Dr Akilah El – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah El

Category Archives: Forgiveness

Radical Forgiveness

forgivenessBy Jack Adam Weber – wakeup-world.com

I can hardly think of a more mysterious, complex, and too often elusive concept than forgiveness. Most of us have little trouble forgiving minor violations, a la don’t sweat the small stuff. Like being late for an appointment, or forgetting to take out the trash, or not calling someone back. I even wonder if we forgive these daily foibles as much as we just ignore them because on their own, they just don’t run deep or cause significant harm. But what about betrayal, conscious malevolence, or carelessness that costs us major heartache, upheaval, or financial loss? How do we wave the magic wand of forgiveness across a heart that has been hurt in deep, difficult, complex ways?

Forgiveness is a loaded concept, with bigger-than-life promise. It’s also advertised to be relatively easy. We are supposed to forgive, not only to release others from our upset and vengeance, but to free ourselves from suffering the pangs of resentment. There are visualizations to imagine the perpetrator in white light, breathing exercises to release injustices on the exhale, ritual gestures to give away our pain, all of which might help, or hinder our true passage to the elusive land of forgiveness. What is it to genuinely forgive, so that we end up feeling almost as though the incident never occurred? Is it to gradually forget, or merely grow away from what has been done to us, or others? Is it to empathize with and understand why someone else acted as they did? Does this heal the hurt in our hearts? Or is forgiveness—to the tune of a decision—of serious injustice, real betrayal, just a fantasy and not truly erased by wand-waving or easy exercises? 

Most of us have been deeply hurt, where forgiveness of others and ourselves takes center stage. Setting an intention to forgive by saying, “I forgive you,” can be helpful if we do to set a goal—as long as we recognize that there is a lot of hard work to reach that goal, and that the process is not linear but deeply circuitous. We discover forgiveness as transformation by negation, by embodying what forgiveness seems not to be.

When we are able to be deeply present with our pain, as gut-wrenching as it may be, we are able to enter the place of transformation, that of metaphorically dying to be reborn. This is to live with emotional honesty, to feel our feelings. It means that when we hurt, when we lose something significant, when we are betrayed, when we are disappointed or devastated, and forgiveness as resolution is in order, we take these feelings at face value. We feel that hurt and let it be until it is no longer, or until we can go no further or don’t want to go farther with it. The pain dissolves to whatever degree, as we are transformed. Indeed we could say that the energy of the pain is precisely that which changes and renews us, allowing us to forgive. And the corollary is true too: no pain, no gain. Forgiveness in this sense is not a process separate from the tough work of allowing ourselves to be transformed by the hurt we want to forgive. Forgiveness is the door that opens as a result of sitting with the injury of the hurt.

When we feel this hurt, we begin a process I call “dying to our pain.” This means that we surrender to heartache, rather than try to “perspective” or “talk ourselves out of it.” It is valuable to understand the whys of being hurt—why someone cheated on or  stole from us, broke a promise, acted with neglect or malice. We allow injustice and disappointment to change us, carry us down, teach us lessons about how to live and to care better, show us the places in ourselves where we have acted without integrity, how to better care for our hearts and the welfare of others. Feelings of shame, guilt, remorse, sadness, anger, rage, fear, and regret are common when we betray or are betrayed. These are difficult feelings to be with, so it’s no wonder we turn to easy forgiveness, instead of feeling these places that are the precursors for a full-bodied renewal. These trenches of hurt are the school of robust loving and the birthing grounds of genuine forgiveness—the unbidden light emerging from lots of hard inner work.

To forgive another, however, does not mean that we have to, or want to, continue to be in touch with them (him or her). If they have not changed, why put ourselves in harm’s way again? Sometimes the cost to leave a relationship with someone we have to forgive is greater than the cost of enduring the pain caused, such as with betrayal. It’s hard to know what the right decision is. We can begin the journey: embark on the process of accepting and healing our troubles, see where it takes us, how and if our mind changes, and assess as we go. It’s not easy and the journey requires us to get to know ourselves in a much more intimate way.

