Tag Archives: change

How Emotions Help Us Evolve: Explaining the Karmic Connection

IMG_5321Do you embrace the times when you feel depressed?  Does sadness bring you down or pump you up?   Can anger be a good thing?  Is anxiety your friend or your foe?

Most people don’t like emotions.  They avoid them, stuff them down, and feel they make us weak when they arise.  However, emotions are the most definable part of the human condition.  While some animals do express some feeling, human beings have the privilege of experiencing the widest array of emotion.  We are also the most able to observe and process our emotions, regardless of whether we view that as a blessing or curse.

Stop to think for a moment about how emotions have changed your life.  Would you have learned whatever you were supposed to learn without them?   Would you have known that something was amiss if you didn’t experience the discomfort?  How did your emotions alert you to something that needed your attention?

Emotions help us to evolve.  They are the cue that something is misaligned in our lives and the alert that something needs our attention.  Without emotion we would not grow.

Embedded in our emotions are the lessons of life—the “karmic” opportunitiesFullSizeR to evolve.  Although many view emotions simply as a chemical imbalance, their impact for growth goes far deeper.  Karma is the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding fate for our future as well.  In other words, when explored, many people can see how they have grown from the challenges they have experienced in life.  Their “karma” is expressed and stimulated by their emotion(s), and once the lesson is learned and a new course of action is taken, the feeling dissipates.  Peace and contentment inevitably follow.

In my therapy practice, I’m constantly asking, “What do you think you are supposed to learn from this experience?”  While some resist the idea that something good can come from their situation, they soon realize that there is a great deal of empowerment in being able to consciously consider their circumstances, which allows them to heal and, better yet, evolve.  Once a person makes sense of their predicament, both their worrisome thoughts and emotions are put to rest.  This is conscious evolution.

How often do you dismiss your emotions?  How have you avoided them?  Do you allow your soul the time necessary to explore what the message might be behind your discomfort?

marnws4Soul Health is all about aligning each branch of your life in order to create and experience radiant living.  Emotions are simply a cue to act on something that is getting in the way of your sense of peace and balance.  Consider spending a few minutes each day assessing your emotions to help you identify what might need some attention in your life.  This investment of time will pay dividends in your ability to evolve in such a way that helps you reach your highest potential.  In doing this, you will resolve any karma that may be urging you to grow and you will “graduate” to the next level of enjoying the human condition.  In this way, emotions are just the cue—you are the agent of change.

Evolving Through the Seasons

As you likely know by now, I’m a bit stuck on the word “evolution”.  Even as a young child, I was almost obsessed with how things grew and couldn’t get enough of Darwin’s theory of evolution.  My mother humored me with these passions, allowing me to grow carrots in a wheelbarrow that she dubbed as my personal garden. marnws2 “Specimens” from my prized crop (carrots that were about 2 inches long….) remained in the freezer until they could no longer manage the elements.

I will never tire of talking about evolution.  While I’ve moved on from growing miniature produce, I will forever immerse myself in learning new ways to help others expand their souls to their highest potential.

Conscious evolution is just that—becoming and remaining conscious of how we can best grow, then taking action to make change a reality.  While scientists say that the human body has evolved about as much as it is going to, our soul’s evolution is infinite.  What does this mean for you and I?  It means that, if desired, we can continue to grow beyond our everyday challenges so that we thrive throughout every moment of life.  By aligning our lives with the needs of our soul, we can reach radiant living—or at least create a much more joyful and content experience of the human condition.

marnws3Evolution is a process.  It requires patience, perseverance, and commitment.  That’s why I can’t provide an answer when clients ask me how long it will take to complete therapy.  For those who believe in reincarnation, as will be discussed in future newsletters, evolution of the soul is clearly an ongoing development.  We are presented with lessons throughout each lifetime to help us learn and evolve, sometimes repeating patterns until we outgrow certain circumstances or dynamics.  In the case of this lifetime, our evolution is still up to us.

As cliché as it might sound, awareness really is the first step.  If there is something that you want to outgrow, whether it be an unhealthy habit, an old relationship pattern, or a thought or feeling that no longer serves you, we must first become aware of this imperfection, identify any obstacles to change, then take steps to get our evolution underway.

My Soul Health Model provides the blueprint to radiant living, but remember that evolution is a slow process that requires us to make a conscious marnws4commitment to our infinite growth.

