Category

Audio

Lightening the Load through Forgiveness

By | Audio | No Comments

Meditation Notes

Lightening our emotional load is worth it, every time. It accelerates our growth, allows us to maintain alignment in times of strife, and transforms our perspective and experience. There have been too many times in my life that I was clueless to what I was carrying, until I put it down. After letting loose various accumulated baggage I had picked up along the road of life, I realized immediately that I could breathe easier, think more clearly, listen better, and be more present to myself and others. But I didn’t know what I was carrying until I stopped and gave myself a chance to put it down.

Over a decade ago, I went through a breakup that was both relieving and surprising. But the relief didn’t come right away. At first, I felt let down, so deeply disappointed by the person I had ended the relationship with that I wasn’t sure how to pick up the pieces. In my perception, he withheld his love and replaced it slowly, over time, with cruelty. I was confused and angry and hurt. I asked myself, How did I not see it coming? How could I have let myself stay in the relationship? How could he treat me like that? I was beating myself up. I was blaming and judging him. But everything I was thinking and feeling was only hurting me. All the pain I was carrying was weighing me down and promising a very challenging future.

Caroline Myss, author and renowned medical intuitive, tells us that forgiveness is the ultimate act of self-love. And as I allowed myself to admit that no one was being burdened by my pain but me, I became intolerant to the emotional experience I was answering to. I started to forgive him…and myself. And through my process of forgiveness, my perception and experience transformed.

I saw that I had truly been doing the best I could. I saw that he had also been doing the best he could. Maya Angelou says, “When we know better, we do better,” and our heroic poet and sage is right. We are all doing the best we can given the information and education we have in the moment. Is ignorance now an excuse for terrible behavior? Of course not. Awakening from ignorance to knowledge is found through the power of examination; through stopping and contemplating what there is to forgive. This promotes insight, which promotes choice, which promotes new action. Every time we take a step toward self-love, we support the awakening wisdom of the whole. Your self-love matters.

Today, I’m offering the practice of forgiveness as one way to alleviate unneeded stress and strain. Forgiveness unchains us from the burden of blame and victimhood. It frees us from the heaviness of shame and guilt. It allows us and others to live their lives more freely.

When we forgive, we lighten our load. We allow our light to shine more brightly. We can move at greater velocity on our path, we can navigate life’s hurtles with more grace and ease, and we can smile more easily. Right now, the world needs our light. Your loved ones need your light. And we deserve to radiate because it feels good.

 

Join me in our practice of forgiveness. . . and give yourself permission to shine.

Transcript:

Coming soon…

So Hum – I Am That

By | Audio | No Comments

“With Simplicity, You will Succeed”

– Sai Maa

Meditation Notes

In this meditation I share with you a sacred Sanskrit mantra, So Hum. Mantras have been used for thousands of years to train the mind to focus. And as a result of this focus, the thoughts and feelings that do not serve us fall away because we do not follow them and give them our life force. And when we declutter our inner space, we begin to feel the power of simplicity.

A mantra has a specific energy to it, a power embedded in the words themselves. All we are tasked to do is to focus the mind on these words, these sounds. And when we drift we must only bring our attention back to the mantra, again and again. That’s it. The energy of the mantra will do its work, expanding its ancient and pure vibration through the body, mind, and spirit, purifying our mind and our emotions as it goes. It’s like a drive-through car wash. Relax, stay in the car, and let yourself be cleaned.

The mantra, So Hum, can be translated to I AM THAT. What this means is that we are not one thing, we are everything. We are all that is. This focus on the universal consciousness in all things allows us to loosen our grip on identities to roles, feelings, outcomes, past and future alike. . . This mantra brings us into the present moment, where we accept all that is and align ourselves with the universal flow in all life.

It’s a deep concept that we don’t need to understand before we practice. When we practice with a mantra like So Hum, eventually the experience it evokes will illuminate the meaning I am describing. But just for today, and for tomorrow, approach this meditation practice with an open mind and a gentle heart. Open yourself to it without expectation.

