Category: Articles

I’ve Been There, Honey

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An excerpt from Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart by Scott Stabile

Author and Facebook sensation Scott Stabile’s parents were murdered when he was fourteen. Nine years later, his brother died of a heroin overdose. Soon after that, Scott joined a cult that dominated his life for thirteen years. Through it all, he became evermore committed to living his life from love.

In each chapter of his new book Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart, Scott shares a personal experience that pulled him from his center and the ways in which he brought himself back to peace, and to love. While some of his experiences are extraordinary, like extricating himself from a cult after 13 years, most of the stories reflect on everyday challenges we can all relate to, like the weight of shame, the search for happiness, and the struggle to be authentic.

We hope you’ll enjoy this short excerpt from the book.

Empathy helps.

Consider situations in which it helped immensely to know that others could relate to what you were going through. After a brutal breakup, we don’t want someone who’s never had their heart broken telling us to get over it. We want to sob to a friend who knows the grief of a broken heart and the time it can take to move on. If you’re a parent being driven crazy by your toddler, you may not seek out your single friends to commiserate, not when you’ve got other struggling parent friends who really get what you’re going through. It’s comforting to be heard; it’s empowering to be understood.

Human beings don’t long just for connection; we long for empathetic connection.

When we can relate to someone going through a difficult time, when we can empathize with her struggle, we serve her by letting her know. I’ve spoken with thousands of people over the years about my parents’ murder, almost always to a reaction of shock, and then sympathy. I’ve cried into the arms of close friends who would’ve sold their souls to take away my pain. Their compassion and love touched me deeply, of course, and I’m grateful to have had so many loved ones with whom I could unravel. But something entirely different happens when I encounter others who lost their parents when they were young. Others who understand what it’s like to live most of their lives without a mom and dad, or who know the pain of losing a loved one to murder. Others who have been there. In our shared experience, we can offer each other the distinct — divine — comfort of empathy. This is how we help each other feel less alone in our individual struggles.

Empathy eliminates separation. It fosters connection. That’s the thing about being human — we are all each other. Even when we can’t relate to the exact same situation as another, we can still make an effort to empathize. We have probably lived some version of being there. Heartache is heartache, after all. Anger is anger. Grief is grief. We have all walked the path between joy and sorrow, stopping at every emotion along the way. Empathy asks us to be willing to share ourselves with each other, willing to be vulnerable and speak about our pain so that others feel the freedom to speak about theirs.

Empathy is a gift, to give and to receive.

One of the things I love most about my Facebook community is our willingness to empathize with each other’s experiences. When people post about depression, addiction, chronic pain, grief, anxiety, or whatever else, others respond with comments that make it clear to those who shared that they are not alone. They have been there, too. The point is not to hijack someone else’s experience, or to drone on about our own struggles, but to respond in a way that lets others know they’re not mutants for feeling the way they feel. Likely, many of us have experienced whatever they’re experiencing, or something very similar.

Scott Stabile is the author of Big Love. His inspirational posts and videos have attracted a huge and devoted social media following, including nearly 360K Facebook fans and counting. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, he lives in Michigan and conducts personal empowerment workshops around the world. Visit him online at www.scottstabile.com.

Click Here to see Scott Stabile's YouTube Interview with New World Library's Kim Corbin

Click Here to hear Scott Stabile's interview with New World Library's Kim Corbin

Excerpted from the book Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart. Copyright ©2017 by Scott Stabile. Printed with permission from New World Library.

"Life happens. Life in the flow."

We learn over time that nobody can solve our problems, but someone can guide you how to solve the problem. You may receive guidance through a teacher, a guru or even strangers that you run into every day. As we practice yoga we learn that the more we know, the less we truly know. Every day I am reminded how much I truly do not know; a very humbling experience.
Yoga teaches me to be present. To just live for being and enjoying life as it is right NOW. Not ten minutes from now, no five days ago, but right now. We are taught to get out of our heads, to release worries and fears of the past or the future and to only live for this very moment. Presence.

