7 Re's to ReAwaken Your Life

Huntington-spring-2013_roses

By Cindy Yantis

A day spent at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena was more than I expected it to be. It’s arguably one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. I was there recently with my dear friend, Ferrell Marshall, who wanted to go for inspiration. She's currently in the one-woman play "The Belle of Amherst" in which she brilliantly portrays Emily Dickinson. I joined her at the last minute because I had an inexplicable yearning to be outside in that beautiful nature. I felt like a bear reemerging after a long hibernation.

Because of Emily Dickinson’s lifelong fascination with roses, we focused particularly on the massive rose garden enlivened with over 1500 rose varieties and hybrids, examples include the Passion Rose, Jump for Joy Rose, Exquisite Rose and the Marilyn Monroe & John F Kennedy Roses, which with a stroke of garden humor were placed next to each other.

Breathing in the fresh growth and deepness of new that surrounded us and greeted our hungry senses at every turn, I had a new feeling of life within, a rebirth and renewal.

The Power of RE

It got me thinking about the power of the Re words. I’ve reflected about this before and it hit me again at Huntington Gardens how deeply ensconced Re’s are in the development of spring, and therefore in our lives at this time of year. For sure, in my life right now.

The truth is I have been hibernating, more than usual in fact.

When I broke my wrist on Christmas Eve it meant there were a lot of things I couldn’t do, the most crucial being – at least to me – I couldn’t type because I couldn’t pronate my left hand. So, it made writing – my passion and my why – very complicated. Sure, I could “voice type” straight into a document and write longhand (thank god I’m not a lefty). But, instead, I decided to take it as a sign to stop for a while and to surrender to all that my rehabilitation meant on a deeper level. 

I slowed way down, took a couple classes, did some reading, plenty of soul-searching and spent a lot of quiet time alone. Staring at the wall. A. Lot. Of. Time.

My rehabilitation and recovery (two delicious Re words) allowed me to hibernate deeply in my own truth. And, the reality of my truth is much simpler than the reality I was living before I broke my wrist. 

Related: How A Broken Wrist Changed My Life

So, this brings me back to this season of Re. What I love about the Re is that it brings a fresh lens, attitude, appetite and perspective to whatever you’re doing at any given moment. Or more to the point, a refreshed way of being.

Here are 7 RE's that come to mind to reawaken you:

Re-calibrate your spirit by getting back in touch with nature. It can be really simple. Walk barefoot in the grass. Gaze at the sun. Sink your hands into the soil. Bury your face in a cluster of lilacs.

Reaffirm your goals that are most important by getting rid of those that aren’t.

Reclaim your dreams by keeping them alive every day. Talk about them. Write about them. Take action.

Reignite your relationships by devoting time and energy in those that mean the most to you.

Rejuvenate your system. Get 8 hours of sleep. Meditate. Clean up your diet. Replenish your supplements.

Refocus your game plan by clearing out the extraneous projects; and

Remind yourself about what you love & why you do what you do.

Tis the season to Revivify your life. What Re’s can you add to your list?

Emily Dickinson wrote, “We turn not older with the years, but newer every day.” It makes me wonder if Emily was sparked by the Re as well. I like to think so.

BelleIf you’re in Southern California this week I highly recommend seeing Ferrell Marshall in her luminous performance as Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst. It closes 4/23. Tickets available here.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 


How A Broken Wrist Changed My Life

Womans hand holding coffee

By Cindy Yantis

Man, did I have grand plans for 2017. I mean, I couldn’t wait to hit the ground running with a very full plate of flavorful projects waiting to be completed and/or started. Every day was Ready, Set, Go...

Then, on Christmas Eve, seven minutes after I arrived at my sister’s for the family celebration, I stepped around the back of the couch to slip my gifts next to the tree. Unfortunately, the only things that slipped were my feet on the hardwood floor, clean out from under me as I fell and broke my wrist, broke it badly in fact, both the ulna and radius bones, which meant surgery, which meant a steel plate holding my wrist together, which meant wearing a cast for weeks (albeit one in a pretty color), which meant having to learn how to use my left wrist and hand all over again. 

Can you say Projectus Interruptus? It was more like Life Interruptus.

To say that starting this year with a broken wrist shook me would be an understatement. And what’s entirely laughable is how I tried to fight it, looking at it only as an obstacle keeping me from doing ALL that I’ve been wanting to do. Laughable because that is one fight I was never going to win. When you have one usable hand there’s only so much you can do.

I had no choice but to just stop

What immediately started to happen? Fears started to bubble to the surface that once and for all I was required to recognize, study and distill. Fears about running out of time or of missing out on that next great idea or next opportunity. And, it exposed something very big. It allowed me to take a hard look at myself as the chronic multitasker that I had become.

