Monday, December 31, 2012

Seeing in the dark

©2012 The Soulcerer's Apprentice
To have faith is an act of courage. To believe that we are loved and protected even in our darkest moments takes an insurmountable amount of bravery for it is nothing we control. Faith is not something we summon, it invokes us. This is the challenge to our survival: to feel the love even when we appear to be unloved, to know that our dreams are in process even if out of view, that lessons abound in what we don't yet understand, that there is love for each of us even when we are lonely, that peace is real even when discord is loudest, that we have everything we need even if we don't have everything we want, that we are strong even when we recognize our pain, that there is truth even when we doubt.

This year is ending tonight. For most of us it has been difficult. The dare is not to judge 2012 for it has been our teacher and we have survived it. Leave it all here tonight, in the now that will be your past. Leave your fears, your demands, your regrets and your guilt. Call forth all your fearlessness and bring that into 2013.

Celebrate and rejoice the year that is to come, believing in all good things. Have the courage to answer Faith's call, to see in the dark for there is a light...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chiaroscuro

Last night I spent a poetic evening with people I admire, respect and delight in. Between wine, cheese and pears, we exchanged ideas, constructive criticism and stories about our lives. In the handsome space we were in, there floated, on one of the walls, and listening to everything we said, a beautiful painting of a naked woman. It called to me. It is poetry. It reflects the colors life. It is a black and white story stroked with acrylic on canvas.

The beauty of this painting is not only in the image captured, but in the play between the white and black paint. This chiaroscuro–the movement, the relationship between light and shadow–gave it depth and shape. Such is life. Such is my life.

The light aspects of life are pure love. It is in the light that we find our greatest expression of ourselves. We are holy, divine and innocent. But this light is only light in relation to the darkness, that place where we are who we rather not be. It is in the darkness that we find the shameful parts of us, where we judge others and where we project our fears, our guilt and insecurities on to others. The light is only beautiful in relation to the dark. The dark becomes beautiful in relation to the light.

It is in the shadow created between the light and the dark that we become whole. It is in the blend of the two that we become authentic for it is here that we admit our imperfections and our greatness. It is in the gray that we learn to forgive because we understand our collective humanity and frailty. It is here that we learn a healthy expression of everything that we are–our illuminated traits as well as those traits within us that bother us about ourselves.

In the chiaroscuro of our hearts is the splendor, the grace and the majesty of life. It is in the chiaroscuro where life becomes deep and takes shape, a beautiful and honest shape.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

UFOs

Two days ago I was driving along a highway when a piece of foam flew from the bed of a pickup truck into the air. This was, at some point, raw material for a sofa cushion. Now it was an unidentified flying object, but only until it was a few feet away and I could tell it was a harmless piece of foam. Even though I could tell what it was, and even though I could tell that it could not harm me, I still flinched when it flew in front of my windshield. I still closed my eyes waiting for the strike.

This made me think of the times in our lives we flinch when something that can't hurt us flies towards us. The piece of foam could be a conversation with your kid's teacher, a visit from an out of town relative or a change in the interest rate. The flinching can be, too, at good things that come our way such as an unexpected promotion at work, a sudden love interest or an answered prayer. We fear, we stress and we worry even though we will not be hurt. It's anticipation and it keeps us from enjoying life and from thinking clearly.

We close our eyes in fear of outcomes that can't hurt us. Some outcomes may require us to shift our behavior or to make adjustments. But that is what we are equipped for. We know life is not an arrival, it's a constant traveling and flying objects will hurl at us. The trick is not to attach ourselves to a specific end, adapting to the changes and putting events into perspective. The challenge is to keep our eyes open and know within that we can't be hurt by certain incidents in life, but we can receive them, resolve them and grow.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Too busy to be happy...

Are you too busy to live life as you dream it?

Life is full to the brim with chores, tasks, activities and responsibilities. Which chores, tasks, activities and responsibilities you take on are yours to choose. Of course, there are some basic responsibilities that are musts (feeding a newborn, for example), but there are many that we accept as obligations that are really not obligations (such as chairing the PTA fundraiser). I am not going to attempt to figure out which activities are essential in your life. I will just say that if you are not happy with your life, that if you are not living the life you dream of because you are too busy, then you are not living on purpose. When you live on purpose, everything flows and time is abundant. After considering what is important to you, and without ignoring your basic responsibilities, delegate, ask for help, say no to certain commitments, declutter and prioritize. You will be answering to your highest self.  Bring to the forefront those activities which relate to your purpose and to your dreams. Always remember that your thoughts have power. If you think you are too busy, you will be too busy.

A busy life is not necessarily a productive life.  The world doesn't need you to be busy, it needs you to fulfill your purpose. When you fulfill your purpose, you find happiness. You find happiness by allowing time for it.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Synchro-destiny II

I believe my future is not planned. My fate has not been set. My life is a response to the intentions I set. Every experience I have had and every person I have met have their meaning in the unfolding of my days. Although I set my intentions, however, life sometimes takes unintended turns. I believe I know why.
As a believer of synchro-destiny, events stem from the intentions I have set coupled by the thoughts I have. That's where my synchro-destiny gets interrupted, in my thoughts. If I start doubting, the flow of energy changes. If I start thinking that I and I alone am capable of and deserving of the credit behind my accomplishments, I interfere with what started cosmically in response to my intentions. If I disregard others and selfishly aim for my wishes, if I forget to thank Spirit, if I sabotage my speech with words of can't or if I start having thoughts impossibility, difficulty, lack or fear, my synchro-destiny takes a different turn.

For things to continue to fall into place, for people to continue to enter into my life at the right time, for events to continue to take place as an answer to my wishes, I set an intention. This intention is aligned to my highest-self, that Spirit filled place in me that seeks what is best for all involved, following my purpose. I ask for guidance and inspiration, opening my heart and mind to new possibilities and new thoughts. I notice and acknowledge the collaboration and support that I receive in many different forms. I remain willing, spot the synchronicity and greet the blessings...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Modern Family

We honor and venerate the Holy Family. The picturesque image of mother, father & baby surrounded by nature's love and the support of wisemen. We keep the Holy Family a symbol of nobility of manner, decency and solemnity. It's beautiful.

I find a Christmas miracle in the idea of the Holy Family, but not the obvious Christmas miracle. Of course I believe in the miracle, but the miracle I uncover is another–the birth of love independent of judgment, separation and classification, the upholding of the dignity of women and the immensity of trust. The Holy Family began with the out-of-marriage pregnancy of a teenage girl. Extraordinarily, Joseph, a man of the times, a carpenter–call him a contractor in our era, chose to stay with his pregnant-by-another fiancé when he could have had her stoned. I have goosebumps as I write this and I think of the greatness of God's love in allowing the unfolding of the birth of Jesus to be so human and imperfect.

God, in whom all things are possible, could have just sent his son in a cloud, appeared him magically or have the earth spit him out supernaturally for all to see. He, however, chose a woman to give birth to his son. He asked her, through an angel. He didn't order her. He considered her. He uplifted her role of woman and respected her free will. She responded with a trusting and faithful yes. Joseph, gifted with the same free will, became husband and father of a son he didn't engender. The Holy Family was born.

Both Mary and Joseph trusted in each other and in God, and reverence in relationships was conceived.

Today, let's carry forth the precedent set for us thousands of years ago. Let's remember that good is possible even when we think we don't have the right conditions (remember, there was no room at the inn). Let's respect women's dignity, man's place in the family and society, children's majesty and the diversity of the modern family. For Mary, Joseph and Jesus are spiritual representations of each of us–human, imperfect, important. No longer man, woman and child, but people. Let's be open-minded and respectful of each other irrespective of social class, religious belief, sexual orientation, race, gender, color of skin, national origin, age... We are all family, holy in our origin, holy in our imperfection...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

War & Peace

After years of trying to live a peaceful relationship, you are finally there. You must be, you think, because you don't argue much anymore. You are cordial. You have developed a rhythm between the two of you that keeps everything amicable and polite. This is not peace.

