Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey

Greetings: For those interested in a deeper exploration of love from both the spiritual and human perspective. Check out my book: Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey.  

Inspired by messages from a master teacher. This book is a series of vignettes on ways we forget we are love, through our struggles and painful life experiences. More importantly, Just Be Love, offers encouraging spiritual messages and guidance to remember we are love, innocence and goodness.

Just Be Love, reflects on ways love is familiar to us, and provides inspiring ways to remember love. I take you to the hidden and mysterious places where love is often not realized. The book weaves my personal and professional experience, reflections and insights on love, and the teachings and wisdom of the spiritual masters and poets of many traditions.

Just Be Love, is a human and spiritual journey of looking within, as well as experiencing love through natural wonders, and the appreciation of life from the higher divine perspective.

 

 

 

 

One of my poems in the book:
Love as Awareness
Love is not found in the thought of love

rather in the awareness of love.
It is through our humanity, that we remember our divinity.
It is through our holy breath that we commune and 
communicate with all that is. 
It is for us to remember with higher awareness that God is Love.
And all that makes up the universe is an expression of this Love. “

 

Book is available through the publisher  http://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookstoreHome.aspx
and online book stores: www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com


What some readers have said about David an
d his book  Just Be Love:  More reviews on Amazon.com

Densely packed with great promise and a refrain of love! I found I could open it almost anywhere and dig into its core themes and the power of love. Glad I was directed to this thoughtful volume.  I like fiction

What a gift this book is!  A gift to the hearts of all of us who open its pages. Page by page, chapter by chapter, the author leads us on a journey of a lifetime, to Just Be Love. Those of us who are open to the beauty and grace of this world — and who have the courage also to accept the challenge to find the beauty within ourselves — will find it here.  This work is well written and the message is do-able and life changing, and so I recommend it to you. An accompanying workbook is also available to support the process of inner change laid out so clearly here.  Dorothy

You are a Spiritual Being.  David has written about life-altering experiences and lessons from his heart with the perspective of both a human being and a spiritual seeker. This work will challenge conventional thinking and guide you to explore the deeper meaning of life. All of our life experiences are opportunities to practice acceptance, patience, compassion and forgiveness. Trusting the process, understanding who and what you really are – an expression of the Divine – are beautifully spoken through David’s new book. Trust your instinct if you are being called to read this book. You will come back to it again and again as your spiritual understanding of life unfolds.  Jeanne

A go to book for anyone seeking to better understand all the many facets of love.  This is a beautiful book, one to sink into, meditate upon and cherish. Useful and practical information. Well written with a poetic flow. Many facets of love are discussed with a fresh and inspiring understanding. The message of hope and reminders of our Oneness are comforting in these challenging times.  Jane

Read this book.  David walks us along the path of our soul’s perspective, encouraging us to accept our life as it is and maybe more importantly, what it might not be. He invites us to allow ourselves an opening to Divine Love and forgiveness for our own inner peace and healing. This will then extend to the world of our daily experience. Reading this book once is not enough. Each chapter is a gift that can be savored and, like David’s raindrops in Chapter 34, fall gently on your mind and heart.  Jan

 A Book for All.  I love this book. There is so much good information in it to help with living daily life. This book reminds us that we are on a spiritual journey that we are here to learn what we can and make the most or our time on Earth. I’ve learned in order to grow as a human being I have to let go of some of the old beliefs, stories and habits that I have clung to – in order to love and appreciate who I am. Then to extend that love and appreciation to others as well. The insights and experiences. Thanks David for a great book, and a book I can pick up any time, and turn to any chapter and feel more focused and grounded throughout the day. You are a gifted writer and have offered something that is so needed and appreciated in today’s world.  Kate

In gratitude to you, for taking time to read this blog about Just Be Love. I would be delighted if you felt guided to order your copy soon. Much Love and winds of the Spirit your way, David

Do you desire to explore and evolve with greater love in your life. 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. My practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. Visit my website: transitionpathways.com

 

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.

What’s the Difference between Religion and Spirituality?

The concept and practice of spirituality is becoming more popular and acceptable these days. Many people, however, struggle with defining the difference between spirituality and religion. I will offer some fundamental differences between traditional religion, progressive religion and spirituality.

I also provide research on the trends of religion and spirituality. Additionally my own thoughts are included, as to the importance of traditional religions being more open to progressive spiritual concepts for their own sustainability.

What is Religion?
The word religion in Latin means: “to bind oneself, to commit oneself.” Religion involves offering duty, a commitment to God and its particular teacher/prophet, such as: Jesus Christ or Mohammad.

Religion is about morals and what’s deemed right or wrong by the religious leaders. The spiritual or religions teacher’s messages are interpreted by church leaders and created doctrines, for man’s understanding and use. These doctrines offer a moral compass, and dictate how people should conduct themselves in order to win favor of God and the religion in general. 

Traditional religion I believe, often stresses the importance of sacrificing oneself as a way to honor and live for one’s God. Religion offers rituals of worship and praise to their God. It is public and group centered in its orientation; designed to be a source of comfort and advice, through a supportive community.

Conventional religious organizations, offer a way and place to worship and praise their God. Providing a structure for connection and friendship. Likewise, offering inspiring and comforting messages, rituals and music.

The churches or temples are beautiful and offer a sense of awe and peace. Religion serves many people well, and reinforces the “group think” and connection need.

Systems, such as: governments, education, corporate and financial systems, have rules and ways the masses are to adhere to, in order for the system to function. These systems require the group to conform, so it doesn’t want you to be different or step out of the norm.

Beginning in childhood, we are condition to conform to family and group/system rules and order. On one level, this serves a purpose and is a means of maintaining order within the system. However, it can create subtle, yet powerful ways to control people.

I view traditional religion, as a system, having its own rules and group norms. Generally, religion, like most systems is about conformity to its group rules. It’s not really interested in you becoming self-actualized or liberated‒free. It often struggles with independent thinkers and people being “out of the box.”

In my opinion, the philosophy of many religious organizations advocates the belief: God, is out there somewhere. So you need a third party to intervene with your communion and communication with God.

Traditional religion is a structured institution, governed by hierarchy, which is mostly male dominated and oriented. Today some religious hierarchies remain blinded to the fact, that women are becoming more empowered and have equal merit in their wisdom and capabilities to be religious leaders.

Progressive religious organizations are ones that are breaking the old paradigm, and including women in leadership roles and worship services. They are in general more including, rather than excluding, and embrace the concept of unity, rather an separation.

What is Spirituality?
The origin of “spiritual” is the Latin word spiritus meaning breath. Breathing, is an essential element of human life. Therefore, spirituality like breathing, is part of the essence of living. Other words with this common root include inspire, aspire and to conspire which means to breathe together.

Spirituality is more personal and individual in its philosophy and formats. It takes a more holistic‒body, mind and spirit approach. With an emphasis on one’s well being within their connection to a higher power. It views the divine, is as much inside of each of us as outside of us.

It embraces and encourages three parts or aspects of life, for exploration and discovery:
1. Divine wisdom from a higher power and your own
higher self.
2. One’s connection and relationship to nature and the
universe.
3. The discovery of the true self.

I believe, spiritual seekers have interest in moving beyond their ego; with a desire to live more from their heart-center. Spirituality encourages exploration of the soul and seeks to ask, and more importantly explore life transforming questions, such as:
Who am I?    
What’s my purpose for being here?
What’s the meaning of life?

Spirituality allows you to have control of your own individual journey‒your purpose, beliefs and method. Like the spiritual masters and teachers of many traditions. A spiritually mature and confident person has released the “group think” ideas and mind-set.

