Welcome to Connecting, our new blog adventure!

You may have read our earlier blogs and words of wisdom.  Connecting is replacing all of them although you may see some of your favorite topics show up here.

Connecting is about connections of all kinds.  We will discuss connecting with your true self, connecting with family and friends, connecting with energy, connecting your thoughts and actions, and much more!  It will include stories, inspirations, and food for thought.

 

I hope you will join us as we travel along this journey!

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Looking Deeper

 

As we have discussed in other posts, humans come in contact with millions of stimuli every day. Out of necessity, we ignore many of the stimuli and gloss over others. This helps us to get through each day without being overwhelmed. However, we lose a lot if we never stop and really take a deep look at things.

 

Looking Outside The Lines

 

Often the information that is intended for our attention is well defined and within a graph, report, or painting. It is important to look not only at the image or message that the author or painter is trying to convey, but also look at what else is surrounding the intended message. Then, consider what is excluded. For a painting, look at the frame, the mat, and even the wall where the painting is hung. Look for additional information outside of the painting that supports or contradicts the message of the painting. Lastly, consider what is not included in the painting.

 

The same is true of reports and graphs. Look at the information that supports the core information, information about the authors, and information about the magazine or other source. Also, consider what the authors did not say. For instance, if the information is based on a study, is the size and location of the study included in the information?

 

Digging Deeper

 

It is important to look at what supports this “prepared” information. To do this, look at your child’s homework and see where they are struggling instead of just looking at their grade. Likewise, look at the sources of reports and graphs. Analyze if those are valid sources. Are the trends shown in the report only based on the experience of 100 people? If so, do you consider it a large enough study for you to accept that the trend is meaningful?

 

It also means researching news stories and looking at articles from multiple perspectives. What were their sources? Were the sources used for the article selected to represent only one point of view? Do other sources support the perspective of the article?

 

The Little Details

 

Take a deeper look at the little details. This isn’t about seeing the trees instead of the forest. It is about seeing the small insects crawling out of the cracks in the bark of the tree and then noticing how the veins of the leaves form an unusual image that reminds you of a bear claw.

 

For a painting, look at small details of the image. For instance, look at the brush stroke. Is it different in different parts of the painting? Does that seem significant? Does the brush stroke tell a story?

 

For an article, graph, or other information, look at the details and the representation of the information. For instance, on a graph is the scale such that it is misleading? Likewise, look at small details that may be the focus when they are not the primary part of the article. On the flip side, look for more significant details that are left out or downplayed in the article.

 

Sounds, Smells, Texture, and Taste Count, Too

 

Our investigation of things in our environment is not limited to what we can experience with our sight. We can learn a lot by really listening, taking time to experience the smells in the room, touching the surface of something to feel the texture, and tasting edible items. Not all senses apply to every item. For instance, a person is not generally going to taste a painting. However, they might smell the paint.

 

It is by choosing to really deeply experience some items in our environment that we gain greater knowledge and understanding of our world. When we allow too many stimuli to be dismissed, we are on auto-pilot and aren’t really experiencing anything. Find something each day to truly experience!

 

 

 

Communities, whether it refers to people in a geographical area, a church family, a school, or another group of individuals, sometimes have a need for healing. In some cases, this is a long-term need arising from neglect, lack of work, or on-going violence. In other cases, the need arises in relationship to a specific tragedy or natural disaster.

 

Healing a community is similar to healing an individual. However, the process varies a bit and can be complicated by having a number of people involved. On the other hand, the people of the community can also be helpful in assisting each other in their healing.

 

Deciding to Heal

Just like with a person, the community first needs to decide to heal. The challenge with this is that different people are of different mindsets with regards to healing and not everyone is on the same timeline with regards to grieving over what has happened. Likewise, those that desire to heal may remain on autopilot for some time simply dealing with the things that have to be done.

 

Support from Outside

 

Each situation is different. In the case of a hurricane, for example, outside assistance may be needed for shelter, food, debris removal, and rebuilding. However, the ultimate healing comes from within the community. The Red Cross and other volunteers cannot heal for the community. Likewise, they cannot force the community to heal. The only thing they can do is support the community while they heal, much like a cast supports someone’s leg while a broken bone heals.

