Finding the Silver Lining in Times of Change:
A talk sponsored by Pursue Balance and given by Carol Mann, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

INTRODUCTION:
Tonight we begin Earth Week with a Spring Cleaning opportunity for the psyche and the soul! This evening is about… Discovering the Silver Lining in these times of major change. I will offer you a positive, big picture perspective on what is going on in the world and in our lives…AND… we’ll do some practical exercises to explore the direction of your silver lining including some keys to experience inner peace, regardless of the rock and roll going on everywhere.

I'd like to begin with a quote from Helen Keller: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

Keep in mind that Helen Keller was deaf , dumb and blind as the result of illness as a baby. She mastered finger spelling and then Braille, and became the first person with her handicaps to graduate with a B.A. from Harvard. She went on to learn other languages, to do public lectures and publish many books, and died in the 1960’s.

Now consider her quote again: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

WHAT’S GOING ON THE BIG PICTURE:
The earth is evolving… with or without us. Thousands and thousands of years of a world reality based on fear-based attitudes, behaviors and institutions…marked by regular episodes of violence, greed, abuse, and the dishonoring of life…are coming to an end. And a new collective world reality constructed on a base of loving actions, thoughts, beliefs and motives is emerging. In order to participate in the upgrade, we have personal homework to do in order to let go of our own long-standing, fear-based identities, beliefs and behaviors.

THE HIGHER PURPOSE of all the converging events going on right now… from the economy, to climate change and everything in between, is to push us to participate in the evolution and bring our species to its fullest potential… or NOT.

The reason that so many things in every arena of life are not working anymore is because they have completed their usefulness. They are dismantling… falling apart… to make room for an upgrade. All the systems which organize our culture including education, government, economy, health care, international affairs…to how we eat, what we want to do with our lives, whom we want to be with, how we understand our role in the matrix of life…. everything is up for redefinition in order to align with the higher evolutionary direction of the earth.
 
We need new sources of energy to fuel our cars, AND the equivalent in our psyche is to let go of fear as our fuel and replace it with love.

HEART BREATHING EXERCISE: Heart Breathing is a quick, powerful technique to shift your awareness out of the head and in to the heart. The heart’s electromagnetic field is 5000 to 1 more powerful than the electromagnetic field of the brain, which is why the heart can almost instantly harmonize the entire body, including the brain. Being aligned with the frequency of your heart jump starts your immune system, lowers blood pressure and connects you to higher possibilities. And you don’t loose your mind when you come from your heart…your brain acts in service to your heart. The heart is command central!

EXERCISE: Close your eyes and literally move the focus of your awareness and your current center of gravity from your head , down in to your heart…as if you can take an elevator from your head, down in to your heart. Now imagine that you can breathe in and out of your own heart. Gently open you eyes and return your awareness to the room. Notice how you feel. It is worth doing this before you think or act..it shifts your perspective immediately and brings peace. DO IT OFTEN…till it becomes a habit.

Let me repeat THE GOOD NEWS AGAIN…These changes are NOT intended to do us in; they ARE a cosmic kick in the butt…and they are meant to help us evolve.


THE SHIFT FROM FEAR TO LOVE :
So what does changing from fear to love look like and what does that have to do with silver linings and well-being?

From a metaphysical perspective, Love and Fear are States of Being... like energy lenses …where you are coming from… the lens through which you perceive and interpret the meaning of what happens in your life. AND… each of these two states of being… fear and love…  translates into their own repertoire of emotions behaviors, attitudes and actions.

FEAR:
The background state of being which is Fear…doesn’t mean that you are walking around shaking in your boots all the time…it does mean that you look at life through the lens of fear. IT DOES MEAN THAT YOU ASSUME THAT DIFFICULT EVENTS OR PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE ARE ABOUT YOU AND ARE OUT TO GET YOU…YOU ARE IN A BATTLE WITH LIFE.