They are independent thinkers and doers; sailing on their own spiritual destiny. They are comfortable and adaptable with both personal and group interactions. They have learned the art of non-attachment, so they are accepting and tolerant to the path of others. Additionally, they have no need to convince others of their own spiritual path.

Distinctions between Religion and Spirituality
In my view, a major distinction between conventional religion and spirituality is: Spirituality advocates inclusion, love and unity of all parts of us, our fellow humans, and the earth.

It views the natural world as sacred, and has a child-like curiosity of the universe, and our connection to all that makes up the universe. Spirituality sees the divine/God in all that is. In addition, there is equal honoring and value of both female and male in leadership and teaching roles

Many traditional religions are about fear and shame/guilt, promoting a fear of God/Allah. Advocating separation and exclusion, an “us vs. them” mind-set. If you aren’t of my faith and belief, you are not welcomed and I should refrain from interaction with you.

I’ve come to realize a simple distinction between religion and spirituality is: Religion tells you who you need to be. Where as, spirituality invites you to discover who you are and can be.

There are roughly 4, 200 religions today
Most people believe in only one of these and discount the other 4,199. There are over 7 billion people on the planet today and each one of us likely has a different perception and interpretation of what spiritually and religion means.

I believe the key is the realization that humans and all of life, for that matter are inherently spiritual. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Spiritually affirms there can be many paths to the divine and inner peace. It encourages the exploration of the metaphysical.

“Metaphysics” is the study or exploration of those things and phenomena which are “beyond-the-physical” realm. It’s our connection to all things seen and  unseen.

Spirituality does not necessarily need a building to connect with God and inner peace. Many spiritual people find connection with their higher power and to life in more natural and informal surroundings.

To promote one’s spiritual experience, ways of self-expression and connection with divine energy. Spirituality encourages, meditation, being in nature, participation in a yoga or other self-enhancement classes, and spiritual retreats, etc.. Even preparing and eating a meal can be a spiritual experience with mindful intention, thoughts and practice.

I myself enjoy and encourage my clients (if they choose) in exploring the teachings and wisdom of different spiritual masters and world religions. This makes for a more inclusive understanding and acceptance of others. Which is part of the ingredients of love and world fellowship.

Enlightened Beings
Teachers and prophets: Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad and Krishna were not of a particular religion. Jesus wasn’t Christian and Buddha wasn’t Buddhist. They were spiritually enlightened beings and teachers, who taught inclusion, unconditional love, acceptance, and higher divine truth and ways of being. Particular religions adopted each of these teacher’s as their own. As in Jesus Christ associated with Christianity and Mohammad with Islam, etc.

Jesus for example, was an independent thinker and doer. He was for everyone. He interacted with women, children, the poor and sick. He promoted power-with, not power over. He challenged Jewish law, and broke the Sabbath; he was a rebel/”out of the box.” Church/group leaders were threatened by him, and used their man-made laws to condemn him.

Jesus’ purpose was to offer humanity, a higher dimension of love, teaching divine/metaphysical laws and ways to live a reverent spiritual life.

A Trend Toward Spirituality 
The phrase “spiritual but not religious” has become widely used in recent years by some Americans who are trying to describe their religious identity. While Pew Research Center does not categorize survey respondents in such a way, surveys do find that the U.S. public overall appears to be growing a bit less religious‒but also somewhat more spiritual.

A study conducted by Pew Research Center in 2012 found that the number of Americans who do not identify with any religion has increased from 15% in 2007 to 20% in 2012. One fifth of the US public and a third of adults under the age of 30 are reportedly unaffiliated with any religion, however they view themselves as being spiritual in some way. Of these religiously unaffiliated Americans, 37% classify themselves as spiritual, not religious, while 68% say they do believe in God, and 58% feel a deep connection to the earth.    http://www.pewforum.org/files/2012/10/NonesOnTheRise-full.pdf

Changing Times
The latest survey of more than 35,000 Americans by the Pew Research Center in 2014, finds that the percentage of adults (ages 18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years, from 78.4% in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. Over the same period, the percentage of Americans who are not affiliated with a religion has jumped over six points, from 16.1% to 22.8%.

Furthermore, the study suggests, that in some ways Americans are becoming more spiritual. About six-in-ten adults now say they regularly feel a deep sense of “spiritual peace and well-being,” up 7% since 2007. And 46% of Americans say they experience a deep sense of “wonder about the universe” at least once a week, also up 7 points over the same period.

Overall, 64% of religiously affiliated adults say they feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least weekly, compared with only 40% those who are unaffiliated. Even among the “non-believers,” there has been a recent 5-point rise in the people who say they frequently feel spiritual peace (from 35% in 2007 to 40% in 2014).  www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/01/21/americans-spirituality/

To address this decreasing trend in religious affiliation. Some religious organizations and particular churches; are embracing progressive spiritual concepts into their organizational structure and worship service.

In closing
The concept of spirituality and its practice is growing, especially among younger adults. Research shows people are abandoning fear based doctrines and self- righteous authority figures within the religious structures. As a result, more people are favoring the exploration of a higher truth on their own. Spirituality seems to offer an attractive fit to this new paradigm shift.

As humanity is becoming more globally connected, people have greater exposure to spiritual traditions and ways of living from around the world. A sort of West means East encounter is happening.

People are embracing and including several spiritual traditions into their lifestyle. There is a greater desire to know and understand our neighbor and ourselves, in relation to not just the world and God, but to the wonders of the universe‒our connection to all that is.

Spirituality, with its progressive concepts and teachings provides a vehicle to assist individuals toward one’s divinity.

I believe, if religions are to sustain themselves in the years ahead; it seems important for them to begin to embrace the concepts and ideas of spirituality.

Progressive churches of some religions are realizing the value of incorporating the ideals of spirituality as a way of connecting with people. While offering a more universal and holistic approach.

There is value in taking the productive love based concepts and teachings of religion and merging these with spirituality. Offering an inclusive, love and acceptance based way of assisting individuals on their journey.

After all, we are to expand the mind and open the heart. This is how growth and transformation happens on both the soul and human level.

I welcome your comments.

Are you curious and seeking more information or guidance with your spiritual journey? A gentle resource is just a phone call or email away. Please contact David Schroeder if you would like support with your spiritual concerns and journey. David offers life transition and spiritual growth 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 move through life transitions.

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. David’s book, Just Be Love is available through his website: transitionpathways.com or through online bookstores: amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

Earth and Human Changes: Why Its Messing with Me & What to Do?

Have you been out of sorts physically and/or mentally lately? Have you found your relationships and people in general more difficult to tolerate and cope with? Have you found yourself or hear others say: “What the heck is going on with the world?” “It sure seems crazy and it’s messing with me.”

A New Era is Unfolding – Creating a Wave of Change and Unease

Well, here are some interesting insights to those questions. Be open to entertain the possibilities as you read on. For the openness to possibilities is what allows us to change and grow. This article is all about the wave of change and more importantly, opportunities for growth awaiting us all.

A Shift in Consciousness
Humanity, individually and collectively, is currently going through a major yet, predicable change and transition. A shift is occurring in human consciousness with a higher way of being and living here on earth.

It is predicable, because over the course of human evolution there has been a rise and fall of human consciousness. It’s a cosmic event, because we are ultimately connected to the energy and cycles of the universe.

There is a 26,000 year cycle in our universe called the Precession of the Equinoxes, otherwise known as the earth’s movement with the sun and the earth’s wobble through the constellations of the zodiac. This cycle has substantial effects on individual and collective rise or fall of human consciousness and behaviors. As shown in this Sine Wave Diagram of long term history.

Age of Pieces and its Consciousness
For the past 10,000 years the consciousness on earth has been rather dark and destructive. For the past 2000 years the earth has been in the constellation and age of Pisces. The consciousness of this Piscean age on our planet has been about fear, control, manipulation, and power-over. It’s been about us vs. them; divide and conquer; exclusion; “the have” and “have not’s” and masculine dominated.

