Trying To Find Your Purpose?

Has trying to find your purpose ever stressed you out? Do you feel some sort of pressure to make something meaningful with your life? When I heard people talk about their purpose, I would feel stressed and believed I was supposed to be doing something different or more with my life.

I thought that I needed to be clear about what that purpose looked like in the physical world. I then realized that by searching for this clarity, I was missing the life that was actually given to me as this present moment. I realized I had been missing the opportunity to express what was most important to me while I was searching.

What if it’s not as complicated as the mind makes it out to be?  What if in the larger picture, what you’re doing is not as important as how you are being while you are doing it and the quality of energy you are putting out into the Universe? 

We are all hooked up differently to feel alive and sometimes it’s just about paying attention to what already lights us up. One thing that has helped me get clarity around this, and that I often recommend to clients, is having what I call a Joy Journal. It consists of taking some time every night to simply write down your favorite part of that day: this could be connecting with a coworker on a break, teaching a child how to ride a bike, or even being in nature or with animals.

Over time I was able to become more aware of the themes that spoke to me and I consciously created a job that brings in those elements and that feels aligned with my values. I knew I enjoyed connecting authentically with people, creating environments where people could more deeply discover who they are and ask meaningful questions.  I loved being a part of an inspiring community and I knew I loved Bali.  So… I created a Wellness Retreat to Bali and over the last four years have been leading groups there on an immersion retreat where we do yoga, daily meditation, we get massages, eat raw food, get inspired by each other and also express our creativity.  At the heart of these activities I could see that what I truly value is consciousness work, genuine relationships and supporting people.  It’s no surprise that I also work as a psychotherapist because these qualities are expressed in that work as well.

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It’s not that my purpose is my work, but my work supports me in expressing what I hold as most important to me.  The invitation is to first clarify what you truly value.  If at the heart of things you hold important in life is love, then discover how love expresses itself in your life moment-to-moment, person to person.  Or if what you really value is service, then simply asking yourself everywhere you go, “How can I best serve here?” is a way of embodying your purpose.  Then watch as life unfolds by honoring what is truly in your heart.

You can trust that the intelligence that holds the stars and the galaxies in the Universe is also orchestrating your life… you can rest in that.  A flower doesn’t know where it is going or its ultimate purpose, and yet it still blooms… something in it knows.

Goals are fine and if you already have clarity about a specific expression your life is taking, then follow that, assuming it’s aligned with your heart.  Just don’t get lost in the goal, thinking that getting “there” will somehow deeply satisfy you.  It’s easy to have the end in mind or believe you have a purpose and then lose sight of the other 90% of your life, brushing your teeth, driving to work, meeting people at the grocery store, etc.  This 90% is as much a part of life as the other 10%.  By mentally living in the future, we miss out on the opportunity to express what we truly value now.

Often what we actually deeply yearn for is the creativity and spontaneity that arises out of the present moment.  I invite you to enjoy this discovery as you let go of the stressful ideas about how you believe life should be, and experience the fullness of following what you truly value in your heart moment-to-moment.

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”  ~ Mother Teresa

In loving,

 Alyssa

Are You In Relationship With Your Partners Potential?

 

Did you get into your relationship thinking you could “fix” those few things that you didn’t like about your partner? Do you find yourself seeing your partner as they could be and miss who they actually are? Do you feel they aren’t living into their potential or do you compare them to your idealized version of them?

 

This can be really toxic in relationships and I have found many of my clients bring this up so I thought I’d share some points of insight for you to consider:

 

People can usually feel when you don’t fully accept them as they are.  On the other hand, being with someone who is in full acceptance of who you are is one of the most healing things we can offer one another. 

 

“But if I accept them as they are then they’ll never change” our minds tend to say.  What I have found is quite the opposite.  As we come into relationship with the one we are actually with, not an image of who we want them to be, a deeper experience of connection is available.  Coming from this place of acceptance first, we are available to make more effective changes in the relationship (if we still want change that is) because we are neutral within ourselves and move from a place of wholeness.

 

There are going to be things that work for you in the relationship and other things that don’t. I’m not suggesting you to be a doormat and ignore what’s true for you.  I’m inviting a different approach that may actually be more successful and fulfilling….

 

What if you were able to actually meet your partner with full acceptance of where things are for the both of you right now? In that intimate connection of fully accepting how they are, how you are and where the relationship is, from here see if there are still things you want to share or not.  

