Passionate Living Newsletter

Passionate Living Newsletter

January 2018

You Must Use Orange and Red

And now let us welcome the New Year full of things that have never been –Rilke.

There will be days when you have great hunger for your soul’s desire and move towards it with a directness that may surprise you.

Then the “not so much days” when the old familiar of discouragement and doubt slyly seep in to feed the hesitancy... Nothing seems to be going on, however more is happening than you realize and critical to your growth.  Just like an herb, you do not pull on it to see if it’s rooting or growing. The temporary darkness of the soil is needed to germinate, to establish a solid foundation from which to catapult itself through the soil into the fullness of life. In life, as in nature, all change is accumulative, and constant. Reframe the “not so much” days...

If you are being beckoned into a more expansive, abundant life, you too, just like the herb, must plant the desire (the seed), water it (determination), and give it time for germination, until the sun beckons (motivation) it into life (fruition).

It’s a good thing for us busy bees that so many of our traditions and special days were created at a time when the creators moved at a slower pace. The current culture of activity creates a need for well established times of reflection and spiritual focus. They provide us with a much needed pause to recognize that a new threshold is ready for crossing.

As you cross this threshold, are you ready to receive the gift of knowing how incredible you truly are and how abundant your life can be?  The offering is always there however sometimes we have to pause to receive. It is risky in a sense because once you know consciously and unconsciously that “you are enough”: what are you going to do with the power that it brings? It is a responsibility is it not? But I digress.

A New Year … full of things that have never been and we get an opportunity to be in the middle of all of that.  A merciful do over, a chance to make a course correction, to create a way of life that has never been.

It is a given that we all need to make external changes.  More important are the internal shifts necessary to grasp more of the bigger picture to realize that the only way to self discovery and out of our boxes is through, not around or by avoidance but through. Through courageous ones: through the messy stuff that we’d rather avoid.

There is always another threshold waiting to be crossed and if we don’t tack our desire and courage to the sticking place it will be there haunting us, often late at night. Waiting, waiting for us to take a genuine risk: no half hearted wishes or I’ll try, or until or maybe, waiting for a genuine Yes!

If we attempt to skip over, sidestep what we know in our essence that we have to do, the obstacles keep showing up in one form or another until we face it, or have a health crisis. None  are exempt.

The greatest challenge is to muster up the determination to actually begin. Every fiber of our being conspires to keep us boxed in an illusion of safety.

Wanting a more meaningful life right now, and taking the first step, or starting the journey are two different things.

"We're already in the New Age she said.
What does that mean? I said.
It means we can stop waiting
& start living, she said.
But after she left, I still waited a little more time
just to be safe".

(Brian Andreas, Traveling Light)

Be patient with yourself if you cannot run through open door right away and practice having compassion for the weaknesses of others. Have you ever noticed that when you are discouraged with your own sins of commission or omission, there is a tendency to be more judgmental and impatient with those around us? It is a time to be ‘mindful’ not only of what is going on with us, but knowing there is valuable feedback in how we treat others.

Our germinating time may start as confusion and murmurings, or flashes of insight while sensing deep within, that something important is going on. In the middle of our process there is often a long slough that tests our courage, patience and resilience. We wrestle with discouragement and wonder why we took such a risk. Keep going! Keep going! Nothing stays the same!

You will find that all risk taken in the name of personal growth and a more authentic life pays off two hundred fold. Actually the benefits of incredible changes taking place are impossible to measure.

Go through the open door of 2018:  Step over the Threshold to receive your Blessings, and know that “you are enough”.

Mindful Living Corner

“All the World is a Stage”... Is it time to change some of the players?

Years past a group of us, would start the New Year in retreat... We shared what we were inviting into our lives that year and what we needed to let go off.

A good friend said; “Laura don’t shuffle the same players around your stage this year”. She suggested I make room for new players to come into my life: to release old players to move on to their destiny. She was correct, it needed to be done.

Although true, there was a glitch inside when I heard her. I was hanging on to a few familiar but outgrown relationships, one in particular.  I feared starting over, or tackling yet another pattern that was holding me back, weighing heavily and preventing joy.

So as you look through the open door of 2018 who and what do you see on your stage?

Of course there are relationships that cannot be moved off your stage totally, such as family members, you may have to keep, even if they are toxic. You can however, learn where to position them on your stage, giving yourself more space from their negative energy.

You may feel like you are starting a lonely voyage into the unknown. What I have found although distressful, one is never as alone as we fear, when risk change.

The moment one definitely commits oneself,
Then providence moves too. A whole stream
Of events issues from the decision, raising in
One’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents,
Meetings and material assistances, which no
Man could have dreamt would have come his Way. (W.H.Murray)
.

Besides the players on your stage, are you honoring the most important relationship of all? The one that you have with yourself?  Are you honoring your dreams, your desires, and your creativity? Reflect on your yearnings, as well as your longings that get tucked away until there is time.  Journal and ask yourself some of the following questions.

Who am I now?

  • What do I want my life to be like now, or 6 months from now? (You are not the person you were 10 years ago, so what worked then may not bring fulfillment now).
  • What do I need to include in my life, or let go of?
  • Do I feel worthy of a life of abundance?
  • Do I believe I can create such a life?

Take time for reflection now! It is absolutely necessary for a deeper knowing of self to occur. This in turn facilitates the energy and courage, necessary for the abundance that we desire.

All the Best

Laura

December 2017

Just One More Thing

The year is ending,
a moment of reflection
turned “just one more thing”
upside down:
the story I had knitted
started dropping stitches.  LBY

Did you ever see the “Colombo” Series?   Peter Falk played Lt. Colombo; in a homicide detective series, now a rerun. His character full of quirks and tics, always looking disheveled. He wore a uniform of shabby clothes, under a rumpled raincoat, often chomping on a cigar. His outward appearance which disarmed suspects hid an awesome brilliance, unappreciated by people who got caught up in his outer image.  

Appearing to have accepted the murderer’s alibis, you could feel relief from the accused, as in “I’m glad that’s over”. Colombo, however going out the door; would pause and turn around seemingly distracted, and say “just one more thing”. That question would inevitably turn all assumptions upside down. Everything that seemed to fit neatly into the end of an accepted story: unraveled.

If you are attempting to tie up another year with a neat little bow as something finished: if you are in a” let’s move on” frame of mind. … just one more thing!

Allow yourself a pause to experience the Season with the love, wonder and the sacredness inherent in all of the twelve days of Christmas and beyond. Accept Hanukkah as the profound spiritual experience that it is meant to be,  Give yourselves permission to stop reflect and take in the true meaning of the Season, no matter what  your Spiritual Practice. In turn reflect on your year.

Have you reflected?

Who are you now?

Aware or not: you have changed since the beginning of 2017 and you are on a continuum of change. (For many, most of this shift has been going on underground, like that of a rose beneath the snow readying itself for a show. Will you reflect on the rose that you are, to notice what you have actively pursued as well as what has been germinating readying you for the forward thrust?)

