Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year and a Giveaway!

It's a new year which for me symbolizes new beginnings and opportunities. As I look back at last year I am so amazed how much life has changed for me both personally and professionally. I absolutely love the gift of meeting amazing people and aiding them on their paths. It is such an inspiration to witness the courage, the amazing stories of hope, the miraculous synchronisities and healing. It challenges me to be more authentic and honest in my own life.

In this spirit of the new year January is a great time to get a reading. Now is the perfect time to get a forecast reading to better understand the energies at play in the upcoming year, the opportunities as well as the possible pitfalls or to just get some clarity about a specific issue. There are some significant changes to the system this year and next. Lot's of new beginnings and getting rid of the old.

So as a special thanks to all of you I am offering and hour long reading for $50 (that's $20 off the regular price) for the whole month of January. Just let me know you saw it on the blog and you'll get the discounted price. We can meet easily over the phone or skype and as always I'll include a recording of the session. To set up a time you can contact me at, (843) 870-7455, or via my website.

Also don't forget the Food and Feelings e course is starting January 10th. It's a perfect way to start the new Year. So be sure to claim your space today!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Right Use of Affirmation

I’ve been doing a ton of writing lately putting the finishing touches on my e course which is so packed full of information I am having a hard time fitting it into just six week. Anyway, I was writing about the idea of “positive thinking” and “affirmation” the other day . I love and embrace the use of affirmations. Just not in the way you probably think. So, I thought I’d share it here.

We have already spoken about the fact that everything is energy (blog about that). In our minds we store all the energetic resonances of all thoughts, experiences, feelings, beliefs we have ever had. All this information takes the forms of electrical impressions in our brain cells. We have a way of “cataloging” these impressions into file folders of related information. Like giant webs of electrical impressions that have cohesive themes and organization, and can also overlap into other folders. Now, these “files” are filled with information -thoughts, stories, history, and feelings that we have gathered from our experiences (some might even argue that we even come in with some impressions already downloaded). At the very top of the file top are those memories and thoughts that we are more aware of. These tend to be more positive in nature.

A good example of this is nostalgia. Which by definition is the desire to return in thought or in form to a former time in one's life, and a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time. Think back to a time in your life. Have you noticed how even the “bad” times don’t seem so bad? When we think back to a time we often do not, "remember" or are aware of what we didn’t like. That’s because our conscious awareness accesses the top of the folder first, and thus, the more “positive” memories.

I am constantly reminded of this fact when I think about my former home, Maui. I moved away from there five years ago and for very good reasons. Whenever I “miss it” especially when it’s freezing outside (like now) I think about the beautiful beaches, the warmth, and my family and friends. I easily forget about the reasons that caused me to make the move in the first place. That’s nostalgia. And we all do it. It’s why the grass in always greener in another person’s yard, or in my case, island.

Yep, we tend to hide or try to ignore those painful energetic impressions. They are pushed down into our file folders. Toward the bottom our of our conscious awareness. This is why denial is actually possible. We can push this energetic goo really deep. The important thing to remember is this- Those impressions may be hidden but they are very much still present and they are very much still creators of our reality. That’s why I always reiterate the point, don’t look at what you are thinking, look at what is showing up in your life.That is a better reflection of what you are really thinking and believe. You could be “thinking” positive, wonderful things really, but if that is not what is showing up for you there is a hidden energy at work. No matter how you direct your surface thoughts to “be happy” if you don’t access and change the beliefs at the bottom of the folder it’s just smoke and mirrors.

Another important point to remember is that painful or fearful thoughts tend to have the most energetic frequency, the most emotional energy. Of course they do right? These are our fears, our traumas, our judgments- all the thoughts we don’t want to own. In past posts I spoke about the laws of energy, resonance. Think about what that means in terms of our experience. Basically, when two energies are in contact which do you think get’s amplified or animated? The one with stronger or weaker energy? Right. The thoughts and beliefs with the most “energy” is amplified. Thus, where do you think you are creating your reality from? The top of the file or the bottom? That is why we have been working so hard to bring these unconscious thoughts and beliefs into the light. So we can clear our files of that goo energy affecting our reality. Every issue in life starts as mind energy. No exceptions. What is less than must always be examined. Our task is to locate it and remove it so it no longer shapes the reality you don’t want.

So how do affirmations fit into the equation?
Normally affirmations are a positive statement about something we are not positive about. Say if we are struggling with weight the affirmation might be “I am light and free” or some such variation. Now every time we say that affirmation we trigger the “thin” file folder in our minds. What do you think someone that has an issue with weight has in their file folder labeled “thin”? What thoughts and beliefs are deeply hidden in that most likely rather thick file? What thoughts do we fire off unconsciously every time we say that affirmation? The fear, the doubt, the trauma, the judgments stored in that file. Remember if the issue is showing up in your life it’s in your mind somewhere. So the positive affirmation “I am light and free” is actually a way of asserting and strengthening what you don’t want. It’s putting a saddle on a goat and pretending it’s a horse. It’s not gonna work.

That’s why affirmations are a bit off the mark in our present understanding. I hear it all the time “just think positive” . Well, that is true but not in the way that it is implied. We naturally think positive when we have cleared our files of the stuff that isn’t positive. If positive is what’s left in our file than there’s no other way to think right?

So the correct way to use affirmations are as a catalyst for change. We use them to flush out the hidden parts in our files. An affirmation is in fact a positive thought around an and issue that you have a negative one. But it’s much more than just changing the thought. It is an opportunity to look inward at subconscious thoughts and bring them into the light. It is not something you simply pretend or wish is true. Use it to bring up emotion that you don’t believe. Clean out the file cabinets in charge of creating our reality and our reality changes. If you have no scary, judgmental, dis empowered thoughts and beliefs hidden in your folder on “thin” you’ll have no blocks to creating a reality that'll reflect it.

How do we do that?
Here is a brief description. For those taking the course we’ll be going even more in depth but here’s a taste to get you started.

Proper use of affirmation exercise
Take a page and separate into two columns. In the left write the affirmation and in the right everything that comes up in response. By the way, it’s critical you either write it down or do it with another person. We are dealing with mind energy with lot’s of emotion. Our natural response is to go unconscious with it, it’s what we’ve done with these thoughts up until now. By writing it down we stay present and conscious. So write an affirmation about an issue in your life you would like to be different

For example. “I am light in mind and body”
What comes up when you say/think that thought? If it’s a proper affirmation your first thought will be “B.S, I am huge and enormous. The opposite of light and free. I am huge and trapped”
If you get that kind of emotion then that’s the one you want to use because there’s obviously some “stuff” in that file to bring up. Allow the emotions to arise and the memories to just emerge. Just write. Write about when you feel that way. Write the whole scenario, and burn off the emotion.
Now we use the information that we just wrote to create another affirmation, another layer of undoing.

Our example "I am light and free”
Response BS. I am not light and free. I am fat and angry. I remember being judged about the way I looked from the time I can remember. I was always told how overweight I was as a child by my parents. They never accepted me for who I was”

Now…new affirmation When I was a child I was totally accepted”

Now Check in.

What’s your mind energy about that? Write it out again. Bringing up all the goo you can.

Perhaps your response to your new affirmation is “I was not allowed to do what I wanted to do. And it really hurt. I wasn't allowed to be who I wanted to be. Everything was held to a specific standard of which I felt I never fit. I was not allowed to be imperfect”

So we create another affirmation from that “I was and am allowed to be perfect just the way I am”

and we see what comes up.

And another. When you get towards the end, where you feel that you have little emotion left. Pick that affirmation and apply into your life. Use it. Say it.

You’ll find that your affirmation that started about the size of your body may not seem to be about the size of your body at all. Your final affirmation may be something like “I need only impress myself”. But make no mistake about it, it is about your weight. When you stop having an emotional charge about it. When your file is clear, your affirmation will become a creative statement and you’ll create it. The goal of an affirmation is to seek the never enough energies within ourselves. When we bring it to light we become master healers. Bringing to light anything less than love melts away.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Introducing a New e-program for January!!!!

