Alphabet soup for the soul – “T”

T is for Transformation

Self-transformation is not just about changing yourself. It means shifting yourself to an entirely new dimension of experience and perception.

– Sadhguru-

A tiny egg turns into a larva, turning into a caterpillar before finally transforming into a beautiful butterfly. Likewise, a human being can also change from ugly to beautiful.

The butterfly is a perfect metaphor for the ego. We can transform our ego from the ugly caterpillar leeching onto its existence, scared by what it sees and continuously squirming to and fro to get ahead, yet barely making any progress.

We can transform that slow, repetitive, predictable and agonizing route into a multi-dimensional, multi-directional, stunningly majestic butterfly.

Once the metamorphosis is completed in the fourth stage, a butterfly breaks out of the chrysalis and upon its own strength, it emerges to explore new opportunities.

Opportunities that were previously unseen to the lowly caterpillar become visible. This beautifully transformed creature not only has a new life but can also explore new dimensions of time and space once thought unfathomable.

From a new vantage point, the butterfly can travel far across the planet to witness the Universe beyond the scope of a caterpillar whose entire life is bound to a couple of trees in a park. Become beautiful; become a butterfly.

Alphabet soup for the soul – “S”

S is for Suffering

“Pain is certain; suffering is optional.”

-Buddha-

The Buddha famously said, ‘life is suffering,’ which is true if you believe it. It does not, however, have to be that way. The Buddha also said that suffering is optional. I think pain is a bodily experience, whereas suffering is a condition of the mind. There can be one without the other.

Henry Ford has been attributed with saying, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” It’s a choice, and each individual gets to decide how to proceed. I believe the same goes for suffering. You can decide to suffer or not; it is up to you.

Let us use the example of having to receive a dozen stitches in your arm from a wound. The cut is deep, and it hurts. There may be lots of blood around the amount, and you may not be able to focus on anything except the hurt and the discomfort that has become your entire world at that moment.

That is not suffering; however, it is pain. Suffering enters when we start agonizing over the pain and when we attach the human idea of “woe is me” or begin to project the worst-case scenario as our monkey mind will almost certainly always do to try and keep us safe.

If we remove ourselves from ourselves and just observe the reality of the situation from a detached point of view, we stop it at the level of pain and do not suffer.

The irony in this scenario is that suffering is ego-driven. So by placing the attention on Me, My or I, in the act of Suffering, It is actually the ego taking over.

If that were not the case and you were to accept that this is unpleasant, but the doctor will fix me up, and everything will be acceptable, then you will not suffer; you will simply be in pain.

A helpful strategy in this situation would be to feel compassion for other people, and once that happens, you are no longer separated by your ego. Thus, you become connected again to all that is, and you will see an instant transformation from suffering into compassion. Which would you instead feel?

Alphabet soup for the soul – “R”

R is for Remembering

“Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be”

-Charles Bukowski-

Babies and toddlers innately know what to do. They do not have to be taught or learn; they just know. It also helps that they believe in themselves, have faith in themselves, and have unwavering desires. Conversely, and, most importantly, they do not doubt themselves.

Have you ever seen a toddler learning to walk? How many times do they fall?

Not only do they get back up every single time, but they eventually reach their end goal. This single metaphor tackles many areas inherent to success, such as;

  1. Always get back up

2. Do not ever stop trying to reach your goal

3. Do not entertain “no” or “impossible as an option

A toddler will learn how to walk because they never entertain the idea that they can’t walk. It simply is not an option not to do so.

A wise guru said that if a child is alone and hungry and sees berries on a bush, they do not try to put them in their ears or eyes. This is because the child understands intellectually that the berries go in the mouth, and no one needs to tell the child this.

As children, we knew what to do, how we felt and who we were. Yet, somehow it is conditioned out of us over time by well-meaning people who want to fill our heads with their dogmas and ideology based on what they experienced in their lives and what they think they know. Sometimes the advice is helpful, like not putting your hand on a hot stove or learning not to walk in front of a moving car. More often than not, however, the “lessons” are nonsensical and better be left unsaid.

Young kids are in the present moment most of the time and are almost always in a state of bliss; even when upset, they are fully present with those feelings. They will sit with the surface for a minute or two and, once felt, are done with that emotion. This is because they allow emotions to move through and out of them.

