Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

Posts tagged ‘New Year’s Resolutions’

Tame Your Inner Critic – Book Review and Author Interview


Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 2.24.09 PMIf you want to start 2016 with the goal of loving yourself, loving others and loving life, I recommend picking up a copy of Tame Your Inner Critic: Find Peace & Contentment to Live Your Life on Purpose by Della Temple.

We all spend too much time in our lives criticizing ourselves, what we’ve done, and what choices we’ve made. I wanted to learn more about how to differentiate between my authentic self and the judgmental voice in my head. All the tools necessary to do that and more are found in Della Temple’s book.

This isn’t a quick read – rather, it provides a process of peeling away voices in your head that were placed there by others, and getting in touch with the voice of your own inner guidance, your own intuition, your own higher knowing.

As a writer about the chakras, I was very interested in Della’s chapter on “Chakras and Your Life Force,” and her experience with releasing foreign energy from the chakras through a grounding cord or blowing up this unwanted energy in the visualization of a rose.

The result of using the many exercises in Tame Your Inner Critic is a feeling of greater peace, and the ability to create your reality following your life’s intention, not the wishes of others.

There is also a companion workbook that makes it very easy to follow the recommended exercises. You can use it make notes, or you can use the journal of your choice.

I wanted to know more about Della Temple’s personal process, so I interviewed her and share her answers with you here:

1) As we’re entering into the New Year, can you explain how you re-create your statement of being instead of making resolutions?

Most people believe that action is the most important part of creating the world they desire. In forming a New Year’s Resolution most people come from the negative and figure out a way to attack the “problem,” believing that by physically doing something, they will fill the void in their lives. They have it backward; it’s better to think and feel it into being.

So, I don’t think in terms of lack or resolutions. Instead, I choose terms more reflective of my feelings and my best qualities.

If I think and feel love, kindness, and joy every day, then even if unexpected things happen in the coming year, I will view them through the lens of these top-of-mind conscious thoughts. Everything that is coming to us is a direct result of the vibration of our thoughts, feelings, and internal dialogue. As we think and feel, so it is. Changing our thoughts and feelings really does change our reality.

2) What made you decide to delve into studying psychic healing?

My inner critic used to be very loud and annoying. It held me back from doing many of the things I wanted to do. It told me I was too unprepared, too opinionated, and just not good enough. In fact, I had grown so used to the incessant negativity that I believed I was deficient in some way.

I had read about the body’s energy system and had a hunch that greater understanding of auras, chakras, and the interplay between thoughts, feelings, and bodily reactions would lead to the peace and contentment I craved. So I enrolled in a beginner’s program at Boulder Psychic Institute. As I did the work, my inner critic stopped nagging me. I wanted to write about my experience to help others find their own inner peace and contentment.

3) How would you say we allow others’ voices to turn into our own inner critics and how do those voices stop us from living a life of purpose and meaning?

Thoughts and feelings are energy and through our energetic body (our aura and chakras), we exchange energy with the people in our lives. As an example, when we think of someone, we transmit some of energy from our aura into theirs.

When a parent worries about a child, they may be sending a mixture of love, concern, and judgment energy into their child’s aura. A boss or a co-worker may send us a little bit of criticism energy mixed in with their morning hello. These outside energies combine with our internal truths. Soon we are unable to tell one from the other, so we accept it all, as a right, accurate and exact portrayal of who we truly are. This I believe is the genesis of the inner critic. The judgments, criticisms and displeasure we feel about ourselves are energies we’ve unconsciously absorbed from the people in our lives. It’s difficult to live a life full of purpose and meaning – our own purpose and meaning – when we are surrounded by the stories of who others think we should be.

4) How can we tell foreign energy from our own?

Foreign energy makes your body feel tight, tense, and uncomfortable. An old Chinese proverb states, “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” Our natural state of being is relaxation, joy, and peace. Our body is relaxed because our energy is flowing, not static.

The book is full of tools and techniques to keep your energy flowing. One of the most effective tools and a tool that I use in my personal life every single day is called a grounding cord. A grounding cord is an energy cord that connects your body to the center of the earth. It acts like a vacuum cleaner, helping you efficiently release all those thoughts and feelings of insecurity and self-doubt. Attaching your aura, as well as your body, to this grounding cord allows your full energetic system to be connected to the earth.

