You Raise Me Up – Know Who Loves You

Sometimes people can be cruel. They can be cruel even as adults, due to their own ignorance – ie. the lack of awareness and sensitivity or the misguided intent to harm…and also due to their own limited capacity for feeling the feelings of others. When one is the beneficiary of this unkindness, what is one to do? 

The oh-so-very human instinct is to lash out, to criticize, to confront, to tell off, to blame and rage. You are hurt, and you feel threatened. You may even feel disbelief.

But if you examine this option and find it to be what Buddhists call the ‘wrong action’, either because it diminishes you or the other/s, perhaps the only way through these senseless and heartless attacks is to turn the cheek, as the old saying goes. Hard to do. I believe what it really means is to turn your attention away from this harshness and towards those who have love for you.

Turn towards your lover or a close friend, or if you are a believer in a faith, then turn towards your spiritual source. Be lifted by those who love you.  And know this: you are in better shape than these people who walk through life in a state of disingenuity and loathing.

If you recognize such individuals are no longer good for you, then release them. Disconnect. Let them go. If they are in your world, know your boundaries. Draw them in an assertive but friendly manner. Kill them with kindness, if you must…genuinely. They will hate this, but you will not be actively engaged in the battle they want to evoke in you. You will have risen above this. Power to you.

In Buddhism, ‘evil’ is known as the extreme lack of conscience, the lack of the capacity to feel remorse when going against one’s values. For all kinds of reasons, people lack conscience. But recognize it, look after yourself, and move on. Think of such people with a form of pity or compassion.

Whether you realize it or not, your life is better than that of the other person or people who would seek to harm you. Let those who love you be the ones to lift you up and remind you of how truly spectacular you are. In turn, put your attention on those you love or those who need your love.

This is why we are alive.

PS. All of these versions of this song, ‘You Raise Me Up’ by Josh Groban, are beautiful. But I prefer most the sweet, sweet cover by Yianna Stavrou. This one is for you. Bathe in the beauty of that music. Let it lift your spirit.

You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban

When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up to more than I can be.

Better When I’m Dancing – Let’s Kick Off Feeling Good, Right Now!

Winter can really take you down…flu, cold, complications, a cough that goes on for weeks. There’s January for you, especially if you’ve been out there commuting on public transport – trains, planes, and automobiles (busses). To hell with that! Now that the January blahs are over, it’s time to feel fabulous – FEBRUARY FABULOUS. 

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There Will Be Time – Love Is Timeless

Grief upon grief upon grief upon grief. We grieve and survive, then grieve again. Every agonizing loss opens our hearts again and threatens to deepen the pain. That’s life. But perhaps it’s worth accepting that this is the way it is. Our memory is long. Perhaps it would be wise to stay in the moment, in the fresh truth and integrity of today’s loss, so that it may be fortify us with the reminder of our capacity for love.

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Nothing to Fear – Let’s Respect Each Other’s Boundaries

What misery comes from trampling all over each other’s boundaries? What joy could come if we simply respected that we are separate entities, entitled to love freely but not with the expectations we are accustomed to? Until women are free from the shackles of ‘ownership’ by men, we are not in our power.  

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Thank You for Hearing Me – Thanksgiving Isn’t Always A Cause For Celebration, But You Can Be Thankful The Hard Times Made You Who You Are

It’s American Thanksgiving today. Cause for celebration, right? Not necessarily. I’m ruminating on what Thanksgiving means as an expat living in Saudi Arabia, and as someone who has a spotty history with holidays ever since leaving my Canadian homeland in 1996 and taking to the international airways. Let’s face it: sometimes the seasonal holidays set off a sadness. Thanksgiving isn’t always a cause for celebration. But brave and bold Sinead O’Connor reminds us: we can always celebrate ourselves and our strong, strong selves…what we grew out of.

