The Contagious Culture of Goodness

I am madly in love…so deeply that most days I cannot contain the overflow. I dwell in a world of illusion so transfixed and mesmerized by this captivating wave of love. I am forever caught in its wonders and the extraordinary paths it illumines. I am captive forevermore, held hostage by its all-encompassing, all consuming, all engulfing atmosphere. I cannot free myself for it forever pursues me and chases me down each day and without so much of a hint of warning, it besieges me and overtakes my soul. The fusion occurred long ago in times which now only live in vague memories and the universal hologram.

I am head over heels in love with goodness. Though it is all around us in millions of happenings and in billions of people, I am talking about the kind of goodness there is no reward for, selfless, pure and of genuine intent.
What set me on this path and what makes a person resonate so intensely to goodness? Out of nearly 8 billion people worldwide, why are so few nestled in its warm embrace? Why are we the paupers while others are rewarded for that which is nonessential to anything that in the end matters? What is this hunger to exercise that which is good and right and true and what makes goodness the way?

I pondered all these philosophical questions the week Pope Francis visited America in the summer of 2015. What was it about this man that made even the atheists become soft and warmed by his very presence? It wasn’t a demi-god thing; there were no grandiose speeches or enormous displays of ego at work. There was a simple missionary on a mission to spread love all while being carried from event to event a tiny Fiat automobile. I marveled at how many people suddenly were enveloped in his grace and kindness…let’s face it, even the hardest of men found themselves soul searching that week while glued to the television coverage of his every move.Pope Francis inspired millions and even the Speaker of the House, John Boehner was not immune to the contagion of goodness. This simple servant managed to bring many believers and non-believers into unison with love and the dance was a high immaculate.

We watch videos of people saving animals in peril, of rescuers coming to the aid of humans in need, we see acts of kindness and we meld into a pile of goo…albeit lovely goo.The fact is goodness is contagious and in a world growing harder and colder daily, in a world where our leaders and most politicians are morally bankrupt and humans have become desensitized by life, goodness is the vaccine which cures the plague of indifference. goodnessblogariaajaeger
There have been countless studies on the effects of kindness and acts of goodness and the data reveals increased heart health benefits, the body ages slower, relationships improve and an overall sense of peace occurs. Additionally just witnessing an act of kindness triggers the happy chemicals of the brain leading to a sense of elation.

Humans are born with goodness in their composition; it is only circumstances and conditions which cause them to act outside of the boundary of love and kindness. Many have to retrain their brains and hearts for goodness to be their first response to any situation.

I saw a story on 60 Minutes about a prosecutor in Louisiana who zealously and with great pomp convicted a man of murder 30 plus years ago. When DNA tests revealed the man was innocent, this once hardened District Attorney was brought to his knees. Not only had the accused lived in solitary confinement for 30 years leaving his cell only one hour a day to walk around, it was discovered upon his release that he had terminal cancer and died penniless only a few months after he gained his long overdue freedom. The DA is now trying to make amends and did apologize to the convicted man but to no avail, he could not find forgiveness of self and said he will spend the rest of his life living with this travesty he created. He admitted that he was arrogant; seduced by the culture of success and that he blatantly overlooked any other suspects because this conviction was just too easy for him. I am sure he now asks himself every day, was it worth it? Were the gains worth living a lie? Were his successes of any real value now that the world knew they were built on a lie and on harming an innocent man? To his credit he has asked Louisiana to reprimand him for his actions.

Goodness, even if late in coming is always a welcomed guest and should be treated with respect, nurtured with unconditional love and taught in schools worldwide as an essential part of academia.

