How to Create Profound Life Changes

How-to-Create-Profound-Life-Changes-x

In this teaching I’m joined by Wu Wei Wisdom co-creator Alex Lees.

Together, we’ll explain how you can manifest real and positive change in your life. We want to give you the courage to step beyond fear and self-doubt.

We’ll offer you some practical tips and advice on how to eliminate the core beliefs that hold you back. Then we’ll look at how you can become clearer and more focused on your true purpose, life goals and dreams and the steps you need to take to turn them into a reality.

You can listen to our full teaching here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of this teaching below:

~~~~~

[INTRODUCTION]….

Clients often say to us:

‘I’m unhappy’, ‘I know I need to do things differently’, ‘I really want to change but…’, ‘…I feel stuck’, ‘…I feel overwhelmed by the size of the challenge…’, ‘…I can’t manage this…’ ‘…it’s all too much for me…’

Some believe they’ll never be able to transform their lives. They say things like: ‘I’m too tired to do this…’, ‘I’m too busy…’, ‘I’m not clever enough do this…’, ‘I might as well give up trying now because I’ll never get it right…’, ‘things always go wrong for me…’

Or they believe that they can’t change themselves and their behaviour because it’s their nature, or that negative childhood experiences have moulded them into something that fixed and stuck forever.

Finally, many clients are also fearful of what living THEIR truth may mean for their relationships.  They worry that their partners wouldn’t like it if they changed or that it may upset the people close them.

Do any of these statements or scenarios resonate with you? 

They are typical of the misunderstandings and lies that we all tell ourselves from time to time, so you’re not alone!

These are all incorrect thoughts and beliefs that stop you from living to your happiest, fullest and most authentic potential. So why not choose to let them go and speak your truth today? This power of choice and self-responsibility is yours – it’s a wonderful gift – so use it!

When you release your misguided and limiting thoughts and beliefs, you’ll experience a huge energetic shift to a place of inner-balance and harmony. This what the Taoist teach as ‘Wu Wei‘.

Wu Wei means:

  • Being enough and being at one. Accepting and loving your uniqueness. Not constantly setting unrealistic personal targets or criticising yourself.
  • Being creative, resourceful and able to authentically manage any life situation. Not undermining your self-worth and potential just so you can avoid uncomfortable the ‘red light’ feelings that unfamiliar or challenging life situations may present.
  • Being authentic and honest with yourself and others. Not compromising your truth, true spirit, or what the Taoists call ‘Shen’, just so you can please or placate others.
  • Living with integrity.

For some clients this shift can happen instantly, almost like flicking a switch. For others it can take a little more time as we may be uncovering decades or a lifetime of lies and misunderstandings and also dealing with the elaborate avoidance strategies they have created to protect and keep these incorrect beliefs. Once we’ve exposed these beliefs then they can then make the personal choice to let them go. They can choose to begin to live authentically and truthfully.

You too can do this right now!

Here’s some practical tips to get you started….

1] Be more real and realistic  

If you want to make changes in your life, first make sure your goals are REAL – by this we mean that they belong to you and reflect your authentic truth.

So they’re not what you think you OUGHT TO be doing when you compare yourself to you friends, peers or people you see in magazines. They’re also not what you think you SHOULD be achieving, to please others… to meet their expectations….or to ‘prove yourself’ to some kind of ‘faceless jury’!

Your life change or goal could be something really huge. Only YOU have the power to place limitations on yourself.  Never be intimidated by your own greatness.

Or your life change or goal could be really simple, stripped-back and low-key. Don’t think that you’re a lesser person for not chasing fame and fortune if it’s not your true calling. Remember you’re already divine and magical, so just follow your dream!

Once you have your goal set then it’s time to get REALISTIC.

Now we don’t mean compromising or chipping away at your dreams but instead stepping away from the bigger picture of the end goal and thinking: ‘OK what can I realistically achieve this year?….

Then break it down some more and ask yourself: ‘what can I realistically achieve this month, this week, today?’ Do this exercise truthfully and honestly.

By setting realistic targets like this you avoid overwhelming yourself with the size of the task and you start to achieve small but valuable steps towards success. There is great power in making and keeping a small promise to yourself every day!

You’re no longer setting yourself up for failure or feeling like you’re on a relentless uphill climb and struggle. You’re beginning to focus less on the destination and more on simply enjoying the journey And guess what? You’re now also pausing to take in the beautiful view along the way!

This takes us on to our next tip…

2] Be grateful

Recognising your progress and your successes, no matter how small, is vitally important as you begin to take self-responsibility for your change in your life. You need to become your own cheerleader and supporter on this adventure of self-discovery.

Equally important is taking the learning and value, or what the Taoists call ‘the blessing’, from anything that doesn’t work out quite as you expected or wanted, or the setbacks you encounter.

Keeping a daily journal is a perfect way to do this. Perhaps just before you go to bed take out your journal or notebook and write down the positives and negatives of the day. At first it will be much easier to write down all the negative stuff, but for every negative there must ALWAYS be a positive – this is the way of all things – this is Yin and Yang.

So take time to identify these positives – don’t stop until the list is balanced, realistic and fair to you. Then congratulate and be proud of yourself for any personal achievements or progress made no matter how small. Be kind and loving and supportive to yourself as you acknowledge any negatives. Take the learning – this is a learning situation. Ask where is the love in this situation or outcome for me?

And remember: life always offers you a second chance – it’s called tomorrow! 

And our final tip

 3] Be more mindful

By meditating or focusing inwards for even 5 minutes a day you can quieten the chatter of your mind, take control of your thinking and tap into your inner wisdom, creativity and resourcefulness.

Once you learn the simple practice of pressing the ‘pause button’ like this you’ll be able to empty your mind of all the misunderstandings, worries and fears that crowd out the voice of your authentic truth.

Over time you can also introduce some self-enquiry questions into your daily meditations – asking yourself just three letters: W-H-Y, ‘why?’…  This will start a dialogue with your softer ‘Yin Spirit’, your ‘authentic-self’, your ‘inner-self’, or ‘inner-child.

This is the part of you that has become quieter, more subdued and yielded to the misunderstandings, untruths and unrealistic and critical demands of your Yang Ego mind.

We can practice this right now….

So perhaps find a place where you won’t be disturbed for the next 5 minutes, then sit comfortably in your chair, drop your shoulders, breathe deeply and rhythmically.

Now start to observe and focus you attention on your breath…

If you mind gets distracted by any thoughts just allow them to float in but don’t hold onto them. They are not for now… let them go like fluffy clouds phasing in a blue sky…

When you’ve found a place of inner stillness and settled your monkey- mind chatter now you can begin a dialogue with your authentic inner-self…

Now you can start a dialogue with the magical divine part of yourself…

Ask yourself:

  • Am I reacting to life, external situations or other people rather taking control of my own destiny?
  • What are the harmful misunderstandings and lies are blocking me?
  • What is stopping me from letting go of these negative thoughts and beliefs?
  • Who would I be without these lies and misunderstandings? What would I be doing right now? What would my life be like?…. 

[FULL GUIDED MEDITATION ON AUDIO RECORDING]

This is your life, you mind, your destiny. Achieving profound change in your life is not fairy tale or an unrealistic dream. Once you take control of your mind-set, your thoughts and beliefs ANYTHING is possible.

We believe in you – you can do this!

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5 Tao Tips for Summertime Health

8-Tao-Tips-for-Summertime-HealthFollow the advice of the ancient Taoists and attune your mind, body and spirit to the exuberant energy and bountiful qualities of the summer season.

Traditional Chinese medicine practices and the philosophical and spiritual wisdom of the Tao provide an abundance of guidance on how to self-nurture and harmonise with nature throughout the year.

Taoists associate the summer season with the forceful Yang Fire element, the energy of the Heart, Pericardium and Small Intestines, and the emotions of joy and passion. If attuned to correctly, summer can be a super-charged and powerfully positive time of year.

Be warned though: if your Yang Fire energy transforms into excess it can leave you feeling totally flat, burned out, restless, tense and irritable. So, like all energy, the Yang Fire of summer needs to be kept in check to ensure you navigate these months in your Wu Wei sweet spot of flow, harmony and synchronicity.

Here’s 5 simple tips to help keep you healthy, happy and in your Wu Wei balance this summer:

1. Work with the cycle of the sun

Take advantage of the longer summer days by rising earlier and going to bed later. Find harmony within this change of routine by also taking an extra power-nap or short rest around lunchtime – this creates a great opportunity for a midday mindfulness meditation pick-me-up! Practising the beautiful Taoist Inner Smile Meditation is perfect way to send nurturing love and attention to your Heart and all your other organs at this time of year. [Listen to my guided Taoist Inner Smile Meditation here]

 

2. Be in nature

Enjoy the finer weather outdoors and breathe in the sights, sounds and smells of nature at its most verdant. But don’t overdo it in the Yang daytime heat as this can also create an internal energy imbalance. Avoid strenuous activity at the hottest time of the day, seek out shade, cover up appropriately and keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Your sleep pattern can also easily be disrupted in the hotter weather, which in turn can affect your daytime energy levels and mood, so ensure you sleep well by adjusting your bedroom environment to cope with the warmer summer nights.

3. Eat in harmony with the season

Introduce cooling Yin foods to your diet as a great way to re-balance and clear the excess Yang heat of summer, reduce toxins and replenish vital body fluids. Crunchy green salads are perfect, as are fish and seafood in moderation. Avoid meat and greasy foods and try to avoid the temptation of an extra glass of chilled beer or wine as alcohol can be very Yang and heating.

4. Learn, grow + have (more) fun

Just as nature reaches its fullest potential in the summer, take time to reflect on your life and create opportunities for continued personal and spiritual growth this summer. Use your holiday time to start a new hobby or broaden your horizons and face your fears by doing something out of your comfort-zone. You can also nurture your summer Heart Fire energy by bringing more joy and laughter into your life. Enjoy simple and silly fun by reminiscing with old friends, sharing extra playtime with the children, or watching a comedy for some belly-laughs to stimulate your Heart Qi.

5. Rebalance & harmonise with acupuncture

If you need an extra boost beyond your own self-healing regime, acupuncture can be particularly helpful if you’re sleeping badly, are more emotionally unsettled around the summer months, or have allergies such as hay fever, skin irritations or rashes that have suddenly flared up. All are typical symptoms of a excess Yang Fire energy that can be re-balanced easily and naturally with acupuncture to help restore your inner and outer summertime glow.

[You can listen to my extended Taoist teaching on Summertime Health and harmony here]

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Letting Go of Your Emotional Medals of Honour

Letting-Go-of-Your-Medals-of-Honour

When you choose to hold onto and carry forward the thoughts and beliefs of negative past events you are creating an energy or a ‘story’ that becomes very familiar as it repeats over and over from your childhood and formative years, right into your present.

It’s like letting your immature inner-child dictate and restrict your current authentic potential and the many possibilities of your adult life. This can never, EVER, be helpful or successful!…

You can listen to my full teaching here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of this teaching below:

~~~~~

Do you hold onto uncomfortable, painful memories from your past and believe these events define and limit you and your self-worth today?

This is a misunderstanding of your true Tao nature.

Do you believe that the historic actions of other people, events and circumstances, perhaps from many decades ago, are responsible for your current life situation or happiness?

This is a misunderstanding of your self-responsibility.

Are you using your past negative experiences like a ‘badge of honour’ or justification that excuses you from taking full ownership of your true authentic potential?

This too is a misunderstanding of your truth, honesty and integrity.

If you can recognise any of these patterns of thinking or beliefs, the good news is that there are valuable spiritual and life changing lessons for you to learn within these misunderstandings.…

When you choose to hold onto and carry forward the thoughts and beliefs of negative past events you are creating an energy or a ‘story’ that becomes so familiar as it repeats over and over from your childhood and formative years, right into your present. It’s like letting your immature inner-child dictate and restrict your current authentic potential and the many possibilities of your adult life.

If this seems familiar to you, RIGHT NOW you are still living that old tired story!

This can never, EVER, be helpful or successful!

I was reminded of this important spiritual teaching by an elderly gentlemen client several years ago. This man had strained his back whilst working on his allotment and visited Peak House Practice the first time for an acupuncture treatment.

He was a well presented, tall, distinguished man with white hair wearing a black blazer, white flannels and highly polished shoes, but the most striking thing about him was the extensive rows of medals and ribbons he was wearing across his chest.

I could not help but mention to him that I’d noticed his impressive array of medals, and this gave him the opportunity to explain the story and significance behind each one in turn.

As the stories continued the gentleman became more animated and creative in his descriptions of his acts of bravery and the memories of his friends and colleagues involved on the battlefields.

After hearing these wonderful inspiring stories and experiences we continued with the appointment as normal. The treatment proved to be successful and I have never seen or heard from him since, but my military gentleman did leave a very deep and lasting impression with me on many levels.

Certainly, the opportunity to speak with someone who could bring to life the experiences of the young men who fought with honour and pride for their country, was very moving and poignant to me.

The other thing that stuck with me was the question as to why he felt it was necessary to wear all his medals to such a mundane medical appointment.

It was very noticeable that, as he recited his obviously well-rehearsed stories, he became more relaxed, animated, even joking about the grossly horrific scenes, as if that was the way he dealt with his fear of loss or dying – was this familiarity a form of avoidance, or testimony of the horrors he had experienced?

One of my most important insights from this particular session comes from the way my gentleman client so keenly held onto the story and energy of these historic and poignant life events and displayed them in such a tangible and graphic way.

Although few of my clients have been exposed directly to the horrors of war, many do still carry with them challenging, painful and unresolved personal and emotional turmoil associated with their early years. Perhaps we could also think about these experiences as their own ‘emotional battles’.

These experiences vary in their nature and severity and may include things like childhood physical, emotional or sexual abuse; a perception of being unloved or rejected in some way by their parents; being bullied at school; or encountering a situation that caused unsettling feelings of injustice, unfairness or embarrassment.

My clients may not bear the physical scars or have the medals to show for the personal battles of  childhood and adolescent years yet many do continue to hold onto and re-live these experiences as their personal ‘medals of honour’, but this time through their familiar, yet misguided thoughts, words and actions.

When these habits become entrenched they can also manifest in the more physical signs of self-abuse or self-harm associated with excessive eating, drinking, and drug-taking… perhaps these are now the modern-day ‘medals of honour’?

Holding onto the energy of their personal stories means my clients remain stubbornly blocked and locked into their past. Their history defines who they are: it becomes the excuse and justification for their present AND the ‘get out of jail card’ for their non-authentic future.

Think for a moment: are you letting your past negative experiences shape the person you are today, the relationships you have, the work you do, and how you live your life?

Do you use the painful memories of past experiences as a familiar story or ‘comfort blanket’ that you can retreat to when faced with the unknown, unfamiliar or potentially emotionally painful situations?

Can you recognise any of the following patterns of thinking in your mind-set or the mind-set of those close to you?:

‘If it wasn’t for that happening, or what he or she did…. then I could get on with my life…’

‘I’m not good enough’

‘I can’t cope’

‘I’m unlovable’

‘He/She made me feel like this…’

‘I just can’t let it go…  I can’t forgive…’

‘Life is unfair – this always happens to me…’

‘I deserve this.’

‘I’m not worth it’.

Although the things that may have happened to you in the past are profound, uncomfortable and even horrific, they do not and should not define who you are today.

You are MUCH more than your past; you are a loved, you are love; you are a reflection of the magnificent Cosmos that you are a vital part of; there can be NO separation, just a divine Oneness!

As an adult you possess the blessings of free-will and choice. You can now choose whether to hold onto the energy of powerful or painful past experiences or whether to LET IT GO.

Remember it takes a great deal of effort to hold on… and this will NEVER be successful!

Through the practice of mindful meditation you can now choose to question, rebalance and heal any childhood misunderstandings associated with the painful emotional feelings you still experience today.

You can choose embrace the spiritual lessons offered by past experiences so you can learn and move on.

You can choose release the harmful core beliefs, thoughts and stories that you have carried with you, perhaps for many decades, so that they longer impact your adult life today.

You can choose to cast off the familiar yet limiting comfort blanket of the past and authentically step into the unknown, trusting that you are not judged for you past, but are loved, held and supported by a Universe of love and abundance.

Meditate and consider:

Are you carrying painful memories and experiences from the past that remain your story and ‘medal of honour’ today?

What benefit are they to you?

Do they stop you from reaching your true, authentic potential?

Who would you be without these ‘medals of honour’ and life stories?

Who controls your thoughts and beliefs?

What would it take for you to let go of your inauthentic and unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, and create your new story that reflects the positive and divine energy of who you really are …

How can begin to do this today?

You have free choice…. I believe in you… You can do it right NOW!

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Busting the Mindfulness Myth

Busting the Mindfulness Myth

Mindfulness can be used as an effective option for managing stress, anxiety and chronic pain, as well as boosting your mental clarity, productivity and enjoyment of life.

