You feel angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, and alone: you know there's another way-another choice; way to be in the world; way to feel calm, happy, and excited about life. But how? Choose love.
How to Choose Love When You Just Want to Slap Somebody uses humor, real-life stories, and exercises to help you understand where you get stuck, and to help you understand how to get unstuck by consciously connecting to the energy of love. Each chapter offers fast, easy exercises that allow you to choose love and bring more joy into your life:
• Discover techniques to help you relax and open to love• Understand how to harness the power of gratitude• Explore methods to release past hurt, grief, and sadness• Identify how the universe is working on your behalf• Recognize how your thoughts create your reality
"Diane Haworth is a profoundly gifted new author. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is a true gem in its genre, and a must-read for anyone who is seeking to better their lives." -Dr. Todd Michael, artist, author of Evolution Angel, and retired physician
"It is always a pleasure to see someone's destiny unfold. Diane brings her incredible insight and wisdom to life with her words, and, in the end, we are inspired by her." -Alison Baughman, numerologist, author of Speaking to Your Soul: Through Numerology; www.VisiblebyNumbers.com
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Read an Excerpt
How to Choose Love When You Just Want to Slap Somebody
By Diane L Haworth
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Diane L. Haworth
All rights reserved.
What if there was something that could help you choose love when you're frustrated? Help you lose weight? Soothe relationships? Improve your health? Transform you into a money magnet? And it's free?
That magic something is meditation.
Want to be happy? Meditate. Overweight? Meditate. Problem in your marriage? Meditate. Health issues? Meditate. Never have enough money? Meditate. Stressed out by your crazy family? Definitely meditate!
Years ago I offered a workshop entitled "Meditation to Look Younger, Feel Thinner, Be Richer and Less Stressed!" Meditation does all this and more. It's the secret to accessing your internal - and eternal - connection to Divine Spirit.
Many people are confused about what mediation is and how to do it. Because meditation is free, people often fail to see its value. How sad. Of all the spiritual books I've read, workshops I've attended, energy sessions I've received and given, nothing I've found produced more lasting and significant results than consistent meditation. I'm not an authority on meditation. I just know it works.
When I first learned to meditate, I was a full-time working mother, getting my MBA in night school and caring for chronically ill parents. I didn't have a lot of extra time and usually felt overwhelmed, exhausted and was constantly sick. Once I committed to a consistent meditation practice, I was more productive, found it easier to sleep and felt emotionally and physically strong. Over a short period of time, meditation moved me from frustrated to relaxed, upset to calm, and hopeless to hopeful. Meditation made the difference.
So what is meditation? It's a process of consciously relaxing your mind to transcend the never-ending flow of thoughts. Think of it as a conscious way to detach from your constant mind chatter into a mindful place of peace. It may take you a few tries to get the hang of this, but I guarantee there is nothing I've found that will make positive changes in your life faster than a consistent meditation practice. Nothing.
Why meditate? Countless medical, scientific and spiritual sources tout the benefits of consistent meditation. A few common benefits widely reported by people who consistently meditate include:
Feeling happier and more at peace
Increased social skills and feeling of "connectedness"
Reduction or elimination of "stress eating" thus leading to lower weight
Calmer thought patterns which can reduce "impulse buying" issues
Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
More relaxed muscles (some say they even appear younger once meditation drains stress from the face!)
Increased brain function with improved memory and greater clarity
Improved creativity and problem solving
Greater pain tolerance
Reduced overall stress (and reaction to specific stress triggers)
The most important benefit to those wishing to live a life of love is that of feeling connected to God, Source and the Universal Life-force Energy. No matter what name you identify with, the result is you feel a part of "the energy that runs through all things." You realize you're part of the pulse of the Universe as you go about your day, contributing your unique vibration to that of the whole. You're connected to the mighty oak tree and the smallest flower, connected to the quiet mountain stream as well as the roaring ocean, connected to the homeless man in your town and to your country's highest political leader. We're all one through the Divine Spark that burns within each one of us. Meditation makes this clear. It's much harder to criticize someone or something which you feel deeply connected to. And it's much easier to recognize the bonds that unite you.
A consistent meditation practice not only makes you aware of this Divine Spark but quiets the mind enough for you to actually hear the Divine guidance offered to you. In most Western cultures, the ego is so noisy that people never hear - or choose to ignore, or even worse, doubt - the whispers of Truth that are presented each and every moment. Meditation helps access that information to use in everyday decisions and allows you to develop and trust your innate intuitive abilities. The little voice within that has all the answers is suddenly available and easier to discern.
Let's be clear. A consistent meditation practice certainly doesn't mean you avoid problems or life challenges. But it does help you weather those issues with more grace and ease than ever before. You still make mistakes. Meditation gives you the rudder to right your actions more quickly, however, and get back on the path you truly want to explore. It'll help eliminate a good portion of the "noise" around you that comes in the form of gossip, fear and anger. You'll be better equipped to deal with those as well.
