Tag Archives: affirmations

no more stress

Overcome Stress Using Simple Sound Tools

Are you feeling stress? Well, it sure seems like the times we live in are getting more and more crazy. With so much bad news (or even fake news) coming toward us, we tend to stress and get caught up in worrying about what did happen or what might happen to us and our world. Watching too much television or reading too many political posts on Facebook can get us quite worked up and even cause us to lose sleep at night. So, we’re here to remind you of some very basic tools to help overcome stress, whether it involves personal issue stress or stress based somewhere ‘out there’ in the world beyond.

For almost four decades Dean Evenson and I have been involved in creating peaceful, healing music. In the process of following our spiritual and creative path, we have learned of many simple, easy to use techniques that can help reduce the stresses in our lives and many of them involve music, our life passion. We are especially interested in accessing the power within us that is available when we close out all that busyness, the apparent conflicts and dichotomies pulling us in one direction or another. We are looking to get to that place inside where there is absolute stillness and a sense of inner peace and quiet.

Simple Sound Tools to De-stress

Most of the tools you are probably familiar with. Some of our favorites include breath, meditation, music, mantra, chanting, toning and affirmations. We recognize that quieting the mind is easier said than done, especially today when we are instantly aware of events occurring all over the world, many of which have nothing to do with us. What goes on in your mind is really the key. It is what forms your perception of your world. So having some tools or systems to tune into can carry us through troubled times. These are tools that we use to bring us back into that inner stillness, the quiet place within. And just so you know, we are rooting for humanity to thrive in this next coming time but more on that later.

The Basic Sigh

Probably the tool easiest to access is the breath. Simply taking a deep breath in, holding it a moment, and then letting out a long, slow exhalation is a good place to start. This basic sigh can help you reset your mind and body to a more peaceful vibration. Often when we are stressed or afraid, we are practically holding our breath, or at the very least, taking very shallow breaths. With conscious breathing, we are really bringing in the life force. Call it air, oxygen or prana, but know that without it, life ceases to exist. So take those long deep breaths and enjoy the calmness it brings. Focus on the breath and let the random or worrisome thoughts drift away.

Modern life is structured to get us geared up and ready to be productive members of society, or so they say. Drink the coffee and get the treadmill of the fast-paced world. Unfortunately, after all that gearing up we often find it difficult to unwind and settle down or are unable to fall asleep at night. So we need to develop practices that help us to slow down and bring ourselves to that place of inner stillness.

Mantra Affirmation

Repeating a short affirmation or mantra can help clear the mind. Simply saying (or singing) to yourself ‘I am. I am. I am,’ or another such positive phrase, can help to ground and center yourself. Getting the whole body to relax helps as well. Doing yoga or some stretches relaxes the body and at the same time, releases tension in the mind. In fact, one of the most important functions of yoga is not just to make your body strong and flexible, but it is primarily to ‘still or calm the whirlpools of the mind’ according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Walking is another simple way to move the body and calm the mind and conscious walking in nature takes one even deeper.

Often when you’re getting ready for bed and trying to fall asleep, that’s when all the mental chatter comes in. We recommending playing quiet, peaceful music in the hour or so before bedtime so that you can start to calm down from all the gearing up you have done all day. With a regular meditation practice you can develop control over your mental thought processes leading to a more relaxed and peaceful state of being. You can read more about chanting, affirmations, toning and mantra in other blog posts or articles at soundings.com. These are simple tools that will benefit you in the long run and make you a more calm and peaceful person. I believe that whatever peace we have inside us will extend out and when we touch the people around us with our peaceful nature, and they touch the people around them with their peaceful nature, we will surely have a more peaceful world.

Keep in Touch

I hope you watch my video. You can hear the fun story about singing my prayer song for Dr. Larry Dossey. I’m sharing these simple possibilities so you’ll know there are some easy and meaningful things you can do to make your life better. Let me know what resonates with you. I love to hear how others navigate their own turbulent waters. And when you comment on our blog, we’ll send you a free mp3 of our music in gratitude.

