Life’s Lessons To Make Us Stronger

Life’s Lessons To Make Us Stronger

Have you ever noticed that even when you’re doing well, life seems to test you? Do you ever sense that some invisible energy pushes you towards challenges and says “oh yea, you’re feeling good? Let’s see about that.”

While I believe that the world is a friendly place and that we are meant for joy and ease, I also suspect that we are here primarily to grow and evolve as spiritual beings, sometimes more than we we’d care to. We understand on some level that the Universe has our back but that it also directs us to be our best possible version even when we want to yell “NO, I am JUST FINE the way I am THANK YOU!”

If you regularly feel lured into a space that’s uncomfortable or areas where you thought you had it all worked out, you’re not alone. Many of us are being opened up so that we can finally release old patterns and live our best life. Often that process can be painful and disheartening.

The biggest challenge for most people comes down to self-love and self-acceptance. At our core, many of us feel unworthy. In turn, we tend to attract people and circumstances that exemplify this. While what seems like an undesirable and repetitive cycle, is actually an amazing opportunity to expand. We can learn from these lessons and finally move beyond the lower vibration and personal limitations.

If you’ve tended to attract lousy partners, failures at work, struggles financially, or ongoing health issues for example, the job is to figure out what our role is in the situation and then begin making a conscious effort to move beyond attracting the same experiences over and over again.

Instead of beating ourselves up however, there comes a quiet acknowledgement of what isn’t working and then little by little, we can begin designing a new future that is not created from old paradigms running the show.

Yes bad things can happen even when we do our best but if we begin seeing the Universe as a friendly place instead of feeling victimized, we gradually regain personal power even when times are tough and when it seems the world is against us.

If we can reconnect and charge our spiritual batteries daily by practicing self-love, self-acceptance, and self-forgiveness, we will begin to relax and our viewpoint of what’s good and bad, or right and wrong will shift into a knowing that all is well no matter what. It really is.

Sometimes life can be challenging and there are many days when we just want the lessons to stop. Decide once and for all to release the resistance and not to take things so seriously. Welcome the obstacle with open arms and step outside of your experience to see it for what it truly is…the chance to rise above and to embrace all that is.

Even when it feels like we aren’t making progress, we are! Day by day, step by step, we’re moving into a whole new and expansive space. Hang in there, you’re going to be just fine.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

The Voice Of The Bully – Are YOU Your Worst Critic?

The Voice Of The Bully – Are YOU Your Worst Critic?

Most of us have been bullied. It often happens during our adolescent and teenage years and can take form in both verbal and physical abuse. I was bullied from kindergarten all the way through high school so I can certainly relate all too well.

The tormentor that I want to bring light to today is that of our inner bully. The voice of sabotage, put downs, and painful, recurring messages that we direct toward ourselves.

Ironically, we learn early on from other bullies, one of two things; To either accept their cruelty as truth, or if we have enough strength and self-respect from a young age, to repel their destructive messages. Unfortunately, many of us take these mean and degrading words to heart and we begin to use them as weapons against ourselves.

Constant abuse of any kind can eventually play with our minds and cause us to go into a downward spiral of negative, habitual self-talk. Even with plenty of positive tapes playing in the background, the frequent, underlying message is that “we are not enough.”

So how do we stop the influence of our bully, making way for more happiness, success, and self-esteem?

  • Recognize The Voice– Become clear that there is, in fact, a voice that is getting in the way. Begin to see patterns in your thoughts, actions, and inner dialogue that makes you feel bad. Listen to those voices but don’t buy into them. Start to recognize how you bully yourself and put yourself down on an ongoing basis.
  • Don’t Believe it– The next step is to STOP believing these messages. The routine we have fallen into is a toxic pattern of self-abuse and it has to stop! Begin separating yourself from the negativity and understand that it isn’t the voice of truth or reason. It is simply negative programming.
  • Befriend The Bully– Make friends with the bully. Hear what they have to say. Get sensible and send the tyrant gentleness. Like all bullies in our life, all they really need is recognition and love. What we resist, persists. What we love and forgive, dissipates.
  • Practice Feeling– Pay close attention to how you feel. What thoughts and words empower and energize you? Which ones drain you and make you feel tired or sad? Eventually, with a little practice, you WILL be able to create a new pattern of positivity, self-love, and becoming your own best friend and support system.
  • Spend Time Being Confident – Extend more energy doing those things that make you feel confident. If you constantly push yourself into areas that make you anxious and insecure, it’s fine to a point because it causes you to grow, but make sure that you are also doing many things that you’re great at! Somebody with low self-worth tends to continue patterns that emphasize their feelings of lack. Shift gears, you ARE amazing at many things! Start doing them more often.
  • Re-Charge– Continually re-charge your emotional and spiritual batteries. Create a daily practice that keeps you plugged in. Pray, meditate, journal, do yoga, read uplifting books, sing, get creative, and do whatever it takes to keep you balanced and open-hearted. With consistency, you will keep your batteries from becoming dangerously low and therefore avoiding the fall back into old patterns.

