Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas

Maybe it’s the quiet of the morning with the soft Christmas music lilting from the stereo, or the glow of the white lights on the fur tree in the corner of the room. Maybe it’s knowing all that’s left to do is wrap a few more gifts… or, maybe it’s waking up this morning of Christmas Eve and feeling the fullness of the coming day and all it’s meaning - the birth of new hope and promise for a brighter future, a coming together of human-kind. It’s a time to drop the anger, resentment, jealousy or any other negativity that can take up so much space in our being and relax into the warmth and love that resides in everyone of us; a time of coming together to pay homage to our oneness and the common thread that connects us all. Let us allow this time to open our hearts to the beauty that comes with being human and for the gift of this extraordinary Earth on which we live.

A time for thanks, a time for reflection (Mom, Eddie, Kathy, Diane, Tom, Merrill, Zoe, Rocky, Lee, Johnny, Michael…) and a time for loving…

Many Blessings and Peace to you all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On Peace

Choose kindness… and suddenly you are diverting another conflict.

Yesterday, Annapolis set the stage for a day of peace talks. Country leaders came together to “try” to find some sort of resolution for their conflict. It is a big step down a very long road of centuries of differences. There is no overnight solution, but it IS a step in an optimistic direction.

And what are WE doing, this very moment, to promote peace? I am not even talking about global peace, but about keeping peace in our lives. Are we keeping peaceful thoughts or are we wishing our sandwich were a gun so we can shoot the server who took so long bringing it to our table? Of course, we have all experienced rage and anger, but how can we consciously, from a grassroots level, facilitate a peaceful world if we are enmeshed in violent video games and movies or tuned-in to robotic talking heads reporting on daily violent events from our own backyard to the other side of the world? Conflict is prevalent. It is humanity’s shadow-side manifest. And world peace is a beautiful concept, but it starts at home. It is true: as long as we inhabit this earth, there will always be a penchant for the “dark side”. Are we strong enough to honor this by allowing it to show us the way toward our own lightness of being? Or do we allow ourselves to get swept away in the flow of it’s current? I don’t know, and time will certainly tell, but I do believe we have a choice. So, in the meantime, try asking yourself “Would I rather be right… or kind?” It’s a small step, but it’s a step in an optimistic direction.

Sat Nam and Peace.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hang Your Hat

Fly… and suddenly you realize the whole world is at your doorstep.

Home. They say it’s where the heart is, where you hang your hat… but John Cage sums it up neatly: “We carry our homes within us which enables us to fly.”

When I think about Thanksgiving, I immediately associate it with “home”, a warm hearth with family all around. There is a gratifying sense of abundance and satiation. I know this sounds idealistic and it probably is, because along with this sense of cozy satisfaction can come the stresses of the day; planning, cleaning, cooking, more cleaning and striving for family peace while buttons are being pushed all around.

Some of us travel for this holiday, visiting family, or vacationing. Some are doing business in a far-away land, some of us are fighting a war, or merely displaced due to circumstances beyond our control.

No matter what Thanksgiving holds for us or where we spend it, may we stay close to our hearts, our truth, our divine light and give thanks in knowing that we are really and truly home wherever we may be.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Search Engine With Heart

** Make charitable contributions by using goodsearch.com.**

GoodSearch.com is a new search engine that donates half its revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. You use it just as you would any search engine, it's powered by Yahoo!.

Just go to www.goodsearch.com and enter the charity of your choice. Just 500 of us searching four times a day will raise about $7300 in a year without anyone spending a dime!!!

Peace.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

** NEWS FLASH **

** LADY GURU GOES WEST!! **

LULULEMON ATHLETICA, an international yoga apparel store, has just approved the purchase order for 70 boxes of Lady Guru Encouragement Cards!!! Each box is included in a specially prepared gift basket that will be provided to customers upon opening day of the new Lululemon location in at the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas, Nevada!! The managers at the new store loved the cards so much, it looks like they might be ordering more to use as corporate gifts, as well!

Godspeed, Lady Guru - you GO girl!!

http://www.lululemon.com/lasvegas/fashionshowmall

What You See, Is What… well, What YOU See

Step back… and suddenly you are stepping in.

There is a saying, “We don’t see others as THEY are, we see them as WE are.” We can only see each other through our own eyes, since, of course, these are the only eyes we have. But, behind these eyes are our own histories, shaped by beliefs cultivated through familial and cultural ideals. We only know what we, ourselves, have experienced, and so our perspective is skewed through the filters of our own comprehension.

How could we possibly know the true story of another? How could we possibly think we are correct when deciding if another person is happy, miserable, stupid, uncomfortable, in a bad relationship, in a good relationship… and, these are just a scant few, the list goes on. The plethora of judgments we can make in any given day’s time would be far too vast to list. Carl Jung said: “ Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakens.” It’s not to say the world doesn’t need it’s dreamers, on the contrary, but we need to check what we are dreaming about! If we can be present enough when a judgment arises - as it bubbles up from the deepest place inside ourselves – we can understand that it is ours alone. We created it, we own it and it really has nothing to do with the person to which it is directed.

