Posts tagged with ‘sarah maria’

11 may

Healthy Thinking: Using Your Mind to Help Heal Body, Heart and Soul

You probably know what it takes to live a healthy life, right? Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, take vitamins – maybe add in some fish oil for cardiovascular health. Make sure you get enough protein, carbohydrates, and lean fats. Fortunately for many, healthy eating and exercise have become more and more a way of life. You know the list of do’s and don’ts to keep your body strong and fit.

What is less well known is how your thoughts influence your physical, emotional, and even spiritual health. Your mind is an extremely powerful instrument that can be either a friend or foe. For most, left to its own devices, the mind is a foe, and can lead to pain, difficulty, and suffering. With a little bit of effort and awareness, however, the mind can become a friend. As a friend, your mind can be used as a powerful asset to help promote your health and well-being on all levels.

Understanding Your Mind – Friend or Foe

Is your mind your friend or your foe? If you are like most, your mind bombards you with concerns, worry, anxiety, negative self-talk and a barrage of other nonsense.

Your mind may harass you about being good enough or healthy enough. It might critique you for making “poor” decisions. Are you being a good enough mother to your children? Are you a loving enough partner? Are you taking good enough care of your physical body?

And then let’s not forget gnawing concerns about physical appearance. The mind may lament: “I have too many wrinkles.” “How did my butt get so big?” “What should I do about these sun spots?”

Does this list sound at all familiar? You can probably write your own – your unique “flavor” of negative mental messages. These messages range from annoying to downright tyrannical. They are tyrannical because they control your life.

What kind of life can you live when your mind harasses you constantly with these types of concerns and worries?

It is my contention that true health is impossible when you live with a tyrannical mind. And most people do. You can eat all the right foods, do all the right exercises, take all the best supplements, and have a wonderful mix of alternative and conventional medical care. Yet if you are a slave to your thoughts, believing every mental message that the mind produces, how can you be truly healthy?

The mind-body connection is by now well-known and documented throughout the scientific literature. If your mind is producing stress, anxiety, and insecurity, whether that is through making you believe that you are not quite good enough the way you are, or that something is wrong with you, or making you worry and stress about situations over which you have no control, this mental turbulence has a very real impact on your physical health and well-being.

The tragedy is that most people live enslaved by their minds – their thoughts, beliefs, mental patterns and emotions. The triumph is that with a little awareness and effort, you can begin to free yourself from the tyranny of your mind and move toward true health and well-being.

Freeing the Mind – Breaking Free from the Thoughts and Beliefs that Confine You

So, how do you break free from this ceaseless and controlling mind-chatter?

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take that will help you find freedom from a controlling, and even debilitating mind.

Step #1: Become aware of the thoughts that you think

Before you can break free from your negative thoughts, ideas, and beliefs about yourself, your body, and your life, you must first become aware of the thoughts that you think on a regular basis.

What thoughts and beliefs are being generated in your mind? Everyone has thoughts, messages, “tapes” if you will, that run through the mind. Without awareness, these thoughts control you and dictate your life. Yet as you become aware of the thoughts you think on a regular basis, you can gradually begin to loosen the control they have over your life.

There is no practice more important or more impactful in breaking free from the thoughts that control you than the practice of meditation. Over time, a regular meditation practice makes you more aware of the thoughts that are being generated by your mind. With meditation, you discover that you are not the thoughts you think. You are not the messages and voices inside your head. Over time, meditation will gradually help lessen the grip and hold that your thoughts have over your life. The amazing thing about meditation is that simply by practicing meditation, you will become more aware of the thoughts you think on a regular basis.

Step #2: Recognize that they are false

Before you become aware of your thoughts, they control you absolutely. As you become aware of them, you can begin to notice that they control you. You can begin to notice how they control you. The next step in breaking free from them is recognizing that they are false. You have to realize that they are simply messages, usually learned in early childhood, and they are false. They are not about you and should not be allowed to control your life.

Step#3: Refuse to believe them

The next step is refusing to believe them. As you begin to see more clearly that these false messages run through your mind, you can make a decision to not believe them. You can recognize that they are false – false messages running through your mind. As such, they should not be listened to and should be ignored.

