All posts by 90daystospiritualenlightenment

About 90daystospiritualenlightenment

My employment career has been focused on working with high needs and high risk children and youth in various settings; from a private firm to a large scale High School as a Counsellor. I am now a Certified Usui Reiki Practitioner, Songwriter and Artist. My soul is a creator; I adore learning new ways to express the creativity that runs rampant through my mind. Everywhere I look I see inspiration and try to tap into it through; music, painting, drawing, writing, photography and fabric arts. As a graduate of the University of Alberta, I obtained my Bachelor of Secondary Education with Distinction. My majors were Literature and Psychology and my minor Dramatic Arts. I have obtained my Level 1 Usui Reiki Certification and am training to become a certified Reiki Master. I also have my certification in Solution-Focused Therapy, Mental Health First Aide and Trauma & Crisis Intervention Level 1 & 2. "Butterfly Woman: A Novel Based on True Events" was published in June 2009 and my sole purpose for writing it was to connect with women on topics that relate to their struggles. I have donated this novel to mental health libraries and non-profit organizations that are centered on empowering women, girls and survivors of mental illness and abuse. Now I feel that I must share my spiritual healing journey in hopes that anyone struggling to make sense of themselves in this fast-paced world will find it and learn how to reconnect to the core of their being.

Keeping Up With The Joneses: A Mental Health Issue

“”Keeping Up with the Joneses” A not so modern phenomena that seems to create a disabling desire to have the next best thing, or a better thing than the next person. ”                                                                                                                   As Defined by Author E.Lutze

Having grown up in a home where a weekly trip to the thrift store was better than sliced bread; where our Sunday Crock Pot chili was disguised as Spagetti, Sloppy Joes, Sheppard’s Pie and Meatloaf (who was my Mom kidding 🙂 ); where being the youngest meant all of my clothing and shoes were hand me downs; our junk food was a Saturday visit to the Local Bulk Food Store…This lifestyle could have created two results; a person surrounded by brand new shiny materialistic things; or a person humbled by her meager beginnings; appreciative of anything she could make beautiful. I was the latter.

Everyone in my life knows that if they are graduating to the next best thing to ask me if I am interested in the used item that they are moving on from; sometimes I respond with a plucky “YES!” and sometimes I pass because I feel convincing my husband that we need these sloppy seconds will take more effort. He is frugal-he had a mother and father who survived The Great Depression; a mother who tried to pass on a bag of “gently used maternity underwear that had been in the family for generations”; I deflected that by stashing the bag until a few weeks after the birth passed. Somehow though, I turned out more frugal than he is. Maybe a result of not having a television growing up and stockpiling a whole lot of skills to remedy the impending boredom I sometimes felt.

***Sidenote*** Pinterest is hazardous to the health of those who delight in seeing other people’s trash on the side of the road and wish to transform it into something new and beautiful!*** You know what they say “One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure.”-Well something to that effect.

Living in the small, quite affluent town I do, I have seen a mass number of “Keeping Up with The Joneses Behavior”-The fact that I don’t makes me stand out as “that dirty hippy down the road”.

Anyway, I see people disabled by it on those rare occasions where they come clean to me while waiting in the school yard, or confide in me about how in debt they are. I have that trusting kind of vibe about me.

Is “Keeping Up With The Joneses” a mental health issue? I am beginning to really think so. I have seen people so caught up in making sure they have the best of everything that trying to do it effects their personal lives, family lives and relationships with those around them. What happens with this strange mental state is that they see someone elses’s something new and then their palms get all sweaty; their anxiety peaks; their excitement rises and they start to fantasize about a bigger, better version; it’s like tunnel vision-like they are caught in a materialistic vortex unable to see they light or logic shining through the cracks. I have this incredible sense of sadness when I see this behavior. How crippling would it be to not be able to just allow someone in your life to embrace and enjoy their shiny new thing without wondering how you could get or make one better. Like riding a egotisical roller coaster ride of greed and being unable to get off; vomitting in the mouths of others with no ability to withhold it.

How could one purge themselves of this obsessive urge to have the next best; better thing?

