Transform your emotions and inner state of being.
Follow your inner divine guidance and experience freedom.
Techniques to lift you up and play with forever.
Poetry to inspire you.
The power of praise, gratitude, acceptance, love, and how to integrate more freedom in your life.
Poetry, spiritual, transformational
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.37(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Be the Alchemist of Your Life
Dare to go Within
By Stine Suvarna Koppernæs
Balboa PressCopyright © 2015 Stine Suvarna Koppernæs
All rights reserved.
Praise over Critique
I love how praise can turn everything around in an instant. When I decide to turn my focus toward appreciating what I have in life—my friends, my family, where I live, my life as it is—I am automatically removed from inner critique and negative emotions. When I find something or someone to praise and appreciate, my inner state is automatically lifted, and in that, so is my experience of the world. I feel as if praise is a magical wand that lights everything up.
Through my meditation practice, I have become more aware of the subconscious ideas that can influence my life negatively. Letting go of these negative thought patterns and stepping into a state of awareness has increased my appreciation of my inner experience and life tremendously. This inner state has made it easier to apply and remember appreciation in all parts of my life and to stay in a mode of awareness and joy. It is as if this state of awareness has a natural tendency to see beauty and appreciate what is presented here and now, as if praise is the natural state of the mind.
In this state, I experience a greater appreciation for life, nature, people, beauty, fresh air, and clean water. I now notice more things to be grateful for in life, things I previously took for granted or didn't even notice. Turning my awareness toward praise, I find that there is always something to appreciate. If I am feeling stuck in any way, emotionally or mentally, focusing on praise and appreciation for what life now presents to me instantly shifts the focus. It is easy for the mind to go looking for something wrong if life doesn't turn out as expected. Luckily, it is as easy or easier for the mind to turn to silence and praise.
When we actively apply praise in our lives and toward the people in our lives, the inner critic and our beliefs that there is something wrong will evaporate in the light of praise. Focusing on praise naturally gives us more gratitude for life and more love for the people in our lives. I especially notice this in my closest relationships, where my mind still can have a tendency to judge. Particularly in family relationships, we are close up to our own shadow sides, and it is not always the easiest place to see when we have stepped back into our old negative programming. When I remember to praise instead of judge, the relationship is instantly lighter; there is more joy, laughter, and lightness. You can remember this whenever your mom, dad, or sister is annoying you. See and acknowledge his or her beauty and good qualities instead, and notice what happens within you then.
To remain in a state of ongoing appreciation, we need to stay in a state of consciousness, we need to become aware of this present moment. Most of us have negative thought patterns and subconscious beliefs that will influence our states of mind and what we create as soon as we step back into unconscious thinking. The more we turn inward to a state of awareness and stillness, the more this negative programming will dissolve. The most effective way to experience stillness and awareness is in meditation, where we can choose to disengage from negative thinking o on a perpetual basis.
Already in the first few years of our lives, we are programmed to believe there is something wrong with our lives and our selves. Because of our experiences, most of us pick up on a belief that something is missing. We may have been left crying without getting our needs met as infants or had other experiences that made us feel unsafe and unloved. We are met with parents and family members who have their own internal programming and thought patterns, which again will influence our thought patterns. In addition to this, the society we are born into and the schools we attend all have the potential to inflict upon us thought patterns and negative beliefs. As we grow up, most of us go forward identifying with limiting beliefs and negative thinking and forget our true nature. We separate ourselves from our eternal and boundless self and identify with something much smaller; most of us end up believing that we need to be fixed and improved to be accepted and loved. When we identify with thoughts and beliefs in this way, we only live a limited part of ourselves. In reality, we are already fully conscious and creative beings with unlimited potential, but now most of us only live and experience a fraction of who we really are.
When you let the critical part of the brain dominate and have a say in what you experience, your experience of yourself and the world shrinks very quickly. It can be anything from holding people to negative past experiences to criticizing yourself. The thinking part of the mind has a tendency to look constantly for something to fix, to look for what is wrong, like it is incapable of trusting what is happening right now. Because of this, it is constantly searching for a reason for being so restless. When we see this thought pattern clearly, it brings a huge sense of relief; you can easily remind yourself of not believing in the part of the mind that tells you something is wrong.
Most of us identify strongly with this judgmental voice in our heads, and the more aware you become, the more you will notice how it is commenting on pretty much everything you experience—everything you are, everything you do, and everything you say. It has an opinion on everything and a need to put a label on everything—this is good, this is bad, that is beautiful, this is ugly, and so on. If you see this only as the bad habit it is and instead choose to create a distance between you and the inner judge, it will make life so much more magical. In this state of nonjudgment, life is more in flow, it is easier to create, happiness is a natural byproduct, and your heart stays more open. Having an open mind like that, without believing any preconceived ideas, will give you the power to receive what life offers in gratitude and wonder. To experience life without having to define experiences, things, and people makes life more interesting and filled with awe. The universe is constantly changing, so how you experienced something yesterday might be completely different from how you perceive the same experience today.
