Peacefully Negotiating These Times

Not long after 9-1-1 many teachers and leaders sent beautiful messages out to the world. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ (author of Women Who Run With the Wolves) was among one of my favorites.

She stated, “My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times…In any dark hour the tendency is to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong in an un-mended world. Do not focus on that…”

Yes. And so what would help us to shift our attention away from what would appear to be a world that has really going out of whack? Since 9/11 it seems that the madness persists, threatening to continue veering us off in the wrong direction—the heinous crimes, the endless disparities between the...

Conscious Conversations

Seven years ago this fall I had the rare and unusual privilege of taking a course entitled The Re-Invention of Work from Margaret Wheatley, Ph.D and world renowned Leadership and Organizational Development expert. During the class we were taught to think “outside of the box” exploring new insights, and possibilities for our respective careers with the following in mind: “[Challenges] that seem impossible to [resolve] with one paradigm may be easily solved with a different one." www.margaretwheatley.com

One of her parting statements to us was, “Have as many conversations as you possibly can about what matters to you. Do this in circles—then connect the circles. And oh, one more thing—if it doesn’t feel a bit strange, you definitely aren’t doing it.” This...

All Your Past Except Its Beauty is Gone

An area of ongoing challenge for me is avoiding the trap of being hung up on the past—things I have done, mistakes I have made—the why-oh why-did-I-do-that routine. Even though I have been on a spiritual path for more years than I can remember, I still occasionally get stuck in the dead-end-shame-game. Why didn’t I pay attention? Why didn’t I stop? Why didn’t I go?

I was recently going through some old files and came across this quote from the Course in Miracles, which for those of you who may not be familiar with the text, has been described as a course in mind training, the foundation for which is embracing love and letting go of fear. I have been studying...

Transitions, Transformation and Transcendence

It is fascinating to observe nature during this miraculous time of spring and re-birth. Buds that promise life are emerging from lifeless trees, mother robins nurture the nests that will produce new flight, and flowers are popping up out of nowhere, providing the long awaited color and fragrance of spring. And then there is the birth of a butterfly…

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly.”—Richard Bach, American author

The gestation period for this miraculous event from beginning to end, is approximately two weeks (Kathleen Pearce, Beautiful Painted Ladies). A female butterfly lays her egg, which contains a tiny caterpillar that immediately begins to grow. Following a steady diet of leaves and greens, the caterpillar...

Loving The Great Goodbye

I once attended a powerful retreat facilitated by the extraordinary poet, David Whyte, who wrote The Heart Aroused. He was certainly successful in arousing my heart that particular weekend—probably one of the most extraordinary men I have ever met, and was most definitely someone to whom I never wanted to say good bye…

The Buddhists believe that the root cause of suffering comes from our attachments and that surrender (a constant flow of loving and letting go) is the only way to experience peace and well being. Now this philosophy seems pretty much in alignment with my observations.

In my years of research, study, and exploration, everything seems to point to one conclusion (both in my own life and those of others)—that...

Amazing Grace & Loving To The Core

I recently attended a Judy Collins concert and was completely inspired by her beauty, loving presence, and amazing grace. She was so totally herself—age, talent, wisdom and all. At one point she forgot a verse or two, and instead of making a fuss, she went right on as if it was supposed to be that way. Of course, the song seemed somehow better because of her ease and comfort with imperfection. She was so completely self-accepting and loving to the core—a beautiful example indeed of Amazing Grace, her final piece, sung unaccompanied. With hair like spun silk and a voice that resembled a harp, she seemed like an angel in our midst. And it was certainly grace that gifted me...

Cultivating Self-Love

I know it isn’t necessarily a glamorous or popular topic, though as we pointed out last week, without it, we can’t have a solid foundation for really loving and being loved. Scott Peck (1978), the legendary author of The Road Less Traveled, defines love as the desire for your own spiritual growth or for that of the beloved. How would you define love? Would your description be similar to Peck’s—wanting growth and expansion for yourself or another? Or does love hold a different meaning in your world?

Regardless of how we come to define love, one thing has become quite clear to me in listening to others as well as making my own personal discoveries. Compromise has no place in a...

How To Eliminate Suffering For Good

Perhaps Shakespeare’s beautiful words, which were sent out last week, can provide us with some clues:

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. Oh no! It is an ever fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. Love is not Time’s fool It alters not with brief hours and weeks But it bears it out even to the edge of doom.”—William Shakespeare

Someone logged into our forum and offered her thoughts, which echo my own: Without a solid foundation of self-love, it is impossible to maintain the “fixed mark” of love that Shakespeare...

Wanting Love & Being The Love You Want To Have

Here are some magnificent quotes to consider this week as we contemplate wanting love and being the love you want to have.

"Love is the only thing you get more of by giving it away" Tom Wilson

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. Oh no! it is an ever fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love is not Time's fool... It alters not with brief hours and weeks...

But it bears it out even to the edge of doom." - William Shakespeare

What do these important messages mean to you?

Radiant love, dear hearts!

Luann

Expecting Great Things

Several weeks ago, we talked about how our current brains were actually forming during a time of catastrophic conditions on planet earth. And so therefore, we humans have actually been trained for the catastrophe. Scanning for the worst is what has kept us from becoming extinct, and so that method of operating was quite effective during times of immense hardship and crude circumstances.

Now, ironically, the only thing that threatens our extinction is continuing to behave this way. If we keep looking for the worst case scenario and living as though we are separate from our brothers and sisters, as well as the earth that continues to support us, then aren’t we operating out of our fear for survival just like...