12 Step Program to Rid Yourself of “Keeping Up With The Joneses”

  1. Don’t Worry Be Happy-With What You Gots!
  2. Smell Someone Else’s Roses-And Likes It!
  3. Be Unique-You Will Be So Proud of Yourself!
  4. “Let It Be”-Release Your Need to Keep Up!
  5. Shopping Detox-Resist Your Urge to Buy!
  6. Aknowledge & Apologize-To Those Joneses!
  7. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-It’s The Newest Trend!
  8. DIY-Create A Board on Pinterest!
  9. Assess & Inventory-What Your Lil’ Heart Desires (Not Theirs)!
  10. Go Thift Whoring-Take A Trip to Your Local Second Hand Shop!
  11. Purge Some of Your Filthy Joneses Objects-Release & Let Go!
  12. Breathe-It’s Not What You Have It’s Who You Are That Truly Matters

Little Houses

 

 

From Darkness Into Light-The Helium Balloon

 

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A Universal Search for Meaning and Light

“When the heart grieves for what is lost, the spirit rejoices over what it has left” Sufi Proverb

It has been quite awhile since I came for a visit here. Since my last post a new world has exploded into action; a world where balance and passion are restored; new people are embraced and each day is a new adventure.

One thing that surrounds me lately is the question of darkness-it’s inevitability and what part it has to play in this composition called life. Many of us spend our time here earthbound searching for reasons as to why these dark moments surround us, consume us, squeeze the very breath from our lungs and mask the light that tries to seep through the cracks of existence.

I constantly feel that light is a helium balloon that I am holding onto and navigating through the winds of experience, trying to ensure the delicate line does not snap and cut loose the balloon that traps and secures all that I’ve learned. Sometimes I let go of the balloon and sit in the darkness for awhile thinking it is easier than holding on; but the meaning fades from my life and I am left empty and yearning. There have been moments where I fantasize about giving up the journey-when that path is covered with thorns, brush and seems insurmountable. I question whether it is easier to stop trying? There is less effort…no reason to care…no need to give…no need to coddle or listen or work on improving myself…but then the emptiness reminds me that this is no way to live the life that I have been blessed with.

There are also times where the path is a yellow brick road, full of Technicolor wonder and vibrant experiences, there for the taking and I am flying high in the air with that helium balloon. Nothing can touch me when I’m there…But then it deflates and reality comes to visit for awhile-a small incident reminds me of the pain of my past and I walk down into the dank basement searching for the tiny rusty metal cord that will turn on the hanging naked bulb of light. It is always there but I have not yet learned to let it go. Not for lack of trying-through many manners…talking…releasing…feeling the raw emotions of it…crafting songs about it…helping others that have witnessed the pain of it…It stares at me with it’s haunting eyes, taunting me to come in and play for awhile, and though I struggle and fight it consumes me and sits heavily on my heart…

Is the dark necessary? Is it’s existence the only way we can embrace and embody all of the pleasures that happiness offers?

So far, after enduring many, many tragedies…more than I feel compelled to mention…I have taken those experiences and weaved the lessons learned from them into something like a tapestry of a masterpiece that has yet to be revealed. Each thread delicately and intentionally placed, painstakingly selected and masterfully choreographed. The  masterpiece will not be displayed until I have completed my time here and have passed to the other side…Then it will all make sense to me…

“The Red Tree” by Shaun Tan

“You are beautiful, just the perfect way you are…” Lori Ann Bury

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Day Ninety!!!-Where Do We Go From Here? My 90 Day Healing Journey

I cannot believe this ninety-day journey has come to an end. I have some ideas for where to go from here but would adore some input from anyone that has been following this blog. As a bonus I will be continuing the last two madras of Yoga and discussing some other topics that I would like to share with all of you beautiful souls. About the blog; having this blog to guide me through the treacherous waters that have been my life in the 90 plus days since my first entry; has literally, emotionally, mentally and spiritually saved my life. It has given me a direction; a sense of purpose; a way to continue to serve others in a way that is within my grasp. The topics covered are topics I have learned along my path for decades; lessons that left me hungry for more; lessons I felt I couldn’t covet and embrace all by myself; lessons I wanted to scream from the cliffs of the highest mountains. I’ve never been a seeker of faith in the traditional sense but I, like all of us, am on a constant search for more..for answers to life’s most challenging riddles…for ways to be more satisfied-happier with the gifts of life…does faith in a source; mother earth; God, Buddha, Universe help us navigate life’s challenges with more ease? For me the answer is yes. Has the 90 Days of immersion into the search for answers to the roadblocks in life cured me? I would not say that-but it has helped me to realize that life will never be perfect. Humans are imperfect in so many ways and maybe, just maybe achieving perfection or spiritual enlightenment is something we aren’t able to do while earthbound…but is perfection nothing more than a facade-aren’t the imperfections we wear stunning and beautiful vulnerabilities that define us as human souls? Could Spiritual Enlightenment be achieved more easily if we were housed in a monastery carved into the hillside of the Himalayas and able to commit our lives to the cause?…Or would we even be challenged there too? Modern day life is full of twists and turns that we are continually having to navigate and relationships are fragile and make us vulnerable to rejection and pain-but also great intimacy and beauty while they are serving us. What Will I Do Now? I am going to go back to Day One and complete all the tasks and journal entries-Live the Blog-and report on that here on this platform… continue to share inspirational findings with you all and hopefully give you a place to share as well. I’ve also been transforming the blog into a book-or maybe a journal-an app? Please Comment on what you would like to see in the post-90 days. Our Final Journal Entry: What has this blog taught you? What lessons or topics will you continue to practice or explore? How will you share your lessons with the world or pay it forward.  Peace, Love & Namaste Em

