Day 6 & 7: The End of Bright thoughts?

Up and up! A short gratitude and bright thought meditation seems to cut my need for sleep down by at least two hours each night. If I am feeling exhausted I can go straight to my cushion for some grounding and gratitude, that sets me straight and gets me feeling those long, slow breaths that calm my whole system down.

Now that my seven day commitment is done, I wonder about keeping the momentum. As with all practices, I see how there is a potential for me to slide out of doing my daily meditation in the morning. I can hear the list of good excuses already. I have dropped beneficial practices like this before. Worrying aside, there is a natural ebb and flow of all things, akin to movement of the ocean tides. I plan to continue this highly beneficial practice but I also know that if I slip out of a daily practice, I can always come back to it. The cushion is always waiting patiently, no questions asked. And I am looking forward to the continued journey.

Day 5 Bright Thoughts Still Inspire…

This morning again, no alarm clock needed. I woke up at the perfect time to have some solitude for my morning meditation.  I didn’t get out of bed immediately however, and so my eldest was already up and moving before I sat down to meditate. Oh well. It is good learning for all of us, and helping my children realize more independence, giving a spaciousness to our relationship as a family. They are now able to go about their day quietly and learn that meditation is a big part of my life- and they can either sit quietly as well, or go about their own business. Hopefully they will learn that meditation can last for longer than 10-15 minutes at a time as I deepen my practice…

I am still noticing good effects from the bright thoughts. Our whole household is more harmonious, and if there is a tantrum rising, I am more likely to take a pause and meet whatever is arising for my children with more compassion, less impatience. With a teachers strike on the horizon for the first few days of the week next week this will be very important I’m sure. We will be working with other families to support each other so the kids are well taken care of and we all have time to earn a living as well. I am grateful at times like these that I am self-employed.

Day 4: Bright Thoughts Healing Painful Experiences

I awoke with a terrible pain very early in the morning today. Through breathing, grounding and opening my heart over a period of what felt like about 40 minutes I was able to release the pain and settle back into sleep.  It did take quite a bit of focus and softening, with the gratitude meditation helping the process. As soon as I started grounding, opening my heart and bringing in the breath and gratitude for the strength of my heart, I was more calm and the pain subsided.  And so I flipped over and stopped, expecting to go back to sleep.  Nope.  It came back. Now I started getting worried. This is when a very busy, analytical mind is not helpful. So it wasn’t just a quick fix. I reflected on the experiences over the past few days and know that with practice, my gratitude, love and joy for living life on this earth is expanding.  Anything is possible, I thought to myself, and wrapped myself up in a blanket of divine love so that I could get enough rest to get through the rest of my day.

What was the pain? Old patterns and blocks releasing or just a touch of the stomach flu that passed through my children last week? Perhaps a bit of both, but I had listened to a group reading with my clairvoyant teacher, Nancy Rebecca just last night. It was an Aura Reading, which goes through layer by layer, chakra by chakra and takes a metaphysical look at what is going on.  There was so much in it about releasing old pain. Being my own true authentic self. Letting go of trying to be all things to all people. Allowing healing.  Allowing help. Allowing unlimited divine love to flow into my being. These were all relevant to the pain I had experienced this morning, which was stomach (self-nourishment), kidneys (old fears), and my heart (self love and love of others). Whew. What a morning. The funny part is, that was only a preparation for my afternoon. It is interesting that whenever we make a major shift we are immediately tested. Approaching old situations steeped in painful memories is a good thing to tackle with a more open heart, and balance of self-worth and love. The details are not important, but the process is. I sat for a full hour this evening to release one unbalanced interaction, and the most important piece was using the Hawaiian Ho’oponopono Meditation / Prayer. Followed by some big gratitude for the spiritual lesson that was coming up for me.

In Ho’oponopono, a person takes complete responsibility for their reality (with NO sense of self blame). They know that what they have created and what can be changed. Accepting responsibility means accepting power. Trauma we experience in our lives is often our biggest teacher.  Teaching us forgiveness, teaching us how to have strong boundaries, teaching us to love, value and honour ourselves and the lessons we are learning. There are four parts to Ho’oponopono that I will leave you with today:

I’m sorry.

Thank you.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Seeing all our life experiences, positive and negative, as opportunities for learning is good refreshment and I’m looking forward to what tomorrow will bring!


Day 3: Bright Thoughts Liquefy Stress

I seem to be getting up earlier each morning, going to bed later, and still getting enough rest.  The kids are getting more helpful around the house, and I am feeling more and more softness each day as I spend more time focusing on thinking positive, with gratitude and love for all the good things in my life.  This morning I woke up on my own at 6:30. It has been 15 minutes earlier each day as my spirit wakes me up and says get up, get up! There are good things to enjoy and reflect upon before you start your day! Your meditation journey awaits you!