Realizing this has improved the quality of my life, as well as my relationships with people in my life. When you do not believe in the voice that judges, you always have the choice to see people in the perfection of this moment and not through an idea of what they once were, have been, or have done. This gives a new purity, gratitude, and love in your relationships, with fewer disagreements and more joy.
When you get into the habit of appreciating, the mind will get more and more used to this state of being, and it will automatically become more natural to stay in that awareness. Our natural state is to be in awareness and upward-spiraling praise. Negative thinking is just a bad habit, and it is more of a strain to get into the habit than praising and staying as consciousness itself is. Most people believe it is our natural state to think, to judge, and to be in our minds all the time, but it is not. This is very good news! It means it will be easier to step out of the incessant thinking and into a state of conscious awareness than it was to step out of this state of consciousness.
We don't have to spend another lifetime learning how to step out of the mind before we do it. We must simply step back from it now, and every time we do that, it will get easier and easier. Every time we choose to go beyond the thinking mind, it will create more space between our thoughts and awareness. In this way, we will come back to living our lives from our natural state of a peaceful mind as pure awareness and boundless love.
It is not a coincidence that the first of the meditation techniques I use is based on praise. Praise opens up for gratitude, and gratitude opens up for love. When you appreciate something, you will automatically feel more grateful, and in that state of gratitude, the invisible doors to love naturally open up. In the same way, when you praise someone, that person will most likely go into a state of gratitude, and then the experience of love will flow more freely between you.
How to Integrate More Appreciation
"The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them."
—Gilbert K. Chesterton (Autobiography, 1936)
- Praise yourself—and write it down. Write down all your good qualities, all your accomplishments, why you are loved, why you love yourself, and all your strengths. Also recognize all the challenges you have gone through in life and acknowledge yourself for how you have dealt with this. Notice how your inner state changes.
- Praise someone you love—write down all of his or her good qualities and what you appreciate about that person being in your life. Even more powerfully, you can tell him or her in person.
- During your days, notice at least one positive trait in each person you meet. You can choose to say it to that person or just recognize his or her positive qualities internally. You will most likely experience the world being more friendly and beautiful when you apply this to your daily inner routine.
- More magic: choose a person who has hurt you or who you have some form of resistance toward and find positive traits in him or her. Find what you can praise and appreciate in this person, and your relationship with him or her will most likely change, at least for you internally. This change will transform your emotions to be more upward spiraling. Holding on to anger, bitterness, and grievances is in the end only hurting us. This is a way of aiding you to let go of negative emotions attached to anyone in your life. You might be right about your view of theses people, but you also have the right to be happy and to let go of whoever has wronged you in any way.
- Catch yourself if you are in a negative state of emotion. Have you turned your inner judge on? Do not judge yourself for it, but instead gently find something to appreciate. You can praise nature, your own inner or outer beauty, someone you see, the beautiful sky, the purity in raindrops, water, the sun, an animal, a butterfly, a bird singing, the snow, or the green grass. Notice when you start focusing on praise that your mind starts to open up to find more beauty to praise.
- Learn a technique where you are able to observe your thoughts and disengage them from your mind. Spend some time every day in meditation and awareness. This will help you to disengage from thinking, which again will take you out of the judgments that go through the mind. Observe what goes through your mind without labeling it, and just let it pass. Recognize that you are not who criticizes and judges; it is only past conditioning that has come into your awareness with which you have identified. The thoughts may sound like you and have your voice, but I promise you this: you are not your thoughts or the voices in your head; they are just passing by, like clouds on the endless sky. Research has shown that meditation not only gives you more peace, joy, and wellbeing, but it balances the hormones in the body, producing the opposite effect of fight or flight through changing gene expression and lowering blood pressure, among other health benefits. (Some online articles about these studies: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/272833.php/ http://www.thebrightpath.com/article/how-meditationchanges-your-brain/ http://www.i-sis.org.uk/How mind changes genes through meditation.php)
To begin with you may notice your mind is more judgmental than you were aware of. This is completely normal. You are now becoming more conscious of the thoughts, and now you have the opportunity to let go of any identification with the thoughts. Letting go of the thinking mind and living a life in awareness and praise takes practice, but I can promise you that it is well worth it. When you first start practicing meditation, it might feel like a job or yet another thing you have to do. But when you are staying aware, living a life of appreciation becomes your natural state of mind. You will start to notice that your experience of life is changing, and it is well worth the effort and commitment to become more conscious. You will again become the human being you were born as—pure awareness, living in a state of joy, spreading consciousness, and seeing beauty.
