Have a Cloud Hanging Over Your Head...Good or Bad?

cloud.jpg

Isn’t it interesting how the exact same saying can carry such polar opposite meanings? One being something uplifting and positive while another down-trodden and negative.

I was in the direct sun and it was h-o-t. When all of a sudden everything cooled, and I felt immediate relief – a welcome occurrence. And then I looked up…and took the photo to the left.

Have a cloud hanging over your head?

sad.jpg

I had always thought of a cloud overhead as inferring negatively and as something more associated with the image to the right…that is until today.

This is a wonderful example of how our perspective shapes our perception, which really does help create our reality.

Many reading this in February 2019 may be thinking what the heck is she talking about, its winter, and cold, and there’s snow on the ground. But, alas, not in Costa Rica and warmer parts of our beautiful world.

Now that I’ve clarified and given you a better point of reference, let’s get back to how much more true control you actually have in creating your own life.

This is good news! You see, you, and only you, get to choose in what way you view any situation, circumstance, conversation, etc.

Like the cloud hanging over my head, I could have been upset that the sun was shaded if I wanted a sun tan just as easy as I was relieved for the momentary coolness (well, cooler anyway.) I chose to find the good. And that in turn made me feel good. I even smiled and became really present, which is why I grabbed my phone and took a photo, because I was so grateful.

Here’s the Facebook post and caption I made today (Feb. 21, 2019) - I just had to share the overwhelming gratitude: “When God provides a cloud just for you as momentary relief from direct sun...Thank you. What reasons can you discover today to smile?

There’s another saying that made me laugh myself silly when I was able to turn it around to the positive: wallowing around like a pig in mud.

I vividly recall the day the shift happened. I was standing in my kitchen, talking with my coach, and realized that I had worked through an old pattern and released a whole lot of stuck energy. That’s when I exclaimed, “I feel like a pig wallowing around in mud. I’m so happy!”

Whereas, just the week or so before I felt like a pig wallowing around in mud and meant that I was wallowing around in self-pity and agony.

Making such dramatic and yet profound shifts is not always immediate. Sometimes we resist and hold on to our crappy feelings. Why? Well, probably because they are familiar.

Changes, even changes for the good, are as easy as we let them be. I’m not denying that life is sometimes challenging and dare I say hard.

Yet, the truth is so simple.

You, me, and each and every one of us, creates our own life. Let’s do it consciously and let’s choose a good life.

One choice, one person at a time, and we change our world so that we look for, expect, and find good. This is the world in which I live. Please come and play with me here.

Should you be in need of a perspective shift, it would be a privilege to support you. You do not have to walk through life with a dark cloud of misery hanging over your head.  Email Karen@KarenPerry.me.

Abound in grace,

Karen

Breath: What's So Great About It?

During a recent meditation and contemplative sitting, as I was focusing on my breath and breathing, the questioning statement, and title of this article, popped into my awareness and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

Breath: What’s so great about it?

The irony struck me as so funny. Well, without it, breath, there is no life. That was my first impulse – seems rational, logical and reasonable, right?!

But, is that really true? 

With a quick google search, I discovered that the current definition of breath is the air taken into or expelled from the lungs. However, there is an archaic definition that means the power of breathing life.

“Knowing the constant, we accept things as they are.
By accepting things as they are, we are impartial.
By being impartial, we are part of the Nature.
By being a part of the Nature, we are one with Tao.
Tao is eternal, and we survive physical death.”

      -Tao Te Ching quotes, Verse 16

“Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground,
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;
and man became a living being.”

      -Genesis 2:7

Is ‘breath’ life?

Perhaps, if we were to take the stance of an impartial witness, breath is simply one evidence or expression of life; of God.

The Aramaic word rukh may be translated as “spirit,” “breath,” “soul” or as whatever moves, stirs, animates, and links us to life. (Source: Prayers of the Cosmos, by Neil Douglas-Klotz, page 48.)

There are traditions of gurus being able to stay underwater for hours/days. CLICK HERE for a link to Guru Nanak’s enlightening story.

All this is very interesting Karen, you might be saying to yourself about now, but how does this relate to me?

8045a26d-6a13-4bc4-abc6-770797366e42.jpg



Let’s further examine - what if breath is simply evidence or expression of life; of God?

Ah, now this is getting good.

Is there life beyond this body that is breathed?

Could this be why so much emphasis and import is made about focusing on proper breathing? The breath as a way to mindfulness, to healing and connection of mind~body~soul...connection with God.

Most of us move through life, often rather clunky on autopilot, breathing very shallowing and denying ourselves the rejuvenating, refreshing, calming power of each breath. When we slow down, become aware, i.e. wake up, we can be more intentional and can direct our breath, and thus usher in or make welcome immediate peace and clarity.

Breath is so important and vital. Yet is the one thing that we – meaning the idea of our individual self – do not have to control. Breath is done for us, thus alluding to Oneness. And, it is the one thing that we can exercise a modicum of control over. We can deepen our breath, hold our breath, quicken our breath, send our breath, well you get the idea, thus alluding to creativity. Yet, this wonderful gift is so often taken for granted.

That said, when we have the experience of limited or obstructed breath like sinus issues, asthma, or bronchitis, then we remember the gift and get to practice gratitude and mindfulness, if we so choose.

Why not just be mindful, present, and aware all the time? Or, at least as often as we remember?

Breath – this vital life force is so powerful that many report healing simply using Breathwork practices. You can do a Google search for “stories of healing through the power of breath” yourself and discover a plethora of information, books, practices, etc.

For me, bringing my awareness to my breath, slowing, taking deep intentional breaths while giving my mind something to focus upon – even the breath itself, is the gateway to God. 