In this teaching I’ll tackle the three most common misunderstandings about Mindfulness meditation and will explain how the practice has radically transformed my life. You’ll also learn simple and practical ways to make Mindfulness part of your daily routine.

You can listen to my teaching here. There’s also a bonus guided Mindfulness meditation to help you relax and calm your mind at the end of this track! (*IMPORTANT: As this track contains a guided meditation please do not listen whilst driving or operating machinery):

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of this teaching below:

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Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK this month focuses on how the practice of Mindfulness can boost your health and wellbeing. There has been a lot of talk about mindfulness in the media recently but many people still misunderstand what it involves and question its rewards and benefits.

I’m a huge fan of mindfulness and I’d like to expose the most common untruths about this practice and show you how easy, yet powerful it can be. But first I’d like to share a little about how I discovered mindfulness over 40 years ago and how it transformed my life…

My Mindfulness story

As a child, after the sudden and traumatic death of my father, I developed a profound stutter. After many years of unsuccessful speech and drug therapy my consultant finally told me there was nothing more that could be done for me and that I’d just have to learn to ‘live with it’.

Being told this as a teen I thought my life had come to an end. Desperate to find an alternative solution, by chance, I discovered meditation and the practice of mindful breathing. It took a few sessions to pick up the basics but, through the practice of mindfulness I learnt how to calm and still my thoughts and emotions that were so badly affecting my speech.

I now still practice mindfulness every day to manage my stutter and keep my mind calm and focussed rather than allowing my thoughts and my speech it to race ahead out of control as they used to. I am totally now liberated – mindfulness has set me free. I have taken back control of my life – my stutter does not control me.

Today, I am privileged to be able to pass on the same simple mindfulness techniques I first learnt so many years ago to my therapy clients and meditation students at Peak House Practice, as well as everyone I meet through my workshops and talks.

Practicing Mindfulness on a daily basis is a great way to take responsibility your mental, emotional and physical health and wellbeing. The rewards of ‘living mindfully in the moment’ are huge and are increasingly well publicised and yet I do sometimes encounter reluctance and negativity when I first suggest mindfulness as a health maintenance practice.

So what stops someone from trying Mindfulness?

These are the most 3 most common reasons I hear:

‘Mindfulness meditation is religious – I’m just not into that’.

Mindfulness meditation is NOT a religious practice. You don’t have to have an understanding of or affiliation to any particular religious group or way of life to practice Mindfulness.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (CMBT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction techniques (MBSR) are being scientifically and rigorously researched and developed at academic institutions around the world and the results confirm its many benefits.

Another common misunderstanding I hear is:

‘Mindfulness means emptying my mind or losing control of my mind – I just can’t do this or I won’t do this.’

Mindfulness is all about being in the moment and focussing within on the ‘here and now’. I’ve practiced mindfulness for several decades and I have not once emptied my mind of all thoughts or lost control – this is not the point, in fact it’s the complete opposite of this!

Being fully present in the moment means first going within: breathing deeply, calmly and rhythmically… notice your thoughts, allow a little time for them to still and settle, don’t let them rush ahead to the future or back to the past – bring them into the ‘now’. This may take a few moments or maybe longer – be patient, don’t rush – You’re worth it!

When you have found this inner calm, then you can then turn your attention to the outside world: notice your surroundings, let your mind and all your senses be fully stimulated by whatever is happening right here, right now, so that you can savour and appreciate every second of this moment and every moment.

You’re now practicing mindfulness. It’s this simple! …Which brings me onto the final untruth I often hear about mindfulness…

‘Mindfulness will take lots of time or I’ll need to be in a special environment – I just don’t have access to this’.

Mindfulness only requires as little as 5 to 10 minutes practice a day for you to begin to experience its rewards. You don’t need to attend special classes or undertake extensive training to practice mindfulness, although these can be great way for some to get you started, or to help you maintain the practice as an enjoyable and fun part of your weekly routine and meet like-minded people.

You certainly don’t need to meditate crossed legged for hours in a serene temple to achieve a state of mindfulness! Mindfulness can be practiced wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, at home, at work, by yourself or with family, friends or work colleagues, I’m doing it right now as I talk to you! You probably have already practiced mindfulness and don’t even realise it!

I’d like you to think about a time when you were totally in the flow or ‘zone’ of enjoying doing something, when you just lost track of time because you were so absorbed by what was happening in that moment. This could be when you’re out walking and enjoying nature, having fun with your children or playing a sport, listening to a piece of great music, doing some cooking or gardening, collaborating on an intensive project at work, or when learning an new skill or hobby.

It’s times such as these, when you’re fully engaged in what’s happening, when your mind is calm and focused, and you’re absorbing everything around you, that you’re being authentically ‘mindful’.

My point is: you can be mindful without even knowing it and actually this is what you should be aiming for during every moment of your day, not just for one hour a week in a meditation class!

A simple 5 minute Mindfulness technique

Mindfulness is an effective, drug free option for managing stress, anxiety and chronic pain. It will boost your mental clarity, productivity and more importantly, your enjoyment of life.

At first it can take a little practice to be able to calm and focus you mind so I’d like to now guide you through an introductory 5 minute mindfulness meditation and visualisation that will help you to do this. You can use this simple technique whenever you need to…

[you can listen my teaching + guided meditation via the audio player at the top of this post].

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The 3 Beliefs that Restrict Abundance in Your Life

3-beliefs-that-restrict-abundance-in-your-life

In this teaching I’ll introduce you to the Taoist teaching on the Law of Attraction and the three beliefs, misunderstandings and myths that block abundance in your life and how you can overcome them.

You can listen to my teaching here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of this teaching below:

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The phenomenon of the ‘Law of Attraction’ has had a renaissance in recent years and was most recently popularised in the 2006 book ‘The Secret’, with many other adaptations following this. You may, however, be surprised to learn that the ancient Taoists have taught the core philosophy of the Law of Attraction for many thousands of years.

This teaching was passed to me by the Chinese Master as: ‘Yi Tao Qi Tao’, or where your intention (Yi) flows (Tao), energy (Qi) flows. Put simply: the energy you convey through your beliefs, thoughts, words and actions will attract and harmonise similar energy or vibrations from the Cosmos. Like attracts like!

Through observing nature the ancient Taoists fully understood the action and flow of the pulsating life-force energy they label as Qi throughout the Cosmos. They observed that everything is a different vibration of energy and that energy cannot terminate or die, millennia before modern day science proved this to be true.

They taught that this miraculous energy is what intrinsically connects every single living thing into the Oneness of all there is, all there ever has been and all there ever will be, so that the human concept of linear time is meaningless once you grasp this eternal energetic concept.

Ancient Taoists understood how Qi energy naturally flows, harmonises and resonates just like the vibration of a musical note or chord. Equally, they recognised how Qi energy can be misdirected and stagnated through misguided human conscious and subconscious intention and misdirected physical action.

Through the practices of traditional Chinese medicine, Qigong meditation and Qigong healing, Taoists demonstrated how energetic restrictions of the spirit, mind and body can be dissolved and realigned, releasing the flow of Qi, and how this energy can be powerfully improved and cultivated for total health and wellbeing.

I use this same wisdom of the Tao every day with clients as I work with them to find and release their Qi energy stagnations and misunderstandings, whether it is within their physical body or the imbalanced patterns of their thinking and beliefs. Once these blocks are released the energy flows naturally and they reconnect and harmonise with the wider flow of positive energy and abundance throughout the Cosmos.

I’d like to share with you the three most common abundance blocking beliefs or myths related to this cosmic energy flow and Law of Attraction work.

