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Research Says Gratitude Can Reverse Aging, Stress And Ill Health

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Carolanne Wright, Guest Writer

With all the doom and gloom in the world, it seems as though everywhere we turn, there’s one crisis or another. And although it’s crucial to be well-informed and prepared in these modern times, “consuming” a consistent diet of bad news takes a toll on health, happiness and even our rate of aging.

In spite of this, we can apply straightforward action that counteracts the negative effects that we experience. The best part is that it takes only a few minutes a day to radically change our physicalhttps://collective-spark.xyz/?s=gratitude and mental well-being, while at the same time slowing — and possibly reversing — the aging process. The secret? Living a life of gratitude.

Confirmed by science: a grateful heart is good for you

As unlikely as it may sound, when we slow down and take the time to appreciate all the good in our lives — rather than what we are dissatisfied with — a radical change in our physiology occurs. The simple act of gratitude has been scientifically shown to balance our heart rhythms and nervous system, leading to favourable changes in immunity and hormonal equilibrium, as well as increased production of the anti-aging compound DHEA.

Further benefits include a significant reduction in stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression. Considering that the damaging effects of stress contribute to a spectrum of diseases — including, but not limited to cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental illness and a variety of autoimmune disorders — it’s in our best interest to get a handle on this health-destroying syndrome.

The good news is that we can easily tame stress in just a few minutes per day by using simple techniques. A study sponsored by the Institute of HeartMath and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in California discovered that a new emotional self-management program significantly reduced the stress hormone cortisol while increasing DHEA, resulting in a remarkable reduction of tension and anxiety.

Forty-five healthy participants were involved in the study. Salivary DHEA/DHEAS and cortisol levels were measured and the autonomic nervous system was assessed using a heart rate variability evaluation. A psychological questionnaire was also given. Individuals were evaluated before and four weeks after being trained in the emotional self-management program, which included practices that encourage appreciation and gratitude.

In the study abstract:

“The experimental group experienced significant increases in the positive affect scales of Caring and Vigor and significant decreases in the negative affect scales of Guilt, Hostility, Burnout, Anxiety and Stress Effects, while no significant changes were seen in the comparison group. There was a mean 23% reduction in cortisol and a 100½ increase in DHEA/DHEAS in the experimental group.”

The full report can be found here  [PDF].

Two key techniques were used for the experiment — the “Cut-Thru” and “Heart Lock-In.” To learn the specifics of both practices, see The HeartMath Solution.

How to tame stress, encourage happiness and foster health in minutes a day

If you would like to use a few easy methods that encourage balanced heart rhythms, stress reduction and positivity, this page is a good place to start. Additionally, The Appreciative Heart: The Psychophysiology of Positive Emotions and Optimal Functioning is available as a free e-product download.

Lastly, Sara Childre, president of the Institute of HeartMath, aptly observes:

“Gratitude is a simple and effective practice and the benefits are real and attainable. Many of us know this in our hearts, but now it’s proven by modern science. Gratitude creates a healthier, happier and more fulfilling state of being for anyone who takes a few moments to feel and reflect on it.”

Article Sources
Recommended Articles by Carolanne Wright
About the Author

Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years

Through her website Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. Follow Carolanns on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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Manifest

Are You A Wallflower Or A Trailblazer?

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Are You A Wallflower Or A Trailblazer?
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Paul LendaGuest Writer

Imagine that you have died. You find yourself suddenly looking at your life reel. This movie-like presentation shows you everything you have ever experienced on Earth in your life. In your hyper-expanded state of awareness, you see themes connecting certain experiences with others. You notice that one of the major themes is that of rejection…a rejection of new travels into the unknown. You realize that you have been making decisions out of fear and choosing to stay within the sphere of familiarity. When offered new opportunities to step out of your comfort zone, you chose to not take the big leaps. You come to understand that you lived your life as a wallflower.

Fear manifests as anxiety when you have low self-esteem. That low feeling of self-worth is picked up on by others and creates discordance in your energy, as well as others you are interacting with, resulting in feelings of tension and awkwardness. This outcome further pushes you into feeling like you want to stay retreated as much as possible, to avoid the uncomfortable feelings it brings you.

