How to Embrace our Uniqueness

Each one of us has been gifted with unique talents and abilities and our responsibility is to welcome them with joy and gratitude and to share them with the world. Sometimes in my classes, I hear students having a difficult time accepting their talents and even putting themselves down, saying that they do not have anything to offer.

It is important to recognize that we must uproot from our consciousness all insecurity, self-doubt, shyness, self-criticism, shame and guilt. if we want to have success in our endeavors, we must let go of all self-sabotage mechanisms. There is no exception to the fact that everyone has been endowed with special abilities to share with the world. Just think of the countless blessings we have received from people who dared to share their talents with us.

I’d like to share some ideas to help you enhance your relationship with your talents and abilities:

Self-confidence. The Self confidence that I am referring to, is trusting in your Higher Self, who is perfect and wants to guide you to express your uniqueness and share your talents for the betterment of the world.

Right positive attitude. This is vital, for you to succeed in any area of your life. Observe yourself and be willing to have a constant positive attitude. This will open doors of opportunities.

Be grateful. Every day give thanks for who you are and the divine gifts that you have been given. Realizing that you are a child of the Most High is already a great blessing.

Ask for guidance in everything you do, so you can direct your energy and use your talents in the right manner.

Bless Others by sharing what you have received that is unique to your personality. You will not only benefit yourself, but most certainly, touch others in innumerable ways

Affirm: “I share my talents for the betterment of the world”

A wonderful way to support yourself in embracing your uniqueness is by participating in the weekly class series: How to Cultivate Courage, Calmness & Confidence“.

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Divine Blessings,
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5 Steps to Having Courage, Calmness and Confidence in 2019

 

In his book, “How to have Courage, Calmness, and Confidence, Paramhansa Yogananda says: “The soul has everything it needs to meet every test of life. As you live in tune with the power of your soul, your life will be completely transformed!”

We have a brand-new year ahead of us, with a wonderful opportunity to manifest success in all areas of our life. The secret is in the attitude we decide to have every day of this new year, regardless of the challenges we face. With a positive attitude, doors will open up, and great opportunities will show up in front of us.
Here are 5 steps that you can apply in your daily living to maintain a winning positve attitude throughout the year:

1. Reframe your story
Any time that you are tempted to repeat a story of something challenging that happened to you, stop and tell a new story of how you would like it to be. Remind yourself that you are not a victim. You are a victor! Be willing to observe yourself and pay attention to your commitment to reframing your stories.

2. Develop your will power
Anything that we want to do in life needs the cooperation of our will power for it to become a reality. An idea without execution is just an idea. Give yourself the gift of developing the muscle of your will power even if you do it with small things. Soon you will see how that muscle is becoming stronger. Be willing to harness the power of your will to shift habits or behaviors that limit your potential.

3. Be committed to switching your attention from worry to calmness
Deep within you lies calmness. That’s the essence of your soul. Be willing to remember that you have a choice to connect with that inner peace. Also, learn to say, no, so you do not add stress to your life with extra commitments. Be willing to stay calm in all situations. Practice saying no.

4. Reflect on how you will be creating your new year 2019
Remember that you have the power within to create an amazing year. It is up to you to have the right attitude to create it. Nobody can do it for you, except yourself. You will attract the resources, people, experiences according to what you put out: Kindness, love, compassion, faith, patience, joy, forgiveness and positive thinking will bring you great results. Remind yourself that you are the creator of your life and what you are putting out, you will get back. Be willing to replace, right away, any habit or behavior that might take you in the wrong direction.

5. Meditate Regularly
This is truly the most effective way to bring peace and harmony into your life and the best gift you can give yourself. The benefits are priceless: More inner peace, stress reduction, awaken your joy, improved mental and physical health, harmony in relationships, and many more. Choose a time of day to meditate and commit to it, for at least 10 minutes.

Affirm: “I am committed to Cultivating Courage, Calmness and Confidence in 2019.”

A wonderful way to start the new year is by embracing, at a higher level, the qualities of the soul that reside within you. I’d like to invite you to participate in the new class series: How to Cultivate Courage, Calmness & Confidence” that starts on Thursday, January 17th, 2019, and is based on Paramhansa Yogananda’s book, “How to Have Courage, Calmness, and Confidence.”
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Embracing Life from an Inner Perspective

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In his book, “How to have Courage, Calmness, and Confidence”, Paramhansa Yogananda says: “The soul has everything it needs to meet every test of life. As you live in tune with the power of your soul, your life will be completely transformed!”