5) Can you explain how the chakras play a part in manifesting what one wants?

Chakras are wheels of energy that connect our physical body to our energetic body. The chakras act as waystations, transmitting information back and forth between one’s body and Spirit. If the chakras are clogged with foreign energy (other people’s thoughts and feelings), then we might be manifesting a life that’s in tune with our neighbor’s idea of the good life, not ours.

Using the energy tools described in the book (grounding, blowing up a rose, tapping), you learn to release energies that are not your own, bringing balance and harmony to your energy system. When the chakras work in harmony with each other, they send out strong vibrational signals to the universe. These signals call back to you energies of the same vibrational family. So the trick is to align all seven of your major chakras into a harmonic – a symphony of vibrations resonating with the energy of what you want to manifest.

6) How should one best follow your exercises and meditations when the first step is always to close your eyes? I found your accompanying Workbook helpful in this regard, but is it necessary?

One way is to read through the meditations first, and then record and play them back as you sit in meditation. One of my beliefs is that we can heal ourselves; we don’t want to give our power away to others. With that in mind, I think it’s helpful to hear your own voice on the tape as you sit in meditation. But I also know that people need a starting point, so I’ve recorded a few meditations for readers to download free.

I believe that taming your inner critic and uncovering your life’s purpose is both a left-brain and a right-brain activity. It’s truly a journey of discovery, a process that takes time and patience. I designed a companion workbook (Tame Your Inner Critic: The Workbook) with space to do the exercises, record your thoughts, doodle and answer some deeper questions not found in the book. I’m glad you found it helpful.

7) In doing this work you recommend, what did you find to be your unique gift and how are you sharing it with the world?

The clues to solving the riddle of who-you-really-are and what your unique gift is, reside in the quiet space of joy. Teaching is one of my joys. When the light bulb goes on for those that I am teaching, and I see their faces light up as new horizons of learning become apparent, that is joy to me. That is who I am and why I am here. I hope that I’ve done this with my book.

Find Tame Your Inner Critic on Amazon.com, or learn more about Della Temple and her work at www.DellaTemple.com.

Namaste and Happy New Year!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

 

 

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Back to the Basics of a Spiritual Life


Screen Shot 2014-12-27 at 1.43.11 PMAs a new year approaches, I’d like to suggest Awakened Living, A Practical Guide to the Spiritual Life by Russell Kyle to help you take steps toward a life filled with more peace and joy.

He agrees with many other philosophers that “the world is what you think it is,” so his first recommended practice is to take responsibility for your life and recognize the true cause of your experiences. He offers 15 additional practices, then finishes with 365 short readings for morning meditation or daily contemplation.

For positive change in your life, Kyle recommends a simple reliance on the “Highest Intelligence and Power governing all,” and recommends building a relationship with this higher power, without pushing specific religious beliefs. He recommends thinking about God, then talking to God, until the prayer experience moves from your head to your heart.

Kyle also recommends meditation, saying “you can achieve most anything” with just this practice alone, done consistently. He offers pointers for meditating and a Guided Meditation you can read or record and listen to. Practicing his daily meditations will bring you into the present and help you “let go and let God.”

He also makes a case for using positive affirmations, giving of yourself selflessly, surrounding yourself with good, and being humble, forgiving and flexible.

Here, Russell Kyle answers my questions:

Author Russell Kyle

Author Russell Kyle

BECCA: What hope or message do you wish to offer others with your book?

RUSS: The message I’m hoping to convey with this book is the absolute availability for anyone to develop a spiritually connected life. That beyond the mystical and illusionary is an authentic spiritual way of living and being, available to anyone. My hope is that it may lead those who have always been drawn to the idea of living a spiritual life to living that life. By making easily available to them some of the actions they can take to make this desire real and very much alive. These practices are practices that I know work.

This book doesn’t claim perfect teachings but instead points the way to where what one seeks may be found through practice. Practices directly affecting one’s heart, mind and body. Anyone with a bit of willingness for a positive change, along with an open mind, can grow and learn much from these age-old, and new, practices. The hope I would like to pass on is that good change can happen for anyone. That they may soon see that no matter what they’ve been through, what they’ve done, or even where they now stand, what really truly matters most is only the direction they are headed. And with one small step, one moment, one practice, this new direction can begin. Yet beyond my personal hopes, beyond my personal intended message, is my ultimate purpose: to play my part in any way I can in accelerating the awakening happening right now on our planet.

