Gratitude: A Buffer to Life

Expressing gratitude, is a way of offering thanks and appreciation for what one has. It sees the glass half full, when life can seem half empty. This is especially critical in times of difficulty and pain. Gratitude, is a way to bring in some light into a dark and troubled time. Looking for and expressing gratitude is one of the most effective ways to move out a negative mood and move through a difficult situation. Gratitude opens our hearts and expands the fearful and limited mind, to one of appreciation and greater potential. Gratitude keeps us in the present moment.

Love is the way I walk in gratitude – A Course in Miracles  

The attitude of gratitude, cultivates self-worth and strengthens our connection to the divine and loving universe. It’s a way of showing care and appreciation toward someone or something, that what is offered is not taken for granted. An attitude of gratitude sparks, hope and desire, fosters commitment and determination.

With gratitude comes acceptance of what is, which demonstrates that we see the gift and the lesson within what was once a hardship. Gratitude allows us to see the situation from the soul and higher perspective. Acknowledging that despite the hardship and uncertainty of life, the universe always has our back.

Offering gratitude, is a way of expressing love and gives one the feeling of abundance. For when we give gratitude we receive, knowing, we’ve touched life and perhaps another human with loving kindness. Gratitudes fosters connection and relationships.

To be in gratitude is to focus on what sustains you, not what drains you.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. – William Arthur Ward

Being in gratitude, offering thanks and kindness; should be part of our everyday practice and living. As Thanksgiving is upon us and Christmas not far away. Let us be more mindful to take a few moments each day, to pause from our hectic lives; to express words of gratitude and thanks for what we do have in life. 

The simple things in life, what’s often called, (simple abundance) are often the things that truly offer the greatest pleasures and deeper meanings.

Giving gratitude each day, is a way to build your own physical, emotional and spiritual bank account. It’s a way to keep going through life’s complexities, changes and uncertainty. Gratitude is a buffer in life, and a way to inner joy and abundance in one’s life.

May your Thanksgiving be full of gratitude, joy and abundance!!

Leave a comment: What are you thankful for? Name 3 things you are grateful for in your life?

What is Christ Consciousness?

Living the Christ consciousness here on earth, is no easy assignment. However, as a soul in human form, living and being the Christ consciousness or Buddha nature can be seen as part of our reason for being.

As we experience life in physical form, we tend to forget our essence as love, innocence and goodness. We become defined by our struggles and painful life experiences, as if this is all we are. Our created ego with its shadow, chooses to take us on an endless search of experiencing happiness and contentment by focusing on the material world.

As a result, we forget our source of being, and that we are an expression and attribute of this divine source. We lose sight of our essence that we are first and foremost eternal spiritual beings, having a temporary experience in physical form.

The teachings of Jesuha Ben Joseph, commonly known as Jesus, offer humanity a fresh, yet radical perspective of how to live and be on this earthly plane. It’s important to understand that the name Jesus Christ is comprised of two major components and potentials:

  1.  Jesus in human form, was the personality.  
  2. Christ, was and is the consciousness.           

 

Jesus’s mission in part was to be the expression and model of the Christ consciousness, while in the human personality.  Jesus offered humanity, divine principles. These principles or laws, are principles that govern the universe, so they would naturally govern the earth and those who live here.

To study and embrace these laws, one comes to realize we humans with an ego and shadow aspects, think and live in exact opposition or in contradiction with these divine principles. The awareness and acceptance of this, is the first step toward Christ Consciousness. The second step, is to come to a deeper appreciation of the personality of Jesus as a soul in human form, and the consciousness he was offering humanity through his Christ spirit.

Some of the divine principles or laws are:

  • Law of Love: The energy and awareness of love is what creates and sustains the universe.
  • Law of Oneness: Everything in the universe is connected.
  • Law of Rhythm: Everything vibrates and moves in a certain rhythm. These rhythms create vibrations and frequencies, cycles and patterns, even what we know as seasons.
  • Law of Cause and Effect: Nothing happens by chance or outside of universal laws. Every action has a reaction or significance. What we reap we sow.
  • Law of Attraction: What we think about, we bring about. Our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, words and actions produce energies, which in turn attract like energies. Positive attracts positive, negative attracts negative.
  • Law of Non-Resistance: What we resist will persist and has power over us. True power comes through non-resistance.

 

Back in the day of Jesus:

Leaders of the Roman government and Jewish religion, created a sense of entitlement or “specialness”, so they struggled with Jesus’ teachings of these principles and found him to be too “out there.” They felt Jesus was giving common folks too much inner power. If people bought into Jesus messages and teachings; such as: of you can do the things I do and more, leaders in government and religious systems, would lose influence and power i.e .control over the masses.

Given humanities level of consciousness at the time, it would make sense why church leaders wanted Jesus condemned and put to death. It was due to fear and unwillingness to consider possibilities beyond their limited belief system.  Consequently, much of humanity resisted embracing Jesus’s higher perspective and truth.

