Monday, September 30, 2013

Love comes softly

I rarely watch television. Every now and then though, I tune into something. I was recently in a hotel room by myself and turned the tv on while I took a shower. I listened to a Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes commercial. First of all, wow!, I didn't know they still existed. Second, it got me thinking about how winning something like this could impact a life. A sudden windfall can pack a punch, much like an unexpected job promotion, a new career opportunity, an impromptu move in the direction of your dreams. Good things like this come with a bang. Good things like this are loud, exciting, electrifying. Yet love, real love... comes softly. Even if unexpected, love comes with no resistance, pressure or weight. It doesn't force itself or demand. It pours over like a tender warm rain. Real love seduces, stirs the soul, feathers over your spirit, invites you to love and expands over time. Unlike the good material things in life, love bears long-term effects, blessings that cannot be taken away.

Real love enters oh-so-softly. It will not come announcing itself with balloons, loudspeakers, a crowd and tv cameras in tow. Love will come subtly. Today is a good day to look around. The love you may be longing for may already be there. Welcome it. Allow it. Give it. Receive it. Expect it, softly.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

That was let go.

I still feel the sway of the ocean. I lay on my bed and feel the waves playing with me. My body rocks to sleep. What a wonderful feeling. This is my experience after I go in the ocean. Hours after being in the water, I still feel it.

Just the same, hours after an experience, we sometimes feel because of it. We go to the fair, and our cheeks hurt from all the laughing and fun we had. We go to the museum, and our hearts are still amazed at the beauty of art. We go to the theater and we replay scenes in our minds. These are the good ones. Then there are the effects of a fright, of an argument, of unwelcome news. We feel these as stress, illness, discomfort, anger and anguish. We need to let go.

We need to let go of our identification with our experiences–good or bad. Feelings of joy are wonderful even when experienced later, but we need to be careful of believing that that is our life, our worth for when we no longer experience those feelings, we get lost. The anger we feel at any moment, as well as the fear, insecurity and sadness are not who we are. Feeling anger does not make us angry people, but continuously acting out of anger or any other emotion does have long-term effects in our bodies, our concept of ourselves and our relationships.

Today is a good day to enjoy each moment in the moment, to temper our emotions and remember that our condition in life is not our life. Today is a good day to let go of feelings we have that belong to a moment in the past. Bring into today only the wisdom and the love gained.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

We're good...thanks.

It's been a few days since I have written here. I got off track. All is well, I know, yet there is a longing I am filling that took me off course. I am paying attention. I am not adjusting my direction just yet. This may be the path to take. 

Just when everything is going right, something unexpected happens. When it is good, this may be a result of relaxing our insistence, our worry, our frustration and our fear. It may be our spirit opening up to the love and good karma others want to share. This is the crossroad that is difficult for many, where new doubt enters, where indecision comes in. We question, we wonder, we mistrust. Everything was going so well. Why now? Why this? And when we start doubting we deflect away what blessings were on their way. 

What if we don't? What if we don't question it and see where this detour takes us? What if we enjoy the alternate path? What if in doing so we find a new way altogether? Today is a good day to be thankful for how good everything was going and how it brought us to this point, to be open to the unexpected, to trust Spirit and the gifts we receive. Today is a good day to accept more good into our lives. 

Friday, September 20, 2013


Come. Let's find a spot away from the noise. Sit with me. Let's just breathe. For a moment, close your eyes. Breathe.

Put your hands on your waist and breathe deeply. Expand your chest forward as you squeeze your elbows back without moving your hands. As you exhale, relax. Breathe deeply again, taking your elbows back once more. Breathe out, relax. Let's do it one more time.

Jiggle your body a bit so that it relaxes comfortably. Lay your hands on your lap or on your knees, palms up or palms down. They will fall naturally into one of those expressions. Breathe. Scan your body for any tension. Breathe into that space. Blow the tension out. Inhale with your eyes closed, exhale with your eyes open and a smile. Inhale, exhale, smile. Inhale, exhale, smile.

