Self-Concept

self-concept

If you want to predict how successful a person will be in life, unscrew the top of their head and pull out their self-concept.  What we think about ourselves can be the platform that launches us, or the ceiling that limits us.

Some of us have been taught that self-criticism is the way to eliminate our flaws.  We cherry pick those traits that are deemed negative and focus on them.  If we do this without compassion and forgiveness, we create a biased view that becomes a limitation.  Overly focusing on the need for improvement can tip the scales of self-concept and create negative self-talk, the basis of anxiety and depression.

This doesn’t mean we are in La-La Land not noticing those areas that need nurturing and growth, but we see them with equanimity, meaning from a peaceful center.  We can also balance our need for growth with appreciation for that which is glorious and whole about us.

What’s going on in your thought process?  Are you overly self-critical?  Are you overly critical of others? (By the way, being overly critical of others is a projection of your own self-esteem!)

Compassion, balance and gratitude.  A great formula to raise the ceiling.

With love, Rosanne

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When no one is watching…

choose your life

 I’m teaching a course (Human Relations) in which a central theme is what motivates us.  Kids are taught (if they’re lucky) by parents who hold values and reward or punish their kids accordingly.  If we mature, we learn to internalize our values, and we don’t need external responses to validate them.

Are we performing for an audience over a lifetime?  With empathy, we are concerned about our effects on others, but being a people pleaser places our fate in the hands of others.  If you haven’t noticed, most people are operating on their own agendas, so pleasing people without consciousness can get us lost.

 All the current material about mindfulness and consciousness… What it means is living intentionally, with clear values and purpose.  This shows itself in what we do when no one is watching, when we’re getting no credit or blame for our actions. 

A thoughtful examination of what drives our choices, and a mindful reflection on the impact of those choices, keeps us on a meaningful path. 

With love, Rosanne

E Pluribus Unum

Magical Spiritual Woodland Energy - rainbow colored woodland sce

The literal interpretation of “E Pluribus Unum” is one out of many.  Politically and personally we need to understand that the concept of oneness outweighs diversity.  Not accidentally, this is a driving concept in Nature and spiritual life as well.

The higher we evolve, the more oneness we experience with each other, with Nature and with the natural order of Life unfolding.  A sense of separation from each other and from Nature mirrors our separation from an overriding Truth: that the degree of our separation from oneness causes suffering.

“Us versus them” is alive and well in America.  “Me first” at a cost to others fuels violence generation after generation.  There are Syrian immigrants in the deserts of the Middle East one hundred years after my Armenian relatives suffered the same fate in the same region.

All the colors of the rainbow originate in white light.  When that light hits a crystal, it fragments into a diverse rainbow.  Focusing on the differences in hue is interesting, but the origin of that diversity is white light.  Nature knows what humans forget.  I hope this blog is a small reminder…

With love,

Rosanne

Ancient Oils

oils of the ancient scripture

The origins of myrrh and frankincense are traced to the Arabian Peninsula.

According to Herodotus (5th century BC): “Arabia is the only country which produces frankincense, myrrh, cassia and cinnamon…the trees bearing the frankincense are guarded by winged serpents of small size and various colors.”

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Myrrh is a resin, or sap-like substance, that comes from a tree called Commiphora myrrha, common in Africa or the Middle East. Myrrh is botanically related to Frankincense, and is one of the most widely used essential oils in the world. The myrrh tree is distinctive due to its white flowers and knotted trunk.

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Sandalwood oil is extracted from the woods for use. Sandalwood is the second most expensive wood in the world, right after African Blackwood. Both the wood and the oil produce a distinctive fragrance that has been highly valued for centuries.

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Onycha, spoken of in Exodus 30:34, was one of the ingredients of the sacred perfume. It consists of the shells of several kinds of mussels, which when burned emit a strong odor.

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Being Loved. Being Love.

Love Stories

Being loved is what we live for, and we recruit all sorts of scenarios to accomplish the precious feeling.  If we haven’t felt deserving, we both long for being loved and get in the way of it happening.

