I would like you to know me better through the story of my own healing, and how I came to believe in the power of personal transformation.
Over a decade ago, I fell into a deep personal crisis, after years of struggling to overcome depression and to balance a difficult relationship. When my marriage ended, I experienced a massive loss of faith in humanity, in myself, and in the joy of life itself. I became disillusioned about everything I knew about how to be in the world, and about much of what I had been taught as life lessons and choices. By looking for answers outside of myself, I didn’t find the peace and direction I urgently needed to start healing and enjoying my life again.
During this time of darkness, I met an enlightened human being at the gym, who noticed my despair, and felt compassion for me. I probably looked very unhappy to him, and he stopped to talk to me about it. He suggested I start reading Caroline Myss. For those of you who don’t know who she is, Caroline Miss is a renown New York Times best selling author and spiritual teacher, and an expert in medical intuition.
When is it time to look within? As human beings, we are drawn to rest, pause, and reflect on our journeys. When we feel tired, discontent, and lost, it is probably time to do some inner work. It will look like putting that phone down for a day or two or longer, turning the TV off, disconnecting from social media, and grabbing a journal.
There is nothing more powerful that you having to put down on paper the content of your thoughts!!! It might be scary at first – like looking in a mirror – until you incorporate it into daily routine. Then, it becomes an enjoyable activity you are looking forward to doing daily. You learn to slowly start shifting your focus to yourself. It will feel like pouring attention and love to yourself because you are consciously making an effort to understand yourself, and to illuminate your inner world.
In those moments of silence with yourself, you reclaim what has been lost through work, stress, emotional upheaval, drama, demands and expectations. As you spend time with yourself, you create inner peace and boost the joy that has been dormant inside of you. Add some gratitude on the list, and you will be in your way to feeling present, happy, and more like yourself.
1. Shut off your phone on weekends or hours at a time.
2. Fall in love with silence through turning off your TV.
3. Go for walks in nature, and listen to the natural sounds of birds and winds.
4. Journal and Focus on Gratitude
5. Meditate and Do Body Scans
6. Sit on the beach and watch the waves.
8. Invest in Self-Care.
Thanksgiving might be the best holiday in the history of the planet. It’s a holiday that uniquely matters to our spiritual well-being! It eases the angst of our modern minds, which are often way too focused on negativity and anxieties, and it reminds us to focus on grateful thinking and being. As you may know, it’s not always easy to change our habits of mind. Yet, we can learn to change these, and one of the best reframing changes we can make towards this end is to flip the switch from negativity to gratitude.
I enjoy writing my gratitude list every morning. I notice how my energy changes and how my mind stays focused on the blessings that life bestows upon me. To be grateful is to be spiritual. Spirituality is discovering the abundance of your unlimited beautiful and grateful soul, which makes us evolve and grow as human beings. And it doesn’t matter how we get there…, the end result is us becoming a finer version of ourselves.
Enjoy noticing the things that are going well in your life this Thanksgiving!
Let’s reclaim together our joyous spiritual selves through an “attitude of gratitude.”
We have the apparatus to be happy, says Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness.
His study found is that our frontal lobe helps us create a psychological immune system to fabricate happiness anytime we want. What are the applications of this study for us chasing happiness everyday of our lives?
Happiness is not linked to outcomes. “Happiness is not a thing to be found,” says Gilbert. It doesn’t matter if you get this particular job or find that particular relationship. Any other possible outcome can make us feel as happy as the one we really focused on in the first place.
The wisdom here is that changing goals or taking a different route from the one you envisioned would not make you less happy.
Or we could say that atttachment and ungrounded expectations could lead to unnecessary disappointments. Having a more relaxed view of things and of life in general, and having flexibility will surely lead to more happiness.
Having too much freedom to choose or change, says Gilbert is the enemy to happiness. This is definitely a shocking revelation, right? But it is exactly what this study found. Our psychological immune system works best when you have limited choices, for example when we are married. So if you are married and feel unhappy, maybe you could reconsider your happiness quotient, work on your marriage, add a few more grateful things to the situation, and change your view about the alternative options to more happiness.
The idea however of reducing your options frees you to make better choices with less stress and can, in fact, lead to greater fulfillment.