If we can learn to witness the world with an open heart, rather than judge it with merely open eyes, then perhaps we can learn to focus on what is true; that we are all inherently the same, doing the best we can – and that it is not up to us to judge what that is.

Peace.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

On Time

Live now… and suddenly you are experiencing every moment.

The last date in October has been marked off. It is November 1, and another calendar page is turned, another month begins, another demarcation in the passage of time - time, this idea of linear movement that brings us from one point to another in history.

My daily work is driven by deadlines, (external AND self-imposed) like most of us. I am always staggered when I think of how much of my life goes by without having even been in it – always working to get somewhere, create something, finish something, plan something, remember something… just so I can move on to the NEXT something. I am writing…now…I am thinking of my next word, I am typing, I am watching these words take form from my thoughts…all so I can finish and post. But, I see I am also taking a moment to stretch, pet the cat, look up a word, grab another cup of coffee, glance out the window to see who’s rushing down the walk to work. Wow! There’s so much going on! I notice the light change in the room as the sun rises, the quietness of the morning wearing off as the traffic builds.

But, I digress…

At “times” this concept of “time” feels like a hindrance to me, filled with limitations and boundaries I struggle against. This tool of measurement to create order out of chaos only seems to create even more chaos. So, in light of this may I suggest, as we rush into the holiday season - take that moment when our hands are on the steering wheel, on the keyboard, writing the shopping list, washing the dishes, brushing your child’s hair – and just simply “notice” it.

As I close this post, I want thank you all for being with me as I write, even though I will have moved on the NEXT something by the time you are reading this…!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Step In The Right Direction

Lighten up… and suddenly you are unencumbered by your own thoughts.

Since I don’t watch the news, I don’t “complain” about not being abreast of the latest issues, so, please bare with me if this comes in as old news to any of you. Yesterday at the gym, while pumping away on the elliptical machine – which of course is positioned directly in front of a large-screen TV – I caught a segment on a morning news show regarding a new “bracelet”. We have so many now, all to show our support for our favorite causes: Pink for breast cancer, Green for saving the earth, Blue to support the tsunami relief, to name a few, and now Purple to be worn and used as a tool to help us stop our complaining and support a “complaint-free world”.

Conceived of by Reverend Will Bowen, Pastor of Christ Church Unity in Kansas City, the bracelet was originally designed to get his churchgoers to stop complaining. Every time you catch yourself complaining, you are to change the bracelet to your other wrist. Once you have gone 21 consecutive days (starting from scratch every time you complain) you receive a certificate of happiness. Turns out they can’t fulfill the orders for these wristbands fast enough. Calls are coming in not from just the U.S., but from around the globe: Australia, South Africa, Russia, as well as from troops posted in Iraq.

The thing that strikes me about all this is it seems more and more people are looking deeper and taking the initiative to create a better world by taking steps towards their own self-awareness. Finding happiness and changing the world starts by changing perspective, and that comes from within (not from a piece of paper or a band of rubber, not really). But, perhaps we are beginning to realize that if we continue to facilitate negative thought patterns by habitually and mindlessly voicing our complaints, we continue to perpetuate a world of negativity and pessimism. Like attracts like. We can re-direct this flow, but first we have to become aware - so why not have a tool that helps? By recognizing the energy within our thoughts, we can tell the difference between a complaint and mere observation and decide how we want it to be. At least then if we continue to complain, we will be doing so consciously.

It’s not to say, once we obtain our “certified happiness” that we will never have another negative thought. We remind ourselves we are human, each at a different point on the path doing the best we can, and give ourselves a pat on the back for paying attention and stepping up to do the work it takes!

[More on Complaint-Free World bracelets at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17362505/]

Happy trails!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Faith - Not for the Faint of Heart

Believe... and suddenly anything is attainable.

Everyday I wake up with the unshakable faith that when I swing my legs over the side of the bed, the floor will be there to support my size sixes, my weary knees, my dropping arss, my stiff shoulders and my bed-head. I also trust the water will come out when I turn the knob to brush my teeth, the coffee pot will work, and my car will start. ALL of this “knowing” before I even rise from my sheets.

What is this drive behind this powerful faith? Is it history, past experience? Optimism? Law of averages? Expectations? Technically, we’re all intelligent enough to know that just because something happens once, doesn’t necessarily mean it will or won’t happen again. Isn’t this the very thing that drives our disappointment? When our expectations fail us? Consider Richard Alpert, aka Ram Dass on the morning he awoke and FELL out of his bed due to the stroke he was having. Imagine his fear then anger and finally his road back to resolution and his own faith. We’re talkin’ RAM DASS here folks, dubbed so by the Maharaji, and author of many spiritual texts.

This drive, this kind of faith in knowing the-chair-will-support-us-when-we-sit-down, is a powerful faith. It can disappoint us for sure, but the very same faith can also give rise to manifest. It can drive us to make things happen in our lives and in the world that could never be, otherwise. The power of this faith to create life and living and beauty can go beyond our wildest imagination – but why stop there? Believe, if you dare… it’s not for the faint of heart.

Peace and Sat Nam.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

Yield… and suddenly you can finally “get it”.