With each inhale, let your body be heavy. With each exhale, float. Let go of any toxic thoughts. Inhale with your eyes closed, exhale with your eyes open and a smile. Inhale, exhale heaviness. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.

Put your right hand on your left shoulder. Put your left hand on your right shoulder. Breathe deeply with your eyes closed. Keep them closed as you exhale. No hurry. Repeat four more times. S l o w l y. Return to your normal breathing rhythm. After a few moments, open your eyes. Smile. Walk back to your day a little lighter, relaxed, calm and at ease.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Don't look down

I bet that if we were on a high wire or on a balcony off a 50-story building and I said don't look down, you would. It's our habit. We have a habit of thinking and speaking about that which we don't want in our lives. We worry about being paid on time and we think I bet they won't have my check ready. We want to get to work on time and we think about morning traffic. We want to enjoy the movies, but we think about the long line at the ticket counter. We want prosperity, but we grumble about the cost of everything. We want to be healthy, yet me complain about our bodies. 

When my son is in a bad mood, I tell him not to think about surfing. Sure enough, he does. He imagines himself at the beach, riding waves. Soon after he has a new outlook on whatever he was bothered by. This gives him a chance to reframe his thoughts and affect his attitude. We create our experiences through the thoughts we hold. This is why companies spend so much money on advertising. They want us to keep them in the forefront of our minds. Don't think Coca-Cola. You just did. 

If we want to change our daily experience, we need to change the way we express ourselves. What we focus on is what we create, what we endure, what we enjoy or suffer through. Instead of thinking about the nasty weather, the rudeness of customer service personnel, our bad luck, the price of gas and other complaints we have throughout our day, let's focus on what we can bring. Let's bring a positive energy everywhere we go, let's conceive that we receive what we need, let's express our gratitude, let's change the tone of our rhetoric. 

The Universe is listening and expands on what we focus on. If we complain, it will continue to give us reasons to complain. If we are thankful, it will continue to give us reasons to be thankful. We are loved and protected, if we think so. 

Today, don't think about how lucky you are, don't be thankful for your abilities, don't appreciate your friends, don't enjoy abundance. More importantly, whatever you do, don't look up and smile. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Drop it

I admit it. I was struggling. I was struggling to write. I have deadlines for four different projects and I was struggling. I wanted to do it. I was determined. I was focused. I put the pressure on. I must do this! I brewed coffee, sat my butt down, logged out of Facebook, ignored my phone. The clock pushed forward and I made no headway. I still struggled. So I dropped it. 

I went for a walk. I decided not to write. I walked, then I meditated, then I picked up a book to read. After yoga I took a long shower and then watched a show online. I finally went to bed. I dropped the whole deal–the outlines, the word counts, the rewrites, the synopses, the 500-words due. I also dropped my sense of urgency, my doubt, my worry, my self-imposed pressure. 

Dropping it allowed me to reconnect to the reasons I write, to the gratitude in my heart for the life I have, to the fun waiting to be played with. I got a renewed sense of direction, a reignited creative spirit and fresh insight. All is well. I flow. 

Today is a new day and my deadlines still loom, but I am confident...and I am writing. Today there's no struggle. The obstacles, the pessimism, the worry, the doubt and the anxiety were only my thoughts. Dropping it meant dropping those thoughts, distancing myself from them enough to receive guidance, wisdom and inspiration. Today is a good day for you to drop it too. Drop the struggle. Flow.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Against the wall

Being pinned against the wall doesn't feel good. Pressure, indecision, confusion, resentment and anger, among other emotions, swell up within paralyzing us or raging us on to react. Being pinned against the wall doesn't feel good, yet it is not necessarily a bad place to be in. 

