Passionate Living Newsletter

Passionate Living Newsletter

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

See more on laurabyoung.com

 

Welcome

Welcome to Passionate Living Newsletter

Hello, I’m Laura B. Young

Welcome to the launch of 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

In today’s uncertain world, there is a thirst for meaning and purpose.  For most of us wanting a more passionate life usually means that we have some thinking, feeling and behavior habits that need a course correction. Meaningful change is a process, a journey that usually feels uncomfortable and risky for most of us. Do not allow the discomfort to stop you however.  Accepting who and where we are right now is a first important step.  It provides us a dance floor on which to dance, so to speak.  As we reflect we may not like what we find however we have to start somewhere and acceptance is a beginning.

Often in life when in despair over life’s struggles, not knowing which way to turn, we sometimes forget we are not alone. I would like to be a person in your life who gives you a “safety rope” of guidance and boundless encouragement assisting you as you tackle your journey and you increase your courage to get beyond “stuckness” into an incredible life.  Allow me to offer you a respite along your path.  In each newsletter I will be sharing information both personal and professional to give you important tools to navigate life’s thresholds.

So you ask: where do I start?

I believe there are abiding possibilities for each and every one of us, no matter where we start. Examine your life, your story, and become familiar with your usual pattern of doing things when you decide on a change.  Give yourself permission, to do it your way, be true to yourself.

I have been privileged to witness the great joy that occurs when clients have crossed the chasm of doubts and fears inherent in times of transitions, and have claimed their worthiness to have more of their dreams and desires fulfilled.  My work has been, and continues to be, devoted to helping people become, in one sense or another, more of what is possible for them.

Every time we meet, I will be here to encourage and uplift as you take the necessary steps to make life full and passionate.

Blessings, Laura

Greg's Plate

In each newsletter there will be a segment called “Greg’s Plate”. Greg, a multifaceted creative man who lives passionately, will bring to our attention other aspects and layers that will show us how to live life fully.  Using a broader brush Greg will share some of his life passions which he calls his ‘plate’.

Greg believes that we are all here to risk and be deeply involved in life.  In order to do that ,we need to be multi-dimensional and not allow our life to be a ritual day in and day out.  A more in-depth history of that which Greg brings to us by way of his life experiences will be available on my website LauraByoung.com on his page “Greg’s Plate”

In the meantime a brief synopsis of what he has on his "plate” for us and will address for us from time to time.

Tips and recipes for taste and presentation for us passionate foodies

Success in gardening from seeds to greenhouse experiences

The challenges of the computer age and solutions

The fun of scuba diving

 

In any given newsletter one area or all may be addressed.

Passionate Living Newsletter - January 2015

Table of Contents

  • A New Beginning
  • What is a Passionate Life and What it is Not
  • Just What is A Passionate Life? (Free Audio)

A New Beginning

And now let us welcome the New Year full of things that have never been - Rainer Marie Rilke

The New Year is- 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.  Explore how you have honored them in your life so far and especially the part you want them to play in the coming year,  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?
  • Am I worthy of a life of abundance?
  • Do I believe I can create a life that has more meaning for me?
  • (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. )

Each New Year we make resolutions; to take more time for self, to stick to an exercise program, to be more patient etc., telling ourselves that this year will be different.  Studies have shown however, that only 40% of our resolutions are successful after six months and we are left discouraged.

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

So what gets in our way?

Not knowing ourselves at a deep level is a major impediment to 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. 

As we go forward I will be offering information, tips, tools and boundless support 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 this coming year.  Accept slip ups, they are bound to happen, forgive yourself, and start again.  Take baby steps.

May you have a Blessed New Year.

What is a Passionate Life and What it is Not

Time and time again I am asked about what I mean when I encourage people to live a full and Passionate Life.  Often the people asking do not know what a Passionate Life would look like for them.  There is a tendency is to visualize a passionate life with too narrow a frame.  Such as a Hollywood screen version or on the other hand elevate it to such an unreachable standard that it appears to be out of ordinary grasp.

A fully lived life may have its fair share of romance and eroticism, but it is so much more. My work addresses all that it can be, as well as how to process and free up from many of the universal obstacles that stop us... Sometimes a first step towards attaining what we desire is through the back door of knowing for sure, what we do not want. My focus is on the importance of knowing what we do not want.

