Floating

We all have an urge to “get somewhere in life” or to “accomplish something.”

It has always resonated with me that we are here in these bodies on earth for a reason. It couldn’t possibly be simply because two rocks collided and there was an explosion and that this is all just some freak of nature mistake.

No.

It is all too perfect.

If there is a reason for us to be here, if there is something for us to do, then we must find out what it is and do it. We are supposed to have those urges to “get somewhere in life”. We are supposed to have goals and intentions in life.

But then in my Spiritual studies it comes to me that we should, “Just lay back and float down stream.”

These look like two opposing ideas, but what if we put them together?

Have goals and intentions, take action towards them, but we do it with ease. We enjoy it. It is easy. We know that the Universe is working with us. We know the Universe is trying to guide us in the right direction.

And this is exactly what happens as we bring ourselves into alignment with the Universal Laws.

We all know or have seen people who just “flow.” They are generally in the same mood all the time. They are easy. They are enjoyable to be around.

We all probably know people who do not “flow” very well. They are moody. They are difficult. They may not be so much fun to be around.

But what does it meant to “be in alignment with the Universal Laws?”

As an example, we can use a character such as the Scrooge.

He never gave. He held on. He had lots of stuff, but he was not happy. A Scrooge has to defend what is his. He has to make sure that nobody gets it from him.

Maybe he even looks down on people who don’t have as much as he does. And maybe this looking down on others is the only way that he knows to feel good.

But does he feel good? Does he look happy? No.

He is all alone.

BUT the exact moment that something happens, something gets to him, and he gives just a little… he feels something new.

I think that we as people are a little slow.

Maybe I think that if I tithe a certain amount, then later today or perhaps tomorrow it will come back to me.

What if “it” happened the moment I tithed?

And I missed it entirely.

Do you follow me here?

The Scrooge is the Scrooge. Just an unhappy Scrooge. The moment he behaves differently, is the moment he is no longer the Scrooge. It all happens simultaneously.

The Universal Laws tell us that “We shall receive as we give.” A person who is in alignment with Universal Laws doesn’t have to worry about losing what is his, or about not getting his share, or about someone taking his stuff away from him.

Looking around me, I see that all the material things and all the people around me, are what I am. They are me. Knowing that I will get what I put out to the world, that I will get what I am,

I can do all the things I do, while laying on my back floating down stream.

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Can Meditation Cause Mood Swings?

Yes.

The easiest way to explain it is to point out that in meditation your mind is focused on something.

On one thing.

A mantra, a guided meditation, your breathing, whatever it may be that you are holding your focus on.

And for beginners, your mind may not be used to such focus, even for short periods of time.

When we meditate and practice focus it is often very relaxing. Often people get actual “rest” while meditating, which they may not be getting if they suffer from restless sleep. (rest-less) (Yes you can sleep and not get any rest, and that is what is happening when you wake up in the morning as tired or more tired than when you went to bed.)

But even very experienced meditators can experience what I call “the slingshot effect,” or “mood swings,” from meditation.

Your mind is focused on one thing, you are very peaceful and relaxed, and then after meditation it is “back to the real world.”

Which can be very disturbing.

The mind is not used to so much peace and it may be trying to adjust to it. When suddenly you find yourself in a crowded grocery store, or several people will speak to you all at once.

And you are easily overwhelmed.

For quite some time I noticed that if I had a very focused meditation, the next day I would feel chaotic all day. And if I had a meditation that wasn’t so focused, the next day I would be like the Buddha himself.

People who meditate can also become very sensitive.

We are increasing awareness, awakening to a higher consciousness, and so we notice things around us much more than we used to.

I’ve been meditating regularly for a long time, so I am aware that I go through different phases with it.

It has gotten a lot easier for me to remain detached when things seem to overwhelm me or when I have a giant mood swing.

We can sometimes get mood swings and sometimes we get easily overwhelmed, but meditation is teaching us that we are not the mood swings. We are not all of the chaotic feelings either.

We are awareness. We are consciousness. We must continue to expand this a little at a time.

Find a meditation practice that works, and do that.

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Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright(It already is)

IMG_2356“If you freak out things will work out. If you don’t freak out things will work out. So why don’t we just stay calm and know that things will work out?” Kyle Shiver

When we begin to examine our lives and start meditating, all of our problems come to the surface.

