The Wonder of Being Human


I am 30,000 feet above the earth, thinking about a movie that I just watched. It touched me in a way that hasn’t happened in a while.

I have always felt a strong affinity for the lonely ones, the outcasts, the overlooked. It’s probably because I was one myself.

So often, the need to belong is stronger than the will to be kind. But when a person looks inside and chooses kindness over belonging, everyone grows and evolves.

That’s why the movie called “Wonder” was so meaningful. A birth defect made Auggie look hideous. His features are misshapen, he is small for his age and a prime target for bullies. But the kids who learn to see behind the mask discover his goodness and light.

We all wear masks to protect our vulnerability. We learn from an early age that hiding our true self is the way to get along, be accepted and belong. We see what we believe and we act accordingly.

Until something breaks through our mask. Or someone sees us – really sees us. Then, the mask shatters and the light behind our eyes connect. Because we are all the same light. We just have different forms.

Imagine

Imagine if all humans could see themselves for the wonder that they are. Beings in human form, experiencing life in each moment. What might spring from that one simple shift in perspective?

o Judgment and criticism wouldn’t be necessary. How can you judge another for you are the same?

o Racism, discrimination and violence wouldn’t be necessary. For how can you harm another when you are the same?

o Competition would be replaced by collaboration; Jealousy and hatred would dissolve into love;

Imagine your own life if your closest loved ones knew who they are and saw you as you are. A unique expression of divine energy. Differences would be celebrated and passions elevated.

That is the wonder of being human. “Wonder” portrayed these concepts on the big screen.

My 30,000 foot view of the world has shifted. I am in love with myself, my life and every person on the planet. Because love is who we are.

It’s just another step in the Heart Dance!

Mindful Focus – For Students in School and Students of Life


Mindful FocusMeditation

It’s the time of year when the specter of final exams is close enough to create a cloud of visceral fear that trails behind students. Test anxiety can grip the most dedicated scholar and ruin the end result of their month-long efforts.

When I was studying for the bar exam, I hit a wall of fear. I graduated from law school with respectable grades, had a great job at the firm I wanted and was ready to start my career. I had climbed the mountain and was ready to begin my next adventure.

But one thing stood in my way.

The Bar Exam. Just typing those words still causes my heart to race a tiny bit. It is a cruel joke on aspiring lawyers. Endure 3 years of law school, and you’re still not done. Graduate and receive your J.D. degree.

And you’re still not a lawyer.

The Bar Exam is the final hurdle. The last summit to conquer before you can practice law. You have a bit over two months to study (at least in my state), and you don’t know if you passed until four months later. You have already started your legal career, and your future career depends on passing. The first time.

To say that law graduates studying for the bar are under a bit of pressure is such an understatement I won’t even try to come up with an appropriate analogy.

Taking exams and staying calm under stress is an art and a science. When I was studying for the bar exam, I didn’t know how to stay centered, mindful and focused. I somehow managed to pass (Thank God).

I wish I knew then what I know now.

How Mindfulness and Meditation Can Help You Focus

According to Jon Kabat-Zin, generally considered to be the “father” of mindfulness in the West,

Mindfulness is the moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a specific way, that is, in the present moment, and as nonreactively, as non-judgmentally and open heartedly as possible.

When you practice being in the moment, then the next, and the next, your experience of the moment is at its peak. The past no longer exists, and the future has not yet arrived. All that is important is the here and now, which you experience without judgment.

Doesn’t that sound like a great way to live? Research studies have proven the physical, psychological and emotional benefits of mindfulness. Peace, calm, and compassion as just a few of the many ways that practicing mindfulness can change your life.

As a student, being mindful while you study can help you understand and remember the information. Setting the intention of focus, awareness, and memory before you study is the key. And the best way to do that is to listen to a guided meditation.

Meditation is one way to achieve mindfulness. By slowing down and watching your breath, you focus your attention on what is happening at this moment. Stress and anxiety cannot exist in this space. Your mind is clear, and when the meditation is over, that clarity will help you focus on the information you are learning.

It’s using your mind to improve your mind.

The Mindful Focus Meditation

Find a comfortable place to sit with your feet flat on the floor and your hands in your lap. Your back should be straight but loose. This meditation is less than 25 minutes, so give yourself about 30 minutes for the entire process. No interruptions (cell phones on mute, computer on mute) and no distractions.

Listen to this meditation in the morning as soon as you wake up. It will help you stay focused in class or when you are studying. If you listen again during the day or at night, it will ease anxiety and increase confidence in your ability to understand, remember and retain the information.

It’s just another step in the Heart Dance!

Relationships are a Container of Discovery


When you are in a relationship, it appears that you and the other person, object (or even a concept) is outside of you and separate. Continue reading

The Story Mirror


MirrorsI was putting on my makeup the other morning when I noticed a matched set of wrinkles around my mouth. Having reached the age where the mirror is can seem like an enemy instead of a friend, I am hyper-vigilant about the stories I tell myself as I gaze at my reflection.

It makes all the difference in what I see.

Allow me to provide two examples to demonstrate my point. Assume both of these scenarios occurred on the same day, at the same time:

Story A: It’s the end of 2015 and I didn’t accomplish all of my goals. I feel time slipping through my fingers like grains of sand and I feel powerless to stop the flow. I don’t particularly like myself right now and the choir of judgment, criticism and frustration is singing at full volume. When I look in the mirror, all I see are wrinkles, gray hairs and a bit of sagging around my jawline. I frown at my image and wonder (rather despondently) why I look so much older.