It’s been about greed. Another way to understand greed is my definition: Greed is Power without Love and Wisdom. It’s been an energy and consciousness that has been more selfish and destructive than selfless and constructive to humanity and the planet.

However, over the past fifty years there has been a gradual shift on the planet. The earth’s wobble has been gradually moving out of the constellation and consciousness of Pisces; into the constellation and Age of Aquarius.

Entering the Aquarian Consciousness
The Aquarian age and its consciousness encompass love, acceptance, compassion, cooperation, collaboration and power-with. It’s about inclusion, unity, fellowship, peace, integrity, intuition, and wisdom. It’s the re-emergence of the feminine energy and striking a balance of the masculine and feminine energies within us and on the planet.

The energy and consciousness of Pisces is losing its grip on humanity. However, we humans struggle with change or losing control. Individuals and systems in power around the world (i.e. governments, religious systems, corporations, even family and personal relationships) are struggling with losing their power and control. In fear, many are hanging on tighter now to maintain their way with people, for their own benefit.

Part of the Struggle is Dealing with Our Shadow
As this shift is unfolding, it’s impacting all of us. We are being asked (and driven) to do shadow and inner soul work toward removing what blocks the love, worthiness and light that we actually are. The ego is our internal police officer, it serves and protects us from perceived physical and especially emotional danger and pain. Its partner, the shadow is what we repress, deny or project on to others, in order to protect and defend ourselves.

Those who resist doing their inner work are having a difficult time navigating and coping with this current shift in energy and consciousness. Those with a strong and resistant ego and shadow are experiencing an increase in mental or emotional and physical difficulties and this is making it even harder to regulate and navigate themselves in constructive ways.

Reconciling the ego and its shadow is vital on both individual and collective levels. For this impacts the functioning of relationships, governments, corporations, education and healthcare systems, religious systems, etc.

Many Systems are in Disarray
Much of the current disarray (in people and systems) is the result of the individual and collective egos with their shadows becoming more fearful and out of control. We see this manifest with dysfunctional decisions and behaviors, which produce less effective results. These people and systems are operating under the old energies and ways. Thus this new age, with its higher vibration and consciousness is not supporting their older way of being.

The current United States President, with his behaviors (way of being) is exposing his ego and shadow aspects in many profound ways. You see the dysfunction and negative effects it creates for him, this nation and the world around us.

I believe Mr. Trump won this presidential election on the spiritual level, not only to expose his own ego and shadow, but more importantly, to call attention to all of us, to look at our own ego and shadow for healing and transcending.

The increase in conflict between super power nations, i.e. United States, Russia and China, are also being heightened now as the shadow aspects of the need for control and power-over creates more chaos and tension now.

Both powerful and “wanna be” powerful countries are showing their political and military might with words and actions. Understandably this creates much uncertainty, worry and anxiety for many of us as we witness what’s happening on the world stage.

However, the consciousness of many is waking up to the fact that you never win a war with war. And focusing on war and terror, does just that, creates more war and terror.

Law of Attraction
The law of attraction in simple terms means: what we think about we bring about. This is true on both individual and collective levels. Individuals, big corporations and countries keep feeding their insanity called ego, by feeding their greed (i.e. money and war machines) at the expense of true peace and harmony.

Many countries have recently (or will in the near future) conduct crucial government elections that have implications for the particular countries direction for years to come. In the United States, we see the heightened clash between Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, the right and left.

There is also a heightened exposure of, and focus on our differences. This causes increased exposure and conflict between whites vs. people of color, male vs. female, CEO’s/stock holders vs. employees, Christian vs. Muslim, West vs. East, Religion vs. Spirituality. 

In other systems as well, such as healthcare, conventional medicine vs. complimentary/alternative. In education, public education vs. charter schools. In business, do we take care of the environment (planet) vs. keeping the stock holders happy?

The old consciousness and paradigm of focus on the differences (us vs. them; driven by fear, ignorance, conflict and dis-harmony) is ego mentality that creates the struggle for power, and need to control.

All of this adds up to much unease and discord both individually and collectively. Can you relate? 

The Ways of the Ego
When things are changing, the human ego with its shadow needs to defend, to resist, project and blame. Out of self-preservation, it struggles to hold on tightly to what it fears will be lost or taken away

In order to protect oneself from the change, we do whatever we can to resist and prevent the change.

With the energy and perception of fear, we want our sense of control and power back. Consequently, many make unconsciousness choices and exhibit behaviors that are destructive or violent to others and themselves. This inner chaos with its acting out is becoming more heightened and extreme now.

However, the energy, vibration and ways of fear, struggle with uncertainty, need for control and manipulation will no longer work in this new energy and age.

The degree of uncertainty you can tolerate during this shift will determine the quality of your life. Patience and tolerance will be more useful to you as you move through this change and transition.

The Time for Unity
The current shift is about accepting and honoring our differences, while focusing more on our similarities ‒ finding the common ground.

One way to realize this is to consider this quote by Yogiraj Siddhanath:
“Our soul cry. If earth is to herald the dawn of the new age, let us all realize.
Humanity is our uniting religion 
Breath our unity prayer 
Consciousness our uniting God.” 

How would life on earth be, if we all could adhere to this quote? This is the opportunity and shift before us. But we must make the choice to shift our perception, focus, belief, attitude, and our choices.

We Are Being Called to Move from Fear to Love
In these times of change and uncertainty it is love, understanding, acceptance, patience and compassion that will more effectively help you ride this wave of change and transition. The energy of love, acceptance, patience and compassion will offer you a different perceptive, attitude and choices as you move through this shift.

This is the paradigm shift of the ages; moving from the consciousness and behaviors of Fear to the consciousness and behaviors of Love.

It’s all About Cycles
This great shift of the ages and its consciousness is happening, and cannot be stopped. It’s part of a cycle that the planet and humanity have experienced before. For the earth has gone through many cycles and transitions to get to its current state, and humanity (modern homo sapiens) have also gone through many cycles and transitions over its 200,000 years of existence.

Currently we are experiencing rapid change on many fronts. From advances in technology, information, globalization, change in climate and weather patterns, etc. These changes and their transition process have been predicted by people like the famous 20th century psychic, Eager Casey and ancient cultures like the Mayan’s.

The Mayan’s development and use of a calendar of 7 days and 6 nights, and the 9 levels or cycles of time, with stages/levels of human consciousness. Each level is marked by a turning point in human evolution, such as: higher reason, struggle and movement  toward more constructive use of power, and higher ethics/integrity (See pyramid chart below).

Each level/cycle of time gets progressively smaller and shorter in duration of time. Therefore, time and by virtue, life goes faster and changes are more accelerated and intense. This is where we are currently at and experiencing.

For the Mayan and many other ancient cultures, it wasn’t so much about following time, but rather following the cycle and flow of the universe. As December 21, 2012 neared, many had predicted that the end date of the Mayan calendar was going to be the end of the world or at the very least; we would experience very drastic earth changes.

The end of the world or drastic change never happen. It was later discovered after December 21, 2012, that a more accurate end date of the calendar was October 28, 2011 was the end of the 9th and final level of the Mayan calendar. 

Regardless of the actual end date, the end of the calendar was not the end of time or the world. Instead, it was the end of an age‒the end of a cycle. Moving from Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. This change through the 9 levels has been gradual from the divine eternal perspective, however, as we’ve reached each level time and changes accelerate. By the end of the final 9th level and going forward (where we are now); the vibration on the planet increases, time and changes accelerate more rapidly.  

