Reframing Loss

Would you lose the ability to crawl to be able to fly?

We are not what we have lost. We are not what has been torn from us. We are not broken beyond repair. Ever.  When it all blows up we still are everything we were before. We might not still have what we had, the positions, the money, the athletic body, the children, loved ones, but we still are the culmination of experiences, talents, current and former abilities that make us uniquely us.

Life is flow – and ebb. It comes and goes and comes again. In loss there is always opportunity for new gain. Sometimes when we stop clinging so hard to the old and familiar we are gifted with new and incredible we couldn’t have imagined.

The lifecycle of the butterfly offers gorgeous guidance. The little caterpillar gets hit with an urge to change. Once it has wrapped itself inside a cocoon its body literally begins to disintegrate. At some point, new cells activate. They’re called imaginal cells. At first, the old caterpillar creature attacks them as foreign bodies but those attacks actually hasten the disintegration. Finally, at a point of maximum disintegration, the imaginal cells reach a critical mass and sort of wake up, recognize one another and realize they are no longer a worm, but instead a winged butterfly.

Our lives are like that too. We can stay folded in, wrapped in the cocoon of loss, fight against the changes, or we can unfurl with new depth and perspective and fly. The choice is always ours.

World Day of Prayer

September 13th is Unity World Day of Prayer. One of the many things I love about Unity is its empowering approach to prayer. Instead of beseeching help from a separate, “out-there” God, Unity practices affirmative prayer, claiming the outcome we want as already being truth. For example instead of asking for healing from an illness we affirm the health and wholeness that is our natural state. Instead of asking for more money, we affirm our place in the flow of infinite abundance where all our needs are met with ease and grace.

This type of prayer is not so much asking something of God or placing an affirmation in our mind as it is lifting our eyes above the appearance of limitation or lack. It’s about cleansing our mind and releasing its inherent power.

In affirmative prayer we enter into conscious remembrance of our Oneness with Source and of our Divine Nature. In a Letter to Adam, Sue Sikking writes, “True prayer is not asking for things, not even the best of things. Prayer is the lifting of the consciousness to the place where these things are.”

Prayer, like meditation, is even more powerful when two or more gather together with shared intention. During this World Day of Prayer for twenty-four hours people across the globe will be joining together activating the inherent power of mind to create good in our lives and world.

Together, we lift our consciousness to the place of peace and wholeness, which is our natural state. Let us all begin to hear the ancient familiar melody reminding us who we really are in full glory and goodness. The love that we are, the only thing that is real, pours forth with such fullness it leaves no room for anything else. Healing dances into every corner of creation. A song of peace echoes through the world with every choice we make. We affirm the Kingdom of Heaven is here now. And so it is. Amen.

Unity World Day of Prayer.

Namaste,

Cylvia

Being Deserving

In the self-help and personal development realm there are reams of info on the challenge of feeling like we aren’t good enough. I’ve read a lot of it and even written some of it but there’s a subtle yet very important distinction between “not good enough” and “not deserving goodness”.

I used to believe that one of my most challenging core issues was a sense of not being good enough. I was wrong. I know I’m really good at a lot of things, from writing and speaking, to supporting loved ones, to training my dog and rowing a raft through rapids. I’ve always known I was pretty darned good at many things.

I’ve lived an unconventional life. It’s been a rich ride already and I’ve been able to do and see some incredible things. But in the process I’ve made some choices and taken some actions that have had big painful consequences. And this life I’m living has also had a lot of uncertainty, adversity and upheaval. Recently I became aware of a thread of doubt that’s been playing, under my surface, for decades. It was a troubled, guilty feeling that no matter how good I was I didn’t really deserve the success I aspired to. I feared things had happened to me and I had made consequential choices that might not be surmountable. Maybe I’d screwed up once too many times. Maybe I’d really blown it by not taking some secure job years ago. Maybe I hadn’t sacrificed enough or the right things to deserve success.

I’ve had, and lost, a lot of accomplishments, accolades and positions. None of it, neither the having nor the losing, actually touched my subconscious sense of not deserving full-on success.  I’ve learned that no one outside ourselves can convince us we are worthy. That’s an inside job.

Being deserving isn’t about doing; it’s about being. Overcoming a sense of unworthiness doesn’t involve another promotion or award; it involves remembering who we really are beyond the human thicknesses of bodies, beliefs, regrets and comparison.

There is a deeper truth that each of us are far more, and far more beautiful and magnificent, than what shows up in these human forms. Our human aspects, like lightning, are illusions. It looks like the bolt of lightning comes down from the sky and smashes the tree. The truth is there is a little invisible leader bolt of energy that reaches down from sky to touch tree and when it does a tremendous flow of Earth’s energy courses up through the tree and the tiny bolt to pulse and crackle across an illumined sky.

