If we understood the power of our thoughts,
we would guard them more closely.
If we understood the awesome power of our words,
we would prefer silence to almost anything negative.
In our thoughts and words, we create
our own weaknesses and our own strengths.
Our limitations and joys begin in our hearts.
We can always replace negative with positive.
– Bettie Eadie
Hello Bright Light!
How the heck are we nearly halfway through February? Lawdy. Well, since many consider this the month of Love, I thought it would be fun to talk about the Circle of Love and the Lenses of Love.
If you have been flowing with this blog from the get-go, then you know I have never been a fan of Valentine’s Day due to multiple deaths around that date. Plus, now I know that our animal companions offer A Love Not of This World everyday. Now I see Every Day is the 14th! And … Feb 20th is not only national cherry pie day, it’s Love Your Pet Day!
So, this will be a new take on Love with a cool twist. This post is something I Am really passionate about. It’s empowering. And I promise, if you let it in, it will change your lives.
So grab your tea, water, or wine, invite your best fur friend for a cuddle sesh, and get comfy. It’s about to get Real.
🎙(Oh, if you are not a big reader, and if you’d prefer to listen to the written portion of this post as a podcast, you can listen here.)🎙
As an avid student of both philosophy and positive behavior modification, I understand and appreciate how challenging it can be to change the way we believe and think. As Empath and Intuitive, I also appreciate that how we feel is directly linked to what we are thinking and believing. It’s all connected. But sometimes, it’s a big annoying wheel of feels.
If you want to change your life, you must change your mind and change your brain … on purpose. -Bill Crawford
Change and the Three Brains
There is much more at play, beyond our emotions, when it comes to change. Neuroscience research has shown that we have three fully functioning “brains”. Check out this quote below:
Our head (cephalic) brain is best suited for creativity, logic, and problem solving. Our heart (cardiac) brain serves us best when accessed for passion and compassion. And our gut (enteric) brain is the source of courage and self-protection. The vagus nerve is the communication channel between the three brains. 90% of the brain signals traveling through the vagus nerve are traveling up; only 10% travel down!
How our thoughts and brain influence our lives is overlooked and greatly underappreciated. More importantly, how we can become more aware and influential of this process is essential if we want anything to be different.
It begins within.
The quote above sums up where we can start. All we need is a little willingness to change our mind about things. Regardless of the form: a reactive rover, a frustrating feline, a careless coworker, a nosy neighbor, a sassy sister, or bothersome brother – we can change how we perceive their behavior, and how we respond to them in every circumstance.
“For what you see, feel, hear and experience depends a good deal on where you are standing and also where your mind is.”
-C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew, Chronicles of Narnia
Years ago, I discovered both people and pets fall into one or two elemental groups: Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and Metal. Holistic health practitioners (for both people and pets) classify patients according to the five-element theory. This includes:
- body structure
- positive and negative behaviors
These can all be viewed in relation to the five elements. Usually there are one or two elements that are predominant in a pet or person. (There are links at the end of this post that go into this in detail.)
Our big grey bear of a cat was a Wood personality. Our dog is a combo of Earth and Wood, and I can be a combo of both wood and Fire. The emotion associated with the Wood element is anger. When anger predominates, one becomes easily upset and is unable to appropriately restrain their feelings. “Wood” get angry easily and are prone to physical reactions and shouting. These unstable emotions result in the uneven circulation of Qi (energy) and Blood, creating a generalized state of tension and stress.
The combination of combustible cats and canines created very heated moments in our house.
Compassion is a choice.
Some days I was less than unhelpful when it got heated. Being both a triple Sagittarius and a Fire Personality within the 5 Chinese elements, I tend to get “heated” quickly. When I am stressed, I can become overwhelmed wicked fast. When I am on my last nerve I can get triggered quickly. When I am at my worst, my temper could rival a volcano.
But on my best days, I am calm, collected, and can cruise through any crisis.
Thankfully, my best days are the majority these days. But I wasn’t always at my best. Before I began practicing what I call mind training, and keeping an open heart, I was reactive. My world was often overwhelming. My default was reacting.
Fear ran the show.
But as I promised in an earlier post, I have to be honest. Here’s the truth: My pendulum can swing wildly from unconditional love to oh-hell-no. On the days when I am maxed out emotionally and physically, I need my space. And I need peace and quiet. Period.
But I also need love.
Just like our animal companions, when we are at our worst, this is when we need kindness, unconditional love, self-care, and compassion. But in the moment – when we are feeling drained, pulled at, and impinged upon — we can become reactive to the ones we love most.
That’s when WE need LOVE the most.
When I say “we need love”, I am referring to bringing love into our awareness, and letting the Voice for Love run the show. – not the fearful ego. I call the ego “Drop Dead Fred”. Do you remember that character from the movie? He’s beyond obnoxious. And so is the monkey mind that tries to take over when we are tired.
Regardless of how much we are struggling in the moment, however fearful, frustrated, drained, strained, or upset we are, we have a choice. We don’t have to allow the ego to take the wheel and drive. We don’t have to become overwhelmed, upset, angry, irritated, or reactive to anyone or anything, including inanimate objects, strangers, or the ones we truly love.
We Can Choose Love.
There’s an empowering saying that I live by these days: We are either extending love or we are calling for love.
This is not limited to people. This goes for every living being and their behavior. I will talk more about this in the book, but for now, think of extending love as BEING an extension of what you consider LOVE to be. For me, it’s as simple as being kind and compassionate. Think of “calling for love” as anything other than that. A “Call for Love” can come in a myriad of forms; some of which are downright ugly and scary.
