the-ultimate-guide-to-forgiveness

The Ultimate Guide to Forgiveness: 7 Techniques on How to Forgive

forgiveness-quote

“Forgiveness is the decision and the ability to end the negative energetic connection that keeps me linked to the person or past deed I haven’t forgiven. It doesn’t mean I think that what they – or I – did was okay. Rather it is a decision not to let past hurts or guilt continue to color my present and overshadow my future. It is not about the person I forgive. Whether I forgive another or myself, it is always about healing me.” -Judy Byrne

Forgiveness is so important but can seem so impossible at times! Every therapist, coach, religious leader, spiritual guide and even Oprah will tell you that gratitude and forgiveness are THE KEYS to self-development, growth and any kind of success. “Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself” they always say. Forgiveness is all about accepting the past, learning the lessons and moving on. The idea is that carrying around frustration, mistakes, disappointment, resentment, regrets and hatred from past events is like trying to climb a ladder with cinder blocks tethered to your ankles.

Most of us understand that concept and yet forgiving someone who has wronged us can be challenging at times. I have an especially hard time with this. If there was such a thing as Emotional Olympics, I would be the Michael Phelps of holding a grudge. These days I am having a hard time forgiving my parents. As I am working on self-development, healing from my divorce and learning to thrive as a single mother, it becomes more and more apparent that all of my issues and pain in my last 30 years of existence are a direct result from mental childhood traumas.

I understand that everyone gets messed up by their parents to varying degrees and I am certain that my sons aren’t going to be trauma free either. I understand that walking around and blaming my parents for all of my problems is just stupid and disempowering. I know that there are many happy and successful people out there that have achieved amazing feats despite growing up in much worse situations than I grew up in. And yet all of this knowledge doesn’t help me forgive. I keep thinking that it would be easier to forgive if the abuse stopped, but the emotional abuse continues at full force.

My feelings are justified but it does me no good living as the victim. It doesn’t matter if our abusers deserve our forgiveness, what matters is that we do whatever it takes thrive.

One of my FAVORITE people in the self-development space (Denice Duffield Thomas- luckybitch.com) always says that when you are trying to accomplish something, “throw everything at it”. If you have just the tiniest smidgen of belief for a tool or technique, use it!  So here is my list of 7 Techniques on How to Forgive:

1. Mantras for forgiveness:

  • Denise Duffield – Thomas, suggests that you make a list of all of your traumas, sit in a quiet place, visualize each one by one and forgive by repeating this mantra: “I forgive you. I’m sorry and I love you.”
  • In the book The Law of Forgiveness, author Connie Domino also suggests making a list of people to forgive. Visualize each one and recite the following mantra: “I forgive you completely and freely, I release you and let you go.  So far as I’m concerned, the incident that happened between us is finished forever.   I wish the best for you.  I wish for you your highest good.  I hold you in the light.  I am free and you are free, and all again is well between us.  Peace be with you.”

2. Rationalization:

It’s easier to convince yourself to forgive when you understand that the person who hurt you is really messed up. There is no excuse for abuse! (I totally, didn’t mean to make that rhyme.) But I find it easier to forgive when you understand that you are dealing with someone who is mentally ill to some degree.

My beloved grandmother had pretty advanced stage Alzheimer’s by the time I was in college. She would ask me multiple times during each visit what I was studying at school. My answer elicited a response consisting of a grunt and nasty wave followed by her spitting in my direction. This woman practically raised me and was the only adult in my life that loved me just for existing and yet I never felt resentful of her responses. This is because I knew she was mentally ill and not really all there.

I also don’t take my toddler seriously when he says “mama LEAVE” and does other “hurtful” things because I understand were his emotional intelligence level is at.

3. Re-frame the Transgressor:

Sometimes we are so laser focused on the negatives of a person or a situation that we all we can feel is anger and hate which attracts even more negativity. Creating a gratitude list is the quickest way to turn around those icky feelings of hate and drowning. I found that making a list of positive things about the person I want to forgive, helps me tap into a more forgiving state of mind.

4. Tapping for Forgiveness:

Emotional Freedom Technique ( EFT) or Tapping, as its sometime called, is a method for healing the body via releasing un-serving beliefs and negative emotions by tapping on specific energy meridians (same as those used in traditional acupuncture).

There are tons of EFT practitioners offering explanations of the process and free guided tapping videos on YouTube. My favorite EFT practitioner is Brad Yates. I really resonate with his scripts.