It is so much easier to see what is wrong, and many times we can not even notice all the things that are right.

More often than not, there is a lot more “right” than “wrong,” but it is true that when you have a broken leg, it is pretty hard not to notice it and notice it a LOT.

We identify the things that are trouble for us, such as a person, a particular job or money situation, and this awareness alone is a giant help.

My Spiritual Advisor worked with me and soon I began to see that there were patterns.

Yes, there was a method to my madness.

Every time a certain person was involved, every time there was a sudden unexpected change, or every month when all the bills were due at the same time,

I would freak out.

But my Advisor pointed out that these patterns had been going on for a long time, and that everything had always worked out somehow all this time. That seemed to be part of the pattern too.

He asked me, “If you didn’t freak out, what do you think would happen?”

After that when I would feel threatened or when someone would do or say something that I didn’t necessarily agree with, I began to learn to just shrug my shoulders and say, “So what? That doesn’t have anything to do with me.”

Then one month when all the bills were due at the same time and I didn’t exactly have the money, I shrugged my shoulders and said to myself, “If you freak out things will work out. If you don’t freak out things will work out. So why don’t we just stay calm and know that things will work out?” 

And much to my amazement, things worked out.

Wow!

And one day I began to notice that things that used to really spell trouble for me, didn’t bother me anymore.

New patterns have begun to emerge in my life now, and these are much more to my liking. But no matter what the pattern is, things work out just fine.

They always do.

So like the song says; Don’t worry bout a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright!

And like we always say, IT ALREADY IS!

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Doctors Treating Pain with Virtual Reality

“The fact that you’re getting such huge reductions in pain using something that’s not a drug is a paradigm shift.” Dr. Hunter Hoffman

This quote is in reference to having wounded soldiers play virtual reality video games.

It works and it works really well.

They call it a “distraction,” as if you are saying, “Quick! Look over there!” while ripping off your child’s band-aid.

But they are using this technique to treat circumstances that are far beyond taking a band-aid off of a child.

How could we not be intrigued?

Of course there is a thing called “denial.” We wouldn’t want to not deal with things that need to be dealt with, but… there is also the idea of “Living in the solution, rather than the problem.”

The doctors are telling us that even if we are in extreme pain, the pain can be alleviated to a great extent(and sometimes totally) by simply getting the mind involved in something else.

This is exactly why it is so important for us to be aware of what we are thinking. Where is our focus? Are we paying attention to a solution? or to a problem?

When we place our focus on something and get really involved in this, everything else disappears.

So let us place our focus on the good. Let us place out focus on the solution. Let us find what is right, and place our focus there.

And I know that there are those of you who read my blogs who live with chronic pain, and this article may be of great interest to you.

Much love and many blessings!

 

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The Great Change (part one)

believe its easyWhen I didn’t like the way my life was going, something had to change.

And one day it occurred to me that what was going to have to change was me. This is because I decided to stop blaming the Universe, and start blaming my self.

Maybe the word “blame” isn’t appropriate… how about, “I decided to take some responsibility.”

That was not easy.

Look at it like this, when life is stinking, I sure don’t want to think that it is me that is the cause. Heck, anything but that. Anyone but me.

Nobody wants to be wrong. Nobody wants to have made mistakes or bad decisions. Nobody wants to have to admit defeat either.

However, looking back now it seems that this was the biggest change of all.

The moment I began to think along the lines of, “What am I doing to cause this?” things in my life began to change.

That is because in order for me to go from blaming and putting the responsibility on the Universe and everyone else and everything else,

A change had to come over me.

That’s right, I’d changed already!

No, things didn’t happen overnight, and as my Spiritual Advisor reminded me, “It took you a long time to get to this point, and it might take just as long to get to another point.”

To be honest with you, most of the changes that happened were quite pleasant and easy.

A good example of this is what happened with the music career I’d given so much of my life to. I had fought and struggled and hung on and pushed for years, and my music career had allowed me to just get by in life. “Doggy paddling” was how it always felt. Not really sinking, but not swimming either.

I clearly remember saying out loud, “God, I know that I am a musician and that I am to play music(because music is me) so what am I doing wrong? Am I playing the wrong music? In the wrong places?

“Where do I go?” I wondered. “What do I do?”

