Showing posts from January, 2014

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 30 - Wisdom from Vancouver BC

ME I wouldn't be me if you hadn't been you   --Vancouver BC Storefront I don't particularly like this picture of myself, but it is what I looked like in one certain moment at one place in time. Life in a human body isn't always glamorous, it isn't always fun and it isn't always what we had hoped for. Sometimes it is significantly less than that in fact. The good news is, that isn't just true of you and it isn't just true of me. Everyone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, everyone has bad hair days, and everyone sometimes falls short of being the person they want to be, the person they are capable of being. That is why we all need forgiveness. And that is why I started 30 Days of Forgiveness . I hope you have enjoyed the ride and feel that you have in some way benefited from it. I also hope that this will not be the end. I hope that you will continue to do forgiveness work in whatever way speaks to you and that you will continue to for

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 29 - Wisdom from Marianne Williamson

"Until we have seen someone’s darkness, we don’t really know who they are. Until we have forgiven someone’s darkness, we don’t really know what love is." - Marianne Williamson One more day to go! I had a moment of panic night as I lay down to go to sleep: Oh no! I didn't do my forgiveness work for today. Then I remembered that earlier in the day I had forgiven somebody on the fly, in the moment, as soon as my annoyance came up, and I decided to count that. Because that's the idea isn't it? To get so in the habit of forgiveness that we can forgive IN THE MOMENT before we need to yell or stuff or walk away. I was quite pleased that I was able to do this on Day 28, after twenty-seven days of practice. Of course there were a lot of things I didn't forgive in the moment yesterday too: The three men who got in my swimming lane just after I did and lapped me multiple times during my workout (so annoying!)   My son's teacher for not putting any

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 28 - Wisdom from "Friday Night Lights"

  a "There is no weakness in forgiveness." --From "Friday Night Lights" There is no weakness in forgiveness. So why does it sometimes feel like there is?  Why was my first impulse to get angry at the old nun in Philomena and not to forgive? Even now, after the forgiveness work I have done, there is a part of me that wants to scream, "BUT SHE GOT AWAY WITH IT!! AND THAT'S NOT FAIR!"  You'd think I would have learned by now that life isn't fair and that sometimes the bad guys get away with it..... But we forgive anyway. Because it's the right thing to do. Because it does more harm than good not to. Because it sets us free . AND, we hold people accountable. We don't accept the same behavior again and again. We don't look the other way when they try to do the same thing to someone else. We set boundaries and limits with the person we have forgiven and we hold them steady.  And sometimes, when the person can

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 27 - Ways of Practicing - Dr Cat's Favorite Forgiveness Process

 "I forgive __________ for everything and __________ forgives me.    I forgive __________ for everything and __________ forgives me.    I forgive __________ for everything and __________ forgives me. "  -- Dr Cat's favorite forgiveness process This forgiveness exercise requires as much - if not more - writing than The Forgiveness Letter , so its a great one if you process things through writing. In it, Dr Cat takes the principles of Ho'oponopono, combines them with some Biblical wisdom, and adds just a dash of your fourth grade teacher (I will not talk in class. I will not talk in class. I will not talk in class). Click the link above for the full explanation and to give it a try. If you do, let me know how it works for you. [Thanks, once again, to Dr Cat Saunders for this forgiveness exercise as well as for the graphic for today's post. It is from a series entitled Images for Women in Recovery , which can be purchased as a card deck on her web

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 26 - Even More Wisdom from ACIM

"Forgiveness is a choice." -- ACIM

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 25 - More Wisdom from ACIM

"Condemn and you are made a prisoner. Forgive and you are free." -- ACIM

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 24 - Forgiveness Focus from ACIM

"Select one person you have used as a target for your grievances, and lay the grievances aside and look at him. “ -- ACIM, Lesson 78 This one may be a challenge. I know it has been for me. Think of someone you hate, someone whose very name galls you and makes you mad. Someone who tormented you in high school, or made your life miserable in college, or bugs you on a daily basis at work. Perhaps it's someone who you hardly know, but whose name sets your teeth on edge. Or maybe it's someone you see every day who drives you crazy. Whoever it is, try this. Try and lay the grievances you have against them aside and look at them. What do they look like? What is their home life like? Who do they love? What are their hobbies? How do they keep themselves safe? What are they afraid of? Do a full study of this person and see if that changes your view of them. Do a forgiveness letter and see if this takes some of the energy out of your grievances. Say the Ho'oponopono

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 23 - Wisdom from ACIM - Forgiving the Catholic Church

