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.

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

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

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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

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

Slaying the Giant of Limiting Beliefs

It may surprise you but I want to say thank you to the Oregonian newspaper. Without their 3½ years of ongoing attacks I would never have grown and deepened as I have, and am.

I truly would have been surprised if they hadn’t launched another one just on the eve of my TEDxBend talk. They did. And all it’s done is generate a flood of love and encouragement from friends and supporters all across the community. For that too I am grateful.

Someone just asked me if I felt like the Oregonian was my Goliath. I started to say yes and then realized that actually they were just a symptom of my real Goliath, and that is my (up until now) lifelong sense of not being good enough. That giant has caused me some real harm over the years. But in an amazing turn of events, the Oregonian’s nastiness has helped me find liberation. Now, each one of their attacks just becomes another stone in my sling helping me slay the giant of limiting self-beliefs.

As I’ll talk about on Saturday one of the huge upsides of these ongoing challenges has been learning that peace and empowerment is a choice and there are practical ways to grow our ability to stay above the battlefield and in joy despite the crap that might be swirling in the circumstances of day-to-day life.

What’s your Goliath? And what tools, however strangely or perversely disguised, can you use to bring him down?

Huge love to all of you for being there and showing kindness and support. I look forward to seeing a bunch of you this Saturday.

Love,

Cylvia

 

Light is What Transforms Darkness

I lead a regular Course in Miracles study group. Today we did something unusual — instead of studying and discussing the text, we watched the movie, I Am.

There could have been no better way to observe Martin Luther King Day. We hadn’t planned it that way; our group always meets on Mondays. This was one of those beautiful, meaningful synchronicities that happen all the time, even when we don’t notice them.

This day, celebrating a great leader in the movement toward equality, freedom, civil rights and civility, makes even starker our current ugly and divided political and cultural climate. The fact that the divisiveness and othering is being encouraged and amplified by a president who repeatedly demonstrates racism and sexism is beyond the pale.

The movie, I Am, covers the scientific evidence that we are all connected — literally, physically connected at the quantum level. It shows how our misled belief in separation and aloneness harms us on many levels. Along with the science it covers the ideas and words of many of our wisest historical leaders. Martin Luther King is featured.

King’s message of using love to transform hate and honoring the fact that we’re more alike than separate is so profound and so timely. Famously he said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Importantly, the movie also covers scientific evidence that basic human nature is not competition, us versus them and purely survival of the fittest, but is actually cooperation and caring for one another. Primates (including humans) have unique neural systems that include mirror neurons and Vagas nerves that make us hard-wired for compassion. Pull this together and it means that cooperation, compassion and empathy are survival strategies for our species.

As King said, “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

And, “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.” … “We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.”

Amen.

We must focus on the love, not the hate, if we want to shift our destructive trajectory and heal the sickness in our cultural consciousness.

As a next step I strongly encourage you to watch I Am.

Please share this post on Facebook.  Thank you.

#CylviaHayes

Make the Best Year of Your Life — Giving is Getting

In honor of our soon-to-be-born New Year I wanted to share a powerful new way I’ve just discovered for setting goals and

My 2018 Vision Board — Giving is Getting

intentions.

you ever done a Vision/ Intentions board? Lot’s of highly effective people do. They are a great way of setting goals in a more imaginative, creative way. It’s all about getting focused on what you really want and then getting out of the old linear, left-brain mode into creative right brain activity.

Usually when doing a Vision Board you spend some time thinking about what you want to accomplish or obtain and then you rifle through magazines, or online pics and find ones that resonate and glue them to a poster board, or you write words or draw images on the board. In whatever way best suits you create a visual representation of what you want to accomplish.

Well just a few days ago, I was inspired to a whole new way to do Vision Boards that sets the intentions at a much more powerful energy level.

I started out as usual, getting quiet, thinking about what I really wanted to accomplish and attract in the coming year – increase my income, have my book become a bestseller.

Why’d I want those things?

  • More money? Well, the obvious answer was I wanted less financial stress, a greater feeling of security.
  • My book becoming a bestseller? Obviously, a whole lot of sales would be great.

But there was something deeper and before I started gluing images and words on my poster board I spent some time really meditating on what it was I was really after. At a deeper level, I want to increase my income because:

  • A year from now I’ll be providing a home for a young family member of mine who will need some help getting established and I want to be able to help in a substantial way.
  • Deeper still I want to be able to make my maximum contribution in my work to slow climate change and bring healing and restoration to Nature. I want to be fully resourced so that I can do my best work on behalf of this planet that I love.

The deeper reason for my book?

  • I’ve been through something extraordinary the past few years and I want to harness those experiences to help people heal, recover and reinvent after adversity, loss and shame. A bestselling book helps me help others who I never could have reached otherwise.

So, it turns out, my deepest intentions weren’t even about what I wanted to get; they were all about what I wanted to give!

And so I set about making a Contributions Vision Board. At the top are the biggies that I want to contribute in this coming year. Underneath are images and words that capture the feelings related to those contributions and below that are the material goals that will fuel those contributions. Of all the boards I’ve created over the years this is BY FAR the one I feel most attached to and most empowered by.

