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From Good to Amazing

By: Temple Hayes

Raised in South Carolina and born to question everything, including her sexual identity, Temple Hayes turned to spirit to pull her from the car wrecks of abuse and alcohol addiction. Today, as a new thought global leader, she’s showing others how to be exactly who they are and live the life their hearts desire. 
 

Growing Balance

Apr 03, 2017
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Jamey Kowalski says yoga saved his life. He looks back gratefully at the five years since he's been free from his alcohol addiction. In the early days of recovery, a powerful connection was uncovered between this ancient healing art and what he was learning in 12-step meetings: acceptance of what is, self-challenge without self-bullying, moving away from judgments/expectations, and dwelling in life one day at a time.
 
The practice of yoga nourished his physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. His discovery and exploration of this balance led him to become a yoga teacher alongside established expertise in the areas of nutrition and clinical herbal medicine. Kowalski now brings together his life experience using these healing tools with the power and reach of online education to help others grow their own life balance as the key to success in addiction recovery.
 
Kowalski's monthly, donation-based Yoga for Addiction Recovery class includes a range of gentle and restorative postures, focused breathing and guided meditation with singing bowls. No yoga experience or flexibility is necessary! The class is held at Yoga4All in Seminole, Florida.
 
Listen to my conversation with Kowalski on my radio show, The Intentional Spirit ... Seeing and Being with Rev. Temple Hayes. 

The Courage to Change Me

Mar 06, 2017
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In my early days of sobriety, I did not want to just be a person who could survive this life and not drink; I wanted to dare myself into the belief that one day I would be a role model of healthy sobriety. I quit drinking, which was a relief, yet as I look back, I realize that this was the easiest part of sobriety. Many people stop drinking yet never spend the time necessary to change the inward ideas that they were trying to drown in the first place.
 
I had to discover all the emotions I had drowned with alcohol and go through an entire rebirthing process. The alcoholic needed to die so the sober woman could live. The same is true with other experiences when we are healing the energy we have given to the influencers. There must be a spiritual awakening — a name-it-and-claim-it attitude. In other words, behind every apology or awareness of how we have allowed ourselves to be weak, weary and influenced, we must see the deeper truth: I allowed it.
 
Forgiveness is not complicated. What is complicated is the unwillingness to accept responsibility for our actions and choices and the desire to avoid forgiving ourselves. Once we forgive ourselves for being less than dynamic, magnificent, miracle workers; once we forgive ourselves for settling for less than what the covenant from our Creator states our lives will be; and once we forgive ourselves truly inside and out, we will no longer attract the same actions with others, so we can practice forgiveness with them.
 
I allowed this. I forgive myself, for I allowed these moments, things and experiences to occur. I allowed the same types of influencers to support my smallness rather than my energetic bigness. Until I name it, I cannot truly claim the healing, the rebirthing or the joy of being the real me.
 
Some of you who are reading this are no doubt already starting to argue your position. That’s wonderful. It indicates that you are getting to a new place. Be gentle with yourself. You may protest, “I did not allow my parents to treat me so cruelly growing up!” Perhaps not, but you have allowed the repetitive story to play over and over in your life as an adult. You have allowed people in other relationships to treat you in similar ways. The brilliance of our Creator who lies within us is that until we go deep inside ourselves and really process these truths, we will not benefit from the greatest mystery of co-creating our world. We cannot get the blessings of being a co-creator until we truly own the co-creation of our painful lessons and sorrows. We cannot say we co-create with Spirit, God or the Creator while we are blaming God every time we have a bad day.
 
If you get a divorce, it is important to be willing to dare to get to a place where you can appreciate the gifts of the marriage rather than thinking only about the draining energy and trials of it. The ultimate goal, for the real you to come through, is to get to a complete space of celebration and appreciation while knowing that the energy of “I allowed” must be firmly in place as you’re getting there. We do not want to keep repeating the same patterns, but until we name each pattern and claim it, we will bring new people, careers and experiences into our lives that just produce the same results.
 
