Saturday, January 28, 2012

More Bach Flowers for Guided Meditation

I just thought of another of my guided imagery or guided meditation programs that directly correlates to a Bach Flower Remedy: Weight Loss - Transform From Within. (See my previous post for more of these.)

When it comes to food, we disconnect our feeling of momentary gratification from our common sense regarding the long term consequences. For some reason, even though we know that eating too much or eating wrong will result in weight gain, we do it anyway, because it feels good in the moment. At that critical moment we are failing to learn from experience.

There's a remedy for that: Chestnut Bud is specifically for failing to learn from life's lessons, and the need to repeat mistakes over and over. It's a remedy that helps us get into the moment and become conscious.

Of course, Chestnut Bud isn't just about overeating. It's about the dumb mistakes that we all make repeatedly, that generally fall into the category of "self-sabatage". Why do we make choices that keep us from being happy and successful?

Often it comes down to patterns developed in childhood. For example, if we learn as children that the best way to get attention -- or perhaps the ONLY way to get attention -- is to get ourselves into situations where we need to be rescued, we establish a pattern of getting into trouble.

As we grow up, patterns like that go unconscious, but they stay operational. Therapy can help uncover and bring to them to the surface, and help us gain clarity and let them go. The Bach Flower Remedy Chestnut Bud can be a good resource as well.

As for the overeating pattern ,depending on one's state of mind, any number of other Bach remedies might be indicated. If for example, we're overeating due to loneliness, home sickness, depression, fear, etc., specific remedies can help resolve those underlying issues as well. So, if you happen to be working on weight loss, a mixture of Chestnut Bud and a few other remedies might help. (Especially if you're working with my guided meditation.)

Bottom line though, is put down the donut. Step away from the donut, and no one gets hurt. Especially if you happen to be stepping away on a treadmill.

Sorry, but there is no Bach Flower Remedy for increasingly poor attempts at humor.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Using Bach Flower Remedies With Guided Meditation

I’ve been using Bach Flower Remedies (”BFR”) for 40 years, and I’m always surprised to meet people who have never heard of them. I feel like I’m letting people in on a big secret when I get to introduce them, as I did with a psychiatrist recently. I wish all psychiatrists knew about these -- it would sure cut down on the Big Pharma prescriptions. 

Recently I’ve been writing new guided meditation and guided imagery programs focused on specific situations and personal issues, and began thinking about the Bach Remedies that might go well with them. Here are two examples:

BFR: Pine - for feeling guilty
BFR: Rock Water - for being too hard on oneself
BFR: Crab Apple - self hatred/feeling unclean

BFR: White Chestnut - for persistent unwanted thoughts
BFR: Impatiens - for impatience
BFR: Agrimony - mental tension
BFR: Sweet Chestnut - extreme anguish

Not that one would automatically take all of those remedies for insomnia. As always with the BFR, if you don’t have the condition it’s for, it won’t do any good. But if you do, if you’re feeling stuck in some way, they can be very handy. 

As time goes on I plan to create more guided meditations that will correspond to Bach Flower Remedy sorts of conditions. If you have a “favorite”, please let me know. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Is This The Hot Wire?

In my spiritual counseling practice, the notion that we create our own reality crops up now and then. It's an idea that came into prominence with the human potential movement, some thirty or more years ago, and has been more recently re-popularized by The Secret and other sources. But the concept goes back at least to the New Testament: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23 verse 7)

Basically, it's mechanics; a description of part of the process by which one's life unfolds. On one level, pointing out that we create our own reality is similar to explaining that your car has an engine that makes it go. It's accurate information, but it still leaves you with all the responsibility of deciding where you want that vehicle to take you. 

But the ego loves the notion that "I create my reality", especially here in western culture, where we are so achievement oriented and materialistic. The first thing people generally do when presented with that notion, is to think about how they can use it to get more stuff. We immediately wonder if we can "hot-wire reality", to borrow a phrase from an old Jackson Browne song. 

