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

Yes DO Deny It!

Denial is a powerful tool

Are you working through some big challenges just now? Has life smacked you right off your feet? Does what’s before you look big, tough, overwhelming? Well it might be time for a little well-placed denial.

Denial gets a bad rap in pop culture and psychology. It’s usually used to say someone isn’t facing reality. I’ve a whole new powerful take on denial. It’s about looking at the situation in front of you, taking control of your thoughts and choosing not to give the challenge more power than it really has. The more we feed into the seeming problem the bigger it appears. Denial can cut it back down to size.

I’ll give a couple of examples that I am personally dealing with right now. I’m going through some significant financial issues and it’s easy to slip into a lot of uncertainty and insecurity around it. However, when I really look at the situation, yes, I have some income and cash flow challenges and the remnants of some big legal proceedings, but I ALSO have a tremendous amount of actual resources flowing to me – supportive people, new business opportunities, paid business travel.

So, each time I start getting wrapped up in worry I just gently deny the fear with, “The illusion of scarcity has no power in my life.”

This helps me stay calm and focused on the tasks that need to be done to actually deal with the financial issues.

A powerful one, two punch is to follow a focused denial with an empowered affirmation statement. I am working with, “Resources of all kinds flow to me in joyful abundance. I am a powerful prosperity generation and distribution center.”

This isn’t just about positive thinking, it’s about disciplined thinking. It’s about flipping our focus and staying open to the much broader perspectives that always surround challenging situations.

Here’s another example. A business colleague of mine is being unreliable and failing to deliver on some important projects. I have a lot riding on this work and can easily feel out of control and fearful not being able to get a response from this person. However, the broader truth is this person isn’t responsible for my success. So when I start to feel those stress spikes I state, “ My friend’s unreliable behavior cannot harm me.” And, because I genuinely care for this person and know that some of the behavior is because they are having their own life challenges right now, I affirm, “The love and positive intention behind this work and our relationship ensures a positive outcome for both of us.” Next time, I may choose a different business arrangement but for now there is nothing to lose by staying focused on the intended outcome and waiting for the response to my attempts to communicate.

Our minds, what we focus on and how we frame our thoughts absolutely dictate our reality. Thoughts trigger feelings (and vice versa) which means even if they don’t create the circumstances of our lives, they definitely DO create how we experience those circumstances. You literally HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE YOUR EXPERIENCES in life! Let that sink in.

Your past has no power over you.

Old traumas have no power over you.

Attackers, abusers, abandoners and bullies have no power over you.

You are on an epic journey through some tough stuff. In all great struggles the hero faces a point in which she can either run away or face the villain and say, “You are not all that! You are not more powerful than I am.” Now THAT is a powerful denial.

You are more powerful than you realize. You got this.

Cylvia

 

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If you’d like to set up a free initial consultation for empowerment coaching go to https://www.cylviahayes.net/coaching/ or https://calendly.com/cylvia/30min.

#CylviaHayes #Empowerment #ResiliencyMuscles

Put Some Clothes On!

Do you ever have one of those mornings when, before you’re even fully awake, you’re already feeling stressed? Maybe it’s too much on the “DO” list, or bills that have to be paid or a loved one that’s sick or in trouble, or  …. Believe me I GET IT!

Modern life might not involve outrunning velociraptors or saber-toothed tigers but overall it’s no less stressful. Modern life is complex.

So here’s a little hack that can save you hours and even whole days of unnecessary stress.

Put some CLOTHES ON … YOUR … MIND!

Just like we choose to (usually) put clothes on our bodies in the morning we can also choose to clothe our minds in positive thoughts.

Take a moment before you even get out of bed to think of several things you are grateful for – the warm covers, your partner’s breathing, the birds chirping outside, another day of being alive. For just a few moments rap yourself in the silken fabric of gratitude. I call this clothing my mind and it is ESPECIALLY HELPFUL when you’re facing challenging circumstances and need some help stopping the incessant and stressful Monkey Mind.

The thoughts you allow to run through your mind when you are first waking up set the tone for your entire day.

Our thoughts, to a HUGE extent, dictate our feelings and how the we experience the experiences of our lives. And we DO have a CHOICE about the thoughts we choose to focus on. If your thoughts are racing around or bouncing off of unpleasant imaginings and feelings, say to yourself, “Choose Again” and settle on a few things you’re grateful for. Feel your energy shift.