The multitasker moniker is one that I have worn loudly and proudly. I'd have a running to-do list, set multiple timers, creating fancy systems for said timers, jumping from one idea or one task to the next, and many times doing more than one of them at the same time. I definitely have a record of completing many of these tasks and getting things done and many of them fairly well. Crossing things off my to-do list, nirvana for multitaskers!

But, what often happens with this chronic multitasking? Mediocrity becomes the norm. Things get done but excellence often is not reached. And, focus is splintered in a thousand different directions.

Research has shown that multitasking causes the brain to work at a lower cognitive level and for an extended period time keeps it at that level. So, then it's harder to focus on projects that take a higher and deeper level of thinking and concentration. According to a Fast Company article "These Are the Long Term Effects of Multitasking," multitasking actually has addictive effects on the brain, can diminish IQ and the constant "task-switch" leads to a destructive cycle of distraction that stops productivity. 

So my broken wrist got me thinking about how the universe was giving me a very big message to slow down. To stay with the present moment and the present task at hand. The big Truth is that’s all there is, this moment, in this realm, in this space. And the truth is you can only accomplish one thing, well, at a time.

As a multitasker, I’d packed my plate with as many things as possible and when that plate was full I started another plate. It’s like continually going back to the buffet table that you know, even before you approach, is filled with delectable things you want to try. Things you know you don’t need, are not good for you and will derail you from your healthy Vision or Intention.

But now, if I attempt to carry my typically full plate with my only one good hand, there’s no doubt it’ll come crashing down, shattering into a pile of chaotic unorganized mess that will be nothing short of sad and depressing!

Going From Multi to Monotasker

Being focused on one thing at a time means staying away from the buffet table and removing the distractions that steal focus. It's like ordering from the menu the one thing that serves your vision or goal. And to help safeguard the commitment to being singly focused, if it’s actually a menu that you have pragmatically designed so that every item available to you serves your mission, then you’re in complete control of whatever goes on your plate on any given day.

So, for me I started by taking literally everything off of my plate and my menu of a thousand projects. I spent hours meditating and getting back in deep touch with my core values and my core truths. And, then I just got quiet. I allowed my GPS to re-calibrate as my single task menu items floated to the surface. Then, I sat with those for awhile, then cut them down again. What came out of the process was a clean, simple plate with very few projects on it that I'm absolutely madly in love with. 

And. It. Feels. Good. Really good.

Now, as physical therapy strengthens my wrist, I work to continually retrain my brain to stay focused on the one thing at a time. I've given up my place at the buffet table. I'm more cognizant of my electronics time so am mindful of distractions. And, I'm happy with what I'm doing.

Turns out, my broken wrist was one of the best things that ever happened to me. 

 

Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com. Please visit us on our Facebook Page: Facebook.com/ThoughtChanger  


Giving Thanks Starts Here

By Cindy Yantis

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as the last Thursday of the month and from then on it was an annual tradition.

His declaration was stated during our nation’s civil war and the underlying message is so apropos today.

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise… And I recommend to them that… they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become… sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.” Abraham Lincoln, 1863

It feels good to tap into the early remembrance of what Thanksgiving means on a grand level and to honor and be in gratitude for the core values of us as a national people. At the end of the day it always comes down to that.

It all begins with what we’re grateful for in our own lives. And, to my way of thinking, giving thanks for those same tenets that Lincoln mentioned, on a personal level are a good place to start: “peace, harmony, tranquility...”

So, traditions of giving thanks abound, in a myriad of ways. And, it’s really something to celebrate. 

What are you thankful for? Take a few moments to really give them thought and voice.

To name a few...

I’m grateful for my family and friends, and for people in my life who are my greatest teachers, often giving me lessons that are very hard to receive at the time but end up being necessary and transformative.

I’m grateful for a curious mind and for having a platform on which to invite others to explore and reach a little beyond themselves as well.

I’m thankful for you.

It’s pretty simple. And, necessary. And, important.

Light-thank you

 

Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com. Please visit us on our Facebook Page: Facebook.com/ThoughtChanger  


Raise Your Thoughts to Raise the World

By Cindy Yantis

Love hands

There have been some renovations at my home recently and I was awakened early Saturday morning by the vibration of some power tools in the backyard. The foundation was literally humming and it quickly shifted my energy, making me want to get up and get something accomplished.

It got me thinking about the impact of vibration on energy, thoughts and consciousness, particularly after the past couple tumultuous weeks. I noticed how ill I felt after days of reading divisive, combative and hateful posts on social media as well watching the increase of frightening actions based on hate and fear. You can feel the divisiveness in your mind, body and spirit. It’s splintering.