Young kids are naturally in a waking meditation, enamoured with the world around them and not worried about past mistakes or what will happen in the future.

Adults do the opposite and try to not feel the emotion by either burying it quickly or distracting themselves with something else so they do not have to process and handle the unwanted discomfort.

Which scenario is more helpful? As such, we must remember what we have forgotten and be more like the curious children of the world. We must allow all emotions, good and bad, to play their part and feel them before ultimately releasing them back to whence they came.

Alphabet soup for the soul – “Q”

Q is for Question

“Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.”

-Euripides

Question everything. Question your thoughts. Question your beliefs. Question the Universe and then do it again. This is how you will find out who you are.

Question your values, purpose and reason for doing the things you do. Ask other people questions and then question the feedback you receive from them.

Question why you notice the same person on your way to work every day and not the other 10,000 people you pass on the street, train, or car. Question why certain types of information cross your path and the timing of their arrival. Question everything relentlessly until you find the answers that are true to you, and then keep on questioning.

The results of your life are a direct response to the questions you have asked. If you are unhappy with your current life situation, it is because you are not asking the right questions, or maybe you are not asking any questions.

Take all the information, constructs, beliefs, values and experiences you have accumulated up to this exact moment in your life and question if they serve you or not. If they do not help you, say goodbye and let them go.

Inspiration and creativity are deep inside you, and so are the answers you seek. It is no accident that you arrived on the planet at this precise moment. Start asking Why? Who? What? Where? When? How? Once you start asking those simple questions, the answers have no choice but to emerge.

As this blog has noted in the past, when we begin to ask open-ended questions, our brain has no choice but to bring forth the answer through the nouns we experience in our life.

If you are not participating in the creation process of the story that is your life, you will end up with a life lived unintentionally and not by design. You may default miss out on the future you want because you will walk right past it without even noticing. You will miss the opportunities presenting themselves daily, and you will have to settle for the leftovers that remain after all the creators have plated their desires from the buffet of life.

Once we ask the questions, the Universe will align to answer those questions. However, you will not see the answers if you are not looking for the answers.

TRY THIS: Ask a question for which you’ve longed for guidance. Pay attention over the next few days, and you will see some answers. Then, keep asking the same question until you receive responses. It doesn’t take long.

If you are unsure where to start, here are some questions to ask ourselves;

Why are we here? What would it feel like to …? How can I…? What would it look like five years from now if …? What will allow me to …? When will I…?

Alphabet soup for the soul – “P”

P is for Physiology

“If the placebo effect is a function of how a thought can change physiology—we could call it mind over matter—then perhaps we should examine our thoughts and how they interact with our brains and our bodies.” -Joe Dispenza-

Let’s play a game!

Imagine if you will find in your mind’s eye that you are holding a bright shiny lemon.

First, feel the softness of the lemon that gives a little when you squeeze it tight (not too tight).

Next, notice the waxy skin on the outer layer and the unmistakable scent of the uncut lemon.

Now place it down on a cutting board and grab a big sharp knife.

Cut the lemon in half and then into smaller wedges like you would when adding it to a glass of water.

Finally, pick up one of the wedges and bite into it.

What does it taste like? Did your mouth water, or maybe your eyes squinted at the taste?

You just changed the physiology of your body by thought. What you think affects your body.

If your body can produce that kind of a change just by thinking about a lemon for less than one minute, then what do you think is possible for our physiology if we sat alone in thought for ten minutes a day, every day?

After a couple of months, our bodies would reflect the change we are attracting in our meditation, and we would feel as if the dreams we are going after have already happened because, according to our physiology and just like the lemon, we have changed our thoughts to reflect that the event has actually happened.

Then we begin to step into the things we are meditating about. We start to attract the right people, events and circumstances in our lives and in doing so, we have just created our future.

As the saying goes, When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Alphabet soup for the soul – “O”

O is for Observe

“Observe your thoughts, don’t believe them.”

-Eckhart Tolle-

Do you ever observe yourself having a conversation in your mind and asking yourself questions?

If your mind can observe itself by asking questions, then who or what part of you is doing the observing?

Michael Singer talks about this idea beautifully in his book the untethered soul. A must-book or audiobook for anyone who has experienced spiritual awakening (or wants to).

