Embrace Your Inner Pirate!

by Cheryl Brewster

Who’s your most powerful muse?

We have “invisible support”  to call on, especially when life seems challenging. One of my favorite invisible muses is my “Inner Pirate.”  Its adventurous spirit embodies both courage and integrity to do the right thing, especially in uncertainty or difficulty. As a result, life is far more fulfilling, because daring leads to greater rewards.

The archetype of the pirate represents the transformation from the egoic, push at all costs to get what you need. As such, it’s stressful approach is replaced with one that is more discerning, empowered and effective. Like the midas touch, it transforms what is common to pure gold; the mundane of conformity becomes infused with creativity and innovation.

The Good Pirate, like a gold miner, digs down inside to create FROM its inner treasure chest of creativity and innovation. There’s something special that emerges… that authenticity that feels so good for you, and is so compelling to others. It’s what defines your uniqueness, and makes you stand out as the go to, or expert in your field.

Embracing our Inner Playful Pirate is FUN and engaging! It helps us take ourselves less seriously, to trust that even mistakes can work to our benefit and reminds us that us that life even with all of its ups and downs is still a place where IMAGINATION creates instant thriving… where life can become enjoyable again even when things are hard.

Are you being a Good Pirate today?

Are you standing up for what’s right and good in your life and having the courage to reclaim the “Sovereignty of Your Soul from mediocrity or past harmful conditioning? The Joy of Life encompasses both happiness and sorrow. The power of the Good Pirate ensures that sorrow is treated with respect, so that we learn from it, to create strength from sadness and grace from grief. The Good Pirate reclaims the treasure inside and reminds us that we can trust ourselves, and that we can trust life.  Let us stand together in re-committing today and everyday to what’s most important… valuing the treasures of learning inside ourselves and expanding them.

Here’s a good example of being a good pirate in business:
The Steve Jobs speech that made Silicon Valley obsessed with pirates!
“It’s better to be a pirate than join the navy.” – Steve Jobs. For Apple, this wasn’t about treasure maps and eyepatches. “Being a pirate meant moving fast, unencumbered by bureaucracy and politics,” said software engineer Andy Hertzfeld. “It meant being audacious and courageous, willing to take considerable risks for greater rewards.” Read more here.

Your Inner Pirate will always invoke courage:

  • Take time to play! Use your imagination to expand your ability to enjoy life more
  • The more relaxed your are, the less stress can play havoc –
  • Contemplate what inspires you, gives you joy, makes you feel good inside
  • Recall past happy memories and peak states and breathe them into your core
  • Confront conformity and expand capability
  • Practice the power of the pause, take time out to rest, reflect and recharge
  • Practice essentialism: ONLY do what brings true value to your life and drop the rest
  • Break some rules! Big or small, you know what you’ve been avoiding and REALLY wanting to do
  • Embody the best possible outcome in building revenue BEFORE you make those sales calls!
  • The same goes with communication and planning – be willing to do things DIFFERENTLY

Set sail on new adventures in your life where simplicity replaces complicated and patience for the journey replaces the pressure of “have to” rather than want to.

 

 

 

 

 

Joy is not the absence of pain, it’s the sacred acceptance of it

by Cheryl Brewster

Like you, I’ve experienced a lot of joy in my life, and a lot of pain. I recognize that both are integral dance partners, challenging assumptions and perceptions of reality.

JOY in my experience is the ever-present, inner quality of the soul, always in the background, and yet often expressing itself spontaneously and with great love. In fact I would say it’s one of the highest forms of love. And nothing is more comforting than knowing whatever befalls us, whatever conflict is gurgling inside of us, love prevails. When love prevails, joy does too. It’s an immutable law of the universe.

Which is why I’m so big on JOY. It’s fear’s faithful companion in the Hero’s Journey; the call to the Soul to express its true nature. By embracing what’s NOT working with kindness rather than with judgment, JOY looks for what is possible, opens dimensions of consciousness for fresh insight and new that solutions expand soul growth and greater effectiveness in life.

JOY means you’re true to the “real you” inside. The one that you’ll always be in discovery of. The one that lives in integrity with the law of nature, at one with itself and the universe.

JOY is always possible because it takes conflict and uses it to evolve consciousness.

There’s nothing more rewarding than that! No matter what’s going on, as we surrender to this inner quality inside, we make peace with our inner dragons and begin to tame them. That’s my definition of J.O.Y. – Just Open Yourself to this exquisite power inside. The sooner the better, for as the Course in Miracles reminds us:

Peace is our only goal and forgiveness is our only function.

Joy is not the fluffy stuff of unicorns and rainbows. It’s not surface. It’s deep. It’s strong because it’s emerged from transcending the sorrows of life. It knows that day always follow the night, so it trusts the light even when it can’t be seen. That’s joy. That’s the culmination of a deep, solid decision to trust life and be willing to continually face uncertainty with courage, grace, commitment and eventually, a sense of adventure.

Joy is the willingness to keep growing.
It’s the decision to embrace Beginner’s Mind, to cast ego pride aside, admit uncertainty and keep going anyway, learning how to walk in the new world with baby steps that include vulnerability, asking for help, many falls, scrapes and the infinite call to patience. Joy is knowing we are multi-dimensional, that everything really is okay, even when the ego insists it’s not. Joy is mindfulness, presence, and power rather than force.

