DESIRE

Hello everyone! I have been thinking of sharing some ideas about desire for some time now and I’m finally getting some thoughts out to you about this. Funny, I considered using the title “Love and Lust” but “Desire” seems to encompass more. So let’s look at desire. Do you know what you desire? For some it may be to have more money, more living space, more friends, more spare time, more food, more sex, more sleep, more travel. The commonality of all of these is that one word: more. See, with desire, there is always that feature. Now you might say no, if I had just a little more of one or many of those desires, I would be very happy. Then think back to when you might have had just a little less than what you do now. Notice your desires have grown. You might tell me that the economy has changed so that is why you need more money than what you needed last year. You likely need to adjust your spending as the economy changes every year. Do you spend just a little less on hair appointments, eating out, wine or entertainment? This you can do today – mindfully – to be able to live within the same finances you did before. And this is a good habit to get into as we know that cost of living rises every year.

Now let’s look at love. Many people desire to be loved. It is a most wonderful experience and it can make the heart sing! I have been speaking with several clients that have fallen in love over my many years of practice and I am always amazed with the human condition. Here is the most regular scenario: couple meets each other, lots of uncertainty and then trust builds as love builds and finally couple is in steady and happy relationship. Then, some concern arises and less love is felt, both parties are less happy and arguments or non-healthy communication (sometimes silent and solitary brooding) arises. Now remember, I said the “most regular scenario” which means this does not happen in every relationship but surprisingly, many relationships go through this.

Which brings me to why I almost called this “Love and Lust.” This is because these words are part of the experience that often leads to the building of a great relationship and also the same ingredients that can lead to the breakdown of one. See, often a certain chemistry brings a couple together (let’s call that a lust-stage). There are words, looks and experiences shared that contains this strong sexual desire. Over time, a love develops and this contains a deep affection, interest and pleasure. And over more time, a lust can re-enter the relationship (from another source). Most often justifications are given for this like “it’s just a natural instinct” or “it’s a guy thing” – yet, I have seen this happen for both men and women in relationships. Often men are less-comfortable in opening up about feeling less-desirable or jealous than women are, so women more openly speak about this.

When lusty-looking enters a relationship (again, towards another person or experience), it is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on personal and shared values in a relationship. Are they the same? Have they changed? Whether it is in a marriage or not, the words and actions encompassing “love, honour and respect” are most important in any loving relationship. If this is not the feeling experienced by both people in any relationship, it’s time to communicate openly and honestly. This is a wonderful time to discuss (without ego) what is, or is not, being experienced by each partner. To say “I love you” can happen from either a lust or a love perspective.

To live “I love you” can only happen from a love perspective.

This means that each partner can understand what this means for the other and recognize their own habits and styles too. This is not easy as it requires full honesty and humility from each person.

Remember that over time our desires change too. You have no desire today for that tricycle that you longed for at age 3. And your desires in a relationship will change too as you grow in life in the areas of body, mind, intellect and soul. Open communication filled with curiosity and love can move a relationship to newer heights yet cannot be forced. So as much as one may desire a change from a partner, remember that the only change we can truly control is that which we can create in ourselves.

To know yourself is the key here. Do you understand your desires today? Do you understand your partner’s? Do you know your goals? What is meaningful to each of you? Do you share the same values today that you may have shared in the past? Remember those words – love, honour and respect are most important here. In a relationship, this means working from a “we” perspective rather than a “me” perspective to nurture and value the relationship and grow together. Are you doing your part? There needs to be no blame or shame here. Just an acknowledgement, an acceptance, and a plan of action that honours the current moment while shaping the next moment too. Often times, people do not realize the looks, words and/or actions that are making their partners feel less-desired, less-confident and ultimately, less-satisfied in their relationships. Do you know whether you are building or breaking down your relationship with your behaviours (sometimes conscious and most often, unconsciously-driven)?

People can re-train their thoughts words and actions to honour themselves as well as the relationships they have created with love. It only takes a true appreciation of what you value most, today.

I have met and worked with a few people that are determined to live their lives from one lusty experience to the next; yet I have met none that are truly content, peaceful or satisfied for very long in such a lifestyle. So then another short-term lust is pursued, leaving such people in perennial denial of the loneliness and despair felt between such experiences. Until it is denied no more. I have met just as many loving relationships that are steady with their three basic ingredients of love, honour and respect that have maintained love and fun lust because of a mindful attention to do so – these have experienced a long-lasting satisfaction that I would wish for any healthy and happy relationship.

What is interesting to contemplate is that your current relationship may itself have been built on the foundation of lust. If love has not been acknowledged and nurtured, a dissatisfaction may arise from a desire to re-live the lust you once knew. I often remind people that this is the experience of many animals (though not all as some maintain the same partner for life); humans however, are known to have a far greater Consciousness that flows through them that can guide higher-level thoughts, words and actions that bring about rewards much higher than the fleeting experiences of lust. Most people recognize this gift as the true blessing that it is.

