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108 Life-Changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose
By GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN
HAY HOUSE, INC. Copyright © 2014 Gabrielle Bernstein
All rights reserved.
1# HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE YOU MAKE.
Whenever I'm asked about the greatest lesson I've learned, my response is: Happiness is a choice I make. It's very easy to look for happiness outside ourselves: in a relationship, a dream job, or the perfect body weight. When we chase happiness externally, we're simply looking for God in all the wrong places. The outside search is based on false projections we place on the world. These projections build up a wall against true happiness, which lies within us. This first exercise will help you understand how nothing "out there" can save you from the conflict that resides within. You must develop a rich inner life to enjoy life altogether.
Each time we make this shift and choose happiness, we experience a miracle. Our mind shifts from fearful delusions and reconnects to our truth, which is love. Creating these shifts requires a dedicated commitment to choosing love. To begin your commitment to new perceptions, start by paying attention to attack thoughts toward yourself and others. Whenever you notice your thoughts detour into attack mode, say out loud or to yourself: Happiness is a choice I make. Make this your mantra.
The more you retrain yourself to choose happiness over fear, the more blissful you will be. Repeating a new behavior is what makes change stick. When you repeat a new pattern often, you literally change the neural pathways in your brain. This shift helps true change settle in.
Happiness is your choice. You can choose today.
Now it's time to spread the love! Tweet, Facebook, pin, Instagram, e-mail, and repeat the Miracle Message below. Pay it forward by carrying the message.
Miracle Message #1: Happiness is a choice I make.
2# CLEAN UP YOUR SIDE OF THE STREET.
If you want to live a miraculous life, you must be willing to look at your behavior and take responsibility for the life you've created up until now. The first technique helped you understand that happiness is a choice. Now it's time to deepen this understanding by witnessing how you've chosen fear over happiness.
This practice will help you become the nonjudgmental witness of your fears. Make a list of your top ten biggest fears. As you look closely at these fears, get honest about how they've dominated your life. See how your thoughts have created your reality.
Then, next to each fear, write down the reason you believe this fear to be true. Write as little or as much as you desire. There's only one rule: Get honest. You may find that your fear is based on an experience from your past that you've been replaying over and over for decades. Or you may come to see how your fear is based on a future event that hasn't even happened. As you look at your fears head-on, you'll begin to see how much of what you fear is just False Evidence Appearing Real. When you act on this false evidence, you create chaos in your life.
This practice will guide you to focus more on your side of the street and take responsibility for the world you see. This exercise brings up a lot of funky feelings and can be hard at first. With this in mind, I will arm you with a beautiful prayer from A Course in Miracles. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by your fears, simply recite this prayer out loud, surrender, and allow healing to set in:
Take this from me and look upon it, judging it for me.
Teach me how not to make of it an obstacle to peace.
Now it's your turn to remind others to look closely at their fears. Start planting the seed of positivity with today's Miracle Message.
Miracle Message #2: I choose to reinterpret my fears with a more loving perspective.
3# TO FEEL SUPPORTED, SUPPORT YOURSELF.
During my lectures and workshops I often hear people complain that they're not feeling supported by others. They might be upset with their work colleagues, families, or friends, but whatever the circumstances, they've all slipped into victim mode by resenting others for their lack of support. Rather than commiserate with these folks, I flash the universal mirror at them and ask, "Are you supporting yourself?" Typically they respond with a weepy reply of "No, I'm not."
You see, the way we experience the world around us is a direct reflection of the world within us. If our thoughts and energy are not supportive, then our life won't be supported. Therefore, we must take responsibility by consciously supporting ourselves in every given moment.
Whenever you're in a time of need and feel unsupported or alone, immediately ask yourself, "How can I support myself more?" Then take action. Simple right actions toward self-support can greatly change your attitude and experience. Say something kind to yourself, consciously think an empowering thought about yourself, or ask someone for help.
We often think that people should be able to read our minds and simply "know" when we need support, but they can't. The people in our lives have their own struggles and challenges, and they may not see ours, especially if we appear to be holding it together. Ultimately, asking for help is a radical act of self-support. One of the biggest ways we don't support ourselves is by not asking for support. Asking can take courage, but the reward is immense. Not only will you receive the support you need, you'll deepen your relationship with whomever you're asking.
These small right actions can greatly enhance your life in an instant. Making the simple shift from a powerless victim to a strong person who can care for yourself can change your life forever.
Miracle Message #3: If I want to feel supported, I must support myself.
#4: PEACE IS IN YOUR PULSE.
Everyday life brings challenges and discomfort, which can knock us out of a peaceful place. Throughout this book, one key principle for releasing stress and achieving peace I'll recommend again and again is meditation.