Day Eighty-Nine: A Path of Love & Devotion: Bhatki Yoga-The 2nd Yoga Mandra

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“Love-Isn’t that what it’s all about?”

The statement above-the final words spoken by Jason Stephenson’s grandfather as

he left the physical body to rejoin his spiritual source mirrors the underlying message

embedded in all of the spiritual lessons we’ve explored together on this path

to spiritual enlightenment.

Living the Bhakti Yogic way means that you connect to a spiritual source that is

beyond the ego…beyond the physical world-and though we can’t see it or know

for sure that it is there our faith that it is there is what infuses our lives

with meaning.

A world with devotion to a higher source allows us to see each experience as

a reason to learn, grow and evolve…not as a incident that is out of our control

or “happening” to us.

When I am connecting to our source we are an active participant and

we recognize the miraculous happenings that are set in front of us from

a place of wonderment as though we are children seeing a segment of our

world for the first time.

In our world today it is hard to mirror the pure loving nature of our

source in the way we act and interact with our world but if we come

from a pure place of love in anything and everything we do then we

are living as our source would if alive in this moment.

Historically and today yogi’s would give up material possessions and

release ego based thinking and connections to the material world

in order to more effectively connect to their source. So does that

mean that in order to achieve the goals modern Bhakti Yoga we must

give away all our belongings and deconstruct our lives? The modern

way of integrating Bhakti Yogic thought is just to be conscious of

your intentions? Do they come from a place of honesty, purity and

love? Then don’t question yourself. As Jason’s grandfather said so

beautifully on his way out if we come from a place of love we are

always coming from the right place.

P.S. Coming from a place of love shows our vulnerability and can leave us

susceptible to attack, but it also leaves us without the bitter taste of

regret.

Live in Love, Live in Faith, Live in the Moment…Love Em 

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Morning Meditation Open to Receive and Give Love: 

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Journal Entry: Think of a situation that you were in, where you came

from a place of selfishness or ego…What was the final result of that

situation? Now alternately, think of a time when you responded to

a situation from a place of love and devotion…How was the result

different? In your life, how possible is it to integrate love into

your daily interactions?

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Here is an excellent article on Bhakti Yoga and how it fits into

our modern world.

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/practice-section/bhakti-yoga-love-devotion-relationship/

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One Hour of Bhatki Yoga

Bhatki Yoga Talk by Swami Satchidananda

A Quick Reference Guide to Bhatki Yoga

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Evening Mantra Mediation:

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Peace, Love & Namaste Em

Day Eighty-Eight-An Interview with Jason Stephenson-Youtube Meditation Guru

On Monday evening Western Canada time I had the absolute gift of speaking with

Jason Stephenson in Australia-it was 10am on Tuesday his time.

Jason is my favorite Meditation expert whose videos on Youtube and

RelaxMeOnline are entirely effective and of the utmost caliber and

professionalism.

After speaking to Jason I can see the lengths he goes to in order to create

the most beautiful experience for his viewers.

Speaking to him was like reuniting with a long lost kindred spirit brother;

it was wonderful to see where his journey began and how all of his

gifts came to grace our world.

I am filled with the utmost gratitude to have been given the gift of

One Hour of conversation with Jason-please enjoy the audio below:

PART One:

PART Two

Peace, Love & Namaste Emily