Why then do I send you in the direction of what you do not want?  A necessary and important step is  to stop and reflect on what is really going on .When we stop the busyness,   patterns of behavior that prevent a deeper relationship to self, we may not like what we find, but therein lies our truth.  Frequently when we stop, we find a low hum of negativity that we need to become aware of, in order to resolve.  We find that it is constant and powerful enough to keep us distressed. Layers of negativity go around in the vapors of our mind, until we are stop and become aware of how much of the heavy energy we are carrying. Until we stop, resolve and release what we do not want, it will be almost impossible to know and have what we really want.

Sometimes we keep that which is most important, so tucked away that we do not know what it is. While closed off from knowing ourselves, we are unable begin our journey into a larger more expansive life?  Early in life, the habit of pushing down feelings is formed in order to be more acceptable to others, and not disappoint them. It may not have been safe to express or expect others to help with our feelings and confusions. In the process of suppressing parts of self that we believed undesirable for some reason, we became a mystery to ourselves.

Are you willing to go deep within to excavate the hidden parts of self?  What is hidden and split off is not available to us, and leaves us with the feeling that something is missing; and so it is. My work shows you how to unearth what is suppressed  and reclaim  your unknown parts .Doing so allows you  to get to know the whole self ,discovering as you go along what you really want and do not want in life .Let go of judgment and resistance to whatever you  find.   In being open to know all that is within, you are able to disarm the unconscious and start your journey into wholeness

A spiritual teacher once told me that to evolve on the spiritual path; we have to have an authentic self to surrender. This is also true when you start getting clear on what you want in your life and what you do not. Essentially, you have to know your core self in order to proceed.

We spend time whining, complaining, judging and talking about what we do not want however we do not define it write it down and let what is superfluous go. We keep feeding the negative with revolving thoughts that are of the same ilk.

A word of caution here: A Passionate Life is not one that is planned. Rarely does passion come out of the studious application of joining the right schools, clubs, or marrying the right person.  I have worked with clients who checked all of the right boxes, and found themselves at midlife in terrible distress wondering why they are so unhappy, or living lives that are flat lined...Frequently, the refrain is, why me?  I have done or tried to do all the “right” things.  The problem is in the question.  Too much planning as well as attention paid to what other people think you should do in regards to your life.

Move towards knowing yourself with curiosity and kindness and you will be more able to honor all that you find  As a result of your risking you will be more likely to have a full life, an authentic life, a full and passionate life.

So stop and reflect, start where you are, accept what you find and know that no day is better than today!!

Just What is A Passionate Life? (Free Audio)

Do you think that a full passionate life is for others, but not for you?

Many are confused when I mention a passionate life or living passionately. During a recent interview for my Journey into a Passionate Life - A Transformational System, Pat asked me "What is a Passionate Life?" WOW, what a great question! Pat and I talked for over 20 minutes about what I envision as a Passionate Life or Living Passionately. I am sharing this audio with anyone who may sigh and wonder "is this all there is?"

Here is the link for the free audio: http://laurabyoung.com/content/just-what-passionate-life-audio

Greg's Plate

Greg's Plate will be back: hopefully in the next issue.

 

Passionate Living Newsletter - Fall 2014

Table of Contents

  • What is a Passionate Life and What it is Not
  • It's That Time of Year
  • What’s Your Story?

What is a Passionate Life and What it is Not

Time and time again I am asked about what I mean when I encourage people to live a full and Passionate Life.  Often the people asking do not know what a Passionate Life would look like for them.  There is a tendency is to visualize a passionate life with too narrow a frame.  Such as a Hollywood screen version or on the other hand elevate it to such an unreachable standard that it appears to be out of ordinary grasp.

A fully lived life may have its fair share of romance and eroticism, but it is so much more. My work addresses all that it can be, as well as how to process and free up from many of the universal obstacles that stop us... Sometimes a first step towards attaining what we desire is through the back door of knowing for sure, what we do not want. My focus is on the importance of knowing what we do not want.