The degree to which we cannot feel “clear” of an injustice is the degree to which its still affects us. It is also possible that some pains never completely leave us. And this may not necessarily be a bad thing. If we feel strongly about a cause, this pain can fuel our activism for greater good. I am thinking about a Holocaust documentary I watched called “Elusive Justice,” about Jews who have made it their life’s work to track down and bring to justice Nazi war criminals that never faced prosecution.

I am particularly disturbed by the Holocaust, and this movie deeply moved me. It shined a new light on the notion of justice, revenge, and forgiveness—the former are not always bad and the latter not always entirely possible or entirely desirable. The pain of the atrocity allows these Jews to work for a greater good, the spiritual cause of rectifying history and the future, setting an example for appropriate punishment and morality. Whatever our stance with retribution and justice, at the very least, with profound injustice, forgiveness is complex.

forgiveness2LINEAR VS. TRANSFORMATIONAL FORGIVENESS

In the face of betrayal, linear forgiveness might say, “I forgive you for knowingly investing the money I loaned to you in a stock you had no good sense would succeed.” Transformational forgiveness might say, “I am furious, I am sad, devastated actually, that you lost my money, and I am not sure how to proceed; I need to sit with it.” Or, “I am pissed and compromised because you acted selfishly, lied to me, and did not communicate your truth so to allow me the opportunity to make a decision to take care of my needs. I need to go day by day towards resolution.”

Linear forgiveness might say to your partner who cheats on you, “I love you; I forgive you. I will let this go.” Or, “We can go on as if this didn’t really happen. I bless you; may God make this right.” Maybe some people can really live this way and have it work for them. But it does not come close to the congruency and honesty I need to feel at home in my own skin. Transformational forgiveness, on the other hand, might say, “I love myself and I love you, so I will tell you how this feels in accord with how I understand the facts of the situation, and ask that you please help me get them right. This hurts, this really hurts. I am so sad. I am also pissed, I feel destroyed, and I don’t know how to look at you anymore. I will abide in my authentic feelings as a radical form of love, so to deepen my own heart and maybe be able to accept you into my life in a deeper way. But we’ll have to see how the dust settles, how I and you feel about it, and where those feelings and my intelligence take me.”

By feeling our real feelings, we are eventually able to let go of our hurt, rather than gloss over it with methods that merely help us avoid our heartache. When we have processed and been processed by our hurt, forgiveness comes naturally, though not usually easily, as a by-product of being genuine, emotionally and intellectually honest, each step of the way. This way, forgiveness “finds us,” so to speak, instead of our merely expressing what we think forgiveness is, as a predetermined idea.

Transformational forgiveness like this is also paradoxical, in that it does not bypass your emotions to arrive at a “spiritual” outcome, but instead embraces the hurt you want to forgive. It seeks to release the hurt by accepting it, rather than dismissing or skirting it. We can also discover paradoxical compassion, truth, faith, sacredness, strength, humility, and magic by embracing their apparent opposites. But not as an idea—as a fierce and radical process! This is the rich, powerful, courageous, surprising, comprehensively loving, deeply meaningful way home.

We each have our own threshold for breaking open. Some of us will allow ourselves to grieve completely until grief is done with us, until it cleans us out and delivers us to large-heartedness and deeply sourced, unbidden joy. Others allow a little sadness, then shut down, move on—to a new lover, a new job, a new city, a new anything. I am reminded of the line from Mary Oliver’s stunning poem “No Voyage:” 

“Men never go somewhere, they only leave wherever they are, when the dying begins.”

The degree to which we are willing to be with our own heartache, and be changed by it, is the degree to which we can engage in transformational forgiveness. Here forgiveness is not the idealized, contrived goal, but the inadvertent outcome of being authentic and true to the present reality of our hearts and minds. When we deny difficulty, we begin to “die,” even though we might try to compensate with a happy persona. On the other hand, ask us to spend a couple hours alone with our eyes closed feeling into our bodies to ascertain what is honestly there, without manipulating it with our interpretive fear or appall, and we might not be able to bear it. This is a very different brand of meditation, one that values our conditional nature, which then rewards us with a deeper embodiment and experience of the unconditional.

