#38 Forgiveness Practices

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Today we’re talking about forgiveness practices. Forgiveness practices are important because forgiveness liberates us from constrictive thoughts that suck our energy and hold us back from manifesting our dreams.

Image of the podcast cover with a picture of His Holiness the Dali Lama who teaches forgiveness practices that we use in the DreamBuilder Program.

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Music courtesy of Irene Boggs http://affirmajams.com/

Welcome to the Dream Big And Bloom Podcast, Episode #38

Hi! I’m Mardi Lynn, certified DreamBuilder Coach and I help women over 60, who are longing for more happiness, prosperity, fulfillment and fun in this season of their lives. 

We have so many options! 

What would you love? 

To create a legacy? Volunteer? Write your memoir? Improve your health and increase your longevity? Find the perfect mate? Create more cash flow? Travel? 

My passion is helping you:

  • get clear on what you would truly love 
  • encourage you to go for it and 
  • ensure that you take the action steps to achieve it  

In today’s podcast we are continuing the series on the 10 Mindsets from the guidebook and Scorecard: Living Happy, Rich and Free After 60. 

cover image of the guidebook and scorecard for achieving your dreams, Living Happy, Rich & Free after 60. Forgiveness  is mindset #5 on the scorecard.

You can get a free copy at https://dreambigandbloom.com/guidebook/  

Today we’re continuing with Mindset #5: Forgiveness. 

(You can access all the previous lessons at DreamBigAndBloom.com.  Just click on the podcasts tab.)

Why is it Important to Talk About Forgiveness Practices? 

Forgiveness practices are important because, in DreamBuilding, we are working with the creative energy of the Universe to manifest the life we would love living. The way we use and direct this energy depends on our attention. Where our attention goes our energy flows. 

The practice of forgiveness liberates us from constrictive thoughts that suck our energy and hold us back — thoughts and beliefs we have about things that have happened to us in our past, resentments toward people and mistakes we have made.

Last week’s action step was to make a list of the people and circumstances in your life that you want to forgive and release — the ones that feel like they’re constricting your energy when you think about them; and then shift your perception about them, until your energy feels expansive again.  

Did you find that many of your resentments were fairly easy to release after learning about the advantages of forgiveness and learning about a new way of perceiving people as doing the best they know how, given their life experiences?

Are there other items on your list that are more challenging?  These will require more time and that’s perfectly fine.  You will just need to: 

  1. Keep focusing on them until you can tell yourself a different story that feels better
  2. Do your grieving work  
  3. Practice self-love and self-care
  4. Remember how powerful you are and 
  5. Stay focused on your vision of “living happy, rich and free.”
image of key with a tag that says success because forgiveness practices are one of the keys to successfully manifesting our dreams.
Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com

Four Powerful Forgiveness Practices

Today I’m going to share FOUR ADDITIONAL POWERFUL PRACTICES from the DreamBuilder Program that will help you with forgiveness.

1. Affirmation

First is making the commitment to yourself with this affirmation:

“I make a commitment to experience the freedom of forgiveness. I am willing to work with my own thoughts about people, conditions, and circumstances.”

In order to experience the benefits of forgiveness, you need to work with your own thoughts to release the people, conditions, and circumstances that you are holding hostage in your own mind.

Begin the practice of forgiveness by repeating this powerful affirmation several times:

“I make a commitment to experience the freedom of forgiveness. I am willing to work with my own thoughts about people, conditions, and circumstances.”

2. Compassion

The second tool is for becoming more compassionate toward others.

Can you think of a time when you judged someone or got angry with them and then you learned later that they were going through a difficult time.  Did you feel compassion for them and regret how you reacted?  Mary tells a story that was life-changing for her.

She was at a grocery store and the woman at the checkout counter overcharged her for one item by three dollars. She told her politely that the item was a different price and with an exasperated sigh the woman took the item out of the bag, slammed it on the counter, pulled out the register tape and made a big production of changing the charge. She was really rude. 

Mary was thinking to herself, “this was her mistake, not mine” and she started judging her, and thinking “what an awful woman” and “she shouldn’t be working here,” “she shouldn’t treat people like this!” “This store should hire people who are more polite to their customers if they want their customers to come back.”

There was a young man who was helping bag the groceries and as he was rolling her cart out to the car (this was 25 years ago) and helping her put the groceries in her trunk, Mary said to him ‘I think that was one of the rudest checkers I’ve ever experienced. She was so rude!”

The young man said to her “Oh I know. She’s having such a hard day. Yesterday her only son was riding a bike and he got hit by a car. He’s in the hospital. She’s a single mom and she’s working today because I know she has to have the money, but I know she is really, really worried about him.” 

Immediately Mary’s anger dissolved. Her resentment was gone and she was filled with compassion.  That self righteous feeling of “she’s the one who screwed up, not me,” just vanished. 

She drove away thinking how interesting it was that she had gone from anger to compassion in a flash — once she knew the story. 

It occurred to her that if knowing the whole story, behind behaviors that are unskillful –if the natural result of knowing the whole story is compassion then is it possible to just move to compassion in the absence of knowing the whole story? 

If the natural response to knowing the whole story behind unskillful behavior is compassion then is it possible to feel compassion in the absence of knowing the whole story? Yes it is.  