Again, knowing your values, your goals, and your desires now, is the most important consideration. If you know you need to change something in yourself to bring more love, honour and respect to yourself or who you love, begin there.

I thought I would end this post with a message I came across that I believe simply and perfectly describes what I am trying to share with you in this post. Now all you have to do is know what you want to create for your life experience!

May your life be filled with healthy and meaningful love and lust!

Kindly,

Hanifa

http://www.hearthealthbrainhealth.com

Enlightenment/Realization and Relationship to SUN and MOON

Today I am thinking about knowing ourselves. Of course, this is what I help people think about regarding themselves – including their thoughts and words, or about their actions towards themselves and others. I help with guidance from my perspective regarding the light and dark sides of all of us. My reflective time today began as I was noticing how very much I love the sunrise and sunset and how I am also drawn to the mystery of the moon and moonlight. So this inspired me to share some of my current awareness about the sun and moon through this post.

THE SUN

Many people have heard the term “he/she has seen the light!” Often that “aha” moment of understanding that we have certainly all gone through whenever we learn something new and apply the learning to our lives. This could be anything from learning math and understanding how to apply this to many aspects of our lives (e.g., counting hours in a day, apples in a grocery store or miles/kilometres to get home), to learning from a life event that brings new understanding of our life experience (e.g., more care in walking after twisting ankle; or how to respond rather than react to an angry person). We are all growing in this way, whether consciously or unconsciously.

Of course we hear about bringing light to a situation in either our personal or professional life; and we hear of “enlightenment” which is defined as the “full comprehension of a situation.”

In life, we will always have bright moments and darker too. So for this true understanding it is important to look at all aspects of ourselves and sometimes the not-so-great aspects are the best to observe, acknowledge, and improve upon for our own conscious evolution. Let me elaborate just a little about what we can learn from the moon.

THE MOON

Some people know that darker sides of people’s personalities seem to be effected by full moons and many say that people do some unusual things during full moons. I do know that at hospitals I have worked in, there were definitely higher ER visits on full-moon nights. We do know that the moon effects the rise and fall of tides in oceans. High and low tides are caused by the moon . The moon’s gravitational pull generates something called the tidal  force. The tidal force causes Earth—and its water—to bulge out on the side closest to the moon and the side farthest from the moon. These bulges of water are high tides.

While the moon’s magnetic effect is not creating a physical movement of water in our bodies (according to current science), it could be bringing heightened emotions to surface. At the full moon, there is an additional brightness to the night sky and people may find themselves feeling more anxious or emotionally upset.

When we think about spirituality, the moon can represent the “shadow” side of nature. And this may give humans an opportunity to reflect on their own natural tendencies when something feels even energetically “off” in their environments. Of course, I believe that this time may be to “shed light” on these aspects of human behaviour or experience which may be more clearly seen in this time. Historically, the moon has been linked with the approximately 28-day menstrual cycle and I often tell clients that although many girls/women are seen as extra-emotional at this time, I believe they are somehow not able to hold back in pre-menstrual time what they may hold back for the rest of the month as somehow inhibitions seem lifted for many at these times. I look at this time as another opportunity to look at one’s shadow self or important details. Remember this may mean worries, fears and anxieties even though anger or frustration may “hide” like the moon the details that are shadowed by dark nights. It’s important to remember that both men and women are effected by the moon and similar cycles – menstruation is not a pre-requisite for such “moodiness.” So whether you are male or female, look at yourself carefully when you notice a tendency towards depression, sadness, a desire for hiding or secrecy or reactive behaviours (in thoughts, words or actions). This is not a time for judgement, but a good time for observation of your own patterns. I will share more about things to help you in your self-reflection in future posts. For now, try to acknowledge the sunny and darker parts of yourself and then act to “come to the light” – we all know that this feels fantastic!

Wishing you a happily-reflective day/night!

Kindly,

Hanifa

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Covid-centric

Are you seeing what’s right in front of you? I thought tonight I might point out something that’s pretty obvious… if we choose to see it. I believe (and many do) that we are in a time of a global awakening. If we look at it from Spirituality-specific or perhaps energy-specific terminology you might see terms like moving from 3D to 5D Consicousness. You can read more about this in the newsletter I sent out to clients in January through this link: https://mailchi.mp/7cef20e018f9/the-spiritual-journey-january-2021-newsletter?e=365f12d339

What I find so interesting about the human mind is that it has a tendency to focus on what is not so good. We know that we are bombarded by news stories and discussions about this regularly. It’s not exciting (or in the past the term was “sexy”) news to discuss the great things happening. We only need to think of our own personal experience in any day. If you get a basic paper cut on a finger, your mind will not focus on the many fingers without the cut. The focus will keep coming back to that wound. At least until our minds get sufficiently distracted to pay attention to something else. Then we might even forget about the paper cut! Until something touches the cut and we realize it is not as tender or feels a little better now.

