My Life as a Monk

My 85 year old father called the other day and we were having our usual conversations about life and the weather and what I did today when suddenly he asked the question: “You believe in past lives, right?”

Now, my father knows the answer to this question, because we have had this conversation before. He knows that I believe in past lives and I know he does not. He has asked me why I believe in past lives and I have told him because I have past life memories on a regular basis. He thinks it must be comforting for me that I believe that we have more than one life to live.

We agree to disagree.

But this time, the tone is different. Something is different about the way he asks the question and so I pretend it’s the first time we are having this conversation and I say,

Yes, I believe in past lives. Why do you ask?”

There is a pause and he says: “I’ve been having past life memories lately. I keep remembering a life I had as a monk.”

Really, I reply. What do you remember?

Every morning in the monastery we had mutton stew. He says. It was a simple life. I really liked my life as a monk.

He continues: Actually, I don’t even know what mutton is, do you?

We consult google and both discover that mutton is the meat from an older sheep while lamp is the meat from a younger sheep.

“We had mutton stew every morning he continued. It was a simple life. I really enjoyed that life. He says somewhat wistfully.”

You know, Dad. I say. I remember a life where I was a monk too. I think we were friends in the monastery.

You think we were friends in the monastery? he repeats back to me.

Yes, yes I do. I say.

He takes a moment to reflect and then says: Yes, I think you are right, I think we were friends in the monastery.

The conversation drifts a bit and then he says: You know, my father has been visiting me at night.

What? I ask.

Yes, my father, he has been visiting me at night.

What does he say, I ask?

Nothing. My father replies. I just wake up in the middle of the night and he is there smiling at me. It is really comforting.

And I smile and I say that is great Dad. That is really nice that grandpa is visiting you.

And my smile is wistful now because although I am happy for my Dad that he is having these experiences and that we can talk about them, I am also realizing that he is being prepared for his next chapter and his next adventure.

I realize that I too am being prepared.

And so, I smile and say that is great Dad. And inside I am happy and inside I am sad.

A plate of compassion all around for this strange and interesting journey we are all on together.

~Hayley Mermelstein

The greatest gift my grandmother ever gave to me

The greatest gift my grandmother ever gave to me came several months after she died. Her greatest gift came the night she visited me in a dream.

My grandmother died about 20 years ago and immediately after her death I was consumed with guilt. I felt guilty that I had not done enough for her. I felt guilty that I had not given enough of myself. I felt guilty that I did not appreciate her more.

I loved my grandmother and she loved me, but she was a challenging women. She had a hard life filled with difficulty and she had become bitter and negative which made her difficult to be around and so I limited my time with her.

When I did go to visit her, a great deal of the visit would be spent with her complaining about how I never came to visit, which of course made it hard for me to want to go visit again (ps. I was in my twenties at this time, so didn’t have the best coping skills for all of this.). And to be fair the visit would also have good food, and popcorn, and movies and family. It was a mixed experience.

Anyway, back to the greatest gift.

So, when she died I found myself consumed with guilt. I felt guilty that I had not gone and seen her more. I felt guilty that she was lonely. I felt guilty that I had not appreciated her enough. I felt guilty, guilty, guilty.

I was about 33 when she died and really didn’t have the skills to deal with my guilt either. And then one night, in a dream, a couple of months after she passed, she came to me. It was a simple dream. She smiled at me and told me not to feel guilty. She said, “The problem wasn’t that you didn’t appreciate me enough, the problem was that I didn’t appreciate you enough.”

Those simple words resonated with truth and hit me deeply. I suddenly saw it. The problem in this case wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate her enough, it was that she didn’t appreciate me enough.

And with that a huge weight was lifted from my chest.

Thank you Bubby. (Yiddish word for grandmother), for taking the time to come back and help me heal the feeling of not being enough. It was truly the kindest and most generous gift you ever gave. And thank you for the love and the pizza bagels and all the food. I know food was love for you. And thank you for the kindness and caring. I know that you loved deeply.

We are all so imperfect in human form and
we are just doing the best we can.

A plate of compassion all around and
a plate of forgiveness all around.

I hope that some burden you are carrying will be lightened now.
I hope that you are okay.

Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

We are all so imperfect in human form and it is okay.

We are spirit and we are divine and
that is where are perfection lies.

Forgive yourself today and
grant someone else some forgiveness too.

We are all so imperfect in human form.
And it is okay.

It is all okay.

