A Better Way

So many angry people. So many fearful people. It matters not what political view one has, there is plenty of vitriol flowing on every side.
Anger is a step up from powerlessness. Anger gives us a feeling of control, a feeling of relief from victimhood, from passivity. So for that, it has a function. It pulls us through unacceptable circumstances.
Fear and anxiety, on the other hand, tends to hold us still while we wallow in the stew of these toxic emotions. Until it morphs into out-picturing anger, it only destroys our own wellbeing.
But even anger, if it isn’t transcended into a higher state, cases more chaos.
In this political climate, this level of stress in the world at the moment, this feeling of unwanted unfolding situations, what should we do? How should we approach our own future and our own plans for our lives? Do we have any way in which to move the global meter toward more peace? Have we any influence to raise the consciousness of the masses?
There are, of course, infinite solutions, from every spiritual tradition, from new thought leaders to ancient sages, we are not short of paths we can take with life-changing, even miraculous results. The important thing I want to relay to you is, find one. Take one. Seek one that speaks to you. One that centers you in your own peace, establishes you in your immortal source, your authentic self, your soul.
Release the attachments you may have to one side of a system, one view of governing, one version of right and wrong. This is a state of separation in which you project an enemy out there; where you see those who think differently or hold other ideas as wrong. This is a falsehood.
Remember, the only true reality is your inner world and when you identify with this reality you are far more compassionate, open, loving, understanding, and ultimately more effective in the outer world, even if it is just the energy you are emitting, which, alone has great benefits.
Contrary to many opinions, the best way to change conditions isn’t to take to the streets in angry protest, because it creates a backlash of the opposite view. What you push against grows stronger.
The way out? Love your brothers and sisters. Hear them. Attempt to understand while you listen instead of creating your response in your head. Listen with love. Watch as they begin to shift, change their posture, as the anger drains from their body. You’ll be creating a healing in your corner of the world.
Thinking one side is right and one side is wrong causes a societal illness, like a disease taking over the land where people are cells trying to annihilate each other.
A new system of thought is trying to emerge. All of us can foster this new, fragile form of being as it spreads among those who are ready and open. A better way is dawning.

 

Holding that Steering Wheel a Little too Tightly

33816704_UnknownI just completed an Ayurvedic program designed to bring our individual type of mind/body into balance. With life so filled with stressors these days, and the perception of so much demanded of us, it is crucial we give ourselves the time to regain our balance and health inherit in our nature.

Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old system of creating and maintaining robust health, shows us how to think about our food, mindset, and our daily routines as either health producing or health destroying. These sage teachings are validated more and more as our modern science begins catching up with this amazing system.

It has been several years since I participated in a Panchakarma program designed to detoxify the body and mind, to return to robust health, and I knew I needed it again. I’d been feeling stressed. I noticed when I would grip the steering wheel too tight, and I’d make myself loosen my hands. I had aches and pains that some would say are expected at my age. I always seemed in a hurry. I did meditate and follow a healthy lifestyle, but I was out of balance just the same. My body was changing, talking to me, adding to my anxiety. Was this normal? Something I should accept? Or am I starting on a path of declining health?

Other people may experience poor health, increased irritability, chronic anger, sadness, weight gain, or lethargy, etc. Imbalance doesn’t have to show up the way it did for me.

I met Dr. Jain, an Ayruvedic physician and MD, a few months ago. We went over my own mind/body type—called Dosha in Ayurvedic terms—after which he tweaked my diet and daily practices, and suggested I attend an upcoming Panchakarma at his Mind Body Wellness Center in Flagler Beach, Florida.

I arrived on a late Sunday afternoon and got settled in my large, comfy room with private bath.  Dr. Jain’s wife, Michele, gave me a tour of the bed and breakfast type facility, including a pool in the back and the ocean across the street. The backyard slops down to a tributary of the intercostal waterway. It is a great spot to chill out and get some rejuvenating treatments.

Little did I know I was about to experience transformation.

