Burning Bowl Ceremony – Make a Positive Change!

The Inspiring Blogger Award

I posted this article a few years ago.  It is a great way to start out the New Year.  Let’s make 2015 a better year  with a positive outlook!

Someone asked me about burning bowl rituals the other day, what they were and what the purpose is.

I actually love burning bowl rituals.  What a great way to let go of things that are bothering or hindering us.  It’s a great way to clear negative thoughts and energy and make way for a new, positive start.  What better time than the start of a New Year!

I started doing burning bowl rituals at a young age, though it wasn’t initially with a bowl, just a candle.  It’s really quiet simple and something that is generic to any belief system according to how you make it.  I liked the idea of something I didn’t need in my life anymore burning and going up in smoke.

 Find a bowl preferably metal or glass (you don’t have to have one, but it makes it nice and neater), fill it up a third of the way with rock salt or salt, and stand a white candle in the middle.

 Simply take two sheets of paper – on one sheet write all the things like bad habits you want to get rid of, excuses for things you haven’t done, weaknesses, temptations, things that are bothering you or you would like to be gone in your life; including negative ways of talking to yourself, or beating yourself up for things that go wrong.

 On the second sheet of paper write down all the things you want to take place of the things you are getting rid of in your life.  If you are getting rid of negative ways of talking to yourself, then write that you will find daily affirmations that will work for you.  If you often beat yourself up when something goes wrong, write that you will celebrate when things go right.   Once you have this list written, fold it and put it in an envelope and attach it to a month on your calendar – say December since that is the end of the year.

 There is no right or wrong way to do this, it is totally up to you what you are making a point of letting go of in your life whether it be emotions or specific things.  Take some time to really contemplate this, then either roll the paper, or tear it into pieces and feed it to the flame and let the paper burn out on the salt by the candle.   (NEVER leave a candle unattended).

 As the paper is burning see and visualize the things you wrote down going up in smoke, take a moment to meditate and say a prayer of gratitude and forgiveness.  Recognize that you are letting go of the things that are clogging your creativity and holding you back from who you want to be, and where you want to be.  Choose to be thankful that these things no longer have a place in your life and you are making a point of letting them go and deciding on another direction right now.  It can be as elaborate or as simple as you want to make it.

 Have fun releasing all the bad things and things that just seem to linger and never really do any good.  Feel the stress go up in smoke, when the air clears breathe in the fresh new start. Remember to write down and set your goals, take small steps to reach them each day.

Later in the year, check your calendar and in the month that you attached the other envelope or reminder – take out the other list and see how successful you were at implementing the changes you wanted in your life.  The important thing is to move forward.  You will be pleasantly surprised how small acts of faith can make things happen.

 Cherry Coley ©

Save One

I love animals.  My daughters and I used to volunteer with Kittico Cat Rescue to help cats find homes.  At any given time it seems there’s a surplus of animals and not enough homes to go around.  It makes me sad.

My dad was a big animal lover.  I guess I get my love of animals from him.  I brought home cats and there was the occasional dog that would follow me home growing up.  He didn’t turn them away, though he probably should have.  He wound up feeding a lot of stray cats in the neighborhood.  It was an expensive chore, but I loved him for it.

pic by Cherry

pic by Cherry

Back in May I stopped and picked up a puppy that was trotting along on a busy street in our neighborhood.  I couldn’t let it go, he was so pretty and by himself.  I didn’t want to see him get ran over.  So, I picked up the little guy and brought him home.  He is a husky – great Pyrenees mix.  He looked tired and hungry.

We named him Scout though I have often thought I should have named him Forrest because he reminds me of Forrest Gump.  He is a big baby that thrives on gentle love.  He hates to get in trouble and doesn’t respond well to harsh discipline.

He has sky blue eyes, but his left eye is brown on top and blue on the bottom.  Scout howls now and then and even says a few mumbled words.    He has grown into quiet a character and a wonderful addition to our family.  I am glad no one ever claimed him.

Through the years I have loved on many pets and only actually paid for one dog for my daughter.  Other than that they have been the cast offs and strays that I have found along the way.  Cats, dogs, one bird, and once a few hamsters.  Animals are simple creatures to figure out.  They need love, food, water and protection.

Here is a picture of Scout now at approximately a year old.  IMG_2143[1]He’s a great big boy at 85 pounds.

I used to have the same philosophy with people.  I thought people were generally good at heart, circumstances and events happen that sometimes change them over time.  I thought it was my role to help and save them.   People and animals must want to be saved in order to be helped.  You cannot force an animal to trust you.  If they have been hurt or abused, trust will take time and patience and there’s the real possibility that you will never be fully trusted and will be permanently kept at a distance though tolerated.

People are the same way, if they have had bad life experiences, others that have betrayed their trust, hurt or abused them, then trust is proven and grown over time with the real possibility that you may never get as close as you wish.

The important thing to remember is we each have opportunities that are specific to us and our environment.  You can think about someone you know and tell yourself that “someone” should help them, but they are in your reach – you may be the someone who needs to act.

Take the time to appreciate the people and animals in your life.  Take a moment to notice those around you that need you, reach out, you may be the person that can save one more life today.  Every human touch of kindness counts no matter how small.

Cherry Coley

Spring Forward

clock    It’s time to move the clock forward again.  We watch the sunrise many times on the way to work in the morning now.  Bright hues of orange  and yellow streak the sky as the sun comes up and signals the start of another day.

I love this time of year.  Even though I like winter with the cold and snow blanketing things in white and adding an icy coat to the trees and streets, I love it when spring comes bringing sunshine and warmth to wake up the sleeping trees and plants.

I look forward to Spring this year.  It’s a time for renewal, a new beginning.  A perfect time to start writing again.

I welcome this new phase in life.  This year is proving to be more challenging in some ways and more fulfilling in others.  Each year we live is filled with different experiences and opportunities waiting to be taken advantage of if we have the courage to step forward and the willingness to try.  I am thankful there are new things to learn.

So tonight, don’t forget to set the clock forward.  Take advantage of the longer daylight hours to come.  Time is a precious resource, once it’s spent you cannot replace it or relive it.  Spend your time wisely.

Cherry Coley

Book Review for Emotional Intelligence

Cover of "Emotional Intelligence"

Cover of Emotional Intelligence

 

I read a variety of books from fiction, psychology, business, self-help, romance, young adult, and even some investment and “how to” type books.

 

I just finished reading “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman.

 

Product Details

 

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Emotional Intelligence is not a new book.  It was orginally published in 1995, but the information is still as accurate and vital as it was then.  This book is an eye opening book about the effect our emotions have on our lives, relationships, and the choices we make.  Daniel Goleman is not alone in thinking that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ.  The book is a good read both for the psychologist or therapist wanting to increase their knowledge about the subject, and the average person wanting to learn more about how emotions affect how we relate to each other and our abilities to respond and handle the events in our lives.

 

I enjoyed reading Emotional Intelligence because it helped me learn better ways to relate to my teenager, to understand how my responses, reactions and expressions I used as I talked or listened to her would directly impact how she would respond and react to me.

 

I’ve put much of the information I took from this book to good use in relating to friends and family.  If you like good non-fiction books then you might enjoy Emotional Intelligence.

 

Cherry Coley (c)

 

 

Keep On Running

 

start

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” – Walter Elliott

In a day and age where we choose to rush around getting so many things done every day, it’s good to stop and remember that perseverance means that you keep on going, despite hardship, despite distractions and obstacles, we keep moving forward one step at a time.

Some days, like today, it is a great help to remember that all it takes is that one step right after the other. 

-Cherry Coley (c)

 

Decisions, Cross Roads, Challenges and Me

askvilleEvery now and then I find myself at a crossroad in life.  A time and place where you know you need to choose a direction, make a decision and that the choice you make will affect the rest of your life. 

I’ve sat at this crossroad wondering how I got there, trying to look at it objectively and thinking that once I saw the decisions I needed to make in the clear light of day, there was no debating, no wondering, no hesitation at all, the choices are simple.

You see, when I moved away from my ex husband my self-confidence was gone, my self-esteem was non-existent, and my self-worth was hiding in a dark corner somewhere.  The verbal and emotional abuse had taken its toll and it has taken a long time to get back to…me.

So, after going through a very rough holiday season where I spent a lot of time alone, grieving and generally feeling sorry for myself, I suddenly realized that I was choosing to feel alone, choosing to grieve, choosing to feel sorry for myself.  I had to stop and think about that awhile.  What else have I been choosing either by doing nothing, trying to ignore things, or just not dealing with things I knew I needed to own up too?

The answers have astounded.  How did I find them?  By truly looking at where I was and thinking about how I want to be remembered when I’m gone.  If I were to die 3 years from now, what would the people in my life say about me?  I didn’t like the answers my mind came up with.  I have a lot of work to do.  There’s nothing like visualization to get your goals clearly back in focus. 

One thing I’ve learned is that it takes far more energy to sit down and put up with things, force yourself to accept things, and look the other way, than it does to stand up, take responsibility, own up to your mistakes and take charge of your life. 

When you find yourself feeling bored, unhappy, depressed, or just down, ask yourself why?  Are you choosing to feel that way?  Or are there things you are allowing to go on in your life that are not in sync with who you are and what you believe as a person?  Either way you have choices, you have options and possibilities.  Stand up and take action!  It will change your perspective and your life.

Cherry Coley (c)