The thing about food or weight issues is that they have very little to do with food at all. What that means is that you cannot solve an issue with food by controlling, manipulating, or altering the food. It may seem to “work” for a little while but unless you get to the issues behind the problem it’s like painting over rotten wood. It may look better but underneath the rot is actually growing worse. It’s why diets don’t work. Why we gain the weight back or fall back into destructive cycles. It’s why as a nation we keep getting larger. You can’t solve a food problem with food because food is really not the problem. To really clear the food issue from our lives we have to look at the deeper causes, the insecurities, the fear, the comfort, the alleviation of boredom - all the stuff food fills for us other than true hunger. Somewhere, somehow we have linked food to feelings in way that has elevated it to savior , comforter, calmer, friend, or lover. Somewhere along the journey we have given food power it doesn’t inherently posses. At the same time we have lost our connection with ourselves, our inner radiant expression, and our natural hunger cues that is our birthright. In that sense, our relationship with food is really a mirror for our relationship with ourselves and the rest of our life We have swallowed our feelings to the point we are weighed down by them both physically and mentally and we feel trapped. Trapped because we have given our power away to something that seemingly has both the ability to soothe our hurts and enslave us. Like a very good friend that embraces us and then kicks us on their way out the door.

And for me in my food crazy times what was worse than any behavior with food, any issue with weight, was the despair, hatred, and loneliness I felt in my own skin. The disconnect and punishment I felt I deserved. As is the case in all obsessions there seems to be a vicious cycle of wanting to feel better and subsequent despair and self recrimination. This endless cycle drove me crazy- thinking about food, deciding, planning, and denying myself what I wanted, only to succumb at some point. I felt crazy. At some point I realized what I was doing wasn’t working. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and I wanted freedom. And I found it. My path of recovery spurred me to help others on their own journey and I have spent the greater part of the last 10 years doing just that. I was fortunate to work at Ai Pono Intensive Outpatient Recovery Center on Maui, Hawaii for five years as the head nutritional counselor and then in private practice. Here I was initiated into the real world of food recovery. Wherever the case was on the spectrum of severity there were common threads that I began to witness on the road to healing. There were the feelings being denied. There were the familiar feelings of judgment, punishment, and blame. There was the aching for freedom from the grip of the cycle of despair, frustration, and unworthiness. You may be reading this feeling the same way. Not knowing if there is a way out.

Let me be clear by saying there is absolutely a road to freedom. There is a way out. The way out is by going in. The following program is based on much of the work I have done with clients over the last 10 years as well as my own personal journey. This program is not another diet. We won’t be talking about calories, fat grams, exercise in the way you may be used to. I have no diet pills, shakes, or bars to sell you. This is not about managing food but uncovering the parts of you that believe you need to be managed. The parts of you that don’t trust yourself. The parts of you that seeks comfort, peace, love and is mistakenly using food to do it. But we are never going to find happiness, peace, or contentment by having thoughts of deprivation, self judgment, and lack. If you want to find your way back to love you have to study that. This program is about identifying the barriers you have erected, the errors in perception you have about yourself, the beliefs you wrongly perpetuate that keep you from the true expression of who you are.

"The purpose of life is not to be safe. It is to be open. To be dedicated to the truth, to the joy as it streams through your life. Because if you are not, then no matter what you have, you will always want more, you will be forever hungry. And if you are, than no matter what happens, you will one day discover that it is you who you have been hungering for. It has been you, not the food you eat, the clothes you buy, the people you love, the money you make. For lifetimes, for eons, for as long as it takes for a mountain to become a mountain, it has always been you. You are the feast. You." ~Geneen Roth

There is a language we can begin to decipher as we listen to our inner selves speaking to us, telling us what we must do to feel whole. And it is speaking through our relationship with food. Together we will find the blocks, the weight on your heart that echoes the weight on your body, that is keeping you from your natural hunger. We can shed our layers of pain, getting back in touch with our inner wisdom and innate guidance system. Because our birthright is freedom and peace in our minds and our bodies. We are already perfect. We have just forgotten. Now it’s time to remember.

So I ask you…

What would you do if food were not an issue in your life? If you didn’t plan, deny, crave, and judge yourself around food?
What would you have time for?
What it would feel like to be free?

The Program..Food and Feelings Phase 1- Starting January 10th
This is a completely online 6 week course that you can complete on your own time and on your own terms. Every week there will be a main theme and everyday a bit of insight, a exercise, an affirmation etc. to help you go further into that weeks theme. Each week will build on itself as we go deeper into our process of healing. This course is private, confidential, and enlightening. No matter where you fall on the spectrum of eating or body image issues you can find healing.

The Details
  • I will use a mixture of media to reveal our lessons. Video, Audio, and writing. All will be sent directly to you via email.
  • The Private chat room- All members will have access to process through emotions, share personal insights and reflections, give feedback on others, ask questions, and generally support each other in the process of recovery. I will also be commenting, answering questions, and giving feedback as necessary throughout the day.
  • Private sessions- Included in the full session are 4 private sessions with me in person, via skype or phone to help you go deeper into your personal process. I will also be available by email or additional private sessions as needed.

There are three choices of participation depending on what works best for you. Click here to find out more information under the heading "food and feelings"

As always please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
I look forward to working with you.

“The more you identify with the light of your being, the lighter you will feel. You will materialize a lighter body when you have a more light filled mind. Fear literally weighs you down, but love enlightens you”~ Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Projects and Inspiration

I am planning some exciting new projects in the upcoming year and you, my blog fans, will be the first to know. I will be sharing some of these new developments next week so stay tuned...

These last few weeks have been about inspiration for me. Furiously imagining, listening in, and planning. Just trying to allow what is asking for expression to emerge. And I love the process...well mostly. I should correct that. I love the process when I am not getting in my own way. And boy can I get in my own way sometimes. Talking myself out of inspiration as my inner critic has a field day saying things like  "That won't work? No one will be interested in that? What a stupid idea. You are so weird". And often I believe it. I have so many times shut down my passion, my inner knowing, my enthusiasm with this voice of doubt or fear or even this story of responsibility I tell about myself.

How often do we all do that? Maybe we fear failing. Maybe we fear ridicule. Maybe we fear taking a risk. For whatever reason  we shut down that part of us that is aching for expression. And looking back at my own life I know how often I did (do) that. So strong was my desire to fit it. To fulfill a role a certain standard. To become what I "thought" I should. But who's life was I living? Not mine that's for sure. Often times life has a way of waking us up to the lessons we need. And maybe not with a gentle caress on the shoulder or with a soft whisper of "wake up sleepy head". No, we tend to not hear those. In my case I got very good at ignoring the sutble hints. No, often times we need a hard shove pushing us right off the bed shouting at us "Are you awake yet?"

"Don't die with your music still in you"
~Wayne Dyer

So live it. If something isn't working for you, change it. If you have that nagging feeling that there is more out there for you, seek it. If you know what you have to do but fear it, do it anyway. If there is a passion, a calling, a choice on the path in front of you explore it.

Because  when I am not getting in my own way it is truly miraculous. Inspiration is breathing life into an idea and giving form to creativity. It is our divinely inspired knowing of what to do next. What we must do or life feels somehow wrong. When time slows down and the edges of the world  seem to come in focus. Light changes. Time seems to slow. Clarity emerges. When inspired I often  feel an energetic hum that permeates my body, like a river finding it's path to the ocean, it must find expression. Even if that means I'm writing at 3:00 in the morning, again. And I'm not remotely tired.

So in this blog perhaps a bit shorter than some is all about inspiration. Something I am attempting to come to terms with in all it's splendor and terror. I urge you to do the same.