Stand against a wall. Go ahead. Stand and feel your back flat against that surface that will not budge. Close your eyes and change your thoughts about the wall. Feel it support your entire body. Pinned against that wall–much like moments when you don't know which path to choose, which choice to make, whether to remain in a situation, when you are being pressured into something–can be a moment of pause in which you take survey of your options while being supported. Nothing is behind you, except that wall. Everything is before you. Every choice, every piece of information, every person and resource who can help is before you. Focus on what is now before you rather than focusing on being pinned against the wall. Against it, you can rest for a moment, gather strength and knowledge and think clearly. 

Being pinned against the wall can work in your favor. This is one of the ways in which the Universe encourages you to make a decision and move in a certain direction. Today is a good day to connect to Spirit to recharge your intuition. You will know what choice to make. Meanwhile, you are supported...fully supported against a wall that holds and lifts you up. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tainted Love

I have a beautiful set of brushes that are, in themselves, very inspiring to me. The long handles and precise hair bristles allow me to create, to project what I am feeling in color and texture. Every now and then, though, a different color than what I intended to comes through. That bit of color I didn't completely wash off changes what I intended to create. Such is life. 

Sometimes we begin a new stage in our lives with old color in our fibers. We bring our insecurities, our fears, our suspicions, our unsatisfied needs, our anger, our immaturity, our selfishness, our assumptions, and our unresolved issues into new relationships, new jobs and new ventures. It is very difficult to separate what our past experiences have shaped in us from the contamination leftover. Yet it is necessary that we become aware of what are old thoughts and behaviors bleeding through to our new experience in order not to pollute it. 

Our new life events are primed for new color, textures and flavors. Our creations reflect that which we have within. Today is a good day to let go of everything that is tainting your days, your relationships, your health, your existence, your creativity. Come clean. Enjoy the freshness of a genesis uncorrupted by the past. Enjoy life the way you would color it. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What do you see?

I was driving along a narrow with cars parked on either side of it. From the other direction came another car, well, a big, wide SUV. The conditions of the street–crowded with cars, holes in the pavement, pedestrians peering out between parked vehicles–called for careful driving. The SUV barreled through. I swerved to get out of its way and watched on my rearview mirror as it kept on going without apparent regard to people and property. Close your eyes and imagine it is you in the car. What do you see in the oncoming SUV? What is your reaction?

A few years ago I would have taught the driver a lesson. My reaction would have consumed me mentally and physically. I would have confused my sense of what is right with my ego. I would have seen a driver who intended to bully me with her bigger vehicle, who had no respect for others, who probably thought she was more important. I would have had some choice names for her, the kind I would have to bleep out here. I would have seen a contender, a competitor, someone who imposed themselves on me, my property and my time. This reaction would have affected me physically with a bump up in blood pressure among other body reactions. I would have carried this angry feeling with me for part of the day affecting my mood, energy level and productivity throughout the day. This would have affected those around me too.

Today I see something different. I see a person who feels pressed for time, who may be going through a difficult moment, who is possibly stressed, unaware of the impact of her actions. She and I have the same purpose of getting to where we intend to go. There's no competition. At that moment, I have an opportunity to share my space and kindness allowing her to process whatever it is she is dealing without added aggravation. I see an opportunity to help another. Stepping out of the way did not take away anything from me.

This anecdote is one example of the many we could choose from what we encounter in any particular day. Things happen. They can be good, bad or indifferent. It will depend on how we choose to see them. We can see arrogance, competition, disregard or we can see fear, insecurity and a call for understanding. Today, be aware of how you react to others. Respond kindly. It is not about you–even when it appears to be. See with new eyes. This will not change what happened or change others, but it will change your experience for the better.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

For the world to change...

I woke up at 3 am this morning. I had a fantastic night sleep. Of course, that's because I went to bed at 6 pm last night. It is so peaceful at this time of morning... quiet and still. As I pour my coffee I realize it's September 11. I breathe deeply to feel the date. It's been twelve years since that devastating day and it's been years since that day has become Nineeleven in our speech. This quiet and peaceful morning has become a somber moment of reflection. In the twelve years since the attacks that changed so many people's lives, many things have changed. We have tightened security in all ports of travel, we have instituted government regulations to identify people by their nationality or potential links to organizations the government is suspect of, we have attacked nations, we are subject to government intrusion in our personal communications, we have censored journalists and others, we have increased military spending, murdered murderers, deepened our anti-islam sentiment and raged in wars, among other changes. None of these changes, however, have changed us for the better. These have only intensified our isolation, our separation, our suspicion of others, our prejudice, our discomfort, our hatred. None of these changes have brought us closer to peace.