You cannot go back:  how to press forward?

Like the chambered nautilus, (The nautilus always expands; it never goes back to the old chambers). you have accumulatively increased your personal power, whether you know it or not Nail your courage to the sticking place and cross that threshold that you have delayed, to make space like the nautilus, for a new chamber.

This year is the result of your most predominant thoughts and feelings and behaviors.  Next year will be a continuum of this year. If this year brought you happiness and fulfillment there is no need to change.

Don’t wait for a personal tsunami to turn your world upside down to make a course correction. Don’t wait until next year to reflect and start. The only time you have is right here, right now. All of your history has brought you to this perfect time and place

There are people who will never forget this Year!

Personal tsunamis can happen in an instant. Maybe not this year but each one of us has a story, a threshold of change that came swiftly, ready or not.

A couple, with longstanding marital problems, pleased with their progress; were planning a second honeymoon.  The wife found herself singing in the shower for the first time in years. A few days later she found a lump in her breast. She will never forget this year.

Arthur, who lives alone, disappointed, sad and lonely after a divorce, more or less hibernates except for work. He uses the top of his stove for filing his paperwork: a metaphor for how he is living his life right now... At his office, the phone rings and he hears the voice is of a woman he has never forgotten. She tells him she is moving to the area and asks if he will meet her for dinner. The call takes his breath away. An unexpected nudge out of loneliness is happening. He will never forget this call.

A mother, 10 years after her only son was killed in a traffic accident, finally came to address her grief. As she struggled to describe the dreaded 2 am. phone call of 10 years earlier, her body shook as if it were yesterday.

A little nursery, where I bought plants and flowers was obliterated by a tornado this year and with it, the owners’ life savings and dreams of expansion. They will never forget.

My first encounter with swift and irreversible change came at the age of 8, when my 33 year old father died from a heart attack, on a fiercely cold January day. The ground beneath me buckled and never felt solid again for many years. There were 6 children and a sick mother. We were placed in an orphanage, hoping her health would improve. It didn’t improve.

If this year has been one of illness or heartache, know this too will change, and change you. The pain of grief, fear and despair creates a space for an inner deepening to occur. The mercy in deep pain is that it allows an opportunity to actually thread the eye of the needle and be propelled into a higher level of consciousness.

Cast a vigilant eye over this year and your life as it is now. Where has it become stagnant? Where do you need healing? The risk you take to grow will bring you peace and rewards that others may deem magical.

Blessings to each and every one:

Laura

P.S.  A Gift for You:.

Powerful Steps to Attract Your Deepest Desire                                                                  

 Uncover what is hidden and you can have

  • Abundance in every area of Life
  • A Belief in your Worthiness tohave Prosperity
  • Acceptance of parts of Self that YouHide

Hear Judee’s story of how she transformed a painful situation!

Download your Free Audio, A powerful Interview.

http://www.laurabyoung.com/freebies/JudeeInterviews/

November 2017

Still Time for Reflection!

Create Space for Personal Power to Increase

Autumn has always been a poignant time for me .Growing up in Newfoundland, summers were short and autumns not dependable: often fleeting and uncertain as the grip of winter often takes over as early as Halloween. Even today as I write you from Alabama, in sunshine, the poignancy remains. A Nat King Cole, “Autumn Leaves” kind of poignancy.

Late at night: have you noticed, it is always late at night that regrets stalk us? I ponder poignancy and what it really means in life, mine, and yours; I am assuming here, that I’m not the only one. Do you ever wonder why surpluses of such feelings follow us around this time of the year?

Life if full of transitions, and once again, as summer slides into autumn, the newness of the year’s beginning has faded and with it our determination to make needed “course corrections”.

It is the inner shift that is the hardest to make. Inner shifts mean that we have to stop, reflect and face what is uncomfortable about ourselves, therefore the easiest to put off, until we get everything else done: until, until.. We are more apt to complete the external deadlines on our list.

In review, do not allow murmurs of discouragement to slide in or anchor, in thoughts, words or actions. Where has the time flown? Granted there is not much time left to complete what we had intended to get done.by the end of the year. Don’t let it decrease your determination.  Know without a doubt that all of your progress is accumulative and nothing is ever lost.

May I suggest that you let go of the time constraints and be kind to yourself.  Do not add regretting as another stress. The progress you’ve made is waiting for your next action, whenever that needs to be. A great deal is happening underneath. Consider the herb you planted: it has a lot to do before it bursts forth with incredible fragrance.

Autumn may not be a dramatic threshold for change, but it provides an opportunity to reflect and   review your life before the Holiday Season takes over. A time to create a space, to become more mindful , to restock your shelves and pay attention to your inner self.  The attitude you bring to the restocking is a critical key for successful re-entry into needed action. When mindful, this seasonal nudge provides again, an opportunity to live more meaningfully, with eyes wide open.

If not mindful, autumn will find us picking up the pace in regards to school, games, hunting, parties etc. often in a heedless and unfulfilling way. Decide to not become a victim of time pressures, schedules and the stress of doing more, and more in a hurried fashion and in less time.

“Even if you have tried many strategies and failed

Know that your time and efforts have not been wasted.

All of your story has brought you to this perfect place and time:

To reflect and renew your determination to stay on

The path towards that which you desire.”

All the Best, Laura B. Young

Winter 2017 Newsletter

If Not Now: When?

“…Robert had filled the bathtub and settled the fish in it, in order to clean their tank. After he finished cleaning, he went to retrieve them and was astonished to find them huddled in a small area the size of their tank. There was nothing holding them back… so why wouldn’t they dart about freely? What had life in the tank done to their natural ability to swim? Instead of moving freely they went nowhere but into themselves...and stayed in a space that felt safe” (Life in the Tank: The Book of Awakening: Mark Nepo).

Stop for a minute. Does the above resonate…just a little? Not me you say.   Are you sure? Are you just a little bit stuck or stifled by some obstacle that has to do with the size of your tank/world? Do you keep it small and try hard to keep things the same?  Do your beliefs and behaviors give you an illusion of safety and security?

To what degree has life in your “tank” bound by rules and expectations of Churches, families, schools, and faulty beliefs impeded your natural ability to swim in the ocean of life?

I have devoted over 30 years as a Psychotherapist and writer encouraging you, as well as I, to come out, come out of the safe little tank and risk.  I know personally and professionally how hard it is to let go of comfortable and familiar things in order to risk moving towards the unknown.  See more at http://www.laurabyoung.com/.

Early losses and pervasive poverty steeped me in beliefs of scarcity, some glaringly obvious, while others being sly and subtle. There are still times when I have to pry my grasping little 8 year old fingers (now encased in a grown woman’s hands) one by one off something that needs to go, like old faulty beliefs and over attachment to stuff. Overtime, there is less fear, having learned how to have the fear and do it anyway, especially when it is time for an important ‘course correction’.