If the soul has everything it needs to meet every test of life, why is it that we struggle so much to find happiness and peace? Here is Yogananda’s answer: “Courage, calmness and confidence are the secrets to dealing with any difficulty life sends. The “impossible” becomes manageable, and a stepping-stone to greater inner strength. Everyone can be courageous, calm and confident, because these are the qualities of the soul. Hypnotized with material thinking and desires, many of us have lost touch with our inner power.”

This is exactly what happened to me. For years, I lost touch with my inner power and I focused on finding answers in the external world, trying to control people, places and things. It was only when I finally realized that my life was not working the way I wanted and I was not happy, that I decided to embrace life from a different perspective.

Instead of looking for answers outside of myself, I started my journey inward. This is when my life was so positively transformed that I decided, 18 years ago, to share with others what I had discovered. The more I share and the more I attune with my divine nature, my consciousness and my understanding keep expanding, and the more I experience Courage, Calmness, and Confidence. As Yogananda says, “As you live in tune with the power of your soul, your life will be completely transformed!”

This year we have the possibility to start with a clean slate, doing what will bring us happiness and peace. This coming year, 2019,  I invite you to consider taking a journey inward, or deepening you journey by embracing life from an inner perspective. The best way to do it is:

  • Meditate daily. Click here for guided meditations
  • Keep a grateful heart
  • Practice forgiveness
  • Cultivate a pure heart
  • Receive spiritual food by participating in weekly classes and spiritual retreats
  • Read, listen and watch spiritual programs that expand your consciousness
  • Use the power of prayer and deepen your devotion
  • Look for the company of people who inspire you and motivate you to be attuned to your divine nature

Affirm: “As I embrace my life from an inner perspective, I reconnect with my divine nature”

In January 17th, 2019 I start a new 9-week class series based on Paramhansa Yogananda’s book, “How to Have Courage, Calmness, and Confidence.” Here he shares the most effective steps to reconnecting with your divine nature. as you practice his simple suggestions, you will feel a new energy feeling you, giving you the power to meet every challenge with joyful confidence, calmness and courage.

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Cultivating a Spirit of Gratitude

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“The secret of overcoming doubt is to concentrate on your reasons for gratitude to life, and not to focus on all those things which seem to you imperfect.”

Throughout the years I have learned about the importance of cultivating a spirit of gratitude and focusing on the things that go well in my life instead of what is wrong. I have learned that this attitude helps me to attract more of the good things and somehow the challenging situations start to fade away or solutions come from where I least expected them.

This is why the saying, “what you focus on expands, is so true. If we focus on gratitude, on seeing the glass half full, on staying positive, we send a vibration of energy out that is going to come back with more of what we are focusing. We can use the power of our mind to affirm what we want in life. It is the boomerang effect. We are all familiar with this law of cause and effect. If we understand this law, why do we behave in ways that are opposite to what we want to receive back? It is because of our conditioning or past programming.

We must be willing to become conscious of the programming that is running in our subconscious mind and be willing to change what we put out with our thoughts, and intentions, when we notice that we are going in the wrong direction. We must use our will power to shift the energy by adapting new habits. Being conscious is of supreme importance if we do not want to continue to hurt ourselves with our own negative behaviors or ways of being.

Here are some good practices that can help you to live a more fulfilling life:

  • Cultivate a spirit of gratitude for everything that happens in your life
  • Develop a strong will power to do what is right at the right moment
  • Have the willingness to be humble and change what is not working in your life
  • Understand that the law of cause and effect works all the time without any exceptions. Be conscious of how to work with it for your benefit.

Affirm: “I cultivate a spirit of gratitude in my daily life”

This month we celebrate “Thanksgiving Day” in United States on the 22nd of November. I take this opportunity to give thanks for all the blessings I have received from every person that I have connected with through the years and I pray for divine blessings to fill their lives. Happy Thanksgiving!

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How to Stay Focused

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Focusing our energy is vital to accomplishing anything we want in life. This requires discipline and will power to keep redirecting our efforts to accomplish the task at hand. How many times have you started a project and then you got distracted with something else and then days, months or even years later, you realized that you never finished your project? It’s occupying space in you mind until you give it your full attention and bring it to fruition.

This is why it is so important that when we start a project or have a goal in mind, we must be willing to put the necessary effort to complete it. We must have a resolute attitude that if we do our part, there is an invisible power that is going to help us push it forward. There is a big difference between wishing for something to happen and putting the effort and being determined to succeed.

One of the practices that help me to stay focused is to have a plan for every day. This helps me to be organized and to dedicate a specific amount of time for each project so I move the energy forward. Another practice that helps me is to overcome distractions buy turning down temptations that could deviate me from my plan. I remind myself how important it is to be steadfast so I am able to accomplish my goal.