It is like music running in the background. You can carry about your business, go about your life, and ignore the negative thoughts and beliefs. Disregard them, don’t listen to them – completely ignore them. As you practice this, gradually over time they will lessen and recede more and more.

In this way, you can use your awareness to free yourself from the negative thoughts that you think.

As the mind becomes free from these negative messages and beliefs, it can be used as an ally to promote health. When you are listening to the negative thoughts and beliefs that run through your mind, it promotes dis-ease. As you become free from these voices, the energy of your mind is elevated to help you move toward true wellbeing.

SarahMariaSarah Maria, author of Love Your Body, Love Your Life, outlines her 5-step process for helping you feel great in and about your body. Her work embraces the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, for true, lasting healing. Visit BreakFreeBeauty.com to learn more.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Sarah Maria on May 11th, 2011 in Health | No comments Read related posts in , , , , ,

20 apr

What Your Body Tells You: Objective Feedback vs. Critical Condemnation

SarahMariaCan you tell the difference between the objective feedback your body offers versus the critical condemnation of your mind?

Your body’s objective feedback can help you make lifestyle choices that promote your health and well-being, whereas the critical condemnation of your mind creates nothing but suffering.

Our bodies are incredible messengers, powerful gifts on the journey through life. We can use the constant feedback that our bodies give us to help us make changes and adaptations to promote our health. If we listen to the criticism of our minds, however, it will sabotage us. The negative mental messages can eclipse the body’s natural intelligence and feedback, which will prevent us from making the healthy choices we want to make.

The mind opines, while the body illuminates. The mind makes you mistakenly believe that your body means something about who you are as a person, your self-worth and your value. It levels judgment and criticism. It makes you believe that you are somehow not good enough, that something is wrong with you and your body.

Here are some examples to elucidate the point:

Objective Feedback vs. Critical Condemnation

“I am holding weight in my abdomen – I can tell I have been under a lot of stress.”
versus “My stomach is flabby and disgusting – I am out of shape and need to do more sit-ups.”

“I haven’t been able to exercise recently and can tell that my legs are weak.”
versus “My cellulite is disgusting and I cringe when I look in the mirror.”

“I notice that when I eat sugar regularly it leads to weight gain and is addictive.”
versus “Why can’t I control myself? I am so weak.”

“I can tell that my arms are becoming weak – it would be good for me to increase my upper-body strength.”
versus “My arms are flabby, weak, and I don’t even want to look at them.”

“It has been too long without a haircut.”
versus “My hair is flat, dull, and disgusting.”

The key is to use your body for valuable, useful feedback, and to disregard the worthless messages of criticism that come from mental conditioning.

Critical condemnation is when you use your body and appearance to:

* Determine your self-worth

* Use it as a reflection of your “success” or “failure”

* Use it as a reflection of your “strength” or “weakness”

* Use it as a reflection of being “good” or “bad”

Here are three helpful steps to help you use your body’s messages for objective feedback, while dropping the mind’s critical condemnation:

1. Become increasingly aware of the difference between the body’s messages and the mind’s messages

2. Separate the “wheat” from the “chaff” – use the objective feedback and drop the self-judgment, criticism, and condemnation

3. Make lifestyle choices based on the feedback, not the condemnation

A key tool to help you learn to differentiate between your body’s messages and your mind’s messages is meditation.

A regular meditation practice is essential to help you break free from the critical mind-chatter that can sabotage your best intentions.

Sarah Maria, author of Love Your Body, Love Your Life, outlines her 5-step process for helping you feel great in and about your body. Her work embraces the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, for true, lasting healing. Visit BreakFreeBeauty.com to learn more.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Sarah Maria on April 20th, 2011 in Health | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

30 jan

Self-confidence from the Self

SarahMariaIn my experience, there is only one real way to increase your self-confidence, and that is through Self-confidence. Self-confidence, with a capital “S”, comes from focusing on the Self, your true Self, your actual Self. Self confidence with a small “s” comes from looking for stability, safety, and security, in that which is inherently unstable, transitory, and fleeting, which is never ultimately effective. Let me explain…

A lack of self-confidence, or low self-esteem, comes from the ideas, beliefs, attitudes, etc. that say you are not quite enough the way you are, that something is lacking. Perhaps you think your body is not thin enough, strong, enough, or healthy enough. Maybe you think you are not smart enough, not fast enough, not loving enough. Maybe you think you are too selfish, or too giving. No matter what your particular story line, no matter what your particular perspective, you think and believe that something is wrong with you, that you are somehow flawed and lacking in some way.