Here is Brad’s quick explanation of EFT:

Here is Brad’s video on Tapping for Forgiveness:

5. Gemstones and Crystals for Forgiveness:

Crystals “…generate, store, regulate, transmit and transform energy. Putting out ‘good vibes’ they harmonize the atmosphere, or your body. Taking in energy, they cleanse the environment and your aura, and provide protection.” (Judy Hall, author of million copy seller Crystal Bible). The idea is that just like everything else in this universe, the human body is made out of energy. Our energy can get blocked and become negative. Gemstones carry stable energy that can be used as a tuning fork for various issues we are having that are caused by energy blocks.

When I first started working with my energy healer, she gave me specific instructions for finding and cleaning a Rose Quarts stone which I was to carry close to my heart (in the left side of my braw).  I still carry this stone with me to aid in healing childhood traumas, forgiveness and healing my throat and hart chakras.

One of my favorite forgiveness rituals using my Rose Quarts is to lay the crystal over my heart chakra and feel the forgiving and healing energy from the stone. Once I feel the energy, I visualize the person/ situation I want to forgive and recite Connie Domino’s mantra from above.

If this forgiveness method is of interest to you, please consult the following resource prior to purchasing a crystal: http://www.judyhall.co.uk/crystal-basics-extract. You want to make sure to choose the right crystals for you and clear them of any negative energy they may have picked up.

6. Praying:

A study done at Florida State University found that participants who prayed to any higher power about the well-being of the person they wanted to forgive, were significantly more willing to forgive the transgressor.

I have noticed that I’ve had a much easier time forgiving my ex. Once I read details on the study I understood that this forgiveness came to me with more ease because I pray from my ex’s well-being quite regularly. I don’t pray for my parents at all.

7. Guided Meditation for Forgiveness:

185,000 YouTube search results come up for “forgiveness guided meditation”. My personal favorites are:

Healing Meditation of Forgiveness with Doreen Virtue:

Guided Meditation on Forgiveness with Deepak Chopra:

It’s your turn. What are your favorite forgiveness techniques? Please share below.

Top 4 Quick & Easy Tips for Staying Present

Top 4 Quick & Easy Tips for Staying Present

I woke up frazzled and in a state of panic that I haven’t felt in months. I had a dream where a pediatrician asked me if I as ready for baby #2. I woke up startled to the realization that baby M will make his grand entrance in approximately 3 months. My rich imagination instantly painted the dark horror that was awaiting me:

  • My business is not ready for me to step away for 2 months. How am I going to afford to live?
  • I am barely keeping it together now, how the hell am I going keep this up with a newborn? I get so overwhelmed that the ideas of going back to my ex or even being homeless seem safer than remaining a guest in my childhood home.
  • I had so much help when my son was born and existing was so difficult. I took life an hour at a time. Not even a day at a time. This time around, with the kind of help that I have, who needs enemies?

As I was freaking my son out with cries and sobs on the way to daycare, I realized that I had fled the present moment and was traveling through make believe land. Here is the thing:

Quote---Top-4-Quick-&-Easy-Tips-for-Staying-Present-SL

“Your past doesn’t exist and neither does your future. The only moment you ever experience during your precious beautiful life is here and now. So be here now.” – Elyse Santilli

Time machines have not been invented yet so we can’t go back to the past and change our trajectory. All we can do about the past is forgive the people and situations, forgive ourselves and grow from the lessons the past has taught us.

The future has not been written yet. A meteor can hit the earth tomorrow and we will all die. In that case, I would have wasted my last days on earth freaking out about something that was never going to happen instead of enjoying my life. On the flip side, I might win the 2018 Super Bowl contract which would be the equivalent of winning the lottery in business. Who knows? Anything is possible and really, crazier things have happen!

You know how every manifesting and personal development coach talks about the importance of visualization? By letting your mind imagine difficulties in the future, you are actually attracting those problems with the speed of lightning. You are visualizing difficulties into your experience. No matter what doom and gloom I project out to three months from now, the only place I have any power is in the present moment. Instead of spending the day depressed about my seemingly bleak outlook, I can focus on the present moment, THE ONLY PLACE I HAVE ANY POWER, and take steps towards my big goals. I will deal with the future when it arrives in that present moment. Right now, I have plenty of potential clients to contact and other things on my to-do list that actually have the potential to change my future.

Here are my top 4 quick and easy tips for getting into and staying in the present moment:

1. Take 7 deep breaths. Close your eyes, take in a deep breath with your nose. The breath should go all the way down to your pelvis; fill your belly, stomach, chest, lungs and finally your neck all the way up to your nose. Exhale slowly through an imaginary straw you are holding with your lips. As you exhale, imagine the way air leaves a balloon.

