Desiring Desirelessness

desire

Do you desire desirelessness? Some do. Desire is the root of suffering. We want what we want. When we don’t have it, we feel pain and experience dis-ease. If things don’t go the way we want, we are disappointed and depressed. If we could just stop wanting, the pain would go away, right?

But does this mean that we stop striving? We stop making goals? I say no. Desire is the thing that makes life meaningful. It is what creates growth. It is what solves problems and leads to discoveries. What if I saw an injustice and just said to myself, “Ah, well. I have no thoughts or feelings about that. It is what it is.” Do I elevate myself by allowing injustice to go unchecked?

Of course not. To feel alive you must care. To grow you must have goals and strive. But doesn’t that just lead to more pain and suffering? No, not if you focus on doing things for the experience of it, not the outcome.

You see, we think we want that new car, that prestigious job, or that beautiful woman. What we really want is the feeling that we have when we experience something new, achieve something, or are excited. When you reach a goal, you’ve arrived. The striving goes away. So in order to have that feeling again, you have to strive some more. So, it’s not really the thing we are after, but the feeling.

If you could have that feeling, it wouldn’t matter if you reached the goal line or not, right? So, why not go for that?

The people of the Andes have a guideline for that. They say that life is for developing wisdom and practicing love and service. I think those are pretty useful guidelines. What can you want that can’t be achieved by living your life in that way?

If you want love, you cultivate it by giving it away. The problem comes when you desire that it be returned. When it’s not, we get upset and feel deflated. So, stop desiring the outcome. Give love for the sake of giving. The universe returns what we give out, so as long as your love isn’t conditional, it will come back to you.

Do you want appreciation? Appreciate others without the agenda of getting it in return. Life is reciprocal. When we cultivate appreciation in our family and social circles, we teach appreciation. We receive gratitude.

How about stability or safety? When you are of service (meaning you have a job), you get paid. It doesn’t really matter what the job is or how much the pay is. If you manage your life so that you spend less than you bring in, you will be stable. If you think about what you think you should be getting, you will ruin your peace of mind. Focus on what is effective.

A lot of us think we need this huge, lavish lifestyle. We really don’t. If you were like me, you can look back on your childhood and see how much less “stuff” you had, but you were probably still just as content, if not more so. That’s the practice of wisdom.

Do you see how living in wisdom, love, and service makes it so that there is nothing to want? Since we really want the outcome of material things and relationships, we don’t have to strive for them. If we live a mindful life following these ideas, emotional contentment will follow.

Wait! You say. I really want that million dollars! Okay. That’s fine. You can strive for that if you like. I think you will find that once you get it, you’ll want two, then three because what you hope to achieve from that isn’t the money or the stuff, but the feeling that you are enough. You ARE enough. You don’t have to break your neck to learn that. It’s just about acceptance.

However, if desiring desirelessness becomes a goal, it will become the trap you seek to avoid. So just be. When you’re in a state of mindfulness, there is nothing to want. The moment is so full of possibility that choices are abundant. Live there. You don’t have to prove anything to yourself – least of all that you are free from desire.

Go for what you want. Let go of the outcome. Enjoy what shows up. Look for the lessons in it. Continue growing, and you will have the most fabulous life.

Information + Mindfulness + Application = Effectiveness

effectiveness

Every day people ask me, “How do I…” Fortunately there is a formula for this. It’s very simple. It’s information + mindfulness + application = effectiveness. Let’s walk through this to see how it works.

Information

When you’re dealing with something that you don’t know how to do, solve or understand, the first thing you need is information. The better your information, the easier it will be for you to be effective.

What information? Well, that depends on what it is you need to know to get from the problem state to the resolution state. If you need to know how to replace the water filter in your refrigerator, you will need to know what size filter you have, how to remove the old one, and how to install the new one.  Some questions you might ask yourself to figure out what information you need are:

  • what am I trying to do? Or what is my end goal?
  • how do I get from the starting point to the end point?
  • what tools do I need?
  • do I need any assistance? Who can I ask?
  • are there any skills I need that I don’t already have?