The gift of transformational forgiveness is that we are transformed in the process. Linear forgiveness, from what I can tell and have experienced, is fear and denial disguised as wannabe nobility and pretty-posturing spirituality. The latter might be a genuine gesture and attempt at peace, but it just doesn’t foster deep honesty, which is integration by way of transformation. It can actually become a covert self-harm because it denies significant hurt in our hearts. When we deny our heart’s pain, we consolidate and empower our wounds, no matter how “light,” impressive, or compassionate we might try to appear. A more radical compassion is to feel our immediate feelings and notice our immediate thoughts, sit with them, and make sure they are based on reality (if not, then we can look into what and why we have projected), and express them appropriately. This prevents backlogged pain from settling in us and being acted out on others. It also helps to root out our dysfunctional habits, communicate our truth, and also gives others the permission to be emotionally honest. This is how paradoxical compassion delivers us into transformational forgiveness.

Linear forgiveness is, in fact, the new-age antidote for avoiding difficulty, for avoiding the pain necessary to be transformed and birthed into radical forgiveness, as a by-product of lots of hard inner work that looks anything like our pretty ideas of forgiveness. It involves rage, disillusionment, depression, sadness, grief, helplessness, confusion, tremendous humility, and just about every other shitty feeling and state of mind you can imagine. The pain we try to forgive not only wakes us up, but contains the soul-octane necessary to transform and thereby powerfully change our lives.

Linear, superficial forgiveness is the feel-good holdout for avoiding pain when everyday love goes wrong. Many consider “love” to be a mysterious cosmic force, the amorphous answer to all our problems, an immutable power we can channel and share at will. We instead can think of love as the way we behave, enhanced by inner resources such as courage, creativity, generosity, patience, resilience, and self-knowledge. Certainly, what we commonly call unconditional love, as our presence and awareness, can feel like a power “greater than me.” Yet, unconditional love (also a behavior, by the way) does not automatically change our conditional circumstances; it is merely the first step towards working them out, which delivers us into our full potential. We miss out on opportunities for unconditional love and the real miracle of what we are able to authentically overcome when we sidestep what frankly is. We try to see and avoid tough forgiveness a thousand different ways—which if we are honest, is too often the fear of experiencing our difficult feelings.

FORGIVENESS AS SURRENDERforgiveness3

If pop spirituality is geared to avoid pain, as most of its practices and ideologies are, then what juiciness can it really offer in the face of everyday human heartache? The New Age antidote to heartache is linear, mostly feel-good forgiveness, without acknowledging the pain of the wound. It is flimsy and ungrounded, as opposed to the sort of change that happens over many more months or years by way of transformational forgiveness. The former sets in motion the cycle of denial, repression, stagnation, and a covert harm that explodes and destroys when triggered. It avoids being transformed and deepened as evidenced in a radically different person.

When we can tolerate feeling difficulty and understand its ability transform and renew us, we don’t need to rely on forgiveness the hollow gesture that leaves us with a dearth of depth and richness for giving. Transformational forgiveness comes organically, as a result of clearing out our heart-minds of the hurt caused by injustice through emotional honesty. We naturally let go and forgive as we process our hurts, turning misfortune into fortunes we could not have claimed otherwise.

Injustice is not predictable, so a lot of pain is unavoidable. Shit happens to innocent people all the time, and rationales of karma and “meant-to-be” and it “happened for a reason” are more ways that we try to avoid feeling life’s stings and our fear of death, for which life’s pains are a taste. If we find benefit from misfortune, it does not mean that misfortune did us no harm. To live life with the radical courage to feel everything honestly is not only a way to deepen our love and passion but also to truly forgive and forge a deeper, enduring, and more inclusive love.

True forgiveness, then, might not be what we’d like to believe it is. If we want to live deep, rich, full, authentic, courageous, evolutionary lives, we might be better served to leave behind the contrived spiritual postures we adorn as good ideas and for public approval. We could also do away with the emphatic need to be “right,” which shadows other, more subtle and life-changing truths we realize during moments of tremendous humility—when we are honest about our own intentions. We would do better to surrender to how we honestly feel and think from one now to the deeper next, and to wake up in the midst of forgiveness as frankly and as innocently as we accepted its apparent opposites: betrayal, heartache, injustice, and misfortune. We thereby discover the ever-evolving meaning of forgiveness—its holistic, full-bodied, wholehearted, humbly-derived meaning—as a complex of understandings, emotional processes, and organic resolutions, rather than as a goal from what we think forgiveness is. Forgiveness is, in the end, a process, not a linear decision, though it requires the facts and our true, deep honesty. And we get to feel profund, genuine forgiveness when we embrace what looks like anything but “forgiveness.”

