Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

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18 Before 2018: A Year-End Goal Setting Challenge

18 Before 2018 End of Year Goal Setting Challenge

I’m excited to participate in Lisa Jacob’s end-of the-year goal setting challenge:  18 Before 2018.  If you’ve lost touch with your goals or feel they need to be refreshed, you’ll love this challenge.

I have a different relationship to goal-setting than I did earlier in my life.  I’m less focused on material accomplishments and care more about personal and spiritual growth.  But you can use this goal-setting challenge in whatever way you’d like.  Your 18 goals could be exclusively focused on your work or business, if that’s what you need.

I’m also far more relaxed about achieving goals these days. That’s because I don’t want to live a pressured and stressed life.  But you might be more goal oriented than me. You might be in a different stage of life or need to pay the bills. Whatever your situation, relate to this end-of-the year goal-setting exercise in the way that best suits you.

If it isn’t clear yet, this challenge involves setting 18 goals you would like to accomplish before 2018.  You could renew goals you already have in motion, let go of ones no longer relevant, or set brand new objectives.  Life changes, let’s adjust our plans accordingly.

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Just the Best: On Emotional Healing, Best Books 2016 & 101 Life Hacks

Best Links for Personal + Spiritual Growth

How lava flows on the Big Island. Really!

How are you finding the New Year?

After almost two continuous months of rain, I’m overjoyed to see the sun shining again.  We’re preparing to plant 12 new fruit trees this week and praying the wild pigs won’t trash them.

I’m also heavily into creating.  I’m writing and recording two new audios for a paid version of Open Your Heart to You, my short course on Loving-Kindness.  I plan to offer the course in February or March, so stay tuned if this would help you.  You can sign up on my mailing list and be the first to hear.

Here’s my selection of outstanding articles from around the web to help you heal and shine and become a beacon of light for others.

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Did You Know: Smiling Can Reduce Stress?

Did you know? Smiling reduces stress. Here's why + monthly stress challenge.

Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers that also counteract stress, and serotonin, a substance that makes you feel good.  Smiling may also increase immune function, extend your longevity, reduce your blood pressure, and increase focus and productivity.

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Can Illness Be a Path of Self-Transformation?

Illness As a Path of Self-Transformation

I hesitate to share any longer about illness on my Facebook personal profile as I inevitably receive unsolicited and unhelpful advice on how to set my thinking straight or questions like, “What on earth are you eating?”

Some people with a bent toward the Law of Attraction try to correct my thinking and my words, which according to their belief system causes my physical woes. Others offer lectures on the superiority of a vegetarian diet and imply I’m not ready for the “new awareness” because I haven’t adopted one.

I used to feel upset when I received these comments. Now that I’m growing in my self-sovereignty, I delete them.

Of course, I don’t mind people promoting their views on their own Facebook page or blog just like I do. When I visit a page or blog, I have the option to stay or to go and never return, if I wish.

But I feel invaded and invisible when people use my personal profile as a place to proselytize.

What Comes Around, Goes Around

I confess I have a history as a busybody, arrogantly assuming I could solve other peoples’ problems. No wonder I receive comments like this now! As they say, what comes around, goes around.

I finally learned that my interventions were usually not helpful. They only kept me occupied so I didn’t have to look within and heal my own life – too scary a proposition at that point.

I understand people are trying to help in their own way, just as I was. But, at least for me, this type of behavior is not helpful. I find sharing our personal stories empowering, but thinking you have the only correct approach and pushing it on others – no way!

Of course, there’s always something to learn even from cloaked criticism. I try to assimilate any truth or lesson before I hit delete and to do the latter without enmity. I also aspire to be more self-confident and less perturbed by such happenings.

Illness Is A Journey

Unless you have the capacity for profound seeing, it’s very difficult to know the best healing path for someone else. Sometimes a doctor or natural healer will give someone the right treatment, but they never have a 100% cure rate, do they? In fact, their success in numbers falls far short of that.

Also, there’s nothing “wrong” with being ill so there’s no need to rush in to fix someone else. It’s a valid path of potential self-transformation just like any life challenge. Do you want to steal that away from someone else?  Some people face financial troubles or relationship issues, addiction or problems at work. Illness is simply another path that can lead you to your true self.

