Miracles N Magic
Anything Is Possible If You Believe

Daily Om

Time to add a New Page, this will be replacing our Daily Little Reminders page (of course that page will still be there but we just won’t be adding anymore little reminders to it). Instead we are going to post some inspirational thoughts for a happy, healthy & fulfilling day.

Each post will be taken from one of our favorite books; Daily Om by Madisyn Taylor. Hope you like our new page. As always if you have any questions feel free to email us at miraclesnmagic@hotmail.com

Tuesday September 22, 2009

Linking Center
Checking In With Your Heart

Every day we experience a magical twilight between our dreaming and waking states. During this brief period of time, our minds still remember that all things are possible. We can smoothly transition into the physical world without losing a sense of hope when we first check in with our heart center before we even get out of bed.

Our heart center is the link between body & spirit, instinct & inspiration. It does not take long to hold a thought of loving gratitude for that which beats within us — in a mere moment we can review all we want to accomplish in the light of love. When we get into the habit of beginning our day from the heart, all of our activities glow with the infusion of conscious intent, and all interactions occur with compassion.

We can restart our day right now by imagining how love & inspiration feel. As light glows from our heart, radiating out through our bodies into the space around us, any feelings of stress or frustration seem to melt away. Now we see each person we encounter as a fellow traveler of a spiritual partnership. As conscious participants in the cycle of giving & receiving, we share our light with others as we become enlivened ourselves, with our heart leading the way.

In the intersection where the body & soul meet, our heart beats in time with the rhythm of the universe. It does the physical work of supplying our body with life force without our attention… but for its spiritual work, we need to be conscious. When we concentrate on its rhythm & glowing light, we remember that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Then we know that we can choose any time to check in with our heart center, and in doing so, experience the joy of being in love with life.

Wednesday September 23, 2009

Zen Commute
Discovering Yourself in Traffic

No one wants to be angry with a fellow human being who is lost or confused, but if we get stuck driving behind one, we may find ourselves feeling wildly, uncharacteristically impatient. It is our earnest goal to have compassion & love for other people, but when one of them cuts us off, we feel personally offended, angry, and hurt. The good news is that by experiencing these difficult emotions, we have the opportunity to see ourselves & change our approach. In that light, being stuck in traffic can become a vital part or our spiritual practice.

Sages of all faiths agree that the current moment is the only thing that really exists. The past & future are equally irrelevant in the presence of the now. Therefore, at the deepest level, there is nowhere to go, because the only place we need to be is here, now. Just reminding ourselves of this in the midst of traffic can be extraordinarily helpful. The Zen mantra “Nowhere to go / No one to be / Nothing to do” can work wonders on our panicky misperception that we need to get somewhere fast. By remaining in the moment, we inevitably get to our destination. We don’t need to push or rush or panic.

Another tool used throughout the ages to maintain enlightened awareness is breath meditation. The simple act of consciously inhaling & exhaling grounds us in our bodies, reminding us where we are, who we are, and how precious our life is. When we connect deeply to our own existence in this way, many of the petty thoughts and feelings that can dominate our minds dissolve without any effort. We have breathed our way back to sanity.

From this place of awareness, you can feel compassion for the drivers who are banging their steering wheels & blaring their horns, even if they are honking at you. You know that it is not personal; they have simply lost perspective. On your exhale, send out a wish that they, too, find the cool ease of the present moment.

Thursday September 24, 2009

A Gift of the Heart
Letting People Know You Love Them

It is easy to take our feelings fro granted & assume that the people we care about know how we feel about them. While they are often quite cognizant of our feelings, saying “I love you” is a gift we should give to our loved ones whenever we can. Letting others know how we feel about them is an important part of nurturing any kind of loving relationship.

Few tire of being told they are loved; and saying “I love you” can make a world of difference in someone’s life, take a relationship to a new level, or reaffirm & strengthen a steady bond. Everyone needs to hear “I love you.” Three simple words: I…love…you. When you declare your love for others, you proclaim that you care for them in the most significant way.

It can be difficult to convey your affection using words, particularly if you grew up around people who never expressed it verbally. But you should never be afraid to say “I love you” or worry that doing so will thrust you into a position of excessive vulnerability. It is important to share your feelings with those who matter to you. Part of the fulfillment that comes with loving someone is telling him or her that you do. Love exists to be expressed, not withheld.

If you care for someone, let that person know. Do not be afraid of the strength of your emotions or worry tat your loved one will not feel the same way. “I love you” is often best said to another without expectation of a return on this investment. Since each one of us is filled with an abundance of love, there is never any concern that you will run out of it if these words are not repeated back to you.