BECCA: Did any specific personal experience lead you to write this book?

RUSS: Yes, absolutely. My journey toward light began from the darkest of darkness. Due to years of sexual abuse, introduced to heavy drugs at a very young age by my abuser, I quickly became a full-blown drug addict and alcoholic. Parents divorcing and father dying, all this between the ages of 12 and 15. My course was set toward disaster. And I followed. Living on the street. Losing all of my family and friends. Attempts at suicide. Jail and everything else that comes with this lifestyle. I had no place else to go but 6-feet under, or up. Yet up seemed impossible, no matter what was said, who said it or when they said it, I was doomed and I knew it. Though, by some grace of Goodness, I one day stumbled into a group of spiritual people, recovered from many of these vices themselves. They offered a spiritual, non-religious way of life that I latched onto. They pretty much told me what I needed, but explained that finding it was solely up to me. What I needed was a spiritual awakening. And so my journey began… exploring different religions, spiritual practices, traveling and discovering. Practicing and experiencing. The more I awakened, the more I was freed from my past.

It wasn’t long before I began realizing the Universe was leading me to share this message of personal transformation. I cleaned up, sobered up, never to use or drink again. I’ve come to terms with my abuse and forgiven. Freeing myself. All through the power work of spiritual practices. I found that my learning accelerated as I taught and so today, as a student and a teacher, I grow spiritually and enjoy a life beyond what once were my wildest dreams. Am I traveling from place to place in my private jet, millions in the market, family all behaving, no problems, perfect health, perfect everything? No. But I’m coming to accept life on life’s terms. To see the purpose and meaning behind events, those we may label as good as well as those many label bad. Coming to see how this acceptance actually begins to transform not just one’s vison of the world but actual life circumstances and events. In turn, getting what one wants by first accepting things as they come. Living in this world of spiritual paradoxes, exciting, fulfilling and ever expanding. Today I live a deep and meaningful life. Full of purpose and full of unlimited possibilities.

One of the most exciting things about it for me, is that it too, in the very same way, is available to you, to anyone. I know today that the next best thing to having a spiritual awakening is to play a part in the awakening of another. Because of this, and a deep urging desire and love, I have put the basics of my beginning practice in a book for others.

BECCA: Can you explain what you mean by “having an open mind on our understanding of God?”

RUSS: It simply means to continue to explore beyond whatever knowledge, understanding or experience you may have of God. Even if you don’t believe in God, there is an understanding or idea that you are not believing in. For non-believers, I feel this is something still worth exploring. What do you have to lose? So you find out you were right… or not. Either way. The journey, the seeking, is good for the mind and heart. It’s worth the journey. We each have our own concept of the Divine. The only problem with having an idea of how something is, is that we limit it from being more. Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said, “When you label me you negate me.” Meaning, when you describe me, you limit me. For example, if I tell you my God is green, then I am also saying God is not red, not yellow, not pink, not orange, and not all the colors ad infinitum. So, as we grow, as our awareness expands and we begin to have some strong ideas on how things are, let us keep in mind that these ideas can limit further understanding. I find that once I experience an ‘ah hah!’ moment, a break into a higher awareness of some sort, it’s best to simply acknowledge it, and then let it go. Not grab, cling and clasp to it. For if I wish to grow spiritually, I must continue to let go of my concepts and understanding, making room for new ones.

The idea is to break our attachment to words and ideas. We easily get hung up on words. For many, the word God itself doesn’t bring up good feelings. As soon as it is used a wall goes up and we shut ourselves off. Like a trigger of sorts. We already have our idea of what the word means, what is probably going to be said and many times have also quickly formed a judgment of the one using the word. All predetermined by the concept we’ve attached to the word. Often this happens without our even knowing it. We never get past the word. We never give ourselves the opportunity to see what this thing is behind the word. There is an old Zen saying, “Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon’s location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger, right?” Right! So we can easily see that we must look beyond our current understanding to really see what we are attempting to see.