Let me show you how to overcome these stagnations of mind-set so that you can begin to attract abundance, manifest your goals and reach your authentic potential and destiny right now!

~~~~ 

Block 1: ‘I’m totally focussed on what I want in my life… but I secretly doubt myself’ 

You cannot LIE to yourself!

Being clear on the goals, people or situations you want to attract into your life is an important first step in ALIGNING your energy so that you create and communicate the appropriate energetic vibration to the wider Cosmos.

Once the goal setting work is done, many people think all you need to do then is to keep on working hard at trying to achieve these goals and that it doesn’t really matter if they secretly harbour doubts or concerns about whether they can achieve these goals or if they’re actually deserving of them.

This is incorrect thinking and it’s a fundamental misunderstanding as to how energy really works. 

What you SAY and DO to affirm and action your life goals must also be reflected 100% in your deeper THOUGHTS and core BELIEFS. 

If you doubt or have a lack of trust or belief in yourself or the Universe in any way this will always create a strong, energetic resistance that restricts the abundant flow of positive energy into your life. 

The key take away here is: ALIGNMENT of INTENTION, or what the Taoists call ‘YI’ .

Your actions, your words, your conscious thoughts and self-talk, and finally your subconscious beliefs, many of which you have carried with you since childhood, must all be aligned and work together in unison and harmony.

You should live your truth with clear, unequivocal and unwavering intention. This truth should run like a golden thread through EVERY part of the energy your express to the Universe without reservation, question or doubt!

For example: you tell friends and family you’d like to attract a great partner in your life, someone who respects and loves you for who you are, and perhaps you also action this by joining new social clubs to meet new people or even try online dating.

The problem is that, despite all these positive words and actions, DEEP DOWN you actually think and believe you’re not lovable and not worthy. This then this becomes the energetic vibration you send out to the Universe: that you’re not good enough and you’re not worthy. 

Without the full cooperation and harmonisation of your conscious thoughts and subconscious core beliefs you will NEVER attract what you seek. 

This is because your deeper thoughts and beliefs have the power and potential to override any positive words or actions. They are the ‘sat-nav’ that guides your life. They are in the driving seat of the vibration you send out to the Universe and others.

A misalignment between your personal goals and actions and your deeper core beliefs are also why positive affirmations often don’t work.

Creating and repeating positive affirmations can be an extremely powerful way of invoking the Law of Attraction and attracting what you want in your life but ONLY if they are used correctly! 

Affirmations will only ever work if you 100% BELIEVE what you are affirming. 

So my message is this: never to overlook the energetic power of your thoughts and beliefs. This is why when I work with my clients on the Law of Attraction we always dig down deep to check and ensure that their belief system is FULLY aligned with their life goals and the things they want to attract. 99.9% belief will NOT do!

This is the way of energy, this is the way of the Tao.

~~~~ 

BLOCK 2: ‘The Universe or a Higher Power will decide what I need or deserve and will send it to me.’ 

You may be unclear or confused about your intention and what you want to manifest or you may express totally the opposite energetic vibration. When this happens it’s a misunderstanding to believe that, regardless of what energy send out, the Universe or a Higher Power has a greater intelligence that can somehow decipher and work out exactly what you want or need and offer it to you.

If you express the wrong vibration or mixed messages to the Universe is does not think ‘oh, I know better… I know what you need… you actually deserve to have this… even though you’re telling me you’re not worth it or you’re not good enough!

Remember, the Universe simply aligns and matches your vibration. 

This is how ALL energy works: it HARMONISES. 

A client who is an orchestra conductor at a music conservatoire once gave me a great teaching on this. He told me that if you had a tuning fork and a piano in the same room and you then stuck the tuning fork, when the tuning fork sounded and vibrated this would excite exactly the same note on the piano string and the two would vibrate in harmony together.

This is a phenomenon known as ‘sympathetic resonance’ and this is EXACTLY how all energy works. Whatever vibration you send out the Universe will just harmonise with that.

The aim therefore is to harmonise, just like a sailor adjusts and harmonises their voyage with the weather conditions, birds with air currents and fish with the flow of the river or sea.

This is the way of all nature, this is the way of the Tao.

~~~ 

BLOCK 3: ‘I need to get what I want before the next person takes it… and then I need to work hard to keep it.’ 

Universal and Cosmic energy is in abundance, there is no shortage or limitation. Thinking this way only blocks the flow of positive energy into your life. If you believe there is scarcity, there will be scarcity – this is what you will attract.

Many of my executive clients worry about their competitors, who they believe may steal their business ideas, prospects or clients, but this concern and doubt only serves to send out the wrong vibration to the Cosmos.

I teach them to stop worrying, strategising, comparing and analysing others, and start focusing all their intention on living and expressing THEIR truth and THEIR vision. 

The message is: be the best you can be, be uniquely YOU! 

For my executives this means gaining clarity on what makes them unique, and then cultivating and expressing this energetically through everything; from their company mission statement right down to the beliefs, opinions and actions of every member of staff, so everyone is working on and expressing the same vibration. I guess you could say this is “getting all your ducks lined up!

Only when this happens does the company send out a clear and strong collective vibration of who they are, what they stand for, and the type of projects and prospects they want to attract. Then they begin to manifest the clients who are right for them and attract them in abundance! 

Once you have manifested what you want into your life, you may think that you then need to work hard to keep it. Or perhaps you may fret that these positive achievements or successes will leave you, or that someone or something else will take them from you.

Again this is a misunderstanding about how energy works… 

All energy must be allowed to FLOW! 

Once you have received whatever it is you wanted to attract, whether it’s an exciting new job or great income, a beautiful home, a loving partner or family, you then also have to TRUST that the positive energy will continue to flow into and through your life.

If you start to doubt this flow and the abundance of the Cosmos or you begin to worry about losing these things, this will create an energetic block that will prevent other great stuff from entering your life.

Energy, whether in physical, material or emotional form, cannot and should not be held in one place, it has to flow. If it is artificially held over time it will fester and stagnate and you are now working AGAINST the Law of Attraction.

The key here is that you have to accept that sometimes the things you have attracted may enter and leave your life sooner that you’d anticipated for hoped for. In ALLOWING this flow to happen and continue as it should, you also remain open to receive fresh, new energy into your life.

This is the way of energy, this is the way of the Tao.

~~~

So in conclusion, when working on manifestation, attraction and abundance, think:

ALIGNMENT 

INTENTION 

HARMONY 

TRUST 

ALLOWING 

& FLOW… 

Yi Tao Qi Tao

David

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How to Trust Your Inner-Guide and Why it Matters

How-to-trust-your-inner-guide-pic

In this teaching I’ll introduce you to the Taoist understanding of the Inner-Guide and why it’s so important to connect to the profound spiritual knowledge and wisdom within you.

You can listen to my  teaching on ‘How to Trust Your Inner-Guide & Why it Really Matters’ here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of this teaching below:

~~~~~

Never doubt that you have a powerful, creative, supremely wise and resourceful Inner-Guide within.

Once you connect to and start a dialogue with this authentic spiritual force, life’s possibilities and potential become limitless.

So, why not get to know your Inner-Guide more intimately? 

An Inner-Guide is not the exclusive territory of a psychic, intuitive, devoutly spiritual or special person… 

The Taoists teach that you are already complete and whole – part of a greater Oneness. This means that no one is more special or deserving than the next person. YOU absolutely have the same opportunity to access your inner spiritual knowledge, IF you choose to do so.

Just accepting this teaching and truth without doubt brings you one step closer to connecting with your Inner-Guide.

There are many names for this inner guiding wisdom, but I believe they are all describing the same universal guiding energy… 

Don’t dismiss the concept of an Inner-Guide just because the name does not resonate with you.

Throughout the ages and across all cultures and societies there are many terms that try to capture and define this magical and profound spiritual energy, knowledge and potential within every human being.

I refer to my Inner-Guide from the Taoist perspective as: ‘the Sage’. Here are some names or concepts that may feel more comfortable or familiar to you: intuition, gut-feeling, instinct, inner-truth, inner-voice, inner-knowing, spirit-guide, guiding angels, higher-self, higher-vibration, or simply ‘being in the zone’.

Whatever you choose to call it, your Inner-Guide is 100% PART of YOU – it’s NOT separate from you… 

The Taoists teach that you are made up from Yin spirit energy and Yang human energy, and that the Yang energy includes the energy of your mind, body and emotions.

You come from spirit energy, you will go back to spirit energy, whatever you believe that spirit energy to be, and therefore you are spiritual energy expressed in human form.

It is the Yin spirit energy that is your Inner-Guide and your direct connection to your cosmic source. In human form this energy remains a vital part of the essence of who you are – you could say it’s your authentic self.

No one can give this spirit energy to you and, no matter what happens to you in your life, no one can EVER take it from you.

You never lose this powerful connection to the Cosmos, but you can choose to ignore or doubt it!

Taoist philosophy teaches that the authentic spiritual truth, guidance and answers you are seeking in any life situation should always come from that Yin Spirit or Inner-Guide WITHIN YOU, and not from someone or something else.

This understanding may require a profound paradigm shift in your thinking and beliefs as it means that YOUR spiritual truth will NEVER be sourced from external places or people…

– Your truth is NOT found in other people’s opinions

The views of those family and friends close to you or guidance from teachers or ‘gurus’ should never be followed without question or debate.

Other people, no matter how authentic and loving their intentions may be, can only communicate and pass on their experiences and their truth. You must remember that this may not necessarily be YOUR journey or truth.

Others can inspire you to find your path but no one else can give you your answers – they are only found within you.

– Your truth is NOT found in material things 

You should not become a follower or a slave to material things just because they may give you a short term feel-good factor. Taoists teach this as ‘the well that quickly runs dry’. It will never be a sustainable source of spiritual nourishment.

– Your truth in NOT found in external Gods, Goddesses, Divine Beings, Higher Powers or Angels 

Taoist philosophy teaches that these spiritual concepts exist, but in so far as they live WITHIN YOU. You are at ‘One’ with these and every other energetic entity in the Cosmos.

To believe that such spirit presences are somehow separate from you, or on a higher or more advanced level to you, is a spiritual misunderstanding.  These are all terms that refer to the same magnificent spiritual energy that manifests through your Yin Spirit and Inner-Guide.