This is has been a difficult one to write about. It really stirs things up for me, I think it’s because our perpetual search for comfort is SO the crux of the matter - AND, so easy to see the solution, which is to just surrender right? But, how many of us can actually surrender ourselves, everyday, every moment to something we can’t see or hear or even fully understand: the powers that are greater than us - the universal force that is just as real as this material world we live in? Where, in the end, it is ALL an illusion. An illusion we create to keep us feeling comfortable and safe.

I realize that all the resistance I encounter in a day is the one, all-encompassing source at the root of my discomfort. It’s the force that pulls me away from what I innately know, to most often, the very opposite of what I expect or understand, and we all know that we fear what we don’t understand. So, there I am - anxious, angry, frustrated, fearful. How can I break this absurd cycle that my mind is constantly spinning?

Mindfulness, surrender and letting go is the only way – realizing that it is all an illusion - Maya, having it’s way with us, keeping us from true liberation. But, my ego so wants the fight. (I see myself swinging punches while someone keeps me at arms length, with their hand on my forehead!) My ego tells me it is SO self important. Because, to let go would bring me to the question of “what would be left? What will my day, week or life be like if I don’t take a firm stand on something? If I don’t prove that I am right, worthy or valid… then, of course I would loose control, right? When, in fact, I know in my heart we don’t have all the control. We can, at best, co-create our “fate”, but it’s important to recognize WHEN we need to step back and let our “co-creator” lead the way. Let resistance BE our guide - meet it, know it, embrace it and thank it, then … step back, because that resistance is the universe trying to tell us to reconsider our direction, our choices. Can you notice some of the subtle signs of resistance? Ask yourself, what is my general emotional state? Am I edgy, sad, impatient, bored? How does my body feel? Am I stiff, achy, tired? Eating a lot or not enough? … What am I resisting?

I can’t help but believe that every circumstance that shows up in our lives is a lesson, and the same circumstances or issues continually arise until we finally “get it”.

We can’t always expect to control situations and change others or their way of thinking so that WE can feel comfortable, safe and secure. We CAN act to communicate our truth, but in the end it is up to us to become comfortable with uncertainty. Ironically, we can find that comfort within - by stepping OUT of our comfort zone.

Blessings and peace.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fall Into Fall

Slow down… and suddenly you are catching up with your Self.

The Autumnal Equinox has officially arrived. September 23, 9:51 a.m. marks the day and time for this 2007th Gregorian calendar year. The word "equinox" was derived from a Latin term that simply means "equal night" – better translated as "night being of the same length as day". Astrologically speaking, this equinox arrives into the house of Libra, which is illustrated by a scale representing the balance of light and dark. It is said the balance and alignment energies that come with the Fall Equinox make it a great time to manifest, meditate, pray. By focusing our attention on what we truly want, we can begin to create the appropriate environment to make it so.

Fall, for me, has always been the time of year to gear down, go inside, nurture myself with hearty foods and generally, slow down. The socks and sweaters and comforters come out of storage and I’m gladly wrapping myself up in the coziness they offer. It also comes as a natural time of reflection, going inward. We are all aware of the animals that go into hibernation for the winter. We can watch as the squirrels, just outside our own windows, gather their nuts, stocking up for the long winter months to come. But, for a lot of us, fall can bring a bustling time of the start of another school year, vacations are over and people are back to work, ramping up that next project or starting on next year’s forecast. Unfortunately, once again through the pressures of our culture, we are pulled away from our natural rhythm. It’s important for us to recognize our need for balance to keep us working optimally during this transitional season - to honor that natural pull of the earth that helps to quiet us down.

So during your busy days this season, try to take a moment or three to fall into fall, go within and connect with that energy. Remember that you, too, are a part of the whole system and that the seeds you are planting are, indeed, coming to fruition.

Peace.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dropping the Drama

Unwind… and suddenly you are untangling the web you’ve been weaving.

“Life’s a stage and we’re all mere players, I’ve always heard them say. But, I’ve lost my lines and can’t adlib, so must I ‘act’ today?”

Have you ever truly listened to that running dialogue in your head? You know, those streams of random thoughts unleashed, left to run wild in the streets of your imperial kingdom where all the town’s people are ablaze with intelligence and truth, adorned in riches beyond your dreams… and no one is ever wrong? Or could it be that you govern the law of your land that all residents are made fools and every one of them skulk amidst the long shadows of the day, hoping to go unnoticed.

Either way, the stage is set for the endless Shakespearean epic to unfold. Ego is the writer, director, actor, audience and star of it’s own production. It is ego that demands to call the shots for the ongoing theme - and it all comes down to keeping the audience satisfied. Because the one thing we all, as story-makers know is, excitement, anxiety, worry, doubt, vanity, arrogance and pride are the upside to boredom. What we don’t realize is the drama we create can lead to health issues, failed relationships, career pitfalls, addictions, and emotional and financial bankruptcies

It may not always be easy to control the crew that’s working on our movie, but stepping out for an intermission now and again can help us drop the drama and take us momentarily out of the story that may be pushing us too far to the edge of our seats – and, perhaps, remind us that there’s always time for some popcorn and twizzlers.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

One Giant Leap

Dream… and suddenly you are awakening to a new reality.