Here are some good practices that can help you stay focused:

  • Have a daily plan of action to carry out your project or goal and be faithful until you complete it.
  • Do your best to stay focused. Avoid distractions and if they show up, continue to be faithful to your plan.
  • Visualize your project already completed and how it is going to benefit you and others.
  • Celebrate once you complete each project. It is important to take the time to reflect on your accomplishments and even think about what good practices you used to be successful, so you keep using them for future projects. You can also reflect on what you could have done better so you can improve your focus.

Remember that where your attention goes, your energy goes. Staying focused generates the energy necessary to move your projects forward and to complete them.

Affirm: “As I focus my energy to accomplish my goals, I experience success”

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How to Nurture Relationships

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“Friendship is eternal. If you can form a friendship through which God is awakened in you that is the greatest of all friendships.” – Paramhansa Yogananda

It has taken me many years to get to this understanding. I used to believe that if people behaved the way I expected, we could have a true harmonious relationship. Years of trying this method and it only creating frustration, disappointment, anger, and resentment, brought me to understand Yogananda’s quote.

Basically if we are willing to see the perfection in each relationship, we can awaken God within us. The perfect example for me was the hatred I had towards my father and stepmother, until I learned that I needed to forgive. With the forgiveness came a sense of compassion and a deeper understanding of God. God was awakened in me. I now understand that our friendship is eternal because the 3 of us are children of God. We are the soul that never was touched by our life experiences. It remains perfect, pure divine love.

Life invites us every day, through our relationships, to see the message in each experience and instead of blaming, to find a way to embrace and to remove the blocks that separate us from eternal friendships and from God.

Here are some ideas to nurture your relationships:

  • When tempted to blame others and see separation, ask in prayer what is the message for you.
  • Be willing to change aspects of yourself that will help you awaken the divine love that resides within.
  • Be of service to others instead of expecting anything from them. True friendship is born of kindness.
  • Cultivate love in your heart. Remember, God is in everyone. Do your best to embrace everyone with His love.
  • To find a true friend, you must recognize the soul in them and in you and this is how you gain the friendship of God.

Affirm: “As I nurture my relationships, I awaken the Divine Presence within me”

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How to Stay Motivated

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In my coaching practice I hear people, quite often, about their struggle to stay motivated as they move through life storms. They feel that it is difficult to stay positive when everything is coming at them at the same time. It is hard for them to see a way out because it feels too overwhelming. Have you ever felt this way?

I certainly have. This is why I feel so much compassion and I do my best to really try to help. The first thing I do, is to listen attentively so they have the opportunity to release and let go. That’s the first you can do if you feel you are in a similar situation. Express your fears, doubts, anger and frustration in writing. Release everything you are feeling, all your emotions, without judging yourself. This will help you to let go of what is hurting you.

The second thing I do is to share some ideas and tools that they can use to help themselves stay motivated. Here are some:

  • Be compassionate with yourself. If you feel down, instead of judging yourself, find ways to shift the energy. It is important to do it right away; otherwise it can go down into a spiral of negativity and despair. To shift the energy, you can journal, go for a walk, use affirmations, read or watch something uplifting, pray, sing, and breath.
  • Surround yourself with good company. It is important to seek the company of positive, happy, and peaceful people. Maybe you can find out about volunteering groups or support groups.
  • Participate in conversations that are uplifting. Let go of the temptation to share stories that are negative or situations in your life that are challenging. Leave them for God or a coach.
  • Remind yourself that you are not a victim. You are responsible for what you are creating and the more you stay positive and enthusiastic, the more you will be creating winning results in your life. You are a child of God and His power runs throughout your veins.
  • Develop a strong will power. When we exercise in a gym we have to use our will power to stay committed and to be consistent and persevere. We have to have the same attitude when we go through the storms in life. We have to stay strong, remain committed and be faithful with a positive expectation of what lies ahead of us.

Affirm: “I always find ways to help myself to stay motivated

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Serving with joy

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I have been living at Ananda Village in California for almost 3 years. Before I came here I thought I understood the meaning of serving with joy. However, living in this spiritual community, I am learning the real meaning and the so many different ways we can express it.

Serving with joy is the heart of Ananda. The attitude residents have, no matter what task they have in front of them, is one of cooperation, compassion, kindness, love and joy. Everything is service here. This is how Swami Kriyananda, the founder of Ananda Communities explains it: “We should view whatever gainful employment we seek as a service, never merely as work. The mere thought of hard work, indeed, often drains a person’s energies, whereas joyful, willing service opens inner floodgates to a boundless supply of energy.”