This belief-system, this set of assumptions, is the result of your conditioning and is simply not true.

You can spend your whole life working to build your self-confidence by changing certain things about yourself. And it can feel like it is working, like you have improved your self-confidence.

The problem is that anything, absolutely anything, that you perceive of as an object is transitory and fleeting. So you can improve your health, increase your income, experience beautiful relationships, but all of this is subject to change, and when it does, it can undermine the sense of confidence that you worked so hard to achieve. So consider instead shifting your focus entirely. Shift your focus from the ever-changing person of your imagination, to the Self which is immutable and never-changing. This is the Source of true Self-confidence.

The fact of the matter is that who you are, or rather what you are, is already, has always been, and will always be perfect. Who you are is the eternal Self, the Source of all reality. You cannot not be perfect. Yet in order to see this, you need to continuously shift your reference point. You need to fastidiously shift your focus away from the fleeting and temporary “person” that you think yourself to be and shift it toward that which is eternally perfect.

Instead of constantly looking for ways to improve yourself, give up the idea that you need improvement. Instead of spending your whole life attempting to perfect your “person”, discover that you not a person in need of perfection. Who you are is already perfect.

Life then becomes a practice of letting go of all the false ideas and beliefs that you carry around with you. Just like an overweight suitcase, these false assumptions drain you of your energy, vitality, and beauty. They eclipse the experience of your perfection.

So if you are interested in true Self-confidence, consider this as a practice:

1. Accept the premise that who you are, exactly as you are, is already perfect.

2. Become aware of every thought, idea, belief, behavior, feeling, and perception that runs contrary, that tells you somehow you are not quite good enough.

3. Practice letting go of those perceptions. Let them go, one-by-one, staying focused always on that which is eternal and unchanging.

When you realize that what you are is already perfect, all questions of self-confidence disappear of their own accord and you are left with the ultimate Self-confidence.

Sarah Maria, author of Love Your Body, Love Your Life, outlines her 5-step process for helping you feel great in and about your body. Her work embraces the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, for true, lasting healing. Purchase your copy, begin to love your body today. Visit: SarahMaria.com, BreakFreeBeauty.com.

Posted by Sarah Maria on January 30th, 2010 in Uncategorized | 2 comments Read related posts in , , , , ,

20 jan

Live the Mystery

How willing are you to live in the mystery? How willing are you to live the mystery? Or another way to ask this question is how willing are you to allow the mystery to live you?

You see, you live in mystery. Or, better said, you are a living mystery.
Very few people are ready and willing to accept this mystery. The mind wants to figure the mystery out, seeking to grasp and hold onto the mystery. The mind asks:

• What about this?
• How do I?
• But what if?
• How does it work?
• What will happen when?

And there is nothing wrong with these questions. Yet the deepest longing of your heart and soul, the deep yearning for truth, cannot be grasped and understood – it can only be experienced.

I heard a story once that a great scientist (I think Einstein) said: “God doesn’t play dice with the universe”. With the advent of quantum physics, another leading scientist reveled: “God not only plays dice, but he throws the dice where no one can find them.”

This is simply a way of saying that we are part of a mystery that cannot be explained, that cannot be understood, that cannot be grasped. But it can be experienced. The mystery can be revealed; you can literally experience a revelation; you can experience the revelation of the mystery.

In my experience, the fastest way to experience this mystery, to live this mystery, is through the heart. When you live from the heart, you transcend the mind. For many people, the mind serves as a barrier to the experience of truth. Not because the mind is bad, not because the mind is wrong, but simply because the mind has been conditioned, trained, away from truth. The mind has been conditioned to have all sort of beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and assumptions. And none of these beliefs can show you the mystery of reality, the mystery of life, because this mystery can only be experienced directly. It can be experienced not through thinking, feeling, or doing, but rather through surrendering.