Why then do I send you in the direction of what you do not want?  A necessary and important step is  to stop and reflect on what is really going on .When we stop the busyness,   patterns of behavior that prevent a deeper relationship to self, we may not like what we find, but therein lies our truth.  Frequently when we stop, we find a low hum of negativity that we need to become aware of, in order to resolve.  We find that it is constant and powerful enough to keep us distressed. Layers of negativity go around in the vapors of our mind, until we are stop and become aware of how much of the heavy energy we are carrying. Until we stop, resolve and release what we do not want, it will be almost impossible to know and have what we really want.

Sometimes we keep that which is most important, so tucked away that we do not know what it is. While closed off from knowing ourselves, we are unable begin our journey into a larger more expansive life?  Early in life, the habit of pushing down feelings is formed in order to be more acceptable to others, and not disappoint them. It may not have been safe to express or expect others to help with our feelings and confusions. In the process of suppressing parts of self that we believed undesirable for some reason, we became a mystery to ourselves.

Are you willing to go deep within to excavate the hidden parts of self?  What is hidden and split off is not available to us, and leaves us with the feeling that something is missing; and so it is. My work shows you how to unearth what is suppressed  and reclaim  your unknown parts .Doing so allows you  to get to know the whole self ,discovering as you go along what you really want and do not want in life .Let go of judgment and resistance to whatever you  find.   In being open to know all that is within, you are able to disarm the unconscious and start your journey into wholeness

A spiritual teacher once told me that to evolve on the spiritual path; we have to have an authentic self to surrender. This is also true when you start getting clear on what you want in your life and what you do not. Essentially, you have to know your core self in order to proceed.

We spend time whining, complaining, judging and talking about what we do not want however we do not define it write it down and let what is superfluous go. We keep feeding the negative with revolving thoughts that are of the same ilk.

A word of caution here: A Passionate Life is not one that is planned. Rarely does passion come out of the studious application of joining the right schools, clubs, or marrying the right person.  I have worked with clients who checked all of the right boxes, and found themselves at midlife in terrible distress wondering why they are so unhappy, or living lives that are flat lined...Frequently, the refrain is, why me?  I have done or tried to do all the “right” things.  The problem is in the question.  Too much planning as well as attention paid to what other people think you should do in regards to your life.

Move towards knowing yourself with curiosity and kindness and you will be more able to honor all that you find  As a result of your risking you will be more likely to have a full life, an authentic life, a full and passionate life.

So stop and reflect, start where you are, accept what you find and know that no day is better than today!!

It's That Time of Year

The last two months of the year usually finds us in a frantic state of shopping, decorating, cooking and travelling, so is it any wonder we are more stressed than cheerful.  Having so many "to do" lists, we are wound up and too exhausted to enjoy that which normally makes us happy, as in cherished traditions and intimate family gatherings.  There is an underlying expectation at this time of the year, that everybody is supposed to be cheerful, and to some degree caught up in the frenetic activity.  The external pressure of being 'merry' creates an unrealistic goal for many of us.

Who do we have to thank for the pressure to have an over the top Holiday Season besides ourselves.  Well there is Madison Avenue flashing the perfect holiday scenes into our living rooms by Halloween as we are nudged to start preparing earlier and earlier every year.  The illusion is that if we start sooner, do more, consume more, while translating  the advertising images of perfection into our lives and project them onto our real families, we can have a 'Currier and Ives' experience.

  Whatever possesses us to imagine that our holidays will be a cocoon of love, warmth, acceptance, and safety?  It will be that way only to the extent that our lives are like this throughout the year.  We yearn for warmth as well as intimacy and somehow believe that if we go the extra mile, prepare delicious meals, go without sleep, shop for the perfect gift in throngs of people, this year will be different.

What occurs when the Holidays are over is that we feel tired, irritable and somewhat empty.   The tendency is to feel inadequate because we did not pull off the season as we hoped...  Our culture tends to promote the belief that if we try harder, we can have a snapshot of beauty frozen in time, and somehow we will magically evolve into a finer representation of ourselves, eschewing the usual family dysfunctions.

. 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 often rise to the surface becoming turbulent and weird at a holiday gathering.

