Dealing with Negativity

by Deepak Chopra –

There are a number of different techniques to deal with negativity. It takes time before you find the right response to suit a specific situation. The more patient you are with yourself, the better. One day you may need tears, the next day it’s a matter of patiently waiting or talking to your inner self. Here are some methods of dealing with negativity to add to your repertoire:

* Patient waiting. Notice your negative reaction and watch it for a moment. Be attentive to your feelings as they are, without judging or forcing them to change. This response is quiet, but it isn’t passive. You are removing the shock value of the moment, softening the feeling so that you don’t act on it impulsively or push it away. You are letting it dissipate naturally, at its own pace. You are also practicing detachment.

* Talk out the problem. Any negative experience in the mind is part of yourself. It’s neither alien nor evil. Try talking to your fear or hostility. Ask to know what it means. Find out why it chose to show itself at this particular moment.

* Ask the underlying energy to leave. Not all negativity wants to stick around. We are all aware of passing moods and sudden flashes of emotion that soon subside. Ask the negative energy to leave, but first give it a chance to say what it has to say.

* Summon help and assistance. Your mind has countless levels. At higher levels, you possess much more control and authority than you realize. Learning to trust in aspects of your higher self that you can’t see is important. Ask for help in removing unwanted negative energy. Some people address their angels and guides; others pray to God; still others make a request to the higher self directly. Depending on your own beliefs, don’t hesitate to say that you are feeling overwhelmed and need help.

* Physical responses. Turn to the wisdom of the body. Although the mind always wants to rush in and take charge, life is a cooperative venture between mind and body. As some body workers like to say, there are issues in the tissues. So let your body do what it wants in order to release the grip of a negative experience. This can be physical, or even toning, which means humming or singing at certain pitch and then letting the body carry the tone up or down.

Five Keys to Active Mastery

by Deepak Chopra –

*Listen to your body’s wisdom, which expresses itself through signals of comfort and discomfort. When choosing a certain behavior, ask your body, “How do you feel about this?” If your body sends a signal of physical or emotional distress, watch out. If your body sends a signal of comfort and eagerness, proceed.

*Live in the present, for it is the only moment you have. Keep your attention on what is here and now; look for the fullness in every moment. Accept what comes to you totally and completely so that you can appreciate it, learn from it, and then let it go.

The present is as it should be. It reflects infinite laws of Nature that have brought you this exact thought, this exact physical response. This moment is as it is because the universe is as it is. Don’t struggle against the infinite scheme of things; instead, be at one with it.

*Take time to be silent, to meditate, to quiet the internal dialogue. In moments of silence, realize that you are recontacting your source of pure awareness. Pay attention to your inner life so that you can be guided by intuition rather than externally imposed interpretations of what is or isn’t good for you.

*Relinquish your need for external approval. You alone are the judge of your worth, and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. There is great freedom in this realization.

*When you find yourself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, realize that you are only struggling with yourself. Putting up resistance is the response of defenses created by old hurts. When you relinquish this anger, you will be healing yourself and cooperating with the flow of the universe.

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Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind,
by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).

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Meeting Your Real Self

by Deepak Chopra –

Words can say a great deal about the real self, but it takes an actual meeting to realize what it is. Your real self has qualities you are already experiencing every day: Intelligence, alertness, being tuned in, knowingness – whenever any of these qualities comes into play, you are living closer to your real self. On the other hand, when you feel distracted, lost, confused, fearful, scattered, or trapped inside ego boundaries, you are not.

Experience seesaws between these two poles; therefore, one way to meet your real self is to push away from the opposite pole whenever you notice that you are there. Try to catch yourself in such a moment and pull away from it. Pick a strongly negative experience of the following kind (if possible, choose a repetitive one that has cropped up several times):

Road rage; arguing with your spouse; resenting authority at work; losing control over your children; feeling cheated in a deal or transaction; feeling betrayed by a close friend.

Put yourself back in the situation and feel what you felt then. Do what it takes to make the situation vivid in your mind. When you feel that stab of anger, hurt, mistrust, suspicion, or betrayal, say to yourself, “That’s how my ego feels. I can see why. I’m very used to it. I will go along as long as it lasts.”