There will always be fears, but you can’t allow them to be obstacles to your success. My work shares with you all that I have learned about having a full life, overcoming whatever obstacles you are experiencing.  It doesn’t have to take a long time.

If you were consciously and unconsciously programmed to feel worthy of success, abundance and prosperity you’d already have it. The good news is that you can change whatever channel that you are operating on that keeps you from having what you really want.

Your heartfelt desires are powerful clues to what you really want. Desire is the energy of wanting, not wishing, a compelling drive to have a full and incredible life. Late at night when you are tossing and turning, what are your unfulfilled, ignored desires? It is not enough for us to affirm what we want, we have to acquire the knowledge or the practical know how and go in the direction of fulfillment.

What I know for sure is that the most serious obstruction to increasing the size of your tank or in other words being able to manifest the life you desire, is to know what faulty beliefs are deep within and how to change them.

Do not allow discouragement, doubt and fear to creep in no matter what your experience have been. Any one of these three moods will pull you into denser energy, complicating an already negative situation.

Pay close attention to your Desires, the force that sets energy in motion.

Know that while you are human there will be fear. Fear is an obstacle by which the current is stopped or completely reversed (turned away from us)

Doubt; at best muddies the waters, Doubt is that place we go to when we have an inner glitch that delays and creates a  feeling of lacking worthiness when it comes to attaining what we truly desire

If Not Now!  When?

Make 2017, be the year that you expand the size of your Tank/Life

Blessings, Laura

P S. Coming Soon: my new work titled “Manifest an Incredible Life” It is much more than you think “If you were consciously and unconsciously programmed to feel worthy of success, abundance and prosperity you’d already have it …The good news is that I can help you make the ‘course correction’ needed to have it.                My work gets to the heart of uncovering, and changing faulty beliefs about: Money, Weight, Health, Religion, Failure, Family etc.

P.P.S. Latest scoop as to when “Manifest an Incredible Life”   will be available, keep in touch on my Face Book page. Passionate Living Newsletter

2016 Spring Newsletter

Don’t Wait to be Happy

“Happiness is an expression of the soul…” Aristotle

While I usually write about life obstacles and struggles and offer ways to resolve them, this month I will intersperse my article with frequently asked questions and or musings about the elusive quality of happiness...

Often I hear: Why can’t I be happy?

Sarah, a client said, “I should be happy but I’m not, and I feel ungrateful. Many people would give anything to have what I have, a good marriage, two healthy children and an interesting career. There is always a heaviness that follows me around, just over my shoulder, about to catch up with me. I fear it will take over if I don’t keep my guard up.”

Sarah was embarrassed to be seeking help and skeptical that I could help anybody who had so much and ‘should’ be happy.

During Sarah’s first visit it became clear that she had some obstacles in the way of her happiness,  as faulty beliefs and a certain loyalty to family of origin that kept her unhappy in the present (More about Sarah later).

What about You?

How happy are you most of the time?

What exactly is your story, or belief about happiness? Yes! We all have a story.

Do you think happiness is for everyone or just the chosen few?

Look around, how much happiness and laughter do you see?

If happiness is not for everyone, is it their choice, destiny, fate?

What then is the truth?

If anyone can be happy, why would you not choose happiness?

Why aren’t more of us happy?

Although there are many reasons for our unhappiness, there are also many common causes.

How can I be happy when I am surrounded by a pessimistic world view, and so many bad things happening to so many people?

When the slings and arrows of life come our way, and one thing is certain, they will come, why do some of us come out of the other side of suffering, free and happy and not others?  Some people’s spirits are smothered by minor upheavals, while others come out of the rubble more resilient and with a continued optimism.

If you look around you, you will observe that many people seem to be saturated with seriousness, and pessimism; however there are those who can separate from the negative and find peace and happiness.

You say choose happiness: Are you happy and when did you choose it?

In my life as it is with most people, there have been times of happiness and unhappiness. I was happy until the age of eight when my father died, leaving my mother in inconsolable grief and with six small children. It was not until many years later in psychotherapy after my grief was resolved, that I realized that I could choose to be happy and decided to change my way of being in the world.  It was a struggle I came up against again and again, as the old pattern of unhappiness was deeply entrenched...

After my father died, there was no permission for me to be happy and I felt guilty for moments of happiness, when my poor long-suffering mother was ensconced in grief and illness.  Missing my father terribly, all the good memories with him were magnified.   After he died, nobody said be a child, be happy.

My mother became seriously ill and took us to the mainland to live with hopes of providing us with more opportunities, especially an education. She became too ill to care for us and we wound up in an orphanage for many years with the Sisters of Mercy, who certainly did not encourage happiness.  They were not, shall we say Leonard Cohen’s ‘Sisters of Mercy.’  Nobody indicated that it was ok to be happy.

For years I was a sad and unhappy...  Of course some of my unhappiness was due to faulty thinking inherent in this story, reinforced by those who had influence in my life.  Much of it was due to my eight year old perceptions and the unintentional consequences of my mother’s grief.

As children we absorb the moods of those around us, and if people around us are unhappy, so are we. No one said to be sad, but the grief was absorbed, and no one knew to say it was okay to be happy.

Through the years many clients have presented with similar life stories. Over the years I have seen many clients depressed and anxious who had, for one reason or another lost their happiness, often in childhood.

Everybody’s signature way of tackling things is different; therefore, it is important to be patient and kind with yourself as you move out of your patterns.

I speak of my personal journey to say to you I know about unhappy, and I have encountered many, many people over the years, yearning for happiness.  I see clients who have a belief that they cannot be happy until everybody around them is happy. So they wait Until! Until... 

I am afraid if I talk about my dreams, loves and successes it may create problems with the rest of my family who are struggling. Should I keep my happiness to myself?

Overall it is best that we keep some of our dreams to ourselves until we have really fleshed out the core of what is important to us. Also do not expect support from our loved ones. It would be nice if they did; however, sometimes they cannot, due to their own insecurities.

I am not saying ignore everybody else in your wake.  If people are unhappy around you, do the best you can for them, as well as examine your behavior around them.

Do you drop into another octave, suppressing your natural exuberance or gift of laughter?  Try not to deny your happiness to appear more in tune with others if their energy is heavier.  Take care of yourself, by feeling and expressing your happiness.  You will feel more whole as you stay centered in your integrity, and who knows, you may by your example teach somebody else how to let go and become happy in life.

In what ways does Sarah’s problem reflect my experience of unhappiness?

There is a little or a lot of Sarah in all of us. Stop a minute and reflect the patterns of you family that you are toting around as if it were the truth for you.

In regards to Sarah, mentioned above, her past was a major influence on her present situation. Sarah was born into an affluent family. At the age of ten her father lost most of his worldly possessions due to a stock market turn and the wrong investments. He became seriously depressed and was not able to recover financially or emotionally. The family was forced to live just above the poverty line always needing more. Sarah moved away from the gated luxury of private schools and country clubs.