Continue reading “Thank You for Hearing Me – Thanksgiving Isn’t Always A Cause For Celebration, But You Can Be Thankful The Hard Times Made You Who You Are”

I Am Light – What Do You Believe (And Say) About Yourself?

What do you believe about yourself? Where did you acquire those beliefs? From whom? Where along the way did you come to believe in yourself or come to believe you are flawed and fundamentally ‘not good enough’? Here’s a healing song to remind you that you are fundamentally okay as a woman, even in your brokenness. You (we) do not need to apologize for being just who and where you (we) are. We simply are part of it all, and as such we are our own little miracles, our own little bundles of light – whether we see it or not. So, let’s see it and believe it.

In ‘Life’ in How Women Heal, we examine our beliefs about ourselves, and one thing is for sure: we women often tend to be hard on ourselves. I wonder why? Do you wonder why?

India Arie makes clear in the last live video below that this song is about the abuse that she suffered as a child, and a good many women have suffered from some form of abuse or another. What’s worse is the abuse we heap upon ourselves…in our heads.

We expect a lot of ourselves, and the world expects a lot of us. There are so many ways we can become worn down by this. This song is an anti-dote to the voices in our heads that fundamentally are adopted from the criticisms we’ve received along the way, over the course of a lifetime.

Listen to this song and listen again when you take yourself down the rabbit hole and begin to bash yourself. You are not your abuser. You are your liberator. You are the one who needs to exercise that mental muscle, and sometimes that’s just too hard, I know. Music serves beautifully. Singers and musicians do half the work for us; music is like a conduit. Close your eyes and meditate as you listen. Then do it again and again.

Keep a journal and share what comes for you, if you like. I wonder if, over time, your voices of self criticism will become weaker as you counter them with these messages of just how special you are. This is our goal. Self love. All. The. Way.

To you!

I Am Light – India Arie

I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light

I am not the things my family did
I am not the voices in my head
I am not the pieces of the brokenness inside, I am light
I am light

I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light

I’m not the mistakes that I have made
Or any of the things that caused me pain
I am not the pieces of the dream I left behind, I am light
I am light, I am light
I, I am light

I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light

I am not the color of my eyes
I am not the skin on the outside
I am not my age, I am not my race
My soul inside is all light
All light, all light yeah
All light

I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light yeah

I am divinity defined
I am the God on the inside
I am a star, a piece of it all
I am light

Wonderful – Re-program Your Brain

How do you power up so you can face anything? How do you make the changes necessary to grow into the new you you’re ready for? This is how…say “I am wonderful.” It will test you. All of your sh*t will surface, as you discredit yourself. But positive, meaningful affirmations lead you to understand the power of a growth mindset. Affirmations help you through your barriers. They help build tenacity. Reprogram your brain until you believe it. “I am wonderful.” Because you are. Do it fast. Do it over again and again. Watch life unfold for the better.  

Affirmation. It’s an old ‘trick’, but it still works.

I learned of the power of affirmation when I was sixteen years old from a teacher who taught me the power of positive thinking. Edna had a smile as wide as the Niagara Falls and an enthusiasm and fire that have never diminished in her – not in all the 34 years I’ve known her. We’re still friends today. “What you say matters,” she said. “Believe it.” I didn’t but look at the evidence:

One highly accomplished athlete, musician, actor, inventor, philanthropist, author, scientist, doctor, engineer, aid worker, leader, (fill in the blank) after another states that it was the power of belief that got the person to the pinnacle of success.

“I believed I could.”

“I’m already there.” (in my mind and thus in life)

“I’m good enough.”

“I can do it.”

Affirmation = positive mindset = tenacity, grit, persistence, not giving up, getting there in so many more cases than not. 

What you put into your mind matters, and this is why self help books like psychologist Carol Dweck‘s Mindset (here’s a 4 minute book summary that is fabulous!) remain important tools in the personal growth of human beings. We read for ideas, learn them and repeat those ideas. Thoughts become stuck in our heads. We start to act as if those ideas are true and we take bigger risks. Life rises up to meet us because we rise up to life. That’s a lyrical way of saying that affirmations give us the strength to challenge ourselves in life.

