Posts filed under ‘Relationships’

Creating a Counterforce to the World’s Despair

From my mentor, Marianne Williamson. This is my heart…

Gravity exists on many levels, both physical and emotional. There is a force in the universe that literally weighs things down.

silhouette of a peopleIn order to counter gravity in the physical body, we physically exercise to develop strong muscles. Emotionally and spiritually, things work the same way. We nullify the effects of emotional gravity through accumulated repetitions of positive thoughts. Where the world says things like, “This can never happen,” we repeat to ourselves that with God, all things are possible.

Strong physical muscles give us the power to navigate the external world more effectively, while strong spiritual muscles give us the power to navigate the internal world. With physical musculature, we gain the power to move; with internal musculature, we gain the power to sit still, to be nonreactive, to be centered and calm and wise.

There are many meditative practices, from Transcendental Meditation to completing the workbook A Course in Miracles to others that are rooted in traditions like the Christian, Jewish, Buddhist faiths and so forth. What is important to note is that meditation is more than mere deep relaxation. We don’t just feel relaxed after meditation. Brain scans have proven an actual shift in brain-wave patterns. The religious call to a “new mind” is not just a metaphor; it is a call to become our more peaceful, creative and productive self.

Evening PrayerWith the modern world having become so frantic, it is easy to become as frenetic as the world around us. The problem with that, though, is that without calm, there is no wisdom, no impulse control and no real peace of mind. We’re more likely to become emotionally reactive and unclear in our thinking. Without deep peace of mind, we cannot be the people we are capable of being, and we cannot live the lives we are capable of living.

The power of meditation is of little use if only understood intellectually. When this spiritual exercise is built into our everyday, practical lifestyle, it becomes utterly transformative. It’s not enough just to know how important healthy food and exercise are; we must actually eat well and exercise regularly to enjoy the benefits of those habits. So, it’s not enough to just know the power of prayer and/or meditation; we must practice these rituals, through daily devotion.

Praying WomanWe routinely wake up in the morning and take a bath or shower, because we don’t want to take yesterday’s dirt on our body into the new day. Yet unless we pray, meditate, do inspirational readings or some other practice of spiritual alignment in the morning, we take yesterday’s burdens on our mind into the new day. Are body and soul not equally important?

We find excuses for why we’re not doing our spiritual exercise, just like we find excuses for not doing our physical exercise. But, in both cases, once we start doing our exercises, we start to crave their continuance. Often, people say they don’t have the time to meditate; but, in fact, meditation slows time. Time, in the words of Albert Einstein, is “an illusion of consciousness.” Shallow thinking literally speeds up our experience of time, while deep and peaceful thinking slows it down. We inhabit time more effectively when our mind and heart are clear.

Earth connectedSuch a world view is like a mental filter, leading us to experience the world through a lens of love instead of fear. Fear is the thinking that dominates the world, but love is who we really are. Grounding ourselves each day in a deep remembrance of who we really are, we actualize the spiritual power that lies latent within all of us. We were created to love, and in loving we are fulfilling the purpose of our lives. With every thought we think, we either extend love or project fear into the world. Taking a few simple principles and applying them to our daily lives lifts us above the turmoil of the world:

Ask every morning of your God: “Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say, and to whom?”

Before you go into work, into a meeting, into a party or into any situation at all, consciously blast everyone who is going to be there with love. Just as light casts out darkness, so does love cast out fear. You can’t send love to someone and, at the same time, worry about what they will think about you, fear what’s going to happen or succumb to controlling, judgmental or manipulative thoughts. The presence of love literally casts out neurotic, fear-based thoughts.

As you go through the day, anywhere you might be, look at someone’s face and silently say to them, “The love in me salutes the love in you.” I defy you to do this for two minutes each day and not become happier.

No one needs to be reminded today that we are in need of a counterforce to the world’s despair. All the hatred and unnecessary suffering that have gripped our planet are a challenge to our species to evolve and grow—to become who we are capable of being, so we can rise up with greater power and behave with greater wisdom. Depositphotos_5765168_xsWhen any of us does this individually, our lives transform. And when we do it collectively, our planet will transform. Love will not just heal your life or mine. Love will heal the world.