From somebody who has lived most of my life feeling unworthy due to early programming, I can tell you that THERE IS HOPE! It will take some consistent effort on your part but if you keep on, keeping on, you will most definitely make positive strides in the direction of regaining your natural state…that of confidence, self-love, worthiness, and a knowing that you are enough just as you are!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Heal All Areas of Your Life With Ho’Oponopono

Heal All Areas of Your Life With Ho’Oponopono

Ho’Oponopono is a Hawaiian healing technique based upon love and forgiveness. Loosely translated, it means “correction” and the basis of this practice is to take full responsibility for everything and everyone in your life.

The method involves repeating four phrases over and over again either out loud or to yourself. “I Love You,” I’m Sorry,” Please Forgive Me,” and “Thank You.”

The first phrase is about repentance, next forgiveness, then gratitude and finally love. By sending Ho’Oponopono to a person, object, or emotion, for example, we learn to take full responsibility for its presence in our life and we gently let it go by first acknowledging our part in the situation or event, and then releasing it through love and appreciation.

I use Ho’Oponopono in my transformational breath sessions because it is the most powerful way that I know to release heavy or toxic emotions, energy, and resentment. At the end of each class, I have the participants send these four healing phrases to themselves in present day, their inner child, parents and anyone else that they feel needs their love and forgiveness. I always say that it’s often the people we least want to forgive, that we need to forgive the most.

You can try the practice while reading this article. Take a moment now and think about somebody or something in your life that you resent, detest, or have undesirable emotions towards. It can be a person or situation. Since everything is made up of energy, even sending Ho’oponopono to money, an ailing organ, or a family event will work. Picture that person or thing and gently repeat to yourself “I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You.” Then, see how you feel. Most likely, you’ll immediately be lighter, more open, and relaxed. Continue to repeat the phrases until any negative or heavy feelings have dissipated.

When we learn to take full responsibility for our part in any situation, understanding that it always takes two to tango, we evolve and grow into stronger, more enlightened, and happier human beings. In essence, you’re saying “I’m sorry for my part in this” and “Please forgive me for whatever role I played in the situation.” It also takes us from victim to victor.

Practice using this amazing healing technique in your day to day life. In fact, commit to trying it for one week on everything that feels out of alignment and see what happens. Chances are you’ll begin to notice some very significant shifts in all areas of your life!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Is Anger Getting in the Way?

Is Anger Getting in the Way?

Many years ago I decided to try therapy because I was dealing with depression due to the break-up of a long-term relationship. My therapist having known that I felt down for an extended period said “you may feel depressed, but chances are you’re just really angry.” She went on to explain that depression and anger are closely tied together. Although depression can be a clinical diagnosis that requires professional care, it may also be caused by unexpressed anger or resentment towards somebody or something.

She was right, I had been building up resentment towards life for shattering my dreams, killing the storybook ending, and putting out my fire. I had let it build up with no way of expressing it or letting it out which led to a deep emotional pain.

I have since learned that there are healthy ways to express anger so that it doesn’t stew or lead to ongoing feelings of paralysis.

We all have troubling times and our emotions may range from discouragement to depression, or from frustration to feeling so angry that we lash out at those we love or get physically violent.

If you’ve been consistent with your spiritual practice, chances are these episodes will happen less or perhaps not as intense as they once were. But the truth is, life can be a rollercoaster and we have no choice but to go on the ride. It is how we deal with and sit through that ride that creates our life experience.

Studies have shown that ongoing, unresolved anger may lead to certain diseases such as heart attack, stroke, or cancer. There is a powerful link between stressful emotions and our physical health. But the good news is that it’s not too late to do something proactive especially if you’ve been dealing with *extreme anxiety, depression, or anger.

Sometimes when we’re in this state, we don’t feel like doing anything at all. But if you can muster up the energy, here are some helpful actions that you can take to go deeper and uncover these heavy emotions once and for all. When we can gain an understanding and become conscious of their existence, we come to realize that underneath all of it is our natural state of joy, bliss, relaxation, balance, unconditional love, and gratitude.

Exercise – One of the best ways to expel anger is to push yourself through an exercise routine. Running or cardio training is particularly effective at clearing the mind and eliminating negative self-talk. Exercise of any type releases feel-good endorphins and helps us to feel better.

Punch a Pillow – Sometimes anger needs to be expressed and we don’t always have an outlet. The best way to let out the built up tension is by punching a pillow over and over again while screaming at the top of your lungs. What may seem extreme at first, you’ll find will dissipate the anger leaving you feeling more relaxed and calm afterwards.

Breath Practice – I teach both group class and one-on-one transformational breath sessions and along with the breath work, we always let out a few screams during each session too. Deep breathing is the quickest and most effective way to access stifled emotions and pain. It opens the channels for you to heal on all levels of body, mind, and spirit and makes way to feelings of euphoria and bliss.

Meditation – Sometimes meditation can feel agonizing for those suffering from depression or anger because our mind and ego gets in the way. With practice, we can learn to de-clutter our minds and release pent up emotions. Combining breath work with meditation is the ideal combination.