I’m not sure if I’m writing this for me, or my grandmother, or for you, my kind reader.

Perhaps I write it for all of us.
For we are one and share the same human condition.

Forgive yourself today.

We are all so imperfect in human form.

And it is okay. It is all okay.
And it is going to be okay.

Relax.
Breathe.

Trust.
Allow.

Forgive yourself.
Forgive someone else.

It’s all going to be okay.
It’s all going to be okay.
It’s all going to be okay.

No one to fix but me

What if there is no one to fix but me?
What if I am the universe and the universe is me?

What is everything is a reflection of something in my inner world?
What if there is no one to fix but me?

It is so tempting to look around and try to fix that one and that one.
If only they saw things as I did we would all be okay.

It is so tempting to want to change them and just make them see.

But truly, what if there is no one to fix but me?

What if the problem isn’t out there?
What if it is all an inside job?

What if we are one and there is no one to fix out there?
What would happen if I never tried to fix another again?

What would happen if I put all of my attention on elevating my own state and moving through life from that place?

What miracles might ensue if I attended to my garden and sought only to fix myself?

What if there truly is no one out there to fix?

What if it’s a problem of perception?
What if I have forgotten that we are all God, perfect and divine?

What if as I perceive God every where I begin to manifest the divine more and more in my life?

Can I do this?
Is there an irony in writing a message reminding all of us to tend to our own garden?

What if there is no one to fix but me?

Tend to your own soul.
Tend to your own garden.

Seek to heal yourself.
Seek to bring your best self forward.

So many seek to heal others and make them see.
But what if there is no one out there to fix?

Elevate your own state.
Become the being of love that you are.

If you want more love in your life and on this planet, be the change that you wish to see.

Tend to yourself.
Heal yourself.

Become the being of love that you are.

Fix no one but yourself.

Let the revolution begin.

~Hayley Mermelstein

Your Job is You.

Your job is you.

Your job is not to take another’s inventory.
Your job is to stay in the frequency of love.

You are a messenger of love.
You have come to bring love to the planet.

Do not look for others to be perfect or even clear or wise.
Do not look to others to appreciate what you are giving them.

Many on this planet are like children.
Unaware of the gifts they are receiving.

Seek to refine your own character.
Let others grow and evolve in their own time.

Let your focus be on you.

Seek to refine your own character.
The rest will take care of itself in its own time.

Your job is you.

Many don’t have eyes to see the truth of who you are or what you bring to the table.

Be content that we see you.
Be the messenger of love that you have come to be.

Refine your own character.
Refine your own character.

Your job is you.

Let the rest take care of itself.
Life keeps an accurate score card.

We. See. You.
Let that be enough.

Be the messenger of love that you are.

Others will take your inventory.
Let them.

Stay focused on you and become the best version of yourself.

Be you.
Work on you.

That is your job.

Aspire to be the best that you can be.
Rise to the occasion.

Elevate.
Ascend.

Do not worry about what others are doing or not doing.
That is their responsibility.

You job is to be a messenger of love.
Stay focused on your high, destined role.

Continually seek to refine your own character.

Like an oyster making a pearl.
The pearl of great price.

Stay focused on this and you shall be successful.

Become a master of love.

See the challenges in your relationships as the tests to whether you can meet the resistance with love or not.

Again, work to refine your own character.

See the challenges as test to your capacity to love.
This is no small task but aspire non the less.

You are a messenger of love.
Step into you destined role and do your best.

You will stumble.
You will fall.

But aspire non the less.
Become the brilliant light you are meant to be.

The challenges you face are the grit that is refining your character, revealing the places you still have work to do.

Become a messenger of love.
Become a messenger of love.

Your challenges have come to refine your character.

Work on you.
That is your job.

Love will guide you.
We will guide you.

Be the best that you can be and you will be satisfied with your journey.

All emotions are welcome here.

Feelings are for feeling and so for today I allow myself to feel.
All feelings are welcome here.

I welcome all my feelings.
I welcome all my emotions.

Everything moves through me now.
Nothing is resisted.

I’m tired of the fight.

Elevate.
Rise up.

Love.
Laugh.

But first feel.
Feel it all.

Grief.
Fear.
Anger.

Let it all move through you.

Resist nothing.
What you resist persists.

And so experiment today with allowing it all to move through you.
Feel it all.

Let it all be okay.

Each feeling has something to teach you.
Welcome them all with an open heart.

