Friday, December 4, 2009

When The Fog Lifts

Face it... and suddenly you are meeting the authentic you.

The other night I awoke to the nearly full moon, brightly shining down upon me through the high windows in our bedroom, like a spot light - I was “on”. So, I allowed La Luna to bathe me in her luminescence as I followed the sensations into my body, which led me to explore some thoughts about identity. Suddenly, facebook came to mind. The name alone opens up a whole new vista for reflection on the subject of the Self. This captivating, global venue where it seems everyone is coming together, appears to be storming the world wide web to extreme proportions. I, too, have an account and visit the site intermittently and each time I do, I can’t help but be drawn into this open-door community. I am driven to share what is going on in my life and I want to learn more about the other “faces” as I peruse their profiles and photo albums, getting glimpses into otherwise unknown territory. And then I think about identity and facebook and can’t help but see the paradox: each one of us a singular entity (or so it appears) steering our “vehicles” this way and that, donning fashion and hairstyles, cars and homes, jobs and friends, ideas and beliefs – announcing it all at this collective domain, where here, it seems we all begin to melt into one - the virtual matrix of the collective unconscious manifest? A big nut to swallow, yes, but as we are led to come together in this time of great global and cosmic transition, will it be the internet that is ultimately the vehicle that teaches us that we are truly all one? Perhaps - or is this virtual collective identity our mere cinema verité projected onto a misty backdrop? And if so, when the fog lifts, will we still know who we are? I suppose only time will tell, as it always does. In the meantime, I pose the question for pondering… who are you? Truly

Sat Nam (truth is my/our identity), my friends!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Releasing the Negative Charge

Unplug... and suddenly you are feeling the voltage!

Imagine the amount of unproductive energy we receive everyday simply from the beliefs we carry within us - the thoughts and ideas that we feed and that in turn, feed us. Beliefs and ideas, mind you, that keep us from accomplishing our greatest desires, or from embracing our own special gifts. Everyone of us possess certain belief patterns that have been ingrained in us from an early age by our family, community or culture that literally keep us, as adults, from becoming our most whole and highest selves. These beliefs go so deep, that most of us are completely unaware of them because we want to follow the rules. But do we ever stop to question if those rules might no longer apply? Think of all those ideas or beliefs that bring you nothing but grief, and then imagine how free you would be if you could disengage from those beliefs so they no longer had a hold on you. These beliefs are where we plug into our reality. If we are plugged into the idea: "The only way I can make a living and survive comfortably, is to keep working at this job I hate." or "I'll be able to take that dance class when the kids are out of school because they need me now." we make this our reality. Not right or wrong or good or bad, but the idea is to consciously understand that we are "choosing" that reality. For someone else the scenario could be "This job really stinks and I'm setting my intention to find another, better job - no matter what - or I'll learn to live with less." or "I'll figure out a way to learn how to dance, even if it means I buy a DVD and get up an hour earlier." What is it that sets us apart from one another in these ways? What is it that makes one person more successful, more healthy, more happy than another? Is it money? Beauty? Wisdom? Cultural background? Of course any and all of these things can play into it, but ultimately it is about what we believe; about how we see ourselves, our family, our community, our world and how we believe our family, our community our world sees us. So, by unplugging from those beliefs that no longer resonate for us, and connecting with our deeper potential, we can step up our energetic voltage and begin to follow our path towards truth and contentment and begin to live more empowered and more satisfying lives - particularly in these changing times.

Sat Nam!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Doing vs Being

Inquire… and suddenly you are getting ALL the facets!

We live in a culture that tends to place a heavy emphasis on our career life. This is obvious to me in a when we consider what seems to be the canned icebreaker during introductory conversations: “…and, what do you do?” I’ve grappled with this question many times over the years – only, of course, after coming to the realization that I am not “what I do”. For a while, I even sort of found the words insulting and yet I cannot blame the asking party who stands blindly before me, cocktail in hand, waiting to hear my job title so they can size me up and put me in their own little proverbial box. After all, if they know “what I do” then it provides them with fodder to avoid that uncomfortable silence between two strangers. It’s not their fault, its how we’ve all been raised. But, as we come together as strangers, looking for ways to connect with one another, aren’t we shorting ourselves by pointing our way towards such a limited question? Surely, this could lead the conversation into some very stimulating material and even help to form a bond, but what about all the other interesting things in a person’s life; their passions, their hopes and dreams and desires; their ability to create, explore; their teachings and learnings? I always try to remember to come back to the fact that we are “human beings” not just “human doings” and “doing” is just a part of our “being”. So when we ask, “what do you do?” we may be only getting part of the bigger picture. Today, when people ask me what I do, I am tempted to say “I do a LOT!... I do meditation and art, I do cooking and exploring. I’m really good at loving, and work daily with forgiveness and acceptance.” But, alas, for the sake of sounding glib, I give them the reply that I know will help make them feel safe and comfortable – something they can work with and expand on from there. But, I’m also working on my own language for when it’s my time to swoop in with the $64,000 question. I’m thinking more along the lines of “so, how do you spend your time?” or “So, tell me about YOU.” It’s not that I don’t want to know what people do for a living, of course that can be a very a interesting and important part of someone’s life, and for the real lucky ones, it just may encompass their deams and passions. On the other hand, some people HATE their jobs and would rather talk about anything BUT – either way, I’ve learned that, there is SO much more to a person than just their job. We are multi-faceted beings and like gemstones, shine in so many areas of life. Next time, try going beyond the surface and allow someone to shine like the prism they are.