Within Sarah was the fear of loss. She feared that if things are good, they will not stay that way. Over her shoulder, it was a shadow of possible loss that followed her around, as unresolved fears and grief kept her from happiness.

The family loyalty showed up in a helpless feeling and a fear that if she became happy something awful would follow... As we worked together and uncovered what she believed it went like this: ‘if it can happen to my father, it can happen to me.’

In her unconscious was a childhood belief: that if she did not allow herself to be happy she might prevent bad things from happening to her family. This was magical thinking of childhood; we all carry magical thinking in childhood that we have to power to cause good and the bad things to happen.

Sarah devoted herself to psychotherapy and uncovering, healing and becoming happy. She then freed up from the obstacles that kept her in an unhappy state. You can too!

Psychotherapy is not necessary in order to use my uncovering strategies to heal the past and become happy. Many people have no interest in psychotherapy and have no need to participate. I take exception however if you have had early trauma that has not being healed If this is the case, it best to start with a professional.

Meanwhile, people chase that vague, elusive thing called happiness.  Every person has her own idea of what it is, where it will be found, and what it will mean to them when they find it.  I know people who push themselves working under stressful conditions all year, impatiently waiting until their vacation, hoping to find happiness.  Some look for it in work, buying things, eating, selling or giving.  Such a setup is bound to disappoint because it is external and it does not warm our hearts.

What I know for sure is that we will not find happiness in what we have, receive or do.  Happiness occurs as a result of our thinking and feelings...  Universally, similar things make people happy or unhappy according to the manner in which they think about them.

Happiness is an inside job; it is within that you will find its realization.

As you can see, I’ve looked at happiness from both sides now.  I know, without a doubt, that if you are determined to be happy, in spite of the difficulties, happiness can be yours.  Happiness is intrinsic to your having a full and passionate life.

P.S. This article focuses on your Happiness, or lack thereof, which is just 1 of 10 Life Issues that I cover in-depth in my recent work: Overcome Obstacles and Have an Incredible Life. more info

Click here to find out more about the e-Book/workbook and Audio: Discover Why You’re Really Unhappy And How to Have True Happiness Forever. 

 

Holiday Newsletter 2015

The Holidays are Here!

What are your Illusions? What is the Reality?

Are you in a frantic state of Holiday busyness, feeling more stressed than cheerful, too exhausted to enjoy the true meaning of the season?

The expectation that everybody be cheerful, and merry, creates an unrealistic goal.

So where does the pressure to have an over the top Holiday Season originate?

Madison Avenue starts flashing perfect holiday scenes into living rooms by Halloween, nudging us to prepare earlier and earlier every year.  The illusion is that if you start sooner, do more, consume more, project images of perfection onto our real families, we will have a 'Currier and Ives' experience. 

Are you imagining your holidays as a cocoon of love, warmth, acceptance, and safety?  It will be only to the extent that your family is like this throughout the year. Yearning for warmth as well as intimacy, do you believe that going the extra mile, preparing delicious meals, going without sleep, shopping for the perfect gift, will make this year different.

Our culture promotes the belief that if you try harder, you will achieve a snapshot of beauty frozen in time, and somehow your family will magically evolve into a finer representation of themselves, without the usual family dysfunctions.

Let’s look at the reality of how dysfunctions play out. Dysfunctional family members, under the pressure of the season's expectations become more of who they really are. Issues in families that are tamped during the year frequently rise to the surface becoming turbulent or weird at holiday gatherings...

  • Aunt Sue will drink more to medicate her empty feelings, becoming obnoxiously loud.
  • Dick the control freak becomes a micromanaging intrusion into everybody's business.   His behavior is more obvious and because he cannot control the holiday hustle and bustle, which makes more anxious.
  • Fred the angry one sends family members tip toeing around, in order to avoid out and out volatility. 
  • Agatha, the sister is more critical and demeaning in an attempt to lessen her envy of your success.
  • Uncle Mike who is fundamentally distrustful of the Christmas experience is more cynical and fully into his Bah! Humbug! Role.
  • What about you in this mix?
  • Do you have fantasies of pleasing this tribe?

If the examples above do not fit, fill in the blanks before you decide to over-function, become overwhelmed and disappointed in yourself and them, again...  What part do you play in this drama?

In Less Messy Families:

In less messy families, there may still be a tendency to over-do even while discussing ways to simplify celebrating the Holidays.  It is important to grasp that simplifying does not mean getting more organized. Getting more organized or trying to do the same things in less time is not the answer.

To simplify does not require the abandoning of gift giving, or replacing holiday feasts with Spartan fare. However it does require mindfulness and reflection on our usual ways of celebrating.

Compatible families ebb and flow all year, with love, support, flexibility, and warmth.  In such families, everybody shares in the doing; the adjusting to changes, and simplifying as is necessary. 

Of course there are problems, there are always problems, however the dysfunctions are not front and center.

It is a time to focus on decorating our "inner tree", with true generosity, love and compassion.  It is a time to encourage children to give in ways that only children can. .  Give them an opportunity to participate in joyful giving, where no gift wrap is required.

Forget the forced frivolity, the‘shoulds’ and all of its attendant madness.  Dare to shake up how you want to handle the season. 

Dare to shake up how you want to handle the season. Clarify what you really want; it is a good idea to make a Holiday job list.  Ask yourself:

  • Do I like doing it?
  • Would the Holiday season be the same without it?
  • Can it be shared?
  • Do you do it out of habit, tradition, freedom, choice or obligation?
  • What do you want to do differently?

Eliminate what you can, sticking to simplicity and sharing, as you select favorites.

Finding more modest ways to celebrate leaves us less vulnerable to overeating and overdrinking, and overspending.

May you experience Christmas with love, wonder and the sacredness inherent in all twelve days. May Hanukkah be a profound spiritual experience.  Stop to reflect and take in the true meaning of the Season.

More of Life’s Issues are addressed, as well as Free Audio and Transcript on laurabyoung.com

Loneliness: This Time of the Year

 

…Allow your loneliness time

To dissolve the shell of dross

That had closed around you;

Choose in this severe silence

To hear the one true voice

Your rushed life fears,

Cradle yourself like a child

Learning to trust what emerges,

So that gradually

You may come to know …  The glimmer of springtime

(John O’ Donohue)

 

If Loneliness is the obstacle that is keeping you unhappy, it can be more of a thorn to manage during the Holiday Season. Whether the loneliness that you experience is caused due to losses, not fitting in, or social shyness, it can become overwhelming during the Holidays amid the pressure to be cheerful and the illusion that everybody else is “happy” or “paired up.”

Reality:

Happy: Not so many.

Paired up:  Many are paired-up, but that does not necessarily mean they are happy. A client told me her most intense times of loneliness is when her husband is around pushing a cheerfulness that she cannot feel within or with him.

Reality is very different than the illusion, or the false beliefs we live by.