  • Aunt Sue will drink more to medicate her empty feelings, becoming sloppy and obnoxiously loud.
  • The control freak becomes a micromanaging intrusion into everybody's business.   This behavior is more prevalent because he cannot control the holiday hustle and bustle, thus he becomes more and more anxious.
  • The rageful one sends family members tip toeing around, in order to avoid out and out volatility.
  •   Agatha, your 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! Personality. (It is noticed however that he is interested in the receiving part, sizing up his gifts against the number and value of others years).
  • What about You in this mix?
  • Do you have fantasies of pleasing this tribe?

Read more: http://laurabyoung.com/content/its-time-year

What’s Your Story?

We all have an inner story, whether you are aware of it or not, and it’s quite a powerful influence on the way we live our life and whether it is mostly full and passionate or leaving 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 cannot 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, actually limits 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 child’s unconscious by exacting, critical parents 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.  If the patterns that the core beliefs cause are deep and persistently interfering in your life, it’s important that you consider psychotherapy to root them out. 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.   An example of early influence 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 intimate relationships as well. 

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, the way 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 etc.?

Begin by stopping to reflect:

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

Will you start today?

No day will be better.

Greg's Plate

Greg's Plate will be back: hopefully in the next issue.

How’s the Year Going for You So Far?

How’s the Year Going for You So Far?

Submitted by Laura on Sat, 02/22/2014 - 15:50

And now let us welcome the New… full of things that have never been - Rainer Marie Rilke

Every year we get an opportunity to journey within, an opportunity to write a new chapter in our 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.  Explore how you have honored them in your life so far and especially the part you want them to play this year, Reflect on your yearnings, as well as 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?
  • Am I worthy of a life of abundance?
  • Do I believe I can create a life that has more meaning for me?

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.

Each year we make resolutions; to take more time for self, to stick to an exercise program, to be more patient etc., telling ourselves that this year will be different.  Studies have shown however, that only 40% of our resolutions are successful after six months and we are left discouraged.

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

So what gets in our way?

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

As we go forward I will be offering information, tips, tools and boundless support 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 this coming year.  Accept slip ups, they are bound to happen, forgive yourself, and start again.  Take baby steps.  You can find boundless information and support by visiting JourneyIntoAPassionateLife.com, or LauraBYoung.com

May this year will bring you many blessings!  Laura

Manifestation: The Law is Always Working

Submitted by Laura on Sun, 02/09/2014 - 15:49

Why am I getting Muddied Results?

We manifest in our lives whatever we give our attention and energy to or focus on, positive or negative. The Law is always working whether we are consciously directing it or not. The outcome of the Law is influenced by many factors however the following three are important to remember.

Desire is the force which sets energy in motion

Fear is an obstacle by which the current is stopped or completely reversed (turned away from us)

Doubt; at best doubt muddies the waters, Doubt is that place we go to when we have an inner glitch or stopper that delays us due to feeling a lack of worthiness in regards to attaining what we desire.

Continuing with the idea of muddied results, let us briefly look at what is fueling this outcome for us. We live at a time when fears and anxieties permeate our daily life from the first news program in the morning, through daily activities until bedtime. The unease and negativity surrounding us creates a climate of “lack” in many ways.  Our unchecked accumulative thoughts tend to create a feeling of loss of personal power.  A loss of personal power, whether real or perceived, creates a sense of scarcity a ‘poverty consciousness.’  Becoming anxious we are more apt to pull the sides of our boxes tightly around us. We wait for a guarantee before we risk hoping that the status quo will not be disturbed. There are of course no guarantees.

Having been a ‘Manifestation Expert’ on Self Growth .com for several years I believed that my awareness was amped up enough to have the Law working for me in a positive way. Truthfully my life indicates some good manifestations, some troublesome, however more often than not the results are muddied, indicating a conflict with the good that that I desire.

Wanting to get to the bottom of this situation, I asked questions several nights before going to sleep. Show me what is missing? What needs to be learned here? Why am I not manifesting what I desire?

Last Night as I was sleeping
I dreamt – marvelous error!
That a spring was breaking
out in my heart.

Antonio Machado (translated by Robert Bly)

After a few nights, a wellspring of information came my way albeit in symbolic fashion.  Images of some habitual fears, beliefs of scarcity layer by layer came up for examination.  Predominately the images showed me how I undermine many overt beliefs regarding Manifestation - some subtle some not.

