Courage to do Hard Things!

by Cheryl Brewster

Ahoy, courageous voyager!

Welcome back to another inspiring edition of weekly inspiration. I love the archetypal energy of the Inner Pirate as metaphor for triumph. It’s easy to stay inspired when things are going well, but when hard things come along, massive courage is required. It’s worth looking to some of history’s greatest leaders who embodied the pirate archetype to inspire change, reshape the world, and make a positive impact.

1. Nelson Mandela – The Compassionate Buccaneer: Mandela’s unwavering commitment to ending apartheid in South Africa is testament to his courage. He faced imprisonment for 27 years but emerged stronger, not bitter. He used diplomacy and forgiveness as his weapons, proving that courage can change an entire nation.

2. Eleanor Roosevelt – The Fearless Captain: As the First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt was a trailblazer for human rights. She fearlessly championed causes like civil rights, gender equality, and children’s welfare. Her tenacity reminds us that true leaders never shy away from difficult battles.

3. Mahatma Gandhi – The Peaceful Privateer: Gandhi’s nonviolent resistance against British rule in India transformed the world. His courage to stand up for justice through peaceful means inspires us to navigate turbulent seas with grace and determination.

4. YOU – The Brave One:When I am weak, then I am strong” means believing that the divine power within you is greater than any challenge you face, and choosing to live that strength in the moment. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Leaders remind us that courage isn’t about wielding swords or hoisting flags; it’s about fearlessly embodying the courage of spiritual transformation to bring positive change in the face of adversity, into our inner and outer worlds.

🚢 “Courage to me is doing something daring, no matter how afraid, insecure, intimidated, alone, unworthy, incapable, ridiculed or whatever other paralyzing emotion you might feel. Courage is taking action….no matter what. So you’re afraid? Be afraid. Be scared silly to the point you’re trembling and nauseous, but do it anyway!”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

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Stay Alive All Your Life! – Part 2

by Cheryl Brewster

What makes you come alive and stay that way, even when it’s hard; when you feel yourself shutting down and it takes pure grit to stay true to your integrity and dreams? How do you keep growing to improve personal effectiveness? Author and expert on world mythology, Joseph Campbell knew this one well:

“Suddenly you’re ripped into being alive. And life is pain, and life is suffering, and life is horror, but my god you’re alive and it’s spectacular!”

I love this!  Are you like me? I don’t particularly feel spectacular in the middle of the pain, suffering and horror that’s part of life. But I have been through it enough times, to know that indeed, there is always an equal or greater benefit; something spectacular that occurs through the process, onto the other side. It takes great courage and tenacity to live this way. The results are priceless: Mind mastery and learning how to hold our ground in the face of uncertainty. With an eye to our personal and spiritual development, instead of feeling overwhelmed and beaten, we begin to emerge with skills and mindsets that turn great suffering into great victory.

It takes time, great self-compassion, guts, and the willingness to trust and develop our intuition, to feed our resilience, and to keep the faith, even when it appears counter-intuitive.

As Campbell emphasized:
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about…”

Ahhh, what it’s really all about… the rapture of being alive! Business and spiritual leader, Marsha Sinetar, agrees: “It’s the “burning desire to be or do something that gives us staying power – a reason to get up every morning or to pick ourselves up and start in again after a disappointment.”

The rapture of life can only occur with a burning desire for it. How do we keep the fire stoked when it’s hard?

  1. Science proves it: “high vibe” thinking feeds the flame
    Our brains are hard-wired with a “negative memory basis” to notice potential threats and protect us from harm. Studies done by John Cacioppo, Ph.D., (Ohio State University, and University of Chicago), demonstrate that the brain reacts more strongly to stimuli it deems negative. There is a greater surge in electrical activity, meaning our attitudes are more heavily influenced by negative rather than good news. Research has also shown that a specific ratio of five (five “high-vibe” thoughts to balance out the “one low-vibe thought”) is the magic formula to balance out this negative memory bias.  Worth remembering!  Working “with” our physiology rather than judging ourselves for habitual negative thinking is empowering. It course-corrects us into the extra energy of inspired action that we need for true change and growth to occur over the long-haul. As ancient wisdom reminds us, it is our continued commitment to choose “higher vibration” thoughts to feed the flame of desire that feeds our intent, which in turn feeds our will, which feeds our behavior, and ultimately, feeds our destiny. This leveraging of our negative emotions/memory-bias into holistic, focused, resilient, “alive,” possibility thinking becomes automatic over time. And that’s huge. Now there’s hope, encouragement and something to look forward to, even when life is very hard and hasn’t turned out the way we thought it would.
  2. Give yourself credit and re-energize past successes
    What are some of the toughest times you have been through?
    What helped pull you through? What belief, inspiration or process did you use?
    How did you become a better person through this difficulty? How can you apply that to current circumstances?