When you are lonely, you are more vulnerable to allow the ‘Currier and Ives’ images of the Season to seep in, as if they were real.  These kinds of images and memories have the power to stop us in our tracks.

My first Christmas after being divorced I remember being at the mall and hearing Elvis Presley singing “Blue Christmas.”  I became unglued, and ran out of the mall. I was already one of the ‘walking-wounded’ trying to do the expected things to provide a Christmas for my daughters.  I’m here to tell you, both personally and professionally, you will be able to see more clearly how to make a course correction after the holidays. So if you haven’t tackled loneliness yet, don’t give up.

Some years back, I did ‘Single thru the Holidays' groups which included men and women. We started the Sunday before Thanksgiving and ended the Sunday after New Year.  All of our stories were different and also similar.  Some had recently experienced a relationship loss or divorce and just wanted some space to feel what they felt without forced frivolity.  While some wanted support to experience the holidays differently than the traditional way, others just wanted to connect with kindred spirits. All benefitted from connecting with others. My group was, in essence, a holding space to be ‘all right’ with whatever was causing the loneliness.

My wish is that you hold space for yourself, no matter what you are feeling or how you got to this place, with compassion and without judgment.

Take time to reflect on the patterns that have you stuck and the best strategy for you to face your loneliness, the sooner the better. The only way out of loneliness or any other obstacle that is holding us back is to release the fear, and muster the courage, to go through it, not around it, if you are going to become free.

When I say through, I do not mean by pushing and shoving, or being harsh with yourself. Such action which will build up more resistance to any possibility of change.

Reflect and know that the obstacle of loneliness in your life has meaning. We all have obstacles that have to honored and worked through in order to accept our worthiness to have a full and abundant life. Mine may be different than yours, but I have them until I process the meaning and release the power that they have over me.

Discover how to be free of loneliness with tools, exercises and strategies go to laurabyoung.com/laurabyoung/obstacles.

Passionate Living Newsletter - Fall 2015

“If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive, do you think ghosts will do it after?"   (Kabir)

 

3 Rules You Must Break to Live a Life of Love, Passion and Joy

Do you notice when somebody ignores what is in their best interest, in order to keep the peace?  Do you see a pattern when someone you love puts their creativity on the back burner so as not to threaten a partner’s insecurity?

Do you have a blind spot when it comes to yourself?

Is that someone you?

Are you willing to betray others to be true to yourself?

Have you stopped to reflect and realize that some of the beliefs and rules that you live by are not yours?

Whose “second hand” rules are you living by?

Here are the 3 rules I am suggesting you break if you want a life of abundance. These are foundational rules that have to be broken, if we are going to get free enough to have a life of abundance. There is something in these rules that trip all of us up at some time in our life if we are not aware, and willing to do something about them.

Rule #1: Rebel against Other People’s: Second Hand” Rules

Rule # 2: Go Beyond the “American Dream.”

Rule # 3: Stop Trying to “Fit In”

"Is the life you're living the same as the life that wants to live in you?" - (Parker Palmer)

Do you wonder is this all there is?

Do you think you are as happy as you are going to get?

Do you find yourself repeating patterns in relationships that cause pain?

Are you lonely, or are you isolating?

Do you work hard but never seem to get ahead?

Do you stay in relationships that are toxic because someone else’s rule says ‘you made your bed now lie in it’?

Do you feel unworthy at times?

If you answer yes to any of the above questions, then you’re at the right place. It is never too late to go for more, to be happier.

Recently, a client told me that he liked a certain political candidate. “So! You know who you are going to vote for”? His reply startled me, “I said I liked him, but when it’s time to vote, I’ll probably do as I always do, vote with the rest. In our union we are generally pressured to vote as a block”.

Wow! This man is unhappy, somewhat depressed, bored in life, and continues to wonder why? Will he risk breaking just 1 rule, take the first step, the most important step, to free up from patterns that sabotage his happiness due to following other people’s rules?

Some pressures and rules are more subtle than mentioned above. At least the union worker was aware of what was asked of him and he had a choice.

Often the damaging conditioning, rules and beliefs that cause us problems in life were downloaded into us when we were children, and we don’t know that they are there, or what is there until we decide to find out. Being covert, they are often more dangerous, with power to harm, to prevent or steal happiness and joy. If, we like sheep, follow the trends or expectations of others, we cannot be happy. We need to ask, is this right for me? If it blocks my freedom and my growth, am I willing to be true to myself?

I want you to know; I have broken the 3 rules that you are been asked to examine and break. The 3 that you are being asked to break are foundational rules, and I shudder to think what my life would be like or who I would be today, if I had not broken them.

The free audio that I am offering you goes in depth regarding the necessity of breaking these 3 rules and why doing so is critical to having a life of abundance and happiness.

For strategies to uncover what may be holding you back, you are given the tools and permissions to become happy and joyful, even if you have failed before. Allow me to be your guide, just go to http://laurabyoung.com and get your free copy now!

Autumn: Another Chance!

Life is full of transitions and as summer slides into autumn, once again, it is time to consider a shift or a course correction. Autumn may not be a dramatic threshold for change, but it provides an opportunity for a practical review of your life before the Holiday Season takes over; a time to reflect, to restock our shelves and pay attention to our inner selves. Of most importance, is the attitude you bring to the restocking. If you are mindful, this seasonal transition provides an opportunity to live in a more meaningful way with eyes wide open. If not mindful, autumn will find us picking up the pace in regards to school, games, hunting, parties, etc. often in a heedless and unfulfilling way.

If unaware, we become victims of time pressures, schedules and the stress of doing more and more in a hurried fashion. Time becomes a tyrant, stressors mount and quality of life diminishes. Each day becomes pretty much like every other day... Not paying attention, the calendar leaves flip over and our comings, goings, and doings accelerate into a blur.

So how can we create balance between the two tracks?

Read more on: laurabyoung.com (Autumn Leaves)

Passionate Living Newsletter - Summer 2015

Welcome to Passionate Living Newsletter

Hello, I’m Laura B. Young

A Newsletter for those who dare to want the fullest life possible:

“But where was I to start? The world is so vast; I shall start with the country I know best, my own. But my country is so very large.  I had better start with my town.  But my town, too, is large. I had best start with my street. No: my home. No: my family. Never mind, I shall start with myself.” - Elis Wiesel, Souls on Fire, 1973

The Message

I see a light but no fire.
Is this what my life is to be like? 
Better to head for the grave.

A messenger comes, the grief-courier, and the
message is that the woman you love is in her house
alone, and wants you to come while it is still night.

Clouds unbroken, rain all night, all night.
I don't understand these wild impulses- 
what is happening to me? 

A lightning flash is followed by deeper melancholy. 
I stumble around inside looking for the path the night
wants me to take.

Light, where is the light?
Light the fire, if you have desire!
Thunder, rushing wind, nothingness.
Black night, black stone.
Don't let your whole life go by in the dark.