 

Healing Within

 

Different types of traumas require different amount of healing. Likewise, they require different amounts of time to heal. For instance, healing from an earthquake that made various structures in the community uninhabitable might not require the same level of healing as an event that takes several people’s lives.

 

Traumatic Events

 

For people outside the community, the biggest challenge is to allow the community to heal on its own timeline without imposing deadlines or expectations. After 9/11, there was tremendous support from across the country and around the world. However, over time that support for New York and the country in general waned. Thus, the expectations from outside the communities most significantly impacted changed. Yet, especially in New York City, many people are still dealing with the trauma. First responders, in particular, continue to have both emotional and physical issues as a result of their efforts that day.

 

Within the communities impacted by 9/11, the challenge from day one was that various people were impacted in different ways and to a different extent. The same is true of any community impacted by a traumatic event. Each person has a different timeline for grieving related to the event. Thus, after a year some people may be moving on with their life and really spend very little time thinking the event. Meanwhile, others may still be struggling to accept what happened.

 

Long-Term Situations

 

In situations, such as, economic depression, all of the above perspectives apply. The community may need a leg up, but will only truly heal when members of the community make a decision to heal. These situations have different challenges as the issues they are facing have often developed over generations. In these cases, it may be more difficult to gain the momentum to heal despite the desire to move forward.

 

It takes longer in these cases to attain true healing as the trauma has been reinforced over and over. People may have even lost their belief in healing, thinking that things cannot improve. One of the biggest things people outside these communities can do is to spread hope without expectation. If they help these people believe, the people will then be able to start healing.

 

Limiting Actions

 

One worst things people outside the community can do is to use these situations and the people involved to make political statements or to support some perspective that they would like others to believe.   Actions of this nature limit the healing of the communities. In some cases, actions with these types of motives may even cause additional hurt and damage.

 

The Best Action

 

The best action outsiders can take to help a community heal is to provide support and encouragement to the individuals in the community as well as to the community leaders. Within the community, it is important for each person to remember that each person will heal on his or her own schedule. No person can speed up another person’s healing nor should they judge that someone has healed too fast. As each individual focuses on their own healing, they will create an environment for those around them to heal more quickly allowing the community to gain overall momentum in its healing.

 

Remember, healing is possible. It just takes time.

Healing Inside Out

 

 

When a person gets a cut or burn they usually apply an ointment or bandage to the affected area. Then, they watch while the wound scabs over or skin peels off revealing a healed layer of skin tissue. As people notice their wound healing, they will think, “My cut/burn is healing nicely.” They don’t really think about what is happening. Instead, they just assume the body is doing its job and healing.

 

Inside the human body, however, there is a lot of activity that occurs when an injury occurs. Depending on the injury, blood may clot, the area may become inflamed, white blood cells may swarm to the area, etc. Well-coordinated action is required by various systems from within the body so that the damage that occurred can be fixed.

 

If a person gets a broken bone, the doctor applies a cast to the outside and waits for the bone to fuse itself back together. As these examples point out, physical healing starts from within. The same can be said about other types of injuries such as emotional and mental trauma. Emotional and mental traumas are sometimes difficult to see on the outside. There are some people that appear to be so happy that you’d never realize that there is a battle going on inside. But, occasionally, even those people hint that they are suffering inside.

 

What is Healing Inside Out?

 

Whether a wound is physical, emotional, or mental, healing needs to come from within. For the physical, people can aid the body in mending the injury, but for the most part it is a biological response. There are cases, however, that show attitude, visualization, and other energy techniques can speed the recovery process producing results that cannot be explained purely by science.

 

Likewise, for emotional and mental issues, the healing must come from within. Yes, professionals help a person take the right steps to resolve their issues. However, they cannot do the healing work for a person. It is important to realize that there is no cast, bandage, or 12-step program that will fix emotional or mental trauma. Even when a person seeks assistance through energy workers, the healing ultimately comes from within him or her self.

 

Physical healing is usually obvious to the person and people around them. However, mental and emotional healing may also have externally visible results. Interactions become more authentic. Attitudes, words and other means of expressing oneself often change when healing occurs.

