We live in a challenging world in challenging times. You may notice people around you falling into despair. Some days it might feel like enough of a challenge to keep your own head above water without trying to hold others up from sinking beneath the surface too. Maybe your office environment gets snarky when co-workers feel stressed. Maybe your family members act out when they feel angry, sad or unloved.
It takes focus and determination to stay on track creating a world where you want to live – a world where you feel loved and appreciated. A world where the people around you are stable and joyful too.
So, how do you keep yourself stable enough to be a light in the dark for others – without extinguishing your own light in the process?
Practice the art of Spiritual Pilates to strengthen your inner spiritual core muscles so you can intentionally create the life you love and desire – a life where you show up as your best self and others contribute to your well-being rather than drag you down. Consistently practicing the skills of Spiritual Pilates leads to new levels of self-mastery.
Self-mastery does not mean that you never make mistakes or need to re-calibrate your vibrations to get back on track toward achieving your goals and dreams. Self-mastery is about how quickly you get back to center once you have gotten off track.
You are invited to join the Spiritual Pilates online community to practice skills leading to self-mastery.
In Spiritual Pilates, you learn skills to manage your subtle energy vibrations so that you can:
The next session of Spiritual Pilates: On the Road to Self-Mastery begins November 13, 2018.
In Spiritual Pilates we focus on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy vibrations and how to:
Week 1 – raise and sustain your physical energy vibration so you feel energized and not depleted;
Week 2 – work with emotional vibrations that stop you from moving forward so you can stay on track toward achieving your goals and desires;
Week 3 – assess whether your thoughts are in integrity with your intentions or keeping you stuck in old patterns of behavior;
Week 4 – align body, emotions, mind and spirit for optimal well-being so you are living your life on purpose and you feel fulfilled.
Check with your inner guidance to see if Spiritual Pilates resonates with you. Then, call or text me and let’s set up a time to chat about whether Spiritual Pilates is the next right step for you. Leah 651-472-3995.
Unless you are a hermit living in a cave and growing your own food, you need to interact with other people. Stressful relationships top the chart of my clients’ reasons to see me for stress management. “Hell is other people!” declared French playwright Jean-Paul Sartre. And, sometimes you might agree, and wonder why the hell this person Is trying to make your life miserable. Usually, though, conflict with another person is not so intense – just low key annoyance. He says something that triggers your anger. You say something that he interprets as criticism.
How do you break the cycle of negativity between people? Because at our core, we are social beings woven together in Divine Love. We thrive on respectful, loving, courageously kind interactions with others.
Here are three keys to building healthy, loving relationships:
1) Self-love. At Unity North Spiritual Center, we sing a song, “I love myself so much, that I can love you so much, that you can love you so much, that you can start loving me.” Be your own best friend and treat yourself with loving kindness. Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t want a friend to say to you. The energetic vibration you send out comes back to you. When you feel more love for yourself, you will get more love back.
2) Listen. Listen deeply to the other person. What are they really trying to say underneath their crunchy exterior? Marshall Rosenberg, founder of the Compassionate Communication Model, asks What is the unmet need? Are they really expressing hurt feelings? Or fear of abandonment? Or sadness from an unresolved past wound? Can you find compassion in your heart to hear what the other person is really saying which he lacks the skills to communicate? Raise the vibration of the conversation through your deep listening with the ears of love.
3) Creativity. Imagine that there might be another solution outside the box of your frustration. Open your awareness to the possibility that there might be a third option, a better solution, or an easier path. Keeping an open heart and mind opens the doorway for creative solutions. A new awareness and understanding might be right around the corner which will create a bridge to better communication.
Certainly, some relationship stress requires intervention or therapy to come to resolution. However, most stressful situations between people can be improved through applying three keys: be kind to yourself, listen with the ears of love, and allow your inner creative wisdom to show you a better solution.
In my spiritual healing practice, I focus on helping change-makers manage stressful relationships so they can expand their impact in the world. I offer Intentional Energy Healing sessions to raise the energetic vibration of the relationship so everyone can thrive. If you would like assistance to heal a relationship drama with a loved one, I can help. Let’s set up a time to chat. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
When I first took a physical pilates class I discovered muscles I didn’t know I had. As I continued practicing the exercises regularly, I strengthened my newly found muscles and they quit complaining so loudly. As I have learned and practiced Spiritual Pilates, I have strengthened my inner wisdom muscles. My little ego self still complains, but not as loudly or as often as it did years ago.