The saying “you are not your thoughts” rings true if we observe our thoughts.

Can you bring your full attention and awareness to your right shoulder? Can you slide that awareness across your shoulders and down the other arm to your elbow? The answer is Yes to both those questions. So, then your thinking mind is not who you are.

The real you is the awareness. The real you is a soul, a spirit, the body, and the mind are just the vessel which carries the energy. Simply a result of this earthly human experience we are having.

We were a soul before birth and will be a spirit long after leaving the body, having a human experience for less than a nanosecond in the continuous clock of creation.

The fact that you’re observing your mind means you’re not your mind. You are not attached to it.

The idea is to detach from your mind and the identity created for you and by you. With that freeing of the mind, you also get freedom from your body which is your unconscious mind running programs.

Once you notice the programs are just playing on repeat, you can ask questions.

Questions like, Why does the adult me feel the need to continue to repeat the program I followed when I was younger? Can I invent new programs to replace the old ones? Am I just repeating a neural pathway that is on without my knowing and understanding what is happening? Can I disconnect that pathway that is on auto-repeat? Can I disconnect the neurons laid down over the years or decades?

Such questions begin to open the door to your awareness and will lead you down a new path. A path that will be very different from the cyclical experience you may have had for your entire life until now. A way of growth and creation.

A result is a new person who has broken free from the chains of the past. A person who can see that the soul has a more significant say in personal evolution than previously known. A person who sees that the human body and mind are capable of much more than ever thought possible.

Alphabet soup for the soul – “N”

N is for Nature

Let us spend one day as deliberately as nature

-Henry David Thoreau-

Nature has the answers to many existential questions if we are willing to sit back and observe.

The examples vary across the animal kingdom, in the plant life kingdom and throughout the world’s oceans. Some are subtle metaphors, and some are so stunningly obvious that they make me ask, “How come I didn’t see that before?”

The Amazon rainforest alone holds many of the answers to life itself. Explanations of how to grow, nurture, breathe, and eat along with all the healing that takes place under the canopy. The answers are truly everywhere, all we have to do is look.

It is no mistake that humans are made of the same elements that are found in the stars, which permeate the farthest reaches of space. It is also no mistake that the human body and the earth are both 70% water.

Nature contains duality in everything. It is beautiful and ugly, gentle and strong, loud and quiet, fierce and friendly, order and chaos.

As the prophet foreshadowed; a day, would arrive out of nowhere and with a wallop winter would be upon us all.

As witnessed through the window, high above the perch where I write these words, the snow blankets the soft bed of rich green grass that lays beneath it. I am reminded that winter has swept in and taken credit for all the work the autumn winds did whistling the weary down for slumber and putting the land to sleep.

Greatness is similar to snow. It starts with little flakes which turn into a snowball that fits into a hand and with a couple of rolls in the sea of snow it’s the size of a soccer ball. The snowball gets bigger as it continues down the same path with momentum.

Creativity is sparked and the culmination becomes a beautiful snowman that children can make come to life and play with, as if it were a real person.

The impermeant nature of life returns the snowman to the earth in the form of melted water which in turn allows the grass to grow strong and thick. Changing from spring through the summer and eventually to the autumn as the cycle repeats itself endlessly forever and ever.

Alphabet soup for the soul – “M”

M is for Mindfulness

Living twenty-four hours with mindfulness is more worthwhile than living 100 years without it.”

-The Buddha-

Mindfulness or meditation? These two “M’s” often get confused for each other, and for a good reason. They are easy to conflate because they are very similar. Yet, both offer great ways to stop and break negative thinking loops.

Mindfulness is finding the present moment anyplace, anywhere and at any time. When we do this, we can regulate ourselves on the spot.

Young kids are mindful and almost always in the present moment. They have a limited concept of the future or past.

Mindfulness is playing with a dog or just watching the dog playing by itself. It is watching a bird in a bird feeder or the trees swaying gently in the summer breeze. It is watching the clouds painted in the sky moving by gently.

Mindfulness is focusing on the breath in and out, in and out. It forgets about the past, surrenders any plans for the future, and finds the present moment, which is truly a gift.

There are countless ways to be mindful, including breathing, gratitude, compassion and meditation.