2. Remind yourself that the present moment is all that exists. The past and future don’t exist. In fact, the only thing that exists right now is you, in whatever physical place you are at, with the people who are currently there. I am writing this at a coffee shop. My spirited toddler and crazy family don’t even exit right now. My ex and divorce proceedings are also nonexistent. Even my business partner doesn’t exist because he isn’t here right now. They are all figments of my imagination and not a part of my present experience. The only thing that exists at this moment is me, the beautiful baby in my belly, the reclaimed wood table underneath my laptop, my laptop, the music in the background and the two people sitting next to me who are vetting each other after meeting on Tinder.

3. Use your 5 senses to ground yourself. Stop to note:

• What are the 5 things you see? (Bus passing by, Exposed piping on the ceiling, Photo on the wall, Water bottle on my table, The impressive beard and head of hair on the guy sitting by me)
• What are the 4 things you hear? (The first date happening next to me, A woman’s heel’s tapping on the wooden floor as she passes by, Coffee being ground, Clinking of cups and plates)
• What are the 3 things you smell? (Coffee roasting, A hint of something sour, Mustiness)
• What were 2 things you feel with your touch? (The hard bench I am sitting on, The hair binder on my wrist)
• What is one thing that you taste in this moment? (Residue of coffee and almond croissant on my tongue)

4. Make a quick list of 10 things you are grateful for. Writing a gratitude list is a very effective technique for staying present. The “attitude of gratitude” can be hard to get into, especially when your world seems to be crumbling. All you have to do is start with a few things you are grateful for and your list will snowball. I’ll give you that first thing- you are reading this right now which means that you have access to the amazing internet and a device that can access the internet. Other things to be grateful for include clean drinking water, the clothing on your back and food. Then you can get into more personal items for your gratitude list.

The present moment is all we have. You will find that staying in the present moment makes you a happier and healthier human being. It’s also the only place where you have any power to define your future.

This-is-why-the-dog-is-happier

My Husband Asked if I am ok with Him Seeing Other People…

My Husband Asked if I am ok with Him Seeing Other People…

Nope, your eyes are not deceiving you, the other day my husband did ask me if I was ok with him starting to date other people….

For those of you who don’t know my story: I left my husband 9 weeks ago. We were 11 days short of our 11 year anniversary and I was 11 weeks pregnant with our second child. (If there are any numerology experts reading this, I am taking opinions!!!)

It wasn’t mutual. But about three weeks ago we decided that we missed each other’s friendship and will try to remain friends. After all, how could that possibly be bad for our kids?

So, he asked me if it was ok for him to start dating and this totally triggered my hormonal mess of a pregnant brain into utter confusion. In fact, I haven’t been sleeping well. In part thanks to my toddler (who all of a sudden refuses to sleep through the night and won’t sleep more than 9hrs in general) and in part thanks to the vivid dreams I’ve been having about my ex and his new, imaginary girlfriend.

Here is what’s bothering me about my ex starting to date:

  • Is that all our almost 8 year marriage and 11 years together meant to him? He is ready to find a new love of his life. I know I left and I shouldn’t be frustrated but it hurts to think that our 11 years together and I can be replaced/ forgotten that quickly.
  • Up until three weeks ago he was begging me to come back. Either his therapist is a magician or…what?
  • We are still married, our divorce won’t be finalized until after baby #2 is born, another 4+ months away.

Logically I understand that he is hurting just as much as me and is looking to fill a gaping hole. He certainly didn’t need to ask me if I was ok with him dating. I wouldn’t have done the same. I get it, he is hungry, horny and lonely.  He is used to coming home to freshly cooked meals, full fridge, clean laundry, and a filled social calendar. I have it on good authority that these days dinners consist of nuked hot dogs. So I get it, his need for a mate encompasses more than just emotional and physical desires. He needs someone to take care of him. None of this logic makes me feel better.

I have thought about dating but I talk myself out of it every time because I feel like I am considering it for all the wrong reasons, like:

  • I need to fill this gaping whole inside of me. The problem with this one is that you can’t expect to attract healthy people and nurture healthy relationships before you are stable and emotionally healthy. I just left my husband. Obviously there were issues there; I have a gaping hole of sadness and other crappy emotions. Slapping a new relationship on that whole will not help it heal.
  • I feel like my time is running out. Baby #2 will be born in approximately 20 weeks after which he will be attached to my boob for the better part of a year. Good luck finding a guy who will want me for me and not to fulfill a freaky fetish (not judging here). Although, doesn’t the same apply to dating a pregnant woman?
  • My boobs will never look this good again. At least not in their natural state.

I know that when it comes to relationships, my first priority is to learn how to love myself. I want someone to come and rescue me from my pain but that job only belongs to me. That’s the key to actually attracting and nurturing the kind of relationship with the kind of man that I want.