We were ending one cycle or age and have moved into a new cycle and age. Which seems to create greater speed and intensity of change. Can you relate to this? Consider that the term “New Age” means: “A Span of Time.”  Things come and they go, the pendulum swings from one end to the other end. This is the nature of things. Ways of healing and living that were popular thousands of years ago are now being re-invented and used today.

With this shift in consciousness and behaviors, four things are happening:

  1. Souls are leaving the planet not wanting to be part of the shift (Many people of all ages are dying, some in interesting ways).
  2. People are contracting difficult physical and/or mental symptoms of discomfort or disorders. That conventional medical wisdom is having difficulty knowing how to treat.
  3. Some are losing their minds, committing crazy, greedy or horrifying acts toward others and/or themselves.
  4. While others are waking up, becoming more accepting, loving, helpful and peaceful.

You choose which part of this dynamic you want to be a part of. Yes, we choose consciously or unconsciously. 

All is Right on Schedule and in Perfect Cosmic Order
Everything of Piscean energy and value is now being exposed and challenged. The old ways are being dismantled, and in time will fall away. Its vibration and ways of fear, control and greed cannot be sustained with the new and heightened energies coming from the earth and the cosmos, especially our sun.

This impacts all of us, as we are being rebooted from our DNA outward. This shift is offering us the opportunity to live with greater love, integrity and cooperation.

More of the individual and collective human shadows of denial, avoidance, greed, judgment and corruption are being exposed, true? As fear is the absence of love, judgment is the withholding of love. This can no longer sustain us. This all is part of the process of ascension, what’s unfolding at present. It’s calling us to rise as love and goodness, because Love is who we are.

Shadows disappear, when you remove what blocks the light.

Those dwelling in energies and lower vibrations of victim-hood, or the aggressor, of shame, fear, anger, guilt, or greed‒ create a hell on earth. They will find it increasingly more difficult to sustain themselves in the 4th and soon 5th dimensional energies and vibrations of intuition, willingness, acceptance, love, compassion, joy and peace ‒ creates heaven on earth.

Here Comes the Sun
Part of our awakening to the new consciousness is that the sun is heating up and its solar flares and winds are sending high and intense energy to earth, weakening the earth’s magnetic field. The earth itself is moving to a higher vibrational state known as the Schumann Resonance. A great youtube video on this concept is suggested: “The Schumann Resonance Bursts and Affects on Human Consciousness”, youtube.com/watch?v=RLczNzWBbpE.

This resonance or frequency is rapidly increasing on earth, this along with the sun’s increased solar activity, is taking us all for a wild ride, physically, mentally emotionally, socially and spiritually.

Due to the intensity of these energies and light coming from the sun/cosmos and the earth many people are feeling the effects of this on the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual level. Feeling what’s called “Symptoms of Ascension” such as: lack of focus and concentration, increased frustration/anger, and increased fatigue, changes in sleeping and/or eating patterns.

See this link: more signs and symptoms of Ascension  for more information, or you can Google for yourself: ascension signs and symptoms.

The sun, earth and our higher soul self, are assisting us in this process of Ascension.

Ascension means: to move spiritually, to higher states of consciousness, love, wisdom and peace. We only need to be open, willing and receptive to answer and work the call to ascend ‒ rise as love, innocence and goodness.

I believe “The 2nd coming”, is not about Christ coming down again. It’s humanity (you and I), moving up, rising in higher consciousness and love, to meet our beloved. We rise as love and kindness. This is the 2nd coming – “Coming of Age in Spiritual Maturity“. Make sense?

Flashback
Within the ascension process, for several years I’ve been intrigued by three songs written by two of the Beatles and one by a group called the 5th Dimension. Two of these songs make reference to the sun.

These songs speak to this new cycle and age. The 5th Dimension in 1969 released a song entitled: The Age of Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In. It was referring to the sun and earth’s movement into the constellation and consciousness of Aquarius.

The song first speaks of Astrology; one of the oldest sciences that we have forgotten, but is slowing gaining more attention.

 When the moon is in the Seventh House 
And Jupiter aligns with Mars 
Then peace will guide the planets 
And love will steer the stars.

The song than points to us moving to the consciousness of Aquarius

Harmony and understanding 
Sympathy and trust abounding 
No more falsehoods or derisions.

Golden living dreams of visions 
Mystic crystal revelation 
And the mind’s true liberation.

I take the words of this song to mean: being more compassionate, dissolving greed, living through our heart, our intuition, and transcending the ego mind, i.e. “true liberation.”

The groups name 5th Dimension, speaks of us moving to the higher more loving 5th dimension, as we shed the density, heaviness and destruction of the 3rd dimensional ways.

Let the sun Shine In, was about allowing the “sun” which is often referred to as the Christ consciousness, to shine in, take hold within us. Raise our consciousness; be more responsible and accountable to ourselves and each other.

The Beatles, George Harrison wrote Here Comes the Sun, released in 1969. Which speaks to the power of the sun; how the sun’s energy is changing the climate and consciousness of the planet.  

Little darling, it’s been a long cold winter. 
Little darling, it feels like years since its been here.

My interpretation: We’ve been asleep, in the cold and darkness of winter, unconscious, for several thousand of years now.

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting.  
Little darling, it seems like years since its been clear. 

My meaning: The ice caps are melting, the climate, the planet is changing. The fear, coldness and ignorance of humanity is melting into love, kindness and integrity. Humanity is gaining more clarity, higher awareness, waking up from the falsehoods and illusion.

Lastly, John Lennon in 1971 released Imagine, which speaks of inclusion, unity and peace.

Imagine there’s no countries 
it isn’t hard to do 
Nothing to kill or die for 
and no religion, too.
Imagine all the people living life in peace.  

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can 
No need for greed or hunger 
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world.

Lennon’s words powerfully echo the consciousness of Aquarius I mention earlier. The writers of each of these lyrics, nearly 50 years ago, were offering us a message of an upcoming shift of the ages.

What the world could be if we moved from fear and hate, to love and acceptance, from doubt to higher knowing/intuition, from greed and despair to wisdom and sharing?

Creation and renewal, always happens from the darkness. Stronger light, greater love and insight, comes from the struggle, chaos, and the unknown. This is the nature of life.

Helpful Tips for Riding this Wave of Change: 

  • Within the current unfolding cycle, realize it’s a process.
  • So stay focused on the process of being the love you are, and getting your own emotional and spiritual house in order. Now is the time to stay grounded through activities such as, connecting with nature, meditation and other mindful practices.
  • Take time to understand this unfolding change and its intended purpose. Learn to ride its wave, rather than resist or be consumed by it.
  • Do your inner work to reconcile core emotional wounds and negative self beliefs and behavior patterns. This helps raise your consciousness and vibration.
  • Trust in and sharpen your institution. 
  • Connect with others in personal, face to face ways. Love and know your neighbor as you first love and know yourself. See this present time as the teacher and opportunity, not the threat or enemy.
  • Choose openness, awareness and love; refrain from fear, ignorance or resistance. The first choice will assist you in this shift, the second choice will create more struggle for you.
  • Yes, stand your ground/speak your truth with love, words and actions of peace. It’s important to “not to lose yourself” in this transition and ascension process. The intent of this process, is for you “to remember your true and loving self”.
  • When you stay in your process, the outcome will take care of itself. Your eternal soul is about the process; your self-created ego is about the outcome.
  • Know that uncertainty is just the result of change, fear of the unknown, and the transition through it. Learn self-control and self-discipline within the uncertainty. This is changing and controlling the only thing/person you can ‒ the self.
  • Focus on the positive, not so much the negative. Look for what’s good and uplifting,
  • Just be love, acceptance and kindness, to stay in the light. This will help you weather the storm and ride this wave toward a new age and way of being.
  • Understand and accept the cycles of the universe and life. Accept that life is impermanent ‒ things change.
  • Have awareness of your breath, of your thoughts, perceptions, and beliefs. Be mindful of your speech and actions, as you ride this wave of ascending to a higher state of consciousness, love and peace. Be patience, gentle and loving to self and others as we ride this wave.