"Lead me from untruth to truth, lead me from darkness to light." ~ Buddha

Through yoga we are reminded that we do have a dark side as well as a light side. We are not to repress the dark side, but embrace that side of our Self. We are the yin and the yang. We ultimately cleanse the dark stuff we hold inside. We shine the light on this. We must make friends with dark side. Both positive and negative balance out the whole. Daily practice refines and improves our inner vision to see our Self more clearly. We no longer need to run from fears. Face them and say I'm not running from you anymore. So much is in our heads, so much dark is only in our heads, self-doubt judgment betrayal. Yoga grounds the body so that the light and dark sides of ourselves become clear. So much is truly untrue. But as we diligently practice we are able to find the middle ground and walk our centered balanced line in life. We gain balance in centered lightheartedness. We can have harmony in both light and dark.

"Yoga tells us that the world is actually a projection of our own thoughts and we can modify our inner world to manifest into our outer world. When our inside realm is at peace and in harmony, our outer world shines this projection back at us."
~ David, Jiva Mukti Yoga co-founder

Yoga is observation.

We can observe our world and see what part that is in us is begin reflected back to us. We can then see what part of us needs modification or adjustment in order to have our outer reality reflect back to us the peace, happiness and love we so greatly desire and deserve.

Yoga is already inside of you. Happiness is there. Yoga helps you peel away the onion layers to get to the core. To freedom. The deepest Divine connection to the Ultimate Light Source.

Come out of wanting and back into acceptance and Joy. A yogi or yogini can turn any situation into bliss. That is a yogi. Yoga is being now. Ultimate yoga is meditation. Just BE.

Yoga is love.

"Love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls." 
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Through a dedicated practice of all forms of yoga we can participate in the world with a sense of freedom, unaffected from trauma, depression, anger, etc. The freedom is balance in both.


Maggie Anderson is a Yoga & Spiritual Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy® Master Instructor, Soul Coach®, Past Life Coach, Magnified Healing® Master Teacher and Angelights Messenger. She is the author of How I Found My True Inner Peace and Divine Embrace. You can contact Maggie at SpiritualCompassConnection.com.

"Follow Your Bliss. It's Your Spiritual Compass."

On Fear and Courage

3030

An excerpt from Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart by Scott Stabile

Author and Facebook sensation Scott Stabile’s parents were murdered when he was fourteen. Nine years later, his brother died of a heroin overdose. Soon after that, Scott joined a cult that dominated his life for thirteen years. Through it all, he became evermore committed to living his life from love.

In each chapter of his new book Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart, Scott shares a personal experience that pulled him from his center and the ways in which he brought himself back to peace, and to love. While some of his experiences are extraordinary, like extricating himself from a cult after 13 years, most of the stories reflect on everyday challenges we can all relate to, like the weight of shame, the search for happiness, and the struggle to be authentic.

We hope you’ll enjoy this short excerpt from the book.

If you’re anything like me, you haven’t gotten along too well with your fear up to now. You two may spend a lot of time together, but I doubt you’re very friendly. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can create a different, gentler relationship with our fear, and by doing so we create a more fulfilling relationship with ourselves.

I’ve hated my fear for all the limitations it’s placed on my life. I’ve resented it for influencing my choices and pushing me to make cowardly decisions that have steered me away from rather than toward exciting possibilities and more meaningful realities. I’ve judged my fear a bully, a tyrant, the single greatest obstacle to my happiness. I had never considered that my fear cared about me or that it had always been, in fact, just trying to protect me, the only way it knew how. Don’t get me wrong. I still consider my fear a serious pain in the ass, but it no longer scares me the way it used to.