That lens automatically comes with: contraction in the body and the mind and the spirit, constant vigilance, stress, mistrust, lack, separation, selfishness, exclusion, conflict, the need to be right, to be better than, the biochemistry of fight or flight, Survival of the Fittest…

THE PART OF OUR PSYCHE, WHICH IS ALWAYS FEAR-BASED IS THE EGO. HAVING THE EGO IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT OF LIFE CREATES A BACKGROUND STATE OF FEAR.

Feeling fear when it IS appropriate is NOT the same thing as coming from a place of fear. Fear is an important navigational tool if there is something immediately threatening and dangerous that you need to be aware of and take action…a grizzly coming your way, an approaching storm…etc.

LOVE:
The background state of being of LOVE doesn’t mean that you are walking around in bliss loving everyone and everything in your path. IT DOES MEAN THAT YOU KNOW AT THE DEEPEST LEVEL OF YOUR BEING THAT THERE IS A HIGHER PLAN IN EFFECT AT ALL TIMES, NO MATTER HOW IT MAY SEEM, AND THAT LIFE IS SUPPORTING YOU, REGARDLESS HOW IT SEEMS.

It does mean that you look at life through a loving, compassionate set of lenses. These lenses are automatically accompanied by openness, expansion and flexibility in the body and the mind, compassion, trust, collaboration, connection, abundance, support, inclusion, inner peace, the biochemistry of well-being…to coin a new phrase, SURVIVAL OF THE MOST LOVING…

THE PART OF OURSELVES, WHICH ALWAYS COMES FROM THIS HIGHER PERSPECTIVE IS THE SOUL…CONSCIOUSLY PUTTING THE  HEART/SOUL IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT OF YOUR LIFE CREATES A BACKGROUND OF LOVE.


THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF SILVER LINING: 
From a metaphysical perspective, all human beings have a soul, which connects us to Source…the Universe… Higher intelligence…the Unified Field of Consciousness…God…and that soul is connected to the physical body by a SILVER CHORD of energy. At its core, finding the Silver lining in any situation means consulting with your soul to experience the wisdom of its higher truth as it relates to living your most evolved life.

Coming from a Loving State of Being is not about being a goody two shoes or tolerating and condoning awful behavior…it includes using discernment, saying no, having healthy boundaries.

WE HAVE CONTROLWHEN LIFE PRESENTS DIFFICULTIES:
WE ALL HAVE TWO CHOICES FOR HOW TO RESPOND:
1. TO COME FROM EGO AND FEAR, OR
 2. TO COME FROM SOUL AND LOVE

NOW YOU KNOW THAT EACH CHOICE LEADS TO VERY DIFFERENT OUTCOMES, TO DIFFERENT STATES OF MENTAL CLARITY, WELL-BEING, AND CONSCIOUSNESS.

The Dali Lama is an example of a person choosing to taking the high road in the face of tragedy:

His response to the Chinese taking his country away from him and his people presented a choice. He could have come from Fear’s relative, REVENGE, and become one of the world’s most feared terrorists, consumed with hatred, igniting violence among his people and organizing attacks.

Obviously he chose the high road, the soulful path. He speaks openly about the on-going sorrow he has about losing his country…clearly he feels deeply. He has embodied, demonstrated and taught compassion, which has turned him in to a world teacher with more impact that he ever would otherwise have had.

WHEN WE CHOOSE TO COME FROM THE EGO LENSES, HERE’S WHAT THAT EGO/FEAR/LOW ROAD PERSPECTIVE is all about :
*TAKING  EVERYTHING PERSONALLY
*SEEING YOURSELF AS THE VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCES
*FEELING MAD, SAD, HELPLESS, HOPELESS, ENTITLED, AFRAID, BITTER, TRAPPED, STUCK, VENGEFUL, DESPERATE
 *BLAMING OTHERS
 * AND GOING ROUND AND ROUND IN THAT LOOP.