All feelings are welcome here.
All emotions are welcome.

Nothing is repressed.
All is allowed.

Let it all move through you.

Nothing blocked.
Nothing suppressed.

Allow.
Flow.

Surrender to the waves moving through you.

Welcome.
Welcome.

Welcome it all.

I welcome you.

I welcome all my feelings.
I welcome all of my emotions.

Nothing is repressed.
Nothing is suppressed.

Everything moves through me.

Every feeling is honored.
Every feeling is welcomed.

It all moves.
It all flows.

And as I allow these feelings to move through me they transform and speak to me.

Each feeling has a message.

Nothing is banished here.
Nothing is banished here.

And so allow your feelings today.
Allow them to speak to you.

Welcome everything.
Welcome it all.

Let this be your experiment with life today.
What happens when all is welcomed and nothing is banished.

What are your feelings wanting to communicate to you?
What have you banished and what do you allow?

For today welcome the storms.

Welcome the grief.
Welcome the anger.

Welcome the love.
Welcome the joy.

Let all weather patterns move through you and observe, listen, feel.

I welcome it all.
Nothing is banished here.

I welcome you.
I welcome you.
I welcome you.

I allow.
I allow.
I allow.

Everything moves through me.

Nothing is blocked.
Nothing is banished.

All is observed.
Felt.
Experienced.

Allow.
Allow.
Allow.

Welcome.
Welcome.
Welcome.

Observe.

Feel.
Experience.

What is resisted, persists.

So flow.
So experience.

Welcome it all.
Welcome it all.

What unfolds when all emotions are allowed and welcomed?
What unfolds when nothing is banished.

Let yourself and others have their process.
Let this be your experiment with life today.

I welcome all my feelings.
I welcome all my emotions.

Nothing is banished here.
All is welcomed.

Nothing is repressed or suppressed.

All is allowed.

I welcome all my feelings.
I welcome all my feelings.
I welcome all my feelings.

Everything moves through me.

Storms come and go.
Weather patterns pass.

The sun shines again.

All is allowed.
All is welcomed.

I love you as you are.

I welcome you.
I welcome you.
I welcome you.

Be at peace and welcome all parts of you to the table.

I welcome you.
I welcome you.
I welcome you.

After years of repression.

I welcome you.
I welcome you.
I welcome you.

Cultivating Trust

I stumbled upon this affirmation I wrote a few years back. Thought it would be helpful to share during these interesting times.

I trust.

I trust.
I trust.

I let go and I trust the process of life.
I trust that spirit is working with me to manifest what I need.

I trust that spirit is my helper.
I trust that spirit is my partner.

I trust.
I trust.

I trust that powerful guides are by my side.
I trust that I am being guided.
I trust that I live a guided life.

I trust.
I trust.

I trust that there is a spiritual force of life that is always working with me.

I trust.
I trust.

I trust the power of spirit and focus on that power rather than focusing on the size of my problems.

I trust the power of spirit and make that power bigger than my enemies.

I trust.
I trust.

I devote myself to service and I draw in even more powerful assistance.

I devote myself to service and I am surrounded by powerful beings of light.

I let go and I trust the process of life.
I let go and I trust the process of life.

I trust.
I trust.

Take a moment now and immerse yourself in trust. Give yourself permission to remember that powerful beings of light are all around you working with you to manifest what you need. Remember that you are never alone.

When you are tempted to become overwhelmed with your problems, turn instead and focus on the power of spirit.

Focus on the power of spirit within you and the power of spirit all around you. Ask for divine assistance. Focus on the power of spirit and allow the power of spirit to bring you through.

Be sure to couple your trust in spirit with wise decision making and appropriate action.

Be aware of how this impacts the quality of your day.

Welcoming what is.

Welcome what is.
Welcome what is.

Let go of your resistance to what is.
Let go of the fight.

Surrender to the moment.
Surrender to what is.

Welcome it.
Be curious about it.
Explore it.

What has it come to teach you?

Welcome what is.
Welcome what is.

But i don’t want to welcome what is, a voice from deep inside cries out.

I want to run.
I want to hide.
I am in pain.

And still a deeper, stronger voice insists:

Welcome what is.
Welcome what is.

Be curious.
Explore it.

You have been given tools to work with this.

Embrace it now.

Act as if it is good, and important, and will take you somewhere positive.

Welcome what is.
Welcome what is.

Relax.
Surrender.
Allow.