There is no hot wire. And to try to control creation with one's mind is to stay stuck in the ego, and prolong the agony. If you feel stuck in any way, forget trying to figure out how to create your reality, if that means trying to think your way out of it. Instead, the answer comes from listening, following, and letting go. It's a time honored practice that all the great saints and spiritual teachers followed and understood. It's called acceptance, humility, and surrender, and that's generally the last thing we're willing to consider when faced with a challenge. It's a crazy upside down world. 

This is not to say that what you think isn't important, or that it does not play any part in who you become. For more about thinking, please see the previous post: "What Were You Thinking?!?"

NOTE: If you found this post helpful, perhaps you'll want to be informed when the next piece is posted. To do so, just click the "follow" link on the right side bar.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What Were You Thinking?!?

A  friend and fellow counselor, Beverly Martin has a "Words Of Wisdom" quote of the day email I subscribe to. The other day, she included the following quote from A Course In Miracles:
"You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think."
Thank you, Bev! 

I sometimes say it this way: "You're not responsible for what passes through your mind, but you are responsible for what you hold there." Every thought is energy, and your thoughts, whether they are benevolent, benign, or toxic, create a ripple effect that goes out into the world. It's a bit like learning not to litter. What you throw out the window, everyone has to look at. 

But a more compelling reason to take responsibility for your thoughts is that they are at the leading edge of the person you are becoming, moment by moment. And by learning to monitor your thinking -- "think about what you're thinking about" as a teacher I know says -- you have an opportunity to change, and become the person you most want to be. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Honk Honk. R U Comfortable?

A paradox: We’re here in Earth School for growth and learning, yet we humans are designed to seek comfort. But being comfortable doesn’t tend to lead to growth -- it’s discomfort that tends to be our best teacher.

Here’s an example. I meditate in the morning, to quiet myself, focus in my heart, and connect with God. (Please watch for my forthcoming CD, Heart Meditations, about this wonderful inner work.) After a while I get a nice, warm, rosy glow, and feel very comfortable indeed!

In the process of doing my meditation I very often ask God to help me let go of anything within me that’s stands between me and God. With that stuff out of the way, I would surely be even more comfortable, right?

Then I begin my day. Life bumps into me, I get challenged, and the very kinds of stuff I asked God to help me release seems to come up. For example, impatience. I’m driving to a meeting, and someone in front of me is driving too slowly. What if I’m late? Why is this person driving so slowly? How can I get around them? When will the light change?*

As my impatience comes up, that rosy glow I accumulated in my meditation is fading, making me feel less and less comfortable. Plus, here I am a so called “spiritual” person, getting all upset. I'm uncomfortable, and a little ashamed too, so now I'm even more uncomfortable!

That’s where seeking comfort helps me with my spiritual growth. If I can be aware of the uncomfortable impatience that’s coming up, I can make a conscious choice to let some of it go. There’s my growth and learning, made possible by my innate human tendency to seek comfort.

My lesson is also brought to me by Creation’s uncanny ability to mirror back to me anything within me that’s in the way of my spiritual heart. The only determining factor on how fast I’ll learn is:
  1. Am I choosing to paying attention?
  2. Am I willing to let go?
This comes back to an important point about meditation. Meditation is great for helping us go deeper into our heart, connect with God and our Higher Self, and get all spiritual. It gives us a reference point for what’s possible, and a taste of our potential. BUT, the real growth happens back out in the world, when we’re challenged. That’s when we move forward on our path, on a moment to moment basis, based on our choice to be aware, and our willingness to let go.

I hope you're comfortable with what I'm saying here!  

*If you have trouble driving peacefully, as I sometimes do, check out my newest course, Car Peace: Make Your Car A Stress-Free Sanctuary.

NOTE: If you found this post helpful, perhaps you'll want to be informed when the next piece is posted. To do so, just click the "follow" link on the right side bar.

Blessings,

Max Highstein
Intuitive Guidance/Spiritual Support
http://www.maxhighstein.com
Blog: http://the-healing-waterfall.blogspot.com
Santa Fe, NM • (505) 466-1055

Monday, March 21, 2011

Notes On The Spiritual Heart, 3/21/11

Coming Soon!
For some time, the intuitive counseling work I do, and the written and recorded programs I produce, have been on a convergent path. The convergence has been closely tied to a shift in my own path: Moving from a head-centered life to a heart-centered one. That's been a major renovation project within me, going back 40 years or more.