Our Task Now is to Spiritually Awaken
To be the best version of ourselves. To protect and restore the sacredness of ourselves, our planet, and all that inhabits the earth. Honor and learn from the wise spiritual teachers, the stars and the heavily realms. With these great teachers, we must once again be the student – the disciple of these teachers and higher knowing.  Namaste

 

Are you struggling and anxious with the shift and the wave of change? Are you anxious and/or overwhelmed by change or uncertainty? Help is just a phone call or email away. Please contact David Schroeder if you would like assistance with your acceptance and change issues and how to work through them. David offers life transition and spiritual growth counseling and coaching 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 move through life transitions.

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. David’s book, Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey is available through online book stores: balboapress.comamazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

12 Benefits of the Power of Acceptance

In uncertain times, we struggle with trusting the process of life. We are fearful, so we want control, we want to know the outcome, yet we tend to predict a negative outcome ahead of time, while bypassing the process of “what is.” All this feeds our fear, the sense of powerlessness and loneliness, which fuels depression and anxiety. 

Could it be in these uncertain times, that our individual and collective shadow aspects are being exposed more than ever? Could it be the contrast of light as love and dark as fear, is coming more to the forefront; to be recognized and reconciled within us individually and collectively? Sure seems like it to me, how about you?

Transformation and growth always comes from the uncertainty and the struggle. Creation and renewal comes from darkness.

Uncertainty, is a lesson and opportunity to practice Acceptance. So in uncertain times, we are called to the act of acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t mean you like or agree with “what is.” Acceptance, is to just be present to it. To be in the thoughts and behaviors of love and compassion with what is, rather than fear, resistance and resentment.

When we resist, deny, avoid or blame, we delay the opportunity for our happiness and growth. 

If we are unhappy and unfulfilled: we haven’t asked and more importantly answered an important question: What’s happened in my life that I’m not accepting?

Acceptance is to ride the wave of uncertainty, without losing yourself in the unknown of what is. Acceptance is shedding our will and way, and aligning with the divine power and will. With the knowing, we will gain more than lose, as we trust and allow in the power greater than ourselves. 

Acceptance is getting to know and understand our neighbor, from their perspective, not just our own. To respond, rather than react to differences and conflict.

The following are 12 Benefits, of why Acceptance is Powerful and of Value:

1. Acceptance is a sign of spiritual maturity.

2. Acceptance is being present and mindful to an experience without being defined by the experience.

3. Willingness and understanding lead the way to acceptance. Acceptance is wisdom in action.

4. It embraces the acts of spiritual surrender and willingness of “what is” creating realistic neutrally and non-attachment to experiences.

5. Acceptance, as spiritual surrender; magnifies our connection to the divine, and to love. Which restores hope, and allows for a higher meaning to life experiences.

6. Acceptance is an act of love and courage. Accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change what I can. Furthermore, it moves you from powerless to  Empowerment.

7. Acceptance transcends denial, creates emotional calm and inner peace. In addition, it widens one’s perception.

8. What we Accept – we Conquer. What we resist – will Persist.

9. Acceptance is a forward moving energy. It allow us the opportunity to rise above our struggles. 

10. The willingness to accept another’s and our own imperfections, is to discover the perfection. Perfection in divine terms means: To have Compassion for. The divine has compassion for all that is. 

11. Acceptance leads to Compassion, which allows for Forgiveness or Reconciliation.

12. Acceptance begins to transform fear, sorrow and bondage to love, joy and freedom.

With acceptance, comes tolerance, resilience and confidence to weather life’s uncertainties and difficulties. I close with my quote, which seems to fit during times of uncertainty. Realize, the choice is always ours, as to who and how we want to be in times of uncertainty. I choose Understanding, Acceptance, Compassion and Forgiveness, for they equal the power of Love!

 

Are you struggling with accepting some life experiences? Are you anxious and/or overwhelmed by change or uncertainty? Help is just a phone call or email away. Please contact David Schroeder if you would like assistance with your acceptance and change issues; and how to work through them. David offers life transition and spiritual growth 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 move through life transitions.

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. David’s book, Just Be Love is available through his website: transitionpathways.com or through online bookstores: amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

7 Traits of Spiritual Maturity

To write of spiritual maturity, let me begin by offering my definition of this term. Spiritual maturity is the willingness to be the student, a disciple to higher spiritual awareness (consciousness) and growth. It is the willingness and openness to explore the higher realms of the self and the universe.

Over 2000 years ago a famous spiritual master and teacher named Jesus said: Be in this world, but not of this world. I believe these words mean, while you temporarily live in this world (on earth), realize there is so much more to you and the universe, that is a part of you, and you are a part of. To illustrate this point, science now knows that 96% of the universe is invisible to the human senses. The way I take this, what we think is real and all there is, is only a fraction of what we and the universe are all about.  

We are spiritual beings, having a human experience. Which means, within and beyond our temporary physical body, we are eternal formless fields of energy, that we call a soul. Spiritual maturity is the remembrance of our soul and the yearning and desire to rediscover the soul and our divinity within it. It is to move in body and mind from the limited, to the unlimited of ourselves and the universe.

The following are 7 traits of spiritual growth and maturity:

1. Search for Higher Truth: Living here on earth, you can begin to yearn and feel for something more. That there is more to this life than what’s learned from family, traditional school, religious systems, government, etc. Shaking the old, what was once made true in order to discover the truth.

What’s true, will not surpass the test of time. What’s true will change over time. A truth will always surpass the test of time. The truth will not change over time, its eternal.

The Sufi teacher and spiritual leader, Hazart Inayat Klan has said this about truth: “When a person looks at the ocean, he can only see that part of it which comes within his range of vision; so it is with the truth.”

Spiritual maturity is about questioning and challenging the status quo. On an individual and collective level, many people struggle with change; we want safety, steadiness, certainty and predictability. This is adhering to the primitive part of our brain. That is all about survival and keeping safe.

We struggle with the unknown and uncertainty. However, there is no higher understanding and growth in the status quo.

The person on the spiritual path is often not going so much with the mainstream society. For they realize the truth won’t be found at Walmart or watching the Fox network.

2. Concerned about what’s Going on Inside of You: On the spiritual path, you begin to realize the importance of doing your inner work, to reconcile, release and re-frame what has been blocking your true happiness, potential and spiritual growth. You pay greater attention to your feelings, emotions and beliefs and how they trigger unproductive behaviors and outcomes.

One understands you cannot heal what you do not feel.  Engaging in your feelings, emotions and beliefs is the higher road, to better understand yourself in relation to your life experiences, and how you have learned to show up in life.

You are aware and accept, that what comes up for you within difficult experiences and people in your life are your teacher and opportunity to higher learning and growth. As a result, you are not as easily caught up in the victim and/or conflict or drama energies, and there destructive thinking and behavior patterns. You respond more than react to life situations and people around you.

In addition, you’re not as distracted by mundane aspects of life, which only seek to interfere with your growth. Therefore, your focus, is on connecting back to your soul and seek to understand why you have come to earth in this life time, what is it, you are to experience and resolve in this life journey?

Your experiences and people in your life create a student and teacher dynamic in order to experience and learn life lessons. You ask soul searching and life affirming questions like: What’s my purpose for being? Who am I? Most importantly, you go after the answers.

You begin to have different priorities in life and your values can shift as to what’s important vs. what’s no longer needed in your personal and/or professional life. Consequently, there’s a desire and willingness to listen more to your soul and heart, what I call the soul-heart, its pulse and nudging from deep within.

