forgiveness

I know that I have mentioned this maybe even several times in the past, but I just can’t get over how powerful it is when the same information comes at me from several unrelated sources.  This always confirms for me that I am on the right track.  Lately this phenomena is happening everywhere I look and so gives me confidence that although I sometimes feel like I am dangling from a hook, struggling to find solid ground as life zooms past me, everything is happening as it should and it helps me to trust myself and allow myself to be present to the changes happening in my life.

Funny, that word changes.  In the forum they teach us to differentiate between changes and transformations.  Change is something gradual that you must apply will power and constant attention to to make it happen.  Transformation is instant, more like an immediate shift that sends you in a new direction.  These are the more powerful mechanisms for making significant differences in our lives and I have seen this in several areas of my life and now finally with my health.

I first saw this in action when I quit smoking.  We had heard of this book (The Easy Way to Stop Smoking) that supposedly could help you quit smoking with little effort or withdrawals. Now, I had been a smoker for over 15 years and had quit and started countless times. My problem was that I liked smoking, no I loved smoking.   But, I hated being a smoker.   There is a very distinct difference there that I think most smokers can relate to.

So, we had heard stories of several people who had read this book and then simply stopped smoking forever. At this point what did I have to lose, so I gave it a try. Basically the book tells it like it is, separating you from your addiction and helping you to see how it is standing in the way and certainly not serving in any way at all. But the funny thing is that it is really more about the act of reading the book than even what the book says.   At the end they have this list of questions and if you can answer yes to any of them you need to start the book over.   It took reading the book twice to get through the list, but then I put down the cigarettes and haven’t had another since and it wasn’t even hard, like at all.    My best friend even looked at me the other night and said she can no longer even imagine me as a smoker.  Amazing.

Do you need to quit? Get the Book!

The point is that it was my first introduction to the instant transformation I am talking about. It wasn’t hard to quit like it had been the many other times I had tried. It was like something shifted and I just didn’t need it any more. Quite the transformation.

Back when I was depressed and having regular debilitating panic attacks my therapist would tell me to differentiate and identify the depression and anxiety as separate from myself. “That’s the depression talking”.   It was amazing how quickly I started to feel better once I started doing this. I kept telling myself that it was just anxiety and depression and that what it was saying was not true and that I could keep going even though I thought my heart would explode out of my chest and it eventually just disappeared.  In the moment that I realized that I wasn’t the awful person my depression told me I was, it just dissipated and I started feeling better and soon I was better.

At The Forum I learned to separate my stories from my actual experiences and found forgiveness and peace with my past.

Do you see a pattern here?

Well now it has reached my battle with my weight. I was noticing last week that my whole outlook was starting to change. But this didn’t happen slowly over time with a lot of will power.   Yes, I have been thinking a lot about it and have made some changes to my diet and have obviously been working on the emotional aspects, but I was feeling really frustrated that it didn’t seem how much I worked at it, I still wanted to the sweets and junk food and couldn’t keep myself from eating it.  And I still had no desire to work out at all.

I hit my peak of frustration as I scarfed down a brownie on the way to therapy last Monday.   Two bites and I was feeling nauseous, yet I still ate the whole damn thing.  What is going on?

So I was talking to my therapist about it and she taught me how to differentiate this as well.  There is was again.  She recommended stopping when I felt these cravings and looking at them from another angle, identifying the intensity of the craving by giving it a number 1-10.   Then if you decide the number is high enough and eat the craved food, then identify how much satisfaction you got from eating it by giving it a number 1-10.

During this therapy session, something just clicked and since then I have been following her advice,  which has unfortunately taken the joy out of several sweat treats I was really looking forward to, and yet again transformation has happened.  Not perfection or magical weight loss, but a totally different outlook that seemed like it came out of nowhere.

I have been almost jonesing for exercise and food has lost its power over me. I am even down to just one Diet Coke a day, a miracle in and of itself.

It is just a craving and separate from myself.   That craving has nothing to do with my body’s need for sustenance or nutrition or even something yummy to eat — it is emotional and completely separate.

I think this is part of the message the Jon Gabriel is trying to convey to us.   Just give your body what it needs and realize that you are emotionally separate from your need to eat and your body will start asking for what it needs and giving back what you want from it.

The real test will be how this plays out over the next couple of months.  Please let the weight loss finally come.   I create this possibility for myself and for all of you too.

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Over this last week I have been noticing some subtle, yet important, changes in the way I feel. Because the emotional and self perception issues are so huge for me, I have vowed not to weigh myself or even measure myself until October. I am letting go of numbered results and concentrating on how I feel and healing myself.

Over the Memorial Day Weekend I had a big breakthrough on becoming comfortable with my body as it is.  I even stated out loud that I would be fine to stay this way forever as long as I didn’t gain any more,  a very important step according to Jon.  I have listened to the CD before going to sleep every night except one over the last two weeks and have changed the way I do the visualizations.

