There is a Choice in Front of All of Us

Planet earth with sunrise in space. Earth Day. Vector illustration

I have written about how a new world can emerge from this global crisis–how we are seeing more kindness, compassion and love in the world. The new normal, for most of us, is being off the hamster wheel–giving us time to do the things that find the “we” in things–ways we can do what is best for the higher good.  Apart but together.

Those who are working even harder than before are our heroic healthcare workers, our delivery people, our mail carriers, and the folks working in our grocery stores. Our state governors are working hard to keep people safe, making hard decisions to ensure that fewer people are exposed to this serious virus. Our own state governor tirelessly keeps us informed and does so much, along with those in his administration, to help flatten the curve, so we will have fewer people stricken, fewer people dying. My heart is full of much gratitude for all these people.

For those of us at home, off the hamster wheel, there is time to look at our lives.  The new normal has required new ways of doing things.  Simplifying–looking at the things that we thought we needed so much and are doing without (easier than maybe we thought).  We’re finding a new normal with the time to be a support (even if it is just to make a phone call to check in on someone, letting them know you are thinking of them), or discovering creative ways to express support and love–online or through writing. There is time to cook food at home,  look at inventive ways to use resources, conserve, read, write, pray, meditate, examine what is really important in our lives, say, “I love you,” and do self-care to keep ourselves healthy.

Within the new normal is a new world emerging of love, service, care, compassion, kindness, generosity, and wholeness–more connectedness. We are all in this together.

When things eventually (and, hopefully, safely) start opening up again in the world, let’s not go back to the old normal. No please.  During this time there has been a huge opportunity for all of us to create a new world. The old normal was a world where people were so focused on the hamster wheel that there wasn’t this kind of compassion, caring, love, gratitude and generosity expressed so freely by so many.  There wasn’t this kind of creativity used in service to others.  The old normal was a focus on oneself. On consuming and consumerism.  What was the newest thing to buy, to have, to experience? The old “business as usual” was broken. The gap is wider than it has ever been between the haves and have nots. Many times the best part of us took a backseat to the bottom line.

When things gradually and safely start opening up, let’s keep the new normal–our personal discoveries in simplicity, in caring, in serving, in sharing, in giving. Together we can get through this and create a new world where we are better people, a better humanity. There is a choice in front of each of us. I’m choosing the new normal, a new world in which love, compassion, kindness, and generosity flow freely . What about  you?

© Copyright 2020, Mary Claire O’Neal

Mary Claire O’Neal author of the award-winning book, Becoming What You Want to See in the World.

A New World Emerging Based on Love and Kindness

Global Communication Network (World Map Credits To NASA)Everywhere there is an outpouring of love, kindness, unity and sharing.  We’re finding that in the vital and very important social distancing, we can unite our hearts together and help one another. We can reach out to others over the internet, social media, phones–even offering to leave food/groceries on doorsteps of those who need it. We are using our creativity to sing to others from our balconies, offer free live concerts from our homes, or give free tutorials online in painting or even easily crafting a face mask.  Even in the necessary isolation and social distancing (and even because of it), the interconnectedness of all things is so apparent.

Those who are serving all of us in healthcare in every country are giving so much for the common good–at high costs to themselves.  They need our love, our patience and our support. Those who are working on supplying food in our groceries and are delivering our packages are sacrificing for the common good and need our love, patience and kindness. Those who are having to self-isolate need our love and support– a phone call to check in or some needed supplies on the doorstep.

Let’s all try to find ways we can be of service. Be a part of this emerging new world based on love and kindness. Feeding hope and positivity over the internet and social media is a service of love.  Sharing practical tips that you’ve discovered at home to better use resources is a service of love. Calling someone just to see how they are and chat is a service of love.  Making people laugh with humor spreads opportunities for much needed balance during stressful times.

We always have been in this together, and this time puts a bright light on how we can do better, be better, love better.

There is time to reflect on what’s really important and how to find the “we” in things, instead of just the “me or mine” of things.

Together we can get through this and a newer, more loving world can emerge. Together we can be greater.

More than ever before Gandhi’s words are so true and important:

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Be well. Be love.

Love to all,

Mary Claire

© Copyright 2020,  Mary Claire O’Neal

Mary Claire O’Neal is the author of the award-winning book, Becoming What You Want to See in the World.

Allowing more love to shine though the darkness

There are areas of our lives that many of us keep in the dark recesses of our minds—those fears, those places of ancient wrongs. When we are young, we are shaped by what we’ve experienced. As children we see ourselves at the center of the Universe, and things revolve around us. When something goes awry, as children we may see ourselves as powerful beings that caused those events. So, inadvertently, we emerge from childhood with these distorted ideas that turn, over time, into core issues. We all have had them.

Overcoming is what evolution is about. Stuck in the rut of limits doesn’t allow for growth, like a plant in a pot that is root-bound. Our core issues bonsai the expression of what we truly are—beings of love, creativity, energy, compassion and light. While overcoming is part of the human condition, when we do overcome, it creates a torsion that propels us into the next level of awareness—a more joyful one. These levels continue as long as we are consciously seeing the limits and working, in the face of our childhood fears, to prove them wrong.

