Friday, November 17, 2017

Undone

I was in the middle of writing when I was interrupted. I tried to focus again, to concentrate, but I just couldn't. I lost the flow. The more I tried to get it back, the worse it became. I wasn't able to finish what I was working on. The interruption really got to me. I became angry.

Anger keeps the flow away and our minds on what triggered the anger. It distracts us and channels though our body making it unhealthy. So how do we break this cycle so that anger doesn't ruin our flow, our ability to deal? There are different practices we can make use of. One in particular works almost immediately. It's a 16-second breathing exercise we can use anytime and anywhere to break habitual angry reactions. 

In this practice, we breathe for four counts, hold the breath in for four counts, exhale for four counts, and hold the breath out for four counts. Repeat, as necessary. While practicing, focus on the breath. Watching the breath keeps the mind from focusing on what prompted the anger. The body will calm down and inform the mind that there is no alarm, no need to react. 

Today is a good day to put this practice to use when a situation that makes us angry or upset arises. Observe how you feel before and after the practice. Breathe and let the unsettling feelings be undone.

Image found at breathingmandala.com.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The big F word

I've been so angry lately. It seems the angrier I get, the more anger I attract to myself. Angry people, angry situations, and reasons to become angry keep showing up in my experience. I'm overwhelmed with anger and it feels awful. I feel frustrated, powerless, impotent, and mad. I don't want to feel this way anymore. I want to feel better so I have to do something different. I have to go to the F word: forgiveness.

This is difficult for it is easier to hold on to the grievance and to complain. In our minds, forgiveness is difficult because it means letting go of something that made us right and made someone else wrong. But not forgiving weighs us down. Unforgiving thoughts are obsessive thoughts. Our minds keep ruminating on what fuels our anger. We are not able to focus, we replay our gripe, we become distracted, and we make mistakes. Physically, we suffer heartburn, headaches, stomach problems, sleeping problems and compromise our immune systems. Our hands shake, our hearts race, and we become jittery. Our moods become depressed, which can reflect as a bad mood, irritation, and hostility. We blame, judge, and get self-righteous reacting to life with resentment and coloring our experience with aggravation and bitterness.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, frees us. It allows us to start anew. It let's us move from feeling done-unto to doing, taking action, moving on, and moving forward. Forgiveness moves us from what hurt us to solutions, productiveness, creativity and a better experience. It moves us from weakness to strength of character. We become empowered over an external situation. We anchor ourselves to how we want to feel. If anything, we forgive to feel better, to lift ourselves up, to be able to put the right intention into what we do, to feel light-hearted, to learn, to be open to something more desirable, to enjoy the good, to breathe, to be done with it.

Today is a good day to forgive whatever we feel is a grievance, whoever we feel wronged us. Forgiveness is not easy sometimes, and it certainly does not mean that we condone what has happened. Forgiveness is a process. It is a change in our mindset. It's a shift from ego to inner peace. It steps us away from reactivity. Let's give forgiveness a chance. Let's let go of what doesn't serve us so that we may enjoy life more sweetly.

Image found at the-open-mind.com.


© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Power

Forty-four days after Hurricane María swept through Puerto Rico, the power came back on in our apartment. We haven't seen it. For the last few weeks we have been staying at my parents' house. At some point today we will swing by our home and make sure it is still on. Electricity is being reconnected to very few places on the island, but the system is so fragile that power comes and goes. It will be like this for a while. Meanwhile, life here is still in shambles. We have felt and feel powerless.

Power can be a confusing word. We use it in reference to electricity, to a machine's capability and to force. We talk about too much power or too little. And we confuse it with force, especially in reference to personal power.

We tend to think that personal power does something to us, that we become something different–good or bad. Some people obtain a position of leadership or influence and change. Just as some people lose such a position and they change as well. Yet, it is not that we change with power. Our personalities rise up to meet us where we are. We exercise power at our level of consciousness–or unconsciousness. Once we are in a place or position to exert influence, authority, direction, control, or guidance, we demonstrate how powerful we truly are. We help or hinder, we lift or cripple, we inspire or discourage, we share or self-serve, we can be generous or miserly, we generate aid or we ignore the needs of the people, we promote progress with words, actions and policy, or we politicize, we lead kindly or we begrudge.

The truth is, we don't have to be in a position of leadership to exercise power. Power is a subtle force that moves us spiritually, mentally, and physically to exert a version of ourselves that shines through. It does in the service of the highest and best good. It regenerates itself with each thought and action that serves our highest purpose. Yet, days like today, power may be difficult for us to summon. So days like today are good days to connect with silence and allow good thoughts to rise. Let that be our moving force today. Let's tap into who we really are and power ourselves up that we may help others power themselves up. May we light the way.

Image found at wikiwand.com.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Dark night

Everything is dark. There are no lights on the streets, no lights in windows, no lights in the sky. The horizon is terribly dark. My eyes can only see night. We are in a very long and very dark night. Collectively. Individually. The world as we have known it is no more.