This soul pulse and nudging often wants you to step out of your status quo and comfort zone. So it creates fear and uncertainty. Many don’t say “Yes” to the call. They just go about their life. Than 5 or 10 years later they have regrets of not going with that calling of the soul pulse, as it seems more clearly now, where the soul was intending to lead you.

3. A Prayerful and Mindful Person: A spiritually growing person has heightened awareness of the value and practice of prayer throughout the day, as a way to commune with the higher power, whatever name you may call this.

They also practice meditation as a way to listen to their higher self and divine source for guidance and direction. They value what I call the 4 I’s of: Innocence, Intuition, Imagination and Inspiration to assist them on their spiritual journey. They listen to, and follow. the soft still voice of their intuition/higher self; more then the loud and self defeating voice of their inner critic i.e. lower, ego self.

4. Practice the Actions of Acceptance, Compassion and Forgiveness: The spiritually mature person understands the importance of Acceptance, Compassion and Forgiveness. They realize these are acts of love to the self and others. These loving actions, generate inner freedom, peace and gracefulness in life. 

With the practice of acceptance, compassion and forgiveness, one is sensitive to both their own needs and the needs of others; while setting healthy boundaries.

The spiritually mature person, lives as much from their heart, intuitive and emotional part, as from their head and logic side.

5. A Peace Maker and of Service: True spiritual masters are peace makers, and value peace over conflict. They seek to do no harm, thus understand and practice patience and tolerance, to achieve this end. In their communication they speak their truth with words of peace. 

Those growing spiritually, humbly seek to serve others, for the betterment of others and society as a whole. They receive as they serve, because their mindset is on loving kindness and willingness, not sacrifice.

6. Full of Love, Passion and Joy for Life: You remember you come from love, so you are love. Embracing this love, allows for passion with life, and a joyful heart. You freely spread this love, passion and joy to others. Having childlike qualities, you love to laugh and be playful, not taking yourself in life too seriously. You understand and see the lesson and meaning to life experiences, both the joyful and difficult ones.

7. Awareness of Being Connected to All That Is: The spiritually mature person understands that everything is made of energy, with a vibration. That everything in the universe is connected and interdependent with each other. So the idea of separation has been reconciled. You see the wonder, the miracle and beauty of all things. You accept the impermanence of life‒things change.

There is an understanding, that darkness and destruction are a part of the divine process and cycle of life. There is life – transition ‒ rebirth. You accept that creation/birth comes from the darkness, the void, and that renewal comes from destruction.

In conclusion, becoming spiritually mature is a conscious choice and a process. Which can be sparked by a crisis, loss, or a yearning for something more in life. It involves acceptance, willingness and determination to begin a deeper exploration of our soul in relation to our human experience.

Through spiritual surrender, the spiritually mature person embarks on working the task of transcending the ego’s will and ways of being, to the will of the divine.

The 7 traits listed, are part of a spiritual practice, process and inner discipline one chooses on the road to spiritual maturity. Once you begin this journey of deeper exploration and higher consciousness. You realize what’s been missing in your life, and you won’t want or need to go back to the old ways of living and being.

Out of love, this opportunity is always there for us to embrace. Having free will, however, the choice is always ours, to go deeper into this journey or not. 

 

Do you desire to discover a higher purpose and meaning to your life?  Are you struggling with embracing your spiritual path or staying on it? Please contact David Schroeder if you would like assistance with your spiritual issues and how to work through them. David offers life transition and spiritual growth 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 move life transitions.

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed and spiritual 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: transitionpathways.com or through online bookstores: amazon.com , barnesandnoble.com

 

3 Myths and 6 Truths about Self-Love

Cultivating Self-Love is one of the foundations of self-esteem. The most important person to have a loving and caring relationship with is with you. Self-love is the basis of your happiness, as well as your physical and emotional health. Self-Love is vital toward developing and sustaining healthy relationships with others, or the ability to move on from an unhealthy relationship. If you struggle with loving yourself, you will likely struggle with loving relationships with others. Spiritual truth says: what you to do yourself you do to others.

There are both myths and truths about self-love.  

 3 common Myths about Self-Love:

1. I need to please others: In childhood I experienced and learned that in order to get love, acceptance and approval, “I needed to please others” and I still believe this today. In pleasing others, we tend to forget the self. Over time, this depletes you especially, emotionally, leading  to resentment, unhappiness and overall life dissatisfaction.  

 2. Self-Love is being selfish: Childhood taught me that to love the self, was being selfish, arrogant or egoistical. I became programmed to feel guilt or shame if I took  care of and loved myself, if I said, “No” ‒ set boundaries for myself. We learned to love and value others unconditionally, yet, “conditions” apply to loving ourselves. 

3. Life is 90% what happens to me and 10% what I do with it. This myth caused me to develop an unhealthy and unloving relationship with myself around a difficult circumstance. I become the victim (blaming/hating myself) or the villain (blaming/hating others) because of the circumstance.

Life circumstances can cause us to become sad, fearful, angry, bitter, and resentful. There is a part of us that ultimately needs to blame someone or something for our feelings and emotions. In the end, I either blame you or I blame myself. This blame is judgment, and judgment is simply the withholding of love. Within my difficult situation, I do not love you or I do not love myself. Either way, my wounded self is not being loving. It’s protecting/defending itself or condemning the self. This is fear, not love.

The truth is: life is 10% what happens to me and 90% what I do with it. This means I take responsibility for my thoughts, beliefs, choices and behaviors regarding the experience. This is a more loving, accepting and empowering way to move through life experiences.

6 Truths of Self-Love:

1. You instinctively know your true worth. Question: How easily do you give up your value and sense of worth when things go wrong? People, who love themselves, instinctively believe and know they are worthy and of value.

Within the struggles and hardships of life, they have accepted and learned that life offers a series of problems in the form of lessons, and their life experiences are the lessons. Within these experiences, working with and through their circumstances, they have developed a more positive, self-empowering and life enhancing relationship to their unfortunate circumstances.

They are not defined by the unfortunate experience, rather they see it as an opportunity to deeply love them self, have compassion for themselves and others within and because of the experience.

They choose out of love and a desire for higher learning and growth, not to diminish their self-worth and love of self. They realize the circumstance was a test of their faith and to not lose our self-love, within the difficult experience. They accept it’s not always possible to like yourself or the experience, but you should never give up loving yourself, because of the experience.

The truth is, loving the self is one of the most positive and healthy ways to live and cope with life. To love your self is to value yourself and know your worth. Self-love and worth, naturally spills over to loving and accepting others.

2. Return to the Source of Love: In my humanness I tend to forget I am love, innocence and goodness, due to difficult and painful experiences. I experience, rejection, abandonment, or betrayal, which leads me to feel embarrassment/shame or injustice i.e. the world is not fair. My perception and belief of separation takes shape in my reality.

There is however, another truth and reality beyond what I have made true. There is a source and power within me and all around me that is pure and unconditional love and acceptance. This love is the source and basis of all that exist.

To return to this source is to remember and return to love. It is to remember and return to that which I am‒Love. This ends the perception and belief in separation and returns me back to inclusion.   

Love, innocence and worthiness represent inclusion. Fear, shame and unworthiness imply exclusion. To have self-love is to include myself again.

3. Self-Love creates and builds resilience. Resilience embodies the qualities of flexibility, hardiness and determination. I love and care about myself enough, that I choose to see my circumstances through. So I am open and accepting to my circumstances. Moving away from avoidance, resistance, shame or blame.

To be flexible and adapting, offers me the motivation and determination to change what I can. The greater my self-love, the greater my resilience and willingness to change what I can. The greater my resilience the deeper my self-love.