I didn’t make it back down to my meditation space after getting up as my dear boy also woke up wishing for a smoothie to soothe a sore belly.  So I made said smoothie, snuggled back in bed with him and wrapped him with love and all thoughts good and healing for an hour of restfulness while my daughter (who also woke up like a miracle at 7am- she usually has to be dragged reluctantly from bed) was playing and getting ready for her day. I had decided to keep him home but at the last second he jumped up out of bed and was fine…

Was it the good thoughts or the fact that it was his friend’s birthday that helped him rally?  Either way, I’m liking this transition into more gratitude. It helps liquefy stress.

Day 2: Bright Thoughts and Early Morning Meditations

I woke up before the alarm but luxuriated till it rang at 6:45. I quickly rescued myself from the lethargic bed meditations that often make for a less effective use of my time to really sink into my body and got out of bed to the dedicated meditation space. A few quick necessities aside, I was able to settle in for a few minutes of grounding meditation and then turn my attention to bright thoughts.

Slow again to surface I directed my inward gaze towards all of the things in this life that make my heart open and my whole being soften. Again there was no symphony in the background accompanying my metaphysical meanderings. Just a slight prodding or gentle reminder about good subjects that are so easy to think joyful thoughts about were necessary every little while, depending on the subject matter. Many of the subjects I turn my eye towards also have a negative side- for example the ocean. Delighting in the beauty of the oceans is immediately followed by sadness for the level of pollution and destruction humanity has wreaked upon once pristine flowing bodies teeming with life. I took a breath and focused again on the good thoughts. I love to problem solve and dedicate a fair bit of time to applying these skills to take action and inform myself about how I can make a difference, signing petitions and watching documentaries to learn more. All this in a few seconds and I was able to turn back to the gratitude again. Each and every time I turned my attention to a new subject matter, if there was negative, judgmental or worrisome thoughts as well I would send them off- this is the 15 minutes of the day where all that reigns is the positive!  There is no denial of problems or challenges, however there is a specific focus.  This calms my very active mind.  Things can always be picked up again later.

As I bring the morning bright thoughts to a close with a short meditation there is more and more gratitude. It is a gentle and sweet training of the mind, which seeps in and overflows into many parts of my day. I have added a few minutes of this time for reflection on more bright thoughts before my evening meditation as well, and it is allowing for more softness, more spaciousness in my soul.

Until tomorrow….

Day 1. Bright thoughts in the Morning

I woke up this morning at 7:15 and my first bright thought was this: I am so grateful I am up before the kids and without an alarm clock so that I can actually follow through on my commitment! One week where the first 15 minutes of my day is spent on thinking bright thoughts.  Things that make me happy, grateful and awaken feelings of love.

Then I snuggled back down into my warm covers – Oh I LOVE my warm covers, to think happy thoughts for 10-15 minutes. I felt like a kid in a candy store all wiggly with anticipation, so I decided to do a quick grounding meditation first. It helps me be fully present in the moment and it gets me calm. Okay I was ready in two minutes. Then I got excited to start sinking my teeth into the really delicious things, all the things I really love about being alive. It was slow. I was expecting it to be like firecrackers going off in rapid succession. We are so used to the bombardment of this digital world where we are never made to pause even a moment for our complete entertainment. But here, it was quiet, I was warm, safe, alone and my only agenda was to think about the good things in life. Why weren’t all these things pouring into my consciousness with a blazing beam of light and joy?

It was like a meandering river, sometimes flowing rapidly with a fast current, sometimes shallow and pooling, moving slowly. Perhaps the enticement of the warm covers had something to do with the lassitude and so tomorrow morning I will get out of bed and to my devoted meditation space to have my morning reflections. Perhaps then it will be less fumbling around with a flashlight and more smoothly flowing with momentum gained from the past couple of days.

I completed the bright thoughts for 15 minutes and then rolled out of bed to meditate. I got myself settled and had just started when my son came into the room and snuggled in beside me on my meditation sheepskin.  I said a few prayers of gratitude out loud (See Eva’s Morning Prayer below) then got on with the business of parenting.  It was a fine day. Not without a few bumps, parenting two children on my own, but things are getting more spacious. I am grateful for my verbal commitment to this process as it has also helped me do my evening meditation in hopes that it will flow more smoothly tomorrow. Just like anything in life, practice, practice, practice.


Just wanted to share this prayer that my Great Aunt Eva (who was a Roman Catholic Nun) shared with me many, many years ago. She was an incredible, shining spirit whose sole life purpose was to help others.  I am grateful for her passing this on!

Eva’s Morning Prayer of Gratitude

Thanks be to God for this day, for all that is around me

For the earth beneath my feet, for the sky above my head, for all that I shall experience this day

I open myself to newness, to new relationships

I will stay close to the earth, I will stay close to myself

Thanks be to God for this day.