A Facebook meme from Symphony of Love with an image of clouds in a mountain valley and in the sky and a text overlay  with a quote by Louise Hay, "Forgiving makes me feel free and light."

We can always choose what we think. 

And so Mary began to practice. 

She said finding herself making judgments about people was a pattern for her at the time. When things would happen, she would be reactive. Judgments would come to mind. She would feel righteous and feel justified.

Haven’t we all thought like that at one time or another?! Isn’t that such a common response?  It’s our patterning. We learn it from our parents who were doing the very best they knew how because that’s how they were taught and it’s how most of the world responds. 

But it’s not liberating.  It’s not freeing and it’s not the higher vibration of someone who knows they live in a sea of abundance. 

So Mary made a decision. This is key!  She made a decision that when something happened that was unskillful, whether it was herself or someone else’s, whether there was any understanding about what had happened or not, she would remind herself that if she knew the whole story she would feel compassionate.  So in the absence of knowing that story she was going to assume the inherent goodness of the other person and that there are circumstances affecting their behavior. She was going to choose to have compassion for them and wish them well. 

She began to practice that and it wasn’t always easy, but she began to notice little by little, that her life began to move in a different higher arc. She could track over a period of a couple of years, the growth, the expansion, opportunities, new friendships.  All kinds of things began to demonstrate in her life. There was greater aliveness and more fluidity in her life.

Sometimes, while driving, we may yell at the other driver to hurry up, slow down, use a turn signal, stay in their lane, get a clue… Never knowing the circumstances for why the driver is behaving that way. If we had the whole story, we might find out the driver is from out of town and not familiar with the roads, etc. 

Compassion requires practice

Action Step: 

Each day, make a list of examples where you could have been more compassionate that day. 

3. Sacred Friends

A photo of Mary Morrissey with the Dalai Lama who taught her about the Buddhist loving kindness meditation forgiveness practice.

When Mary achieved her goal to meet the Dalai Lama she was so excited because she was eager to know how he managed to stay so positive in spite of his people experiencing genocide by a government that refused to accept their culture. 

The Dali Lama explained that it’s easy to forgive a friend, but it may be harder to forgive a “sacred friend.” Sacred friends are people who challenge us to expand our hearts, grow our compassion, and practice forgiveness. He described the Chinese Government as his sacred friend. He used the Chinese Government’s actions as a transformative agent to overcome blame, regret, and resentment. 

A sacred friend does not have to be an actual person either. It can be a disease, a circumstance, or anything that you notice that may cause a feeling of resentment or blame to rise up in you. And these are the things that will stimulate the most growth, so they are worth the effort.

Action Step: 

List three of your sacred friends in your present or past.

4. Loving Kindness Meditation. 

an image of a woman meditating representing the loving kindness meditation practice for forgivenss.
Image by Pixabay

The Dalai Lama teaches a “Loving Kindness Meditation” that is very powerful.

I find that it’s not only a good way to forgive but also a good way to gauge if you have accomplished forgiveness.  You can tell by the way you feel when you say it with a “sacred friend” in mind.

It begins with yourself.

You say: 

  • May I truly be happy. 
  • May I live in peace. 
  • May I live in love. 
  • May I know the power of forgiveness. 
  • May I live in recognition that my life has deep meaning and good purpose.

Then move to wishing the same for someone you love. Replace the word “I” with the word “you” as you picture the person you love. 

  • May you truly be happy. 
  • May you live in peace. 
  • May you live in love. 
  • May you know the power of forgiveness. 
  • May you live in recognition that your life has deep meaning and good purpose.

Then extend it yourself a little wider and bring a sacred friend into that field of love you have established. Repeat the meditation with them in mind. 

  • May you truly be happy. 
  • May you live in peace. 
  • May you live in love. 
  • May you know the power of forgiveness. 
  • May you live in recognition that your life has deep meaning and good purpose.” 

How does that feel?  I find it shifts my energy and makes me feel very powerful instead of victimized.

This practice may take some repetition until you truly mean it.  That’s OK.

Just remember that

  • your thoughts are your choice
  • your thoughts create your feelings, 
  • your feelings affect your actions and 
  • your actions produce results.  

So choose thoughts that feel good.  

Choose Thoughts That Feel Good

That’s why it’s important to use the affirmation:

“I make a commitment to experience the freedom of forgiveness. I am willing to work with my own thoughts about people, conditions, and circumstances.”

So there you have it, four powerful practices to set you free through forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not something we do just one time.  It’s a mental and emotional cleaning or cleansing.  A process of spiritual hygiene.  Just as we shower or brush our teeth every day, we practice forgiveness. 

Action Step:

  1. So everyday, ask yourself, “What is there for me to forgive today
  2. And then use these powerful tools.

I’m eager to know how these work for you and I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. 

Is one of these practices your favorite? 

Let’s get a conversation going in the comments at dreambigandbloom.com/38 

More Help…

And if you’d like to be a guest and have a longer conversation with me, just go to https://dreambigandbloom.com/guest/ 

Have you tried the scorecard online?  Go to dreambigscore.com and find out how forgiveness and all the 10 mindsets are either growing or slowing your results.

And if you’d love to have in-depth personal support in applying these powerful principles and practices and a dynamic community of like minded ladies who are realizing their dreams, visit DreamBigandBloom.com/get-started

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Here’s to living happy, rich and free!

Much love to you

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