Saying “I love you” is a gift of the heart sent directly to the heart of the recipient. Even though it may not always look that way, this is an offering that is always unconditional & given without strings attached. This is the true essence of the gift of “I love you.”

Friday September 25, 2009

Power in Numbers
Sending Our Collective Light To The World

Like tiny ripples that merge to form great waves, combined human intent is worth more than the sum of its parts. A single individual can initiate worldwide improvement by emitting conscious frequencies of love, beauty, goodness & wisdom. A group of people focusing their energy on sending out light tot he planet can set the stage for positive global transformation.

All of us possess the ability to channel love energy, to heal, to be a conduit for white light, and to positively influence our fellow humans from afar. Yet one person can only do so much. Imagine if each of us took a few moments at the start of every day to send out light from our hearts to the world. Mother Earth would be quickly eased, and the planet — as well as every organism & being on it — would be bathed in loving radiance. The world would be an infinitely beautiful place.

You can help bring about an earth where love triumphs over violence, air & water nourish in their purity, and people take pleasure in simply being alive. Alone, the light you emit is a wonderful healing tool, but when you join with others who share your intent to shine compassion & positive energy over the globe, a powerful force is created. Your collective consciousness & cumulative light will wash over the planet, enveloping people, communities, cities, countries & continents.

Inviting others to do this with you can be a beautiful thing if handled delicately. People may question the benefits of sending light to an already-broken world. You will need to explain that each person’s light joins & through the joining all are strengthened. Assure them that it is not the technique used, the religion practiced, or the beliefs held, but rather the intent that matters.

As more people come in the mindfulness to send their planetary gift will increase exponentially. You may already be affiliated with groups who would gladly participate in such a noble project. Children who often feel incapable of influencing their world yet are reservoirs of innate power, are usually enthusiastic about sharing their collective light. As you gather willing people together, your individual intent will become a great & powerful wave; and you will see results in your fellow humans, in the news, & in your daily life.

Saturday September 26, 2009

Accepting The Gesture
Learning To Receive

As children, most of us are taught to give generously, but seldom are seldom are we provided with instructions on how to graciously recieve. To give of ourselves — sharing our talent, our time, and our treasure — comes naturally, but being presented with a gift is often a source of embarrassment or confusion when it is not clear how to respond or we feel unworthy. Learning to receive is as much an art as giving, and it begins when we open our eyes & ears to the simple gifts that are bestowed upon us each day. If we fail to express gratitude, even for those things that seem insignificant, we are unconsciously denying the emotions of the giver. Receiving gratefully lets the individual know that he or she is valued.

Many people are uncomfortable receiving, and rather than acknowledging the spirit in which the gift was given, they disregard the sentiment with statements such as “You shouldn’t have.” It is easy to forget that accepting a present, a charitable service, or a compliment with grace & sincere gratitude is often a gift in itself. Expressing appreciation means letting someone experience the joy of giving.

Offerings of love, service, help, communication, or material things all possess an emotional quality and, as such, have the power to forge or strengthen bonds. In this way, accepting them necessitates yielding to another, which may cause discomfort. We are told that receiving is a form of selfishness, but when the giving is done freely & with positive intentions, our doing so actually honors both the giver & the gift.

It is necessary to care for yourself & to feel deserving before it because possible to accept gifts without discounting the spirit of giving or worrying about relative values. Expressing appreciation need not take long. Letting someone know that you are truly grateful for their thoughtfulness is enough. Often a simple, heartfelt “Thank you” will suffice.

Giving & receiving are both blessings, and each builds its foundation on the other. As you learn to recieve, you have that much more to give. Only when you are willing to accept both openly will you truly be able to experience the magic of generosity & abundance.

Monday September 28, 2009

A Twisting Path
There Are No Straight Lines In Nature Or In Life

If you trek into the wilderness & look around with a careful gaze, you will see that the trees, flowers, and even the rocks have a tendency to flow: There is the arc of the branch that leads to the blossom, the smooth dip in a rock formation, the gnarled knot in a tree trunk, and the forking of shoots. As nature is overflowing with curves, corners, knots & unexpected directions, so are our lives filled with unpredictable directions, so are our lives filled with unpredictable twists and turns.

