“The cultivation of gratitude and joy is the way home” –Brene Brown
Have you ever noticed that inevitably what follows the feeling of joy is fear of‘ ‘the other shoe dropping’. This is driven by the fear that tells you that this joyful feeling can’t last. Wham! Joy evaporates into the wet blanket syndrome. Gone. Fear of joy sounds crazy. But, we really buy into it. With a feeble attempt at self-protection, we let fear win. Another way we mask joy is more subtle but powerful. We don’t feel worthy of joy. Joy feels so light that it’s almost kind of scary. “Who am I to feel this good,” guilt scolds.
The new energies that are birthing on earth call us to be our highest expression. They invite us to birth joy. And, joy has a soulmate called gratitude. It’s a package deal. Joyful people are always grateful people.
I am discovering that the more I practice gratitude for the little things in my life: a warm comfy bed, hot cup of tea, birds singing, sunshine and rain, joy seems to slip in also. Joy appears as a warm and gentle feeling of well-being that calls me deeply into the present moment with the intoxicating contentment of complete fulfillment. Ahhh, I’m home.
Cultivating joy and gratitude is a practice. It doesn’t just happen. I invite you to be mindful of noticing that it is your choice to call in joy and gratitude. This awareness alone shifts your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right. It creates a download of feel-good chemicals that make your heart and your brain sync together. This, in turn, reduces stress. Simply but powerfully It changes your life little by little.
I would like to share this conversation between Oprah and Dr. Brene Brown with you, “Joy: It’s Terrifying,” Brene is a highly gifted speaker—one of my favorites. Listen and you’ll know why.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a gentle and effective system of clearing self-sabotage and limiting beliefs from your energy system—this frees you to create a life you love…
Schedule a complimentary discovery call now, email Laurel Brookes at: laurelb.EFT@gmail.com
Putting yourself first has gotten a bad rap because it’s so often equated with being selfish. As ‘ good Christians’ we’ve been brainwashed to believe that self-love and heaven just don’t mix! Actually, I think the concept of self-empowerment or self-love was just a bit too threatening for the good old boy’s club–just my opinion! You laugh, but these beliefs are deeply embedded in our psyches. As much as we’d like to deny them, old remnants remain.
I would like to clarify the distinction. Self-love is self-empowerment. I believe this is what we’re here on earth to learn and to teach. Self-love means that you value your worth as a spiritual being having a human experience. Self-love means that you realize that you must put your oxygen mask on first. Self-love is our highest expression, our highest privilege and our highest responsibility.
I treat myself like I would treat a favorite loved one: adult, child or pet
I speak only words of love and support to myself
I give myself plenty rest, sleep and a good diet
I maintain good boundaries with others
I know my “no’s” and I know my “yeses”
I am authentic. I speak up for myself
If you don’t approve of me, it’s not my business
Lack of Self-Love (selfish) Implies:
I put others before me because I fear they won’t like me
My words and actions are often fueled by ‘not good enough’
I feel like I have something to prove
I secretly carry the belief that if others knew me they wouldn’t like me
I should sacrifice because that’s what I was taught
Hard work makes me a worthy person
I get ‘points’ in heaven for being a martyr
To be unworthy qualifies me for ‘Sainthood’
That I can blame then incubate resentment
At the heart of my giving is the belief that I am not enough.
I invite you to have fun with this as you examine which beliefs resonate with you. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just use your best sense of humor. Remember, you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.
Loving yourself is a practice and a process. Know that it is often two steps forward and one step back. That’s okay. Just remember to resist beating yourself up when you fall on your face. Give yourself kudos and chose again.
Self love is a great topic to tap on. Please email me if you would love help getting started. I’m here for you…
Oprah, talk show superstar and rape survivor, says that for victims of abuse, their trauma is not about the sex it’s the shame that is so destructive.
Dr. Brene Brown, shame researcher, defines shame as that painful feeling that we all have that says we are unworthy of love and belonging.
What empowers our shame is our denial. Any emotion that we push down into our ‘shadow’ (emotional cage) controls us. It sabotages our ability to create the freedom and happiness we deserve.
So, what is the solution? Transparency and empathy to the rescue. Shame does not want to be outed! It does not want you to flex your courage muscle and admit that shame is in your face. Shame does not want you to treat yourself like you would treat your beloved child if they came crying to you that they felt shameful. Would you judge them and withhold love or would you empathize with them? Empathy is lethal to shame. It collapses the shame and opens the heart; whereas, judgment closes the heart and empowers the shame.
Here’s my challenge for you: When you notice your shame rearing its head, invite it forward and give it empathy. “Oh, there you are, shame. Thank you for being so vigilant and protecting me. I give you all the space you need.” Counterintuitive as this may seem, it is one small step you can practice to erode shame’s grip.
Next time you catch yourself in an inner battle, turn it into empathy. It’s the small steps you take with consistency that will collapse shame’s strong-hold over your life. Ahh relief…
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and hypnosis are effective practices for opening the heart. Laurel is skilled in assisting you to achieve freedom from challenging emotions, to live your life with grace and ease. Go to: www.EFTSoulPath.Com to sign up for her blog.
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Virginia Beach, VA
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