In Stoicism, the Ancient Greek philosophy that emphasizes self-control, happiness or joy is defined as “eudaimonia” which means human flourishing and consists of the  growth, authenticity, meaning, and excellence. I’d say my definition of Joy is the same, it’s just a whole lot easier to spell . Like Stoicism, and speaks to the true nature of authenticity and the our evolution of expanding integrity and virtue of character. This is where joy and pain intersect. We’ll keep finding parts of ourselves that need to be surrendered to reveal the deeper authenticity within. I believe we do this best using joy – we will find all kinds of things that need to change, but joy’s response will be purposeful because it’s one of evolution. First we do things from love, then through love, then AS love. Joy identifies and releases patterns that don’t work, that keep us stuck in guilt or paralysis and makes healing possible.

Joy befriends the guilt. It provides safe passage for the pain to flow through. It is more interested in growth than being right. It’s not argumentative nor a perfectionist. Metaphorically, it likes to play in the dirt, in the imagination of mud pies that call to us when we take life too seriously.

So, the next time you find yourself wondering what happened to your joy. Know that it will come back. It didn’t go away, it’s still there, always in the background; you’ve just got some emotional processing to do. Painful emotions are a sign of growth and the reward is truly worth the effort. That’s why joy is not the absence of sorrow, it’s the sacred acceptance of it.

In the immortal words of poet William Blake, we find the seeds of resilience and true prosperity in this force of love called JOY:

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine,
Under every grief and pine,
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so,
We were made for joy and woe,
And when this we rightly know,
Through the world we safely go.

 

Get Back Up Again! You Can Do It!

by Cheryl Brewster

Do you need an attitude adjustment? I know I often do. Despite all the times I’ve triumphantly faced fear in the past, an alarm bell still rudely announces a comfort zone.

You too?!

Doesn’t it feel good to know that you’re not alone? As you face your fears, take comfort because you’ve been willing to grow. Growth is more important than fear, and yet if there’s an upside to fear, it’s good at making us review our choices. In the War of Art, Steven Pressfield inspires us from his experience: “Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do… the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

I’ve come to recognize that the fear and pain in confronting a comfort zone is most often the pain of “not” doing it. When I channel that pain, I bust through. It’s hard, gritty work, this busting through… as Carl Jung said, “there’s no coming to consciousness without pain.” As I continue to grow, exciting things happen – the more I accept what I don’t like, the more power I have to move through it… it’s ironic how all that fear really isn’t the evil monster it appears to be… fear is simply energy with the impurity of judgement being pulled out of it so it can be used productively.

What’s the One Thing You Can Control?
This one thing I’ve learned is that it doesn’t really matter how much fear I’m experiencing… what’s more important in determining an effective outcome, is my “attitude” about the fear.  Sometimes I feel the fear and do it anyway, and sometimes I don’t… it can feel bigger than me. But my attitude? Absolutely, that’s totally in my control and it’s a good wake-up call to review it regularly.

So take heart… some days we are brilliant at life. In others, we feel like we’re in a bad movie and can’t get out. It’s okay! We’re growing! The world can feel a bit (or a lot) surreal in the depth of these changes. Just remember this one thing…. as overstated and simplistic as it sounds, I don’t think we should ever get tired of appreciating that… attitude truly is everything! Attitude can be seen as an oracle; it will predict our future. Accurately. Every time. Hence, the importance of “deep listening to Source, and the courage to take time out, to pause, reflect and give ourselves the time and space to think. That’s part of “attitudinal healing.”

Attitude is defined as “a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person’s behavior.” When I judge fear I shutdown, I close my heart. And when I close my heart, I stop creating, and when I stop creating, I lose my joy. And life is just way too precious to do that! So that’s where forgiveness comes in; recognizing where my attitude needs to change. Forgiveness breaks the cycle.  It brings light to the darkness and dispels the shadow that can become so thick, it dams the joy of life. I’ve come to call this harmful aspect of ego the “inner KGB” – an acronym for “Killer Gremlin Brutality”  gone overboard. If not caught, it becomes devastating.

As Michael Singer so aptly describes in his book The Untethered Soul, “right now, many fragmented parts of your psyche are held within you. If you want to be free, it all has to be equally exposed to your awareness and released.”  He describes how when a blockage gets hit, “it’s a good thing – it’s time to open up internally and release the blocked energy.”

What’s the One Thing You Can Do?
“If you fall along the way, just get up and forget it. Use the lesson to strengthen your resolve. Let go right then. Do not rationalize, blame or try to figure it out. Don’t do anything. Just let go immediately and allow the energy to go back to the highest centre of consciousness it can achieve. If you feel shame, let it go. If you feel fear, let it go. All of these are the remnants of the blocked energy that is finally being purified…. the whole process is very exciting, and you will have good times and bad times. All sorts of things will happen. That’s the fun of the journey.”