Not only is this not peace, it is not even truthful or honest. The absence of conflict is not the presence of peace. A superficial carrying-on is only a waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop attitude in which conflict is simmering beneath the surface. The absence of an argument is not peace.

True peace in a relationship flows from an active commitment to each other in a spirit of cooperation, understanding, consideration, forgiveness, respect, empathy and a willingness to see from the other's perspective. It also takes a commitment to resolve conflict without violence or hurtful words. True peace in a relationship starts within with thoughts of us, not of me vs. you. Love and expressions of love in a peaceful relationship are not only necessary, they are essential.

Today is a good day to commit to a loving and daily effort of peace...



Tripping over the same stone

Imagine you are walking along a path. As you walk, you trip over a stone. You fall, you hurt your knee, you bleed. Tomorrow you walk along the same path. You trip over the same stone. You fall, you hurt your knee, and now your hand. You bleed, again. Damning the stone, cursing the path or begrudgingly taking the same walk each day will not put a stop to your tripping over the same stone. You will trip over the same stone until you are aware of it and walk differently in relation to it or until you take a different path altogether.

In life, we keep running into the same situations over and over again. We stomp our feet, we condemn, we declare never again! to no avail. The same issues will come up repeatedly and in different degrees of difficulty until we learn our lessons.

For example, you want to be more patient, yet every time you decide this is the day you find yourself in heavier traffic. Good grief! I don't need this today!, you think. This is a great opportunity for you to become more patient. You have to do this. No fairy will come about with a magic wand to give you patience.

There is no universal grudge against you. Whatever you focus your attention on will continue to show up in your life–money problems, difficult people, trust issues, forgiveness–not until you get the message, but until you respond differently.

What is it that you need to learn? How can you grow from that lesson? How can you respond differently? Find out, for until you learn your lesson you will trip over the same stone over and over again...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Let the blood flow...


Unlikely twins. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito in a dance to know and love each other as twin brothers. I really like this movie. I learn something from each movie I watch and from this one I learned a few things. This particular scene is one of my teachers. Letting the blood flow teaches me about love and those I love. 

We hold on too tightly to the ones we love stopping the flow of love. If we release just a bit–releasing our controls, our agendas, our judgments, our assumptions and our expectations–we can enjoy the people we love, we can enjoy ourselves and our lifedance with them. We see others–our spouses, our children, our lovers, our neighbors, our friends, our family members–as they are, we love them as they are. In turn, we are loved. 

I let my love loose. It will come back when it will. I am letting the love flow...my happiness and freedom resting on the happiness and freedom of those I love. Go ahead, let the love flow...


Friday, December 21, 2012

When the fantasy is true...

Maybe it wasn't love at first sight, but you had a passionate and meaningful, albeit short, romantic relationship.

Our current culture believes that these moments we share with someone in these type of relationships–moments in which we feel we found glory, we feel time doesn't pass, we thoroughly enjoy the time spent together and that the passion makes life worth living–are unrealistic. We feel we have fallen in love. Reality says it's fantasy. 

The truth is that this temporary experience of blissful love is reality–the one we deny because it seems so crazy, impractical, quick and unreal. The truth is that these encounters are gifts we receive to know romance, to crave it, to want to live it for in these loving experiences we know bliss, the closest and purest feeling to God. When we feel love this way we will work to be the kind of people who attract it–genuinely–in order to share it.

Any other explanation or reasoning of your experience is not the truth–it's fear, it's ego, it's other people's opinions in your head. Fantastic love is true love. There's more to this, of course, but we'll discuss it another day.

We should not be blinded to these magical encounters. We are not talking about sex, but about true soulful connections in which two people make emotional, spiritual and physical sense for each other. Love made us and love is all we have to give. This is the mark of these love affairs that stay with you and bring you to your true self, because love, real love, never ends. Experiencing love this way does not change you, it uncovers who you are. These love experiences are not fantasy, they are real...





Wednesday, December 19, 2012

From arguing to grace...

Have you ever had an argument with someone that left such hurtful feelings that it changed or ended the relationship? Years later, do you remember what the argument was about?

Many times, it is not the why of the argument but the how of the argument that hurts us. In a disagreement we defend our points of view which is to defend ourselves and our egos. We don't see the other person's viewpoint, we don't understand them. We close our hearts. Our tones of voice change, our facial expressions change and our postures change in an effort to be right. The reason of the argument no longer prevails, but the separation does.

When you find yourself disagreeing with someone, let them be right even if you feel they are wrong. This does not mean that you deny the truth. It just means that you see how human they are. They are acting from their level of awareness. See them gently and speak to them gently. Open your heart, for until you do you cannot understand.

Be willing to see things differently, and you will. Give up judging, criticizing, attacking and blaming. When you do, your tone of voice, your body language and your words come forth from your very best self, from your Spirit. Grace fills the air between. What could be a hurtful encounter between two people is now an opportunity for growth and collaboration.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hope

Hope is the last thing to die. Yet we are disappointed at times because, despite the intensity of our hope, we do not get what we hope for. We feel our hope dying.

The spiritually sound know that we should place our hope not in what we want the most, but in what is best for all concerned in any situation. Hoping for something bigger than ourselves we ask that, whatever the outcome, we will be ok. We do not hope for a change outside of ourselves, but within us.

Today, hope that you will see the greatness of God's love and that the things you hope for are aligned with Spirit. No matter what happens, you will be fine. If it is sorrow you are hoping to overcome, you will endure it. If it is work that you are looking for, it will come to you. If it is love you want, it will encompass you. Notice how there are no specific requests here. I didn't write hope for a particular job or a particular person. Hope with faith in Spirit's power over everything–over every problem, every pain, every difficulty. Always remember, too, the gift of free will and that Spirit will honor it every time. Proactive in the work of hope, we stay hopeful and we bring hope with us wherever we go. Hope is our constant belief that we will be ok no matter what...


Monday, December 17, 2012

Emptying the fear in your pocket...

What do you do for a living? Your answer usually starts with I am. I am an accountant, a teacher, an art dealer... Yet this is not really who you are. This is a role you play in the economy. For if you are what you do, then who are you if you lose your job?

Our jobs keep us active in society and provide us the income to pay for our financial responsibilities and to treat ourselves. When something happens to our job, our identity takes a hit. Our self-esteem is hurt. The income flowing into our pockets is now replaced with fear...

This fear can paralyze us and make us desperate. It can make us angry. Any of these emotions obstructs our ability to make decisions based on truth. The truth is that we are not our jobs. The truth is that every ending leads to a new beginning. The truth that you are provided for. As long as you remain connected to your Source, you will be aware of where there is a need for your talents and your gifts. Breaking through the fear, you will attract abundance-work, people, opportunities, money...

Every ending marks a new beginning. Losing your job can be the push and the freedom you needed to contribute in new and creative ways to your life and the life of those around you. Don't despair. Empty the fear in your pocket...leave room for what's to come.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My new year's resolution: none...



I am going to recommend that you do not make any resolutions for 2013.

Every year many people make lists of new year's resolutions. Making these lists can be helpful because they help you examine where you are and where you want to go, but these resolutions keep you living in the future rather than in the present. New years' resolutions are too long range, setting you up for failure. By March, most people have given up on their resolutions.