Mindfulness

Mindfulness comes into play because it helps you to discern whether your information is valid and useful. If you are doing something concrete like replacing the water filter, this usually isn’t a problem. If you are dealing with interpersonal issues, can be! Why? Because things may not always be what they seem.

For example, if I think “He doesn’t like me” that’s my opinion. Unless he actually says it and his words are a reflection of his true feelings, I can’t rely on that information. It’s not a valid. It’s not useful. If I apply mindfulness to the equation, things could change significantly.

Mindfulness looks at what can be observed. So, if I observe that he responds politely when I initiate contact, but initiates none of his own; his conversation sticks to superficial topics; he’s never said he likes me; and he has never asked me out, well that’s information that can be used to draw an effective conclusion. Looking at it this way, you might ask yourself, “Is it reasonable to believe that there is no interest there on his behalf?” It sure looks that way to me!

You may also ask, “Are his words a reflection of his feelings?” If his words are polite and superficial, you may be able to talk yourself into believing that there is a chance. However, if you look at the fact that he doesn’t initiate contact and hasn’t asked you out, the whole picture is skewed in the direction of the friend zone. Doesn’t that make the picture clearer?

Application

Application is about using the information and mindfulness to address your issue. If you are replacing the water filter cartridge, you just take the old one out and put the new one in. If you are clarifying whether or not someone likes you and decides that he doesn’t, you respect his boundaries. Without application, you can’t have effectiveness. Knowing something isn’t enough. You have to use it to be effective.

Effectiveness

So why is effectiveness a goal? Well, people are really creative at problem solving. We have all kinds of ineffective ways of dealing with things. For example, we might overeat to avoid intimacy or feel good. We might drink too feel more socially comfortable or avoid feeling pain. We may work too much to avoid our home life.

Those are legitimate strategies that can meet our end goals, but they come at a high price. This is why they aren’t effective. Being effective means that you meet your needs, don’t create any problems for yourself or others, and you meet your short term and long term goals.

The other thing about effectiveness is that once you start to think in this way, you become more and more effective in all that you do. Then life gets easier and more enjoyable because you have fewer problems, more connection, more time, etc. Life is just better. So it’s well worth it to put this formula into practice. Go for it!

Thirteen Reasons to Cultivate Mindfulness

mindfulness

Mindfulness is the foundational skill for a well lived life. That’s no exaggeration. It takes some time to really get there. Once you have it figured out, it’s something you have to keep doing over and over. Yet it adds so much to your life that you will get far more out of it than you put into it. Like what? Here are thirteen reasons to cultivate mindfulness.

  • Pain relief. This may be because some professionals feel that all pain is psychological. If your mind is still, your pain is either reduced or it disappears!
  • Thinking is faster and more efficient. Yep, you blow past all that clutter and can cut to the chase better.
  • Better sex. The tendency is to pay attention to what is new. This is why honeymoon or “new” sex always seems more exciting. Mindfulness makes every time new because you’re fully present.
  • Better mood. When you accept that things are as they are and let go of what you can’t change, there isn’t a whole lot to feel anxious or depressed about.
  • Increases a sense of connection with others and the universe as well as a sense of belonging. This reduces loneliness.
  • Lower stress. Those who practice mindfulness have more of a “chill factor” than those who don’t.
  • Less obesity. As high stress is related to belly fat, perhaps it is because those who practice mindfulness have less stress that they also are less inclined to be obese.
  • Empathy increases among those who practice mindfulness.
  • Less distraction. If you’re one of these people who can’t finish things because your thoughts go everywhere, this is a way to lessen or end that.
  • Better overall health. Lifestyle is a huge factor in overall health. Those who cultivate mindfulness have fewer heart, gut, blood pressure, cancer, and other health problems.
  • More emotional resilience. Ah, and you thought this was genetic! No, you can train your brain to bounce back and be flexible. Imagine all the scenarios where that can be useful.
  • Keeps you mentally alert. There are some that say that mental slowing is age related. Nonsense! If it were, we’d all experience it. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to keep the mind working as it should.
  • Boosts creativity.