Now let the feeling run. Get as worked up as your ego wants; envision fantasies of revenge or self-pity, or whatever your ego thinks is appropriate. Imagine that you are swelling up with your feeling; it spreads out from you like the shock wave from a slow-motion explosion.

Follow this wave as far as it wants to go, watching it grow fainter and fainter as it spreads to infinity, filling the whole universe if it wants to. Take deep breaths if you need to in order to get the wave of feeling to depart from you and travel outward. Don’t time yourself.

Now, just as you see the wave disappearing into infinity, look at yourself and see if any of the following feelings are present: a giggle, the desire to laugh at it all; a shrug, as if the whole thing is no big deal; a sense of calmness or peace; looking at yourself as if at another person; a deep sigh of relief or exhaustion; a feeling of release or letting go; a sudden realization that the other person may be right.

These are the telltale feelings that arise in us when we are crossing the invisible boundary between ego and the real self. If you follow any emotion far enough, it will end in silence.

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004)

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The Path to Love

In “The Path to Love”, Dr. Deepak Chopra shows us that by bringing spirituality back into our relationships, we can discover a world of depth and meaning that infuses every day with romance and passion.

“You were created to be completely loved and completely lovable for your whole life.”

All of us need to believe that we are loved and lovable. We began life with confidence on both points, bathed in a mother’s love and swaddled in our own innocence. Love was never in question, but over time our certainty clouded. When you look at yourself today, can you still make the two statements every infant could if it had the words? I am completely loved. I am completely lovable.

Few people can, for looking at yourself honestly you see flaws that make you less than completely lovable and less than perfectly loved. In many ways this seems right to you, for perfect love is supposedly not of this world. Yet in a deeper sense, what you call flaws are really just the scars of hurts and wounds accumulated over a lifetime. When you look in the mirror, you think you are looking at yourself realistically, but your mirror doesn’t reveal the truth that endures despite all hurt:

In a way it is amazing that you do not realize this, because underneath everything you think and feel, innocence is still intact. Time cannot blemish your essence, your portion of spirit. But if you lose sight of this essence, you will mistake yourself for your experiences, and there is no doubt that experience can do much to obliterate love. In an often hostile and brutal world, maintaining innocence seems impossible. Therefore, you find yourself experiencing only so much love and only so much lovability. This can change.

“In spirit you are unbounded by time and space,
untouched by experience — you are pure love.”

Although you perceive yourself in limited terms, as a mind and a body confined in time and space, there is a wealth of spiritual teaching that says otherwise. In spirit you are unbounded by time and space, untouched by experience. In spirit you are pure love.

The reason you do not feel completely loved and completely lovable is that you do not identify with your spiritual nature. Your sense of love has lost one thing it cannot afford to do without: its higher dimension. What would it be like to restore this lost part of yourself?

Mind, body, and spirit would unite–this union creates the love you have to give. You and your beloved would unite–this creates the love you have to share.

In our deepest nature each person is meant to be the hero or heroine of an eternal love story. The story begins in innocence, with a baby’s birth into a mother’s loving arms. It proceeds through stages of growth, as the young child step’ out into the world. With more and more experience the circle of love widens, including first family and friends, then intimate partners, but also taking in love of abstract things, like learning and truth. The ripening journey brings us to love of giving, and the blossoming of higher values, such as compassion, forgiveness, and altruism. Finally there is the direct experience of spirit itself, which is pure love. The journey climaxes in the same knowledge that a baby began with, although it couldn’t voice that knowledge: I am love.

You know that you have fully experienced love when you turn into love–that is the spiritual goal of life. Not many people find the spiritual goal of life. The aching need created by lack of love can only be filled by learning anew to love and be loved. All of us must discover for ourselves that love is a force as real as gravity, and that being upheld in love every day, every hour, every minute is not a fantasy-it is intended as our natural state.

“However good or bad you feel about your relationship, the person you are with at this moment is the “right” person because he or she is a mirror of who you are inside.”

This book is about reviving love stories that should never have faded. The union of self and spirit is not only possible but inevitable. The spiritual meaning of love is best measured by what it can do, which is many things.

Love can heal. Love can renew. Love can make us safe. Love can inspire us with its power. Love can bring us closer to God. Everything love is meant to do is possible. Knowing this, however, has only made the gap between love and non-love more painful.