I practiced Spiritual Pilates the other morning when I woke up with my thoughts spinning in an anxious jumble. At first, I lay in bed sorting my thoughts and working through all the stories. Then, as I shifted my focus from my head to my heart, my thoughts quieted and I could get some distance from the swirling circle of doom. My wisdom kicked in and got me back to center.
When I focused on the place of calm behind my heart, I realized that all the anxious thoughts were not all my thoughts. Have you had that experience?
It’s weird. You step into a cloud of thoughts that suddenly overpower your own thoughts. It’s kind of like when you turn a corner in the grocery store isle and are suddenly overpowered by a cloud of someone’s stinky fart. Most people have a sense of smell and notice the sudden difference in air quality. With thoughts it’s a little different because our culture doesn’t generally teach the discernment skill of noticing thoughts.
I had a weird thought experience while on a walk one day. I was walking along thinking about whatever random stuff came through my mind. Suddenly, I had a creepy feeling of fear and looked around me. Nothing suspicious to be seen. No one in sight. I continued to the end of my route and returned the same way I had come. When I crossed the same spot where I had felt a wave of fear before, I suddenly felt fearful again. It felt as if I were walking through a cloud of fearful thoughts. I wondered whether someone else had been attacked on that spot or had had a frightening incident there and they had left a thought imprint. I’ve never heard anyone talk about that possibility, but that is what it felt like to me. I said a prayer of protection for myself and anyone who walked on the path. Since my prayer of protection, any time I have walked the same route, I have not felt fear anywhere on the path. The incident felt so odd that I have remembered it.
Everyone has the ability to pick up on other people’s thoughts. Some of us are empaths who pick up on thoughts and feelings more quickly. Some of us develop those skills over time. I admit that I did get a head start as a kid. One blessing I got from growing up in an alcoholic and dysfunctional family was to sharpen my intuitive abilities. I would walk into a room and put my antennae up to sort of sniff out the vibes in the room. I would intuitively notice what was really going on under the surface that was not being discussed. I was not aware at the time that I was picking up on other peoples’ thoughts, but in hindsight, I understand that’s how my intuitive abilities were honed. Have you learned that discernment skill over time also? Do you pick up on other peoples’ thoughts and feelings?
When I woke up with anxious thoughts the other morning, it took me a few minutes to notice that I had woken up in a cloud of thoughts and feelings that were not all my own. There is a lot of crazy stuff going on in the world right now. A lot of people are thinking fearful thoughts and feeling afraid of all the craziness out there. If you are stuck in a cloud of fear, Hey, wake up! It’s not all yours! We empaths get a double whammy because we feel other people’s feelings and we don’t know they are not ours. That lesson took me awhile to learn and still bites me in the butt sometimes.
Having practiced Spiritual Pilates for a while, I can get back to a place of centeredness and calm more naturally. I can quit spinning around with anxious thoughts and feelings more quickly.
If you would like a few tools to regain your center when you get off track, check out my book Seeking Serenity: How to Manage Anxiety and Love Your Life. The ebook is available to download from Amazon. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Seeking-Serenity-Manage-Anxiety-Love-ebook/dp/B072C6FVVF/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503890103&sr=1-1&keywords=seeking+serenity
It’s one thing to read about something and another thing to do it. It’s one thing to read a steamy romance novel and another thing to have a steamy romance. It’s one thing to read a book about dancing and another thing to dance. You have to actually do the activity and not just read about it. I’ve noticed in my life that I can get to a certain level of a skill by practicing on my own. When I am ready to go to my next level of that skill, I want to work with someone who has more experience.
If you are ready to go to your next level of mindfulness and wellbeing and would like a guide on the path, you’re ready for my course in Spiritual Pilates: Aligning Body, Emotions, Mind and Spirit for Optimal Wellbeing. Click on this link: http://masteryintheartofliving.com/classes-and-workshops/
Let’s set up a time to talk about your journey.
If you can laugh at yourself, you’ll always be amused, right? I do amuse myself at times – which is a good thing. So, the furnace started making a noise – one that I interpreted as a “scary noise.” We had just paid out a chunk of change in car repairs. As I listened to the scary furnace noise, I started to feel anxious at the thought of replacing the furnace too.
“Maybe it’s something simple,” I hoped. Maybe the furnace just needed a new air filter. I checked the date, and yes, it did need a new filter so I replaced the furnace filter.
Suddenly, the furnace stopped making any sound at all. No scary noise. No fan. No motor hum. OH NO! I started to feel a little panicky and began searching for the name of the great HVAC guy who helped us out with a furnace issue in the past.