If your goal is to lose weight, decide that today you will have a salad and fruit or go for a walk. If you want to spend more time with your kids, decide that today you will go for a walk together or play a board game with them. If you want to change careers, decide that today you will polish your resumé. If you want to have more fun, decide that today you will go dancing or to a movie. If you want to quit smoking, decide that today you will not have a cigarette. We only have this day. You can only act today. Decide each day to live according to what is important to you. Tomorrow, decide again. Resolve to be better today than yesterday.

This is not to say that general long range goals are not important. They are. Planning to be married, graduating from college, going on a Mediterranean cruise are great goals. You accomplish them by proactively working on tasks that will get you to your goal, but only those tasks that matter today, that make sense and do not rob you of the joy of living this day.

In the end, happiness is the motivation behind all goals. You achieve happiness by finding meaning and purpose in your life. Do those things that agree with who you are and your higher purpose and you will find happiness.

Receive the new year with an open heart, clarity about what is important to you and the resolve to make the most of each day.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Let's go to bed...

My life has recently been filled with amazing experiences and beautiful people, some new and some not so new in my life. The pace of my days has been exhilarating and incredibly fast. I have been able to accomplish a lot and focus on the path to my goals and dreams participating in events and activities that are not only fun, but entirely related to what I love to do, with my chosen career path. I have been high on adrenaline for a few weeks now. I haven't been able to slow down enough to meditate, practice yoga and sleep.

High on adrenaline, I felt I could take over the world. I didn't feel tired. I just kept going. Until today. I saw a picture someone took of me last night. My skin is gray, my eyes look tired with big bags under them. It's awful. Then, this morning, I woke up late after a couple of hours sleep and I couldn't write-not today's article, not poetry, not a shopping list. I did make it out of the house to take care of a few things, but I was operating in slow motion. I still am. My tongue is heavy. I am crashing.

I stay pretty healthy, but tonight I am feeling a little tickle in my throat and, though the phone has rung a few times with enticing invitations, all I want to do is drink tea and cuddle. As I type this, I notice that I can't see all that well. It's another symptom of my lack of sleep. I want to go back to well-being. I need to sleep.

Sleep restores your body, restores your mind, reduces stress, recharges your energy, boosts your immune system, reduces inflammation, improves memory, increases stamina, sharpens your attention, helps with metabolism and more. Sleep is wonderful. It puts me in a good mood. It heals me-body, mind and soul. It can heal you too. Tonight, let's go to bed with enough time to restore ourselves and enjoy the healing power of sleep...





Friday, December 14, 2012

Free to love again...

Ahh...the pain of a broken heart...

When a relationship is over, one or both lovers hurts and in that pain it is easy to fall into behaviors that prolong the anguish and postpone the healing. Such behaviors include attachment, arguments, fault finding and dependence, among others. We do this because it is what we know to do and because we lack a knowing that everything is going to be ok.

When a relationship is over it is time to release...release the attachment and dependence...to release the lover to a higher force. Holding on to what happened, why it happened and why you, stops the possibility of remembering kindly (remembering that everyone acts according to their emotional level of understanding, including you) in order to learn, grow and move on. Every time you love, you get closer to the love you really want. Releasing and forgiving clears the space open to love again.

When you let go, you allow yourself to be taken care of. It is a show of faith. You feel that all will be ok. Start...let go and feel the healing and the joy of a resentment-free heart. Let go and see the love already around you. Let go and accept the love that comes your way. Let go...you are free to love again.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

What do you have to lose?

Wake up and give thanks...for anything, for everything.

It's a new day, you have things to do...give thanks for you have an opportunity to make a difference. The neighborhood is noisy...give thanks for you live in a lively community. The kids are up early on Saturday morning, jumping on the bed and the tv is too loud...give thanks for they are healthy and joyful. Traffic is held up...give thanks for you have time to think. It's raining and you had plans to be outside...give thanks for you can improvise and be adventurous. Everything is taking too long today...give thanks for you can practice patience. People are being rude...give thanks for you can practice understanding. You argued with your mate...give thanks for you can make up. You broke up...give thanks for you are free to love again.

Giving thanks does not change your circumstances, but it changes the way you feel about them. Go ahead, give thanks. What do you have to lose?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Puffed-up human

He tried to make me smaller by belittling what he thinks I am...for he thinks I am what I do, what I have, what I have accomplished. He is intelligent, handsome and has done some great things in his career field. He is established and, to all outward appearances, self-secure. I think of him and I want to hold him and tell him that it is all going to be ok.

The truth is that he is insecure and can't see his real worth and that he wasn't really belittling me. He was trying to make himself bigger. If he were bigger, he believes, then he would have more respect, acknowledgement and self-confidence. If he sticks his chest out and pounds on it, then he wouldn't feel pain. If he looks down on others he seems better in comparison. Yet what this does is tell us that he is insecure and self-conscious.

We do this sometimes. Insecurity takes over us and we react by trying to outshine. We, like him, turn away from our hollowed and broken hearts to an exaggeration of our facts or a devaluation of others.

I saw in him the pain...the pain that he denies but that is palpable in his moods, his comments, the way he views others. He didn't depreciate me because I am not what I do, what I have or what I have done. Neither is he. Neither are you.

I am, he is and you are a precise part of this Universe. There is no comparison between us because we were all created unique. We think, act and feel different and there's room for all of us. We are all worthy. We each fill a special role. Even he, in his arrogant, egotistic, self-important demeanor is special and deserving of love and respect. Behind the mask there is a contribution he can make, love he can give, service he can render. I see it. The next time you see a puffed-up human, see it too. See behind the mask.



Little things...big love

"We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love." This is a quote of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I had to google it because it has become such a cliché that I didn't know if I remembered it correctly or if I was even remembering it well. I have been thinking about this quote for a few days now. In our search for meaning, we go out of our way to attempt great things. For some, this is a search for validation and recognition. Yet every now and then I see someone who does small things with great love. 


Recently a friend was dog sitting two dogs for one of his friends. He took the two pups out for some exercise and brought them home with him. The next thing he knows is that the dogs are infested with fleas...and now, so is his apartment. Oh boy. I was so touched by the way in which he took care of the dogs...he was more concerned about their health and comfort than the inconvenience, the interruption of his schedule and the hassle. He bought what he needed to treat the dogs and everything he needed to kill the fleas at the dog owner's house. He took them to their house and cared for them then went on a mission to exterminate the fleas that were living in the house. He then went home and took care of the fleas at his own place. What a nightmare, I thought. However, for him, it was an act of love. I was inspired. 

I realize that in our lives we may not all achieve recognition or get the validation that we are looking for...we will not all become famous, but we can all be important in the lives of others. We achieve this importance by doing little things with big love. 



Monday, December 10, 2012

Who's fault is it anyway?

In any situation in which something has gone wrong, it is no one's fault-if you decide to look at it that way.

When you look to blame others, or a situation, you give them power over you. If it is someone's or something else's fault then you have to wait for them to change so that you can heal, grow, get better. Yet, if you own it, you can do something about it. You don't need to walk around claiming everything is your fault. Not finding fault includes not finding fault with yourself. Accept responsibility for the choices you have made. It's fine. Right or wrong you made a decision. Now learn from it. Claim your power. Don't blame. Grow.

Traffic, rude people, your birth order, the government, your alarm, your cheating spouse, the high cost of living, your bad luck, etc. can all be reasons for why your life is not on track...or why you are angry, surly, pessimistic and negative. You can claim all these reasons and more, or you can see them as excuses. You can always respond differently. You can always acknowledge that you also have a part in any of these. We all make decisions the best way we can and finding fault does not change anything. 

Who's fault is it anyway? Who cares...Life is best lived when we don't go around assigning blame. 


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Traveling light

I used to pack my suitcases with everything that I thought I would need...and anything I thought anyone traveling with me would need. Then I made a packing list...and copied it...and saved it online in case I lost it on my trip.