 

Changing Your Thoughts/Beliefs

 

There is no easy answer to how people begin to heal. One reason is because people are all different in what they experience and how they respond to those experiences. Two people, for example, may have a similar experience of falling flat on their face in front of a large audience, resulting in an outburst of laughter. One person may be very traumatized and never perform in public again. The other person may laugh it off and recount the story over and over again to all that will listen. Therefore, internal perspectives often are a major contributor in determining whether or not there is anything to heal.

 

Believe It is Possible

 

Beliefs and desires also affect the healing process. In order to heal, a person must first believe they can heal. If they do not, healing is not likely to occur. For example, if a person believes that they cannot overcome depression, they will be correct.

 

Desire

 

Similarly, the person must also have a desire to heal. Without this desire, healing is also unlikely. An example of a person without a desire to heal is someone who believes they gain something from having a physical, emotional, or mental ailment. The benefit might be attention, relationship bonds, or an excuse for not living their life.

 

Deserving

Another case is someone who believes they don’t deserve to heal. A person, for instance, who was belittled by their parent and feels that they are a victim, will be challenged to feel the desire to heal. In all these cases, they are unlikely to recover because their desire is lacking.

 

Since beliefs affect thoughts, which in turn affect energy, beliefs must be addressed to advance healing. It is only when someone truly believes in healing and has a strong desire to heal that healing occurs. When beliefs or desire is lacking, those issues must be addressed before moving forward. A person may need to review their belief system, build confidence to know they are worthy, or simply decide healing is something they are going to do.

 

Essentially, the person has to reprogram him or her self. They can start by changing their thoughts and their story. If a person sees himself or herself as a victim then that is who they will be. However, if a person believes they have control over their life, they will.

 

Open Yourself To Healing

 

If there is something you are struggling to overcome, ask yourself, “Do I believe I can overcome this condition or circumstance?” If not, then you have to figure out if that is true or just a limiting belief. Investigate all limiting beliefs to see if you can shift them to a healthier belief.

 

If you believe you can overcome the issue, ask yourself, “Do I have anything to gain from this condition or circumstance continuing?” If so, then a mind shift is needed to truly desire to heal. Ultimately, you must embrace the belief you can heal and the desire to heal. That’s when you can experience the miracle of healing.

 

Releasing: A Key to Healing

 

 

Most people have an event from their past that clings to them like a baby clings to their pacifier. Like a parent who thinks their baby is ready to give up their pacifier, the person may think they are ready to give up the memory. And, no matter how hard the parent tries, the baby resists giving up their pacifier. Similarly no matter how hard the person tries to forget, the memory won’t leave. It seems to be permanently etched into their brain.

 

Even when someone is not consciously recalling the memory, that instance of memory can consume some of the person’s energy like a dripping faucet leaks water. Although one instance of memory may not be a significant drain on a person, if there are lots of memories connected to the person, the person may experience a significant drain. In some cases, one single instance can be enough to be a continual drain on a person.

 

Staying Connected

 

Energetically speaking, people may hold onto events, places, and people. Think of the old time switch boards where there was a person making a voice connection by plugging a line into a socket. This created a physical connection that allowed a person on one end to speak to the person on the other end. Energy works in a very similar manner. In the switchboard era, you could hang up and come back an hour later and begin talking if the switchboard operator had left the connection in place.

 

The same is true if the universe has not severed the energetic connection. When that connection remains, the other person, company, or event continues to be connected to the person.  This is true even if they are no longer a part of that person’s life. Unfortunately, trauma is often the cord that binds the two together. The more trauma someone has experienced, the more likely there will be a strong energetic connection they will have to the place, event, or person.

 

What stays connected to someone may seem completely random and insignificant to other people. In fact, others that witnessed an event that someone found traumatic may not even be able to recall the event. To the traumatized person, however, the reason they can recall these events, places, and people so vividly is because of the trauma they experienced.

 

No Longer Needed

 

These events, places, and people created an energetic connection. When these connections no longer serve the person in a positive manner, the person needs to decide if they are ready to release the connection. This doesn’t mean that they will forget the people or events. However, it does mean that these people and events of the past will no longer have influence over their lives.

 

The connection can be released in a variety of ways. Some people opt for counseling while others do journaling, meditation, or energy work. The act of releasing heals old wounds and allows you to thrive.

 

Once released, the person may feel more energized. They may physically feel like a weight is lifted from them. New opportunities may also arise once they are no longer being held back by these connections.

 

What are you waiting for? Release! It is the key to healing.

