Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Inspirational Guest - you don't want to miss this!

Today I am so excited to feature a woman who I admire in so many ways. She's a physician turned homeschooling mom, artist, avid blogger, and now published author. Laura's creativity and energy is infectious and her thoughts on health and healing are as wise as they are innovative, provocative, and profound. I urge you to take a look at her website heartsongfineart.com. Make sure you give yourself a few minutes to peruse her many artistic creations from amazing paintings, to exquisite ornaments, decorative vase garlands, and perfect birdhouses. I guarantee you will find something you'll love and must have. Laura's latest project is a fabulous children's book about a little Guinea Pig named Jake. The story takes Jake from a place of questioning the confines of his "home" on a quest of sweet discovery and adventure. He looks outside himself for "something" to make him whole and happy only to realize his wholeness was there all along in the place he started. When he changes his thinking from what he lacks to the abundance he already has he changes his whole reality. What a poignant lesson for us all. Laura's illustrations are no less than stunning and are radiant in the expression of the heartwarming story they breathe life into it. To get your very own copy go here. And then get one for a friend.

So first off  what was Laura's inspiration behind Jake: a Guniea Pig Adventure?

"I wrote this book to say one thing: happiness can meet you anywhere. I really want kids to know that. I want grown ups to know that. I want myself to remember that. I want a book that I can pick up to remind me. You can invite happiness in to meet you right where you stand. Nothing needs to change at all. Joy can flow to you whether you live in a cage, in prison, in a diseased body, or are living your very last breath. The universe is so expansive, it can reach anywhere. It can follow you into any dark corner. It can follow you down every twisty turning maze path, even ones that are dead ends. It can follow you and support you and welcome you as you pass from life into afterlife. Happiness can always meet you where you are. You simple invite it in by gratitude."

Her words say it all. I asked Laura to be a guest on my blog not only because I just love everything she does but because she has important lessons to teach us all. Her honesty is refreshing, empowering, and so real I imagine you will find yourself in her words, as I so often do. What follows is the story behind the story. This is Laura's tale as she describes her personal  journey of discovery, so much like our little friend Jake's, where happiness is not found with your eyes ever seeking distant horizons but simply by looking down at your feet and where you stand right now. Everything we need is in this moment.  We are exactly the place we need to be . When we finally grasp that gratitude fills  us and we are at peace. The following words are Laura's and is just a segment of her inspiring story.  Her amazing journey can be seen in it's entirety on her blog next week Monday, Oct 4th so go to her website and sign up for her blog or follow her on facebook for updates and blog posts. Enjoy!

Our thoughts can create a prison any where we go. A movable prison, that you can’t out run, can’t dig out from under, can’t break through. Everywhere you go, your mind goes too. If you are alive, your mind is with you. If you are breathing, your mind surrounds you.
I have a very active mind. I think and think and think... I enjoy thinking, I hate thinking, I think of new ideas and create new images and possibilities and worlds in my mind all the time. I think when I lay in bed at night. I think when I wake up. I think when I am washing the dishes, when I am in the shower, when I am typing these words. I have a love hate relationship with my active mind... it used to torture me with worry and what-ifs and existential questions... but at the same time it used to thrill me with new ideas for paintings, new poems I had to write, helped me dance easily through college and medical school with absolutely no studying, no effort... I just woke up each day and went off and running, doing anything and everything under the sun.

Exciting but exhausting. And never any deep comfort, no sustainable sense of purpose. No meaning behind it all. No sense of fulfillment. Just the next thing and the next.

My mental diarrhea went with me no matter where I lived and no matter what I did. It just kept on running. 

Until one day, with the birth of my children, my perspective changed.

