Does your teen make a plan with you and then ditch you for her friends?
Does your teen say hurtful things to you?
Does your teen squirm away when you try to be physically affectionate?
Even the nicest teens say mean things.
I remember looking at a photo of my Mom when she was a young woman wearing plaid bellbottoms, and I said, “Did you actually think you looked GOOD back then?”
Ouch! Sorry, Mom.
Brené Brown is just friggen awesome. Every single time I watch this video I get chills. There is just no substitute for brilliance like this.
“Shame drives two big tapes: “Never good enough”; and if you can talk it out of that one, “Who do you think you are?” – Brené Brown
Shame is, as Brené says, a statement that says “I am bad”. It is different from guilt which is a break in our own moral rules, which says “I have done something bad.”
Signs of Spring is a process I use to enhance my trust in the Universe. I developed as a part of my book, Secret Art of Happiness: Change your Life with the Reiki Ideals. It really works. Just a tiny bit of positive attention to the things that are working in your life, means that the machinery of the Universe is free to help you.
I call it Signs of Spring because I live in a part of the world where the winters are long. Dark days and cold nights for months can sometimes make you forget that summer is possible. We have these seasons within us as well. The winters of our lives can be hard. They can be lonely. They are bare and cold periods where nothing seems right and nothing seems to be going your way. Nothing works and everything seems frozen with no clear path ahead. You can sometimes lose faith that summer will ever come. But just as with the seasons, summer always comes. Always. Every year. Guaranteed.
It is the same for you. Hard times are replaced by easy times. Or at least easier times. It is the cyclical nature of life. We encounter a challenge, we learn, we grow, and we return to happiness, if even for a moment. The point of this exercise is to extend those times of ease and happiness, and to increase their volume. To begin looking for tiny signs that the winter is leaving and that joy, peace, love and abundance are indeed here and getting bigger everyday.
Signs of Spring are little indications that things are shifting in your life. It is looking for the first signs of warmth, of spring, of tiny seeds germinating in the soil and pushing their way up through the ground. It is the buds on the trees getting fatter and the birds returning. It is a slightly longer day and a beam of sunlight through dark clouds. It is melting and a hush in the air in the pause between dusk and dawn. It is the soft mossy scents of earth returning to its fullness, a stretch, long and delicious and slow after a long slumber. It is waking and rising and returning to what is soft and good and new. It is a softness in the heart. It is a smile from a stranger. It is having the door held for you. It is a small tiny gesture that the Universe has heard you and summer is on its way.
Get a nice little journal or notepad that you can keep near you throughout your day. Keep it with you, in your pocket, in your purse, in your car, by your bedside table, wherever you will remember it and have it close. At least once a day, write down your Signs of Spring.
Write down a list every day of these small ways that things are getting better. Write down all your successes. Write down the tiniest detail as a symbol that your request to the Universe has been heard.
If you are wanting more abundance, it could be finding a penny on the street, or a friend buying your coffee, or even an improved feeling in your heart.
If you are looking for romance, it could be a smile from a passerby, it could be feeling good about yourself, it could be an increase in synchronicity, or reconnecting with old friends.
If you are wanting a better job or more fulfilling work, it could be an unexpected phone call from a co-worker, or someone asking you what your dream job is, or a colleague being friendly.
If you are wanting more happiness or improved mood, it could be a chuckle you had when talking to a friend, or waking up to bird song, or watching a beautiful sunset, or playing with your pets, children, or other lighthearted beings.
Write down all the ways, tiny and grand that the changes you desire are indeed occurring.
Nurture these tiny sprouts by noticing them and appreciating them when they happen. When you do this, you not only begin to feel better about where you are right now, but you also begin shifting, through Law of Attraction, the vibration that you are sending to the Universe. You then begin to powerfully attract more of what is wanted in your life and less of unwanted.
A tiny bit of appreciation goes a very long way toward improving your mood and creating a new life.
In my classes I use a black tourmaline crystal as a sharing stick. I adopted the practice as a way of allowing everyone a chance to speak and be heard. It is a way of creating community and connection in a very short time.
What started out as an inclusion of a practical nature, has shifted to one of the most important parts of the class. So much teaching and learning happens in that opening share time. It is a precious moment that I now do not skip or rush. Taking that space and time for each member of the group to speak creates warmth and cross-learning that I could not generate on my own as a teacher. It takes the material deeper into the fabric of our lives. We see the lessons that Reiki holds reflected in the stories we hear from others on the same path. It accelerates learning and creates bonds that last.
With something as ineffable as Reiki, it requires sharing to fully understand it. I have learned more about Reiki from hearing it described by others than I have from experiencing directly. It would seem to hold true for many experiences.
I suppose that is why we reach out to others on forums such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. We can deepen and understand our own experience better when we see it reflected by others.
A big part of writing in this blog is about connection. I want people to get to know me. I want to hear their stories and understand my own better. I want to widen and extend the sharing circle to include more and more folks who are also on an inner journey.
I want to hear you.
I love little independent cafés. They are geared down sanctuaries for our city-life. Little eddies of time in the fast flowing pace of modern, twitchy life.
These little shops have a personality. They have character. The feel like a cozy tea and good book. They allow us the rare opportunity to connect. Not plugged in connection, but actually connect with human faces, connect with ourselves, connect with the present moment, connect with the physical space.
This process of connecting is a vital need. Just like drinking water. Without it we dry up inside and become brittle, jaded, and stagnant.
Just a few moments is all it takes to nourish this need. Taking a tiny bit of time to do things slowly. To focus on what is precious. To nurture our connection.
I invite you. Right now. To connect more deeply to the space and the people you are with right now. If you are by yourself, you are with the most important person in the world.
Take your time.
Brené Brown is a vulnerability and shame researcher. This TED talk is an amazing explanation of the importance of vulnerability in our lives and how we connect to other human beings.
From a Reiki perspective, disarming the shame beast is a crucial process in self-healing. Once we are able to truly love ourselves, our ability to uplift others increases exponentially. Ultimately we need to live the example of happiness we wish for others.