Tag Archive | healing

Pure Air In, Everything Else Out

Welcome to Monday Morning Meditation!

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Today’s meditation inspired by this discourse by Mooji: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcBujwXvGC8

One of the purposes of a meditation practice is to learn to be in charge of your mind, instead of your mind being in charge of you. Thought thinking is going in the mind all day long, 24/7, whether we are aware of it or not. When we are not aware of it, those unconscious thoughts lead our emotions, behaviors, and other thoughts in all sorts of directions that we may or may not want for ourselves.

There is a popular phrase out there that states, “Energy follows thought”—meaning that where our thoughts go, we follow. For further understanding of this, I add, “and thought follows attention”. When we are conscious of our thoughts, paying attention to them, they can also lead us in directions that can be more or less desirable.

For example, this morning, I had the song “Amie” by Pure Prairie League pass through my mind. Suddenly, all of my internal focus was on this song and the parts of it I recalled, and the mild frustration around the parts that I did not. So what did that attention to that thought process ignite in me? Picking up my phone, searching for “Amie” on my Spotify app, and listening to the whole song to satisfy some random, restless thought! Did I need to listen to that song? Of course not; but I allowed the thoughts to control my behavior.

In my defense, I knew I was going to be talking and writing about this today, so I allowed myself to follow through with the urge. I could have just as consciously and with just as much effort (probably a lot less effort, actually) noted the song going through my head, and simply allowed it to pass through without grabbing on to it. But, hey, it’s a great song! No harm done!

Energy follows thought, and thought follows attention.

Energy follows thought, and thought follows attention.

Energy follows thought, consciously or unconsciously. Our attention adds energy to thoughts more consciously, although we still may not be fully aware that we are adding energy to our thoughts by indulging them.

If you don’t believe me, watch your thoughts today, and by the end of the day, you will see for yourself how thoughts and attention to them drag you around frequently during the day. If you have a worry, the more you think about that worry, the stronger it can feel.

Energy follows thought, and thought follows attention.

Here’s the key: Awareness rules them all: thoughts, attention, and energy. However, awareness has to be turned on; it has to be given the authority within you. My spiritual mentor, Jane Elizabeth Hart, calls this, “developing the Observer Self”. The Observer Self is that part of us that is awareness itself. It is what sees the thoughts and emotions within us, but is not caught up in those thoughts or emotions; it simply watches.

Observer Self practice can help stop us from being controlled unconsciously by the random energies flying through the mind. We can have an earworm like “Amie” wisp through our minds and not have to jump on our phones to listen to the whole song (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and can instead redirect ourselves to something more important in the moment.

The mind is very strong, but it is also easily manipulated!

The Observer Self helps us stop ourselves from being manipulated by random thoughts.

Visualizations in meditation help the practice of the Observer Self, and being in charge of our thoughts and energy. Today, we are using a visualization that is great when there is a lot of busyness going on in your mind. We are using the acquiescent nature of the mind to strengthen our focus, presence, and inner autonomy.  

I learned this visualization from a beautiful spiritual teacher from Portugal named Mooji. I am so happy to share the video where he is teaching this technique. It is quite wonderful.

“Simple Guidance for Anyone Struggling with the Mind”

And here is an article and video by my spiritual mentor, Jane Elizabeth, talking about the Observer Self:

My Spiritual Mentor, Jane Elizabeth Hart, talking about the Observer Self.
For more from Jane and the Center for Enlightenment, go to https://www.CenterForEnlightenment.com.

Please enjoy this video meditation on this topic. Thank you for reading and watching! May you practice being in your Observer Self every day!

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The Responsibility of Being Your Authentic Self

Video supplement:

You are your Divine Self. That Higher Self lives through you as your personality self. It is your responsibility to cooperate with and support that Divine/Higher/Authentic Self to have room in your mind, heart, and through your actions.

Here are some steps you can take to support your Authentic Self:

  1. Define your Authentic Self
    • Who are you? Who do you want to be in this lifetime? How do you want to show up in the world?
    • What are your desires, your values? What is important to you?
  2. Meditate for five minutes (or more!) every day. Spend time getting to know your Higher Self! 
  3. Observe yourself.
    • Do your thoughts, words, emotions, and actions line up with how you want to be?
    • Are your decisions supporting you in becoming more of your Authentic Self?
  4. Heal what needs to be healed as is revealed to you.
    • Look within. Observe with compassion any triggers or missteps that come along.
    • Ask yourself, “If I were coming from my Authentic Self rather than my personality self, how would I see this situation differently?”

