happiness

Class Highlight: Self Help Spells…or not

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The Popularity of Self-help type spells and why they do or don’t work with Rev. HPS Sarah Livermore

Spells for courage, happiness, love, and overcoming a variety of psychological issues are popular and available in books, on the internet, and in every new age shop on the planet. They make up one of the many forms of self-help out there in the pop psychology universe. How do they really work and why do they often fail? A guide to self-help spells and rituals. 

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The Popularity of Self-help spells with Rev. HPS Sarah Livermore

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The Popularity of Self-help type spells, and why they do or don’t work with Rev. HPS Sarah Livermore

Spells for courage, happiness, love, and overcoming a variety of psychological issues are popular and available in books, on the internet, and in every new age shop on the planet. They make up one of the many forms of self-help out there in the pop psychology universe. How do they really work and why do they often fail? A guide to self-help spells and rituals.

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Your Natural State is Joy

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I love this image. The joy this baby is displaying is based on the total faith that it will be caught. If we have faith that things will be good, we will be happy. If we spend our time anticipating how we may be about to get hurt, even if we aren’t hurting, we can’t be happy.

If we are hurting, we should try to fix whatever is happening. So many times our physical discomfort comes from spiritual pain that we manifest through our bodies. This is why remedies from Reiki to Bach Flower Remedies address the spiritual roots of disease rather than the physical symptoms.

I read about a study of cancer patients who had achieved total remission- more than 5 years and their cancer didn’t return. The researchers were hoping to find “the best” treatment. But there was no pattern- they’d tried everything from surgery, chemo, and radiation, to visualization, organic diets, to coffee enemas. The researchers were confused and looked farther. They HAD to find out what they had in common. When they did it was that each survivor had looked at their life and changed how they were living. They’d gotten divorces, changed jobs, and gotten away from things that were making them miserable. Disease seems to be simply a way to prod you to pay attention and be aware of what you are doing to yourself in your life. Once your life is worth living, you can apparently use anything to treat the physical symptoms.
So consider the things that make you sad and try to find a way to empower yourself to change them, but more importantly think about the things that make you happy, and see how much you can increase those things in your life. It sounds like so much pop-psychology, but even if it’s wrong, you’ll be happier, so who the heck cares?

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Consensual reality

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“A long time ago a bunch of people reached a general consensus as to what’s real and what’s not and most of us have been going along with it ever since.”
Charles de Lint

The world as we experience it is a group project. The way each of us sees things includes a major filter. But how others see the world is also powerful.

Children have the world explained to them by the close adults when they are very young. They have an experience, and Mother or some other adult is there to explain things. “Don’t go in the street or you’ll be hit by a car.” “If you use a knife you’ll cut yourself.” This is easily reinforced with an occasional experience where the explanation is why something happened. “Fluffy died because she got old.” or “Santa didn’t bring the poor kids any toys because they didn’t eat their vegetables.” (when she’s been pushing the vegetable thing).

We get a bit older and we start getting explanations from other kids, some of which they came up with on their own, like the famous bits where Lucy tells Linus that snow doesn’t fall, it grows, the snow in the air is just blown around. Kids get many strange ideas  based on limited experiences. Religion is a way of explaining how the world works- you get that from family and at Sunday school. Get a little older, and in school teachers are offering their world view- rules and reality now become more arbitrary: “Your name goes in the top left corner of the paper” “George Washington never told a lie.” Somewhere along the line, especially if these various stories conflict, you realize that sometimes the kids (or uncles) are making things up just to see if you’ll believe them. You learn that some people just have different explanations for how things work; for the first time, you have to decide who you’re going to believe. Dad says that dreams are just made up stories your brain has, and Grandma says that they can be messages from the angels. You see a ghost and mom says you imagined it.

The decision on whether you believe what you experienced yourself, or whether you’ll accept someone else’s explanation is huge. You learn that if you try to argue about it, or even mention other ways of looking at some questions, someone may get cross with you. You learn to keep some of these to yourself. We call this growing up. “Going along” certainly makes your life easier, but sometimes uncomfortable.

One of the big things they teach kids in kindergarten is how to work together, to “play nicely”, to follow directions. In some schools, questions are encouraged, in others, they are discouraged, but it’s always easier to get a group of kids to do the same thing if you make it worth their while to go along. Some people learn that it’s so much easier to just do what their told, that they get in the habit of accepting whatever seems to be the dominant idea, or the idea of the person with the greatest power, and get on with their lives without asking questions.

 

Other people, like the “curious cat”, seem incapable of just taking someone else’s word for something. We all know people like that. We may BE people like that. It seems to be inborn, more than taught. It still comes down to trying to figure out how the world works, why things happen one way sometimes, and another way in another set of circumstances.  One could say that there are “cat people”, who MUST find things out for themselves, and there are “dog people”, who’s greatest comfort and joy is going along with what the others around them are doing. No matter which is the source of your joy, accept it, because it’s yours. Both have their advantages, and they are built in- it would be hard to change them anyway.

We’ve seen how people will hold onto faith in their own worldview even in the face of “proof” that convinces others. We seek out explanations, whether in science or in religion or in posts on social media that support our world view.

Having your view of reality challenged is really uncomfortable for most people. You may have heard the story of how the indigenous people of the Americans had no concept of large sailing ships, so they “couldn’t see them”, or how if your language doesn’t have a word for a concept, it’s hard for you to wrap your mind around it. We need certain tools, like words, to provide handles to grasp ideas.

But we can learn to change our ideas. Some people encourage us to do so, to do things that scare us, to entertain thoughts that make us uncomfortable. While sometimes we get past the discomfort and discover that we now live in a bigger, more varied world, the process is still uncomfortable. This is not something you do to someone else, although you can help make it less uncomfortable, and show them that the other side is safe. That their world will still be a good place, that the good things they had in it will still be there, but there will be more to enjoy. But the choice to expand into the new mental space is theirs. Help them, ease their way, or they will resist the changes and find greater evidence that the new information is WRONG.

It is natural for us to have similar views of the world, and comfortable, but the reality we share can be viewed from many perspectives, and learning to see things from the other point of view brings our reality into synch with that of others. We don’t have to play the same notes, but it’s less jarring to be in harmony. And if you have seen a ghost, is it easier to convince yourself you haven’t or simply not try to convince who don’t believe? If they see one themselves some day, maybe that’s soon enough.

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Choose Joy EVERY day.

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It’s supposed to be easy. It’s natural to be happy. It’s also natural to be healthy. But sometimes there are environmental problems that make it a bit harder.

Pain is your friend- it tells you when you need to pay attention to a problem: Hey, your body tells you: This is too hot! You stepped on something sharp! You shouldn’t eat this again! Direct extra healing energy to this spot! But because, like any alarm, it is designed to get your attention, it can drown out other things, the good things that make you happy. You shouldn’t ignore the pain- it’s a valuable message (although a headache is not your body’s signal that your blood level of asperin is too low, usually you’re dehydrated, or have had to little sleep, too much stress, or something else). Emotional pain may be telling you to change jobs, or fix your relationships. At the same time, when you’ve dealt with the problem, don’t go looking for more problems.

Energy flows where attention goes.

Do something that soothes you, that comforts you, that makes you happy. This will build up you immune system and reduce your pain. You can’t just wait for it, you have to move toward the positive. Make it a habit. You may not be able to recapture your lost youth and enjoy spinning until you fall down when you are in your 80s, but you can still blow bubbles, and giggle, and do other things you enjoyed when you were younger. You do have the time. You don’t have the time to waste just concentrating on negative stuff. Every night before you go to sleep, think of something that would give you pleasure to do the next day, and do it.

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