Thought is at the heart of all emotion

Thought is at the heart of all emotion.

Thought is at the heart of all emotion.

Bad day? Stressed out? Depressed? Stop: What are you thinking about?

You can trace your emotions back to your thoughts. Sometimes they’re conscious thoughts; other times they’re subconscious thoughts or even simply daydreams sitting just outside your normal awareness. Thoughts direct your emotions, not the other way around like we normally believe.

So when you’re not pleased with your current emotional state, try changing your thoughts. Even small shifts can help bring you out of a funk. Focus your awareness on what’s right in the world. Focus on things that make you happy. It takes a conscious effort to do this but the effects are worth it.

Oh, and if you’re currently experiencing love, joy, happiness or elation, sit back and revel in your emotional state. Feel it in your body and enjoy it with your awareness. Imprint the emotion on your thoughts so that you have a point of reference for those times when you don’t feel as good.

Allow yourself to bloom

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Risk can be scary; it can also be rewarding. When you try something new–like thinking a new thought or expressing your true self–you run the risk of failing. You also run the risk of finding out how truly amazing you really are. You run the risk of allowing others to see your beautiful soul.  Go ahead, try something risky today and allow yourself to bloom in the process. 

Get better, not bitter.

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When you’re trying to shift to a more positive belief, don’t allow yourself to get discouraged when you automatically react with the same old defeating thoughts. Acknowledge them; feel them. Then, remind yourself that simply catching yourself in the middle of your same old-same old reaction is a step in the right direction. Then, hit the reset button and try again. You’re aiming for positive growth…no matter how small.

When you get discouraged and stay stuck in those thoughts, you take a step backward. You forget about the process and you end up bitter. Don’t get bitter…get better. One small thought at a time.

Consciousness is like a light

Consciousness is like a light

Use your consciousness to light up your dreams. Use it to illuminate the beauty that surrounds you. Turn your consciousness toward the things that you want and watch them appear. Shine on…

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New moment point resolutions

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Eve nor am I a fan of new year’s resolutions. As a conscious creationist, I believe that every moment presents us with a fresh start, a new chance to make decisions about life and our creation of it.

So instead of new year’s resolutions, I propose new moment point resolutions—choices we can make at any time of the year—to help guide us toward a more fulfilling relationship with ourselves and the universe.

Right here, right now, I resolve to:

  1. Live in the present moment as much as possible. Living in the moment keeps me from rehashing the past or worrying about the future.
  2. Take responsibility for my life by taking charge of my thoughts and emotions. The only true command we have over life is our beliefs about it and that means being more familiar with and conscious of those beliefs. Keep the ones that serve you and discard the rest.
  3. Realize there is choice in every moment. When life presents us with uncomfortable or unwanted experiences, it’s important to remember that the choices we make in each and every moment point build the foundation for what happens “next.” Choosing new thoughts, beliefs and emotions in the moment can dramatically alter the next step on the journey.
  4. Take time daily to revel in my gratitude. When you’re filled with delight over the things you have in your life, the more they increase. Try spending a few minutes every day to look for positive aspects of your experience and be thankful for them.
  5. Let go of fear in all its forms. Fear keeps us stuck in present experience and draws to us more things to fear. Choosing to believe in safety creates more safety and shifts our vibration to a calmer experience.
  6. Remember that waking reality is a mirror to my inner state of mind. Every experience, no matter how small or seemingly trivial, is a reflection of my thoughts, beliefs and emotions. We can use our present experiences to understand the deeper beliefs that create them and change them with concerted effort.
  7. Understand that we are “all one.” Friends, enemies, animals and nature are all teachers, for they are extensions of ourselves. When we remember this, we can be more compassionate, more understanding and more purposeful in our interactions with the world.

Take control of your life by choosing to create the life you want to lead. Use these principles as guides to help you create your best life yet and Honor Your Spirit in the process.

Daily dose of “now”

Staying in the present moment by admiring a spectacular sunset

Staying in the present moment by admiring a spectacular sunset

I admit it: I take way too many sunset pictures. A lot of them. Of course, when you live in Colorado, there are frequent opportunities to immortalize a beautiful evening with a quick snap of my iPhone.

Those sunset pictures that I post to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (and now Medium), serve as a reminder to myself of the power of the present moment. They remind me of the state of mind I find myself in when I stop to bask in the beauty of nature.

We get spectacular sunsets in late fall and early spring here in Denver—the setting sun dropping below the Rocky Mountains catches the clouds at just the right angle to produce a canvas of vivid reds, oranges, yellows, pinks and purples. It doesn’t happen every single day, but frequent enough for most people to take notice.

On those evenings when the color is particularly vibrant or the clouds arrange themselves in just the perfect array, I always stop to marvel at the beauty of nature. Every time. A beautiful sunset literally stops me in my tracks.

When I admire a beautiful sunset, time stands still. My thoughts stand still. Gone are the worries about work; vanished are thoughts of politics; banished are cares and complaints. They are replaced with a quiet stillness that opens up space in my mind and spirit that is indescribable.