And what is amazing is that this is not only expressed here at Ananda Village but also in the other communities in the United States and other parts of the world. We recently had here at Ananda, a weekend retreat for Hispanic families. The last day of the retreat one of the mothers, who is a doctor and a member of the Palo Alto community in California, was sweeping the floors and cleaning with great joy. Another lady, very successful in her business, was cleaning the toilets. What I see with all of this, is that the ego is put aside and the willingness to serve takes its place.

Here are some tips that I offer to serve with joy:

  1. Stay focused and centered on the task at hand. This way your energy will flow in one direction to accomplish it successfully.
  2. Bring peace and calmness into every activity. If you get disturbed by anything, do whatever you can bring yourself into balance. You can use breathing exercises.
  3. Remind yourself that the Divine Presence in you is serving others through you. Feel the joy.
  4. The more you serve with joy, the more joy you feel. This is the law of cause and effect.

Affirm: “My joyful, willing service, opens my heart to others”

 

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Change the Station

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I recently heard a Sunday message from the spiritual director of Ananda, Nayaswami Jyotish that really touched my heart. He shares that the more we practice any attitude, the easier it becomes. Whatever attitudes we practice we become very good at those attitudes. He tells the story of an 8 year old that delivers an amazing speech asking: “What do you practice? Whatever you practice, you’ll get good at it. If you practice complaining, you’ll get very good at it. You will be able to complain about everything.  If you practice peace, you’ll get very good at it. If you practice joy or happiness, you’ll get very good at it.” 

It is important to be honest with ourselves and ask, what am I practicing? If we realize that we are practicing negative attitudes, we must have the will power to shift the energy, so we are not held back by those habits or attitudes.

Nayaswami Jyotish says: “There are habits in your life that try to pull your consciousness up and there are other that try to pull your consciousness down, so our job is to ask yourself: What do I practice? Do I practice those habits that are pulling my consciousness down, or do I practice those habits that are pulling my consciousness up?”

He continues to say: “The habits or thoughts always follow the energy. Thoughts are universally, not individually rooted. Where do you have the dial of your consciousness tuned to?

When those thoughts are going around, don’t think I am this. Think what station am I tuned into? And is that station making me happy? If you stay tuned to that station you are not going to scape the thoughts that come with that station.

When you find that a pattern is going on, that you don’t want in yourself, or that you feel is destructive to your peace of mind or your well being or your spiritual advancement, then, change the station. And you have the power to do that because you also chose the station that you are listening to.

How do you change the station?

  • We have to put out the opposite energy to whatever that station is playing in our consciousness.
  • Bring your energy up to a higher consciousness simply by Deep breathing and right posture, standing up straight bringing your shoulders back
  • Get your energy moving in a positive direction.
  • Counteract a specific attitude with the opposite attitude
  • Worry is counteracted by faith. Greed is counteracted by giving.”

Affirm: “I go forth in perfect faith in the Power of Omnipresent good, to bring me what I need at the time I need it.”

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Finding Peace and Happiness

 

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It has taken me many years and great suffering to finally stop looking for happiness and inner peace outside of myself. For a long time, I was convinced that the people in my life, parents, siblings, husband, and friends had the responsibility to make me happy.

That happiness was not lasting. It was there one day and the next day it was gone. This created constant turmoil inside of me. It also created resentment and a behavior of playing victim, blaming, judging and complaining. Obviously, all of these feelings generated the absence of inner peace.

I also looked for peace and happiness in external things, like vacations, places, neighborhoods, houses, jobs, careers, cars, and material things. I did not find them there either.

It was only when I decided to look inside, and understand who I was and my relationship with the Creator of the Universe, that I started to see the light at the other side of the tunnel. Here is what I discovered about finding peace and happiness:

  1. I needed to spend time in meditation to still my mind and connect with the divine inside of me, who is the source of all happiness and peace.
  2. I learned how to pray, not as a beggar, but as a child of God deserving of His blessings and happiness.
  3. I discovered that peace and happiness reside inside of me and I am the only one who has to decide to awaken them from within.
  4. I learned that nobody and nothing could deprive me from experiencing lasting peace and happiness. It is 100% up to me to have the right attitude about all experiences in my life.
  5. I learned that God is joy and if I attune myself with His consciousness, I am able to experience His joy flowing through me.
  6. I understood that I could be a channel of transformation. The more I awaken the peace and happiness that resides in me, the more I can impact others in a positive way.

Affirm: “As I go inward I find eternal peace and happiness.”

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