You are in charge of how much of your Authentic Self gets to dance in your world! Do you want it to be a little here and there, or a whole lot? Every day is a new opportunity to discover more of your Authentic Self!

My love to you all!

Lynn Barrette, LCSW – Lynn (“Mikki” Michael) Barrette was the Y.O.U. International President from 1988-1989, Midwest Y.O.U. Regional Representative from 1987-1988, and worked at the Association of Unity Churches (now Unity Worldwide Ministries) from 1992-1993. She served in many roles in Unity churches in Florida, New Mexico, Kansas, Michigan, and Illinois.

Lynn is a licensed clinical therapist and spiritual counselor, and leads classes, webinars, and workshops on spiritual psychology. Her heart’s desire is to support others in being more attuned to their Higher Self. Her private practice, Center for Dynamic Healing, has offices in Illinois and Florida. Visit her website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel for more information and support for your soul!

Created for the Youth of Unity (Y.O.U.) Authenticity Faire, October 15-17, 2021

Forget the Stars, Freedom Is Within You!

I have finally jumped on the bandwagon of binge-watching “The Crown” on Netflix. That is not my usual favorite FBI mystery-chase-find the bad guy genre; but, I got hooked pretty quickly.

My favorite episode is in season two. Phillip, Duke of York, husband of Queen Elizabeth, has already spent years being a bit…shall we say, antsy? The year was 1969, and Phillip became obsessed with the upcoming Apollo 11 launch and potential walk on the moon. Phillip was a pilot and loved to fly. The thought of being in outer space seemed to be his ultimate idea of awe, freedom, inspiration. He wasn’t at that time a religious person; indeed, he didn’t care much at all for church or the like. But the idea of flying in space! That was his idea of religion!

He watched the historic landing and walk enraptured in front of the royal television with the other royal family members. He was so moved by the experience that when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins were invited to visit Buckingham Palace, Phillip made sure to have an intimate meeting with them. He was humbled by the greatness he bestowed upon them and their accomplishment. He could barely speak when he asked, “What was it like to be up there?” He waited with great expectation for them to describe a bliss-like experience of natural and scientific wonder!

What he got instead were three tired astronauts with colds who shared that, really, there’s not much time to look out the window, with all the checking of boxes and switches that need to be just so. They were, however, in absolute awe of the palace and mystique of being a Royal, and all the glamour that must encompass! They had many questions for Phillip, and delighted in flitting about the castle looking at its ornate furnishings.

Phillip was struck by the disappointment of it all. He put so much expectation into that experience of outer freedom (and we’re talking way outer!) only to be disillusioned. To top that off, his mundane, confined experience of being a Royal was the subject of awe of those on the outside.

At that point, Phillip had an epiphany. He realized that the only true subject worthy of awe and wonder was the mystique of the Divine, and that was worthy of pursuit and exploration. He joined with a clergyman and helped create a retreat center where religious leaders could come and rest, reflect, and renew. Before his recent death, Phillip was heard to say that the retreat center was his accomplishment that he was most proud of.

How many times have any of us put all of our awe and wonder eggs into one basket, only to have the “wah wah” experience of disappointment? Or, perhaps for a short time, our expectations lived up to themselves, but then it was over and back to “real life”?

This is our human experience when we are endeavoring to seek inner fulfillment in outer circumstances. Material possessions, relationships, accomplishments are all wonderful parts of human existence, but a small part of why we are here. Any experience outside of our inner Self won’t ever satisfy the deep hunger in our souls—a hunger that has been there since our souls were first created. Some call it “the hole that only God can fill”, or “the Pearl of great price”. Whatever you want to call it, it is the invitation to explore the vast depths of our internal existence. Intuition can be strengthened, wisdom can be accessed, True Love abounds and begins to become part of who we are.

Think about your inner freedom this month. The freedom of our country is worthy of reflection. Walking on the moon is also worthy. But, the only lasting freedom is the one we seek inside through meditation, reading mystics’ teachings, finding your True Self. You are eternal. That experience is your freedom.  And, of course, the Fourth is always within you.