Where are you on your journey of life and business? Prosperity has many forms, but its key common denominator, is peace of mind. May you continue to grow, be brave, get back up again when it’s hard and celebrate your successes even in the lean times. Gratitude, like attitude is everything. Keep on keeping on… your intuition will always show you the way.

  • An entrepreneur’s forgiveness prayer…. for all the things that I should’ve, could’ve done, I forgive myself, so I can get up and do what I need to do and not feel bad about it… but instead, be excited about it!
  • A mother’s forgiveness prayer…. for not being able to do the impossible, I forgive myself, and resolve to be clear on what I can do and let that be enough
  • A creative’s forgiveness prayer… for how hard I’ve worked to suppress my talent, I forgive myself
  • A world prayer… for how I judged and didn’t see, the beauty that was inside of me…. may I be at peace and be happy, may all beings be at peace and be happy

If you enjoyed this blog, please share! Cheryl Brewster is a contributing author to pursuit:365,  a business intuitive, coach and speaker, supporting entrepreneurs and organizations with big vision to define, create and deliver the greatest value in the marketplace, as effortlessly as possible. Check her website for upcoming events or to book a complimentary 15 min discovery call/intuitive session, book here.

High Vibes for Hard Times

by Cheryl Brewster

Make no mistake – you were groomed for times like these… if you weren’t, you wouldn’t be here at this precise moment in history, or be drawn to reading the words that follow. High Vibes for Hard Times isn’t just a fanciful thought… it’s a way of life and Viktor Frankl, whose words appear to the left are living proof. He, who survived concentration camps in WWII because he had a bigger why to live for… his high vibes resulted in an epic demonstration of the power of these tools, that we can follow.

Your most important asset is your attitude… will it be based on the intuitive, solid, un-shakeable knowingness within or will it be based on the past habits of limiting beliefs and conditioning? You will know by how you feel.

Feelings are a barometer; they reveal what’s really going on both consciously and sub-consciously. Perhaps a fear virus has been in you long before the pandemic hit. As metaphor, the Corona Virus invites us to step up… to be the thought leaders and visionaries we were born to be; to drop the malaise or programming that kept us from living and contributing our fullest potential. The virus put us all on an even playing field; none of us has been exempt from its affects. Rich or poor, unemployed or not each one of us has a deliberate choice to make – to responsibly contribute to humanity through our own evolution. To bring help, healing, connection to family and work environments is an individual choice, with massive impact. We need healthier, kinder, more synergistic ways of living and being. The quality of your life is the proof.

The virus forced us to slow down. It’s imperative that we keep harnessing the power of this pause as we get back to work and re-create our worlds. They can’t be done in the old way anymore; a new economy awaits us as we discover and harness a new economy within our own mindsets and attitudes.

From my experience, “high vibration for hard times” defines an attitude that is courageous, clear, aligned with infinite intelligence and produces people of strong character, high ethics, solid values with legacies to be lived, and blessings to be shared. It’s one that defies “what has been” in order to “create what can be.” High vibration means that we forgive ourselves for past mistakes, and courageously embrace blind spots to excavate the hidden nuggets of gold within. High vibration means living intentionally, on purpose. It calls us to live from worth, spiritual wealth and well-being. (Did you know that the word wealth actually means well-being)?

High vibration living means that we accept the magnificence of our creative abilities; we create a world based on harmony, not on scarcity or consumerism. We become more willing to value what is innate inside of us, rather than feeding the voracious appetites of an ego that insists it can’t be happy unless or until….. In other words, we choose to be happy now and create from a place of having rather than wanting. Easy to say, hard to do when there are bills to pay and the whole economic landscape has changed. I know. I’ve been there too. But it’s been in those times, against all odds, when I’ve employed the power of deliberate intent using “high vibration” thinking, feeling and visualizing, that things have changed. It’s time to do so again. For all of us.

I’ve found both Stoic philosophy and spiritual tools of prosperity thinking to be invaluable for tough times:
In the words of Epictetus:

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will.”  His life as a slave is proof of the power to use the high vibes of deliberate choice: “Sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy.”

Spiritual mind treatment – the decision to be in alignment with our highest good manifests in the physical world:
Step 1: Desire
Step 2: The Universe responds, so we can trust the process and be at peace, optimistic, joyful, in gratitude and appreciation
Step 3: Make your most dominant vibration the receiving mode of your well-being

Faith is required. How strong will your faith be? In order to be strong, it must be nurtured… and we do that, one kind, better-feeling thought at a time. We surrender into the hope and joy of our desire – we dare to think, feel and act differently. We begin with the end in mind. Make this pandemic count. Take Your Stand for What Inspires You – and Do It. It’s your gift of contribution to a world that needs you, as you, for you. You were groomed for High Vibes in Hard Times.

Call to action – what were your insights in reading this blog? How will you apply them? What’s something you’ve been meaning to do, that you’ll stop deferring and start doing?  Let me know – that’s part of the integration process as we continue to expand and grow.

If you enjoyed this post, let us know and please share!

Rev. Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc.
I empower individuals and organizations to stay inspired and keep moving forward in positive, productive ways, no matter what changes, challenges or adversities they may face.