Give Up The Need to Know

need to know

Curiosity is a great thing. It leads to new inventions and breakthrough discoveries. But some things that are unknowable.

  • Why did he leave me?
  • How could I not know my friend was going to commit suicide?
  • Does she love me?
  • Is God real?
  • What happens when we die?
  • Why do I feel this way?
  • Why was I given this life instead of some other life?
  • Is there life on Mars?

If you let your mind spend time pondering the unknowable, you can drive yourself crazy. Why not give up the need to know?

Some of the answers that you think you really need to know aren’t that important. For instance, if you were molested by a family member, you may think you really need to know why this person did that. I promise you, you don’t. You can heal and move on with your life without ever knowing. It won’t give you closure. It won’t give you satisfaction. Answers are often just a stepping stone to more questions.

What about questions like, “Am I doing the right thing?” Let’s say that there was an envelope with the answer to that question inside. All you had to do was give up your free will to have it. Would you take it? Most of us would not! Rightly so!

You are here on this earth to live your life. That means you get to take control over what happens. You get to choose what time to get up, whether to eat, what to eat, and how to spend your day. All those choices create results. Some of those results will be pleasing, others will not. It’s all good. When something pleases you, enjoy it. When something displeases you, make adjustments and move on.

Basically what I am saying is that all you need to know is inside of you. Check inside. See how you feel within your soul. Not in your belly where your fear resides. Don’t check your head where logic resides. Don’t look in your heart where your feelings are. All these things can lead you astray. Check your soul. What does your soul or wise mind say?

Listen to that. Be in the moment. Commit, then see it through to the next moment. When you get there and something shifts, be in that moment. Keep doing that until you get through the day, the week, the year, the lifetime.

People spend a lot of time spinning their wheels pondering questions that either have no answers or the answers are inaccessible (like trying to talk to the dead or someone you can’t find). This is a form of avoidance of living. Another tactic would be to think like Erika Harris who said, “I’m less interested in why we’re here. I’m wholly devoted to while we’re here.”

If you stay curious and open, you will likely learn far more than if you look at life as something to study or figure out. Let it go. You really don’t need to know all you think you do.

Context Matters

context matters

A lot of people want a formula to live life. They want a plan to follow that helps them succeed, find happiness, and stay safe. The problem with that is that even the most sound advice won’t work all the time because context matters. Take a look at these examples from well known proverbs.

You’re never too old to learn.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Many hands make light work.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Look before you leap.
He who hesitates is lost.

The best things in life are free.
There is no such thing as free lunch.

Two’s company, three’s a crowd.
The more the merrier.

Birds of a feather flock together.
Opposites attract.

The truth will set you free.
Ignorance is bliss.

Life is fluid. When you live out of habit, you’re going to get into situations where your actions aren’t functional because they don’t fit the current facts. What works at age ten might not work at twenty-one. What is funny in the United States could be really insulting in China.

So, if you’d like a different tactic to use that does work for all situations, try using the Effective skill. Being Effective is about looking at the whole situation, then doing what is best for the big picture, small picture, and everyone impacted. You will see that sometimes it’s best to go slow and steady, and sometimes you need to make haste. Sometimes it’s more effective to stay quiet (silence is golden), and sometimes it’s more effective to speak up (the squeaky wheel gets the grease). Mental flexibility is a useful thing because wisdom really is situational.

Take Out the Trash

trash

We’re coming to the end of a 9 year where the universal energy favors ending things for good to make way for what’s coming. For many, this has been tough. It can be hard to let go – even when you know it’s the best thing.

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. We can all only really pay attention to one thing at a time. Yet modern conveniences allow us to leverage our time and attention so that we cram more into our lives. A lot of times, that “more” means we pack on more baggage. If you want to make space for the next phase of your life, and have the energy to manifest your dreams, you have to take out the trash.