That very week my wife and I had been looking for a good church for us to go to, and we found one that we really liked.

And as many of you know, the music director at this church soon heard that I was a musician, invited me to play, and this began a transition from what was not working so well, to something that works much better.

I enjoyed it. The hours were much more in my favor. Everyone treated me like royalty. And … they paid more.

Kyle at Unity of Greenville SC 2012

Kyle at Unity of Greenville SC 2012

It was several years before this grew into a regular thing, but that was okay. Now I knew that there was something else, there were other paths, there were other places to play that would supply me with what I want in life.

Now it is me who is music director at our church. Now I don’t push and struggle and fight for gigs anymore, and my financial situation is much more to my liking.

All because I stopped pointing fingers. All because I decided to stop being the victim in my life and clearly define things with the Universe. All because I stopped and asked, “What can I do differently?”

The Universe will tell you. The Universe would like for you to know. Your good is actually already there for you and it is trying to get to you.

And you are the only thing that can keep it away.

Unity of Savannah May 2015

Unity of Savannah May 2015

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One With Everything

The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop and says, “Make me one with everything.”

After paying, His Holiness asked, “Where’s my change?” only to have the clerk ask, “Doesn’t change come from within?”

The idea is that when we are feeling connected to the Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate Reality, (which is often referred to as “God”) we begin to see that everything in the Universe is connected.

Last weekend my friend Lesta Sue was telling me about an experience she’d had while snorkeling. “I was just floating there looking into the ocean and these little fish were feeding off of my hands!”

We’ve probably all had little fish nibbling at our feet or hands at some point, but… I never really thought about it in this way before.

I went immediately and meditated beside a lake.

People, other mammals (such as whales), birds, and animals breathe air, which is a combination of gases including carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen. As they inhale, their lungs take some of the oxygen from the air. They exhale the carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Plants and trees do the reverse. They use the carbon dioxide present in air to fuel their growth and give off oxygen, which makes them good to have around.

Here I was, one with the trees. Just thinking about how myself and the trees were exchanging gases in just the way that each of us needs, I fell into a very deep sensation of “being one with the Universe.”

It was just like Lesta had described. Well, she didn’t really describe the sensation, but she didn’t need to. There aren’t really any good words for the sensation anyway.

How does it feel?

It feels good. It feels connected. It is a really nice natural high. And the best part about it is that

it is real!

Little fish love to nibble from our skin. Trees and plants really do exchange much needed gases with us humans.

The earth really is rotating around the sun, while spinning on its axis at a whopping 66 thousand miles an hour. Meanwhile, gravity holds everything in its proper place here on earth.

It is all simply amazing and we are all a part of it. If you stop to think about it, we are just as much a part of the Universe as anything else is.

But it is so easy to lose this connected feeling when we are going about our daily human affairs.

And that is exactly why it is so important to take time each day to meditate, to contemplate, to become aware of Truth.

It feels really good to feel connected and one with everything.

kyle_ssi_002 3You can listen to Kyle’s talks, guided mediations, and also some sacred healing drumming circles, and all for free right HERE. 

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The Most Precious Gift

Look what found me!

Look what found me!

The Universe works in some very interesting ways.

But yes, it does work according to Law.

It is very nice and refreshing to have lost all the worry that I used to I’ve with. It is very nice to be able to just say, “Let’s just deal with the situation at hand.”

Living in accordance with the Law takes all the personality out of it. No matter what anyone says or does, you can just figure that, “This must be the way the Universe wants to do this.”

Because the Universe is reflecting you.

If you are intentionally and consciously acting to activate the Laws, then that is that.

It doesn’t matter anymore what other people do or say, and there is no fear about something not happening the way you want it to.

You know it will happen, but you just don’t know how.

Or when. IMG_1836

Sometimes the Universe tells me that I need a little more work in certain areas. Sometimes I just can’t get any relief. Sometimes it seems to take an eternity. And sometimes I don’t want to do what I need to do.

But I know and I know and I know….

If you don’t like the results you’ve been getting, you might just want to try taking some different actions. Maybe hanging out in some different places and with some different people wouldn’t hurt either.

If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you will likely keep getting what you’ve been getting.

The nice part of that is that if you do something different, you will likely get some different results.

