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.”

TheMindNeedsToBeWorkedWithFirst_ReachingForOrange_StarFireTeja

 

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Half-Way Through 2019: Goals Review Time!

Hello Dear Readers!

Can you even believe that we are already half-way through this year? And how is it going with the goals you set for 2019?

On January 1st, I set these goals for the New Year:

To be Happy, Healthy, Holy, Hopeful, and Helpful.

I actually did not try to make them all begin with the letter “H”… Those goals just came to me spontaneously, in that order, and they all just happened to begin with H… So here is my check-in about how my goals are going:

Happy: As the image with this post says, “I ❤ Happiness.” Years ago I bought a bunch of organic bananas that had a little oval sticker with that quote. I still have that tiny sticker, but it is too small to photograph, so I made this image… I recently suggested to WordPress that they include the featured photo in the emails, but since that isn’t happening yet, I’m attaching the image here again for those who are viewing this post by email…

IHeartHappiness_StarFireTeja

Anyhow, I would say that overall I am feeling much happier in 2019. It is a choice to be happy, and I definitely choose happiness… AND I do practices to keep happy-ing up, and when those practices are effective I write about them in blog posts and books to help you happy up also!

Healthy: Well, physically I look very healthy, and I do eat an organic, whole foods plant-based, gluten-free diet, as well as exercise and take care of my health on all levels… AND, for decades I have dealt with many strange ailments and aches and pains that come and go and move around. My symptoms lately seem like perhaps a Fibromyalgia flare-up, so soon I will be finding a new doctor to get evaluated… Thankfully, all of the practices that I do to happy up also help me to manage my emotional reactions to not feeling well physically. And, fortunately I have good days as well as bad days, so I am very grateful for the good days!

Holy: For many years on my spiritual journey, I straddled two worlds… In one world I wanted to be a nun, and in the other world I wanted to find prince charming. (Please read my favorite blog post ever about how I no longer have that desire for a partner: “Into the Fire.”) Now that I am just living in the one world as a nun, married to God and the Spiritual Life, I am relieved to no longer be searching for an earthly guy… AND, I’m still learning a lot about desires and attachments in the earthly realm! Just because I freed myself of one desire, did not mean that I freed myself of all desires! So even though I am doing many daily spiritual practices, I would not describe myself as being entirely pure and holy. I am doing my best and I am always challenging myself to grow more!

Hopeful: Recently I discovered a new hero, Thich Nhat Hanh, and I read his awesome book, Peace is Every Step, which I will be reviewing in a blog post soon. In that book he talks about how hope is necessary when we are having a hard time because it helps us to get through the difficulties… but then once we get through the challenges, hope is not enough for true happiness, because hope is for the future, whereas happiness is to be found in the present moment. That really resonated as truth for me, and I reflected on how I had set “Hopeful” as one of my 2019 goals because I was still living in what I call my decade of hardships (which began in March, 2009)… And so the first few months of 2019 I was struggling to keep hope alive in my mind and heart… But thankfully, in the past few months there has been a shift into feeling hopeful most of the time… So I think I can check this one off, and move on to living in the happy present moment!

Helpful: Due to the health issues mentioned above, I am not able to do all that I would like to do in terms of helping others… But, I am proud to say that this year I trained with a local hospice and I have been going out to visit with dying patients and their families. And I have been posting helpful blog articles… And I am getting ready to publish my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. (For more information, please read “Double Coffee Days Ahead.”)… So, I am being helpful in the ways that I can…

Thank you for reading my 2019 Goals Review!

How about you… How is it going with your goals for the year?

 

Happy Half-Way Through 2019 to Everyone!

 

 

Shifting Focus and Starting Fresh

I love a fresh new month, don’t you?!

Today I awoke to the sound of birds singing in the fresh morning air, with a bright blue sky and sunshine! I felt so much delight as I turned the calendar to June! Holy Coconut Shells and Holy Cow Bells, I am feeling very optimistic about this new month…

Yesterday I really enjoyed reviewing the month of May in my journal and calendar. It was a very fruitful practice in which I gained clarity about my goals and keywords for the month of June. The primary keyword for me this month is Renewal, and there are four points to my renewal focus:

1. Shifting Focus ~ In June I will shift my focus to primarily working on the next book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life… Thus, I will only be blogging occasionally. To learn more about my next book, please read “Double Coffee Days Ahead.”

