Jennifer Recommends

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology
Eric Brende

This book gives a new perspective on how to live the “good life.” Brende makes a great case for stepping back into a simpler time when life was in tune with nature’s cycles. Today’s modern lifestyle has us living life in segments. Work. Exercise. Socialize. Family time. Day in and day out, living by the clock and the calendar. He demonstrates how living simply incorporates work, exercise, socializing and family time in a seamless wholeness with the actual work part being only 2 to 3 hours a day.

If you are tired of the rat race this book goes a long way to showing you how to change your thinking so you can change your circumstances.


Notable Quote

“All that appears in your life is a blessing, presenting you with a greater opportunity to define who you are, and to know yourself as that.”

Neale Donald Walsch
Friendship with God: An Uncommon Dialogue
Page 191


A free eCourse for you

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Volume 2, Issue 13
July 15, 2009
 

Welcome!

Today’s newsletter puts the spotlight on letting go of regret.

Jennifer GraingerWishing you much love and light,

Jennifer Grainger
Jennifer T. Grainger, B.Msc.
Founder: Spiritual Growth Community

 

The Ego Loves Having Us Beat Our Selves Up

Prefer to listen to the newsletter? Click the arrow to hear Jennifer read the newsletter to you.

“I feel so guilty,” said Deborah (not her real name). “I messed up big time,” she said, her eyes beginning to glisten. We had just been served lunch, and from the way she was pinching her lips I could see she was trying really hard not to cry.

“What do you say I ask the waitress to box up our lunch, and we’ll go someplace with more privacy . . . the park, maybe?”

“OK” she said, her eyes brimming and threatening to overflow. “Can I wait for you in the car?”

“Sure,” I said and reached across the table to pat her hand.

It was a short drive to the park. We found a picnic table and proceeded to spread out our lunch. Deborah had regained her composure, but I hoped she’d be able to complete the emotional release as we talked. Backed up tears are bound to negatively impact the body and the soul.

“So what’s going on?” I asked as I took a bite of my sandwich.

“I can’t believe I could be so stupid! I am such an idiot!”

“Do you want to tell me what happened?” I asked.

“I am so embarrassed,” she said. I handed her a napkin for the tears beginning to cascade down her face. “Donald invited me to a family picnic to meet his parents for the first time. (Donald is her boyfriend of six months.) And I don’t know what happened exactly . . . maybe I hadn’t eaten enough . . . maybe because it was such a hot day . . . the wine went to my head and I was completely inappropriate. I laughed too loud. I told a few off color jokes, and the worst . . . one of my jokes was an ethnic joke . . . and . . . I didn’t know they had a family member who is African-American and would be offended. I am so ashamed. I can’t ever face them.”

It was easy to empathize with Deborah. How many times in the past had I beaten myself up the morning after a party as I’d replay every encounter, every conversation and negatively evaluate my performance.  I could ruin numerous days following the event by berating myself over and over for this or that supposed (and sometimes actual) transgression.

What a lucky day it was for me to meet my friend, Susana Atsatt, who modeled for me how to apologize when I really had been off base, mend my ways, then let it go and move on without regret. I hoped I could do the same for Deborah now.

“Deborah, what do you think you learned from this?”

“That I’m an unfit member of the human race and should never be with people again.” she said, obviously still in beat-herself-up mode.

“So you behaved worse than anybody else on the planet ever has?” I asked with an eyebrow raised. “Worse than Paris Hilton or the governor with the Argentine mistress or . . . "

. . . “OK,” she said. “I get what you’re saying. I am not the worst or stupidest person on the planet.”

“No. You are a spiritual being having a human experience. Your soul is having the time of its life getting to try on different aspects of being human. It is the critical caregiver from our childhood that lives on in our heads that piles on the guilt to make us comply with its idea of being ‘perfect,’” I said.

She couldn’t help but bust out laughing when I told her the name I gave to that critical voice in my own head: Headmaster of the School for Wayward Girls. (He was very punishing and mean to me, by the way!)

“What does Donald have to say?”

“He says it was not as bad as I think and that I should forget it, but I can’t. I just feel so terrible.”

