Archive for the 'Earth' Category

Rethinking Our Fear

Friday, January 11th, 2013

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” -Franklin Roosevelt

 

Insecurity is a natural consequence of our mortal human experience. The most primal hardwired function of our brain is driven by a survival instinct, which is governed, to a large extent, by a negativity bias that operates without our conscious awareness. Negativity bias creates thinking mechanisms steeped in our worst fears and limits our view of the world with rigid judgments.  This natural closing, left unchecked, translates into a defensive posture that impacts our capacity for relating, especially within our most intimate relationships. Re-thinking the source and experience of safety in the world is one of the most powerful shifts of intention we can bring to our relationships to life, as well as to the people we love.

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A Blessing of Gratitude

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

“May the nourishment of the earth be yours.May the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours, may the protection of the ancestors be yours. And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life.”

- John O’Donohue

Losing everything you have is a reality that is hard to fathom and a fear that drives many.  In the month since Hurricane Sandy, this reality has come to tens of thousands. We all stop to pause at how incredibly fragile and inevitably fleeting the edifices of our security actually are. Natural disasters are so common now, that it is more a question of when than if. And although most people reading this can’t relate to bombs wiping out every recognizable corner of your neighborhood, this is the reality in many places on earth. It is easy to confuse our sense of self with the comforts that we build into making a home, holding a job, maintaining our health, even driving our car. Who are we when all the trappings that define us disappear?

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Universal Truths

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

“Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world… Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis.” –Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We live in conscious universe. I spent the weekend immersed in The Science and Non- Duality Conference, exploring the depths of the ultimate truths of existence. It was quite heady and surprisingly reassuring. The conference featured several panels of world-renowned quantum physicists sharing Powerpoints of the immensity of the universe in which our visible universe that goes on for 100 million light years makes up less than 2% of the whole. This new science of quantum physics and its latest breakthrough of Super String Theory leave no question that our Newtonian conception of the material world only reflects the surface layer of reality. What we perceive as solid matter, when studied closely, disappears on the molecular level into energy waves, which envelope us and even lives through us. Science has proven what mystics have been saying for thousands of years: we are not separate, individual beings; rather we are truly all connected.

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True Story of Leaving

Friday, August 24th, 2012

“If you tell a true story, you can’t be wrong.”   -Jack Kerouac

 

I would bet that for every couple that falls in love each day there are at least two couples who leave each other in deep and hurtful ways. Just this week, I was caring for one of my teenage daughter’s oldest friends whose boyfriend, who had been her friend since elementary school, broke up with her in a text that read“I just don’t have that warm love feeling anymore.”This experience followed one earlier in the week as I listened to a longtime business friend who had recently managed an incredible feat of agility, courage and perseverance to save his business from an investor group gone bad, speak  in a hopeless and uninspired tone about losing the feelings required to do the work to revive his 33-year marriage.

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Soul Soothing Truth of Feeling Love

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

“All it takes to feel loved is to love. We always have the power to feel love. As soon as we stop loving we often don’t feel loved anymore.”  -Betty Peralta

 

For all the years that I have thought and written about love, it is remarkable to me that I only just recently learned how my own thinking has prevented me from seeing the love in my own life for decades. We all create a storyline that our life mirrors and although it is hard to tell whether the events and circumstances of our life create the story or whether the story attracts the events, the story line becomes so deeply ingrained in our personal history that we often don’t witness its operation. For me, as for most of us, this history began in childhood with my emotionally dysfunctional family, which only grew more overtly unhappy as I aged. By the time I was 13 and the divorce escalated the collective pain into impenetrable defense mechanisms my storyline was set and the filter of my experience of  life was measured by an ever present sense of being excluded, abandoned and alone. These emotional drivers of my life were powerful forces of attraction, as well, and it took years for me to see the choices I continuously made to keep the filter intact.