"A ship is safe in harbor-but that is not  what ships are for"~John Shedd

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gratitude...or not?

'Tis the season of  gratitude. And I do attempt to practice being grateful a lot of the time but honestly I can say it's difficult. Life often seems to get in the way. It's the little things like making breakfast, doing laundry, going to the grocery store,  where I find myself on automatic pilot and not even being remotely grateful. Not noticing all the moments for which I should simply say "thank you". And yes, I know that our greatest teachers are the people and situations that most annoy us. Yes, I know the greatest lessons in life are the ones that often bring us to our knees. I know that cultivating a attitude of gratitude creates more abundance in my life. I know all that. And I try. I really do.And often I truly succeed and those moments are indeed miraculous. Somewhere, thought, in the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, the struggle of control vs allowing, gratitude seems to often fall by the wayside. And sometimes it's not that I don't remember it's that I'm honestly just not feeling grateful at all...I'm pissed, or frustrated, or sad, or resentful, or afraid.
But there it is.
So, I intentionally carve out time to find it, all the little bits of gratitude I can squeeze out of my day.  To seek it's presence in my life even when I am feeling anything but. So awhile back I began a gratitude journal with the intent to make me accountable for all the things I am grateful for on a given day. Hopefully, bringing light to all the little moments of gratitude in the hopes it's brilliance would be so overwhelming it would permeate my fog of frustration. I think it was originally an Oprah idea and well, look how good she's doing in her life right? Well, what my journal  became was something of a hybrid gratitude journal really, devoid of much of the lofty spiritual truth I thought I would attain, or moments of miraculous epiphanies. I mean I had those moments don't get me wrong, but this journal was riddled with bits of sarcasm and downright resentment at times. I found I was thanking life but often through gritted teeth.  And as I read back over it I realized something. Scattered through the bits of hilarity or absurdness, even frustration, there was a thread of honesty and simplicity.   I was shaking the truths out of the fluff. Looking back I saw the myriad of moments that asked me to pause and take a breathe, forgive, and refocus my attention. Which is the power of gratitude really. To embrace the lessons in our lives just as they emerge. And when done right it has the ability to set us free.
So, in the spirit of thanksgiving. As we peruse last weeks family dinners, crowded shopping malls, grumpy tellers, annoyed children, and dwindling bank accounts. Perhaps you can relate as you, yourself, grit your teeth and utter the phrase, " Thanks?". We may not feel grateful in the moment, or at peace, or even remotely calm. But can we hold that thought, reflect on it, and be grateful for the lesson?
In homage to this season of thanks and the power of gratitude I wanted to reveal some of what I lovingly call my gratitude journal. As real as it is. I hope it inspires you to do the same.

  • Thank you yoga class for reminding me life is not about being the best, having the best butt, doing a freestanding handstand but about being present.
  • Thank you spider for crawling over my foot and scaring me so bad I spilled all my coffee. I'm think you are teaching me something great but all I can think of right now is "how do i get coffee out of Linen?"
  • Thank you son for showing me yet again I know nothing of which I speak.
  • Thank you leaves that crunch under my feet for showing me that even as you meet your end you are beautiful beyond measure and that even in change there is some constant. Spring will come, this too shall pass. In ending there is beauty just as there is beauty in beginnings.
  • Thank you child of mine for scribbling pencil all over the walls of the house, someday I will laugh at this but not today. Today I clean the walls.
  • Thank you for constantly reminding me today, this moment, is the very best. You know who you are.
  • Thank you coffee...just thank you.
  • Thank you lady at the store who clearly does not have just 10 items in her cart for reminding me to mind my own business.
  • Thank you friends that allow me to be just who I am even if that means I'm confusing, or odd, or quiet. You give me the space to grow without asking me for anything. I am grateful for your patience.
  • Thank you shiny penny I found on the street today for reminding me abundance truly is all around me.
  • Thank you sunset for reminding me to breathe.
  • Thank you chocolate (see coffee above)
  • Thank you early morning for teaching me time and time again the power of silence.
  • Thank you  Dave for always telling me the truth- even when it's not something I want to hear. And for showing me real love is letting go and not holding on. It is faith never fear. I embrace that we are on this path together. It's certainly more fun that way.
  • Thank you kitchen aid stand up mixer. I just can't say how much I love you. You make my life so much easier.
  • Thank you ocean for reminding me that even if the storm is raging above there is calm somewhere. I may have to go REALLY deep to find it but at least I know it's there.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Another Great Reader Question....Am I responsible for the bad things in my life?”

    Reader question.

    “Are you saying I am responsible for the bad things in my life?”
    The short answer. Responsible yes, deserving no.

    There’s two parts to this question I want to address. The first is the word responsible. I often think when we hear the word responsible we put a punitive slant on it. As if we have done something to deserve a unfavorable situation. It is defining responsibility or karma using our human ego parameters. The truth is the eternal energy, source, god, Tao (whatever you call it ) never judges. It’s never punitive. That’s a human invention. The law of karma is simple- cause and effect. If you go outside in freezing weather without a coat you’ll be cold. So, to be responsible is to be accountable, aware, and answerable to the fact that we have creative power in the world (see blog for more on that). Any blame, judgment, or punitive belief we put on it is up to us. So are we responsible for what is showing up in our lives? Yes. What we label that thing showing up, good, bad, difficult, easy, is our definition. The thing that happened is just as it is. How we interpret that situation is up to us.

    I know that this is such a easy thing to say but  oh so very difficult in practice. When I am challenged do I remember to not judge it? Sometimes. When I look back at some very trying times in my life did I stay present in the moment and not put my story on it? Not often. Did I fall into judgment, blame, despair, and fear? Did I just want it to be different? Absolutely. Do I still. You betcha. I struggle and I grow. That’s why it’s called a practice.

    The other part of the question I should address is the word “ bad”. The word “bad” is so totally  subjective. What you might label bad might be fine for me and vice versa. And even when we are a state of despair, when we are totally convinced it is in fact the absolute worst, can we know that for sure? I don’t think so. Personally, when I am asked how I would handle a horrific event I can’t answer. Honestly, I don’t know how I would handle a seemingly horrific event in my life. To think  what I might do is a hypothetical situation, forecasting into the future, which by it’s very nature takes me out of the present. What I can only hope is that I would remember to ask for help to stay present to the moment. That I would remember to breathe. That I would allow whatever to surface and be honest about it. To rant, to sob, to cry, whatever was necessary. In the hope that in my rawness my edges might begin to soften. I might be able to see a crack of light in my darkness. Because this is when the “practice” becomes a practice.

    “Now when the fight begins with himself, a man’s worth something.” 
    Robert Browning. 

    But how about all those bad things that have happened in our lives. Perhaps, if we look back might we see how they have actually been in fact" good" in the scheme of things? Cancers’ that awoke people to change their lives in miraculous ways. Deaths that have inspired people to show courage even in the deepest of despair. Loss of something so terrible that it cracked them open to a place of joy. I know looking back at my life I can list many seemingly “bad” things that have happened as now some of my most treasured gifts and teachings. So is"bad" really bad in that case? Would I have been able to learn the necessary lessons in a different way? Maybe? But the fact is I didn’t. I needed the lesson exactly as it showed up and for that I am responsible and even grateful. This fact helps me now when I face challenging situations. Remembering that any label on put on it is the cause of my suffering not the actual event. Have I perfected this? Am I able to stay absolutely calm and connected and present in moments of great fear? Am I always open to grace to witness the gift in the moment? No way. But I practice over and over again.