Sat Nam!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Transformation 101

Fire it up… and suddenly you are melting it down!

Whether it’s turning water into wine, lead into gold… or swamp water into pool water, it’s all about the alchemical process.

It appears, due to the nature of things at hand; world economy, world ecology, and the seemingly infinite cosmology, most of us are coming to a place these days that is compelling us to redefine our ways of being. The stock market, the real estate market, the job market, the global market… are bringing us to our knees in a way that we’ve never felt before. Forests are burning, tsunamis are raging, wild life is dying off, epidemics are rampant, Mother Earth is literally cracking under the pressure of the ages and with all we have contributed. In each and every one of our individual worlds, we are all affected and have all contributed in some way, however small – by default, simply by being here. I’m not trying to sound bleak, here, but follow it down through the ages and it’s historically obvious we’ve had our collective cross to bear. But, do we have to succumb to this scarlet letter? And, if not, where do we begin the transformation? CAN we be the change we want to see in the world, as Gandi suggests? Well, quite honestly, I don’t think we have a choice.

Fifteen years ago, when my mother died, I knew nothing would ever be the same and so I set my intention to allow for a “new normal” to settle in, a phrase I thought I’d made up! Now, I’m seeing and hearing it everywhere. In essence, things are changing and they will never be the same again (and that's actually a GOOD thing), and so WE, every single one of us, are called in some way, to transform. The opportunity comes with the loss of every job, every dollar in the market, every foreclosed home, every loved one lost in needless war. This is the most difficult task, as humans, we are called to undertake – to turn our lead into gold – our pain into growth and learning and service to others who are suffering… we all have this capacity within and now more than ever we need each other to sustain the future of our world. Discover the alchemist in you. Stoke the fire, burn off the dross and expose the golden spirit of wisdom, truth and knowledge we all possess. We CAN be the change we wish to see… just open your eyes and look inside.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This Too Shall Pass

Shine… and suddenly you are lighting your way through the dark.

It has now become more evident than ever how the economic downturn is affecting everyone. But, I can’t help but think how this just emphasizes the point: we ARE all connected and how our actions have impact. These are times when we need to be supporting each other any way we can. And maybe that goes beyond a job referral or financial support. Maybe these hard times aren’t just about dollar signs. Not to minimize this important aspect of our culture, but the emphasis there is a bit unbalanced. They say you give power to what you focus on. If we are focused everyday on what we lack or even, what we MIGHT lack in the future, it only keeps us outside of our gratitude for what we DO have, here and now. So, I’ve thought of some ideas about how we can personally steer our way through this darkness in a vehicle that seems to have run amuck.

1) NO FEAR: step away from the TV! Be mindful, but unplug from the constant stream of negative babble, it will only pull you deeper into that negative and fearful place.
2) CHECK YOUR IDENTITY: you are not your job, your house, your car, your bank account... you are MORE, so much more. Honor that you ARE!
3) SHARE: consider giving back. Volunteer or consciously do something that contributes to the well being of someone or something else.
4) STAY STRONG: connect with your body. Staying strong and healthy with exercise and good nutrition helps you to feel as though you are taking some control of your life.
5) STAY CONNECTED: visit with friends regularly. We are by nature social beings. Listen to each others woes, but find ways to support each other in positive ways.
6) GO INSIDE: take some time everyday to connect with your higher source, even if it is just for 5 minutes. Get quiet, feel your heart, plug into your Self and find the trust there, the trust that no matter what, you WILL be ok.
7) HAVE PATIENCE: everything is temporary and this TOO, shall pass. And when frustration ensues, and others begin to get on your nerves, remember – we are all in this together, and we are all doing the best we can.

The only way we can know joy, is to have experienced pain, and us humans have been known to shine in times of darkness. Let us make the best use of these times as we can: to learn, to love, to be kind with others and ourselves; to know that we will cycle around again in this ever turning way of truth.

But, don’t let this stop here - I invite and encourage YOU to add to this list!
Sat Nam!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Imagine THAT!

Imagine… and suddenly anything is possible!

J.K. Rowling (author of the famed Harry Potter novels) wrote in her Harvard University commencement address: “Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people's minds, imagine themselves into other people's places.” And, isn’t this the very essence of empathy and compassion?

Most of us have grown up with the idea that “imagination” is something outside of what we perceive to be “real”. As children, we had great imaginations. We could play all day long with our toys and friends making up worlds that (seemingly) didn’t exist. Our imaginations protected us from hours of dreaded boredom. As we grew, we came to honor our imagination only if it seemed to bring forth something useful or beautiful. And for adults, it can even have a bad rap: “It’s only your imagination.”

But, isn’t imagination the crux of all creation, all things manifest? Everything begins with a seed, a thought, an idea - by imagining it first. This concept also extends to our ability to understand, empathize and experience compassion for others. For most of us adults, our openness to utilize our imagination has been squelched by years of transitioning - from our inner to outer worlds. As the phrase proclaims: “If you don’t use it, you loose it”. Perhaps we may have been throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

So as we turn this page to new calendar year and are part of history in the making, let us imagine a world of peace, oneness, prosperity, health and abundance…well… imagine THAT!

Sat Nam and Happy New Year to you all!