Do you have a “heart of stone”?

I will give you a heart of flesh for your heart of stone

This particular quote from Ezekiel has great meaning for me. I used it when I made first vows as a Houston Dominican back in 1979.

It has been coming up again in various ways. This past weekend it came up as I was participating in a program called the Venus Sequence of Gene Keys. This program is about relationships.

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t shut their heart down at least a bit after being hurt in a relationship. You take a chance, I take a chance, in relationship and then get blasted. This could begin in childhood, teen years or as an adult.

What I was reflecting on, and what I want to share with you, are the ramifications of shutting down your heart. According to Ezekiel, this would be the process of turning our heart of flesh into stone.

I believe we were born with an open heart ready to love. I remember when Don, my brother-in-law, talked about meeting his daughter for the first time. She was minutes old and he was holding her as she was bathed in the warm water. I may have the exact story wrong, she now has 4 kids of her own ages 14-7, so it’s been a while. I remember Don saying their eyes locked for a good while. She was, of course, immediately locked into his heart. He was ready to love and she was ready to be loved.

When your heart has been hardened by the cares of the world, that willingness to love and be loved is tempered by the fear of the pain of being hurt again. The stone replaces the vulnerable flesh of the heart.

I was reflecting upon what happens when I’ve hardened my heart. I was rather surprised, and deeply moved, by what came up.

I’ve always thought of a stone heart as being solid. In my meditation, I didn’t see the stony heart as solid. I saw the stone wrapped around the fleshy heart and, well, killing it. The flesh then putrefied and crumbles. The stony heart was an empty heart.

A stony heart prevents love from entering into you, into me. (I so want me in this discussion, and you as well.) The flesh of the heart needs love to survive. If I, you, surround our hearts with hardness for myself, yourself and for others, love from others and from God can’t gain entry. Love is deflected. We can’t absorb it because it can’t get through the cold stone of pain.

We have to be willing to take a heart of flesh

Transforming a heart of stone into a heart of flesh is a dynamic process consisting of awareness, openness, healing, and receiving.

Awareness

First be aware that you have closed yourself off to love. This is where I’ve been the last year or so. I thought I’d passed through this part, but am discovering I haven’t been fully aware. I’ve chiseled a small hole in that heart or stone so a little love is getting in, but I need to open my heart so much more.

As I’ve become aware of being closed off from allowing myself to be open to the love of others, and I’m not talking about romantic partners here, I keep myself separate from others. I laugh with them, give words of support and listen to their words, but I haven’t been truly accepting their laughter and words of support into my heart. I haven’t accepted the love and care behind those words.

Think about yourself, how much do you allow someone’s words of affirmation for you become part of you? Do you assume everyone has an agenda because there is no way someone would mean those words “for you?” If you say, “but everyone around me does have an agenda and doesn’t really mean what they say,” then it is time to risk and find new people. Find one, two, or three open and honest people.

Openness

Second, you must be willing to take the risk to be open to people who can love you. You’re not going to find a human being who can love you perfectly. No human can have unconditional love for you all the time. You can’t for others. Finding one or two who can accept you as you are, yet challenge you to be more, is a true gift. I have found those type of people in my Gene Keys Venus group as well as my “regular” Gene Keys group.

Find a group of people committed to growing and developing with honesty and commitment. There are a number of personal development groups you can investigate. Mine is spiritually focused. If spirituality isn’t your thing, look for others which will fit your needs. When you find a group, don’t sit back with a stony heart which closes you off from the risk and amazement of love. Take risks to share yourself with others. Be open to listening and to being listened to.

Healing 

This journey has moved me even deeper into asking for healing. I use Encodements and the Soul Healing Prayer most of the time. (You can learn more about Encodements by going here.  You can learn more about the Soul Healing Prayer by going here. ) Whatever is your favorite healing tool, use it. Really, don’t wait around. Use it every time you feel pain. If you don’t have a quick healing tool, check out Encodements and Soul Healing.

The more you heal, the more willing you are to take those risks to be open. The more you heal, the more you chip away at the heart of stone.

The happier you become. The freer you become. Peace becomes a part of your life, as well as laughter and joy.

Receiving 

The more you heal, the more open your heart is and the more you can receive. Receiving is a choice. It’s not something that just happens. You have to extend your hands outward to receive a gift. To receive love, you must open your heart. You must be willing to experience pain. No matter how close the relationship, there will be pain. That’s what happens when you put two imperfect people together. The clearer you both are, the less pain there will be. The less pain, the more the two of you can experience those moments of unconditional love.