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A Beautiful Urge

Friday, July 6th, 2012

“In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty.” -Christopher Morley

 

Beauty is one of the essential graces of living a human life on earth. Beauty is around us everywhere and entraining our own capacity to notice and recognize its presence and its power to transform us begins in our heart. Culturally, we are constantly being mis-directed to a specific, and arguably, limited type of beauty, which parades as fashion in youthful perfect silhouettes, airbrushed wide-eyed models with chiseled features and long wavy flows of hair. This commercial beauty is the kind that drives us either to despairing feelings of not measuring up or seduces us into buying this one more thing that will bring us closer to that exclusive experience of beauty. Yet, most people when asked about where they witness beauty rarely mention Glamour’s cover of the month. Instead, what we hear is about how the evening light transforms the trees in their yard, or how the scent of fresh bread wafted around a corner or the remarkable rose light that canvases the skyline before dark.

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Soluble When Listening

Friday, June 29th, 2012

“When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to perceive my world in a new way and to go on.  It is astonishing how elements which seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens.”   -Carl Rogers

 

Lately, I have had the honor and privilege to create and deliver a workshop on love and positivity for a handful of cancer patients and survivors. Our weekly curriculum is a combination of my years of love contemplation layered with the positivity training about which I have become passionate. It is the most deeply rewarding work I have done in years. I have given up the idea that I have anything to teach anyone, finally understanding that there is no telling anyone anything that they do not wish to know. Instead, I am in awe of the learning that happens within the shared intention of listening deeply both to ourselves and to the sacred intimate connections that emerge without effort, even among strangers when we ask authentic questions about who we are. Increasingly, I am convinced that any idea of planning how things will go is nothing but fiction that I busy my mind with and which ultimately distracts me from the moment at hand.

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Building Resilience

Friday, June 1st, 2012

“None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.”   -Paulo Coelho

 

It’s easy to trust when life is giving us what we want, when our relationships are stable and communication flows. Leaning toward trust when our health is broken, our relationship connections are tattered and we can’t find the words to express our own needs is where trust becomes our capacity for resilience. In the moments when life is falling apart, when our best laid plans are dashed and lying in a heap of disappointment that we have the opportunity to grow more resilient. This deep inner work is one of the highest forms of love. It is the work that transforms us into our most authentic and compassionate selves.

I often tell my kids that life is first a problem solving adventure. Watching as they can easily become overwhelmed with life’s adversity has shown me time and again that the outcome often has less to do with the external life circumstances than what we bring to the challenge from inside. I have tried to teach them by example that what transforms all life challenges into something that makes us more whole is our capacity to not give ourselves away. This is a kind of radical trust, tapping your inner resilience, which keeps you present to the truth about yourself and doesn’t allow you to make the situation worse with a downward spiraling story line of victimization and blame.

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Text Break Ups/ Communication Break Down

Friday, April 27th, 2012

“We expect more from technology and less from one another and seem increasingly drawn to technologies that provide the illusion of companionship without the demands of relationship.” 

-Sherry Turkle

A couple of years ago, not long after I won the Angel Conference I got a text message from a successful local businessman who had agreed to become our CEO and probably had a lot to do with my winning the conference.  He resigned over a text message, not even using the 160 characters allotted, “it wasn’t going to work for him at this time” was all I got.   It was devastating, almost a surreal moment where I had to go back and read the message again.   Did this just end- like that- over a text message?  I felt it physically, a hearty dose of adrenaline mixed with old, deep fears of worthlessness and abandonment.  Although this break up was in the business realm, we all know at least one person who has who had their heart broken over text message.

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The Benefits of Taking a Tech Holiday

Friday, April 20th, 2012

 “When things come at you very fast, naturally you lose touch with yourself.” ~Marshall McLuhan

It is hard to imagine that we have already come full circle in our relationship to technology. The relentless drive for more access, smaller devices and ever increasing speed is hitting a wall for many of us. Yet, it isn’t so surprising that the wonder has worn thin when you consider the sheer number of hours that Americans spend in front of a screen. Between 2005 and 2009, our time spent in front of a screen doubled to include at least 8.5 hours per day. Television viewing, likewise, has also steadily increased Nicolas Carr, in his revelatory best-seller; “The Shallows” has documented how these technological trends are shaping not only our days, but the very wiring of our minds.

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