What is “the trash?” It’s anything that doesn’t serve you. Here are some examples:

  • that gym membership that you are paying for because you like the idea of belonging to a gym, but you haven’t been in six months
  • your “skinny clothes” that you are holding on to for when you finally hit your target weight
  • the grudge that you’ve been holding since high school
  • the low self esteem that keeps you from going for your dreams
  • regret. Reframe that! Instead of looking back and thinking, “I could have…” think “Today I will…” Let your losses and mistakes teach you something
  • the relationship that isn’t working. Sometimes the most loving thing is saying goodbye
  • that expensive, unhealthy habit. This could be smoking, drinking, over eating, partying too much, etc.

In order to take out the trash, it helps to be mindful so that you are always choosing what to let into your life and know when it’s time to release something. When you go through life as though everything is a choice, you feel more empowered. You may consider the cost of acquiring and maintaining things before you bring them into your life. It may make it easier to say goodbye to things that are of limited use, value, or importance today.

Remember that this is something that we do daily. If you rake up ten bags of leaves today, aren’t there always more the next day? When you sweep the floor, does it stay clean forever? Energy always moves from order to chaos. That means we have to take out the trash regularly. Making this a habit, will give you more peace.

 

What Acceptance is NOT

acceptance

A lot of “stuckness” could “loosen” if the person feeling stuck could get to a place of acceptance. Acceptance is the first step to moving on. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who resist acceptance because they don’t understand what it means. So let me tell you what acceptance is not.

Acceptance is Not Resignation

Some people think that if you accept something, you just throw up your hands, put up your feet and live with it. For just one moment, imagine that “now” is a slice of time that is constantly shifting. In each moment of now exists all the power you ever have. You can’t use any power in the moments that have already passes nor any that have not existed yet. Acceptance is about being fully present in this slice. It’s about agreeing that everything in this slice is as it is versus what we’d like it to be or what it could have been. This doesn’t mean that it always has to be this way. It doesn’t mean you can’t do anything different in the next moment.

Acceptance Isn’t Passive

Accepting that this moment is as it is isn’t passive. It’s active! It’s about being in life, not watching or waiting for it to go by. Maybe that means you allow your pain to overwhelm you while you cry your eyes out. Perhaps it means you tune the world out so you can live vicariously through your romance novel heroine for a while. The whole world is moving towards something right now. If you let it do what it’s doing without resisting what’s going on out there or inside, you’re in acceptance. Not passive at all.

Acceptance is Not About Condoning

There is a lot of bad stuff in the world: murder, lying, stealing, raping, manipulation, and the list goes on and on. Accepting it isn’t the same as condoning it. Condoning is giving approval to and/or allowing something to continue. Accepting is just acknowledging it. You can’t advocate for change without accepting that something needs to change.

Acceptance is Not About Not Caring

Some people feel that if they moved to a place of acceptance, it would mean that they’d have to stop having an opinion or stop caring about a situation. This could be because acceptance requires that you be nonjudgmental. You stop saying this is good, and this is bad. It’s adopting a framework of “Things are as they are.” This actually frees you to care more because judgment is one of the ways that we block love, validation, respect, and other good things from coming into our lives.

How often have you heard something like, “I will give you respect when you earn it?” When you do that, you withhold respect until someone does what you want them to do. That’s manipulation. It’s also demanding that someone conform to your standards before you will give them respect. This gives you a lot of power and robs them of their own. That’s not caring, that’s controlling.

If you let go of that and let people be who they are, life becomes a lot more free. You only have to set standards for yourself. Maybe you choose to live up to your own values. Perhaps it can help you to love people for who they are. You can be loving to all. So you see, it sets you up to be far more caring.

Acceptance Doesn’t Give Outside Forces Control

Some people feel that if they give in to acceptance, outside forces will dictate their lives. If economy is poor, they had a unstable childhood, and didn’t get a good education, for example, they are doomed to perpetually be in that situation. The only way to overcome it is to fight against it.