FB post

 

So much so that I took a break from all media for a few days. After I posted this, I started thinking more about the power of raising our thoughts to raise the world.

 

 

A few nights later I spent an evening with a group of people – people I would call highly conscious – and the collective pain and grief were palpable in regards to what's happening in our nation right now as well as the residuals of the divisive election season. We were all shell shocked and taken by surprise at how deeply we’ve been affected. Many of us felt fractured and torn, down deep, by the discord that’s come to be, by the ground swell of a low, fear-based vibration that’s coming to light.

The Power of the Collective

During that evening I came to understand more the true power of the collective consciousness. Power that can either surge low when people speak despicably toward one another and the seeds are planted for further hate mongering. Or power that can soar high through thoughts, words and actions that foster love, compassion, understanding, forgiveness and a collective healing.

David R. Hawkins in his book, Transcending the Levels of Consciousness: The Stairway to Enlightenment,” says that “consciousness evolves through progressive levels of power that can be calibrated as to relative strength.” In other words, each level of consciousness is mirrored Map-Of-The-Scale-Of-Consciousness with an emotion that carries a measurement of vibration. The lower the calibration number, the lower the vibration and the lower the emotion.

The measurements under 250 on his scale of consciousness are fear-based levels - despair, anger, hate, regret, grief - that lead to what he calls disempowerment: destruction, despondency, humiliation, withdrawal, misery, tragedy. The calibrations 250-1000+ are the love-based levels - willingness, acceptance, love, joy, reason, peace - that lead to empowerment: intention, understanding, forgiveness, revelation, bliss, transfiguration and the highest being pure enlightenment, which is the level of Christ, Buddha, etc.

HAWKINS' MAP OF THE SCALE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

The Map of Consciousness is a wise guide to live by. The goal is to evolve toward and operate from the higher levels or vibrations of consciousness.

Imagine from this perspective, the power of raising the collective consciousness. That's an unstoppable force of healing and love. And, it starts with each of us.

The Effects on Society

In fact, in his book “Healing and Recovery,” Hawkins illustrates the effects of the levels of consciousness on society. 

Society correlation level_and_problems

 

You can see how the lower levels of thought and consciousness breed the types of behavior we’ve been seeing come forward more recently. But, the power to change it is within us.

How do you make a shift?

It’s human to feel all of the levels from time to time. This is where choice and self-awareness come into play.

When you feel anxiety or despair over what's in front of you, start by recognizing what you’re feeling and what’s underneath it? Is it fear? Is so, of what? Is it anger? Naming it is the first step to raising the thoughts around it.

A lot of people are feeling anger right now, on all sides of the coin. It's a valid and real emotion. In a 2015 article, "A Clear Map to Your Spiritual Enlightenment," Hawkins says about anger: 

"Anger is very obviously a high energy emotion. However, if an angry person knows how to utilize that anger constructively instead of destructively, it can energize resolve and determination.

Anger in the form of resentment may lead to hatred, grievances, grudges, and eventually even to murder or war. But the process going on in consciousness is one of expansion; for example, when an animal is angry, it swells up. When the cat gets angry, its tail swells up to almost twice its normal size, and the cat tries to look imposing. The biological purpose of expansion is to intimidate one's apparent enemy. The energy of anger can be positive if used to pursue something better, allowing us to move up to the next level."

When you find yourself at one of the fear-based levels, take a pause. Give yourself some love and then blast the situation, person or experience with some love as well. Soon you’ll find yourself out of that place and on our way up a level of consciousness.

Activism coming from raised thoughts and higher consciousness, particularly as a collective force, will result in a much stronger, love-abiding nation and peaceful world.

It starts with one raised thought at a time.

 

Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com. Please visit us on our Facebook Page: Facebook.com/ThoughtChanger  


What's Your Fall Back Plan?

By Cindy Yantis

How's Your Foundation These DaysReminders abound for us to change our clocks to standard time again this weekend. And, always when that happens, I stop for a second to remember whether I get to sleep in an hour longer or need to get up an hour earlier. Then, I recall the old adage: In the fall you fall back and in the spring you spring forward.

So we’re falling back into standard time. There’s a certain comfort in that, as if things are setting into the way they’re supposed to be, into the solid foundation of time.

It got me thinking about my own foundation and how important it is to feel a solid base underneath, a smooth platform from which to create, to thrive, to live.

The truth is it hasn’t felt so solid lately.

How do I know this? I notice little things slipping, like home routines that keep my house in order, and self-care commitments like journaling, meditating and exercising, and responding to emails and messages in a timely manner.

And, I haven’t been writing. When that happens I know something’s off. It pokes holes in my foundation because all of those things are vitally important to me and are the elements or standards that I fall back on. I start to feel a sense of disconnection, from myself and from others.