 So what is Christ Consciousnesses?

The Center for Christ consciousness defines Christ Consciousness as: “The highest state of intellectual development and emotional maturity.” They state that “Jesus achieved this higher state of being in his human life, and was given the term “Christ” in recognition of his achievement in spiritual status.”

I view the Christ Consciousness as a: State of awareness of our true nature, our higher self, and our birthright as multi-dimensional souls of the universe; experiencing life in the 3rd dimensional physical world .

I also view Christ Consciousness, simply as: Enlightenment, connection and living through our higher wiser self, in alignment with universal/divine principles or laws. Jesus was one of many other enlightened beings on the planet such as: Mohammad, Buddha, Rama, Krishna, Shiva, and Mary Magdalene, etc.

Christ consciousness is coming to know the true and whole self; by reconciling and releasing the struggles and wounds of our earthly experiences. Viewing these experiences, now from the higher divine perspective.

The higher consciousness of the Christ, promotes self-love and self-acceptance, as well as loving and accepting others. This consciousness speaks of the truth, with words of peace.

Our mind and heart, must be in harmony and alignment with the mind and heart of the divine universe. Most of humanity thinks primarily through their lower or ego mind, and at the avoidance of their heart knowing. The ego mind is mostly about safety and survival. It is consumed and defined by unconscious negative thoughts and defeating self-beliefs. Furthermore, it’s  judgmental, greedy, selfish, and driven by need for power, control, resentment and entitlement.

The higher mind or Christ mind, has the sense and experience of being in the “everything” and the “nothing.” It’s not defined by the negative experiences and practices non-attachment. Be in this world, but not of this world.

Ways to live the Christ Consciousness:

  • Practice acceptance, non-attachment and non-resistance, through meditation, prayer, Ti Chi, Yoga, etc.
  • One responds to life and others, rather than react to life and others.
  • You create space for the ego of another person to be. Loving the other’s person’s ego and them, without losing yourself in their actions and reactions.

 

Our 3rd dimensional reality isn’t the true reality:

Christ Consciousness is to learn and master separating ourselves from third dimensional qualities, which rely on our physical senses. Our five senses along with our thoughts are major distractions in achieving higher consciousness and inner peace. Thoughts don’t make us who we are, so the same can be said for our five senses. If you are deaf or blind, you are still you.

Our senses are just a part of your physical functioning mindset and third dimensional reality. It’s what lies deep within the essence of us, the soul of us, that truly defines us. So the Christ consciousness masters the illusions of the third dimension, and dwells in the higher dimensions and realms of the mental and spiritual mind.

Christ consciousness means: One has transcended the limited time and space mind and perspective. To now be and operate from the realm of possibilities – the realm of the Quantum field, beyond time, space and matter. So one is being more in their light body, while living in their physical body.

One views life experiences from a higher more loving and accepting perspective.  Living from the perspective of unconditional love and acceptance of the spirit of all that exists.

In Closing:

With openness, willingness  and commitment, the Christ consciousness is obtainable. It takes the desire and a dedicated practice to strive and arrive at this higher state of being and living.

Living the Christ consciousness, is therefore, a continuous process of experiencing, learning, growing and expanding in awareness and love. This is part of what we are here to achieve as a soul in human form, while here in earth school.

 

Do you desire to move into the Christ consciousness? I’m a phone call or email away, to assist you. David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. Visit David’s website: transitionpathways.com David’s book, Just Be Love is available through online bookstores: amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

The 5 C’s of Cultivating a Loving and Thriving Relationship

In order to have a loving and thriving relationship, a couple needs to have a good energy flow and synergy. These 5 C’s: Chemistry, Common goals, Commitment, Communication, and Consensus are vital in cultivating a loving and thriving relationship.

As a therapist and life transition coach, I’ve worked with many couples struggling with relationship issues. Most often the issues revolve around: ineffective communication, mistrust, lack of common goals, and the need to be right, which interferes with consensus. 

Each of these C’s is important and each will enhance the other C’s. The 5 C’s seek to enhance  connection, cooperation and effective problem-solving. They each offer opportunities to improve the level of respect, trust; and boost the feeling of being valued, understood and supported in the relationship.

The following offers more details on how the 5 C’s help to cultivate and maintain a loving and thriving relationship.

1. Chemistry: Is the natural and mutual flow with and between each other. It’s not just about physical or sexual attraction. A big part of chemistry is the desire to know more about other the person. In this desire to know more, you are truthful with each other; being open, curious, accepting, and respectful, even playful as you interact together.  

You acknowledge the connection and spark, and allow it to unfold with honesty, openness and willingness. You are mindful to the possibilities the relationship offers, while being patient and attentive to the process of coming together, not being focused on an expectation or certain outcome. Focus on an expectation and/or outcome disrupts the natural flow, energy and synergy between the two of you.

