Why Forgiveness?


When you think about forgiveness, it may be in the context of your religious upbringing, culture or history. In fact, you may see forgiveness as a way to show how magnanimous you are. Or how superior or advanced.

In the end, that type of forgiveness is all about you and really not about the other person.

I like to call that “fake forgiveness.” You are never released from your hurt; you just have covered it up with “forgiveness” and you expect the other person to act a certain way. When they don’t, it starts the process all over again.

fake-forgiveness

To discover what real forgiveness is and how it can release you from the cycle of pain, hurt and anger, I wrote a book called Drop the Leash: Let Go of your Past and Love in the Present. Learn more by visiting KathrynEriksen.com.

It’s just another step in the Heart Dance <3.

 

The Touch Point of Your Breath


Have you ever noticed that nature, when observed carefully, can teach you about how to live?

The rhythm of life pulses through nature unabated and Breatheuncurbed, flowing from Source into the physical and back to Source. Effortlessly moving from the infinite through the finite then back again. It is a cycle of energy that repeats itself effortlessly and continuously. You could even call it the cycle of renewal.

A colorful butterfly emerges from the cocoon, transformed from a slimy caterpillar. Trees are clothed in leaves of gold, red and brown when it is time to slow down for winter’s cold. Water evaporates from the ocean to form clouds that will eventually return the water back to the ocean.

What does anything of this have to do with you?

You are part of this never-ending cycle of life. You are the conduit for the same energy that moves the wind, creates elephants and touches the sky at night with color.

The only difference between you and nature is that you have a choice about how you express this life-force.

When you stay stuck in your emotions, the life-force is expressed differently than if you were at peace. When you choose to carry your anger or hurt into the next moment and the next, you react instead of respond to life.

Reactions spring from emotions. Response carries a deeper mindfulness and authenticity.

Emotions are really just energy in motion. They are a signal to you that your peace has been disturbed. E-motions are a tool, not a definition of who you are. Just like with any tool, you use it then set it aside.

What is a simple way to remember to release emotions? Just breathe.

Mark Nepo, a poet and philosopher, in The Book of Awakening, described the human condition this way:

Again, and again, we, more than any other life form, have this majestic and burdensome power

to harbor or release the impact of our experience.

Think of the breath as the bridge between the formless energy and yourself. Breathe in as you experience your life, breath out as you release.

Try it out now. Take a deep breath in through your nose and hold it, releasing it slowly through your mouth. Repeat two more times.

Don’t you feel calmer and more grounded? Your breath is the touch point for your peace. When you feel emotions that disturb your peace, return to your breath. It works every time.

The cycle of life can be found in the simplest of things. Welcome to another step in the Heart Dance.

Story Alchemy


Have you ever stopped to realize that you can’t see into your own eyes…without looking into something else? Whether it is a photograph that captured you in a moment in time, or looking into a mirror, you can’t see yourself without another physical object or person.

Your physical sight is designed to take outward images and convert them into energetic impulses that your physical brain can interpret. The actual process of how this occurs is well documented. But what does your mind do with the images that your brain collects?

Now that is another question altogether.

Metaphysics distinguishes between the brain and the mind. Your brain is the physical object that sits inside your skull. Your mind has been called “consciousness” and thought. So why does this matter?

Because your brain acts like a recording device. Whatever it sees through the visual process, it collects and records. In one sense, it is mechanical because it will do its job whether you are conscious of it or not (just like your heart continues beating and your blood circulates automatically).Mirror Images

But your mind – that is a different story. Think of your mind as a projector.

What does it project?

The stories and beliefs you have created about yourself and the events, people and circumstances your life.

If you believe that you are not likeable, for example, that belief is projected from your mind as you move throughout your day. The millions of bits of data that is available to you is never seen, because it is filtered by your belief of being unlikable. Therefore, you only see the data that supports that belief.

In a very real sense, you project what you believe and look for evidence that your story or belief is “true.” And you will keep projecting that belief and finding supporting evidence until you change the story and the underlying beliefs.

So how do you ever change your beliefs? Is it even possible?

The answer is Of Course!

Learning how to transform your beliefs and stories is the subject of my latest book, Heart Dancing: A Story Alchemy Adventure. I will provide more information about the book and the launch date in the next few weeks.

