September Slow Down

“You’re going to live to be a colorful old bird,” my beloved teacher David told me more than a decade ago. Those words resonated because I was born in a Chinese year of the rooster, and also because I love birds…

Thinking of myself as a colorful bird now, I can’t say that longevity feels like a blessing. While my wings are not broken, they are certainly not functioning properly. There is a huge gap between how I feel and how I would like to feel, and thus between what I can do and what I would like to do.

On March 10th I shared my future self visualization in the post “Your Future Self: A Visualization Practice.” I read that visualization out loud daily until just a few days ago when I realized that my “plans” and “goals” and “intentions” are not happening the way I imagined and desired, due to ongoing health issues.

As I shared in my post “Reaching for Orange to Calm Your Mind,” I was hoping for a diagnosis that would help me to better understand this body, so I went to see a new doctor. Well, I love my new doctor – she is really wonderful, and… she is referring me to a rheumatologist for the not-so-wonderful diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

That diagnosis was not a surprise, because I had it in the past, but then I did a hypnosis program on myself and I was basically symptom-free for almost 3.5 years… Or was I?

Dear reader, have you ever suddenly realized that the stories you have been telling yourself and others may not have been true? Perhaps you just wanted them to be true? Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling of realizing that you need to face reality more honestly? If you answered yes to these questions, then maybe you will relate to what I’m about to share…

Sometimes a crisis, health or otherwise, functions like a truth serum. I am suddenly faced with taking an honest look at areas in which I have been in denial, such as denying how much anxiety I have, and denying how much impaired concentration I experience daily.

In doing this reality check, I am also wondering if I am really 97-98% healed of the trauma I experienced (as I shared in my post “The Helper Who Helps the Helpers”), or do I just want to be at that level of healed?

And so now I am even questioning if I really was Fibromyalgia-Free for almost 3.5 years as I claimed, or did I just want to be free of it? (Thankfully I did not publish the book I wrote about how I had healed myself from it!) Certainly I still continued to experience many symptoms and sensitivities during that time.

Sometimes we project out what we want to be true, rather than what is actually true. Have you experienced that?

Yesterday I did my month’s end review of my journal and calendar, and reflected upon the keywords I had set for August: Humility, Patience, and Peace… Well! Be careful what you ask for! I am certainly humbled by feeling sick for three weeks and having all my plans fall apart. As for patience, well, it just seems irrelevant to me now! All the striving and worrying and setting goals required patience, but now that I have no idea what is ahead, I don’t really even need patience. What will be will be, at the right time. I have lost all sense of control, so there’s nothing to be patient about. As for peace, I am feeling the peace (in moments) that naturally comes with being humble… so I guess my August prayers were answered, but not in ways I would have wanted or guessed.

So, dear reader, I am facing the reality I am in, and surrendering to my fate… and to my stars… Thus, my September keywords have arisen from the fog of this fibro flare: Slow down, Calm down, Enjoy the small things, Smile, and Cultivate a Sense of Humor.

My main intention is for September to be a slow down month for the StarFire Teja Blog, and in general.

I’ll end this post with a sweet little quote from Mother Teresa: “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

Thank you for reading!

What are your keywords for September?

 

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Rooster photo by Robert Baker on Unsplash.

 

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The Mind Needs to Be Worked With First

To open the heart, first calm and happy the mind.

Some people say that first you have to open the heart, but after many years of studying this, I have come to understand that the mind needs to be worked with first, and then the heart naturally opens.

The human species has reached a state in which the human mind has become quite dense. Many people’s minds are tangled up by the anxieties and traumas of this fast-paced world. So, sitting and focusing on opening the heart may feel soothing temporarily, but it won’t be lasting unless the mind is calmed first.

When you work with your mind, calming it down and happy-ing it up, then your heart opens naturally, and you can relax into the sweetness in your heart.

Choosing to be happy is the first practice listed in my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. Here is that practice:

Choosing to be happy ~ You really can choose to be happy. Per the Upanishads (a collection of wisdom by the ancient mystics of India), the mind is the means to happiness. You really can decide to be happy. This doesn’t necessarily happen immediately, but if you regularly tell yourself that you are choosing to be happy, then over time it will become true for you. So to apply this in your daily life, try this: anytime you have to wait in line or at a red light, think to yourself, “I am choosing to be happy.”

Focusing on calming your mind down, and also happy-ing it up, will open your heart, and then you will feel overwhelming love for everything and everyone!

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

If you haven’t already, please read my previous post, “23 Possible Benefits You May Gain Through Reading Reaching for Orange.”

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Reaching for Orange to Calm Your Mind

Dear readers, yesterday was yet another bad day in the body. I used to have a more balanced mix of good days and bad days, but lately I’ve had quite the run of bad days, making me ask the question, “Did I not appreciate the good days enough when I had them?” But I did appreciate them, so much. In fact, right before this run of bad days began, I had very gratefully enjoyed so many good days that I almost couldn’t remember what the bad days were like…

I guess I needed a reminder… Geesh!