I am a recovering packer...for travel and in life. I have shed the excess. When I travel, I leave room in my suitcases for what I may pick up here and there. In life, I have made room in my mind to learn, in my hands to give and in my heart to love. I have not missed anything I have given up. Moreover, I don't worry about things, t-h-i-n-g-s. When I had so much, I had to insure the stuff, keep track of the stuff, maintain the stuff, house the stuff, store the stuff...I was stuffed. When you are stuffed you don't have room for anymore or anything new. I have since purged and now I travel light, everyday.

It is a blessing not to need anything more than what I already have. This lightness helps me see what I do have...the unconditional love and support of a beautiful family, the joy and trust of loving friends, true love, the company of brilliant people, art, beauty everywhere, time...

Traveling light everyday allows me to laugh, to join a friend for lunch, to help a worthy cause, to see opportunities in which I can use my talents, to put my shoes on and just go when I am invited, to tickle my son in the middle of the afternoon, to read, to enjoy this beautiful island I live in, to write, to have an unhurried talk with my parents, to be a better friend, to dance with my twin nephews, to learn something new, to love fearlessly, to work in what I truly love...

I acknowledge that this journey has not been easy and has taken its time, but it has been worth it. I invite you to experience it. What could you do to reduce the load of your baggage? Find out, then come with me...let's travel light.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

What are you high on?

Your either high on ego or high on Spirit.

When you are high on ego, nothing is ever enough. You want more. You need more. You want more things, more recognition, more achievements, more status, more success, more money. You need more of these because without them you have no worth, or so you think. You worry too much about what people may think of you, even if you think that you don't...well, you do. When you are living from ego, you are constantly driving, but never getting there-wherever there is.

Many people who have been high on ego get to a point in their lives where they are tired of this constant striving, of the arrogance that self-importance requires. It's difficult to enjoy the beauty of life, the tender touch of love, solitude without pressing thoughts, friendship without an agenda, spontaneity, a holding-hands-walk, tossing a ball back and forth with a kid, laughter–the kind that starts in the gut and makes your cheeks hurt and savoring other people just the way they are, among other life affirming gestures, if you are operating on ego. People get tired of this. If you are tired of the never-ending chase, then slow down. Slow down enough for you to steer in the other direction.

Steering in the other direction does not mean that you will no longer live in abundance or have prosperity. On the contrary. When you are living from your Spirit, you are on purpose. You are ambitious in a way that serves your Higher-Self. You do less, yet you accomplish more. You are no longer interested in being in the limelight, but more so in fulfilling your purpose. You are no longer interested in being right, but more so in keeping the peace. You don't feel the lack. Instead you are thankful for all that you have. You live in abundance. Aligned with Spirit, what makes you happy materializes.

When you are high on ego, your self-importance is a curse that keeps you defending yourself, competing, comparing and always having to prove yourself. When you are high on Spirit, you know that you are important, worthy, lovable and that you don't need to prove what you are capable of. Living in Spirit, you live in harmony, peace, prosperity, abundance and love. When you are high on Spirit, you are high on life...


Friday, December 7, 2012

Today began...

Today began just when yesterday ended. We don't have yesterday any longer. It's gone. No...don't think about it anymore. If you do, you'll waste today. Before you know it, today will be gone as well.

This day, today, is the only one we have. It is this moment the only one we have to live. We can't live any other moment. Today is the only time when you can laugh, learn, do, feel, grow, make a difference, love. Today is the only day when you can plant seeds and imagine. You can't have joy in the past. You also can't have joy in the future.

Fully embrace this moment, this day. Don't worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. Only do today what you can do today. Transfer the energy of tomorrow's worries to a to-do list, a planner, your smart phone or anything that can hold that thought until you can do something about it...tomorrow. Transfer the energy, then let it be, let it go.

What will you do today? Make it worthwhile. Don't count on tomorrow. You can't go back in time.  Live this day.

For now, relax, tomorrow will come, but only when you are done with today...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

No fear...

We live in fear. We live with doubt. We see confirmation everywhere that evil is lurking, that we are just waiting for the other shoe to drop for something bad to happen. The news and the gossipers confirm that everything and everyone is going to hell in a hand-basket.

To make matters worse, we live uncertain of the future. We have no control over most circumstances and feel we are not safe in the world.

Do we really need to live like this?

I propose that, since we can't change this uncertainty and lack of control, we get over this fear. Knowing that we can't be sure of what will happen actually gives us a very powerful reason not to be paralyzed, to live life at full-throttle, in full color. Change your attitude, the way you talk about life...and for crying out loud, change the way you think! Then live and love joyfully and creatively conjuring love into everything. Not knowing what the future holds should be the catalyst for us to live life fearlessly.

Today I choose to live with no fear...



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The pain of heartache

When I was a little girl my dad used to hug me when I cried. He would rock me back and forth saying "ba, ba, ba..." and nothing else. It became a soothing mantra. No words. Just a loving action, soulful comfort.

As an adult I have had to learn to self-soothe. When my heart aches I reach for comfort, for the "ba, ba, ba..." available to me. I begin with the toughest part, forgiveness, which changes my heart...it is only there where we can forgive. This is not a brain action, this is all in the heart. I follow this forgiveness with compassion.

When someone has caused us pain we feel we have cause to be angry and to blame. This only makes the pain deeper, wider...longer. I stop myself there, however terrible the painful action has been. This is very difficult to do, I know. Yet, by making myself willing to forgive, understand and be compassionate I find comfort and healing in affection from loved ones, kindness of strangers, the love of friends...  It is as if Spirit says ok, you're willing, I'll help. If the pain is collective, my willingness shows me the coming together of people in an effort to love one another to effect positive change. Loving action is contagious.

Forgiving does not excuse the harm done to us, but it does release us from the pain. Compassion reminds us that those who hurt us are hurting too. Compassion also reminds us that we, too, have hurt others. Compassion releases mercy.

When we are hurting we have a tendency to explain what happened. This can help us understand, but, many times, it make us justify and find fault. Feel the pain, forgive and release. When you forgive, the pain starts to heal. When you forgive, the pain of heartache goes away...clearing the way for you to participate in life more fully, allowing you to be of help to others, to be the "ba, ba, ba..." for those who are in pain.

...in memory of José Enrique Gómez and with loving thoughts for his family and everyone who is affected by the terrible crime that took his life. May love, compassion and mercy bring us all together. Only love can change hate...




Pick me!


I love this movie. It's so funny. Donkey is hilarious. And although many people look at Shrek and his layers as a source of contemplation on life, Donkey is the one that makes me think. 

As in this scene, people get so eager to belong that they jump up and down screaming "pick me, pick me" with their attitude and their behavior. They get anxious and act desperate. It is doubt. It is fear. It is insecurity. It is forgetfulness. People doubt that good can come their way. People fear that they will not be chosen. People see themselves through the opinion of others. People forget that they were created worthy and valuable. The truth is that their talents and gifts are meant to be shared and have a time and a place. In the disorientation, people will do anything to belong.

To stop this madness, this giving away of who you are, stop where you are and take a slow breath. Decide that you will take time to inventory what you have to offer. Think of what you would like to do with your abilities and keep your focus there. Stay alert for opportunities that call for you. Don't rush into things. Don't sell yourself short. You will be picked.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The curse of sincerity...


Honesty is such a lonely word...everyone is so untrue...sings Billy Joel. This song speaks to the heart of many people. It speaks to my heart. It's one of my favorite songs.

I do believe, though, that many people are honest even though the truth may be something else. The human brain does not recall events in a continuous strip of memory. It takes highlights and when it recalls, it pieces them together. Those pieced highlights of memory have gaps in between. The brain then fills in the gaps. Those gaps are filled with the mood, the experiences and the feelings inherent in that person. What you get is honesty-ish.