2. Starting Fresh ~ This month I intend to rise up to a new level of letting go of past hurts and starting fresh in my relationships.

3. Reaching for Orange ~ For more than fifteen years I have been doing daily spiritual practices to reach the Happy Orange place inside. In my new book you will learn much more about reaching your Happy Orange place inside! ~ This month I intend to deepen my connection with the Divine through doing even more daily practices than usual.

4. Happy-ing Up ~ I choose to be happy, no matter what physical or emotional pains may be passing through my system. This month I really intend to keep that choice front and center as much as possible!

Thank you for witnessing my June keywords and intentions. Please share your June intentions down in the comments below, and I will send you daily energies to help you achieve your goals.

Since I will only be blogging occasionally in June, if you are new to the StarFire Teja Blog, you will have time to get caught up on reading previous posts… And, if you have already read all the posts (thank you!), perhaps you will enjoy reviewing some of the previous posts. Here is a list of my favorite fifteen posts from the past five months of blogging ~

~ “Into the Fire”

~ “Radiance and Darkness”

~ “What Does the Word Magic Mean to You?”

~ “StarFire Teja’s StarFire Friday Prayer: May You Feel Loved”

~ “StarFire Teja’s StarFire Friday Prayer: Keep Feeling Fascination”

~ “StarFire Teja’s StarFire Friday Prayer: May You Feel Held By Something Greater”

~ “The Power of Intention is StarFire Awesome!”

~ “Sauerkraut is the New Yogurt… Or the New Apple”

~ “StarFire Teja’s StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Embrace Change”

~ “Children Play With Earth”

~ “Create and Live Your Unique Biography”

~ “I wish…”

~ “My Dream Vacay in Sedona, Arizona”

~ “Orange you Happy?”

~ “Which Tribe Do You Belong To?”

 

Thank you so much for reading the StarFire Teja Blog!

Happy June to All! 🙂

 

 

 

StarFire Teja’s Mission Video

Dear readers, a few days ago I posted a blog with my mission statement in preparation for making a video. Well I made that video today… What I do not have (yet) in terms of high quality production and technical savvy, I pray that I make up for with the goodness of my heart and the sincerity of my intentions.

 

StarFire Teja’s Mission Video

 

May You Be Blessed By the Forces of Goodness.
May your February be Fabulous!

In Fabulous February I’ll be posting blog articles here
on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Happy Up by choosing to be happy!

 

 

Background image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

StarFire Teja’s Three Super Simple Spiritual Practices

The following practices are so simple that you can do them throughout the day: when you are waiting at a stoplight or waiting in line somewhere, or when you are using the toilet or washing your hands. It helps if you decide in advance when you are going to do these practices. For example, you might plan to do the first practice each time you have to wait and the second practice every time you wash your hands. You could also decide to do them when you are lying in bed, right before you fall asleep at night, or when you first wake up in the morning.

Super Simple Spiritual Practices You Can Do Throughout the Day:

1. Choose to be happy. ~ This one I keep repeating because it is so important. We 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. We really can decide to be happy. This doesn’t usually 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: every time you have to stop at a red light (or some other time you have to wait), think to yourself, “I am choosing to be happy.”

2. Mantras, affirmations, blessings. ~ Take some time to write out a few phrases that you want to focus on throughout the day, and then decide when you will think them to yourself. For example, you might decide that you want to silently bless each person you meet, so you could write a blessing, such as “May your life be blessed with goodness” and then throughout the day, as you meet people, you could silently think towards them, “May your life be blessed with goodness.” For another example, if you are feeling some depression, you might write an affirmation such as, “Every day in every way I am feeling better and better,” and then you could intend to think that affirmation to yourself each time you wash your hands (or some similar activity).

3. Cultivate a celebratory mindset. ~ Most people enjoy celebrations. When we celebrate our birthdays and other holidays it is as if we go out of ordinary time and into magical time. For this reason we look forward to celebrations and then feel a bit deflated when they’re over. So why not cultivate a celebratory mindset on a regular basis? Throughout the day, at previously decided times, think to yourself, “What can I celebrate about myself or my life in this moment?” Whatever comes to you, take a few seconds to visualize it surrounded by bright balloons, banners, and colorful lights. Remember that 1980 song “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang? That oldie-but-goodie sparks joy for sure! Enjoy it here: Celebrate Good Times, C’mon!

May All Beings Be Happy!
May Your Life Be Blessed With Goodness.