 

Deciding to heal

 

 

By the time most people are adults they have likely encountered multiple physical, emotional, and mental struggles – a broken bone, a lost loved one, or stress over school. Most of what is experienced is temporary. Broken bones, for example, heal with time. Meanwhile, school assignments come and go, leaving a void to be filled. It is the emotional hurt that often presents the most challenges to healing.

 

Emotional trauma isn’t fleeting nor can one define how long an individual will require to heal from it. If a person doesn’t heal from grief, for example, they may suffer the rest of their lives over the loss of a parent, child, spouse, or sibling. The same is true of other types of emotional trauma, such as, a parent instilling guilt into their child in an effort to get the child to do what the parent desires.

 

Not only does emotional trauma not heal overnight, it can manifest as physical ailments. For example, some people suffer from stress headaches because they feel that they can never be good enough to meet other people’s expectations. Likewise, some people have pain in their neck and shoulders from figuratively carrying the weight of the world on their shoulder (i.e. feeling too much responsibility). Additionally, there have been some studies that correlate emotional trauma with the manifestation of illnesses, such as cancer, where the disease manifests a couple years after the person experiences trauma.

 

Making the Decision to Heal

 

There have been a number of cases where someone is diagnosed with a condition, sometimes life threatening, where the patient sets a strong intention to heal. These people may experience improvement in their health despite a dim prognosis and some may experience complete healing. Not everyone experiences miraculous healing; however, there are enough cases that show healing is possible if someone sets a true intent to heal.

 

Deciding to heal is more than a person making an implicit or explicit statement that they have decided to heal. There has to be true intent to heal that involves having the emotional desire and the belief that healing is possible coupled with taking physical actions to heal. This is true whether the condition is a physical, emotional, or mental ailment. Healing from emotional grief, for example, means that you physically return to doing some activity that you love.

 

Healing In Action

 

I personally know several people that have made an intention to heal, including myself. In my case, I had a stroke, but I simply believed I would heal. I didn’t consider any other options despite the opinions of the medical professionals. Someone else in my situation, might have just accepted the medical professionals’ opinions and given up or become depressed. However, I just ignored their prognosis and kept working to heal. Today, I am not 100% of what I was before the stroke, but I am doing far better than the doctors believed I would be.

 

In another case, an acquaintance was diagnosed with a tumor. After receiving her diagnosis, she decided to heal by using her gifts in energy healing. She was not able to completely remove the tumor. However, with her effort, the tumor shrank and moved away from critical organs, making it less risky to remove.

 

In another miraculous case, an acquaintance was nearly unable to leave her home because of multiple medical conditions. After she decided she couldn’t live that way, she started getting intuitive hints as to what to do to help her condition. She used nutrition and energy work to completely change her life. Her illness has been in remission for several years and her doctors are completely baffled.

 

Taking Shortcuts

 

In our desire to heal quickly, sometimes we attempt to take shortcuts. A person who experienced the loss of a loved one, for example, may continue their daily routines and deny the emotions they are feeling. On the surface, it may appear that the person moved quickly through the grieving process and has moved on with their life. On the inside, however, the person may be carrying around an emotional pressure cooker. A minor upset may trigger the person to explode with emotions that would seem excessive for the situation. In this case, the person did not truly heal, but simply ignored the healing process.

 

The same could be applied to physical rehab and mental health. I’m sure we all know someone who had a physical injury and returned to their activities too soon and ended up aggravating the injury. This is really what happened in the case of emotional trauma. The person returned to normal life too quickly and aggravated the trauma making it worse than it would have been had they worked through the grieving process.

 

Taking Action In Your Life

 

Survey yourself to see if there are any issues or past traumas – physical, emotional, or mental – that require healing. Recognizing there is an issue is the first step in beginning the process of true healing.

 

Now, imagine what your life would be like if you truly healed. Envision that issue completely gone from your life. If that is something that you would like to experience, you can set an intent to heal. Remember that you must have both the desire to heal and the belief that you can heal.

 

Once you are truly committed to healing, take actions for healing. Let your intuition and your heart guide you as you work toward a healthy you. With true intent and continual effort you will have the opportunity to experience a more fulfilling and joyful life.