Why change your stories and beliefs? Because you were meant to dance with life, not fight it or feel small. The Story Alchemy Process can help transform those negative beliefs from lead to gold, so you move through your day with grace and ease. Instead of your projections being in conflict with your authentic self, they are in harmony. Life is peaceful, meaningful and filled with joy and love.

Isn’t that a better way to live?

The other side benefit is that people naturally change when you change. As you alchemize your limiting beliefs and stories, your relationship with yourself heals. And that is projected outward to your relationship with other people.

The ripple effects are unpredictable and immeasurable!

Reframe. Release. Renew.

 

 

 

 

Water Musings


Goutte d'eau.

Image via Wikipedia

Water flows and adapts to the banks of the river. It never complains that the shore is too small or not the right shape. It just continues to flow and move, adapting, changing and accepting.

Waves are powerless to stop crashing on the shore. It is the endless dance of creation and destruction, moved by the moon and sustained by the sun. The waves hold nothing back as they meet their destiny; the shore does not cringe or falter as the rush of nature’s power pounds, grinds and takes away.

Water adapts to the shape of the container. The same amount of water can look like more when the glass is tall and narrow, or less when the bowl is wide and open. Effortlessly changing shape and form, it is the same water, composed of the same number of drops and molecules. The shape of those drops and molecules changes as the container changes.

Are you more like the container, rigid and inflexible, insisting that life conform to your exacting standards? Or do you live your life as the water, expanding and contracting as the situation demands, but never spilling a drop of yourself? Effortlessly accepting change and scope but always aware of your core values?

If you are more like the container, it might be time to accept the past, release those persons or things involved and offer the entire situation to God or the Holy Spirit for healing. Your goal is to become fluid and flexible. Not exacting in your expectations of the result but focused on the feeling of your desires.

By releasing your desire to control the outcome, you open a space for God to step into the situation. The water knows it is flowing towards a bigger ocean, just as you will evolve into a bigger version of yourself if you let go of the limitations in your thinking. We are only as big as our thoughts…if you allow God to expand your thoughts into something for his purpose, how much larger will you become?

God is limitless abundance. You have only to surrender to him and let him take care of the “how” while you define the “what”. Your purpose while in form is to be an open portal for His love and grace. He will support your efforts a thousand times because that is what he made you for – to be His creative hand on earth.

You are an instrument of God… A tool of creation. But you are not an inanimate object with no influence or direction. Instead, God created you to create, but he gave you the greatest gift of all – the ability to choose. He will never violate your free will, but He will welcome you back with open arms when you choose to return home.

Just like the prodigal son.

So as you journey in your life, making choices, remember to be fluid like water, flowing over, under and around the stones and limbs that block your path towards a bigger you.

You Are My Mirror


        Have you ever noticed that what triggers annoyance in you about other people is really something that you need to work on yourself?  It is almost as if we project our worst selves onto other people, so that we do not have to resolve it IN ourselves.

For example, if you are a super organized person and you happen to live with someone who rarely makes the bed, you are going to have conflicts.  Without a doubt, it is a sure bet.  So what do you do about it?

The first thing is to recognize that your belief that organization is critical to a happy and contented life…is truly your belief – it belongs to you.  If the other person does not hold that belief, then conflict is insured when you try to impose your belief on them.  The reality is that you are living with a person who has a different belief about orderliness than you.  There is no good or bad in that difference.  There is only the difference.  Trying to convert them to your way of thinking is a recipe for disaster (as I am sure you have already discovered).

So what to do?

This is a great time to do your own work, on yourself.  Why do you believe that organization is as essential as breathing? What agreements did you make in the past that you now equate with this belief?  Keep asking yourself these questions without criticism or judgment.  It is almost as if you are an archeologist on an exciting dig to discover the long lost key to your present behavior.  Maintain a sense of objectivity about the exploration, and I guarantee you will eventually discover the root cause of your belief.  At the end of the day, it is always the same answer.

FEAR.

When you think over your childhood, did you use organization as a way to control your world? Was security somehow tied into how you made your bed or how clean your room was? Did you only receive approval from your parents if you were neat, orderly and well-mannered?

If this simple example rings true for you, please check out the following website:  http://www.The Work.com.  The central

Cover of "Who Would You Be Without Your S...

Byron Katie

question asked in the process described by Byron Katie is this:  “Who would you be without your story?”  She has created four questions that lead you into self-exploration of your beliefs, and leads you out of the need to cling to your story.  Peace and freedom are the end result.