Dudley Evenson and her new favorite book The Miracle Morning

6 Steps to Your Miracle Morning

Do you start your day with a dose of news and then find it’s hard to get all that negativity out of your head? Or maybe you feel overwhelmed by a massive ‘to do’ list and can’t seem to complete all the tasks you have set up for yourself. I recently read a great book called The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8 am and I have been implementing the practices that the author, Hal Elrod, has suggested.

Even if you’re not a morning person, you can still have a miracle morning!

I like the idea of starting my morning with a miracle, but since I am not a morning person, I wondered if it would work for me. When I looked more deeply into the idea, I discovered that there is a lot to be said about starting your day off in a conscious, mindful way and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. For many years I have had a simple practice of doing eye exercises and a prayer before I even get up so I have at least started my day before it officially begins. My next ideal practice after drinking some water and making my tea is to do a half hour of yoga. Then if I am not in a rush, I like to sit and meditate. Often, however, the phone would ring or I would get up and move toward my computer, emails and get caught up in the outside world. Of course for most people, even taking that much time starting their day would be too much when they have to get breakfast for the family or run off to work.
Here’s my video further explaining the Life S.A.V.E.R.S. System so you can have your own Miracle Morning

Life S.A.V.E.R.S. System

With so much to do and so little time, I wondered how could a slight change in one’s morning procedure make a meaningful difference that would last all day.  That’s where Hal Elrod’s system called ‘Life S.A.V.E.R.S’ comes in. It’s a very simple system that is easy to remember and simple to implement. I like that he says you can do each one of these practices for only a minute and you will still experience a beneficial effect.  The main thing is to actually do the practice. I am still trying to implement it into my morning and find that when I don’t start my day with this practice and instead let myself get caught up in computer work or the outside world, my day does not go nearly as smoothly and I feel that I accomplish less.

Here is his magic formula for a Miracle Morning. He calls it ‘Life S.A.V.E.R.S.’ You can do each one of these steps for as little as one minute and still feel the benefit. Five minutes or more for each one is better of course.  You can also do them in any order. You may exercise at the beginning or at the end. Remember, it’s your morning practice so it needs to work for you.

SILENCE: Sit quietly, let go of busy thoughts, and focus on your breath
AFFIRMATION: Affirm what you want in life to set the tone for your day
VISUALIZATION: Picture yourself living your ideal life and it’s ok to be specific
EXERCISE: Moving the body benefits physical as well as mental and emotional selves
READ: Read something inspiring and uplifting to start your day
SCRIBE: Journal your thoughts and dreams or add to that great book you are working on

Be sure to pick up a copy of the book to gain a much deeper understanding of how you can create your own miracle morning.  We would love to hear your ideas of how you begin your day so you maximize your full potential. We love to hear from you so when you comment, we’ll send you a free mp3 music track that can be a perfect accompaniment to your morning meditation.

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Peace Through Music Helps Local Vets

Dudley Evenson dogtags

Recently I was invited to do a presentation for veterans at the Bellingham Vet Center. Several years ago, Dean and I had visited there and dropped off some of our music and videos and it turns out they had been showing our Eagle River DVD at their gatherings and potlucks where people really enjoyed the relaxation effect of the images of nature and the peaceful music. Eagle River was actually created after our first visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC where we did a presentation on music and healing to the patients, many of whom were wounded in combat or suffering from PTSD . We received feedback from the commanding officers that they really needed that video of eagles and nature along the Nooksack River as it would help people dealing with their flashbacks and nightmares from the trauma related to their combat experiences. PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which is what many people suffer after extreme combat situations.
Walter Reed dog tags 2These are the dog tags the chaplain at Walter Reed gave us when we visited there a few years ago.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got a call a few weeks ago requesting a presentation about music for one of the local PTSD men’s groups.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but found a group of older Viet Nam era vets as well as some younger ones from more recent wars who were ready to work on dealing with their issues. As the leader said later, the men appreciated being able to step out of their comfort zone. I actually had them breathing, toning, singing a mantra and doing ‘I am’ affirmations. I also shared the RELAXATION TRAINING GUIDE we created for Walter Reed so they would have an overview of how to use music in their process.