~~~

So why should you make your Inner-Guide your best friend? 

BENEFIT #1: You become more balanced and harmonious and in your ‘flow

Taoists teach that you can view your Yin Spirit as a ‘Guiding Mother’ energy, whose role is to manage the more child-like, immature and excitable energy of your human Yang Mind, also referred to as your ‘Inner-Child’.

When balanced harmoniously together your Yin and Yang energies,  the Inner-Guide and the Inner-Child, makeup the beautiful oneness and wholeness of you – you can be both at the same time.

The Yang energy of your mind and Inner-Child can be positively animated, creative and forceful – all of which are great qualities if correctly balanced and harnessed.

If, however, you’re the energy of your Yang Mind is not guided and harmonised correctly, in its extreme form it can also manifest as the fearful and scared thinking of your Inner-Child, and the critical, judgemental, doubting and controlling thoughts of your unbalanced, inauthentic Yang Ego Mind.

If left unchecked, this energetic imbalance gives rise to uncomfortable emotional feelings that I call ‘red lights’. These are more commonly labelled as stress, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and many of the other emotional health issues that I work with on a daily basis with my clients at Peak House Practice. 

This is where your Inner-Guide can come to the rescue! 

When you’re suffering from an energetic imbalance like this you need to first remember that your Yang Mind and Inner-Child is NOT your enemy. It just wants to protect you and keep you safe from the unknown. It requires love, reassurance, guidance and education from your Yin Mother energy.

When your human and spirit energies can co-operate and harmonise, balanced is restored.

This is why starting a dialogue with your Inner-Guide and spirit centre is so important, particularly during challenging life situations. 

This dialogue will allow you to manage and balance your Yang energy and fearful Inner-Child, which would otherwise go into extreme overdrive and out of balance when presented with uncertain, unfamiliar or challenging learning situations.

When you’re able to nurture your Inner-Child so that both Yin and Yang energies are harmonised you achieve the blissful state of ‘Wu Wei’.  This is the amazing state of ‘flow’ enabling you to live your life in your ‘sweet-spot’ of effortless-effort and unique happiness. 

BENEFIT #2: You create a powerful spiritual connection to the Cosmos that is waiting to support you. 

Connecting to and being receptive to your Inner-Guide means that you are open to your softer Yin Spirit nature and the energetic thread that connects you back to your spiritual source.

When you start to pay attention to and work with your Inner-Guide and the Yin Spirit essence within you, it’s like plugging yourself into a spiritual power point of unlimited energy.

When you reconnect the supporting and loving energy of the Cosmos flows into and through you IMMEDIATELY!

You don’t have to wait or earn this support or love. The Cosmos does not pass judgement on whether you are worthy or deserving.

The positive energy just flows.

This is what the Taoists refer to as ‘Yi Tao Qi Tao’ also known as the ‘Law of Attraction‘.

This connection is your birth-right.

This is the way of nature.  This is the way of the TAO.

~~~

How to tune your Inner-Guide right now + the Number 1 mistake to avoid

The best way to connect to your Inner-Guide is to take 10 -15 minutes out of your day and find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted or disturbed. Allow yourself time to relax and clarify your mind and then meditate on the situation, issue or question you want guidance on.

Be patient. Allow the thoughts and ideas of your Inner-Guide to arise from within you.

You may sense a little resistance to this process at first, but be open-minded and kind to yourself as you start this dialogue with your Inner-Guide.

Many clients tell me they don’t know the difference between the voice of their Yin authentic spiritual Inner-Guide and that of their Yang Ego Mind or fearful Inner-Child.

This is a critical question and it’s where many people can become unstuck or disillusioned with this process. 

 

So how DO you know the difference between your Yin spiritual Inner-Guide and your Yang Ego Mind?  

The answer is that your Yang Ego Mind will always talk AT YOU but your Yin Inner-Guide will always speak from WITHIN YOU. 

 

TIP #1: Be mindful of the thoughts and words that arise when you start this inner-dialogue.

Never confuse the scared, doubting, critical and judgemental voice and self-talk of your out-of-balance Yang Ego Mind with the softer, calmer, loving voice of your Yin Inner Truth.

Your Yang Ego Mind will strive for perfection and will seek certainty of outcomes. It will want to protect you by boldly rushing in with answers and solutions as it tries to gain control of people and events in your life.

By contrast, your Yin Inner-Voice is more accepting, trusting, loving and open to change. It knows that it cannot and should not manipulate external situations. It understands that the only thing that it should seek to master is within. It trusts that life solutions and opportunities will be revealed in good time and remains open to receive these blessings.

Can you now begin to spot the difference between the qualities of your Yang Ego Mind and the voice of your Yin Spirit and Inner-Guide?

 

TIP #2: Your sensations, feelings and emotions are also great guide.  

When you call upon your Inner-Guide, if what you hear back creates fearful, negative and uncomfortable sensations or emotions (‘red lights’) within you, then you know it’s your Yang Ego Mind talking at you.

By contrast, if the messages or thoughts that arise create feelings of peace, positive outcomes or resolutions, hope, satisfaction or joy, then you know you’re tuned into the true spiritual Inner-Guide within you.

~~~

So, I hope you can now start to nurture a great relationship with your Inner-Guide and Yin Spirit energy.

Make time today to start a dialogue with your Inner-Guide, the voice of your greatest and wisest supporter and ally.

Choose to connect to this powerful spiritual truth and potential within you.

Yi Tao Qi Tao

David 


David will be running workshops on how to work with your Inner-Guide: ‘Tao Dialogues – A Conversation with the Sage’ in March and April in the UK. More details can be found here

 

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The Chinese Year of the Sheep

Chinese New Year-2015-Year-of-the-Sheep

Just a short post to wish you all ‘Kung Hei Fat Choi‘ ….Happy Chinese New Year!

Today we leave behind the tumultuous Chinese Year of the Horse and welcome the Year of the Sheep (or Ram).

According to ancient Chinese astrology the next 12 months will reflect the sheep’s more docile nature and will bring a calming and settling of life energy. So let’s celebrate a gentler and more contemplative year ahead – breath deep and relax…

Yi Ta Qi Tao

David

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A Meditation For Overcoming The 3 Lies That Block The Flow Of Love

Overcoming the blocks to Love - David James Lees

In this short teaching I’ll reveal the three fundamental lies that stop you from living a life filled with love.

You can listen to my ‘Overcoming the 3 Lies that Block the Flow of Love’ teaching and guided meditation here:

 If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of this teaching and meditation below:

~~~~~

The Taoist teaching on love

I received this teaching from the Taoist masters in the sacred Wudang Mountains of China. It’s many thousands of years old and yet it still holds true for humanity today and strongly resonates with the clients I work with on a daily basis at Peak House Practice, some of whom come to me suffering with among other things: stress, anxiety, hopelessness, lack of confidence or relationship difficulties.

Love is your natural state of being. Love is the energy that is all around you. It is the vibration and essence of every part of the Cosmos and every living thing. The Taoists refer to this energy as Qi.

You come from a place of pure authentic love, whatever you believe that source place to be, you will return to a place of pure love, therefore you are pure love.

So what stops you from living in this state of love and bliss, and enjoying loving relationships with yourself, your partner, family and friends?

Simply, you disconnect from who you really are – pure love. You start to question and doubt your own divine magnificence. You disconnect from the energy of love that is all around you. It’s an abundant and unlimited cosmic commodity that is right there waiting for you to receive it, if you choose to make yourself open and ready to receive.

Experiencing and enjoying deep and lasting self-love and loving relationships is something you were born to do. It’s part of your amazing spiritual journey. Love is NOT something you have to earn or ‘work at’. Love flows naturally if you allow it to.

So what stops the love from flowing?  

YOU DO!

You create the blocks that stop you from living a life filled with the higher vibration of love. You put in place the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical restrictions that create an energetic dam, which diverts the flow of healthy of Qi, energy and love away from you. You choose to reject this blissful state of being that is your birth right.

So what are these blocks?

They are what I refer to as the misunderstandings, illusions or more powerfully the lies that your Yang Ego Mind convinces you are the truth. They are the powerfully poisonous beliefs that you subconsciously choose to live your life by and which separate you from the flow of love.

Let’s expose these lies right now… 

LIE 1: ‘I’m not good enough’

Criticising yourself, comparing yourself negatively with others and believing you are anything less than the divine being you really are, is a lie.

Your Yang Ego Mind wants you to doubt yourself because it creates the fear that keeps you going round and round a emotional carousel as a misguided form of safety and self-protection that will never work. 

Conversely, your Yin Spirit knows that you are a unique precious gift to humanity with an unlimited capacity to give and receive love. 

Criticising or looking down on others to make yourself feel better is also a destructive habit of the Yang Ego Mind. Perversely this does not generate self-love but self-loathing. And yet this habit can be like a familiar comfort-blanket that smothers the love and life out of you. 

Your Yin spirit understands Oneness and knows that you can never be better or worse than anyone else. Within this knowing there is deep love.  

You already have enough. You are enough.

LIE 2: ‘I can’t cope’

Your Yang Ego Mind convinces you that you are ‘empty’, ‘needy’ and unable to cope with life in some way, so you work hard at earning positive strokes from others to reassure you and make you feel whole. 

You give out effort and love in the hope that you can receive it back. This is profound manipulation of the natural way and flow of energy and love. Any relationship based on this lie is doomed to failure. 

Equally, you can never find ever-lasting love, comfort, reassurance, safety and fulfillment from overeating, overspending, drinking, drugs, gambling etc.  

Your Yin spirit knows that your everlasting source of love, strength, resourcefulness and spiritual nourishment is from your source, the Cosmos, not from other people or things. Your Yin Spirit knows that you can give love freely but that there should be no expectation or need for anything in return. 

Reflect back on your life. You have always coped. You will always cope. There is nothing beyond your capabilities. 

LIE 3: ‘I am unlovable – loving myself is selfish’ 

In your darkest of moments your Yang Ego Mind may convince you that you’re not deserving of love. It may even tell you that being hard on yourself is a way to better yourself, a kind of perverse negative motivator to self-improvement. 

Your Yang Ego Mind may trick you into thinking that being kind, loving and nurturing to yourself, in your thoughts and how you talk to yourself (your self-talk) as well as your actions, is not important. 

It will tell you that self-love is secondary in quality to love from others. It will convince you that taking time to nurture yourself is being selfish, that there’s not enough time, that it’s a waste of time, or that other people or things must take priority. 

These are ALL illusions that divert the flow of Qi, energy and love from the Cosmos away from you. 

When you reject the practice of self-love in this way it’s like putting up an umbrella that redirects the downpour of love from Source onto someone or something else. You’re sending out a vibration to the Cosmos that says: ‘I don’t want this love’, ‘I’m not deserving’, ‘let the love rain down on someone else’. And then you wonder why you feel empty?! 

Your Yin Spirit knows that, through the practices of self-respect, self-nurturing and self-love, you open your heart and mind ready to receive boundless love and support from the Cosmos. This is the Law of Attraction and what Taoists teach as ‘Yi Tao Qi Tao’

You no longer reject what is your birth right. You become an energetic conduit for love. The love then flows into and through you. You can give love freely, nurture and cultivate authentic loving relationships, and yet you will never be depleted or needy of love. You are now connected to Source. 

Letting go of the lies – a meditation

Can you now begin to understand how even just one of these three toxic lies or beliefs can create an energetic shockwave like a tsunami that pushes against the natural flow of love in your life? 

The ancient Taoist teaching of ‘Ch’ang’ – self-love and self-nurturing, exposes all of these Yang Mind Ego misunderstandings for what they are. It reveals how the seeds of self-doubt often originate in your childhood environment and how practicing self-love can positively invoke the Law of Attraction. I have produced an extended Wu Wei Wisdom audio teaching on this profound subject. 

For now I’d like you to spend some time quietly meditating on this subject. Find a comfortable and quiet place where you know you won’t be disturbed for the next 10 minutes. 

Pause, drop your shoulders and breathe slowly, deeply and rhythmically. Allow your body to relax and just follow your breath. Allow your mind to calm and settle. 

Have no expectations of ‘emptying the mind’, this is another Yang Ego Mind illusion. Allow thoughts to come and go like passing clouds, and instead just focus on the breath. 

Breathe in with love, breathe out with gratitude. 

Right now you are beginning the practice of self-love and self-nurturing simply by taking time to follow this teaching. 

Now ask yourself:

Do I hold any Yang Ego Mind ‘lies’ within my thinking that are stopping the flow of love in my life? 

Do I believe I am not good enough, unlovable, not worthy of love?

This is not the truth – LET IT GO! 

Do I believe that comparing myself against others, criticising or finding fault in myself or others will make me love me more? 

This is not the truth – LET IT GO! 

Do I believe I need love and reassurance from others, or a better partner, income, house, car or wardrobe to make me feel whole or good about myself?

This is not the truth – LET IT GO! 

Do I believe that being kind and loving towards myself, and treating myself with the respect I treat others with is time-wasting, self-indulgent and selfish?

This is not the truth – LET IT GO!

As you begin to question and reject these toxic Yang Ego Mind beliefs the energy of love will IMMEDIATELY begin to flow into your life. The Taoists teach this process as enabling the ‘cosmic helpers’. 

Maintaining the flow of love

It’s likely that some of these beliefs may have been in place from your early childhood and so to fully and permanently root them out you’ll need to spend some time ensuring they don’t creep back into your subconscious thinking.

The good news is that now you are aware of these lies you can choose to reject them on a daily basis. 

Here are few affirmations that will help you reconnect to love. You can use these as a starting point but feel free to create others that are more authentic and powerful to you.

  • I choose to say ‘STOP! NO! This is not my truth!’, when I hear the negative self-talk of my Yang Ego Mind. 
  • I choose to mindfully weed out and reject all forms of criticism of myself and others.
  • I choose to trust that my sustaining source of energy and love is not from others or from material things, but is from my spiritual connection to the Cosmos.
  • I choose to practice self-love and self-nurturing every day as an unselfish act.
  • I choose to align with my Yin Spirit nature.
  • I choose a path of love not fear

I hope these teachings have awakened the love within you, until we speak again,

Yi Tao Qi Tao

David

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A Powerful Mindfulness Meditation for a Spiritually Positive New Year

Powerful Mindfulness Meditation for a Spiritually Positive New Year 2015

As we usher in the New Year I’d like to share with you a powerful spiritual coaching method and mindfulness meditation that will rebalance, harmonise and empower you for the year ahead.

You can listen to my New Year teaching and guided meditation here:

 If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of my New Year teaching and meditation below:

~~~~~

A New Year Pause, Reflect and Review

This is the time of year when you traditionally pause, spend a few quiet moments reviewing the past twelve months and contemplate the year ahead by making your New Year resolutions.

This process can be very helpful and, if undertaken mindfully, mirrors a simple Taoist meditation technique that I use every day. A pause and review can be an invaluable way of connecting to your ‘Yin‘ spirit centre of authentic inner wisdom and insight, and the harmonious ‘Wu Wei’ balance of your Yin and Yang energy – this is the Way of the Tao.

Turning your attention inwards like this allows you to be more focused, creative and resourceful throughout the year. By pressing the ‘pause button’ and stepping back from the everyday busyness and immediacy of life all around you, you’ll be able to connect to a higher level of Qi and vibration within the Cosmos and tune into the abundance of positive energy and opportunities that are available to you.

I use this process as a powerful spiritual coaching method with many of my clients and I’d love to share and guide you through it now, so you too can benefit from it as you embark on the exciting year ahead.

A Taoist proverb says:

a journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step

… so try making this simple exercise your first little step in 2015!

It has the potential to energetically shift your life and signals to the Cosmos that you’re setting a positive intention (YI) for deeper self-nurturing and self-love, or what the Taoists call Ch’ang!

Meditation: The Yang Mind and Ego Illusion

Now, before we begin on this journey of inward reflection, I’d like you to be mindful of a common illusion that your human centred, Yang Mind may present you with, as this can seriously impact the success of this beautiful harmonising Wu Wei process…

Do you feel an internal resistance in any way to the concept or practice of meditation or mindfulness?

Perhaps you believe that is a religious or mystical practice that will somehow detrimentally affect your free-thinking or decision-making?