Gradually, you chip through that heart of stone and the heart of flesh resurrects within you. The heart of flesh you were born with becomes, “re-hydrated” by the love which is now able to make it through the cracks of your crumbling heart of stone. Yes, the flesh is much more vulnerable than the stone; however, the flesh experiences Joy where the stony heart cannot.

A Daily Healing Program 

If you are ready for a daily healing program which takes less than 5-minutes a day, please check out Group Distance Healing. It’s an affordable and powerful program. Click button below.

 

Reflections on Traveling by Car

My traveling companions
Me, Frick and Frack

You get to meet many people

I travel in the continental US by car, usually with Frick and Frack. At the moment they are sleeping beside me on the bed at my resting spot at Motel 6 in Deming NM. And here I am writing my blog post for the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

My main route is back and forth along Interstate 10. I live in Sedona and my family is in Texas. People ask me how far it is. I say about 14 hours because that’s the length of the audio books which take me from door to door.

There are so many wonderful people in this country. Sure, there are the jerks, but I can’t say I’ve met many on my travels.

One day this tough looking biker guy stopped me as I was getting in my car. “Ma’am, are these yours?” He held in his hand a collection of cards which had fallen unnoticed out of my aluminum card case. There were two debit cards, my driver’s license and a number of extraneous cards.

Today, as I was walking the little guys after we got to Motel 6, this couple stopped me. “Did you come from Texas?” “Yes, I did.” “We were next to you getting gas earlier today. We saw your dogs in the front seat of your car in their crate.” They were walking their tiny Shih Tzu and I was walking Frick and Frack.

One trip to Jackson Hole to be at my niece’s wedding, I spent a couple of nights at rest stops. The first time I was rather nervous having never done that before. There was a camper there and another guy who didn’t want to pay hotel prices. He was on his way to see family across country.

Outside of Denver there was a rest stop that had a sign that said, “No overnight stays.” There were a slew of cars there. I asked one woman about staying there overnight and she told me they didn’t mind as long as you didn’t cause any trouble. A van catering to the homeless came by providing water and some clothes. She was waiting for low income housing. There was her Mom, three kids and a boy friend. They had a voucher for housing but none was available. It was only good for 6-months and then she has to start all over again and go to the bottom of the wait list.

One day I dropped into a Waffle House in Tennessee. It was busy and I asked a woman about a decade older than me if she’d like to share a booth. Turns out she is a regular there almost every day for breakfast. She moved from Florida because her son was worried about her being down there by herself after her husband, his dad, died. She loved Florida and hates Tennessee but wants to make things easier on her son.

The most important thing I’ve learned is don’t judge the people of our country by the news. Yes, terrible things happen. Yes, there are some terrible people, but they are a small minority. There are wonderful people here. You just have to get out and meet them.

Do You Surround Yourself with People Who Influences Your Success

How Those Around You Influence Your Success

Let’s talk about those who influence your success… or don’t.

Imagine you grew up in a household of lazy underachievers. Now imagine you grew up in the household of high achievers. Do you think you’d be different depending upon the home you grew up in?

If your family cheered you on, encouraging you to be your best, you probably left home feeling confident about yourself.

If your family was negative, chances are you struggled inwardly about your prospects and your success no matter how talented you are.

You Can Change the Influence of Your Past

You can’t change your past, but you can change the influence it had on you. You do this by surrounding yourself with supportive high-achievers as well as people who believe in you.

Think about the people you know. Are they supportive or non-supportive? Some people pretend to be supportive but then whisper doubts into your ears. That’s not support no matter what they may claim.

Find people who support you. 

If you want to succeed in business, find people in your area of interest who can give you support. Yes, they tell you the truth AND they encourage you to reach for your dreams.

If you want to succeed in establishing good relationships, be with people who have good relationshisps

  1. Gain access to new people. Those around you can introduce you to new people. One of them may ultimately become your mentor or be the business contact you’ve been searching for.

  • Every person you know already knows lots of people that you do not. These people that are unknown to you may become a valuable resource.

  1. The people around you can teach you new things. Everyone you know has something to teach you. Are you hanging out with the right people to learn the things you need to know?
  2. The people around you influence your attitude and expectations. You can’t help but be influenced by those around you. It has been argued that you can’t rise above the results of the five people you spend the most time with. You can learn a lot about success from your social network.

  • Imagine you’re a real estate agent and you’re spending time with the most successful real estate agent in your city. You earned $100,000 last year, and she earned $1,000,000.
  • You call five expired listings each day and send 50 postcards each week to potential new clients. You come to learn that your new friend calls every expired listing each day and sends out thousands of postcards each week. She even has two full-time assistants to handle her incredible workload.
  • She’s also doing forms of marketing you’ve never even considered.
  • Consider how this can change your life. You suddenly realize that you’re not working nearly as hard or as creatively as you could be. You start to wonder what else you could be doing better. It’s an eye-opening experience.

