Relationship Failure - the Art of Living Retreat Center

The One Major Cause of Relationship Failure

By Margaret Paul
December 12, 2018

Relationship Failure - the Art of Living Retreat Center

 

What if there really is ONE major cause of relationship problems, one issue that if you address, would change everything? The good news and the bad news is – there is!

The good news is that it makes it easier to understand why you might be having problems in your relationship, or why your relationship has failed.

The bad news is that to resolve the issue takes a deep personal commitment to heal.

 

The one cause is: self-abandonment

Let’s take a look at what self-abandonment is and why it causes almost all the problems in relationships.

There are many areas in which we can abandon ourselves: emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, relational, and organizational. One or more of these areas may be affecting your relationship, or may have caused your relationship to fail. The area of self-abandonment that often causes the most problems is emotional self-abandonment.

 

Emotional self-abandonment

The Encarta(r) World English Dictionary defines ‘abandon’ as: “to leave somebody or something behind for others to look after, especially somebody or something meant to be a personal responsibility.”

As adults, our own wellbeing is our personal responsibility.

Do you abandon yourself, making your partner responsible for you, and then feel abandoned by your partner or others when they leave you or don’t take responsibility for you?

As an adult, another person cannot abandon you, since they are not responsible for you. We can abandon a child, an ill person or an old person – someone who cannot take care of themselves. But if you are a physically healthy adult, you can be left, but you cannot be abandoned by others. Only you can abandon yourself.

What are the ways you might be abandoning yourself?

 

Judging yourself

How often do you judge yourself with comments to yourself such as:
“You are not good enough.” “You are inadequate.”
“You are stupid.” “You are an idiot.”
“You are ugly.” “You are not attractive enough.”
“If you fail, you are not okay.”
“If someone rejects you, you are not okay.”
“It’s all your fault that….”
“You will never amount to anything. You are a failure. You are not reaching your potential.”
…and so on.

Just as a small child feels alone and abandoned when a parent is harsh and judgmental, so your own inner child – your inner feeling self – feels alone and abandoned when you judge yourself. Self-judgment not only creates inner feelings of aloneness and emptiness, but it also creates feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, hurt, fear, guilt, shame, aloneness and emptiness. Then what do you do when you have judged yourself and created all these painful feelings?

 

Making others responsible for you

Once you judge yourself and then ignore the pain you have caused, it is quite likely that you then turn to your partner for the love and approval that you are not giving to yourself. Your inner child needs love, approval and attention. We all need the love and comfort of others, but when you abandon yourself with your self-judgments and ignore your feelings, the wounded child part of you turns to your partner in needy, controlling ways that may actually push your partner away. Because the child part of you is desperately needy for love, you likely become manipulative to get that love – getting angry and blaming, or becoming overly nice or compliant and trying to do everything right. You have handed your inner child away to your partner, hoping he or she will give you the love you are not giving to yourself and that you so desperately need.

The more you make your partner responsible for giving you the love, attention and approval you need, the more your inner child feels abandoned by you, leading to more addictive and controlling behavior to fill the emptiness and avoid the pain of your self-abandonment.
People tend to treat us the way we treat ourselves, so the more you abandon yourself, the more you might feel rejected by your partner.

 

Financial self-abandonment

When we refuse to take care of ourselves financially, instead expecting our partner to take financial responsibility for us, this can create problems. This is not a problem if your partner agrees to take financial responsibility for you and you fully accept how he or she takes this responsibility, but if you choose to be financially irresponsible, much conflict can occur over your financial self-abandonment.

 

Organizational self-abandonment

If you refuse to take responsibility for your own time and space, instead being consistently late or being a clutterer, and your partner is an on-time and/or neat person, this can create huge power struggles. In fact, some relationships actually break up over these issues. While these issues might not have seemed so major at the beginning of the relationship, over time they can erode the love between you.

 

Physical self-abandonment

If you refuse to take care of yourself physically, instead eating badly and not exercising and possibly causing yourself health problems, your partner may feel resentful at having to take care of you. Your physical self-abandonment not only has negative consequences for you regarding your health and well being, but it also has unwanted consequences for your partner, which can lead to much conflict and power struggles.

If, due to physical self-abandonment, you have put on a lot of weight, this might be a turn off to your partner. It might not just be your weight that is the turn off, but also the fact that you don’t care enough about yourself to take care of your physical wellbeing. Again, not caring about yourself might be reflected back to you in your partner also not caring about you.

 

Relational self-abandonment

If you refuse to speak up for yourself in your relationship, instead giving yourself up and allowing your partner to control you, you are eroding the love in the relationship. When you abandon yourself to your partner, you create a lack of trust that leads to conflict and resentment, because if your partner knows that he or she can manipulate you into giving yourself up, how can he or she trust that you are not going to allow yourself to be manipulated by others?