Personal and Business Intuitive, Consultant/Training/Keynotes/ specializing in:
Intuition in Business, Radical Joy through Conflict Resolution/Communication/
Resiliency Skills, Ordained Minister/Wedding Officiant and Life Celebrant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Antidote to Stuckness

by Cheryl Brewster

How do you feel about your stuckness?

Are you like me? Where I feel stuck is in how I judge my stuckness. Intellectually I know that stuckness is an inevitable part of life. But oh, if I’m not paying attention, how I can get caught up in hating it! I hate it because of how it makes me feel; ineffective, weak, lacking, ridiculous, hypercritical – ugh – it just feels awful! How many of us are feeling stuck with the changes that the Covid-19 virus has precipitated?

Asking productive questions to catch the blind spots of habit is a powerful antidote. If I could develop ways of catching myself when I start sinking down into the depths of despair, think of the freedom that could take place! If I used how I judged myself as a path to greater awareness, I would be practicing transcendence, the art of spiritual awakening and just plain common sense. I would be mastering the ABCs of Intuition as a form of energy management and accomplish what my heart really, truly desires, no matter what the circumstances around me.

To use pain as a productive tool of transformation defies the conditioning, apathy, stupor, even the stupidity of mankind – it calls out the deprivation that would seek to harm and vanquish the very real battle we each face in determining, will my life stand for something meaningful or will I just “surface-live” because it’s more convenient? The ultimate question, really is, will I live my life for good or for evil? Evil is a lack of love, a diminishing of life, an ignorance that demands power and control at the expense of anyone and anything else. So here we are, over the past few weeks, facing the harsh reality of a species on the brink of possible cataclysmic failure if we do not wake up, and drop our individual and collective apathy on one side and need for control on the other.

Every single one of us needs to wake up. Many of us are, yet this one thing remains… the call to drop the judgment that keeps us prisoner to suppression of our personal authentic power.

Evil is the word “Live” spelled backwards. Judging our stuckness sends us straight to experiencing hell on earth – to the irrational acronym of G-U-I-L-T: Gut-wrenching, Useless, Insidious, Lies (and) Torment.

I refuse to contribute one second longer to the virus eating away at the sanctity of mankind. Yes, I will wash my hands; and just as importantly; I will wash my mind and my emotions of disempowering, harmful voices. I will take my stand and re-frame stuckness as the Law of Opposites at play; part of the natural rhythm of life. Instead of labeling stuckness as some horrible, terrible thing, I will choose to see it as the very important impasse or right of passage that creates and grooms a new way of thinking and being in this world. Stuckness is a part of the evolutionary phase that begs the question, will I react with judgment and condemnation or will I use it to rise into a higher consciousness? What could happen if stuckness was showing me something new that I hadn’t seen before? What if stuckness is nature’s way of saying there’s a better way? And isn’t that what’s facing us on rebuilding our lives and economy during and post corona virus? Isn’t the whole message one of coming back to what’s most important? And doesn’t that point us back to values that stand the test of time and a connecting back into community; that authentic sense of self and togetherness that ensures innovation, creativity and cooperation for a healthier planet and world?

Oh! The relief that comes with the release of the need to fight, to struggle, to continually feel defeated by inner and outer challenge!

In contemplating this in mediation, I had a vision of St. Francis of Assisi who reminded me that all great leaders have learned this one very important thing – to use stuckness as a catalyst for powerful, important change. Judgment and self-condemnation leading to “less than” thinking, is the virus that has been bred into us for centuries. It is the need for power and control, manipulation and economics that twist moral values, where consumerism has replaced the God of our hearts.

Let us rip away the twin masks of blame and shame and mirror instead, the possibilities of life, healing, innovation and progress that exist through challenges and obstacles. We live in a world that so desperately needs to come back to sanity. By choosing love as a commitment and principle to live by, no matter what, we can then practice the very important Stoic philosophy of “Amor Fati,” which means to embrace fate, to accept the reality of what is and productively use all adversity and obstacles as fuel for the fire of our potential!

So how you do you feel about your stuckness? Will it feed your potential rather than smother it? Will you join me in blessing it and practicing the message of the Easter Story; the message of forgiveness, death to apathy on one side and ego-control on the other? Will you join me in the most courageous act possible; the one of self-forgiveness that leads to loving the self as much as the Divine within? If not now, when? How much longer do we need to wait?

“Your Intention to Love, no matter what, is the absolute Key to Happiness” – Robert Holden

It’s so important that we use stuckness as the opportunity that it provides; to become aware of our negativity in judging it and therefore make the switch back to sanity; to positive reinforcement and the invitation to overcome through the transcendent power of love.

Negative self-accusations and questions lead us straight to creating Hell as our personal reality. As author Robert Holden pointed out in his book Happiness “Now, in H.E.L.L., all the letters stand alone: (the) Horrific Effect (of not enough) Love (and) Laughter, (waiting to be undone). In H.E.A.V.E.N. all the letters stand together: Happiness (next to) Eternity; Abundance, Vision, (and) Ease (joined to) Now (as one).”