In the end, transformational forgiveness is a life-path of radical surrender, paradoxical compassion, and spiritual integration. Linear forgiveness, as in “I forgive you for so and so,” is best left for small infractions that don’t really hit us that deeply, though we should still be willing to feel and express our hurt over them. For more serious injustices, linear forgiveness is too often a coping mechanism to avoid pain and an attempt stay happy at the expense of our full, honest humanity. There is little more beautiful for giving than our honesty, care, empathy, and authenticity. The depth from which embody and convey these is up to us.

 

About the Author

Jack Adam Weber is a licensed acupuncturist, master herbalist, author, organic farmer, celebrated poet, and activist for Earth-centered spirituality. He integrates poetry, ancient wisdom, holistic medicine, and depth psychology into passionate presentations for personal fulfillment as a path to planetary transformation. His books, artwork, and provocative poems can be found at his website PoeticHealing.com. Jack can be reached at Jack@PoeticHealing.com or on Facebook

 

Catch Anger Before It Catches You

At-peaceby Sandra Pawula – alwayswellwithin.com

I’m not an angel. In fact, my husband used to lovingly call me a “fierce creature.” This fiery inclination can be due to inborn temperament, but it can also be a result of post-traumatic stress or similar brain-impacting life events.

It’s taken a concerted effort, over many years, for me to become more loving, tolerant, and peaceful.

But I still lose it from time to time. Like today, for example, it must have been a triple critical day because I lost it three times in a row. 

It started with an unusually frustrated phone call with a relative. Then, an empty granola bar box made me furious enough to fling it across the room.

Lastly, a well-meaning guardian at the visitors’ center of a private yoga resort challenged me. Yes, heaven forbid, I walked up the driveway, but honestly I didn’t cross the gate.

In fact, I was in my car, about to leave, when she came flying over to warn me the resort property is off limits without a guest pass. I became curt and defensive, cold anger seeping through. After all, I’ve already been on the grounds at least a million times.

INDULGING IN ANGER HARMS YOUR HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

In each case, I was caught in an almost automatic response. But I quickly recognized the error of my ways. Why? Because, in addition to harming others, I know that indulging in anger harms my own health and detracts from my own happiness too.

Take a moment to tune in to yourself the next time you get angry. By doing so, you can discover anger’s harmful impact for yourself.

When I’m triggered by anger, I feel an upsurge of energy at first—almost a high—as adrenalin surges through my body. But this feisty response quickly dissolves into feeling all churned up. If I start replaying the scene in my mind, easy to do, the emotional turmoil can keep on for days.

On the other hand, genuine regret might pop up. Then I feel bad about myself. I get caught up in how to fix the mess, pulled between my self-righteousness and an ardent wish to let go. 

Almost always, healing the wound I’ve imposed takes considerable time—time that could have been used for better purposes if I had only held my tongue.

Anger is like a boomerang. It always comes back to haunt you in negative ways.

Scientific research verifies how chronic anger is injurious for your health. In fact, anger especially hurts your heart. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease can result from an untamed anger response. Anger may be implicated in diabetes too.

When aggression activates the body’s “fight or flight” system—the adrenalin response—the immune system also goes on hold. This can cause further wide-ranging effects. All this means that angry people are more likely to get sick. 

In addition to the physical effects, no one likes to be around a raging, irritated, or frustrated person. Anger just makes you look ugly and unapproachable.

Taking all the ill effects of anger into account, who would knowingly act in a vexing way? While anger may seem out of our control, that’s not truly the case. The mind is pliable and flexible; it can be trained. You can learn to cultivate love, patience, and tolerance in place of aggressive ways.

HOW TO TURN ANGER AROUND

Once you’re already caught in anger’s snare, what to do? When I lose it, like I did today, this is how I intentionally turn anger around and sculpt a new route of joy and happiness in my brain.

1. Take responsibility.

Whatever the circumstances, anger comes from within. I take responsibility for my emotion and don’t try to pin it on anyone else.

