Monday, February 14, 2011
Monday, November 30, 2009
My hope is that this show will give people food for thought. My viewpoints may not be shared by everyone, but the goal is to inspire new thoughts and possibilities. I look forward to all of the wonderful energies that will contribute to the show!
Monday, February 2, 2009
I have been studying the Toltec path* for the last year or so, and above anything else I've ever pursued, it has made the most sense. I was really enjoying getting to know all of the parts of the mind: the judge, the victim child and the hero- and how together they are known as the parasite within. Typically, because of how humans are domesticated, the parasite within feeds on fear. This fear comes from not following the rules of your family, religious group, society, etc. The judge inside you criticizes your victim child for anything the child does wrong, or wants to do wrong. The victim child lives to please the judge. However, it is a losing battle because the child will never please the judge.
A Toltec Warrior is one who lets the hero take over and defend the victim child from the critical judge. The way that the hero does this is through stalking all of the negative thoughts coming from your judge and telling the victim child that they are not real. The hero shows the child that the child can be loved, and that loving yourself is the reason why we are here.
The parasite will never go away. It is part of you. It is your mind, your ego. This is why making peace with the parasite is so important. The parasite will always be hungry, but you grow spiritually when you can change the diet of the parasite. Instead of feeding the parasite fear (from all of the thoughts we think to torture ourselves), we need to instead think loving thoughts about ourselves, and truly love ourselves.
Loving ourselves does not necessarily mean liking everything about ourselves. It means accepting ourselves- everything we are proud of as well as those things we wish weren't a part of us. The Toltecs believe that we are all doing the best we can in every moment with the information we have. This is the key to forgiving all of those who have hurt you, as well as forgiving yourself. This is the key to freedom.
* Info on the Toltecs courtesy of Allan Hardman, Toltec Master
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The reason balance is so important is that it allows you to tap into the Universal Flow. When you have achieved a life in balance, you are at peace in body, mind and spirit. It is in this state that it is possible to have and do the things that are usually the stuff of dreams. In a nutshell, balance gives peace. Peace silences the critical thoughts that race through the mind. And in that quiet void, spirit rushes in. With spirit, all things are possible.
How do you bring balance into your life? It all starts with how you feel about yourself. Your self-concept determines what experiences you bring into your life. Based on the view you have of yourself, you direct your energy to the things you feel you are capable of or deserve. How you choose to direct your energy affects whether or not you are in balance.
So the question becomes, does your view of yourself limit or enhance your soul growth? Do you see yourself as optimistic, happy and open to life, or are you under the belief that life is hard and nothing will ever change? Whatever your perspective, your actions will follow suit. If you are positive about life, you mindfully engage in more behaviors that keep you in balance. If you are feeling downtrodden, overworked, anxious, etc., your behaviors serve as mere distractions that become a vicious cycle, spiraling you further and further off course.
The easiest way for determining whether or not an action will help bring about balance in your life is what I like to call the Heart Test. If you think about doing something and your heart feels like singing, it will definitely contribute to a balanced life. If, however, your heart feels cold dread, or your stomach twists into knots, the action will not help you stay in balance, and will not contribute to your soul growth.
Why is this important to remember? Because, as humans, we force ourselves to do things that we don't feel happy about because it's "What's Right." Society, religious affiliations, cultural and family groups have all dictated what's right and wrong. While these rules are useful for socialization, they force you to conform to their ideas rather than what is necessarily right for your personal development. They may be extremely well-intentioned ideas, but if they don't serve a purpose for you, they can be quite detrimental.