I am a little shy about offering a picture here, since Vision Boards are very personal but here you go.

As we all move forward into a new year my prayer for each of you is that you find clarity of intention and the means to accomplish your deepest goals. And remember GIVING is always GETTING. You gift to others and the world is always a gift to yourself.

Happy New Year! Let’s make 2018 the best year of our lives so far!

 

If you love this post please share it on Facebook.  Thank you!

#CylviaHayes  #ResiliencyMuscles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are ALL Jedis!

WARNING! Spoiler Alert!

If you haven’t already seen Star Wars the Last Jedi, skip this post and come back later after you’ve seen the movie.

So, I only go out to the movies a few times a year. AND, I have NEVER gone out to see the same movie twice in one week. Until The Last Jedi. I first watched it with some very good girlfriends and was so struck I immediately wanted to share it with John.

It’s not that it’s hugely entertaining (it is) that grabbed me.   It’s that it is quite simply one of the most profoundly spiritual movies I’ve ever seen.

Partway through the second viewing I had to pull out a piece of paper and start taking notes! Never done that before either.

One of the clear messages that jumped out at me was the repeated point that Jedis are NOT EXCEPTIONAL! That’s right! Like Jesus they are not exceptions but examples of what we all can be.

Luke tries to bury the Jedi religion. Yoda, impishly but powerfully, seems to destroy it. The whole point is that anytime deep truths become an idolized, organized religion, the true power is lost.

Then, Leia, when nearly all their armies, ships and material resources are lost says, “Everything we need is right here”.

The point is not to try and find religion, to seek special training from “Masters” (not there’s anything wrong with that but it’s not the only answer). The answer is to AWAKEN to the powerful force within and all around us.

So fellow Jedis, Happy Holidays! May the light side of The Force be strong in you and our world in the New Year!

Love and Peace to you all,

Cylvia

#CylviaHayes #ResiliencyMuscles

Dancing with Adversity

Me dancing with my beloved for a good cause. We’re still dancing years later, after the big trauma.

We all face obstacles. Some are big and really painful. These past couple of years I’ve faced some biggies – loss of my business, numerous legal battles, a terrible accident in the family, severe financial challenges – all at once.

As I’ve worked through this adversity here is what I’ve come to see. The times that beat me up the worst were those when I ran head-on, in either fury or terror, trying to destroy the obstacles, to attack my attackers. I fixated on the obstacle, raged against the unfairness. I sacrificed my peace, my sleep, my hope to the problem. In essence I used myself as a battering ram.

The times the obstacles just rolled out of the way were those when I peeled my focus off the problem and turned inward to see what was really going on with me. That process wasn’t always pretty but the end result was stunningly beautiful. The more I plumbed the depths the more I realized how much I’d been missing. I’d worked and strived, planned, crossed things off the “Do” lists, all the while mostly asleep. When it came to the richest, deepest, most beautiful layers of life I’d been moving like when we wake up in a dark room and stumble and shuffle until reaching the light switch.

When we rage against the obstacles we give them more power. Instead of attacking we can began dancing, using each feint from the problematic partner to step into grace-filled new spaces within ourselves. As we detach we begin to see that the obstacle is not a beast setting its will to destroy us but rather, a happening, a process bumping up against us, like two branches in the same stream. We have options. We can feed the beast with attack and fear or we can dance and weave and flow toward truth.

Deep adversity provides a portal through which we can reach our inner light switch. Once we flip it on we see the biggest obstacles we ever face are the limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves and this mystical, mystifying human experience.

A few exercises for releasing limiting beliefs:

  • Stop feeding the beast. It is essential to stop focusing on the problem you are struggling with. I’m not saying don’t deal with real issues. Yes, make the appointments, fill out the paperwork, find another income source, etc. What I am saying is don’t let the problem eat your entire life. Every single day find things to be grateful for. Deep adversity is a time for celebrating simple pleasures and noticing small goodnesses. The more you say thanks the more you will have to be thankful for.

 

  • Choose again. There is a wonderful practice in a Course in Miracles that teaches that each time we find ourselves obsessing on the obstacle to just say, “choose again” and shift the thought to something positive. There were times when I had to do this hundred of times a day. I got better at it. It changed both the outcomes in and the quality of my life.

 

  • Develop a presencing practice. One of the most powerful tools I’ve found for managing adversity is learning how to be fully present 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. If you’re reading this book you’re likely dealing with some tough, even traumatic situation right now. There are probably 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? In this very moment are you warm? Do you have shelter and food? Are you breathing? If you have time to read this sentence your answer is almost certainly yes! I highly recommend reading The Power of Now, by Eckert Tolle.

 

Navigating adversity and clearing out obstacles is every bit as much about managing our minds as it is managing our day to day affairs. Not only will this help you navigate trauma more gently, it will add all sorts of collateral beauty and richness to the good times.

P.S. yep that is me dancing!  That was before the big adversity and yes, John and I are still together and still dancing post trauma — both the tune and the choreography are richer now.

 

#CylviaHayes  #ResiliencyMuscles