How To Really Be Free

Recently I have had some experiences that have challenged my sense of freedom and peace. This all began a couple of weeks ago with a sidewalk rage incident…not road rage…sidewalk rage. I was merely walking along enjoying the day when a runner approached unexpectedly. I immediately noticed that she a strong resemblance to Madonna, and just as I glanced up to greet her, she proudly extended her middle finger upward without breaking her stride. Seconds earlier, I had been blissfully sauntering the streets enjoying a beautiful day. Clearly, we were in different worlds. She was concerned about interrupting her runner’s rhythm and I in my slow-paced-state-of-pleasure, was just enjoying the moment.

I was more than a little jarred by the incident and reacted. “Get over it,” I replied...

Conscious Conversations to Habituate Happiness

I had the privilege yesterday of hearing an inspirational message given by Dr. Michael Beckwith, whose recent contributions to the DVD, THE SECRET, have been sweeping the world. Many of you have seen THE SECRET and are becoming acquainted with the simple, profound ideas of some amazing teachers, both past and present, which have been brought together by Rhonda Byrne, the now famed producer of this remarkable documentary.

Yesterday, Dr. Beckwith talked about the importance of attitude and perceptions, indicating that no matter what has happened in your life you have the ability to alter your point of view to such a degree that you can extract a positive outcome…regardless of the circumstance/s. And when you decide to make optimism your frame...

Have Patience - It Will Benefit You

Ever had a problem exercising patience?

I am reminded of a poem someone once sent me about the budding of a rose and how it could not be forced to blossom for obvious reasons. Last week, I bought a bunch of Star Gazer Lilies, which were just beginning to open. Each day I have seen just a little more color than the last. Today some of the lilies have burst open, exposing their radiance. Naturally, this process has taken time, patience, and some nurturing.

I wonder, what is it that keeps the lilies from getting frustrated in being all tightened up, unable to release themselves from their temporary bondage? How ever can they be so calm just sitting there waiting for everything...

Slowing Down

Following an exhausting few days fraught with some of the challenges of travel in the 21st century, I have been contemplating what might have caused us to become a culture of fast, faster, and fastest. Why ever is it that we so worship speed, and what would have to happen to get us to slow down?

As I reflect back upon my life I see that many of my earliest memories involve hurrying on some level...hurrying to get to school before the bell rang, hurrying to finish my arithmetic (yeah... those were the pre-math days) so I could go to recess, hurrying to get home after school for my activities, and then hurrying home for supper (we used to call it that) so that I could...

Heaven Here Now

Today, I was invited to a discussion on the topic of Heaven and found the dialogue to be thought provoking. The focus of the talk appeared to be centered on what to do here in this realm, fraught with difficulty, despair and considerable challenge, in order to get there, presumably another realm, seen as a far better and more desirable place to be. And, of course, the primary purpose in such a paradigm is to concentrate on preparing for the next stop, which can only be accessed after physical death.

While the belief that Heaven is the reward if we just keep plugging away at “being good” is encouraging, such thinking definitely takes us out of the moment. And if we...

What's Your Dream?

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood….I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”—Martin Luther King, Jr., August, 28th, 1963

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was deeply inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful protests in India, which were influential in freeing nearly a fifth of the human race. And so, he used Gandhi’s approach of non-violence to begin a movement for eliminating racism (A Tribute to Martin...

Time: Is There Enough?

In a recent conversation with my father, I learned that my grandfather, whose formal education extended only through the fifth grade, taught himself calculus, geometry, and trigonometry. According to Dad, his perpetual curiosity was what inspired him to strengthen his knowledge and understanding about how things worked. Apparently his inquiries sometimes served him well. While working as an auto mechanic in the 1930’s he discovered a method of conserving oil in the newly developed oil-guzzling, V8 engines. By using his skill and ingenuity he developed a unique process that eventually earned him the clients, which would help to support his family throughout the Great Depression.

What are you curious about? What would you be doing right now if you removed statements...

Love is Enough

Greetings and Glorious holiday wishes to all!

In contemplating all that accompanies this time of year, I was reminded of a beautiful quote that I saw on the wall in a business I used to frequent while living in Kansas. I had not committed the quote to memory but thought I had it stored in my old computer, which I resurrected from the closet. After putting this antiquated piece of equipment back together, I proudly plugged it in only to discover a blank screen on the monitor. What to do? I wanted to share this quote and to remember it for myself. I decided to pick up the phone and call Individually Yours in Wichita, Kansas.

If only I had acted on my...

Your Mind Can Help You Make Lots of Money

“When we shall have arrived at a sufficient understanding, our thought will take us where we wish to be.”—Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind

“You don’t have to be perfect to get rich, but you do need to recognize when your thinking isn’t empowering to yourself and others…The secret to success is not to try to avoid or get rid of or shrink from your problems; the secret to success is to grow yourself so that you are bigger than any problem.” –T. Harv Eker Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

I don’t know about you, but for most of my adult life, the concern over money has occupied quite a lot of my time. When I have had it, I’ve wondered what...

Where to Find True Love

“It is essential to know what is vital and alive in us and [then] shape our lives in its image.”—David Whyte The Heart Aroused.

In his beautiful book, The Heart Aroused David Whyte, beloved author and poet, offers insight and inspiration on how to seed, feed and water the soul, sparking our inner Life Force. Whyte proclaims that when we nourish ourselves from within, we will naturally connect with others, who join us in the pilgrimage of personal discovery. Together, we are bound to become more expanded versions of ourselves and grow exponentially from the conversations and connections that inevitably accompany the joys of our individual and collective journey.

Whyte shares an ancient Chinese tale to emphasize the point. The hero of...