 

Spiritual self-abandonment

When you make your partner your dependable source of love rather than learning to turn to a spiritual source for your dependable source of love, you place a very unfair burden on your partner. When your intent in the relationship is to get love rather than to share love, then you will pull on your partner for attention, approval, time, or sex. When you do not take responsibility for learning how to connect with a spiritual source of sustenance and comfort, your neediness can create much conflict in the relationship.

 

Controlling behavior pushes your partner away

Trying to get love, rather than learning to fill yourself up with love to be shared with your partner, is a major result of self-abandonment. The more you abandon yourself in these ways, the more you will try to control your partner, and the more you try to control your partner, the more he or she will likely pull away.

What are the ways you try to control your partner?
Do you:

  • Explain and defend yourself?
  • Shame and judge your partner?
  • Comply, giving yourself up?
  • Withdraw, shut down, ignore, resist?
  • Yell, blame, and attack?
  • Complain?
  • Cry as a victim?

How does your partner respond when you attempt to control in these ways? Does this lead to closeness or to distance? These are some of the ways you might be trying to get love from your partner when you are abandoning yourself.

 

The way out: learning to love yourself rather than abandon yourself

When you decide to learn to love yourself rather than continue to abandon yourself, you will discover how to create a loving relationship with your partner. Practicing the 6-Step self-healing Inner Bonding® process is a very powerful way of learning to love yourself!

 

A brief overview of the Six Steps of Inner Bonding

Step 1: Willingness to Feel Pain and Take Responsibility for Your Feelings
In Step 1, you move into the present moment and focus within, tuning into your feelings and emotions – moving toward your feelings rather than away from them. You make the choice to be mindful of all your feelings, including your pain, rather than protect against them with various addictions. You make a conscious decision that you want to take responsibility for your feelings, which means that you want responsibility for learning how you might be causing your own anxiety, depression, anger, guilt and shame with your own thoughts and actions, and that you want responsibility for learning how to nurture the painful existential feelings of life – the loneliness, heartbreak, grief and helplessness concerning others that are so challenging.

Step 2: Move into the Intent to Learn
In Step 2, you focus in your heart and invite the compassionate presence of your higher self into your heart, by simply saying, “I invite love and compassion into my heart.”
Now you’re ready to focus on “intent” – your deepest desire, your primary motivation. There are only two possible intents you can have in any given moment:

 
  • The intent to protect yourself from pain with various forms of controlling, self-abandoning behavior, or
  • The intent to learn about loving yourself and others

When your intent is to learn, you are operating as a loving adult. When your intent to avoid your pain with some form of self-abandoning behavior, you are operating from your programmed ego self – what we call in Inner Bonding your ‘wounded self’.

Step 3: Dialogue with Your Wounded self and Your Inner Child
With kindness, gentleness and compassion toward yourself, you discover the thoughts and false beliefs from your wounded self that may be causing your shame, fear, anxiety, depression, aloneness, emptiness or anger, and you learn how to release anger in appropriate ways. You uncover the false beliefs that were created in the past and have led to the self-abandonment that is causing much of your current pain. You explore what may be happening with a person or event that is causing the existential painful feelings of life – loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, helplessness concerning others, or grief. You explore your core self – your essence, your inner child, which is your feeling self – and discover what brings you joy.

Only when the unconscious false beliefs that have limited you for so long are understood and identified, can they be replaced by new and healthier truths that will nurture and heal you.

In Step 3, you ask yourself questions, such as, “What am I telling myself and how am I treating myself that is causing my pain?” “What am I trying to control or avoid with my controlling behavior?”

Step 4: Dialogue with Your Inner or Higher Guidance
In Step 4, you ask a source of inner or higher wisdom – whatever that is for you: “What is the truth about the false beliefs I may have uncovered in Step 3?” And, “What is the loving behavior toward my inner child in this situation? What is in my highest good? What is kind to myself?” You open and allow the answers to come through you in words, pictures or feelings. The answers may not come immediately, but if you have a sincere desire to learn, they will come.

By staying open to learning, you will begin to experience that you are never alone. This is where fears start to fall away and you begin to receive all the love and wisdom you need to take loving actions for yourself and with others.

 

Step 5: Take Loving Action
Step 5 is about telling yourself the truth and taking the loving action based on the information that came through from your inner or higher guidance in Step 4.

 

You have opened to your pain, moved into learning, started a dialogue with your wounded self and inner child, and tapped into your higher wisdom. In step 5 you take the ‘loving action’ that, over time, heals the painful feelings that have been the result of your self-abandonment.

Step 6: Evaluate Your Action
Once you take the loving action, you check in to see if your anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, aloneness or emptiness is getting healed. If not, go back through the steps until you discover the truth and actions that bring you relief, peace, joy, and a deep sense of intrinsic worth.