While you may find yourself briefly on a straight path, there is sure to be a sudden change in route up ahead. The journey of life does not necessarily always bring you closer to your goals. In fact, sometimes you may find yourself backtracking or meandering off in a new direction. Since there is no way to foretell the outcome of your journey (just as there is no way to predict the way a new bud will form), living is in itself the path to wisdom.

Like a nature trail, this path can lead to unexpected destinations. You may be faced with direct questions such as “Who am I?” and “What is of value to me?” Or you may find yourself acquiring the answer to them through everyday experiences. The route to wisdom is only blocked when you expect it to be a straight line. It is important to remember that plans & predictions are not rigid, and as your world grows in complexity, they are likely to change. It is therefore necessary to be open to a multitude of different paths. Obstacles, weariness, curiosity, or circumstance may cause you to alter your direction abruptly. There may be forks along the way where you will need to make significant decisions based on the counsel of your inner voice.

There are both long and short roads that are sometimes curved & sometimes straight. Enjoy & learn from the adventure. Often when you look at nature, the beauty is in the unexpected. No two plants or animals are exactly the same, & even the smallest buds curve gracefully. The winding path is often the most interesting one. The lesson you can take from that is to avoid becoming attached to what “needs” to happen & remain flexible as you continue on your journey. If you are determined to achieve certain goals, you will do so, no matter how many twists & turns you must travel.

Tuesday September 29, 2009

A Positive Shift
The Art of Forgiveness

To forgive really is divine. It takes strength to set aside what is often justifiable anger. It is much easier to hold a grudge, yet when we allow ourselves to put aside that anger & forgive those who have harmed us, we actually do oursleves a great service. Making the conscious decision to let go of the pain is the beginning of healing. To do so is challenging, however, because it is easy to become attached to seeing ourselves as victims & hold on to resentment, even when the person who harmed us is genuinely sorry. Forgiving another is both one of the most difficult & one of the most spiritually rewarding choices we can make.

While forgiveness is a noble act, research shows that the person who offers it benefits as much as, & perhaps more than, those who are forgiven. Expressing true forgiveness is empowering because it helps us to stop feeling like victims & allows us to dispel our own suffering at having been wronged. Our levels of rage & hostility decrease, while our capacity to love increases. We are better able to control our negative emotions, and we have an enhanced ability to trust. We are freed from the control of past events, which can help us stop repeating destructive behavior. Both our physical & mental health improve. Although many people feel forgiveness is something that must be asked for or earned by another, it is actually a gift we give ourselves.

When you are ready to let go of your anger & forgive, it can be helpful to do so internally, whether or not you intend on telling the one who wronged you. It does not matter if the person has passed on or you are not in contact with one another anymore. Keep the individual you want to forgive in your mind’s eye, but do not dwell on past actions or words. As you concentrate on this image, sincerely wish for the other person everything you want for yourself. Do so as long as & as many times as it takes. It may be days, months, or even a year before you notice a change, but you will know when you are finished because you will sense a positive  shift & feel free.

Thursday October 1, 2009

Getting on Track
Trains Are Like People

The rails the crisscross the countryside & cut through cities have long captured people’s imaginations. Just the idea of taking a ride on a luxury train, on express-commuter line, or in a cargo car can evoke a sense of freedom, adventure, or romance.

Trains are like people in that they must inevitably arrive at their destinations. They make scheduled & unscheduled stops along the way &  move at different speeds. Some can travel for hours & are mindful of only a single destination; others meander from busy station to busy station. The route & purpose of any change as the years go by. Our lives stretch out in front of us & behind us like railroad tracks; & we are the train, its passengers, and the engineer.

The way you choose to live your life & the goals you are working toward are the results & the destinations you have chosen. Like a rider on a train, you have the choice to get on and off, find new routes, pick unknown places to visit, or just stop & enjoy the view for a while. Perhaps you like to move quickly through life as if you were an express train. Or maybe you are like a commuter passenger taking the same routes over & over. You might want to stop just riding along & choose a different direction for your life to take.

If you have examined the tracks of your life & are feeling unsatisfied, you may want to explore the changes you can make to find a more fulfilling path to follow. Perhaps you would like to slow down a little & take a windier path rather than just traveling down the straight & narrow. Or maybe you would prefer to experience your life as more of an adventure as opposed to just a ride that gets you where you need to go. Changing your route can sometimes give you a chance to “get on the right track.” You may even discover that the something new you have been waiting for is just around the bend.