If we already know that media’s goal is to keep our attention, it is no surprise that a focus on the worry/fear/loss that is happening with the virus is what most are hearing. Then they share the news they hear with others and fears/worries/concerns spread. Vaccine talk is the focus even though there is no proof that this helps prevent the infection and the comment that symptoms would be milder if the virus is caught is verified by… who? I feel that this virus is the global “focus-of-the-moment.” It most certainly deserves attention and awareness, but not fear, and most-definitely not single-minded focus on fears or frustrations. My heart hurts for those battling chronic (and sometimes even acute) health conditions that are anything other than Coronavirus. First there is the fear possibly raised in the person themselves as they hear about people with pre-existing conditions being more likely to catch Coronavirus and that they then have poorer prognosis for overcoming the virus too. Well, guess what? Their cancer, MS, insomnia, death in the family (not even Corona-related), or recent relationship break-up still matter too. How is it possible that people almost dismiss everything else with “well, I’m glad they don’t have the virus”? Losing genuine compassion for what IS happening while we fear what MIGHT happen is (in my opinion) ridiculous. Yet this is the condition of the human mind too. We often choose to be present to what is happening only when something else is accomplished/seen/experienced and we do not live in the now, unless we choose to be mindfully-present with our thoughts, words and actions. This takes a conscious decision to do so and it is not so easy. Yet it is possible and it is truly living.

Interesting that I just posted this image yesterday in my social media posts!

And guess what else is also happening now? People are getting married, starting new relationships, starting new schooling, graduating from schooling, getting a new pet and even connecting with nature!! So much good it happening! I encourage you to pay mindful attention to what you are thinking, hearing and speaking most. I find when someone hears that there are travel restrictions, they can’t stop thinking about travel; if restaurants are restricted, people miss eating out; and if schools are closed, kids miss going (even though many enjoy the socialization of going to school more than the learning, just as many employees missing going to work are also missing interactions with others rather than the actual work).

So if you love people, find a way to make this time work for you. That is the bottom line. Here is where we are. How can we make this most enjoyable for ourselves now? By discussing and listening to what we fear (whether with others or just within our minds)? This is not healthy. Chat on the phone because you like/love the person you’re speaking with and enjoy that. The kind communication is felt energetically by the body, mind and soul. If the mind decides it’s going to focus on “sure, this chat is nice, but not as nice as seeing that person” – your heart and soul are not participating in your experience fully. Be mindfully present. If you are meant to see the person, you (and the Universe) will find a way; right now, enjoy this moment of speaking.

Today, I believe that there are many people who have been suffering around us… we look away. Some are going through illness, some abused, some lonely, some experiencing brutality, some starving… we look away. I feel for the first time in a long time the Universe has decided, here is a way for the world’s people to care about each other all over the world. And we are. Let us do it with compassion rather than fear. Let’s also remember compassion for the other experiences that many are going through that are also still happening. And I suspect in much higher numbers than the numbers of deaths we are hearing about from this virus. The other experiences matter too.

The power of thoughts and words is incredible. I believe that many people did not want to “see” the other less-comfortable awarenesses in the world (though they may happen close to our own homes too) because it’s not easy to help others going through any suffering. Yet, all we need to do is to share love and compassion (even from a distance). Genuinely. No one who is struggling (even through this virus time) has ever wanted more than a loving compassion for their experience. This we can always do. And we can do it now too. Some are. It helps. Focus on the fact that there is a worldwide compassion happening (even if from fear) precisely because of this virus. Now shape your compassion to come from a place of love. This too shall pass. The Earth has been through many, many changes throughout history and it will survive. We will too as part of the consciousness that never dies. If this time makes us all also value our lives just a little more as we are globally realizing that life is not predictable, then let’s also live from a love and appreciation of the life we do have. We are here. We are safe. We can smile and mean it!

I hope you do smile, laugh, love, and appreciate that you are here now. You matter and the energy you put out into the world matters.

With the energy of loving kindness to all reading this.

Mindfully Yours,

Hanifa

Hold your ground

I love watching nature. I am drawn to birds regularly and I have been seeing several cardinals who I feel have been drawing my attention to them. I feel there are Spiritual messages in many (maybe all) things, so I find I will look up the Spiritual meanings (beyond my gut instinctual awareness). If you don’t know about the cardinal’s message, you can see one site’s interpretation here (and I have no affiliation with the site but found the information fitting): https://crystalclearintuition.com/cardinal-meaning/

And yesterday another bird really caught my eye. It was a hawk and I do see these relatively regularly on my walks or near my home. This time, this hawk was circling above me and as you may know, these birds fly quite a high distance above. It was a very windy day as I watched it. The chilly wind so strong that I didn’t want to stay out for too long. Yet, I was amazed that it was so “close” and wondered if it was looking for lunch around my home as I have many feathered visitors daily. But there was not another bird in sight. So I continued to watch as I silently asked what it wanted to share with me. The words “hold your ground” came to my awareness. Hmm… I didn’t feel I was “fighting” anything that I had to strongly/stubbornly hold onto an opinion about (which is how I interpreted the words)… and then it was “hold steady” that came to mind, so I looked up some info about this phrase and immediately found the definition as a verb meaning “to stay in one place, to resist (or endure) something successfully.” How interesting.

