The Soul Connector

The Soul Connector

Reflections and tips on connecting with your soul, understanding the messages from your inner guidance, and enjoying a soul-fully rich and fabulous life...

25 April, 2007

Starting the day right

What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning? Did you feel good, anticipating what gifts the day may bring? Or were you a bit apprehensive, worrying about how much you have to get done today? Maybe you weren't thinking about anything much, just wishing for a bit more sleep!

It's amazing how your very first thoughts - your frame of mind and emotional state - can set the tone for your entire day. Life is more than a series of random events, isn't it? There's always a bigger picture at play, whether or not it's visible to you. Most people are oblivious to this but, if you pay attention to your starting point each day, you can actually influence the kind of day you have.

Your state of mind produces a kind of forcefield of energy around you, and you subconsciously attract or repel experiences based on your positive or negative internal state. Stop for a minute and think about a day when you woke up feeling really great. Chances are that you felt "in tune" with yourself and the entire day felt easy and productive.

Now think about a day where things didn't go well for you. If you backtrack in your mind to the beginning of that day, it's very likely that you started off in a bad mood and carried that around with you all day, a little like your own personal stormcloud.

So what can you do about that? What if you do wake up feeling grumpy, for whatever reason? How can you shake off that mood and start over with a more positive frame of mind? Or even if you wake up in a fairly neutral headspace, how can you encourage yourself to get out there in an optimistic and confident state of being?

Visualise a positive state...
The mind is a powerful tool. Think of it as your ally rather than your enemy - it's not about going into battle with yourself. Imagine yourself as the commander, calm and in control, consciously issuing clear and straightforward instructions that your subconscious mind will unhesitatingly follow.

Your mind loves positive reinforcement! And that's exactly what you're going to give it... So, instead of immediately leaping out of bed first thing in the morning, stay there for an extra five minutes. Close your eyes again and breathe slowly and deeply. Allow your mind to become still...

Now imagine that you are looking at yourself: the absolute "best self" that you can be. Standing right there in front of you, like a mirror image, with a big smile on your face! See yourself, dressed in a fabulous outfit... exuding calm and centredness... radiating powerful energy and self-confidence... Allow yourself to take in every detail. Make your vision as vivid as you possibly can.

Then imagine that you are stepping into this mirror image of yourself... that you are becoming your radiant, powerful, confident self. How does it feel, to be the "best self" that you can be? Allow yourself to feel the strength within you, the wisdom within you... Enjoy the feeling that anything is possible... Remind yourself that this is your true state of being. Know that this radiance, this power, this self-confidence is available to you always...

When you're ready, bring your attention back to the present... bringing back with you that sense of calm and confidence... and setting you up perfectly for the day.

Wash it off in the shower...
Another simple but effective technique is to use your time in the shower in the morning. It's great if you're in a hurry or are feeling grumpy, because you don't need to take any extra time out of your morning routine. Here's how it works...

When you step into the shower, imagine that the water is extra powerful today - it's going to cleanse you inside and out. As you stand underneath the stream of water, imagine that the water is flowing through your mind and washing away all negative thoughts, all worries, all stress, all tiredness... washing it all away...

Then imagine that the water is flowing through your emotions... cleansing and releasing all negative feelings, all anger, all frustration, all self-doubt, all impatience... washing it all away...

And then, as you soap yourself up, washing your hair, your face, your body, allow the water to cleanse and rejuvenate your entire body.... So that when you step out of the shower, you will feel completely cleansed and energised and ready to get on with your day.

Remember to start the day right and you'll set yourself up for a truly great day!

18 April, 2007

Life on the edge

I was saddened to hear of the death of novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr last week, author of some wonderful novels - like Slaughterhouse-Five, Jailbird, Cat's Cradle and Mother Night. Reading his books has made me laugh out loud many times, and sometimes be greatly moved as well.

One thing that I always liked about Vonnegut was his idiosyncratic style - a truly original and distinctive view of the world. He once said:
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Isn't that a great attitude? Sometimes it's good to just get out there and challenge yourself and throw yourself wholeheartedly into life.

American baseball player, Vernon Law said:
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.
That's certainly real life, isn't it? It can be tempting to hold yourself back because you can't see exactly what's out there on the path ahead. But then you might miss out on making some truly interesting discoveries and learning the most important lessons.

Today, think what about Kurt Vonnegut's approach means for how you're living your life: Are you playing anything a bit too safe? Is there something that you'd really love to do that you've maybe been holding yourself back from trying? Well, why not give it a go? Who knows where the journey will take you?

In the words of another great ball player, Babe Ruth:
Don't let the fear of striking out hold you back.

10 April, 2007

Turning shoulds into coulds

Ever had one of those days where you feel completely worn down by "shoulds"? "I should do this... I should do that..." But what you really want to do is something else altogether...

Sound familiar? It's not always easy to say no to life's demands, especially if you're in the habit of putting other people's needs before your own. But it's vital to become aware of what it is that you truly need, and to honour that truth.

So, what can you do when you feel "guilted" into doing things - feeling overwhelmed by all those things you think you "should" do? How can you make affirmative choices for yourself?

Denise Linn, in her book Soul Coaching, nails the source of this problem:
"Self-criticism is part of the shadow self. It is the part that tells you that you should do something, and then causes you to feel guilty or ashamed because you are not doing it."
Denise devised a wonderful exercise to deal with this:
Today, make a list of all the things that you SHOULD DO. Then take each item and ask yourself these questions:

1. "Who says I should?"
2. "Why should I?"

Let your mind brainstorm for a bit and see if there are any childhood memories or associations regarding this "should". Is it YOUR "should", or did it come from someone or somewhere else?

Now write the list again, and this time, change "should" for "could" and after it write: "... but I choose not to at this time."
Try this out for yourself - you'll be amazed at how empowering it is! Somehow, saying "should" automatically implies guilt - it lowers your energy just thinking about it, doesn't it? But substituting the word "could" actually raises your energy - it puts you back in control of your choices, whether or not you ultimately choose to take action right now or not.

By letting go of the weight of all those "shoulds", you liberate yourself to respond to the really important things, like honouring your own needs - and your own truth.