4. Loving the self without the conditions. The unconditional love and acceptance you offer others, is to be offered and expressed to yourself first and foremost, without conditions or “yah buts.” The airplane ride proves this statement. When traveling by plane, with a small child, the flight attendant says: “Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before your child.” Why? Because, in order to keep your child safe and secure, you need to have yourself safe and secure first.

A fundamental way to feel safe and secure is through self-love. Don’t wait for others to affirm you, affirm yourself freely and daily. True happiness comes from the unconditional love and acceptance with all parts of us.

5. All of our experiences are meant to bring us back to love. A difficult spiritual concept to comprehend is the notion that our experiences and the way we move through them, shows us how much we love or don’t love ourselves.

If I don’t love myself, because someone wasn’t very loving or kind to me, I have given away my power and my sense of love to that unloving person and/or experience.

It’s really not the rejection or betrayal by the other person that hurts me. What creates my hurt is the perception, belief and behaviors I take on because of the experience, the story I tell myself and others around the experience.

The key: within an unloving or uncaring act of someone toward you, keep loving and expressing kindness to yourself along the way. Some examples to help with this:

  • Connect with loving/supportive people
  • Write in a Journal
  • Take a warm bath/receive regular bodywork
  • Forgive the unloving words or act, sooner rather than later
  • Take walks/exercise
  • Mediation and prayer
  • Talk with a therapist or coach to sort out truth from your distortions and false beliefs.
  • Practice what I call the 4R’s (see below)

The 4 R’s:  Recognize, Reconcile, Release and Reframe

Recognize: Much of the owning process is about recognizing, becoming aware and identifying or naming where the hurt takes you in perception, feelings/emotions and belief about yourself within the situation. As I see how and where the situation or person triggered my perception, feelings and self-belief, this gives me the opportunity to:

Reconcile: within me where the situation is taking me in my belief about myself. How this belief builds me up‒makes me my best friend or condemns me‒makes me my worst enemy. When I can reconcile within myself, where the situation is taking, me than I can release the inner torment.

Release: To release is to say, believe, and act with confidence and determination to letting go of what no longer serves me. I release my unhealthy mind set and choose now to construct a more self empowering and loving mind set along with actions that reinforce the new way of being.

I choose to let go of the old, in order to create and live the new. I choose to focus on what I will gain and benefit as I embrace self-love, and release self-judgment and sabotaging thinking and behaviors.

Reframe: is the openness and willingness to view the upset in a different way. The mind is limited in perception and belief. We know what we know and we feel, and do what we know. To entertain a different possibility from my current point of view is to open the door to a different knowing. This helps create a more constructive and healthier story and reality‒way of thinking and acting.

To reframe my perception and belief, helps reduce the emotional charge I’ve had around the painful experience. This is an act of self-love within the fact that someone outside of me wasn’t very loving to me. This is a way we return to love and self-empowerment.

6. Can I look in the mirror and see love, my innocence and goodness? Or do I see what I deem as flaws, the bad hair day, the wrinkles, etc? I see my created distorted reflection, not the true reflection in my mirror. The one looking at you from inside the mirror only sees you as love, innocence and beauty. 

Can you accept and honor this truth of who you are? If you can, how would this make you feel in this moment? How would this start your day? What would this do to your state/frame of mind, and your attitude about yourself in life? When you reject the one in the mirror you are excluding her/him. To embrace and freely love the one in the mirror is to include her/him into your life. 

In my book, Just Be Love, I wrote a poem entitled: My Mirror, which illustrates the importance of staying true to the divine reflection of you from your mirror. 

My Mirror

My mirror recognizes and reflects the truth
that I struggle to notice and affirm.
My mirror only sees and knows me as love,
love I struggle to accept and embrace.
My mirror supports and nurtures,
what I choose to judge and reject.
My mirror only ask that I Just Be Love,
with the one who truly sees and knows me.

I look deeply in my mirror.
I see my innocence, perfection and radiance,
I would before hide and condemn.

As I let go of what I thought I was.
I see more clearly who I am.
What a gift I give to myself this day.

Thank you mirror, thank you,
I finally recognize and have found the one,
I’ve been looking for all along.

To come back to loving your self is to cultivate and value the self. You are expressing to yourself, you matter. Thus you find and connect with the one you have been looking for. You come back to the truth of who you are.

 

Are you struggling with loving yourself? Are you pleasing others as a way to receive love, acceptance and approval? Only to find you are more physically, emotionally and socially depleted?  David Schroeder, can help you reclaim the love and goodness you are. If you would like assistance with reclaiming this love and goodness David is here to assist you with his life transition coaching and counseling sessions. He offers in-person, by phone or Skype sessions. 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 love yourself again.

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: transitionpathways.com or through online bookstores: amazon.com , barnesandnoble.com

To Improve Your Relationship: Understand this Gender Difference

There are several differences between men and women, some are obvious, some are subtle. Realizing, accepting and working with this particular gender difference can make a positive difference in the way you relate to each other.

Conflict and frustration in relationships often occurs simply because, we don’t understand why our partner thinks and acts a certain way. When it comes to thoughts, feelings and emotions there will typically be a difference in the way  men or women go about relating with you.

This gender difference impacts our ways of communicating, problem-solving and over-all interactions with each other. It stems from the way we perceive and relate to our thoughts, feelings and emotions; and the need we have with our partner in relation to our thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Men and women have thoughts, feelings and emotions; and these are important and not to be denied or discounted. Having acknowledged this, due to biological factors and social conditioning, one gender is typically more connected and concerned with thoughts, while the other gender is more connected and concerned with feelings and emotions.  Here’s the basic difference:

In general, the feminine aspect, typically (women) is more likely concerned with having their Feelings and Emotions respected.  The masculine aspect, (men) is likely more interested in having their Thoughts respected.

It should be noted, that some women may have more of the masculine aspect; and have a stronger desire for their thoughts to be respect. Some men might have more of the feminine aspect; and have a stronger need for their feelings and emotions to be respected. 

Women in general, come from their right brain, the intuitive and emotional side. They also come more from their heart center. So they are more concerned and value their relationships. Because of this, women in life and in their relationships will more naturally relate to and from their feelings and emotions.

On the other hand, most men are in their logic and thinking state, come from their left brain. So they relate to thoughts, in logic oriented ways of being in life and in their relationships. As a way of connecting, men relate more to their occupation and status (position).

For example: In social settings, women will typically, talk more about family and friends, social concerns (relationships/heart). Men generally, will converse more about their occupation, sports, objects i.e. cars, boats, women, money (logic/head).   

It’s not about who is right or wrong, with this way of being and relating. It is the way the genders are wired and conditioned to be in the world, and relate to each other.

It’s not about needing the other person to think, feel and be how I am. This is control and creates a love relationship that is conditional.

It’s about seeking to understand the other person as best I can, learning to accept this difference. Being willing to learn how best to relate and interact with this difference. This is unconditional love. 

A part of you, wants your partner or friend to be like you are. However, life is about contrast, in order to know one, we need to experience its opposite. That’s why we have male and female, light and dark, sorrow and joy.  Neither is really right or wrong it just is “the nature of things.”

It’s about accepting and honoring our differences, and working with them.

Gentlemen, out of love seek to understand, step out of your comfort zone. Take time and effort to connect more with your partner’s feelings and her deeper emotions, even if it doesn’t seem natural or logical to you. Connect your heart to her heart.

Ladies, out of love, get into your man’s world, honor his thoughts and work at seeing his logic as best you can, even if it doesn’t make sense or seem natural to you.       Don’t wait for your partner to make the first move. Authentic love, asks us to take the initiative, to seek to understand the other. If you both work at seeking to understand the other, you find the common ground within the differences.

Unconditional Love seeks the common ground, to accept, honor, and learn to interact within the differences, and enhance the similarities.  