I've found that some of my coaching clients failed at meditation either because they used a technique that was uncomfortable for them or they just didn't understand how to begin or sustain a daily practice. Every client who faithfully meditated every day, even for as little as five minutes, achieved positive results.
I know what you're thinking. "I don't have time to meditate." "I tried it once and still felt crappy." "I can't sit in a position like a pretzel and chant." "What will my friends and family think?" Let's address those barriers one by one.
"I don't have time to meditate." I've heard meditation experts state that beginning with as little as five minutes a day, consistent meditators can quickly achieve positive results. Now come on - you don't have five minutes a day? How much time a day do you typically spend complaining or thinking negative thoughts? Use that time to meditate.
"I tried it once and still felt crappy." You once tried to walk and fell down, but you got back up and eventually learned to walk. Perhaps after several failed attempts you learned to ride a bike. You probably weren't a great driver at first, or a good cook or efficient at using your computer programs - it all took practice. So does meditation. Committing to a regular consistent practice of meditation is what yields the results you want.
"I can't sit in a position like a pretzel and chant." Luckily this is not required. There are many simple ways to comfortably meditate and I'll list a few techniques later in this chapter.
"What will my friends and family think?" They'll probably think you're calmer, happier and seem healthier and more fun to be around. And they'll probably want to know what you're doing so they can do it too!
Like everything else in life that's beneficial, you have to decide you want the desired benefit to wholeheartedly commit to the practice. So do you want to look younger, feel thinner, be richer and less stressed? Do you want to know how to choose love in even the most frustrating situations? Meditate!
How to Start
I meditate for 20 minutes soon after rising each morning before breakfast and again around 5:00p.m. if my schedule allows that day. I never miss my morning meditation and get in another session whenever possible. I'm consistent, and that's why it works to keep me grounded and centered. I strongly suggest you begin in the morning, but if that doesn't work for you, it's recommended that you time your meditation between meals.
There are various types of meditation and many start the same way. I'll describe that first and then discuss a few specific techniques. The meditation methods I've used most consistently are concentration, mindfulness and silent prayer. Read the description for each before you begin.
Start your meditation by finding a quiet place where you'll be undisturbed and turn off all phones and any other potentially noisy devices. Set a timer to monitor the length of your meditation session (start with at least five minutes once a day and work your way up to at least 20 minutes twice daily if that feels right for you).
Sit comfortably in a chair, feet flat on the ground, eyes shut, hands resting comfortably in your lap ideally with your palms up. The most important thing is to be comfortable. Take a few deep belly breaths and let it out slowly. (To take a "belly breath" place your hand right below your belly button and breathe deeply ... your hand should be pushed out by your breath. If not, your breathing may be too shallow and only from the top of your lungs which limits your oxygen supply.) Now imagine you have "roots" coming out of the bottom of your feet and imagine pushing those roots down deep into the center of the earth, which will ground you. When you're ready to meditate, close your eyes and gently gaze towards your "third eye" area between your eyebrows which will help pop you into a theta brainwave that aids in a productive session. Decide on the technique you'd like to use and you're ready to begin.
This is a favorite technique of many of my clients and students. In this method you simply stem the flow of thoughts by concentrating on an object outside yourself. It's that easy.
Many new meditators find success by using recorded guided meditation CDs or audio downloads that are available from any major bookstore as well as most metaphysical outlets, online sources and public libraries. This is a great way to start your meditation practice. You simply prepare yourself to meditate as described above, close your eyes and follow the voice of the narrator. Many guided meditations are designed around themes like abundance, stress relief or improved health. Choose your topic, choose your narrator and get started.
You can also concentrate on a single outside occurrence to get into a meditative state. For example, you can center yourself and begin to count each breath in, one, and out, two; in, three, out, four and so on. You can continue to count in order or cycle every 10 or 20 counts. Some people choose to breathe and concentrate on a specific phrase or mantra such as "I am always connected to the Divine within," "Love flows to me and through me now" or "My world is filled with Divine Love." Still others prefer to focus on an object like the sound of a tabletop water fountain, even a dripping faucet. With your eyes open you can softly focus on a flickering candle or fireplace flame as you relax. You can even do a "walking meditation" by totally concentrating on each step as you take a peaceful walk in nature. The technique works because you're giving your brain something to do instead of vainly trying to clear your mind of all thoughts.
This simple technique has proved effective for many of my clients. After one week, one woman became noticeably calmer and virtually stopped vicious shouting matches with her teenaged son. She felt so grounded and balanced that they were able to resolve differences that had been a problem for over a year. Another client found meditation helped his constant stress dissolve. He soon felt physically healthier and even had more success in his business.
This meditation practice describes how to be mindful of "the now" and was made popular by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I've personally found it to be effective in alleviating mild to moderate pain. In this technique, you'll be concentrating about 25% on your breathing and 75% on the present moment. Here you simply breathe and observe what you're experiencing through your senses in the present moment without judgment from a detached state. It's easier than it sounds.