    Healing and growth are simple but not always easy. Realizing our responsibility for whatever happens in our lives is important because it enables us to take our power back. If we created our way in then  we can create our way out. We are no longer victims. We become more interested in freedom than justice. So the concept of responsibility is actually not punitive at all (that's a victim stance) but one of immense freedom and empowerment. A horrible thing may have happened to us once, twice, or numerous times. The act may be over but every time we relive those memories, every time we replay the script, identify, or believe a victim story we become our own perpetrator. We lose our sense of responsibility. If we replay the abuse we suffered we re-offend ourselves with resentment, pain, and blame and we become our own abuser. I choose freedom over being right. Healing over justification. That is what I’m concerned with. So I say with the deepest compassion. We  can all gently, ever so gently, lay down our own sword. Take responsibility for what has happened without attaching to the story. It’s just not worth it, for you. This is illumination. This is what healing is all about.  If you are no longer a victim you will no longer believe you can be victimized and you are empowered. If you no longer identify with being sick you are well. If you no longer identify with any label you set yourself free. This is responsibility. So, are we responsible for our lives? Yes we are.


    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Responsibility- Step Three

    Let’s chat a bit about responsibility because without a doubt real change requires it. Responsibility means we are accountable, we realize we are the agent, and the cause of our reality. If there is something you want to change, a situation that keeps repeating in your life, a relationship issue that keeps reemerging even though the players change, whatever it is, it must be noted that the common denominator in the situation is you. So to change a situation you must be aware of your part in whatever is showing up in your life.

    "You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself."
    ~ Jim Rohn

    A wondrous and seemingly miraculous thing happens when we take responsibility for our lives. When we work from the inside out. When we identify and really absorb the projections of ourselves in our reality we can use them as prescriptions for what we need to do for change. What's a projection? Very simply projections are the stuff we don't want to own about ourselves that we put on other people, situations etc. It's pointing our finger at another and making a judgement or blaming. Yet that thing triggering you about another is actually a reflection of a truth about you that requires looking at. We can use our projections as tools to enable use to become responsible and accountable for all the "stuff" about ourselves we don't want to but must own. We take our creative power back when we are finally honest with ourselves. When we put the focus back where it should be, on ourselves. When we do this our problems, our issues, our habits seem to fade into the background without a lot of struggle.

    So the final step in our process is to really get how every judgment we have about another person, every time we blame, every time we argue with reality, we suffer. Suffering is really just our attachment to the validity of our thoughts and stories. So if we are suffering we can be sure we are in our ego story. And practically our whole life is spent proving our ego stories true. So the final step in the process about really taking responsibility for your life (and change) is the turnaround, the dismantling of your story by owning your projections. In this process we turn those judgments, thoughts, beliefs, and resentments around so we give ourselves the medicine we are prescribing for others. It is about finding our own wisdom in our projections and being accountable. This is freedom and this is where change just happens.

    Take what you think about others and see what happens when you apply it to you.

    An enemy is the friend you judge on paper in order to see clearly the hidden secrets within yourself. You’re perceived enemy is the projection of your thinking, When you work with the projector through inquiry your enemy becomes your friend”
    -Byron Katie

    “There is only one problem ever: your uninvestigated story in the moment”
    -Byron Katie

    The following is an example of how it’s done. Please note it is imperative that the first two steps in the process be done first explained here and here.

    Find  a belief, meme, judgment, or projection you believe mind and turn it around.
    For example:

    “I am so angry at Joe because he never listens to me”

    Now turn it around and replace "Joe" with "I". There are many options to turn it around and when you find the correct one you’ll know. So keep up the inquiry until you do. It’ll be the one that gives you and energetic zing of truth. I had a great teacher tell me once “You know the one that makes you feel like taking a shower after you hear it? That’s the right one.”

    So some turnarounds are …

    • “ I am so angry because I never listen to Joe” Is that true? Can you find times when you don’t listen?
    • “I am so angry at myself because I never listen to me?” Is that true for you? Do you find yourself not listening to what you need?

    The point is understanding how we are responsible for our experience of suffering, but we blame others instead of owning it. Unraveling this madness is bringing our creative spirit in alignment with what is, truth. From this perspective we can heal.

    How about another one.

    “Joe should listen to me”

    Try the 180 degree turnaround
    • “Joe should not listen to me“.
    Well, guess what, the fact may be he is not listening to you right now? The suffering you feel about  that is believing the story you have made up that he should.  So who’s in charge of your pain? You are. Could you let go of that that thought and just deal with the fact he’s not listening to you right now?
    Now a quick note here because the question usually emerges at some point. Let me be clear in no way am I saying you don’t have boundaries or take a stand. In fact, this teaching is quite the contrary. When you get real clear about your projections you get clear about what boundaries you need to set. Not out of anger, justification, or fear, but out of compassion for yourself and the other person.  Not out of your story, history, or habitual response but out of an energetic reflection of the truth and clarity of the present moment.

    Another turnaround…

    “Joe should listen to me.”

    • “I should listen to Joe” Are you really listening to Joe? Perhaps, there in some wisdom for you in realizing you are not listening either.
    • “I should listen to me”  Is there truth in that? Have you been ignoring yourself and projecting that on Joe?

    This way of understanding our projections can be done on any belief, physical issue, pain, or relationships. Anything…When we take responsibility for our reality we can shift our perceptions, and shift what we are experiencing in a fraction of a second.When we realize that when we point our fingers at someone there are three fingers pointing back at ourselves. No exceptions. What a relief that is because we all know we have no power to change another. We can finally stop looking outward, wishing, hoping, maybe demanding that things change. To change our lives we just need to look in the mirror, perhaps for the first time.

    "The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."
    ~ William James

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Step 2- Bridging the Gap

    “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.” – Viktor Frankl

    By this time in our inquiry we are hopefully beginning to be aware of and question those habitual beliefs that keep us stuck. By now we may even  begin to notice the gap, that space between a stimulus and our reaction. It may be a millisecond of time but it is in that tiny void of the present moment, in that gap pf possibilities where we can choose to react differently. Being mindful of it’s presence is why we practice awareness of our beliefs. This is why we question their validity. This is why we challenge our memes and habits. This is why we continue to return to the present moment and not our history. We are ever seeking to get in the space between a stimulus and our response because that space sets the course for the moments to come. From moment to moment we can choose to change our reaction.
     This week we go deeper with our questions as we quest to bridge the gap, between habit and change and proclivity and freedom. That is what all this questioning is for.
     Time to wake up.

    Are your thoughts is alignment with what you want to create?
    How do you react, what happens, when you believe the meme? Do you feel angry, horrified, resentful? Does your back start to hurt or your neck tighten up? Do you get depressed, do you feel powerless? How much of your life is based on a certain belief? Who are you with that belief? Do you find yourself berating yourself, calling yourself names, taking your anger out on those around you? The thoughts or beliefs that create any discord in our lives are not coming from a place of soul strength and they are not serving you on the path to change. Really getting this point was profound for me because I realized no matter how “right” I thought I was, no matter how justified, or how real my memes seemed, it was always MY CHOICE to believe  them.

    "Now, having seen the differences between where you are and where you want to be, begin to change—consciously change—your thoughts, words, and actions to match your grandest vision."
     Neale Donald Walsh

    Benjamin Miller Photo
    When we believe we are in a place without choices we are victims. We are powerless. And we cannot find the space to change. We keep trying to solve the same old problem with the same old solutions. It’s like walking the same path over and over and wondering why it never gets you where you want to go. So “how do you react when you believe that thought” is such an important question because it gives us a clue about what isn’t working and empowers us to make new choices about the direction of our lives. Why choose to align with a belief that reinforces our powerlessness, our despair, our anger our resentment, our lack? We cannot change something in our lives if we believe we can’t. We cannot change something in our lives with the same thoughts and beliefs that created it. The fact is, we can take our power back at any time by choosing to believe differently. Why choose to believe any thought, let any thought into our reality, that isn’t empowering? If we want peace we must let go of all need to be right. If we want health we must let go the beliefs of illness. If we want success we let go of the belief we can ever fail.  You have a choice, a crossroad of consciousness, between a stimulus and a response.  Pick the belief  that puts you on the path that is taking you in the direction you want to go. Pick the belief  that leads to freedom and you bridge the gap.