2. Breathe.

I allow myself time to calm down. I don’t re-engage until my heart and mind feel steady and clear.

3. Apologize.

I backtrack and apologize for my errant words. Harmful words endanger trust in a relationship.  An apology may not immediately repair the hurt that’s occurred, but it’s the right thing to do and creates the space for healing to take place in the right time.

4. Transform the Negative Energy.

Think a positive thought. I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes, understand their perspective, and counter my anger with love, patience, and tolerance. 

5. Resolve.

I resolve to never express another angry thought in words or deeds. Not to even let an angry thought tumble around in my mind endlessly. I know I can’t stop difficult thoughts or emotions from arising in the mind because they are the result of long entrained habits; but I don’t have to fuel or act upon them.

Realistically, I will probably trip up again, but setting a positive intention steadily reorients my behavior in a positive way. 

6. Forgive Yourself.

I’m only human. I forgive myself.

7. Move On.

I let go of any thoughts about the event. It’s over and done. Better to stay in the present moment than rehash the past or artificially construct a future, which may never come to pass.

CATCH ANGER BEFORE IT CATCHES YOU 

Anger tends to create an explosive mess that quickly becomes more and more entangled. Isn’t it smarter to avoid anger in the first place if you can?

Love and patience are the two most powerful antidotes to anger.

The tendency to get angry slowly erodes when you actively cultivate love and patience every day. Just as darkness cannot exist in the light, love and patience will outshine anger every time.

An easy way to cultivate love is to recall a memory of a time you felt deeply loved as a child or as an adult. If it was a moment of unconditional love, all the better, but any glimmer of love will serve as a spark.

As the sensations of love begin to arise in your heart, allow them to grow stronger and stronger.  Bask in this feeling of warmth and then start sending love to your self by softly repeating the phrases, “May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe.”

Next, progressively extend these feelings of love to your family, close friends, strangers, and even people you dislike. It might be hard at first, but little by little, through dedicated training, you will be able to encircle the whole world with love.

Another way to inoculate your mind and heart against the vagaries of anger is to reflect on the benefits of patience each day. Consider how patience will help you become:

  • More peaceful and gentle
  • More open, flexible, and relaxed
  • Easier to get along with
  • Able to turn around negative circumstances
  • Grounded, courageous, and confident

By infusing your mind with the wonder of patience again and again, it will be easier to pause and meet dissatisfaction or anger with a more enlightened response.

The aim of our practice isn’t to suppress or deny anger. When anger arises, don’t try to push it away. It will only grow stronger if you do. See it clearly and apply love, compassion, and patience to melt anger away.

Isn’t it clear? We’ll never find happiness with anger by our side. Anger immediately disrupts our own mind.

By cultivating love and patience, even just a few moments a day, you’ll gradually overshadow anger and feel greater peace and contentment too. And, should anger ever come to visit, like on my triple critical day, you’ll know exactly what to do.

 

 

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How to Overcome Negative Thoughts – 10 Tips

"Dr Akilah El" by Michelle Uy

Even though I’m a yoga teacher, I still find it’s easy to fall prey to negative thinking. Having negative thoughts play out like a movie can only bring you pain, something that I’ve experienced many times throughout my life.

Negative thoughts drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become. I like the imagery of a small ball rolling along the ground, and as it rolls, it becomes bigger and faster.

That’s what one small negative thought can turn into: a huge, speeding ball of ugliness. On the contrary, a small positive thought can have the same effect blossoming into a beautiful outcome.

I’d like to share with you an example of how one small thought can turn into a very negative experience.

For the last ten years, I have lived on my own. Obviously during this time, I’ve grown accustomed to living in a particular way; I have my routines with cooking, cleaning and living happily in my place.

My boyfriend of two years who I have had a long distance relationship with will soon be moving here and we will be living together. Lately, I’ve had negative thoughts of moving in with him knowing that my living routine will have to change and we will have to create a new routine together.

Unfortunately, I’ve already jumped into the future and have had thoughts that we will not be able to come up with a living arrangement that will make us both happy. In my mind, I have seen myself already getting angry about our cooking and cleaning situation.

