Debra L. Reble, PH.D. | Soul-Hearted Living http://www.debrareble.com Thu, 27 Apr 2017 14:48:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 Embracing the Pauses That Arise on Your Spiritual Journey http://www.debrareble.com/embracing-pauses-arise-spiritual-journey/ http://www.debrareble.com/embracing-pauses-arise-spiritual-journey/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 12:47:51 +0000 http://www.debrareble.com/?p=2989 There are times when we feel that we are spinning our wheels, going backwards, or stuck in terms of our personal/spiritual growth. How can it be that we work so hard on our spiritual development only to uncover deeper pockets pain in our hearts? Why is it, when we think we have finally cleared our “stuff,” we find more subtle layers of patterns revealed to us? This begs the question so many of us want to know: Are we There Yet? and If not, When? However, we must realize that spiritual transformation requires a commitment for the long haul-constant personal evolution over a lifetime.

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JourneyDo you remember when you were a child traveling to a destination and it seemed to take forever? You may have relentlessly said, “Are we there yet, Are we there yet?” until you arrived. Sometimes you may feel frustrated, disheartened, and even at a standstill along your spiritual journey. With all the “heart work” you’ve already done, you want to hurry up and get there without any more spiritual detours or backtracking.

There are times when we feel that we are spinning our wheels, going backwards, or stuck in terms of our personal/spiritual growth. How can it be that we work so hard on our spiritual development only to uncover deeper pockets pain in our hearts? Why is it, when we think we have finally cleared our “stuff,” we find more subtle layers of patterns revealed to us? This begs the question so many of us want to know: Are we There Yet? and If not, When? However, we must realize that spiritual transformation requires a commitment for the long haul-constant personal evolution over a lifetime.

Our spiritual transformation is not a goal that can be attained, but an ongoing progression. We are often seduced into thinking that once we have experienced a personal breakthrough we no longer need to focus on change. We become complacent and allow our momentary feeling of gratification to become a pink bubble enveloping us in false feelings of security and triumph. This is especially true following a period of major personal growth. Like Glenda, the good witch of the north in The Wizard of Oz, we try to remain inside this bubble of illusion, ignoring the guidance of spirit telling us that we still have a spiritual journey ahead. Yet, remaining inside this pink bubble and resisting change only creates conditions in which old patterns can surface and arrests further personal transformation.

Our personal transformation ebbs and flows with periods of intense forward movement which give way to periods of transitional pauses. In these moments we may feel discouraged; however, we must remind ourselves that we don’t ever really go backward. We may be pausing momentarily because there is a new obstacle in our path, or a new layer of a pattern to clear, or a relationship to complete, but the spiritual work we have done cannot be undone. Every step on our path is meaningful, even the ones that seem to take us backward are a forward step. Sometimes an intense growth spurt requires that we rest for a period of time to fully integrate the new positive energies that have awakened, opened and are becoming available to us.

Nurture a kind, patient, and loving, relationship with yourself and you will set the groundwork for a lifelong journey of spiritual transformation. Trust yourself and your connection to source, listen to the voice of your heart, and make intentions for a more fulfilling life. Let go of the life you have chosen until now so you can cocreate the life you want in your present-future. With conscious awareness, witness how spirit guides you to opportunities and choices that result in a life based less on fear and insecurity, and more on spiritual transformation. Once you have spiritually transformed, you can never go backwards. Remember, you may be resting or revisiting issues that seem old, and may feel stuck, but trust that you have already chosen the next step forward on our path.

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Take Time for Yourself to Replenish Your Soul http://www.debrareble.com/take-time-replenish-soul/ http://www.debrareble.com/take-time-replenish-soul/#respond Fri, 21 Apr 2017 19:59:49 +0000 http://www.debrareble.com/?p=2986 A balanced life begins from within and radiates outward to all aspects of your life. So taking time to be with yourself is at the core of creating and sustaining alignment with your heart, your being and your soul’s journey.

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ReplenishCherishing time alone with yourself is beneficial to your health, happiness and well-being. It also gives you the opportunity to tune in, reflect and cultivate self-awareness so you can bring your life into alignment with your true essence. Spending time alone assists you in nurturing a relationship with yourself which is key to creating a balanced and fulfilled life.

As difficult as it is in your busy life to take time to be alone, you must give yourself permission to recharge, rejuvenate and restore and push the restart button. Solitude and introspection will assist you in understanding yourself more and tuning in to your connection with a divine source. When you are alone, you can hear your own inner wisdom without distraction and care for yourself in ways that you aren’t able to when you are with other people. Time alone gives you the necessary break from the “have tos” of your brain and allow you to tune in to the “want tos” of your heart. In sacred space, you can begin to focus and tend to your own needs .

First, make an effort to nurture an introspective relationship with yourself. If you find that taking time alone is challenging, try starting with a small dose each day. Just begin with five minutes at the beginning and end of each day. Each day, try to amp it up by a minute or more until you reach an hour. Once you practice being alone, you will find it comes more naturally in time.

Next, spend time every day in quiet reflection whether walking in nature, sitting in a garden, soaking in a tub, looking out of the window or journaling your innermost thoughts and feelings. Create this sacred space to go within, listen to your innermost feelings and discover your center.

Finally, when sitting quietly touch the center of your chest and direct your attention from your head to your heart. Bring your focus to the inhale and exhale of your breathing. Breathe in light and love and feel your heart expand and then, exhale negative thoughts and emotions. Observe the ricochet of thoughts and let them move through your awareness. Then, focus your attention to your heart again.

A balanced life begins from within and radiates outward to all aspects of your life. So taking time to be with yourself is at the core of creating and sustaining alignment with your heart, your being and your soul’s journey.

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5 Sacred Steps to Strengthen Your Energetic Boundaries http://www.debrareble.com/5-sacred-steps-strengthen-energetic-boundaries/ http://www.debrareble.com/5-sacred-steps-strengthen-energetic-boundaries/#comments Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:15:17 +0000 http://www.debrareble.com/?p=2979 Feeling energetically drained? You may need to look at your energetic boundaries. All of our relationships are energetic exchanges. When our energetic boundaries are in place, the resulting flow is growth promoting, first for ourselves and then for others. Without such boundaries, however, we can easily exhaust ourselves of energy or inadvertently take on the unwanted energies of others, outcomes that impede our growth and damage our relationships. Try one or more of the 5 sacred steps I share here to strengthen your energetic boundaries. Making this commitment to yourself benefits everyone in your world. So breathe, let go, and let it all be.

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Energetic BoundariesCreating healthy energetic boundaries is key to producing a positive flow of energy in our relationships. At heart, all our relationships are energetic exchanges—opportunities to become a conduit for life force energy. When energetic boundaries are in place, the resulting flow is growth promoting, first for ourselves and then for others. Without such boundaries, however, we can easily exhaust ourselves of energy or inadvertently take on the unwanted energies of others, outcomes that impede our growth and damage our relationships.

Establishing energetic boundaries with those we love is not easy, because we are especially sensitive to the “pull” they have on our hearts. Wanting their happiness perhaps more than they want it themselves, for instance, we can become so involved in trying to generate it for them that the effort takes its toll on us physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. At its best, the energetic drain makes us vulnerable to feelings of compassion fatigue. At its worst, it can stress our heart center, resulting in exhaustion, depression, or medical conditions such as increased blood pressure or cardiac disease.

Creating healthy boundaries with more casual friends, associates, coworkers, and even strangers is just as important. In relationships without such boundaries in place, it is common to feel something akin to the biological concept of osmosis, in which molecules pass in one direction or another across a permeable cell membrane. Some highly sensitive individuals who are unaware of the importance of establishing boundaries typically struggle to keep their energy from bleeding into the energy fields of people around them—or vice versa, strive to prevent other people’s energy from infiltrating their energy field. For instance, have you ever felt yourself taking on the emotions of others as if they were your own, or being sucked dry of emotion in the presence of “energy vampires”?

The long-term consequences of engaging in relationships without energetic boundaries in place can be pronounced. Many people, for example, start out in loving relationships, or professional or casual ones, as healthy caregivers. But if they are attracted to a “victim”—someone needing to be taken care of—and do not create healthy energetic boundaries, they may end up taking care of the person without receiving much in return. A caregiver who then begins taking responsibility for the victim’s life fosters the victim’s chronic dependency on them, along with other enabling behaviors. Taking responsibility for another person’s life, after all, impedes the person’s willingness to help themselves. In such circumstances, when there is no positive exchange of energy within the relationship, caregivers can become resentful and controlling caretakers.

If you are a caregiver who has slipped into the role of self-sacrificing caretaker, you may not at first be aware of the shift. You will know things have changed if you now feel a need to be needed or to fix this person or rescue them, or if you think you might be distracting yourself from your own insecurities and vulnerabilities. For a brief time as caretakers we may feel more secure, powerful, and in control of our lives, when in fact this false sense of confidence only prevents us from preciously caring for ourselves.

As a caregiver with healthy energetic boundaries in place, you will be able to open your heart compassionately in balanced detachment and maintain a positive flow of energy with others without suffering with them. To create healthy energetic boundaries, practice these 5 sacred steps:

  • Recite a mantra to yourself, or say “Namaste” or “bless and release” to dissolve negative energy emanating from a situation. Not knowing what they require for their personal growth, accept that they are cocreating the life situations for this to happen.
  • Exercise balanced detachment by opening your heart in loving compassion for the “being” of others while simultaneously removing yourself from their unhealthy physical and emotional processes. For example, when someone wants to vent their feelings with you, prepare to be a sounding board by listening with an open heart and refrain from taking on their negative processes, giving unsolicited advice, or trying to fix the situation.
  • Recognize when you are vulnerable to absorbing negative energy. (The stronger your reaction is to a person, pattern, or situation, the more deep-seated your sensitivity to it may be.) Before engaging in a potentially vulnerable interaction, breathe deeply, open your heart, and release all reactivity, thereby establishing a healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual separation.
  • Focus on directing positive energy into your encounters with others. Bless someone who cuts in front of you while driving or in line at the grocery store. Recite a mantra to yourself, or say “Namaste” or “bless and release” to dissolve negative energy emanating from a situation.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who listen well, respond meaningfully, and support you unconditionally. Move beyond dualistic patterns of light/wrong, good/bad, and win/lose; acknowledge others’ points of view; love them even when you disagree with them or hold a different perspective.

Just realizing that our energies are as important as those of our loved ones, family, friends, and coworkers can encourage us to develop a loving, caring relationship with ourselves and protect it through the creation of energetic boundaries. In honoring our needs for personal time and engaging in activities that restore and inspire us, we acquire more vitality and stamina to energetically serve others.

Making this commitment to yourself benefits everyone in your world. So breathe, let go, and let it all be.

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The Spiritual Practice of Letting Go http://www.debrareble.com/spiritual-practice-letting-go/ http://www.debrareble.com/spiritual-practice-letting-go/#comments Sun, 26 Mar 2017 17:34:03 +0000 http://www.debrareble.com/?p=2974 Last week with a heavy heart, I said goodbye to my next door neighbors, dear friends, and soul family, Dan, Ada, and my surrogate dogs, Stormy and Misty. For six years, we shared yards, puppies, meals, and lives together always being there for each other. Too often we brace ourselves for change instead of letting go and embracing change as an opportunity to spiritually grow. When we release anyone or anything, we unleash a flow of divine energy to support new creative space and our transformation.

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Spiritual“When letting go is called for, if we have not learned to do so, we suffer greatly, and when we get to the end of our lives, we may have a crash course.” ~ Jack Kornfield

Last week with a heavy heart, I said goodbye to my next door neighbors, dear friends, and soul family, Dan, Ada, and my surrogate dogs, Stormy and Misty.

For six years, we shared yards, puppies, meals, and lives together always being there for each other. Through the gate we made in the fence to connect our yards, we connected our hearts and families. Instead of creating division between our properties, we created cohesion. We created sacred community!

Too often we brace ourselves for change instead of letting go and embracing change as an opportunity to spiritually grow. When we release anyone or anything, we unleash a flow of divine energy to support new creative space and our transformation. Whether we experience it as a tsunami or a gentle wave, each of us is up for life-altering shift at these times.

As much as I will miss them, saying goodbye is actually saying hello. With this ending comes a new beginning for all of us. I wish them well and all the blessings as they begin their new chapter in Gainesville, Florida.

Letting go is one of the most important, yet most difficult spiritual principles that we are awakening to at this time. Like any art, it takes an open loving heart, expanded awareness, and sustained practice to become masterful. It also requires surrounding ourselves with the people and environments that support us releasing what is necessary in a healthy and positive way. Most of all, letting go requires trust in ourselves and our connection to source for it to become an essential element in our lives such as the air we breathe.

Many people have asked me, “How do I let go? My answer is simple-we have to let go into trust. Letting go and trust go hand in hand as one doesn’t exist without the other. It’s easy to move on when we have the road map right in front of us; yet, many of us struggle to let go of a relationship, a job or our life as we’ve known it when we have to trust the compass within us. Our inner GPS system of trust is our safety net, however, this safety net isn’t a white fluffy pillow that we fall back on in familiar comfort. Rather it is a deep sense of connection to a higher power whatever that happens to be for us and then accessing this source through our heart.

We begin by letting go of our negative thoughts, fears and expectations moment to moment which brings us into a state of expanded awareness or presence. It takes more than deep breaths to let go; it requires strength of trust and courage of the heart. Ultimately, we must trust that letting go is about the completion of life cycles and thus, signals a beginning more than an end.

We have a choice in every moment to let go into trust.

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From Soul Mates to Soul-Hearted Partners http://www.debrareble.com/soul-mates-soul-hearted-partners/ Thu, 09 Feb 2017 16:20:55 +0000 http://www.debrareble.com/?p=2956 Soul-hearted relationships are between two or more individuals―whether a couple, a family, friends, or an entire community―connected heart to heart and soul to soul, and share an alchemy of love energy.

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Soul MatesWhen we fall in love, we get a glimpse of our lover’s soul. When we flow in love, all impediments fall away, and their soul is all we see. To fall in love is magical; to flow in love is mystical. When we flow in love with another person, we engage in the ultimate dance of soul-hearted partnership, sharing our joy, passion, and exuberance for life. The unceasing flow of love that we exude affects how we wake up in the morning, carry ourselves, handle disappointment, give and receive love, and sustain our soul connection.

We should not assume that there is only one soul mate for each person and we have to seek them out to be happy. Rather, there are thousands of soul-connections with whom we can interact over a lifetime. Upon encountering any person with whom we have such a connection, we instantly are drawn to them, and experience an energetic connection through our thoughts, feelings, and bodily responses. We may not see each other for long periods of time, but our bond remains forever. Soul mates appear in our lives to assist us with our soul’s progression. They enhance our lives by providing insights, unconditional love, and spiritual assistance. Most importantly, we attract such soul-connected people into our lives by being our own soul mate, committed to doing the heart-centered spiritual work that it takes to stay true to our soul’s journey.

Most of us have the capability to love someone; however, to love and connect with them on a heart and soul level takes it up a few spiritual notches. A soul-hearted partner is a soul mate with whom we develop and sustain intimacy― not just at the soul level, but on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. While a soul mate is like a diamond in the rough with its sparkle of potential, a soul-hearted partner is a diamond that has been cut and polished to bring out its brilliance and placed in a four pronged setting of love, trust, intimacy, and full self-expression. All soul-hearted partners are soul mates; yet not all soul mates become soul-hearted partners. Some become lifelong best friends or inspirational guides; others fade out of our lives once they’ve bestowed the gifts they came to give us.

Soul-hearted relationships are two or more individuals ―whether a couple, a family, friends, or an entire community―connected heart to heart and soul to soul, and share an alchemy of love energy. With each person operating at their utmost soul potential, contributing to the power of this stream, it flows unimpeded. The soul-hearted partners assist each other in growing spiritually and living in congruence with their souls’ journeys. In such a relationship, each individual is celebrated for who they truly are—a radiant soul on a dynamic spiritual journey. Not only do they have the freedom to pursue their passions, follow their hearts, and express their vulnerable selves, they also have the inspiration and support to do so, due to the increased energy available to them. With such energetic support, obstacles crumble, fears dissipate, and self-expression surges forth beyond anything they had ever imagined. Like popcorn, the kernels of their divine potential are able to burst forth through the nurturing of each other’s being. 

Cultivating such soul-hearted relationships takes effort and a spiritual commitment by both partners. As a whole, relationships provide us with numerous opportunities for self-realization by inspiring us to expand our conscious awareness, address our vulnerabilities, and spiritually progress beyond what we can achieve alone. When both partners are actively pursuing their own spiritual growth, they offer each other a commitment to be the best they can be. By recognizing and releasing the individual patterns and energy blocks that threaten to disrupt the positive flow of our energy, we become more self-realized and increasingly responsive to ourselves, our partner, and our relationship. The mantra for this kind of relationship is: “I am whole and complete in myself, and I offer that to you.” Or as John Legend sings in “All of Me,” “Give your all to me, and I’ll give my all to you.”

The opening to love and connection that we can experience with a soul-hearted partner is something for which all human beings strive. To attract such loving and connected relationships into our lives, we must first embody the love and connection we seek. We do this by expressing genuine love in our every encounter so that the positive energy stream we generate makes each moment of our lives a loving meditation.

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Making Discerning Choices Inspired by Love http://www.debrareble.com/making-discerning-choices-inspired-love/ http://www.debrareble.com/making-discerning-choices-inspired-love/#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2017 14:16:15 +0000 http://www.debrareble.com/?p=2949 Only when we begin making discerning choices inspired by universal love instead of personal fear do we feel like creators of our lives in sync with all of life. There is always more to our lives than we consciously register. When our choices are supported by love, we create a continuous flow of positive energy that can transcend negative energies and move us toward realizing our dreams.

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Love“Be universal in your love.

You will see the universe to be a picture of your own being.”

—Sri Chinmoy

 

Making discerning choices inspired by love leads to actions based on a broader spiritual perspective, and prepares the way for loving relationships with ourselves, others, and the world. As the transformative energy of love in today’s world continues to shift human consciousness, we are being guided away from choices that prevent us from loving ourselves and others. Choices inspired by lower vibrational frequencies originating from fear, negativity, and stress result in suffering, imbalance, and disease.

Even though many people think they are making choices based on a positive outlook―such as choosing “good” over “evil,” or “right” over “wrong,” their options have usually been limited by fear-based egos and beliefs that see the world as polarized. When we make discerning choices inspired by love, on the other hand, we are propelled beyond such polarities, and beyond the egos which created them, into a more universal, encompassing, and loving worldview.

Most people do not realize that, even before birth, we make spiritual choices, thereby co-creating our lives after birth and impacting other choices we make during our lives. The spiritual choices we make before we are born―such as choosing our body, gender, parents, and circumstances―impact our lives. Knowing that we are responsible for these prior choices can shift our consciousness and affect our current choices while living on Earth. The conscious awareness that we made such choices before we were born empowers us to make choices during our lives that, guided by spirit and inspired by love, help us shift to a higher vibrational frequency and perceive our life circumstances from a more spiritual perspective.

Currently, our spiritual development has evolved to the point where we are taking more responsibility for our choices. We are finally recognizing that we have the ability to consciously co-create our reality instead of relinquishing that power to others, our circumstances, or shirk our responsibility to make conscious choices by leaving it to someone else. When we operate as the source of love, we can make enlightened choices that are not bound by gender, culture, or the dictates of others, and thus live more authentically and move in accordance with a universal perspective, one focused on what’s best for our world as a whole.

For many of us, making choices can be confusing, if not overwhelming. Our brains store so many prescriptions of what we “should” do that selecting only those in alignment with our hearts can be baffling. Being creatures of habit, we often make choices based on routines or patterns instead of on what truly resonates with our souls. Living in this way, our energy stagnates. We feel uninspired and stuck. A heaviness permeates our choices, and fear of change impedes our creativity. Fearful that we will make a wrong choice, we may become paralyzed and avoid choosing altogether. However, not making a choice out of fear or insecurity is still, in fact, making a choice; when we do this, we are simply choosing to let external events, other people, or blind chance dictate our experience. If we desire to move forward spiritually, we cannot let such fears keep us from making the most choices that most support our well-being. Only when we begin making discerning choices inspired by universal love instead of personal fear do we feel like creators of our lives in sync with all of life. 


Love frees us to make distinctive choices beyond the options presented through limited mind-sets.
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With love, such enlightened choices, however challenging, are not daunting; if we feel connected to our love source, we know we are well equipped to handle any situation. We can trust that we have created the support and opportunities we need to transform our lives for the better.

Although making discerning choices inspired by love does not necessarily help us avoid contact with the unwanted energies or influences of others, it does enable us to remain non-reactive, compassionately detached, and more quickly remove ourselves from negative situations. When our choices are supported by love, we create a continuous flow of positive energy that can transcend negative energies and move us toward realizing our dreams.

There is always more to our lives than we consciously register. In making discerning choices inspired by love, we become masters of our destiny, trusting that our lives are unfolding in the best way possible to realize our dreams and support the dreams of others, and the betterment of humanity.

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Words are Powerful Intentions to the Universe http://www.debrareble.com/words-powerful-intentions-universe/ http://www.debrareble.com/words-powerful-intentions-universe/#comments Thu, 19 Jan 2017 13:46:26 +0000 http://www.debrareble.com/?p=2940 Every thought, feeling, word, and action you put forth is a memo to the universe. It’s important that your word intentions reflect what you want rather than what you don’t want, because any intention has the power to manifest. This image is of my 2017 intention board which hangs in my office. Each word holds a sacred vibration that I love seeing on a daily basis to remind me of the power of our thoughts and words.

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IntentionsLove is the highest energy frequency in the universe. And so our words must source from love. The high vibration of positive words has an uplifting effect on our world, whereas the vibration from negative words has the power to destroy. When we open our hearts, light energy flows through us as pure love, making us conduits for the flow of love to others through our thoughts, words, and actions. As conduits of love, we can receive and transmit energy that is divinely sourced. Then, we can use this information to align with our soul’s journey and sustain the circulation of loving energy through positive thoughts, words, and choices that benefit ourselves and others.

One way to support such positive, life-affirming intentions is to eliminate all of the unkind thoughts, words, and actions we inflict upon ourselves on a daily basis. Many of us move through our days berating, shaming, and terrorizing ourselves with our self-talk in ways we would never express to anyone we love. Such negative self-talk can trigger a chain reaction of aggression—first to ourselves, then to others and the world at large. Such negativity obstructs our ability to co-create the life we truly want. Instead, we need to realize that all our thoughts, words, and choices must originate in love—even when we step in dog poop while wearing our most expensive shoes, break a favorite vase, lose a job, or hurt someone we love.

Any spoken or unspoken word functions as an intention so it is crucial to keep your words positive with yourself and others. The phrase “Be careful what you wish for” applies to the potential outcomes of thinking or speaking negatively. If you catch yourself thinking or speak negatively, immediately pause and shift your ideas, words, or tone to be more positive.

It’s also important that your word intentions reflect what you want rather than what you don’t want, because any intention has the power to manifest. For instance, if you complain to a coworker that you hate your job and wish you didn’t have to be there, you are setting a negative intention. In generating energy to support this intention, you may get your wish and end up being fired. For better results, express your intention positively by saying, for example, “I want to use my talents and abilities to create a new career,” or “I desire a job in which I can express myself more fully.” Having set a positive intention, you can manifest a new job by being aware of possibilities that will help you find it, such as talking to someone who tells you about another position, seeing a job advertised in the paper or on the Internet, or running into a friend who wants to start a business with you.

Another spiritual tool you can use to clear negative self-talk is positive affirmations. To do so, it may at first be necessary to use positive affirmations many times a day. But with practice, you can train yourself to override this fear-based self-talk with simple positive phrases that remind you to override the negative. Here are a few positive affirmations you can say aloud when you witness a negative thought, word, or belief cropping up: “Move beyond,” “Open and let go,” and “Bless and release.” Using these positive phrases repeatedly over time will disrupt your automatic negative thinking.

We often forget how powerful our words are, and speak unconsciously or make promises with no intention of keeping them. This leads to a break in our integrity.


Unspoken and spoken words are among the most powerful energetic forces we have for co-creating our…
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When we express love in all of our interactions, we are being impeccable with our word. Our words reflect who we are; and when we speak our truth and keep our word, we are seen by others as trustworthy.

We are accountable for our thoughts, words, and choices in life. That is, we have to be “response-able”― able to respond to events in our lives, instead of reacting to them. Being responsible for ourselves also means being aware of our words and choosing the ones which are our true intentions for the future. When we realize that love is who we are, it then becomes the source from which all our thoughts, words, and choices flow.


Every thought, feeling, word, and action you put forth is a memo to the universe.
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The invisible vibration of energy connects you to everyone and everything. In other words, you keep loving, positive energy in circulation by what you think, feel, say, and do, and the universe conspires with you. As a result of this spiritual law of circulation, you naturally project love out into the world.

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Spiritual Alchemy: Rising from the Ashes http://www.debrareble.com/spiritual-alchemy-rising-ashes/ http://www.debrareble.com/spiritual-alchemy-rising-ashes/#comments Thu, 12 Jan 2017 15:15:08 +0000 http://www.debrareble.com/?p=2934 Sometimes a crisis such as an illness, trauma, or loss forces us to open to intense transformation. In some ways, change—even the hard change of healing old wounds—is easier when the alternative is unthinkable. But for many of us, daily life isn’t enough to trigger that kind of radical transformation. Instead, the pain is left to build up for years, even decades, because it’s easier to ignore it than to let go and lean in. Without release, however, these old wounds create chronic distress that can manifest as depression, anxiety, or physical illness. Only when the pain is released can we bring about self-healing.

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Spiritual Alchemy, PheonixSometimes a crisis such as an illness, trauma, or loss forces us to open to intense transformation. In some ways, change—even the hard change of healing old wounds—is easier when the alternative is unthinkable. But for many of us, daily life isn’t enough to trigger that kind of radical transformation. Instead, the pain is left to build up for years, even decades, because it’s easier to ignore it than to let go and lean in. Without release, however, these old wounds create chronic distress that can manifest as depression, anxiety, or physical illness.

Only when the pain is released can we bring about self-healing.
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Our vulnerabilities offer us a great gift because when we lean into them we initiate an experiential death. This metaphorical death allows us to release the past and confront ourselves with nothing, “no thing,” to attach to—except ourselves. This creates a shift in our consciousness, much like the experience of dying and physically detaching from the body. Such a shift can be frightening or disorienting, especially when the brain reacts to the act of letting go of the pain as a threat to life, and triggers symptoms like anxiety, heart palpitations, and lightheadedness. But even in experiential death, what really die are our ego-centered identities, not our true selves. In fact, when we let go of our old, painful self-definitions, our authentic selves are given permission to rise from the ashes like the phoenix—the mythical creature of purification and transformation. 

When my client Jocelyn, a longtime nurse, was forty-eight years old, she began attending a prestigious art school. Although she had always dabbled in art, she felt unprepared for the rigorous curriculum she encountered during her first year at the school. As she attempted to both care for her family and be actively engaged as a student, sustaining a balance proved to be challenging. She was responsible not only for presenting work that was appealing visually, but also for interpreting the meaning behind it. Consequently, there was no way around taking a hard look at herself. 

Jocelyn’s final assignment in her first-year drawing class brought her to a spiritual crossroads. She was asked to find an object, draw it utilizing a multimedia approach, and then discuss the meaning behind the piece during class. While taking a walk one morning, she discovered a weathered piece of an iron gate. She was attracted to the strength of the metal, and the history represented by layer upon layer of paint. As she began rendering this object, chunks of the old paint began to peel away, exposing the iron underneath—like the layers of her own life experiences. As Jocelyn stripped away layer after layer of paint, she thought about the meaning behind each one and how she would discuss it in class. She liked to keep things simple, so when her professor asked her to talk about her concept Jocelyn simply said, “You spend the first half of your life acquiring layers of baggage from your parents, siblings, friends, and childhood experiences, and then you spend the second half of your life ridding yourself of the layers that no longer serve you.” 

Two years later, she had renowned artist Charles Bergengren as her art history teacher. The information he shared about the medieval alchemists interested her, as she realized how this concept applied to her own life. Although the popular idea of alchemy during the Middle Ages centered around the attempt to burn away the “dross” of an ordinary material (such as lead) and transform it into a refined substance (such as gold), true alchemists of the time understood this process to be spiritual—the task of transmuting the “dross” of our material body into the more refined essences of mind and spirit—the gold of our true being.

            Four years later, Jocelyn separated from her husband of twenty-five years, and graduated from art school. As she adjusted to her youngest child leaving home, she continued to harness her creativity and maintain a disciplined art practice. It was also during that time that she began a therapeutic relationship with me, working to let go of past patterns and relationships that no longer served her.             

Not long after her divorce, Jocelyn received an e-mail from a friend in Massachusetts asking if Jocelyn would come to her home to share in a ritual of release based on the theme of the phoenix rising from the ashes. Jocelyn subsequently visited and, during the ritual, felt released from things that no longer served her life or were inappropriate to her being at this time in her life.

 Seeing an experiential death as a beginning rather than an ending teaches us how to fully live. As Pema Chödrön says, “The kinds of discoveries that are made through practice have nothing to do with believing in anything. They have much more to do with having the courage to die, the courage to die continually. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. From the awakened point of view, that’s life.”


Just as we know light through darkness, so can we know life through death.
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QUOTE: Within each of us is a divine universe of love. http://www.debrareble.com/quote-within-us-divine-universe-love/ Mon, 12 Dec 2016 21:11:58 +0000 http://www.debrareble.com/?p=2881   “Within each of us is a divine universe of love.” ~ Dr. Debra Reble

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“Within each of us is a divine universe of love.” ~ Dr. Debra Reble

Dr. Debra Reble, Inspiring Quotes, Quote

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QUOTE: Wielding our power as beings of love helps us reach our fullest soul potential and…. http://www.debrareble.com/quote-3/ Mon, 12 Dec 2016 21:09:28 +0000 http://www.debrareble.com/?p=2878   “Wielding our power as beings of love helps us reach our fullest soul potential and inspires others to reach theirs, thereby making the world a better place.” ~ Dr. Debra Reble

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“Wielding our power as beings of love helps us reach our fullest soul potential and inspires others to reach theirs, thereby making the world a better place.”

~ Dr. Debra Reble

Dr. Debra Reble, Inspiring Quotes, Quote

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