Another point the author makes is that having too much ungrounded passion and ambition in life can lead to disastrous results. I think that we can find plenty of examples in all walks of life to demonstrate this statement. But the main point here is that nothing in life is as important as keeping your integrity intact. Anytime you have to lie or cheat, or compromise your values, you are taking the risky road of becoming unhappy.
When we understand that happiness is not a goal or a thing but originating in our own physiological makeup, we can empower ourselves to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives.This is a very wise study supporting the idea that we create our own happiness.
Let’s have a discussion on how to stay open to love.
The kind of love I have in mind here is Agape love, unconditional love, the broader more expansive love towards ourselves, others and the planet. How can we cultivate that love all of the time?
Everybody has love inside of them. You don’t need to search for it, you need to trust that you have an abundant amount of love to give and receive. We are wired to love and we are wired to respond to love with kindness.
Nobody can survive without love. If you take a look at your exchanges, love is everywhere around you. All day long we are exchanging love, like we are exchanging money. One we see, the other we feel and sense. A hello is love, a smile is love, nice words are love, your presence is love, showing up is love.
Always cultivate an open heart. I was in meditation today and was observing my heart. I know from personal experience that when we experience a conflict, rejection or disappointment, we tend to close our hearts.
We close our hearts because we are sad but also because it hurts to feel the pain and disappointment of rejection. This is exactly why we need to reverse our course, and stay open. By keeping our hearts open, we are letting them heal, and allowing them to receive love from other sources — our pets, friends, parents, neighbors, and all of nature. Let the exchange of love keep flowing.
All our hearts are like giant flowers with petals. What happens to a flower when it is closed? We don’t see its essence, its colors, we can’t smell its fragrance. That is why we need to keep our hearts open and beautiful despite adversity. Our hearts are made to be appreciated. Everyone is worthy of love, everyone is worthy of receiving love. We are loving and lovable.
Cultivate the love you have. Let it grow. Love the small acts of love, they will grow your love.
As you expand your awareness, your love will expand. You will naturally make space for love to flourish inside of you. As you start to embrace your essence which the present moment reveals to you, love will replace what is not love inside of you….
So chirp your hearts out and pay attention to the love that flows all around you.
If the universe can spring out of nothingness, maybe our whole being can spring out of the thoughts we form in our minds. As we change our thought processes, we are constantly reshaping and retraining our minds, leading to feeling better overall.
Thoughts are charged with emotions. They carry power. They can bring healing, or they can make feel depressed. They can put a smile on your face or they can send you into a downward spiral. They can uplift someone or they can crush someone.
Challenge negative self-talk
Become aware when you are not kind to yourself because it affects your overall energy. Every time you put yourself down, your energy level goes down and you start feeling off. Start elevating yourself with good and upbeat thoughts. Pay attention to the language you use when you talk to yourself. Positive thoughts will bring more gratitude, more positivity, more acceptance and satisfaction to your life.
Focus on the positives in your life.
Validate yourself!!! Stop for 10 seconds what you are doing and write or say 10 positive things about your life and yourself. Acknowledge the beauty of your experiences, or reflect on the lessons you are receiving. That is beautiful in itself.
Hmm, things and people are interesting… Life is full of possibilities. So when we shift to a place of curiosity, our critical voice diminishes. We observe and notice, without judging.
Meditate to shift your thoughts
Color creates a certain mood in you. So next time you are about to be really hard on yourself or someone else, mediate in silence and give yourself a healing bath of meditative color to shift your thoughts instantaneously.
Most people would probably agree that our world needs empathy.
The dictionary defines empathy as the action and the capacity of understanding, being aware of, and being sensitive to the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another person.
If we can feel our own pain, can we naturally fee the pain of other human beings or animals? Are we really wired for empathy, or do we learn empathy?
Psychologists talk of three types of empathy. Cognitive empathy is when you can put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. We cognitively understand what people are going through. Understanding that somebody is hurting is limited, as it doesn’t produce the kind of acknowledgment the other person needs.
Emotional empathy is when you feel and sympathize with the feelings and emotions of others. We need this capacity to maintain relationships and friendships. Some people are better at this than others, for example therapists. Emotional empathy can be treacherous for sensitive people. Feeling somebody’s else emotions and pain without boundaries can cause you to become ill.