My fear is just a dummy most of the time. So is yours. It doesn’t mean to be, but it doesn’t know any better. Fear takes its job — to protect us — incredibly seriously, but it has no emotional intelligence with which to work. My fear wants to protect me from a difficult conversation with the same fervor it uses to keep me from sprinting into traffic. Fear can’t tell if it’s a mountain lion or a cute barista that has you all worked up. It deems anything uncomfortable as unsafe and, therefore, something to avoid. Rattlesnakes, job changes, new hairstyles — they’re all the same to fear: scary. So our fear ignites terror in our minds — a hellfire of what-ifs — to keep us safely in our comfort zones. More accurately, in its comfort zone. It’s not so much an enemy as an overprotective parent. And like any overprotective parent, fear has no intention of giving us our space.

I finally accepted that my fear had no plans to go away. That I would not, someday, suddenly become fearless. So many times, I’d stopped myself from taking action because I felt afraid — of rejection, of change, of failure, of the unknown. I didn’t ask the charming guy for his number, or didn’t get out of the unhealthy relationship soon enough, or didn’t submit my short story to the competition, or didn’t quit my miserable job. I let my fear prevent me from making positive choices, often telling myself I would make them when I felt less afraid — when I had become fearless about the decision. But I never became fearless; I rarely even became less afraid. So I stayed paralyzed in situations that didn’t serve my happiness, or I bypassed opportunities that likely would have benefited my life.

Can you relate? Have you ever held out on making a necessary change until you felt less scared to make it and ended up not making the change at all? Change will always be scary. Fearlessness will always be a myth. We can be afraid and still make courageous choices. Courage doesn’t even exist without an element of fear. It’s action with fear that makes a choice brave.

Scott Stabile is the author of Big Love. His inspirational posts and videos have attracted a huge and devoted social media following, including nearly 360K Facebook fans and counting. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, he lives in Michigan and conducts personal empowerment workshops around the world. Visit him online at www.scottstabile.com.

Click Here to see Scott Stabile's YouTube Interview with New World Library's Kim Corbin

Click Here to hear Scott Stabile's interview with New World Library's Kim Corbin

Excerpted from the book Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart. Copyright ©2017 by Scott Stabile. Printed with permission from New World Library.

"Life happens. Life in the flow."

We learn over time that nobody can solve our problems, but someone can guide you how to solve the problem. You may receive guidance through a teacher, a guru or even strangers that you run into every day. As we practice yoga we learn that the more we know, the less we truly know. Every day I am reminded how much I truly do not know; a very humbling experience.
Yoga teaches me to be present. To just live for being and enjoying life as it is right NOW. Not ten minutes from now, no five days ago, but right now. We are taught to get out of our heads, to release worries and fears of the past or the future and to only live for this very moment. Presence.

"Lead me from untruth to truth, lead me from darkness to light." ~ Buddha

Through yoga we are reminded that we do have a dark side as well as a light side. We are not to repress the dark side, but embrace that side of our Self. We are the yin and the yang. We ultimately cleanse the dark stuff we hold inside. We shine the light on this. We must make friends with dark side. Both positive and negative balance out the whole. Daily practice refines and improves our inner vision to see our Self more clearly. We no longer need to run from fears. Face them and say I'm not running from you anymore. So much is in our heads, so much dark is only in our heads, self-doubt judgment betrayal. Yoga grounds the body so that the light and dark sides of ourselves become clear. So much is truly untrue. But as we diligently practice we are able to find the middle ground and walk our centered balanced line in life. We gain balance in centered lightheartedness. We can have harmony in both light and dark.

"Yoga tells us that the world is actually a projection of our own thoughts and we can modify our inner world to manifest into our outer world. When our inside realm is at peace and in harmony, our outer world shines this projection back at us."
~ David, Jiva Mukti Yoga co-founder

Yoga is observation.

We can observe our world and see what part that is in us is begin reflected back to us. We can then see what part of us needs modification or adjustment in order to have our outer reality reflect back to us the peace, happiness and love we so greatly desire and deserve.

Yoga is already inside of you. Happiness is there. Yoga helps you peel away the onion layers to get to the core. To freedom. The deepest Divine connection to the Ultimate Light Source.