Scientists have shown that the feelings which are evoked when a person considers themselves a victim, shut down the immune system…shut down the ability to think clearly…and cut off any access to contentment, creative problem solving or to Higher Guidance.

HERE IS THE EGO INTERPRETATION of losing your job:
“Why me? It’s not fair! There are so many other less competent people who should be fired first… just when I was getting ahead of the game…I PUT SO MUCH ENERGY IN TO THIS…AND NOW WHAT…the jerks in management who make the big salaries should go first…how am I ever going to make it here…a list of swear.” Then, THE EGO PERSPECTIVE HAS TO tell everyone you meet how screwed up the system is, how your boss doesn’t know what she’s doing…how life sucks. EVERY re-telling the story increases the anger, helplessness and the negative effects on your body.


BOTTOM LINE: when your ego is running your life and rough things happen…you are stuck taking on the role of the victim …feeling mad, sad, helpless and paralyzed… which feels awful…undermines all aspects of your health, and changes nothing.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE COMING FROM EGO IN REACTION TO SOMETHING?

IT FEELS LOUSY…NEEDY… WHINEY…POUTY… CONFLICTED…BLAMING…UNCLEAN…CLINGY… NAGGY …LIKE A KID THROWING A TANTRUM…COMPLAINING…GOING OVER AND OVER THE COMPAINT. HOOKED.



THE HIGH ROAD IS COMING FROM THE SOUL:
Here is what coming from the soul perspective is about:
*FEELING THE PAIN… AND
*ACCEPTING WHAT IS, AND
*NOT TAKING IT PERSONALLY,AND
*ON PURPOSE LOOKING FOR THE SILVER LINING/THE OPPORTUNITY.
*IT IS LOOKING AT THE BIG PICTURE,
*KNOWING YOU ALWAYS HAVE OPTIONS,
*KNOWING THERE IS ALWAYS IMPORTANT LEARNING AND DISCOVERY,
*TRUSTING THAT IN TIME YOU WILL BE GRATEFUL.
* FORWARD MOVEMENT.

Notice that the soul perspective includes the word “AND”, which IS INCLUSIVE, allowing for everything to be included. The ego perspective tends to use the word “BUT”, which creates polarity and separation. In Helen Kellers’s metaphor, focusing on the new doors for happiness/possibilities opening in front of us…is the high road.

Scientists have also documented that approaching life through the open hearted and soulful lens…the half full glass: BOOSTS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM, ACTIVATES THE BIOCHEMISTRY OF WELL-BEING, REVEALS NEW OPTIONS, EXPANDS CREATIVITY, OPENS HIGHER STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS…AND FOSTERS INNER PEACE.

SO HERE IS THE SOUL’S INTERPRETATION OF LOSING YOUR JOB:
“I am really upset and disappointed…I kind of sensed this would happen given the givens…it still feels awful…AND I know this is about the economy…What can I learn from this?What worked for me and what didn’t in this job? This is a chance for me to get creative…maybe find something else that I enjoy more…I can ask myself what I really want to do next, …to revisit dreams I have for my life.”

“Let’s see, in the meantime I need to earn some money, so I’ll put the word out and check the classifieds and do whatever it takes to support myself while I explore the new possibilities. Oh, and I am also going to take the time to clean out the garage…sell some things on Trash and Treasure and ebay and donate the rest. I’m so curious how all this will unfold.”


HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE COMING FROM YOUR SOUL AND HAVE CONNECTED WITH THE  CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE SILVER LINING?

You feel: EMPOWERED, OPTIMISTIC, IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT OF YOUR LIFE, HOPEFUL, INSPIRED, CURIOUS, CLEAN, AND AT PEACE. IT’S THE SPIRITUAL AND MENTAL COROLLARY TO HAVING A STRONG PHYSICAL CORE! SIMILAR FEELING!
               