In this pandemic we have the opportunity and responsibility to stop creating hell on earth and literally create a new earth. It will come by our individual and collective willingness to be live in deeper alignment with the laws of nature and spirituality – the law of love in action. As WW2 concentration camp survivor Victor Frankl noted, “the last of human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Choose well. Choose to use your own personal stuckness not as a stopping place, but a stepping stone into an attitude of grace, faith, fortitude and victory. Take Your Stand for what Inspires you and do it. Take Your Stand for what Empowers you and do it. Take Your Stand for values born out of compassion rather than consumerism. Forgive your past mistakes, embrace the wisdom they birthed, and step into a future with a fortified sense of commitment, compassion and vision. In the words of Albert Camus, find that invincible summer within yourself, that has the strength to hold the winter. Take Your Stand. There is a power inside of you that can and will handle anything thrown its way. Aware, Breathe, Connect to the Heart. We were born for these times, let us navigate them as nature intended. Let us transcend and live from this place of inner freedom that defies any and all attempts to vanquish it. Like the Easter Story, let us rise again… yes, let us rise! Intuition leads the way…. follow it.

Call to Action: Make the switch from the inner hyper-critical judge to the observer mind that sees the bigger picture. Observe your life like a movie…. what could happen in this moment by committing to love rather than fear? Notice the options that surface and choose that better feeling thought to make a new choice that empowers. This is your fork in the road. It’s in the tiniest of decisions and attitude adjustments that show us the way back home.

Inspiration: Canadian Choir of Women Physicians sings RISE AGAIN (virtually)

Rev. Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc.
I empower individuals and organizations to stay inspired and keep moving forward in positive, productive ways, no matter what changes, challenges or adversities they may face.

Personal and Business Intuitive, Consultant/Training/Keynotes/ specializing in:
Intuition in Business, Radical Joy through Conflict Resolution/Communication/
Resiliency Skills, Ordained Minister/Wedding Officiant and Life Celebrant

In Times of Crisis, Step Up Into Grace

by Cheryl Brewster

You can and are making a difference by paying attention to your intuition, and practicing self-care. Your intuition is destiny calling. We were made for this times, let’s use our uncertainty and vulnerability to step up into Grace to support the birth of this new earth.

I’m writing this blog shortly after global states of emergency have been called… my heart breaks. Our world is being held hostage by the ravages of a virus that kills on so many levels. This can go two ways;  we can step up – contribute, connect and create necessary change, or we can get distracted and remain powerless. Historically, we are surrounded in a world gone mad with consumerism on one side and manipulation and control on the other. Both are steeped in ignorance and a refusal to support ethical living based on the simplicity of prosperity for all, kindness, community and compassion.

No more!

No longer can we afford the luxury of pretending and postponing reality. It’s here. And it hurts. Time therefore for individual and collective reflection and course-correction. It’s obvious that that at this critical time in history, we have the opportunity and obligation to bring about massive and necessary change. But that change will only be possible and sustainable by us each taking personal responsibility for how we choose to respond

We are connected as individuals to mass consciousness, which means that metaphorically,  each one of us has and continues to, create our own heaven or hell on earth by the assumptions and conclusions that determine our life experience. What if…

  1. Ethically: What if I am on the planet at this particular time to usher in a new wave of consciousness?
  2. Economically: As fear comes up, what if I am here to release my own fears “on behalf” of my loved ones? What if I am here to give to myself, the comfort I want them to have… innovation, creativity and confidence to establish a prosperity consciousness.
  3. Intellectually: What if I really “got” that trusting my intuition is the voice of reason, here to source practical solutions?
  4. Emotionally: What if rather than shutting down or going into panic, I give my feelings safe passage, I bless them as they move through me, to find the comfort and acknowledgment they need.
  5. Spiritually:What if, I’m here to embrace my own struggle with kindness and compassion and “step up into Grace” so that I can effectively support others in healthy ways without losing myself or draining my own cup dry?”
  6. Practically: What if I practiced consistency with the Mindful Minute and the ABCs of Intuition to keep me resilient in the “new normal” so that I can still live confidently, creatively and peacefully?
  7. In Community:  What if, I am here to use prayer and intention circles, to  share the power of healing and encouragement that we all need. (Check this website and resource page for audio recordings, online workshops and free inspirational talks).

This is a time of great spiritual awakening and as we each do our part in “stepping up into Grace” – we turn challenges into opportunities. We must be diligent in what we “choose” to create and how we wish to respond to inevitable crisis and uncertainty. We must come together in community to support each other as we adapt physically, psychologically and emotionally to strengthen our immune systems on all levels. Take good care, practice physical, spiritual and emotional hygiene  and continue to open your heart for the Grace that supports you managing the waves of change by creating your own that bless and serve.

Click here for the audio file “Mindful Minutes Even in States of Emergency”

I hope this blog has supported you at this particular time and look forward to supporting you further in the online talks and programs. Check my calendar here to stay updated and be sure to sign up for Daily Inspiration and my newsletter to stay connected.

 

Rev. Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc.
I empower individuals and organizations to stay inspired and keep moving forward in positive, productive ways, no matter what changes, challenges or adversities they may face.