 

 I don’t mean to fake this acceptance because that’s also felt and won’t offer true healing. I am speaking of an acceptance that arises out of our humility to truly recognize that we don’t know that it would be better if they only changed.   These judgments are an opportunity to use the relationship as a teacher.  To learn about yourself through it by recognizing your partner as your own mirror and looking at what unresolved material this situation is pointing at within yourself.  What part of yourself are you not fully accepting? Is there a part of you that you have denied, repressed or not owned?

 

As long as we’re trying to make our partner into something different, we’re in relationship with an image of who we want them to be, continuously getting disappointed and never truly meeting one another.

 

What if for a moment you met your partner with complete and authentic acceptance? Without necessarily sharing with them that you’re trying this out, see what happens in him or her when you shift the way you see them inside yourself.  Instead of thinking of ways to change them, see if you can discover who they are beyond your stories about them, as if you’ve just met them for the first time in this very moment.  See if you can stay in a space of discovery, of wonder…

 

What is it like to fully and intimately be with them as they are now?  See if you can notice what opens up…

 

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change”                                                                                                                     Carl Rogers

 

Enjoy the discovery, Alyssa 

 

You Are The One You Are Looking For

“What you are looking for, is what is looking”   St. Francis of Assisi

You will never get the love you truly yearn for from your partner. They may evoke a sense of love within you but that evoking happens within YOU. They never gave it to you, it was there prior to them and it is here when they are not present. It has nothing to do with another; it is simply a projection of yourSelf.

Let’s try something for a moment, bring into your awareness the person you have felt the most loved and cared by, really allow yourself to feel that for a moment. Notice that even though they aren’t here you can still feel this love. That’s because it is contained within you…It Is you.…it’s not separate.

Thoughts like, “I want them to love me” keep you from the awareness of the love that is here already, the love that you are.  So many of us get blinded by believing thoughts about who we think we are and then we loose sight of our true essence. When these thoughts like “I need more ___(love)___” are believed, we feel incomplete and then the mind starts searching for this completion in the world.

Some people search in relationships, others in food, money, drugs but regardless, they all boil down to the same misunderstanding, that who you are is not whole already. This core misunderstanding creates our suffering, a sense of incompleteness, and then the mind believes its fulfillment is gained in life.

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If you are looking for this love to be filled by another it will never be enough.  As soon as the search is outside yourself you move away from the awareness that love is what you are already.  Even if you were to “find love” it could only be temporarily satisfying and could never deeply offer you what you yearn for because you are still moving from this core misunderstanding.

We often avoid being with this sense of incompleteness; fear of not being enough, and the search for it to be filled keeps us away from truly arriving where we are. This fear seems so much bigger than it is.  In reality it’s only a thought in the mind that tricks you into believing that you need love and results as dense energy in the body.

The ironic thing is if there is a willingness to stop and suspend the search for more, even if it’s just for a moment and truly be with what is, you can discover that even this sense of incompletion is an invitation calling us back home to ourselves.

You never needed anyone or thing to complete you. It was simply a misunderstanding, a misidentification. Who you are IS love - just as you are now.

We become blind to this realization when we believe the thoughts that keep us on a continuous search for more.

Nothing needs to change in order for you to realize this. That’s the thing about realization, it only happens NOW.  It is always a moment-to-moment invitation to discover for yourself what is true…to discover who you are beyond all the beliefs…

Notice that this love is within you…it is actually who and what you are.

There is only one…and you are it!

I welcome you home to your deepest Self,

Alyssa

 

The World IS Your Valentine

We often meet someone, “fall in love” and think the love we feel is because of them.

In our confusion we search for love in this “other,” either by trying to find the “right” partner or we try to change them to make us feel that love we crave for, innocently setting ourselves up for failure, frustration and loneliness.

If love doesn’t show up in the people or in the ways we consider valuable, we deny it and the mind concludes that we’re either unworthy or that we’ve been rejected.

One of the greatest gifts is to stop and REALIZE that this longing for love is a wake-up call back home to our deepest Selves.

The apparent rejection of another is not what causes our suffering; it’s in having abandoned the truth of our own hearts that hurts.

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If you slow things down to really investigate and trace back where the love that you experience is evoked from, you find that it’s within YOU! Love can be awakened by another, and that’s beautiful, but it is not given to you by them.

Let’s try something together. Think of someone in your life with whom you’ve felt absolutely loved and unconditionally accepted by. It could be a lover, a friend, grandparent, parent, or even a pet.

Take a moment to bring this person forward either as an image in your mind or as a feeling sensed in your body….now recall an experience with them when you felt so completely seen, accepted, loved and at peace…. soak in that for a moment…. (really take the time now)….let it fill your entire experience….

Can you feel it?? Notice how that same love is available now, even when they’re not here!