BOTTOM LINE:
Consistently responding to what life presents from the soul, builds an automatic positive response pattern to life…which by the Laws of Attraction will bring more and more opportunities in to your experience!

COMING FROM YOUR SOUL IS HOW YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS CONTRIBUTES TO THE EVOLUTION UNDERWAY ON THIS EARTH.


A PERSONAL EXAMPLE:
I’d like to share an example of an unexpected heart/soul opening, silver lining which happened in my life. Eleven years ago my brother and his wife died in a commercial airline crash, which killed the over 200 people on-board. I was devastated, and after gathering first with my family, I knew that I needed to travel to the site of the crash, wanting to be there with the other families, pay homage and make it real.

What happened there for me was a total surprise. From the moment we landed and headed in a caravan of chartered buses to the crash site, there were adults and children, total strangers lining the roadside along the 45 minute trip holding hand made signs of sympathy and love. When we got there, local school children had made cards for us; we were given blankets to wrap around our shoulders as we went out by the cool ocean to the crash site right off shore. They gave us roses to toss in to the ocean in memory of those who perished. Our children were given teddy bears; people had bottled water from the sea where the crash occurred for us to take home...on and on in an overwhelming outpouring of love, kindness and thoughtfulness from total strangers for all of us who had lost loved ones. This demonstration of pure kindness blasted my heart open like I have never experienced in my life…and I thought I had an open heart! For me this was one of many unexpected gifts from a tragic situation…it filled me with love and compassion and overwhelming gratitude and hope for humanity! It was a true healing, which changed my life forever. 

Simultaneous to, and in direct contrast to my experience of overwhelming love, other people who had gathered at the crash site, who were coming from the lens of fear, were enraged and blaming the pilots and demanding compensation.




TWO CONCLUDING EXERCISES:
Now let’s experience how to get in to that heart /soul space, where you can empower yourself, find your own best answers, change your life and be aligned with the evolution in process on the earth.

EXERCISE #1: On the piece of paper at your seat, make a list OF 3 PEOPLE YOU ADMIRE TREMENDOUSLY FROM ANY PERIOD IN HISTORY OR PEOPLE WHO ARE ALIVE RIGHT NOW, WITH WHOM YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPEND A DAY. Take your time, and also list the specific qualities/characteristics of each person, which you so admire.

WHEN YOU ARE DONE:
*First, review your list of people and the qualities in them you admire, and look for common themes among them.
*Second, the list of qualities you have created reveals WHAT YOU ARE MEANT TO DEVELOP IN YOUR CHARACTER THIS LIFE. In fact, you likely already have the elements of the very attributes you so admire, and are perfectly positioned to hone these further. These are aspects of your higher path.

A very important Silver Lining in times of change is to know and focus on what you are here to develop in yourself. Now you know. GO forth and focus on mastering the qualities on your list! Be open to how you might share these attributes with others, and how you might refocus your life based on living from what you are intending to develop in yourself.

EXERCISE #2: Accessing the Wisdom of your heart.
Close your eyes and take some nice, slow, deep breathes…the kind where you as you inhale your belly inflates with air, and as you exhale the belly deflates…. Take an imaginary ride from your head down in to your heart… Imagine you can breathe in and out of your heart. Ask you heart to answer the following question, “If your success was a guarantee, what would you love to do?” Gently return your awareness to the room and open your eyes. You may or may not choose to follow up on your answer, and it gives you good clues on what kind of work fulfills you and makes you happy.

Hopefully you are leaving tonight with insight about the big picture, about your path, and some tools to help you take the high road…to make lemonade…to reconnect with your soul , and experiment with a better way of living your life, which contributes to your well-being and to others and upgrades the earth.

The truth is that all the wisdom traditions of the world, and every religion, and every great book past and present contain the message to come from love and offer simple practices to do this.  The point now is JUST BE IT; JUST DO IT. This is the timing.

Thank you.
*copyright Carol Mann Cosmic Café TM