“Don’t spend a lot of time imagining the worst-case scenario. It rarely goes down as you imagine it will, and if by some fluke it does, you will have lived it twice.”
Michael J Fox, Author
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future.
When faced with challenges of illnesses, loss, grief and trauma, we often grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually – and sometimes, we even heal physically! All of us are born as wise beings who forget our wisdom during the journey of life so that we learn lessons needed to rediscover who we are; that is, that we are loving, wise beings and that we are here for Love – Unconditional Love of Self and Unconditional Love of others.
Looking for our life’s purpose is rather interesting. Have you noticed that you can be feeling peaceful and fine and the moment you focus on your thought that you have not found or are seeking your life’s purpose, you begin to feel a sense of being out of balance, as though you are missing something? But, you were feeling whole and balanced until your mind had you paying attention to the thought that something was missing! Dying or grieving and dealing with an illness like cancer forces you to recognize what truly makes you happy – and balanced – as well as what your life purpose may be.
Being at peace comes with you becoming aware of the need to accept and unconditionally love whatever the situation, moment or circumstances may be. When my patients begin to be conscious of what they are holding onto (often something from the past) which causes them pain, suffering and discomfort, they know they have a choice and that whatever they choose to focus their energy on will determine, for them, whether they get to feel good or not good – which leads to their possibly restoring balance and well-being to their lives.
In the May issue of Reader’s Digest, Michael J. Fox, during an interview, shares lessons learned from his illness, Parkinson’s Disease. His words reinforce the power of your choice: “When things do go bad, don’t run, don’t hide. It will take time, but you’ll find that even the gravest problems are finite, and your choices are infinite.”
In the same article, Michael J. Fox provides the following excerpt from his new book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future, which validates how crucial it is to accept whatever the loss is. He states: “I was really trying to hide from myself. But with no escape from the disease, its symptoms, and its challenges, I was forced, after exercising in vain all other options, to resort to acceptance, which simply means acknowledging the reality of a situation. As my acceptance grew, I came to understand that loss is not a vacuum. If I didn’t impulsively try to fill the space it creates, it gradually began to fill itself, or at least present choices.”
Healing, then, often does not begin until you face the threat of significant loss or illness. Why is it that we do not stop ourselves in our tracks when we are out of balance until we come face to face with something that feels catastrophic? Again, the wisdom of the Buddhists needs to be considered: Live your life as though you were dying. When you remember this advice, you live very differently, very intentionally and very meaningfully – and you choose wisely.
For example, when the doctor tells you that you may be dealing with an illness such as cancer, you may find yourself experiencing either fear of the unknown – including thoughts of possibly dying – or you find yourself suddenly reflecting on all the desires , hopes and dreams you have been planning for – and wishing you had done something more about them. No two people respond in the exact same way. Some may wish to get right down to the business of receiving treatment. Others choose to quickly assess what they have or have not accomplished regarding their lifetime goals. Others quickly and insightfully recognize that the issues to which they were attached, dealing with anger and resentments, need to be immediately released – if there is to be peace of mind, body and spirit. To live like you are dying, choose what feels right at the level of your heart, but, if possible, choose what fills you with joy, passion, enthusiasm, and, of course, Love.
What I know for sure is that when you recognize that you are an energetic being and you choose to focus on anything that represents loving energy, especially Love of yourself, as well as Love of others, you experience inner peace and contentment- even during the most challenging of times. The reason for this is that Love is the highest of energies and has the capacity to enhance your physiological, emotional, mental and spiritual states. Therefore, when you need to confront fearful thoughts related to the possible loss of someone or something, choose to fill with thoughts of Love. In the words of a renowned physician and author, Jerald Jampolsky, “Love is letting go of fear.”
Susan Barbara Apollon
©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon
“It’s a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done." Harriet Beecher Stowe
As a psychologist who works with those dealing with some of life’s greatest challenges, I have learned that the paradox of life is that we often come to see our difficult circumstances as “gifts” and that this perspective is a gift in itself because it allows for wonderful experiences, such a miracles, to occur. Haiti has been such a gift for us. It gives us opportunities to choose love, the highest of energies, leaving us in a state of miraculous bliss.
When terrible things happen, we are given a choice: to do the right thing – or not. Have you noticed how good you feel when you do what you know to be “the right thing” ? The events in Haiti motivate us to listen to our Higher, Intuitive Guidance, yielding a feeling of satisfaction that is comparable to that of joy. We just need to learn to listen and act on that.
For example, one woman in our community listened to her intuitive wisdom and began a collection of crutches for those people in Haiti who have fractured, amputated or lost legs. No doubt here that she is experiencing gifts which include a huge sense of bliss and satisfaction in knowing that there will be many who, thanks to receiving these crutches, will have greater mobility and a better chance of making it through difficult times.