Fragments of Your Soul
Collecting your colors
from the depths of this lake,
and golden stars.
awakens the parts
that slept in the mud
and dreamt of a lake.
The starlight conceals
the fractures in your soul,
and looking back
won't give you new control.
Standing open and falling
into this starship
where we all are
fragments of the same soul,
each part containing us all.
The fear of
the spirit of the night
withholds an eternal summer.
When control surrenders,
the flow of the dance
In this moment of trust,
I love to be without stopping.
The deathless dancer,
he collects me
before I step into the dawn
in this flamenco
where the fire burns
Express your vision
through night lights
to the souls you want to reach.
The ones that yearn
for the daylight
and the souls that are
willing to dive deep.
To see through the
mystery of moonlight,
hides in light,
is only seen in the starlight
when the darkness reveals
what we hide.
Gratitude over Lacking Something
In the life of aspiration and dedication
The gratitude-deer always runs the fastest,
Always achieves the most,
Always becomes the perfection-satisfaction
Of the highest and
Most fulfilling and fulfilled
Supreme in us.
Gratitude is not a human achievement.
Gratitude is a divine treasure
Granted to us
By the inner Pilot within us,
The Absolute Supreme.
Deciding to focus on everything in gratitude always lifts me up. It helps me appreciate everything in life, from the small things to the big things. Seeing my relationships with people through the eyes of gratitude also lifts our relationships to a higher level.
I especially recognize this in the areas of life where I at times believe there is a lack of something or that something is wrong. If instead I focus on what I have in those areas and apply gratitude to that, then the belief that I lack something quickly melts away.
For instance, I have a tendency to go into the belief of feeling lonely. Through meditation I realized that this feeling of loneliness came from a longing to connect with the silence within, to connect with my higher self. I noticed that I could look within instead of focusing on what was missing or trying to find something wrong with my life, and this was a huge inner relief. The tendency most of us have when we feel lonely or that we lack something is to fill our time with things, people, or entertainment. There's nothing wrong with having fun with people and having great experiences, but if we do this to avoid experiencing what is going on internally, we are only prolonging our feeling of lack. This feeling of lack is most often based on an idea that we are not loved or that something is wrong or missing. We could instead go within and fill ourselves up with conscious awareness and love. When we do this, our wounds get an opportunity to mend, and we act out of more love for ourselves, which again will aid us in creating experiences that will give us more to be grateful for.
Being conscious of being grateful for the people in my life gives an experience of more joy and love. The love for them is always present, even when they are not there in person. Focusing on gratitude for who is in my life and my love for them allows love to enter into my experience where I before could have thoughts of being lonely. Through this I can appreciate being alone, and the peace in accepting everything as it is now is a reward in itself. Now I see the time I have alone as a gift for experiencing more freedom through connecting with the inner state of silence and love. I appreciate the love I have for people without needing anything from them, and my relationships instead become about giving.
You can also apply this to the more physical areas in your life. For instance, perhaps you are feeling dissatisfied with your body or diet, and your mind is in a state of inner critique about what you could do better—that you should be healthier, exercise more, eat more vegetables, do more yoga, and so on. In those moments we can instead turn our awareness toward gratefulness. We can be grateful for having bodies and for having this amazing experience of life through our bodies. Everything you can be grateful for in your physical world, both in regard to your body and what your life gives you, will release you from the experience of lacking and judging. And the body will get stronger when it receives gratitude instead of judgment because the vibration in the cells will be lifted. Being grateful creates a feeling of abundance and contentment and a recognition of what is already abundant in you and your life.
Excerpted from Be the Alchemist of Your Life by Stine Suvarna Koppernæs. Copyright © 2015 Stine Suvarna Koppernæs. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Praise over Critique, 1,
How to Integrate More Appreciation, 6,
Gratitude over Lacking Something, 13,
How to Integrate More Gratitude, 17,
Love over Fear, 23,
How to Integrate More Love, 29,
Freedom over Control, 45,
How to Experience More Freedom, 54,
Allowing over Resisting, 63,
How to Allow and Let Go, 69,
Compassion over Suppression, 73,
How to Experience More Compassion, 79,
Abundance over Needing, 83,
How to Experience More Abundance, 88,
Gemstones, Crystals, and Chakras, 95,
Ruby, Black Obsidian, Muladhara, and Symbolism, 98,
Pearl, Svadhisthana, and Symbolism, 105,
Golden Topaz, Manipura, and Symbolism, 110,
Emerald, Anahata, and Symbolism, 114,
Blue Sapphire, Vishuddha, and Symbolism, 119,
Lapis Lazuli, Ajna, and Symbolism, 123,
Diamond, Sahasrara, and Symbolism, 127,
In Gratitude, 137,
Author Biography, 141,