Anyhow, yesterday was not good, and my mind was beginning to get a little anxious about it… As anyone with chronic health issues knows, it is an ongoing struggle to maintain positivity when the body doesn’t feel well… And once the mind begins reacting negatively, difficult emotions flow from the negative thoughts… So, yesterday when that began happening, I took out my new book, Reaching for Orange, and spent the day reading it cover to cover! (“Spiritual helper, help thyself!”)

Reading Reaching for Orange helped me to happy up, just as the subtitle promises! I have read this book many times, and this time I especially enjoyed the Blessings section. I read all of the blessings out loud, and I felt calmed, soothed, and elevated as I allowed myself to deeply receive all of those blessings.

“Blessings can be vibrant transmissions of living consciousness.” ~ Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life.

If you regularly read my blog posts, then you know that I post blessings for you on Fridays… Tomorrow I will share a few blessings from Reaching for Orange, from the section of blessings to help with depression. Whether or not you feel depressed, you can enjoy tomorrow’s uplifting blessings.

Unfortunately today is worse than yesterday, so thankfully this afternoon I am going to see my new doctor. I am hoping for a diagnosis that will help me to better understand this body. If you feel inspired to send me some good thoughts, healing energies, blessings, prayers, magical mojo, or whatnot, I will gratefully receive them!

Thank you so much for reading this post.
May you feel great love in your whole being!

With gratitude and trust in the mysteries,
Teja

 

A Tool for Chronic Pain and Anxiety: Focus On Your Feet

Are you dealing with chronic pain or anxiety? If you experience pain on any level (physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual), or if you struggle with anxiety, you can try this simple tool and see if it helps:

Focus on your feet.

The feet are the farthest away from the brain, and the brain is what perceives pain and creates anxiety… So, bringing your awareness down to your feet can really calm your mind and soothe your nerves.

Anytime you feel pain or anxiety increasing, think to yourself (or say out loud), “Focus on my feet.” Bring your full awareness down to your feet and notice how your feet feel… Imagine breathing in and out of your feet… Imagine that your feet are becoming very warm and very heavy… Feel the soles of your feet and imagine that they are glowing in a bright golden light… Notice any changing sensations in your feet as you focus on them…

The nice thing about this tool is you can use it anytime, anywhere. You can focus on your feet during a stressful business meeting, or while standing in the grocery line, or while driving. Anytime you feel hyped up, during the day or the night, you can simply focus on your feet.

I hope this tool is helpful to you or to someone you love. Please share your experiences in the comments below.

Please note: If you have pain in your feet, then you will probably wish to focus on your hands or belly instead of your feet.

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo* of Teja’s feet taken on a barefoot hike last Easter Sunday in Audubon Woods, Henderson, Kentucky. It was my first barefoot hike of the year, and unfortunately the last… I did go barefoot in the yard for another month or so, but before I could get out on another hike, the season turned to muggy and buggy, so now I have to wait on barefoot hiking until the Fall!

* If you are viewing this post in an email, I am so sorry that WordPress doesn’t share the featured photos with the email posts… But, you can click on the title of the article above, and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog where you can see my happy bare feet!

 

23 Possible Benefits You May Gain Through Reading Reaching for Orange

Hello Good People!

Welcome to Day 2 of my Virtual Book Launch Week! In this post I will share 23 possible benefits you may gain through reading my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life

“Reap the benefits of Sister Teja’s many years of daily practices, in-depth studies, and expensive workshops, in the comfort of wherever you are, for only ten dollars!”

This book is all about you. Throughout the pages, you will be guided to explore your inner being, through questions and writing exercises. The book even ends, after the typical “About the Author” section, with a section entitled “About You” in which you are invited to create your own biography.

When you read Reaching for Orange, you will learn tools to help you ~

~ relieve stress and anxiety.

~ manage work stress.

~ recover from burnout.

~ navigate difficult emotions.

~ dissolve heaviness on any level.

~ work effectively with anger.

~ ease loneliness, depression, and despair.

~ release traumas that you have absorbed from others.

~ reduce chronic pain, on any level (physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual).

~ face death and dying more openly.

~ find comfort, peace, and protection during times of grief.

~ contact the Divine Source of healing energies within you.

~ replenish yourself on every level.

~ clear out the energies of others, and strengthen your energy field.

~ balance your chakras (energy centers).

~ feel more grounded and centered.

~ connect more deeply with others, with the Earth, with all the creatures, and with yourself.

~ cultivate greater awareness of who you truly are.

~ appreciate any sensitivities you may have.

~ expand your mind and heart.

~ increase feelings of self-love, acceptance, gratitude, forgiveness, compassion, positivity, creativity, humility, and trust.

~ vision your future self.

~ Happy Up your life!

 

I am really looking forward to hearing about your experiences with this book, Reaching for Orange, available now on Lulu

May a radiant orange light of peace surround you and bless your entire being!

May you feel happier and happier, every day, in every way.

 

Photo* of orange flowers by Sue Hughes on Unsplash.

* If you are viewing this post in an email, simply click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog where you can see the pretty orange flowers!