Turning this daily practice into a way of life is what will protect you from going back into self-abandoning behaviors. Much like attending to – say – a child’s feelings, you learn to keep a loving relationship with yourself throughout your life, no matter the challenges that come at you. This loving relationship with yourself and your higher guidance fills you and empowers you to handle life’s challenges with strength and equanimity. This is what then leads to being able to share love with your partner, rather than always trying to get love.

Even if just one of you in a relationship starts to learn to love yourself rather than abandon yourself, your relationship can begin to heal. Try it! You will be truly amazed at the results!

 

Learn more about the Inner Bonding Process and heal your relationships, your emotions, and your spirit. Dr. Margaret Paul hosts the Inner Bonding workshop at the Art of Living Retreat Center from May 17th-19th, 2019.

 

Dr. Margaret Paul is a bestselling author and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® self-healing process, and the related SelfQuest® self-healing online program – recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including Oprah. Margaret holds a PhD in psychology, is a relationship expert, public speaker, consultant and artist. She has successfully worked with thousands and taught classes and seminars for over 50 years.

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

   
TAGS: abandonment , Love , margaret paul , relationships , resilience , wellness
Self-Care as a Healer - Art of Living Retreat Center

Exploring Wisdom: Self-Care as a Healer

By Wah! & Dr. James Leary
November 10, 2018

Self-Care as a Healer - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

In this series, regular Art of Living Retreat Center presenters Wah! and Dr. James Leary answer your questions about life, love, and spirituality.

“What can a healer do to take care of their energy, and not exhaust themselves when taking care of others?”

 

James: That’s a good one. I hear it all the time, from teachers and healers of a huge variety of modalities. The most common advice I hear in regards to this question is to remain grounded. As a healer, it’s easy to take other people’s energy and feel it as we work with it. You can allow your intuition to take over and to give you guidance as you work with what you know and what you feel.

 

So grounding is great until you get tired, until you take on something that you can’t handle in the moment. Rooting is much more effective.

 

If you look at trees, plants, everything that grows in nature, it all has a root system. If we root, energy can continuously move through us and return to the earth. When you’re feeling other people’s energies, it’s good to just visualize. Be like a tree or a plant and just allow these energies to constantly root through you. You could be 56 floors up in a skyscraper and still feel that you’re rooted to the earth. It’s so tangible.

 

Wah!: When you’re working with other people, affirm the whole time that they are capable of healing themselves. Often after sessions, someone will say “Oh, thank you so much, you fixed me.” and James will say, “No, I didn’t. We worked together and you did it yourself.”

 

True healing is something that the person who is ailing does for him or herself. And so, in your work as a healer, always have the feeling that it’s a perfect world. The people who are coming to you are not broken. They’re just working through a certain issue. They’re learning something, and so the work you do with them or for them is something that you’re doing in order to brighten your own countenance.

 

You don’t feel drained, because what you’re doing is increasing your light, increasing your heart energy by doing this service and by helping someone who already has the ability within themselves to do their own healing. You know for sure that they will work through his issue in a way that is correct for them.

 

If you take on and try to do the work of another person or try to push their timing, that’s not your work to do. It’s their work to do. They do it in their own time, so this feeling of buoyancycx5 and joy is increased in your system as you work with them, because you’ve increased your own light and have affirmed that the person you’re working on is perfect. They’re going to get all of the blessings and information and guidance they need.

 

Wah! Wah! blends a seductive, Eastern-tinged spiritual sound with a unique mix of pop, world music, ambient electronica, hip hop, and reggae. She teaches women’s leadership trainings, sound healing workshops, yoga teacher trainings, and performs healing concerts in planetariums and theaters throughout the United States.

         

Dr. James Leary, DOM, DMQ, PhD, has been treating people successfully for 30 years. His Life Qi Renewal is a protocol for life activation which draws from many teachers and healing methods. Dr. Leary’s expertise has been utilized by healing therapists, professional athletes, and corporate executives all over the world.

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: energy , healer , self love , self-care , wisdom
Balancing Relationships - Art of Living Retreat Center

Exploring Wisdom: Finding Balance in Relationships

By Wah! & Dr. James Leary
October 10, 2018

Balancing Relationships - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

In this series, regular Art of Living Retreat Center presenters Wah! and Dr. James Leary answer your questions about life, love, and spirituality.

“How do I maintain balanced self-care time and together time within my relationship?”

 

James: Relationships are a lot of fun. People always say, “Wow! You guys have this dynamic thing that happens all the time!” People see all the good stuff, and none of the hard work. In any relationship, in order to have balance, you have to create it. There’s always a give and take. When we disagree or have something to work through, we’ll see one another and just exhale, just let it out, and breathe into it.

 

The balance comes from letting that other person have that moment, and not trying to control it, and getting to the point where you can breathe together. You have to allow yourself the ability to just exhale, and to disagree, and to say to yourself that it’s okay. And then have the intention to go further. To work through it, not away from it.

