Open Wider

This morning I was washing dishes and noticed something covering the filtering screen over the drain. “That’s not helpful,” I thought. “Nothings gonna get down the drain with that kind of mess in the way.” I reached into the filter and scooped out the potentially drain-clogging muck. Later, as I was driving to a meeting, it occurred to me that the muck in the drain was holding a great bit of information for my soul-searching self.

1) I didn’t know for sure if the drain would be clogged by what was hanging out in the filter. I assumed it would.

2) I took action based on previous life experiences.

3) My action potentially allowed for things (water, etc.) to flow more easily and quickly through a wider passage in the drain.

My BIG TAKEAWAY is: OPEN WIDER and let more good stuff flow to you!

Here are some ESSENTIAL OILS I use to support mental clarity, and spiritual insight, and expansion:

– Frankincense
– Lemon
– Rosemary

Listen Learn Grow

What – me worry?

If you’ve ever let your mind wander into the slippery field of ‘If only…’, ‘I/he/she/we/they should have or could have…’,’What if that happens tomorrow, or happens again, or never happens?’, then you probably know that line of thinking and believing could lead to hours of distraction, unfruitful behavior, and feelings of loss, rejection, abandonment, or worry. Hello, fear-based mindset! Goodbye, joy!

A few weeks ago I found myself caught in the wacky web of thinking described above. My mind had a vice grip on me, and it was 100% unpleasant. After struggling with the chaos for a while, I decided to ride out the wild waves, and let my mind reveal the deeper burden, and treasure, that lay buried under all the rubbish. That surrender eventually led to a profound insight, and peace.

Many times I have asked myself, “Do you want to ride the peace train, or the crazy train?” There is a choice there, and that choice may require diving into the depths of the drama that the mind is offering. It may feel awful, but I always tell myself that it is temporary – like all things on this planet – and that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. BONUS insight! I am the light. I am the tunnel.

What’s got your mind in turmoil these days? What are you willing to do to move beyond the turmoil?

Here are a few tools that I find very helpful:

www.thework.com (Byron Katie is remarkable, and very skilled at guiding people to understanding the value of allowing what is to be what is.)

– Frankincense, Lavender, and Vetiver essential oils (Use them topically, and aromatically for grounding, calming, and clarity. I have a brand that I prefer, and am happy to pass that info along. Just message me.)

– Meditation (Whatever form suits you!)

– Daily exercise (I like to run, and life weights. Yoga and Pilates also inspire me.)

Thanks – and be well – naturally!
No idea

Black / Light

I woke just after midnight today, drenched in sweat, and a bit confused. I wasn’t sure if it was the condition of my body or the dream that woke me. Ah, the dream…

I was lying on my back, staring at a wide open night sky that was filled with endless stars – a beautiful panorama of the universe. I began to float upwards, toward the light-sprinkled vastness. It was peaceful, and easy. I looked down at the length of my body and saw small, black shards coming out of my stomach, off of my legs, and out of my throat. The longer I watched, the bigger they became, and the faster they flew from all parts my body – giant black spikes popping gently and quickly out of me, and floating off into space. Soon I could no longer see my body. It had dissolved into the vastness, with none of the black pieces left to hold it together. – End of dream. –

Awake, and aware, I stripped off my wet clothes and crawled back into bed, meditating on my dream. Was the dream an indication that the low-grade fever (along with other symptoms) I’d had for several days had broken, or was there something more? This is what came to me when I asked for guidance:

“You have been allowing yourself to let go of those things that have weighed you down. This has been a years-long process of discovery, awakening, and realigning. Your dream is evidence that you can no longer contain that which you had absorbed and held through your various ‘work’ incarnations, and your decision as a child to support those who were suffering. In short, your system can no longer ‘hold space’ for the thoughts and feelings of others the way it once did. Your recent illness allows you the opportunity to slow down, to listen, and to release the build up of ‘toxins’. There is much to celebrate! Hold on to that divine image of lightness, of ease, and of peacefulness! This journey has only just begun!”

ESSENTIAL OILS to support your ascension: Frankincense, Lavender, Bergamot

jean-houston-quotes-i-firmly-believe-that-all-humans

What Is the Past Showing You?

