Raise Your Vibration – Why Kindness Matters

I hate to think about the world in terms of hippy maxims or quantifiers like “you’re killing my vibe, man” or “whoa dude where did that energy come from.” But lately, I have really been thinking long and hard about a relative truth hippies get right.
What is a Vibration?
Your vibration is essentially your thoughts.

What do I mean by this?

In the recent studies by positive psychologists, they find that thought patterns predict whether or not an individual feels happiness. This is not only a phenomenon brought on by positive psychologists but behavioral and cognitive psychologists as well. In cognitive psychology, we learn that our thoughts essentially dictate and control our behavior. When we think low vibrating or low unconscious thoughts, we reactively act those thoughts out in our day-to-day life.

Let me give you an example of this: 

  • Have you ever been so stressed at work that you feel like the world is crumbling down around you?
  • Have you ever had an inter-personal conflict with your wife, daughter or other family members where you feel like a victim?
  • Have you ever unconsciously lashed out at an individual, pointed fingers or blamed them?

And if you checked yes to all of these questions, don’t feel bad that is completely natural and normal. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. In fact, I have recently been in situations where I was doing all of these at the same time. Trust me, it wasn’t good for my mental health. And as a psychologist-in-training, I knew something needed to change. If you’re having an inter-personal conflict with someone who is abusive, the best thing you can do is to remove yourself from the situation and work on making yourself happy.

However, in order to understand this happiness, you need to RAISE YOUR VIBRATION! 

What I am saying here is don’t get stuck in a victim mentally just because you have felt victimized. Even though you can’t always love people up close, that doesn’t mean you should stop your thoughts and start thinking negatively. The more we think negatively about people in our lives, the more we blame and hate and point fingers – the less happy we are.

Have you ever felt what it feels like to love? It is the most magnificent, wonderful feeling in the world. And we can still choose love every time. When we are stuck in our negative thought loops, we start discounting all of the beauty and life there is in the world. We also start turning that hatred towards others inward on ourselves. When we can’t blame other people for the negativity, we blame ourselves and we keep perpetuating the cycle of hate and doom.

But we can choose to be happy. We can choose to express, feel and always have unconditional positive disregard for everyone we meet. We can appreciate all individuals are beautiful, lovely beings of light who have their own struggles and their own life experiences that make them who they are.

Remembering, that you are not a victim and that you have enough self-love to remove yourself from toxic situations is no one’s fault. The only thing you can control is yourself and what you experience in every moment. You cannot change other people, you cannot make other people happy and you cannot blame yourself if other people don’t understand your situation.
But you can choose kindness, happiness, and love in every moment.

  • Do you have an ex you still hate?
  • Do you have a frenemy who you think toxic, mean thoughts about?

I encourage you to sit down and send them love today. Whoever you hate, send them love at every moment and you feel the shift in your happiness. You will feel the stress dissipate and the negativity evaporate.

Practicing Mantra’s That Will Bring You More Love

A mantra is a simple phrase, or a sound that resonates deeply within us. It is a phrase you repeat over and over again. One of the greatest mantras I’ve ever used is the Tibetan mantra: Om Mani Padmi Hum. The phrase is perhaps one of the most widely used mantras in our world today and for good reason.

For newly practicing yogis or mystics like me, a lot of confusion can arise when repeating the mantra. Little thoughts surface to the top of my head like, “What does this even mean?” “Why am I doing this?” However, once you begin to practice the mantra a little bit everyday you can feel a difference. It’s true.

The first step to practicing the mantra is hearing it outside your body through your ears, saying it aloud and truly thinking about its meaning. So, if you begin to practice the mantra, Om Mami Padme Hum, you begin to think about it and you inquire “Well, what does this mean?”

According to Ram Dass, author of novels like Be Here Now and The Only Dance There Is, Om means, like Brahma, that which is behind it all, the un-manifest. Mani means jewel or crystal. Padme means lotus, and Hum means heart.

So on one level, what you’re essentially repeating is that the entire universe is like a pure jewel or crystal right in the heart or center of the lotus flower, which is me, or you, and it is manifested, it comes forth in brilliant guiding light, in manifested light, in the center of your own heart.

So to begin chanting mantras, you start off chanting Om Mami Padmi Hum and what you’re saying is, “God in pure energy is like a brilliant crystal in the middle of an emerging lotus, manifest in the center of my opening heart.” You repeat is over and over again while in a state of serene relaxation and you feel it in your heart, and what you’re essentially experiencing is a trip. You’re experiencing, an awakening of your conscious perception. Informally experiencing a journey through the gateways of your corpus callosum all the way to the right hemisphere of your brain where you’re expansive and one with the cosmos.