The same idea holds true for moving away from your family. Until you change the energy within yourself and connect to the roles you have played in the family system, you will see that a geographical change heals very little.
 
Let’s look at the word "family." As we move through life, we discover that familiar is a very powerful word. We tend to be drawn to new experiences, yet they feel familiar to us. Such an experience is initially welcome. We will say things like: “I feel comfortable with him. There’s something about him that I really resonate with, like a piece of my old favorite luggage.” The root of familiar is familiaris, the Latin word for family or household. Yet our eyes also need to see the ending of this word, “-liar,” which has its own specific English meaning in the Temple Hayes dictionary of life. When we repeat the same patterns over and over again with new people, we have made a liar out of ourselves in affirming we were seeking different. We have given up our seat.
 
A few years ago, I started realizing that I was repeating some of the same patterns with people. The people were different initially, but the result was always the same. I started writing in my journal, using the word familiar and being very honest with myself about the person and situation I was experiencing. There were two common themes in each situation: 
  1. I was there.
  2. I allowed it.
This variation of the Serenity Prayer can help us through such a situation:
 
God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change,
the courage to change the one I can
and the wisdom to know that one is me.
 
 

Believe in the Heart

Feb 06, 2017

If you believe within your heart, you'll know. What have you believed that your heart knows is untrue? 

Live 2017 Alive, Alert & Enthusiastic

Jan 02, 2017
hamlet-62850_640To be or not to be — it really is the question. Like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in his famous soliloquy from Act III, Scene I, we are all choosing between living and dying every day. We are too often choosing to endure sadness and suffering or pretending to be someone else. 
 
We often stuff ourselves with positive statements that affirm who we are not and then wonder why changing our thoughts is not really changing our life. We’ve been told to “act as if” and hope it will happen. When we feel something is missing, we poke holes in our souls, and we try to fill these holes with food, prescription drugs or any beauty item marketed to make us feel more desired. This is not natural. We are created to be infinite, to be whole and to lack nothing. The truth is, if we pay attention to who we are and celebrate that, we don’t have to live inside a preconceived notion of happiness. We can move from the hole to the whole.  
We can be ourselves — alive, alert and enthusiastic about life.
 

Step One: Teach Your Inner Child to Embrace Who You Are

About 10 years ago, I wrote a little book for children called The Right to Be You. I wrote it because I grew up being afraid to be me. That’s when I discovered alcohol. I could secretly be who I wanted without having to feel the consequences of my thinking. Too often we say, “Children are our future.” Instead, we need to realize that now is the time to teach our children that it doesn’t matter if they are black or white or gay or straight. Whoever they are is perfect. We need to teach them it is OK to be themselves. It’s OK to believe what you believe and be happy about it.
 
We need to teach ourselves, too. We neither get better or worse as we get older — but more like ourselves. We have tried being like so many other people, places and things only to arrive at a place that says: I gotta be me. 
 
Look in the mirror, directly into your eyes and ask yourself who am I?  What do I think is missing from my life? Listen to what comes up. Write it down.  Then, ask yourself in what ways do you love, value and respect yourself?   Notice how alive you feel.  Hug yourself. Write it down.
 

Step Two: Pay Attention to What You Tell Yourself

If you have a regular meditation practice, you already understand how to sit in the seat of witness consciousness. You are probably watching your thoughts and learning to tune them out.   In this exercise, I want you to tune into those conversations with yourself so you can begin to permanently delete negative messages. Anytime you hear a thought that doesn’t embrace who you really are and what you love, value and respect about yourself, Stop! on that thought.  Highlight it in your mind and consciously delete it.  Say to yourself and mean it: I no longer believe that.  I am worthy.
 
Some thoughts and beliefs may come back up and if they do, repeat Step Two. Don’t tell yourself it’s not working or engage in a conversation with all that negative self talk.  This is a process and a practice.  The process is like baking a cake. Sometimes the mind like the kitchen gets messy.  As you clean it up, it’s worth it because the cake turns out fine. Soon, it becomes a practice and you don’t even notice the mess in the kitchen. Cleaning is automatic.  It’s important to practice. It’s  how you become alert to yourself and present for your life. 
 