    3. Have enthusiasm and clear intent moving forward
    Begin and end each day with vision, re-charge throughout and end it in reflection: spend time in the morning in visualization, prayer or meditation to re-stoke that burning desire and pre-plan how you will “Create Your Day.” It takes just one minute of mindfulness several times throughout the day to keep coming back, to build focus and follow-through. In the evening do a review; celebrate wins and also identify where you can improve. Apply the 5-to-1 ratio to rehearse how you will do things differently tomorrow…. by getting excited about our improvements, now course-correcting becomes more positive, more enjoyable. We have something to look forward to, feel more resilient and capable. Now true change is happening, so that even in the midst of our hardest challenges, we have something to hang onto, a reason to keep going, a grit, tenacity and energy that feeds us, that feeds the rapture of being alive!

Call to action: on those tough days; dig deep – bridge the gap of where you are to where you want to be by applying the 5 -to-1 ratio to this very moment… right here, right now. From this viewpoint you actually are where you want to be, only now you get to enjoy the ongoing journey as a way of life, not just sporadically. To paraphrase Campbell…. my god, you’re alive to your innermost being and reality…. and that’s spectacular… that’s what it’s really all about! Draw on the power of intuition to keep feeding the sacred flame within you – that’s its job and you can trust it to help you come alive and stay alive all your life.

 

Is it time for a Self-Care Makeover?

by Cheryl Brewster

Energy. We love it. It makes us feel good. When we have it, we enjoy life and get more done with less hassle and more ease. It makes sense then, to think the thoughts and do the things that energize us. However, as we know, day to day living and unforeseen events can distract us and take huge withdrawals from our energy reserves. If we’re not careful, an overdrawn energy account becomes the norm rather than the exception. Before you know it, we’re running on fumes. Literally. And that’s not fun. Left unchecked, burn-out and its twin sisters fatigue and exhaustion come to visit and it feels like they’ll never leave. It can seem like we’ve lost ourselves, and the ability to bounce back to previous energy levels can be challenging.

I know. I’ve been there. Big time. We all have or will at some point in our lives. However, the essential wisdom that can arise, if we’re open to it, is pure gold. Out of great tragedy can come great triumph, out of great pain; purpose, and out of great confusion; clarity. It’s why I’m so passionate about the work I do… as each of us re-frames what drains us into what empowers us, miracles of being and doing occur. We become living legacies! So it’s important to ask:

  • Are your self-care strategies solid?
  • Are you evolving them to step into your greater potential?
  • How often do you use them?
  • Are they working?
  • What stops you?
  • In the changing fortunes of time and circumstances, asking “why” self-care is important, you anchor the deeper meaning of your life. That personal anchor is important. It needs to be strong so that no matter what the seas of life are doing, you’re equipped for the weather. Nothing is more exhilarating.

Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential.  It’s about actively looking after your own health and well-being, so that you have the energy to support the people and the things you love. To commit to self-care is to value yourself, your loved ones, your calling and your profession. Not holding your self-care as sacred, important and meaningful short-changes the very people you’ve sworn to protect and the very fabric of your soul. From my perspective as a professional intuitive, self-care is a life-long discovery and practice that supports the purpose of the life-time.

Self-care “IS” energy – it’s the ground in which the five cornerstones of life; health, relationships, career, community and Self are fed or famished. Compassion fatigue is a risk found not only in the care and wellness industries, but in every avenue of life; if we stretch ourselves too thin, a chronic depletion begins to occur. We must interrupt that pattern.

Feeling good about yourself and your life is energizing. To be really effective in supporting your loved ones and your community, is the willingness to master what is de-energizing. That’s the fast-track to more energy. It may not make sense to the logical mind, but we’re not talking theory here… we’re talking about the quality of your life!

Need more energy? Choose thoughts and activities that energize. From Stoicism (an ancient philosophy of self-control that overcomes destructive emotions that drain energy) we learn that:

  • If an event happened, then it was meant to happen, and we are meant to make the best of it.We don’t get to choose what happens to us, but we can always choose how we want to feel about it.
  • Feelings are emotional energy and nothing is more energizing than using obstacles to our advantage. From that perspective, every event in our life holds a sovereignty that supports us. Everything. We transform victim into victory.

Recent studies from a university from North Carolina show that “acceptance coping” contributes to “post-traumatic growth.” People whose lives had been totally devastated were not only able to move through it, but go in a new direction. As Peter Levine, trauma expert has said…

 “Trauma is a fact of life, it doesn’t have to be a life sentence.”