As a gift to you, I invite you to sit back, relax, and take yourself on a journey to your soul’s evolution by watching the visual meditation offered below.  Allow yourself to gently explore the growth you have already witnessed, as well as ponder the change that is yet to come.  I hope you enjoy your journey— feel free to forward this meditation to anyone you know who also needs a gentle nudge on their path to evolution.

Social Health: Soul to Soul Relations

(Taken from Chapter 5 of Soul Health: Aligning with Spirit for Radiant Living)

We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth. ~~ George Bernard Shaw

09 Sept picHumans are pack animals—we are meant to be with people. No matter how “independent” we think we are, we still depend on those around us for at least some things, and we obviously wouldn’t have been brought into the world without the help of others. In most cases we could not survive, let alone thrive without the help of parents or other caregivers, teachers, friends, neighbors, pets, and others. What makes the world go around is our connection with others and the sense of community we receive through these interactions.

All of our relationships can have a direct impact on soul healthIf I were to guess, I’d say nearly 90 percent of people come to therapy because of their relationships with others in their lives. Depression, anxiety, grief, adjustment, low self-esteem, job stress, body image, weight-related concerns, physical injuries, traumatic events, anger management, abuse, and even some ongoing physical health concerns can be attributed to either present-day interactions with others or to the ideas, values, or beliefs we were taught as children.

The social branch of soul health encompasses all the relationships we have in our lives. This chapter discusses the many types of connections we have with other people, not only those close to us, but also others we may see less frequently—store clerks, dry cleaners, mail carriers, receptionists, pharmacists, manicurists, massage therapists, hair stylists, and even coffee baristas. Many people, including me, also consider pets and other animals to be significant contributors to our overall social health. No matter how connected we are to those who appear regularly in our lives, they are all part of our personal flock.

(To read further, purchase Soul Health: Aligning With Spirit for Radiant Living at www.drkatherinetkelly.com, www.amazon.com, or www.barnesandnoble.com)

Has “Soul” Become a Four-Letter Word?

The word “soul” is pretty much a daily part of my vocabulary, both with myself and friends and also in my work. With all of this talk about consciousness, it seems to me that our awareness would be raising about how disconnected we have become from our innermost self– our soul.

Why don’t we use this word very often? When did we become so disconnected that we almost hide from any mention of it? How would the world be different if we re-introduced the word and re-acquainted with what I consider to be our most essential feature?

Simply put, the soul is the essence of who we are. It is the eternal light that glows within us, one which, when properly “tuned” can guide and allow us to have much simpler and richer lives.

When was the last time you thought of or used the word “soul”? Take a look at my latest video in which I share a couple stories that indicate a serious need to reconnect and integrate the word back into our vocabulary.  https://youtu.be/imUjzDoMof8

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Please feel free to leave a comment on this blog, or email me at evolve@drkatherinetkelly.com.

Learning to Laugh Again

maynewsletter2Our soul is nothing without joy. It is our sense of joy—or lack of one—that serves as a key measure of our soul health. And as we all know, fun—our ability to let loose and play—is highly under-rated among adults. As our responsibilities increase, our ability to laugh and have fun often decreases, leaving us “soul-starved” or wilty. Biologically speaking, fun and laughter do more than soothe the soul, having a positive effect on serotonin, stress hormones, and even the immune system.

Despite the positive effect of pure fun and laughter, many people have forgotten how to experience this key ingredient to radiant health. Inevitably, when I ask clients and workshop participants what they do for fun, they are often speechless and cannot answer.

Our human condition often instills the idea that laughter is a luxury, but in my mind, it is a necessity. Our soul’s most natural state is that of joy and when we forget to allow fun into our lives, we deprive our souls from a vital source of renewal.

Have you forgotten how to laugh and have fun? Do you believe you’re worth enjoying a hearty chuckle? Has your busy life stripped you of the ability to experience joy? If so, here are some steps to help you re-integrate laughter into your life:

1) Look for reasons to laugh. (Set the intention that you will find daily opportunities to have fun.)

2) Give yourself permission to laugh. Literally say out loud, “I now grant myself the permission to laugh and have fun whenever possible.”

3) Be a kid again. Find ways to bring back youthful activities—run through the sprinklers, track down an ice cream truck, sit in a swing, ride the merry-go-round.

