September 22, 2012
A few months ago a friend of mine taught me a valuable, life-changing exercise I’d like to share with you. It has to do with removing the mental barriers we place on ourselves that ultimately hinder us from getting what it is that we want.
You may not actually be able to define exactly what it is that you want, but you know something is missing. Or perhaps you think you know what you want (but really don’t). Maybe you know what you don’t want, which is closer than not having a clue. Regardless of your current state, this exercise will release blocked energies that are holding you back.
When you engage in the receiving, you enter a place of nonjudgement. You accept everything that comes your way, opening your eyes to a new way of looking at the world without cynicism. Only love drives you. It is this unconditional love that will set you free.
It is simple, really. Close your eyes and say the following words: “I am going into the receiving of All That Is. I welcome what comes next with love, not fear.” Then tell yourself you are no longer going to push your way through the world. Remember: insistence creates resistance. When you enter the receiving, you needn’t do anything at all.
I often have to consciously remind myself to enter the receiving place. And when I do, it is amazing what happens. People suddenly let you at the front of the line at the grocery store because you only have one item to buy, or cars let you merge more easily. People show up in your life just when you need them (but maybe didn’t know it at the time). As your wall of resistance dissolves, you open up a pathway to your best life.
All it takes is trust that what unfolds is exactly what needs to occur. Imagine the whole world dancing in the receiving. What a wonderful world that would be! The more people who enter the space of receiving, the more energy gets unleashed to heal ourselves and others.
When you believe, you unlock the key to your own divinity, which automatically has a positive effect on others. Like laughter, this space of open receiving is contagious, really. And that, my friends, gets us all one step closer to Nirvana. I’m willing to do my part to get us there. Are you?
September 7, 2012
Your belief systems influence everything about you. If yours isn’t working, build a better one.
Here’s how. Building Better Belief Systems. To listen, click on the link, and you should automatically be able to hear it. If not, right click the link, then save to your desktop to listen on your own audio software.
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.
June 28, 2012
What would people say about you if you left the room? Are you living a life of true intention?
I know it’s a heady question, but it’s one worth asking. Luckily, Bryan Clay, Olympic hopeful for this summer’s Olympics in London, started to ask himself that question before it was too late. In his new book, Redemption, Clay reveals his life story in great detail, such as how he had a very troubled childhood with parents who made their own share of mistakes. Throughout high school, and then later in college, he continued to ignore his highest athletic potential by drinking too much and engaging in dangerous behavior. It wasn’t until he met the woman of his dreams that he started to see a future beyond his current one.
Love can do that to a person.
Even then, however, he nearly lost his girlfriend because it took him a long time to realize the impact his partying was having on his relationship. The moment he changed his way of thinking, however, everything changed. A religious man, he began to see that he could indeed worship God through the sport instead of seeing his athletics and his spiritual practice as two separate things. He moved away from believing sports were a way to glorify himself; instead, they were a way for him to glorify God. Magically, his extreme partying dropped off.
The Big Picture can do that to a person.
“Keeping my priorities in the right order had brought me there,” he writes. He found Slow through God. Pretty darn cool.
So what do you think people would say about you if you left the room? Would they say you are kind, generous, emotionally available? Or would they consider you closed, disruptive, shut down and unreachable? As Maya Angelou says, people may not remember what you say, but they’ll always remember how you’ve made them feel.
My guess is you can make someone feel really good today. Maybe in the form of a hug or a smile. There is redemption for us all, and it only takes one baby step toward your own truth. Don’t be afraid of it because it is there to show you the way even when you are lost. Embrace that beacon of light for all it’s worth. When you do, you will be set free.
Slow can do that to a person.
September 29, 2010
Scientists have long agreed that people in community tend to live longer. In the Middle Ages the greatest punishment was to be rejected by the community, banished for eternity outside the city walls. The word excommunication really does mean just that: no longer in communication with others (or the Church, in the Catholic tradition).
If you follow Buddhist teachings, you will know that our greatest suffering comes from being disconnected from our true selves. We are, in a sense, excommunicated from the Source of All Things. So when I am in disharmony with others, I feel a deep disconnect from that Source.