You can revisit this simple practice anytime throughout the day but those first few moments in the morning should never be missed.   Close your mind to fear and negativity and clothe it with gratitude and optimism. This wardrobe choice will be a gift to yourself and everyone you cross paths with.

Cylvia

If you’d like to get Weekly Tips and Inspirations straight to your inbox please subscribe for free at www.cylviahayes.net.

You can also SCHEDULE a FREE initial coaching consultation session with Cylvia at https://calendly.com/cylvia/30min.

Thanks and here’s to sporting beautiful wardrobes!

 

#CylviaHayes #Empowerment #ResiliencyMuscles

How to Find Spiritual Freedom and Empowerment

I have always been a spiritual seeker. But I became a religious rebel.

You see the problem was, from my earliest memories, I had a real sense of the Divine — in Nature, in life and even a little bit in myself. But I was immersed in a dogma that beat it right out of me (figuratively and literally).

The notion that we ought to praise and fear some “Out there God-Being, watching over us waiting to punish or reward based on our behavior that day” was pretty awful and terrifying.

Thank GOD I couldn’t just go along with it!

There is a much more peaceful and empowered approach to living the truth that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Here are a few of the most powerful dogma-flips:

  • God is not a human-like being “out there” somewhere. God/ Source/ Creator is life, is a principle. It is everywhere, in everything, including in you. You are literally an extension of God and all the creative force, power and beauty that is God is also You.
  • God doesn’t reward or punish. We punish ourselves by choosing against peace and by choosing to believe we have no power over our emotions. You can get pissed off at the guy who just cut you off in traffic if you like. You can waste those moments in anger and frustration. Or you can spend those moments in peace and warmth. That’s your choice. Just give it a try – try letting something formerly irritating slide off. Just try it out as an experiment. After all you can always choose to go back to your old, irritable, fuming ways! It’s YOUR CHOICE. ALWAYS!
  • There is nothing wrong with having desires, with wanting more. God doesn’t require “sacrifice”. The key is getting clear about what it is we truly want. I don’t believe we just want more stuff, more money for the sake of it. What we all want, more than anything else, whether we know it or not, is to awaken to who we truly are, to awaken to the power, and beauty and love that our consciousness sometimes brushes up against and then darts back from. Over a century ago, Dr. Harriet Emilie Cady (one of the first female doctors in New York), wrote Lessons in Truth. This little book is a gem of empowered spirituality. Dr. Cady wrote:

We want a revelation of God in us as life … We no longer care to have somebody just tell us from the outside. We want a revelation of God as love within us, so that our whole being will be filled and thrilled with love – a love that will not have to be pumped up by determined effort because we know that it is right to love and wrong not to love, but a love that will flow with the spontaneity and fullness of an artesian well, because it is so full at the bottom that it must flow out.

Man, that’s so beautiful I wish I had written it!  I do indeed want it and sometimes, when I clear the inner clutter, I remember that I already have it.  Dr. Cady went on to point out that our desire to become more, to experience more creativity and success, is actually God’s desire to manifest more of Itself. She wrote, “Let us not at any time lose sight of the fact that our desire, great as it is, is only God’s desire in us.

So don’t shrink Violet. Don’t feel bad for desiring more of life. Drop the old dogmas and teachings of not-enoughness and powerlessness. Open your petals. Let your radiance show. Remember who and what You Are. You are a piece of God and absolutely essential to the fullness of Creation.

And if you’re facing challenges, what feel like limitations in your work, family, finances, health, whatever, just remember that as your outer world contracts you have a powerful opportunity to allow your inner world to expand beyond measure. I shared a bit about my own experience of this in my recent TEDx talk titled, “Who Do You Think You Are, Really?

Here’s to YOU and to LOVE like a deep and overflowing well!

Cylvia Hayes

 

#CylviaHayes  #ResilencyMuscles  #Empowerment

Who Do You think You Are, Really?

Here’s the video of my recent TEDx talk. I remember every step, from the moment my life blew up to taking the stage to share these experiences and learnings. The times my knees buckled in pain. The times I wasn’t sure I could handle what it was going to take to survive and reinvent. And, the incredible beautiful moments of recovery, expansion, my heart breaking open in between.