Peace Begins with You and Me

Welcome to a new chapter in the story of our country, a chapter starting with possibility and hope, as well as unrest. As we watch and wonder how long it will take for our country’s division to be resolved, we can turn our attention from the television, phone, iPad, and other devices, and look inside of ourselves right now.

As part of my new year commitment to myself, I have been taking extra time every day to ingest spiritual teachings that resonate with me. One such reading is from the book Discourses, by Meher Baba, whose place of final rest I was privileged to visit one year ago. In the chapter called, “The New Humanity”, Baba explains that wars and conflict stem from the human tendencies of competition, conflict, and rivalry; and by the time there is a large war or division, these tendencies have long had their way in the hearts and minds of individuals. Wars, Baba states, are just the out-picturing of these states of mind and behavior. Elimination of these tendencies is what will resolve all need for war.

In reflecting on this reading and my Unity-raised background, over 2,000 times in my life singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” (I calculated that number!), I took inventory of where I might be perpetuating competition, conflict, and rivalry. It didn’t take much looking! There are so many avenues of expressing these little human traits: Age, politics, values, beliefs, and even food choices! I’m sure my list would be unending.

Are you willing to take that inventory? I invite you to look at the ways you compete with others, even if in your own head! Do you feel superior or inferior to someone else? The popular catch-phrase in recent years could be included in this inventory: FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. Are you afraid someone will get something (an experience, a thing, an attention of some kind) that you might miss out on? That’s competition and rivalry, too!

Once being aware of these divisive tendencies, our challenge is to weed them out of our internal common practice. We could ask ourselves:

If  wasn’t looking at this [person, situation] through the lens of “them versus me”, how would I approach it differently?

Can I see that “they” hold their views as tightly and righteously as I hold mine?

Can I have compassion for human opinion because it has ever been thus?

Can I see that the only person I can truly change is myself?

What constructive action can I take with my human opinion, instead of using it to separate “me” from “them”? (Volunteer? Vote? Teach? Forgive? Release my own fears? YES!)

“Be not afraid”. If you look this phrase up on the internet, you will find it in hundreds of passages in the Bible (and many other wise, spiritual teachings), always offering us assurance that everything will work out for good. Jesus, a Divine Spokesperson in human form, encouraged listeners to have faith and be strong—don’t let your fear swallow you whole!

Don’t let fear or anger swallow you whole.

Remember and hold consciously, there is a Divine Plan to wake us all up—even “them”! Join with me in seeing that without conflict, we can’t see what needs to be healed. We are seeing it. Now we can help heal it, beginning with “us”—you and me.

Peace begins now.

Photo by Lynn Barrette, 2020. Meherabad, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India. 51st Celebration of Meher Baba’s Mahasamadi. OM.

You Might Be a Soul Evolutionist If…

Are you a Soul Evolutionist?

You are a soul in evolution, awakening over time to who you are as a human being, and who you are in your divinity.

Our friends at Mirriam Webster define evolution in this way: “To develop by evolutionary processes from a primitive to a more highly organized form.”

Soul Evolution, then, is the process each soul goes trhough to develop from lesser to greater awareness of itself as Pure Energy, part of the Infinite Presence of the Universe.

We are all in this process together; so, you might be a Soul Evolutionist if…

You want to be connected to that Infinite Presence, and want to develop that connection even more.

You have a desire and longing to feel your connection to something greater than yourself, and feel that longing in your heart and whole being.

When I was 19 years old, I had just completed my term as International President of the Youth of Unity (Y.O.U.), the youth group of my denomination. It was a fantastic year, filled with joy and loving connections across the country. I felt satisfied as I entered my sophomore year in college. Over the second weekend, my roommmate had gone home, and I decided to clean our room (primarily my mess!). I put in a cassette tape (eek) of some of my favorite spiritual chants to listen to while I was cleaning. My favorite one came on, so I sang along with the words: “I surrender to the Love of God, flowing through my life.”

I sang these words over and over again as I moved around the room picking things up. Suddenly, I started crying and dropped to my knees. As I watched myself cry from the inside, I wondered, “Why am I crying? Everything is going well; I have no reason to cry.”

I then “heard” a loud, booming voice. I turned to see if someone was in the room with me, but knew it was coming from inside of myself.

