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.

Image

 

Advertisements

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?

Image

 

It’s Just What Is

It’s not something but it’s not nothing either…it’s just what is. It’s not good nor is it bad…it’s just what is. It’s not about you nor is it about me….it’s just what is. It’s not pain or sickness nor is it health and wellness…it’s just what is. It’s neither a mistake nor an accomplishment…it’s just what is.

That is the mindset of the observer where all judgment ends and enlightenment begins. The notion that anything is bad or good is judgment and though many walk through their daily lives judging everything, the foundation of life is purer than that. In its purest comprehensible form, life is love and love is life and the universe and earth are learning stations. Everything is divinely designed to evolve you, or in this free will zone called earth, you can wallow in the occurrences and manifestations of your life, never owning your participation in their creation. When you judge anything or anyone you limit your own ability to manifest at a higher level. It is often said that if you don’t like your life, then change it yet the emotional images embedded in each cell of your brain’s memory hold you to exactly that, your own perceptions.

The key to life and living it as Jesus and other great sages have done is to dream beyond three dimensional realities. Remove yourself from the emotional attachments which prevent you from exploring the infinite possibilities awaiting you. We stay inside the constraints of our childhood and past life conditioning instead of forging new worlds. Our brain chemistry continues to replay images of hurts, betrayals, losses and hardships we have faced in our lifetimes and the older you get the more emotional pictures you have to contend with. In my work with clients I emphasize the necessitation of healing the emotional body in order to ascertain a higher way of thinking and living. Cellular memory both from the present and the past are the images which are formed in the brain connectors with every emotional high and low we experience. Every time we re-experience an emotional scenario such as having your heart broken or getting fired from a job, peptides are released throughout the body searing new emotional pictures into every cell. The more this happens the more limited you become in your scope and spectrum. Minimize your emotional reaction to every hardship and change your perception about all things there to teach you. You attracted it, you drew it into your world so why on earth would you label it as negative or bad. Everything you perceive as “bad” is nothing more than your higher self at work to produce your highest good. ~Ariaa Jaeger, “Ariaaisms~ Spiritual Food for the Soul” Ariaa.com Amazon.com

1533818_10203045819210127_1409635583_n

The Science of Hate

Image

The Science of Hate

By Ariaa Jaeger

“To get past hate, you must go to the root of all forms in the secret place where love arises. From this place, my friend, the divine spark bursts forth.” ~ Faouzi Skali (20th-21st Century)

Historically hate was once contained to holy wars or political circles but in this new age of electronic media it has found a new audience to feed its insatiable appetite and with far greater impact. With the onslaught of social media in 2004 when Facebook arrived on the scene followed by Twitter in 2006, cyber bullies and haters have become commonplace. Singer Susan Boyle, Chef Rachel Ray and many other celebrities know firsthand the sting of blogs, news stories and magazine articles declaring truth in fabricated and slanderous gray journalism. But today in social media you can find ordinary, hardworking, God loving, law-abiding citizens, spiritualists, philosophers, minor celebrities and popular social media personalities the target of online bullies and angry souls who have an excess supply of jealousy, envy, anger and little to no success of their own. A haters goal is to project or hurl as it were, his or her self-hate onto you and though it may feel very personal, it never is personal.

 The very word “hater” was not even in the dictionary before social media became the new playground and fodder for the bottom feeders of society who could gather a large audience quickly and ensure their own popularity with the lowest forms of humanity. Satan had found his new regime in these punks and attention seeking bullies who have been responsible for more young people committing suicide than any other group in history.  Where self-respect and personal dignity once thrived in the days of our grandparents and great-grandparents, today’s climate is one which is self-serving, over wrought with a sense of entitlement and a demographic which thrives on instant gratification and hungers for fame.

What is the psychology of hate? Adolph Hitler, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh are all known for espousing hate ad nauseam and rose in popularity because of the rhetoric and propaganda they delivered into a world hungry for fresh blood. Today’s new breed of hater is cult-like and has electronic media and a gaggle of dysfunctional people who will help spread the hate to ensures it bleeds into the search engine mainstream.  Where bullies use to be satisfied with taking their target down, many haters have become downright dangerous and hell bent on destroying their victim. There is not a week go by that we don’t see a news story of some teenager who has committed suicide because of the callous actions of bullies and haters. They have taken self-loathing to a new level, regurgitating their own unhappiness onto innocent people. Those who engage in this type of behavior are typically unhappy, unsuccessful, addicted to drugs or alcohol, have low to no self esteem and many have experienced being bullied themselves at one time or another. They feed on the need to control, manipulate and contort truth, yet many are unable to grasp or discipher what actual truth is. They are also prone to violence, hurting animals and hurting themselves and many times have a criminal history.

What haters fail to see and fully grasp is the law of karma which inevitably returns to them usually with far greater impact doing far worse damage than they have done to their intended victims. Typically haters are not very educated and are never spiritually evolved thus they do not understand the laws of physics and the spiritual law of intention.  When combined energy and mass create a combustible cocktail of energy can often return to the hater within weeks and months of their acts of bullying.

The Grammy-winning Songwriter Malik Yusef summed it up best in his beautiful Huffington Post blog, “The Psychology of Hate.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/malik-yusef/the-psychology-of-a-hater_b_1491354.html ) “The best way to tell a hater is: look at how they treat others and look at their actions. Don’t think you are special. If they tear down and disrespect people they consider friends, and then smile in their faces when they come around, don’t deceive yourself as though they won’t be the same with you. I think the hardest thing for us as humans to do is accept people for exactly who they are. As Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you their true colors, believe them.” Hatred ultimately destroys the hater. Don’t get tricked into thinking that you have to carry the burden of hate. The psychology of a hater is to impose their self-hate on others. It’s not as much about you as it is about them. Don’t take hate personally, because at the end of the day — it just isn’t. Don’t look at hate as a reflection of yourself and your work, but don’t use it as a crutch either. Take time to reflect and critique yourself and surround yourself with others who are honest enough to do the same. Now go get you some haters!”

The Enigmatic Form

The human body is divinely designed to accommodate the multiple chapters of your life. In your youth you have a body built to attract a mate and create life, by middle age you have a body made to hold your children with enough girth to carry all your interests and activities. In your golden years you have a form which is more fragile so that others will not focus on your form but will focus on the great wisdom you have amassed and lend an ear to the infinite well of experience you have garnered. No matter what shape your body takes in between, your beauty is not predicated on your physical shell. Some of the most beautiful people in the world did not have model good looks. Conversely some of the most physically beautiful people today often were considered ugly ducklings in childhood including this writer. The greatest beauty emulates from those at peace with themselves. The beauty that surpasses and supersedes all physical traits is the inner light existent in all, though many have dulled their glow. The more you strip away the hurts, slights, resentments, beliefs and limitations, the greater the light shines through. The greater the light, the more youthful you look, the less wrinkled you become and the more beautiful you are. Beauty is in every form of creation no matter what you look like, no matter what size your body, its the size of your heart which defines your beauty. ~Ariaa Jaeger ~ Ariaaisms~ Spiritual Food for the Soul~ ©2013 copyright All rights reserved ~ Http://Ariaa.com

Image