I continued watching the beautiful hawk while he stayed out with me. As the wind got stronger he continued to “hold steady” looking like he was fixed in place in the sky above me. Really. Like no movement. For at least a couple of minutes. Then he did another circle as I wondered if I really saw what I did and he demonstrated again. Message received. As soon as I mentally acknowledged this, he flew away. Phenomenal experience. Here is what I learned about hawk symbolism from a different source. Also seems right on point for me today (and also no affiliation with the site): https://www.californiapsychics.com/blog/animal-sightings-symbolism/meaning-hawk-sighting.html

I cannot tell you how filled my heart feels from this experience – and the cardinals too. I feel my Spirit guides and messengers are guiding me as I guide clients in their healthcare. And of course I believe there is guidance for my personal life too… and I’m listening. It never ceases to amaze me what communication is always happening stemming from a Higher Consciousness if we will only take the time to listen. I am grateful. Thank-you Universe/God.

I hope you are listening to your messages too and do remember that I am here to help with any grief (which can mask as anxiety, anger, frustration and/or worry) that you may be working through. And I’m here to help you re-train brain patterns that are resulting in repeated (and not easy) life situations. It is possible to move forward positively after significant life events or to work through current ones with a bit of focused attention and guidance. This is what I needed/chose to do and I’d love for you to experience your own transformation. As you can probably tell, I believe that there are no coincidences in life, so if you’re reading this, perhaps there is a deeper reason than curiosity. Do reach out if you would like some help. I look forward to helping you.

Wishing you phenomenal experiences in your own personal and professional lives too! Be well everyone and thanks for reading.

Kindly,

Hanifa

www.hearthealthbrainhealth.com

communication and manners

I love watching the world around me. I listen to how people speak with friends, families and strangers. I am not listening for the words. I’m listening to and feeling, the energy of the communication. I am always so happy to see kind and polite interactions – these are the happy communications. I also see the hurt looks, angry words and even the exasperated expressions and strong silences.

I’ve been through all of these. I am aware that positive communication is actually very much my normal nature/personality (perhaps we could say we all know this comes from our Higher Consciousness). Yet, when I see any less-positive communication or manners around me I am reminded of my own times of unconscious experiences (in what Eckhart Tolle calls the “pain body”) which reacts rather than responds to a situation that has hit a nerve. And I feel compassion for anyone going through such experiences. I know that I’ve studied the human mind formally ever since my first degree (and likely informally as I watched and learned from family relationships), yet I feel like I truly understand patterns of communication better every year.

This morning I watched 2 young boys (maybe 5 or 6 years old) race across my lawn and through a newly-started garden bed too… I caught my breath in my throat and held back any comments, knowing the kids were engrossed in their own rushed minds. Of course I wondered if any adult had ever taught them to not walk on others’ lawns… Then began my contemplative time pre-meditation. I could feel the restlessness of the kids partly due to plain young excitement and partly because they are picking up the energies of family, friends and our society in this Covid time. I have no idea what concerns their families may be working through in this time. As we know, everyone is working through something. And I remembered also that this is a perfect time in our world’s experience through this pandemic for everyone to become more mindful about communication from thoughts, words and actions that can be consciously trained at any age. I recognize that often it’s the adults that need the re-training that their busy minds are not consciously acting from.

I also watch people walking through trails and forests during my walks. Some people are so clearly kind and respectful to the natural setting… others racing through on bikes or in pairs with hardly a glance at the beauty around them. I think this reflects their home experiences too. Frazzled and busy, or centred and Present. I love seeing families or even single parents out with kids or their dogs who stop to notice details on the ground or the water or the trees around. That is what I love to do too. I find myself enjoying so many more simple details in the past few years and I absolutely love it. I practice gratitude and appreciation for the world around and I hope that my compassion for those going through not-easy times will envelope them with a Divine energy that I feel is also filling my own mind and body.

Today I wanted to share the experience of heightened appreciation and gratitude that I have for so many things – nature, people, animals, the sun, moon, air and even the inanimate objects that I “communicate” with. I believe that this also builds my compassion for myself and with all those that I interact with too! Now early home-training had a lot to do with those manners, but the effects truly are long-term and my communication with everything around me benefits from that early and consistent learning. Today I love sharing smiles, hellos, thank-yous, and genuine appreciation for this life and all that I meet (living and non-living) that is sharing this journey with me. I hope this post may inspire you too to be more Present and appreciative for your life experience. May peace and love fill your hearts.

Hope you noticed one of my favourite “spring” quotes in the picture with this post:

When we walk like (we are rushing),  we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth… Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.- Thich Nhat Hanh.

Thank you too for reading this and sharing this journey with me! May you kiss the earth with your feet.