I checked my files, then checked my phone contacts. I couldn’t find the furnace repair guy’s name and I started to get frustrated. After repeating the same steps and still not finding the contact information, I felt more frustrated.
Then, I had that moment of awareness! Just breathe! I stopped and took a breath. I got my focus out of my head and into my heart. I felt an urge to go back to the furnace again and followed my intuition. As I stood in front of the furnace, my eye fell on a switch. I flipped the switch and the furnace kicked on again – this time without the scary noise.
When I replaced the furnace air filter, I had accidently bumped the motor switch to Off. Hahaha! It’s good I can laugh at myself because it does keep me amused quite regularly.
Luckily, I only spun in crazy panic circles for a couple minutes before my wisdom tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear, “hey, try the easy path over here.” I am sure glad I listened because it saved me the cost (and embarrassment) of having the furnace guy come out and flip the switch for me.
I call this skill of toggling out of fear and into wisdom, Spiritual Pilates. This skill strengthens your inner spiritual core so you can shift more gracefully away from anxiety and into peace. When you access your inner peace and innate well-being, you can hear your own wisdom within and recharge your batteries when you feel depleted.
Want to learn more? I offer a course in Spiritual Pilates: Aligning Body, Emotions, Mind and Spirit. Message me to set up a phone call and see whether the course might be a next right step for you. email@example.com
Today it felt good to play the hero for a newborn baby. Everyone in the store could hear the baby squalling. On and on and on and on. I said under my breath, “pick up the baby.” I saw a young mother wheeling a shopping cart with the crying baby strapped into a car seat.
Another woman angrily approached the young mother and said, “that is abusive!” The woman held her phone as if she were threatening to call an authority to report the mother for child abuse.
I remembered how, as a new mother, I had felt overwhelmed and clueless about how to get the baby to stop crying. I mosied on over to the young mother.
I heard the mama say something about how the baby hated the car seat but she wanted him to be safe. “My babies hated the car seat too,” I empathized. “I just picked them up and held them.” She took the baby out of the car seat and as she held him to her chest he stopped crying. I think everyone in the store breathed a sigh of relief.
“Babies like to feel mama’s heartbeat and feel loved,” I said compassionately. She murmured something about him always wanting to be held. “Yes,” I assured her, “babies do like feeling mama close. That’s why I carried mine in a baby sling all the time.” The mama said she had tried a wrap that didn’t work but she had a baby front pack that she hoped would work. She set Baby back into the car seat without strapping him and he remained calm. I wished her well as she wheeled away.
The situation de-escalated easily through simple and compassionate communication. The angry woman did not help the baby because the mother became defensive and self-conscious. Who knows what was going on with the mama. Maybe she had depression. Maybe she was so sleep deprived she felt numb. I remember those days of no sleep.
I am telling this story because many miscommunications contribute to stress and anxiety. Next time you see a stressed-out mom in a store, empathize with her. Murmur some soothing words to her: “it is hard when Baby is colicky.” “Newborns are a lot of work but they are so precious.” “I remember when my baby cried a lot.”
As I returned to shopping, a different woman thanked me for intervening and helping the new mom. Having determined that I was a compassionate person, the woman then proceeded to show me the clothes she was choosing to get my opinion on what to purchase. I murmured something that sounded compassionate and moved away. I am not that compassionate.
500 years ago, smart, well-meaning people believed that the sun revolved around the earth. Copernicus showed they had it backwards.
500 years from now, will our descendants look at our belief in resolving conflicts with violence as equally misguided and ignorant? We have a disagreement, so we kill each other’s children. Makes sense, right?
The Copernican Revolution in the 16th century turned long-held beliefs upside-down, which contributed to changing the trajectory, or path, for future generations of scientists. Folks in the 16th century left a legacy of scientific advancements, innovations, and reformation.
What legacy will our current generation leave for our collective descendants? Whether or not you have physical descendants of your own, you still share our generation’s collective descendants.
I envision we will leave a powerful legacy for our collective descendants. I envision our generation creating an unstoppable trajectory, or path, toward a world of peace 500 years from now.
What if you live your life today in ways that ensure both you and the next seven generations could thrive? What if, after seven generations of thriving, you and I had helped set an unstoppable trajectory toward a world of peace and prosperity for all? What if we focused on the world we DO want our descendants to live in 500 years from now and held the door open for them to walk through?
Whether our descendants attain the world we envision for them, or something better, doesn’t matter. Our intention and the trajectory we set matters. That is what we have control over. Are we on course for fear, suffering and devastation? Or are we on course for peace, harmony and prosperity?