Ariaa Jaeger, Ariaa.com

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A Ferrari or a Dodge

Your appearance is not about vanity or arrogance or even fashion and style. How you adorn your body is not about money either. You can be poor as dirt and still look lovely and present well. Your appearance is a direct reflection of what lives and breathes in you. How you feel about yourself, how you feel about others, how you judge the world, how you handle your conflicts and how you deal with your emotional baggage all show in your face and in how you dress. I look around every day and see people so un-groomed and wearing pajamas and house shoes to the market. I see people who it’s obvious they don’t know how to comb their hair. Your outer reflection speaks volumes about you. In The Book of Ariaa I wrote, “There is nothing quite as beautiful as an emotionally healthy human being.” Each time you take yourself out into the world you can either be a Ferrari or you can be Dodge. Again it has nothing to do with money…I know because I have never been a financially wealthy woman, in fact many of you will be surprised to hear that it is quite the contrary yet what lives in me shines without.I want to be the example of what inner peace and a healthy emotional body look like. I want the light of God to shine through me in the most beautiful way. I consider it a personal obligation to present my light in the best package I can muster no matter how little I have or how old I get. I pray you see the wisdom in doing the same. ~ Ariaa Jaeger Ariaa.comAriaaJaegerOuterBeauty

The Unproductive “Fight”

If you “fight” a disease, it will burrow into you. If you “fight” the establishment, it will engulf you.If you “fight” not having enough money, you will have less than if you just let go and trust you are supplied. If you “fight” for justice, you become a part of the violence which created it. If you “fight” for diplomacy through war, you are no longer diplomatic, you are a part of the problem. Instead of fighting, embrace, seek to understand it and find a way to be at peace with it so the higher solutions come which are the most peaceable and effective. “Too much emotion kills solutions.” Ariaaisms Spiritual Food for the SoulThe Book of Ariaa Ariaa.com #in

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The Art of Stillness, The Quiet Mind

As the mother of a severely bi-polar, now adult child, like most mothers I have searched my soul for anything I could have done differently. Living without any regrets is a skill which is learned through repetition and in the end when all else has been tried, turning it all over to God. Now more than 40 years later, I can honestly say there is ONE thing in particular I would do differently. I wish that every mother would embrace the wisdom of teaching one basic discipline which is the gift of a lifetime and a cure-all for so many issues children worldwide face.

For more than 21 years I have counseled and taught millions around the globe and the one commonality in the majority of people I have counseled is a lack of genuine self-love /self-worth which is often masked by a false sense of ego or arrogance or a sense of entitlement. I have found that the best way to instill a blend of confidence mixed with the right amount of humility combined with compassion and rooted in inner peace, is teaching children meditation.

Now hold on there mom, don’t roll your eyes just yet. I am not talking about some babbling guru form of meditation leftover from the 60’s or 70’s. There are reams of medical documentation to support the benefits of meditation and it has little to do with whether you are religious or even spiritual. The more neuroscience has learned about the brain the more doctors have eagerly jumped on the mindfulness/meditation/affirmation bandwagon.

Quoting from “7 Health Benefits of Meditation,” “Hard science has caught up: a comprehensive scientific study showing that deep relaxation changes our bodies on a genetic level has just been published. What researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered is that, in long-term practitioners of relaxation methods such as yoga and meditation, far more ”disease-fighting genes” were active, compared to those who practiced no form of relaxation. In particular, they found genes that protect from disorders such as pain, infertility, high blood pressure and even rheumatoid arthritis were switched on. The changes, say the researchers, were induced by what they call ”the relaxation effect”, a phenomenon that could be just as powerful as any medical drug but without the side effects. ”We found a range of disease-fighting genes were active in the relaxation practitioners that were not active in the control group,” Dr. Herbert Benson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who led the research, says. The good news for the control group with the less-healthy genes is that the research didn’t stop there.

The experiment, which showed just how responsive genes are to behavior, mood and environment, revealed that genes can switch on, just as easily as they switch off. ”Harvard researchers asked the control group to start practicing relaxation methods every day,” says Jake Toby, hypnotherapist at London’s Body Mind Medicine Centre, who teaches clients how to induce the relaxation effect. ”After two months, their bodies began to change: the genes that help fight inflammation kill diseased cells and protect the body from cancer all began to switch on.” More encouraging still, the benefits of the relaxation effect were found to increase with regular practice: the more people practiced relaxation methods such as meditation or deep breathing, the greater their chances of remaining free of arthritis and joint pain with stronger immunity, healthier hormone levels and lower blood pressure.” (see entire article http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/7-health-benefits-of-meditation)