Energizing declarations calm down the flight/fight response of the brain’s amygdula and are super simple and effective in replenishing lost energy. But you must be firm. You must be a warrior with your own mind. Use these energizing declarations to divert energy from drain to gain:

  • What once stopped me now advances me, so I choose to be kind to myself and accepting of this moment.
  • Events don’t matter as much as my response to them , so I choose to…
  • I use all circumstances to my advantage which means…

Call to action: repeat, repeat, repeat… baby steps advance big results… be patient and be willing to see time as your friend – drop expectations of things needing to be a certain way, and use them to your advantage by being at peace with the journey.  See your life as the work in progress that it is. Creating effective self-care strategies is like highway construction; it’s messy work, there will be plenty of delays and detours, and it takes time. But with vision, commitment and the proper set of energizing strategies that feed the soul, a new super highway is built. And that highway is your personal unstoppable resilience and your personal path to freedom.

About Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc., Transformational Speaker, Intuitive Consultant and Life Coach: Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is equipping my clients, whether individuals or organizations with self-care strategies as a path to success.  If you’d like to learn how my intuitive consults, coaching programs or speaking services, can support that, please contact me for a complimentary exploratory call.   As an interfaith ordained minister,  I also offer spiritual counselling and officiate ceremonies for life’s most meaningful moment.

Getting Things Done: Heaven or Hell?

by Cheryl Brewster

Are you creating heaven or hell in your daily duties, projects and priorities?
Wouldn’t it be great to “have fun to get more done?”
We’re usually taught the opposite… that we can’t have fun, “until” it is done.

Rumi’s wisdom reminds us of the power of choice we have:
The world exists as you perceive it.
It is not what you see, it is how you see it.
It is not what you hear, but how you hear it.
It is not what you feel, but how you feel it.

  • If the world exists as I perceive it,  then “having” to get things done, can take on its own form of hell
  • Yet we do this to ourselves all the time through over and under commitment
  • However as Carl Jung says, “no tree, it is said can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell,” which means that we live in a world of paradox and it’s important to make peace with that paradox and find its sweet spot.

One way of doing that is to realize, that we have an inner stillness inside, that has never been disturbed and never can be. This inner  success mechanism is our essence… even when it “appears” not  to be.  Daily calibrating to this higher frequency inside of us, along with daily clearing of old limiting beliefs are essential to our well-being and our productivity.

  1. It’s not what you see but how you see it.
    Take a look at your “to do list” today. How you see it can be from a place of:
    …worry; I’ll never get things done (aka, stress!)
    …confusion; I don’t even know what to do/what to start first (aka, panic which leads to paralysis which leads to procrastination.)
    …frustration; how can I get anything done when I’m  not well and don’t have the energy? (aka, helplessness which leads to despair.)

I find it helpful to work with “The Law of Opposites” to come back to a more balanced perspective. As Neal Donald Walsh, author of Conversations with God notes: As soon as you decide who and what you are, everything unlike it will come into the space… you may choose to see this “opposite” as a gift bearer, bringing you a chance to experience and express peace or as a thief, stealing your peace from you.

Rather than judge ourselves for not getting enough done, or missing something, we can remember to declare our “Stand” for what we do want, so that when the opposite shows up, we see it as a gift of growth through self-inquiry. Using Rumi’s wisdom and asking, how am I really seeing this situation can now change the entire experience! Joe Dispenza teaches in his “Create Your Day” philosophy:  “The reason nothing changes is because you have not mastered self-observation.” The more we follow that self-observation, the more we can appreciate how our innate wisdom, our intuition, is guiding us into greater states of flow.

If you are finding yourself trying to be super effective only to find yourself losing ground, then take heart! Self-observation is key, and when the Law of Opposites shows up in your life, remember that it is here to HELP you! Apply Rumi’s timeless wisdom and ask your own reflective questions; here are some samples;

The world exists as you perceive it.  (Is this the world I really want to keep creating?)
It is not what you see, it is how you see it.  (Am I looking through the eyes of heaven or hell, through love or fear?)
It is not what you hear, but how you hear it.  (Am I hearing this objectively or taking it personally?)
It is not what you feel, but how you feel it.  (Am I feeling this with compassion or with loathing)?

  • Take Your Stand for what inspires you.
  • Use that inspiration when the law opposites show up
  • See the law of opposites as the gift-bearer of choice: will you see it as a way to express peace or as a thief that steals peace from you?