Back in the year 2000, I, along with five other women banded together to start a small support group for each other as we embarked on our prospective, entrepreneurial journeys. We even gave our group a name: MentorsMeet. Our meetings took place once a month on a Wednesday evening at one of our homes. The structure was set up where each of us had 20 minutes to talk about our business issue or concern, then 15 minutes for the round-table feedback. Organized, productive and always good food!

I don’t think any one of us in the group could have predicted the paths to come for each of us. Who would have thought, collectively, after seven plus years, with eight children born, two home relocations, two business relocations, one really hard break-up, two affairs, several years of therapy, breast cancer, the birth of a non-profit… to name but a few… that we would still be gathering together, let alone, still in touch at all. We have shed countless tears, shared barrels of laughter and counseled each other through dark times. We have become family, we are sisters.

As a girl, I always gravitated towards boys for friends. I gave myself over to my masculine side, on some level believing that is where the strength in the world resides. What I have since come to know deeply in my heart of hearts, is that the power of the feminine connection is profound. We possess the capacity to help heal, not only ourselves and others, but the planet - Mother Earth, Pachamama – and she so needs us now. It is my hope, my desire, my longing for Lady Guru to inspire that capacity in women, to find that strength and courage along with the softness and compassion, that can help be a catalyst for change in the world, towards peace in the world - One small step for Lady; one giant leap for Lady Gurus.

Peace Sisters.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Butterflies

Weep... and suddenly your heart is healing. Let your tears cleanse you like the falling rain.

For the past three years running, I have spent one weekend in August at camp. This isn’t just any camp. It’s a camp for grieving children. Kids from the ages of 6 through 13 who have lost someone they love; a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, cousin, etc. come to learn about grief. Through exercises and sharing sessions, skits and storytelling, they learn that anger is normal, sadness and depression is to be expected and confusion, frustration and lack of focus are also feelings that can be part of the process. They find that they are not the only ones who feel lonely, guilty, betrayed. They learn that being brave isn’t about not feeling scared, but about doing something in spite of feeling scared. They cry, they laugh, they share, they listen and they support one another. I always come away in complete awe, with utter respect for these brave and hurting young souls who leave their families behind to come to this unknown place with a bunch of strangers to openly address the pain of loss. No easy feat for a young child. No easy feat, period.

I also see that by Sunday afternoon, they have become living metaphors of the story that is referenced throughout the weekend about the caterpillar who slowly and painfully emerges from the cocoon to blossom into a beautiful butterfly. They have courageously touched their pain, and in doing so have opened up to a world of healing for themselves and others.

Grieving in life is unavoidable. It shows up in all shapes and sizes and isn’t linear in it’s process. We know grieving comes with loss, but not just with the loss of a loved one, it can appear in so many different kinds of passings that we experience throughout life. The thing is, we don’t always recognize it as such – like the loneliness that can come after a dear friend moves away or the anger after a divorce, or simply the melancholy we can feel as summer comes to a close. It can even show up with those self-imposed finales, such as a sense of disconnect after retirement.

Allowing ourselves to take the time to grieve can be tremendously healing - to cry, or eat or sleep or talk or not talk - to take the time to recognize our loss, be gentle with ourselves and open to the world of healing that awaits to transform us into beautiful butterflies.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hosts of Change

Explore... and suddenly you are a pioneer on a new frontier.

“Insight into change teaches us to embrace our experiences without clinging to them — in full knowledge that we will soon have to let them go to embrace whatever comes next.” - Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Change. It’s the one thing we know that remains constant.
Recently, someone pointed out to me she feels like “a constant caterpillar molting to an ever – larger butterfly”. What is life, if nothing but an ongoing series of transitions? Even during the most mundane periods of our lives, we are riding the steady flow of change.

Change can find it’s way into our daily lives in all forms - mood, health, relationships. It can be as obvious as a death, a marriage, a divorce or your child leaving for their freshman year in college; or, as simple as noticing your digital clock tick from 11:10 to 11:11. It can be big or small. It can sooth us or excite us. It can come unexpectedly or sit looming just over our shoulder. The question is: how are we dealing with it?

No doubt change can sometimes feel stressful, but like it or not, it’s ours to own, and so we can welcome it or resist it. But, in resisting, we deny ourselves the very opportunity to observe the beauty of our growth that comes with it every time. By not labeling change as good or bad we have a healthier chance of surviving it. By merely being curious enough to explore it and welcome it, we can learn to be gracious hosts to this permanent houseguest.

Blessings and light!

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Deeper Truth

Reflect... and suddenly you are clearing the smoky mirror.

My sister, Toni, recently confessed to me the previous posting on forgiveness inspired her to “come out” with her own story. Several years ago, while directing a play out on the east end of Long Island, she was assaulted by an actor she had hired for the lead male role. The attack came about suddenly and without warning just prior to the opening night performance. The young man came at her so swiftly and calmly; she had no time to dodge his first punch, or his second, or third, or fourth… leaving her barely conscious, and one blow away from dead.

I have witnessed her over the past three years, reconstruct her self confidence, physical strength, self esteem, speech, memory capacity – in short, her life - with such integrity and courage, that I can’t help sharing it with you.