There is a big problem when the adults we’ve become are still held prisoner by those core issues—like big babies walking around in adult bodies that still want to have things in a way that is familiar, where we are not afraid. Within most adults is the fear or fears of not being enough in some way—not smart enough, beautiful enough, good enough, skinny enough, or not . . . whatever. There are many variations on a theme, but they all boil down to “not enough” in some way. And in the world one can find many ways to convince oneself that those fears are founded in reality. If you are seeing yourself as not enough, you are lacking and looking to fill that void—and the matrix of money and power makes a profit from it over and over. I’ve worked most of my adult life to let go of those hyenas of “not enough” nibbling at my consciousness, my sense of self.

I’ve come to a place where I am at the core of the core of those issues, after tilting and vanquishing those little fear hyenas that attached themselves to that core. This core is the seed of them all, and I see it. I know it, and I’m tired, oh so tired, of it. I’ve looked at where it began. And while seeing it is a big part of the journey of letting go, I’m seeing that the magic of really saying goodbye and liberating myself is in forgiveness. Deep, authentic forgiveness—of others, myself and the Source of all things. When I allow myself to know that all the players were all doing the very best they could at the time with what they had or understood—really know that deeply in my heart, I begin to truly forgive—saying it in my heart and mind and really meaning it. Knowing it. There floods in the place where the darkness was, a deep and exuberant love. Love that is so satisfying and joyful that there are no words for it. Love that bring tears of joy. Love that makes you feel clearer, purer, freer.

The “players” involved in the beginnings of these issues need never know about one’s forgiveness, and please don’t communicate it. The forgiveness is in your heart and mind. Your increased ability to love and the light that fills you is all that will be seen. Forgiving oneself is a part of the puzzle, too. Letting myself be jerked around by this core issue for decades is something that I’ve worked on to forgive myself for—the lost opportunities for joy or to express love and creativity.

I used to not get this one—why forgive the Source of all things? I used to think, “The Source or Creator is perfect. What is to be forgiven?” I finally understand why I needed to forgive Source. My perspective in human form cannot see the endless ways that things work out for the highest good. The detours that things must take sometime (due to my own freewill and the freewill of others) to reach that destination are necessary. I’ve seen that without overcoming, I could not know what true freedom and peace feels like. I wouldn’t be as compassionate. And without overcoming I wouldn’t know how it was done, and for a teacher that skill is absolutely necessary. So I’m grateful for what helped bring me to where I am.

Forgiveness is not just thinking of a person, situation or thing and saying, “I forgive.” It’s deeper and more profound than that. I found most days, I set aside a quiet time and space of about 30 minutes to ask the Universe to gently show me for my highest good, what I need to forgive and to help me heal it with forgiveness so that the light of love can stream into the situation, persons, me, etc. It’s magic, and I am not alone in this process. Right now is one of the most powerful, liberating times of my life.

Please take the time to find yourself–your true self that has been covered over or held back from your center. The world won’t be able to get to you like it used to, and you’re more available to be of service to others. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

©Copyright, 2017 Mary Claire O’Neal

Mary Claire O’Neal is the author of the award-winning book, Becoming What You Want to See in the World, a communication and leadership coach, consultant, Heartmath® Certified Trainer. For more information: maryclaireoneal.com

Listening to the Heart

Red heart

“There’s more to life than increasing its speed.”  –Gandhi

Our world can be chaotic and have many distractions, and it’s easy to get stressed and even feel depressed. I have to slow down and find the time to create a quiet place in my world every day. I’ve found that it isn’t hard to create that quiet place, and I’m always glad when I do. Unplugging for a while–no computer, cell phone, television, radio, social media, podcasts, etc. for an hour (or more, if I can fit it in) is really helpful. Paying attention to my breathing and slowing it down and getting so quiet that I can feel my heart beat brings me to a place where I can hear that still, small voice within, the voice of the heart, spirit or soul.

Slowing down and listening is something that most people don’t do. It’s so easy to be distracted by all the activity in the world.

Asking the highest parts of myself for clarity or guidance for my highest good to function at my best is my focus, and I’ve learned to hear the response of my heart. With practice, listening can become clearer and clearer. I usually write down what I “get” in my journal. Sometimes it’s not what I want to hear, but it always comes from a place of love. “You need to de-clutter your office to feel more comfortable there.” or “Do a workout. You’ll feel better.” Lately, it has been, “Call your senator about this issue.” or “Slow down to really listen to and talk with people more.” Or, “Get out of your comfort zone and reach out more to those you don’t know.”

It’s a day-to-day thing, but listening to that loving, still, small voice within is always helpful. It opens me up more and more to what is needed in my life and how I can be of more service in the world.