The problem with living this way is that you live a life of mediocrity, at best. You are constantly saying “No” to life, which shuts you out of cultivating and actualizing your incredible capabilities as a human being. Following the paths that others have made will take you to a very predictable future. If you always choose to “play it safe” you will never achieve anything bold in life. You will never leave a lasting positive imprint on humanity….because you lacked the courage to take a chance.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Transcendentalist poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson implies here that being a trailblazer benefits both you and others. If you want to live a rich life that helps you and others around you, there will have to be some courage involved. Courage is when you reject allowing fear to control you. There is an entire sea of possibilities and opportunities that lies in front of you.

Imagine what the world would look like if all the great inventions and discoveries that we benefit from today never occurred. We would still be in the Stone Age….or perhaps would have never even gotten to that point! The story of humanity is a saga of trailblazers. Our bold and the courageous ancestors decided to take new paths, sometimes literally, in the hopes that they would lead them to a better future. We, too, can walk confidently into the future present in the hope of that journey leading to something better for us and others.

The Universe rewards the brave. We all sometimes succumb to insecurities. The key is to avoid letting them control your life. The most successful people in the world can identify fear-based thoughts and consciously direct their thoughts to focus on something more creative and positive. They don’t allow the negative self-talk or naysayers stop them from achieving and accomplishing something.

When you are a trailblazer, the future is largely unknown. Will you succeed? Maybe not the first time, or in the way you imagined, but you will have defined yourself as someone who will never give up trying something new. You know that it is crazy to expect a different result after doing the same thing over and over again. When you embark on a new path, you open yourself to limitless possibilities. There is a consciousness shift that you experience, where you no longer see the world as a place of limitation, but as a place where there is abundant opportunity to do something differently and achieve something better.

Recommended Articles by Paul Lenda
About the Author

Paul Lenda is a conscious evolution guide, founder & director of SHIFT, author, writer, speaker, meditation teacher, life coach, and ambassador for the New Paradigm wishing to provide an integral role in personal transformation and the collective social transformation of humanity. Paul offers private one-on-one holistic life counselling & conscious evolution sessions, via Skype or phone. Paul takes into account all aspects of the hyper dimensional matrix when providing guidance, counselling, and coaching.

You can connect with Paul via:

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How To Channel Your Soul Through Automatic Writing

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How To Channel Your Soul Through Automatic Writing
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Aletheia LunaGuest Writer

Do you want to discover a simple, quick, safe, and powerful way to connect with your Soul? 

One of the best techniques out there is automatic writing. Automatic writing can be practiced by anyone, from those who have just begun their spiritual journey, to seasoned travellers.

I want to share with you a concise and detailed way to practice automatic writing based on my own soulwork experience.

What is Automatic Writing?

Automatic writing is the practice of writing words in a trance-like state that originate from a place outside of conscious awareness. Psychologists and spiritualists have varying beliefs about the origin of automatic writing, with some arguing that it is sourced from the unconscious mind, and others claiming that it originates from supernatural forces such as spirit guides and angels.

My personal belief is that automatic writing is sourced from the unconscious mind which is a doorway into the Soul or Higher Self. This makes automatic writing a wonderful way to gain guidance!

The Benefits of Automatic Writing

When you put in the effort to learn, there are many benefits to automatic writing. Here are a few examples:

  • You gain direct guidance from your Soul/Higher Self
  • You’ll have more clarity in your daily life as a result
  • Improved ability to make wise decisions
  • Your intuitive abilities are sharpened, honed, and developed
  • You can connect with your Spirit Guides and their perspectives
  • You feel supported and deeply understood
  • Improved ability to trust your instincts and intuition

And there are many other benefits, such as the fact that automatic writing is quite a calming practice that literally and metaphorically opens your mind!

How to Channel Your Soul Through Automatic Writing

Essentially, automatic writing, when broken down is simple. It involves:

  • Getting a pen and paper/opening a notepad or word document
  • Thinking of a question to ask
  • Writing down the question
  • Relaxing your body and mind
  • Allow the writing to flow spontaneously

However, automatic writing in practice is something that you’ll have to patiently develop (unless you have a natural gift for it).

You also might find, like many people, that the first time you try automatic writing it goes really well. But after that, you struggle a lot. The reason this happens is that when we try something new, our minds are often empty of belief and expectation. However, afterward, we begin to accumulate mental baggage which blocks the process of spontaneous revelation.