November 22, 2014 at 7:32 pm 1 comment

The Representation Project: Rewrite the Story

Teaching our children Media Literacy Tools is an important cause to me. Studies show that American youth today consume more than eleven hours of media a day, and what they see in that media is an overwhelming norm of objectified or hypersexualized women. This misrepresentation has long-term effects. For example, after reading a beauty magazine for only three minutes, 75% of teenage girls feel depressed, guilty, and shameful. With Miss Representation Curriculum 2.0 – designed to engage and activate young people in new ways – The Representation Project hopes to create a real pattern interruption to change behavior and expand what is possible for young women and girls. Check out their website to find out how you can help be part of the solution. Or click here to donate today and give the gift of media literacy curriculum, discussion guides, and educational tools to students, parents, coaches, caregivers, and mentors.

November 21, 2014 at 11:35 pm Leave a comment

The Power of Peace

Several years ago, Kit Cummings was going into prisons with a Christian prison ministry trying to change the hearts and minds of prisoners.  There was some success, but a couple of years into working with that group, Kit realized that he could affect more change by creating a program based around the principles of peace using people who lived by example like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Ghandi, and Sister Teresa, etc.  He went into Georgia’s Hays State Prison – one of the most violent prisons in the country – and talked to them about what really commands respect and pride – PEACE. 
Hope-300x200On January 18, 2011 he convinced 12 men – some former gang members serving life sentences – to take the Seven Steps of Peace Pledge based on principles of non-violence and peace (see attached for pledge) for 40 days and journal about it.  They were sworn to secrecy, but the word spread like wildfire in the prison anyway because their behavior was so different.  Other men became curious and inmates began to talk about the 40 Days of Peace. Instead of being labeled as ‘weak’, these men gained a new kind of respect among the prison population.  More inmates at Hays State Prison underwent the program and the prison violence dropped to it’s lowest point ever with so many men living The Power of Peace program.  Additionally, men getting out of the system were going back to their old neighborhood and exerting positive change, becoming the ‘anti-virus’ to gang warfare and setting examples to command respect in a different way in some of the roughest parts of cities around the nation.
About a year into working his prison program, Kit realized these inmates could have a huge impact on the troubled teens that looked up to them on the streets before they went behind bars.  And the same principles that worked to change these criminals could be used to inspire tough teens to take a different path.  The POPP has expanded to include community development programs and anti-bullying campaigns in alternative high schools.  In the Michigan Dept. of Corrections along, nearly 1,000 inmates have committed to peace and to becoming role models — not only to inmates across the country, but to a young generation that is losing its way.  Kansas prisons have also adopted this program where it’s taking hold.  
40Days-300x200Whether someone is a tough kid from an inner city school, or a college-prep kid living in the suburbs, it no longer matters — this is not a rich or poor, black, white, Hispanic issue – because believing in the power of peace is a common bond that we all share — and now POPP is collectively putting that belief into action.  Their 40 Days to Freedom is a seven step program designed to create a “new normal” for teens and their community.  The Power of Peace Project changes what “cool” looks like — the bully is no longer cool, now the peacemaker is. Bullies and victims of bullying learn about peace, non-violence and conflict resolution — seeking first to understand, finding common ground, walking a mile in another’s shows, learning to pause before responding, and learning to express what they are feeling – even to their parents!
So besides telling you a great uplifting story about some people making big changes in the world, why am I telling you this?
Because The Power of Peace Program needs your help.
Here is their goal:
To raise $10,000 in 30 days, which will allow us to sponsor 100 teens in our Power of Peace Program. As little as $100 takes one teen through our Ten Week Inspired Straight  training course. The result: a decline in bullying, truancy, expulsion, alcohol/drug use, disciplinary reports, and dropout. POPP teen participants/graduates see an increase in healthy behavior, attendance, good grades, productivity, and positive attitude. Dreams are born, gifts are uncovered, and young minds come alive! Please click the link below, watch a short clip and donate (no amount is too small).  The impact you make will last a lifetime with these kids.  
inspired-300x200Please consider donating to this impactful, non-profit organization and SHARE this with family, friends, even your enemies, to inspire them to bring about PEACE – one person at a time.
YOU can help bring about change and impact in people’s lives who don’t have many (if any) positive influences.  They are 64% of the way to their goal, let’s put them over the top!
Times are tough for many people I know…but these are street kids with no support system that they are helping to become productive citizens, young adults that will make a difference in their communities down the line.
Please do whatever you can…even if it’s simply sharing this information with others that may be able to donate!
Thanks SO much for your support.  For more information on The Power of Peace Project please visit their site and follow them on social media:
Twitter: @PowerofPeace88
Peace, love and joy to you all!