 

The spiritual part of the relationship is a must in my own personal belief. Having something like a common goal of spirituality is one of the best ways to balance your self-care with your relationship. It’s a beautiful thing.

 

Wah!: I like all of that. I would say that self-care is that time when you connect to yourself and to Source. It’s a process of regeneration, so when you’re taking care of yourself, you’re also in service to someone else. The time together should be celebratory. It should be fun. You should try new things together, and make plans that you can look forward to.

 

Sometimes when you spend too much time together there can be a sense of drag, and you feel like you can’t get any more out of your interaction. So spend time together and time apart! We’ll do our own thing and then we’ll come together for a meal, for instance. There should be a flow, a back-and-forth. There should be a rhythm of coming together and building something together, and then being apart and rejuvenating yourself, restoring so that when you come back together, you have more to bring to the table as an individual.

 

Wah! Wah! blends a seductive, Eastern-tinged spiritual sound with a unique mix of pop, world music, ambient electronica, hip hop, and reggae. She teaches women’s leadership trainings, sound healing workshops, yoga teacher trainings, and performs healing concerts in planetariums and theaters throughout the United States.

         

Dr. James Leary, DOM, DMQ, PhD, has been treating people successfully for 30 years. His Life Qi Renewal is a protocol for life activation which draws from many teachers and healing methods. Dr. Leary’s expertise has been utilized by healing therapists, professional athletes, and corporate executives all over the world.

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: balance , Love , relationships , self love , self-care
Life is a Journey - The Art of Living Retreat Center

Life is a Journey

By Dara Kurtz
October 6, 2018

Life is a Journey - The Art of Living Retreat Center

The path of life doesn’t always take us where we want to go. Sometimes, circumstances force us to deal with things we don’t want to have to deal with. Other times, where life takes us is so much better than our grandest dreams.

 

Life is a journey.

I was reminded of this the other day, when I was taking a walk. It was just a normal walk, but it was a good lesson to me, and maybe to you, to keep moving forward. Whatever season of life you’re in. Whatever you’re facing. Whatever is going on in your life.

 

I walked down the path. I’d been on this path, many times, and love it there. Walking in the woods is one of my favorite things to do, and I walk the same path many times each week. Sometimes, with a friend, other times, alone.

 

Life is a journey.

 

A new path, a new discovery

As I began to turn, taking my normal route, something caused me to pause. I’m not sure what it was, but instead of turning the way I usually go, I stopped. I hesitated. I wondered, “What would happen if I went another way?”

I found myself thinking, “What’s down there?”

 

I’d never asked this question before. Never thought to even wonder what was down the other path. But, in that moment, for some reason, I wanted to know. I wanted to discover what was there.

 

Instead of turning the way I’ve always gone, I turned the other way. I went down the opposite path. I took a chance.

I walked for a little while, taking in all my surroundings, admiring the beautiful woods. There were new things to see, to discover, and I was glad I had ventured down this different path.

 

It was a good lesson for me.

 

I’ve been struggling with several things in my life, and wasn’t sure which way I wanted to go. I’ve been consumed with thinking about which decision would be “best,” not even considering taking a different approach. Going down a different path.

 

Your takeaway

Don’t be afraid to walk down another path. To take a risk. To go where you haven’t been before. Sure, there’s a risk when we walk into the unknown. We don’t know what we’ll find. We don’t know what we’ll see. We don’t know how it will turn out.

 

But, that’s OK.

 

Sometimes, we need to push ourselves down a new path. Don’t ignore the feeling in your heart that tells you you’re ready for something new. Maybe it’s a new hobby. Maybe it’s a new job. Maybe it’s something you haven’t even thought about yet.

 

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. It’s easy to get used to walking down the same path, day after day. It’s easy to accept “this is the way it is.” However, don’t forget, each day, you have a choice.

 

A new day ahead of you, on life’s journey.
To explore the world.

To notice all the amazing things life has to offer.

To challenge yourself to walk down a new path.

 

That doesn’t mean you aren’t happy with what you have or don’t appreciate the blessings in your life. It just means, for whatever reason, you want more. Maybe a new challenge. Maybe a new friend. Maybe just the excitement something new can bring.

 

Focus your attention

Listen to your heart. Listen to that pull you might feel inside yourself, and be willing to go down a new path. You never know what you’ll discover or find. That’s the wonderful thing about life, there’s always something new to learn, something new to experience, something new to discover.

 

Savor all your experiences. Take it all in.

 

Sure, sometimes the journey of life takes a turn we don’t want to be on.

When that happens, push through it. Soldier on. Lean on your friends and family and find the inner strength you possess to get passed it. You will.

 

On the same walk, several days later, I paused at the spot where I had taken the new turn. I hesitated again, trying to decide which way to go. I smiled at myself, as I turned down my “normal” route.