Rather than being loved, it works much better to “be love.”  What I mean is that, we humans are scuffling around trying to access love from each other, when being an instrument of love’s expression is the way to go.  Love doesn’t come from us, it comes through us.

If I AM love, I only look for ways to express it in the world.  Those ways are constantly emerging, but we miss the opportunities because we’re looking for validation of worth from each other.  Here is the bottom line:  We are already valid because we are love’s expression!

Once we accept this, we express it every chance we get.  We offer an open heart, compassion and gratitude.  This is much more appealing than a sense of lack and “what can you do for ME” mentality.  In fact, when others feel that we are giving rather than asking, channeling in Universal Love, they gravitate toward it.  We become the conduit through which others can experience it.

This sort of love may or may not appear as personal love.  Personal love appears as romantic relationships and family and looks like it’s about ME.  In fact, it’s a particular canvass upon which Universal Love is expressed.  It’s never about your or me as an individual, although it appears that it is.

Love is expressed moment to moment and subtly guides our decisions. When we are aligned with that beam, attuned to it, the music that plays through us is light hearted and joyful.  We aren’t on a hunt for something in the world to complete us.  We are already complete.

I had someone recently say “but I’m not Jesus or Ghandi!”  To that I answered, why not?

With love,

Rosanne.

Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of (E)motion

Newton's cradle

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction… Or simply said from the psychological perspective “You cannot touch without being touched!”

Back in the day my brother, five years older than I, took the physical science road and became a physics teacher, while I took the life science road and became a biology teacher.  It seemed like we were on opposites sides of the road.

As time passed, I moved from my biology platform into psychology, but still teaching in my own ways, both in practice and in college.  Last week, my brother shared Newton’s Third Law…”You cannot touch without being touched,” and I realized the more things appear different, the more they are the same.

When we touch another person’s life, we are touched in return.  Precious are these interactions and not to be taken lightly.  Vital is conscious awareness as to how our “touch” of another rebounds and has effect on ourselves.

I recently completed teaching a trimester in both Intro to Psychology and Human Relations at Berkeley College.  I realized, in our last class, that I had touched my students and they had deeply touched me. Every moment of interaction has its impact, a Universal impact. The laws of science and of interpersonal relations are one.

We humans move through life often semi-conscious and seeing things solely from our point of view. The ability to empathize, embrace the position of another person is our willingness to be touched.  The perception of isolation and individuality is a limitation, just as the idea that the laws of science don’t apply to all things.

So I’m glad I’ve lived long enough to see separation become connection. Thank you to my brother for his wisdom…

With love, Rosanne

Appearances

sign spiritual walk at the wall

There was a time in my life that “if it felt good, it WAS good, and if it felt bad, it WAS bad.”  I guess I was living like a member of another species!

What I’ve learned over time is what feels bad is sometimes good, and what feels good is sometimes bad.  This puts a whole new spin on things.  Now I have to discern what’s actually happening, regardless of how it feels.

This is probably what Pema Chodron, the great Buddhist nun, means when she says “lean into the sharp object.”  It’s counterintuitive to accept pain as part of life.  We spend a lot of energy trying to avoid it through various addictions and distractions. We desperately hope that something outside ourselves will save us from pain.  The truth… Nothing saves us from pain.  Our only choice is to get through it quickly through acceptance, or slowly through obfuscation and suffering.  The latter strategy results in blaming others and Life itself for our pain.

 The grace of acceptance looks like giving up, but it is actually the Path of the Spiritual Warrior.  There are times to fight, but they are much rarer than we think.  If we fight to avoid pain, it will accumulate and will be waiting around the corner in another form.

As I’ve come to this realization I can breathe.  I don’t feel like a cornered animal living on adrenalin.  I don’t think anyone is making a stained glass window in my image any time soon!  I’m just grateful to embrace a truth that lets me rest.

 With love, Rosanne