It is dark in the middle of the day, too, as I look out the window, as I stand in an hour's long line to enter the supermarket and find its shelves empty, and as I walk in the heat on broken roads, empty handed. It is darker still when the president speaks and minimizes our situation, when he drives to a middle class suburban neighborhood for his photo-op 17 days after the hurricane hit and leaves without acknowledgment or recognition of the humanitarian crisis that has already taken hundreds of lives. Hundreds more are dying. Few deaths are reported. That is the real disaster. The inhumanity, the corruption, the greed, the incompetence, and the manipulation of the government who has demonstrated how little people matter and how much big contracts and opportunities do. Political and economic gain has been the priority. It is a dark collective night for this island.

I started writing this 17 days after Hurricane María landed on the whole of Puerto Rico. Today, 38 days later, little to no progress has been made. Commerce has halted. Few schools have opened. Only a very small percentage of businesses and homes have power. Businesses are shutting down, permanently. Where there is running water, it is contaminated. Cancer patients, dialysis patients and others chronically ill are dying. Hospitals are running on generators, some of which have shut down in the middle of surgeries. Disease is spreading. Supplies are scarce, as is food and drinking water. Garbage, waste, rubble, wreckage, and debris are piled on the streets. Mosquitos, flies, and vermon are rampant. Trees lay dead across roads. So do lamp posts and other structures. The press is inaccurate, erroneous, tricky, and deceptive. Politicians have taken to the game. Money raised by some organizations is being held, as are supplies, for political reasons. Crime is on the rise. People are desperate. Telephone communication is unreliable. International help is not allowed in. Obstacles are placed before people who have arrived here to help. Bureaucracy reigns. The airport has become a refugee center. People waiting to leave, but can't. Hopelessness befalls us. Mental health is at an all-time high critical point. We are breaking.

We have survived nature's hurricane, only to succumb to man's aftermath. We are moving from shock, to anger, to full-on despair. It is a stark, dark night. My hope lies in that darkness is not absolute. Even the slimmest sliver of light negates its absoluteness. My hope is that even in this profound sadness we are lifted. Today is a good day to find that little bit of light that can start to contrast our night. May we find it and share it with each other. May Puerto Rico be illumined, electrically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Image found at wired.com.

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Assume the position

She was telling me how her shoes are always scuffed. They make her look unprofessional and unkempt. She buys her shoes cheap because she tears them up, she said. She tears them up at the office. She sits at her desk like a five-year-old, she said–slouched, knees together, dragging her feet sideways, on either side. It's not a big deal, she says, because no clients enter unannounced and when they do, they can't see her feet. Only her coworkers see her.

During our coaching sessions, one of the issues that has come up is how, despite the quality of her work, her dedication, punctuality, reliability, competence, and discipline, she is passed up for career growth opportunities and salary raises. Moreover, she is asked to do menial leftover tasks that no one else wants to tackle. She has assumed that position.

We assume an attitude, a walk, and a talk, that matches that which we believe we are. We receive and experience accordingly. We do this every day even if we are not aware of it, especially when we are not aware of it. Superiority, inferiority, disregard, idleness, carelessness, indifference, inattention, mediocrity, unpleasantness, disrespect, rudeness, and irreverence toward ourselves or others reflect in our experience. So do respect, deference, loyalty, mindfulness, consideration, temperance, friendliness, kindness, joy, politeness, and care.

We sabotage ourselves with thoughts that are contrary to our desires. Not doing so takes some inner work, yet, it is possible and will change our experience. Today is a good day to assume the position. Let's bear the attitude of that which we want for ourselves. Is it respect? Satisfaction? Achievement? Balance? Love? What do we want to experience? Let's keep our thoughts, our intentions, our feelings and our gestures aligned with what we want and then see it unfold in our experience.

Image found at worlddreambank.org.

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

In the eye

I'm sitting in lotus in the middle of my living room. Hurricane Irma is headed our way and I sit in meditation. Meanwhile, there's a flurry of related activity around me.

My son still sleeps. My husband is out buying supplies. The streets are heavy with drivers. People are shopping for water, batteries and other goods, protecting property, and taking care of important details. Others are posting concerns, real and fake news, criticism, prayers, and statements of caution on social media. After cleaning, storing, buying, and preparing, I have now tuned out most of it. We have prepared for the storm, but there's no guarantee we are ready. We will not know until the storm hits, yet there's nothing else to do. There is uncertainty.

I don't know what the outer bands of the storm will bring. All I know, as I sit here, is that I don't know. We don't know. Such is life. Uncertainty is real. All we can do is prepare and let go. While we wait, it behooves us to remain calm, to power up with a connection to our Higher Selves, to breathe in order to center ourselves, to call on clarity, to be aware, to be mindful, and to let go.

Today is a good day to take a few moments and sit in meditation. This will help us become calm and clear headed, able to think clearly, keep our thoughts organized and take action when needed, to know what to do and when to do it. We will not anticipate. We wait in uncertainty:

Sit comfortably. Close your eyes.
Visualize yourself in the eye of the storm, where it is calm.
Breathe slowly and deeply.
You are calm. You breathe. You recharge.
Breathe away the stress.
Breathe in faith.
Breathe out the need to control.
Breath in hope.
Breathe out anxiety.
Breath in love.
Breathe out fear.