As I moved through the first days I realized this program was different. Abundant access to the doctor, (I had a zillion questions) the highly professional and loving staff, the feeling of being totally welcome and accepted wherever I was at the moment, was powerful. It enabled me to embrace my vulnerability and eventual surrender so that I could receive all that they were doing for me and my health.

By the fourth day I hit what felt like a magical moment. After daily massages and other loving treatments, after fresh, pure, perfectly seasoned and nutritious food being cooked for me, after daily consults with Dr. Jain, lovely time with Michele, the staff and the other participants, a new me was emerging.

My mind calmed down. I liked what I saw in the mirror. I was losing my list of complaints. I lost the desire to be anything but the authentic me. I even gave up multitasking!  I’d been away from media long enough to make friends with myself and observe my thoughts again. I learned a new way to ‘flick’ away the thoughts that didn’t serve me.

I’m back home now with a new feeling about my world. I’m not in a hurry. What I need to get done does get done. All from bringing my body and mind back into its natural, balanced state. I wish I could describe adequately how good it feels.  And I just noticed today, I’m not gripping the steering wheel tightly anymore.

*photo is of Dr. Jain showing us how to cook a tasty soup for good health.

Set Your Intentions for 2017

Do this alone or with a group of trusted and supportive friends. Have three sheets,

1)     One for recapitulation of regrets & errors, self-sabotaging thinking etc,

2)     One for achievements, good self awareness, personal growth, aha’s, etc. for  2016

3)     One for your 2017 year-end intended self attributes, accomplishments and goals

First begin with recapitulation.

What is recapitulation? Playing your year from beginning to end in fast forward without any judgment. Simply walk through the big moments of your year like you were viewing it through a video camera. Don’t linger on any particular moment, and don’t begin evaluating it. Just keep moving through each moment. By performing this ritual right at the end of any year, you can gain a greater understanding of who you are and what you do. Recapitulation can help you process all the words, thoughts, and deeds you experienced over the course of the last year. It is a good nightly practice too. After practicing recapitulation, as you become a bit lighter, you will begin to become aware of those behaviors that are nourishing and those that no longer serve you. You will also become more aware of your ripple . . . all the faces, conversations, and interactions you have experienced throughout the day.

When we are doing the exercises be gentle with yourself.

Build a safe container here of self acceptance, with no judgment

Only share if it is comfortable

Write down positive and negative aspects of last year.

Share some of your regrets, accomplishments and goals.

What to do with them going forward?

For the negative ones, forgive and release them, within the body and without. As you do a body scan on each regret, sense where there might be tightness or an ache associated with that memory. See that lift out of the body as it is processed.  Then you can do some type of final act, such as burning that list when you get home, or have a ceremonial burial.

And celebrate accomplishments, making certificate, giving yourself a fine dinner, awarding yourself a gift, etc.

Goal setting, Intending

Create some accountability through partnership. It is important to state out loud and in front of a supportive person or persons. Do not share with anyone who you feel would have a  dampening effect on your passion, be in any way unsupportive, or critical. If this happens, realize that they have no power over you. Use your image of your archetype, mentor, or role model.

Exercise: who are you to be at the end of 2017?

Describe in detail YOU at the end of 2017.

How are you different?

What are you doing?

How do others see you now?

What is your environment like?

Who are you surrounding by?

When you are done with this exercise, meditate to seal this intention

On Courage

Courage is a force that is willed, and will isn’t from our ego, our personality or our logical mind. It is from our heart and soul. It rises up from deep within us.
I haven’t heard anyone talking about will or courage lately, but I have heard a lot about victims and victimizing, offending, blaming, pointing and complaining.
Just for today, let’s bring courage into the world. Stand tall and see where we can be of help; heal and inspire others. Stick that chest out and speak of the good of others and our future. Help bring about a healthier future. Don’t wait for some entity, be it government, organization or company, to do it. Don’t listen to the gnashing and bashing. You are better than that. And you have it in you.
Conjure your courage

About Women

I wrote this last night after watching the news. Instead of railing against how the news is presented, I write.