“Don’t be done with God, just because you’re done with Y.O.U.”

A montage of images flashed through my mind, showing me how one part of me thought I was doing my spiritual service for the accolades from family and friends. What this “voice” was showing me was that I was acting out of the deepest desire of my heart. MY heart; not anyone else’s. I adjusted my life plans to align with this desire from that day forward.

What is your deepest desire, and how do your actions align with that?

You might be a soul evolutionist if…

You know there is a “morfe” to life than what you experience with your five physical senses.

We call this intution, and it is an innate appendage to who you are. The more you use it, the better it works for you. Call on it. Ask for guidance in the little things to help hone and strengthen your awareness of and trust in your intuitive promptings. The Soul Evolutionist knows to turn to that inner resource in life circumstances, big and small.

You might be a Soul Evolutionist if…

You want to understand why things are happening inside and outside of you.

You see the injustices of the world and wonder why they exist. Why is my son a natural musician and I fizzled out of my piano lessons when I was ten years old? Does God love him more than me? Is he special and I’m chopped liver? Or, did he work hard to deveolp that talent before he came into this world?

There are answers to these questions, and the Soul Evolutionist is no longer satisfied with the mystery. You ask “Why?” and forge your way deeper into learning the workings of the Universe, while at the same time beginning to understand your own inner workings.

You might be a Soul Evolutionist if…

You know that you are responsible for taking part in the awakening of yourself to your Self, and you embrace that active participation.

It’s not just about knowing a little bit about meditaiton, or forgiveness, or intuition; it’s about realinzing that with that knowledge comes a palpable responsibility to do something about it–to put your spiritual understandings into everyday practice. How do you use meditaiton to support your awareness? How do you use forgiveness when up against someone who is really pushing your buttons? How do you incorporate your intuition in every area of your life?

How do you consciously, willingly, triumphantly support your soul’s evolution?

Thank you for watching, and please join me for a workshop delving deeper into this concept of Soul Evolution!

Monday, September 24, 2018
7:00 to 9:00 pm
Infinity Foundation
1280 Old Skokie Road
Highland Park, IL 60035
Link to register: http://www.infinityfoundation.org/courses/spiritual-inquiry-practice/soul-evolution.aspx

Video recorded:
2018 July 22 Lynn Barrette Unity in Naperville, Illinois

Mental Health Apps

cbs2

I recently had the honor of adding my two cents to a local CBS news station report on mental health apps. Here’s a link to the clip:

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2017/06/29/mental-health-apps-for-that/

Although they’re not for everyone, especially when someone is in crisis, apps can help us become aware of what needs adjustment in our thinking and perceptions. When we pay attention to the emotional noise going on in our minds and make adjustments to our thinking and behaviors, we are one step closer to supporting our healing.

Why Look at the Past in Order to Heal?

As a therapist, I often hear the question, “Why should I spend time on things that have already happened?” It’s a valid question, based on how we have been taught to understand time.

Time, according to our academic learning, is on a timeline, where today is a physical spot on that timeline, and something that happened when were four years old, let’s say, is a certain distance away from where we are standing today. That is how we have come to measure time—that we can have a measurable physical distance from an experience we have had.

But in consciousness, in our psyche, that’s not how time works. Within us, our mind/brain/body connection, we carry all of those experiences around with us in this moment. All of the thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and more, that we have ever had are stored in our amazing system we have as a soul living in a human body. We don’t gain a physical distance from those experiences; they are with us all the time.

For example, when we learn something, that new knowledge stays with us. In first grade, I learned that one plus one is two. I didn’t leave that knowledge back at my six year old self in time. I brought it with me, and it was reinforced over and again. I learned and used that knowledge as I grew, experienced, and learned more about numbers.

We do that with all experiences. We experience, and gather information, make decisions, have feelings, and create beliefs around those experiences; then take all of that with us moving forward. Sometimes those decisions, information, and beliefs are erroneous, but they are temporarily stuck in our programming. When we look at past experiences, we can uncover those faulty thought patterns, and be more able to consciously reprogram ourselves today.

We address our past in so far as it is getting in the way of our present experience and expression. What tools have you used to heal from past experiences?

Here’s a link to Spiritual Power Tools: Support for Your Soul that has the iceberg image that I mention in this video: http://cfenlightenment.org/store/free-downloads-mp3s-and-e-books/6986974 Be sure to practice good karma and leave a donation if you choose to download the book!