Friday October 2, 2009

Seeing Your Perfection
Letting Your Light Shine

We are each born into this world with unique gifts. Within us is a glimmer of the divine, a light that can potentially make the world a more beautiful place. But in many that light lies dormant, snuffed out by fears & feelings of inadequacy. To spark it is to attract attention, face the possibility of rejection or the responsibility of success, and risk being labeled immodest. Yet when we undermine it by hiding our aptitudes & quashing our dreams, we deny ourselves & others a wealth of experience. Our abilities are a part of who we are; and when we take pride in them, we affirm the love, esteem, and trust with which we view ourselves. Moreover, as we express the light within, we grant others permission to do the same, freeing them to explore their own talents.

Some of us have been taught to hide our light from the world since childhood. Relatives caution us that the professions associated with our aptitudes are unattainable. Our peers may be envious or our skills & thus be overly critical of the activities we instinctively enjoy, and authority figures admonish us to be humble & avoid showing off. But there is a vast chasm that separates those who let their light shine & those who seek only to draw attention to themselves.

When you dare to share your light with the world, the beauty & perfection of your soul become clearly visible. You become a whole being — the literal embodiment of your vast potential. Whether you are a wonderful dancer, a first rate cook, a whiz with numbers, or a natural negotiator, you will come to understand that you do the world no favors when you hold yourself back.

If you have hidden your light so long that it has shrunk to an ember, make al ist of everything you do well, however impractical, silly, or seemingly inconsequential. Then ask yourself how you can positively utilize those abilities in your daily life. The gifts you were born with were not granted to you arbitrarily. While you may never discover what impact your light has had on others, you can be certain that when you embrace your talents & share them, you will spread illumination in the world.

Tuesday October 6, 2009

Sky-Blue Healing
Blue-Light Guided Meditation

Please sit comfortably with your back very straight, your legs uncrossed & your palms facing upward. If this is not comfortable for you. This meditation may be done lying down as well.

Start by imagining the color of the sky on a sunny day: sky blue.

Now, imagine that same sky-blue to be made of light — a healing light.

Begin to breathe this in; feel it.

Imagine an opening in the top of your head. Every time you take a breath, you are inviting this color inot your body, pulling it in with your breath.

Start to breathe in the blue light.

Now, begin to place it in your abdominal or pelvic area. Imagine that your pelvis is a bowl & you are going tyo fill it up with this beautiful blue light.

Begin to breathe it in a little harder. Passionately inhale through your nose, & push the blue light into your pelvic bowl. Maybe lots of noise through your nasal passages to bring in the air, and remember to exhale out your nose, not your mouth. The breath is your power.

Fill your pelvis with the blue light. Do this for a few minutes. Let your pelvis fill up with the beautiful, healing blue light.

Bring your breath to normal now, and allow the blue light to start to rise. Permit it to move upward into your belly & your stomach. K,eep letting it rise through your chest, neck & head… and finally, let it encompass your entire body.

Just be with it & feel it.

You have just done some powerful healing on yourself. Sit for a while & let it be integrated within you. Be well.

Friday October 9, 2009

Giving The Gift Of You
Serving Your Community

To live harmoniously, we need to be supportive & helpful to all people, creatures, and plat life that share this earth with us. While being, of service is part of being a good citizen of the world, it also feels good to help others. When we do something for the benifit of others without the expectation of anything in return, we are turning our actions into offerings.

There are many ways to be of service to our community. There are the obvious & much-needed volunteer oppurtunities, such as serving a meal at a shelter, mentoring youth, or cleaning up a beach. Then there is that which we may not even think of as being an act of service.

For example, learning a new language (perhaps sign language) so that you can help talk to more people is a way to reach out to others. Inviting someone who is not motivated enough to exercise on their own to join you on your daily walk is a way to give yourself. Sharing flowers or vegetables from your garden, organizing a poetry reading, offering to babysit for a busy parent, or donating pet food to an animal shelter are all simple ways of service to your community.

You can also serve the world in other ways. Imagine the impact you would have on the environment if you picked up on piece of trash off the streets every day & chose not to drive your car once a week. Even throwing wildflower seeds onto a vacant lot can brighten the lives of others — including those of birds & inscets. Every day you can do something to make this world a better place.

During meditaion, ask for guidance on what you can do to be of service. This can be a wonderful way to start your day. Smiling at a stranger who looks down in the dumps or teaching the neigborhood kids how to whistle will impact an individual’s day — or even someone’s life. Giving of yourself is the best gift there is.