"Forgive and you will see this differently." -- ACIM Last Saturday night my husband and I had a long-overdue date night. We knew what we wanted to do - the old standby, dinner and a movie - but what movie? We had two choices: the Oscar-nominated indie film Philomena , about a woman's search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption or American Hustle , the Oscar-nominated Hollywood film about con artists in the 1970's. Both came highly recommended.   Ultimately we decided on Philomena because we were in kind of a melancholy mood and it had been around longer and was more likely to leave the theaters soon. We couldn't have made a better choice for forgiveness month. ***SPOILER ALERT: If you have never seen the film and think you might want to, stop reading now. The story in a nutshell is about a young woman who gets pregnant, is kicked out by her parents and taken in by the Catholic Church who help her give birth and then force her to work

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 22 - Ways of Practicing - A Course in Miracles

"You are spirit. Whole and Innocent. All is forgiven and released." -- A Course in Miracles A Course in Miracles (ACIM), as many of you probably already know, is a text for self-study to retrain your thoughts. It teaches that the way to universal love and peace—or remembering God—is by undoing guilt through forgiving others . The workbook consists of 365 lessons - one for each day of the year - and is meant to be done consecutively, each lesson building on the principles learned and experienced in the previous ones. Doing "the Course," as it is sometimes called, is a great way do forgiveness work. I have also used the above line from the Course as a forgiveness tool by itself. When someone does something that triggers me, I simply think of them and repeat this line: "You are spirit. Whole and Innocent. All is forgiven and released," until I feel better. If feelings come up again later, I repeat this process.

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 21 - Wisdom from Lily Tomlin

"Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past." --Comedian Lily Tomlin

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 20 - Ways of Practicing - The Violet Flame Meditation

True confession time. I had grand plans for this post before our 30 Days of Forgiveness began. I was going to have a downloadable copy of my version of The Violet Flame meditation available for anyone who is participating. I was even hoping to record an MP3 of the meditation that I could make available. But here I am, the day before the post is scheduled, and I have neither of those things done nor the time to do them today. Last night I did the Violet Flame meditation before I went to sleep and asked to know what this post should look like when I woke up this morning. And this is what I got: Tell the truth. Forgive yourself. Let it go. So, that's what this post is all about. I didn't get any of these things done, however, I do have some information to share about the Violet Flame so here goes..... Another great way to do forgiveness work, is to use The Violet Flame Meditation . The Violet Flame Meditation was given to mankind by Ascended Master Saint G

30 Days of Forgivenes - Day 19 - Wisdom from Martin Luther King, Jr.

"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love." --MLK, Jr

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 18 - Wisdom from Dear Abby

"Only the brave know how to forgive." -- Abigail Van Buren Be brave!

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 17 - Forgiveness Focus - Parents

  "Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them." --Oscar Wilde This is one of my husband's favorite quotes about forgiveness and he reminds me of it often. Both in the context of me as parent and me as child. Another great one about forgiving your parents is: "Our parents job is to wound us in the exact way our soul needs to do its work in this lifetime." (Bevin Keely) This weekend think about your parents, or about yourself as a parent, and see if there is any forgiveness work to do here. I would be surprised if you were to find that there isn't, given the important and karmic nature of these primal relationships. As you work with your parental relationships, try and find the balance between blame and forgiveness. Release blame, but without ceasing to hold them or yourself accountable for bad behavior; practice forgiveness, but without denying your needs or feelings. It is in th

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 16 - Wisdom from David R. Hawkins

"...[T]o forgive is to be forgiven." --David R Hawkins from his book, Power VS Force

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 15 - Wisdom from Kaypacha

If the outer world is illusion, The other, but my reflection, Then I am the source of my problems, And I carry within the solutions. -- Kaypacha (Tom Lescher) The post I had originally scheduled for today did not get posted, so I guess that means it is not ready  and needs a bit more work.  While I attend to that, I thought I would share this with you. We ARE the answers to all of our problems! [If you are into astrology, check out Kaypacha's weekly Pele Report on his website, New Paradigm Astrology .]

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 14 - Wisdom from Gary Renard

"You have to learn how to turn the tables on the ego. The only way to forgive what is within is to forgive what seems to be without." -- Gary Renard , The Disappearance of the Universe We are approaching the two-week mark in this forgiveness experiment and I don't know about you, but my Ego is starting to fight back. Ever since the guilt bomb that was dropped on me last weekend I have noticed that I am more susceptible to being triggered. I have been getting hooked by emails and by comments and, of course, by my own thoughts, all week. Yesterday, while in the pool swimming laps, I finally realized what was happening:  I have been engaging my Ego with all of this forgiveness work and my Ego is starting to fight back.  The Ego relies on the Mind to provide the fuel for its fire. When we quiet the mind with yoga, meditation, writing, forgiveness work or other practices, our Ego quiets down as well. For awhile. But eventually the Ego starts to fight back a

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 13 - Ways of Practicing - Ho'oponopono