After getting to know this mantra and its effects, we can begin to use it throughout our day. In my personal life, I will inhale and repeat silently to myself, SO. Then, I will exhale and silently say within, HUM. This is how we can use this mantra practically. And this simple act allows us to completely reset our mind, emotions, and nervous system. Inhale SO. Exhale HUM. Repeat.

This simple reset, actually gives us the chance to be present to the moment, more light-hearted, open to what is, as it is. I am not one thing. I am not any thing, per say. I am all things. All that is. I am that, and that, and that…I am the universal flow in it all.

Transcript:

Coming soon…

A Technique to Manage Tough Feelings: Part 2

By | Audio | No Comments

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.”

– Carl Jung

Transcript:

Hi, This is Oakley Ogden and I’m so glad you’ve joined me. If you haven’t listened to Part 1 of this 2 part series, I recommend you do, it will give you some context as how to best understand this the 3 step technique.

So, let’s get started together. Again, we are using the technique of acknowledging, accepting, and welcoming challenging feelings into our hearts so we can re-gain access to love-based feelings like, gratitude, peace, happiness, and more.

Today, I’m going to use the feeling of anxiety as my example b/c it’s so prevalent right now, but you can use whatever feeling you want: anger, fear, worry, doubt… there are lots to choose from as we all know. Whatever’s there for you is perfect to work with.

Let’s begin.

Take a breath, inhaling and exhaling and become aware of the feeling that’s there. Allow yourself to feel the sensations in your body created by this feeling. We’re only working with one feeling so stay focused on the one feeling for now. And let’s separate ourselves from the tape that can play in the mind about the feeling – he said, she said, they did this, so I feel… Allow whatever narrative might arise to be put aside and breath and come back to the feeling youre working with.

And repeat with me…

In this moment, I acknowledge that I feel anxious. In this moment, I acknowledge that I feel anxious. Again, it may be a different word for you, that’s okay. In this moment, I acknowledge that I feel anxious. Breath. Inhale, and exhale.

Second step: And I accept that I feel anxious. I accept that I feel anxious. We are putting down our resistance. The feeling is here, just like clouds in the sky. I acknowledged it, and I accept it. In this moment, I accept that I feel anxious. Allow the body to soften. It’s just a weather report. It’s just how it is. I’m not going to fight it. I’m going to embrace the paradox of change, and meet it exactly as it is and shift it.

Final stage.
I welcome the energy of anxiety into the center of my heart. Again, remember the heart is like a bonfire of energy. And even though this anxiety can feel burdensome and huge, it’s nothing in comparison to the vortex of the heart.
I welcome the energy of anxiety into my heart. I welcome the energy of anxiety into my heart.
Some of you practicing right now might be served by physically putting your hands out in front of you as if I’m placing this feeling into your hands and you’re trying to not let a drop of it fall out. Take this feeling now in your hands and physically bring your hands up to your heart and press gently into your chest. Others may wish to just visualize this. You’re choice.

Okay. So, let’s go again. Together, let’s take a breath. Inhaling and exhaling. Good. Relax the shoulders. Relax the jaw.
In this moment, I acknowledge I feel anxious. There’s no more need for this energy to reek havoc to get my attention. I’m stopping what Im doing and Im looking at this feeling square in the face. In this moment, I acknowledge I feel anxious.
And, I accept that I feel anxious. It’s here, Im no longer pushing back against it trying to keep it at bay. I accept that I feel anxious. I welcome this energy of anxiety into my heart. And breath.

Again, in this moment, I acknowledge that I feel anxious. I accept that I’m feeling anxious. It’s okay. And I welcome the energy of anxiety into the vortex of my heart, allowing it to dissolve and transmute. Noticing the subtle shifts in the physical body, the subtle feelings of ease and relaxation that follow.

Last time, in this moment I acknowledge I feel anxious and I accept that I feel anxious. It’s okay. And I welcome the energy of anxiety into my heart to dissolve and transmute. Relax the body. Take a big inhale, really sip up all that air, and exhale with a sigh. One more. Inhale and exhale with a sigh. Notice the subtle shift that has happened for you. Give yourself some credit. You’ve just made room for love-based feelings! Let the sense of ease and peace really spread.