Then there's sincerity. This one is especially true for me. Honesty is one thing. Sincerity is another. Sincerity is freedom from duplicity. I have difficulty in separating the two. I am transparent.What you see is what you get. My mother insists that this is a flaw. I am not sure yet. This sincerity opens me up like a raw piece of fruit–vulnerable, mushy, sometimes too sweet. I could change that, but I don't want to. Sincerity keeps me alive, feeling the sentiment of the world, responding truthfully. I suppose my mother worries because she fears I will be taken advantage of. It can happen, but I can't worry about what can happen. What someone does to me is between them and God.

My father on the other hand never worries about me. He thinks I am strong, the way bamboo is strong. Flexible, unassuming, enduring strength. My mother's worry is her mother's love for me. My father's confidence is his love for me. They both understand who I am.

I part from the premise that everyone I encounter is honest with me, truthful...sometimes sincere. In a world where people hide who they are, lie to get what they want, and manipulate others, I stay my course. I take what others give me.  Don't confuse my generosity of spirit with gullibility or naivety. I accept who people are the way they are. If someone proves to be a liar, a manipulator or simply cannot be trusted, then I release them from the benefit of my love and friendship, with a blessing and a prayer.  I send them on their way. It's the way I love. It's my sincerity, honestly...

Enjoy the song...



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Empty hands

The afternoon was rainy and beautiful, perfect for writing. I made myself a cup of tea and a plate of cheese, crackers, yogurt and apples and went upstairs to my writing room. I stood in front of the door and stared at it. I couldn't manage to open it. My hands were full.

With all the best intentions, many times we come carrying too much. We want to learn, but we come knowing too much. We want to see people for who they are, but we come judging. We want to help, but we come with our own intentions. We want to understand, but we come with too many spoken words. We want to enjoy life, but we come full of ourselves. We want to love, but we come full of doubts.

 If we empty ourselves of expectations, our own ideas, our wants and, more importantly, our egos, we empty ourselves to receive. We are less preocuppied with ourselves and available to help, serve and think creatively. The best we can offer is our emptiness and our willingness. With our hands empty, we can open doors, hold each other and receive what life and love offer us.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

(Im)Patience

I plant seeds and sit to watch them grow...then I wish for them to grow quickly, and pretend that I am being patient. Then I ask sternly...then I scream: Grow!

Can you imagine a flower growing that way? Silly, I know. Although I have never actually screamed at the seeds of a flower to grow, I have, somehow, screamed at other seeds I have planted. Whenever I have, not only do the seeds not grow any faster than nature would have them grow, I stunt their growth. I sometimes halt it altogether.

I do this because I get excited. I open gifts on Christmas Eve, never on Christmas Day. I tell everyone my good news as soon as I know. I buy gifts in anticipation of a celebration. I blurt out Surprise! before the lights come on. This is just to name a few of the instances in which my impatience is born out of excitement.

I also get impatient because of fear–fear of losing an opportunity, fear of missing something, fear of lack, fear of being hurt, etc. When in fear, I sabotage the outcome. Attitude is part of this. Not taking the time to think things through is another. I am always sorry after I act impatiently and spoil what could have been.

Impatience also makes me settle for less than perfect. Instead of waiting for the seeds I have planted to grow into the right job or the right opportunity, I jump at the first chance. The seeds tend to stop growing after that.

I rush everything. I rush through everything. I don't enjoy the process and I don't learn as much as I could. Being impatient takes away from the richness of life, but there's always hope...

I have planted seeds that I have not screamed at yet. I am hopeful and already thankful for the wait. I see the soil stirring just a bit each day with seedlings making their way up.

Today, I plant more seeds–seeds of service, work, friendship, love–and then I trust...and then I wait.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Synchro-Destiny


I'm a believer. There's no grand puppet-master pulling my strings...nothing is set in stone. There are no coincidences. My life works as a series of answers to the intentions and desires of my heart...as they are aligned or misaligned with Spirit. Today is proof of that.

When I am clear about what I want, and this desire works for the best of all involved, when I stay in harmony with my beliefs and when I honor others, things go right and they continue to go right. When this happens, I am light-hearted and carefree. Everything just flows. People come together and circumstances line up almost out of the blue.

This morning started dreary for both the weather and my state of mind. Then, as I was driving in the rain, the most beautiful, rich in color, rainbow draped in the sky in front of me. It was right in front of me. I was driving into a rainbow. Moody, grumpy and cranky, I was so awed that all I could say was a whispered thank you. My thoughts changed. I started imagining this day with all sorts of wonderful things happening. I had no specifics, I just had this overwhelming feeling that this day was going to be great. I got out of my head and into the music on the radio. I put my money where my mouth was and asked to be led where I could serve.

I changed course and decided to meet with my friend Carlos for brunch-then lunch-then coffee. We ironed out the details of this great plan we have been working on. I went with no expectations and only my desire to be useful to the plan. As I drove away I had a rush of new ideas flood me, so I wrote them down. I want to do a book fair, was my first idea.

When I got to my office, I returned my friend Héctor's call, something I should have done two days ago. I shared with him my idea. Synchro-destiny! Two days ago I didn't have this plan. Today I do and Héctor supplied the venue. I called my friend Miguel to follow-up on something else we are working on-he got so excited about my idea and offered more help. I called Carlos back to tell him about the book fair and, of course, he had more help to offer. As the night progresses, my email, Facebook inbox, phone and text are pinging with news, referrals and confirmation about the event. People want to attend, authors want to participate, others just want to help. All is working for the good of all involved. And there is more to come, I am sure.

I am already thankful for the promise. Tomorrow will continue this domino-effect, more people will be part of this blessing. I am a believer that all of us involved in this event were meant to be involved and that only good for everyone involved is synchro-destined from here on out...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Serenity Now!

Everyday we find ourselves in stressful situations and meet with people who test our patience. It is in such moments when our true character shows. We either keep our cool or show our butts. How we cope has an impact on those around us. We can make those around us fearful, irritated and confused or we can uplift them and make them feel calm by the way we respond. What is your attitude when caught in the daily storms of life?

When faced with a difficult person, don't react. Take a moment to breathe and remember that people act according to their level of emotional maturity and how well they understand themselves. It's never about you. Smile and see them through the eyes of universal love. You have no control over them, but you can choose your thoughts and feelings towards them.

When you find yourself in a stressful situation, try looking at it from a different perspective. Is there something you can learn from this? Breathe. Choose your thoughts carefully and be open to lessons and opportunities that may not be obvious. When you feel your temper starting to rise, take a moment to think about the situation without your emotions in the thought process. Think that this too shall pass. Any reaction that exacerbates your anger-screaming, blaming, raging-will only make things worse and will not fix what's going on in the first place. Take a walk, take a breath, say a mantra that brings you back to who you are.

When all else fails, scream Serenity Now!...just kidding.

I leave you with this clip from Seinfeld. I can't help but laugh out loud when I see it. It is one of the ways I cope...with a good laugh.


Coffee with St. Joseph

To love others as you love yourself...to love others as they are...is easier said than done sometimes.

I was in one of my favorite cafés during the lunch hour writing a piece that was due today. The energy at this particular place is great fuel for my writing. This café is full of friendly faces, enthusiastic students and vibrant passersby. I was immersed in my work when an older man slammed his coffee next to me on the table and announced he was sitting next to me, ok then. He wasn't sitting down just yet though. His coffee steamed waiting for him, somewhat annoyed at being slammed then ignored. A few moments later a very polite, younger man asked if he could sit on my other side, of course, please do–how else would you answer politeness? A few moments after that, Old Man returns. I call him Old Man because it's the most practical way of describing him.