Personal and Business Intuitive, Consultant/Training/Keynotes/ specializing in:
Intuition in Business, Radical Joy through Conflict Resolution/Communication/
Resiliency Skills, Ordained Minister/Wedding Officiant and Life Celebrant

 

 

Joy As Strategy For Success

by Cheryl Brewster

Imagine living life with joy as a strategy rather than a goal… as a foundational, non-negotiable attitude that insists…. no matter what, I will continually choose to live my life from a place of happiness, peace and empowerment.  It is this call to joy that nurtures self-esteem, confidence, peace of mind, and our intuition, both in frequency and accuracy. A commitment to live “from” joy is the alignment of the intellect, emotions and soul to natural law. We are meant to thrive! It’s how we are wired. Yet, how prevalent is the thinking that says…. I will be so happy when, or “I “can’t” be happy until…

The empirical data from neuro-science reveals the importance of choosing positive thoughts and emotions “before” things change. In his book The Happiness Advantage, author Shawn Anchor studied results from over 20 years of research on happiness, with over 250 people participating. The data revealed that:
“our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive. When we sacrifice happiness for success, we actually lower our brain’s success rate.”

The bottom line is that success is born from happiness, not the other way around.

To this end, the call to what’s most important and meaningful in life which includes accepting “all” of our feelings, especially the really difficult ones and choosing to live an empowered life regardless. Joy then, as strategy mitigates the critical voice, making it much easier to accept the reality of life, even when it hurts or doesn’t match our expectations. As poet William Blake so beautifully wrote:

“Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine,
Under every grief and pine,
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so,
We were made for joy and woe,
And when this we rightly know,
Through the world we safely go.

Joy is an emotion based on our decision to choose it and use it. Mindset takes centre-stage in our determination to consistently look for how we can take what has happened to us, and use it to make it work “for” us.  We begin to leverage everything in our lives, especially adversity to forge a path forward… this isn’t just “bouncing back,” it’s “bouncing forward, and puts a whole new perspective on the resulting power of resiliency.  “Psychologists have called this experience Adversarial Growth or Post-Traumatic Growth to distinguish it from Post-Traumatic Stress. Psychologist Richard Tedeschi and others that I’ve researched, have made the empirical study of “Post-Traumatic Growth” their mission and found that the strategies that most often lead to Adversarial Growth include:

  1. Perception on the cards that life has dealt, including positive reinterpretation of the situation or event
  2. Optimism, acceptance and coping mechanisms that meet problems head-on rather than avoiding or denying
  3. Self-definitions based not on what has happened to a person, but instead by what they’ll make out of it
  4. Recognizing that we learn to deal with failure by living through it and using it to accelerate learning and applied wisdom
  5. Replacing learned helplessness with learned optimism
  6. Tackling one small challenge at a time to slowly expand outward

Bottom Line: Using Joy as Strategy is emotional intelligence at its finest… as we “memorize” the sensations of joy in our physical bodies, emotions and mind pictures, something really beautiful and powerful begins to occur… we get better and faster at creating state changes that shift into a higher state of consciousness… now we’re not reinventing the wheel, we are using it to gain traction forward.

Challenge: Which of the strategies above most caught your eye? What’s it like to create “from” this place rather than “get to it?” That’s the advantage of choosing joy as strategy. Have Fun!

If you enjoyed this post, let us know and please share!

Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc.
I empower individuals and organizations to stay inspired and keep moving forward in positive, productive ways, no matter what changes, challenges or adversities they may face.

Personal and Business Intuitive, Consultant/Training/Keynotes/ specializing in:
Intuition in Business, Radical Joy through Conflict Resolution/Communication/
Resiliency Skills

 

 

The Obstacle is the Way: When Challenge Becomes Inspiration

by Cheryl Brewster

Feeling discouraged or overwhelmed with life’s challenges? Try this… it works! Amor Fati  is a term from Stoic philosophy that is an absolute lifesaver. It means to embrace your fate… to make the best out of anything that happens, treating each and every moment—no matter how challenging—as something to be embraced, not avoided. To not only be okay with it, but love it and be better for it, so that like oxygen to a fire, obstacles and adversity become fuel for our potential.

The whole idea of Stoic philosophy is based on the word virtue, which is another word for strength, by living in alignment with nature.  In my experience, a critical prerequisite that makes the idea of amor fati even remotely possible, is self-compassion. If you are highly intuitive, empathic, a caregiver, emotionally sensitive, have experienced trauma or have a  tendency to avoid conflict, (sounds like all of us), this is especially important. When faced with challenge, our biology can take over and the amygdala part of our brain takes us straight into fight, flight or freeze. We lose the ability to intuit or think clearly. We put ourselves at risk for losing rational thought by either going numb and shutting down, or blowing up and blowing things out of proportion.  It’s pretty hard to practice amor fati, when all this is going on! It’s called an “amygdala hijack.”

Science defines this hijack of our limbic system,  as an immediate, overwhelming emotional response that comes with a later realization: that the response was inappropriately strong given the trigger. Compassion for self helps to create a pattern interrupt in this biological, chemical explosion… it says, wait a minute, you’re getting upset, what’s going on here, what unmet needs are asking for attention right now, what do you need? This is a form of amor fati… redirecting overwhelm into something more constructive.