Don’t be so quick to push this experience away.

Surrender now and welcome what is.

Love yourself through it.

This situation (among other things) is deepening your compassion for the human condition.

Surrender.
Relax.
Allow.

Welcome what is.

Go for a walk now.
And walk in the energy of welcoming what is.

Go deep into the concept.
How deeply can you welcome what is?

Let this be your experiment with life today.
Welcome what is and see what transpires.

When you let go of your resistance, when you let go of the fight, clarity will be a natural bi product.  When you let go of the resistance you can ask:  Given what is, what am i to do?

But for now simply welcome what is as if you have personally invited it in.  Welcome what is and be at peace.

~Hayley Mermelstein

If you listen deeply enough….

I once heard it said: That is you listen deeply enough the people around you will unravel into their own answers. This simple sentence has been echoing in my mind for over ten years now. It’s been a slow re- learning for me and sometimes I forget. A lot of times I forget.

But lately, I’ve been remembering more and more.

If you listen deeply enough the people around you will unravel into their own answers.

To listen in this way we must be patient, because this can take some time. To listen in this way we must be humble, for it is no longer about us being the wise advisor saving our wounded and injured clients, friends and family members.

To listen in this way we become the humble servant creating space for the wise one in front of us to unfold into the wisdom that lies within them.

Seek to get out of the way when you listen. Seek to create a deep space for others to unfold. Seek to listen as deeply as you can so that others can unravel into their own answers. Do not seek to be the healer. Do not seek to be the wise one. Do not worry about what you need to say or do. Seek instead to listen as deeply as you can. Seek to remember that the one you are listening to has tremendous wisdom in them and if you listen deeply enough they will unravel into their own knowing.

Pull up a chair and seek to listen as deeply as you can. Watch in wonder as the person in front of you slowly unfolds into their own knowing.

When you listen in this way you will know when it is your turn to speak and when it is your turn to listen. But more often than not you will remain silent more of the time. More often than not your main job will be to hold space for someone to access their own wisdom and inner knowing.

Let this be your experiment with life.

See how deeply you can listen as you go through your day today. How deeply can you listen to yourself? How deeply can you listen to others? How deeply can you listen to the whispers of spirit that are all around you?

Resist the urge to jump in prematurely with your words of wisdom or advice giving. Trust that you will know if and when it is your time to speak.

Seek instead to see how deeply you can listen. Remember that the person before you has a depth of wisdom in them and that when given the right kind of time and attention can unfold into this wisdom.

Again let this be your experiment with life.

Listen deeply to yourself.
Listen deeply to others.
Listen deeply to whispers of spirit all around you.

And above all else, listen in such a way that you allow others to unravel into their own answers.

Do not just take my word for it either. Let this truly be your experiment with life. It truly is amazing what happens when you listen deeply.

And so listen deeply today and allow yourself and others to unravel into their own answers. Listen deeply and see what unfolds. Listen deeply and observe what wisdom arises from your own being and observe what wisdom arises from others.

This will take time and patience.

One of the reasons you do not listen deeply is because you are in a rush. Give others the gift of your time and patience.

(When it is yours to give.)

In listening deeply you will know what conversations are yours to have and which are not the ones that are right for you.

In listening deeply you will know when it is time to talk and when it is time to listen.

In listening deeply you will know when it is time to start a conversation and when it is time to end a conversation.

In listening deeply you will know what will best serve the oneness.

So devote today to listening deeply:

Listen deeply to yourself.
Listen deeply to others.
Listen deeply to the whispers of spirit all around you.

See what wisdom unravels in yourself and others when you listen in this way.

Allow this to be your experiment with life today.

~Hayley Mermelstein

The Heart is Meant to Radiate Like the Sun

The heart is meant to shine like the sun. Allow your heart to shine now. Allow your heart to shine brightly. See your heart like a radiant sun.

Start with self love.

Affirm:

I love myself.
I love myself.
I love myself.

Even if you are not sure if you believe it yet, just allow yourself to repeat this simple affirmation again and again.

I love myself.
I love myself.
I love myself.

How many times a day can you say this to yourself?

What might heal in your body, in your mind, and in your life if you kept repeating this to yourself?

Let this be your experiment with life.

Do not underestimate its tremendous power of love to heal both yourself and others.

The Heart is meant to shine.
Allow your heart to shine brightly now.

See a radiant sun in the center of your chest. Allow it to grow brighter and brighter now.