 

Invest In Yourself

 

 Investing In Others

 

People often put others head of themselves. They see friends, family and strangers struggling financially, emotionally or in some other manner. When this comes to a person’s attention, they often jump right in to help even if it comes at a great personal cost. For instance, a family member may help a cousin that is going through surgery or illness. This is fine, if the person has the time and energy to invest. However, if they are not overly well, this additional burden may take a toll on their health.

 

Other times people observe or believe they observe something in others where they believe the other person needs to address some type of personal issue. For example, we have had numerous people that attended a class and remarked how someone they knew needed that class or an upcoming class. They proceed to attempt to get that person to attend future events. Often the person is not ready or simply not interested in making a change and the person fails to get them to attend. The person who tries to encourage them may become emotionally drained in their effort.

 

Other times, people feel driven to help people on the other side of the globe. They often donate time and money to these causes without knowing if the money and supplies will actually reach the people in need. The only way to know for sure is to participate in the delivery of services and goods, which can be quite time consuming, potentially risky, and at times expensive.

 

Knowing Your Limits

 

Helping others is a wonderful thing to do. It is important, however, for people to know their limits. Whenever possible people should match their skills, time availability, and financial situation to how they help people. For instance, I help people who are adopted find their birth families. This is something that brings them joy and for which I have skills. I would be far less efficient and far more stressed trying to build wells or homes in a third world country. Meanwhile, a carpenter might have no idea how to find a birth family. By choosing to help within one’s skills and limits, the person is helping others while also taking care of him or her self.

 

Still, there are times when a person has to simply take time for him or her self and not help others – even their friends or family. For people that say, “I can’t do that,” I remind them of the airline safety instructions. They tell you that if the oxygen masks are deployed you should secure your mask before placing a mask on someone that might need assistance. The reason, of course, is that if you can’t breathe, you can’t assist someone else.

 

The same is true in life, if a person runs out of steam and become wore down, ill, financially ruined, etc., they can’t help others. However, if they take time to invest in themselves, they have a higher chance of being healthy and vibrant. Thus, they will be in a much better position to help others.

 

Invest In You

 

Investing in oneself doesn’t require a lot of time or money. However, it should occur regularly. It can be as simple as meditating for 10 minutes per day, taking a bath and shutting out the entire world, listening to music that you really love, or reading for pleasure. If the calendar and bank account allows, it is desirable to include occasional bigger investments, such as, long hikes, energy work, classes, or retreats.

 

For people that have a difficult time investing in themselves, they need to realize that all people need some self-care. They may not feel they need it. Perhaps, they feel they don’t deserve it. Maybe they feel there are others that need it more. No matter the argument, they need to go back to the basic concept, put your oxygen mask on before assisting someone else. That tells them everything they need to know. Care of self must come first before one can care for others.

 

Do You Invest In You?

 

So, the question is “How often do you invest in yourself?” If you don’t invest in yourself regularly, consider adding some self-care to your calendar. Remember, it doesn’t have to require a lot of time or money. You do, however, need to make an effort. No one else can do it for you.

 

Making A Difference: The little thing

 

 

You may be familiar with the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and it is all small stuff” by Richard Carlson. In that book, the author describes one hundred techniques (or thought processes) to get through your day with less anxiety and stress. These techniques vary broadly covering everything from choosing your battles to imagining your own funeral.

 

Focus On The Important

 

The ideas behind these techniques are to get you to focus on the important things instead of letting little things take over your life.

 

In his book he talks about smiling at strangers and performing random acts of kindness. Each of these things could be classified as “small stuff.” However, these aren’t things to sweat, but things to do to bring joy into someone else’s life and ultimately your own.

 

Small Things Make A Difference

 

It is these very small acts that can make a difference in the world. Consider, if every person on the planet replaced even one snippy remark, aggressive action, or unkind word with a positive loving action each day. It would totally change the world!

We can’t likely get everyone around the globe to participate, but we can lead by example. Smiling and showing interest in other people is one of my favorites. It doesn’t cost even one second to smile.

 

And, it takes very little time to inquire as to how someone is doing. It is important, however, that when you inquire you should actually care about the other person’s answer. Do not be like many cashiers at grocery and big box stores who inquire as to if you found everything, but who have no course of action if you did not. You need to be prepared to provide kind supporting words or assistance if necessary.