Mindfulness is becoming centred, so the flight, fight or freeze stress response is turned off with intent. This allows us to navigate our outer world with more grace and ease, which spreads from person to person if viewed through the correct lens.

Joe Dispenza teaches us that meditation begins in the present moment when we become nothing or no-thing, no-where in no place, in no time, and no space.

A body scan is a fast way to gain mindfulness and prepare for meditation. A body scan is exactly what it sounds like, allowing us to get present by becoming aware of our awareness quickly.

Start at the top of your body and work down. Focus your awareness on the head, shoulders, chest, abdomen, hips, thighs, calves, feet or any variation that works, including starting at the bottom and working up to the crown of the head.

Quick heart coherence is another excellent trick taught by the Heart Math Institute. This is done by deep breathing while focusing on the chest area, then breathing deeply in and out of the heart.

Spending time in nature will also breathe a specific frequency onto and into us that will similarly help our physiology as meditation and mindfulness do.

Some people opt for a guided journey to a mountain top and see the light filling the body. Electrical charges will course throughout the body energizing and emanating light in every direction and across many dimensions.

I have learned all this through personal experience, yet to quote Socrates, “The only thing I know for sure is that I know nothing.”

Alphabet soup for the soul – “L”

L is for Light

I should observe such a beam of light as an electromagnetic field at rest.

-Albert Einstein-

While travelling in a streetcar and looking back at the clock tower in Bern, Switzerland, a young Albert Einstein dreamed of what it would be like to ride alongside a beam of light.

How fast would one have to be travelling to ride on a beam of light, and what would it look like on the clock. Would the seconds freeze or possibly go in reverse?

The answer is one would have to be travelling at light speed of course (300,000km a second according to Stephen Hawking). That Clock tower sparked the idea for the special theory of relativity which has revolutionized modern physics and the way we view our universe.

The math equation is more famous than its origin story described above. E=MC2. 

Part of what we learn from the math is we are all light waves of energy and we vibrate through space and time.

Some shine brighter than others.  We can even shine brighter than ourselves .  The reverse is true as it is easy to vibrate lower and denser at certain times.

Our thoughts determine how bright we shine and how coherently we vibrate. No matter how low or dense your vibration is at this moment, you can change it with your thoughts.

The world needs more light workers, so be careful of the things you put in your mind. Every day we choose what goes into our subconscious minds by the music we listen to, the media we consume and even the people we interact with.

You are raising your vibration right now by reading this and focusing on the spiritual element inside everybody, the soul, which also requires nourishing to flourish.

TRY THIS: Make a list of the things that bring you down to a lower vibration, and beware of them going forward. Be on the lookout for lower frequencies that come with emotions such as envy, jealousy, shame, guilt, blame, just to name a few.

You can start today and work to replace these feelings with higher vibrational frequencies such as love, joy, gratitude, compassion and peacefulness. And when you fall from grace daily (which will happen again and again) just dust yourself off , get back up and continue the journey toward your highest self.

Alphabet soup for the soul – “K”

K is for Karma

How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

-Wayne Dyer-

Karma is a Sanskrit word that means action, word or deed. Most people have understood this idea from a very young age. It’s as simple as cause and effect. Good karma, bad karma, whatever you put out will come back to you in return.

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you is the golden rule and it is also how to create good karma. You reap what you sow is another story. It is a very simple method to ensure you live a peaceful, happy, joyful and meaningful existence.

If the energy you put out into the world is positive, then it will return to you manifested in some positive way (that you can not predict or intend, or at least I can not).

A good example that covers all three words used to describe karma (action, word, deed ) is helping a friend move to their new house or apartment.

By helping a friend, one would be initiating a positive action by performing positive work and doing a positive deed. With one decision, this person has given and is adding to a positive rating in the spiritual bank account. Karma.

In helping a friend move, one would have sent good karma into the ether and therefore would receive good karma in return.

The caveat is that it won’t happen the way you think. The result is the same or greater, but it is not how you imagined it.

This does not mean that if you help move a friend that they will help you move when it’s your turn. That is too easy to predict. The only predictability about karma is what you give you will also get ( good or bad doesn’t matter).

The lighter you are, the more light will shine through you. Everyone puts out karma, even if they don’t know they’re doing it. So be intentional about what kind of karma you are putting out there for others to receive and feel.

So, is your karmic bank account on the plus side or negative side?