Seismic Shift in Foundation

There are many things that can cause this shift on the personal Richter scale. Internal conflict and expansion of consciousness can both be uncomfortable and take up space and energy. Those I prefer and welcome because to my way of thinking they are signs of growth and the louder they are the better because that means change is coming.

But, for me I think what’s creating craters the size of potholes in my foundation is external. Certainly, it’s easy to get overloaded with obligations and opportunity. However, something else has crept in that has been a shock to my very being, and one that I didn’t see coming. And, I know I’m not alone.

It’s the divisiveness, fear and hatred that have surfaced so fully in this election season. It has rocked me to my core. I watch as it causes hateful exchanges on social media between “friends,” creates deep rifts in families and fosters a canyon-like chasm of discord throughout humanity.

There’s almost a gladiator mentality that has descended upon us, where you watch incessantly and feed rabidly on the lowest of the low, of what began as a need to be informed and to know the truth, became an insatiable addiction to dribbles of manipulated truths, conspiracy theories and one-upmanship for digging up the worst stories possible about the other. It’s worse than politics. It’s dirty pool. It’s cannibalism of the human spirit.

And, it saddens me deeply, simply as a human being. I find myself in a constant state of disbelief because in my heart of hearts I know it’s not real. Is it? That this fear-driven chorus won’t last. Will it?

Well, with potholes and cracks in my personal foundation it’s easy to see why things have been slightly askew. For me, is started with forgoing my beloved morning routine of meditating, journaling and exercising for waking up, rolling over and flipping on the morning news. It just spread out from there to other areas of my life.

Time to Reflect, Reframe and Rebuild the Foundation.

Deepak Chopra said recently that you must have “willingness to let your consciousness and awareness expand.”

When I heard this, the first word I thought of was compassion. Ah, that made me breathe deeply. Those breaths of compassion started to slowly fill the holes in my foundation, like liquid settling into place. And, as this happened I felt an opening.

This started with feeling compassion for the fear flooding the ether right now; compassion for the people in fear who lash out in pain and hate; compassion for leaders, compassion for followers, compassion for those seeking a better existence and have no idea how to get it. And, compassion for myself as disgust fills my mouth and tastes like metal and as I feel my own raw humanness. Compassion then leads to understanding, tolerance, love and a sense of center.

The power of compassion, along with the notion of time falling back into standard, got me thinking about the elements or standards of a strong foundation, and remembering them is bringing me back into alignment, back on solid ground. 

7 Standards of Foundation:

  1. Core Values – remind yourself what really matters to you, what base values are non-negotiable. For me it’s respect, for self and others, living and speaking my truth, understanding and honoring differences and being kind.
  2. Wisdom – guidance from your higher self that all will be okay, within. And when the within is solid and firm with personal conviction based on core truths, the external shite won’t and can’t annihilate the foundation.
  3. Soul Food – what feeds your soul and fills you up? Re-focusing on that which makes your spirit sing fosters a feeling of wholeness. For me it’s all of those things I’ve been missing of late: writing, self-care and home routines. Maybe it’s running or teaching or being with family or knitting, whatever it is for you, make it front and center.
  4. Deeper Connections – this means heart-to-heart, person-to-person connections, intimate relationship vs. crowd surfacing on social media, piano bar vs. rock concert. For me this will mean disconnecting to connect, spending less time online and more time face to face.
  5. Presence – being fully present with what’s real and happening each moment in your life. This means recognizing and letting go of distractions. They’re everywhere and can weaken your foundation.
  6. Conscious Languaging – how you speak to others, including comments and posts online, and how you speak to yourself. Ask yourself if this is the highest vibration of conversation you can possibly have. If you hesitate, take a moment and reconsider. This is not about holding back your voice, but rather giving your voice it’s highest power to communicate, to heal, to value.
  7. Solid Surroundings – only allow environments and people within your inner sphere who are going to nourish and strengthen your foundation.

So, as the clocks fall back into standard time, consider this:

How is your foundation? What do you know you can fall back on, solidly? Where are your convictions? What are your core values? What feeds and deeply enriches you? What makes you feel connected?

Fall consciously into your own standards of foundation. It’s nothing less than home.

 

Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com. Please visit us on our Facebook Page: Facebook.com/ThoughtChanger  


#WordsMatter - Use Yours Wisely

By Cindy Yantis

Utterances by their very nature are often said in passing, not meant to stick around, not meant to be given weight. An utterance is defined simply as “a smallest unit of speech.” And, stringing together a series of utterances constitutes a complete thought, whether it’s our side of a conversation or an improvised speech at a podium or simple off-the-cuff observations. We often don’t give much mind to our daily utterances.

But, we should.