As you stay rooted within the source of this love that you are, you no longer cling to or try to demand it from another. It’s a love that is unconditional and free, generously overflowing and allows everyone to be as they are.

THIS IS THE DEEPEST LOVE – open, always available, vast yet intimate.

May you discover what is right here in your own heart and see that the entire world IS your valentine…and YOU ARE the expression of It’s Love.

Warmly,

Alyssa

 

Love Liberates

Have you ever judged your partner for something only to discover that same thing you judged in them, shows up in other relationships in your life?  We can get stuck trying to change our partner or move from one relationship to another, until we realize all the patterns we judge in another are in us.    Yes… even that one!

Everyone is a mirror showing us how we can love and embrace ourselves more fully. Once we see this, we can work with judgments more directly at the root, within ourselves.

As we all know, relationships can trigger old unconscious material within us, especially after the “honeymoon” of the relationship is over.  We tend to unconsciously attract partners that mirror to us the parent (caregiver) we had most challenges with growing up, in hopes that they will fulfill our unmet childhood needs.

If we are aware, we can consciously use these triggers as stepping-stones showing us the way back home to ourselves.

Anything we avoid, regret, judge or blame, in ourselves or others, will hold us back until it is fully welcomed and accepted inside of us.  When we can deeply and intimately meet whatever is present with openness, we create the space for healing and transformation to unfold.  What we open to, let’s go… effortlessly, on its own.

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My invitation is:

When something comes up that is painful, actually drop the mental story about what is happening and feel into where this upset lives in your body.

When the direct experience of the sensation is met and allowed to be, it illuminates and dissolves.  As these disowned parts of ourselves are compassionately met by the fullness of who we truly are, we feel more integrated, whole and at peace.  In this way we can more fully experience the love that is always present within us, around us, as us.

We no longer play out the same patterns in life and in our relationships. We will either stop attracting the same type of people or situations, or if we do, they simply won’t bother us. This is how we know it is complete within us.

If you notice you are still bothered, that’s ok, it’s not bad, it’s just feedback letting you know there is an opportunity for deeper allowing and acceptance.

As we love ourselves completely, we can’t help but fall in love with the entire world. This is the greatest embrace.

In loving,

Alyssa

Welcome Your Emotions… They Won’t Bite

This was an interview I did for Deepak Chopra’s You Tube show call “30 Days of Intent”:

In today’s episode on 30 DAYS OF INTENT, Natalie and Iman meet with Alyssa Nobriga, a relationship counselor and life coach. Alyssa has a Master’s degree in spiritual psychology, and she leads Natalie and Iman each through a counseling session. Iman confronts the pain surrounding his recent break-up. Natalie struggles with feelings of inadequacy and regret after leaving a career in professional soccer. We interviewed Alyssa on the relationship between spirituality and emotional health.

The Chopra Well: Hi, Alyssa! To kick things off, what does spirituality mean to you?

Alyssa Nobriga: To me spirituality is life, one in the same. It is about waking up from the ideas that have been created about life and experiencing it directly as it is in reality. Not a thought about reality, which would compartmentalize and separate life into categories, but the actual experience happening now without our interpretation of it.

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CW: How do you see the relationship between psychology and spirituality?

AN: I see psychology/therapy as a resource to support spiritual awakening. As you gain a larger vantage point of the conditioned mind, you are no longer caught in it and can more fully experience the fullness of who you are. This is the deepest level of healing because unless you gain awareness of the beliefs, behaviors and identifications that create psychological suffering, the ego will continue to replace the previous “problem” with a new one. In the investigation of who we have taken ourselves to be, this identification with the personality begins to fall away and a deeper seeing of our true nature is possible.

CW: If there is one thing you could advise everyone to do regarding their emotional health, what would it be?

AN: Learn how to welcome all emotions without identifying with them or buying into the stories the mind may create and attach to the feeling. We tend to label some things as good and others as bad and try to avoid the “bad” feelings. But what I have found is that these so called bad feelings actually aren’t what we think they are when they are experienced. What I have found is that when we try to avoid certain feelings they actually imprison us. Our energy will either be used up trying to repress or avoid feelings or it will be freed if we have the willingness to allow and meet whatever comes up directly in our body moment to moment.

CW: How do people react to this advice? Is there ever the fear that once we allow certain emotions in they’ll never go away?

AN: I find that sometimes clients want to stay talking about the feelings and this is a subtle form of avoiding it because it keeps the feelings at a distance, rather than feeling them. I mention this because some of these tendencies of avoiding can become so sneaky even to ourselves I offer it as something to watch for. As we accept ALL of what comes up, without judgment or identification, it naturally moves through and lets go. If we can really open up to experiencing the raw energy of say sadness or anxiety, it actually moves through quickly and usually reveals a gift within it. We have to be willing to fully surrender to the emotion, not indulge in it or avoid it but just simply allow it. The feelings will pass, everything does. My experience is that the reservoir of unexpressed past emotion dries out, it’s not endless.