Take, for example, the Ascetics. They believe that the path to enlightenment requires the sacrifice of all worldly pleasures. While Ascetics are the most extreme example of this belief, many other religious groups believe in this concept in varying degrees (such as vows of celibacy). In this frame, spiritual and worldly things are incompatible.However, I believe that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And so, to move forward spiritually, you need to fully embrace the gifts this world offers. We are here to learn and grow through our human-ness, living through our five senses and our hearts. Feeling the chill of autumn, smelling wet soil after a rain, eating warm apple pie, hearing the cry of a baby, watching a beautiful sunset- that's why we're here. And all of these earthly treasures serve as a delicious backdrop to EXPERIENCE LOVE in its many forms. The challenge, as humans, is to find a balance between sacrifice and excess, and appreciate how this allows us to be in tune with the Universe.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I believe that in every moment of our existence, it is possible to be whoever you want to be. Every single opportunity to interact with the world gives us a chance to be more loving, more courageous, more empathic, more wise, or more inspiring than ever before. You are not trapped by feelings of worthlessness, apathy, hate, distrust, anger, or cowardice. Just because you have always reacted a certain way does not mean you have to continue the cycle. No matter what has happened in your past, you can choose who you are instead of just reacting to past events.
This is a big concept. It is very easy to get caught up in negative cycles that remove the need for thinking and just continue feelings of emptiness or pain. It is very easy to look in the mirror and hate what you see, or give up feeling like anything will change. However, these are the very moments that can turn the tide, if you take responsibility for them. These icky feelings can be the impetus for some amazing changes in how you view yourself.
At any given moment, YOU CAN BE DIFFERENT! You can be happier, more fulfilled, more awed by life. It's all in your perspective. Instead of continuing the negative patterns, forgive yourself, and move on. Wallowing in pain and guilt is not going to get you anywhere. Embrace yourself wholly and completely. Love your assets and love your flaws- they are all a part of you. Being a brighter light for the world starts with loving yourself. Self-acceptance drives away insecurity. Fear and pain can only hide in the parts of ourselves that we refuse to see.
The holiday season gives us many wonderful opportunities to be MORE of who we are. Don't waste these gifts. Learn to love yourself, and who knows what you will share with the world.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
However, because all of this is a process, there are definitely some times where I feel taken down a notch. During these times, life seems to move a little slower, and I have a hard time seeing the forest through the trees. These are the times when the critical thoughts sneak in. How can I think I'm a good mother when I can't even provide my child with clean pants? Am I such a lazy slob that I can't keep up with the Mt. Everest pile of laundry? Am I really living up to my full potential? And on, and on. And because these lower-energy thoughts creep in, my energy level shifts, and I vibrate at a slightly lower level.
Why is this important? When my energy level downshifts, I attract (or let in) different situations and experiences that are compatible with this new, lower level. In the past, this would really wreak havoc on my life. I would experience illness, problems with my house or car, or have a blow-out with a friend or family member. I wasn't in control of my thoughts and feelings, and since they were negative, they were driving the train to Crappytown. Because of all the inner work I've been doing, however, my experience of lower energy shifts has been a lot subtler.
I am more of an observer of my feelings now. Of course I still feel everything, but I am not as attached to the feelings. When really icky feelings bubble up, I take this as a sign that something needs to be attended to in my perception of myself and my life. Taking ownership for the anger, jealousy, guilt, etc. instantly deflates the power of these emotions, and helps me focus on solutions to get me to where I want to be.
Your gut instincts are extremely helpful in letting you know if an action is consistent with your soul growth. By learning to pay attention to this nudge from the universe, you can make more advantageous decisions. You can get yourself back on track before you get completely derailed. Going with your gut can greatly enhance your life and your peace of mind.
Monday, September 29, 2008
When you are lost in your pain, it is claustrophobic, all-encompassing, inescapable. No matter what you do to try to get your mind off the pain, all you can feel is the pain. This causes fear, anger, frustration, and hopelessness. You shout to the sky, "Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this?" You begin to hate everything- your life, yourself, the sunny day outside that continues to shine despite your horrible mood. However, you only feel trapped in your pain when you are thinking in terms of this world and your physical self. Your ego interprets the pain as something that has been done to you. As a result, you merely react to the painful experience. I refer to this mindset as an Unconscious Experience of Pain.
When you view pain from a higher perspective, you can begin not only to identify what this pain is trying to communicate to you, but you can also learn to appreciate what the experience of this pain has opened up in your life. When you consciously view pain as a teacher, you are not a victim anymore. The pain serves as an impetus for greater things to happen in your life. You discover your capacity for fortitude, for patience, and for perserverance. The next time you are in the midst of a painful experience, be thankful for the chance to BE in the NOW. Look for the hidden gifts.