Countless people have experienced love–as pleasure, sex, security, having someone else fulfill their daily needs–without seeing that a special path has opened to them. Socially, the “normal” cycle of love is simply to find a suitable partner, marry, and raise a family. But this social pattern isn’t a path, because the experience of marriage and raising a family isn’t automatically spiritual. Sad to say, many people enter lifelong relationships in which love fades over time or provides lasting companionship without growing in its inner dimension. A spiritual path has only one reason to exist: it shows the way for the soul to grow. As it grows, more of spiritual truth is revealed, more of the soul’s promise is redeemed.

When you find your path, you will also find your love story. People today are consumed by doubts about their relationships: Have I found the right partner? Am I being true to myself? Have I given the best part of myself away? As a result, there is a restless kind of consumer shopping for partners, as if the “right” one can be found by toting up a potential mate’s pluses and minuses until the number of pluses matches some mythical standard. The path to love, however, is never about externals. However good or bad you feel about your relationship, the person you are with at this moment is the “right” person, because he or she is a mirror of who you are inside.

Our culture hasn’t taught us this (as it has failed to teach us so much about spiritual realities). When you struggle with your partner, you are struggling with yourself. Every fault you see in them touches a denied weakness in yourself. Every conflict you wage is an excuse not to face a conflict within. The path to love therefore clears up a monumental mistake that millions of people make–the mistake that someone “out there” is going to give (or take) something that is not already yours. When you truly find love, you find yourself.

Therefore the path to love isn’t a choice, for all of us must find out who we are. This is our spiritual destiny. The path can be postponed; you can lose faith in it or even despair that love exists at all. None of that is permanent; only the path is. Doubt reflects the ego, which is bound in time and space; love reflects God, eternal divine essence. The ultimate promise on the path to love is that you will walk in the light of a truth extending beyond any truth your mind presently knows.

excerpt from ‘The Path to Love’ by Deepak Chopra

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♥Angel Love♥

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Consciously Cultivating Flexibility

by Deepak Chopra –

It’s easy to become trapped in habitual patterns that do not serve you well and promote inflexibility. Therefore it is very helpful to consciously cultivate flexibility by relinquishing things in your life and creating new patterns of thinking and behaving.

Practicing flexibility creates flexibility in your nervous system by challenging your brain cells to make new associations. The neurons in your nervous system and the choices in your life are engaged in a continuous feedback loop. In your willingness to try new things, your neural networks become more flexible and open to new perceptions, interpretations, and choices, which in turn support new interneuronal connections.

Here are a few suggestions of things you can do to break out of your habitual behavioral patterns. Try them for a week and observe what happens to your body and mind.

– Change your diet
– Change your exercise program
– Change your route to work
– Change your bedtime
– Meditate longer
– Buy different clothing
– Wear new colors
– Listen to different kinds of music
– Stop wearing a watch
– Wear your watch on the other wrist
– Go out to lunch with someone new
– Try a new restaurant
– Change your opinion about something or someone
– Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in years
– Answer the phone differently
– Change your voice mail message
– Read a book that you usually wouldn’t consider
– Watch a different television show
– Listen to a different radio station
– Take a new class

Let go of old ways and you will feel renewed. Learning to be flexible means learning to access the most flexible domain of your being – the field of timeless awareness underlying your mind and body. This is the field of infinite flexibility on a daily basis through meditation. Have the conscious intention to think and act flexibly. Practice letting go whenever holding on is no longer serving you.

excerpt from ‘Grow Young, Live Longer’

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How To Break A Bad Habit

by Deepak Chopra –

Moving from wanting to change to actually doing so is challenging because the repetition of any pattern of behavior establishes neural circuits in the brain. Habits generate biochemical and physiological changes that perpetuate behavior. Be assured, however, that it is possible to break a habit when you address its emotional and physical aspects.

Here is a powerful process that can help you succeed:

Step One: Identify the Obstacle – To relinquish an unwanted habit, you have to acknowledge it by bringing it into conscious awareness. Take a few moments to identify a behavior that is getting in the way of your health and happiness. Close your eyes and ask yourself, What do I really want to change?

Step Two: Present Moment Awareness – When you engage in the habit, do it with your full attention. If you smoke cigarettes, for example, do it mindfully. Stop whatever else you are doing and connect with your inner observer. As you smoke (or drink, shop, overeat, lose your temper, etc.), notice the sensations in your body and the thoughts in your mind and let go of all judgments.