Toni is a mom, a wife, an actor, director, writer and PR guru, and most recently, a V-blogger – the same as a regular blogger, but with video. So, in mastering this new medium, she decided to use it to speak out (quite courageously, I might add) about the subject of forgiveness and how she found it in her heart to absolve this troubled man of his heinous act.

As I watched her speak so openly, I felt as though a fog was lifting, clearing the vista for a deeper truth to emerge. One that speaks of heart connections and compassion, substituting the concept of “evil” for “deeply wounded” – something a lot of us have trouble getting our heads around. And, what I began to see was a woman reflecting on the darkest of dark, owning it and making peace with it – truthfully and completely.

Toni, you are an inspiration! Keep blogging:
http://www.livevideo.com/video/67C4336A93F94D58B09848050429C1EC/assault-and-forgiveness.aspx?lastvcid=30429

Peace!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bring It On

Breathe… and suddenly you are light as air.

As most of you may know, there’s nothing like a good dose of family to humble your “higher Self”!

It has taken me over 20 years to learn not to take my mother-in-law’s comments personally, but that is not to say I’m still not challenged by her visits. Anyone who knows her can tell you she’s a high-energy, not-to-be-ignored, force of nature (including Betty, herself!). But, I don’t want to elaborate on the laundry list of conflicts I can create in my head, today I would rather focus on the moments in-between.

I have found that certain relationships in our lives seem to be built around the idea of teaching us who we are. All relationships serve this purpose to some extent, but for some reason, certain dynamics seem to really reach deep – and if we’re open enough – can really expose us to some valuable information.

First of all, one thing I do know is as long as I am of this earth, I will NOT find myself fluttering above it all on gilded wings. As much patience and acceptance and compassion and understanding that I may discover I possess – there will always be times of anger, frustration, annoyance, disappointment and resistance. What I do hope to find more of, is the ability to observe myself experiencing it ALL - as I watch myself judging others who judge; as I watch my heart softening in a moment of compassion; as I watch the hissy-fit rise up from my gut, just begging for a tantrum; as I watch myself listening patiently to another’s words filled with negativity and fear, knowing we all can go there.

So, while my dear mother-in-law will, no doubt, continue to expose me to my own frustrations and shortcomings, she is also teaching me to lighten up - “have a giggle” at it all. And, well… I would call that progress, wouldn’t you?

Find your breath, lighten up and bring it on.
Cheers!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Gaining Equilibrium

Balance... and suddenly see-saws are for kids again.

During a conversation with a friend the other day, I asked how she was doing. She replied “Overall, things are good. There are still times when I’m feeling challenged, but for the most part, I seem to have a deeper sense of ease in my life these days.” Wow. Rock on, my friend!

We all know deep in our hearts that the challenges will never go away. There may even be a subconscious part of our Selves that bring them on, and yet when they arise, so does our frustration or despair. It’s as though we can forget we’ve encountered innumerable challenges up to that point in our life - and handled everyone of them.

Finding balance is one of the biggest challenges we can face. Riding the see-saw of easiness and exigency can make even the sanest person go mad. How do we stay in the middle? How do we not get carried off by the drama, the story lines we write for ourselves? What can we count on to bring us strength? Perhaps the answer is as simple as seeing it for what it is – another challenging experience. Maybe we can minimize our reactions by just being “with” it, rather than “in” it, and allowing ourselves to notice our awareness of it. Because, behind it all is a strong and true spirit with the wisdom to handle all that arises – just look back and you will see her. She has been with you a long time. Perhaps you will find, as challenges continue to occur, a growing sense of ease and equilibrium and solid footing in your steps.

Blessings.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Releasing The Prisoner

Forgive… and suddenly you have set yourself free.

There is an anonymous saying: “To forgive is to set a prisoner free — and discover the prisoner was you.”

I suppose there are a million quotes on “forgiveness” and it’s no wonder. The subject of forgiveness has been a long-time pondered one that spans hundreds of years - and rightly so - as it generates from the most basic and fundamental human emotions: love and hate.

I like this quote because it points directly towards taking ownership of our own stuff. We all know what it feels like to harbor resentment, and it’s ugly. But, when we feel we or our loved ones have been wronged, we find ourselves hard pressed to let it go so we can make sure it won’t happen again, … and there we are once more, caught up in the ocean of suffering the Buddhists call samsara. We think we are protecting ourselves, when, in actuality, we are simply perpetuating an inner-world of negativity – even if whoever or whatever it is we are not forgiving is unaware.

Sometimes the most difficult forgiveness to find is for ourselves and yet this is probably the most important. If we cannot forgive ourselves, eventually we can wind up projecting what we hold –pain and suffering. We cannot avoid getting hurt in life, but we don’t have to play the victim. We can choose what we will keep and what we let go. Releasing our own prisoner from the grips of unforgiving, frees up space in our heart for… well, YOU choose!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Power of Receiving

Receive… and suddenly you are bestowing riches upon others.