Friday October 12, 2009

Letting Your Feelings Flow
Tears

How wondeful it feels to give in and let the tears flows when we are overwhlmed with emotions. Whether we are happy or sad, tears come from the soul — from our well of feelings that rises from deep down. When we give in to the prickling behind our eyes and the lump in our throat & let the drops fall from our eyes, we allow our feelings to surface so they can be set free.

Proud parents shed tears of pride over a child’s accomplishements, a baby’s first steps, birthdays & graduations. Long-lost friends fall into each other’s arms, tears rolling down thier cheeks when they reunite after years of seperation.

Tears may flow from us when we are witness to a commitmnet being made at a wedding or even while we are watching a love story. Tears of relief may spring to our eyes when we hear that a loved one has survived an ordeal, and tears of grief may fall when we bow our head in sorrow over a loss or death. Tears born of heartache can flow as if they will never cease, whether they are for a love ended, a friendship lost, or an opportunity missed. Then, too, we shed them because of disappointment in ourselves, tragedy in the world, pain, and illness. Tears of anger can burn can burn with emotion as they fall down our faces.

Tears offer uss physical release for our feelings. Shedding them can sometimes make us feel better, although it might seem as the will never end once the floodgates are open. There is no shame in letting them flow freely & frequently. Tears are as natural to us as breathing is.

There is beauty in allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to shed tears. Open up, release your tears, and let your feelings flow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Wealth Of Feeling
What Is Love?

Throughout recorded history, love has burned in the hearts of composers, writers, painters, and playwrights… and smoldered in those of parents, children, and friends. Love — primal, passionate, and pure — has been dissected, revered, praised, and derided. It has been called complex, ethereal, & mysterious. We long for a definition but fear that the feeling called love would be less exhilarating were it defined.

Much of the mystery is rooted in the incomprehensibility of love’s purpose. Self-sacrifice, procreation, caring, and romance can exist seperate from love. It is possible to have intense feelings for others  but not define them as love. Yet love remains a powerful & universal force that uplifts, inspires, and is strong enough to bring about great change.

Like the wind w cannot see yet know is all around us, love is often more easily perceived through its effects. As we transcend the boundaries of ego in order to love & be loved, we put aside self-centeredness and experience unity with another. Compassion, peace, joy and excitement, and fulfillment are inevitable results.

Paramahansa Yogananda noted that “to describe love is very difficult, for the same reason that words can not fully dscribe the flavor of an orange. You hae to taste the fruit to know its flavor. So with love.” Those who have tasted of love often equate it with jealously, bitterness, resentment, lust or aggressive attachment — but it is none of those things. It is both a feeling and an action; as it brings us into the light, we strive for happiness, safety, health, and fulfillment or those fo whom we feel love.

It is true that love can be fleeting & accepts few controls or conditions. The strongest loves blaze into being & wither away in an instant… or last lifetimes. The one constant is the release of emotion. Love is not learned, but brought forth from within because it is the basic nature of humans. Only fear causes us to bury the need to love and be loved. When we accept our worthiness & reject indifference, it is then that we are able to become outlets of love.

Thursday, August 26, 2010
Dropped Into Still Waters
The Ripple Effect

In a world of six billion people, it is easy to believe that the only way to initate profound transformaion is to take extreme action. Each odf us, however, carries within us the capicity to change he world in small ways for better or worse. Everything we do & think affects the people in our lives. and their reactins in turn affect others. As the effect of a seemingly insignificant word passes from person to person, its impact grows and can become a source of great joy, inspiration, anxiety, or pain.

Your thoughts & actions are like stones dropped into still waters, causing ripplies to spread & expand as they move outward. The impact you hve on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices yu make can have far-reaching consequences. You can use the ripple effect to mke a postive difference &spread waves of kindness that will wash over the world.

Should the opportunity arise, the recipient of a good deed will likely feel compelled to perform one for someone else. Somebody feeling the effects of negative energy will be more likely to pass that on. One act of charity, one thoughtful deed, or even one positive thought can pass from individual to individual, snowballing until it becomes a group movement or the ray of hope that saves someone’s life. Every transformation, just like every ripple has a point of origin. You must believe in your ability to be that point of origin if you want to usse the ripples you create to spread goodness. Consider the effect of your thoughts & actions, & try to act graciously as much as possible.

A smile directed at a stranger, a compliment given to a friend, an attitude of laughter, or a  thoughtful gesture can send ripples that spread amoung your loved ones & associates, out into your community, and finally through the world. You have the power to touch the lives of everyone you come into contact with and everyone those people you come into contact with. The momentum of your influence will grow as your ripples move oneward & outward. One of those ripples could become a tidal wave of love & kindness.