Then a few weeks later I was invited back to work with a group of women dealing with PTSD, either as veterans themselves, or because of being married to a veteran who was suffering form PTSD. I found this group of women very open to what I was teaching them and much more able to express themselves through the singing, toning and affirmations I had them doing. It is interesting to me that what I am actually teaching these military folks is based on the yoga of sound and it really seems to work. The women want me to come back and go deeper into the process so I am excited to be able to share what Dean Evenson and I have been learning and teaching all these years about the healing power of sound and music, meditation and self-expression.

Here’s a link to the Eagle River DVD and also to Healing Sanctuary, an album we created after 911 to help people deal with trauma. Both of these were among several of our albums used at Walter Reed and given out by the chaplain there to the wounded.

Please add your thoughts about this important issue and especially if you have or know of anyone dealing with PTSD and I will send a free mp3 healing music track to those who comment.

A New Day, A New Year, A New You

I let go of the old and open myself to the new

This is the first in our series of 52 weekly meditations and a good place to start after the busy holidays.

I sit quietly and center myself, breathing deeply and fully. I feel myself firmly connected to the earth as I let the spirit flow through me. I let go of busyness and of anything that may be overwhelming me. I open myself to the new, to new possibilities, to a new day, and to the fresh new cells being constantly created in my body with every breath I take. I feel the refreshing inspiration of new opportunities coming my way. I welcome this new and wonderful time in my life and see it filled with goodness, creativity and peace. I let go of the old and allow the new to come gently into my life.

Often, we tend to cling to old patterns and habits that may be holding us back. It is these attachments that can keep us from living fully. In this centering affirmation, we allow ourselves to open up to the many blessings that exist within the vast sea of infinite possibilities surrounding us. When so-called negative experiences present themselves, we frequently tighten up and form an armor of resistance around us, thereby closing ourselves off from the magic inherent in the unknown. By always being open to new possibilities, we allow the Universe to harness all its forces to help us in the best ways possible. This affirmation is a wonderful way to begin our year of weekly wisdom meditations.

We hope you will take advantage of the 52 Weekly Affirmations and go through your year focusing on these universal principles.  They are guaranteed to make your life happier, healthier, more prosperous and even improve your relationships.  Below are the several different formats available to suit your needs.  And coming soon is an iPhone App.  We will let you know when it’s ready.  But no need to wait as you can begin now with the CD, DVD, download or DailyOM online course.

AYearofGuidedMeditationsDVD

A Year of Guided Meditations (DVD high quality nature videos with affirmations & music)

A Year of Guided Meditations (DailyOM online course, pay only what you can afford for the streaming videos)

Meditation Moment: 52 Weekly Affirmations (CD with affirmations & music)

Meditation Moment: 52 Weekly Affirmations (Digital Download with affirmations & music)

 

How to use Positive Affirmations to Create the Life You Desire

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.”  – Anonymous

Listening to the radio recently, I couldn’t help but notice how sad and bad the news was.  A real bloody day for people in Gaza, Iraq and even LA, not to mention continuous doom and gloom reports about the failing economy.  I felt a knot of anxiety growing in my stomach as I tried to digest the constant barrage of bad news hitting me.  I realize I’ve been paying too much attention to news lately and it’s having an effect on me.   Bad news affects all of us painting a pessimistic picture of the world, coloring the content of our thoughts.

How do we overcome the tendency toward worry and negative thinking?  How can we manifest our dreams and harness the power of positive affirmations to improve our lives?  Isn’t that what we all want?  A chance to make each day a bit better and hopefully leave a legacy of worth when we are gone.  Beyond these modest impulses, perhaps some may rise to even grander heights of sharing, caring and creative manifestation.

For three decades I have been using spoken word affirmations and guided meditations to bring groups together in a shared communion of visualization and prayer.  With my husband, Dean Evenson, playing flute, along with me on hand harp, we have been able to create deeply meditative experiences for large groups of people, opening for Deepak Chopra, don Miguel Ruiz, Larry Dossey and playing for Joan Borysenko and Iyanla Vanzant’s own meditations.