Our perceptions do create our realty. In each moment, we have the opportunity to take personal responsibility for more empowered living.  We begin to see where we are not victims of our circumstances… in fact, the opposite is true… we are dynamic and victorious when we use the Law of Opposites for what it’s meant for. As Neale Donald Walsch so eloquently writes: “you will rejoice because you will see “opposition” as a sure and certain sign – that you are on the journey of transformation; the road to glory; the higher path.” He echoes Rumi’s timeless wisdom with his own:

“If, at any given moment, you are being afraid, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being joyful, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being annoyed, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being harassed it is because you choose to be.

If you are being loved, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being ignored it is because you choose to be.

If you are being helped, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being hurt, it is because you choose to be.

If you are being wise, it is because you choose to be.

If you are feeling wronged, it is because you choose to be.

This list could go on forever. Indeed… it actually does.”

Call to Action: How will you use the Law of Opposites in getting things done? Email me, I’d love to hear about your experience!

woman_speaking_to_audience

About Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc., Transformational Speaker, Intuitive Consultant and Life Coach: Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is inspiring my clients, whether individuals or organizations to re-frame difficulty as a path to tangible, measurable, powerful results and solutions in the areas of life and business that matter most.  If you’d like to learn how my intuitive consults, coaching programs or speaking services, can support your success, please contact me for a complimentary exploratory call.   As an interfaith ordained minister,  I also offer spiritual counselling and officiate ceremonies for life’s most meaningful moments.

How to Live Your “Calling”

by Cheryl Brewster

Do you have a “calling“? That deep sense of purpose or urge within you that “must” be explored.

Are you:

  • Feeling a shift coming; a hint of something new that hasn’t quite arrived yet?
  • Already working on your passion with great enthusiasm but results are taking longer than expected leaving you with a feeling of stagnation?
  • Feeling that your life is in the doldrums… not much is happening and you’re not sure what to do?

These occasions can be very unsettling and we can begin to:

  • Doubt ourselves and the bigger picture of our lives.
  • Give up hope and slip into confusion or despair.
  • Romanticize about the good old days before we followed our passion.
  • Feel anxiety about our future, regret decisions and condemn mistakes from the past.

In short, when things get difficult or seem to have run their course, we get scared and shut down. But we need to do the opposite; we must keep our hearts open.

Gregg Levoy in his book entitled “Callings” describes this ebb and flow beautifully:
“We love to quote the philosopher and poet Goethe who said that “whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. But we forget that he also said, “To put your ideas into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”

And from poet Stanley Kuntiz: “The poem in the head is always perfect. The challenge comes when we try to convert it into language. This is especially so when we discover, as we often do that saying yes to a calling requires not just one act of heroism and risk-taking, but a prolonged period of action that can stretch into years.”

We must remember this when things get hard. We must continue to “take our stand” for our callings. Our callings have two fundamental features to them; they give great meaning to our lives… and they always come with a way through. But we must listen to that intuitive heart centre to find our way!  So how do we stay open to our callings and the new directions they take us in?

6 Simple Steps to Feed the Calling of Your Soul

1. Know Thyself!
Philosopher J. Krishnamurti reminds us that “the mind is the result of the known; it is the result of the past.” This past includes the limitations of a conditioned mind. In order to free ourselves from those limitations, we must be willing to see what’s ineffective in our thinking and release it. Observe yourself – watch how consciously or unconsciously you do things… as awareness and self acceptance increase, so does authentic personal power. These “aha” moments of, “oh, that’s what I really do” are life-changing when we follow through on them.

2. Practice Silence
An occupied mind is a busy mind, too full for anything new, original or creative. Mindfulness steeped in self-compassion keeps the heart and mind open to receive insight. Receiving equals energy – this is critical for those prolonged periods of action that our callings require. Practice silence by moving attention away from a busy, consumed mind, and instead, into the quiet, the stillness.

3. Practice “one-minute comfort breathing”
Risk taking and heroism arise from your bigger sense of self  – your “little I” will be challenged… expect that and be prepared for it.  A breathing exercise that brings immense comfort is “breathing in, I see the me that is uncertain.  Breathing out, I smile a hug into it.”

4. Use fear to your advantage
As Thich Nhat Hanh encourages, “we have the power to look deeply at our fears, and then fear cannot control us. Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch nonfear, you are free.”  How do we touch nonfear? Accept yourself as you are now, while simultaneously dropping self-defeating thoughts. We tend to think we’d be free if we didn’t experience fear, but that’s just not the case! If you can be free even though you have uncomfortable feelings, then you really are free! Let’s face it, there’s always going to be something that challenges us, but when you’re not overcome by those uncomfortable feelings, you really are free. So now, we are giving birth to impertability – we begin to cultivate a mind that is beyond disturbance.

