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Jesica Hanley Vega

Sing Your Song

Month

March 2013

Ever Feel Surrounded By Crazy People?

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Do you ever have one of those days when you feel like you’re surrounded by crazy people?
As if, everywhere you turn, nobody is making sense and everybody (except you) is absolutely nuts.

Yeah, me too.

But a funny thing has happened in the midst of my Emergence Process. I’ve discovered that the crazy people are actually…me.

Instead of letting them be in charge, however – which can be pretty irresistible under normal circumstances/it’s called having a tantrum  – I’ve begun inviting them into the warm and cozy embrace of my loving essential self. There, they’ve had a chance to introduce themselves and explain why it’s so important I listen to them: 

  • Wanda Worrywort: If she doesn’t  inform me of all the bad things that can – or are going to happen – they’re GOING TO HAPPEN FOR SURE.  
  • Paula Planner: As long as she can plan out how my life is going to go – and I stick to the plan – everything is going to be okay. (Wanda and Paula work together.)
  • Responsible Rachel: Her idea of responsibility is to make sure that every bill is paid, before I have any fun or do anything “irresponsible” like invest in my business.  
  • Deprived Daisy: The poor cousin of Wanda, hopeless Daisy believes everything bad has already happened and nothing good will ever happen, so I shouldn’t get my hopes up.

Now these ladies aren’t all bad, but the one thing they have in common is  a lack of trust in letting things unfold. Each local self (as Barbara Marx Hubbard calls them) thinks she’s got the answer to keeping me safe, preventing misfortune and fulfilling my desires. As long as I listen to her.

But all their chatter really does is prevent me from being present, grateful and in the flow.

It can be hard to believe that we are not the sum of the frightened voices in our heads. Yet we are all something greater – something that will not banish the crazies, but embrace them, give them their voice and let them know it IS going to be all right. 

Who are the crazy people in your head? And can you listen to them without actually listening to them?

*For a beautiful book relating one woman’s evolving relationship with her own cadre of inner crazy ladies, read Black Milk by Elif Shafak

What Would You Do If You Had The Courage?

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Every blade of grass has an angel over it that whispers “grow, grow.” – From The Talmud

More often than not,  the only thing separating my clients from what they want – be it a dream, a business, a relationship or simply a more authentic life – is courage.

So often, I’ll give a reading only to learn that I’m not saying anything the client doesn’t already know. Sometimes, they just need to have it confirmed, but at other times, they’ve come to me specifically because they’d wished it wasn’t true. Those are the clients that come to me hoping that there is some other solution to their problem than the one staring them in the face: the one which absolutely terrifies them.

Either way, ordinary people are often far wiser than they give themselves credit for. But we don’t live in a wise world and, frequently, “right action” (as the Buddhists call it) looks like a terrifying one-way ticket to loneliness, insecurity, bankruptcy or worse.

And it can be a very hard sell.

I’ve long wondered how to give my clients (and myself) the courage to take “right action” when all the evidence presented by our selves and our worlds may be telling us not to rock the boat. I’ve wondered what is it that has a person take a leap of faith into the unknown when there’s no real way of knowing it will work out?

I’ve thought that, if I had a magic wand, that’s what I would use it for.

But I don’t. Instead, I have a growing relationship with a source of inner wisdom and security (my essence) that is gently suggesting to me that – once we are connected to our true selves, our true sources of power, AND learn to maintain that connection – we have nothing to fear.

This is a kind of courage that cannot be understood by the mind. It can only be felt by the heart, the soul and that inner knowing that we too often ignore. It is a courage that derives less from a kind of daring and more from the lived experience that all the love and security I’m afraid of losing can never be lost – that it lives within and is always within reach.

And if I can love myself that much and discover a new courage through that path, I can guide others to do the same. And perhaps that will be my magic wand.

Another Shout Out to ZenHabits, This Time About Keeping Habits

Yes, I’ve started a new habit and yes, I’m having a few off days. First the little one was sick and then things got real, real BUSY (how I hate “BUSY”). But then Leo Babuta comes up with a perfectly nice reminder to just keep going.

How to Stick to a Habit When Life Falls Apart

‘If you’re going through hell, keep going.’ ~Winston Churchill

By Leo Babauta

We’d like to think that making positive life changes is a straight line from beginning to where we want to go.

But life has taught us differently.

Experience shows us that you can start a new habit (let’s say working out) and things go great for awhile, and then life gets in the way. Things get messy. Things fall apart. We have a few bad days, or a huge project to work on at work, or relationship problems, or a family crisis, or we get sick.

What do we do when life gets messy and our habits fall to the wayside? Well, give up, obviously.

Actually, I take that back. We tend to give up, because when things get in the way and we mess up on our habits, it’s a little discouraging, even depressing.