2. Common goals: Goals give our life meaning and increased value. Developing shared direction and goals, offers your relationship deeper meaning and connection. Competing goals and directions create tension and conflict, this is conditional love. Unconditional love and conscious relationships allow for individual goals and needs. Yet, there is equal importance to the value and connection of shared desires and goals. You must be aware of not letting individual goals diminish common goals. The key is the importance of finding the balance with your individual and the relationship goals.   

3. Commitment: A commitment is simply an agreement or pledge to do something in the present or future. A relationship commitment is the agreement to love, be open, willing, accepting, and be faithful in and to the relationship partner. The true intent of Commitment is to create increased satisfaction, understanding, flexibility connection and choice. It’s the conscious choice to put your energy toward the relationship, not just the “self.”

Commitment is the willingness to give of the self, without losing the self in the commitment. We choose to surrender to love. In this concept, surrender is not about losing or giving in/up, as our ego would see it. This type of surrender is to gain or benefit much more than we would lose or need to give up. Its intent is to compliment the self in relationship, to enhance the self through the relationship.   

Commitment can be difficult for some, because it can take you out of your comfort zone. The following list can be reasons why a person can be fearful, avoiding and struggling with commitment.

  • You perceive and believe the personal “self” will be threatened or intimidated because of the commitment.
  • If one perceives and believes that making a commitment is risky, and believes the sacrifice will result in losing more than will be gained.
  • A perception and belief of loss of personal and/or professional freedom.
  • If you need certainty, a commitment can seem like stepping into the unknown, creating uncertainty and a feeling of loss of control.
  • Feeling of vulnerability, that my partner will discover my flaws and weakness, and not see me as good enough.
  • A damaging experience from a past relationship. Where either you or your partner was traumatized, taken advantage of, rejected, betrayed or humiliated.

4. Communication: There are times in relationship when one intentionally or not, said or did something and it impacted the other in a negative/hurtful way. We can get triggered by this and go emotionally unconscious, so we get reactive, defensive, or passive (shutdown). In this, communication will get confusing, distorted and misunderstood.

 A big part of effective communication is to stay aware, to respond, not react, and to seek to understand the other. We often want to be heard more than to listen. The biggest communication problem is that we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. If we focus more on our reply; we’re not focused and listening to the other person, so we won’t really understand them. We are more focused on them needing to understand us.

The most important part of communication is listening and seeking to understand, to ask questions for clarification and increased understanding. When you feel listened to and understood, you feel validated and valued. True?

Good communication enhances understanding, trust, and connection. It also leads to more effective problem-solving when conflict arises. Be as clear as you can in your expression of needs and intensions. Speak in terms of “I” not so much “You.” Another cause of poor communication is assuming or mind reading. This only leads to misunderstanding, confusion, mistrust and conflict. Good communication strikes a healthy balance with the goal/our intention and the relationship.

If you or your partner is too focused on the goal, you will likely be more aggressive and demanding in the communication process. If you are too concerned with the relationship i.e. don’t want to hurt their feelings or cause conflict, you will likely be more passive and/or passive aggressive in your expression and actions of your needs.

Neither the aggressive or passive communication style is healthy or productive. The aggressive communication approach is you win-partner loses, and the passive approach is you lose-partner wins. Thus relationship cooperation and consensus becomes an ongoing challenge.

5. Consensus: Is about cooperation-seeking the win-win, and is the result of a conscious and unconditional relationship. Consensus keeps in mind and balance the importance of both the goal/end in mind, and the relationship. It allows for mutual opinions and ways of being. There is dialogue, negotiation and compromise. Consensus is about power with. 

Consensus is a struggle to achieve if the need for power-over and need to be right is dominant. Self and shared responsibility and accountability are keys to creating consensus. Consensus requires effective and respectful communication skills, flexibility, and openness to understand the others point of view; while expressing your own view. It requires the ability and willingness to find the common ground. Honoring your individual differences and working with your similarities, builds consensus.

In closing, it’s important to pay on-going attention and focus to these 5 C’s. Relationships like life, change, and situations happen that can impact any of these C’s in unproductive ways. So being aware of how life situations can impact these C’s is vital and an act of love, caring and concern for the relationship, and the two of you in it.

 

Are you struggling with any of these 5 C’s in your relationship? Please contact David Schroeder if you would like assistance with your relationship issues and how to work through them. David offers life transition and relationship counseling and coaching session’s in-person, by phone or Skype. Visit his website at transitionpathways.com.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength, a healthy and assertive way to help yourself and your relationship during difficult times.

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed social worker, certified life coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. David’s book, Just Be Love is available through my websites: http://transitionpathways.com or through online bookstores: amazon.com , barnesandnoble.com