With my eyes on my notebook and my hand fiercely writing, I went back to my article. "Well, this coffee is cold. Why would they serve me cold coffee?" Oh no, I have a complainer next to me. I don't engage. "I'm just going to sit across from you. I like the view better." He moves to the chair across from me shaking the table and distorting my writing. Really! Come on. I'm working here. I don't engage. "Oh, the view is better from here." I don't engage. "Can I ask you a question?" says the old man. Sure. "What are you doing?" Oh boy. This is turning into a conversation. Polite Man just smiles, albeit with a little grit in his teeth. He can see that old man is not very adept at social cues. I answer briefly. "Can I ask you another question?" Old Man interrupts again. Sure. "Are you this beautiful all day long?" Polite Man chimes in "something, something, something...dirty old man." They banter for a while. I try to go back to work, but Old Man decides to read me poetry. Enough!

I caught myself about to lose it. Old Man can read poetry, but not body language. He couldn't understand the tone of my voice-the one that says I'm just being polite, but I really have to get back to what I was doing. And just when I had enough of his interruptions and obnoxious comments I looked into the face of Polite Man and something clicked in me. I remembered. I decided to live what I believe.

I closed my notebook and finished listening to Old Man's poetry. I chatted with him for a few minutes, and that seemed to do the trick. His comments after that were not so obnoxious anymore. He blessed Polite Man and me, then left.

It turns out that Polite Man's name is Joseph, to me, St. Joseph. He is going into medical school to be a physician–the profession closest to God. His soft demeanor saved me from retreating into old habits of self-importance. Being in his presence helped me catch myself in time to offer respect to someone older, surely wiser. That split second helped me recognize that what Old Man needed was attention. Not irritated by his interruption any longer, I gave him what he needed-we both did, St. Joseph and I. Old Man left walking a little taller, with a smile on his face and the joy of having had coffee with a stranger and a saint.

...to love others as you do yourself is an action. It can be as simple as having a real conversation, giving full attention to someone, letting go of self-importance, being plain and nice...


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy

I woke up grumpy. I woke up grumpy for no reason at all. I could find the reasons (the alarm went off right when I was sleeping, traffic was heavy, I had a long list of things to do, my hair had a mind of it's own today, and on goes the list), but I decided not to. That would have made me grumpier.

I jumped in the car and took my kid to school. He was just so darn chipper. He talked to me all the way to school and sang to me every song that came on the radio that he knows I like. Did he not notice how grumpy I was?

I dropped him off at school and then I stopped for gas. I went to the counter to pay for my fuel and the girl at the register had this huge smile and greeted me Good morning! She was polite and cheerful. Did she not notice how grumpy I was?

I walked out to my car and a man winked at me and said "Good morning! Oh, no, no...beautiful women shouldn't pump their own gas. Let me get that for you..." He opened my driver side door for me then proceeded to fill up the tank. What's with the niceness? Did he not notice how grumpy I was?

I was finally on my way when my phone rang. On the other end was...well...someone special. He was so gracious. "Breakfast?" How could he ask me to breakfast with this long list of important things he has to do today? Darn it, breakfast was great and the conversation was better. What's with the smiling and the sweetness? Did he not notice how grumpy I was?

I finally get to the office. Oh boy, I have to pay this forward. I realize that the people around me did notice I was grumpy and gave me all the love they could muster.

I am sure that everyone I encountered this morning could have been grumpy too, but they decided to change the energy around them by offering a positive and loving gesture to brighten up the day. So have I...


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I love you...free & clear

We can cage a bird, but we can't cage its song...just as we can cage our lover, but not his love...

To love someone is to love who they are, as they are. Love allows the loved to be themselves-to think, feel and express themselves freely, lovingly and unabashedly. Loving someone lets them love us as they can, with no controls and no pressures. When we love, when we really and truly love, we are honest and sincere in the love we present...we become lovable, love-able. We don't earn love, we don't work for love...we give it with no conditions and in such a way receive it. Sometimes we get it from whom we least expect it as a surprise from the Universe. Sometimes a friendship turns to love, sometimes a relationship that started wrong mysteriously becomes a love story, sometimes a love you released returns and sometimes love just happens between two people in a relationship who decide to give up insecurity, distrust and the need to control in order to love each other.

To love free and clear is to put no demands on your lover, each one of you finding perfect safety and security in Spirit and uncaging unconditional love for each other...

Monday, November 26, 2012

I am me

Growing up I felt I was dumb, talentless and ugly. I can't remember a particular incident in which a person said anything to make me feel that way. It was a feeling I brought with me everywhere. It was awful.

I compared everything about myself to others and felt worse each time I did so. My name was so much different and uncommon that I even wanted to change that. I wanted to be more like everyone else. Silly, I know.

This is not about self-esteem or self-confidence. This is about not having an interior compass and nowhere firm where to throw my anchor. I didn't know my nature, which is the same nature as everyone I compared myself with. It is the same as your nature. I didn't know that in a sense I was like everyone else: special.

Our nature is divine. We are a portion of Spirit without limitations and with an unlimited supply of resources, guidance and help. We are a portion of Spirit and our nature is to love...ourselves and others. We are not what we do, what we have, our bodies, what people think of us or what happens to us. We are a portion of Spirit and Spirit leads us where we are needed in order to fulfill our purpose.

I am now anchored. I am aligned to Spirit, who is unchanging. This helps me to go with the flow knowing that everything is as it should be. I don't compare myself anymore because I learned that I am me...unique in my talents and what I can contribute. I don't resist what makes me excited because this is Spirit's way of moving me in the right direction. I do what I am supposed to with enthusiasm. I also meditate, listen, pay attention to signs and messages, stay aligned to my Source, stay attuned to my intuition and I act. With this focus on my true self, the opinion of others does not matter, I feel secure, creative, loving and less concerned with having a plan. I bring this with me everywhere I go.

I am intelligent, talented and beautiful...and so are you.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stuck in my head

867-5309, 867-5309...remember that song? Poor Jenny. She had this guy obsessing over her. Poor us. After we listen to this song, we can't get it out of our heads.

Obsessive thoughts are like this, like a song stuck in our heads, they go round and round compulsively. This is not about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), this is about ruminating thoughts that keep us down, thoughts that keep us from enjoying this moment, thoughts that keep us in the past or worried about the future and thoughts about situations we cannot control.



This type of obsessive thought is fear based. When you think this way, you go over and over the same thoughts in your head because you are afraid of something. You are afraid of what the future may bring or you are afraid of the results of decisions you have already made, among other things. What does your body do when you're afraid? It gears up for a fight. Your body sends epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol and stress hormones to jump start you into action. Since you are not in danger, and these hormones are in your system, your stress and anxiety are increased. This is just not healthy. At this level of stress, the best way for you to burn off these chemicals is through exercise. Once you are calmer, meditation will help channel those thoughts.

To deal with obsessive thoughts in a more proactive way, try a morning journal. Let your thoughts go wild on paper in this journal. Write fifteen minutes of train of thought each morning. Give yourself permission to obsess over what is bothering you with the condition that this is the only time in your day you will do it. Then let it go.

The next time your thoughts start going round like a broken record, choose another thought, smell the air, feel the space you are in...use your senses to bring you back into this moment...and get that old song out of your head...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Of friends and lovers

Are you lonely? Is your list of friends short? Do you feel incomplete because you are not in a romantic relationship? Are you looking for love? Then stop.

If you are looking for love then you are looking for what you feel you are missing. You are putting out there the message that you are lacking. You are then attracting that lack back into your life. When you are in search of love, you are giving out this energy of desperation, need and insecurity. This is not what you think you are looking for, but it is what you'll get. 