5. Practice “what if”
What’s that one thing you’ve been really wanting to do but you’ve been putting off? What will you feel like when it’s done? Just a few minutes visualizing that can free up the energy to take that one first step… and then another, and another.

6. Be strategic with intuition
What does your soul need to replenish itself? If you took just one mindful minute right now to ask that question… you would be tapping into the energy of your calling… you’d be cultivating the wisdom and strength required to do the most difficult thing possible… put your ideas into the world. And that is the joy of living your calling – Take Your Stand!

Call to Action:
Rather than judge your emotions as good or bad…. see them all as equally important. Enjoy experimenting with the steps above and share your experience with me… I’d love to hear from you. Or better yet, if you are new to my work, let’s book a complimentary 15 minute exploratory session. And if you are an existing client and it’s been a while since we’ve connected, let’s get you in for that one-on-one session or workshop to explore and rejuvenate your stand with complimentary 15 minute post session follow-up!

If you enjoyed this article, let us know! Individuals and organizations find Cheryl Brewster’s expertise as a Professional Intuitive, Transformational Speaker and Coach refreshing and timely. Her private clients experience greater clarity and confidence in taking action during transition. In her corporate workshops, Cheryl inspires focus and follow-through. To explore her work further, visit TheIntuitiveLife.com or email cheryl@theintuitivelife.com.

 

 

 

Radical Joy is a Choice

by Cheryl Brewster

Radical Joy is an attitude. A decision.  An acceptance. The path of the peaceful warrior. It cuts through whatever is going on, from minor disappointment to major catastrophe to focus on what’s most important; the power and freedom that come from accepting things as they are, not on how we wish them to be.

This acceptance isn’t giving up or apathy. It isn’t wearing the rose coloured glasses of positive thinking to escape reality.  Instead, acceptance faces reality. Yes, it can be difficult. It can be painful, even excruciating. But better the momentary pain than resigning ourselves to years of it.

Three things happen by accepting (and yes, even loving) what is:
1) Empowerment. In acceptance comes choice; with choice comes action.
2) Non-judgment grows to quiet our internal dialogue; in that stillness creativity emerges.
3) This expanded awareness grows emotional intelligence, critical thinking skills and more accurate intuition.

I love the expression “others get giddy – but I stay gritty.”  I call that “Take Your Stand.” By developing and articulating that stand every day, by recognizing that things will not always be easy, in fact knowing they will be hard, over time we develop an inner resilience and the capacity to actually start looking forward to those challenges. We can handle them. Not only that, we can even find the joy in them.

By dropping the condemnation of an event and its players (including ourselves), we free up more energy. It’s like living an oxymoron, which is why it’s so radical… by accepting what is, we transcend it.

Call to Action#1:  Baby Step or Big Step?
Each step has its place… choose something you’ve been avoiding… what has been your pattern? Are you trying to do too much, or not enough? If too much, then take some pressure off! Take baby steps: what’s a better feeling thought you can have… and another…. and another.

If you find you are not making progress, then you may need slow it down even more… again the oxymoron of pausing to get more done… And if you are ready for that big step… you’ll know it… just do it. The joy of that action, even if you are hesitant, has a sweetness to it that over-rides the resistance.

Call to Action #2: Email me!
There’s nothing sweeter than sharing the radical joy of doing things differently. It deserves celebration. And there’s nothing more powerful in anchoring change, then to celebrate it.

Here’s to your Radical Joy!

Cheryl Brewster is a professional intuitive, transformational coach, speaker, and ordained minister/wedding celebrant. She encourages self-inquiry to drop the stresses in life that detract from accepting and enjoying what is . Whether speaking to business organizations or  consulting in one-on-one personal sessions, Cheryl’s clients appreciate her practical, grounded, inspiring approach to problem solving.

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” ― Eckhart Tolle

 

Radical Joy: Embracing Your Shadow part 2

by Cheryl Brewster

Radical Joy means embracing the shadow parts of us that we don’t like; seeing them as potential power houses rather than shameful attributes to be hidden and avoided. Embracing our shadows frees up their creative potential to move us forward, rather than hold us back. This is why the word radical is so important. We must be diligent in pursuing our joy… we must be radical in cultivating it in our lives, which includes being radical in how we look at our shadows and their inherent repressed emotion.

Radical both as noun and adjective are defined as:
a) “of going to the root or origin; fundamental”
b) favouring drastic reform
c) a person who holds or follows strong convictions or extreme principles

When it comes to joy, going to the root or origin of joy is fundamental to our health. We must nurture it, and if we haven’t been (how many of us really do?), then we definitely need to favour drastic reform, which means getting clear and strong in our convictions.