But here’s the kicker that’s easier said than done: Regardless of either form (calling for love, or extending love) the response should be love.
Now, clearly, I do not always remember this. And even sometimes when I do remember this, I still react. BADLY. In fact, there is one particular family member who I have the toughest time NOT reacting to … on. the. reg.
He is what I would call my greatest lesson in love. I call him that because he is teaching me, through all the ways I am triggered, that regardless of the form of his behavior, my response can be love.
When I choose to respond with love, it changes everything.
As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.
– ACIM, Chapter 8: The Journey Back
Remembering this powerful Truth brings me into a state of higher awareness, compassion, and kindness. Remembering this allows me to step back and become the observer of what is occurring within my environment, rather than reacting. Remembering this brings me peace. When I am at peace, I can be peaceful and extend this peace outward. When I am at peace, I am kind with myself and others. The video below describes what I am talking about.
3 Words to Change Your Neural Pathway:
Kindness reflects our inherent oneness with each other, while attack drives us still further apart in our awareness. – Ken Wapnick, The Healing Power of Kindness, Vol. 1: Releasing Judgment
When we really understand and appreciate the power of neural pathways and how they are created in the brain, we take our power back. We learn how to truly let go of unhelpful habitual behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs. When we appreciate the power of perception, we empower ourselves.
Thanks to neuroplasticity, the brain’s ever-changing potentials, anything is possible.
We can become conscious of what we focus on. We can become mindful of what we are mindful of. We can replace the negative with something positive. We can choose to re-frame it in our Mind.
When we are faced with everyday life situations, we have an opportunity to notice. There is always a very revealing way that we can begin to monitor our minds. We can do this with practical matters we find difficult or challenging.
What would happen if you could say, “I love you.” when someone is behaving completely bonkers. What if they were out of their mind and you could still think it silently. Imagine if, while your dog was reacting to something in his/her environment, you didn’t react, too. Imagine calmly saying to your canine companion, “I love you.”
Imagine the possibilities.
Imagine the miracles.
We can begin to watch how we respond when our family, ourselves, partner, friends, strangers, coworkers, or animal companions are stressed, stressing us out, or going through a crisis. During these trying times, our unconscious feelings will surface. When they do, we often project those fears out, unfortunately, onto everyone from strangers to the ones who love us with all that they are.
It’s important to never underestimate the depth of our unconscious fear of returning to the mind. It’s also important to become aware of our attraction to blaming outside circumstances (in whatever form they may be) for our inner condition. Regardless of their reactivity, or their behavior, we get to choose.
We always have the power to choose how we respond.
We can choose to react, or to observe. We can choose to listen to the voice for love, or the voice for fear. We can choose kindness and compassion, or we can choose to be critical. We can choose to extend love, or call for love.
Let’s consider choosing Love.
“The only path wide enough for us all is love.” ― Kamand Kojouri
But first, let’s begin by being loving and kind to ourselves; we cannot give to others what we do not have. It begins within. Our hearts and minds are One. If we want to give to others, in challenging times, we have to start with kindness and compassion with ourselves.
Over the decades, I have been down, broken, and fragmented by every pain imaginable. I have been at my lowest of lows and at my worst. But eventually I left the storm and shadows and returned to the light. I remembered that We Are One, and that at our core, we are Love.
Then the rainstorm came over me
And I felt my spirit break
I had lost all of my belief, you see
And realized my mistake
But time threw a prayer to me
And all around me became still
I need love, love’s divine
Please forgive me, now I see that I’ve been blind
Give me love, love is what I need to help me know my name
Oh I, don’t bend, don’t break
Show me how to live and promise me you won’t forsake
‘Cause love can help me know my name
Note: These videos were created during a very challenging time in our lives. Not only was a family member going through constant chemo, but in addition to my career, I was the primary caretaker for a geriatric feline family member who was struggling physically. He was a wood personality, and was on hospice care at home. All of these circumstances were emotionally and physically challenging for everyone in our family.
Choosing Love, kindness, and compassion was essential.
When it comes to being the guardian of an aging animal companion or family member with health complications, even the most loving people have their limits. The daily stresses and struggles our beloveds go through as they are aging can weigh on their caretakers, too. Acknowledging this is essential.
Have compassion for yourself. Practice Self Care while you are caring.
But Never forget this: No matter the challenge you are facing, there is always another way of seeing your circumstances. We are never a victim of circumstances. Life is flowing through us. We are One.
So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself. ― Alan Wilson Watts
Oh, and before you go, take a listen to this oldie but goodie… “Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel . It’s a beautiful reminder that we don’t need the ones we love to be anything but just the way they are. We shouldn’t need conditions to change to love them better. Loving them for all that they are is True Love. This is a love that is unconditional.
I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times; I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are
I said I love you and that’s forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are
Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel
Related Reading / Recommended Links & Videos:
- Personality and the 5 Elements. Which one are you?
- Do some ‘Synaptic Pruning’
- Change and the Three Brains
- Personality and the 5 Elements. Which one are you?
- Do some ‘Synaptic Pruning’
- Creating New Neural Pathways
- How To Rewire Your Brain for Happiness
If you would like support with your aging animal companion you are welcome to contact me.
If you are also an Empath, HSP, Starseed, or Intuitive, you are invited to join our loving commUNITY!
Be well. Be kind. We are all in this together!