Evidently the only way to find the path is to
set fire to my own life! : (Rabindranath Tagore) 
 

The Message is a poem that has a profound impact on me.  It holds space for unanswered questions, all the while raising more questions than answers.  I believe that the grief-courier comes to tell us that even if we have forsaken  dreams, it is never too late to step over a threshold-now- and pick them up again, or some heartfelt version of them. If we take action, and not procrastinate, we can still have love and passion and abundance.  What does it mean to set fire to our own lives? We cannot wait until the day, when the time is just right to honor our essence and share that which is uniquely us.  Tagore asks us to let go of the ways we are bound by other people’s ‘shoulds’ and second hand rules that we had to obey in the beginning of our lives to survive. We let go so that we might embrace the life that our soul knows we are capable of living.

 

Do You Listen to the Night Messenger?

(The Power of your Dreams)

Frequently clients will tell me that they have had nightmares lately, and were very happy to wake up and know that it wasn’t real life.  When I ask them if they wrote the dream down or spent any time reflecting on its contents, the usual response is NO. I believe that by ignoring the contents of dreams, especially recurrent dreams or nightmares we cut ourselves off from a rich tapestry of information that is most helpful and revealing,, especially at times of major life decisions.

At important junctures of change in life, when it is time to cross another threshold, and I am doing my usual dance of fear, I have a recurrent dream.

The dream goes something like this: I am travelling and my purse that I snapped shut with all of my money and identifying papers is either lost or stolen. Reflect a minute on what we carry in our purses that we hold near and dear. Much of what is in there identifies us, represents who we think we are; a sense of self at this point in our lives.  When I reflect on the meaning of the dream; the messenger of the night tells me that I am holding on too tight to old ways, also that I need to embrace change, and my expand my frame of reference, more, now!  Not next year.

The message has a sense of urgency to it. In the dream, I usually panic, experience tightness in my body and an overwhelming feeling of fear and helplessness about what to do.  In real life when push comes to shove, I feel panicky, tightness in my body, and feelings of overwhelm.

So what is different you may ask? If we do not attend to issues when they arrive in real life, dreams will, to get our attention, present us with exaggerated symbols of what we go through when we fear serious change and the unknown.

Dreams are powerful teachers using drama to stop us in our tracks, and give us a picture of something that we are hiding in our unconscious, especially if we have not been paying attention all along. Dreams, especially nightmares, give such dramatic visuals that we cannot ignore them.  What I know for sure is, when I have the above recurrent dream, it is time for me to let go of some more limiting beliefs, thoughts, feelings or players on my stage of life to which I am overly attached.

What is your recurrent dream?

Have you taken time to examine it, or have you in fear or avoidance pushed it out of your consciousness.

 “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate”  - Jung

Tip:  What we resist or deny does not go away. It is usually stored in the unconscious gathering more energy to clout us when we least expect it. Have you ever said, or have you ever done something, that caused you to say I don’t know what came over me. It wasn’t me; I would never do or say that in my right mind. Well it was you, the hidden you, the shadow you, that you push down, that you do not like.

Often what we experience as a nightmare, when examined under the clear light of day is a rich tapestry of information, if you want to know. Take a few minutes and face the nightmare, turn it inside out, therein you will find your gold. The darkness within will be transformed .It is a strong, nudge from your unconscious that something needs to be changed or corrected. .

Dreams are one way to understand the power of what you have stored in your unconscious .Other ways to access the  power house of your unconscious, as well as strategies and exercises, are given in “Love the Dark Side of Your Moon” on my website:  laurabyoung.com

Passionate Living Newsletter - Spring 2015

Hello, I’m Laura B. Young

Welcome to my Newsletter “Passionate Living.”

A Newsletter for those who dare to want the fullest life possible:

“But where was I to start? The world is so vast; I shall start with the country I know best, my own. But my country is so very large.  I had better start with my town.  But my town, too, is large. I had best start with my street. No: my home. No: my family. Never mind, I shall start with myself.” - Elis Wiesel, Souls on Fire, 1973

Spring Forward: Another Chance

Let go of winter’s grip and allow spring to open your heart to new possibilities. “To everything there is a season…” (Ecclesiastes)    Is spring your season?  For some of us, New Year’s resolutions have grown cold, because the timing was not right, and our seeds of change had to germinate for a while longer in darkness

The poet, David Whyte says the time involved from the beginning of change, until it expresses in the external, can take a few years. I remember some major changes in my life germinating much longer than a few years. But then, I am a turtle, not the hare, as my idealized self would like to be.

I heard a spiritual teacher use the analogy of a rose beneath the snow, as she talked about our thresholds of change. She compared the slow hidden, inner preparation of the rose becoming the miracle that arrives in season, full of beauty to dazzle externally. We too are like the rose. Much growing goes on internally before it shows up in our lives.

Some changes however are upon us with swiftness whereby we have no time to choose, we have to go into survival mode. There are beginnings that seem to have a mind of their own. Also there are some people who do not seem to struggle with stepping into new opportunities as most of us do. Start anyway you can; there will be fears, hesitancies, self reproach, and you will waver. Be kind to yourself throughout the process.

All beginnings are an opportunity to journey within, and write a new chapter in your life.  It is time to stop if for just a few moments, start a journal and write down your reflections, hopes, as well as your dreams.  Reflect on your yearnings, as well as your longings that get tucked away (until there is time).  As you journal ask yourself some of the following questions.

  • Who am I now?
  • What do I like?
  • What do I want my life to be like now?  (You are not the person you were 10 years ago, so what worked then will not necessarily bring fulfillment now).
  • What do I need to let go of?
  • What do I want to include in my life?
  • Do I feel worthy of a life of abundance?
  • Do I believe I can create a more meaningful life?
  • Time for reflection is necessary for a deeper knowing of self to occur. This in turn facilitates the energy and courage, necessary for the change we desire.

Wanting to change is not enough, relying on will power is not enough.

So what gets in our way?

There is an old Irish saying which equates the first step as being so important, it is likened to being half done. For most of us just showing up is a most important feat.  

Not knowing ourselves at a deep level is a major impediment to our risking change. Without this knowing we are unaware of the emotional triggers that keep us stuck and repeating our negative experiences.  Change takes time, it requires being realistic.  It takes planning, and making decisions regarding a positive replacement for that which you want to extinguish. 

Information, tips, tools, strategies and boundless support are offered in my work, Journey into a Passionate Life; to help you stay on your journey, make course corrections as is necessary. It is possible for you to have more abundance in every area of your life starting now!  Accept slip ups, they are bound to happen, forgive yourself, and start again.  Take baby steps.

Blessings, Laura

See more on change by visiting laurabyoung.com

Passionate Living Newsletter - February 2015

Welcome to the February edition of my “Passionate Living Newsletter.”