Don’t worry if this happens. All you’ll need to learn is how to empty the mind, and I’ll share some tips below about how to do this below:

1. Think of a question that you want guidance about

The whole purpose of automatic writing is to access guidance from your Soul, especially if you struggle to hear it in daily life.

Start each session with a clear question, and write it down in your notebook or word document. Choose a question that has really been pulling at your heart or eating you up inside. The more emotionally-charged the question is, the clearer your response will be.

It’s also important that you address your question to someone or something in particular such as your Soul, a Spirit Guide or your unconscious mind.

For example, your question could be “Dear Soul, why do I keep sabotaging my happiness?”

Try to keep your questions simple. If you have many questions, break them up into different sessions of writing — this will make the process easier for you.

2. Relax your mind

Learning how to relax your mind is the most important part of automatic writing. When your mind is still and empty of thoughts, writing spontaneously becomes much easier.

Examples of possible ways you can relax your mind include:

Do whatever suits you and relaxes you the most.

3. Enter a gentle trance

As humans, we have the capacity to enter trance-like states very easily. The most popular trance state we enter into is while watching TV!

A trance-like state is a form of altered consciousness in which your normal thinking brain relaxes. For automatic writing, entering a trance is very useful because it facilitates the spontaneous flow of information.

Common ways to enter into a gentle trance include listening to music, yogic/holotropic breathing, mantras, repetitive tasks, guided meditations, self-hypnosis, and many others.

Choose whatever works best for you, and don’t be shy with experimenting. I personally like listening to calming music and blending that with mindfulness or meditation.

4. Allow the flow of information

Once you feel ready you can begin to write. Don’t worry if at first the words are gobbledygook or if you can’t follow the stream of information. In fact, if you’re completely unaware of what you’re writing, that’s actually a very good thing! It means that you’re tapping into something that is far greater than your thinking mind.

It’s also very common during this stage to find yourself judging what you write and analysing it. This is quite normal. If you find your mind getting involved, gently bring yourself back towards whatever practice you used before to enter a trance-like state. For example, if you were rhythmically breathing, go back to that. You’ll likely have to repeat this step a number of times.

I prefer to look away when I’m writing so that I’m not easily drawn into judging what I’m writing. But other people prefer looking. Experiment and see what suits you.

If you’re not used to writing, you’ll probably carry a bit of inhibition at first, which is natural. With practice, you’ll get into “the flow” of it, meaning that you’ll find automatic writing increasingly easier and easier to do without thought.

Before starting an automatic writing session, it’s important that you give yourself as much time as needed to express what needs to be expressed. One surefire way to hinder the flow of information is time pressure and the expectation that it should take a certain amount of time. In my experience, automatic writing can take a couple of minutes anywhere up to half an hour or more.

Basically, create a space in which you can relax as much as possible mentally. Remember, you can always interpret what is written afterward.

5. Interpret the information

At a certain point, you’ll intuitively sense that your automatic writing session is coming to an end. Other times, you might abruptly stop writing and no more information comes.

Once you’ve stopped, it’s time to review what you’ve written. Try looking firstly for coherent sentences or keywords that may pop out. Sometimes you’ll also find patterns, and in some situations, even words from different languages.

Also, if you’re confused about what has been written, you can always use that as a question to ask in your next automatic writing session. However, when I’m confused, I like to wait and ruminate on what has been written for a while. If I haven’t figured out what the message is after a week (which is rare), I use that as another question.

How to Know Whether You’re Really Channelling Your Soul

The best way to know for sure that you’re receiving guidance from your Soul is how you feel while writing. Do you feel a sense of inner spaciousness, lightness, and other good “vibes”? Or do you feel heavy, emotionally-charged, and frantic?

In my experience, I know for sure that I’m connecting with Soul/Spirit when I enter a state of no-mind in which I am completely present, calm and at peace.

However, when writing becomes frantic and heavy, it is usually coming from the mental or emotional energy “body.”

Another way to tell whether you’re really channelling your Soul is by reviewing what is written. Are the words authoritative, clear, and wise? Or are the words closer to what your mind sounds like (disjointed, critical or vague)? Words from your Soul will always sound and feel crystal clear.