Love attracts love. You are love. Act like it. Live it! Be what you are seeking. Bring with you harmony, respect, freedom, loyalty, happiness, dignity, security, kindness and joy everywhere you go to everyone you meet without expecting anything in return. Think in terms of "I know the right person is coming at the right time." Set your intention and let it go...

Friends and lovers come and go...in between there's always you. You are complete. 



Friday, November 23, 2012

Nothing's gonna change my world


A while back, someone I love very much was going through a very tough process. She remembers with such love one particular moment she went through during the prescribed course of action she had to endure. She got through it while singing The Beatles' Across The Universe. The chorus to this beautiful song, "nothing's gonna change my world...nothing's gonna change my world...", helped her decide that regardless of what happened from that point forward, she would be ok. A-ha!

This is wisdom...the kind found by making peace with uncertainty. She understood in that very moment that having a rigid attachment to a particular result would shut out possibilities, and make her feel disappointed, helpless, hopeless and desperate. She surrendered to Spirit and let go...

Faced with uncertainty, hold on to the belief that there's a superior intelligence at work. It is a permanent intelligence. It is your Source, your Creator. When your world's internal reference point is grounded on this divine consciousness, it cannot be changed even if circumstances do. Allow God to act without your intervention. Open your heart to possibilities beyond your imagination. Do your due diligence and have faith. This is all you can do.

You are loved and protected. Regardless of what happens, you will be ok. Nothing's going to change your world...


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gratitude...fake it 'til you make it...

I wholeheartedly believe that being in a state of gratitude changes everything. However, I acknowledge that if life is rough for you right now, finding things to be grateful for can be difficult. I also know that you may actually just not want to be grateful right now.

Being grateful does not deny the hardships you may be going through, it doesn't change the way things are and it doesn't blind you to the struggles of the world. Yet being grateful does change your mood and your general feeling about life. Being grateful also moves your ego out of the way, accepts who you are, how things are and where you are-helping you live in this very moment.

When you move into gratitude, you open your heart, your awareness and your attitude to give thanks...and to receive them, to see inspiration, and to receive guidance and help. Being grateful, you may actually move forward from where you are stuck and find solutions to your problems.

You don't have to start by blessing your bankruptcy, your layoff, your failed marriage, your illness and such. You can start by pushing yourself a little...fake being thankful until you make it. Start by giving thanks for your morning coffee, for good music on the radio, for the kind smile a stranger offered. Once you start experiencing a lift in your mood, you will grow your list.

Today is a good day to be grateful. I am starting my list:

  1. I am grateful for you...



There's no secret

Ask...wish with all your might...and only keep your thoughts on your desires. This is the secret to getting all you want. Is it?

The law of attraction states that like attracts like. The truth, then, is that you don't attract what you want, you attract what you are. This is why your thoughts are so important. They become your actions, your character and who you are. Be careful. Selfish thoughts will not yield your wishes. I want, I want, I want will attract messages of I want from the same cosmos you are asking something of. Then the cosmos will make demands of you. If you think in terms of what's wrong, what's lacking, your limitations, distrust and such, then you will get like messages in return and attract more of the same into your life.

On the other hand, if you offer of yourself, the universe will offer back to you. When you start serving and helping others by sharing your gifts, the most amazing things start to happen. Synchronistically, doors start to open, the right opportunities appear, the right people show up, guidance materializes and solutions become clear for you. You collaborate with the fulfillment of your destiny when you allow Spirit to work through you, when you ask with an open heart where you may serve and how you may help. When you forget about what's in it for you, then your dreams start to come true. It's no secret.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Suffering

Suffering is the mental state in which we respond negatively to pain, to the perception of being hurt or to the threat of being hurt. Pain is not suffering. Pain is a sensation. We tend to use these terms interchangeably, yet suffering and pain are not the same.

In suffering we experience negative thoughts, emotions and actions which we feel are the proper and expected responses to whatever we perceive is the source of our suffering. In other words, our form of suffering is learned and it is in our minds. 

We suffer because we forget who we are, because we identify with our self-image, because we cling to things and ideas, and because we are fearful. Thoughts of despair, self-pity, entitlement, attachment, lack, the opinion of others, unrealistic expectations, that we are alone in whatever we are going through, and other such negative beliefs keep us suffering. This is not something to take lightly and it is not something we "cure" with a positive thought. Suffering is an emotional habit that we can heal by opening up to our Creator. Spirit will do its healing while we do our part - which is to stay aligned to our Source and to not perpetuate the thoughts that keep us suffering. 

Suffering can make us more kind, understanding and compassionate, and for that we can be thankful. Other than that, it serves us no purpose. It keeps us down. For now, opt out of the common attitudes of suffering, put things in perspective and trust in your nature. It takes tremendous discipline to change our way of thinking, but we need to do it if we want our suffering to stop. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

What's in it for you...

Abundance is that state you live in when you have everything you want and everything you need. When you align your thoughts, your actions, what you believe in and what you expect with your divine Spirit, then everything you want and wish for and everything you need comes your way.

To live abundantly, go beyond your ego (What's in it for me?), figure out what you are best at, what your unique talents are (this is what you have to offer), and put yourself at the service of others (How may I serve? How can I help?). You will then have effortless access to unlimited abundance.

I experience an amazing shift in feeling when I concern myself with the needs of others. When I put my talents to work for others without regard to what benefit I may gain or what kind of thanks or recognition I may receive, my worries about myself melt away. I have abundance and live joyfully.

You too can enjoy a smooth stream of blessings when you fulfill your purpose and use your special skills for the benefit of others. What's in it for you? Everything...


Sunday, November 18, 2012

The blessing of chores

Every blessing comes with responsibilities. Cars need to be maintained, laundry needs to be washed, homes need to be taken care of.

As Sunday greets us, in the midst of our busy life, there is still so much to do before the new week rolls in. Since you have this laundry-list of housework to do, why not do it as a thankful gesture for the bounty that you enjoy? ... An offering of gratitude...

Everything of value takes effort. Make that effort with the best attitude possible. Washing dishes can be its own form of meditation. Grocery shopping can be a prayerful reflection on those who have less. Sweeping and mopping can be a contemplation of how fortunate you really are. In all, do it with joy, turn up the music, involve the kids and have some fun. This is the blessing of doing chores.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Who are you?


I have good news for you! You were perfectly designed to live this life as you. There was no mistake made. You were equipped with the exact body, mind and spirit to be you. You were not set-up for failure. Everything you need to survive and to thrive is in you. 

In fact, you were conceived with such love, respect and devotion that you were created with the freedom to think, feel, believe and act. There's no grand puppet master. Who you are today is who you are as result of your choices, your thoughts and your actions up until this moment. 

There is no one like you. You are beyond comparison. You are wonderful, talented and beautiful. You were dreamed up to learn and to teach, to love and to give, to share. It's all a matter of honoring your essence–of living up to the special gifts you were infused with and loving others, recognizing that they were ideally made as well. Caterpillars really are butterflies. 

In the midst of life–of good spirits, happy moments, chaos, despair, uncertainty, contentment, confusion, ups and downs–remember who you are. Alice in Wonderland does not know who she is, but you will remember who you are. Who you are is great. You are perfectly imperfect by design. 


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Be selfish...forgive

Forgiveness is nothing more than a healing balm for a wound, a remedy for an illness that keeps you feeling sick and keeps you susceptible to staying sick. Not forgiving is like picking at a wound-it will never heal.

Holding on to a grudge keeps your fists closed around the grievance. Remembering the injury keeps you bound to it making life hell-you relive the moment over and over again. That's hell.

To be hurt by what someone has done to you is ok, but to want to stay hurt is not. Staying in this hurtful state will make you bitter-it will make today bitter and your future days bitter as well.