    “The Divine Plan is one of Freedom. The inherent nature of man is ever seeking to express itself in terms of freedom, because freedom is the birthright of every living soul.”
    ~ Ernest Holmes

    Which takes us to the next question….

    Who would you be without that limiting belief?
    Would you be free if you didn’t  judge yourself? Would you be content if you didn’t stress yourself out? Would you be at peace if you didn’t choose conflict? Would you feel love if you weren’t in fear? Can you find one good reason to keep the belief that isn't serving you ? Think about it. Why even, for a second entertain the belief “I’ll never get rich doing that”. Because without that thought you‘d have the experience of money or at the very least be on your way.  Without the belief “I always get sick around Christmas”. You’d be healthy this Christmas. In Huna there is a principle called Makia, which means, "energy flows where attention" goes. In very real terms we animate our beliefs with our vital energy, with every thought we send a prayer. We know every belief has the ability to create what we want or don’t want in our lives. So we must embrace the beliefs that free us from what we don’t want and the path of change will emerge under our feet. In that space of choice we realize when we change the belief (cause) we change the effect.

    But, so often though we hold ourselves back.

    “When the soul of a man is born in this country there are nets flown at it to hold it back from flight.”
    ~ James Joyce Quotes

    Why is that we limit ourselves? In many ways we fear owning our own worthiness, our own power, our own authentic expression. We seem to live in a culture that denies the authentic expression of self. Ever get a compliment and feel like apologizing? I have. So, to really change we must be willing to commit to see yourself as worthy of change. To be worthy of a life of authentic expression, abundance, peace, and divine expression.


    We must ask for and accept help because we are worthy of it

    Giving up our idea and facade of control is scary, thus so is asking for help. But it is the false self, the ego self, that is believing our story of fear. Wayne Dyer has called the ego- “edging god out” and when we are in alignment with our ego selves that is exactly what we are doing, we are edging out our very divinity with our facade of
    control. In that space between stimulus sand response where the choice emerges we can continue to listen to the ego self or choose to tap into the river running through us that is soul not reason, truth not ego. It is our sacred right to have access to our own divinity. But we so often we forget to ask and then we forget (or choose not to) listen to the answer. We are so busy thinking about what we think should happen, how it should happen, worrying that it won’t happen, and what we are going to do after it does or doesn’t (edging god out). At any moment we can remember we are worthy of help and  choose to listen to our innate wisdom. We can trust it as we let it lead us forward. The answers we find may not “make sense” to others or even ourselves. We may not like what we find, what our teachers tells us, but it is what we must do to feel whole, to heal. We may be asked to re-evaluate those things in our lives that have defined us. Our jobs, our relationships, our roles. Because that part of us connected to the river of truth  cares only for truth not aesthetics.

    “What I am actually saying is that we need to be willing to let our intuition guide us, and then be willing to follow that guidance directly and fearlessly“. -Shakti Gawain

    In accessing our innate wisdom for guidance we acknowledge our hallowed worthiness.  And when we choose to follow the guidance of our inner lighthouse we tend to not notice the stones under our feet or the incline of the path ahead. Suddenly, when we are walking the path of sacred worthiness we are inspired. And when we are inspired we infuse that space of choice, that gap of possibilities, with grace.  Teachers, coincidences, synchronisities, appear in our reality in amazing and miraculous ways. Because when we ask for help we are opening  to new ideas, and new experiences. We are declaring we are worthy of a transcendent life experience.We are allowing rather than excepting and  trusting rather than controlling. Lasting change cannot be forced it must be relinquished.  We can only find permanent change by no longer believing, or aligning with the stories, thoughts, and habits that keep us stuck . When we let go of what no longer serves us and align with our true nature we no longer get lost in the minutiae of our problem. We allow the lighthouse of our soul to show us the way home.

    “It’s easy to act as if you are a weathervane, always changing your beliefs and words, trying to please everyone around you. But we were born to be lighthouses, not weathervanes. Imagine a vertical axis running through the center of your heart, from your deepest roots to your highest aspirations. That’s your lighthouse. It anchors you in the world and frees you from having to change directions every time the weather shifts. Inside this lighthouse there is a lens and a light. The light represents who you are when nobody else is looking. That light was meant to keep shining, no matter how dark or stormy it gets outside…when you find that light inside you, you will know it. Don’t let anyone else dim it…and one more thing: remember to look for the light inside others. If at first you can’t see it, look deeper. It’s there.”
    ~ Robert Coope

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Inspiring Words

     One of my favorite things is finding words that are put together that inspire me in a miraculous way. I love finding wisdom that makes my skin prickle and my heart burst open wide. The following is such a writing and one that you may seen before. I make a point of reading it over and over again as needed. So as we spend time contemplating change in this transitory time the message of the following letter is inspiring, deeply meaningful, and profound beyond words. It is a true teacher that can find words to teach in moments of tragedy and shine a light of  hope in our moments of the deepest despair. Ram Das is such a teacher. The following is a letter he wrote to two grieving parents whose daughter had been tragically murdered.  Read on and be inspired.  or Listen here 

    Dear Steve and Anita,

    Rachel finished her work on earth, and left the stage in a manner that leaves those of us left behind with a cry of agony in our hearts, as the fragile thread of our faith is dealt with so violently. Is anyone strong enough to stay conscious through such teaching as you are receiving? Probably very few. And even they would only have a whisper of equanimity and peace amidst the screaming trumpets of their rage, grief, horror and desolation.

    I can't assuage your pain with any words, nor should I. For your pain is Rachel's legacy to you. Not that she or I would inflict such pain by choice, but there it is. And it must burn its purifying way to completion. For something in you dies when you bear the unbearable, and it is only in that dark night of the soul that you are prepared to see as God sees, and to love as God loves.

    Now is the time to let your grief find expression. No false strength. Now is the time to sit quietly and speak to Rachel, and thank her for being with you these few years, and encourage her to go on with whatever her work is, knowing that you will grow in compassion and wisdom from this experience.
    In my heart, I know that you and she will meet again and again, and recognize the many ways in which you have known each other. And when you meet you will know, in a flash, what now it is not given to you to know: Why this had to be the way it was.

    Our rational minds can never understand what has happened, but our hearts– if we can keep them open to God – will find their own intuitive way. Rachel came through you to do her work on earth, which includes her manner of death. Now her soul is free, and the love that you can share with her is
    invulnerable to the winds of changing time and space. In that deep love, include me.

    In love,

    Ram Dass

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Step One...

    What follows is the beginning of the process (much more to come) of what I have personally learned and am still learning about effecting lasting change in our lives. Along this path I have found many great teachers. One that I feel like I should mention (again) because I do reference her work quite a bit is Byron Katie. Please check out her “work” if you haven’t.
    I know I’ve mentioned this in earlier blogs but I wanted to reiterate a couple points about energy. We have two qualities of acting energy present within us, either it is building up our system or it is in the process of dismantling it.  How that energy is working in our lives is dependent on what we are thinking because this energy is stored in every cell of our bodies. The condition and integrity of our cells is likewise effected as being supported or dismantled, healthy or ill. The condition of our reality is effected the same way.  Pain is proof that there has been a violation of our energy system. It’s our feedback mechanism that tells us something is wrong and needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, in our culture too quickly do we seek ways to shut off the feedback mechanism before we can learn from the problem. The problem doesn’t go away, the symptoms are just masked for awhile. It would be like having a fire in your house and shutting off  all the smoke alarms thinking that’ll stop the fire. The alarms may be off (so your not being warned) but the fire is alive and well. If we are in pain we are in error. Think of it as an energetic fire alarm. There is a call for inquiry. So as we work in the upcoming weeks to dismantle our memes and any energy that is causing upset remember that these opportunities are the way to growth. Dismantling our memes require us to shift our beliefs and shift our energy from being trapped to being free. Because knowing that you can change your pain changes the way you walk through you life.