I hope this advice helps you out and inspires you to begin practicing.

Some Further Reading, If You’re Curious…
Recommended Articles by Aletheia Luna
About the Author

Aletheia Luna is an influential spiritual writer whose work has changed the lives of thousands of people worldwide. After escaping the religious sect she was raised in, Luna experienced a profound existential crisis that led to her spiritual awakening. As a psych spiritual counsellor, tarot reader, and professional writer, Luna’s mission is to help others become conscious of their entrapment and find joy, empowerment, and liberation in any circumstance. See more of her work at lonerwolf.com.

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Manifest

Finding Love Within

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Finding Love Within
Photo Credit: Getty

Fiona ReillyGuest Writer

The only place we can find true and enduring love is within ourselves. Often it can be easier to love others than to love ourselves. The love that you give to others, can you find it for yourself? Are you able to accept yourself as the wonderful, loving being that you are? How can we truly love another if we don’t love ourselves? Sometimes we can be unkind and critical of ourselves, however it is the times when we are gentle, compassionate and loving that we find the most joy and fulfilment in life. Let’s love ourselves more and increase the joy in the world.

When we find the love within ourselves it naturally flows out from us to others and into the world around us. Do you recognise that feeling of joy and lightness when you fall in love? The world seems brighter and you feel more alive! However falling in love isn’t really about the other person, it’s about what they evoke within us. The love, joy and feelings we experience belong to us, though they are brought to the fore by our reflection in the other person or through a beautiful landscape or with appreciating the miracles of life.

“If you listen closely, you will discover that romantic love it isn’t where you discover true and lasting love. The kind of love you truly long for is found inside of you as you discover how to meet yourself in our own heart.” – Mary O Malley

So how might we gratify our heart’s longing for love and acceptance, for each of us the answers will be different. Can we free ourselves to fall in love with our own beautiful selves? Can we be gentle, loving and accepting of who we are (warts ‘n all)? What aspects of living might help to evoke these feelings of joy and lightness from within? For me, it’s being in nature, sitting quietly to meditate, intimacy with a partner, connecting with close friends, watching a baby and so much more… Every moment offers us the opportunity to open up to love.

From a young age we frequently create stories about how we are not good enough or unlovable. Hollywood and society in general has conditioned us to look for love outside of ourselves in a romantic partner that sweeps us off our feet! And we take on the burden of making ourselves perfect to gain this love. Yet we can never be perfect in that sense, we all have imperfections to help us learn and grow. It’s liberating to accept ourselves in our imperfections. Finding the love within helps us to heal ourselves, our relationships and our world.

“When you are able to love yourself deeply, you can be kind to others.” – Debasish Mridha

I often receive synchronicities and messages from the Universe and yesterday I came across a ladybird at an auspicious location. One of the messages of ladybird medicine which felt apt is that “As fear cannot exist amongst joy, the ladybug brings a message of promise, for they get us back in touch with the joy of living – we must let go of our fears and go back to our roots, to love.” (www.shamanicjourney.com)

Letting go of our fears is a life long journey, though with courage, gentleness and compassion we can find our way back to love.

How can you be more loving, kind and gentle with yourself today? How would it be to love and accept yourself exactly as you are, warts ‘n all?

I leave you with a an old classic from three love legends – “Cause when it’s all for one it’s one for all”

With love from my heart to yours, may you find your love within, Fiona.

Recommended Articles by Fiona Reilly
About the Author

Fiona is an Active Listening therapistreflexologist, and experienced doula. She is passionate about living true to her heart and soul and empowering others to do the same. She runs various workshops related to the vibrancy of conscious plant based eating and women’s issues including being childless/free and loves joining women in circle.

Her website is www.fionareilly.co.uk or click here for her facebook page – True Living

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Create Art, Not Excuses!

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Create Art, Not Excuses!
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Fiona ReillyGuest Writer

We all have creative endeavours that we would like to put more energy into. Ways of expressing ourselves that brings joy, fulfilment and perhaps a sense of liberation. Yet a myriad of things stop us and cause us to procrastinate. We find 101 other things to do rather than begin that project. There are dishes to be washed, Facebook to be scrolled through and goodness knows what else to keep us distracted from that creative expression.