Well, if you buy into these misunderstandings you won’t even get off the starting blocks!

Scientists continue to measure the positive effects that meditation has on our mind, emotional patterns and general health and well-being. Meditation is a natural exercise that helps you gain a deeper awareness of your own inner wisdom, truth, life potential and the Oneness of your mind, body and spirit.

From this place of knowing you can begin to lovingly shape your own destiny, the Taoist teaching related to this is: “You can’t change what you don’t understand!”.

… Ok, so are you ready to begin?

The Taoist Mindfulness Meditation…

Step 1: Pause and Reflect

I’d like you to first find a quiet and safe place where you know you won’t be disturbed for the next 15 minutes or so. Have a pen and paper by your side so you can make some notes of anything that arises in your mind during this Taoist meditation exercise.

Now pause, drop your shoulders, breath deeply, slowly and rhythmically until your body begins to relax…. Taoist call this process ‘connecting to the quality of your breath’.

Close your eyes lightly… breath and relax…. Create space and allow the authentic Yin spirit centre and place of higher knowledge deep within you to open up.

Now allow your mind to begin to gently reflect on the past 12 months…

  • What images, sounds, situations and emotions arise?
  • What events or people enter your mind?

Let them to float in and out of your mindful awareness like clouds in a shifting sky…

Remember, you are now simply the observer…

The past is past… you have moved on from these events, good and bad, easy and challenging… and yet they may still hold valuable spiritual life lessons for you that require your love and attention.

You can spend 5 to 10 minutes like this….allowing your thoughts to come and go….

Step 2: Acknowledge and Affirm the Learning

Then, when you are ready to melt into the Oneness to ask yourself:

  • ‘What has been my spiritual learning from the situations and challenges I have faced over the past 12 months?’
  • ‘What have I learnt about my authentic spiritual truth and the nature of the Cosmos?’

Again, you can spend 5 to 10 minutes, allowing answers to these questions to arise from within your Yin spiritual centre… Always be truthful and honest.

Then, when you are ready to move onto the final stage of this reflective meditation, allow the images or thoughts to clear and settle again…

Now consider:

  • ‘How can I use these lessons to help me connect to my authentic higher-self and my harmonious Wu Wei flow more often?’
  • ‘What changes or ‘tweaks’ can I make in my life over the coming months so I can move closer to my divine potential?’
  • ‘What can I now do NOW, each day, each week, or each month to allow me to live my authentic truth and stay on my Wu Wei path?’

Be loving and kind to yourself when making these meditative inquiries – listen patiently and carefully for any answers.

It may that only be one insight or idea arises, but that single suggestion, no matter how undynamic or obscure it may seem at first, may actually be the valuable signpost for your spiritual Wu Wei journey during the year ahead….

Slowly repeat these affirmations to yourself…

  • ‘Nothing in my life is by accident, I am open to receive the blessing.’
  • ‘All things are possible, and are available to me right now.’
  • ‘By creating space I’m attracting new exciting energy into my life.’
  • ‘I choose a Tao spirit-centred life and emotional freedom.’
  • ‘I am complete.’

Now, when you are ready, bring yourself slowly and gently back into the present moment…

Open your eyes and take time to adjust to your surroundings…

Take the opportunity to make a few brief notes of anything that was revealed during your meditation, no matter how insignificant.

Step 3: Sidestep the Yang-Mind/Ego to Reveal the Blessing

The point of this meditation exercise is for you to access authentic and honest insights and suggestions.

A Taoist proverb says:

‘You already know the answer to any problem you have.’

…so it’s really important for you to connect with your Yin spirit centre, the place of your higher-self, when moving though this self-inquiry process, rather than letting your Yang Mind rush in and taint your thinking by avoidance and confusion.

As part of this process of mindful review remember to become aware of your Yang mind’s measuring stick and harsh comparisons. Never let it critically underestimate and belittle your unique life journey or blame and condemn you or others for past events. Always remember: humans only learn by making mistakes

Know and accept with loving kindness that, if you’d been equipped with the appropriate knowledge, understanding and skills to authentically deal with any challenging situation or person at the time, you wouldn’t now be left with feelings of internal disharmony.

So embrace any lingering uncomfortable feelings of imbalance and the situations or people they are tied to for what they are: opportunities for personal and spiritual learning and growth.

Embrace your emotional feelings as ‘blessings’ and with an honest heart and mind ask yourself:

  • ‘How could I have acted differently?’

The Taoist teaching here is that there is always a spiritual lesson for you in any challenging, difficult or painful energetic situation, or else you would have flowed through the energy of that moment in balance and harmony – in your Wu Wei.

The Yang mind loves taking the easy option of punishing you for past ‘mistakes’ or ‘wrong’ decisions, and this can be an all too familiar and comfortable form of self-harm that allows you to avoid facing up to and authentically learning from these situations.

Just like they were on some kind of Cosmic carousel, the same lessons will always return to you until they’re finally acknowleged and understood. It may be with different people or events but they are still the same lessons!!

So, as part of your mindful reflection and meditation please be particularly aware of these recurring life situations and any patterns of behaviour, where you find yourself emotionally avoiding certain people or situations.

This will always point to a misunderstanding and illusion in your belief system (or what the Taoists call TE). Unless corrected this misunderstanding will block and stagnate your potential and self-worth as well and your general wellbeing.

Practicing this simple meditation technique will help you become extremely skilful in identifying and processing your life lessons. Your senses will become heightened to the same kind of situations or people reappearing, and the misunderstandings in your thinking connected to the energy of these events will become clearer.

So sit with your emotions and your thoughts about these events until the spiritual lessons are learned.

Step 4: Celebrate Small Awakenings and Check for Spiritual Authenticity

As part of your mindful meditation it’s important to also spend an equal amount of time celebrating your positive insights and awakenings, as this will undoubtedly mean that you have encountered a challenging situation and navigated your way through successfully.

Acknowledging these milestones is an energetic way of attracting more of the same success. This is what the Taoist call, Yi Tao Qi Tao, or in modern terms The Law of Attraction.

Once you have written down some review notes, here are some more questions you can use to interrogate them and check their spiritual authenticity:

  • ‘Are my observations of the past and my plans and goals for the year ahead coming from a spirit centred place of love, trust, openness, self-acceptance and self-nurturing, or are they born from a Yang mind place of fear, self-doubt, comparing with others, and self-harm?’
  • ‘Would I encourage my child or someone I loved dearly to adopt these observations, goals and aspirations for themselves?’

If you need to make any further notes or adjustments to your original observations and ideas please do so now.

Step 5: Develop the Mindfulness Habit

With the benefit of having gone through this mindful meditation process once, I strongly recommend that you revisit the whole exercise again, or indeed several times, whenever feels appropriate to you. Never break promises to yourself.

Each time you enter into this process you will move closer to, and strengthen the connection with, your authentic spiritual awareness and learning. Your human centred Yang Mind will begin to feel more familiar and so more comfortable and safer with the process.

The Yang Mind sees familiarity as reality, so the layers of your illusions and misunderstandings will slowly begin to peel away revealing your spiritual truth within.

You can use this process whenever you like – don’t limit yourself to a 12 month review. Habits are so hard to break, so make sure your habits are good ones!

By developing a regular practice of ‘checking in’ with yourself and the Universe through mindful meditation and contemplation, say, every day, week or month, you give yourself the gift of celebrating the smaller accomplishments and realisations in your life.

You’ll also tune into and heighten your awareness of all the positive opportunities, people, information and occurrences that are in your life right at that moment and how they may align with your biggest objectives or dreams.

Following this process on a regular basis will bring profound and life changing results for you as you become more sensitive to your love and truth, not your fears and illusions .

I believe in you. You are amazing…

Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

Yi Tao Qi Tao,

David

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Winter Health and Harmony

Winter Health and Harmony - A Taoist Perspective

I’d like to share with you some tips on how to keep healthy and harmonious during the Winter season…

You can listen to my teaching on Winter health here:

If the audio player above does not work you can also listen here.

You can read the full transcript of my teaching on Winter health below:

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In traditional Chinese medicine and Taoism the season of Winter is connected with the Water element and is physically related to the organ and meridian system of the Kidneys and Bladder, and the associated emotion is that of ‘fear’.

Winter is ‘Yin’ in nature – it is inactive, cold, and damp. The cold and darkness of the season encourages us to slow down and conserve and replenish our physical, mental and emotional energy in preparation for the outburst and growth of new life and energy in the Spring!

Taoists teach that you should always align and harmonise your energy with the current season, the translation of this concept is ‘appropriateness’. You can attune to the energies and qualities of the Winter season and the Water element through three virtues: your lifestyle, diet and spiritual health practices. 