He came for a surprise visit this past weekend and boy, was it a surprise for him. We had a miserable weekend together. I did not enjoy his company because I was already angry with him and he was confused and equally frustrated with me. What could have been a really fabulous weekend ended up being a painful and heavy weekend.

When we start to have negative thoughts, it’s hard to stop them. And it’s much easier said than done to shift your focus to positive thoughts. But, it’s the only way—especially if you want to avoid going down a path that is painful and unnecessary.

Here are 10 things I did to help overcome my negative thoughts that you can also try:

1. Meditate or do yoga.

One of the first things I did was head to a yoga class. It took my focus away from my thoughts and brought my attention to my breath. Yoga is also very relaxing which helped ease my mind. Yoga helped me stay present to my experience so instead of jumping to what could happen, it brought me back to the now—the only moment, the most important moment.

2. Smile.

I didn’t do much of this during the weekend so I literally had to bring myself in front of a mirror and force myself to smile. It really does help change your mood and relieve stress. I also felt lighter because it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown.

3. Surround yourself with positive people.

I called a friend who I knew could give me constructive, yet loving feedback. When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, talk to people who can put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thinking.

4. Change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive.

For example, instead of thinking We are going to have a hard time adjusting to our living situation, replace that with We will face some challenges in our living situation, but we will come up with solutions that we will both be happy with.

5. Don’t play the victim. You create your life—take responsibility.

The way I was thinking and acting, you would think I was stuck. Even if our living situation becomes unbearable, there is always a way out. I will always have the choice to make change happen, if need be.

6. Help someone.

Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person. I decided to make a tray of food and donate it to the Salvation ArmyIt took my mind off of things and I felt better for helping someone else.

7. Remember that no one is perfect and let yourself move forward.

It’s easy to dwell on your mistakes. I felt terrible that I acted this way and that I wasted our weekend. The only thing I can do now is learn from my mistakes and move forward. I definitely don’t want to have a weekend like that again.

8. Sing.

I don’t remember lyrics very well and it’s probably the reason that I don’t enjoy singing, but every time I do sing I always feel better . When we sing, we show our feelings and this provides an amazing stress relief.

9. List five things that you are grateful for right now.

Being grateful helps appreciate what you already have. Here’s my list: My cats, health, a six-week trip to Asia, a new yoga class that I’ll be teaching, and for my mom’s biopsy coming out clean.

10. Read positive quotes.

I like to place Post-It notes with positive quotes on my computer, fridge door and mirror as reminders to stay positive. Also, I’d like to share with you a quote by an unknown author that was shared in a meditation class that I attended:

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Happy positive thinking!

www.healingpowerhour.com

Health Tip of the Week

Healthy Dine-out Tips

Before you go

  • Know what your restaurant options are – around your office and around your home. This way, you can decide which restaurants offer healthy choices.
  • If you are busy and eat out often, avoid considering dining out a special occasion. When we think of dining out as a special occasion or celebration, we tend to overeat and indulge in foods that we may not otherwise eat.
  • Budget your calories throughout the day: if you know that you are going out to eat for dinner, try to reduce your intake at breakfast and lunch so you can “save” some of your calories for when you dine out.
  • However, you may want to have a small snack (such as a fruit with cheese or a small handful of nuts) to help curb your appetite before dining out to help you avoid eating too much at your meal.
  • If you know where you will dine out, look up the menu (and nutrition information, if available) online and decide what you will eat before you get to the restaurant. This way you are in control to choose a lower calorie, lower fat meal option and are not overwhelmed by the menu options and careless about eating healthy when you arrive at the restaurant hungry.

What to Choose?

  • Avoid fried and battered foods such as calamari, tempura, chicken, chicken strips and certain Chinese dishes. Instead, ask for special requests for your meal: most restaurants are accommodating and will prepare your meal as you like: ask for grilled, broiled, roasted or steamed meats and vegetables. Asking for a side of steamed vegetables, salad or a baked potato instead of french fries can help cut calories and fat while increasing your intake of healthy nutrients!
  • When ordering salad, order your dressing on the side to limit your fat and calorie intake. However, be careful not to pour all of the dressing provided over your salad, it is often more than what you would normally get on a salad with the dressing. Depending on how hungry you are, a salad may be enough to satisfy your appetite (but make sure it includes some lean meat or fish for protein)!
  • When considering soup, go for the healthier, low fat options of broth based soups loaded with vegetables, beans (such as kidney, black, pinto or garbanzo), and whole grains (such as barley).