    “When you realize that every stressful moment you experience is a gift that points you to your own freedom, life becomes very kind.”
    ~ Byron Katie

    Who are you without you memes? Exactly who you are….

    Bringing your memes into the light
    • Challenge your memes
    Ask “Is it true?” Three simple words that have tremendous power. Is that thought your having, that belief that you have so embraced, is it even true? “My back pain will never get better” Do you know that? Even if doctors have told you that it won’t can you be sure that is won’t? “My parents will never accept me?” Is that true? Have they really never accepted you? Not once?  “Life is unfair” Is it always? “I will be punished if I’m not good”. What ever story you are believing in question it’s validity. Look at your list of memes and simply ask if that belief that you believe is even true.
    But, you may ask, what about the things that are true? What if you have evidence? For example,  “I've always been overweight.“ That‘s possibly true (although I doubt when you were born you were overweight but we'll go with it). The scale says it and I know it. Sometimes we need to go a little deeper. Try “I’m overweight and that means___?“ Maybe you tell yourself it means you are “lazy, a failure, unattractive, or never get things right,” Now question the validity of those things. Question the story you tell yourself. At the core our memes that break down our vital energy are always false. No exceptions. When we question them and realize we are choosing to believe a lie we can find freedom in letting go of our stories. 

    • What is the wisdom behind what you are doing but want to change?

    And I guarantee there is a good reason you are doing it. Say you have insomnia and want to let it go. What is the history of it. Did it start when you were a child? Maybe you came from a chaotic home where nighttime meant fighting and your fear was falling asleep meant  that something terrible would happen and you wouldn‘t be awake to take car of it. You learned to be like a sentry, always on guard. And it may have been necessary for a means of survival. The pattern of energy is set in motion with the belief in that story. Now, no longer a child, you still find yourself struggling to sleep. What needs to be examined is the fear we are holding in our bodies about it. If you want to change the fact that you can’t sleep find the energetic wisdom behind it and then question if you need it anymore. Realize you can create a healing field where you can let that part of you go. You no longer need to be a sentry, it’s not true for you anymore (if it ever was).

      Here’s another way this might show up. Have you noticed in our culture it is more acceptable to have a headache than to set a boundary? Let’s say you really don’t want to go out for dinner with a group of friends. You may really enjoy their company but just feel like having some time alone. What are the thoughts that come up “You gave your word so you have to go (held up to inquiry is it true? the truth is we are free to change our minds about anything at anytime), “If I say no my friends will all be angry with me” (really? are you sure?). So as you are having all this spinning energy based on judgment and doubt and recrimination which are all just shades of fear your head starts to hurt. Oh no, another migraine! So you call your friends and bow out of dinner with a very real migraine. They may even show you special attention and concern because you are ill which reinforces your feedback loop and habitual response to not say no the next time, rather than tell the truth. What did you gain from the headache? Not having to say no, be honest, be assertive, and set a boundary. The problem is now you have a very real headache. We know that pain in a violation of our energy field. Remember we are energy and energy has to go somewhere. It is either dismantling or building up. But so often we value those things that violate our energy system and believe them as correct. Illness often speaks for us when we  should really speak for ourselves. When we can ascertain the pay off  behind our illness, beliefs, and discontent we find what we should really be doing to allow our energy to flow in a healthy way. Often we manifest dis-ease in our bodies or lives to give us a pass on being authentic, and perhaps challenging an expectation or belief of how we “should“ be.  Really our dis-ease is  an alarm to wake us to  what we actually need to do to get well. In this case the remedy would be to just say no thank you, and then notice, challenge,  and forgive (undo) any feelings of guilt we may feel. Then we can  move on- without a migraine.

      So the first step to dismantling our stories and effecting change in our lives is to begin to question our deeply held beliefs (memes) that create our very stories. We need to start noticing how our thoughts give rise to our lives and realizing that they are actually not true. But know this. Our thoughts are actually not the problem. In fact,  thoughts are very much like the wind or the ocean  as they come and go and there really is no stopping them (give it a try if you don’t believe me). What is the problem is we believe our thoughts as if they were true, then we find evidence that makes them stronger, and they become the stories we define ourselves by. Then they become our reality. If you want change in your life you need to stop believing your own story.

      “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.”
      - Joseph Campbell

      Tuesday, October 26, 2010

      Great Question!

      Thank you all for your comments and questions via the blog comment box and the ones sent to me personally. I love getting feedback so please keep it coming. I am learning right along with you.

      The following question was such a good one and reflected our theme of change  so I felt inspired to answer it as best I can.

      “I am interested in the concept of meme -- and have a question. I've thought in terms of morphic fields... do you feel that a morphic field is similar, or is a meme more specific to *you* -- like your own personal little morphic field? Would love help clarifying this in my own mind.”

      "Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another."
      -Albert Einstein

      In essence everything is energy. Everything. And all energy has a specific frequency unique to it. Like a signature of that energy. Think of a radio, you can tune the dial and hear 101.7 but at the same time the energy of 98.6 is present but not heard. When we “tune in” to a specific radio station we are setting our radio up to vibrate at a specific frequency- 101.7 mega hertz to be exact (aka. 101.7 millions of miles per second). You set up your radio to vibrate at the same frequency as the radio energy you want to hear. This is resonance. Another example is tuning forks. If you sound one tuning fork and hold another one still right next to it the still one will start to vibrate at the same frequency. The same principle is seen in music. Hold a guitar silent next to a piano and play a specific note on the piano. The strings on the guitar will begin to vibrate with the same frequency. That’s called resonance. The same energetic principles apply to our lives, our bodies, and our reality (as we are also energy).

      The morphic field, the way I understand it, is the name of the fluid energetic boundary that surrounds each one us. Not to get too technical here regarding  energetic fields, chakras and the like, (another blog maybe ) but this personal energy system is linked into a greater one (often simply called the field). Like tributaries from a river we are joined in an energetic flow. What is vital to our personal energetic field however, is our frequency, our unique hum of vibration that attracts a particular form. What creates this frequency are our  thoughts, desires, intentions which all link together to form our habitual patterns of belief and thought patterns called our memes. That is why our memes are so important to our energy field because they form the energetic frequency we transmit and the thus the frequency we are set up to receive. Like a magnet, or a radio, or a tuning fork, we attract to us what we are- our frequency. A meme is just a habitual thought that adds a specific frequency of energy to our personal field (call it morphic) that creates a resonance which attracts like energy from the field around us to create our perceived reality.

      Our bodies are no different of course.  We are energetic beings vibrating at a specific frequency. And this energy is stored in every cell in our body. Thus our mind energy, our thoughts and beliefs, are present in every cell. The law of resonance governs energy no matter where it is. It is as if we are yelling into the energetic field of unlimited possibilities “here this is what I want to show up” and then of course it does. What is important to note is that the reality we experience is our perception of our frequency, our resonance with similar energies. In form that means if we are vibrating with a frequency that is not love we invite that into our reality.  What is showing up is really just a part of you- that part that was not love. So that is why it is so important to understand and be conscious of the world around you. That is why it is so vital to understand how we are creators of our reality and what we perceive is entirely our projection of energy that is our frequency, our thoughts. We cannot  focus on lack and have abundance, or fear and have joy, or sickness and have health. It is an energetic impossibility.

      “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.”
      -Albert Einstein

      But when we are able to change our thoughts and make new choices about what we choose to think about, and contemplate we will resonate with new energetic frequencies and a new reality will emerge. Because if your body is ill it cannot remain so if you are in a healing field of health. If your reality is one of lack that reality will change as you focus on abundance.  This is the law that explains spontaneous remissions, tumors that disappear, people having impossible strength during times of challenge, and miracles.  Remember the field you are tapping into is one of unlimited possibilities. Any limitations we believe are the ones we put on our selves. In the field of impossibilities anything is possible.