A word. It’s such a small elemental thing. But, can have such a tremendous impact. It’s the impact that lingers, has weight and sticks around for as long as the impact has an
effect on someone. Words matterWordsMatter

And, it’s not just in this day and age of the fast moving Internet, where words travel at the speed of a Tweet and Retweet. The truth is words secure history. They define things like character and reputation and acumen. Since the beginning of recorded time, words have taught, inspired and marked the foundation of beliefs that people still follow and hold true today. Words have also led fear-based revolutions that destroyed governments and created generations of people lost and without hope.

It’s easy to think of historical figures on both sides of this spectrum that have had an impact, positively or negatively. Yes, actions define a person and there is truth to the adage that sometimes actions speak louder than words. However, words are recorded in history and are carried forth from generation to generation. In many cases, it's the words that have defined characters in our human life history. We’re still quoting people who lived hundreds of years ago and are still moved and motivated by their words. It’s probably why #quotes – or many variations: #lifequote, #quoteoftheday, #words, #todaysthought, #wordstoliveby, etc. – are the most used hashtags on social media.

And, it’s why there’s such raw credence to the simple truth that words matter. We feel words deeply, which is why people often have such visceral reactions to what is said, either to them or about something for which they feel strongly.

Words can hurt or elevate us, enrage or sooth us, drive us or stop us in our tracks and make us laugh uproariously or cry hysterically.

Someone said, “Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.” I don’t know who first said it, but it’s so simple and true. We can’t control how our words land or how they’re interpreted. The only thing we can control is what and how they come out of our mouths.

Think before you speak. Yes, be mindful. Own your words. It’s simple, relevant and essential. #WordsMatter. Your words will define in your history. 

 

Related ~

The First and Last Word

Here's the Truth About Truth

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com


Letting Go is a Four-Letter Word

By Cindy Yantis

“Oh honey, life is about letting go.”

This was the pearl of wisdom a good friend’s mother gave her many years ago after she’d had her first child, when every little thing seemed so weighted and overly important, so much so that she was in a constant state of angst. “Oh honey, life is about letting go,” her wise mother said.

This friend and I were recently discussing the process of letting go and how challenging it is at times. We were each other's sounding board for some front burner issues we Let Gowere both trying to release.

I’ve come to the conclusion that letting go is one of the hardest things to do in life, proven by the fact that there are literally thousands of books (328,000 in Amazon alone), articles, seminars and schools of thought on the subject of letting go, available to us hangers-on who at times find it nearly impossible to let go.

Sometimes the notion of letting go can get so stuck in my craw that it’s no wonder it took several stabs before finally completing this post. I'm trying to let that go...

Why is it so hard to let go? 

In a Psychology Today article, PhD Judith Sills said, “At its deepest level, the prospect of letting go forces us up against our three strongest emotional drivers: love, fear and rage.”

The attachments we make are based on those drivers as well, and the resulting attachments can be tethered to many trigger points where holding on can feel like the end all, like we’ll never shake the thing that is keeping us stuck. It’s human to form attachments; attachments to the past or to a certain desired outcome or to the fear of a different outcome; or to a person, or the idea of a person such as the picture you have formed in your psyche of your ideal mate.

Sometimes it’s hard to let go of a connection, particularly one that was powerfully formed. Sometimes it’s a memory that links to a painful past event, where you play the scenario over and over again, perhaps wishing for a different set of actions or exchange of dialog.

Or we get stuck on what might have been, if only it had lasted a little longer, or if only the conversation had gone another way, like a promise unfulfilled that we keep trying to fulfill in our mind.

Or we worry about what hasn’t happened yet. Often we have a hard time letting go of the fear of the unknown or fear of the future. Or, because of an “idea or ideal” we have formed about a specific desire, whether it’s a job or relationship, we project that ideal onto something or someone that isn’t the right fit anyway, but we become convinced we can make it work, so we hang on. And hang on. It's exhausting!

Or we hold onto limiting beliefs that have simply become a habit. These are the what-ifs and the yeah-buts and the when-I-have-this-or-that-it-will-all-start-to-happen or it will then be okay. Sometimes these are the hardest to let go of, the limiting beliefs that effect everything in our lives.

So what is letting go and how do we get there?

Empowerment coach and speaker Andrea Quinn teaches that, “Letting go is all about making room for the something better. To ultimately accomplish anything of value, you must let go of any outcome, any idea about what it’s supposed to look like.”

Author David R Hawkins says in his book, “Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender,” says, “Letting go is a mechanism of surrender, setting us free from emotional attachments.”

To my way of thinking, letting go is the greatest way we can honor ourselves, and the only way to evolve into the best version of ourselves. Letting go means taking back control over our emotions, thoughts and actions.