Many people want to meditate but don't know where to begin. They are aware of the benefits and possibly have enjoyed some mindful moments, but have had trouble making meditation a daily practice. One obstacle can be the fact that many folks find meditation intimidating. They think they have to be masters right away to reap the rewards—but in truth, it's called a "practice" for a reason. Would you expect to play tennis like Serena Williams the first time you pick up a racquet? Of course not! But that doesn't mean you can't hit the court with focus and enthusiasm, get a great workout, and improve your skills. The same is true of meditation — even rookies can revel in the results immediately!
An easy way to begin meditation and access peace is through your pulse. Just by meditating on your own pulse, you can calm your mind, balance your brain hemispheres, and recalibrate your nervous system. This Kundalini meditation is called Learning to Meditate—clearly, it's the perfect place to start. If you're a newbie meditator, follow this practice and you'll be Zenned out in no time.
Through this simple meditation you can develop your ability to concentrate. It will also help you control your reactions in all situations and bring calm to even the most scattered mind.
Learning to Meditate
Sit in Easy Pose (comfortably cross-legged on the floor) with a slight neck lock, which means your chin is slightly down and your neck is straight.
Lightly close your eyes and focus on the space between your eyebrows (the third-eye point).
The mantra is Sat Nam (which means "truth identified").
The hand position (mudra) is simple. Place the four fingers of your right hand on your left wrist and feel your pulse. The fingers are in a straight line, lightly pressed on the wrist so you can feel your pulse in each fingertip. On each beat of your pulse, mentally hear the sound of Sat Nam.
This meditation is suggested for 11 minutes, but you can experience great benefits in just one minute. Practice this meditation daily to develop your intuition and calm your mind.
Miracle Message #4: Peace is in your pulse.
#5: WHY AM I TALKING?
Ever walk away from a conversation feeling hungover from all you said? Do you ever lose track of your filter and overshare? Or are you totally unable to listen to other people because you tend to ramble on about yourself?
Whenever you notice yourself oversharing, simply say to yourself, "W.A.I.T.: Why Am I Talking?" This simple acronym will take you out of the ego behavior and back into your truth. Even if you're mid-sentence, it's okay to W.A.I.T. Use this technique as often as possible and soon you'll also become a great listener!
I'm confident that today's Miracle Message will be well received. Simply share the following.
Miracle Message #5: When you've overshared, simply say, "W.A.I.T.: Why am I talking?"
#6: PEACE BEGINS WITH YOU.
No matter how happy or serene we may be, there are always those friends, family members, or co-workers who can get under our skin. Rather than allow these people to shake up your world, it's important to understand that they are your greatest assignments for spiritual growth.
Today's technique is a fantastic Kundalini meditation that offers you a fast, simple, and effective solution for releasing anger when people piss you off. You can practice this meditation anytime and anywhere. You can even begin right now.
Gently press your thumb against your index finger, then your middle finger, then your ring finger, then your pinkie finger.
When you touch your index finger, say: PEACE
When you touch your middle finger, say: BEGINS
When you touch your ring finger, say: WITH
When you touch your pinkie finger, say: ME
Breathe deeply as you say each word. Go as slow or as fast as you'd like. Use this technique in line at the bank, under the desk in an office meeting, or in the middle of a fight with your lover. This technique will get you through all kinds of crazy emotions and help you release resentment fast.
Now it's time to share the love. Post this Miracle Message and inspire others to see their relationships as assignments.
Miracle Message #6: Relationships are assignments for optimal growth and healing.
#7: "THE MIRACLE COMES QUIETLY."
In this exercise you will be guided to understand the following message from the Course: "The miracle comes quietly into the mind that stops an instant and is still." Being still does not come easily for most people. When we're caught up in the chaos of insistent thoughts, we block our connection to the intuitive voice of guidance within. Much of our anxiety and stress comes when we're focused on fear and disconnected from the voice of our inner guide. The key to releasing that tension is to center back into stillness to realign with a natural state of peace. Having the tools to still our mind is imperative if we want to live a miraculous life guided by intuition rather than fear.
If you suffer from anxiety, today's technique is wonderful for releasing it. The simple steps outlined below are based on a Kundalini meditation for releasing anxiety and tension. Follow these steps and enjoy the stillness you will receive.
Step 1: Sit comfortably on a chair and bring both feet flat onto the floor.
Step 2: Close your mouth and roll your tongue clockwise, pushing it against the front of your mouth. Do this for 30 to 90 seconds.
Step 3: Reverse the direction and do it for the same amount of time.
Step 4: Sit for one minute of stillness.
This practice will guide you into a state of stillness. And it is in this stillness that you will feel anxiety subside as you deepen your connection to your inner guide. You'll come to learn that stillness can be our most powerful tool.