I love you. I forgive you. Please forgive me. Thank You. --A prayer for forgiveness based on the principles of Ho'oponopono Ho'oponopono, which means "to make right," is an ancient Hawaiian ritual of reconciliation and forgiveness . Traditionally it was practiced by a priest or among family members of someone who was physically ill. Today it is practiced by a family elder or by the person themselves. There are many modern teachers of this process including Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona and Dr Ihaleakalá Hew Len , who used this process on his psychiatric patients when nothing else seemed to work. One of the key principles of this practice is 100% responsibility. You recognize that you have created this situation - whatever it is - and you are asking the other person for forgiveness as well as offering it to them. All forgiveness is self-forgiveness in this process. To practice Ho'oponopono using this prayer, simply bring to mind the person or situati

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 12 - Wisdom from Ted Mosby

  "...[S]ometimes you'll make a pit for someone in your mind, but the only person that ends up in that pit is yourself." --Ted Mosby " How I Met Your Mother ," Season 8, Episode 11 If you've ever watched "How I Met Your Mother" (HIMYM) you know that the cast occasionally dabble in the woo-woo, especially in the context of "listening to The Universe" and the main character, Ted Mosby, has had some quotable moments over the years, including this one that seems appropriate to recall during our 30 Days of Forgiveness . Not coincidentally, HIMYM airs its first episode in 2014 tonight and if you've never watched you might give it a try. (Old episodes are available to stream on Netflix.) But you'd better hurry, Ted is scheduled to meet the mother on March 31st when the series ends!

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 11 - Wisdom from Cheryl Strayed

"The reality is we often become our kindest, most ethical selves only by seeing what it feels like to be a selfish jackass first."   -- Cheryl Strayed from her book " Tiny, Beautiful Things "

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 10 - Widsom from Zig Ziglar

 "Every obnoxious act is a cry for help." --Zig Ziglar I have always loved this quote, but it is really resonating with me this morning. As many of you already know, my husband and I are currently hosting my mother-in-law in our home after a recent car accident. Luckily she is very easy to be around and things have gone pretty smoothly so far. This morning, however, one of her friends dropped by to bring something she needed and out of the blue lobbed a guilt bomb at me. BOOM! All of a sudden I was in a guilt-bomb-induced rage. And not just at her, but at everyone. No one was doing enough. Everyone was annoying. And a situation which had been going well was all of a sudden rendered untenable by one obnoxious act. Thank GOD it is Forgiveness Month. I knew immediately what I had to do - and who was up today - and I told my husband I needed to go to my room. Once I did the Forgiveness Letter, I was able breathe again, see clearly again, and move forward again w

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 9 - Forgiveness Focus - Strangers

"To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it." -- Confucius Forty years ago I "auditioned" to paint the new mural at our local library. My best friend and I went together. She was chosen. I was not. When the librarian told me I had not made the cut, I was crushed and in my kindergarten mind I came to the following conclusion: I am not an Artist . Over the years I reinforced this idea by repeatedly saying things like, "I can't draw," "I'm not good at art," "I'm not very creative." And sure enough, I came to believe it. Today I have decided to forgive this librarian - who I am sure has/had no idea the impact of her decision on one little girl's life - and to let go of this false belief about myself. I AM AN ARTIST. I may not use oils or watercolors on a canvas, but I create everyday - in my kitchen when I make dinner for my family, on the blank page when I sit down to write, and sometimes

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 8 - Wisdom from Gill Hicks

 "The cycle of revenge has to stop and it has to stop with me." -- Gill Hicks, who was injured in the July 7, 2005 London bombings . I have always been inspired by people who can forgive large hurts - rape, murder, genocide - while I struggle with the everyday things that happen to most of us. Gill Hicks is one of those people who have taken something huge and horrific and turned it into something hopeful and positive. After being severely injured (both her legs had to be amputated below the knee) in the London bombings of 2005, she founded the non-profit M.A.D. for Peace , which believes that empathy is the foundation for a sustainable peace and strives to create empathetic communities.  The cycle of revenge can stop with each of us when we choose empathy and forgiveness over revenge and bring that empathy into our communities every day. World peace starts with inner peace. World peace starts with each of us. World peace starts now.

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 7 - Wisdom from "Life"

"Revenge is a poison meant for others that we end up swallowing ourselves." -- Life , Season 1, Episode 2 I love it when I see the woo-woo showing up on television. It makes me feel like my fellow seekers and I are making a difference, like the messages are seeping in, ever so slowly, to mainstream culture. And, also, it just makes for great TV. "Life" is a perfect example of that. On one level a police procedural drama, the underlying story - about a cop who is framed for murder, goes to prison, discovers ZEN Buddhism and is then exonerated years later - is one of hope, redemption and a whole lotta woo-woo. I highly recommend it, if only for the great quotes like this one. (Well, and Damian Lewis , who ain't too hard on the eyes....) [Although "Life" was cancelled after only two seasons, it is available to stream on Netflix and Hulu .]