We talked a while longer as I helped Deborah look at the situation from another perspective . . . that life is about learning. I helped her see that she learned some valuable lessons: be sensitive when telling jokes, and keep alcohol to a minimum, if not zero, when she wants to make a good first impression on people who are important to her.

“You just wait,” I said. “I bet you’ll find yourself in a situation in the near future that has potential, serious life-altering consequences. You’ll be able to apply what you learned and you’ll sail right through it. It is possible that your guardian angel helped you learn the lesson this way so you’d be prepared when it really, really mattered.”

Deborah’s raised eyebrows and wrinkled nose let me know she wasn’t totally buying it, so I also pointed out that there was no real damage done. Donald still loves her. And, if it would make her feel better, she could sincerely apologize to his parents, and then let it go.

Deborah is committed to growing spiritually, that is, to excavate her true self and live On Purpose. She has read Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now and wants to transcend her ego, so when I pointed out that all this self-punishment is really the ego at work, it was easier for her to move on and leave regret behind.

BOTTOM LINE: A main purpose of guilt is to help us evolve our consciousness. It causes us to look at our behaviors and make changes when it would make us more aligned with who we truly are. The problem is that guilt and shame have been used to shape our behavior according to what our culture wanted from us. Knowing the difference between guilt that is meant to evolve us and unearned guilt that is mostly an unconscious reaction triggered by cultural programming, requires taking a deep, hard look at what it is we feel guilty about, and evaluate where it is coming from.

TIP: Some good questions to ask yourself: “What, exactly did I do wrong that is causing me to feel guilty? How do I know that what I did was wrong? Who says so? Is it someone I want to dictate to me how I should live? What makes them the authority on what is right and wrong? What if my soul wants to have an experience that others say is wrong? Who do I listen to?”

Talking it over with a non-judgmental, caring person can help you sort things out and get to the root of the issue.

P.S. If in your inquiry you do determine that you did transgress, then have the courage to face the situation, sincerely apologize and then commit to mending your ways. Then . . . Let It Go!

P.P.S. Regrets are useless. Once you have seen the error, regretting what is already done keeps you stuck. It takes courage to move forward and leave the past behind. If you are stuck in regrets, hire me for a few coaching sessions. I will help you move past it.

Community Member’s Aha! Moments

Jennifer Grainger NewsletterDo you have an Aha! Moment you’d like to share? What have you learned about making amends and then letting go of guilt and regret?  How does seeing unrelenting guilt as the work of the ego change your view of beating yourself up? What do you think?

I want to hear from you! Tell me about your latest Aha! moment. 

Love
Jennifer Grainger

Announcements

Spiritual Growth Community Member’s Only Teleclasses

Tuesday, July 21st, 7 to 8 pm Overcoming Obstacles to Loving Yourself - Part I - continued

This class will be a quick review on where our fears come from, and the rest of the class will be focused on the remedies to fear. Why is that so important? Because fear cuts us off from our True Self which is an extension of our Source. To experience more Joy and less struggle in our daily lives we need to be able to transform fear into love so we can return to living On Purpose as our Authentic Selves.

Tuesday, July 30th, 7 to 8 pm Open Coaching Call

Whether you want coaching or just want to listen to what others have to share, this call is bound to boost your spirit and enliven your soul! If you have a particular spiritual growth issue you’d like to see addressed in this call, go ahead and email me your topic or issue. I will do my best to cover it in the call. This call will not be recorded to create a safe environment for sensitive issues that may arise. We will end with a guided meditation.

If you are not a member of the Spiritual Growth Community and would like to join in on our classes click here and register for the $1.00 30 day trial membership. You will have complete access to all the membership benefits for a full 30 days. If you decide you’d like to continue after the 30 day trial you will be billed $47 a month for each month you remain a member.


Swami Beyondananda’s Daily Laughsitive can be found on the home page of www.SpiritualGrowthCommunity.com . Swami’s humorous play on words usually makes me laugh out loud. From the beginning of my spiritual journey I knew that my mission was to integrate the spiritual with the material, so it is only natural that I would bring that into my work as well.

Swami’s jokes often have a slightly risqué tone to them. I thought about whether it would offend people as not being “spiritual.” But then I faced the truth. It is our Puritan heritage that separated church and sexuality in the first place. I aim to support the belief that sex is sacred and belongs in the spiritual life. 

 

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