 

©Copyright, 2017 Mary Claire O’Neal

Mary Claire O’Neal is the author of the award-winning book, Becoming What You Want to See in the World, a communication and leadership coach, consultant, Heartmath® Certified Trainer. For more information: maryclaireoneal.com and lifeworkresilience.com

 

 

Cognitive Neuroscience: (Part 2) Breathe

Undoubtedly we all face multiple demands each day, such as a heavy workload, experiencing stressful events in the world, caregiving for a family member, or concerns about making ends meet. When we are in a state of stress or overwhelm, our bodies release chemicals like cortisol. The hypothalamus responds to stress or perceived stressful situations by setting off nerve and hormonal signals sending messages to the adrenal glands that release a cascade of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Being in a state of stress regularly can result in cortisol toxicity, and it places a lot of wear and tear on the body. This increases the risk of numerous health problems like, digestive disorders, headaches, heart disease, weight gain, sleep problems, memory and concentration impairment and depression.

Slowing one’s breathing down and breathing more deeply begins a process of changing your body’s physiology.  Breathing more deeply and slowly and adding a renewing emotion like gratitude or love will bring about very positive change within your heart, your autonomic nervous system and your brain. You can reach a state that neurocardiologists call “coherence.”  Coherence is when your heart, autonomic nervous system and your brain are in sync and a state of balance. When in coherence, chemicals like DHEA are released that help you feel good, enhance health,  and give you energy.

Tip #2 in this series: HeartMath® Institute’s Quick Coherence® Technique

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Try this technique anytime you are experiencing stress, before attending meetings, and beginning and ending your day. The Quick Coherence® technique is practical and can easily be used during a busy day. At first you may wish to do the technique with your eyes closed. As you get familiar with using it, try the Quick Coherence® technique daily with your eyes open; you’ll likely use the technique more often.

© Blog Copyright 2016, Mary Claire O’Neal

Quick Coherence®is a registered trademark of Doc Childre

Mary Claire O’Neal is a HeartMath® Certified Trainer and Coach, communication and leadership consultant, and author of the award-winning book, Becoming What You Want to See in the World.

For more information:  maryclaireoneal.com

 

 

Cognitive neuroscience: (Part 1) Awareness is everything

Double exposure of businessman
Being the change you wish to see in the world.

This is the beginning of a series of articles designed to be read quickly during your busy day with at least one practical tip for you to try. I always remind my clients that there is no one way to do anything. You might find that this article series sparks off some ideas of your own to be more aware of how you are focusing your thoughts, emotions and energy. If you would like to share them with others, please do in the comment section below this article.

Awareness of our thoughts is at least 95% of making a change in what and where we are focusing our energy. Functioning in “automatic pilot” is one of the largest obstacles in the way of creating positive experiences like success, fulfillment and balance on a daily basis. It’s easy to lose passion for something that has become a rut because we are no longer bringing our awareness and, therefore, creativity to it. In each moment is the opportunity to make it magnificent.

Slowing down just enough to listen to that still, small voice within will help connect with the inner compass of one’s unique talents and values (instead of taking them for granted). Brilliance, happiness and balance can follow when making aware choices in the moment of what thoughts we choose to entertain and navigate us through life.

Tip#1: Instead of starting the day with the news or getting online, try planning first thing into your morning 20 to 30 minutes of time to get your day focused in a positive frame of mind.  I found that getting up 30 minutes earlier was what I needed to have that quiet time to meditate, write down gratitudes and review my “to do” list, prioritizing items for work, home/family, and service in the world (volunteer work for my favorite non-profit or in the community, for example). Doing this first–even before exercising and breakfast really gets the day off to a positive, clear, energetic start. I feel ready and prepared for my day.

© Copyright 2016, Mary Claire O’Neal

Mary Claire O’Neal is a certified coach, communication/leadership consultant, Heartmath® Certified Trainer and Coach and is the author of the award-winning book, Becoming What You Want to See in the World.

How Healthy is Your Emotional Culture?

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When we think of culture within organizations, we think of the cognitive culture–intellectual values, goals, and frameworks. But there is another type of culture within organizations and businesses which is just as critical–the emotional culture.

While the cognitive culture is generally expressed through words, the emotional culture is usually expressed non-verbally–facial expressions, body language and vocal tonality. How healthy is the culture within your organization or business? Are people stressed, tired or easily irritated?

Generally when there are problems within an organization, it involves the emotional culture because that is where the dysfunction will show up. It’s a symptom. I help leaders and managers in organizational cultures address those symptoms constructively by looking at the underlying causes with positive, realistic solutions.

Here is an article from the Harvard Business Review about how important emotional cultures are:

https://hbr.org/2016/01/manage-your-emotional-culture

 

©Copyright, 2016 Mary Claire O’Neal

Mary Claire O’Neal is a communication and leadership coach, consultant, Heartmath® Certified Trainer, and author of the award-winning book, Becoming What You Want to See in the World.  For more information:  maryclaireoneal.com  and lifeworkresilience.com