Actually acceptance neutralizes the past and present. It doesn’t trap you. How? When those things are just what they are, there is no fear, anger, or resentment holding you down. You’re free to act as you will. Each moment is new. This may seem like a small thing, but this is where confidence, courage, and follow through come from. If I am fearful that the economy will tank, I can let that hold me back. When I am fearful that someone won’t like me because it happened in the fifth grade, I may never give another person a chance. If I am present now, I am better able to judge what is happening now without the taint of the past.

Acceptance is a gift because it allows you to see all that is there. You see the things you don’t like as well as the possibilities without the taint of your past programming. This gives you unimaginable leeway to choose your thoughts, emotions, and responses to what has already happened. It gives you the freedom to enjoy this moment anyway and make the next one more to your liking. It’s almost like magic. Embrace it.

Six Questions to Help You Simplify Your Life

simplify your life

So, you want to simplify your life. Lots of people say this. The problem is, if you don’t have a method for doing this, it tends to not get done. So here are six simple questions that will help you simply your life. Just ask yourself these questions when you want to bring something new into your life or when you need to make space. Your answers can help you see what you need to remove from your life and what is good to allow inside.

Does this fit with my values?

This is the key to everything. You can’t have a happy life if you go against your values. Period. I believe this is the reason so many people are unhappy. They do what they think they should rather than choosing based on who they are. It takes a lot of energy to sustain something that is not in harmony with who you are. It takes very little energy to be who you are. The easiest way to simplify your life is to let your life be a reflection of your values.

If your top priority is your job, surrender to your job. No judgment. Everyone is different. Do what you need to do to be happy. If your number one value is yourself, give time and attention to self development. It is what it is. Be your highest and best self and get rid of the rest. Living within your values is a great way to simplify your life.

Do I need this?

We have become accustomed to having gadgets created for convenience and comfort, but there was a time when those things didn’t exist. Think cell phones, air conditioning, Netflix, and microwaves. Do you really need to know the instant someone emails you? Do you really need a pair of shoes for every outfit?

The more you need, the more high maintenance you become. Life becomes complicated and hard to manage. If you want to live easy, you have to carry a lighter load.

This doesn’t just extend to stuff. It includes intangibles like outsider approval, living a certain lifestyle, titles, or having a certain person’s love. When you love and trust yourself, you find that the things we use to create our masks no longer become important. When you get there, your needs are fewer.

Do I have time for this?

We all have the same twenty-four hours in a day. These are precious moments! We trade our time for resources and experiences. You know that friend who keeps you on the phone for an hour gossiping, complaining, or talking about nothing? Is that how you want to spend your life? Wouldn’t you rather give that to someone who lifts you up?

What about your experiences? That obligatory holiday trip may have lost its charm. If so, let it go. We don’t have to hold on to traditions that no longer have meaning. Or what about that call for help from that co-dependent friend? You know, if you let her fend for herself, she just may learn how to take care of her own needs. It’s a win/win.

Some try to stretch their life by doing more and sleeping less. They say that they don’t need sleep. This is a fallacy. Sleep deprivation robs you of your health – the most precious thing you have! It’s not worth it to trade your health for stuff.

A meaningful life is made up of meaningful moments. When you spend your life engage in meaningless activity, you throw it away. If you need more time become a better planner so that life is more streamlined. Or simplify your life and cut out the things in your life that are not life affirming.

Does this work with my goals?

Life has a way of laughing at our goals and giving us something else sometimes, but that’s no reason not to have them. Goals give your actions boundaries. If you want to manifest them, you’ve got to engage in behaviors that support those goals.

So if your goal is to have a secure retirement, you can’t party every weekend. When your goal is to be fit while maintaining your budget, hiring a personal trainer may not be the way to go. Try a different strategy. If you say your family is your top priority, working sixty hours a week isn’t the best way to keep those relationships close. You can’t engage with them if you aren’t present.