Step Three:  Affirm with Intention and Enthusiasm

Energy is the key to changing your thoughts and your life.  Step One taught you who you really are and what makes you feel alive. Step Two released all the negative thought patterns, taught you to open your mind and live in the present moment.  Now it’s time to open your heart and create positive affirmations that inspire you to live your best life.
 
This is an energetic change. You have to make the shift from thoughts that drain you to thoughts that inspire you.  When you love and give your energy to something you are not depleted; you are blessed.  Make a list of the things in life you enjoy doing the most.  Look in the mirror and ask yourself, “how can I create MORE of this?”  Write it down. You will feel joy the moment you write the right one down.  When you do, say it aloud to yourself and experience the joy of knowing who you are. 
 
Once we know who we are, we understand the answer to Shakespeare’s question is, "To be." We easily move from thinking and doing to feeling and being. We understand and accept ourselves and our beliefs. This is the key to inner peace. And this key unlocks the door to world peace. 
 

From Face Value to Faith Value

Dec 05, 2016

What are you dreaming of that requires you to have faith? Here is a mantra that will bring you to a place of knowing the truth even though we're not able to see it.

Gratitude Past & Present

Nov 07, 2016
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I like to compare the experience of life and its many paths to traveling in an automobile. There is a reason that the rearview mirror is so small compared to the windshield, which we look through to move forward. There is some great wisdom in the fact that our past should be smaller than our present and our future. I always seemed to recognize this, and this knowledge supported me in becoming a great athlete, for I could forget about the bad play or the wrong move. I could also let go of a grudge in a relationship, for it was easy to understand not to carry it over into a new day. I seemed to know that the new day involved looking forward through the large windshield rather than staring in the rearview mirror at where I had already traveled.
  • Can you let your rearview mirror reflect the past as a smaller path and embrace the grand vision of the windshield of your future journey?
  • Can you see that you made some choices that kept you from being the real you, such as drinking? Or smoking or taking drugs? Or settling? Or playing small? Or blaming rather than claiming? Or becoming your parents rather than finding them in your becoming? 
  • Can you see the influencers who continue to be of the past rather than experiencing yourself as the main influencer of the present and the future?
  • Can you see, through your windshield, you taking care of yourself, accepting responsibility for yourself and bringing the new you into the current moment?
  • Can you let your rearview mirror reflect that you failed at your former marriage but have learned what not to do next time? 
  • Can you see, through your windshield, the real you meeting another real person who wants to dance and laugh with you all the days of your life?
If we continue to see ourselves in our past, we will continue to repeat our past in our current and future lives.
 
My love of life has become a true passion for me. Who knew that someone who almost killed herself from so many automobile accidents while under the influence, who went to jail twice, would end up being a life activist who reminds people every day, “Be the real you, and don’t take your life for granted”? Miracles are truly possible. I am a living miracle, and so are you. Bring on the miracles and the magic.
 
I believe that we are born with this amazing energy by the very nature of our being, and when we die, we are supposed to have as much energy as, if not more than, we were born with. This belief, unfortunately, is not supported by most people. The influencers try to teach us what to think rather than how to think for ourselves. They teach us that every event in our lives must take more and more of ourselves away. We are taught that by the time we are a certain age, we will be very old and will have less energy and vitality. We are taught by some of our communities that we will die around the same age as our parents or other family members. We are taught in some environments that by the time we are 40 or 50 we will be tired and old and that it is too late to dream, create or thrive. You can see on every television channel at any given time promotions for what you need to do to avoid a heart attack, the medication you need to take to be energized or less depressed, and how to replace hair or take it away. It is one thing to be proactive and make wonderful choices in our lives that will support our youthful energy and vitality; it is another when we are coming from the energy of “giving up our seat” of being the real us.
 