In her book Molecules of Emotion, American Neuroscientist and Pharmacologist, Candace Pert says….
“I believe that happiness is our natural state, that bliss is hardwired. Only when our systems get blocked, shut down, and disarrayed do we experience the mood disorders that add up to unhappiness in the extreme…. My research has shown me that when emotions are expressed… are flowing freely – all systems are united and made whole. When emotions are repressed, denied, not allowed to be whatever they may be, our network pathways get blocked, stopping the flow of the vital feel-good, unifying chemicals that run both our biology and our behavior.  This I believe is the unhealed feeling we want so desperately to escape from.”

This is where intuition, faith and follow-through come in. In the spiritual awakening process that we are going through en masse, our intuition is leading us to the places that we have been avoiding…. As Eleanor Roosevelt said so wisely, many years ago “you must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Ugh! That’s hard! Yet we are being shown a better life, if we would but trust our heart’s guidance.  Faith in our natural state of being hardwired for bliss means a radical shift in perspective… it means that we must forfeit “apparent success” for the foundation of “what’s real.” Not easy. But necessary.

We must be radical in embracing our natural state of bliss which includes embracing shadow work which doesn’t feel so blissful. This is the faith and follow-through of sound spirituality and communication with self and others…. The ability to observe, to practice mindfulness and to understand and embrace and transmute previously denied emotions. If left denied, they will tear us apart and we remain ignorant of their true function… to help us integrate our humanity and our divinity.

Over time, as author Michael Singer outlines in his book The Untethered Soul, “you will come to realize that the center from which you watch disturbance cannot get disturbed… you will understand what it means to be transcendent. This transcendence can only come from embracing the shadow which eventually drops the insistence that things be different than they are. When we are willing to let that go, the inner force that sustains, feeds and guides us from deep within returns us to the ocean of energy that we came from. We will still have thoughts, emotions and a self-concept, but they will just be a small part of our experience.  We begin to stop identifying with anything outside the sense of Self and over time, we never have to worry about things ever again!”

How radical is that?! To embrace the shadow with its terrifying emotions, knowing that in doing so, we are channelling that previously stuck energy into productive pathways that are nothing less than pure freedom.

Radical? Yes! Necessary? Absolutely. Viable? Only to the extent that we are willing to experience the temporary pain of letting go of our long-held suffering. It takes time. It’s not comfortable. But it’s the most authentic life we will ever live.  Keep going. Be strong. Have faith. Listen to your heart. Purify the mind, drop the insistence that things must be different than they are, and experience the mystery of “peace that passes all understanding.”

Radical Joy is Radical Self-Acceptance… giving yourself the compassion and respect that you so desire from your world. From the inside-out, radical joy embraces the shadow for a radically different life.

Call to Action:
Rather than judge your emotions as good or bad…. see them all as equally important. As Pert outlines in her research, we do this “first by acknowledging and claiming all our feelings, not just the so-called positive ones. Anger, grief, fear – these emotional experiences are not negative in themselves; in fact they are vital for our survival…The goal is to keep information flowing, feedback systems working and natural balance maintained, all of which we can help to achieve by a conscious decision to enter in the bodymind’s conversation.”

If you enjoyed this article, let us know! Individuals and organizations find Cheryl Brewster’s expertise as a Transformational Speaker and Coach refreshing and timely. She inspires growth in empowerment and connection through creativity and transition. To explore her work further, visit TheIntuitiveLife.com or email to book a complimentary 15 minute exploratory session.

 

 

 

Finding Focus in Confusion

by Cheryl Brewster

Do you struggle with finding focus in confusion? Is it sometimes  hard  maintaining the energy for your goals, dreams and aspirations? Many factors can impede our “burning desire.” Commitment, faith and follow-through to our bigger dreams and purpose are essential. They help stoke the “fire of desire” back to life when disappointments or setbacks take their toll.

One key ingredient that has surfaced from my own experience and studies in mindfulness and neuroscience is the necessity of compassion. Without a compassionate mindset we can unconsciously  berate ourselves and others for “what could have been.” Instead of building up our “fire of desire” to feed the vision of our higher mind, we can spiral into negativity, self-doubt and confusion. Decisions can become messy, difficult and anxiety-ridden.
To use confusion as a focus for clarity:

1. Begin with a Clean Slate
What would happen if in this moment…
You reflected and forgave yourself for the ways you’ve sabotaged any dreams, goals or intentions?

What would happen if in this moment…
You TRULY forgave yourself and dropped the constant mind chatter of the critical voice? How different could this moment be? How different would your life be over time?