Friday August 27, 2010
Cosmic Support
The Universe’s Plan For You

The path that propels us toward our dreams can be a challanging & complex one, and it is easy to get bogged down in confusion & insecurities. We often hesitate at the start of that path, questioning our purpose or our capabilities — yet we should be moving forward joyously, eager to discover what destiny has in store for us.

The universe has plans for us that eclipse anything we have dreamed of thus far. Although we must work diligently to fulfill our potential and accomplish our individual missions, the universe is aware of both the quests we choose befre birth and the goals we have formulated in adulthood. If we accept that it is watching over us and believe that it will facilitate our eventual success, the universe will prpvide us with the assistance & opportunities that enable us to make significant progress without a purpose.

Nothing happens without a purpose. Whether we attract success or repel it depends on our willingness to stay open to a wide range of possibilites and to embrace concepts such as syncronicity. The universe is always ready to care for our needs, but we must not write off its lovely attention as mere circumstance or chance. Likewise, we must endeavor to ensure, that our egos do not become barriers preventing us from reconizing that even preceived mistakes and strife can be profound lessons smoothing the progress of personal evolution. When we understand that we only need to enthuisastically try our best to realize our objectives, the universe will take care of the details, propelling us forward in its unstoppable current. We may not always immediately understand the significance of certain experiences, but our trust will help us choose wisely at each crossroads.

The universe wants you to accomplish you goals. Now matter how long you have dallied or hesitated, it will always be there, ready to put its plan in motion at the first sign of your faith. You can make the most of this aid by acquiescing to it rather than fighting it. Nurture your dreams, but do not attempt to micromanage every detail along the way. The universe will provide you with guidance, and if you heed that wisdom, you will find that your formerly stressful quest for success will become a journey of great joy.

Friday September 1o, 2010

Seeking Beyond The Unknown
The Fear Of Losing What We Have

One of humanity’s biggest anxieties is losing what we have. It is healthy when fear of loss helps us take steps to protect what we have worked hard to attain, but it is unhealthy to continue to be afraid of something we can do nothing about. We need to remember that focusing our energy on fear can actually create what scares us, and holding tightly to what we have keeps us fro practicing in the universal flow of abundance & leads to stagnation instead. We can only rallt control our thoughts & our responses, so gaining proper perspective may be key yo conquering such fears.

The letters of the word fear can be used to stand for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Fears of being separated from something or someone we feel we need for security or happiness come from delusion — that is, a distorted way of understanding ourselves & the world around us.

When we understand that possessions are only representations of energy at work in our lives, we are able to shift our attention to the right  & proper place. We can stop fearing loss of money or success because once we know how it is created, we can always create more. We can stop fearing loss of material objects because we realize that they are not the source of our joy or well-being, but only the icing on our cakes. And when we understand the energy of love, we need not hold anyone too close for fear of losing them,  we know that this emotion does not diminish when it is given or shared, but rather expands beyond boundaries of time & space.

By focusing our light on our fears, they are revealed as mere shadows that disappear in the presence of mind & spirit. We can choose instead to direct our thoughts & creative power toward things of true value — love, abundance, peace, passion & joy. These energies that are always available to us when we place ourselves confidently in the  universal flow of abundance.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Evolving From Within
Changing Yourself First

The world calls out for improvement, and more often than not, we are ready and willing to offer advice or admonishments. However, each of us possesses the power to effect a positive shift in energy in ourselves & in those around us. Just as purification of the souls leads to purification of the world, change within leads to change without.

Conflicts can be resolved without words. The key is changing yourself & freeing your mind. When someone or something bothers you, it helps to begin by asking yourself if you, too, possess that negative quality or are allowing yourself to be found to be unduly affected by it. You only have control over yourself, but your influence reaches farther than you may realize. A positive change on your part often leads to positive change around you.

Your example to others is not the only way you passively inspire change. You may have altered your behavior or simply decided to adopt a shift in perspective; in doing so, you could have set into motion a series of positive consequences that bring balance.

The more we grow in virtue & the more centered we become, the more we perceive virtue & centeredness and  the more we project them outward. As we act in ways beneficial to ourselves & others, we inspire those around us to similar action. And when we have achieved control over our minds & souls, we cannot be negatively affected by change, criticism, & condemnation often fail. Recognizing that none of us is perfect & that we all need to improve can be the best way to overcome conflict.