 

It’s always nice to come back to what’s familiar, especially after trying something new. The good news, most of the time it’s still there. This time, as I walked the usual path, I saw it with a renewed sense of appreciation.

 

Find meaning each day.

 

Do you want more from life? Do you feel a lack of fun, joy, passion or success? Whether you’ve been through a tough time, or are dusting yourself off after a percieved failure, or whether you’ve simply fallen into a rut which you’re struggling to get out of–this is the transformative pick-me-up for you. Dara Kurtz and Garth Callaghan host You Deserve to Thrive at the Art of Living Retreat Center from November 2-4, 2018.

 

Dara Kurtz is a cancer survivor, inspirational author, and speaker who shares her life-changing work with people all over the world through workshops, media, and as a coach. She has learned first-hand how to get through difficult times and create the life she truly desires.

 

This article first appeared on Crazy Perfect Life, and is reposted with permission from the author.


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , attention , dara kurtz , wellness , wisdom

Exploring Wisdom: Dealing with Jealousy

By Wah! & Dr. James Leary
September 12, 2018

Jealousy - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

In this series, regular Art of Living Retreat Center presenters Wah! and Dr. James Leary answer your questions about life, love, and spirituality.

“How do you deal with jealousy?”

 

Wah!: Jealousy is just self-hatred turned outwards. When you’re jealous of someone else, the root of that energy is actually self-loathing. You’re projecting onto someone else, and telling yourself that you’re not good enough, that you think the other person is better. The work in jealousy is to dissolve, forgive, and love yourself.

 

Once you do that, there won’t be that comparison anymore. You’re able to arrive at the statement of “I am. I am this way. I didn’t make myself this way, I just simply evolved to this point and this is who I am right now.” And that’s okay! That’s magical, and that’s special.

 

James: In my own growth with jealousy, I’ve learned that it’s never simple. But when you look at it and think about it, when you really break it down – Where is that thought coming from? Where is that emotion coming from? – you inevitably learn to embrace and love yourself, and turn your attention away from a place of lack.

 

Wah! Wah! blends a seductive, Eastern-tinged spiritual sound with a unique mix of pop, world music, ambient electronica, hip hop, and reggae. She teaches women’s leadership trainings, sound healing workshops, yoga teacher trainings, and performs healing concerts in planetariums and theaters throughout the United States.

         

Dr. James Leary, DOM, DMQ, PhD, has been treating people successfully for 30 years. His Life Qi Renewal is a protocol for life activation which draws from many teachers and healing methods. Dr. Leary’s expertise has been utilized by healing therapists, professional athletes, and corporate executives all over the world.

         

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: James Leary , jealousy , self love , self-care , Wah! , wellness
Spiritual Power of Routine - Art of Living Retreat Center

The Spiritual Power of Routine

By Julia Cameron
September 7, 2018

Spiritual Power of Routine - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

Recent retirees tend to speak of having mixed feelings about routine. On one hand, they enjoy being free from the externally-imposed schedule of their work lives— they may choose to sleep later, to travel during the week, to eat meals when they fancy them instead of hewing to a strict timetable of meetings and business hours. On the other hand, the lack of routine can be a source of stress. If a person hasn’t shaped his or her own days for decades, it can be a tricky adjustment to determine what exactly is the ideal routine for this new phase of life.

 

Finding a routine

I ask you to be open-minded: although it may take some trial and error, it is possible to find a routine that can begin to feel like a spiritual practice, opening you to guidance, energy and creativity. Creating routines for yourself that comfort you will quiet your mind, and it is this quiet mind that allows inspiration to spring forth.

 

My routine

My daily routine begins when I rise. Before getting out of bed, I reach to my nightstand, take hold of my notebook and pen, and write my three Morning Pages. Pages done, I turn to breakfast, and after breakfast I undertake the steps my pages have suggested. “Walk the dog, change the sheets, read my Ernest Holmes prayers, call my sister, write the foreword for Natalie’s book…” It is a rare day when the pages fail to dictate the next right thing. “Call Domenica,” my pages may suggest. Most of the time the pages yield “good, orderly direction,” which I use acronym for “G-O-D”— God. Afternoon exercise keeps me mentally and physically fit as daily I hike the dirt roads surrounding my house, keeping an alert eye for coyotes and snakes. Late afternoon is an ideal time for working on my current writing project. Once a week, I schedule an Artist Date.

 

How structure gives you freedom

With such minimal structure in place, we find ourselves feeling serene and secure. We are led in directions that serve our spirit. We are once more given routine, but this time it is a routine of our own choosing that responds our inner impulses, not an external taskmaster. Routine brings us into contact with our own capacity for discipline. We learn inspiration from the regular practice of Morning Pages. As we daily invoke the higher power to communicate through our pen, we are nourished with new ideas.