You are strong, independent. You can take care of yourself AND others. You know what you need to do, you know what’s best for you, after all – you’ve known yourself longer than anyone. You can handle your finances, your workload, your love issues, your children’s issues, your health – of course you can, you’re a grown-up, right? So many of us are more than capable. We each have our own wells of knowledge, wisdom, insight, intelligence and intuition. So, reaching out or accepting help that is offered to us doesn’t always feel immediately comfortable. Doesn’t that mean we are inept? Incapable of controlling our own affairs? Weak?

We all have periods in our lives when we need “help”. IT’s designed that way. It’s the way we humans connect. Opening up enough, becoming vulnerable enough to allow another human being to help us is one of the greatest gifts we can offer. In light of the previous post, think again about how YOU feel when YOU are able to help another. Staying close enough to our heart during painful and difficult times can remind us that we ALL share that same pain – different stories – but it’s the same pain. Softening to an offering of support perpetuates the cycle of connecting and re-connecting - through the one(s) helping you - to the ones you, yourself, will go on to help.

Don’t stop receiving.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Power of Giving

Give…. and suddenly you have everything you could ever need.

A moment of your time; a dollar for the street musician; a compliment to a stranger; a seat on the subway; a hug to the hurting… Have you ever noticed in those moments, however small, the way you feel after you’ve just “given” something of yourself? This, my friends, is the pure essence of the divine, our true god/goddess-like nature shining through, connecting us to that higher source we are all a part of.

Buried deep within every one of us, beneath all the wants and desires and woes and denials lives a loving, open heart that yearns to grow and glow. Of course, we are humans and not saints and live in a culture that tends to distract us everyday from this mindset. But, we do know it’s there and we all possess the power to tap into the abundance that giving can provide, for others and for ourselves. It’s a two way street where everybody wins.

Go and give… and live in abundance!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Perpetual Vacation

Play… and suddenly the whole world is recess.

I think, for most of us, in order to feel as though we are really worthy of a good vacation/change of scenery/different perspective, we need to feel like we’ve worked our tails off. Especially, those last couple of weeks leading to our up-coming “off” time. We hustle and bustle getting our projects completed or at best, to a good stopping point so others aren’t left carrying the load; confer with the neighbors about pet sitting and plant watering; arrange for rides to the airport; pick up those last much needed items you don’t want to be searching for once you reach your destination… all the while thinking, “I can’t wait to get on that plane – hit the road – the beach –the slopes – the hammock…” Anticipation abounds! You’re GOING somewhere!

Like the title of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book says: “Wherever You Go, There You Are” - in my other words “You Can’t Escape Your Self”. So, why then do we continue to choose to compartmentalize our lives? - Over there I’m happy, here I am not. Fridays are good, Saturdays are better. - I think it is only when we can rest in true acceptance of who we are, however that is and wherever that is, the vacation mentality can be a perpetual state of being.

We all have access to a change of scenery or new perspective right here within us at every moment. By allowing ourselves to play within that realm, blurring the lines, if you will of bad/good or better/best we loose that sense of needing to “get away” and “recess” becomes a regular part of our lives!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Art of Letting Go

Relax... and suddenly everything seems easier.

We’re thinking of moving to Costa Rica. We are there now, actually. And although I feel like I’m supposed to be on vacation, there’s much more going on for me than just some fun-in-the-sun. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some nice visits to the beach and lolling about by the pool. But more than that, there have been visits to properties, talks with realtors, architects, home owners and business owners both transplants and locals, as we try in a two week period to glean as much information as we can about everything we can think of and more that we haven’t.

And then there’s my little brain trying to get itself around the big concept of “life in this sleepy beach town” which on one hand feels great, but on the other hand, there’s the idea of leaving my home and friends and family behind as well as trying to absorb all the logistics of making a substantial move like this happen…!

And then I stop and take a moment to let go of the drama I am creating and relax where I am, in this moment… and this moment… to acknowledge and honor the continuum of every moment in every day in every year and decade that has brought me to this very spot, here on this beautiful earth, here in my open heart… at least for this moment… and this moment. And let go. And relax… and suddenly – everything seems easier.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

Be Fearless… and suddenly you are supported by your own strength.

A friend of mine once told me she read somewhere: “Fear comes from not trusting that we can handle whatever comes our way.” and, even though on some level I know it, this quote stopped me in my tracks.

All my life I have been a consummate worrier. My family even nicknamed me WW (Worry Wart) when I was young. Give me something to worry about and you could bet I would, and if there wasn’t anything immediate, I would create something… hence, all my life-long “what ifs”.

FDR reminds us “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Fear is a concept based on something that hasn’t happened yet. It exists in our minds when we are not present in the moment. We can fear for our success, our health, our wealth, the safety of ourselves and loved ones and ultimately our lives… but, generally speaking, those are all concepts, ideas of how we think something might unfold.

Yet, even so, to sit with that fear and trust that we will “handle” whatever comes our way is a tall order, but I like to call up the analogy that “darkness cannot survive in light”. We fear what we do not know, cannot see or understand. The nocturnal forest is filled with shadows and gloom and all kinds of unforeseen circumstances, but as the morning sun filters through the trees, lighting our way, we know that nothing has really changed but our perspective.

I look to my Lady Guru to light my way with the trust and strength she brings me in knowing that I can and will “handle” whatever comes my way.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Celebrate... You!

Open... and suddenly you are unwrapping your greatest gift... YOU!