As I write this, birds outside my window are welcoming the morning. They do not know it's Nineeleven. They do what birds do, bring us song. As birds unaware of the date, we are go about unaware with increased indifference towards each other. We let those in power rule at the pace and beat of weapons. We allow innocence to die in the crossfire between national egos.

For the world to change, we need to change. We need to stop contributing to the hateful discourses of the day, to stop judging, to open our hearts to peaceful solutions, to demand that our leaders find alternate ways. We need to come together, not wedge further apart, each with our heavy and discouraged hearts. For the world to change, we need to be the peaceful solution we seek. We need to do this is small, daily ways that our children will remember and emulate, that others will be inspired by and imitate. For the world to change, we need to remember the lessons of Nineeleven. For the world to change, we need to stop attacking to obtain peace. Peace has never been attained through war.

There is not one answer to get to a better place, no roadmap to peace. As AJ Must said, there's no way to peace, peace is the way.

My heart goes out prayerfully to all the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and to the victims of all the events stemming from that day. May Love comfort and heal all hearts. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

On Intimacy...

Intimacy is beautiful and feels natural, not complicated or awkward. In true intimacy there's an unspoken connection between souls. This connection begins with a recognition of the divinity in the other. When the space between the two is not clouded by externals, ego, insecurities, past experiences, judgment, selfishness and such, there's a sense of home, of safety and oneness. Intimacy then becomes the habitat between lovers.

We have come to use the word love to refer to what we feel not only for spouses, children, family members, boyfriends, girlfriends and friends, but for jeans and cars and experiences. So when we speak of lovers, many may think of romantic and or sexual partners or an extramarital partner. Not so. For our purposes here, love is a bond, a recognition, a respect, a trust, a veneration for another. Lovers are those who respect and love each other whether in a romantic relationship or not. Intimacy then is shared between people even if they never sleep together. Intimacy can begin in an exchange of looks, in a conversation, in an embrace. Intimacy can be shared and preserved through time between friends and loved ones. When a romantic interest ensues, the physical body responds intimately as well.

Intimacy sometimes begins before we are aware of it. Two people meet and their souls relax, their spirits exhale and in each other's company they find home. These relationships begin in a place unpolluted by wants, needs, preconceptions, demands, fears and insecurities. They recognize each other without knowing it. They share closeness, understanding and familiarity. In this intimate relationship, the two have an openness of heart and offer their wholeness to one another.

Intimacy then is more than what we've come to know it to be. It is not where two bodies tangle in sex, but where two whole beings–their minds, hearts and bodies–connect, really connect.

Friday, September 6, 2013

What meditation feels like

Week 1: You have got to be kidding me! I don't have time for this! Who does she think she is?! She has no idea how busy I am. Think of nothing? Hippies can think of nothing, I have things to do. I am so angry. Does she even know how sitting here makes me feel? Why do I want to cry?! 

Week 2: Here I am again. Why am I doing this? This is nonsense. I can't sit here and do nothing. My mind is racing more than ever. What is this?! I'm going to kill her for making me do this. Meditation is making me anxious. I want to throw something across the room. 

Week 3: Ok. I'm trying this one more time. It's not that bad, I think. I'll just breathe. I'll ignore my thoughts. God knows I can't stop them! 

Week 4: I'm so happy to sit here. I can use a moment of quiet. The day will not stop for me, but I can be ready. Breathe...all is well. 

This is a synopsis of what meditation felt like for a friend of mine. Mind you, I have edited the profanity and expletives (although a shame because it makes this really funny). It took three weeks for her to form the habit of daily meditation. She now does it daily and is healthier for it.