Whatever path you’re on, this is your journey and your opportunity. And, resisting the journey of transformation is as much a part of the process as learning to embrace it.

As Kris Carr, who has been thriving while co-existing with a slow-growing Stage 4 cancer for more than 10 years, has said that cancer is her guru.  I’m sure she didn’t feel that way in the beginning, however – because most people go through several different emotional stages before they arrive at acceptance.  But now Carr she says:

“This WTF moment sparked a deep desire in me to stop holding back and start participating in my well-being. Though I can’t be cured, I can still be healthy — I can still feel better, love harder and have a more joyful life. So I hit the road on a self-care pilgrimage and haven’t looked back. More than a decade later, my life is more connected and magical than it was before my diagnosis.”

But even if your outcome isn’t so rosy on a physical level, it doesn’t mean you haven’t succeeded in transforming your heart and mind – the only truly important outcome in this life.

When it comes to change, healing, and transformation, it takes as long as it takes. No one can figure it out for you. They might be able to give you pieces of the puzzle or lead you to the right door, but you still have to do the physical, mental, emotional, and energetic work. These elements work synergistically. Without one, the whole shebang might fail.

And don’t forget karma. There’s a timeframe attached to each karma. However, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck forever. You can shape your future by being intentional with your thoughts, words, and actions now. But when it comes to past karma, sometimes you have to wait it out. Acceptance (not resignation) makes this easier.

There may indeed come a moment when the karma exhausts itself and the situation suddenly shifts. So don’t get stuck in impossible or forever thinking either. It’s all about lightly holding what appears to be paradoxical.

The Healing Power of Mind

Although I don’t believe in the Law of Attraction (here are 4 reasons why), I do believe in the healing power of mind.

In a recent talk, contemporary spiritual teacher Prem Baba said the miracle of healing can occur through faith in the ultimate alone. The body is made of the 5 elements – earth, water, fire, air, and space – which can be manipulated through faith and alignment with your spiritual essence.

But, he adds, if you don’t have faith, you need medicine. And, sometimes your faith can bring you to the right medicine. He encourages his students to use natural medicine, but he says sometimes allopathic medicine is needed. Every case is different.

And that’s the key point: Every case is different so don’t presume you know what’s best for someone else.

The path of illness is an opportunity to learn to trust yourself. Only you know for certain, what’s the right approach for you. Some people heal cancer through hardcore surgery, radiation, and drugs. Others, juice it to death. Different formulas work for different people so there can’t be a single right way.

In any case, healing is not just about the physical outcome. It’s about what you learn, how you grow, and the way you transform your heart and mind along the way.

What are your thoughts about illness as an opportunity?  Do you believe in the healing power of mind?  Just scroll down to join the conversation.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for reading! If you have a moment, please share this article with others. Until next time, may you be well, happy, and safe. With love, Sandra

Mini-Mindfulness Challenge: Mindful Walking

Mind-Mindfulness Challenge

Welcome to Week 4 and the conclusion of the Mini-Mindfulness Challenge.  I’m so glad you’re here!

The Mini-Mindfulness Challenge offers a simple prompt each week to help you remember to be present in the moment and in so doing find better health and more ease.  If you missed Week 1 – 3, here they are:

This week we’ll explore walking mindfully.  I won’t bemoan the dangers of a sedentary life style.  But it’s shocking to consider that a sedentary lifestyle – one with little or no physical activity – can contribute to many preventable causes of death.

Let’s not go there!

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Mini-Mindfulness Challenge: Dispel Worry

Mind-Mindfulness Challenge

Welcome to Week 2 of the Mini-Mindfulness Challenge.  I’m so glad you’re here!

The Mini-Mindfulness Challenge offers a simple prompt each week – for 4 weeks – to help you remember to be present in the moment and in so doing find better health and more ease.  If you missed Week 1, here it is:

Now, onto worry.  Did you know the average person has 10,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day?  Most of them are unnecessary and many of them are unhelpful –  like worry, anger, and self-recrimination.

The purpose of mindfulness isn’t to eliminate thoughts entirely.  That would be impossible.  But mindfulness will help you:

  • Discover more calm, serenity, and peace
  • Take charge of your mind so you’re no longer a slave to your thoughts and emotions and suffering as a result

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