I like hearing about women who ignore the idea that the world is stacked against them. Women who do what they want regardless of what others think. Women who do not listen to the rhetoric that says women have been discriminated against, who act as if this is not the case, who venture into all worlds with the expectation that they can do anything, and see no barriers, only opportunities. This was ingrained into me by my father.

There were blocks in front of me in the early 80s when I became a stockbroker. I tried to join Rotary but was told they weren’t ready for a woman member, I was chased around a desk from a groping manager; I have stories, but making those stories into a victim’s story is devolving. I just chalked it up to the idiot behavior of a few. Mostly the men in my life have been great, and working in an industry with so many men has been a blast.

It seems like we’re going into another round of hearing women are victimized. One of the ways we fight this is by moving past the perceived barriers, don’t believe in them.

 

Those who choose to point at the reasons why they can’t succeed, won’t. Those who barrel on through regardless, just may change the world.

Inviting Peace In

What do you do when you’re stressed out, fed up, feeling as if things are way out of control, and you can’t do anything about it? What is really going on? Let’s see, and learn some steps to find peace.

The futility of thinking you could have control over what is going on in the world.

We rail against big events in the world, terrorism, poverty, corruption, etc. as if feeling this indignation will somehow be of benefit. It’s not. Our negative emotions are designed to cause us to take action, but often there isn’t an action to be taken, at least not in the moment. When these strong emotions happen, stop and just observe them, allowing them to course through your system and dissipate. Only when your tense up, constrict and hold on to them does it cause negative effects on you and your body.

The constant stimulation of outside information can throw us off balance.

We are bombarded daily, even hourly, about issues and problems from every corner of the globe. Down through history that news was few and far between. Broadcasts from every type of media magnifies every large and small piece of news that will garner attention. That is, the more controversial the better. Remember that this news is a very small piece of what is out in the world, and the world is full of amazing, dynamic, and good people doing great things.

The more aware we are of how the content is affecting us, the better we will be able to make wise choices on what and how much to watch. I have friends that don’t watch the news at all and they seem to know everything that is going on by moving through their work, errands and social media anyway.

Inside information-dropping awareness to the body

There is a great way to immediately test how information coming into your senses is affecting you emotionally: drop your awareness into your body and listen. Is your stomach tightening? Do you feel pressure in your chest? Is your throat tightening? You are being affected negatively. You don’t have to wait until the symptoms grow louder, such as anger rising, tears welling, or irritation burning within you to change your attention to something else. You can use this awareness to choose shows and movies as well. Of course, a little stress from a suspenseful movie is fine. Learn to tell the difference between that and the feeling of being disturbed to the point of real discomfort.

Disaster planning

It is so easy to get caught up in telling ourselves stories of what if. What if that awful candidate wins the election?  What if I fail at my job? What if my boyfriend leaves me? What if, what if…..

We can sit and delve into this projection until we become completely troubled when nothing has happened yet. Byron Katie, a wonderful and wise woman, devised a process called The Work to challenge these disturbing thoughts.  Questioning them such as, Is this really true? Do you know absolutely that it is true? I highly recommend her books and websites

By catching yourself in the middle of thinking awful outcomes, after finding yourself absorbed in an imaginary future, you’ve just woken up to what you were doing. I call this a mini-enlightenment, because you became aware. Most people never do! That’s awesome!

Look at your life right now, in this moment

When you find yourself in a worried state, shift your attention to what is going on right now; mute that TV, turn the radio off, put down your device, and look around. You’re sitting on a chair perhaps, or standing, or driving. Maybe you’re outside. How does the air feel? What is going on in your vicinity? How does your body feel? Are there any sounds you can hear? You will immediately shift to a calmer state.

In this present moment, notice, all is well. All that exists is in the present moment. This is where you live. You can’t live in the future or the past. Only in the present.

Be willing to see things differently.

