SPIRITUALITY


Spirituality and meditation are one of the same. Read what Light has to say about meditation and how it can help you find your center.


THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF NEW-AGE SPIRITUALITY

Medium.com ("The Lighthouse")

I could be wrong about these, but…

  1. Thou shalt never profess “I am spiritual, not religious.” We get it… you identify primarily with your spirit. When you are asked the inappropriate question, “Are you religious?” and you answer, “I’m spiritual, not religious,” it’s a bit condescending because A) One thing has nothing to do with the other, and B) We all identify with our spirit to some degree. It’s like a black person answering the same question with, “I am black, not religious.” The correct answer is simply, “No, I’m not religious.” ...

WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY

mindbodygreen.com

Happiness isn't merely the absence of suffering. Happiness is a big concept to define, and I won’t even attempt a thorough exploration here (there are entire — and really big — books on that topic for the interested reader), but thanks to developments in positive psychology in recent decades, we can determine some key factors that foster freakishly high levels of happiness, vitality and well-being. They include:

  • optimism
  • realization and cultivation of character strength
  • insight and self-awareness
  • purpose, passion and meaning
  • mindfulness of moments

Knowledge of these facts and virtues is one thing, but in many ways happiness means swimming upstream against some pretty ingrained biological and cultural patterns that take us in the opposite direction.

Optimism is great, but the human brain has a negativity bias. Thankfully, optimism can be learned, because brains can be (re) trained...


INSTEAD OF MAKING A NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION, TRY THIS

mindbodygreen.com

Let’s get one thing clear: I'm not against New Year’s Resolutions. It’s just that I’ve found something better. There’s an almost sacred symbolism embedded in the New Year celebration, and I’m all for that. It’s a time for renewal, a time to review, reflect and re-prioritize for the year ahead. The problem is that it’s a whole year ahead, which means (a) it doesn’t take a year to make a stable change, and (b) it takes a lot less than a year to forget a promise you made to yourself.

Perhaps all went well with your last resolution. If so, you might like to stop reading. If not, join me, because this isn't an article about New Year’s resolutions. 

Thanks to my yoga practice, I discovered the New and Full Moon Rhythm as an alternative to the New Year’s resolution, and when I started it felt like a “duh” moment — like, “Why haven’t I been doing this my whole life? It seems so sensible.” It also fits with my understanding of human behavior change and where my training as a clinical psychologist meets my training and practice as a yogini.

New Moon Resolutions and Full Moon Reflections have changed my life, and in watching clients I’ve seen this rhythm work equally well for yogis and non-yogis alike. Suffice it to say this approach isn’t unique to yoga. In many cultures, the new and full moon periods are sacred times for ritual, ceremony and the setting of intentions/goals...


IS YOUR MENTAL DIET BRINGING YOU DOWN?

mindbodygreen.com

What we put in our bodies runs deep. Deep into our veins, deep into the cells that make up “us.” This we know. We know that a teaspoon of sugar triggers an immediate cascade of reactions — insulin is secreted and the adrenals fire into action. In the long term, dozens, hundreds and (gasp) thousands of teaspoons of sugar can have enormous consequences. Diabetes, anyone? Fancy chronic inflammation, mood swings?

But what about what we put into our minds? Just how deep does the information we register run? What happens in the brain and nervous system when we watch pointless violence? What happens when we eat up advertising designed (yes, intentionally) to make us think we’re not enough — that we need more stuff to be OK? What happens when we cultivate thoughts of separation? What happens within our minds when we act on those thoughts?

What we do with our minds runs deep, and our mental diets matter...


7 SUREFIRE SIGNS YOU'RE FOLLOWING YOUR HEART

mindbodygreen.com

Why do we often second-guess the messages and directives from our heart? Isn’t the heart supposed to be looking out for our best interests — a sort of internal GPS for our personal growth and evolution? 

Maybe it’s because unlike the clear directions we get from the GPS, heart messages can sometimes feel vague, often leading us out of our comfort zone. Or, we want to be sure that it’s truly our heart we’re following and not our head.

If there have been times of confusion in deciphering which are the genuine heart messages, here's a little primer to let you know when you’re on the right track...


HOW MEDITATION FINALLY TAUGHT ME TO TRUST MYSELF

MINDBODYGREEN.COM

We each have something about us that people ask questions about more than anything else. For instance, tall people are asked, "How tall are you?" more than any other question. If you have a knot protruding from your forehead, an inordinate amount of people will ask, "What happened there?" While pointing to their forehead. If you're really skinny, everyone will probably want to know how much you weigh.

I've been asked each of those questions repeatedly throughout my life. I'm tall, I have a knot on my forehead, and I used to be abnormally skinny. But in my current phase, I have a new most-asked question: "Is 'Light' your real name?"

Unlike my knot, my height, and my weight, I actually chose to be called "Light." So in that sense, I brought it upon myself. And depending on who is asking, I have different variations of the answer, which, to put it simply, is "no—Light is not my real name."

Where my name came from:

I'll save you the suspense. The name Light was actually born out of a lunchtime conversation I was having with a good friend about people who took on LA-sounding names. This was 12 years ago. And at the time, I was telling my buddy about people I'd met in the City of Angels with airy-fairy-sounding names, such as Truth, Conscious, Tree, Sky, Mother, or Pineapple.

Next, I spontaneously challenged my friend to come up with an LA-sounding name for himself, and he decided on Ocean. Then he asked me to choose one, and I drew a blank. He insisted that I think of one. And still, nothing came. So he began counting down: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and I blurted out, "Light." ...

 

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