A Newsletter for those who dare to want the fullest life possible:

“But where was I to start? The world is so vast; I shall start with the country I know best, my own. But my country is so very large.  I had better start with my town.  But my town, too, is large. I had best start with my street. No: my home. No: my family. Never mind, I shall start with myself.” - Elis Wiesel, Souls on Fire, 1973

Table of Contents

  • What is Your Life Story?
  • For Women Only
  • Do You Desire a Life of Purpose?

What is Your Life Story?

We all have an inner and an outer story, whether you are aware of it or not., It’s a powerful influence on the way we live our lives: whether it is mostly full and passionate or leaves us feeling that something important id missing. The story is generally formed around a cluster of core beliefs, passed down to us when we are very young by members of "our tribe", i.e. family.  We like sponges, absorb everything as if it were the truth.  We are not old enough to question when this happens, as we are too young to reason or express.  The beliefs of others influence us significantly, whether we are aware of them or not.  If we were lucky, what was passed down was not too damaging, but, for most of us, some of these beliefs have cost us dearly. One’s tendency to identify with the inner story, which is usually unconscious, influences us greatly as to how we live in the present.

Sometimes the story may go as follows:" No matter what I do, it’s never enough".  So one pushes oneself more and more, while at the same time believing, it won’t matter, it won’t be enough.  This story or life script is a familiar one to me as a psychotherapist. It is usually instilled in the little child’s unconscious by exacting, critical parents,or church or teachers.  Other familiar story lines go as follows;" everyone I love leaves me it’s my fault, if I had been a good girl, they would not have quarreled, being violent, or divorced etc..."  If the patterns that the core beliefs cause are deep and persistently interfering in your life, it’s important that you consider psychotherapy to get to the root causes.  In such situations, I use several techniques in addition to talk therapy to hasten the healing.  I use hypnotherapy, guided imagery, breath work, as well as accessing the inner child for healing purposes.  All of these methods access the unconscious, where the client’s story is rooted.

Freeing up from your story:  

When you live your life, as if your story is true, you unwittingly create situations that replicate the original belief system.   Following is an example of early influenc in a client's life, I'll call Milly.. It showed up in Milly’s life over the years, Raised by a controlling inflexible father, whom she could not please, she found herself  struggling with many male figures to whom she gave authority.  She over- extended to please them, and generally was left feeling it’s not enough which at a deeper level translates as “I’m not enough.”  This feeling of “not enoughness” created problems for Milly in romantic and other close relationships as well as on her job.

We believe our story, and as a result we don’t seem to realize that the illusion we are under is like living in a deep pervasive fog.  It’s a real struggle to see with clarity where the arrows of our life are pointing.  We go the way we are pointed, often the way is one of illusion, given us by others.  If your story isn’t working for you, it’s time to examine what it really is, not what you would like it to be.  We have to accept that we can’t change the past, but what we choose to do right now will change our lives as we go forward, for better or for worse.

What is your story around money, religion, God, weight issues, relationships, ageing, health etc.?

Begin by stopping  and then reflect:

What you bring your attention to has power to transform you.

Will you start today?

No day will be better than today !.

For Women Only

How to get More of what You Really want in Intimate Relationships:

As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have had a front row seat, to observe the many ways women sabotage themselves when it comes to having more of what they want/need in intimate relationships.

Surprising though it may seem, many women spend more time planning the details of their next vacation, or Christmas dinner than reflecting on what they really want in an intimate relationship...Forget about the picture that we are given by Madison Avenue, or romance novels, that gushes unreality all over us, in an attempt to sell us illusions as if it were the real thing. I am here to tell you about having more power in choosing the nuts and bolts of a solid relationship. A partner who will love and value you and your opinions, someone who will get up with you in the wee hours of the morning when the baby is crying, or will celebrate and not be threatened when you are promoted in your career.

I hear “all the good men are taken,”or “I keep attracting the same kind of guys over and over, those who fear commitment, ones who bolt when the relationship gets warm, or others who promise a lot but leave me in emotional pain”.

Soo! What is important to you in choosing a man? What character traits do you value? If you are unsure or vague, take the uncertainty out of the vapors, and write the qualities down.

A powerful way to get clear about waht we really want,is by identifying and writing down, what is not wanted. Taking ideas out of the vapors and writing them down, gives desires, wishes and yearnings, concrete form. The same ideas after we have written them down become important and personal sources of knowledge, wisdom, and discernment that can be counted on when somebody of interest arrives on the scene.  Knowing who you are, and what is important to you, puts you in the driver’s seat to choose, and therefore less at the mercy of hormones and sexual attraction. Not being clear about your needs and wants, gives the other too much power over you and the future of your relationships. If you just want to play the field that is one thing, however if a committed long term relationship or marriage is what you want, pull up a chair, grab a pen and notebook and let’s get to work.

Create two columns. In column 1, list the qualities that you do not want. In column 2, list the important values that you have to have in your relationship to be happy; list less important character traits that you would enjoy having in a partner, list everything you can remember liking , or observing in somebody you admire, love and respect, do not hold back, you can cull  your list later. Some examples are given below.

Column1

Column 2

Controlling

Flexible when situation needs it

Doesn’t listen to me

Listens and values my ideas

Does not respect my opinion

Asks for and respects my opinion

Does not have a sense of humor

Has a good sense of humor

Infidelity

Trustworthiness

Disrespect for women

Respect for women

Cruelty to animals

Kindness

It is likely that we will make some mistakes in our choosing: note I said choosing, not being chosen. I have met many women some very successful in their careers, who are holding on to an antiquated belief of being chosen. This is a throwback belief to the times when women were really helpless and had no power. I am not advocating that you behave out of character and become bold and aggressive. No; not at all: be true to who you are, but check your belief system to find out what is holding you back. Much of my work is devoted to helping women let go of old limiting beliefs that no longer serve them. . (journeyintoapassionatelife.com)

Remember, water seeks its own level. That said; we draw to ourselves that which we are at a core level. Our level of consciousness attracts to us some one of the same level, cannot be otherwise. So it behooves us to examine who we are, and consider changing the issues that give us problems, so that we can attract someone who also has less issues. You have seen a version of this unhealed dysfunction played out in real life e.g. when the bully marries the victim, the overachiever marries the irresponsible one, and the alcoholic marries the martyr. While on the surface they may appear very different, underneath they are both people with serious issues and low self-esteem.

If there is a repetitive pattern going; it is time to take stock. If you attract a type of dysfunction again and again, such as alcoholics, violent, irresponsible or disrespectful men, this is an indication of an unconscious pattern at work. This pattern is more powerful than your conscious strivings. If there is a pattern at the wheel here, run; do not walk and seek professional help, preferably with somebody well versed in family systems and relationship therapy. (See relationship articles on laurabyoung.com)

I know about pain that patterns cause both personally and professionally. My father, whom I remember as a short dark, hairy, and a fun loving guy, died when I was quite young. My dating patterns and my nemesis were fun loving, short, dark hairy men, who would leave me. Oh no; they didn’t die; but leave they did, to go to another woman, to the golf course or to war, leaving me feeling abandoned and bereft. I needed therapy to break the spell in order to choose wisely. Lodged in my unconscious was the unresolved grief for my father, so powerful that it overcame my conscious decisions regarding the men in my life and the fact I was attracted men who were not good for me. If you experience a similar pattern, pay attention to the feelings that are repetitive. The feelings are important, try and remember when you first felt that way. If there is a repetitive pattern, the feelings are usually connected to early pain that has not been resolved.

