If it’s just normal behavior, then it’s not being done to you, it’s just happening around you.
You have a choice about how you look at any lesson, and where you choose to focus.
So for today try to cycle your lessons up… see if you can spot how man treats god through the view of ego, or how god views man without any ego or attachment to physical life.
In the mirrors tools, mirrors 6, 7, 8 & 9 deal with soul, balance, dark and cosmos. Those are all higher vibration lessons. Free mirrors tools at: http://lifecoachestoolbox.com/newmirrors/
Look for recursions from the creation story ( http://lifecoachestoolbox.com/index.php/the-creation-unification-story-for-lightworkers ) or play the game of trying to guess who else around you has similar – or worse – challenges to face.
Remind yourself of what you have, right now. Are your needs taken care of right now? Do you have a roof over your head? Food? Clothes? Yes? Then all is good.
And even if the answer is no, find something to be grateful for and hold onto that.
No shift ever lasts forever…
No matter how crap you’ve felt in the past, it’s always turned.
In fact, that’s exactly why you’re looking for a way out… you know it’s possible to feel different.
This will pass – all you have to do is survive a few days of feeling crappy, and remember not to turn into a serial killer. This is why it’s us… they can send us this level of pain and we stay good people. We don’t become serial killers or perpetuate pain.
So just ask for help to accept what you’re shifting and surrender to the process. Call on your guides and angels for help.
Here are a few different options for surrender processes: http://lifecoachestoolbox.com/index.php/surrender-acceptance-letting-go
What it looks like in practice
Even at my level, these periods still hit me. The difference now is how I handle them.
I stay patient and accept it will pass.
I look for global energies and patterns in those around me.
I don’t personalize or linger and if anything is stuck in my inner voice I mirror it out straight away.
I ask for help all the time.
I don’t rush in and start anything – I force myself to plan first so that I’m sure of the idea and I don’t waste time creating something half-baked or that I won’t use, or that I feel guilty about.
The only thing that’s changed is how I behave inside a shift.
Yes shifting shifts the energies, but you have to learn tools and change your habits and behaviors as well.
At the end you’re going to realise that the key is the moment you took control… you may as well take control now and prevent yourself all this unnecessary pain and suffering.
Sometimes circumstances suck… but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer.
You always have a choice about that.
Hang in there. This period has to be over soon…. they’re never longer than two or three weeks.
If you’re already stuck on something, the fastest way out is to push through and find your way to the bottom of the ego death – http://lifecoachestoolbox.com/index.php/how-to-do-shadow-work-how-to-face-your-dark-shadow-or-ego
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
Summer Solstice 2018: The Spiritual Significance & How You Can Reflect In Your Life
- The Facts:
Today, June 21st 2018 is the summer solstice. It is a time where we welcome the season of Summer and can begin reflecting on various things.
- Reflect On:
This is the ideal time to consider ways we can balance the masculine and feminine forces in our lives. Where could you use a little more gentle, receptive yin? Where could you yang it up and put in more action-oriented, decisive energy?
The summer solstice is here! This is certainly a day worth celebrating and not just because it represents the longest day of the year for everyone living North of the equator, hello sun — but also because of the symbolic meaning behind it. The summer solstice has been an important day throughout history and for good reason.
The summer solstice marks a time for the celebration of Mother Nature, fun and of course the sun. The sun brings us warmth and light and I’m sure that is something that we can all appreciate.
Solstice At Stonehenge
Stonehenge has been a popular spot throughout recorded time to celebrate this day because it was built to directly align with the solstices, but only during the summer solstice specifically does the rising sun reach the middle of the stones and shine on the central altar. Clearly, whoever or whatever built Stonehenge had this in mind, and it must have been of great significance in order to take on the process of constructing one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.
According to BBC’s coverage of a solstice event several years ago, the event included an interview with those who appreciate solstice the most,
“We believe it is very important for people to move with the cycles of nature, and actually feel them. If you get up early in the morning and you watch that special sunrise, you’ve been a part of it. The rest of the year is shaped by that. And we think it’s a really healthy thing to do and a very spiritual thing to do.”
What Is So Significant Of The Summer Solstice?
Melanie Beckler, the author of Angel Messages, said the Summer Solstice is a time of “energetic opening” and “celestial potential” pouring out from the sun.
She explained: “Symbolically the Summer Solstice represented enlightenment, awakening and the triumph of lightness over darkness.
Aside from the celebration of the sun, it marks the first day of summer, and really, who doesn’t love summer? Many believe that the summer solstice is all about taking a chance to express gratitude for the gifts of harvest, bounty, and abundance.
Pagans hold a religious ritual on the solstice to honor and acknowledge the turning of the wheel of the year and the new season that is upon us.
While to some it may feel fairly insignificant, we are inhabitants on this earth and just as the earth does, we also go through changes. We are in tune, whether aware or not of what happens on the planet and it affects us, too.
According to the astrotwins, The season of Cancer will last 30 days and is a good time to “balance masculine and feminine energies”.
“This is the ideal time to consider ways we can balance the masculine and feminine forces in our lives.
“Where could you use a little more gentle, receptive yin? Where could you yang it up and put in more action-oriented, decisive energy?
“We all contain both energies within us, and in an age where gender is becoming more fluid and redefined than ever, the solstice is an awesome moment to widen our notions of what that means for us.”
How To Harness The Magic Of This Years Summer Solstice
There are so many ways that you can integrate the powerful energy from the solstice into your life. Most importantly, take some time for you and reflect. This could mean setting aside one hour and journaling about some of the various topics seen above in this article.
If you have some crystals, this can be a great time to put them out in the sun to charge and energize them.
Have a solstice party, in whatever capacity this looks like for you. If you aren’t very into the “spiritual” or “fluffy” stuff, simply having a gathering with friends is a great way to welcome this transition. If you are more inclined to the ritualistic types of activities, you can gather with your friends have a fire maybe, go to the beach, share your intentions for the year.
Even if your day is busy, don’t forget, this is the longest day of the year, take some time for some quiet reflection and some time in the sun. Reflect on the past season, let go of what is no longer serving you from the spring and call in whatever you’d like to manifest for the upcoming season. The sun provides powerful energy for all inhabitants of the earth and our entire solar system, might as well utilize it during its peak day.
Manifest that summer love, enjoy community, and welcome all of the new growth, evolution, and change.
Oh, happy day.
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
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