We have the courage to take on this challenging human experience as part, but only part, of our evolution as spiritual beings. At the core we are so much more and absolutely deserving of all the goodness that lay before us. The universe knows that even if we don’t yet.

It’s not about Being Worthy; it’s about remembering we are Worthy just by Being.  Open up to remembering You.

 

Cylvia Hayes

#CylviaHayes  #Empowerment  #ChangeMaker

 

The Awesome Power of Unlearning

I used to be a competitive barrel racer. I’ve ridden dozens of charging horses through the cloverleaf pattern. Many horses, after running the pattern over and over again, would begin to anticipate each turn so much that they’d cut too soon, either smashing my shin into the metal rim or knocking the barrel over entirely, or both. Those horses had become so trained they’d become losers.

The only way to make them winners again was to “untrain” them. We’d go back to a walking pace and take the corners in different ways so they could unlearn what they thought they knew to do.

A few years back life nailed me hard and I found myself questioning, a lot, about a lot of things I thought I knew — myself, God, how life works. It was scary. I mean I’d spent decades forming my opinion of who I was, what I was, what my strengths and skills were, how to do things and get through life. Sitting in the question, “What if I’ve been wrong about it all?” was deeply disturbing, verging on a psychological or existential crisis.

Yet under the veneer of fear, was also curiosity, a little spark of excitement, a fragile thread of hope as I began brushing against the possibility that maybe I, and life itself, was actually far more than I’d believed.

The more I let go of the false security blanket of knowing based on the past and shaped by what this insane world puts forward as real, the more I began to experience Source, God, Holy Spirit and my Higher Self directly.

Allowing space and uncertainty for our minds to be untrained doesn’t mean we’re losing our minds! Just the opposite, it means, we’re starting to use more and more of our power and potential. Our True Norths – our deepest values and genuine loves — are still in place as our consciousness expands beyond the chains of old dogmas and programming. We don’t throw away old skill sets or talents; we just open up to use them more fully. We don’t lose our ability to make decisions; we give ourselves a chance to make better ones.

A Course In Miracles advises:

Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, of good or bad, of every thought is judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world … and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.

As we all strive to improve ourselves and our lives, we take in a lot of personal and professional development education and training. That’s all well, good and worthwhile, but I think it’s important to remember, that whether it’s winning at barrel racing or winning at life untraining is often the key.

One of the most powerful statements in the Universe is, “I do not know what this situation means, or what I really want from it, or even what I really am, but I am genuinely willing to deeply listen and to learn.”

And guess what?  Yoda agrees!

Here’s to emptying our minds so that they can be refilled, refreshed and re-empowered.

Cylvia Hayes

Don’t be Limited by Noisy Relationships

I recently made the painful decision to pull away from someone who has been one of my closest friends. This person did something extremely dishonest and unloving and, although the love is still there, the trust is gone. Even though I miss the friendship I know this is the right decision.

The whole situation proves, once again, that relationships are our most profound classrooms. Now that I’ve gained some distance I can see what a terribly noisy relationship this was. What I mean by that is that this person always has a lot of drama swirling around her and, against my norm, I allowed myself to get wrapped up in it. The uncomfortable truth is that she fed my ego and vice versa. I have no doubt that there is genuine love between us, but there is also no doubt that out relationship wasn’t completely healthy. I knew I was acting unwisely when I put myself into a position of dependency on her but I did it anyway. And I paid for it. And it hurt in more ways than one.

Now that the noise has quieted the most amazing thing is happening. Into that void is flowing the voice of Spirit. I am hearing my own Higher Self, far more directly and more often. The plain truth is no other person can ever fill our need to develop a deep, honest relationship with ourselves.

Noisy, co-dependent relationships keep us identified with voices and opinions of ourselves that are not really ours. They are just an attempt by our small, ego self to distract us from our True Self, in all it’s magnificence.

Today, I respect myself enough to prioritize my inner relationship. Today I am listening to, and valuing, me.

I am worthy of developing my whole self.

I am worthy.

Cylvia Hayes

#CylviaHayes  #Empowerment #ResiliencyMuscles

 

Unplugging into the Now

One of the visitors to my campsite. Angels anyone?

I celebrated my birthday last week with our annual raft trip down the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River. Four solid days with no cell phone, emails, TV, radio or motors of any kind. Just flowing water, wild critters, dear friends, decent food, good beer and my journal.

There is no more calming, grounding therapy than getting unplugged from devices, and so-called news and plugging into Nature. Feeling the warm earth under my feet, rocking on the water surrounded by, immersed in, flow and cascading river song. At night, the brilliant display of truly dark skies pin holed by a billion bright cosmic lights.

There is a beautiful practice in A Course in Miracles known as the Holy Instant.

Loving my chaise lounge camping chair after a day of rowing rapids!