With kind wishes to all for a lovely Spring season!

Hanifa

giving from the heart

“We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest.”

~Orison Swett Marden

Today I’ve been reflecting on the idea of giving and receiving. How many times have you thought “I haven’t got anything to spare” when thinking about giving to someone or something? I remember hearing this message (and saying it too) many times when I lived and worked in Toronto. So many panhandlers were around every corner. Some looked quite comfortably dressed, many others had the pungent odour of dirt, urine/feces and too long without showers. Sometimes we actually do not have any money to help (especially since most are paying with credit cards and often do not have cash on hand these days). More often, however, we do not have the time (we believe) or perhaps the heart (we do not want to believe) to help in such situations.

It was around that time in Toronto that I was reading the series of books called “Conversations With God” which was very impactful towards my current directions in life. In one of the books (might be the first), the author Neale Donald Walsch mentioned this exact scenario and the reasons for our actions in such situations. I’ve never forgotten the general message which was basically to be mindful for why we might do what we do. Many times there is a fear about the possible unpredictable actions from someone in these states. Like what if this is an aggressive or crazy person that could react to my action? Might I be in danger in this situation? And often the next thought may be “I wonder what they’d do with “my” money if I give it to them?” A person clearly reeking with the smell of alcohol would make us think that the money would be used for the purchase of alcohol. Or maybe drugs if the person is clearly not acting “normal”. Now, what is “normal”? It seems to me that “normal” is to walk by such suffering with either avoidance, indifference or even fear.

I remember that I used to regularly wonder what happened in life to these people to bring them to such a state. I was certain that most were not born “on the streets” and it hurt to think that any of us could easily be in a similar space through our own unforeseen circumstances. I realized that judging others is so easy to do (especially in such circumstances but really in any) and I was going to be mindfully-attentive to my own hidden biases and judgements. Sometimes I would find a person who looked least-favourable to give just a little money to… to overcome my own fears of doing this and to just help. And that was the point of the book I read. Trying to figure out what someone does with any generosity that is offered is not the right intention behind the action. The intention is to help. That’s it. If we want to help, we just do it. This is heart-centred action. And there is so much we receive in giving from this place. You may not realize that heart-centred generosity brings back the same and so much more. Be open to the magic you can create from this space.

We are so filled with various judgements about various things. Why people dress, speak or act the “wrong way” (wrong often means it’s making us less-comfortable). Sometimes we judge how people should live their lives, sometimes about how lucky/unlucky they are, sometimes about how people keep their homes (good or not) or how much money they spend (too much or too little). All judgements and all ego-centred expressions of comparisons of “better than” or “less than” – i.e., I am better than that person, or I am less than (not as good as) that person. Genuine compliments to people are beautiful. Jealousy is not.

So now when I think about giving I think of doing so with my heart. The mind would love to have the excuses of “I don’t have the money” but my heart knows that I may have the money that can help someone who is enduring significant distress, especially the pan-handling experience. My heart certainly knows that I do have the time, the willingness, the care, the compassion and the true desire to make a meaningful difference in another’s life. And this is certainly not limited to panhandlers. Sometimes I do this by reaching out to friends/family/clients with texts, emails, phone calls or visits. Sometimes I share food with friends/clients that may easily cook for themselves, but may enjoy a day to be cooked for. I love sharing laughter and silliness, I love helping people smile even through not-easy times. I love giving the best of myself in these experiences by being truly Present in the moment. You know, it’s said that time is the most precious gift we can give to another because it’s something we know that we can never get back. Speaking or sitting with someone means very little without a genuine Presence – whether for 5 minutes or for many hours.

Today I also think I bet it’s that Presence that was most meaningful even in those times noticing panhandlers. I have no doubt the appreciation from them was not about the very small amounts anyone was giving, but about the receivers feeling that they had been noticed. That their suffering was noticed. That they mattered.

Isn’t that what we all want? To feel appreciated, to be noticed, to matter. I believe it is. For anyone reading this today, I hope you know that you matter. You are a Divine gift in our shared experience in this life’s journey. Let your light shine, and give with your heart, what you can, to whoever you think about, speak with, or interact with. As you may know, I believe that thoughts, words and actions are all important. When you give, remember that you have been already blessed merely by acknowledging that you can help someone, somehow. Just by the blessings you are already enjoying – being yourself. Whatever you have right now, someone else is praying for… share your blessings.

“Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.” ~John D. Rockefeller Jr.

May you blessed with an abundance of all things good! (message from my morning meditation with a friend)! I believe it applied to us all so I share it with you.

Have a beautiful day!

Kindly,

Hanifa

Om = aum_

I have been learning from some ancient scriptures – currently, mainly from Vedic teachings as I am focusing on the Bhagavad Gita and the Upinashads. It’s all quite fascinating to me and really resonates with my previous Buddhist learning, as well as my awareness of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. I do love seeing the similarities in various teachings! It’s part of the Unity Consciousness that I will write more about in my next post. This post is about something I thought was particularly interesting and relatively simple to share with you.