And enjoy using this simple technique whenever you wish to shift challenging emotions. Remember, we might not get to control what’s happening around us, but we can certainly influence what’s happening within. Enjoy creating your day

A Technique to Manage Tough Feelings: Part 1

By | Audio | No Comments

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even the smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”

– Swami Sivananda

Transcript:

Hi Oakley Ogden here, professional counselor and teacher of transformation and I want to share with you a technique that I love for transmuting and transforming really challenging feelings. Ill teach this in two parts. Here in part 1, Ill unpack the methodology behind this technique, step by step and in Part 2, we’ll practice together.

Okay.

This technique has 3 steps, but don’t be fooled by its simplicity, because each step really requires our presence and commitment. Again, we are working on transforming challenging feelings. So, our first step is acknowledging the feeling that’s there. The second one is accepting the feeling that’s there. And the third step is welcoming the feeling into the heart. So once again, that’s 3 steps: acknowledging, accepting, and welcoming.

So step one, acknowledging. In this step we’re simply saying I see you, I’m aware that you’re there. Many of us actually spend a huge amount of time, even money and certainly effort to distract ourselves from certain feelings. So in step one we stop, take a breath, and we take a look and we name what we see, only focusing on one feeling at a time.

Stage two, acceptance. Acceptance in this instance doesn’t mean that we have to be okay with what we find. It doesn’t even mean we approve of what we find. It means instead that we put down our resistance to what’s there. We surrender, hands up and say, Okay, I’m not going to push or resist this feeling anymore. I accept that it’s here. I accept it in the same factual, nonchalant manner as I’d accept the weather outside, it’s happening. I lay down my story about it. Once again, we don’t have to like what we find, but we accept that we are experiencing the feeling we’re feeling.

In the third and final stage, we welcome the feeling we’re working with into the heart where the frequency can be transmuted and transformed.

All emotions can be measured by frequency, vibrating at a faster higher rate or slower lower rate. So love-based feelings tend to leave us feeling lighter in step, inspired, clear and connected to name a few qualities. While fear-based feelings tend to leave us feeling heavier, slower, even isolated, like we don’t want to get out of bed or we have to push ourselves to do what we said we were going to do. I think that a lot of us know what I’m talking about here.

So, when we bring the lower fear-based emotion into the heart, we’re saying I love you and accept you exactly as you are. And in my field of psychotherapy, this is called the paradox of change, which means only when we meet something exactly as it is can it shift to become something else. So in this instance, the lower frequency can be lifted to a higher frequency. In other words, the heart acts like a tuning fork, raising or shifting the vibration of the fear-based feeling into to a love-based feeling.

The heart itself has a magnetic field that’s measurable. It even has a name, the Taurus. And it’s a very strong magnetic field. So when we engage this practice, it’s sort of like throwing a twig onto a bonfire. The twig being the feeling that’s causing us so much trouble and even pain and the bonfire being the energy of the heart.

Okay, Im going to let you digest some of this information, and I’ll see you in part 2 where we will actually practice this technique together!

See ya soon!

Learning How to Create with Gratitude: Part 3

By | Audio | No Comments

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

 – Mahatma Gandhi

Transcript:

Hi, this is Oakley Ogden. In today’s practice, I’ll use our last two sessions to take us even further into the power of gratitude. It’s time for manifestation. In other words, future memories. So let’s get started.

Let’s close the eyes and take a deep breath in. Easy exhale. Again, inhale. Lengthen the exhale. Lengthen the inhale. Lengthen the exhale. Relaxing the body from the crown of the head down to the forehead, the jaw, the shoulders and arms, letting them grow heavy and relaxed; moving down to the hips, the thighs. Really feel the weight of your legs, calves, and shins, all the way down to the feet. Inhaling and exhaling.

From this place, I invite you to consciously choose a person, place, or thing in your life that you would love to see improvement or change. This could be a family member, a friend or colleague. It could be a place like your home or office, or it could be a thing like food or money, time, or even your car, for example. Now, let’s create a future memory together. I’ll walk you through it step by step.

First, when you think of this person, place or thing, notice at once how you feel. Because it’s a place that you wish for improvement, the natural and normal feelings that arise are probably fear-based, like frustration, anxiety, worry, guilt, shame, blame, anger, sadness. All of these things are fear-based and that’s okay. Just notice. Now here’s where it gets good. Be strong, stay with me because I know you can do this. You’re about to shift your reality. So right now, place yourself in the future. It can be a week or a month from now, and if you don’t know, just choose one year and just plop, put yourself in the future. You’re now standing in your future and you see this person, place or thing that you really wish to improve upon.

Here’s where the shift happens. In this future memory, allow yourself to feel your ideal outcome. The feeling part of this is so important, so let’s start with gratitude. Feel inside the gratitude for the outcome that’s been created. Allow yourself to feel your heart expanding. Allow there to be ease moving through the whole body. Really see this ideal outcome, and I’m going to say this because I think a lot of us go here. How things have been resolved is none of our business right now. We are not solving; we are creating. All we know for sure is that we feel completely different.

Go ahead. Use the power of imagination, this incredible inbuilt faculty of the mind, and give it your all. See and feel yourself in a totally new emotional and mental space. What was formerly a stressor or a trigger has been resolved. What does resolution feel like in your body? I feel grateful because … I feel grateful, because I choose to. Choosing is always enough of a reason. I feel grateful because I choose to. I feel grateful because everything worked out in the highest for all involved. I feel grateful because I realize I’m loved and supported in all ways. I feel grateful because … and keep going with this inside yourself. I feel grateful … It’s okay to repeat your reasons. Feel the shift you’re longing for. Allow it to come from the heart. The only thing that matters is that you choose a love-based feeling and visualize it. Picture it. Imagine yourself feeling this feeling and looking at what you are choosing to work with today.

This is the heavy lifting of transformation and you are doing great. Keep going. Shine your new vibrational state into the relationship with this person, place or thing, like you’re turning on a flashlight and shining it into what you have chosen to improve in your life. From our past two sessions, you know how to cultivate a new state inside of yourself. Continue to grow this feeling until it’s all you know to be true in this future memory.

And relax; and with gratitude and humility and grace, come back to the present moment, knowing that you’ve planted new seeds for outcomes in your future, knowing that you have planted new seeds for outcomes in your future. You’ve created new neural pathways that make a different outcome possible.

Imagination is such a powerful element in our world, and when we pair our imaginative visioning with our future memory work, moving ourselves into the future, and seeing and feeling the outcome, we’ve really stepped into becoming what I love to call conscious creators. So thank you for playing with me, and stay tuned for more tricks utilizing what we already have to create a life we love.

Learning How to Create with Gratitude: Part 2

By | Audio | No Comments

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you choose to react to it that matters.”

 – Epictetus

Transcript:

Hi This is Oakley Ogden and in this practice, I’ll refer to our last session and build on it, helping us flex our gratitude muscles. The more we practice flexing our gratitude muscles in the face of triggers, the stronger we get, and the stronger we get, the more opportunity we give ourselves to step out of reaction and choose our response to the world around us.

So let’s get started.

Close the eyes, and take a deep breath. Let it out with a sigh. Two more. Inhale together, and exhale with a sigh. Last one, inhale, and easy exhale. Relax the body, forehead, jaw, shoulders and arms, hips and legs. Give yourself over to gravity just a little bit more.

And now picture before you a person, place, or thing, that brings a smile to your face. It can also be a memory of a time or event that brings a smile to your face. Using the power of imagination, visualize that thing in front of you. Really see it, and allow your heart to expand through the feeling of gratitude. I’m so grateful for X b/c X. Im so grateful for my pet b/c she’s taught me unconditional love. Im so grateful for the food I have b/c it nourishes my body which allows me to be active during my day. Im so grateful for …. b/c ….

Now relax the mind, and just breath in the heart, growing the feeling of gratitude and the expansion of your heart with every inhale and exhale. Feel the gratitude expanding past your own body and beginning to illuminate the space around you. Really and truly, let yourself feel and see this vibration of gratitude shine through you and around you.

And now, offer this gratitude to the person, place, or thing in front of you that you were working with and simply witness what happens for you…. Again, breathe.

Now move the person, place or thing, to the side, and bring forth a stressor or source of tension in your life; this is a new person, place, or thing that triggers you. And without losing your state, place this stressor in front of you… and pour over it, like water, the gratitude you’ve cultivated. You can do it. You have nothing to lose. You are a lantern, shining your light onto this person, place, or thing before you.

Good. Now let the stressor go and bring back before you the person, place, of thing that brings a smile to your face… and breath. I am so grateful for X b/c …. And breath. Inhaling and exhaling.

Remember that gratitude always lives inside of us. Some things bring it out in us while others can trigger different emotions. By flexing our gratitude muscle, like we just did, we can become stronger in the face of triggers and begin to define our emotional reality rather than have it dictated for us.

We can’t change what happens in life, but we can change how we respond to what happens.

In our next session, we will take this even further into the world of manifestation. . .

Learning How to Create with Gratitude: Part 1

By | Audio | No Comments

“Happiness is when what you say, what you think, and what you do are in harmony.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

Transcript:

Hi, This is Oakley Ogden, professional counselor and teacher of transformation. I’ve been in the space of mindfulness and tools for personal development for about 20 years now and I want to share with you some of my favorite tools for shifting emotion and influencing future outcomes. We’ll do this in three parts. Welcome to part 1: Today, we’ll begin with cultivating the FEELING of gratitude…

Let’s close our eyes together, relax our bodies, and breathe. Inhaling and exhaling. Relaxing the crown of the head, the forehead, the jaw, the shoulders, roll them back and let them drop down toward the floor. Relaxing and letting go of tension in the arms, elbows, forearms, hands and fingertips; relaxing even the trunk of the body, down to the hips and thighs, knees, calves, shins and ankles, all the way to the feet and tips of the toes.

And now become aware of the breath, lengthening the inhale, lengthening the exhale.

From this place I invite you to consciously choose a person, place, or thing in your life that brings a smile to your face. It could be a relationship, a pet, an activity that you love to do, even a memory of something that brings a smile to your face. Take a moment and let that person, place, or thing come to surface.

Now, lets use the power of imagination… The power of imagination is SO influential that the brain itself doesn’t the difference between a feeling felt due to something that is really happening or something that is being remembered or imagined. For example, laughing with friends in real time can have the same effect on the brain as remembering laughing, or visualizing laughing with friends. The same chemical reactions are produced in the brain and body.

So now that you understand this power you have, use your imagination to visualize that person, place, or thing in front of you. Really see it. And now, as you look, allow yourself to feel the natural feeling of happiness or joy that arise, let a little smile happen. And now let’s say together, Thank you, Thank you, I’m so grateful for, and you name this person, place, or thing. . . Feel your heart swell, allow it to grow bigger as you breath in and out. I’m so grateful for blank (fill in the space) b/c (and allow a few reasons to surface). I’m so grateful for . . . . b/c . . . Go ahead and repeat this phrase, filling in the blanks to yourself.

Okay, now rest the mind, and lengthen the inhale, and lengthen the exhale. Allow the person, place, or thing to return to where it came from, and simply continue to rest and expand in the frequency of gratitude that you’ve created for yourself.

Take a moment just to notice what’s different for you. Do you feel more relaxed? Slightly more at ease?

Yes, every feeling we feel lives on a scale of frequency. Love-based feelings like joy, gratitude, and peace are quite high on the frequency scale, while fear-based feelings like anxiety, depression, or anger vibrate at a slower pace and can feel a bit heavier when we check in and scan the body. So now you know the difference.

Congratulations, you have created your emotional state using the power of your own mind! Imagine what would be possible if we took time every day to consciously create our emotional state of being?

Well, we’ll find out soon!
See you in part 2!