Stop the Amygdala Hijack in its Tracks!
  1. Know the signs: Get familiar with the the body sensations that indicate something’s coming up (like a racing heart, sweaty palms, that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, dizziness, etc.)
  2. Take 3 relaxed breaths to chill – it takes approximately six seconds for the chemicals spewing out from the amygdala to dissipate
  3. Your hand on your heart prompts the release of the oxytocyn, an anti-stress hormone that lowers, blood pressure and cortisol levels
  4. Re-frame uncomfortable feelings by seeing them as chemical reactions taking place in the body; don’t judge! Part of what gets us into trouble, keeping us stuck in these emotional vortexes is self-blame. Of course you have emotional triggers… they are a part of your biology. Use compassion to give them a safe place to land. They’re allowed to be here, even if (especially if) you don’t like them. With kindness rather than judgement, the tidal wave of emotion begins to  dissipate, the overcharged amygdala calms down, so sound reasoning and intuition can be accessed once again. It takes time, but it works. Besides, nothing is more rewarding than transforming chronic worry, anxiety or irrational guilt and thinking distortions.
  5. Create some time for evaluation: sit down and engage your logic with writing – the logical brain wants to help sort through the situation – make a list of what you’ve learned about yourself, and how you can apply insights for future application
  6. Keep practicing being okay with what is, without wanting it to be any different. When we adopt the duo of self-compassion and amor fati as a lifestyle change, we stay more present, enjoying life, and being empowered by it, even when it’s difficult. We work with what we can control, rather than exhausting ourselves with what we can’t. We reverse energy drains to energy gains, and that’s hugely important, to stay on the pathway of living our potential no matter what the circumstances.

This is a game-changer; What a way to live and work… when challenge becomes inspiration and stays that way! Empowerment is strength, the outcome of living in alignment with nature, sound reasoning and your intuition. Contact me if this blog has stirred questions or insights for you or your work teams. By converting challenge to inspiration, we empower individuals and workplaces with resiliency, vision and team work.

“Disempowerment is the nemesis of intuition because it allows the subconscious to protect you from the truths you need to be listening for. Alternatively, when you practice empowerment, your intuitive information will follow in abundance.” – Laura Day

Rev. Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc.
I empower individuals and organizations to stay inspired and keep moving forward in positive, productive ways, no matter what changes, challenges or adversities they may face.

Personal and Business Intuitive, Consultant/Training/Keynotes/ specializing in:
Intuition in Business, Radical Joy through Conflict Resolution/Communication/
Resiliency Skills, Ordained Minister/Wedding Officiant and Life Celebrant

 

 

 

Compassion: A Total Eclipse of the Heart

by Cheryl Brewster

If you like me, have a desire to make a big impact on our world, then we must make big impacts on ourselves first. Compassion is the total eclipse of the heart that helps us do that. It is the respect and caring that helps us see the best in ourselves, to move forward from our strengths. When we “take our stand” to be there for ourselves, despite the critical, self-sabotaging, negative memory bias wired into our primal brains, we listen to the voice of deep respect rather than other deep forces. The Joy of Life becomes the filter we look through, even in the dark, amidst the fear and uncertainty of that which we cannot see. We trust ourselves. We appreciate the beauty of our lives as art… we share that which makes us happy. We open up to the power-house of intuition inside us, follow its lead and align with flow, the energy of creation in the quantum field.

When we “take our stand” to live our lives as art, we are the most real, the most rich, the most complete. The art that we share cannot help but uplift and evoke a feeling of connection and rightness in the world. And yet, how often we can hesitate on sharing our creations with the world… am I good enough?…did I do this the right way?..how do I market this?… what if no one signs up?….an endless litany of old limiting beliefs can become a very painful place to live.

We know this, because we’ve all done it. Each time we step into the unknown to embrace “beginner’s mind,” we employ the willingness to drop expertise (or the way it “should” be done),  to learn something new. Yes, it can be frightening but as we’ve all come to realize sooner or later, it is the most valuable and rewarding place on earth… this stepping into a force that is greater than us, and yet is us, if we’d just see it that way.

The recent lunar eclipse seen in the photo above reminds me of the cycle of shadow energies that we cycle through and are evolving from. The yin-yang is simply a part of life; the polarity between love and hate, fear and hope, denial and expression of what is most important. How remarkable to stand beneath an eclipse watching something profoundly beautiful and mystical as metaphor for our own lives. This photo taken from Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, BC, Canada, on the shores of the Pacific is particularly poignant… The beautiful Lion’s Gate Bridge, a metaphor for the bridge from one world to another. That’s why moon phases are so powerful, not only are we linked to them, like the tides of the sea, they give us an opportunity to release, let go and reaffirm the essence of who we are, and the power of living that essence fully, with courage, tenacity and vision.