To have healthy empathy, we must practice Compassion. With compassion we understand and we feel for someone else, but also are capable of holding a safe place for them to have their own emotional experiences. Compassion is felt more in the heart. We are extending our heart to someone else’s heart, thus making the other person feel seen, heard, and acknowledged.
Transformation is a process. As we heal, we also learn and develop more empathy. Feeling the pain of others is an essential component of good health.
The famous author Caroline Myss says that “people are hungry for the sacred.”
Once, people in masses went to churches to reflect and to connect with a force stronger than themselves, one that brought them relief and peace and hope.
“Religion is part of the human make-up. It is our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing,” writes Christopher Hitchens.
Whatever the Gods represent for you, quantum intelligence or a divine intelligence, we need the humility the sacred brings into our lives to make sense of our illogical human existence. I heard one of the victims of the California fires say “only gratitude matters going forward.”
Collectively we need more inspiration, more beautification and purification of our characters, our personalities, our souls, and our energies.
We are a sacred temple, and everyone on earth is a sacred temple. Together we make one sacred tribe. We walk on sacred earth, and we desperately need to accept ourselves as sacred beings. No shift in collective consciousness will ever happen if we don’t welcome back this basic truth.
We need to respect the sacred each one of us has decided to pursue; it is the right one for you at this point of your human evolution.
The true sacred inside of us doesn’t wage wars, doesn’t wish bad things to people, doesn’t look down at other sacred beings.
When you are feeling stressed, bring to mind the image of a sacred space, feel the peacefulness and the tranquility of sacredness inside of you. Respect, devotion and faith are a part of who you are.
In my yoga class this morning, blessings were sent to my body, my friends, the people all over the world who are suffering and lacking peace. Send blessings to your own body, and your own friends, and all other places you wish to send some sacredness and healing
Q: Please present yourself to our audience
My name is Vera J. Bellamy. I am a full-time therapist and meditation teacher. My healing work is enhanced by my expertise in linguistics, counseling theories and energy medicine. I became a psychotherapist after years of practicing meditation, and learning how to use meditation techniques to regulate the body’s energy system and to develop intuition. I studied the science of Intuition Medicine® at the Academy of Intuition Medicine with Francesca McCartney Ph.D. In my work with clients, I use targeted clinical interventions, intuition and meditation to help people recognize themselves, gain insight, connect with their wisdom and imagine who they are becoming.
Q: Can you explain to us what is your core wisdom program?
My core wisdom program teaches basic energetic, meditative, self-regulating techniques that people can integrate into their lives when feeling stressed, overwhelmed, disappointed, impulsive, or anxious. It helps people to find a calm and safe place within. It gives people power over their emotions and thoughts. It helps them to enter a space of timelessness where they can reconnect with joy and bring that joy and hope back into their day. Of course, with any program, it requires that you practice regularly so that it becomes effortless allowing you to benefit from it long term. This is a system of realigning spirit, mind and body to improve wellness. For more information, I would refer your readers to my website colorsofwisdom.com.
Q: Hearing your clients for all this time, what do you see as the main concerns and blocks that people have, that they struggle with?
Life offers many struggles and setbacks. Some people are just better emotionally and mentally equipped to manage their struggles than others. People who have experienced trauma for example, have the hardest time processing negative experiences, and have difficulty remaining present in their daily lives. This is a main reason why we see so much addiction in this country. People cope with life’s difficulties through the wrong means. Once people start using substances, they alter the chemistry of their brain and it becomes difficult to repair the brain. It takes time and extreme effort. In addition, they also destroy their energetic systems. I still believe that saying “no” to drugs is the best message we can send to our friends and younger generations. Grief and loss is also difficult on a person’s mental health. Grief takes you through a lengthy process of stages and the emotions can be overwhelming. With my program, the processes are sped up, allowing you to take control over what life hands you so you are able to operate from a state of empowerment and hope. My program instills the following affirmations: “I will survive this.” “I will get out of this stronger and wiser.”
Q: Poor mental health is a serious problem that is more prevalent than ever these days. What is your advice for someone that is not feeling comfortable and suffers with anxiety, tiredness, bad thoughts…?