 

The spiritual value of routine

The spiritual value of routine is nowhere more evident than in a monastery. Monks rise at a set time, pray a set morning prayer, then enter a day where bells chime at regular intervals, cueing them to move from activity to activity. Setting time for work, time for prayer, and time for relaxation yields a rewarding, fulfilling and productive life. When we undertake Morning Pages, we undertake routine, but we also undertake a certain form of prayer. As we write, “Please guide me,” we are given a flow of inspiration.

 

Prayer, mindfulness, morning pages

We are indeed guided. As we write each morning about whatever is current for us— feelings of loss, confusion, excitement, wonder, regret— we are, in effect, praying on the page. And it is indeed as if a benevolent force beyond ourselves is listening, whether we choose to name this force or not. Morning Pages give us a path through the day, a place to set our own goals and deadlines. When I call my daughter, I find myself serving as a sounding board. Our exchange is mutually healing. Morning Pages are a jumping-off place for the rest of our lives.

 

Julia Cameron the Artist's Way

Julia Cameron has been an active artist for over four decades. She is the author of more than forty books, including such bestselling works on the creative process as The Artist’s Way, Walking in This World and Finding Water. Also a novelist, playwright, songwriter and poet, she has multiple credits in theater, film and television. 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of The Artist’s Way, with over five million copies sold.

 

This post first appeared on juliacameronlive.com, and is reposted with permission from the author.

 

Join Julia at the Art of Living Retreat Center from November 9th-11th, 2018, for her retreat, The Artist’s Way: Blasting Through Blocks. 


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: creativity , Julia Cameron , wellness , writing
What Kind of Messenger Are You

What Kind of Messenger are You?

By don Miguel & don Jose Ruiz
September 6, 2018

What Kind of Messenger Are You

 

We are all messengers

Have you ever noticed that we are all messengers? Every one of us uses the word to form our opinions, to express our point of view. We are constantly using the word to deliver and receive messages to those around us and to ourselves. The question is: What kind of messages do we deliver? Do we deliver the truth, or do we deliver lies?

 

The world is populated by billions of messengers, but what kind of messengers are they? The answer is obvious. You see the consequences in the world. Delivering lies is the core of the problem, because all conflict ­­– whether it’s inner conflict or conflict between humans – is the result of believing in lies and delivering lies.

 

The majority of the humans on earth have no idea that words have the power of creation. They have no idea where the power of their word comes from, which means that words have power over them.

 

What kind of messenger are you?

What kind of messenger are you? Just allow this question to go directly into your heart, where you can feel the meaning and intent behind the words. What kind of message do you deliver to your children, to your beloved, to your siblings, to your parents, to everyone around you? Are you a messenger of gossip and lies? Do you feel comfortable with all the drama that comes as a result of believing in lies? Is that what you share with everyone around you? Is that what you teach your children?

 

You are always delivering a message to everyone around you, but mainly you are always delivering a message to yourself. What is the message? That message is the most important one, because it affects your whole life. How do you treat yourself? Are you kind to yourself? Do you respect yourself? Do you even like yourself? What kind of life are you creating for yourself? Are you happy or are you suffering? If you’re suffering, if there’s drama and injustice in your life, then you’re not being impeccable with your word. All those voices in your head are distorting your message. What kind of message will you deliver to the people you love the most if the messages you deliver to yourself are guiding you into suffering?

 

Whose messages are you delivering?

Now use your imagination to see the kind of messages other people delivered to you in your entire life. People were always delivering messages to you, and you were always perceiving their messages. How did all those messages affect you? Out of all the messages that you received, how many of those messages did you agree with and take as your own? How many of those messages are you still delivering now? If you’re delivering somebody else’s messages, whose messages are you delivering?

 

What will make a difference in the messages you deliver? The answer is awareness. Just have the awareness of the kind of messages that you’ve delivered and received your entire life. Once you’re aware of the messages you’re delivering, and the messages other people are delivering to you, your point of view will shift completely. The moment will come when you clearly see the effect of your words, the effect of your actions, the effect of your presence on other people. You will see exactly what kind of messenger you are, and you will clearly see what kind of messengers the other people are. After that, the importance of being impeccable with your word will be obvious.

 

The power of your word

Once you become aware of the power of your word, you can change the way you communicate with yourself and with other people. Perhaps you’ve misused the word because you were innocent, because you didn’t have awareness. But once you have awareness, you cannot claim innocence anymore. You know exactly what you’re doing, and whatever you’re doing is perfect, but now it’s your choice.

 

Now the question becomes: What kind of message do you choose to deliver? Is it truth or is it lies? Is it love or is it fear? When you are impeccable with your word, you deliver a message of truth and love.

 

Get in tune with your authentic self, release the fear of what you are without your beliefs, and embrace unconditional love with the Ruiz brothers at the Art of Living Retreat Center. The Agreements of Love takes place October 12th-14th.