Let me explain.
When using this method, center yourself as described earlier, then with your eyes shut observe what your senses are experiencing right now. I usually begin at my feet and notice how they feel resting on the floor then work my way up the body. I notice how my clothes drape around me, notice the weight of my body as it rests in the chair, and how my hands are laying in my lap, all without allowing my mind to judge any of it.
I may notice my pants are fitting tightly because I feel a slight tension on the fabric around my middle but I do so without saying "I'm so fat!" See how it works? "I'm so fat!" is a judgment. Simply notice the feeling of the tight fabric and move on. Notice any sounds without judgment. Hear the neighbor's barking dog (without mentally adding "shut up!") Notice any smells that surround you without deciding they are "good" smells or "bad" ones. They're just scents.
The key in this method is to resist nothing. Your job in this meditation technique is to simply observe. If you feel pain anywhere, instead of cursing your luck and trying to resist it, note where the pain starts, the intensity and how it feels. Does it throb? Is it a dull pain? Sharp? Note all without judging that it's unfair to be in pain in the first place! By observing the pain in this way, you'll find you're soon either totally out of pain or that it's greatly reduced.
I've found the mindfulness technique very effective when I'm feeling particularly agitated or distracted. And just like with anything else in life, sometimes I want a change in my routine and rotate from my typical method to this one.
The first way I consciously meditated was by using the centering prayer method introduced by my pastor after he began studying the books of Father Thomas Keating. Keating rediscovered this forgotten Catholic practice in the 1970's and describes it as a way to experience God's presence within each of us. Centering prayer is a silent prayer method. Here's how it works.
Start by selecting a sacred word that symbolizes your intent to invite God's presence and action into your consciousness (I like to use "peace," "love," "Spirit," "welcome"). Center yourself with a few deep breaths and begin "to invite in the silence" by saying your sacred word to yourself as you let any thoughts that arise gently flow out of your consciousness like "a leaf gently floating on a river." As you sit, use the sacred word to bring back your intention when your thoughts become too distracting. Keating recommends meditating this way for 20 minutes twice daily. During church services, my pastor would ask the congregation to "imagine climbing into the lap of God, and rest there as a small child sits nestled in the lap of his father." I found this a very loving and effective way to connect with the Divine within.
I had the pleasure of attending a Centering Prayer workshop presented by Thomas Keating and can personally attest to his charismatic nature and passion for assisting others in rekindling their connection to God. This is an amazing technique, and I attribute my daily practice of this meditation to first giving me the inner strength I needed to make lasting positive changes in my life.
You probably have an idea which method appeals to you right now. So let's review:
1) Choose the meditation technique you feel most drawn to.
2) Make sure you choose a time to meditate before meals or at least two hours after eating.
3) If you want, set a timer to control the length of your session.
4) Sit comfortably in a chair, feet flat on the ground, eyes shut.
5) Take a few deep belly breaths and let them out slowly.
6) Imagine you have "roots" coming out of the bottom of your feet, and push them down into the center of the earth to ground you.
7) Begin using your method of choice.
Work with your preferred method for at least a week before trying an alternative method. Remember even five minutes a day makes a difference! Start with small sessions and work up to longer ones. Meditation is a wonderful way to allow yourself to begin to feel your connection to the Divine and "ignite the spark within." And it's an essential tool that allows you to choose love in any circumstance.CHAPTER 2
THE POWER OF GRATITUDE
An attitude of sincere gratitude absolutely opens me up to love, and the reason is simple. When your heart is filled with gratitude, there isn't room for anything less than love. No room for anger, frustration or resentment. No room for guilt, regret or pain. Just love, gratitude and genuine appreciation. Gratitude opens you to peace, joy and even more to be truly grateful for. Gratitude helps you choose love.
Like any other practice, your "gratitude muscle" needs to be exercised, and it'll develop over time until it's just a way of life for you. What would your life look like if you felt deeply grateful for the world you live in? If you truly loved your body, your job and your home? If despite your differences, you were grateful for your friends, partner and the members of your family? Yes, even the ones that drive you crazy.
Excerpted from How to Choose Love When You Just Want to Slap Somebody by Diane L Haworth. Copyright © 2014 Diane L. Haworth. 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
Why I Wrote This Book, xv,
This Book is for You!, xix,
Chapter 1: Meditate!, 1,
Chapter 2: The Power of Gratitude, 12,
Chapter 3: You Are What You Think, 22,
Chapter 4: What If Life is Working for You?, 41,
Chapter 5: What Does Love Look Like Here? How Does Love Move Me Forward?, 48,
Chapter 6: Living in the Now, 54,
Chapter 7: Release, Relax and Accept, 61,
Take Thoughtful Action: Choose to Live Love, 77,
About the Author, 81,