4) Reminisce about the good ol’ times. Tell stories that still make you laugh until you cry.

5) Bring out the home movies. Laugh at your old clothes, hair-cuts, and overall antics.

6) Plan a play date with your friends—play ping-pong, a board game, or arts night.

Whatever you do, LAUGH!  Spring is such a wonderful time to let your inner-child come out to play. For more information on getting fun and laughter back into your life, watch the video/vlog below.

I would love to hear your comments for how you allow fun and laughter to feed your soul!

The Hazards of Conscious Evolution (and Therapy!), Part II

As I mentioned in the last blog entry, people who consciously choose to evolve often go through a process of transforming that shifts more than they are bargaining for. I’ve noticed this pattern over and over again in others and continue to experience it myself. I share these “hazards” of evolution with clients and workshop participants to help calm their discomfort and normalize their experience.

The world is changing. No doubt. We have choices whether to change with it or resist this change. Risk exists in both options. The reality is, if we choose not to change we’ll be left behind;  if we make the conscious decision to grow, we’ll likely leave others in the dust. So, although our evolution is our human right and duty, it doesn’t come without discomfort or loss.

nautilus_seashells_1600x1200_wallpaper_Wallpaper_2560x1920_www.wall321.comAs you might remember, I mentioned the first hazard of conscious evolution in the last blog entry: The more you learn and evolve, the more you want to learn and evolve. This can create a vicious cycle in which you become so engaged in learning and evolving that it almost becomes an obsession. Consciousness takes a great deal of effort and energy. Unlike mindfulness, or the “moment-to-moment awareness of the good, the bad, and the ugly” as the well-known author, Jon Kabot-Zinn,  states, consciousness implies that not only is a person more aware, this awareness creates an urge to change something. The word is more action oriented, and, in my mind, IS the life force that initiates our human evolution.

So, why would conscious evolution be hazardous to our health? It’s not. Remaining lumps of unconscious flesh is, though. One way or another, someone will be left behind. Your choice is whether it will be you.

I share several of the other hazards of conscious evolution on the following video (the remaining to follow in future videos). Take a look:

I offer these now because we are at a critical juncture in our global evolution in which great divides are occurring in our population. These divides are clear depictions of those who are choosing to learn and grow and those who are not.

I would love to hear or read your feedback. Please leave a comment, or email me directly at evolve@drkatherinetkelly.com.

Evolution Sucks! The Hazards of Conscious Evolution, Part I

snail pic

Over the years as a psychologist, I’ve realized that it’s not unusual to find a trend or theme that seems to emerge across client concerns. I have no idea why this occurs, but in talking to colleagues, they notice it as well.

Because of the particular kind of work I do, based strongly on conscious evolution and also soul development, sometimes the themes that emerge in my office have a bit of a different slant. The latest theme that has appeared over the last several months is the sheer exhaustion that folks are feeling in their current process of growth. Hard work is being done– and I mean HARD WORK– as my clients evolve beyond old thoughts, emotions, perceptions, behaviors, patterns, and so on. In my work, I emphasize that it is not only the human condition we are healing, it is also the soul. This requires a greatly heightened sense of awareness, one that becomes both a blessing and a seeming curse.

evolution warning signThe world is changing, and this is causing us to evolve on a global level. People are being existentially challenged to consciously or unconsciously adapt to new beliefs and values, and as we simultaneously work through our personal issues, the energetic impact of the global changes can drain us even more. So, regardless of the level of individual work you are engaging in, we are all under the stress of a changing world as well.

It is no doubt that evolution is difficult, so much so that the word should be synonymous with the words “worn out”, “spent”, “exhausted”, “tired”, and even “fed up”. So, the words that I hear myself saying as clients lament their challenges through their growth are “Evolution Sucks”. Some clients laugh, some simply nod, and others launch into a verbal resonance with the statement.

Although our growth is the most beautiful and natural thing we experience, it is also the most difficult and challenging. The following video explains more, and discusses the first “Hazards of Therapy or Conscious Evolution” that I’ve come up with over my 26+ years of working in the world of holistic psychotherapy.

I would love to hear your thoughts and read your comments. Feel free to leave a message on this blog or send an email to evolve@drkatherinetkelly.com.