February 2008


In this issue

Upcoming Events

About Midlife Journeys

The Power of Forgiveness

About Midlife Journeys

For many people, midlife is a time of transformation, a time of seeking greater purpose, joy and meaning in the second half of life. Midlife Journeys is a monthly newsletter designed to support you in reconnecting with your authentic self and energizing your life through deep self-nurturing, creative expression and heart-centered living. Each issue contains inspiration and resources to help guide you on your journey to greater aliveness, joy and fulfillment.

Community Events

UCLA Extension's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (for people over 50) has several programs starting in late February and March of interest to people in midlife.

Conscious Journey into the Second Half of Life, taught by Beverly Olevin, MA. "In this four week workshop discover how a meaningful and authentically lived life requires active consciousness. Explore practical ways to link your values, beliefs and passions to your actions." Thursdays, 1-3:30, Feb. 28 - March 20.

Making a Brand New Life with Carolyn See: Advice for Winners, Losers and Dreamers."...this special short program uses good humor and a bit of drama to explore the life we'd like to live but haven't quite realized." Friday, March 14, 10am - 12pm.

For more information contact the Osher Institute at 310-825-9971 or visit www.uclaextension.edu.

Speakers Event

Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies; Plan B) and Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) are speaking together at UCLA's Royce Hall on Friday, March 28 at 8pm. For more information visit www.uclalive.org.

Books about Love and Forgiveness:

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, Harville Hendrix, PhD

The 8 Essential Traits of Couples Who Thrive, Susan Page

Love Will Find You: 9 Magnets to Bring You and Your Soulmate Together, Kathryn Alice

Radical Forgiveness: Making Room for the Miracle, Colin C. Tipping

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The Power of Forgiveness

"Forgiveness removes a block in us to our awareness of Love's Presence." -A Course in Miracles

One of the greatest acts of love we can offer to ourselves and others on Valentine's Day (or any other day!) is the gift of forgiveness. Whenever we hold onto grievances, resentments, blame, or seeing ourselves as a victim of any story, we block ourselves from Love.

So forgiveness is not really for the benefit of another person, but is very much in our own self-interest. It is the ultimate act of Self-love. The process allows us to lighten our load and open back up to love and peace within our own hearts.

By midlife, we've had lots of time to accumulate grievances and many of us are carrying around a pretty heavy load of old baggage. The problem is these grievances literally weigh us down. They take our energy, depress our mood and limit our thinking about what's possible in our life. They keep us from creating the life we truly want.

Research shows that forgiveness is good for both our mental and physical health. It reduces depression, defuses anger, deepens our spirituality, enhances our emotional self-confidence, increases our energy level and helps us live with greater peace.

Now forgiveness doesn't mean being a doormat or condoning or forgetting a behavior or injury. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to have dinner or any contact with the person you're forgiving. It also doesn't mean it's wrong to feel feelings of hurt or anger. What diminishes you, though, is holding onto that anger and remaining a victim of your past.

Forgiveness is the feeling of peace that emerges as you take your hurt less personally, take responsibility for how you feel and become the hero instead of a victim of the story you tell yourself.

So this Valentine's Day, I invite you to commit the ultimate act of Self-Love: forgiveness, of yourself and others. Take a moment to think about any people in your life toward whom you feel anger and resentment. Ask your heart who you need to forgive.

Also take a look at where you're judging yourself. Where can you soften towards yourself in your own heart? We all make mistakes and it's human to be less than perfect. Let go of judging yourself as bad or wrong for those mistakes. You were doing the best you knew how at the time. Begin to replace the self- judgment with understanding, compassion and loving kindness.

The following is one path to forgiveness adapted from Mary Manin Morrissey's Life Mastery program (www.lifeSOULutions.com ):

1. Take a deep breath and place your hand on your heart. Send love to your heart. Ask your Higher Self to direct, guide and lead your forgiveness practice.

2. Give thanks in advance for the healing and release this practice brings.

3. Recall the person or situation in your mind.

4. Acknowledge the pain you and others felt/feel. (You don't need to rehearse the pain - only acknowledge and honor that it was difficult.)

5. Become willing to release and be healed. Engender the feeling of Willingness. (One way to do this is to consider the cost to you of not forgiving; for example, reduced energy, less passion, unhappiness, a feeling of being stuck)

6. Ask your Higher Self to help you see this (situation, circumstance or person) differently, with greater compassion and understanding.

7. Repeat in your mind and your heart with feeling:
Through the power of Love I forgive (you, the situation, myself, everyone) completely!
I only wish us well.
May we each be happy.
May we each be peaceful.
May we each be free to live in love.
Thank you God. Thank you Love! Amen

"Ultimately all forgiveness is self-forgiveness." - A Course in Miracles

Happy Valentine's Day!

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