Maybe the Universe doesn’t just swoop down and lift you out of that giant hole you dug. Maybe the Universe simply allows you to work your way out of it yourself.
Maybe it will take a little time.

And maybe, just maybe, that will be the most precious gift you’ll ever receive.

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Swami Dr. Phil

8f3011f66f21aaffb8ba6299399e8b7c“If I let myself get careless in school, everything else started to slide. I’d zone out at home or just wear whatever shirt I’d tossed on the floor the night before. On the other hand, if I aimed to be my best in one area, that commitment raised my game across the board.” Dr. Phil

This article written by Dr. Phil has been floating around my desk for a while now and it is from one of my wife’s Oprah magazines.

It reminded me of the idea that “The way you handle one dollar is the way you would handle  a million dollars.”

And Paramahansa Yogananda taught us this same lesson when he said  “the way someone handle’s a small matter will tell us how he will handle a large matter.”

What I liked most about the article was his idea and solution of picking one thing in your life and aiming to give it your best.

For someone like me who is involved in many different things, balance can seem almost impossible. I just went through a few months last year of giving up things because I knew that I wasn’t giving them the attention that they deserved.

As always, when I let go of things, new things come right in, and so life is probably even more full now than it was before.

But at the same time, things are different now.

It think that things are different because I let go of things that weren’t working. This made more room for things that were working, and also for new things to evolve.

There are actually a few things that I am striving to bring my “A game” to. And it is true that I see a difference in other areas of my life too.

As Doctor Phil says, “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.”

It is a tough standard to hold myself to, but I do know that it is true. Everything I do, matters.

 

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Whatever Works

“Meditate the way that provides the best results.” Roy Eugene Davis

People sometimes seem puzzled when they attend one of my meditation workshops, because I don’t push any particular brand of meditation.

Paramahansa Yogananda was an advocate for Kriya Yoga meditation.

My friend Swami Ken is into keeping the focus on the “third eye.” (forehead between the brows)

OSHO had all kinds of meditations, and seemed to prefer movement such as spinning and dancing.

There is TM, which consists of repeating a mantra. There are different guided meditations, there is lots of “meditation music”, people use nature sounds, and even recordings of drumming, some people stare at a spot of the wall or a candle flame, and some people just focus on the breath.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter how you achieve focus and quieting the mind.

All of these different meditation techniques are meant to help us achieve just that; the ability to focus our attention and to quiet the mind.

Some people meditate for an hour every day. Some people go to meditation retreats for different lengths of time. Some people meditate for twenty minutes twice a day. Some people meditate three times a week.

The idea is to find a discipline that works for you. The idea is to have a meditation practice of some sort that brings benefit to you.

I always suggest that people try different techniques until you find….. whatever works.

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When to Say “No!”

This is a topic that we have addressed before but it is also a continuing subject that comes up in my life.

We live in a fast world and it gets faster every day. There is so much instant communication, and thus, so many more opportunities than we may have had in the past.

We want to do this and we want to do that, and hold on a minute, “I just need to check this text.”

Soon we have over-scheduled ourselves. We have said “yes” so many times that there is no possibility of following through with half of the things we have agreed to do.

Things get done “half-way”, people get neglected, and then we become tired and cranky. Other people understandably get frustrated with us.

“Does this ever end?”

The answer to that question is, “Only when you stop it!”

I had to learn how to say, “That sounds like a great idea, but I cannot commit to it right now.” After all, how many things can one person really be committed to? How much time is there in a day?

When I am somewhere, I prefer to be able to be my best. I don’t want to do things half-way. Also, I don’t want to say that I will do something and then not do it.

If you are feeling as if you may be spread a little too thin, here are some things to consider;

– Make a list of all your commitments 

– Prioritize (When we are overly busy, it is impossible to take good car of ourselves) 

– Make some decisions and some changes about how you are spending your time. Drop some commitments if necessary and make sure to communicate this with those involved. 

– And above all, please make sure to take some time for YOU. When making a schedule, include a nice walk in the park, a movie, something “unplugged” and relaxing and fun that has nothing to do with work. 

It actually feels good to let some things go. It actually is okay to watch a show or listen to some music and just be “off.” But still I have to keep an eye on myself.

One thing for sure is that it is easy to tell when I get out of balance.

Let’s get back to our center!

 

 

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