Can I afford this?

Goods and services cost money. Acquiring money takes time. So everything comes down to what are you willing to trade for your life?  If you make $10 an hour and an iPhone costs $800, you’re trading two weeks of full time work for that phone. Is that worth it? If you have twenty pair of pants in your closet, do you want to spend one more hour at work to get another pair? Can you afford time away from your garden to work more? What about time away from your relationship to get that promotion?

When you think in terms of “what am I trading for this,” you may find it easier to see the value of things. When you look at it that way, it’s easier to say no to things that suck the life from you and say yes to the things that rejuvenate you.

Does this bring me joy?

If you’ve come this far thinking, wow, a simple life is a dull life, I’m here to say, “No way!” You’ve got to have fun too. The goal is to have a manageable, balanced, joyous life. It’s about living within our time, budget, values, and energy while still having fun and being a healthy expression of ourselves. So there has got to be room for fun. If a whimsical little trinket brings you joy, get it. But you probably don’t need a collection of them. If a night out with the girls makes you happy, do it. Just not every night. A girl’s got to sleep.

When using these questions to help you get rid of what doesn’t work and keep what does, you may not get them all to line up as a perfect “keep it” or “dump it.” When I am unsure, the values question is always the default. You really can’t go against your values and be happy.

If something works with your values, but doesn’t line up somewhere else, see if you can tweak it a bit to make it a better fit. For example, let’s say that you want to be a dancer. Everything is a go except you really can’t afford it and you don’t really need it. Let’s look at how we can clarify this to see if it’s a go or no go.

Wanting to be a dancer isn’t about learning how to dance usually. So what will being a dancer do for you? If you say that it will give you an outlet for your creative expression, do you need that? Yes? Okay, are you willing to give up time to work more to pay for it? Yes? There is your answer.

Things are not always clear cut. You may have to poke around to get the data you need to feel good about your responses. Just make sure that you are using your wise mind, not your emotion mind, when asking yourself these questions. The emotion mind can talk you into anything! That is not the way to simplify your life!

Ho’oponopono: The Hawaiian Trick That Can Transform Your Life

ho-oponopono

There is a simple Hawaiian trick that can transform your life. I say “can” because it only works if you do. If you give it thirty days of sincere effort, you will see that what I say is true. Want to hear about it? It’s called ho’oponopono. It means “to make right,” and it has four simple steps.

I am sorry

Step one is “I am sorry.” When you see something that you feel is not right in yourself, someone else, or the world – this could be a headache, your spouse’s negative attitude, the homeless, or war – acknowledge that you’re having judgmental or bad feelings about it. Say “I’m sorry.” The world is what you think it is. If you see ugly, it’s coming from your mind. So you are creating this.

Things are not bad or wrong. They are as they are meant to be. There is no land of sunshine and light in this realm because that’s not how life is designed. You see, universal law states that we are always moving from a place of order to chaos and from chaos to order. That’s done to create balance. So everything really is as it should be. When we attach judgment and meaning to things, we create disharmony within ourselves. So “I’m sorry” is an acknowledgement and apology for creating that anger, resentment, or imbalance within ourselves. It’s a way to make responsibility for what is in your life in preparation to remove it.

Please forgive me

Step two asks that you forgive yourself for creating the reality as you see it. This is not a request for someone else to forgive you nor is it about you forgiving someone else. All power comes from within so you don’t need a third party’s approval and don’t need to give it to someone else. Since you created the problem, you have the power to change it.

I love you

Saying “I love you” to yourself brings you back into right relationship with Creation and yourself. Something went astray to make you see things in an ineffective way. “I love you” realigns it. Love heals. Give it to yourself. To me, the “I am sorry” digs the wrong out. “Please forgive me” heals the wound. “I love you” seals the wound. Hawaiian spiritual principles say that to love is to be happy with, so this step brings the happiness back into your life.