 

This article is excerpted from The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery by Shakta Khalsa. © 2010 by Miguel Angel Ruiz, M.D., Jose Luis Ruiz, and Janet Mills, and is used with permission from Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc., and reposted with permission from the authors.

 

Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. is a Nagual, a Toltec Master of Transformation. He is a direct descendant of the Toltecs of the Eagle Knight lineage and is the son of don Miguel Ruiz. By combining the wisdom of his family’s traditions with the knowledge gained from his own personal journey, he now helps others realize their own path to personal freedom.

   

Don Jose Ruiz is a Toltec Master of Transformation and modern day Shaman. He is a direct descendant of the Toltecs of the Eagle Night lineage, and is the son of don Miguel Ruiz, author of New York Times bestseller The Four Agreements. He is the author of The Fifth Agreement, Ripples of Wisdom, and My Good Friend The Rattlesnake. Along with his family, he teaches workshops and offers transformational journeys around the world.

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

 
TAGS: authenticity , communication , relationships , self-actualization , The Ruiz Brothers , truth
How I Quit Smoking - Art of Living Retreat Center

Seeing is Believing: How I Quit Smoking

By Jurian Hughes
September 1, 2018

How I Quit Smoking - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

On June 11, 2003 I smoked my last cigarette.

 

When I count the things that I’m most grateful for in my life, “I quit smoking” is almost always number one. Even now, after fourteen years, I’m aware that this one factor changed the quality and course of my life perhaps more than any other decision or achievement I’ve made since.

 

Quitting smoking is one of my proudest accomplishments. I enjoy the clarity around it. Either you smoke or you don’t. There’s no vagueness about it. I was a smoker. Now I’m not. To this day I’m fascinated by how I did it.

 

How I quit smoking

Before I made the decision to quit smoking I projected myself into the future ten years. I saw who I would become if I continued smoking. I could easily imagine what my body would feel and look like, how active I would be (or not). I imagined the quality of my life – chest pain as I walked up subway stairs, the smell of my apartment, clothes and hair.

 

I had a very real and tangible sense of who I would become if I continued down that road. And I knew it was not who I wanted to be. I wanted to be another woman – a physically fit, vital, brighter, more hopeful, more engaged person than I was at that time. And I could see very clearly that if I continued smoking I was not going to get there.

 

Resetting my intentions

So I stopped. Immediately. That was it. Once I had seen so clearly where I wanted to go vs. where I was headed, I simply stopped smoking. The intention was not “Quit Smoking.” The intention was robust health, overall well-being, more joy. Quitting smoking became a necessary step toward the person I was determined to become. Though I had tried to quit numerous times before, that final time it was actually…easy. It was simple, inevitable.

 

Getting clear

During that same time I made a lot of other changes. I stopped hanging out with men who were no good for me (and met my beloved partner David shortly thereafter). I left a career that was no longer fulfilling me (and found my way to teaching in the world of yoga, dance, voice and play not long after.)

 

Now when I find myself needing to make a life change, I imagine myself going through the same process that I went through back in 2003. I try to get as clear as I can about who it is that I am passionate to evolve into next. Once I see her clearly — and believe that I have the ability and the right to have her life – I know the steps will reveal themselves.

 

Seeing is believing

“Seeing is believing” says the old adage. If we can see a future self we can begin to imagine what her life feels like, what it’s like to be in her skin, to move through her day, to spend time as she does. The more fully we imagine her, the more real she becomes, and then her evolution becomes…inevitable.

If you imagine your life full of joy and dance and the ability to help others experience more of that, too, join me this Sep 22 – Oct 2 at Art of Living for a ten-day Let Your Yoga Dance Teacher Training Immersion. See it. Believe it. Take the first step.

 

Jurian Hughs, E-RYT 500, MFA, is founder of the Yoga of Voice; co-founder of A Wild Life Sanctuary™; co-creator of The Yoga of Yes; a Let Your Yoga Dance® teacher trainer; voice coach; personal mentor; writer; speaker; and theatre performer known for her passionate, playful, and engaging teaching style. As a senior faculty member of the Kripalu School of Yoga since 2006, Hughes has led thousands of workshops and programs and trained more than 1,000 Kripalu yoga teachers.

 

For more about Jurian, visit jurianhughes.com. Join Jurian for her ten-day Let Your Yoga Dance® Teacher Training at the Art of Living Retreat Center from September 22 – October 2, 2018.


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: jurian hughes , mindfulness , self-care , smoking , visualization , wellness , yoga
Maintaining a Practice - Art of Living Retreat Center

Exploring Wisdom: the Daily Practice

By Wah! & Dr. James Leary
August 30, 2018

Maintaining a Practice - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

In this series, regular Art of Living Retreat Center presenters Wah! and Dr. James Leary answer your questions about life, love, and spirituality.