At the Restaurant

  • Split your meal with a friend or family member. Most restaurants serve portions that are two to three times what we need! Otherwise, have the serving staff put half of the meal in a to-go box before it is brought to the table.
  • Avoid all the extras, as these calories add up quickly: bread and butter on the table, sweetened drinks, appetizers, side items and desserts. Instead focus on a healthy balance of lean proteins, low fat carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables.

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www.healingpowerhour.com

How to Forgive Someone and Yourself

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When you are learning how to forgive someone or how to forgive yourself, it is helpful to have a road map to follow. There are many paths that lead to forgiveness. These Steps to Forgiveness is one path that you can use to reach your forgiveness goals.

While we may think that forgiving others is something we do for “them” (i.e. the people that we are forgiving), we are actually the ones who receive the greatest benefit. How? Forgiveness sets us free as it allows us to release harbored energy, emotions and thoughts that do not serve us.

Understanding the importance of forgiveness and the benefits of forgiveness can help us to better comprehend why practicing forgiveness is well worth our time. This knowledge can also provide us the motivation that we may need in order to give ourselves the gift of forgiveness.

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When to Forgive?

How do we know when we have some forgiving to do? When difficult emotions get triggered within us as we think about a person or situation, it’s likely that we have some forgiveness work to do.

Also, when we are feeling blocked in our life, forgiveness can help to clear the suppressed energy that may be weighing us down and holding them back from living the life that we truly desire.

Forgiveness work can help us to break thru stagnant energy and support us in moving forward with our goals and desires.

As Author and Spiritual Teacher, Louise Hay Says….

“I know that when we are stuck, it usually means there is some more forgiving to be done. When we do not flow freely with life in the present moment, it usually means we are holding on to a past moment. It can be regret, sadness, hurt, fear, or guilt, blame anger, resentment, and sometimes even the desire for revenge. Each one of these states comes from a space of unforgiveness, a refusal to let go and come into the present moment.”

These forgiveness exercises can help us to release difficult emotions and can be instrumental in helping us learn how to forgive someone (including ourselves).

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Giving Forgiveness on a Regular Basis

A key element in learning how to forgive someone is to create a regular forgiveness practice. This is a great way to keep your energy up and will help you to stay healthy and happy.

In Chakra Clearing, author Doreen Virtue writes, “Just as you probably wash your face every night, it’s also important to cleanse your consciousness nightly so resentment won’t accumulate.”

Doreen recommends doing nightly releasements where you review your day mentally prior to falling asleep. Ask yourself if there is anyone from your day that you need to forgive (including yourself and if you have pets, include them as needed) and if there is, take a few moments to do a forgiveness exercise.

Or, you may want to keep it really simple by saying a forgiveness affirmation. A nice affirmation that Doreen recommends is, “I forgive you and I release you. I hold no unforgiveness back. My forgiveness for you is total. I am free and you are free.” You can use this or create your own positive affirmation statement.

Saying the forgiveness affirmation may be all you do. Or, you could take it a step further and after you say the affirmation, visualize and feel the forgiveness occurring inside of you. This is very powerful!

Then, if it feels right, ask God/Spirit to assist you in making this forgiveness complete. Give thanks, allowing the sensation of gratitude to fill your heart. Then, imagine sending this gratitude to the person or pet whom you have just forgiven.

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As you become accustomed to giving forgiveness, you may even find yourself practicing forgiveness throughout the day, clearing situations as they happen, or soon after when you have a few minutes to go within to forgive and release the energy of the situation.

The idea is to simply begin to incorporate the practice of forgiveness into your life on a more regular basis. Doing so, will help you to experience the benefits of forgiveness on an ongoing basis.

Whether you choose to practice forgiveness daily or weekly, you can start your forgiveness practice now, by implementing these steps to forgiveness. The five steps will assist you in learning how to forgive someone who has hurt you and how to forgive yourself, when needed.

Who knows, you may even inspire others to learn how to forgive someone who has hurt them. What a wonderful gift that would be!

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www.healingpowerhour.com

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