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Monday, May 30, 2011

How Can I get Over of This Pain?


"I FEEL SO HURT, how can I get over this pain?" This question is common. Emotional pain is like a vicious dog. When you direct anger it's way it will get an emotional surge and bark louder. The first step is to stop focusing on the pain, stop repeating the story over and over to your friends and to yourself in your mind. The second step is to make peace with the dog. To make peace with your pain you begin to realize that when people do and say things to hurt other people it is a reflection of their own fears and emotional pain. As you move toward happiness and peace of mind you will begin to have compassion on them, because they are stuck in the darkness and are suffering. What ever people do is never about you, it is about them and their state of mind at the time. Reflect on these thoughts when you feel anger and resentment towards another. This will help you move past the emotional pain and finally let it go. 
Many blessings to you all
~ Laura Barrette Shannon

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Are You a Prisoner?

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." ~ Lewis Smedes
Who do you need to forgive in order to release yourself from the prison of repetitive emotional pain? How long will you hold onto this pain, like a deluded victim clinging to the knife that stabs them, pretending that you aren't the one holding the knife? Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person. It is not condoning whatever actions or words hurt you. It is making a decision not to let the event keep hurting you over and over. It is an act of self healing. By releasing the thoughts of resentment and anger we release our attachment to suffering.
Some people think that you shouldn't forgive someone unless they deserve to be forgiven.  This is not being fair to yourself. You are the one who deserves to be free of this heavy weight.  The act of forgiveness releases you from the repetitive thoughts of being a victim.  You may have been a victim once, but until you forgive and let those thoughts of resentment go, you will be a victim of this emotional suffering again and again. 
Once you forgive a person, it does not mean that you should allow the same situation to repeat itself.  Just because you have forgiven something does not mean it is okay to play the victim again. Be forgiving in nature but be wise in your decisions to interact with others by not playing a fool.  
The act of forgiveness may take time, so be gentile with yourself as you move toward freeing yourself from this dark prison.   
Many Blessings~


Laura Barrette Shannon

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Where Are Your Trains Going?

(photo art by www.dougwebbart.com ) 
Thoughts are like trains passing through your mind. You can either let the train go by, silently watching it flow through, or you can jump on the train of thought allowing it to bring you to a destination. Some trains go to happy places: warm memories, future dreams, gratitude, present surroundings. Others go to places of misery: regret, worry, resentment, complaints. Be aware of what train you jump on. When you pay attention to thoughts they grow stronger and come more often. Begin to be aware of how your thoughts affect your moods. Ask yourself, where is this train going? Then you can either stay on it or jump off! 


JUMPING TRAINS- The optimal gaol is not to allow ourselves to indulge in trains of thought that lead to misery and suffering. But since this takes time to master, most of us will occasionally find ourselves on a self destructing train of thought. To maintain peace of mind we must learn how to jump from negative trains to happy trains. There are many ways to do this. One of the easiest is to bring your awareness back to the present moment. Pay attention to your surroundings, concentrate on feeling your body sensations, sights, sounds, and smells. When you are fully present your mind will not be thinking about past trauma, today's complaints, or tomorrow's worries. You will be in the NOW, fully aware and free to experience life outside of your head, until you jump onto another more pleasant train of thought. Practice being aware of what train you are riding, and jumping trains as necessary. The more you practice, the easier it will be, until one day it will be second nature. The less attention you pay to the negative trains of thought, the less often they will come to mind, and the quicker they will pass through, eventually not coming much at all. Be gentile with yourself during this training phase. Any amount of effort you take will pay off more than you realize.
Many Blessings-
Laura Barrette Shannon

Friday, May 20, 2011

What Would You Do if the World Ended Tomorrow?





You may have heard that there is a group of people who believe that the world will end tomorrow, May 21, 2011. There has been a man with a sign like this on a street corner warning people in my area for years about this coming judgment day. My thoughts about this are: Who knows if it's true, I tend to think not, but if it were true how would that knowledge affect your life today? Would you pay attention to the little things more, the birds chirping, the sun setting, your children vying for attention, the taste and texture of your food? Would you offer forgiveness of those who you hold grudges and resentment? Would you express your love more freely to those around you? Would you take time to pray, even though you may not ever pray? If so, why wait for your last day on Earth to do these things? You may have one day left, or 10,000. Either way, don't wait till the last minute to live in awareness, joy, and love.


Whether the world ends tomorrow, next year (Dec 21, 2012), or just ends for me when I die, I will not live any different than I do today.  I am not afraid to die.  I'm more afraid of not living while I'm alive.
Many Blessings-
Laura Barrette Shannon

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Don't Get Stuck in the Dark



DEALING WITH LOSS- Sometimes in life relationships will end, your health may decline, and people will pass on. We all have to deal with loss and grief eventually. It is important to allow your emotions to flow, to allow yourself to feel any way that you feel, without judging or suppressing your emotions. Let the emotions flow, then let them go. The sadness will eventually pass if you process the emotions.

Part of being happy and enjoying life is learning to move through the dark times without getting stuck.  Some people have a tendency to cling to the loss much longer than is healthy.  There may be thoughts of what ifs, should have beens, or even blame.  All of these thoughts are unhealthy and will not help you move out of the darkness.  There are others that cling to grief like a victim clinging to the knife that stabs them.  They think that by letting go of the emotional pain, they are dishonoring the relationship- as if by not feeling sad they are expressing to the world that the relationship wasn't that strong.  These type of thoughts can keep them in the darkness for the rest of their life.  There is no dishonor in moving past grief and being happy again.  When we cling to grief, we dishonor our own life and our own spirit.  