This is becoming fully present in the now, releasing any notion of past or future. In that space we remember who we really are, spiritual beings, at one with, an extension of, the Creator, Source. Touching that place, the Truth behind the illusions we regularly plug into, is one of this life’s most beautiful experiences.

I’ve stopped being surprised, but haven’t stopped being saddened, by how many of my clients, my fellow advocates, activists and social entrepreneurs, get so caught up working to protect the planet and change the world that they fail to get out there and actually experience it!

By the time I emerged from wilderness I was excited to reengage with business and life’s busyness, with texts and emails and errands. I’m happy to note that a little bigger piece of now is with me in the process.

So, friends, if you are feeling stressed, or sad, overwhelmed or worried, leave the devices behind and go get a hug from Mother Earth. She’s there for you whether deep in wilderness or at the corner park. Breathe her in. Listen. Remember you are an extension of God, ever supported by the spiritual substance from which you were created.

Unplug. Choose a different outlet. Plug into the present moment. Remember who you are.

One of my favorite campsites on the rogue River.

Namaste,

Cylvia

 

P.S. I just added A Course in Miracles coaching package to my store.

Also, this fall I’ll be offering a group Course in Miracles teleconference class. Please let me know if you might be interested in being part of it. I love sharing this life-changing set of teachings with friends and colleagues. I would love to share it with you.

#CylviaHayes  #Empowerment  #ResiliencyMuscles #ChangeMaker

If Little Boys Can Do it While Trapped Underground So Can (and should) YOU!

I continue to be captivated by the Thai boys soccer team ordeal. Partly, it’s because as a slightly claustrophobic person I can’t think of much that would be harder to endure than being trapped miles underground in narrow flooded tunnels. Partly, it’s because it’s another of those extraordinary events that show just how amazing human intention and endeavor really can be. It’s also an example that there is Good to be found, somewhere, in virtually every dark situation.

One aspect of the good from this one is that, even if only for a few moments, it turned the world’s attention to meditation. The young coach, who was the leader and only adult with the twelve boys, had studied as a monk and has deep meditation experience. Apparently he used meditation to help the boys maintain sanity and hope while trapped for days on end in a tiny pocket of air in a flooded underground cave system. Wow. Just flat wow.

Some of you have heard me say before that meditation was likely one of the things that saved my life when things blew to pieces a few years ago. I’d practiced regularly for years before the crisis hit and that experience gave me some capacity to wrestle my mind away from the continuous loop of fear, guilt and humiliating memories. You can hear more about that in my recent TEDx talk (If you haven’t viewed it yet I’d sure appreciate it if you would).

I now tell my clients that if they don’t have a meditation practice underway, start yesterday! It adds immeasurably to our ability to be resilient during hardship (e.g. staying calm trapped underground for 18 days. Pretty much enough said!). It also heightens our ability to make clear and tough decisions that can help us survive and succeed.

And that’s not all. Not only does meditation help us navigate the hard times it also adds meaning, depth and beauty to the good times. As part of my process of recovery and reinvention I studied the mental and emotional habits and practices of people who were successful, making a big positive impact on the world and also seemed to be living mostly peaceful, dialed-in lives. Virtually every one of them practiced meditation regularly.

I can tell you for sure that if you are in the process of reinvention, whether of career, relationships or your own personal identity, meditation is a powerful tool to help clear away the clutter, find clarity and truly figure out what it is you want from the next phase of your life.

Starting a regular meditation practice doesn’t’ have to be complicated or terribly time consuming. One useful resource is the book Meditation for Dummies, it offers samplings of many different types of meditations and some of the science and stories behind each. Although the book is named that for obvious marketing reasons, I call my meditation classes Meditation for Smarties because smart people do it and doing it makes us smarter! My e-booklet, Reinvention Doesn’t Have to Be Scary, offers a couple simple ways to come into the now and redirect a spinning, wound up mind – these are key aspects and benefits of meditation. You can get a copy on my online store here.

Not starting a regular meditation practice is like having a magical potion that will give you peace and success and then deciding not to drink it! What are you waiting for?   In the time it takes you to put your clothes on in the morning you can begin to clothe your mind in peace, relief and clear direction.

Here’s to a more peaceful, empowered YOU.

Cylvia

 

P.S. I also offer gentle one on one meditation coaching sessions to help people figure out the best type of meditation for what they are looking to accomplish and get started doing it, gently. If interested in scheduling a session submit a request here. I would love to help you get started with this life changing practice.

Coming Full Spiral

Have you heard the term coming “full circle”? Well I don’t like it! Full Spiral is so much better because we don’t ever come back to exactly the same place we were before. Even when we’re repeating experiences or patterns of behavior we are not in exactly the same place. As spiritual beings we are always evolving and shifting even while doing things we have done many times before. We may be circling back around to something familiar but we are at a different level of consciousness and priority.