I choose to live my life, day by day, moment to moment, so that my children’s children’s children will thrive on a trajectory of peace, harmony and prosperity.
Is my hostile attitude in this moment adding momentum to or detracting from my trajectory toward peace? Time to self-correct. (I hope to get to auto-correct, but I’m not there yet.) I consciously choose to toggle, or switch the screen of my awareness, AWAY FROM fear and what I do not want TOWARD what we PREFER and DO WANT.
We DO want healthy children thriving and contributing to healthy, thriving communities.
We DO want clean air, fresh water and delicious nourishment for all.
We DO want more love, more joy, more prosperity, and more vitality for all.
We DO want well-being for all.
The scientists of 500 years ago would be mystified by our cell phones, micro-wave ovens and airplanes. They couldn’t have imagined what we would do with the trajectory of scientific discovery they set in motion. Or did they? Did someone imagine walking on the moon back then?
Set your personal intention and our collective trajectory in the direction of peace and harmony for all within 500 years. The longest journey begins with a single step. In which direction is your next step?
Leah Skurdal, inspirational speaker, teacher and author is available to speak to your group. Click here to check out her You Tube video Soul Cookies.
Attend my workshop, Toggle to Joy, as my guest, Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 6-7:30pm at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. Student Services Bldg, Riverview Rm SC200. In Toggle to Joy, learn about shifting the screen of your awareness from the small, outside shell of ego, to the ever-present, Infinite Joy at the Center of your being… struggle, toggle, JOY. struggle, toggle, JOY!
Also, if you have wondered about how to integrate Complementary & Alternative Medicine into your career, check out the Anoka-Ramsey College Integrative Health & Healing Certificate Program when you come to the workshop. http://www.anokaramsey.edu/classes/Certificates/Integrative%20Health%20and%20Healing%20-%20Certificate.aspx
The Rice Experiment opened more than a few teenage eyes on how their words and intentions impact their environment. Hopefully, the lesson will translate into their homes and future workplaces. The middle school teens at our spiritual community conducted the Rice Experiment. After cooking a pot of rice, they placed a scoop of rice into separate, identical jars and sealed the lids. On the outside of one jar, they wrote “LOVE” while on the other jar they wrote, “HATE.” For the next week, they talked to the jars filling the LOVE jar with kind, loving, compassionate intentions and thoughts. They told the HATE jar it was stupid, ugly, mean and nasty. Then, they watched the results.
A year later, these same jars sit on the shelf of our teen room, telling the story of our intentions. The LOVE jar, filled with our divine, loving intentions, remains filled with white fluffy rice. The HATE jar started decomposing right away and quickly turned into a grey, slimy sludge. No kidding.
Vibrating energy patterns make up everything in the Universe – even your thoughts. The vibration of your thought patterns affects the environment around you. That phenomenon caught me unaware in my early 20’s. A boyfriend had given me a lovely, potted, flowering plant which flourished under my tender care. As soon as the boyfriend dumped me, the plant died. “I’m sorry little flower. I didn’t mean to kill you!” My negative thoughts about the giver of the plant had created a toxic environment in which the plant could not thrive.
How many times have you been in a toxic work environment where your life force felt jeopardized? Other peoples’ toxic thought vibrations set up a dissonance in your personal space. The complaining and whining can bring your vibration down until it affects your physical health – like the decomposing HATE rice jar.
The Good News: we control our own thoughts! Sweet! I don’t have to send out negative thought vibrations that ricochet into someone else’s negative thoughts adding to the cesspool of toxic emissions circulating through the office or home. I can choose to think positive, loving, kind, compassionate thoughts.
How do you get the train rolling down a different track once it’s in motion down the track of negativity? Switch tracks! Toggle the screen of your awareness to a new thought. Find something to appreciate: your amazing hand, the song on the radio, a color, a shadow pattern, a shimmering light. Toggle. But she said …. toggle… but they did that to me… toggle, toggle, toggle.
Appreciation changes the vibration of your thoughts to an upward spiral. You don’t have to switch to the JOY track right away. Switching from complaining to joy might require too big of a leap. Sometimes, when I am really mad, the best I can do is get to neutral. At least in neutral, you are not adding to the negative cesspool. From neutral, take one small step in the direction you want to go. Appreciate one thing. Then another. Then appreciate ten things. Notice any positive change in your environment. You might not notice a change in people around you right away, but keep it up and you will. Guaranteed.