Alyssa Nobriga offers individual and couples counseling and leads spiritual retreats in BALI.

CW: Natalie asks, “How do you love the parts of yourself that are the most misbehaving?” How would you answer that question?

AN: I would answer this question differently to different people, depending on what their intention is. If they were only interested in feeling good then I would ask them, who do you feel so incredibly loved and accepted by? I would have them bring forward this person in their awareness, get in touch with how they feel with this person and ask them how this person would see that part of them. As they connect with that person’s presence and unconditional love more fully in their body, I would invite them to allow it to touch that part of them that they have judged. Essentially to allow that love the other person evokes in them to wash over the part of them they judge; to be able to see it through the eyes of unconditional acceptance is healing. Whatever we judge we hold in place and it holds us back, whether we are judging someone else or ourselves, it’s the same. When we allow what has been judged or hurt to intimately be met with love and acceptance, it opens the space for deep healing to unfold.

If the person asking me is interested in discovering and living the truth of who they are, I would invite them into a deeper inquiry. I would invite them to find what in them is already loving, regardless of the mind judging or accepting their experience. I would guide them into recognizing this presence that is prior to the mind’s interpretations of who they think they are. In this way there is an opportunity to awaken from the one they have identified with as problematic or broken. In waking up to this game, actually being able to see from this larger perspective no longer identified with a limited self, you can realize that this love that is always here, is what you are. This field of awareness unconditionally welcomes everything – the hurt, the joy. It’s just the way life dances with itself.

CW: What is your intent in sharing your work with the Chopra Well? What do you hope it will bring the participants?

AN: My intention is to support people in discovering true lasting love, that which could never be separate from who they really are. In sharing with the Chopra Well my hope is that it will inspire people to learn how to use their relationships as vehicles to awaken consciously and come home to themselves.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and see where Natalie and Iman go next!

Would you like to work through some difficult emotions or memories? Try Alyssa’s advice, and let us know how it goes!

Alyssa is offering a FREE Couples Counseling Consultation to Intent readers!

Please email Connect@AlyssaNobriga.com to set up your appointment.
Offer valid for new clients in California only.

Meditation As A Way of Living

When you first start to meditate you will probably notice that the minds habit of focusing on thoughts, emotions, sensations, sounds and memories is endless! There are some meditations that try to control attention so you don’t get lost in the rabbit hole of the thinking world like breath-work, mantras, visualizations and so forth. You may like those and even find them helpful and I encourage you to follow what feels right for you. I have found that honoring what has felt right at different times in my life is always supportive.

The meditation I invite you to experience is a bit different from the ones mentioned above because it has no direction or goal. It is what I have discovered to be the most profound and purest way to meditate. It is not dependent on a certain state of consciousness, which is temporary and can create anxiety to get back to the high. This meditation I am speaking of is more of an opening, a relaxed receptive awareness that allows everything to be as it is. In this way there is no efforting in the future to get somewhere you aren’t already.

We are so conditioned in our society to continue “becoming” and even the search to be “better” is stressful and can keep us on a self-improvement hamster wheel if we are not conscious of it. This meditation is about stopping that search for more, whether that is happiness, peace, success, even enlightenment.

It is about recognizing what is here right now when all those tendencies are paused. It is a time to rest back in observation free from following all the thoughts, emotions and sensations. Notice the awareness that is always here, prior to these things that come and go. There is something that is allowing this moment, however it is, to be just as it is, free of judgment, completely neutral.
When awareness isn’t focused on the mind’s compulsive contractions, identifications and control patterns, it is freed up. In this meditation all of these habits are left to be as they are. There is no resisting of the thoughts that arise and there is also no indulging in them. Instead there is a resting as the awareness prior to all thoughts, emotions and sensations. Awareness naturally returns to its peaceful, silent condition and it opens more fully to experience the largest expression of your Being.

Even if you get taken away by a thought, that’s ok because that which noticed you being carried away with thought was not the mind. That was grace as an invitation to come back to the truth of what is actually happening here and now and rest as the awareness in which all things happen within.

If the mind is loud, it may be helpful to first put attention on awareness itself and notice how it experiences the moment. As you gently relax and abide as the larger all-encompassing presence of awareness; stillness is more naturally experienced as your true nature. This then becomes a way of living and not limited to the cushion.