What are your thoughts or feelings on these gender differences?  Feel free to comment below.

 

Are you struggling with understanding and working gender differences? David Schroeder, can help you reclaim the love and goodness you are. If you would like assistance with reclaiming this love and goodness David is here to assist you with his life transition coaching and counseling sessions. He offers in-person, by phone or Skype sessions. 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 love yourself again.

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: transitionpathways.com or JustBeLove  Also available through online bookstores: amazon.com , barnesandnoble.com

The Healing Power of Laughter

Over the years, working with people with emotional struggles and resistance to life changes; I’ve come to appreciate, two of the biggest barriers to happiness are: fear of foolishness & taking oneself too seriously.

Life is a serious adventure, yet the key is to take one self lightly within it. 

When you were growing up, did you ever find something funny and you started to giggle or laugh. Than a parent, grandparent, or a teacher said… Don’t laugh, that’s not funny? Yet, deep down inside you, your funny bone was tickled.

Many people learned growing up, that in order to be mature, you have to be serious. That if you are having fun, you are not being good and you are not doing your job.  We get conditioned to shut down our imagination and our childlike self.

Childlike vs. Childish:

We learned to shut down the part of us that is unconditional, accepting, spontaneous, playful and curious. Creative, patient, flexible, fearless, adventurous and joyful. The result, we become more fearful, doubtful, more controlling and rigid in mind and body.

We give up the childlike innocence and wonder, and as a result, we develop more childish behaviors being: conditional, inpatient, and controlling, demanding, whinny, selfish and unhappy. Or maybe we’ve become timid, doubtful, fearful, and anxious to take risk and step out of our comfort zone.

We learned being vulnerable is risky and painful. You will be judged as wrong and not enough. So you take both life and yourself too seriously, creating increase stress, wear and tear on your body, mind and spirit. 

Life is already full of stress, with our fast paced society, being full of expectations, judgment, the need for instant gratification, the overloaded of information, and obsession/addiction to technology and social media.

Research says that 90% of office visits to primary care doctors today are for stress related problems. Some researcher’s concluded that due our fast pace and information society, that we experience more stress (fight or flight response in different ways) in one year, than our ancestors did in an entire lifetime.

Many people hold their stress in by avoiding, resisting or being critical of self and/or others. This creates toxins in the body and creates distortions in thinking, belief and behaviors, which leads to dis-ease in body and/or mind.

There are only two times during the day that I’m under stress… day and night. Yes, the stress and pressures of life are increasing and getting more intense. The key is too not lose ourselves in it, and not take ourselves too seriously within it.  

The most frequently asked question on earth is. “Where’s the bathroom?” The   most disappointing question we ask when we pass on to the afterlife is … “Why did I take life and myself so seriously?”

Do you know why angles can fly?  They take themselves lightly.

The word humor means to be fluid, to flow.

A child laughs around 300 times a day; many adults laugh only a handful of times a day.

How laughter helps the Mind – Body:

If you laugh 100 times a day, that’s equal to 10 minutes on a rowing machine. Laughter is a wonderful physical and aerobic workout.

When you frown you use 62 muscles just in your face alone. When you smile and laugh you’re only using  24 facial muscles. Point is, it takes more energy and effort to be unhappy than happy. 

Laughter releases a brain chemical called endorphin’s, which is our natural feel good chemical. 

We have cells in our body called T-Cells, that is connected to our immune system. One of the ways this cell is ignited is by laughter, so laughter and joy helps boost our immune system.

In terms of relaxing and re-framing thoughts, a 10 minute laugh is equal to 30 minutes of meditation.

Laughter is a form of mindfulness, it brings you to the present moment. Life and love are experienced in the present.

We need at least 12 laughs and 5 hugs daily to stay healthy.

Both laughter and crying are innate healing tools, and forms of healthy emotional expression and release through the physical body. We laugh so hard we start to cry, and we cry so hard we begin to laugh. One emotion naturally leads to the other.

Think of laughter as your internal Tranquilizer with no side effects.

In our humanness, we have embarrassing moments; we do foolish things, make mistakes and wrong decisions. The key is to do them with enthusiasm. I believe in the positive power of insanity, it’s the only thing that keeps me sane. There are no mistakes… only opportunities for learning and growth.

We all have embarrassing moments, and when you share your embarrassing moment with others, many can often relate to having a similar embarrassing experience as well. You are really not alone in that embarrassment; it just seemed that way at the time.

The loneliness factor is becoming a major illness throughout the world. We can communicate and connect with people easier and faster than ever; yet, because some people can be so judgmental, critical and demanding, we avoid interactions.

Many of us become more isolated to protect or insulate ourselves from the judgment. Others can become verbally or physically aggressive, as a way to protect and defend themselves. Either extreme on this continuum leads to the perception of being judged misunderstood, so we become lonely and unhappy.

Laughter is a great way to connect with people. For humor and laughter, helps break down barriers and builds rapport. Laughter is contagious; when we start laughing people around us often start laughing with us. 

It’s not about using humor and laughter at the expense of someone. The true and divine intent of humor and laughter is to relax us, connect us and help us relate to each other. It’s a way to honor the similarities of each other, and accept our differences.

Humor and laughter helps us put life situations into perspective, to view difficult circumstances in a different light and way. When you change your thoughts and perspective, you change your world. 

Dr. Bruce Lipton said: “The moment you change your perception, is the moment you change the chemistry in your body.”

People often ask me. Does the divine creator have a sense of humor? I say, “oh yes, it loves to laugh and play, the divine has a wondrous playground that the earth is a part of, it’s called the universe.”

In scripture Jesus said: if you want to enter the kingdom be as a child.

What’s love and laughter got to do with healing?

Laughter and being childlike are expressions of love to the self and others. They promote constructive problem-solving and positive ways toward reconciliation and healing. Being childlike, takes you out of the resentment or victim role; moving you toward a healthier and joyful way of living and being.

 

Feel free to leave a comment below.

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. My practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. My book Just Be Love is available through my websites: transitionpathways.com  or  justbelove1.com Also available through online bookstores: amazon.com , barnesandnoble.com

 

 

A Valentine’s Day Message

So another Valentine’s Day is upon us. Like Christmas, many scramble to find the perfect gift for their beloved, to show their love and how much they care. Love is a beautiful thing. The expression of unconditional love and acceptance is a gift beyond measure. As I express in my book Just Be Love, I define divine love as the unconditional love and acceptance of the spirit of all that exist. In the spirit of us, the soul essence of us is expressing itself in human form. The divine loves and accepts this spirit/soul in whatever form or formless state it may express itself. The ultimate of love, I’ve come to appreciate is freedom. The divine’s love is freedom, that’s why as human’s we have this gift called, free will. Whatever name you give the divine, call it God, Buddha Allah, Kristina, Jesus, Mohammad, etc. the name is not the point. The point and the message is clear, no matter the religion, culture, gender, belief or language of each of us. This power greater than ourselves freely loves to love. Divine love is always present and present in all ways.  

Whether you are in relationship with another person or not this Valentines’s Day, it need not matter. However, societies and ourselves in it, can make it matter, to the point of much unhappiness, even despair. This is a great error, similar to the error of attachment to our self-created story, as if it were life itself. What does matter is the relationship you have with yourself, and with the universal source of love and goodness. This love is always present, even when we don’t feel its presence and/or we deny its existence. This love is not defined by human struggle nor by our beliefs about life.  For the energy of divine love is existence. Without it, nothing else would exist, including you and I. 

So Just Be Love this Valentine’s Day. Give yourself permission and the opportunity to freely love to love. I ask: Can you be your own valentine today and to all you meet this day and everyday? For love is all we are, and what we truly seek to return to.