Research by Dr. Masaru Emoto provides more elegant evidence than our rice jar experiment about the effect of thought vibrations on your environment. Dr. Emoto led a team of researchers to photograph frozen water crystals. Emoto found that frozen water crystals from a beaker labeled with positive words – love, joy, Mother Theresa – or submitted to healing music, created symmetrical crystal patterns that look like beautiful snowflakes.
Frozen water crystals taken from a beaker of polluted water, however, or one labeled with hateful words or submitted to heavy metal music, produced crystals that looked asymmetrical, broken, dark, cloudy and misshapen.
Even more importantly, Emoto’s team found that the broken crystal structure of the polluted water could be repaired. Misshapen water crystals became symmetrical and beautiful again when infused with loving, kind intentions – prayer therapy.
Now we know why prayer works on our bodies. The human body is over 50% water. When we pray over the body, the water molecules respond to the higher vibration thoughts. Other researchers, notably Dr. Larry Dossey, have shared research on the power of prayer in medical situations. Researchers documented that patients’ health improved when someone prayed for them – even when the patient did not know of the prayer.
Harnessing the power of your thoughts – toggling from a negative to a positive thought – will help you achieve your dreams and create an environment where you flourish. Try sending thought vibrations for harmony and wellbeing to the people around you to help foster a more harmonious work and home environment. When we humans learn to collectively harness the power of our shared vision, we will create a world that we DO want where all creation can thrive and prosper. Please join me in toggling to a life that includes more love, peace, freedom, harmony, prosperity and joy.
Leah Skurdal, is a public speaker, workshop facilitator, energy healer and author. Leah offers classes through her business, Mastery in the Art of Living in Lino Lakes, MN and other locations. She is author of the forthcoming book, “Toggle to Soul: Live in Joy.” Leah is available to speak to groups at breakfast or lunch meetings, social groups, classrooms and spiritual communities. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org www.MasteryInTheArtofLiving.com
Doggie friends, Sophe and Ziggy, live life like someone forgot to lock the gate. Sophe’s human companion Jim McDonnell lives by that motto too. Jim proudly displays the trophy and blue ribbon that Sophe won in their partner race. This picture of Sophe running for joy shows her ears flying like sails. Jim runs and snowshoes for joy too; although his ears don’t flap in the breeze, his kilt does. Sophe’s high-spirited nature charms Jim’s friends who marvel at her zest for life.
Our doggie neighbor Ziggy’s expression of joyful abandon infects everyone around her, too. Remember: don’t forget to lock the gate when Ziggy goes out.
Mean Mom doesn’t care to take on the responsibility of her own doggie family member, so my deprived, poochless kids get their doggie fix through neighbor dogs- especially Ziggy. My daughter thought she was in heaven when the neighbors offered to pay her to dog-sit for a couple days. I swear she would have paid the neighbors for the privilege of caring for Ziggy.
I do admit that I kind of enjoy dog-sitting at someone else’s house. Like a grandparent, I get to love them up and then go home. Ziggy, the pug-mix, overjoyed to see us and exuberant to go outside, races across the hardwood floor sending the rug skidding into the door which makes us laugh. Buster, the loving pug-mix, sends my daughter home perfumed with dog slobber. Like a starry-eyed girl after a first kiss, she doesn’t want to wash the love off her cheek.
Lesson for the day: find a job you love so much that you would pay someone to let you do it.
We observed another life lesson in action watching Ziggy and Buster interact. Ziggy squeaks her toy loudly in Buster’s face, prances back a few steps, then advances squeaking again to entice Buster to chase her. Buster’s food-focused priority enabled him to steal Ziggy’s sweet potato breakfast during her antics.
Second lesson: Seize the day! Focus on your priorities! Engage your friends in playful banter but eat good quality food first.
This week, I am on a road trip with my friend attending a seminar in Kansas City. WooHoo! Someone forgot to lock the gate! At the seminar, I marvel that I get to do work I absolutely love – work that feeds my Soul and allows me to contribute my gifts and talents to the world. My friend and I enjoy ourselves immensely savoring fabulous Thai cuisine, delicious bruschetta, grilled vegetables and even a glass of Chardonnay while learning skills to enhance the work we love to do. Doggie lessons one and two – check!
In the evening, I check in with the family to see if homework got done and how everyone’s day went. I left the family with plenty of food in the fridge, instructions to eat breakfast, and a schedule of the extracurricular activities to attend. I am both pleased and dismayed that they can function without my oversight. Maybe I can lighten up on the oversight.
Doggie Lesson Three – enjoy Sophe’s and Ziggy’s zest for life on a daily basis and in all areas of my life. I will work on that lesson when I get home.