Pressing PLAY on the Gratitude button.

I am an eternal optimist.  I want to see good things happen. Peace and harmony. Planetary balance. Each and every day I hope for a miracle.  What I actually observe is a lot of strife in the world right now, and so am continually taking a deeper look at how we can help support positive change. Just how do we manifest good things in this lifetime?  According to many spiritual leaders, Buddhists, spiritualists, and now even metaphysical scientists – we think or visualize good things, and thus we bring more good things into our life. The challenging part for me is that it doesn’t happen like a fairy tale, POOF! Abracadabra everything’s O.K.  Nope, the only way to really make good things happen is through sticking with it, and making it a daily practice.

Meditation has been a really good one for me. Practice, Practice, Practice all the teachers say.  Personally, I am doing good if I can squeeze in 10 minutes every morning and every night. I have long since let go of the aspiration of becoming Buddha.  Each person has to find their own realistic balance. What I have noticed in my life is that regular meditation practice supports and deepens my connection to myself, the earth, and my home and work environments. There has been a lot of research in recent years on the effects of meditation, some specifically to do with peace movements that are of particular interest to my aspirations of more peaceful world. Meditators have been sent into war zones to meditate with gratitude for a more peaceful environment, and there is an immediate measurable shift in the environment, such as a ceasefire.  Just how many people does it take? The formula that keeps surfacing is the square root of one percent of the population for a real change to be noticed.  The square root of one percent of the population really isn’t very much- so what if each of us focused on a more peaceful, harmonious existence just once a day? Where would our world be if we pressed ‘pause’ on the worry button longer and pressed ‘play’ on the gratitude button more often?

In Megre’s Ringing Cedars Series, Anastasia tells us how, each day, it is important to wake up and think bright thoughts for 15 minutes. Happy things, things we are grateful for, people we love.  So, I did it this morning instead of my meditation and it changed my whole day.  My children got out of bed effortlessly, they came home and our whole evening was enjoyable.  I have to say, taking pauses throughout the day as well to appreciate my children, their growth and accomplishments, as well as my own and express gratitude for all this and more was very simple and healing.  Not to say I never do it, but to bring it to a conscious level- sending love and appreciation with the express purpose of living better, did help my day go smoother.  So now can I bring about a bigger change by making this a daily practice?

So here it is, I will give it a try.  Every morning for the next week, I will spend a minimum of 10 minutes thinking bright thoughts when I first wake up, and see what happens!  (and hopefully follow that with 10 minutes of meditation). If it changed one day of my life, I am pretty sure it can can change a few more.

Chinese Proverb:

If there is light in the soul, There will be beauty in the person.

If there is beauty in the person, There will be harmony in the house.

If there is harmony in the house, There will be order in the nation.

If there is order in the nation, There will be peace in the world.

Book Review on “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” By Debbie Ford

 “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers; Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams” By Debbie Ford 1998

A Book on Humanity, Healing, on Becoming Whole …

I just had the most delicious read.  The first couple of chapters seemed a bit difficult, almost redundant- there was a lot of repetition of the premise for the entire book.  However as I broke through my impatience and ploughed onward, I realized that had she went straight to the central exercise immediately I would have missed the point.

In the book “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” there is a richness of meditations, exercises and release of belief systems that are simple and yet profound. To uncover and witness all parts of ourselves, especially our shadow side, is one of the first stepping stones to becoming whole.  By bringing to light those parts of ourselves that we don’t like we can then proceed to own them, acknowledge them so that we can fully embrace all aspects of the self.

Ford shows that through observation of our reaction to others we can see our likes and dislikes in our own behaviours.  Simply put, we bury and are ashamed of the negative traits we react to in others, and so we attract people into our lives that show us these traits so that we can recognize what we need to heal.

One of the simplest exercises in the book is to list traits we admire in others and traits we dislike in others.  Once broken down, we can then work them into a simple sentence beginning with “I am …” It seems counterproductive to say things like “I am Stupid”  or  “I am mean” however once we acknowledge that we may have demonstrated that behaviour in the past, we may be demonstrating it now, or under other life circumstances we would possibly be capable of demonstrating that behaviour then we can begin to heal our judgments, belief systems, and suppression of those traits and even begin to see the gifts that those behaviours have given us.

It is a difficult task to own our shadow or negative aspects, but well worth doing the exercises in the book.  As Ford puts it;

“At any moment in time we can give up our resentments and judgments and choose to forgive ourselves and others.  When we take back all our projections and find our gifts, we’re able to find compassion for ourselves.  It then becomes natural to have compassion for those who we have resented.”1

1. p. 146, Dark Side of the Light Chasers

Book Source: “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers; Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams” By Debbie Ford 1998