The things you notice, the people, the events, are all noticed by you because there is something about them that you’ve bought into or believe in. even if it is the opposite.

Remember everyone sees themselves as the good guys.

Laughter

It is still the best medicine. Laugh long and often. See the humor in our follies and foibles. Quit taking life so seriously.

Self-care

Massage

Give yourself a massage as often as you can. Self massage is recommended a few times per week for most, before you shower. Take five or ten minutes to work some healthy oils like sesame, coconut, almond or other pure oil into your skin.

Eating well

This means eating as clean as possible; eat refined, manmade foods sparingly and lots of fresh veggies, fruits and proteins. Learn to listen to your body when it registers almost full, and stop eating.

Movement

Take the stairs, park away from the store, walk daily, do yoga or other movement. Use your body and it will respond with lowered stress and vitality.

Meditation

The crown jewel of self-care, encouraging a healthy emotional state, more clarity, better immune system, better sleep, lowering stress, blood pressure, resolving old habits, and on and on. Meditation helps you see things in a new way, enabling you to shift your perception and step away from emotional triggers that can sabotage your happiness.

Mass Consciousness

As I have told people for many years, we get the politicians we deserve. By that I mean the most dominant level of consciousness, with the most energy and impact, will prevail. We will get the politicians in an answer to this energy. Whatever way it goes, it is heralding a big shift in the system, which will eventually cause a big change in the governing body. But, as far as your individual life, you may not feel much change at all. You are on your own trajectory. Be self-referred. You are captain of your own ship. The most important thing for all of us to do is be the peace we wish to see in the world, and this means not working ourselves up into a frenzy with what is going on outside, but paying attention to our own life, the peace you are creating, and working within your centers of influence to make all of our lives better.

 

Benefiting from Retreat

 

It was an extremely enjoyable and refreshing time, going on my annual silent retreat in the Monterey Peninsula with the Chopra Center. Not the huge revelations that I had on my first venture into week long silence, but Deepak was his usual provocative self and it was productive and educational none the less.

Leaving the retreat early in the morning, feeling rested—in balance emotionally, spiritually and physically—I glided through airline glitches and typical aggravations with no internal registering of stress. Until upon boarding, when I found someone in my seat! The flight attendant helped the family who had thought they had everyone’s seats right, correcting the seating. The irritated mother ended up sitting in the seat beside me. Loudly complaining. She will never use this airline again. And how can her children fly 5 hours without a screen for movies? No one told her they needed ear buds and their own devices!

I looked at her with her fire (Pitta) burning hot, and had a dread of sitting beside her for the whole, long flight. But, before the dread became a fixture in my system, I had the presence of mind to remember I had a choice. My reactions are my choice. So I calmed myself—breathe, relax, it’s just a little storm that will pass.

I settled in my chair. She continued to talk. To me, the attendants, the children, and her husband; she ordered Champaign, and began asking me questions. “Are you going home? Have you ever used this airline? Isn’t this awful? First Class, this is not even like it.”

I smiled. I sort of shrugged my shoulders. “Oh well.” I said. And I asked her what she is going to do in Florida. She began telling me of their plans, fun plans, and she started to calm down.

Then the miraculous happened. The more she talked, while I listened, the softer she got, the kinder, happier. She asked me what I was doing in Monterey and I told her. She was fascinated. When the subject turned to what the retreat was about, including balancing life with Ayurveda, yoga and meditation, she seemed intrigued, so I gave her a ‘sampling’. I told her of the mind/body types, and how we all react differently to life’s situations, events and stresses, according to our composition of the three doshas. Then, I told her about herself, her leadership qualities, her desire for the finer things in life, her strength and strong will etc. etc. And how she reacts to stress!

She smiled and acknowledged, Yes, yes!