Step Three: Envision the New – Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and envision the change you want to make. If your goal is to eat healthier, envision yourself getting rid of all the junk food in your house; buying fresh, organic ingredients; and preparing them in your kitchen. Create the new script in your mind and write it down. Read it each day, making revisions that improve the story.

Step Four: Clear the Space – Set a date for ending the habit. Whether you are withdrawing from a toxic relationship, job, or substance, the first three days are usually the most challenging, so we recommend starting on a Saturday morning so that you will have the weekend to focus on the changes you want to make. Remove all temptations from your environment, and for the next 72 hours, simplify your life as much as possible. A few suggestions for your weekend retreat:

*Drink gingerroot herbal tea, a natural detoxifier.

*Nourish your senses – Perform a self-abhy massage, take a yoga class or hike in a beautiful area.

*Declare a “global detoxification” weekend. Wash your car, clean out drawers and get rid of old clothing and anything that’s no longer serving you.

Step Five: Filling the Void – Habits fill deep-seated needs, so when you drop an unwanted behavior, you need to replace it with a nourishing one. Instead of “winding down” in the evening with a beer or hours of television, practice meditation or yoga. Schedule a regular afternoon exercise time rather than releasing frustration by yelling at your kids or co-workers. The key is finding an activity that provides sustainable comfort that takes the place of the temporary relief your old habit provided.

Step Six: Surround Yourself with Healthy People – You may need to put some distance between yourself and those who continue to engage in the habit you are quitting. If you want to end a pattern of workaholism, for example, seek out people who have found a measure of work-life balance, for you will likely be influenced by their traits.

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The Law of Least Effort

by Deepak Chopra

The fourth Spiritual Law of Success is the Law of Least Effort. This law is based on the fact that nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease and abandoned carefreeness. This is the principle of least action, of no resistance. This is, therefore, the principle of harmony and love. When we learn this lesson from nature, we easily fulfill our desires.

If you observe nature at work, you will see that least effort is expended. Grass doesn’t try to grow, it just grows. Fish don’t try to swim, they just swim. Flowers don’t try to bloom, they bloom. Birds don’t try to fly, they fly. This is their intrinsic nature. The earth doesn’t try to spin on its own axis; it is the nature of the earth to spin with dizzying speed and to hurtle through space. It is the nature of babies to be in bliss. It is the nature of the sun to shine. It is the nature of the stars to glitter and sparkle. And it is human nature to make our dreams manifest into physical form, easily and effortlessly.

In Vedic Science, the age-old philosophy of India, this principle is known as the principle of economy of effort, or “do less and accomplish more.” Ultimately you come to the state where you do nothing and accomplish everything. This means that there is just a faint idea, and then the manifestation of the idea comes about effortlessly. What is commonly called a “miracle” is actually an expression of the Law of Least Effort.

Nature’s intelligence functions effortlessly, frictionlessly, spontaneously. It is non-linear; it is intuitive, holistic, and nourishing. And when you are in harmony with nature, when you are established in the knowledge of your true Self, you can make use of the Law of Least Effort.

Least effort is expended when your actions are motivated by love, because nature is held together by the energy of love. When you seek power and control over other people, you waste energy. When you seek money or power for the sake of the ego, you spend energy chasing the illusion of happiness instead of enjoying happiness in the moment. When you seek money for personal gain only, you cut off the flow of energy to yourself, and interfere with the expression of nature’s intelligence. But when your actions are motivated by love, there is no waste of energy. When your actions are motivated by love, your energy multiplies and accumulates — and the surplus energy you gather and enjoy can be channeled to create anything that you want, including unlimited wealth.

You can think of your physical body as a device for controlling energy: it can generate, store, and expend energy. If you know how to generate, store, and expend energy in an efficient way, then you can create any amount of wealth. Attention to the ego consumes the greatest amount of energy. When your internal reference point is the ego, when you seek power and control over other people or seek approval from others, you spend energy in a wasteful way.

When that energy is freed up, it can be rechanneled and used to create anything that you want. When your internal reference point is your spirit, when you are immune to criticism and unfearful of any challenge, you can harness the power of love, and use energy creatively for the experience of affluence and evolution.