In aikido it is said: “Change yourself first before looking to change your opponent, and in the process, you might find that your opponent has changed himself.” Actions, good thoughts, and positive energy speak louder than judgmental words and are the most powerful tools you can use when working toward a better world.

Thursday September 16, 2010

Mystery Of Transformation
The Butterfly Chrysalis

When a  caterpillar begins life in an egg, it looks nothing like what will hatch; and the butterfly seems a far cry from the larva the precedes it. Do caterpillars recognize butterflies as their future selves? Do butterflies identify caterpillars as past relations? The most mysterious phase of this shape-shifting creature’s process is that of the chrysalis: the jade green cocoon in which the crawling leaf-eating caterpillar transforms into a floating, nectar-drinking butterfly.

In our human lives, we sometimes find ourselves in the chrysalis state. Those times when we do not have a lot to offer the outside world, it is because, whether we realize it or not, much of our energy is consumed with an inner transition. We might feel sluggish or interested  in what surrounds us. We might feel impatient with ourselves, wondering why we do not have the energy we used to for our usual routines. But if we remember the chrysalis — the dark inner sanctum that provides the environment for a remarkable conversation — we can relax & let ourselves be, finding ways to support our process rather than coaxing ourselves away from it.

If you see a butterfly emerging from chrysalis, the temptation may be to help it break out. The physical challenge of this part of the process is necessary, though, for the butterfly to build its strength so that it can survive outside. The same is true for us: Sometimes we have to labor on our own to discover the force we need to be our new selves in the world. Similarly, when seeing friends and family members struggling, it is easy to become impatient and want to help with their emergence, but we have to learn to let others make their own way.

Taking on the challenge of liberating ourselves enables us to thrive in our new freedom. Sometimes the greatest support we can offer others and ourselves is patience and quiet confidence in the process unfolding, along with faith that the result will be extraordinary.

Wednesday,  September 22, 2010

Wisdom of  the Sages
Honoring Our Elders

There is a reason why wisdom is associated with age. Traditionally, elders have been the wise men & women of communities. Most spiritual leaders appreciated for the majority of their lives before beginning their practice. In many parts of the world, elders are honored & respected for wisdom they have gained through life experience. They are considered to be a valuable source of knowledge & have an important role to fulfill in passing on traditions & customs.

In many corners of the globe, nursing homes for elderly are rare. Caring for one’s aging parents is considered an honor & a blessing. In other cultures is is not uncommon for 3 or 4 generations to live together under 1 roof. Immediate families consist of children, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and sometimes great-aunts & great-uncles. Such intergenerational coexistence is beneficial to all. There are caregivers for both young children & the elderly, and older relatives can pass down the family history to, and act as role models for, younger family members.

In Native American culture, elders are appreciated for their close connection to nature and the spiritual world. They are known as  “wisdomkeepers,” acting as caretakers of the planet. Respected for their life experience & wisdom, African elders serve as mediators between deceased ancestors & living family members.

Honoring & respecting our elders is a way of building community and strengthening society. It helps us appreciate every stage of life and view aging in a positive light. After all, hopefully we ourselves will  have the opportunity to become sages in our later years.

Thursday September 20, 2010

Working Connection
Every Job Is Important

As children, we dream big dreams. We wanted to be — or were told by our parents that we should be — doctors, lawyers, or scientists. As time passed & we grew, our paths naturally evolved.  Those jobs still held their appeal, but we understood a subtle truth: The world needs us to fill our own role. Perhaps we also discovered that we were better suited to other work, or we wanted immediate employment. Often, through, the old idea of a “good” occupation has remained fixed, and it is easy to overlook the fact that all jobs are important to the economy & to the souls of the people that hold them.

You do not have to be in the healing-arts industry or work for charity or nonprofit organization to feel good about what you do. Everything is connected, everything flows, everybody is important — from the janitor to the secretary to the CEO. Without one there cannot be the other.  If you are unhappy in your job, take a moment to stop and think about how what you do is connected to other people. See the oneness. Does you smile & radiant energy  help others through their day? If your job is to file all day long, be the best filing person there ever was. Take pride in your work, for without it, how would anybody find what they need to do their job?

There is importance in every job that cannot be measured in numbers or in prestige and can only be found within the heart of the man or woman doing it. The happiest people –those who believe they have the best jobs — are the ones who respect the work they do no matter what it is. When we understand that, it becomes obvious that every job is worthy of praise.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Listing Magnificence
Five Things I Like About Myself

Our primary relationship in life is with ourselves. No one else goes through every experience in life in life with us. We are our one permanent companion…yet we are often our own worst critic. To remind ourselves of our magnificence, we can do the following exercise: ” Five Things I Like About Myself.”