Because the truth is, the hanging on, the very root of any attachment, is formed in the mind, so the letting go must take place there as well. So, here are some suggestions for changing our thoughts and creating room for a new way of thinking.

  • Surround the situation with compassion and understanding.
  • Forgiveness is paramount – of self and others – for events, actions or words from the past. Release the past to the past.
  • Express gratitude for the lessons learned. Gratitude lightens the load.
  • Stay in the present with right now and remind yourself that all that matters is this moment, right now. Breathe into that.
  • Go cold turkey – force yourself, or allow yourself, to stay away from the topic or situation that’s keeping you in a place of discomfort.
  • Free your attachment to an outcome by not focusing on the endgame, but rather the journey and the juice and joy along the way.
  • Stop judging yourself – give yourself a break for feeling stuck. And give yourself a pat on the back for stepping up for yourself.
  • Write, write and then write some more - sit down and write about the thing you're hanging onto. Get really detailed about how it makes you feel, describe what it looks like and what your life would be like if that thing, or pain or fixation didn’t exist. Play in that freedom for awhile. Chances are the attachment will loosen and lessen next time you think about it.
  • Talk to someone, whether it’s a friend who can act as a sounding board, or a professional who can help you release what you’re holding onto.

So why is "letting go" a four-letter word?

To my way of thinking, all of the above come down to one underlying and pervading force – Love.

All of these processes involved in letting go couldn’t take place without love. Love is ultimate surrender. With love, you have compassion and forgiveness, which are the keys to the freedom of release. Of letting go. Just think about it. Even pausing and breathing into the words compassion and forgiveness creates of sense of release, of space, of freedom.

Which is why this phrase popped into my head: “Letting go is a four-letter word.”

Believe me there are times when I can think of other four-letter words to associate with not being able to let go!

But, then I know that my work is getting back to this.

Love leads to letting go. Letting go equals love.

So, next time you are trying desperately to let go of something, shed a little love on the subject.

Related:

Finding the Path of Least Resistance

Two Ways to Recognize and Let Go of Fear

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com


Are You Wearing Masks That Hide the Real You?

By Cindy Yantis

Unmasking brain injury
Unmasking Brain Injury

There was a beautiful exhibit at an art show I recently attended, called "Unmasking Brain Injury." The base of each mask was the same, but they were all designed, painted and crafted in very different ways – each symbolizing the fear, pain or journey the artist was going through as a result of their brain injury. It was exquisite in the way it captured this community, giving each person a voice and revealing what was underneath the face they were presenting to the world.

It got me thinking about the masks we wear in life, hiding true feelings or intentions, slipping in and out of being authentic - to ourselves and others.

A few years ago I took part in a retreat where the intention was to call in our soul mates. What can I say? I believe in soul mates! There was much introspection; meditating and connecting during the retreat to help us look at this process. At the beginning of the retreat, we drew inspiration word cards that were meant to help guide the journey. I pulled the word “deception.” I was thinking, this doesn’t bode well for someone looking for love! Deception? Really? But, I took this to heart and decided there was probably a reason I pulled that card. And, boy was there.

Upon going deep within during the meditation, it soon became very clear that the meaning for the card, for me, was self-deception, and that there were things I was hiding behind and needed to work on and to let go of before I would be ready to call in a lasting relationship of any kind. Very soon, my entire retreat became about self-love and examining where in my life I was wearing a mask of self-deception.  

The truth is, we all wear masks. For me, my masks were hiding the true intentions and authenticity for who I really was, not how I was showing up in the world at the time. One such mask was hiding a fear of wanting to be liked BY EVERYONE. And, I’d become so attached to that desired result that it was stopping motion in many areas of my life.

This blog, for example. I’d become so attached to what was going to happen when I hit the publish button that I was obsessed over how many likes I got or how many people shared it. So much so, that I lost sight of why I started the blog in the first place. So much so, that I stepped away from the blog for a year after that retreat. I told myself that until I could be very centered on my true authentic purpose for pressing publish – that being to help one person, just one person at a time, to possibly think about something differently in their life, to be inspired to change one thought and thus raising the consciousness of the planet one thought, one person at a time – then I wouldn’t do it anymore.

It wasn’t until I took off the attachment-to-result and need-to-be-loved-by-everyone masks, explored what was underneath those shadow desires and healed the pain connected to them that I was able to put my writing and work back out into the world. It still slides into place from time to time, the mask, but now it’s transparent and I see it for what it is. But, my real intentions are clear.

Those are just a couple of my masks. I’m working on removing them on a daily basis.

Also, it’s easier now to recognize others who are wearing masks. It takes one to know one!

What kind of masks are you wearing? To my way of thinking, masks are usually how our fears show up in the world for us. In reality, our masks are the faces of our fears.