 My dreams showed me that often my day is started and finished in negative energy instead of gratitude.  See if you recognize yourself or can relate to some of the following examples?  “I didn’t have enough sleep”, as I fret about how to make it through a long day. After pushing the alarm a couple of times my thoughts are likely to go to “I am running late and there is no time to go to gym, meditate, or stretch” etc.   Again, not enoughness or poverty consciousness is taking up residence within me. If I make it to the gym and weigh what do you expect the inner conversation will be about my body? What about bed time when the too do list is barely touched? The tendency to scold one’s self is often a bedtime companion,

  • Gratitude is missing
  • A sense of being “enough” is missing
  • A valuing of self is missing
  • A sense of personal power is missing
  • Negative judgment of self is present

How can we stop the barrage of negativity that hums in our lives just below the radar? The first step into changing the negative habits is an understanding how much our negativity interferes with the manifestations of our deepest desires. Stopping to reflect is a first step in order to get clarity and take action, a course correction if you will.

With intention and purpose my morning self talk to changed to include gratitude. .At bedtime I am more often able to be grateful for the day, without being negative about my failings.  Other negativities often slide in (no shortage here).  Something that helps when you start to affirm and cannot quite believe in it as stated is to add a sentence to make it plausible.  For instance, if the scale at the gym tells me there was no weight loss and I do not yet love my body, a phrase of gratitude for my body and all that it does for me will help the unconscious accept what I am attempting to do.  Another affirmation might be that it is becoming healthier.  If you say an affirmation and it does not feel like it is the truth for you right now do not force it with a lame version of the real thing. Speak a truth that you can feel at present, with a knowing that it will change as you practice.

Let’s practice releasing the habitual negativity in life as it gets in the way of manifesting what is truly desired.  Appreciate any and all progress.

Blessings

Laura

What would you like for dinner?

Submitted by Greg on Sat, 02/22/2014 - 15:43

Probably the most asked question in the world, and asked every day.  Depending on who asks it, the question is usually a leading question, with an anticipated reply.  For me, I always hear “What shall we prepare for dinner?”  All right, game on!

So my reply this time is the same as usual: “What do we have to cook?”  Well, we have vegetables that we should cook while they are still fresh.  That was not really an answer; but, I played along.  Just get everything out of the produce drawer that we need to cook and we will go from there!

Seems now a days that we are more and more concerned about eating healthy, so while shopping one tends to stay away from the canned goods and go for the fresh “in season” produce and with all the choices these days, it doesn’t take anytime to fill up your produce drawer to the point it is over-flowing into your fruit drawer.  Ah, the overflowing fruit drawer – a subject for another time.

So vegetables started appearing on the counter, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, etc…  Obviously vegetables were on the menu; but how to prepare them and which ones?  So I started removing flowerets, slicing zucchini and peppers, chopping this and julienning that.  Practicing my knife skills, I was definitely in a groove.

When the prep work was complete, I stood back and saw all the cereal bowls were filled, there were neat little piles of vegetables on the cutting board and a pile of vegetable scraps that would later end up in a stock pot for vegetable broth – again, another story; but, the broth didn’t last long!  Now what?  The over flowing bowls of vegetables were begging to be prepared.  So we ended up making a vegetable ragout and used some leftover rice to make a pilaf.

I would be happy to share the recipe; however, it would have to be created because one was not used.  Besides, following a recipe is not the message here.  The important lesson I want you to take away from this story is to not be afraid to experiment when you cook (not bake), most techniques are universal, quantities are not steadfast, ingredients can vary and, most of all, have fun in the kitchen.  If you feel your finished dish was not up to par, adjust it a little next time! – That’s what Julia would do!

Don’t be intimidated in the kitchen, have fun, and it is always more fun with family and friends – welcome sous chefs!

We sat, we ate and we enjoyed!  It started by cleaning up the produce drawer and ended up with one comment that I will always remember…  “I could become a vegetarian if it always tasted this good.”  Let me know how your experiments work, maybe we can share some recipes – I’ll try harder to start documenting them.

So, what would you like for dinner, tonight?

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