November 2, 2014 at 3:58 pm Leave a comment

Start a Robust Conversation With Your Teen About Healthy Relationships

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October 17, 2014 at 7:13 pm Leave a comment

What Growth Can Look Like

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October 15, 2014 at 4:56 am Leave a comment

Eradicate Illiteracy, Really? Yep! Pass It On

For those of you who are passionate about kids and education, I wanted to share something I believe is an amazing mission and goal that XPRIZE launched this week.

XPRIZE strives to make the impossible possible and have tackled some of the world’s grandest challenges. This includes private spaceflight, 100 MPGe cars, oil-cleanup technology and most recently, competitions to go back to the Moon, address ocean acidification, and revolutionize healthcare.

This week a “Global Learning XPRIZE” was launched. This is a $15 million competition to create Open Source software that will teach a child to read, write, and perform basic numeracy within 18 months without the aid of a teacher. (This is not designed to replace teachers, but to provide an educational solution where little or none exists.)

According to UNESCO figures, 250 million kids in the world today lack basic literacy skills. As you can imagine, this XPRIZE could have a profound impact on these kids and bringing nations out of poverty.

An important part of this XPRIZE is a crowdfunding campaign that they are running to raise an additional $500,000 that will go towards furthering the impact and success of the prize. This money will go towards additional testing of the finalist’s technologies with more kids in more villages and towns, building infrastructure to help teams collaborative effectively, growing a global community of developers, designers, advocates and more, and investing in an open technology platform for society that will live on long past the conclusion of this XPRIZE.

I believe this is a tremendously valuable XPRIZE, and I would like to personally encourage you to go and contribute what you can at http://igg.me/at/learningxprize/x – there are a range of perks that might capture your interest too.

You can also get involved in this worthy project yourself; spreading the word, creating a team, sharing your knowledge, simply by going to http://learning.xprize.org/get-involved.

We can do this, and together we can achieve even more!

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September 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment

An Anonymous Prayer

An Anonymous Prayer – Written in the 17th Century

(Such a great prayer and so fascinating how things haven’t really changed all that much over the centuries.)

Lord, thy knowest better than I know myself

that I am growing older and will someday be old.

Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say

something on every subject and, on every occasion.

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.

Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy,

With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all.

But, Thou knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind from the recitals of endless details.

Give me wings to get to the point.

Seal my lips on my aches and pains.

They are increasing and love of rehearsing them

is becoming sweeter as the time goes by.

I do not ask for Grace enough to enjoy the tales

of other’s pain but, help me endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but, for a

growing humility and a lessening cocksuredness

when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet

I do not want to be a Saint.

Some of them are so hard to live with.

But, a sour person is the works of the Devil.

Give me the ability to see good things in

unexpected places and talents in unexpected people.

And, give me, O Lord, the Grace to tell them so!

April 19, 2014 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

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Shelby L. Phillips

As an intuitive transformational messenger of hope, a communicative wife of 25 years, and an open-hearted mother of two, I take pleasure in telling good news stories, connecting people to the seven dimensions of well-being, and inspiring us to love ourselves and each other because life really is worth celebrating! Find out more about me at ShelbyPhillipsConnects.com

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