How do you know when you're wearing one? Potentially it's when you’re not in your best self and you know it, or not living your purposeful life and you know it. 

Completed-masks

What does one of your masks look like? What does the mask say to you? What is it hiding? Generally it’s a fear. Such as:

  • Not being good enough, or just enough
  • Not feeling important or visible
  • Not being loved
  • Or of being too much so you feel you have to downplay yourself to make others comfortable

I have variations of all of these masks hanging in my psyche closet. When I wear one of them, my behavior can show up as passive-aggressiveness, or isolation, or deflection or exaggerated unflappability. It’s not a pretty thing to admit, but it’s the truth.

What messages is the mask giving you?            

Try taking off a mask, just for a day. See how it feels, the newness, the rawness, the unknowing of what’s going to happen. It may feel a bit scary. Your skin underneath will be fresh and new, after all this is new skin that hasn’t seen the sun. So certain elements may sting as you come into contact with them. When you see one of your fear-based behaviors show up in a situation, try to resist reaching for the mask again. Stay in that space, pause and feel your face without the mask.

That, my friends, is truth. Try speaking what’s in your heart without the mask. Communicating through the vulnerability or fear that’s underneath the mask helps to release it until this becomes your new normal.

Once you’ve removed the mask for good, hang it in your psyche closet. It’s a good reminder of how you used to be before you were fully living in your truth.

If you’re feeling nostalgic for one of your former masks, take one out and wear it for Halloween.

Related:

Stop Being So Nice: Just Be Real

Here's the Truth About Truth

Is Leadership a State of Mind?]

Mind Your Own Buttons

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com

 


On Being Born to Run... and to Create and Play and Love and...

By Cindy Yantis

"Tramps like us, baby we were born to run." 

I'm happy to share a birthday with Bruce Springsteen, which happens to be September 23rd.

In his upcoming autobiography, Born To Run, The Boss talks about what was in his “Rock ‘n Roll Survival Kit: DNA, natural ability, study of craft, development of and devotion to an aesthetic philosophy, naked desire for… fame, love, admiration, attention, women, sex, and oh, yeah… a buck. Then, if you want to take it all the way to the end of the night, a furious fire in the hole that just…don’t…quit…burning.”

The contents of his Rock ‘n Roll survival kit got me thinking. I often take stock around birthday time and this year I'm thinking a lot about what I was born to do. And, out of those musings several truths have bubbled to the surface, various lessons learned over a few decades of life. Most of them I'm continually working and evolving through. Hey, it's what I was born to do. Most are not new ideas, just my spinnings on them, how they have flared up for me and became my truths. They are what I've come to believe.

Thought I'd share a few to mark being born. Let me know if you click with some of them and please add your own in the comments!

Born to Create

I believe the best legacy is a life well lived, in service to others and to a higher calling. Create from that place and it's unstoppable.

I’ve found a structured foundation supports infinite creativity: routine, outlines, scheduled time blocks, consistency.

Make what you love what you do.

I believe wisdom is meant to be shared selflessly - it's part of creation and it's dharma. 

Collaboration in creation is fantastic. It can push your limits and rise you to being a better creator than you ever could be on your own.

I believe a good story can heal, inspire and call to action.

Born to Seek, Learn, Grow

What’s in the way is the way – consciously going through the molasses, quicksand and pain is the way to heal into a better self. It wasn’t until I got this that I finally was able to heal old wounds. From pain to purpose.

We weren’t meant to just survive, but to thrive.

Curiosity opens doors; judgment closes them.

When you mess up, own up.

I have to focus on focusing.

Heed your intuition – my body talks to me as does that little voice that guides me to the yes, no or pause.

Letting go is hard but oh so necessary.

I believe in other realms and that we can learn from them if we pay attention.

Patience is one my wisest guides (I’m working on this one!) – slow down to allow divine timing to take its course. Breathe into patience.

Born to Play                                        

4th birthday
Me at 4 years old

Laughter solidifies a moment. I simply love to laugh. 

Imagination is the playground where genius is born.

In the end, does crossing the finish line first really matter? 

I believe true freedom is to live like there is no finish line.

I believe in making play dates with my writing.

I believe what you can imagine is but a fraction of what's truly possible.

A little losing-track-of-time is good for the spirit. 

Born to Love

True connection is face-to-face, eye-to-eye, hand-to-hand, body-to-body, breath-to-breath. Social media is great for expanding your world, but for me true connection is up close and personal.

I believe your soul mate is a direct reflection of your self-love.

A pet’s love is pure and fills the spaces.

There’s power in Community – the gathering of kindred souls is the key to collectively raising the consciousness of this planet. It's the We that matters. 

I believe in real friendship where you have bad days and your true friends stick by you. I need my girlfriends and my sister on a daily basis!