The benefits of this practice have lasting and serious beautiful psychological effects. Instead of thinking, “Gosh. I didn’t get the job promotion I wanted today.” “I wonder if, Bob, is ever going to call me today?” Instead of all the brain chatter, which crowds our minds on a daily basis, our inner roommate, you go into mantra and you are. Once the mantra has been going on for a while, it begins to change its nature. Instead of it being stuck in the upper part of your body, in your head, the humming and prayer moves down to the center of your body and resides in the middle of your heart. Now, at this point the linguistics or meaning of it has become irrelevant to you, and you have entered a deep meditative state of unconscious flow (Alpha State of Awareness.) This is the state of deep relaxation that is extremely beneficial for your health. When a mantra is performed correctly, the point of its practice is to become synchronized with the peculiar vibration and harmony of the universe. You’re essentially “in-tune.” You’re at peace.

Here is a beautiful mantra that is meant to evoke peace, love and understanding. May your day today be full of love.

 


  

Life in The Midst of Solitude

Notes on Being Alone

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For some, being alone is the quickening sting that strikes the center of the heart with an icy frost. Paralyzed in fear they grab the nearest body to set themselves back on fire. For me, I’m like a mouse nibbling on cheese. Scared I hide in my cave and when the daylight permits I sneak out to grab whatever morsel I can manage. However, a life lived in solitude is a courageous path. It is in the depths of solitude that creates the souls ability to harvest inner freedom. A life without a place of restitution, that is, a life without lonely compassion can become easily self-destructive.

I don’t mind being alone. In fact, being alone allows me the inner-exploration to define a clear path for myself. To expand my current understanding of the inconceivable world I see before me. Tongue-tied and washed away by the current of the moons gravitational pull. Being alone reminds me of the only opinion that truly matters in this world: my own.

In solitude, we can slowly unravel the illusionary thread of our inner turmoil and discover at the end of the spool our own self. In solitude we can hear the voice of our heart and see the center of our frustration. It’s in the depths of our isolation that we can recognize our worth is not attached to our current usefulness. We realize in the center of the self is the flowing gift of love. That the one thing we all have in common is the gift of light and love.

In solitude we are given the opportunities to grow tall like the sturdy tree in the rooted grounds of the cemetery. We are free of inner-dependencies and what it means to be found in this world. We care little about the opinions or others and more about the exploration of ourselves. Being alone is a gift. A quiet understanding that is as rare as rubies and as vital as the air itself.

The Mind of Worry

 

I’m exactly like the person in this tape recording. I am constantly worrying, constantly trying to be a better person, as if I am not already the best the way I am. I find the line between growth and self-love to be a fine one. I don’t meditate. I don’t quiet my mind the way I should on a normative basis. Instead, I find myself relinquishing my anxiety through prayer, contemplative walks through nature and other sorts of practices. However, I am still constantly filled with an acute case of anxiety. The source of those anxious thoughts are usually stemmed from anxiety. The anxiety of not feeling worthy or good enough.  I always need to be better. There are always more books to read, a new hobby to acquire, a language to pick up, a job offer at a dream company, and I don’t have mediocre expectations of my hobbies or goals.  I am programmed to desire mastery. I can’t sit still because I want to be an expert. If I show someone a painting I did. I want my painting to be on a mastery level,  and I feel like that is when time really cuts into the practice of sitting still or being in the state of ‘nothingness.’ (Ta-Ta-Ta) Whenever I try and practice meditation,  there is a constant ticking asking me, “how can you be improving right now.” I think that is the fallacy, Alan Watts, is discussing in his tape. You get better by quieting your mind and embodying peace. You get better by becoming one with the cosmic space you are accompanying, instead of trying to move faster than the cosmic space. You allow your mind to quiet so you can find clarity and purpose. So, the little ticking gets quieter and in the moments of stillness you can resonate and find complete and total inner-happiness.

The First Time I Found Daft Punk

Daft Punk’s, Digital Love, off of the album Discovery is probably one of my favorite songs of all time. I remember the first time I truly fell in love with the poppy electronic french band. Growing up I had always heard them in the back of soundtracks or my friends jamming out to them, but I had never emotionally invested myself in their music. It was after I watched the french indie film, Eden, which documented the life of a DJ during the Daft Punk/ garage electronic movement in the 1980’s, that I realized the greatness/ historical relevance that is Daft Punk. I woke up the next morning and played Digital Love. Upon listening to the track, I was slowly overcome by the bopping bass and began to dance over and over again in my underwear. Jumping up and down and feeling the music. Doing the robot in front of my mirror and having a profound spiritual awakening listening to their music. This was during a very free and expressive time for me. I was painting everyday, creating dance pieces for galleries and learning my bongos. I would do art for hours. Switching from one medium to the next expressing myself creatively. I felt so alive in that time period. Doing art is the healthiest thing I could do with my life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pay the bills and it doesn’t help you graduate. However, two days ago, I just graduated college. I’m thinking to myself: Now What? Who am I? Where do I go? What is my path?