Something that women do well, but to their own detriment in new relationships is to project into the future. Judy was asked out on a date for a Halloween party. For Steve it was just a date that may or may not lead to another. Judy on the other hand was wondering out loud what she might get him for Christmas. In addition she went on a diet in case they might go to the beach in the spring as she wants to look good in her bathing suit. So what is wrong with this picture? You may consider Judy a bit extreme in her projections; however what kind of projecting have you done, while for the guy involved it was just a date. If Judy wants to look good for herself, that is fine, but in this case she is preoccupied with pleasing Steve, and may not know him at all.

Who is this guy? Early in the relationship before it is complicated by sexual relations, it is my experience that guys will tell you who they are, if you ask the right questions. Women tell me that they do not ask because they do not want to be considered intrusive. I know a woman who did not ask a man the cause of his two previous divorces, only to find out, after their marriage the biggest problem in both divorces, was that he did not want children. She wanted children, and could not be happy with his unwillingness and so a third divorce. She said if I had only known. Listen carefully to his answers. Does he denigrate his ex-wife or partner? Do you believe that you will love him so much that it will be different with you? Not really!! What is his behavior when he is angry? Does he blame others for the problems that he has in his life?

It will not be different with you; do not fall in love with his potential. What you see is all that you can count on. He will not change, unless he is actively seeking change, maybe a little for you, but not a core change.

When two people fall in love there is a merging that occurs for about six months, sometimes longer. We enter into our best selves and are at a higher level of consciousness than usual, in our happy state. In this state, our old conditionings, limiting beliefs are able to be temporarily set aside, until the reality that this is a person, human with flaws showing up. The merging of falling in love is so rarefied we cannot hold on to it although we think everything would be perfect if we could, however this is not, really life. In life we have to drink the red wines as well as the rarefied white wines. When we fall off the pedestal, we are accused of not being the person with whom they fell in love. Most of us are not faking the higher being that we seem to be, but we can only be that wonderful person temporarily, that is unless we do an enormous amount of healing to get free of our conditioning. If we heal our dysfunctions, the other may not change and we will not fit once again.

Alas, we are the same, with feet of clay, flaws and all. We were privileged to have flown so close to the sun, even for a little while. Now we have to gather up our disparate pieces, and it is at this point we have the possibility of having a real love and a real relationship. The most important relationship is the one that we have with ourselves, when that is right, we can have more of what we want in life. It seems like a cosmic joke, if you notice in life, when we decide that we do not need something so badly,we are more likely to be able to have it.. Blessings on your journey, Laura

(More on relationships at laurabyoung.com)

Do You Desire a Life of Purpose?

"Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it”Gautama Buddha

Desire without attachment is not possible.  Desire is the propeller that moves us forward towards a fulfillment.  .  Sometimes in an effort to stay safe we squelch our desires to the point we no longer know what they are.  Desirelessness is not a state to stay in.

“The activity of desire is the forward-moving or expanding motion of Life Itself, and can never be dispensed with.  Without desire for attachment, attachment would not be possible.”   (The Magic Presence by Godfrey Ray King).  Dr. David Hawkins a spiritual teacher work who developed a means of calibrating a scale of measuring truth, is able to measure and analyze the full spectrum of various levels of consciousness.  He states that the energy level of desire “motivates vast area of human activity, including the economy. In order to get one first has to have the energy to “want.”

If you ever sigh and wonder “is this all there is? You have not found your purpose in life.

If you feel emptiness in your heart in spite of all that you have achieved, again you have not found your purpose.

"Those who have failed to work toward the truth have missed the purpose of living.”Gautama Buddha

What then is the truth for you?

In our culture there is an illusion that we will know purpose through outer striving, and we find people;

  • Frantically busy;
  • Acutely stressed;
  • Stuck in stagnation;
  • Overwhelmed by the expectations of others;
  • Boxed in by boredom;
  • Fearful of real freedom;
  • Resistant to change;
  • Struggling to have financial success, expecting that it will bring a sense of fulfillment  

Alas you will not find it here.

Although outer desires are to some degree connected to our purpose, it is not until we recognize that our true desires takes us on an inner journey. A major part of the trip is to become aware of the power of the inner and learn how to align the inner with the outer.

Our inner purpose will be revealed to the extent that we let go of illusions that life should be a certain way and that we are in control. Being weighed down with faulty beliefs we deny the fact that we are not free. I have met people who have done all the right things according to society, and their families of origin and are absolutely miserable. The illusions and faulty beliefs make our lives that we are living a lie. In this condition we are sleepwalking through life, unaware that inside of us is the key to the truth.

Our predicament reminds me of the man who is looking for his keys under a street light. When asked if he is sure he lost them there, he says no, but this is where the light is. We, like him are looking in all the wrong places...

“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.”Thomas Merton

How to align the inner and the outer does not fit into a rule bound linear formula. A feeling of wanting, readiness, and a feeling of worthiness is an important key

There is a wonderful story about the disciple who went to his guru and asked:

“Guru, I seek enlightenment. How do I get to it?  The guru explained that enlightenment will come when we desire it, that our reality is created by giving our attention to those things we want the most.

“But I desire it. Why has it not come to me?”

“Because you do not truly desire it” replied the guru.

The wise guru knew that a mere craving or simple want was not enough to turn desires into reality. He knew that he would have to show his disciple the degree of desire necessary to achieve such a manifestation.

Wanting to teach his disciple how to achieve enlightenment, he knew he must show him the level of intent needed to manifest his desire. To do this, the sage took the young man down to the bank of the Ganges River and had him kneel with his head over the water. Then the guru put his hand on the young man’s neck and pushed his head below the surface.

After a minute and a half, the young disciple was frantic. He pulled and heaved and flailed his arms, but the guru did not let him up. He could not get his head out of the water no matter how hard he tried. After two minutes, just when it seemed as though his lungs would burst, the guru released his grip and the disciple lifted his head, eagerly gulping the air that awaited him.

The guru smiled.

“Tell me,” he said. “What was your greatest desire just now?”

“To breathe,” the young disciple said, exasperated.

“Ah,” said the guru, “when you desire enlightenment to that degree, it shall be yours.”

What is the intensity of your desire?

Do you want it as bad as the young disciple wanted to breathe, or is it simply a passing fancy; a “wouldn’t that be nice” kind of wishing?

Does your intent fill every inch of your being or does it simply cross your mind now and then?

May you honor and respect your desires and may your life be purposeful.

Blessings, Laura

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