When I visualize the following days, I concentrate mostly on being happy.  I say “Tomorrow I am going to be happy”.  I say this several times and then I see myself doing any really important things I have to get done the next day as well as the habit I am working on right now.  Right now that is remembering to take my supplements.  I also try to fit in the love, appreciation and forgiveness visualizations that Jon describes whenever I can or is appropriate.  As I result I have been feeling a lightness around me, happier, more patient, more feelings.  I even feel more productive in a different way than usual and I find it hard to explain.

I got the idea to change the focus of my visualizations from a book I am reading right now on the 2012 prophesies (The Mystery Of 2012).   The book is a compilation of essays and book excerpts by many of the people who are studying these prophesies.   All angles are covered, everything from physics, astronomy and archaeology to spiritual and astrological perspectives.  

Although some of the articles are quite dense and others are a little far fetched, it has been really interesting to explore this time we live in as a time of significant change.  One of the essays that is about spirituality talks about being happy versus being good and how being happy and radiating unconditional love into the world (things Jon also encourages) can transform us not only as individuals but also as a global society.    Here are several quotes from the essay “Wild Love Sets Us Free” by Gill Edwards that helped me change my perspective a little and concentrate my energy more on joy and love and less on being good or bad.   I am hoping I will get a chance to read more from her.

Most of us have internalized a cold, critical, repressive inner voice…that tells us how to behave, constantly criticizes us, keeps our noses to the grindstone, and squashes or denies our true feelings…  To the extent that we give our power to this inner judge, we are tamed and locked away.  We feel trapped and disempowered…The inevitable result is anxiety, depression, physical illness, dysfunctional relationships, or a pervasive joylessness that we cannot explain. — The Mystery of 2012 p. 245

This just struck me like a brick to the head.

Whenever we split the world into good and bad, conflict and neurosis are inevitable.  Our energy becomes split or divided.  Whenever we pride ourselves on saying “no” to a cream cake, working through our lunch break, or pleasing our partner at the expense of our own feelings, we are bowing to the old cosmology.  Trying to be good stems from a dualistic way of thinking.  It is based upon judgement, or conditional love.  It fuels self-righteousness, which means someone is “in the right” and someone else is “in the wrong”–some part of self is right (the judge within) and another part is bad and wrong (our feelings, thoughts and desires).  This inner conflict will be mirrored in conflict with others.  Splitting ourselves internally leads to projecting our shadow onto others…This dynamic creates a huge proportion of the misery in the world and blocks our natural ability to love with an open heart and speak honestly without blame or defensiveness. — The Mystery of 2012 p. 248-9

She goes onto discuss how this can effect us as a whole society and even globally. Our outlook and attitude effects the world around us. Why not give love and positive creative energy to the universe rather than negative unproductive energy. Maybe if I learn to love unconditionally and be truly happy I will also be able to improve the communication in my marriage and be more patient with my kids, have more tolerance with others and less judgement bringing positivity not only to myself but to everyone I interact with.

When we aim to be happy…we give off vibrations of self-love, self-worth, and appreciation, and our relationships mirror this by becoming deeper, happier and more authentic. In other words, much of what we have been taught about “what love means”–self-sacrifice, putting others first, being loyal to others at the expense of our own feelingz or authenticity, or feeling entitlex to have others behave as we wish them to–actually leads us away from loving relationships and into the twilight prison of codependency. It leads us toward tame love, which constantly slips into toxic cycles of control and sacrifice, blame and guilt. Tame love splinters our awareness and strangles our potential. It holds us hostage… — The Mystery of 2012 p. 250-1

I started to think that creating a life that not only makes me happy, but also makes my family and friends happy and leads to living an authentic and giving life, may lie in my happiness, that I have the ability to create change and improvements by loving myself and radiating love outward.

Instead of seeing life as a harsh training school for wayward souls, or a karmic wheel from which we might eventually escape (if we are good or lucky enough), or merely a statistical accident with no inherent meaning or purpose, we instead see life as a wondrous gift. We are not here to be good or perfect. We are not here to prove ourselves worthy. We are not here to serve others (at our own expense) or to save the world. We do not have to earn or deserve love. We do not have to “behave well” or conform to external rules and expectations. In a loving universe, we can relax. We are safe. We are worthy. We are loved without condition. We are cosmic voyagers on a magnificent adventure in physical reality and…we can have, do, or be anything we wish. No limits. No strings attached… The key to doing so is unconditional love–for self, others, and the world. — The Mystery of 2012 p. 256-7

It sounds a little idealistic, even to me, but that is a world I would like to live in. A peaceful, loving, accepting world where we live together with respect and love for one another.

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