Come out of wanting and back into acceptance and Joy. A yogi or yogini can turn any situation into bliss. That is a yogi. Yoga is being now. Ultimate yoga is meditation. Just BE.

Yoga is love.

"Love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls." 
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Through a dedicated practice of all forms of yoga we can participate in the world with a sense of freedom, unaffected from trauma, depression, anger, etc. The freedom is balance in both.


Maggie Anderson is a Yoga & Spiritual Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy® Master Instructor, Soul Coach®, Past Life Coach, Magnified Healing® Master Teacher and Angelights Messenger. She is the author of How I Found My True Inner Peace and Divine Embrace. You can contact Maggie at SpiritualCompassConnection.com.

"Follow Your Bliss. It's Your Spiritual Compass."

On Being Kind

3030

An excerpt from Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart by Scott Stabile

Author and Facebook sensation Scott Stabile’s parents were murdered when he was fourteen. Nine years later, his brother died of a heroin overdose. Soon after that, Scott joined a cult that dominated his life for thirteen years. Through it all, he became evermore committed to living his life from love.

In each chapter of his new book Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart, Scott shares a personal experience that pulled him from his center and the ways in which he brought himself back to peace, and to love. While some of his experiences are extraordinary, like extricating himself from a cult after 13 years, most of the stories reflect on everyday challenges we can all relate to, like the weight of shame, the search for happiness, and the struggle to be authentic.

We hope you’ll enjoy this short excerpt from the book.

I woke up in a pissy mood recently, committed to gloom before I had even rolled out of bed. Still grumpy that afternoon, I went to the supermarket, only to be greeted by the sweetest checkout clerk ever. I couldn’t resist her happy eyes and huge smile. We had a quick conversation in Spanish, much of which I didn’t understand, and it didn’t even matter. Her sweetness and enthusiasm completely shifted me out of my pissy mood. I carried her joy with me the rest of the day. Everyone I encountered later that day benefited from her kindness.

It’s too easy to feel lost and powerless, like we can’t make any real difference in this messed-up world. I’ve often become paralyzed by the amount of violence and oppression that exists worldwide, paralyzed by my seeming inability to do anything about it. But we are not powerless to effect positive change. Indeed, we are powerful beyond measure, each one of us, in our ability to treat each other with kindness. If you want to change lives, then be kind and patient with strangers, be open and generous with your friends and family, and talk to your neighbors — and listen to them, too. Don’t underestimate the extraordinary effect you have every single time you show up to a situation with an open, loving heart. The checkout clerk shifted me out of my funk with her kindness. When my partner, G, got home that night, I greeted him with a smile instead of the scowl he might have gotten because of my foul mood. Our kindness transcends the moment of delivery. It affects more than we can ever know.

That’s how kindness rolls.

Kindness acts as a magnet, by the way, for more of the same in return. When I walk out into the world with an open heart and a smile on my face, I invite smiles and warmth. That doesn’t mean everyone showers me with their love, but more do than when I go out closed down and bitchy. If you don’t believe in the law of attraction, start paying attention to your attitude and to what you attract in different moments. I find there’s almost always a direct correlation. When I’m loving, I attract more love. That’s a good reason to be loving.

Love doesn’t just call on us to be kind in obvious situations, either. Sure, it’s wonderful to hold open the door for a person carrying groceries, but can you open your heart to your partner when he’s pissing you off? It takes no effort to share a loving comment when your friend posts a picture of her baby on Facebook, but can you resist attacking someone online who posts something you disagree with? Can you instead share your point of view without judgment and venom? I thought myself a kindness king until I had an issue with my cable service recently and had to talk to four different service reps to deal with it. I lost my shit on rep number 2, and things only went downhill from there. I became a self-righteous, angry, impatient asshole. One phone call sent me over the edge.