What would happen if in this moment…
You let your resentments go and instead channeled that “victim” energy into creative insight?

2. Keep the Slate Clean
Call on the power of the ABCs of Intuition to continue dropping those super strong unconscious patterns and habits that need to go: Awareness of Behavior = Change. It will take time! However it’s worth the investment. And  it’s very exciting. Using mindfulness to drop thought and focus on the breath is the precursor to emotional intelligence; we get good at dropping intense emotion and coming back to our centre, just by focusing our attention on the breath.  The key is the willingness to be in the discomfort of change! Establish a practice of immediately redirecting negative and limiting thoughts to a “mindful minute” of tenacious peace, followed by a decisive visualization of how you are CHOOSING to respond to life.

3. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Research has found that mindfulness leads to calm and clarity.  Mark Robert Waldman, neuroscience researcher and author discovered that “When you intensely and consistently focus on your spiritual values and goals, you increase the blood flow to your frontal lobes and anterior cingulate, which causes the activity in emotional centres of the brain to decrease. Conscious intention is the key, and the more you focus on your inner values, the more you can take charge of your life. Thus, meditation – be it religious or secular – enables you to more easily accomplish your goals.”

4. Use Beginner’s Mind to Course-Correct with Compassion
Achieving our goals or creating new systems and sticking to them costs us something; effort – the effort to overcome resistance, to stay in alignment with what’s most important by practicing resolve. We must remember that hesitation magnifies fear while prompt, decisive action crushes it. We must resolve to manage both our memory and our imagination – mismanagement of either creates inferiority, worry and mental monsters that create and keep confusion. Ironically, our willingness to be beginners, to NOT be very good at first, provides acceptance. In that space of course correction, we fan the spark of inspiration within to feed the fire of desire to step up even in the midst of setback and disappointment.  Course correction is the art of compassion in action – it’s transformation at its finest. It’s finding focus in the confusion, finding the energy when we feel we don’t have it, starting where and are, and not stopping.

From Clarity to Confusion: for more information contact Cheryl at TheIntuitiveLife.com to learn more or to book me for a private intuitive consultation, coaching program, lecture for your organization or staff training.

 

Stay Inspired in Difficulty – Part 2

by Cheryl Brewster

The Obstacle is the Path. I know this to be true. The very thing that creates confusion in my mind or terror in my gut is the very antidote to that stress. And the answer to that confusion, terror, difficulty, heartbreak, disappointment or challenge is this… it’s here to be used to my advantage.When I approach life from this perspective, I go to a whole new level of awareness and effectiveness.

How about you?

Scott Peck said that “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

That’s huge! Life-changing! It helps us tackle the things we don’t want to, because we have discovered an inner power that transcends our resistance, procrastination or limitations. What are 3 simple steps we can use to develop this kind of life-altering perspective?

1. Use difficulty to your advantage.
Challenge and change are unavoidable. But your perspective is totally your creation. The question is… have you created consciously or unconsciously? Awareness will course-correct perspective to help, not hinder you. It sounds simplistic, but when you “take your stand for inspiration in difficulty,” postponing peace or your sense of capability, is no longer an option. Difficulty is used to your advantage… immediately. Want proof? Identify a current difficulty and list at least 5 ways you can use it to your advantage… you’ll probably find more. Decide on the one tiny baby step you can take right now, in this moment… and then the next and the next.

2. See difficulty as your servant, not your master
What do these names have in common? Terry Fox, Rick Hanson, Nick Fugicic, Christopher Reeves, Maya Angelou, Anne Frank and Victor Frankl? That’s right, they used their obstacles, difficulties and tragedies as inner paths to freedom. Their capacity to see life from this perspective is the same path of power available to us…  Our willingness and commitment to embrace the obstacle as the path redefines us, makes us aware of points of inner power that we didn’t see before. We can start from the humblest beginnings and yet lead the most extraordinary of lives. Immediately.

3. Recognize that all difficulty is the invitation to peak performance.
This perspective cuts through emotional baggage, irrational fear, worry and stress. Difficulty is the very thing that brings out the best in us. The result is knowing we can handle the situation immediately… in the now, the present… “while” we face our shadows, worries or innermost demons.. because the truth is, the hardest battle we will ever fight is with our own thoughts and emotions…. Will we be true to what calls us and stand up for what matters? That’s the call to inner truth, self-trust and personal development and mastery. It’s what gives us the grit, courage and tenacity to do the right thing. It’s what frees us from the insidiousness of  unchallenged fears.