To move from being wounded to healed, bless both the situation and the offender. Forgiveness does not change the past...it changes you. You go from carrying around anger and indignation to finding freedom. When you forgive, you free yourself from the awful job of judging and blaming, you free your time and your thoughts, you free your heart for harmony and peace.

Open your fists and release the grudge. With your hands and your heart empty of resentment, you now have room for laughter, feelings of joy, love and the forgiveness of others.

If you don't want to care about the wrong someone did to you, if you don't want it to matter anymore, if you want to be peaceful, then be selfish...forgive.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

You get what you want...and what you don't

Everything begins with a thought...every thing, every experience. When you think about something, you start in motion a sequence of events that will attract what you are thinking about-whether it is good or bad. Have you heard someone say "With my luck, I will strike out." and they do? It's not a coincidence. The more you think about something, the likelier it is to happen. That is because you act upon your thoughts. Your mind does not know the difference between what you want and what you don't. All your mind sees are your thoughts. If you think about great opportunities you are passionate about, you will start manifesting these opportunities. If you think about problems you don't want in your life, you will start materializing them as well.

Shift your focus from what you don't want to what you do want in your life. If you are in poor health, think thoughts of health (not disease). If you are in a financial slump, think thoughts of prosperity (not scarcity). If you are in relationship limbo, think thoughts of love (not dissatisfaction). You get the picture. 

Keep your thoughts on what you want in your life...and get what you want.



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happiness is a choice

Happiness is a choice. I learned this from my son when he was only four years old. Today, seven years later, I struggle to remember this lesson learned in the cutest way–a chubby faced angel walks into a moment of frustration, shrugs his shoulders, puts his hands up as though offering a gift and says: "Just be happy!"–and I got it. I got it! As though his words came with an invisible explanation behind them.  I am sure that's that wisdom people keep talking about.

Just be happy. I understood in that moment that being happy is a state of mind. I can choose...I can decide to be happy regardless of the events in my life. After going through loss, setbacks, or the death of a loved one, I choose not to stay in sadness, grief or frustration. I acknowledge the loss, I am aware of the pain and the sadness and then I don't focus on what is wrong or missing anymore. I focus on gratitude. I am thankful for what I learned and the many blessings in my life.

I am happy. That is my choice.

Monday, November 12, 2012

No conflict

I leave the house each morning expecting no conflict. I find none. I could, but I choose not to. 

I am aware that others share the road I travel, that they have their worries, that they are sad, frustrated, scared, anxious, annoyed or hurt. Not everyone is feeling this way, I know. But the ones that are are the ones that need our compassion and understanding, whether they are right or not. This is about acknowledging their feelings and the resulting emotions and not reacting defensively to them. Aware of potential conflict, we disarm. When we answer to love, instead of our ego, we are powerful...we change the world one moment at a time. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I like you

I like you, just the way you are. Do you like yourself as well? You were created from perfection. You were created unique. You were created with a beautiful purpose and with meaning. I feel your presence, your thoughts, your feelings, your laugh, your spirit...without judgment. I see a reflection of all that is in you and I accept you as you are.

I offer this to all I come in contact with. It is true. It makes my heart light and my days better. The energy around me is uplifted and a wave of kindness, cheer and joy spreads... I feel peace in my heart. You can too.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Love is a Battlefield

Pat Benatar says that love is a battlefield. I believe it doesn't have to be. This is just another wrong idea we have been convinced of. Love is not a battlefield.

Love and war are incompatible. War and peace cannot coexist. When the battle begins, I say surrender. Surrender, not to someone, but to a higher energy, a superior force.

Your ego is not going to like it, but only because you are thinking of surrender in terms of giving up and saying with your surrender that you are wrong, that you forgive. Surrendering to a higher energy clears the air in your battlefield for understanding and receptivity. Forgiveness will be necessary, but for now, just surrender, lower your stance and watch the other person's shoulders relax.

Ups and downs in your love battle will be normal and to be expected. By having this awareness of the power of surrender you will be able to acknowledge conflict when it arises and then let it go...surrender it. It is this practice that will bring you clarity of mind and peace of heart to receive the solutions to the battle. Be open to solutions that you have not imagined. In the realm of spirit, everything is possible and sometimes the alternatives to your problem may not be what you envisioned. Surrender your troubles. Trust the answers. Enjoy the love.

This higher energy–God, Universe, Abba, Creator, Spirit or any other name by which you call your higher-self–is in you. Pass on thoughts of frustration, disappointment and anger and reach within for your strength and thoughts of kindness, compassion and love for your spouse or partner and for yourself. Surrender and allow this higher energy to transform your battlefield into a love-field. Allow this energy to let love come through.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pushing out of fear

We push out of fear. When we fear what we don't know and don't understand we sometimes act rashly, led by our emotions–trying to control the end result of something or someone's actions or reactions. We push situations, we push people. We figure that if we force a conclusion we will be certain of something–whether it is good or bad. We don't believe that waiting will yield us what we want or deserve. Yet instigating premature outcomes interrupts the unfolding of our destiny. We sabotage the possibilities.

Trust that a higher good is at work behind the scenes. Trust that there's a wisdom within that only time and listening can reveal. Patience, difficult as it may be, is necessary. Trust yourself and love yourself enough to stop pushing out of fear.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happiness is yours...

When our happiness, stability or sense of value hinges on a particular outcome, the opinion of others or a particular set of circumstances, we set ourselves up for emotional derailment. We've been there. Everything is going exactly right–we have an amazing job, our social life is on fire, our love life is nice and steamy, our children are gifted cherubs, the right political party is in place. Then one or more of these factors changes. Uh-oh! Anxiety, sadness and frustration kick in. We tend to feel this way because we have  identified with ever-changing distortions of our identity. When something doesn't end up as we hoped for, when others don't think we are golden anymore, when the rug gets pulled from under us, we don't change, we are the same. We have to remember that. What changed? Circumstances, opinions–not us. Seek within to uncover who you are, what your purpose is and passionately hold on to positive beliefs about yourself.

Who you are is true. Your purpose keeps you focused and worthy–it stems from who you are. Passionately holding on to positive beliefs about yourself keeps the circle going reminding you of who you are and what you are here to do. Rooted to who you are, you stay happy, stable and worthy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Getting over a crush...

The heart wants what it wants. Even when things didn't work out with a love interest, the heart insists on having feelings for this person. For simplicity of writing, I am going to talk about him, but this applies to either gender–for we all break up, we all hurt and we all break hearts.

If you are trying to get over a crush, an ex-boyfriend or an old lover I recommend that you see him realistically. Don't romanticize him. If he were the one for you then the two of you would be together.

Also, don't hope. I know that hope is that last thing to die, but hoping for him while trying to heal keeps you spinning in place unable to move on. Remember you are trying to get over him.

I suggest, too, that you don't think about him. Prepare for the stream of thoughts about him that will flood your mind by choosing a subject you will think about when you think of him. What long-term projects do you have in mind? Do you have upcoming travel plans? Are you planning any volunteer activities? Choose something to think about ahead of time and when something reminds you of him or a spontaneous thought sneaks in, select another thought.

Along the same lines, I recommend that you don't talk about him. Tell your friends and your family that, in order to heal, the subject of him is off the table. They shouldn't bring it up and, if you do, they should change the subject.

In the meantime, get busy. Idle time is a fertile ground for thinking, hoping, roaming, wandering... Involving yourself in new activities opens you up to new experiences and new people as well, all essential to your healing process.

More importantly, release him with love. Spirit holds you...and holds him. Spirit will sustain you through the process of getting over him. Pray for his happiness and well-being, everyday, and feel the healing of your broken heart begin.