It’s a jazzy feeling to be in deep communion with others because, in truth, we all stem from the same place. And while many of us live the Great Lie of being ‘outside’ the realm of our connection, we suffer as a result of this belief.
There is a reason why pure love feels the same for everyone. We are all one.
In his keynote speech last year at the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment, Jim Carrey made a moving tribute to this connection. Since we all seem to believe celebrities more than even ourselves, take a look at what he has to say.
August 3, 2009
Commuting to the sound stage 80 miles round trip can be unnerving. Unforseeable traffic snags, endless red lights, and the early morning fog that encapsulates my head sometimes are variables that invite clock combat on the highest levels.
So I decided to try something new ~ as I motored toward the film studio in hopes of a timely arrival, I decided that the very moment I arrive is the right moment. Not a second too soon, not a second too late. Even as I seemed to hit every red light from the point my decision was made until the entry gate at Bavaria Films, I embraced time as friend.
The amazing part? I arrived in record time.
Ever since I tried my time collapse experiment, the commute seems to get shorter and shorter and infused with more miracles than I care to count. There is something to be said for acceptance. Time abundance can be ours when we choose the here and now as the very place we are.
June 22, 2009
Eileen Flanagan caught my attention after she left the most thought-provoking comment the other day on this blog. As the author of The Wisdom to Know the Difference: When to Make A Change–and When to Let Go, she showed me so much gentleness and clarity. I got curious and asked to learn more about her. She mentioned she was a Quaker, a spiritual practice I briefly mention in The Power of Slow.
The End of Distraction
“When Quakerism began in seventeenth century England,” she told me, “followers sought to center their lives on God and so tried to eliminate anything that might serve as a distraction.” We all know what distracts us today. Imagine living a life without it.
(Image from http://www.bristolquakers.org.uk/)
“Today very few Quakers (or Friends) continue to dress in the manner associated with the Amish,” she reported, “but most agree that putting too much attention on having nice clothes or fancy possessions can distract you from what is most important. For many contemporary Quakers, concern about the environment and the global distribution of wealth are added reasons not to use more than we need.”
Simplicity at Home
Have you taken a good look at the contents of your refrigerator lately? I used to own way too many condiments until my in-laws recently moved in for two weeks. After they had left, the jars of indistinguishables disappeared with them. We haven’t replaced them and now there’s an airyness about the fridge like nobody’s business. Pretty inspiring.
The Quaker community has a meditative quality I really enjoy. I attended a service once in which we bathed in silence until one or two people spoke up. As Eileen states, “Many Quakers continue with the silent form of worship begun by early Friends. Worship usually lasts about an hour, but it’s not always silent. If during that time someone feels divinely inspired to offer a ‘message’, they may stand and speak. For me this hour to center is vitally important, especially after having children made my daily meditation practice more irregular and sometimes non-existent.”
Importance of Down Time
She agrees moments of down time are essential. Like my own family, she has instituted ‘quiet time’. As our kids have gotten older, we have found it increasingly difficult to enforce: soccer practice, friends, school, and music class seem to have butt in to what we used to cherish every day after lunch. It was easier when they were little and had fewer demands, I suppose.
“Our family sometimes has a ‘quiet time’ with our children before bed,” Eileen said. “Ten or fifteen minutes to snuggle on the couch in front of a candle–but given that Quakers are now part of the wider culture–with homework, soccer games, play practice, and the like–many of us struggle to live with simplicity and slowness in our daily lives.”
It seems no one is immune to today’s hectic pace of life.
Eileen said the “Quakers belief in waiting when we are not certain what is the right thing to do. As a congregation we seek to find ‘unity’ (similar to consensus, but not exactly the same). This process can be frustratingly slow, but often brings better results in the long term than rushing to a decision.”
As I mentioned in an earlier post, things happen all in good time. Letting go is a never-ending process. I appreciate Eileen’s notions and sacred message. We could all use a little more serenity in our day.