It is natural, almost inevitable, to be afraid of living the mystery because living the mystery means seeing that you are not in control. For those of us who like to think we control life, or at the very least control ourselves, surrendering to the mystery can seem daunting, overwhelming, even unbearable.

Yet the truth of the matter remains – we are part and parcel of an incredible mystery. And we do not control the mystery. It is when you are willing to surrender to this mystery we call life that true beauty can begin to reveal itself.

So take some time this week to reside in the heart. Reside in your heart and see if you can let the mystery guide you to an experience of your exquisite nature.

Sarah Maria, author of Love Your Body, Love Your Life, outlines her five-step process for helping you feel great in and about your body. Her work embraces the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, for true, lasting healing. Purchase your copy and begin to love your body today. Visit www.sarahmaria.com and www.breakfreebeauty.com.

Posted by Sarah Maria on January 20th, 2010 in Uncategorized | 1 comment Read related posts in , ,

06 jan

How to Listen to Your Heart

HeartFor me, 2010 will be the year of the heart.

In the West, most people think of the mind as being the source of insight, wisdom, knowledge and guidance. People think that the mind is where they will find the answers to life’s most important questions; it is where they think they will discover how to live. And yet for most people the mind is the seat of ignorance, confusion, and difficulty.

In other traditions, and in my own experience, the heart is the true seat of wisdom and knowledge. The mind get confused; the heart loves. The mind questions; the heart knows. The mind worries; the heart relaxes.

Now don’t get me wrong – the mind can be a very useful tool. When kept in its proper role, it is an incredible asset. But it should remain a servant, not a master.

As you learn to focus on your heart instead of on your mind, you will discover a whole new way of being in the world. You will be able to tap into wisdom, insight, and guidance that you never before imagined.

So consider this as a start for 2010: turn your attention to your heart; connect with the feeling of love, and share your love and gratitude. Are there people in your life who evoke a feeling of love? Did you experience blessings in 2009 that evoke a feeling of gratitude? Focus on these people or these blessings. Let them evoke the feelings of love and gratitude, and let these feelings pour out from you and gently guide your life.

Now one thing about this practice, and about following the path of the heart more generally: I am not promising that it might not be messy. Hearts can be broken. You can share your love and gratitude and have it rejected, and that hurts. You can give everything you have, offer all the love you can, and still feel hurt, betrayed, abandoned, unloved. There might be bumps, bruises, cuts, and scratches as you offer your tender heart.

But in my experience these pains and these hurts are never the end – they aren’t the final say. They don’t have the final word. The more you love, the more you give, the purer your heart becomes. Now this does not mean deplete yourself, abandon yourself, or deny yourself. Quite the contrary: it means love yourself completely; give yourself everything, and let this love become your life.

Always start by offering yourself love first. When you truly love yourself, you love others. For when you know how to love yourself, your heart becomes full. And your love begins to flower – it begins to bloom. You can begin to offer it, without regard for whether it gets returned or not. Your love might be returned; it might be reflected back to you. It might be rejected and denied because of someone else’s closed heart. But it does not matter. None of that matters. Because the love lives you; the love gives you. Your life becomes an expression of love and is complete in-and-of itself.

And the more this love flowers from within, the more beautiful the world becomes. Unexpected blessings flow into your life; grace finds you and begins to penetrate your being.

So in 2010, let your love flower. Love is not another item on your to-do list. Simply let it flower. Let it grow within your heart and radiate outward. And from this place of fullness, offer love to yourself, offer love to others, offer love to the Divine. Let your entire life become an expression of love and gratitude, for this life is truly an exquisite gift to be both given and received.

Wishing you a year filled with peace, love, and beauty always.

SarahMariaSarah Maria, author of Love Your Body, Love Your Life, outlines her 5-step process for helping you feel great in and about your body. Her work embraces the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, for true, lasting healing. Purchase your copy. Begin to love your body today. Visit www.sarahmaria.com and www.breakfreebeauty.com.

Posted by Sarah Maria on January 6th, 2010 in Uncategorized | 1 comment Read related posts in , , , ,