August 11, 2012
Pictures, pictures, look at all the pretty pictures! We have so many of them swirling around in our heads that they wouldn’t fit in even the largest museum.
Murals of how our relationships should be; canvases splattered with paint, depicting our perfect job, children, life. In our minds we create so many images of how we think life should be.
Then life happens.
The source of our greatest unhappiness stems from the clash of our pretty pictures with what we see before us. Our brains try desperately to converge the two, but to no avail. The result is confusion at best. Or maybe denial. Or in some cases, depression.
So what can we do?
Start with the gallery in your mind. Change out the pictures to reflect a new reality. Look at the outside from a different height and in a different light.
In other words, get real.
You’ve got an image in your mind that isn’t coinciding with the one on the outside. It simply isn’t jiving with what you thought should be.
In that case, you have some choices. By changing what you project from the inside out (from a new set of pictures of your own creation), the outside automatically changes. But it all stems from the inside, your ultimate source of light.
In his sixty-fifth book, Spiritual Solutions, Deepak Chopra speaks of three levels of awareness.
- Contracted awareness (the state of unhappiness, fear, anxiety). At this level you experience all problems, obstacles and struggles. You feel conflict and no way out. If you stay at this level, you become exhausted. And who wants that? Pas moi! So let’s move on.
- Expanded awareness (where solutions reside). Obstacles are easier to surmount; struggle dissolves. Your vision moves beyond conflict to what is possible.
- Pure awareness (bliss). Problems don’t exist on this level. Challenges are viewed as creative opportunities. You are in complete alignment with your highest purpose, with nature, with All That Is. You recognize your true self.
I have caught a glimpse of level three on numerous occasions in my life, but the truth is we move up and down this scale as we slide back into fear, remorse and sadness, then bounce up again to a renewed understanding of what happened and why. Deepak claims level three is our natural state, the state of pure consciousness. It is Enlightenment.
I’d like to get there, turning those pretty pictures into a warm mass of loveliness. Want to join me?
And if you haven’t had enough of Deepak and his wisdom, you can view him on Oprah’s Life Class taped from Radio City Musichall in New York City is just one more reason to view this video. The pulse of NYC vibrates through the screen.
October 16, 2010
In my travels I have had the pleasure of interviewing some amazing people about their relationship with time. From Bikram Choudhury to Deepak Chopra to Rosanne Cash, I’ve asked them all the same questions.
Now it’s your turn! Take this thirty-second survey to find out how you relate to time. I’ll be revealing the results in a little while so please participate. Your voice counts!
July 30, 2010
In our time-crunched existence, we often feel the weight of the world on our shoulders as we hurry to and fro, up and down and all around. It seems on those occasions when we ‘just can’t take it anymore’, we feel a particular sharp-edged crush of the rush. In large part, it has to do with our state of mind.
Zen masters would argue it has everything to do with our thinking.
Stepping out of time is a practical method of relieving the crush we place ourselves in. But how can we step out of the time construct into which we are all born?
By listening to music.
Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, Rosanne Cash and I had a lovely
chat yesterday, which will be airing on August 14th at 5 pm ET on this NPR station. She rightly pointed out that sound can pull you outside of linear time at any given moment. It uplifts and rewards. Sound informs. And when we hear its call, we are set free.
What I came to know through my conversation with Rosanne is that art has a soul-nourishing timelessness. Whether painting, dancing, acting, writing or singing, living art in that most profound way creates a space outside of time. We can dwell there whenever we like, calling forth that spiritual energy that enriches our lives. As Deepak Chopra recently said to me, parts of ourselves live in eternity. There is grace in knowing we are connected to that Source at all times. But I wonder how often do we realize all that we are looking for is already here?
So today’s question to you is how will you step out of time today?