So many life altering incidents, meetings, and events have contributed to this inner shift that there can be no doubt about it all being orchestrated by a higher power. I suspect you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn't feel something similar about your own life.

So here we are in still early 2011, with the world in ever more turmoil. How do we find peace amid the challenges, both inward and outward?  My solution has become one of looking deeper within my own heart for guidance, on virtually everything I think, say, or do. It’s been a lot of work, but it's working for me, and it's become a big part of my counseling practice as well.

My e-course, Open Your Spiritual Heart with Saint Francis, includes some of that heart-centered work. But you don't have to be aligned with any particular religion or spiritual figure to become heart-focused. You can use whatever moves you. Personally, I find it helps to inwardly call upon someone I look up to for inspiration, from time to time.

Recently I've been working on a new guided meditation CD about the spiritual heart, Heart Meditations, pictured above. Soon to be released in CD and download format, Heart Meditations will include three guided meditations, each focusing in a different way on finding your spiritual heart. Then the program continues with instructions and guidance for a heart meditation practice that everyone can do on their own, with or without the included guiding track. That heart meditation practice is one I use every day, and I've wanted to share it in this way.

I expect Heart Meditations to be available in just a few weeks, and promise to keep you "posted" when it "drops", as the young people are saying. (A disclosure here: We have a wide variety of magazines in our waiting room. Reading interviews with rappers in Entertainment Weekly helps me to pretend I'm current with popular culture!)

NOTE: If you find this post helpful, follow or subscribe to this blog by clicking on the links on the right side.

Blessings,

Max Highstein
Intuitive Guidance/Spiritual Support
http://www.maxhighstein.com
Santa Fe, NM • (505) 466-1055

Sunday, March 20, 2011

White Chestnut & the Bach Flower Remedies

Sacred Journeys
New Gentle Music
from Max Highstein
Speaking about drugs, medication, and other ways of avoiding pain and/or coping with life (see last post), there is a class of “meds” that aren’t really meds, that every spiritual seeker should know about. They’re the Back Flower Remedies (BRF), and I’ve been employing them off and on for about 40 years.

Developed by an English physician Edward Bach, the BFR are 38 tinctures that are vibrational in nature. Most of them are sourced from flower blossoms, but similar to homeopathic remedies, there is virtually no herbal content ingested. When you take Bach Remedies, you’re basically just applying a vibration to your energetic field!

So, if it’s just a vibration, how well can it really work? Incredibly well, as it turns out, assuming you have one of the 38 specific conditions that the remedies address. (If you don’t have the condition that the remedy you’re taking is for, it won’t do a thing. It’s not a “drug” per se, and there are no side effects.)

I often give the example of the remedy, White Chestnut, which is for “persistent unwanted thoughts...”*. If you’ve ever had a conversation going round and round in your head, and couldn’t seem to get it to stop, you would appreciate White Chestnut. It’s especially helpful when you’re trying to get to sleep. When I happen to get stuck in one of those loops, and take White Chestnut, it seems to work so well I almost forget why I took it. It doesn’t make you groggy or high or alter your consciousness in any way, other than causing the hamster wheel in your head to stop spinning. It’s pretty amazing.

Going back to the topic of my previous post, is taking the BFR an avoidance of processing feelings I should be facing head on? No, because I’m aware of what I’m feeling, and am already working with it. The BFR just help me handle the effects within my system of what I’m already processing. I use them as I would take an aspirin for a headache, or go to a surgeon for an appendectomy. We’re here on Earth to learn, not to suffer. So when I can, I’ll make myself a bit more comfortable, so that when my stuff comes up, as it most certainly will, I’m ready to deal with it. It’s all a matter of finding a balance. BFR helps with that.

That’s why I like Bach Flower Remedies. I’ll write more about them soon.

*Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies, Philip M. Chancellor, CW Daniel Company, publisher.

NOTE: If you find this post helpful, follow or subscribe to this blog by clicking on the links on the right side.

Blessings,

Max Highstein
Intuitive Guidance/Spiritual Support
http://www.maxhighstein.com
Santa Fe, NM • (505) 466-1055