The people around you matter. With whom are you spending your time? Are you choosing to spend time with those that inspire and support you? Are you spending time with people that struggle with life and sabotage your best efforts to excel?

You have to power to choose the people you spend the most time with. Choose intelligently and you’ll experience greater levels of success.

Unleash Your Hidden Mental Strength

Unleash Your Hidden Mental Strength

 

We don’t need to be mentally or psychologically strong when life is running along smoothly. It’s when we hit those bumps in the road, and sometimes sinkholes, that our strength is tested. 

Advanced preparation will help you handle the difficulties that will present themselves. You can do almost anything if you set your mind to it.

Enhancing Your Mental Strength

Here are a few tips to increase your mental stamina and emotional strength. Know that mental strength manifests differently depending upon individual personalities, age, experience, and wisdom. There are strategies each of us can use.

Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply about paying attention. When you are attentive to what is happening within and around you, you’ll be able to manage your feelings and thoughts. Notice the thoughts passing through your head.

Are they the ones you want? Do those thoughts support the life you want? Challenge your thoughts and destructive beliefs. Develop more efficient ways of coping with what’s going on in your life.

Be conscientious. Organize your life, take your responsibilities seriously, and follow through on your plans. Keep your commitments to others and to yourself.

Develop patience. Oh, this is a big one and can be difficult. In our society, we don’t want to wait for anything. Train yourself to breathe when you become impatient. There are going to be delays. Sometimes you won’t get what you want when you want it.

Patience gives you the ability to stay calm and choose your actions. By uniting patience with mindfulness, you’ll be able to remain focused on the type of person you want to be.

Discover Flexibility. How do you handle change? Some people are great. They bend and move with the flow of life. Others try to be that tree which won’t flex in the driving rain, then it topples over at the roots.

Being open to change allows you to adjust your thinking and adapt to new circumstances. There are wonderful rewards which come from flexibility. Often people and situations come your way when you go with the flow that you wouldn’t encounter staying mired in place. Take a chance and discover the rewards of being innovative and resilient.

Live life with Joy and Delight. Some people call this living authentically. Know what is most important to you. Make them a priority. Laugh well and often. Open your eyes to the wonder of the world.

You can’t remove the challenges from life, but you can respond to them in a way that makes you smarter and tougher. Build up your mental strength now so you’ll be ready to thrive under any conditions. Believe in yourself and use setbacks as stepping stones to greater happiness and success.

Increasing Trust in Yourself

What You See May Not Be Reality

You may know
people who seem to be brimming with self-confidence. Recognize that you can observe
what they’re doing, not what they’re feeling. It’s possible their insides don’t
match their outsides. You can learn to trust in yourself even when you aren’t filled
with self-confidence.

Back when I
was in the convent, I was in charge of a particular function. The next day
someone complimented me on how much confidence I exhibited. She wished she was
like me.

I could have
laughed out loud. Today, I would have. Back then, I wasn’t going to let anyone
know how terrified I had been.

Having
confidence in yourself is about trusting yourself, trusting that you’ll be able
to handle the job, whatever job that is.

You may have a difficult time
trusting yourself and wonder if you’ll ever be able to. Don’t think you’re alone
in your self-doubts. Not trusting yourself seems to be ingrained in the human
condition. It’s something many experience and find difficult to overcome.

Learn to Trust

The first thing to recognize is
that comparing how you’re feeling with how someone looks like they’re feeling
is a false comparison. Someone may look confident when they are, in reality,
shivering inside.

Did you know that Barbra Streisand,
Adele, and Rihanna all suffer from stage fright? Adele was so scared she once
projectile vomited onto a member of the audience.

Even if you have fear, have faith
in your accomplishments. Own them. If you’re a great singer, trust in your
ability. Practice and prepare. Then trust your skills.

Trust your instincts, your gut. No,
you won’t always be right, but, if you keep track, you’ll find that you’re
right more often than not. Every time you trust yourself and you’re right, you’ll
become more self-confident. As you gain in confidence, you’ll have more of
those intuitive hits making life easier.

The Role of Others in Self-Trust

You have three types of people:
those who don’t care one way or the other about you, those who’ll cheer you on,
and then those who’ll be negative.

Don’t try to please those who don’t
care. Accept them.

Find people who will be your cheering
squad. I’m not talking about people who will cheer you blindly along your way
when you need a little direction. Find those who cheer and will also let you
know when you’re heading the wrong way. These folks will build your trust in
yourself.