By staying inspired in difficulty, we drop the habit of “hoping the problem will go away,” and embrace a strength that was here all along, but wasn’t being used. Staying inspired in difficulty helps us surpass all forms of mediocrity, victimization, self-doubt and exhaustion. We stop projecting the past onto the future and begin to truly enjoy the present moment. We master the very things that once held us back.

Stay inspired. It is difficulty’s equal partner. The obstacle is the path. Begin today and if you’re stuck or not wondering quite where to start, that’s okay! Start anyway… what’s just one small step you can take right now? Take it! Nothing is more rewarding than “right action!” That’s you mining the gold in the shadow of your subconscious. It’s worth it. And it’s waiting for you!

woman_speaking_to_audienceAbout Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc., Transformational Speaker, Coach and Celebrant. Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is inspiring my clients, whether individuals or organizations to re-frame difficulty as a path to tangible, measurable, powerful results and solutions in the areas of life and business that matter most.  If you’d like to learn how my intuitive consults, coaching programs or speaking services, can grow your success, please contact me for a complimentary exploratory call.   As a Celebrant, I also offer officiate ceremonies for life’s most meaningful moments.

Stay Inspired in Difficulty – Part 1

by Cheryl Brewster

Challenge in life is inevitable. Despair is optional. However rock-solid confidence is possible, even in times of great difficulty.

Inspiration connects us to what’s most important in life. Like an anchor in stormy harbours and rudder in rough seas, inspiration anchors, grounds, comforts and encourages us. It creates more positive-feeling states even in difficulty. Inspiration is not Pollyanna magical thinking… it contains the grit equal to challenge; it’s the force inside that compels us to take action, to drop irrational fears and be strong in our resolve.

I call inspiration the “fire of desire” that business guru Napoleon Hill talked spoke of when he said: “Strong, deeply rooted desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” It’s the “transcends everything” part that Hill experienced in his own life and inspired in others: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” That’s what I call true power – looking for the seed of equal or greater benefit, even in difficulty. It’s the turn-around, the fork in the road, the re-frame that turns panic into power, and chaos into order.

10 ways to foster inspiration so it’s there when you really need it:

1. Memorize
Memorize the Napoleon Hill quotes above (or something similar like a meaningful poem, sacred text, etc.)… choose something that makes an impact, that really gets your enthusiasm going! Start each morning contemplating that favourite quote or spiritual principle. As you do, you’ll be engaging your connection to the infinite, creative imagination and intuition so they can deliver “aha gems” when you least expect them.

2. Be Vigilant! Decide!
It’s impossible to be upset when you’re inspired. The truth is, stress can become a habit. If you are putting your focus on the difficulty rather than its seed of equal or greater benefit, then decide to shift your focus. Kill the ANTS! (Acronym for Negative Thought System defined by brain health doctor Daniel Amen). Use visualization; imagine seeing negative thoughts hitting a teflon coating around your mind, that they can’t stick to… it’s a way of “deciding” ahead of time, what’s allowed to stay. Vigilance in watching our thoughts ensures access to accurate intuition, not corrupted by fear or negative thinking.

3. Reflect, Re-frame and Rehearse
Go deep. Why is the particular quote or sacred text that you memorized so important to you? (Aside from a quote, it could be a value, song, a piece of art, a person you admire, etc.)  Think. Go deep. Then write about it. Why is this meaningful to you? How will you use it to meet difficulty? Invite a friend to do the same exercise and verbalize your findings with each other. Sharing reinforces the new options available to you.  Go one step further… draw two columns on a piece of paper…under one, write the word “problem” and list all of the difficulties.  Then cross the word “problem” out and start a new column with the word “project.” You’ll be amazed at the re-frame! Rehearse the new opportunities… visualization supports action!

4. Relax!
To counter-act the physiology of fight or flight, yawning immediately signals the body that it is safe. Forced yawns might feel silly but they work! Try at least 6-10 in a row. Besides, your brain always benefits from extra oxygen. Recall a favorite memory or pastime… take time out to enjoy, reflect, relax!

5. Use the Mindful Minute
Take plenty of “brain breaks” throughout the day – time yourself for a minute and go into stillness or pure imagination. You’ll be rejuvenated and create more focus. It’s been scientifically proven that even a 10-second break every 20 minutes can dramatically improve performance.

Inspiration is like….
A tasty treat for the mind and spirit.
Being equipped with an emergency preparedness kit when you really need it.
Having candles and matches when the power goes out.
The extra energy boost that helps you take action when you know you should, but don’t want to.

woman_speaking_to_audienceAbout Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc: I am a Transformational Speaker, Coach and Life Celebrant. Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is helping my clients, whether individuals or organizations to resolve conflict, improve communication, and increase better health, finances, relationships, connection, enjoyment and peace of mind.