Over 110 people commented on a recent NY Times blog post “In the Fight Against Poverty, It’s Time for a Revolution” What do you think?
Facebook makes changes that we don’t always like but this is a pretty cool feature. At anytime, you can go back into your own history and see the events, photos and status updates that highlighted the month or year. I chose the above status’ from 2010 and 2011. Nice to reflect on what I was thinking and how people responded.
1) In Nov 2010. My family and I took our traditional road trip to Vegas. On the way home, we drove by a wall vandalized with racial slurs. I found myself having to explain discrimination/intolerance and ISMs to my inquisitive nine year old daughter. People will randomly ask my children “what they are.” I’ve always told them they can choose to answer or not. I personally love sharing where I come from and who I am but I don’t need a box. We are ALL human.
2) I have at times, put pressure on myself by creating unrealistic, unnecessary paradigms of perfection. I’ve done this in many areas in my life and THIS day was breakthrough for me. My kids LOVE breakfast for dinner. Why my mind would conjure up the idea that breakfast for dinner was substandard mothering was amazing insight into the areas of my subconscious that still want me to be a slave. Whether I call the voice Divine consciousness or self awareness… Freedom is work. And it’s awesome.
3) My kids. Always a source of inspiration.
“There’s nothing more natural than a human being that radiates simple, unaffected humanity…” ~Deepak Chopra
My take away from The Shadow Effect by Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford, and Marianne Williamson: Light and dark exist. We exist in and because of this dance of opposites. Recognize. Share. Forgive. Embrace. Grow. Love… and repeat.
It’s such a simple thing but many people do not know at least five ways to live well. Living well. What does that mean? For me it means incorporating into a daily practice, (personal mind, body, spirit goals) activities that inspire me.
I wanted to share an important step in me getting to know myself.
1. Walking, yoga, some form of exercise
2. Meditation, prayer
4. Kissing and hugging my kids
5. Reading: positive, spiritual, personal growth material
Incorporating these simple activities is not dependent on anyone else. I know that schedules get crazy, emergencies come up, etc. BUT keeping up my practices is a commitment to myself that I set as a priority. I let go of any guilt or old self talk about selfishness because today, I BELIEVE that I am worth it. We all are…
An affirmation is a declaration that something is true.
The power of writing our affirmations on a regular basis is a beautiful thing. Studies have shown that my subconscious mind only knows what I tell it.
So, when I write my affirmations, in present or past tense, it assumes I have already accomplished what I wrote. When I read my affirmations aloud, my left brain scours a lifetime of data to prove what I am reading, to be true. The result? I get to witness how I have already been living my dream and can now set more specific goals with even more belief. What an awesome feeling!
Writing affirmations without feelings will do little to promote change. Thoughts evoke feelings and then those feelings power additional thoughts. So, without feelings, we deny both the joy of the current experience as well as the power to shape our future.
If you cannot arrive at your affirmations from a TRUE place, try writing a letter to yourself from the future. Tell yourself where you are and remind yourself that the limitations you placed on on yourself were temporary. I cannot express enough HOW EFFECTIVE this technique can be in bringing relief of anxiety. Anything from love sickness to bankruptcy, realize that your future self has overcome. Your future self lives in the place of your dreams and that person is unlimited, wise and at peace. Feel free to ask questions or even ask your future self to write your affirmations!
Photo credit to Norma Cardenas
“Body , speech and mind in perfect oneness, I send my heart along with the sound of the bell. May the hearers awaken from forgetfulness, and transcend all anxiety and sorrow.”
A few years ago I read Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers by Thich Nhat Hanh
I was blown away by the compassion, love and celebration of two ancient spiritual traditions I consider a foundation for my humanity.
Shortly after reading the book, I had a profound meditative experience that changed my life. At some point, I will share the experience in detail but for now I will say, I arrived at exactly this: “The practice of mindfulness helps us to stop running and realize that happiness is possible in the here and now…”
I LOVE dreaming, fantasizing and projecting but without my ability to extract joy from my NOW, I’d be stuck in a state of waiting. There are so many distractions, keeping us from being in the now but having a deep moment with something we previously may have taken for granted is an incredible gift.
There are a million ways to meditate. I cannot recommend enough that each one of us find the ways that suit us, that we may all be connected to the happy here and now.
Social Media Tip:
I find the most amazing audiocasts on SoundCloud. A cool desktop or mobile app that lets you record, visualize and share privately with your family, publish to social networks or embed your sounds on your site.
In her book, Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden, Kathryn Hall uses gardening as a universal metaphor for life and spiritual transformation.
While living in Holland, she realized she felt uncomfortable so she decided to plant a garden outside her home. Before long neighbors began stopping by and asking her advice. She was led to her life’s calling by taking a small action. One planting at at time, she realized her passion.
Upon conversing with most people, I haven’t found too many that truly know what brings them joy. I think we have a basic understanding of what feels good but joy, tends to be illusive.
Joy. The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation. It seems to me joy is a state of being as opposed to a state of circumstance. So if I am to plant what gives me joy, I must plant seeds of love, weed out fear, water hope, feed possibility… The harvest; bountiful acts of kindness, pleasant surprises and peace. Sounds like a fair trade.
However, gardens are quite complex. We must know the soil and climate for if we cannot grow what we have set our hearts on, we must either redesign our plan, or move. I found this out when I moved to LA. LA is basically a desert. My mom became obsessed with sustainability about 10 years ago which meant ripping out all the grass in our front yard and replacing it with succulents and cactus from other desert regions all over the world. We went to gardens, plant shows, got books. I became increasingly fascinated with the variety and beauty of the plants that easily grew in our climate. We were odd balls for years until our plants bloomed incredible spring flowers and eco-friendly living became status quo.
Sometimes the garden that brings joy will make you the oddball for a minute but in the end… A garden is a miracle and a joy garden is the best miracle of all.
I began dancing at age nine. By thirteen, I was dancing 6 hours a day in several rigorous programs, including the Dance department at High School of Performing Arts. Like many of my peers, I went on to work as a dancer and later as an actor. I’m grateful for years of training as a dancer. I found myself much more in touch with my body (AND emotions) than many of my non-arts-focused teen counterparts.[Read more…]
I’m am obviously an advocate of physical, mental and spiritual health and well being.
I have always loved to eat. I was raised in the home of eccentric parents who encouraged me to open my palate, that I might survive the world travel that may lay ahead. We’d often have global themed dinners, with music, movies and or books to accompany our meals. It was my maternal grandmother who first emphasized the balance at meals and regular exercise that was the foundation of our lifestyle.
I always ate well but it was when my son was at the mercy of unknown illness, one that was manageable through diet, I became PASSIONATE about using food as medicine/love/life/art.
Most people don’t look at food choices as life/death decisions. They are, but most of us just choose easy. I’ve learned to redefine “easy.” It’s my great love for people that compels me to briefly share my view on the subject.
Here are a few links I think you will find interesting.
The Growing Home and Learning Center- A model of suburban sustainbaility and a center of community. Founded by my SOUL SISTAH Manju (Pearl) and her sons, Ro and Rishi Kumar.
The USDA listing of Farmers Markets across the USA.
The provocative yet easy read I mention The Self Health Revolution.
Peace and blessings friends.