There are many reasons that cause us not to engage in those pursuits that we know will ultimately bring us delight and gratification. How awesome is the feeling of dancing, singing, creating whatever and giving ourselves into soulful expression. We usually have our own personal distortions and blockages around creative endeavours. One of my distortions is that I feel I need to be creating for a purpose, rather than for the sheer joy of expression. I need to be doing something that is productive and useful, rather than exploring or creating for its own sake. It’s an underlying belief that I’m working to let go of. There are undoubtedly a myriad of other reasons that hinder us…

Finding Our Blockages

Many of us have blocks or negative self-beliefs that inhibit our expression. It may be that we feel we’re not good enough or fear we will make mistakes. Many of us as children will have unconsciously picked up messages about what is or is not okay and about our abilities and skills. A comment from a teacher, telling you your painting isn’t right or a parent suggesting you need to do better next time can all impact on our willingness to express. It may be useful to acquaint yourself with your inner critic, find its source and bring it out into the open.

I find that if I am feeling generally inspired and positive about life then it is easier to begin, so go for a nature walk or do some yoga or whatever it is that helps you to get in the space to begin (though be careful not to use this as another form of procrastination!). At other times you just need to begin something and five minutes later the creativity begins to flow. I find this with writing, I procrastinate big time and then once I start I don’t want to stop. Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of not Giving a Heck speaks of the “Do Something” Principle. There is a generally held notion that inspiration leads to motivation which leads to action. Manson suggests that action isn’t just the effect of motivation; it’s also the cause of it. By doing something we can initiate motivation within us.

Mistakes are learning opportunities, everyone who succeeded first took a big risk and probably failed many times. Madeline L’Engle was an American writer of children’s fiction. She received 30 rejections of her book “A Wrinkle in Time” before it was accepted for publishing. (She then went on to publish many more books and become quite successful.) Here is what she says about this:

“Over the years I have worked out a philosophy of failure, which I find extraordinarily liberating. If I am not free to fail, I’m not free to take risks and everything in life that is worth doing involves a willingness to risk failure. This is what’s true in all human relationships, unless I am willing to open myself to risk and to being hurt, then I’m closing myself off to love and friendship.”

Are you willing to dare and risk? Are you willing to let your light shine? What else is there to do? What is the purpose of life?

Marianne Williamson suggests in A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles that our greatest fear is related to our light and success rather than a fear of failure.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Some Questions to Support You in Your Creativity:

Here are some questions that may be helpful for you to contemplate in supporting your creative endeavours.

  • How important is it for you to express your creativity on a scale of 1-10?
  • Ask yourself if not now, then when?
  • Would it be helpful to have someone bear witness to your intention? I find that if I share my intention to create something with another person, that by saying it aloud and having someone else witness my commitment supports me in carrying it through.
  • Is there a time of day that works best for you? For me it’s in the morning, when I’m fresh and most awake. For you it might be at night when the house is quiet.
  • How can you start now? If there is a way to do something related to your ideas – begin! It might not be exactly what you want to do, for example you might want to express your creativity through gardening, though don’t have a garden, so work on a window box or another related project and see where that takes you…
  • I often ask myself if today were my last day on earth, how would l like to spend it? This helps me to prioritize what is important right now.
  • How do you feel when you write/paint/bake or whatever your creative thing is? What does it evoke in you? Would you like more of that in your life?
  • What is stopping you? Do you have creative blocks or inhibiting beliefs that you need to explore and work with? Perhaps write down these inner critics and find out where they come from usually a parent, teacher or other significant figure from your childhood. Ask yourselves are these voices true and relevant to my life now.
  • Find support – join a local or online artists group or create something that would work best for you with a friend or initiate a group. “The Artist’s Way” is a book that has a 12 week step program. There are lots of other books and programs that offer advice on how to get those creative juices flowing.

With love and blessings, Fiona.

Recommended Articles by Fiona Reilly
About the Author

Fiona is an Active Listening therapistreflexologist, and experienced doula. She is passionate about living true to her heart and soul and empowering others to do the same. She runs various workshops related to the vibrancy of conscious plant based eating and women’s issues including being childless/free and loves joining women in circle.

Her website is www.fionareilly.co.uk or click here for her facebook page – True Living

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