At first, it seemed meditation increased her stress level. Her mind wandered aimlessly and she struggled with the emotions that came up. This was a cleansing of sorts. She needed to release all of that in order to come to a clear space within where nothing is expected–no action, no thought, no result, no voices, no visions, no trembling of the earth–only a state of being. 

I am proud of the way she stuck through the practice every day. This was not easy for her. If you are not meditating regularly but want to, starting a meditation practice could be difficult too. Know, though, that it is a temporary difficulty. You will gain a sense of calm, composure, well-being and connectedness. As to time, we don't put time into meditation, meditation puts time in us. There will be time for everything. There are more benefits to a regular meditation practice, of course, yet these are the ones that are more easily recognizable in our daily actions and interactions. A few minutes to connect in stillness and silence helps us deal with life. Today is a good day to take a few moments to be still, to be quiet and breathe....

Thursday, September 5, 2013


There's a twinge of dissatisfaction that, in spite of our best efforts to stay positive, keeps piercing our thoughts insisting on coming through. We're in a good place in our lives and everything seems to be ok. Yet, this feeling of discontentment lurks in our mind. It's time we listen to it. 

This negative voice in our head may be a sign that we have hit a plateau. It is the Universe saying Go ahead, dream's time. It is a call from our soul to make a change, to renew. The uneasiness we feel is talking to us: there's more to our lives. We should be stirred. 

Today is a good day to listen to the boredom and indifference we feel, to spin out of our inertia. Let's transform these feelings into the energy we need to reignite our passion, to turn them into the enthusiasm we need to go into the next chapter of our lives. Sometimes we need to listen to the negativity brewing under the surface. It is one of the ways in which Spirit arouses us. What could we do with what we know, what we have, what we feel, what we are able to do? What could we do if we take these feelings and turn them into inspiration? 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wishful doing

Everything we want to accomplish, every goal we want to reach, every dream we want to make come true starts with a wish. Keeping our thoughts on our wishes is important for them to come true. However, wishful thinking is not enough. We have to cooperate with Creation. We have to move from wishful thinking to wishful doing.

Wishful doing is being willing to respond to opportunities as they present themselves, continuing to take care of your current life situation until you reach the change you desire, adopting the necessary habits and discipline conducive to your intention, staying focused and determined and aligned to Spirit. Wishful doing is answering the hunches and urges you feel about your dream. More importantly, wishful doing is about movement. You begin the movement, the Universe then moves with you. Once you make your wish clear and start moving in that direction, resources, people and answers come through. It's amazing.

Today is a good day to move from thought to action, from idea to conception. What is one thing you could do today to move in the direction of your dreams?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

From hole-ness to wholeness

Where are you broken? Where does it hurt? What area of your life just doesn't seem to get better? Where is it that you feel there is a hole in you? Breathe into that space and read on.

That part of you that hurts is calling for your attention. This is where life's direction and teachings await for your reflection and action. Until you tend to the causes of the wound, the hole will remain.

We have a tendency to either condemn or ignore the issues that plague us, the same ones that keep repeating themselves in our lives or that show up for us when we least expect them. Either we deal with them or they deal with us. Those unapplied lessons beg at first, but then, if unattended, are not so subtle. They come back as financial difficulties, eating disorders, dysfunctional relationships, missed opportunities, self-sabotage, stagnation, constant struggling, illness and other matters.

Sense where it hurts, recognize the hole, feel the pain. Tend to the wound so that it heals. Tending to the wound starts with airing it. Rumi is quoted as saying "The wound is the place where Light enters you." Exactly.

The wound ultimately strengthens us for, once we bring it to the Light, it is transformed into wisdom, courage, temperance, fortitude and healing. Once we bring our emotional injuries and our recurring dilemmas to the Light, we become beacons of it.

Today is a good day to see your brokenness and bring it to Spirit. Let the Light enter the hole and heal it, making you whole.