People need to take responsibility for their emotional experiences and seek help. Recognizing that something is wrong with us is the first step towards good mental health. There are many Mental Health Professionals who can offer help. Isolation and giving-up is a sign of depression. Reaching out and making the necessary connections will lead to answers and will jumpstart the healing process. Some people are wired to be negative, to find excuses, to avoid responsibility and action. This is a learned behavior. I might disappoint some people, but without action, there is no change. The first step is to call a medical or a clinical professional, a psychologist or a therapist. For example, when we start meditating and using self-regulating techniques, we upgrade our energy, we gain clarity, we dissipate doubt, we become a part of an interconnected energetic whole, which is the spiritual world. It is different from what we see and feel through our 5 senses. Life vibrates at a more inspirational and hopeful mode because we experience the depth of experiences. When we reach for timelessness while in a deep meditative state, we improve our conscious life spent in time and we become more present.
Q: What are the first steps to achieve a personal transformation?
I would say self-love and commitment to self-improvement. Again, it is an inner calling, an insight that we have to change something in order to feel happier and more fulfilled. The author Caroline Myss calls it “hearing the call of your spirit.” Then, there is the all important follow-through. Without good discipline and perseverance, we will not transform. Transformation requires great effort on our part. Meditation becomes effortless only when we have put in the effort to practice every day. Healing requires that we make an appointment to see a professional. Consistency, self-love, and regular practice will lead to positive changes.
Q: Can you share with our readers a special message in these challenging times?
Don’t give up on hope and never give up on yourself. Nourish yourself every way possible. Invest in yourself through courses, connections, books, therapy, exercise, yoga and meditation. When your mind is healthy, there is a flow to your life. You will feel grounded and your mind and spirit, connected.
I would like to take you into the world of the placebo and show you how powerful a thought or a belief can be in making you feel better.
Imagine participating in a surgery trial where there is a 50% chance that you will receive a fake surgery. You are made to believe that your surgery is real and that an actual surgeon performed the surgery on your spine. Miraculously, you feel better after the surgery despite the fact you were in the fake pool, but you don’t know it.
“It appears that the mere belief that patients had received a potent treatment was enough to ease-and in some cases banish-their symptoms,” says Joe Merchant about this real spine surgery study in her book Cure.
This is one example of the placebo effect and the power of belief to improve and make our health better. The Italian neuroscientist Fabrizio Benedetti, who is the biggest expert on placebo in the world, thinks that placebo can be applied in all areas of life from sex to music, writes Merchant. Maybe just by believing that the music is wonderful, its effects on us will be more powerful in terms of positive emotions and experience.
Beneditti’s team in Italy is conducting real studies on the placebo effect, and measuring the role belief plays in improving symptoms. Let’s say you take a drug and you feel better after taking it. The kind of questions they would be asking are: Is the improvement due to the medication you took or your belief that you took the medication? And it looks like this can be measured through clinical trials, according to Merchant’s research.
The placebo has been proven to work for a variety of psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression. The more we know that we are taking the medication, the stronger the effect. For example, Joe Merchant says that Benedetti has discovered that Valium, which is an old drug for psychiatric disorders, has no effect unless patients know that they have taken it. Studies show that some painkillers are effective only if we know that we have taken them. If we don’t know that we took them, they don’t work.
When scientists discovered endorphins- the brain’s natural painkillers, it became natural to inquire if taking a placebo triggers the release of endorphins in the brain. And they have discovered that it does. This is how the science of the placebo was born. There is a mapped out neuro-chemical mechanism occurring after taking a placebo.
A study at the University of British Columbia discovered that when a placebo medication is given to patients with Parkinson’s, physiological changes do occur in the body, as dopamine levels increase significantly. In some trials involving Parkinson’s disease patients, the placebo effect has been shown to have the same effect as a response to a real drug.
So something interesting is going on in our bodies, and probably by extension, to our external realities, when our minds are focused on sending a positively charged belief and thought. At least scientifically, the placebo effect has been proven to reduce symptoms of patients and improve the quality of their lives. So let’s ponder on that, and when you feel down, think of the placebo and how you can apply it to your own life to turn things around. Hmm, something to consider today for everyone. As I’ve heard Joe Dispenza say, we are the placebo effect.
Source: Jo Merchant, Cure: a journey into the science of mind over body, 2016