I have taught all forms of meditation in my two decade career and every race and creed to boot. I have even taught atheists to get centered. Your mind is a generator constantly bombarding you with activity but the soul is a sponge and it absorbs everything it sees and hears in the normal course of a day. Television, pollution, noise, witnessing school playground bickering or the fights you have with your husband, wife or significant other, children and adults are besieged with negative overload. Society has become so angry and vitriolic that quieting the mind and stilling the body just makes good sense. Like a statically charged magnet, if you are always emitting thoughts clarity cannot get in and conversely you will absolutely attract whatever your mind focuses on.
With so many children and teenagers experiencing bullying firsthand and the reality television glorification of the crude, crass and dysfunctional of society, not only does meditation make sense but it is simply commonsensical as an antidote to all things unsettling. Goldie Hawn has recently implemented a program in schools around the nation called “MindUp” which encourages children to sit in mindfulness, a form of meditation and this program has had enormous effects on the optimism of the children. The effects of a fifteen minute meditation are equal to taking a two hour nap and there are studies which have found not only are people who meditate happier, they are more productive, healthier and live longer than those who do not meditation. The Dalai Lama said recently, “If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”
“Joy doesn’t happen to you, it happens within you.”

How to begin? It’s really simple. Just begin by sitting upright with your child on the floor or in a supported chair. Depending on the age of your child and their circumstances/lifestyle, there are many ways to help support their daily needs. Most children just want to be loved, encouraged, validated, reassured and made to feel safe and secure. When I work with children, I keep it simple and though you do not have to if you choose, I always begin my meditations with a simple prayer….kids love it when you call upon their angels inviting them to join you. Use simple yet affirming soft words and keep it short and always use the phrase “I am” so your child takes your words into the first person. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with leading a meditation you might want to find someone like myself who can guide you but truly I believe all parents have an innate knowing of these very basic principles and am certain you will be guided as to what resonates with your child. I have listed some suggestions below and they can be used in any combination. Encourage your child to deep breathe in a normal rhythm throughout the meditation and use a closing sentence so your child knows when to stop thinking and just breathe. Allow your child to sit for about 10 or 15 minutes in the silence and allow them to open their eyes naturally when they are through.

Practice makes perfect and with practice meditation will become as common as taking a nap everyday which by the way I also highly recommend for both adults and children. I have been meditating since 1988 and have not been sick with even a cold for more than 20 years and many have repeatedly remarked that I do not look my age. I am certain that is due in part to the practice of daily meditation. Whether you teach your child to meditate or use some other relaxation modality like Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong, learning to be still and quiet is an art form and one which will keep you and yours healthy, happy and whole for years to come.

Useful phrases for meditating with children ages 6-16
1. I am peaceful and calm
2. I am loved and safe
3. I am intelligent and productive
4. I am compassionate and sincere
5. I am kind, thoughtful and considerate
6. I am confident but humble
7. I am creative and successful
8. I am generous and charitable
9. I am happy and full of joy
10. I am healthy, vibrant and energized
11. I am loved and blessed and thankful
12. I send love to all my family and friends,
I send love to everyone else, I send love into the world
And close with…
13. Peace be still, peace be still.

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What Are You Really Saying?

So you have something to say as you sit on your couch eating Fritos while guzzling your beer? So you have something to say as you meander through the halls of your office muttering about the injustices of the world under your breath? So you have something to say as you rant and rave in the safety of your car as you navigate Friday traffic. So you have something to say as you post your world views, (even though you have never actually studied world history or ever traveled outside of this country) factually unverified, fear provoking, vitriolic propaganda? So you exercise your first amendment right of free speech to hate on politicians, total strangers, people in social media, those you disagree with, those you wish to bully, you use your free speech to verbally assault anyone who is different than you. And you do all that never realizing how you are denigrating yourself, you are making yourself physically ugly while sabotaging your own health. There you are vomiting your unhappiness on anyone and everyone never seeing how much it says about you and your inability to love or even like yourself. You show yourself when you attack others, you verify the obvious, that you have no self-respect, no personal integrity or clearly no intelligence. And all the while your rhetoric and hate are amassing and multiplying, building and growing around no one but you waiting until you are at your happiest to return and undo your world. You contribute to nothing, you add to nothing, your existence is nothing more than that of fallen log in the forest, dead, fruitless, casting only a momentary shadow on the living. You will wither and die leaving no legacy, no meaning and being easily forgotten.

How’s that working for you?

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