Specifically, I learned something about the word “Om” that so many people are familiar with through meditation or yoga practices, however, did you know that the sound that we know as OM is actually AUM_? It consists of three letters and silence at the end. Yes, I learned this in my current learning. I had no idea before this. Even more interesting, the term is also meant to describe 3 states of consciousness or even the birth, life and death cycle with each sound representing each state. Imagine a baby crying at birth (“O”), living a life(“U” – sometimes felt as “uh…” or sometimes “ooh!” lol!), and the closed/silenced mouth at death (“M”). Interesting awareness for me.

I thought I’d elaborate on the states of consciousness that this word or individual sounds also represent.

There are three main states of consciousness that we generally cycle through every 24 hours: The waking state, dreamless sleep and the dream state. Each of these states is characterized by a unique electrical brain activity. But long before scientists or doctors were able to analyze our brain waves, yogis knew that these states were very different from one another.

  1. The Waking State (Jagrat in Sanskrit): Represented by the “A” in AUM. Here consciousness is turned outward to the external world. It’s about experiencing gross material objects through the senses. This is the conscious level of mental and emotional processing..
  2. The Dream State (Svapna in Sanskrit): Represented by the “U” of AUM. In this state, consciousness is turned toward the inner world. The mind can work out its unfulfilled wants, wishes, desires, attractions, fears and aversions that are not allowed to play out in the external world.
  3. The Deep Sleep State (Prajna in Sanskrit): Represented by the “M” in AUM. In this unconscious state, there is neither the desire for any gross or subtle objective, nor any dream sequences. The deep impressions of the mind are stored here in their latent form, like seeds. When certain conditions are met, they can play out in dreams or grow into actions in the waking state.
  4. Pure Consciousness (Turya in Sanskrit): Represented by the space of silence “_” after the AUM_. In this state, consciousness is neither turned outward nor inward. It permeates and observes the other three states. From the vantage point of Turiya, one sees the entire panorama of the play of the levels of consciousness.

Note: ***All above information is based on the Mandukya Upanishad***

Isn’t that interesting?! I hope you found it as profound as I do. Maybe you will consider these details the next time you use the word “OM” – it’s good to reflect on!

Wishing you a positively-reflective week ahead!

Kindly,

Hanifa

temperance as a virtue

Temperance in modern use is generally described as moderation or voluntary self restraint. In classical iconography, the virtue is often depicted as a woman holding two vessels transferring water from one to another so what a better time to write this blog post as we are moving into the Aquarian cycle of the zodiac! This is the sign which is depicted as one pouring water (representing wisdom) out from an urn which is the main image for this post. Temperance is one of the cardinal virtues mentioned from Greek philosophy, and also in the ancient scriptures for religious and spiritual traditions including but not limited to Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and the Eastern traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

“Temperance is simply a disposition of the mind which binds the passion.”

~Thomas Aquinas

Temperance includes restraint from revenge by practicing non-violence and forgiveness, restraint from arrogance by practicing humility and modesty, and restraint from rage or craving by practicing calmness and self-control. Let’s look at these areas more carefully.

REVENGE VS FORGIVENESS

Truly, there is no long-term satisfaction in revenge for an unkind word or action. The reason for this is that to do another unkind act is only to match or beat the first unkind action. To forgive such an action is to work from the opposite end of the action and only in this way is peace acquired (Mahatma Gandhi, Buddha and Christ were all wonderful examples of this thinking and practice).

Can you forgive a wrong that has been personally felt? I know that I have always been amazed by those who have been able to forgive an accidental wrongdoing. You know that even if done by mistake/poor judgement in a time, many people will carry a hurt or grudge for a very long time. Yet this does not help anyone. When I hear about a murder victim’s family forgiving the convicted offender for example, I am humbled by the strength of forgivers and this inspires me to be more forgiving.

Many times forgiveness can come from much simpler wrongs. Like when a promised promotion at work is given to a co-worker, when a lie has been discovered, or when a sibling is given favouritism. Yet even these grudges can be carried for many years. For what possible benefit I wonder? The hurt needs to heal, and healing can begin with forgiveness. Practice temperance.

ARROGANCE TO HUMILITY

I remember teaching naturopathic medical information to students in the Naturopathic Medical program, to a group of Nurses and to a large group of Medical Doctor residents. The group of nurses was the most humble in receiving the information I shared. In both of the other groups there was a mix of both sides of this spectrum. I believe that when we are learning from a curious “beginner’s mind” sort of perspective, we are able to receive information humbly and joyfully too. With arrogance, even the actual learning is lessened.

When I was working through the Naturopathic Doctor program myself, I had the pleasure of learning through a Palliative Care Doctor in Edmonton one summer. I will never forget the opportunity she provided in both the learning and through the kind manner in which she allowed me to share my Naturopathic suggestions for her patients. She humbly accommodated my learning and I humbly and gratefully appreciated the experience. Today, here I am working with many people experiencing chronic health care conditions who I know are benefitting from my learning through that doctor that day.