Use your voice and stay in your light and you and your people with find each other.

Compromise, kindness, tolerance, steadfastness, communication and compassion are key ingredients in relationships.

Being loved and loving is the greatest feeling in the universe.

Born to Be (this is my Born to Run)

A woman is most powerful in her femininity.

A man’s vulnerability is a beautiful and powerful thing.

There’s nothing sexier than a man or woman in their element.

Embrace quietude and self-care – It’s everything: sleep, meditate, pray, journal, sweat and move the body.

I believe I’m at my best in quietude. I’m at my second best surrounded by people I love. A close third is when I'm on a deadline.

Being authentic is all about living, speaking and honoring your truth.

I’m learning to not sugarcoat the truth anymore and that I’m not responsible for how it lands or is perceived, only in how I present it.

To live full out you need to be full in – commitment to each moment builds to a rich and full life.

Be amazing, be true, be transparent, be real, be kind, be bold, be mindful, be wise. 

Be love. Be happy.

I also share my birthday with my Mom. So, I asked her to contribute a few of her own. Her voice is a powerful and loving one in my ether, fiber and being. 

"It’s not worth stewing over the small stuff. Pick your battles.

As I grow older, triggers don't trigger anymore. Acceptance is easier because I understand more.

Consideration for the other person is the most important thing. When they're happy you're happy.

Your dad and I compliment one another, in role, action and word. It’s the secret of a long-lasting marriage (57 years and counting).

And, whoever wins at Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune gets a foot rub." ~ Mom

Thanks, Mom, and Happy Birthday, Tramps like us, baby we were born to be amazing!

 

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Lean Into What's Working

By Cindy Yantis

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were on CBS Sunday Morning to talk about the Ron Howard documentary, EIGHT DAYS A WEEK: The Touring Years (which is in my Hulu queue!). They talked about the rocket ship early days in 1963 when they rode their unprecedented meteoric rise on the simplest of ideas. “It was really simple in the beginning,” Paul said, then added, “We were a great little band.”

Then, things got crazy! Beatlemania took off to the point where they needed to find a place large enough for their growing surge of adoring fans. The first concert at Shea Stadium happened in 1965 and arena rock was born.

Paul McCartney: “We didn’t plan for anything.”

Ringo Starr: “We just went with it.”

They just went with it. In other words, they leaned into what was working. And, kept leaning in as things kept working. Until it didn’t. Paul said the reason it ended, is it just got too complicated. In other words the energy shifted as they each made the choice to lean in other directions.

It got me thinking about leaning into what’s working in our daily lives. As illustrated by Paul, Ringo and the rest of the Fab Four, when we keep going in the direction of what's going well and focus on that which is igniting us, then more of the same will keep coming and propelling us upward and onward. It’s the very basis Lean into what's workingof the law of attraction: what you focus on expands, what you attract is also attracting you. Until it’s not.

Sometimes, however, we invest energy into something and keep investing energy even when it’s not working. We keep trying to make it work. When, if we really check in with ourselves, we know it’s not right, at least not right now. Right? What can often happen if we keep investing our time and energy in this kind of scenario, is that we give away part of our personal power and we run the risk of closing ourselves off to other invitations or opportunities or relationships that are willing to meet us where we are.

I've certainly experienced this phenomenon from both perspectives. And, I gotta be honest, not only can it be simply awesome to ride the wave of explosive rightness; it can also at times be rather derailing when it's not working, shaking me to my core, rocking me temporarily off course, particularly if it's something that is truly desired, like a special opportunity or a deeper connection with something or someone. Occasionally, I have invested my time and energy into something that has come into my path in which I saw potential and great value. So I leaned in, fully, in anticipation of receiving an equitable return on investment. It worked initially so I kept leaning. However, eventually in some cases, I wasn’t met there with equal investment or energy, a mutual leaning. 

When you find yourself at this juncture, a suggestion (which has worked for me) is to lean back. Then, assess the information presented so you can regain clarity about your original intentions. From that place of inner wisdom, pull back the energy, acknowledge the gifts this situation gave you (because there always are some) and then let go of its active hook in order to allow your energy investment to move on toward where it’s working and flowing, toward the invitation and the acceptance, the equitable ROI. 

Certainly, there are ebbs and flows in experiences, jobs, opportunities and relationships, where one side is more invested than the other at any given time. But, if you’re consistently not met where you feel satisfied, encouraged and in alignment, then leaning in another direction is a valid and powerful choice. At least for the time being. It can always be revisited at another time, but then it's from a fresh perspective, a renewed sense of value and purpose. 

Until then, keep leaning into what's working. 

Related:

Life is a River

How to Get to the Heart of the Matter

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com