      It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
      Walt Disney

      Tuesday, October 19, 2010

      The Roots of Change

      Who are you? Exactly who you think you are.

      Last week’s blog spoke about our habits and how they both define us and keep us stuck at times.  I wrote about the importance of  bringing awareness to our habits and how that pertains to change in our lives. But what is the energy wherein habits emerge? If a habit is the end result what is it’s force of origination?This week we go deeper, working backwards, to explore what creates our habits and illuminate how it is these deeper beliefs, the ones we may not be consciously aware of, that create our experience of the world around us. Just as the roots of a tree effect the health and vitality of a tree our roots of belief effect our whole world. To create change, to transform anything, we need to get to the root of the issue. The belief behind the effect.
      But first ….
      I think it’s important we start with  basic concepts regarding the idea of  manifesting, the concept of infusing thought with originating spirit and bringing that thought to form.  It’s a buzz word these days in new age circles and has been all the rage with movies like “The Secret” and because of this I think it‘s meaning varies. So, with a need to be on the same page as you, my reader, I feel a little clarification is in order. From my very rudimentary knowledge  manifesting goes something like this.  We manifest in our lives what we are and what we are is what we contemplate (or think).  This is important and it my opinion what the movie “The Secret” neglected to mention. In that movie there was great emphasis put on what “you want”. What you think you “need more of”. More money. Better health. These are great things no doubt. But wanting those things and believing you are those things are two very different things. So, keep this is mind as we go deeper. We manifest in our lives who we think ourselves to be.

      "Thought is cause: experience is effect. If you don't like the effects in your life, you have to change the nature of your thinking."
      ~ Marianne Williamson

      For example…
       If you have the thought “ I want (or need) more money” and at the same time have the underlying (probably unconscious) belief “I’ll never get rich doing this” you have a misalignment of creative animating  energy. What’s more, the very thought “I need more money” is in actuality being motivated from a place of lack(a misalignment again) and thus more situations that reflect lack will show up in your life since that is the originating belief.  Like a puzzle whose pieces fit together the resonance from the originating thought attracts the conditions that support it . Another way of looking at this is, if you are coming from a place of lack ("I need more" implies you don’t have enough) what you will perceive will be the lack around you so that is the life experience you will have.

      We manifest and perceive what we are, those underlying beliefs, not what it is "we" want. Say,  you struggle with weight. You may want to thinner and will continue to have a difficult time losing and keeping weight off because of have a deeper (maybe even unconscious) belief that it's too hard, you don't deserve it, everyone in your family struggles with weight, you are afraid of being accountable for your life ... With core beliefs such as this you will sabotage yourself every time until the surface belief (what you want) matches the core belief (what you are). So to really change, to heal, we have to go deep. Beyond the surface ideas of what we want and don’t want and into the places that we believe ourselves to be. We have to go to the levels that animate our reality, create our perceptions, and where our resonance attracts it's likeness. Get to the roots to find why the tree is sick.

      Enter the meme.
      What’s a meme you ask? They are the “cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena”. Whew. In essence memes are the many beliefs that create our identity. Memes are our histories, our stories, our habitual beliefs about ourselves and the world around us that we have learned from those around us and our culture. And at some point we adopt like through osmosis as our own. So pervasive are these memes and so ingrained that we rarely even notice them, and therein lies the rub. Seemingly innocuous memes are anything but. For example, the emerging science of epigenetcis denotes that hereditary accounts for about 25% of our health issues. Further more even within that 25% new research is showing our DNA is effected by what we are thinking   (it’s amazing stuff to contemplate). What we think about ourselves is important. Really important. It means we can contemplate our way right into healing or illness, peace or frustration, habit or freedom.Our brains interpret our emotional responses and our bodies react in turn no matter if the threat is perceived (ie a fearful thought) or a real physical threat. What we think and believe matters and that is great news!  Because it’s more difficult to change our genetics than to change what we think (or is that just a meme?) It means we have so much more creative power in our lives and health than we may have ever imagined. It means when we can change our beliefs to reflect our divinity we resonate at a frequency that attracts it into our lives.

      So what are the memes you own in you life?

      Now getting a little closer to home and the memes get a little more personal. What memes did you learn from your family?  Did you learn that you had to excel, achieve, get good grades to be somebody (not sure what that even means “be somebody“ who is somebody)? Did you learn that you had to "follow the rules" to be accepted or food meant love? Did you learn that your body was meant to be ignored, pushed, or shaped to be either idealized or shamed? Did you learn that being “good” meant being quiet? Did you learn you weren’t good at something? Were you labeled in some way?  I remember being told as a kid I was terrible at math. I just didn’t have “that kind  brain” and I believed it. I was terrified in every math class I had to take. Then a magical thing happened in college. I met a professor that said you are not bad at math you just need to learn it differently than the way it is traditionally taught. Not sure if it was his new technique that helped or it was his challenging my ingrained meme in a powerful way but it finally clicked for me and I was no longer  terrified of numbers. And from then on I did fine in class.

      “Looking back you realize that a very special person passed briefly through your life- and it was you. It is not too late to find that person again.” 
      Robert Brault

       So look at those memes, those deep beliefs you carry. The ones hiding under the surface of your conscious awareness.  Which ones are you choosing to believe? Because if you look really closely at your memes they become your habits and they become your excuses and they become the reasons why you seemly cannot change, and why you keep getting the same results in your life. "It’s too hard, I'm too old, I'm too young, It's hereditary, I'm  too busy, I can’t afford it, I’m not good at math, it’s easier, everyone does it"…Isolate your excuse and you find the meme behind it. Trace it back to the root belief that's chaining you to an experience that's reflecting your fear not your truth.

      "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves".  ~Victor Frankl

      Our memes are the links to the chains that create our ego identity (our separate false selves) linked together from our histories, our underlying beliefs about the world and about ourselves. Change is so difficult, because it asks us to step outside of the memes, dismantle the chain of our identity  and try a different way. Change asks us to question our beliefs (what was) and our very sense of self. It's about  giving up the comfort of what you thought you knew for something else you don’t know at all. It’s about giving up our false self  identity and allowing ourselves to instead unfold. Of just being instead of defining. Of opening ourselves up to what is without knowing the outcome. It's allowing the tree of our divinity to do what trees do best. To simply just grow. No help from us needed.

      When we align not with our ego selves but divine nature it may be necessary to jump off that cliff into the unknown.

      "If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security."
      ~ Gail Sheehy

       Not sure about you but most times I need a push off that cliff, even though freedom is exactly what I've asked for. That’s why so often change comes as a crisis, a conflict, a challenge that lights a fire in our lives that makes an alternative better than the current circumstances. When  we must jump off the cliff because where we are standing has become quicksand.
      This is why we can really be motivated to change when we get sick of being sick, fat, angry, addicted etc. When we can say to ourselves "OK this is so bad that something else has to be better". When we are faced with a crisis and our pain motivates us to wake up and take the leap we so feared. Realizing after we take the leap there was a hand there to catch us all the while and the shadows that we so feared were not even there. Which is the gift of change...realizing when we surrender to the flow, give up our control, we remember the co-creative power we have always had reflecting a peace and harmony undefinable in words.


       Our memes are the way we limit ourselves and our excuses are evidence of our misalignment with our divine nature that require an awareness and a shift in belief. I am going to go deeper down that path next week but for this week I want you to notice the excuses you have about what you think you cannot do. Dig deep to the root and excavate your memes about yourself, your life, your health, your kids. Anything that isn’t serving your greater good. Not all memes are incorrect but we aren’t worried about the ones that bring you joy. We want to find the links in the chain that are keeping you stuck. Next week we learn how to undo the chain this week just find the links.
      We are infinite being having an human experience- meant to be free from chains. When we get rid of the ways we limit ourselves we can manifest amazing things. We can decide to change what is happening in our lives at any time,  at any moment,  if we are conscious enough to realize what we are experiencing is exactly our creation. No exceptions.  A new life begins in every second of the present.When our creative power is rightly aligned with our divine nature (and not our scared ego selves) we have no choice but to tap into the field of unlimited possibilities where there are no rules and anything is possible. Anything…I promise.