This is for all of you who’ve had one of those moments where you knew from one second to the next life was never going to be the same again and moving forward was going to be really hard. I’m here to tell you that not only can you make it but the challenge before you can be the greatest gift you’ve ever received.

PLEASE let me know what you think about this talk and please share it. Thank you so much. You’ve been on this journey with me and I cannot adequately express my gratitude.

Cylvia

https://youtu.be/uI3X9UAaU2U

Got Fear? Answers Here (and Now)

Fear is one of our universally shared human experiences. We all deal with it. It’s also one of the most difficult emotions to cope with.

Fear likely originally developed as a survival mechanism to help alert us to a stalking saber-toothed tiger or some such. It’s still useful for getting us think twice about jumping off a cliff or driving like a wild woman.

However, in modern life most of our fear isn’t about physical survival. It’s about things like:

  • I don’t have enough money in my checking account.
  • What if he leaves me?
  • What if she disapproves of me?

Over the past few years, as I’ve been navigating so much uncertainty, I’ve faced all of the above in spades. It’s really been something of a doctoral program in fear management. And I’ve learned some really important things about fear and ways to move beyond it.

First, most of the chronic day to day fear we accept as the normal backdrop is not only toxic to our health but also TOTALLY UNNECESSARY!

In the first many, many weeks of life blowing up my fear was so extreme it was a tangible entity, a beast.

  • What was the latest news story saying?
  • What is going to happen with my work?
  • How could I survive this financially?
  • Was the person I loved most in the world going to leave me?

At times it was so intense that even my sweat smelled different, ranker than normal.

And guess what? None of that happened! Yes, it was horrific. Yes, I’m still facing challenges getting through all of it. But my career isn’t destroyed. John and I are still together. Actually our family is healthier than ever. And to this day not one person has been ugly to my face – all the nastiness has been anonymous or behind the protection of a computer screen or media institution.

This has been so mind-blowingly powerful. I have spent so much of my life in fear of some dreaded imagined future outcome and NONE of them ever happened! All the big stuff that hit – the blown knee, my sister’s death, the public character assassination, family members getting into rough spots – I hadn’t even seen those coming!

The truth is, other than real, in the moment survival, like a war zone or, “Oh shit there’s a rattlesnake!” most fear is totally unwarranted and a whole lot of it is driven by our desire for other people’s approval.

Mark Twain said, “I am an old man and I have known a great many troubles but most of them never happened.”

It’s worth considering what fears right now, are clenching your guts, keeping you up at night? And are they really necessary? And what are they stopping you from doing?

And, very importantly, WHAT THE HECK CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?!

The single most effective tool I’ve found for breaking free from chronic fear is learning to practice BEING IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. The simple fact is unless we train ourselves differently, most of us spend the bulk of our lives focused on the past or the future, often in fear. Right now you may be facing a lot of unknowns, worry, angst. But ask yourself this, right now in this very moment are you basically OK? Are you right now, under direct attack? Do you have shelter and food? Are you breathing? If you have time to read this sentence your answer is almost certainly yes!

Practicing becoming aware of the present moment, over and over again, is a powerful tool for taking the reins back from fear and getting clear about which ones are just about some future imagined outcome (those you should just let go of) and which really merit action on your part. I guarantee that learning to do this on a regular basis will change your life for the better.

Here’s a simple exercise.

  • Sit down with feet firmly, comfortably on the floor
  • Just start noticing things with your five senses. The feel of the chair beneath you. The sounds. What do you see right in front of you above the computer screen? To your left? Right?
  • Take a deep breath. Is there a breeze? Is it still? Can you smell anything?
  • Touch the skin on the back of your hand. Notice the sensation.
  • If thoughts come in just bring your attention back to the things your senses are picking up in this one moment in time.
  • Find one thing in this moment and this setting that you feel grateful for.
  • Smile a little.
  • Rinse and Repeat as often as possible throughout the day even for just a few seconds.

The way to free yourself from unnecessary fear is in the PRESENT MOMENT, the Here and NOW.

To Peace, Fearlessness and Freedom!

Cylvia

P.S. I also highly recommend reading The Power of Now, by Eckert Tolle.

 

If you are interested in scheduling a session to find freedom from fear fill out the inquiry form here: https://www.cylviahayes.net/coaching/

#Empowerment #CylviaHayes #ResiliencyMuscles