We give so much. We nurture, we coddle, we support, we council. We wipe the tears of our children, our friends, our lovers. We nurse our dear ones back to health with gentle, loving kindness and patience. We take the time to cook a meal or run an errand for those who can’t, and goddess knows what else. But, how do we practice this way for us? How do we open to our own Self…to honor, nurture, coddle our own being?

When I get into those times when I am my own worst critic, or not cutting myself enough slack, I try to remember to ask myself “What would you tell your best friend?” And, suddenly, I am forced to step away from my overly critical, narrow perspective to a more gentler and compassionate place. (Why does it always seem easier to do it for others?)

There is truth in the old adage “You can’t truly love another until you can love yourself”. To open to our own pain, our own difficulties and embrace them without judgment and with acceptance is a gift we can give ourselves (and others) time and again – because if we don’t give enough care to ourselves, we cannot be fully present for those who need us.

Let us allow our Lady Guru to TRULY celebrate her own light so it may shine even more brightly for others!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Gratitude

Be Thankful... and suddenly gratitude is a way of life.

There is a saying: “If the only prayer you ever say is ‘Thank You’, that is enough.” These were also the last two words of a dear friend, Kathleen McBride, a 41 year old mother of two young children, who died of cervical cancer on July 28, 2006.

It’s so easy to be thankful for the good times, the things that bring us joy in our lives. When someone gives us a compliment or does something kind for us, we are filled with gratitude. We’re thankful when it doesn’t rain on our parade or when the train shows up on time or when the soufflĂ© doesn’t fall and especially during times when our jobs are going well, the money is flowing, relationships are in harmony and our loved ones are well again after an illness or accident.

But what about those times when it IS raining and the train IS late and the recipes DON’T work… and those times we are broke or when we are at odds in our relationships or suffering as we watch our loved ones in pain. Can we really know our gratitude even then? Can we still say ‘Thank You’? Thank you for this pain? This lesson - this opportunity to grow? These times challenge us to call on our deeper selves, our higher sources so we can appreciate and honor the difficult experiences as well as the satisfying ones.

Kathleen, a true Lady Guru, LIVED a life of gratitude, up to her very last moment on earth. Living a life of gratitude means being thankful for it ALL. Kathleen, wherever you are, this is for you… Thank you, thank you, thank you…

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Masters At The Art Of Learning

Awaken… and suddenly you are meeting your truth. Create your own, brighter dawn!

We tend to think that in order to feel accomplished, whether it be in our career, relationship, health, with our children or inner self, we need to be “finished” or “done” with something. This tends to make us feel complete… for the moment. Every time we reach another milestone, we delude ourselves in believing we have “arrived”, leaving ourselves open for disillusion and disappointment. Of course we are never finished or done. There’s a reason it’s called a “journey”. Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up … over and over and over again.

As I walk this path, step by step, I have come to understand that every moment is an opportunity for learning or awakening. Every action, every thought, every intention I put forth in bringing Lady Guru to the world, brings with it powerful potential for growth, and expands to encompass the broad spectrum of my life. My Lady Guru continues to remind me that we’re never “finished” - as the lessons cycle back to us continually - until we become masters at the art of learning.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mistakes or Masterpieces?

Accept… and suddenly you realize you are exactly where you’re meant to be.

In a song by Teitur, an artist I discovered a little while back, he says:

“Who is to say who wins or who looses? - I sing to myself at the end of the day, when I know what the blues is. All my mistakes have become masterpieces. I was born in the goodness of grace - and because of faith, because of courage, because of forgiveness - all my mistakes have become masterpieces”.

We are all born in the “goodness of grace”… and then we fall - or so we think - not because we’re losers, but because it’s how we humans are. We tend to look at our so called “failings” as mistakes, when really, they are only times of learning and growth. There is no wrong direction down the path, there is only the direction in which we are going, and through “faith, courage and forgiveness”, it’s up to us to find our alchemist along the way, and turn our lead into gold… our mistakes into masterpieces, and come full circle to our true nature… the goodness of grace.

People have been prompting me to get Lady Guru “going” for a couple of years. Being the professional procrastinator that I am, I found all kinds of reasons to lag on the progress, hearing, of course, all the “shoulds” (that “S” word again!) that I was avoiding and all the negative messages that come with them, kicking myself all along the way. But now, as I come to where I am (which is always where we are!) I am discovering the beauty and the fruits of my procrastination, knowing how much more Lady Guru has to offer today, than she did two years ago - and the timing is exactly RIGHT – as it always is – and always will be!

Blessings and many thanks!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Surrendering

Expand… and suddenly you can’t ignore your own vastness.

Pema Chodron writes: “Expansion never happens through greediness or pushing or striving. It happens through some combination of learning to relax where you already are and at the same time, keeping the possibility open that your capacity, my capacity, the capacity of all beings is limitless. As we continue to relax where we are, our opening expands”.