Yoga – Yoga is the perfect mix of physical activity and mindfulness. Find a class that resonates with you and one that you enjoy. Like any spiritual practice, yoga will help to uncover blocks, fears, and unresolved emotion that may have been lingering for years.

Karate – Another great physical activity that helps to release anger is Karate. The combination of physical force and mental focus gets you out of your head and into your center, the core of who you are.

Boxing – While I am not a huge advocate of fighting, a healthy boxing practice, even solo with a bag is an awesome way to expel built up emotion along with giving you a great workout.

Dancing – Movement of any kind often helps with anger. Dancing to your favorite music playing loudly in the background may be just the thing you’ve been needing. Lose yourself in the music and dance like nobody is watching. Research a group called Ecstatic Dance in your area or plan a night out with friends.

Remove Yourself – Sometimes we will need to make physical changes such as leaving an abusive relationship with somebody who pisses us off regularly.  Or perhaps seeking out a new job that has a more positive environment may be just the thing you need to do. Know that you are never stuck in a situation and that forward movement is possible. You just need to take the first steps.

*Make sure to speak with your doctor if you’ve been experiencing ongoing feelings of extreme depression, anger, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Breathe – Like Your Life Depends on it!

Breathe – Like Your Life Depends on it!

We all have one thing in common. We breathe an average of 23,400 times per day. But when was the last time you really paid attention to your breath? Most of us take breathing for granted and underestimate its ability to heal us on numerous levels.

I recently adopted a breathing practice called Pranayama. While I have certainly done various forms of breath work in the past, nothing has been as transformative as this! Thanks to a friend who dragged me along to a class, I was hooked immediately. From my very first session, I noticed an intense shift in my emotional and spiritual world. So much so that I have committed to doing it daily and am now sharing it with clients and friends.

Pranayama breath comes from the Yoga tradition and the version I enjoy is simply breathing in through the mouth, into the diaphragm and then the chest and out again through the mouth. It is done in a rhythmic motion of three breaths. Into the diaphragm, into the chest and out through the mouth.

At first, it feels like hard work. Often people feel lightheaded or tingly especially in the hands and arms along with experiencing restriction or mild pain in certain areas of their body. But after a while your breathing takes on a mind of its own. You begin to relax more deeply and many people disappear into a deep meditative state.

What I love about this breathing technique is that it combines both an active participation along with a surrendered relaxation which is great for those people who have a challenge sitting still in a regular meditation practice.

Lie down and get comfortable, light a candle, use essential oils and choose your favorite music. Begin with 5-10 minutes per day and work your way up to a 30 to 40-minute practice which combines 20-30 minutes of deep, powerful breathing followed by slower nostril breaths for approximately 10 minutes.

This practice will often bring up intense emotions. It will help rid your body of physical blocks along with emotional and spiritual ones too. It’s not uncommon to have bursts of crying, laughter, or anger during your sessions which are all signs of releasing toxic or stored up emotions that we hold onto without even realizing. I have also felt the energy points in my body known as chakras spinning, throbbing, and opening. I often find myself sweating, extremely hungry, and filled with an overwhelming joy and sense of gratitude afterwards. It is like nothing I’ve experienced before.

Breathing techniques like this have been used for people in recovery from alcohol and drugs as well as for those dealing with illness such as cancer.

Here are just a few of the numerous benefits of doing Pranayama breathing:

  • Oxygen – Feeding our cells oxygen is vital to creating a healthy body. Oxygen assists our system in detoxing and fighting off potential cancer cells. It also creates a more alkaline environment off-setting acidity which has been linked to numerous illnesses.
  • Reduced Stress, Anxiety and Depression – Studies have shown that those who participate in regular breathing sessions have a lower incidence of anxiety and depression along with experiencing less reaction to stressful situations.
  • Lower/Stabilized Blood Pressure – Increased oxygen lowers blood pressure and may even lower blood sugar levels as well.
  • Increased Energy Levels – Often people report an increase in overall physical stamina after participating in an extended breath session. Once again, oxygen feeds our cells and in turn, creates ATP which is essential for energy.
  • Muscle Relaxation – More oxygen means more blood flow to our muscles which assists in a quicker recovery and often a speedier healing time for those dealing with injury, post-surgery, or for athletes with lactic acid buildup.
  • Emotional Healing – A regular breath work practice can literally unblock stored up emotions, fears, and traumas from our body often leaving us feeling euphoric.
  • Spiritual Healing – Yogis have known for thousands of years that regular deep breathing can literally open up blocked chakras or energy points within our body helping us to live with more balance, joy, and freedom.

If you’ve been struggling to find a regular spiritual practice and you’ve tried numerous things that don’t resonate, I highly recommend that you explore Pranayama breathing.

To get started, research local breathing classes in your area. Sometimes joining a group can make it more enjoyable. Find a skilled teacher along with a powerful soundtrack, and you too can have a life-changing experience.

I can’t emphasize enough just how powerful this practice can be. Breathe like your life depends on it because in all honesty, it does!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!