Thanks for watching!

Lynn Barrette, LCSW
http://www.dynamiccounseling.info
https://www.facebook.com/dynamiccounseling/

The Joy Is in the Giving

yellow-tulips

One of my favorite sayings of my spiritual mentor, Jane Elizabeth Hart, is “The joy is in the giving.”

It has taken me many years to appreciate this as more than just a pretty platitude–especially moving into the holidays!

Finding joy in giving means to understand that when we are acting only for ourselves, that energy has no where to go but back to ourselves. This is important, to replenish and refresh ourselves sometimes. But when we give freely with joy and loving kindness, that energy ripples out into the far stretches of the universe! For that moment, we have expanded ourselves far outside of where our energy normally resides. It is like an amazing, huge yoga stretch!

Plus, finding joy in giving makes us want to give more—to re-experience that joy, that refreshing stretch beyond ourselves. Once we get out of our box, we don’t want to go back inside that small space!

Recently, I helped some friends pack Christmas gifts for children in other countries. There were several boxes, and as we filled each one, we were silently blessing each toy and piece of candy. I could imagine the love and joy the child would experience as she or he opened the box—an explosion of love and light! I could feel my own energy expanding beyond myself, beyond this country, rippling throughout the planet.

The song I sung in childhood that reminds me of this concept is “Magic Penny”. Do you remember singing that song? Did you ever realize that the magic penny symbolized your own energy, multiplying and supporting you in infinitely greater ways? Here are a few of the lyrics:

Love is something if you give it away;
You’ll end up having more.
It’s just like a magic penny:
Hold it tight and you won’t have any.
Lend it, spend it, and you’ll have so many
They’ll roll all over the floor.

As you give this coming holiday season, no matter how big or small a gift, put your energy of love and joy into it, and don’t let it stop flowing at your gift’s recipient—see that love and joy rippling out, sending a wave of blessing throughout the planet.

The joy is in the giving!

Using Emotions for Awareness and Healing – A Three Step Process

When it comes to working with emotions, I hear from a lot of people, “I don’t want to feel _________” (insert tricky emotion here). While we certainly don’t want to get stuck in an emotional experience, emotions are there to help us resolve whatever might need to be resolved within us.

Neuroscience tells us, “Name it to tame it”. When we can label our emotion, it instantly becomes more manageable than when it stays at a somatic (body sensation) experience.

In psychology, Carl Jung taught us that making the unconscious conscious is our way to healing. This is certainly true in our spiritual expression as well.

In this video, I teach you a three step process that I’ve been using for over two decades, and frequently use with my clients and in classes that I facilitate.

The steps are three questions to ask yourself when you become aware of an emotion:

1. What is the emotion I’m feeling?
2. What is the story this emotion is telling me?
3. What new perspective could I take that would be calming to me?

Here is a link to the handout: http://www.dynamiccounseling.info/handouts.html

If you would like more information on Explorer’s Odyssey: Up a Spiritual Creek without a Paddle, contact me here: http://www.dynamiccounseling.info/contact.html

Thanks for watching!

Lynn Barrette, LCSW
http://www.dynamiccounseling.info
https://www.facebook.com/dynamiccounseling/

Increase Body Awareness, Increase Intuitive Sense

Did you know that your body awareness has a great deal to do with your intuition?

Intuition is a higher expression of our emotional sensation and perception. While emotions are mixed in with our contradictory human issues, our intuition is free and clear, always speaking to us!

To increase our awareness of both our emotional and intuitive bodies, we can practice being aware of our physical bodies.

Here are a few ways to increase body awareness:

1. Physical movement: yoga, martial arts, walking, exercise of any kind

2. Mindfulness body scan

3. Diaphragmatic Breathing (Belly Breath)

Work with one or two of these daily to increase your body awareness as well as intuition!

Thanks for watching!

Lynn Barrette, LCSW
http://www.dynamiccounseling.info
https://lynnbarrette.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/dynamiccounseling/
Links to Body Scan and Breath exercises:
http://mindfulness-solution.com/DownloadMeditations.html

For more on Soul Evolution and intuition:
Center for Enlightenment
http://www.cfenlightenment.org
http://www.soulevolutionist.com