Repeat. Breathe for a few more minutes. Stay in the eye. Become it. Be calm.

To all of us who are in the path of Hurricane Irma, we send love and light. Blessed be.

Image found at galaxysss.ru.
© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Love rains, love reigns

Hurricane Harvey has devastated parts of Texas and has flooded other parts up to Louisiana. The images on television and on social media show homes, buildings, cars, and other property under water. The damages are unbelievable. The loss, especially the loss of lives, is overwhelming. Lives lost to the storm, lives lost in rescue efforts, lives lost to circumstances complicated by the storm. This is an incredible disaster.

Yet, in all the devastation, faith, hope, and love are coming through. Rescuers are working around the clock to bring people to safety, businesses and storefronts are opening up to give shelter to people and pets, people are coming together to help each other, celebrities as well as non-famous people are donating money to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey, and we are coming together in prayer bringing strength and power to help this horrific situation.

This tragedy seems to much to bear and yet love rains, love reigns. Amidst the chaos, destruction and devastation, love is raining. Love is reigning. Even is we don't see it, yet.

Today is a good day to join our thoughts and prayers for Houston and all those affected by Hurricane Harvey. May we see the love and not the fear. May we not look for fault, but for ways to help and uplift. May we hold on to the knowing that miracles abound. May those of us who are safe keep a spirit of solidarity witnessing the suffering to help bear it and to help transform its energy. Let's behold the love. Let's be lightworkers. May we keep our focus on thoughts that embrace, heal, and help and, in doing so, send light Houston's way.

Image found at pinterest.com.

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Quick pick-me-up meditation

I woke up in a bit of a funk today. I felt weighed down. I needed a pick-me-up, quickly. I didn't want to start my day with low energy and spread it around. Wherever I went, I was just going to bring everyone else down as well. Before heading out the door, I took a few minutes to practice an awesome Kundalini meditation to jump start my energy. It worked like a charm. Here, I share it with you. I hope it serves you.

Begin in a comfortable seated position, with your back straight and your hands in prayer.

Take a moment to settle. Close your eyes.

Breathe in through your nose for four counts. Hold your breath for four counts.

Exhale through your nose for four counts. Hold out for four counts.

Again. All breathing is through the nose.

Breathe in for four counts. Hold your breath for four counts.

Exhale for four counts. Hold out for four counts.

Again.

Breathe in for four counts. Hold your breath for four counts.

Exhale for four counts. Hold out for four counts.

Continue for a few minutes, focused on your breath, with your hands still in Anjali Mudra or prayer position.

Now breathe normally. Press your hands together for a count of ten. Release for a count of fifteen. Repeat one more time.

Namaste.

Image found on pinterest.com

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Observer effect

It has been 98 days since the last time I posted here. Ninety-eight days ago my son was about to turn into a 16 year-old, I was 64 days away from my wedding, and had an impressive school and client work load to wrap up. Overwhelmed, I took time away. I didn't make a plan or intend any particular outcome. I decided to observe. I limited my intake of social media and focused on what was essential. While I kept up with my obligations and responsibilities, I did it all with observation as my intention.

Quantum physicists have scientific explanations for the effects of observing a phenomenon. They call it the observer effect and base it on quantum field theory, superposition, and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Their experiments have concluded that observation can affect the outcome of what is observed. Exactly.

There's an inherent magic in observing. As I began to observe my self, my days, my thoughts, my feelings, and my surroundings, I started to feel the overwhelmness dissipate, my stress level decrease, and my awareness increase. I started to see patterns, habits and attitudes, as well as subconscious beliefs that affect my demeanor, behavior and decisions. I had no judgment about this. I was just observing. I don't know how to explain the effect observing has had on me, yet the mystical impression that remains now infuses everything–my thoughts, my feelings, my gestures. I think, feel and do with more awareness and with a sense purpose and of connection to my Higher Self. I am left with a sense of appreciation, joy and subtle eagerness.

Today is a good day to observe, to watch ourselves in thought and action. Let's take time to look at ourselves and make no judgment, make no decision and take no action based on this exercise. Let's just observe. What will we learn about ourselves, our reactions, our moods, our understanding of the world and of our place in it? What effect will observation have on us?

Image found at sevenintentions.wordpress.com.

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.




Friday, May 12, 2017

This too shall pass

This too shall pass.
I only have to get through today.
I'm here. I'm now. Only this matters.

This too shall pass.
I only have to get through today.
I'm here. I'm now. Only this matters.

This too shall pass.
I only have to get through today.
I'm here. I'm now. Only this matters.

This too shall pass.
I only have to get through today.
I'm here. I'm now. Only this matters.

Somedays are harder than others. Today is one of those days. This litany of thoughts is what will help me today. A reminder. A small chain of mantras. Thoughts that will help me flow. Today is a good day to only recite that which will help us. This too shall pass.

This too shall pass.
I only have to get through today.
I'm here. I'm now. Only this matters.

Image found at pinterest.com.

© Millicent Maldonado and www.soulcerer.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.