There will also be the nay-sayers.
Unfortunately, your tendency may be to pay more attention to them than is
necessary. Work at filtering out negative information. Focus on the positive in
your life. Listen to those you trust. Avoid negative people. They take delight
in bringing down people just because they can.

Have Faith in Yourself

Trusting yourself may require a
leap of faith. Take some thoughtful chances. Keep track of your
accomplishments. Learn from mistakes and focus on where you’re going.

You are your greatest asset, and a
wonderful asset you are.

Make 2019 the Year You Consider Opposing Viewpoints

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve unfollowed on Facebook because
they were crude, rude and disrespectful to other people’s viewpoints.

I attempt to understand where others are coming from, but there are many I really can’t figure out. Their way of looking at the world is so very different from mine. Their values are so different.

When considering opposing viewpoints, you have to truly “walk
in their shoes.” Even more, you have to find a way to walk in their skin. How
did they arrive at their beliefs? Why is safety more important than hurting
people? What have they seen in their lives that formed them the way they are?

You know what formed you. Do you know what formed others?

You can’t change others, but you can change yourself.

In high school, I participated in competition known as Informative Speaking. I had files of data from Newsweek, Time, and other news magazines and newspapers. This was before computers were even in the mind of the average person. I learned various sides of every story.

When you’re faced with opposing viewpoints, educate yourself.
Be open to the possibility you’re wrong. I know, heaven forbid you’re wrong! Learn
how to take the other end of an argument
or the opposing viewpoint. It may be distasteful but give it a try.

The first step is to consider the people you disagree with
and learn more about them. You may not agree with their political views or the
way they handle their lives. Try to put yourself in their skin. If you had the
same fears, if you had the same beliefs, if you had the same experiences, would
you believe and act like them.

You can always find information about religions, politics,
and more on the internet. You do have to be sure the information is correct.

Read material that you would never consider reading. Do this
even if you’re not facing an adversarial
situation. It helps you to be open to accepting differences in others. You can
look for magazines and books, or you can
view blogs and forums related to the topic you want to learn. Watch the television
shows they might watch.

You don’t have to agree with everything, just learn so that
you can understand them more. You can point out information to them, but don’t
expect them to readily accept what you say. Would you accept information
someone gives you that is contrary to the way you think?

Play devil’s advocate when approaching any subject, including
your own beliefs. Try to pose questions those who believe differently would
pose. See if you can understand why they would pose those questions. You might
even rethink your own beliefs.

Do you understand the motivations of those who don’t agree
with you? Do you understand your own motivations? Self-reflection can bring
greater personal understanding. This will assist you in being more compassionate
towards others and what brought them to their beliefs.

Use language which opens your mind to understanding others
rather than closing the door to those possibilities. When you catch yourself
even thinking, “what an idiot,” STOP. This closes your mind down.

Remember, some people won’t accept facts no matter how hard
you try to get them to consider them. When this happens, there isn’t any reason
to continue engaging with them in discussion. If your difference is with a
close friend or family member, accepting them as they are and avoiding the topic
is the best strategy.

What if you can’t accept them? What do you do? That can be a
tough question. For me, it depends upon actions more than discussion. If
someone acts in a way I find immoral, I stay away. If they think differently
than I do but are not immoral, I learn how to accept them as they are.

Keep in mind that your lack of acceptance of an individual or
even a view point could be due to your own background, your own wounds. This is
where I suggest you open yourself to asking for healing.

My favorite little prayer is what I call the Soul Healing
Prayer. In this prayer you are asking for healing of the wounds which are
affecting your life. I call it “Soul Healing” because my image is of wounds
which hurt so much you send away parts of yourself, parts of your soul. In
psychology we call it dissociation.

This is how you can apply the healing prayer to people who
drive you bonkers because you can’t understand why they think, believe or act
the way they do.

Here’s the process…

Consider something holding you back. Since I’m writing about “seeing
the other side” of an issue, you could ask for healing of the wound holding you
back from wanting to see the other side.

  1. Then you
    connect with your spiritual connection. I use Soul Healing Angels.
  2. Ask them to
    find and bring back to you any and all pieces of yourself which are missing related
    to you being open to learning and accepting others who think differently than
    you.
  3. Ask for
    those pieces to be cleaned, repaired and healed.
  4. Ask that
    all pieces be fully integrated within you.
  5. Give thanks.

Simple, isn’t it? The most difficult part is to be willing to
remove blocks to attempting to see the other side.

Let me know what you experienced, would you, please?