Then I told her how her daughter has a similar mind/body type and that may cause them to clash sometimes, but it is just because they are so much alike. She is a leader too. I talked of the other girl, who I also thought was her daughter, and told her this one is different, quieter, more self-reflective, and sometimes blames herself for what goes wrong. And she tends to get a bit anxious. Well, the woman was completely amazed. Right on! She smiled. She told me this other girl wasn’t her own, she was her daughter’s best friend. And we went on like this. Her asking me questions and I answering. She told me that this has been a life changing moment for her. She asked me what books to read, where to go….

We had a great time. And then I meditated on the plane while they all figured out how to use their devices to watch movies.

 

Why sign up for this Chopra Course?

A SPECIAL MESSAGE
about this course (reprinted from a previous newsletter. We received so many positive comments we thought it should be in our blog.)

We are offering the Chopra Center Meditation program next month, August.This practice has deeply changed my life. Up until I went to the Chopra Center 14 years ago, I led a ‘regular’ life; I had my family and work, and I loved both. I read spiritual books and inspirational books that gave me insights and good thoughts; but I was putting off experiencing a large portion of life that I wanted.

After learning the Chopra meditation technique, my life began to change dramatically. This new path led me to where my fulfillment lies. Looking back, it is astonishing what I’ve accomplished. Other people probably didn’t notice much, but my inner-life and self-expression burst forth in the following ways:

I wrote the novel that had been roaming around in my head for years

I went on to write more books, blogs and created new websites and formed new companies

I continued taking courses with the Chopra Center became a certified instructor and since 2005 I have taught many others this process and watched it work in their lives. Each class has taught me something new too.

I completely reorganized my business; studied and passed the test to open a Registered Investment Firm. I went fee-based and converted all of my clients into a new program in time to protect them from the ’08 meltdown. I broke associations from the brokerage firms that were later doomed.

The guidance I’ve received is no less than miraculous.

Meditation has allowed me to free myself from the drama around me, to calmly observe so that I can see clear solutions. Origins of the viewpoints of others are revealed enabling me to have a better understanding of them. Relationships are deeper and more meaningful. I find my inner guidance is available to help me overcome challenges.

I want to encourage those of you who have thought about coming but, for some reason, haven’t yet, to seriously consider taking this course. I think it will prepare you for anything and assist you in exploring all you can be.

Also, since we’ve been teaching here, we have added lots of great extras to the class. It is given over two Saturdays. This Weekend course will be given beginning August 12th and  at the Infinity Yoga & Wellness Cocoa Beach.

Don’t let the tuition stop you if you are having financial difficulty. We do provide some scholarships. And, if you have already taken this course from us, feel free to audit, no charge. We would love to have you as long as there is room.

I have spent my whole adult life trying different forms of meditation. This is not guided meditation–it is much deeper. This just may change your life.

Go to our Events page to learn more about the course.

Author’s Note

I’d like to tell you that this whole story was completely written by me, from my brain, my own imagination, but I tell you, while writing this book, more often than not, when I sat quietly, or took a walk along a riverbank, or was driving my car, letting go of the machinations of thought, I received a download of a significant portion of the story. It came as direct knowledge, at first not being assembled into words. It came in pictures, feelings, and events, as if I were watching a movie. I would ‘just know’ how each character felt. I would experience surprise right along with the characters as events unfolded. From day to day as I wrote the book, I often had no inkling what was going to happen next. Sometimes, I would write what was shown to me, but it didn’t make sense at the time, and I would judge it as a bad idea, thinking, where could it possibly go from here? Then, a few days later, the rest of that narrative would arrive, and to my surprise it would make perfect sense, in fact, I would see the brilliance of that idea.

At other times I would jot down an idea I thought up, one that sounded good, and later when I sat at my computer to put it in the story, I wouldn’t be able to find it, anywhere! My own ideas were often ‘lost’ or forgotten!

Therefore, I had quite a bit of help in the writing of this story. The ‘truths’ in this book are what the angels, my guides and loved ones on the Other Side, wanted you to know.

It was great fun working on this book. Now that it is out in the world, with its own existence, it’s not mine anymore. I hope it finds good homes.