I’m back in the city that I called home for 24 years. New York, New York! There is much to appreciate as I walk down familiar streets, see familiar faces and places, and take in many familiar smells and sounds. I watch tourists wandering around in awe as they stop to take photos, sometimes in the middle of a sidewalk that is packed with pedestrians. I watch the locals looking at the tourists in disdain as they rush by to get to wherever they think they must get to so hurriedly. All are part of daily life in this thriving metropolis, and all are me in one way, shape or form.

One thing that I am most aware of is that I am very grateful that I am no longer a resident of the place that once held me so kindly, and helped to shape my world view. I am no longer thrilled to be a part of the hustle and bustle. I no longer feel in synch with the pace, and the noise. As I observed the goings on from my perch at a cafe, I flashed back to my years of running through the streets to get from one appointment to the next, of pushing through crowds, of thinking that I needed to do more or be more, and of feeling important because I did all of those things. Ah! There was the golden nugget! I wanted to be important. I wanted to be well known. I wanted to show myself and the world that I could do it! And I often had a good time playing the game that way, despite an underlying, false belief that I had to physically push very hard to make things happen, and often feeling unworthy of receiving the things that I pursued.

Things are certainly different now. My pace has changed. My thoughts and beliefs about myself have changed. I am pursing new things, and am surrounded by a whole new set of people in a very different city. This morning I wondered if I would ever want to return to New York if it were not for my business ventures. That thought surprised me. I once believed that my old stomping ground was the center of the universe. Thankfully, I now, more than ever, see the universe – the connection between all things – wherever I go.

wayne-dyer-quotes-keep-reminding-yourself

Politics and Presence

If you’ve been observing the news cycle since the end of the US Republican and Democratic national political conventions, you may have noticed that the drama from both sides has continued. Name calling, accusations, assumptions, and posturing, mixed with platform policy that some agree with and others disagree with.

I’ve been doing what I can to stay out of the fray, to check my political pulse, and to question my thoughts and actions in regard to the candidates, and their respective parties. Sometimes I am quite successful in not attaching to thoughts that create upset, or even thoughts that bring joy. I notice that I am most drawn to speeches and policies that align with my ideas about inclusiveness, and taking care of other beings and the environment. If something seems to oppose that then – whoops! – my mind can take me on a rough and tumble journey through the land of harsh judgement, and inflexibility. That is not a comfortable place, and I like to be comfortable, don’t you?

What should we do? Do we roll over and let our ideals be trampled? Do we watch passively as human rights are violated, and violence erupts? Where do we place are focus? Below are some options to consider as we embrace change – which sometimes looks chaotic.

Pema Chodron offers this: “In the most ordinary terms, egolessness is a flexible identity. It manifests as inquisitiveness, as adaptability, as humor, as playfulness. It is our capacity to relax with not knowing, not figuring everything out, with not being at all sure about who we are — or who anyone else is either.”

The recording below on YouTube from Abraham-Hicks about the 2016 Presidential election may also be helpful. In it, the question is posed, “How do you find alignment in the midst of divisiveness?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW5rJ-OEN2w

Thich Nhat Hanh - When we are mindful

Free To Be What?

If we continue to let our thoughts and beliefs take us out of our clarity and contentment, and to move us away from the present moment, what happens? We are then quite possibly “free” to be miserable, to be fearful, to be resentful, to be jealous, to project our violent thoughts onto others, and in the end, to be in our suffering, which is often the last place we want to be. We become comfortable in our discomfort, and the ego/conditioned human mind will often do whatever it can to keep us there.

How can we transcend our suffering? What if we give into it, and feel the layers and depths of it in order to move beyond it? One of my mentors had the uncanny ability to guide me to places within myself that were often dark and scary from the outside. Once I was in those places, they weren’t so overwhelming, and I was able to dive into the emotions, express them as fully as possible, and emerge with a greater understanding of the origin of my discomfort. I had to trust my teacher, myself, and the process in order to move beyond the grip I allowed my mind to have over me.

Where are your thoughts and beliefs taking you? What are the results of those thoughts and beliefs? If freedom is calling, and you feel stuck and miserable, I invite you to take time to dig a bit deeper, and find the way back home to yourself. The Work, a process of inquiry developed by Byron Katie, one of my favorite contemporary teachers of peace, is one way to move toward inner calm. In the video below, Katie uses herself as an example of how to move through each part of her simple process. It’s worth watching!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQzSk0f3U2M

For an inspiring dose of calming self-care, try rubbing a couple of drops each of Lavender and Rosemary essential oils on the bottoms of your feet. Make sure those oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade! Ask me how to get those superior grade essential oils.