No one can discover these sponsoring beliefs except for you.  Only you lived through your life.  Only you made the choice to believe that one is better than another.  And only you can decide that if your past choice no longer holds true for you today, that it is time to choose again.

Release the beliefs that hold you back, and you will see what you really are – an innocent kitten who is blameless and who just wants to grow up to her full potential.

Thank you for being my mirror.  Without you, I would not see what I need to see in myself.

Forgiveness is Easier than You Think


Forgiveness: The Real F-Bomb
When you think of forgiveness, is it usually with a slightly superior attitude?  You may decide to forgive because it is the “right” thing to do, or because that is what your religion teaches.  External forces compel you to take action, instead of an inner compulsion or desire.
So what is true forgiveness?
It is so simple that most people miss it, or don’t believe it. It has become over-complicated, over-analyzed and over-done.  Forgiveness has morphed into a concept of manipulation and purpose, instead of it’s true reason d’etre.
So what is true forgiveness?
Forgiveness is the simple act of release. You release the other person from your story and as a result, you release yourself from the effects of that story.
Let me give you an example.  When I was just a kid, I used to ride my bicycle around in circles on the driveway.  Usually I would sing and dream while the world swirled around me.  One day, my older brother decided to stand in front of my path and when I stopped, he took my bike away from me.  Crying and screaming did nothing to change the immediate situation (until our Mom got involved).
Even though that incident took place many  moons ago, I carried that strong feeling of unjustice, anger and resentment with me for years.  It affected my adult relationship with my brother, as well as forming the basis of a material possessiveness of which I am not proud.  I finally realized that by carrying my anger and resentment with me for years, I would project it onto someone or something else in an effort to get rid of it.  My projection had the opposite effect – it bound me even tighter with my anger and resentment.  Subconsciously, I tried the same thing over and over, and I kept getting the same results.
The only way out for me was to break the cycle of anger/resentment/projection/anger/resentment.  Since I was the cause of the cycle (because I held onto my anger), I was the only one who could break it.  My brother did not hold the key – it was my decision to give my energy to those strong emotions.  And every time an incident popped up that was similar to the original one…I let loose with all of the pent-up anger that I did not realize I had!
How did I get out of this vicious pattern that caused me distress and disturbed my peace?  Were costly therapy lessons involved, sitting in a chair and reviewing every detail of the original incident? No, it was much simpler than that.I decided to just let it go.                                        
Forgiveness is really about releasing yourself from your imagined burdens, injustices or wrongs.  It has nothing to do with the other person or what they may have done to you.  It has everything to do with yourself – and finding peace.

As Gerald Jampolsky noted, “Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions.”

Look over your life and see the areas where forgiveness will release you from the grip of the past.  Sit quietly and imagine what you would feel like without your “story” about that incident, then choose to release it.  Breathe the peace into your heart and mind and feel it settle over you like a soft blanket.  Relish in this feeling and carry it with you after you open your eyes.

Forgiveness is as simple as what I just described.  If you do not believe me, then prove it does not work.  But to do that, you have to try it!

Forgiveness is the Door to Happiness


Forgiveness is the door to happiness.

That statement is contrary to popular belief and cultural norms.  We are so focused on who is right that we have forgotten our greater purpose…to forgive so we can be happy.

The opposite of forgiveness is judgement.  And in every moment we take a breath, we have a choice between the two.  They cannot co-exist in the same space and time.  They are mutually exclusive…and available to all of us in every single heart beat.

As Rickey Minor noted in his book, There is No Traffic on the Extra Mile,

“What does not have truth or integrity to it has nothing to feed on but itself.”

Judgement feeds on itself.  It fosters and encourages anger, resentment, pain and intolerance.  It separates us by pointing out differences.  Judgement is a path we choose and one that eventually leads downward to destruction.  It feeds on itself.

Forgiveness creates more.  It does not tear down but builds up.  Forgiveness based on acceptance and love encourages more acceptance and love.  It is the other path we choose and one that will lead upward to happiness and a much closer relationship with God.

Ask yourself today, when faced with a situation that upsets you, whether you would rather be right, or happy.  If being right is important to you, then judge away.  But if you consider the other times in the past when you have made the same choice, did it ever bring happiness?  If the answer is no, then you might want to consider the other choice – forgiveness.

Chose to be a creator, not a destroyer.  Chose love and forgiveness instead of judgement and fear.

And when you make the choice to forgive, start with the one person who needs its the most.

Yourself.