Recently I decided to put together a CD of guided affirmations.  Rather than start with the basics of taking a deep breath and walking in the forest, I jumped into a huge project of creating 52 weekly meditations on the universal principles that guide all life.  When I sat down to write the script, the words just flowed forth and the practical wisdom that we have gleaned over our many years on earth showed itself on my computer screen.

Needless to say, it came together well and I am pleased that the album, MEDITATION MOMENT, is being very well received.  To support the process of understanding what affirmations are and how to use them to create a fulfilling and successful life, I offer some common sense guidelines that will enhance their effectiveness. I present these simple premises to you in the hopes that you will actually use the suggestions and be blessed by the improvements that show up in your life.

Why do affirmations work?

What is it that makes them so compelling?

An affirmation is a positive statement asserting that the goal to be achieved is already happening.  It is a declaration to manifest a desired outcome.  This desired way of being may seem far from the truth at the moment, but amazingly enough, with repetition and focused intention, it can become reality.  Since the subconscious mind processes affirmations and suggestions as reality, it is important be aware of one’s thoughts and constantly edit out unwanted negative suggestions.

The fact is, we are constantly affirming in our mind what we believe.  When we look honestly at the content of our thoughts, we may be shocked to discover that we have been telling ourselves a ‘load of crock’ as they say.  We can usually tell the quality of our subconscious mind by looking at the quality of the life we are living.  If we are not pleased with our life, we must look at the content of our mind to discover how we have been programming our existence to meet our belief structure.

In the 1950s, Earl Nightingale, cofounder of Nightingale-Conant, recorded a classic motivational record called ‘The Strangest Secret.’  He recognized the ‘strangest secret’ to be that we become what we think about every day.  He emphasized the power of positive self-talk, expectation and belief.  These ideas were ground breaking at the time and today many people use guided affirmations in some way to try to achieve their goals. Affirmations hold great promise for helping improve our lives but like any other tool of transformation, skill and understanding are required that once mastered will enhance their performance.

When we take hold of our thoughts through the repetition of positive affirmations, we can move in the direction of manifesting our highest ideals and vision for our lives.  The word ‘mantra’ in Sanskrit means ‘mind protection’ for it is through the use of a repeated phrase, prayer or affirmation that we can get a grip on the rampant thoughts and tape loops that tend to control us.  By repeating a phrase over and over again, it becomes embedded in our subconscious mind and then the creative forces of the universe are able to rally support to make it happen.

The interesting thing about affirmations is they do require a belief and faith in them even though the actual statement may be different from our current circumstance.  We increase their effectiveness when we put our feelings into them and actually experience the emotions connected with the fulfillment of our desires of love, prosperity, success or whatever it is we are aiming toward.  This may be difficult as first but with perseverance and repetition, the words become a part of us and before long, we look around and realize that we are actually achieving what we may have thought impossible only weeks or months ago.

Affirmations only work when spoken in the present tense.  The subconscious mind takes things very literally so if you say ‘I will be rich’ you will never experience prosperity in the present moment as it will always be just around the corner, in the elusive future.

Another aspect that increases the effectiveness of affirmations is repetition.  In the negative aspect of this principle, we experience inner ‘tape loops’ or ‘monkey mind’ that constantly replay a phrase or thought that is not in our best interests.  This thought may be something a parent or ex partner told us about ourselves long ago (‘You are a mess’ or ‘You’ll never amount to anything.’) and we unconsciously have repeated this idea for years, thus creating for ourselves a messy, unfulfilling life.

When we take hold of our thoughts and use affirmations regularly with an understanding of how they work, positive change will occur.  When we can truly visualize and feel the reality of the spoken word affimations, we enter into a cooperative contract with the universe to make use of this powerful tool for manifesting of highest dreams.

Dudley Evenson and her husband Dean Evenson are award-winning, sound healing pioneers, musicians and media producers.  They are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their record label Soundings of the Planet and have produced over 60 albums of healing and world music.  Dudley’s recent CD is MEDITATION MOMENT: 52 Weekly Guided Affirmations.  These meditations are also on a popular course at DailyOM.com called A YEAR OF GUIDED MEDITATIONS. The Evensons teach meditation, sound healing and chakra workshops nationwide.  For more info visit www.soundings.com or call 800/93 PEACE.