This is knowledge/learning based. What are the other ways people often show arrogance? Sometimes it’s in how they speak to “inferior” positions in the work place, sometimes with how they speak or even look at the homeless on the street. Humility helps us remember that no one wants to feel small – not intellectually, not socially, not personally. Practice temperance.

CRAVING VS SELF CONTROL

Now this is the beauty of contemplating with conscious intention, the words of the ancient scriptures. Craving may be simply the need to “be right” in a discussion that may change to an argument in an instant. Most often people may think of cravings as related to food or drink. Certainly all of the medical and spiritual scriptures I have read have encouraged moderation for good health. The health of the mind is no different. Avoiding an angry word in a moment of rage can often bring about gentle interactions from both sides.

We know that quick thoughts, words and actions often lead to dire consequences. Whether they create a tense interaction, lead to more harsh words or common experiences like road rage which can effect innocent people that may not have even contributed to the original rage. With meditative practice and mindful reflection, mystics, philosophers and sages have always mentioned this experience. You can give it a try for even a simple idea (chocolate? that extra drink? one less cigarette?). Remember that fasting from any craving allows for a “new” appreciation for the true pleasure of the experience when experienced. When we abstain from pleasures of the senses (this could be minutes of waiting for a meal to be served, days between enjoying a favourite drink, or a mindfully-present experience of human connection through words, music or intimacy planned once per week), the pleasure is heightened. And I suspect you all have experienced such pleasures. They are truly delightful!

This mastery of self control can be felt in all areas of our lives. Practice temperance. You, and the world around us all, needs this today more than ever.

Wishing you mindful-temperance in all that you do.

Kindly,

Hanifa

Inspired Action

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Inspired Action

Today I am inspired to write about actions that are love-based. These actions are often those that come from true heart-felt intention for the best outcomes for all. We can see many people who work hard with motivations that may love the outcome for the self – which may result in praise, financial gain, a sense of accomplishment, etc. yet often these results take consistent efforts and struggle. I have found that many things can be achieved through an inspired action towards personal goals that requires nothing more than a clear and positive intention and consistent steps towards the goals intended. We have all seen people that seem to float through life with easy and genuine joy. I have found in my own life such a brilliant demonstration of this shift within myself too. And believe me, I still notice and experience “less-than-easy” experiences regularly too. This is part of our shared human experience. Oh, but the joys of inspired living… this has been the true blessing in my life. Interesting that I notice that I have lived the joy from this space many times in my life; now, I just experience this through a Conscious decision to do so. In this post I thought I would share how this shift is possible for anyone with a true desire to live from an inspired space too.

So what is the difference between goals we work toward through motivation and those achieved through inspiration? I feel that both feel good once achieved; however, the struggle to keep motivated requires an effort that inspired actions do not. This is not to say there is no effort involved in inspired action. Think of swimming with the current in inspired action rather than against it as occurs in motivated action.

A bit of introspection through mindfulness is useful. Understanding yourself (honestly looking at what you know is true for yourself) is often the first step. If you have emotional baggage to clear from your life that you may be delaying, this needs some time (and likely effort) to clear to move forward more easily with the current of inspiration. I think of big heavy oars on a little boat that represent our emotional blocks. Imagine those oars becoming lighter and lighter as you clear emotional baggage. This is the value of mindfulness. This may lead you to seek counselling or (my favourite as you may know) Grief Recovery. You will know what you need to do. It might be as simple as regular journalling.

Next, take an honest look at the world and people around you. Can you see that each person is going through their own personal struggle? Can you feel their struggles (sometimes obvious and sometimes hidden to protect either themselves or even you?); can you truly be happy in their joys as if they were your own? This would be practicing some level of Emotional Intelligence.

Finally, take action. No amount of waiting for the “right time” or “perfect conditions” will help. Yet each step forward creates a movement. Keep your eye on your honest goal – it can be for anything: love, money, respect, a new job, a home… And let your goal lift you to your next level of your best. Let the thoughts of the goal be filled with good for all connected but let them be guided by your heartfelt desire for the best for you first (remember that first step of understanding your own desires/wishes?). This is a pure thought – you deserve this. There is no reason to rush… flow with the river of loving kindness, compassion and sincerity, and know that the right connections, signs and direction will come to your Awareness as you need it. Then, do not waste time doubting the perfection you may see – that’s when it’s time for action!

I wish us all much Inspired Action in our lives. I look forward to riding the waves with you!

Remember that you can learn more about my thoughts at my website: www.hearthealthbrainhealth.com or you can contact me by emailing to hanifahelps@gmail.com.

Be well. Be Inspired.

Kindly,

Hanifa

Menen Centre June Newsletter

Today I thought I would share here what I shared in my latest clinic newsletter. I hope you find it thought-provoking in your own personal improvement

Happy Summer from the Menen Centre!