Affirm:

I am love and love is all around me.
I am love and love is all around me.
I am love and love is all around me.

Allow the heart to love.
Allow the heart to shine.

Allow the heart to be bright now.

Generate love.
Allow love to flow through you.

Alllow everyone to be a receipent of your love.

Everyone is flawed.
Everyone is learning.
Everyone is making mistakes.

Love them anyway.

The heart is meant to shine like the sun.
So allow your heart to shine.

Take your own inventory but allow others to be as they are.

Flawed.
Wounded.
Entitled.
Self absorbed.

Your test is to keep your heart open in the face of these wounds.

We can speak of love and light but your challenge is to love the wounded places both within yourself and others.

Allow your heart to be like the sun
Offer your light and your love to everyone.

Allow your heart to love while simultaneously staying discerning about your right relationship with those you interact.

Love all but practice wisdom.
Be wise about who you allow into your life.

Love all but stay aware of the limitations of those with whom you interact.

Love all but be discerning about who you invite for dinner.

Love all, including yourself.

Let this be your grand experiment with life.
What shows up differently when you show up differently.

I love myself; therefore….

I love myself and therefore, I am open to receive.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to healing.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to the light.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to love.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to abundance.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to adventure.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to new experiences.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to new opportunities.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to newness.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to the powerful beings of light that are all around me.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to divine guidance.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to miracles.

I love myself and therefore, I know that I deserve goodness.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to all that life wants to bring to me.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to the very best that life has to offer.

I love myself and therefore, I am open to the very best that life has to offer.

I love myself and therefore I trust the process of life.

I love myself and therefore I trust life is working with me to manifest what I need.

I love myself and therefore I expect the best possible outcome.

I love myself and therefore I allow myself to be spontaneous.

I love myself and therefore I allow myself to step into my greatness.

I love myself and therefore I make wise decisions.

I love myself and therefore I know and honor my needs.

I love myself and therefore I know my clear priorities.

I love myself and therefore I believe in myself.

I love myself and therefore I value myself.

I love myself and therefore I have confidence in myself.

I love myself and therefore I have confidence that life is working with me to manifest what I need.

I love myself and therefore I allow myself to step into my power.

I love myself and therefore, I don’t hold back.

I love myself and therefore I am fully expressive.

I love myself and therefore I express my needs.

I love myself and therefore I allow myself to be genuine.

I love myself and therefore I am myself.

I love myself and therefore I allow myself to be imperfect.

I love myself and therefore I allow myself to be a student of life.

I love myself and therefore I know that mistakes are necessary for learning and growth.

I love myself and therefore I can accept both compliments and crititcism, for I understand that I learn from both.

I love myself and therefore I know that I am good and that I am learning.

I love myself and therefore I offer myself kindness and care.

I love myself and therefore I forgive myself.

I love myself and therefore I forgive others.

I love myself and therefore I offer compassion to myself.

I love myself and therefore I offer compassion to others.

I love myself and therefore I allow love into my life.

I love myself and therefore I am discerning about who I allow into my life.

I love myself and therefore I am open to love.

I love myself and therefore I am courageous.

I love myself and therefore I am both cautious and courageous.

I love myself and therefore I offer myself radical self acceptance.

I love myself and therefore no feeling of mine is banished.

I love myself and therefore I accept all parts of myself.

I love myself and therefore I honor my strengths.

I love myself and therefore I embrace my weaknesses.

I love myself and therefore I allow myself to experience peace.

I love myself and therefore I surrender control.

I love myself and therefore I can say yes.

I love myself and therefore I can say no.

I love myself and therefore I can act.

I love myself and therefore I can wait.

I love myself and therefore I can speak and I can listen.

I love myself and therefore I need no validation.

I love myself and therefore I know who I am.

I love myself and therefore I allow my creativity to flow.

I love myself and therefore I give myself permission to just be.

I love myself and therefore I give myself permission to strive for more.

I love myself and therefore I allow things to unfold in their own time.

I love myself and therefore I step into my humility.

I love myself and therefore I allow myself to be enough as I am.

I love myself and therefore I attend to my mind, body and spirit everyday.

I love myself and therefore I am disciplimed.

I love myself completely.

I love myself completely.

I love myself completely.

Be aware of what shows up differently in your life, when you show up differently.

Be aware of what changes when you change.

Be aware of what changes when you truly and deeply learn to love yourself.

I will be doing this grand experiment with life right along with you.