We can all recall times when we’ve tried so hard to avoid something, change something or make something happen and yet all we seemed to encounter was resistance. We think we know what’s right for us or how any given situation is “supposed” to be; work, relationship, health - but when we are quiet enough in the moment to really see, really hear, then we can recognize the opportunities that the Universe has been trying to present to us all along. Lady Guru came to me during a time of surrender, a time of letting go of ideas of how my life was supposed to look – a time of opening and expansion into territory unknown to me. What I continue to learn from Lady Guru is that ALL territory is unknown. And, when I get caught up in the idea that I can predict an outcome, I realize that I am only deluding myself with a false sense of security – and then I remember and understand that I have not been relaxing enough to realize my limitless capacity. Thank you, Lady G.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

More Good Stuff

“Release… and suddenly you are liberated from all that does not serve you.”

Another full moon is upon us, and this May 2nd brings the full moon in Scorpio which finds us in an opportune time to release attachment to old pain. For everyone of us, in every moment there is the opportunity to take responsibility for our thoughts and actions. Now is a good time for us to see our truth, take advantage of our power to change, shed old skin to reveal a new glow, and ask ourselves what WE can now bring to the world.

I see Lady Guru as part of my new skin, with a new glow, ready to shine brightly for the world. Reflecting the beauty, and the dignity, divinity and grace that we all embody. She could only have emerged as organically as she did, after much conflict and struggle in searching for my own true way in the world. Lady Guru has been constantly transforming, just like the rest of us. A lot of what that means is letting go of old ideas that no longer serve us so we can make more room for the good stuff. And the more good stuff we have inside, the more good stuff we can bring to the world.

Namaste!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Teasing With the Lady

Extend... and suddenly you've gone beyond the unreachable!

Sat nam, my friends. I just thought I would post a note letting you all know the current activity for Lady Guru. I am working on a set of business cards - 4 versions. Each has a posture and affirmation on one side, the other side has a small banner of about 6 postures and the URL. (Do you think I should include the blog address, too?) My aim is to recruit several friends to help me spread her around (she's not "loose" mind you, but she can be a "tease"!) to reach people with her message, arouse curiosity and direct people to the site... a very grass-roots level of marketing.

I would love to hear your feedback and ideas. Also, do get in touch if you are interested in leaving some Lady Guru teaser cards around: waiting rooms, dressing rooms, restaurants, etc. or anyplace else you might feel appropriate.

I look forward to hearing from you. I DO value your insight!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Manifesting

Believe... and suddenly anything is attainable.

"...take steps towards your desire and allow the Universe to manifest it into your physical experiential reality in ways The Universe will take care of."

greetings all. it's been a little while as i've been busy with work work, you know, the thing that helps keep the dream alive (and a roof over your head)? it's all good, just a little challenging finding the balance.

i found the above quote this morning while pondering something a friend had said about manifesting the life she desires. one of the laws of manifesting is to know that what you desire already exists. now. we tend to think of time in linear terms but i don't believe the Universe works this way. it's so easy for us humans to see what we don't have or what we want, therefore, usually leaving us in a state of lack vs abundance. but, if we can find a way to reside in a calm state of "being" vs "doing", our actions towards our desire comes from a place of trust (in having) rather than a place of anxiety (over NOT having). this energy is where manifesting really kicks in. set a course for your direction, but be prepared to tack and jibe as the wind will change and the tides will turn - trust the Universe will guide us on our journeys in getting exactly what we want.

Lady Guru, here we come! i'm not sure exactly how or when, but i'm stepping down the path alongside your stick-figure frame and i'm enjoying every mysterious minute. thank you for walking with me!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Finding The Teacher Within

Be still and listen… quiet the mind… breathe deeply and tune in to your own beautiful and powerful healing life force.

Lady Guru was born of the desire to meld art and mindfulness. I believe there lives a Guru in ALL of us. My passion is to reach out with positive affirmations that I, myself, live and breathe by. Life is hectic, filled with distractions and commercialism that pull us away from our own inner truth and wisdom. We forget to honor the “Guru”, that innate teacher, in us all. Lady Guru is a small reminder that there is “more” within, and that “more” is there for the taking, all we have to do is remember.

WELCOME to the premiere of Lady Guru :: Developing A Translucent Business. My hope is that, here, a group of like minded individuals will each play an integral role in the shape and development of the Lady Guru Mission: To inspire people to find compassion, acceptance and peace within themselves and others and to support various organizations around the world that are contributing to the healing of our planet and people.

Lady Guru will fulfill her mission through the artistic means of inspirational quotes and artwork. The execution of this vision will encompass an organized and strategic business development plan beginning with a specific line of environmentally correct products.

What I hope to gain and offer here is a venue to brainstorm and share information that will aid in the growth of a viable business that contributes to a growing market while setting up a business model that supports a higher global consciousness.

Perhaps like many of you, I haven’t always been good at asking for help. But, as I have learned to step away from my ego and fears long enough, I have seen the benefit of bringing strong minds together and the strong outcomes that can result. Along this journey of waking up I have been fortunate to encounter the hearts and minds of many brilliant people who have also been waking up. I am inviting all who have been so supportive, into my life and dreams - asking for your help and drawing upon your wisdom, and at the same time, offering the opportunity to share your knowledge and help others through the means of this expanding global village.

I believe by banding together in support, we CAN change the world and better the future for Earth and Humanity.

Namaste!
Karen Heil