Yellow Joy

What is your PEACE PLAN?

There’s been more rattling of the peace process lately. Once again I ask myself, “What can and will I do to keep the peace within? How can I share what I know? Dear Universe, show me the way!”

Yesterday, I read a quote from the Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chodron that truly inspired me, and motivated me to finish writing this post, which had been in a holding pattern for a few days. Pema said,”The root problem is fear and hatred and how this escalates, which is where my kind of teachings could be useful. I am committed to continue to help where I can.”

Below are some things that help me maintain a loving and compassionate relationship with myself, others, and the world at large. Maybe you’ll resonate with one or all of what is offered.

– Meditate! I start my day with a check in. I won’t get out of bed without being aware of what is occurring in my body, where I am emotionally, and what is rolling around in my head. I particularly want to start off the day with a calm and clear mind.

– Breathe! Throughout the day I pause to notice my breath. I am often surprised how shallow my breathing is. A few deep breaths can shift many things, including tightness in the body, anxious feelings, and out-of-balance thinking.

– Exercise! Hit the gym and get sweaty with a weight training routine, do yoga, jog, go for a walk through your neighborhood, hike in the woods or mountains or along the beach, swim, take a long bike ride, or dance. Move that body!

– Laugh! Find something to bring out your silly side. Peruse YouTube for funny video clips. Shoot your own goofy video. Tell some jokes. Take a Laughter Yoga class. Find the humor in life. Bwaaahaaahaaahaa!

– Play! Break any pattern you feel you can or must in order to awaken that inner child, and break free of any cycle that keeps you from knowing that you are joy, and life is here for your to revel in – like a giant playground.

– Spend time in nature! When was the last time you watched the sun rise or set, observed a spider spinning a web, danced in the rain, opened your arms to the wind, watched a river flowing, or looked up at the sky and let your eyes linger there? Go do it!

– Go on an artist date! Have you been to a museum or art gallery lately? Ever taken a pottery-making class? How about grabbing your smart phone and taking inspiring or silly photos? Take in a play, or create your own theater group. Ask someone to sit and color with you. Read poetry aloud. Write a short story.

– Travel! Get out of town – and maybe out of your comfort zone. Observe how folks in other parts of the world live – even if it’s an hour away.

– Cook a meal! Lovingly whip up something yummy for yourself. Set a beautiful place for yourself at the table. Bond with friends over some healthy foods (pot lucks are fun!), or indulge in something that you may normally avoid. Hello, chocolate!

– Hang out with people you love! Stay connected to those who make your heart sing and soar.

– Observe the behavior of young children! Have you noticed how often babies or toddlers judge each other, hold grudges, act physically violently toward one another, or complain about global issues? Yeah, me neither.

– Volunteer! Offer the world your time, talent, and treasure. Get involved in a community service project. Volunteer to clean up a park or pick up garbage on the street on which you live. Work with older adults. Serve food at a shelter. Be a foster mom or dad to a dog or cat. Perform a random act of kindness. Make a monetary donation to a charity. Get the idea?

Here are some essential oils to help maintain and increase your inner peace:

Tangerine, Wild Orange, Bergamot, Lemon, Lime or other citrus oils.

Lavender

Ylang Ylang

Basil and Rosemary (particulary combined with one of the citrus oils mentioned above)

ASK ME how to get superior grade essential oils!

Thanks – and peace!

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Practicing Peace

I’ve been sitting with my thoughts and feelings about the recent mass murders in Orlando, Florida. Big waves of sadness have caught me off guard as my mind has released memories of internalized homophobia, verbal attacks at the hand of others, the years of persecution that gay men and women have been subjected to, and perhaps in some ways have gotten used to. All of that leads me back to the word ‘peace’ and questions such as:

– Are my thoughts and beliefs truly in line with peace, or am I creating suffering?
– Are my daily actions truly in line with peace?
– What can I do to cultivate more peace within myself?

That constant vigilance has paid off for me in countless ways over the years, and I am relying on it now. I breathe deeply. I slow down. I pay attention to the journey that my thoughts are taking me on. I allow myself to dig a bit deeper into my discomfort. I spend time in Nature. I talk things out with friends who support my mindfulness. I wrap some extra love around myself.

What is your peace practice?

Thich Nhat Hanh - Our own life has to be our message