June 2020 Newsletter
by Hanifa Menen, BSc, ND
Grief Recovery and Brain Re-Training Coach

Us vs. Them

Hello clients and friends of the Menen Centre!  In this newsletter it’s time for us to discuss the recent events that have brought attention to this important idea/concept. It’s time for each of us to be mindfully aware and personally responsible for our thoughts, words and actions.  So this month I would like to draw your personal attention to the way you think, speak and act in relation to others.  I thought I would draw attention to an area that many people feel are ok to let “slip” into their thoughts and/or conversations with others. This is the idea of what makes “us” different from “them” and what is this doing in our personal and our collective lives?

Different Cultures, Languages, Countries, Colours

In light of recent news events that I am certain you have all read about or seen, North America especially, and the world somewhat, is remembering that we do not all look at each other equally.  This is not surprising. Humans have compared themselves to others for centuries. It is a normal part of the human conscious development that allows this to happen as we each try to understand ourselves and the world around us. With further evolution of our consciousness however, we can learn that we are all more similar than different.  Now remember that this requires an evolution in our Conscious awareness that allows us to think in this way.  If you would like to see/learn more about the evolution of our individual consciousness, do take a look at my series of seven videos on just that on my YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtAAm2qVoGiWTommQS5CRog
The first of this specific series of Conscious Evolution starts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20fpQLum5AI This is a process that Deepak Chopra has also described in some detail so that could be a useful resource for anyone who is interested.

I believe it is easy for each and every person to fall backwards in their own Conscious Evolution as it is easy to fall into past learned behaviours shaped by fears and/or a desire to maintain perceived control.  I also feel it is the responsibility of each individual to monitor their own thoughts, words and actions.  Now if this was so easy, we would not have “needed” police, laws, and even certain social-etiquette expectations. Yet, those of us that feel we are the “good ones” are already fuelling this separation.  It’s important to remember that not only “bad guys” do “bad things” – anyone can fall into this space of unconscious at any time.

What is the best way for you to contribute to the positive shaping of first your own, and then the Collective Consciousness? Watch what you think and speak! Remember that everything is energy. The minute you say “those people” are not good, is the minute you fuel the energy that does not help. People can do some unkind things – it shows their human side coming through their human form. And people can do some profoundly kind actions too. This shows the best of their spiritual side coming through their human form.

Have you noticed the areas of unconscious bias you may have? If you look at the image at the top of this page you will see that there are age biases, gender biases, cultural biases, physical biases… do you notice that you have any of these?  Maybe you notice in yourself or others a “beard bias” or “turban/scarf/hijab bias” or maybe you have a “white person bias” which is not discussed much but maybe you judge this colour as the “other” that your do not trust or secretly envy?  What happens when you see a caucasian with a thick beard and in a turban?  Does it make you pause? Make you uncomfortable? Every major religion and spiritual tradition has encouraged us to look at each other as equal and good – do you consciously try to practice this in each moment? You don’t even need any reason outside of your own clear conscience to know that this just feels right! No religion or spiritual teaching needs to show this to you.  How beautiful is that?! It’s truly good for the soul!

I remember I was helping as a caregiver for a young blind woman in her 20’s many years ago when I tried to “help” her by holding her arm to cross the street – she was so upset with me at the time because she wanted to do it herself (which she had done for many years before me and needed me to just help by making sure she was safe as she was crossing that street!). In that moment I understood that even well-meaning biases are still biases.  So we can see that any of us can fall into well-meaning or fear-based biases which shape our thoughts, words and actions to others.

You might think that if you do not treat others (noticeably) unkindly, you are good. Do you later talk about them anyways with bias around your dinner table, or think the bias silently while not speaking it? It all matters.  It’s all energy and I encourage you to be mindful of where you put your personal energy!  A bigger concern can happen when you are mindfully-avoiding a particular bias and a person hurts/offends you!  Remember that any person, at any time, can act from an unconscious state. Focus on the action and do not generalize your thoughts to feed an unconscious bias.

I leave you in this newsletter with the words of Mother Theresa that I feel are so incredibly appropriate today and always. It is, and never will be, between “you and them” – it’s always between you and your God/Higher Self.

Today as I am coaching many through Grief Recovery and towards Empowered living through Brain Re-Training, I see that this awareness is the key to beginning (or continuing) personal transformation!

If you have any questions/concerns do feel free to contact me at hanifahelps@gmail.comor call/text 416-920-8975.

And remember that my current discounted pricing for block-appointments is continuing through the rest of this month and July 2020 to help people more comfortably afford the services I offer. You can see my current rates here:
https://hearthealthbrainhealth.com/costofservices/
Wishing you all a beautiful summer season and a Consciously-positive life experience in each moment!
Kindly,
Hanifa Menen

 

by Hanifa Menen, BSc (Neuropsychology); former ND (early retired after 21 years of practice!) – Grief Recovery and Brain Re-Training Coach. Encouraging Empowered Actions for Clients through Mindfully raising Consciousness.