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 6 - Ways of Practicing - Mettā Meditation

May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be well. May you be peaceful and at ease and may you be happy.  -- Mettā meditation If you are struggling to keep up with the daily practice of The Forgiveness Letter , don't despair, there are many ways to practice forgiveness that don't involve copious amounts of writing. Each week I will be introducing one or two new forgiveness techniques that you can try and use during your thirty days. Today's technique comes from the Buddhist tradition by way of Mary Morrissey . The Mettā (or "lovingkindness") meditation is used to cultivate loving-kindness towards Self, others, and eventually toward all beings. It is generally practiced in this way: First say the Mettā for yourself, "May I be filled with lovingkindness. May I be well. May I be peaceful and at ease and may I be happy." Then for someone close to you, "May you...." Followed by your family "May we...." and finally

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 5 - Forgiveness Focus - Enemies

"I destroy my enemy when I make him my friend." --Abraham Lincoln Most of us probably wouldn't admit to having "an enemy" after the age of 8 or so, maybe high school at the latest, but sometimes people we encounter can feel like enemies. Sometimes the person who feels like our enemy is our partner, or our best friend, or our child or sometimes even our Self. Other times our enemy is someone we don't even know: the woman who bumps into us in the grocery store and doesn't apologize, the man who honks loudly at us in traffic, or an unknown person halfway around the world who doesn't share our values or our world view. Whether you call a person your enemy or not, I believe we all have people who feel like our enemies, at least some of the time. This summer I had the privilege to travel to Tokyo, Japan with my son and his fifth grade class. A few days into the trip we dropped the kids off at a school in the suburbs of Tokyo to stay with a ho

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 4 - Wisdom from My Husband on the Occasion of His Birthday

"Remember: Everyone in any situation is reacting out of their own fearful, neurotic, insecure, awkward and scared place." --Mark Simmons Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 3 - Wisdom from Sartre

"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you." -- John Paul Sartre via Dr Cat Saunders from her book Dr Cat's Helping Handbook

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 2 - Making a List and Checking it Twice...

  "Anything that annoys you is for teaching you patience. Anyone who abandons you is for teaching you how to stand up on your own two feet. Anything that angers you is for teaching you forgiveness and compassion. Anything that has power over you is for teaching you how to take your power back. Anything you hate is for teaching you unconditional love. Anything you fear is for teaching you courage to overcome your fear. Anything you can’t control is for teaching you how to let go and trust the Universe.” --Jackson Kiddard As you think about who to forgive this month, you may be overwhelmed with so many names you don't know where to start. Or, conversely, you may feel like you have no one to forgive, that there is nothing from the past you are holding onto. Whatever your first reaction to the question, Who do I need to forgive? you can use this quote as an aid in making your own "forgiveness list." Is there anyone who annoys you? Angers you? Brings up

30 Days of Forgiveness - Day 1

  "I'm not okay. You're not okay. But that's okay." -- Colin Tipping , author of Radical Forgiveness If you have been reading this blog for awhile, or if you read my previous blog , you know that Colin Tipping is my forgiveness guru. He has written a couple of absolutely fabulous books on the subject, leads workshops on Radical Forgiveness all over the world, and has even created a forgiveness worksheet that you can use to forgive others and set yourself free (these worksheets can be downloaded for FREE on his website). And this is one of my favorite quotes on forgiveness. I love it for its truth and simplicity. I am not okay, at least not all the time. And neither are you. But that's okay. It has to be, because IT IS. At the same time, we all want to do our best, to improve and to move forward into ever greater expression of our TRUE SELVES. The selves we want to be, the selves we are meant to be, the selves we were before we were hurt and mistr

Happy New Year 2014!

I cannot think of a better portent than this day for you... A clean slate A fresh canvas A pristine and absolutely cloudless dawn Nothing to intervene between you and those potent rays Of the dawn of a new day. It bodes well... May you travel smoothly across these waters through the unerring Guidance from on High, and may all that was best in the year gone by be preserved and all the rest be eclipsed by the best that is to come! -Jonathan Marshall Happy New Year! Happy New Day!  In a class I took last year I learned this little nugget of truth: you can live 90 years or you can live one year ninety times.  I don't know about you, but I want to live 90 years - or more! - with each year being better than the last. Fuller. More expansive. Less burdened by my negative thoughts, habits, memories and experiences.  To that end I am proclaiming January 2014 Forgiveness Month. It is time to release, let go and LOVE ON! (Like moving on, but even be