This is especially true when we’ve been through really intense, life-changing experiences. This past weekend John and I went to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival for the first time in just over a decade. We met some old friends there who hadn’t seen us since we came out the other side of our multi-year series of big challenges. As a group we used to get together in Ashland every year in July.  It was so curious to note what felt similar, what felt new, what was no longer interesting and what newly so.

Even the things that stand the big tests are changed. I am immeasurably grateful that my relationship with John made it through. It’s different. There’s a little sadness for the suffering we saw in one another. It’s much deeper. There’s a level of empathy we couldn’t have known and respect for qualities we’d never before shown.

Those Full Spiral moments, when you reenter an old arena after major loss, change and transition, are powerful opportunities to get a sense of just how much you’ve changed and grown. Sometimes you lay new memories down over certain places and events. Sometimes you realize old familiar places and people no longer hold your interest. Sometimes you look upon one who has been through the fire with you and see them as older, more scarred and immeasurably more beautiful.

Through all of it, the letting go, the going deeper, you spiral a little higher and step into the new you. An evolving spirit on a sacred spiral journey.

Us in 2004
Us many years later

This is John and me the very first time we did the Ashland trip and this is us many, many years later.  Not as young and shiny but a little the better for wear I’d say.

Have you had a Full Spiral, reentering the arena moment?  I would love to hear about it.

Peace,

Cylvia

It’s Your Time to Jump

Check out this video! I love this. This is all about not waiting another moment to make your dreams come true.

Basically this is saying a fundamental truth — we all have a gift. And unless we unwrap that gift, we will take it to the grave with us. And being someone who has taken the chance and jumped into her gifts (more than once!), I can tell you it’s worth it.

This is an especially powerful message if you’re at a place in which you’re choosing, or life is forcing you, to change course and to reinvent.

Unless you jump, you will never know all that’s inside you just waiting to be expressed and make that difference that you hunger to make. And I can tell you this from personal experience, there really is a parachute!

As scary as jumping is, sometimes the most dangerous thing can do is choose not to. Are you at a precipice? This is your time to start making your big dream come true.

So tell me, if you’re on the edge of jumping…what’s holding you back? Reply to this email. I want to know.

I specialize in reinventions and transitions, and well, jumping! I’d be happy to talk with you about your launch. You can schedule a free appointment here — https://www.cylviahayes.net/c

oaching/

(just click the “Book Free Session” button).

Talk soon,

Cylvia

Expect Miracles. Why Not?!

Are you facing uncertainty? Struggling with financial challenges? Are you mired down in situations that seem totally out of your control?

A while back I realized a situation I believed was beyond my control actually wasn’t. When I looked at it from a different angle I saw that I had options to step out of a “battlefield” I’d been attached to for several years. Doing so required a serious financial hit and uncertainty, but it felt right.

It took every tool I’d learned and skill I’d honed to stay above the financial fear and uncertainty. Each time I’d find my mind spinning off in fear I’d just say “Choose Again”, over and over and over. Then I’d pick three things I was grateful for and say “Thank You” out loud. With discipline I stayed open to the possibility that every last bit of it, even the stuff that felt wildly uncomfortable, was actually positive, was happening FOR me, not to me.

Well, guess what?! Sitting there in deep uncertainty I was offered the gift of a week on the island of Zakynthos Greece, everything paid for! WHAT?!!

I was invited to be part of the faculty in a program exploring how developing our consciousness effects the work we do to grow socially useful businesses and solve the big problems the world is facing. WHAT?!!!   This is exactly the aspect of my career that is currently hatching!

The event organizers had watched my recent TEDx talk and that, along with my long background in social enterprise, was what prompted the invitation.

It seemed a little crazy to go to Greece given what I was dealing with at home, but it felt right. Sort of like all expenses paid manna from heaven. So I took the leap and left even before all the travel arrangements were fully nailed down. I didn’t really know what to expect so I chose to expect miracles.

AND ….

  • On the long flight over the ocean I somehow got a seat with extra legroom and tray space, which I put to good use writing several breakthroughs I had on the book I’m working on
  • Taxi drivers chose not to charge me anything — given the language barrier I never did understand why
  • My talk touched hearts and minds
  • Another faculty member provided exactly the info and insight I needed for the next section of my book project
  • On the flight home I had an entire row with extra legroom, and free drinks all to myself!

So here’s my suggestion. If you don’t know what to expect, EXPECT MIRACLES! Why not? You can imagine the worst or you can stay open to the possibility that things are going to turn out better than you could even imagine. Why not?

The lens you put on the things that happen in your life shape your reality far more than the happenings themselves.

Expect miracles, see all the things you have to be grateful for, choose. You have more power than you know.

Cylvia

#CylviaHayes  #Empowerment