The one person you can affect the most is you, and when you are there for yourself, nothing is more incredible than the feeling of caring for yourself. As the Sufi Mystic Rumi said, “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion…. When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

If we really understood how often and how deeply we impact each other’s lives when we share that joy, we’d be blown away! What would happen if we shared that authenticity more consistently? These are the little things that affect great change… and by you being kind to yourself and really “being there for yourself,” this world that so desperately needs our help benefits. We are all blessed, spiralled higher and strengthened. Key concepts in Rick Hanson’s book, Resilient”  which I’ve abbreviated here, underscore the simple power of this type of self-compassion:

Bring to mind a time when you were on someone’s side.. recall what this felt like in your body.. recall some of your thoughts and feelings, perhaps caring, determination, even a fierce intensity. Then knowing what it’s like to be on someone’s side, apply this attitude to yourself. Get a sense of being an ally to yourself; someone who will look out for you, help you, protect you. Recognize that you have rights and needs that matter.

Be good to yourself because then you’re being good to others. When people increase their own well-being, they usually become more patient, cooperative, and caring in their relationships. Think about how it would benefit others if you felt less stressed, worried, or irritated and more peaceful, contented and loving.

Take practical steps to help yourself really believe that it’s good to treat yourself with respect and compassion. Write down simple statements such as “I am on my own side’ or “I’m taking a stand for myself” or “I matter too” and read them out loud or put them somewhere you’ll see each day. Imagine telling someone why you are going to take better care of your own needs. Imagine a friend, mentor or even your fairy godmother telling you to be on your own side – and let them talk you into it!

Let us give to ourselves, the greatest comfort and strength we wish for others; let us have the courage to drop the illusions that prevent us from practicing “Sacred Activism,” a phrase coined by writer and activist Andrew Harvey, which is about “finding gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion; it is about opening yourself up to the kindness within you, letting go of pain, and making a conscious choice to help heal the world.”

Call to action: in order to make a big impacts in our worlds, we must begin with the self. A total eclipse of the heart is required… the ability to go into the shadow, drop holdbacks and apply compassion to bring new understanding into the light. If you’ve read this article and it’s touched you in woman speaking to an audiencesome way, please share – I’d love to hear from you as we continue stepping into our role of inspiring conscious changemakers, starting with us!

Cheryl Brewster is a professional intuitive, providing consults and workshops to support individuals and organizations to build up resilience in ways that are fun, empowering and sustained for long-term change and thriving in life and business.

Harness the Untapped Power of Procrastination

by Cheryl Brewster

Do you find yourself running into perfectionism? Those debilitating stopping places where no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to bust through? Me too.  Instead of fighting procrastination,  the tendency to keep putting things off that I find uncomfortable, I’ve come to see it as an early warning detection system that I can use productively. In fact, procrastination can be saying that “it’s time for another adventure.”

  1. Procrastination shows up when I’m challenging myself, so yay me! It’s the confirmation and encouragement to bust outside comfort zones and the natural fear of failure inherent in change
  2. It’s the psyche’s way of inviting more creatively and authentically, not bound by old rules of perfectionism. This targets more focus and depth and I’m better able to drop the habitual “negative memory bias” of the primal brain’s need to protect at all costs
  3. Procrastination can be alerting me to low energy which needs to be rectified; it forces me to stop and ask the question; if I’m not in flow right now, what will help me get there?
  4. Procrastination can be interpreted as intuition’s call to be more present. By taking a “Mindful Minute” to check-in, I’m acknowledging and centering myself into a more nurturing state of acceptance. I get to enjoy this moment rather than dread it;  I get to change my focus from limitation to the quantum field of infinite possibilities.
  5. Procrastination is s a sure sign that it’s time to exchange judgment and self-recrimination for gratitude and appreciation, otherwise life becomes all work and no play; always striving but never arriving, and that’s not fun at all. In fact, the blessing in procrastination in many ways, is the call to more empowered states.

The research on gratitude, kindness and appreciation is astonishing and the antidote to procrastination and perfectionism. 

Thoughts of kindness and gratitude take us out of survival mode and into thriving. At the University of Zurich, a study demonstrated that when you display kindness or compassion, a hormone called oxytocin shuts down the survival centers in the brain’s amygdala. Since the amygdala is wired for four basic emotions: fear/anxiety, sadness/pain, anger/aggression and love/joy, oxytocin “cools off” the brain circuits that are wired for survival, leaving a love and joy for life. From this state, we’ve got access to expanded states of consciousness that invite flow, creativity and solutions we can’t see when we are in survival mode.

Gratitude and appreciation return us to logic of clear thinking and the ability to master unhelpful and destructive emotions.  As Nassim Taleb, a scholar on uncertainty noted, “real strength lies in the control or the domestication of one’s emotions, not in pretending they don’t exist.”

So the next time you go into the “spin cycle” of procrastination with its inherent subtle and not so subtle feelings, habits, conscious and unconscious programs, remember… every challenge contains within it, the solution. Even procrastination therefore, serves a productive purpose and the sooner we leverage it, the better we feel, the deeper we go into the joy of creativity, authentic living and the fulfillment of creative desire and accomplishment.

Call to action: the next time procrastination or fear of failure comes up for you, consider using it as your early warning detection system, alerting you to self-kindness, appreciation and gratitude to birth something new. You’ll be glad you did.

If you enjoyed this article, let us know! Share your insights and experiences as you “harness the power of procrastination” to live more creatively and authentically, with better results and greater joy.