 

Other simple ideas are to hold a door for someone, carry something for them, help them with their child, or offer to let someone go ahead of you in line. None of these cost money and most of them cost very little time.

 

Other relatively low cost ways to make someone’s day include: making or buying someone a card, taking treats or a meal to a neighbor, buying a box of Girl Scout cookies, or paying for someone’s meal.

 

Doing Something Bigger

 

Occasionally, you will have an opportunity to do something a bit bigger directly for someone. This may be someone in trouble or someone that has fallen on hard times.

 

One example of an opportunity that came my way was a man and his school-age son who stopped at our house one day. They told us that they needed some additional money to pay for school supplies and other school expenses. They didn’t ask for a handout, but simply asked if there was any work they could do to earn some money. We were happy to oblige. We had some yard work that we could have done ourselves, but instead we gave them the opportunity to earn some cash. Even better, the son had the opportunity to learn about the value of work. It was a huge win for everyone!

 

You Can Always Make An Impact

 

You may not have an opportunity like that every day or you may not be able to assist someone in that way due to your own finances. However, there are always small ways to make a positive impact in other people’s lives. Try to do something positive every day – even if it is simply posting something positive on Facebook. You never know how one simple act might change someone’s life!

 

Making A difference

Have you ever complained to your best friend, sister, brother, spouse, or parent about something going on in your life? It is human nature and I doubt that there is an adult alive that hasn’t complained in some form.

 

Complaining

 

Although complaining may help you feel better momentarily, it does nothing to resolve the issue. It simply keeps the issue alive through dialog. To actually, resolve the issue and truly feel better, you have to take steps to find a solution. Working on a solution does not include complaining, telling the other person/situation to fix themselves, nor does it include creating a major disturbance to get attention. It means taking actual steps to resolve the issue.

 

Take Action

 

If you want a solution to an issue in your life – a better relationship with your spouse, to be treated better in the workplace, or to create a better world for your children – take action. You may not pick the right thing to do and you may find yourself changing course in the future. Still, take an actual step toward making a difference.

 

If you want a better relationship with your spouse, treat him or her better. Set up date nights. Decide to do something special that you both will enjoy. Or, better yet, invite your spouse to work with you to come up with ideas that the two of you would enjoy.

 

Making It Happen

 

If you want to make a difference in the world, be like Scott Pressler, who organized a cleanup in Baltimore after hearing about the issue in the press. Thousands, maybe millions, of people heard about the issue. However, Scott took action. In a few days, he mobilized people, got donations, and the group cleaned up 12 tons of trash in one day. Now, he is getting people excited about cleaning up other cities around the country.

 

Leading By Example

 

You don’t have to mobilize large groups of people to make a difference. For instance, you can make a difference simply by leading by example. For example, if you strongly believe that people need to change the way they live to protect the climate, change your life style to be aligned with your beliefs. Become the person that everyone looks to as an example of green living. Make sure you also research products and their alternatives to ensure you make the best overall decisions for the planet. Allow others to see what you are doing and then prepare to advise them if they would like to follow your lead.

 

Likewise, if you want better education in schools, become a school volunteer. Learn about the rules and constraints the educators face. Find a way to use your particular skills to help the situation. You may not be able to do it alone. Still, take action to make a difference.

 

Find What Is Important To You

 

You don’t have to take action on every thing that you want changed, but you should attempt to make a difference on those things that are most important to you. If you believe an issue is really important, but you aren’t willing to try to find a solution, likely deep in your heart you don’t believe it is an issue. Alternately, you may be gaining something by keeping things the way they are. In this case, you are allowing the problem to continue and you effectively become part of the problem.

 

If you find yourself in this kind of situation, you need to ask yourself what you are getting from keeping things status quo. Perhaps you get attention from friends and family for having to deal with the problem, perhaps it feeds your ego in some way, or it gives you an excuse for not moving forward with your life. If you believe you are getting nothing out of keeping the problem in place, ask yourself what is keeping you from working on the problem? Answering this question is key in improving your life.

 

Be A Part Of The Solution

 

You can complain all day and nothing will change. You can tell others to change and nothing will change. The only way to create change is to take action to resolve the problem. And, if for some reason the problem cannot be resolved, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you took action to make a difference.

 

It is easy to be part of the problem, but it is so much more rewarding to be part of the solution.