In The Art of Dreaming, Don Juan tells Carlos Castaneda, “. . . most of our energy goes into upholding our importance…. If we were capable of losing some of that importance, two extraordinary things would happen to us. One, we would free our energy from trying to maintain the illusory idea of our grandeur; and two, we would provide ourselves with enough energy to … catch a glimpse of the actual grandeur of the universe.”

Acceptance

There are three components to the Law of Least Effort — three things you can do to put this principle of “do less and accomplish more” into action. The first component is acceptance. Acceptance simply means that you make a commitment: “Today I will accept people, situations, circumstances, and events as they occur.” This means I will know that this moment is as it should be, because the whole universe is as it should be. This moment — the one you’re experiencing right now — is the culmination of all the moments you have experienced in the past. This moment is as it is because the entire universe is as it is.

When you struggle against this moment, you’re actually struggling against the entire universe. Instead, you can make the decision that today you will not struggle against the whole universe by struggling against this moment. This means that your acceptance of this moment is total and complete. You accept things as they are, not as you wish they were in this moment. This is important to understand. You can wish for things in the future to be different, but in this moment you have to accept things as they are.

When you feel frustrated or upset by a person or a situation, remember that you are not reacting to the person or the situation, but to your feelings about the person or the situation. These are your feelings, and your feelings are not someone else’s fault. When you recognize and understand this completely, you are ready to take responsibility for how you feel and to change it. And if you can accept things as they are, you are ready to take responsibility for your situation and for all the events you see as problems.

Responsibility

This leads us to the second component of the Law of Least Effort: responsibility. What does responsibility mean? Responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for your situation, including yourself. Having accepted this circumstance, this event, this problem, responsibility then means the ability to have a creative response to the situation as it is now. All problems contain the seeds of opportunity, and this awareness allows you to take the moment and transform it to a better situation or thing.

Once you do this, every so-called upsetting situation will become an opportunity for the creation of something new and beautiful, and every so-called tormentor or tyrant will become your teacher. Reality is an interpretation. And if you choose to interpret reality in this way, you will have many teachers around you, and many opportunities to evolve.

Whenever confronted by a tyrant, tormentor, teacher, friend, or foe (they all mean the same thing) remind yourself, “This moment is as it should be.” Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.

Defenselessness

The third component of the Law of Least Effort is defenselessness, which means that your awareness is established in defenselessness, and you have relinquished the need to convince or persuade others of your point of view. If you observe people around you, you’ll see that they spend ninety-nine percent of their time defending their points of view. If you just relinquish the need to defend your point of view, you will in that relinquishment, gain access to enormous amounts of energy that have been previously wasted.

When you become defensive, blame others, and do not accept and surrender to the moment, your life meets resistance. Any time you encounter resistance, recognize that if you force the situation, the resistance will only increase. You don’t want to stand rigid like a tall oak that cracks and collapses in the storm. Instead, you want to be flexible, like a reed that bends with the storm and survives.

Completely desist from defending your point of view. When you have no point to defend, you do not allow the birth of an argument. If you do this consistently — if you stop fighting and resisting — you will fully experience the present, which is a gift. Someone once told me, “The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called ‘the present’.”

If you embrace the present and become one with it, and merge with it, you will experience a fire, a glow, a sparkle of ecstasy throbbing in every living sentient being. As you begin to experience this exultation of spirit in everything that is alive, as you become intimate with it, joy will be born within you, and you will drop the terrible burdens and encumbrances of defensiveness, resentment, and hurtfulness. Only then will you become lighthearted, carefree, joyous, and free.

In this joyful, simple freedom, you will know without any doubt in your heart that what you want is available to you whenever you want it, because your want will be from the level of happiness, not from the level of anxiety or fear. You do not need to justify; simply declare your intent to yourself, and you will experience fulfillment, delight, joy, freedom, and autonomy in every moment of your life.

Make a commitment to follow the path of no resistance. This is the path through which nature’s intelligence unfolds spontaneously, without friction or effort. When you have the exquisite combination of acceptance, responsibility, and defenselessness, you will experience life flowing with effortless ease.

When you remain open to all points of view — not rigidly attached to only one — your dreams and desires will flow with nature’s desires. Then you can release your intentions, without attachment, and just wait for the appropriate season for your desires to blossom into reality. You can be sure that when the season is right, your desires will manifest. This is the Law of Least Effort.

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