Story B: It’s the end of 2015 and I made a list of all that I accomplished this year. I have taught courses, given speeches (on a cruise!), appeared on television, been interviewed on radio shows and even created a podcast. It’s been a productive year and I can’t wait for 2016! When I look in the mirror, I see myself as a vibrant woman eager to share her wisdom. The wrinkles, gray hairs and sagging jawline are just the physical evidence that I have lived more than 50 years on this planet. I smile at myself, knowing that I am enough.

What just happened? My physical appearance didn’t change. The mirror’s surface was the same – it reflected back what was before it. The only thing different was the story I told myself as I looked into the mirror. And that story (whether it was positive or negative) caused me to see myself differently.

Instead of reflecting light particles, my mirror actually reflected the stories I told myself! Instead of an inanimate object made of glass and silver, I now call it my “Story Mirror.”

My mirror has become my litmus test. When I see the wrinkles, gray hair and sagging skin, I know I am not telling myself an uplifting story. When I see sparkling eyes and I can smile at myself, my internal story is rocking.

Your Stories Filter What You See

Stories are the meaning you attach to neutral facts. In the examples above, the physical appearance of my face certainly did not change, but I saw different things because of my story filter.

Can you change your limiting stories? Absolutely. Are you willing to become aware of your limiting stories so you can change them? Silence…as crickets chirp in the background.

The inevitable truth is: Only you are in control of your stories. You created them and you can change them. No one is coming to fix it. Only you can decide what stories work for you and which ones need to be changed.

“But how do I change my stories? That’s exactly how I see myself!” I can hear the conversation in your head as you consider my message. I do not have enough space here to explain the how and why of the Story Alchemy™ process, but I can promise you that it works miracles.

When you change your stories, you change your life. Your view of your world also changes to reflect your new perspective.

Life is a Mirror of your Inner World

One of my favorite quotes is by Henry David Thoreau: It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see. When you begin alchemizing your limiting stories, you begin to see your world differently.

Why? It all starts with your inner world. Change your inner world and the outer world will also change.

We live in a dualistic world of physical form, governed by the laws of time and space. Good and bad co-exist; love and hate can always be seen; joy and despair exist in the same set of circumstances.

It all comes down to which story you choose as your filter. Are you limiting your view because of the choir of judgmental voices singing in your head? Or have you chosen to ignore them and turn toward the light of empowerment?

It is your choice, in every moment. Your choice determines what you see in the mirror, and in the outside world.

Why not choose to stand in front of your mirror with an empowering story about yourself, your life and your value? Commit to seeing the greatest version of the grandest vision of yourself and your world will change…because you have changed it from the inside.

You always have the perfect litmus test to determine whether you are on track. Your mirror. And your life.

Interested in learning more? Please visit KathrynEriksen.com and join my email list. Your first gift is the Story Alchemy ebook, that explains the process of returning to your authenticity.

 

Spiritual Fuel


“Your body is your vehicle for great awakening, treat it with great care” –Buddah

How many weight loss resolutions have your broken by the first week of the new year? Are you in that stage now, berating yourself for your lack of will power and focus?

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Diets, by their design, are restrictive. Deprivation and negativity are hallmarks. And many diets actually work against your body, triggering it’s survival mode. Holding on to every bit of calories and stored fat, because when you are on a diet, you can actually starve yourself.

It’s like filling your car up with water and expecting it to run smoothly (or to start at all).

Unlike a car, your body has its own natural intelligence. It knows how to realign and center, but it needs your help. Your body is designed to operate flawlessly, seamlessly and effortlessly. It just needs the right fuel. (Hint: the fuel is different than what you think it is).

F.U.E.L is not the food you eat or the calories you consume. Spiritual F.U.E.L. is:

Empower Your Health Webinar2

It All Starts When You Live From the Inside-Out

Your health can be seen from an entirely new perspective. Instead of counting calories and feeling deprived, why not take time to be still, go within and discover that you are O.K. (just by being here on the planet). Focusing on living from the inside-out will profoundly change your outlook, yourself, your relationships and your health. For example:

  • Reconnect with your Source and the negative emotions that may drive you to eat poorly disappear.
  • Realize your innate value as a human being; the insecurities that make a chocolate molten meltdown look like it’s your last meal dissolve into nothing. You can still eat the dessert, but you will enjoy it as a treat, not as an attempt to heal your pain.
  • Renew yourself as a holistic being, making self-care critical in your daily life. Meditation, yoga, reading inspirational materials and eating mindfully are just some of the action items that fall into this category.

When you shift your focus from the outer world to your interior landscape, everything falls into place. Your thoughts stop swirling, your emotions settle and you discover what you have always known (but may have forgotten).

“You Are Valuable. You Are Valued. You Are Loved.”

How great would it be to live from that place? Knowing that your worth is guaranteed and that you are enough, right here…right now.

If this message caught your attention and made you wonder, why don’t you join me on Monday, January 11, 2016 from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. cst for a live webinar? You may find the answers you have been searching for, but didn’t know where to look.

Empower Your Health Webinar

Let’s dance together toward a new way of being. 

Just think how grand the world would be if only a few people started living from the inside-out!

Thank you and Be Well.