Life can move so rapidly at times, be so filled with minutia and so overwhelming with responsibilities, that we lose touch with what feeds our soul, causing us to forget our priorities, which are, of course, people and love. The gift of the Haitian earthquake is that we are given a wakeup call which reminds us that we are all one, a part of the Oneness, and the only thing that matters is unconditional Love. An extension of this gift is that we are given opportunities to do something wonderful (such as being of service), which further contributes to our feeling true bliss.
The telethons for Haiti raised more money than ever before because all of us, from all walks of life, and all ages, have been touched and reminded that we are a brotherhood. The gift of this is that we are able to make the power of unconditional Love work for both the Haitians and for ourselves.. This was the first time that teens were able to participate and enjoy the heartwarming feeling of knowing their contribution could help fellow human beings make it through the worst of times. Imagine the sense of integrity and dignity felt by these young people! Talk about gifts!
Finally, when you are faced with a challenge and find that you can rise to the occasion, by making a difference in the lives of others, you discover that you are not alone. Indeed, you find that you are a part of a community which is also loving, kind, caring and compassionate. We all want the same thin: to know that we are loved and to love. We like knowing that we belong to a caring group of souls who think and feel as we do. How comforting this is!
When you choose to express your love, to give to your brothers and sisters, regardless of their religion, politics or any other difference, you feel you are a part of something greater, larger and more meaningful. The gift here is that you are given a sense of purpose..
A personal example I would like to share with you demonstrates the gift of the situation.. Several members of my family and I are privileged to be a part of a medical mission which will soon take us to the Dominican Republic and possibly to serve the Haitian refugees at the border, a well. We have received the gift of supplies from medical and dental firms, along with offers and purchases of small toys and toiletries to take to the inhabitants of both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Everyone, it seems, has been touched and wants to give and feel that their contributions are making a difference. I can actually feel the love coming from others; the energy is tangible, coming with the intention of unconditional Love, and very, very appreciated.
Susan Barbara Apollon
©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon
Why do we set intentions or make New Year’s resolutions? I am convinced that it is especially during the holidays that we realize we are out of balance, not whole and not feeling any true sense of inner peace. We wish one another a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year because we intuitively know that we are not feeling whole, though we desire and need to be. The word healthy contains within it the word heal. To heal is about creating balance, well-being and wholeness. So, our intentions are born out of our awareness of what we lack and need in order to feel better and happier.
Besides being aware of and harnessing the gifts of Imagination, Intuition and Breath, keep in mind that the secret to making miracles and manifesting your heart’s desires or creating an intention (what you are most passionate about and lacking in your life) is being aware and remembering that EVERYTHING IS ENERGY! Quantum Physicists, including Albert Einstein, emphasize this point, along with the fact that all energy vibrates at different levels. This includes you, your thoughts, intentions and all that you picture, visualize and see in your mind’s eye!
The way I help my patients heal themselves and create miracles of healing is to enable them to recognize that there is energy that feels good and energy that does not. Healing and feeling good require that we focus our attention on anything that feels good and makes our heart sing. Translation: when we picture, think or intend something delicious, upbeat, loving and joyful, we feel like we are on “cloud nine.” We vibrate at a high level – the same high level where our hopes and dreams live. This is good because it helps our brain release endorphins which our body loves and because it shifts us, energetically, to a vibrationally higher place. (Be careful because the opposite is also true!)
Therefore, when you set your intentions, pick something to focus on (a thought, picture or image) that every time you visualize and feel yourself experiencing, you feel fabulous! If you are eager to lose weight, see and feel yourself exercising, shedding pounds and feeling the joy of becoming your intention. If you intend to stop smoking, see and feel yourself living joyfully and with great freedom, not needing a cigarette to be okay. This will create the high energy you need to manifest your intentions.
In other words, your job is to engage in activities in which you have invested your hopes, dreams and high energy of excitement and enthusiasm.
Additionally, it helps to write out your intention daily, in a journal. As you write your intention, image you experiencing what you are write. Feel genuinely enthused and excited about it. Allow your senses to be a part of your “see-feel” experience. This is you doing an internal dance of joy which leads to the fulfillment of your intentions.
Create a community with which you can share your intention and the progress you are making regarding manifesting it. Just one other person is all you need to have some support for you.
If you do not accomplish something you had intended for the day, notice your feeling and thought; feel the feeling and then let it go. Love yourself enough to know that you are doing your best. Stuff happens and gets in our way. Say to yourself, “I am doing my best.” Take a deep breath or two and breathe out any toxic feelings, and return to the moment with the see-feel experience of you accomplishing your intention. In other words, get right back on the horse and continue with your intention.
We make miracles simply by opening our heart to the possibility of possibilities and changing our
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Furthermore, each day, create and engage in an activity which is related to the fulfillment of your intended goal. And, be sure to focus on this activity with anticipated excitement and joy; see it in your mind’s eye leading you to accomplish your intention. This keeps you connected to fulfillment of your intentions.
“Nothing happens until something moves!” Albert Einstein
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Winston Churchill
Susan Barbara Apollon
©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon