I listen deeply.

I am a natural caretaker. I am good at reading the energy of the people around me and perceiving what they need and desire. And while this is an appealing trait and can make me quite popular, it has its disadvantages too. One main disadvantage is that although I am skilled in reading the energy of other people, I am not as skilled with tuning into myself and knowing what it is that I need.

Recently, I was involved in an interaction with someone who said to me: Why don’t you take care of you, and I’ll take care of me. At the time, a wave of relief washed over me. You mean I can just focus on taking care of myself. I don’t have to take care of you too. To a care giver (and recovering over giver) this was music to my ears.

I found myself asking: What does it mean to really take care of me? What would it look like to be tuned into my own energy and flow? What would it be like to be deeply tuned in to the impulses of my own inner spirit?

I believe that at the deepest level, we are one. I also believe that at the deepest level there is consensus about what is right for the whole. When you are in a deep place in you and I am in a deep place in me, we will be in agreement about what is best for the whole.

If we are not in a deep place within ourselves, there will be perceived differences. For example: If someone is feeling insecure they may ask for help for something that they are really capable of doing themselves. The care taker in me may want to help them or even do it for them. But, if I am in a deeper place within myself, I may discern that the truly loving thing to do is empower them to do this task on their own. I may be more liked in the short term when I give this person my immediate help and attention. But this would weaken them and leave me drained. If instead, I listened deeply to what would best serve the oneness, I might hear: Let her do this on her own. She can do this. You take care of you and allow her space to find her strength and power.

This would free me to do what is best for me and free my friend to find her own inner power and strength. It is only when we listen at this deeper level that we will truly know what is best for the whole.

And so it is training for all of us to learn to listen deeply to the oneness and ask frequently: What would best serve the oneness in this situation?

Some of us have a tendency to consider our own needs and some of us have a tendency to consider the needs of others. True awareness and attunement comes when we learn to consider what would best serve the oneness, which would take into account what would best serve all involved.

And so for today, ask yourself frequently: What would best serve the oneness in this situation and listen deeply to the answer. Living in this way may at times make your more popular and at other times less popular. But still, regardless of the reaction of others, it is our responsibility to practice listening in this way.

On this note, I wrote a short affirmation to help all of us in this endeavor.

I listen deeply.

I listen deeply.
I listen deeply.

I listen deeply within and I ask:

What would best serve the oneness today?
What would best serve the oneness in this situation?

I listen deeply, for it is only through deep listening that I can truly discern what would best serve the whole of which I am a part.

When we are listening superficially we may become self-centered: only considering our own superficial needs or we may become self-denying: only considering the superficial needs of others.

When we listen deeply we can hear the whispers of our own spirit and the deepest whispers of the spirit of others. When we listen in this way we naturally serve the oneness of which we are all apart.

I listen deeply.
I listen deeply.
I listen deeply.

I serve the oneness of which I am a part.

I listen deeply.
I listen deeply.
I listen deeply.

I matter and you matter.
We all matter.

It is only through deep listening that the deepest whispers of the spirit can be heard.

So listen deeply and seek to serve the oneness in all that you say, think and do.

Be gentle with yourself for this is a practice and a skill that will get easier over time.

I listen deeply.
I listen deeply.
I listen deeply.

~Hayley Mermelstein

You are a gift.

I was sitting in my meditation this morning and while I was sitting an insecurity came over me. I was flooded with the feeling of not being good enough and wanting to run from a situation I was being guided toward. The urge to run was so strong but so was the urge to move towards.

What’s a girl to do?

Anyway, I sat in my meditation feeling somewhat tortured by my conflicting emotions when I heard a voice whisper: You are a gift. You have something valuable to offer to this situation. You are a gift. Stop holding back. You are a gift.

And this of course, this reminded me of a story.

About 20 years ago I attended a Tony Robbins workshop. During the workshop Tony would periodically have us pair up with a partner to discuss what we were learning and experiencing. There was an uneven number of people in my row and so I found myself pairing up with a man a few rows back. He would come and sit next to me during the partner time of the workshop and then return to his original seat when the discussion was complete.

During one of our conversations I felt really drawn to invite him just to sit next to me through out the workshop so that he didn’t have to keep moving seats. The impulse to ask him to move seats was really strong but I held back. I was afraid of giving him the wrong idea. I was afraid of imposing my will. I was concerned he wouldn’t want to move seats, etc… etc.. And so, I squashed the small voice within that said: Ask him to sit next to you.

The day continued on and still the voice within me persisted and began to get louder: Ask him to sit next to you, it demanded.

No, that is rude. My younger self shot back to my intuition (and wiser self.)

Why would he want to sit next to me anyway? He is happy where he is.

“Ask him to sit next to you” the voice persisted.

No, I am shy. I don’t want to ask him to sit next to me. I don’t want to impose on him. He seems happy where he is.

The voice at this point got so loud, that I actually couldn’t ignore it or fight it anymore. It was so loud that I could barely even concentrate during my paired discussions with this guy.

Hey, I said to the man whose name I could not even remember. Why don’t you move your seat and sit next to me so that you don’t have to keep moving around.

Sure, he said. Great idea.

(All that worry, for naught!)

Anyway, he moved his seat and sat next to me. Shortly after Tony had us turn to the person sitting next to us and give them a shoulder massage (This was something Tony had us do periodically through out the day. And, btw, I was a massage therapist, so this was my specialty). Had I not asked this man to move seats he would not have been sitting beside me for this exercise. I gave this man a short shoulder massage and then he started to cry.

During our next partner interaction he confided in me that he had grown up in an abusive household and had never in his life had nurturing touch or massage and was very shy about physical touch. He had been sitting alone before I asked him to sit next to me (which I hadn’t realized) and so no one had given him a massage yet during the day long workshop.

He said me giving him that short massage was incredibly meaningful for him and had helped him to break through a lifetime blockage of letting other people touch him.

I sat somewhat stunned by the story. No wonder the voice in my head was so insistent. No wonder I needed to ask this man to sit next to me. And to think I almost missed this opportunity to contribute to his life in this way because I was feeling insecure.

I heard the voice whisper to me again and this time it said: You are a gift. Value yourself. You are a gift. Stop holding back. You are a gift. You are a gift. You are a gift.

How often do we hold back our gifts to the world because we are not valuing ourselves enough? How often do our insecurities prevent us from helping another or stepping into our full potential or following our own flow and guidance? How can we value ourselves more and remember the truth of who we are? How can we stop holding ourselves back and step into our full contribution, our full service, and our fullest version of ourselves?

I think we have to start by seeing ourselves as a gift. No matter how flawed we may be. No matter how many weaknesses and insecurities we may have. We all have gifts to offer this world.

I had no idea that following my intuition and guidance that day would be so important. I had no idea that massaging his shoulders would be one of the turning point of his life.

I shutter to think what would have happened had I not listened to my inner guidance, had I been too shy or hesitant to ask this guy to move his seat.

I continued to sit next to this man throughout the day. We continued to share our experiences and even did a second massage exchange. At the end of the day we hugged and he thanked me for asking him to sit next to me and for helping him to break out of his fear of people and touch and isolation. We hugged and went our separate ways.

I gave him my gift of compassion and nurturing touch and he reminded me that I am a gift and to stop holding back. Our work together was done and we both went back into our lives a little stronger.

Perhaps he was the whole reason I attended that workshop to begin with.

And so I remind myself now and all of us:

You are a gift.
Stop holding back.

The world needs your light.
The world needs your full contribution.

Let go of the self absorption:
What will they think? What will they say? Will I be rejected?

Let it all go.

Stop thinking so much about yourself and how you will be perceived and start thinking about how you can contribute to the lives of others.

Start thinking about how you can listen more deeply and follow your deepest guidance.

Start thinking about the fact that you are a gift and have gifts to offer this world.

Stop indulging in insecurities and value yourself and offer that which you came to offer.

Affirm frequently:

I love myself.
I love myself.

I value myself.
I value myself.

I am a gift.
I am a gift.

I have gifts to offer this world.
I have gifts to offer this world.

I hold back no longer.
I take my foot off the brake.

Spirit guide my steps.
Show me where I am needed.

Remove my insecurities and fill me with the awareness that I am a gift so that I can offer what I’ve come to offer.

I take my foot off the brake.
Use me as you will.

I am the humble servant.
I am the here to serve.

I am filled with greatness.
I offer my full contribution.

I am a gift.
I am a gift.
I am a gift.

~Hayley Mermelstein

Everything You Want is Right Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Everything you want is right outside of your comfort zone.

I saw a postcard the other day that said: Everything you want is right outside of your comfort zone. I’m not sure if this is entirely true, but for the most part, the postcard had a good point.

As I looked at this card, I couldn’t help but reflect on a time in high school when I wanted to ask a boy to the prom. I had had a secret crush on this boy since I was 13 years old. I was too shy at 13 to say anything to him. The years went by and we were in different classes and had very little contact. When I was a junior in high school I was floundering hopelessly in advanced French and switched in desperation into a remedial French class. And there, in that class, much to my surprise, was the boy I had liked since I was 13 years old. I was seated right next to him. He and I became fast friends often talking before, after, and sometimes, during class. Even though we were clearly friends, I still sensed that he was somewhat oblivious about my feelings toward him.

Somewhere towards the middle of the year, I had a knowing that I wanted to ask him to our high school prom. This was definitely, without a doubt, outside of my comfort zone. This wasn’t something the girl did. What if he rejected me? Does he even like me at all? Am I making a fool of myself? All of these thoughts swirled through my head.

I still remember sitting by my phone with his phone number in my hand. I sat by the phone for two hours mustering up the courage to call him. I remember that I cried and didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t have friends I could talk to about this at the time and didn’t feel comfortable getting advice from family. So I sat on the floor in my bedroom and cried. Everything I wanted was indeed outside of my comfort zone.

I finally picked up the phone and called the phone number. I remember feeling sick to my stomach. His mother answered and handed the phone to the object of my affection and I simply asked him if he would like to go to the prom with me. He thought for a moment and then said, “sure.”

I wave of relief washed over me. Not so much because I got what I wanted, but rather because I had faced my fear and took action. If I remember correctly, I got off the phone and cried some more.

Two weeks later this boy called me asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner. We went out to dinner and thus began our three-year (very meaningful) relationship.

Everything you want is right out side of your comfort zone.

These days as I think about some of my next steps in life, I once again feel some of the fears that I felt at 17 years old. Old fears and even terrors come to the surface. I even thought to myself the other day, I can’t do this. I can’t do the things that I’m being asked to do. Fear and parallels overtook me.

In that moment, I did what I often do in these sorts of moments and I sat down and did a meditation. In that meditation a very simple phrase came into my head. The phrase was: I can do this.

As I sat in the stillness, as I sat in the fear and the feeling I can’t do this, somewhere from deep within a voice echoed: I can do this. I can do this.

The smaller me said, oh, yes, I remember now, I can do this. I forgot, I could.

I started sending love to the part of me that was afraid and trembling:

I love you.
I love you.

It’s going to be okay.

I can do this.
I can do this.

I love you.
I love you.

I can do this.
I can do this.

I love you.
I love you.

I can do this.
I can do this.

And slowly, the feelings began to evolve and change. I quiet confidence and power began to arise in me and I began to grow a little stronger.

I love you.
I can do this.

I love you.
I love you.

I can do this.
I can do this.

I can do this.

I am confident.
I am confident.

I am powerful.
I am powerful.

I know who I am.

I can do this.
I can do this.

Now I would like to tell you that this is where the story ended and that I lived happily ever after never to face this particular fear again. But alas, that is not so.

I came out of the meditation stronger, only to forget the very next day all that I had just remembered.

(Reprogramming our mind and bodies is a process for sure).

And so, I sat in mediation the next day. The fear arose again and once again I heard the voice say: You can do this. You can do this. Oh yes, I forgot. I can do this. I can do this. I love you and I can do this.

And so it is a process, of stepping into our confidence and our power. Some days it comes naturally and some days we have to dig deep. Some days we feel like we are failing but even still we are moving closer to finding our strength and our confidence and our knowing that we can do that which is ours to do.

Everything we want is indeed right outside of our comfort zone. If this is the case then we are going to have to dig deep, find our confidence and wisdom, find our courage, send lots of love to ourselves and when the time comes to jump, we will need to jump.

We may still find ourselves crying on the bedroom floor sometimes but still, even so, if you listen deep enough, you will find there is a quiet voice within whispering to you. It is saying: You can do this. You can do this. It’s going to be okay. You can do this.

Blessings to us all.

Have a good weekend everybody. And if you liked this post and want to join with others who are working on overcoming there fears and stepping into a more empowered version of themselves please feel free to join our next group healing on Monday May 21rd or our weekly Thursday night meditation class. Both groups start at 7 p.m. and our drop in.

Sincerely,

Hayley Mermelstein

The Words We Say to Ourselves

The words we say to ourselves are powerful and can have a powerful impact on how we think, feel and act. We can learn to evolve how we think, feel and act by changing the words we say to ourselves and embodying new attitudes.

Our tendency is to want to achieve certain external achievements and from there have our state change. For example: We get the promotion at work and then we feel good about ourselves. Or we win the lottery and then we feel abundant. We get the positive health report and then we feel whole. But what would happen if we learned to change our state first and then observed how the external world responds.

As an example from my own life, I had a dilemma this morning and I felt very uncertain about how to proceed. Confusion and lack of clarity seemed to surround me. I decided to sit and meditate and cultivate a feeling of certainty, power and confidence, even though I didn’t know how to handle the situation at hand. (i.e. instead of waiting for the answer to my problem so that I could feel certain, I decided to cultivate a feeling of certainty and see what happens.

I sat in mediation for about an hour and half (sometimes it takes a while to change your state!) and I as I filled myself with certainty, confidence and power, a quiet knowing about how to hand my situation arose.

It was a good reminder to change our state first and then see what happens, as opposed to waiting for our outer world to change so we can feel certain emotions.

If you would like more assistance learning how to change your state separate from external conditions in your environment please join us for our weekly mediation groups at 7 p.m. on Thursday nights and our monthly Group healing at 7 p.m. on Monday nights (next group healing is Monday April 23rd)

For now I will leave you with this exerpt from the meditation that I wrote this morning to help move me from confusion to clarity. Be aware as you read these affirmations how they begin to change your state.

I am certain. I am powerful. I am confident.

Take a moment now and affirm:

I am certain.
I am certain.

I am powerful.
I am powerful.

I am confident.
I am confident.

Feel your certainty now.
Feel your confidence.
Feel your power.

There is a place within you that is already certain, confident, and powerful. Connect with this place within you now.

Feel it. Embody it.

There is greatness within you. You are spirit and you are divine. And as you connect with this place within you, you will have greater access to these qualities.

Give thanks now that these qualities already exist within you.

Thank you that I am filled with certainty.
Thank you that I am filled with confidence.
Thank you that I am filled with power.

Feel the certainty that lies at the core of your being.
Feel your power.
Feel your confidence.

Embody it now.
Feel it now.

I am certain.
I am powerful.
I am confident.

Embody these principles, separate from what is going on in your environment. As your thoughts and feelings change, you create a new attitude. As you create a new attitude, your vibration changes, as your vibration changes all of life can respond in a new way to you. Allow this to be your experiment for the week. Practice embodying a new attitude and see how this impacts you life.

And again if you would further help and assistance with this feel free to join our weekly meditation group on Thursdays at 7 p.m or our next group healing (Monday April 23rd at 7 p.m.). Both groups are drop in and held at 800 Main Street, Amherst, ma. (middle door in the front of the building.)

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,

Hayley Mermelstein

My 11 Year Old Niece is Braver Than Me

It was the evening before Thanksgiving and I was tucking my 11 year old niece into bed. I was giving her a back rub (part of our night time tradition) to help her unwind from the days events. While I was massaging her back she turned to me and said: I told a boy I liked him today. I paused, somewhat surprised by her late night admission and said: “oh, I didn’t know that you liked a boy, What is his name?” She replied, and then I asked with genuine curiousity: What did he say?

He said he would let me know on Monday, she replied again.

Now I wasn’t sure what exactly he was going to let her know on Monday but I decided to let that go and continue with my line of questioning.

Will you be okay, no matter what he says on Monday?

Yes, she replied earnestly.

I’m just glad to get it out of my head, she added.

How long have you wanted to tell this boy that you liked him? I asked,

About two weeks, she said.

Wow. You are braver than me, I said. I’m not sure I could have done that at your age. (Actually, if truth be told, I wasn’t sure if I could do that now!)

After she drifted off to sleep, I couldn’t help but reflect on our conversation. I knew exactly what she meant when she said she was just glad to get it out of her head. I have found that when I don’t express something that genuinely needs to be expressed it can get stuck in my head and start to go round and round creating all kinds of havoc. I was genuinely so inspired by my niece’s bravery and boldness and her knowing that she needed to express.

In chakra language: the throat chakra is the center of healthy expression. It is also the center for growth and learning. When we hold back our natural expression, things stagnate and growth and learning slow down. When we express in a genuine and attuned way the energy moves, situations in our lives evolve (one way or the other) and we naturally grow and learn. Healthy expression helps move the energy in our bodies and in our lives.

How did the story with my niece end? I actually have no idea. I broke my foot playing soccer with my 12 year old nephew the next day and got distracted and forgot to ask. (not to worry, my foot is just about healed now and I will see my niece shortly.)

But, one thing I do know for sure, is that my niece slept well that night because she said what she needed to say and had surrendered the outcome. She got it out of her head and was at peace.

~Hayley Mermelstein