Transcript for TED Talk below:

You are the placebo – ie. you can give yourself the edge with the power of belief. Positive affirmation and thinking, together, are a practical form of faith, which has a capacity we are just beginning to understand. 

Dr. Joe Dispenza researched this phenomenon in a way that particularly interests me, as I have undertaken my own experiments in the power of the mind to heal the body and psyche/soul.

Dispenza’s research has led him to write many books about this – get this one on audio (as there’s a lot of research to digest), or just YouTube him and his argument: YOU ARE THE PLACEBO. The point? You are the factor that gives you the leg up in life. People who think they are stronger, better, capable of healing and capable of surviving and fighting against terrible things like diseases…recover more, survive and live longer, overcome great odds and sometimes or many times experience miracles. It has been scientifically verified over and over that our own thoughts influence our health outcomes.

So, why wouldn’t we take care with our thoughts?

Back to athletes and highly accomplished individuals. If we imagine for a moment that they filled their heads with ideas like: “I’m not capable of this. I’m an idiot. I can’t do this. I will never do this. It’s too hard.” it becomes clear that negative thinking can have dire consequences in depressing our capacity to work hard.

And it is that hard work that helps us to accomplish our goals. We know this now.

Thus, thanks to the plethora of positive affirmations that exist in many places on the planet, including in the media, as social messaging does attempt to bring us to the awareness that we have a personal obligation to believe in ourselves, to grow, to contribute…I believe most of us as humans have a survival instinct that can help us to turn negative and self-defeatist thinking around. Barring that, I happen to think that music helps. Bless the songwriters of happy songs in this world.

I personally relate to this. 

This is how I power through my own negative and self defeating thoughts. I follow the advice I was given years ago and have been given time and again…

I acknowledge that I have a unique contribution to make in this world. When the glass is half empty, it’s actually also half full. Whatever my ‘failures’, the truth is there are more successes than failures. This is how I begin to turn my tendency to frame everything as a potential failure into – in fact – a success.

We are successful for trying.

We are successful for achieving ALL of the things we achieve.

What we fail to do is irrelevant.

If we look at our lives wholistically we actually are the masters of a great many things we never stop to give ourselves credit for.

We love some even if not all.

We accomplish much even if not everything.

The perfectionist in us is the critic and this voice in our heads leads us nowhere good.

When negativity persists and brings you down…

Take that person by the proverbial hand, that little part of yourself that’s talking, and soothe and comfort that despair with a soft and self compassionate other voice.

The words of this song say it all.

We are wonderful. Just as we are.

Believe it until you know it.

To your success and happiness,

PS. These are all beautiful versions of this song. The symphony orchestra indicates what magic can come if only we try. I’m sure Gary Go when he wrote this song never expected one day to perform it with a symphony. Makes me smile. 🙂

Say “I am” – Gary Go

The person that you were has died                                                                                 You’ve lost the sparkle in your eyes                                                                                     You fell for life – into its traps                                                                                                 Now you wanna bridge the gaps

Now you wanna bridge the gaps                                                                                          Now you want that person back                                                                                            And all your ammunition’s gone                                                                                              Run out of fuel to carry on

You don’t know what you wanna do                                                                                  Cause what you want does not want you                                                                               If what you want does not want you                                                                              You’ve got no pull to pull you through

Say “I am”                                                                                                                                            Say “I am”                                                                                                                                            Say “I am wonderful”

 

Say “I am”                                                                                                                                            Say “I am”                                                                                                                                            Say “I am wonderful”

If what you’ve lost cannot be found                                                                                      And the weight of the world weighs you down                                                                 No longer with the will to fly                                                                                                     You stop to let it pass you by

Don’t stop to let it pass you by                                                                                          You’ve gotta look yourself in the eye