But it doesn’t have to be. There are a few things you can do instead:

  1. Breathe. Pause for a moment, breathe, focus on the breath. Know that you are OK, in this moment. Give yourself a moment’s space to think about what’s going on in your life, and who you are.
  2. Give yourself a break. If things like relationship problems get in the way of your habits, allow yourself to pause the habits until you get your life in order and let your mind rest. Rest is important. Get plenty of sleep — this is important, because when stressful things are happening in our lives, our bodies and minds need plenty of rest to heal.
  3. Know that every habit has bumps in the road. There’s never a perfectly smooth path with no bumps. Seriously, no habit goes on a perfectly straight line — at least, none that I’ve created, and none that anyone I know has created. Expect the bumps, and don’t let them end everything.
  4. Allow yourself to experience the messy. Things will always come up, life gets messy, painful things happen. That’s OK. Give yourself the space to experience the pain with the joy, the mess with the beauty.
  5. Find a friend to help you get on track. It’s great if you can do habits by yourself, but it’s even better if you can find a friend who will do it with you, or at least hold you accountable, and help you get things back on track once things clear up for you.
  6. Keep smiling!. That’s the most important thing. Smile, and you’re doing it right.

http://zenhabits.net/

Life Without Stress? Would You Even Be Willing To Try?

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Without stress – my mind has difficulty discerning when I’m “in action.”

When ease is present, I habitually judge myself as “unproductive”, “off the clock”, “ineffectual” and “passive.”

While there is surely such a thing as “slacking off”- i.e. not doing what there is to be done – it’s quite different from easily doing what needs to be done and enjoying yourself the rest of the time.

The deeper I go into the Emergence Process, I see less that needs to be done. And the more clear I become about what needs to be done in order to accomplish what really matters to me.

How often do you find yourself “busy” just for the sake of doing something?

Does something have to be “hard” to be worthwhile and are you making your life harder so you can feel better about yourself?

If you could live without stress, would you even be willing to do it? How else would you know that you were doing a good job?

 

Who Are You? Identity, Ego, Mind? (Hint: None of the Above)

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Recently, I realized how frequently I throw around the terms identity,  ego, and mind  without clarifying exactly what  I mean.  So here are some reflections inspired by my current practice with Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Emergence Process:

IDENTITY – who we know/believe ourselves to be.

Some aspects of identity are more obvious than others. On the one hand, I identify as a mother, an intuitive, and a healthy person. On the other hand, my identity often reveals hidden dimensions to which it tightly clings, such as being someone who doesn’t get manicures and  someone who rents but doesn’t own.

Whether aspects of identity are positive or negative, identity is inherently limiting when it comes to dealing with the whole range of human experience and desires.  Identity is locked in – it keeps us psychologically stable – so it struggles with emotional and personal incongruities as well as sudden or extreme changes in circumstances.

EGO the psychological construct motivated to protect our physical body as well as our identity.

Egos are generally thought of as self-important or inflated, but an ego is equally invested in confirming the negative facets of a person’s identity as in the positive . When I look at another intuitive and think “I’m better than she is”, that’s my ego. But it’s also my ego when I think: “I’ll never be as successful as she is.” Whenever judging and evaluation is going on – in relation to others or to an internal standard – you can be assured that’s your ego.

MIND – the voice for the ego and the identity.

The mind is preoccupied with strategy and time. Voicing the concerns of my ego, it will tell me I need to do a better job, hurry up or make more money in a language uniquely my own. Similarly, it produces endless ideas to enhance my business, improve my children’s lives, and work on my marriage. Simply put, the mind provides incessant chatter all day long.

And yet, through practices such as mindfulness, one-pointed meditation, or Hubbard’s Emergence process, the mind can be trained to be more of a useful servant and less of an anxiety-producing, slave-driving taskmaster.

To be able to engage in the Emergence process, I’ve had to call on my personal experience that there is  more to my existence than identity/ego/mind .  And I’ve had to call on new reserves of courage to consider that not only am I NOT my identity/ego/mind, but that I have to let go of their safe, familiar and stabilizing influences in order to experience real transformation and evolution – in order to experience who I really am.

Do you know yourself to be someone beyond identity, ego or mind? Who would that be?

The Most Fundamental Habit (from Zenhabits)

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Here it is, my first ever repost!

I LOVE Zenhabits, and hope you do too. This post is  called “Meditation: The Most Fundamental Habit” and it’s by Leo Babuta.

‘ To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem.
To meditate means to observe.’
~Thich Nhat Hanh

It’s no secret that I advocate meditation as a great way to start your day, deal with stress, live in the present and more.

But what many people don’t realize is that meditation is perhaps the most important habit if you want to change other habits…

(continue reading on zenhabits.com)

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