The Bird who watches the bird eating the fruits

“Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes. The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his glory, he grieves no more.” ~ The Upanishads: Breath of Eternal Life, translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester.

The ancient sages and mystics of India said the same thing that Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within.” One way to connect with the Divine inside you is to practice cultivating the Witness.

Cultivating the Witness Consciousness means attuning with the Bird who is watching the bird eating the fruits, which is to say aligning with your deepest self and observing all of your thoughts, words, feelings, and actions. Creating and nurturing this connection, between your deeper witnessing mind and your surface acting mind, can help you to feel more peaceful, loving, and kind towards yourself. The Bird who is watching the bird is like a compassionate friend who is always with you, showing you the truth of how things are with neutrality and wisdom.

Cultivating the Witness is a practice you can do anytime, anywhere by just simply stating the observable facts to yourself. For example, if you are waiting in line at the grocery store, you can witness your thoughts and feelings, and then think to yourself, “Some impatience and irritability are passing through me.” Once you witness what’s happening, then you can work with it skillfully by deciding to focus on gratitude, or to say a prayer, or to send blessings for goodness to all of the other people waiting in line. In this way, your deeper observer self can help your cranky surface self to transmute the frustration into loving kindness. So, cultivating the Witness is a great tool for working with difficult emotions.

In the tree of your life, can you see the Bird who is watching the bird eating the fruits? Do you take time to nourish a loving connection between these two birds?

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Photo of birds and blossoms by Zane Lee on Unsplash.

 

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!

 

The Helper Who Helps the Helpers

What are your roles now? Have your roles changed much throughout your life?

For some people, their roles are clear and set, such as a man who is a husband, father, and salesman for fifty years, and then he is still a husband and father when he becomes a retired salesman and grandfather.

For other people, their roles are unclear and ever changing. Take me for example! In this post I will share about my experiences with roles, and I invite you to share about yours in the comments below.

Beyond my steady roles in relationships, such as daughter, sister, sister-in-law, mother, former wife, aunt, and friend, my roles out in the working world have been unclear and ever changing. If you read my biography (on the About Page, or in the “About the Author” section of my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life), you will see that I have trained in many areas… And for many years I wanted to get a masters degree in social work or mental health therapy, but that didn’t happen. For a long time I felt drawn to working with prisoners, veterans, and other highly traumatized populations.

But then I experienced trauma myself.

I had learned all about PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) in theory, but to feel it in my own mind and body was earth-shattering and rocked my entire world. Now that the dust has settled, and I am 97-98% healed from the trauma, I am re-evaluating my roles once again.

I no longer feel drawn to work with traumatized groups. I feel that I need to protect the 2-3% of trauma still remaining in my system. The counselor who I worked with told me that typically 2% of trauma remains even after a person has healed, because the trauma will always be a part of the person.

Some people, who are probably not HSPs (Highly Sensitive Persons) like me, do their own healing and then are able to jump right in and help others who have been through similar traumas. But I don’t know if I will ever be able to work directly with traumatized people… So, I am beginning to think that perhaps one of my roles as a spiritual helper is to support other people who are willing and able to work directly with traumatized people. Maybe I will be the helper who helps the helpers!

Do you work with traumatized people? If so, I bow to you for doing that difficult and important work. Do you sometimes feel like you take in the trauma energies of those you work with? Do you ever feel overwhelmed and need a sanctuary in which to nourish yourself? If so, you are among some of the people who will benefit the most from reading my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life. (Please also see my post, “23 Possible Benefits You May Gain Through Reading Reaching for Orange.”)

My current roles beyond relationships are blogger, author, and hospice volunteer. Visiting with dying patients and their families is very rewarding. I enjoy offering spiritual support, and I am not afraid of helping others work with their difficult emotions. I especially love helping others to relax with guided imagery tools.

What are your current roles in life?

 

Orange flower photo by MabelAmber on Pixabay.

 

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!

 

What to Do with Difficult Emotions When You Cannot Stop to Tend to Them

Dear readers, today’s post is a follow-up to my blessing on Friday, “May You Be Willing to Do the Work When the Work Shows Up,” in which I wrote about facing your juicy triggers when they arise. That post was oriented towards weekend time, when you have more flexibility to change your plans…

But what do you do when those difficult emotions arise when you have to work or you have an appointment that cannot be rescheduled? I will share a few tips here, and I would love to hear other strategies that work for you…

When you cannot stop to tend to difficult emotions, it is helpful to cultivate the witness consciousness. Harness the observer part of you, and say to yourself, “I see there is a difficult emotion passing through me now.” Take a moment to acknowledge that you do not have time (yet) to address the emotion… Then have your neutral witness part assure the upset part that you will tend to it just as soon as you can…

Another tip is to take short breaks from your obligations in order to have power cries. You know, like a power snack or a power nap, only it is a power cry… Crying, even for a short time, can really help you to let off some steam and to relieve some pressure from those sweet little emotions that you don’t have time (yet) to process… I did this myself many years ago when I was brokenhearted after a relationship ended: during the day at work, I cried hard for 1-2 minutes during each restroom break, and then I returned to my desk smiling…

What do you do when you cannot stop to tend to difficult emotions?

 

Orange tree photo from Free-Photos on Pixabay.