Nurturing the Kidneys and Bladder this Winter

So I’d like to first review some lifestyle habits to help support you this season… 

Winter is all about balancing and harmonising your Water element and protecting and nurturing its associated organs – the Kidneys (which are Yang) and Bladder (which is Yin), in order to maintain good physical and emotional health.

When functioning correctly the Kidneys and Bladder hold onto and then appropriately release fluids. In traditional Chinese medicine, the Kidney is known as the ‘Minister of Power’, and is regarded as the body’s most important store or reserve of essential energy or Qi.

The strong health of the Kidneys is essential so any stored energy can be readily available for use in times of environmental or emotional change or stress, as well as to heal and prevent illness.

The Bladder is referred to as the ‘Minister of the Reservoir’ and is responsible for managing and excreting the urinary waste fluids passed down from the Kidneys.

During the Winter months it is important to nurture and nourish your Kidney Qi as this is the time where this energy can be most easily depleted. As you age, your Kidney Qi energy also naturally declines, so the older you are, the more susceptible you are to the impact of the Winter months.

An imbalance in the Water element or depleted Kidney Qi can affect the aging process, your hair condition, your ears and hearing, and your bones and joints. A Water/Kidney imbalance commonly manifests in a weak lower back, a dull aching pain in the lumber region, or being more prone to lower back, knee disorders and arthritic conditions. It can also lead to sexual and fertility disorders in both men and women.

As an acupuncturist I would always consider treating the Water element and the associated Kidney and Bladder meridians in any Winter treatment plan, especially if the patient is over the age of 45 when the waning of the Water element and Kidney Qi is a natural phenomenon. 

Winter Lifestyle Habits: Balancing Your Water Element

So what can YOU do to balance and harmonise your Water element this season?…

Well… resting appropriately will help replenish your Kidney Qi and conserve your physical energy… but this is not an excuse for Winter hibernation!

Always remember that the benefits of resting well should be balanced with the need to simulate and move Qi around the body! So a brisk lunchtime or weekend walk is perfect for improving the circulation of Qi and blood flow, and is also great for topping up your vitamin D levels during these months of diminished sunshine.

You must try to keep your lower back and Kidney area warm during the Winter, and certainly leave any garden digging or general heavy lifting, which can easily put a strain on your lower back, until Spring!

Energetic health practices, such as Qigong or yoga, which encourage the flow of Qi energy around the body and the warming of the core area, are an excellent way to stimulate and boost your Kidney Qi.

Winter Qigong to Support and Boost your Kidney Qi

A simple and very effective qigong exercise for stimulating the Kidney energy that I teach in my classes and workshops at Peak House Practice involves the following steps:

  • Start in the opening qigong stance or ‘Wu Ji’ – this means standing with your feet shoulder width apart, softening the knees a little by bending them slightly and tilting your pelvis a forward. You should feel your centre of balance in this position.
  • When you are comfortable, lightly close your eyes. Ensure that your weight is distributed between your heel and the ball of your foot, so that it feels a little ‘flat footed’ – the powerful opening of the Kidney meridian called ‘Bubbling Spring’ is located at this middle point in the sole of your foot.
  • Now place your hands on your lower back with palms facing inwards. Gently move your hands from side to side, massaging and warming the lower back. If you can’t reach your lower back don’t worry. Rubbing your abdomen about 1-2 inches below the belly button will also work as it stimulates a crucial acupressure point and activates what Taoists refer to as the ‘lower Dan Tien’, which in turn stimulates the Kidneys.
  • As you gently massage, allow yourself to visualize a soothing ocean wave flowing over your hands. Imagine that this flow of water washes away any fears, tensions, pain or discomfort in mind and body.
  • Another variation on this exercise involves placing your hand as clenched fists on your lower back and rubbing this area more vigorously to stimulate the movement of Kidney Qi energy here. You can watch this particular exercise in my ‘Eight Silken Brocade Qigong’ video on my YouTube channel. 

Winter Diet Tips to Balance Your Water Element

Ok, so let’s consider how you can adapt your diet to the Winter season…

Eating in a balanced way and keeping hydrated will prevent a stagnation of fluid in the Kidneys and Bladder and will help support your Kidney Qi.

Avoid raw foods during the Winter as much as possible, as these tend to cool the body. Warming food, such as soups and stews, root vegetables, beans, garlic and ginger, are perfect for you at this time of year.

Salty foods, such as salty fish, should be avoided as they have a diuretic effect on the Kidneys and Bladder. You should also reduce your consumption of chilli peppers, smoked foods or excessive amounts of alcohol if you can.

A healthy diet for strengthening your Water element this season would include:

  • Rice (especially brown rice), spaghetti and linseed
  • Beans, sprouts and tofu.
  • White cabbage, yam, potatoes and mushrooms.
  • Beef, chicken, lamb and mussels
  • Grapes, grapefruit, melon and strawberries. 

Winter Emotional and Spiritual Health Tips

So finally, and perhaps most importantly, I’d like to review some emotional and spiritual health practices that are relevant to the Winter season…

Excessive fear damages the Kidney energy and causes it to descend, sometimes resulting in a loss of bladder control – this is why we often have a tendency to want to urinate when we get nervous!

The Taoist masters teach that if the Kidney energy is weak this also means you will be prone to experience chronic fear. Working on harmonising your emotions and emotional health is therefore the most important thing you can do to support your Water element and nurture your Kidney and Bladder energy. 

Even if you ate well, and rested and exercised in a balanced way following the tips I have suggested, choosing to ignore any underlying fears, stress, anxieties or worries you may be holding onto will undermine the benefits of these healthy living practices. The power of your mind and emotions on your physical health and whole wellbeing should NEVER be underestimated! 

Many new clients come to me at this time of year because they are affected by what is referred to in the West as ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ (SAD), or they suffer from symptoms of low energy, depression and mood swings during the Winter months.

In Chinese medicine this excessive introspection, or an increase in worry, fear and depression is very much associated with the Water element and an imbalance of the Kidney and Bladder energy, and for some people this can become much more acute right now. 

All of the Chinese medicine elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water are interactive, mutually supportive and should be maintained within a loving balance and harmony. I do, however, have a particularly strong affinity to the Water element because of my day to day work as a therapist specialising in treating individuals suffering from emotional imbalances.

A high percentage of my clients have difficulty in balancing and harmonising their emotions of fear and stress because of the powerful and disturbing physical sensations it creates, including palpitations, tightness in the chest, churning in the stomach, dry mouth, headaches, sweating, panic attacks etc.

When you are fearful in this way it encourages the introverted nature that harms the Water element – a physical, emotional and spiritual state of ‘closing down’ and becoming guarded and isolated from the world around you. This imbalance in the Water element will in turn create a disharmony in the fine balance of the other four elements within your body and their associated organs.

The strong relationship between the Water element and its associated Kidney and Bladder organs, and the Fire element and its associated organs of the Heart, Pericardium, Small Intestine and Triple Burner, are particularly important.

The Fire ~ Water relationship is often closely connected to symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress and so, as a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and counsellor, understanding and harmonising the relationship and balance between these two elements is often part of my treatment plan with clients.

Emotional Self-Healing this Winter

There are many things you can do to strengthen your emotional health and balance your Water element this Winter.  As the season of stillness, Winter is a great time for personal meditation and reflection.

The colder weather encourages you to slow down and this opens up opportunities for making time for deeper thought and bringing to the surface any unresolved emotional matters. Acknowledging, owing and creatively addressing the origins of any stress, worries or fears that you may have reflects the Wu Wei process of self-discovery and self-healing that I work through with my clients:  ‘Find It, Own It, Change It’.

So, when you next encounter external situations, issues or people that generate the physical ‘red warning lights’ that you may label as ‘fear’, you can begin to manage and eliminate these feelings by meditating on the personal beliefs and thoughts, what the Taoists refer to as ‘TE, that are at the root of these emotions.

Christmas, with its changes of routine and the new expectations and demands it may bring, can be a particularly challenging time for many people. If uncomfortable and unwanted emotions or fears surface for you over the Christmas period, my message is for you to lovingly address these in a way that is truthful, honest and done with your highest integrity.

There is NO enemy inside, you have a choice, so choose your higher-self. This intention and action will nourish your Kidney, Bladder and Water element using your own Wu Wei Wisdom.

Remember:

You came from a place of love not fear,

you will return to a place of love not fear,

you ARE love. 

Taoist blessings for a wonderful Winter Season

Yi Tao Qi Tao,

David

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