“Sometimes I lose my daily practice. Do you have any inspirations for continuing a daily practice? What advice can you offer?”

 

Wah!: Having several things that you like to do and know how to do, that each take different lengths of time, is a really great toolbox to have. When you have an hour, maybe you’ll do a yoga routine with relaxation. If you’ve got half an hour, maybe it’s just the yoga routine. If you’ve got 15 minutes, maybe it’s a little bit of Marma, and if you have five, maybe it’s even just going outside and taking a deep breath of fresh air, inviting Mother Nature to be with you for the day. No matter what it is, just do something.

 

James: If you look at it, there’s 1,440 minutes in a day. Most people don’t even really afford themselves a few minutes of quality time. For me, my biggest practice is my daily meditation of stepping outside. I’ll wander a little, find something in nature that really catches my eye, take a deep breath, and I’ll just be clear.

 

I just allow nature to come in and allow me to breathe with it. Whether it’s 10 seconds or five minutes, it’s such a clearing and energizing way to increase the ability to take in what we need to from the universe.

 

Wah!: Something that we teach in our classes is the practice of taking a clearing breath. You can’t bring in a new day if you haven’t cleared the old. Inhale, find something in the consciousness that is congested, that doesn’t serve you or belong, and then breathe it out. Release it into the universe.

 

That’s all you have to do–the universe follows your lead. We have these false beliefs that we should be the ones to fix whatever is wrong, but all we need to do is tie into the energy of Mother Nature, which is around you, and allow healing to flow through you. Start your practice with a daily exhale, set your intentions, and let Mother Nature in.

 

Wah! Wah! blends a seductive, Eastern-tinged spiritual sound with a unique mix of pop, world music, ambient electronica, hip hop, and reggae. She teaches women’s leadership trainings, sound healing workshops, yoga teacher trainings, and performs healing concerts in planetariums and theaters throughout the United States.

         

Dr. James Leary, DOM, DMQ, PhD, has been treating people successfully for 30 years. His Life Qi Renewal is a protocol for life activation which draws from many teachers and healing methods. Dr. Leary’s expertise has been utilized by healing therapists, professional athletes, and corporate executives all over the world.

         

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: James Leary , mindfulness , self love , self-care , Wah!
Writing Beyond the Block - Art of Living Retreat Center

Writing Beyond the Block

By Julia Cameron
August 25, 2018

Writing Beyond the Block - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

Writing begins with enthusiasm. We launch into a long project with optimism. We have an idea, we trust our idea, we set about putting it to the page. All goes swimmingly for a time— until we hit The Wall. The Wall occurs, in most writing, about two-thirds of the way into our work. Put simply, The Wall is doubt. Our previously good idea suddenly seems suspect. We doubt its validity. Our writing skids to a halt.

 

Moving past doubt

“Julia, I feel such doubt, it stops me in my tracks,” I have been told many times. I sympathize. Doubt is an excruciatingly painful feeling. It tempts us to take creative U-turns, abandoning our work.

 

“Julia, it was going so well, and then I found myself thinking, ‘what if I’m kidding myself?’” That is the voice of doubt. It whispers that we are without talent, and that our hopes of a career are mere grandiosity. It encourages us to mistrust our perceptions. The Wall towers high.

 

Learning to surrender

Typically, when we encounter the wall, we attempt to power our way past it and over it. “It’s a good idea,” we say to ourselves defensively. “I know it’s a good idea.” But our forced optimism doesn’t win the day. The Wall still towers, casting its ominous shadow on our work. But there is a better way to conquer The Wall, and that is to surrender. Instead of trying to convince ourselves of the brilliance of our idea, we need to say instead, “I am willing to finish this piece of work even if my idea is terrible.” In other words, “I am willing to write badly.”

 

Writing badly–on purpose

The moment we are willing to write badly, we begin to have freedom. The Wall no longer dominates our emotional landscape. Instead, like convicts striving to escape prison, we do well not by scrambling over the wall, but by digging our way to freedom under it. Most of us find this approach to the wall a novel idea. We are not really willing to write badly, and yet, when we give ourselves permission, we find that by being willing to write badly, we may write very well indeed.

 

Julia Cameron the Artist's Way

Julia Cameron has been an active artist for over four decades. She is the author of more than forty books, including such bestselling works on the creative process as The Artist’s Way, Walking in This World and Finding Water. Also a novelist, playwright, songwriter and poet, she has multiple credits in theater, film and television. 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of The Artist’s Way, with over five million copies sold.

 

This post first appeared on juliacameronlive.com, and is reposted with permission from the author.

 

Join Julia at the Art of Living Retreat Center from November 9th-11th, 2018, for her retreat, The Artist’s Way: Blasting Through Blocks. 


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: creativity , Julia Cameron , wellness , writer's block , writing

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