For this miracle message, you can share the quote from A Course in Miracles.
Miracle Message #7: "The miracle comes quietly into the mind that stops an instant and is still."
#8: POSITIVE-PERCEPTION PLAYLISTS ARE POWERFUL.
Have you ever had a strong emotional reaction to a song? You know—the kind that makes tears well up in your eyes and goose bumps dot your skin as you're energized and inspired by the sound. If you have, you know that a song can be the catalyst for an awesome loving experience.
Music is one of the strongest tools we have to reconnect ourselves to our inner spirit. I hope you've had this kind of musical encounter at some point in your life. But even if you haven't, it's never too late to welcome a musical intervention. If you've felt frustrated, angry, or uninspired about certain areas of your life, you can use music to rejuvenate yourself from the inside out.
Do you want to shake a negative pattern? Make a positive-perception playlist. Create a mix of songs that spark your spirit and put a smile on your face. Listen to the playlist when you wake up in the morning, during your commute, at the gym, while you cook dinner, etc. Most important, use this playlist to shift your energy whenever you feel down. You can pack it with songs that are peaceful and calming or upbeat and energizing (or both). Let the music be your guide to reactivating your positive perceptions. Need a kick-start? Listen to my positive-perception playlists at Gabbyb.tv/Miracles-Now.
Use these playlists throughout the day. Far too often, we get bogged down with our busy schedules and to-do lists and forget to put on music and let our minds recalibrate. Schedule a few minutes a day to sit in stillness and listen to an inspiring song or two. Soften your mind as you let the music wash over you. This ritual will begin a powerful meditative practice of turning inward and releasing worldly concerns. In this stillness you can access your inspiration.
Today's Miracle Message is an opportunity for you to share your positive-perception playlist. You can simply post your own Spotify playlist or share one from this book. Here's a sample: Gabbyb.tv/Miracles-Now
Miracle Message #8: Rev up your good vibes with my Positive-Perception Playlist! Gabbyb.tv/Miracles-Now
#9: "WHEN YOU'RE FEELING HELPLESS, HELP SOMEONE."
Many people who come to my work feel a disconnection from their life's purpose. The issue isn't that they have no purpose; rather, it's that they forgot their true purpose. This principle will help you reclaim your true purpose: to be love and share love. This is the job of the miracle worker. A Course in Miracles teaches: "Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. They are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less." As you open up to your inner power, it is important to accept that your life's true purpose is to be helpful to all.
Today, I'm introducing a powerful technique: regularly reciting a prayer from A Course in Miracles: I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what
to do, because He who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing
He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.
The words of this prayer hold the energy and surrender of service. Once again you'll be guided to get out of your own way through serving others. As Nobel Peace Prize winner Auyn San Su Ki said, "When you're feeling helpless, help someone." Let your desire to be of service guide you to find your purpose.
For today's Miracle Message I suggest simply sharing the incredible Auyn San Su Ki quote. This message carries an energy that needs to be shared.
Miracle Message #9: "When you're feeling helpless, help someone." — Auyn San Su Ki #MiraclesNow
#10: SLEEP IS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE.
Restful sleep is a key ingredient to living a miraculous life. I'm not saying we need eight or ten hours a night to feel fully rested. In fact, sometimes less sleep can be more restorative than many hours. The key is to have real sleep ... the drooling-on-the-pillow kind of sleep.
In an interview with Huffington Post President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington, she talked about how sleep is crucial to innovation. Huffington said, "The world is in desperate need of big ideas — and there are many, many of them locked inside of us. We just need to close our eyes to see them. So, ladies and gentlemen, shut down your engines and get some sleep."
Huffington is right. Lack of sleep is another way we block our power, creativity, and intuition. We often measure our productivity based on how hard we work and how little we sleep. This mentality is negatively affecting our health and overall well-being. Throughout this book I'll emphasize the topic of how sleep is a spiritual practice. The first step is to accept that restorative rest begins with how we fall asleep.
I'm a hyper lady and often I've struggled to fall asleep. I believe that the way to get a restful night is to fall asleep properly. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep through the night, use this Kundalini breathing technique to drift off and snooze soundly.
Step 1: Sit up straight in your bed.
Step 2: Breathe in using a U breath: Pucker your mouth as if you were holding a quarter between your lips. Breathe in.
Step 3: Exhale through your nose.
Continue this cycle of breath for one minute. Breathe in a U breath through your mouth and exhale through your nose. You will quickly feel rested. Then sleep tight!
Excerpted from MIRACLES NOW by GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN. Copyright © 2014 Gabrielle Bernstein. Excerpted by permission of HAY HOUSE, INC..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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