Facts about Low Self-Esteem

Let’s Look at Facts about Self-Esteem

I’ve been posting about causes of low self-esteem. These posts have been expansions on the post Low Self-esteem: 10 Causes. With this post I’m shifting somewhat. I want to give you some basic facts about low self-esteem.

What is Low Self-Esteem?

 Low self esteem is a pervasive sense you are flawed, not good enough, unworthy or unlovable. It doesn’t matter how much you accomplish, you just feel less than. There is an empty feeling inside you. You feel incomplete, unworthy and just plain miserable.

You may keep yourself busy so you don’t have to feel your emptiness.

You Attempt to Get Value from Others or from Things

People with low self esteem often struggle with people-pleasing in an effort to fit in or be accepted. Sometimes they compromise their values so they will be part of the in-group.

People with low self-esteem often collect things which they believe give them value. This could be money, nice cars or homes. They often look for power over people to feel internal power.

You’re not Nice to You

not niceNegative self talk is often a constant for people with low self esteem. Even when things are going well, the critical inner-voice can sabotage success and efforts. Instead of enjoying the accomplishment, the person with low self-esteem looks for weaknesses.

Repeating negative comments made by parents and authorities while you were a child can occupy your mind. Be nice to yourself. Congratulate yourself. Look for the strengths in your accomplishments.

Are You Employed According to Your Skill Level

People with low self esteem are often underemployed, as they fear attempting to achieve and then failing. Sadder than not trying, is not believing that you can make a positive difference doing more than your doing now.

Take risks. Yes, it can be difficult if you don’t believe in yourself. Get the support of someone you trust to encourage you in moving out of the limitations you’ve given yourself

Do You Attract Unhealthy Relationship?

arguingThose who have low self esteem often find themselves in unhealthy relationships. This can happens because they feel undeserving to be treated well. When you’re making negative comments to yourself about you to yourself,  you certainly don’t need anyone else to reinforce the negative in you.

Take a look at your relationship. Are they a reflection of what you think about yourself? What steps can you take to begin to have health relationships. That first step will be about your relationship with yourself.

Do You Isolate Yourself?

isolationIn some cases, people with low self esteem isolate themselves from others in an attempt to avoid rejection or feeling judged. This is different from being an introvert. An introvert needs alone time to recharge. Isolation because you are afraid of being with others is a whole different thing.

If you are an introvert, be sure you’re not using introversion as an excuse of isolating yourself. Extroverts, if you don’t go out and interact with others, you can be pretty sure you’re isolating. Find out why.

By the way, the other side of isolating is that you always have to be with others because you can’t stand being alone with yourself.

Can You and Do You Accept Compliments from Others.

complimentThe inability to accept compliments can be a hallmark of low self esteem. Some people were raised that accepting compliments is a sign of pride and that is wrong. If you don’t accept compliments because you believe there is nothing to compliment, that is a self-esteem issue.

When someone compliments you there is almost always one ideal answer. ” Thank you.”

Ways to Raise Your Self-Esteem

Come to Know Yourself

Focus on the positives about yourself and increase your awareness of them. With the negatives, take positive action to counteract them and, again, focus on the positive.

Shift your perspective in evaluating yourself. Write down compliments and successes. When you make mistakes, learn from them, and implement what you learn.

Speak Wonderful Words to Yourself

Affirmations and positive self talk can help reverse low self esteem. When your habit is to speak negatively to and about yourself, the first step is to STOP. Catch yourself when being negative and just stop. You don’t have to be upset. Just stop.

Then, substitute the positive. Have some positive affirmations ready to go when you catch yourself being negative. Need some ideas? Google, “Affirmations for self-esteem” and select a few applicable to yourself.

 

Quit Looking in a Distorted Mirror

Have you ever looked in those mirrors which change the way you look? You have your own “self-esteem mirror.” Learning to recognize distorted beliefs that reinforce low self esteem is crucial. If people tell you wonderful things about you and you don’t believe them, you have a distorted belief which has you seeing yourself in way that is not reality.

You can change beliefs about yourself. There are healing modalities such as BodyTalk, PSYCH-K and Encodements which will assist you in shifting your view of yourself.

Find Safety

Finding safe relationships and activities can decrease isolation and improve social skills. Where do you feel safe? Find those places and be there more often. Go places where there are healthy people or people working to get healthy. This may mean a support group.

You are worthy of all the wonderful things in life, including feeling good about yourself. When you have a life-long pattern of negativity, it takes time to change it. You can change it. You can learn new ways of thinking and relating.

If you need some help, make an appointment and let’s work with each other. Click here to send me an email.


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