I realized this after my 11 yr old daughter, Nicole died in 2000.  There were times when my victim mentality would creep into my mind and tell me lies about how I should never be happy again.  I came to the decision that the best way to honor her memory was to move forward and make the best of my life. It is then that instead of destroying my life, her death became a catalyst for personal 
transformation.
  
Many blessing to those of you going through the darkness at this time.  Please know that you can move through even the darkest time in your life- if you allow it.  


Namaste-


Laura Barrette Shannon

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Palm Rose (1 minute story)


(photo at patterns-and-spirals.deviantart.com)
     


    A Grandmother and her young granddaughter are walking down a busy city street. They pass by a homeless man. He is sitting against the granite wall of a high rise building. The man doesn't have a sign, or a cup for begging; He is busily making roses from palm leaves. There are two roses beside him. The Grandmother stops and asks if she could buy one of the roses. The homeless man smiles and says, "For you kind Lady, it is free." The grandmother takes out her purse and gives the homeless man $5. As they walk away, the young girl asks her Grandmother, "Why did you give him money? He will probably just buy beer and cigarettes. You can't help every homeless guy you see." The Grandmother replies, "Dear One, it may be his nature to take the money and buy beer and cigarettes, but it is my nature to help a man in need."

    GIVE without expectations or without conditions. Give because it is your nature, not because you want something in return.




    Namaste-

    Laura Barrette Shannon

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Who Do You Choose to Be?

    Take charge of life by accepting that who and what you are today is a direct result of all of the thoughts and actions that you have made in the past, not because of someone else, or something outside of yourself. Everyone has the power to choose to be any way they wish to be. Once one accepts responsibility for their own life, true change occurs.  

    "Choose to Be"

    I am now whom I choose to be,
    Consciously guiding my destiny.
    I once blamed fate for losing my way,
    But, actions past formed me today.
    I was asleep- slumbering life;
    Dreaming daily; Seeding strife.
    Now, I pick, plan persist,
    Intending to be whom I insist.
    Dueling demons; Fighting fear,
    Actions my weapons; Thoughts my seer.
    I will endure until the end,
    Minding each moment that I spend,
    Knowing that I'm forever free,
    Being now whom I choose to be.

    (from Awakening Perception, by Laura Barrette Shannon)


    When I realized that I alone was responsible for my interactions with other people and responses to situations in my life, it gave me the power to make different choices.  I was no longer a victim of life.  I began to choose to look at myself and how I interacted in the world.  I discovered my habits based in fear were not working to create the life I desired.  I learned to face my fears and to focus on love, joy, and life's beauty.  In doing so, I chose to be a happy free spirit.  Who do you choose to be?


    Namaste-
    Laura Barrette Shannon

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Become the Watcher

    (photo from openhandweb.org)


    CONNECT to your higher self! You have the power to be however you choose to be in any situation. One easy way to connect to your higher self is to BECOME THE WATCHER- see how you usually react to people and situations.   Bring your awareness into watching mode by paying attention to your patterns of being, and questioning your thoughts and behavior. Then you can see if how you are acting is in alignment with who you desire to be.  You may be surprised to find that when you come from a place of reaction you are not in alignment with how you would choose to respond if you had given the situation a moment of thought.   Once you have attained this "watcher" awareness you will have the power to respond to life instead of operating with your automatic default reactions. Then you can choose love over fear, peace over conflict, and happiness over despair. ♥
    Don't judge your efforts.  Any amount of attention you give to this practice will enhance your ability to move into watcher mode at will.  Have fun with this exercise.  You may learn things you never knew about yourself.  :)


    Namaste-


    Laura Barrette Shannon

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    What Are You Worried About?

    Master Yoda
    "FEAR is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." ~Master Yoda~

    Be aware of your fears, face them with courage, for it is not that which you are afraid of that will destroy you, it is the fear itself that has that power. It isn't always the big fears that destroy our peace of mind, it is usually the little fears, called "worries" that bring us suffering.



    When a worry comes into your mind, recognize it for what it is- fear.  Do not allow fear to rule you. There is never a need to worry, because worrying does not change the outcome of an event.  It is wasted mental energy which will cause suffering.  Worry will destroy peace of mind and happiness.


    Take a look at this chart:
    Anytime that we allow ourselves to indulge in worrying, we have given into fear. Bobby McFerrin had it right,  "Don't worry- Be happy!"


    Namaste-


    Laura Barrette Shannon

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    What's Your Story?



    Your story is what you tell yourself and others about your life. We do this all the time when we meet new people.  The longer we know them, the more we fill in the life story with whole chapters and characters we have met. The key is to know that you are telling the story, so you have the power to change the point of view of the narration.  
    Is your story one of being a victim of circumstances, or is it one of triumph through adversity? Recognize that either version of the story is just a different perspective of the same past events. I could tell my story from a negative point of view:  My 11 year old daughter was tragically killed in an accident, and I have to deal with disabling health issues everyday, therefore my life is sad and depressing.  Woe is me...
    Or I can tell my story with positive passion:  Many years ago I went through some emotional and physical trauma.  These events provided an atmosphere of deep introspection of life and were a catalyst for self transformation. I am grateful for my past, because it has given me the opportunity to grow into who I am today. Life is good!
    Both versions of the story are describing the same past events.  The past hasn't changed, the way I look at it has changed.  This change in perspective changed my life.
     The choice in how you see and tell your story will affect your self image and how others see you. Don't play the victim in your life story and you won't feel like a victim.  Today ask yourself, "What's my story?"  If you don't like the story, then change it.  You write your own story!  Make it a happy one!



    Many Blessings-


    Laura Barrette Shannon