Many may be fine with their understanding. It’s working for them. I encourage anyone to work with what is best for them. But to continue to awaken, the confinement by concepts must be broken, and continually broken. Be open-minded: Remain teachable, a student, always willing to honestly consider new points of view and ideas, always willing to change one’s own mind.

BECCA: You recommend both prayer and meditation – how do you differentiate the purpose of each?

RUSS: I’ve heard it said that prayer is talking to God, meditation is listening. I like this but for many it’s become much more, and in many ways very different. It is my experience that the benefits of both prayer and meditation are ultimately much the same. They are a reserved moment to focus on, and connect with, your source of Good. Prayer focuses on a way of building concepts and ideas by word or thought. Placing intentions out into the universe in which the universe will respond. Meditation, for myself, is a way I connect more by not trying. To surrender. To heighten my sense of all parts of my being with all parts in which that being rests. To put the thinking mind on hold and see what else shows up. Even this description is limited as to the unlimited potential of mediation. Like most spiritual concepts and practices we carry, they share similarities, yet the experiences and uses are unique to each. One fact though that most can agree on, most who have tried prayer and meditation enough, is that it works. It works in maintaining, reinforcing and better developing our connection with our deeper selves and the world around us. They heighten our sense of something Wiser at work beneath all things. They raise our awareness to the coincidences and synchronicities. They open our eyes to the awareness of our part in this magical dance of this universe.

BECCA: Is there a time to pray, and a time to meditate?

RUSS: That is probably best left up to each person and what works best for them. The combination of prayer and meditation is a powerful recipe. Some may already view prayer and meditation as the same, again it’s a personal interpretation. Spending time studying other’s views on meditation and prayer has given me a better understanding of the many ways in which to connect with, and sense, ourselves and our connection to our multi-leveled environment. To better connect with the Divine if you will. So I tend to use prayer and meditation both in combination as well as separate as the situation or mood sees fit. I find prayer is quickly accessed and used throughout the day, when riding in my car or walking in the mall, these times meditation might not always be most accessible. Though walking meditations are great for enhancing a mindful state, I usually find sitting quiet most useful during meditation. Again, these are practices you will cultivate as your path forward sees fit. The only requirement is to begin.

BECCA: What would you say is the best way to pray?

RUSS: In my Chapter, ‘Practice Prayer’, I list some specific suggestions on prayer. But ultimately I feel it is a personal experience and practice. What I would tell someone new to prayer, is to just begin. It will develop from there as best fits your needs. Don’t get too caught up in ‘what’ you are praying to. Focus more on the content of your prayer, what or who you are praying for. I’ve found that positive prayer is most effective. Pray in affirmations. For example, “Thank you for the abundance flowing into my life right now,” “Thank you for healing my body,” “I pray for this person, and give thanks for the blessings unfolding upon her right now.” Again, these are examples of some ways to pray. The deeper a prayer life becomes, the more natural it will become.

Take a prayer walk outside, observing and being mindful of your environment, saying to yourself, praying, “Thank you for that flower,” “How beautiful is the sky,” “Thank you for my legs to walk upon, air to breathe and eyes to see.” Prayer which includes appreciation and gratitude tames the mind and opens the heart. It raises the one praying to a higher state. A state in which we see more, experience more and connect deeper. With practice, prayer can become a state of being, a connection we stay plugged into throughout the day.

BECCA: What suggestions do you have for other first-time writers who feel they have an important message to share?

Get it out there. Take care not to get hung up on how others may criticize or judge your message. We have little control on how people take what we say. If something is urging you to get it out there, just do it. As far as how; the only way I know to truly carry a message is through personal demonstration or testimony from those who have been there. For non-fiction writers, simply stick to the truth and how this truth may be demonstrated or has been demonstrated. If you feel a message is important, then you probably have some connection to it already, emotionally, mentally or physically. Whatever your connection, let this be your doorway of bringing it to life, to putting it on paper. What can speak louder than that? As author Wayne Dyer once said, “Don’t die with your music still in you.”

Awakened Living, A Practical Guide to the Spiritual Life by Russell Kyle is available now. To contact Russ with your own questions or comments, email him at AwakenedLivingGuide@gmail.com or connect with Russ at   https://twitter.com/RussellLKyle or https://www.facebook.com/LessonsExperiencesOfTheSpiritualPath.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras – Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

 

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