However, I think my soul is telling me something pretty distinct.

Let’s go back to summer.

Let’s go back to Daft Punk.

Let’s go back to art.

 

5 ways to practice grace in your everyday life

 

Grace is something that has always been a mystery to me. What does it truly mean to foster and live a life full of grace? Grace isn’t a little prayer you say before every meal or for the betterment of others. It is a lifestyle. And incorporating grace into your day-to-day life is something that will make you more self-compassionate and empathetic to the daily hardships of others.

I know that to live with grace means to always remember how deeply and truly loved I am. No matter what the circumstances may be. Because NOTHING you do or think or wish is necessary to establish your worth. You were born loved and that is the way you will infinitely remain.

So here are five things to do daily to remember to live a grace filled life:

  1. Always remember to LOVE

Loving every individual can be so hard sometimes. I know that remembering to care about the person in the grocery aisle who just shot you that nasty look can be hard. “Did she really just give me that look? What a jerk!” But that is the beauty of love. It reminds us to take into consideration the daily hardships of others. We don’t always know a person’s story but we can always try and remember their true innocence in every situation. We don’t know why the person might have been rude that day at work, or why the boy who you were seeing won’t call you back. But we can always view the situation from a higher and more authentic perspective.

2. Forgiveness 

One of the most important things I’ve ever learned in my life is the unique concept of radical and ultimate forgiveness. Remembering the grace of forgiveness is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and for other individuals around you. Forgiving the past is the most important step in granting ourselves the gift to experiencing divine miracles. Shame is created out of the obsessive thoughts containing the struggles of our past and future. However, forgiveness allows us to let things go! To wake up each morning with a brand new and beautiful canvas to paint our lives with. To be born again, is to let the past go, and to look without pressure or fear towards the future.

Many times, we respond to different situations with darkness as if it were light. Then the light turns dark. However, if we were given forgiveness about a situation, another chance, a new relationship or whatever, and when we stop reacting to pains and struggles of our past. We will be allowed to create a new extraordinary opportunity that might otherwise have been missed.

3. Living Responsibly 

Grace grants us a ticket out of our own personal mind prisons. We can’t be perfect and isn’t that the beauty of humanity? None of us. Not a single person in this world is a perfect representation of what is means to be human. However, living responsibly allows us the grace to remember who we are and why we’re trying our hardest. A noble life is one spent in fidelity, not success. Virtue is setting good goals and going after them with gusto and living as if everything isn’t constantly depending on our future. When you’re living responsibly, you’re giving your self the permission to cultivate a whole-hearted life. Our goal in every situation should be to remain at peace. Our internal state determines the experiences of our lives; therefore, creating inner-peace by living a life grounded in virtue will produce beautiful results.

4. Embrace Your Weaknesses  

Something that is crucial and so dire for living a life filled with grace is embracing your greatest weaknesses. When you have the capability to find strength in your darkest moments to DIG DEEP. You are able to emerge from the water of confusion and pain with the ability to cultivate true enlightenment. In your greatest weaknesses their is always an opportunity for strength. That is the point of compassionately embracing your greatest defects, realizing the things that aren’t working out could potentially be the reason why you succeed.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”

If you have difficulty with this one, I want you to practice this mantra or prayer:

“Today, I am going to embrace fully who I am and who I am not. I would only ask you, Universe, to show me how deeply and compassionately loved I am. Warts and all.”

5. Cultivating a daily practice of Gratitude 

When you’re overwhelmed with gratitude you’re overwhelmed with peace. If in the morning, the alarm clock rings and you can’t get out of bed and the weight of yesterday’s turmoil is dragging you down. Lay deep in silence. Close your eyes. And remember 5 of the most important reasons you’re here today. List in your mind 5 of the greatest things you’re grateful for. Beginning a daily practice like that will allow you to shift your perspective to realize all of the amazing things that are awaiting you on this new beautiful day.

Why?

Because gratitude makes us better, it also allows us to become free. To be able to forget yourself for just a moment is the first-step towards a truly free and happy spirit.

More importantly, climbing out from under the rubble of our lives to see the beauty that is there is a tremendously liberating experience.