Begin by writing down at least 5 things that you like about yourself. This is not the time to be modest. If you are having trouble coming up with a total of 5 items, you know that tis exercise can really benefit you. Be sure to include more than physical attributes on your list, since your body is only part of who you are. If you are still struggling, think of what you like about your favorite people, because these traits are probably qualities that you possess, too. Another way to complete your list is to call to mind 5 things you do not like about yourself & find something about yourself & find something about these traits that you can like.

Continue this process for a week, thinking of 5 new things you like about yourself every day. At the end of the week, read the list aloud to yourself while standing in front of a mirror. Instead of looking for flaws to fix, allow the mirror to reflect your magnificence. You may feel silly standing before a mirror reading aloud a list of your admirable attributes, but it might just bring a smile to your face & change the way you see yourself. Remember that when you feel the most resistant, this exercise can benefit you the most.

Since we are constantly looking at the world instead of at ourselves, we do not often see what is magnificent about us the way others do. When we take the time to experience ourselves as we would someone we love & admire, we become our best companion & supporter on life’s journey.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Plunging Into The Deep
Life Can Be Scary

Life can take us on a roller-coaster ride full of highs & lows & twists & turns. It is frightening to suddenly find ourselves heading for a deep plunge — even for those of us who enjoy unexpected thrills — yet this feeling happens to all of us. At these moments, it is important to remember that we are not alone in our experiences. No matter how brave, strong or levelheaded we are, sometimes we all get scared.

Our fears may revolve around our physical safety, particularly if we are not feeling well, are living under difficult circumstances, or are doing work that exposes us to hazardous conditions. Or we may be experiencing financial woes that are causing us to be anxious about making ends meet. We might also fear the loss of a loved one who is sick or be scared of never finding someone special to spend our life with. We could be frightened to start at a new school, begin a different job, move to a new town, or meet new people. Whatever our fears are, they are valid, & we do not need to feel ashamed or embarrassed that we are, at times, afraid.

It may be comforting to know that everyone gets scared — and that is perfectly okay. Sometimes just acknowledging our fears is enough to make us feel better. And while it occasionally takes a lot more to ease our minds, we can console ourselves with the knowledge that life can be scary at times. Giving ourselves permission to be afraid lets us move through our fears so we can release them. It also makes it all right to relay them to others. Sharing our  apprehensions with other people can make them less overwhelming, because we are not letting them grow inside of us pent-up emotions. Sharing our fears can also lighten our burden, since we are not carrying our worries all by ourselves.

Remember that you are not alone

February 27, 2011

Giving Of Herself
Mother

Mothers throughout history have been worshipped, revered, analyzed, & even criticized. Every one of us was created through the wondrous workings of a woman’s body; each of us has a mother.

But being a mother is more than a biological concept.  In India, women who are profoundly nurturing, compassionate & wise are publicly acknowledged with the title “Holy Mother.” Those who have never met their birth mother often feel that they have this figure in adoptive parents,  relations, & friends.  There are human & spiritual mothers, Mother Earth & mother goddesses. The maternal role is infinitely complex & is one of  pure tenderness, compassion, & unflagging loyalty. The mother represents fertility, stability, creation & sacrifice.

Our mothers determine who we become because they are not only life givers, but are the most influential people in our young lives. Before we are old enough to understand that influence, mothers bestow upon us the beginnings of our spirituality & value systems. A mother lauds accomplishment & ignores minor faults. She teaches her children, shields them misfortune, and hides her own tears, preferring to laugh so that sons & daughters can laugh with her. She is both a sharer of grief & a healer of many pains. And every mother gives of herself knowing that someday her progeny will leave her.

For these reasons & more, motherhood is a sacred institution not limited by narrow constraints. It is also not grandmother, because each woman is taught to <em>be</em> a mother by her own, whether she has children or not. Other ways to see a mother is to find a source of motherly nurturing in the planet, which gives us so much & demands little in return. The earth mother continually blesses us with her bounty, and we are born & eventually go back to the universal mother.

The definition is necessarily broad, because mothers of all types exist — in part to put a smooth veneer on the rough edges of life for those they love. A mother never ceases growing, never stops becoming more motherly. Although some may argue that she is a woman who gives life with her womb & nourishment with her breast, it is important to remember that a mother — any mother — is also the one who gives life with her <em>tenderness</em> & nourishment with her <em>love</em>

 

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