      "You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this."
      -- Henry David Thoreau

      Tuesday, October 12, 2010

      The Power of Habit

      In any endeavor needing change it is imperative we develop a sense of awareness about it. A sense of what has gotten us to the place we stand. Perhaps with a bit of detachment like an outside observer looking at our life. That's difficult to do at times (especially with the issues that trigger our fear) but an important skill to practice as we contemplate the concept of change. It's a way to shed light on the parts we may ignore, deny, or quite simply be unaware of. So with this idea of awareness in our midst let us look at an element which may be evident in our lives and a sticking point as to why we keep manifesting the same thing even when we desire change.

      Habit. How much of your life is habitual? Personally speaking,  I am a creature of habit. Astoundingly so. Every morning  I have coffee (black please) in a certain chair (that sticks out just so), I  read a certain inspiring book and then the paper. I have a routine for the way I wash my face, my hair, the dishes. I habitually feel insecure at certain times and  habitually cope with those feelings in a habitual ways.

      "A habit is something you can do without thinking - which is why most of us have so many of them." ~Frank A. Clark

      Habits are the things that we do without much conscious awareness. It’s where we are on auto pilot. We’ve all had that weird sensation of diving to work and then not remembering the drive to get there. That’s habit. And from a biological perspective we create the groundwork for our habits in our brains. We strengthen (and even create) neuropathways in the brain by repetition until it becomes second nature. Until we don’t have to consciously think about it anymore. Until it becomes habitual. Think of a child learning to walk. At first they work endlessly. It’s a marriage of balance meeting gravity. They teeter on the edge of  falling, gripping the edge of a table. They stand. They wobble. Then it’s a quick step forward. Then another. They fall down and try again and again. Repetition. While their brains are mapping the motions, forming neurons, creating pathways. After awhile they just walk; forgetting how hard  it was. Walking  becomes habit. And from this  perspective our habits can certainly help us, even empower us. We walk to get places, to explore life around us. We walk for fun or sport. Walking serves our greater good  just as some habitual patterns accomplish the task of taking care of life’s details we may not want or need to focus on. But this is where a discussion of habits gets  into sticky territory because much as they give us necessary respite from mundane necessities they can just as easily propel us onto the path  of unconscious  existence. When our  habits become the propelling force of our lives not our genuine expression. When we feel like we are on auto pilot much of the time. When change feels impossible we can begin to feel uninspired, stagnant, and powerless. Habit becomes a blinding loop wherein we fall deeper and deeper into a path of unconscious repetition. Habits can begin to define us and at the same time negate us. Over time we lose ourselves to the habit.

      "To fall into a habit is to begin to cease to be."  ~Miguel de Unamuno

      Just as we can forget that drive to work we can habitually grab that bag of chips when we sit down to watch TV. We can habitually light that cigarette after dinner. We can habitually yell at our kid for forgetting their homework again. We can habitually get frustrated with our partner for not giving us what we want. We can habitually say no when we might need to say yes or yes when we need to say no.  We can say we will change, quit, do something tomorrow for the hundredth time only to do the same thing the next day.

      The question is - is what your doing working? Really? Is your habitual habit effective at all for creating the life you desire? You may think you’re right, vindicated actually, but that means nothing if what you’re doing isn’t working. Because the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. But habit keeps us doing the same thing. It keeps us in the past, repeating, repeating, repeating. It’s madness. And we wonder why we are frustrated, depressed, or unwell.

      "The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken."  ~Samuel Johnson

      So a key step to change is awareness. Right now. What is habitual about that thing you want to shift (remember in the last blog you picked one)?  Put the spotlight on it. Has in become a blinding loop of habitual response that you have lost creative power to influence because it is so deeply ingrained in your psyche and out of your conscious awareness?

      Question your habitual nature. Bring it into the light. Ask…

      • When did it start? Where did you learn it? Was it your parents before yours?
      Maybe your parents smoked cigarettes, or ate compulsively.  You learned by example that these were acceptable coping habits, even associated them with love and acceptance. You take that habitual signature with you. Perhaps you learned to habitually deny your feelings because the family you grew up in didn’t support it. The familial understanding was such that “we don’t talk about our feelings.” So you learned not to and habitually you still don’t. Now you have denied your back pain right into a slipped disk. Or denied your authentic voice right into depression. Find the source of your habit and what it tells you about your history.

      •  How does it serve you/ How does not?
       Every habit starts out by serving us in some way. Seriously. We all get a pay off from habit. Perhaps you started shopping because that was bonding time with your mom. It represented acceptance, love and camaraderie for you. Then it became habitual and now when you feel down you go straight to the mall and you have the credit card bills and stomach pain to prove it. Perhaps you grew up in a household that was chaotic, even abusive, and you had to “check out” emotionally or mature quickly to handle the situation. That was necessary for your survival. But as we know repetition births habit and you now still “check out’ or micromanage the world around you now, which certainly doesn’t foster wellness or healthy relationships. What started out as healthy isn’t so much now.  To change a behavior it helps to understand the pay off.

      • Do people around you have the same habits?
      We tend to attract what we ourselves embody. Look around you. If you see a lot of people with habitual anger issues ask yourself if you habitually (perhaps unconsciously) rise to anger or are attracted to chaos on some level. If you often think you’re children are “not living up to their potential” or “don’t have any focus” ask yourself if you are or if you habitually seek the easy way out. When desiring change it is helpful to look at the people around us as mirrors to get more understanding about ourselves.I am just going to say it. Everything. Every little or big thing we don't like or cannot accept or judge about someone else is a part of ourselves we are not able to accept. Sit with that for a minute. When you point a finger at someone there are 3 fingers pointing back at you. It's tough stuff but a blessing as well. Our greatest teachers are the people in our lives because they show us clearly (if we are looking) what we are really  thinking about ourselves.

      • What do you habitually say/think about your issue? Do you have excuses for it?
      This is a big one, and one that I plan to focus on in later blogs. We tend to get lost in our negative self talk and excuses. In fact, they are also habitual. We often repeat the same excuses over and over again.  “I can’t stop smoking/drinking/shopping/eating donuts now there’s too much  stress in my life”. “It’s not my fault it’s genetic.” ‘I’ll stop tomorrow”. “I’m not really hurting anyone“. “I had a hard day I deserve it“. “I’ll only have one”.  “I have no will power”. These are the repetitive thinking patterns that keep us in the blinding loop of unconscious habitual response. 

       So this week notice what is habitual about the issue you are choosing to shift.  Bring conscious awareness to the parts that are used to being overlooked. Question your issue. Get to know it. Shed light on it. Write about it. Talk about it. That is how we take our power back. That is how we develop the courage to change. In this moment. Then the next moment. Then the moment after that. When we face our habits we can decide what do do with them. We can take our creative power back. We can decide to change them. We can allow our habits to teach us what we need to know about ourselves so we can grow. Because this is the best part about habits. We have a choice to change them. The good news is we can effect change on any situation we do not like in our lives. Anything.  We can choose another way at anytime. Now is the moment you can change everything.

      "You can’t drop concepts. You can only shine a little flashlight on them as you do inquiry, an you see that what you thought was true wasn’t. And when the truth is seen, there’s nothing you can do to make the lie true for you again."
      ~ Byron Katie 

      As always I encourage feedback (comments, questions, etc.) via the comment box or my email...
      Next week we go further on our journey of discovering change….stay tuned.