“Be still, and Know that I Am God.”
–Psalm 46:10

God, by whatever name you call God, as the Source of life, gives us breath. Breath is a wonderful way to recognize and give thanks for the expression of God/Life called you and me.


Abound in grace,

Karen

Seasons of Life - Seasons of Love

Yep – it’s true. The beautiful snow photo is my home in NC taken by my neighbor on December 9, 2018 and the tropical photo with peacocks I snapped at 6:22am out my front door at Synergida, my home in Costa Rica.

The contrast got me thinking about seasons of life and how so many struggle with winter blues, holiday stresses, anxieties, a sense of failure or whatever else may be robbing them of joy.

“The season of failure is the best time for sowing seeds of success.”

– Paramahansa Yogananda

Yet at the exact same time, if we choose to see through the lens of love, we (you and me) have the power to change our perspective, which allows us then to change our perception so we can experience cheer, joy, laughter, freedom, and peace and so many more wonderful things in life.

I invite you to give yourself a special gift during these holy days … take some time (even 5 minutes will be amazing) to contemplate/meditate/day dream about what these 2 images invoke in you. Both summer sunshine and winter snow are happening simultaneously – you get to choose how your inner dance through life looks and how much joy you bring – from the inside out.

My prayer is that we all see nothing but beauty through God’s eyes and enjoy the seasons of love every day, all year long, every year and in every way.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Hanukkah! 

Happy Kwanzaa!

Happy Boxing Day!

Should you not be able to shift your inner seasons, please know that you are not alone. So, don’t do it alone – reach out for support and know that you are loved. I love you.

Blessings upon blessings today and always.

Abound in grace,

Karen

Thanksgiving & Your Confidence Tune-Up

Isn’t it curious that there is a designated day of Thanksgiving?

What does this say about our society and culture?

According to a quick Google search, there are 9 countries, in addition to the USA, that have a national Thanksgiving celebration. This, in my humble opinion, is a beautiful expression of graciousness for a nation to its citizens. And, a wonderful reminder for each of us to incorporate thankfulness as a way of being.

Often we gather with family and friends to share the Thanksgiving holiday and this can trigger emotional, mental and physical stress reactions.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, please enjoy Your Confidence Tune-Up…..

karenperry.me.png

Whether you’re stepping into the family dining room, the boardroom or simply stepping into your day, confidence is the key to feeling great, performing your best, living a great life, and inspiring others to do the same.

But it’s not always easy to find your stride and keep that pep in your step, is it?  Especially if you’ve recently encountered obstacles, losses or challenges that may have knocked you off track.

Fortunately, we humans are surprisingly simple creatures.  As such, we respond well to triggers and cues, especially when it comes to shifting our mindset. So, this Thanksgiving, instead of the same-old sad, bad, or mad story reactions be proactive with positive healthy, uplifting and inspiring tools.

To that end, here are a few quick confidence boosters for you to use any time your confidence needs a boost.

They work. I promise.

1.      Sit Up Straight

Your mom was right, good posture is important. But it’s just not a matter of keeping a hunchback at bay…when you sit or stand tall, you feel better. Slumping or slouching inhibits your breath, slows the function of your organs, and makes you feel cruddy.  Good posture on the other hand, helps more oxygen flow to your lungs, eliminates body aches, and just plain ‘ole feels better.

And try this – today when you talk on the phone, stand instead of sit. Stand tall, walk around. When engaged in conversations with friends and family, smile. And, notice the renewed power and confidence in your voice.

 

2.      Throw Your Hands Up

Declare Victory! In many cultures winning is usually followed by hands thrust into the sky in a wide V. It’s a natural physical reaction.  Who knows which came first, but there’s a direct correlation between throwing your hands in the air and feeling like a winner. Behavioral scientists have identified this posture as “The Power Stance.” Try it right now to get a boost. Hold it for 1 minute and you’ll be unstoppable for the rest of the day.

 

3.      Pump Up the Jams

Cultures all around the world have ritualistic and ceremonial dances.  Sports stars plug in their favorite music before the big game. Professional speakers and entertainers play their ‘pump up’ tunes before they go onstage.

Music has a profound ability to physiology shift your mood, so put together a playlist of your favorite tunes and listen to it daily.  Add in some movement for an even greater impact on your overall well-being. And for an even greater boost, sing your favorite songs loud and proud. You might get a few funny looks from the ones you love, but so what.  Perhaps they’ll join in too!

 

4.      Speak Positivity into Your Day 

As you are getting ready for your day be it work, making breakfast, or driving in the car, speak out loud and with conviction of how good you feel, how much you are going to accomplish, how you are going to make a difference for others, how you will show love for your friends, family and colleagues, and, equally important, how you will receive love from your friends, family and colleagues.  Speak as if you are a coach in the locker room giving yourself a pep talk to go out and win the game. Declare Victory! Remember: Victory for you is uniquely yours as created and defined by you and you alone.

 

5.      Practice Collaborative Humility

Look for ways to help others and be open and willing to receive help from others. As you Pump Up and Declare Victory, remember that does not mean you are better (or worse) than anyone. Release the temptation of believing that in order to win someone must lose. Rise above, with a humble heart, this dualistic competitive attitude and resulting actions. Be amazed at how much you can accomplish and how good you feel.

 

6.      Appreciate Everything

Start expressing your gratitude every day. Practice the spirit of Thanksgiving every day. If you’d like, utilize the Peace Pages (free resource) to keep a gratitude journal and so much more. Even if you don’t grab the complimentary Peace Pages, write down at least 3 things you’re grateful for every morning or evening. Before long, you’ll have more things to appreciate than you can count.

Whatever you do, get out there, BE who you want to be and share yourself with the world. It’s time.

How will you step into your Thanksgiving confidence today?

 

Abound in grace,

 

Karen