It is not proactive to take precautions to avoid something. There is a co-creative law of life that is always working, even for the people who say it is not working; it works for them by not working. When you come from an energy of “I have to do this to avoid that,” you usually bring the “that” to you. Heal the sensation of the “that,” and your belief will support the truths of your discovery.
 
Nor is it proactive to stop daring to raise the bar to be more than we have ever been before — to accept the ordinary as our ideal.
 
Anytime we take action based on a choice of avoiding or not wanting something to happen, we are bringing the lower vibration of what we do not want to happen into our creativity. We are a culture that avoids the idea of death so much that we do not understand that because of this avoidance of dying, many of us never live. Dying is natural; not living is not.
 

DNA: Our Two Choices

Oct 03, 2016

There are two choices that one can make about their DNA. What choice are you making?

Happy Birthday, Real Me

Sep 05, 2016

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My sobriety date, my real birthday, is Sept. 23, 1987 — 29 years! 

Every year, it amazes me, and I remain in awe of my life. Me, the one who could have easily died a physical death because of all the automobile accidents I had or the many times I drank enough alcohol to kill myself.
 
Each year when another birthday rolls around, I celebrate this journey on many levels. First, I survived long enough to tell these stories. Second, I actually lived long enough to discover aspects, gifts and qualities about myself that are beyond my past imaginings.
 
Instead of singing, “Happy birthday to me,” I have changed the words to, “Happy birthday, real me."
 
Happy birthday, real me
Happy birthday, real me
Happy birthday, real Temple
Happy birthday, real me
 
It’s a powerful moment and reflective of so many miracles that have happened and continue to happen in my life. I tell people that I am no different in character and in being than I was when I was a child; I have simply died a lot and been reborn a lot so that I could give myself permission to be the real me.
 
The real you is not a place you arrive at, a new credential or a new career. Being the real you means to know inside yourself that there is no holding back, that in every situation of your life you can feel fully expressed. Many people are walking around with unconscious straitjackets on that prevent them from being truly free. The civil rights movement took off not simply because Rosa Parks was tired of being abused and became brave. She changed the movement because in the way she responded, it was as if she was declaring, “This is my seat, and I am not moving!” Often, the real you and the real me are too quick to give up our seats. We are too quick to back down from what we really believe in. The world changed the day Parks declared she would not give up her seat.
 
How would the world change if you said, “My seat in life is to express how animals are wrongly treated” or “My seat in life is to show people how to be thriving and energetic” or “My seat in life is to show people how to have a successful marriage” or “My seat in life is to show people how to be healthy and happy”? Celebrating the tremendous freedom of the real you means being able to dance and feel and sing while claiming your “seat” in life and being unwilling to give it up.
 
I remember how surprised I was at my 50th birthday party to see more than 200 people singing “Happy Birthday” to me. It was such an overwhelming feeling. There was a huge photo of me as a baby about 9 months old, and there was also a photo of me in my 40s —what I had become. As I stood there, breathing in all of the energy from people from all walks of life, I was able to feel how much of the old me had died so that the real me was starting to come through. So many doubts and fears and so much distrust of allowing people to get close to me had to die so I could let people into my heart. A heart once guarded was now open to receive and let people in. It was truly a rebirthing experience.
 
Rebirthing is a strong part of our life experiences that most people have yet to make a connection with. We die often in this lifetime, and we are born again in this lifetime. Just as ocean waves move toward us and away from us with their ebb and flow, so it is with us in our human suits. We have areas in our lives that have died that we need to wake up, and we have areas in our lives that we need to truly bury and put behind us. To be thriving trees, we must honor the value of pruning ourselves from time to time.
 
The deepest realization of our covenant with our Creator is allowing the new layering of who we are to continue to emerge.
 
What is currently in your life that you need to prune? Is it time to let go of some relationships that are not changing and growing with you? Is it time to let go of another layer of self-criticism or of being too analytical? Perhaps it is time to prune spending too much time watching television or overindulging in negativity.
 
“Happy birthday, real you” gets you into the mindset of the values and promises you continue to make to yourself and others every year of this amazing journey we call life.
 
 

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