I want to become so rooted in my kindness that it’s not dependent on the words or actions of others. No matter how they choose to be, I can choose to be kind. That’s power. That’s love. That’s change making. I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it. Wanna join me?

Let’s start with ourselves.

When we think of kindness, it’s natural, and important, to consider how we can be kinder to others. But what about ourselves? Surely we’re entitled to our own kindness. We benefit most from the love we have to share. With that in mind, how do you treat yourself? Do you offer yourself the same smile you would a loved one? Are you lifting yourself up or tearing yourself down? We have to look at how we talk to ourselves and focus on a kinder inner dialogue. We don’t live in a world where everyone is sweet to one another. We’re likely to face a good share of assholes out there. At the very least, let’s not be assholes to ourselves.

Scott Stabile is the author of Big Love. His inspirational posts and videos have attracted a huge and devoted social media following, including nearly 360K Facebook fans and counting. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, he lives in Michigan and conducts personal empowerment workshops around the world. Visit him online at www.scottstabile.com.

Click Here to see Scott Stabile's YouTube Interview with New World Library's Kim Corbin

Click Here to hear Scott Stabile's interview with New World Library's Kim Corbin

Excerpted from the book Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart. Copyright ©2017 by Scott Stabile. Printed with permission from New World Library.

"Life happens. Life in the flow."

We learn over time that nobody can solve our problems, but someone can guide you how to solve the problem. You may receive guidance through a teacher, a guru or even strangers that you run into every day. As we practice yoga we learn that the more we know, the less we truly know. Every day I am reminded how much I truly do not know; a very humbling experience.
Yoga teaches me to be present. To just live for being and enjoying life as it is right NOW. Not ten minutes from now, no five days ago, but right now. We are taught to get out of our heads, to release worries and fears of the past or the future and to only live for this very moment. Presence.

"Lead me from untruth to truth, lead me from darkness to light." ~ Buddha

Through yoga we are reminded that we do have a dark side as well as a light side. We are not to repress the dark side, but embrace that side of our Self. We are the yin and the yang. We ultimately cleanse the dark stuff we hold inside. We shine the light on this. We must make friends with dark side. Both positive and negative balance out the whole. Daily practice refines and improves our inner vision to see our Self more clearly. We no longer need to run from fears. Face them and say I'm not running from you anymore. So much is in our heads, so much dark is only in our heads, self-doubt judgment betrayal. Yoga grounds the body so that the light and dark sides of ourselves become clear. So much is truly untrue. But as we diligently practice we are able to find the middle ground and walk our centered balanced line in life. We gain balance in centered lightheartedness. We can have harmony in both light and dark.

"Yoga tells us that the world is actually a projection of our own thoughts and we can modify our inner world to manifest into our outer world. When our inside realm is at peace and in harmony, our outer world shines this projection back at us."
~ David, Jiva Mukti Yoga co-founder

Yoga is observation.

We can observe our world and see what part that is in us is begin reflected back to us. We can then see what part of us needs modification or adjustment in order to have our outer reality reflect back to us the peace, happiness and love we so greatly desire and deserve.

Yoga is already inside of you. Happiness is there. Yoga helps you peel away the onion layers to get to the core. To freedom. The deepest Divine connection to the Ultimate Light Source.

Come out of wanting and back into acceptance and Joy. A yogi or yogini can turn any situation into bliss. That is a yogi. Yoga is being now. Ultimate yoga is meditation. Just BE.

Yoga is love.

"Love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls." 
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Through a dedicated practice of all forms of yoga we can participate in the world with a sense of freedom, unaffected from trauma, depression, anger, etc. The freedom is balance in both.


Maggie Anderson is a Yoga & Spiritual Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy® Master Instructor, Soul Coach®, Past Life Coach, Magnified Healing® Master Teacher and Angelights Messenger. She is the author of How I Found My True Inner Peace and Divine Embrace. You can contact Maggie at SpiritualCompassConnection.com.

"Follow Your Bliss. It's Your Spiritual Compass."