Thank you

This step is acknowledging that the work has been done. The change has already occurred and you don’t have to spend any more time on it. This doesn’t mean that things will come out the way that you want or expect. It just means that the healing has happened. Accept it.

Sounds really simple, doesn’t it? It is. However, sometimes simple things still need a bit of explanation to make them work seamlessly.

Here are some tips to make ho’oponopono more effective.

  • Take your time when you are starting out. Don’t rush through it. You want to get clear on what you are transforming. When you have done it a while, you won’t need to spend as much time on it, but in the beginning, go slow. It will pay off in the long run.
  • Feel what you are doing. Notice how the imbalance of what you are judging settles in your body. Feel what your body feels like when it lets go of that and realigns. Over time, this will clue you in to imbalances as they happen so that you can release them as they happen.
  • Do it often. Do it regularly. More is more. Think of it as cleaning. You don’t clean your house once and then never do it again. It requires maintenance. So does your life. A house that is regularly cleaned is easy to keep clean.
  • If it feels selfish to dwell on yourself, think about it in another way. Everything is connected. As you clean the judgments you feel about someone else, you may see your relationship with that person change. As you clean for your judgments about rape, murder, and thievery, you may see less crime. When you clean for anything, the effects ripple out into the world, so even though you are focusing on yourself, you’re actually cleaning for all of us.
  • Start the practice in a mindful space. If your mind is full of clutter and you just repeat the words, nothing will happen. You have to be present. Be clear on what you are cleaning. You have to feel the meaning behind the words. If you’re making it a “giving to get” practice, your results will be limited. Be sincere.
  • Keep it simple. It’s simple by design. It works just as it is, so don’t complicate it.
  • If you run out of things to clean on or don’t know where to start, pick a topic. Write down all the things you don’t like about it. Clean on that list.

The beauty of ho’oponopono is self responsibility. Any dis-ease that you create, you can heal. There are never any victims. There is never any need for revenge, hate, or resentment. All there is is love, forgiveness, and peace. Everyone has the power to transform right now. Why not use it? Just think of what a great world it would be if we all did a little ho’oponopono each day.

Four Surprising Breathing Exercises to Increase Wellness

breathing

Breath is life, yet how many of us take this for granted? If this is you, you might want to give it a bit more of your attention. Why? Because babies are born knowing how to breathe properly. They are deep belly breathers. By the time we are twelve years old, most of us are breathing high into our chest. Our lungs are filled with stagnant air that never gets evacuated, and our breath is very shallow.

The body detoxifies a lot of waste through the lungs. If you are not breathing deeply, you are setting the stage for premature aging and disease. Having some sort of daily breath practice is an important part of self care.

There are many breathing exercises. Here are just a few.


Alternate nostril breathing comes from yoga. It’s highly credited for helping with anxiety and headaches.

Turtle breathing is a qigong (Chinese) practice. Many qigong practices developed from watching animals. As turtles have long lives, this form of breathing is done to promote health and longevity.

Coherent breathing is good for the mind and body. It doesn’t take a long time to feel the effect. More is more. Regular practice helps you to reach a new level of calm.

This shamanic breathing exercise is to promote altered states. Why would you want that? Sometimes the key to healing lies within the soul. You probably can’t reach it by talking. Medication can’t touch it. When you get into an altered state, your typical guards are down. You can gain insight and understanding that allow things to release spontaneously. Or perhaps hidden information is revealed so that you now have more resources. This can make other therapies suddenly more effective.

A word of warning about engaging in altered states work. The information that comes through can be intense. If you are in a fragile mental state, you probably don’t want to do this unassisted. Support can mean the difference in the experience being an empowering one or a terrifying one. I wouldn’t experiment with this unless and until you’ve been through a few altered states experiences with a helper first.

Taking fie to twenty minutes out of your day to breathe consciously and mindfully can go a long way in improving health and vitality. Try it for a week. See what a difference it can make for you. It costs nothing but a little time. What have you got to lose?