The feeling may last for two minutes or 20 but I do appreciate my special time with the Sun and consciously choose to honor it by pausing in quiet solitude and peaceful reflection.

And on those nights where the colors really speak to me, the phone comes out and I start shooting. I want to remember that peaceful space in my mind when I look at my photos at later times. I want others to understand what this type of experience means to me. I want to keep that feeling with me and be able to call upon it whenever I need a pick-me-up.

The photos remind me to stay in the “now,” that sublime place where action happens and magic is created. It’s a special place and I hope others take the time to appreciate it as much as I do.

For more on this topic, visit this post on sunsets in nature.

Hate change? Look for the beauty anyway

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The change happened so fast I barely had time to notice. One week I was taking refuge in the air conditioning to escape the 99-degree weather. The next, I was walking through snow in the high country.

Weather changes quickly (and frequently) in Colorado, so I shouldn’t have been surprised. But as I hiked in the mountains this past weekend, it hit me: fall had officially arrived. I’m a summer kind of guy, so this realization didn’t exactly thrill me.

Many people love fall, but not me. It signifies the onslaught of shorter days, cooler temperatures and less vacation. Fall and winter usually depress me, so the change in seasons felt heavy and restrictive. On top of it all, I knew there was nothing I could do about it.

Change is constant; we know that. Nothing ever stays the same. Ever. So if change is constant in the universe, why do we resist it?

I pondered this question on my hike, feeling my mood darken like the clouds above me. My thoughts became obsessed with all the things I wanted to get done before the end of summer and the list grew longer with each step.

In a trance, I walked up the hillside above the house, not noticing the constantly changing weather. There were periods of sunshine, rain, and some light snow. I didn’t notice the green grass or yellow wildflowers still in bloom. Change was happening all around me yet I was focused solely on one thing: nature was forcing me into something I didn’t want.

Realizing what I was doing, or more appropriately realizing what I was thinking, I searched for something—anything—that would make me feel better. I surveyed the landscape for something soothing and I found it just a few feet away.

Despite being a summer kinda guy, there is one thing I love about fall: the changing leaves. There are some pretty spectacular places on this earth to watch fall foliage changes but fall in the Colorado high country is an experience that stays with you your entire life.

During a “good” season, the Colorado Rockies gradually transform from a sea of green to a kaleidoscope of rich oranges, browns and yellows. Unlike the flora of the east coast, our colorful change comes from the Aspen tree, one of the most prevalent trees in the high country. While the colors vary in intensity year to year, it’s always fun to see what kind of “natural painting” you can catch with your eyes and camera.

Aspens usually transform from green, to orange to yellow before starting their winter hibernation. On occasion, you’ll find pockets of red and brown leaves and those are my favorite. Amid hunters searching for Elk and Deer, I set out on foot in search of ruby red leaves to photograph.

Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of photographs of red Aspen leaves and I never tire of seeing them. So on this particularly gloomy day when I found myself getting depressed over the changing seasons, I was delighted when one small four-foot Aspen caught my eye.

Standing apart from its white bark were branches filled with small leaves of browns, deep reds and a few hints of green thrown in for good measure. The Aspens are referred to locally as Quaking Aspen because in a gentle breeze, their leaves shimmer and shake in the wind, almost like the tree is quaking in its roots. The red leaves seemed to be waiving at me.

As I stopped to take as many close-up photos as I could, one particular leaf stood out. It was caught somewhere between death and life and was divided equally between green and red. It was in the midst of full-blown change brought about by the changing seasons.

The discovery lifted my spirits. Although the leaves in my neck of the woods (excuse the expression) are just now starting to turn, the discovery piqued my interest and caused me to become hypersensitive to any other exotic leaf I could find. And low-and-behold, I found many more interesting photographic subjects on my way back to the house.

The entire experience felt metaphoric. Amidst all of this change: the changing seasons, changing temperatures, and even the change in clothing required to go for a walk, I found something that lifted my spirits ever so slightly. It lessened my depression over winter’s approach and helped me realize that the best thing to do with change is to look for any beautiful aspect you can find.

The Law of Constant Change is designed to help us evolve and grow. Change drives the universe, providing fresh experiences and insights that point us toward our greatest development. Knowing that doesn’t always help us feel better about change so at times it takes a purposeful shift in perspective to understand and accept what change brings.

It helps to look for the beautiful things in change.

Personally, looking for beautiful leaves helped ease the transition into fall and winter. A friend recently diagnosed with cancer told me she’s focused on recognizing every positive thing said to her—about anything. Another friend found beauty in change after discovering a new love for painting. A coworker recognized the beauty of the sunrise when faced with a shift change. 

When you’re faced with change, make a conscious effort to look for something beautiful in it. The conscious search alone will help shift your attention away from the change itself and reframe the experience into something more soothing. It’s another way to Honor Your Spirit by allowing change and appreciating it at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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