I became less consumed with needing to do and was finally able to pause and just be. For once, I fell so completely in love and so overwhelmingly satisfied, holding my precious child in my arms, that my brain fell silent. And I stayed in that moment. And then my brain picked itself up, dusted itself off, and was up and running again in no time. Trying to convince me to speed through life again, trying to distract me from the *being* with lots of *doing.* But this time, my perspective had changed. And I wasn’t so easily fooled. My mind could no longer trick me and steal my time. It couldn’t trap me so easily. I had found evidence of the eternal... the love I felt for my children reminded me instantly of the *great love* that exists in the nature of our souls. Once awakened, I couldn’t go numb from my mind chatter any longer. I was free.

 It has been almost a decade now and I just keep feeling more free and more free. Every single day life reveals to me that the eternal is all around, that to be alive is to be blessed, that just by breathing I am living in a sanctuary. That every moment is a blessing. That I don’t have to *do* anything. Being present and aware has opened my eyes to the blessing of life and the joy of interconnecting with other souls along the way.

With a new emphasis on being thankful where I stand... not where I am going, but where I am RIGHT NOW, my mind feels free and open to possibility. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

“Be impeccable with your word”

“Be impeccable with your word” 

Don Miguel Ruiz wrote those words as the first agreement in his book The Four Agreements. He then added that it was the “first, the most important, and most difficult of the agreements“.   Why is it the most important and why is it the most difficult? The answer to both questions is because through our words we have the ability to create our world. For better or worse.

In the story of creation from the bible it is stated “In the beginning there was the word, and the word was with God, and the word is God“. Clearly there exists a creative element that links what we say and our experience of reality.   (Note: there is only a one letter distinction between the word “word” and world” ) But words themselves hold no inherent power. Meanings of words change and shift and evolve over time. Remember when “bad” meant bad and then it meant good? Or “cool” was a temperature and then it was, well, cool. Say the word “God” to people and you’ll get a bevy of reactions. The same word means different things to different people. Same with love, pain, president, and mother. But truth by definition is static. It in unchangeable. So these ever changing words mean nothing on their own. It is our interaction, interpretation, or experience of the words that give them meaning. We are the element that gives words the power of creation. But what is that force within us that has the ability to ignite the words, transmute them and thus animate our experience of reality?

 In Hawaiian "Ha" means “breathe life into“.  Breath is necessary for life. No doubt about that. In Hawaiian culture (as well as many indigenous cultures) it is believed that the breath holds Mana (power) and it is sacred.  So sacred in fact that mouth to mouth kissing was never done (kapu) except when someone was dying. Then there was an exchange of breath that passed the Mana to another.  Breath is believed to hold the power to create and following that concept it is our breath (life) added to words that gives life to the words.  It gives the words creative direction. But that is all the breath does. Give the words animation. Once animated however, what is even more important is the direction the words take. Our intention forges the direction. Our intention like an arrow sets the course for the structure of the world we manifest through breathing life into our words. Thus it is our intention that we must notice. It is our intention, not merely our breath,  that allows us to be active participants in our reality.

Think of chanting. Think of prayer. Think of mantra. Affirmation. These are the processes of focused intent forged through our breath meant to be a creative force in the world. To effect change in some way. So, when Miguel Ruiz says be “Impeccable with your word”  what we must be impeccable with is our intent. Impeccable. Literally meaning without (im) sin ( pecatus). So what’s the meaning of sin? That’s a charged word that has many interpretations but literally it means to "miss the mark”. To make a mistake that you were aiming for. To voice your arrow of intent in the wrong direction. To go against your truth in some way. So being impeccable with our word calls us to be alignment with our truth and  from this connected intention breathe life into our words.

Have you ever thought about the intent behind your words? How often do we actually take a moment to contemplate that.  So often in our busy modern life we are in a constant flurry of chatter.  We are on the cell phone, watching CNN, and reading the paper. We have our ipod in our ears. We are texting, while we are talking and checking our email. It’s as if we are afraid of what would happen if we allowed silence.

“Being impeccable with your word means not using the word against yourself”
~Don Miguel Ruiz

Because much like resentment (see my last blog for that) the poison we speak  is the one we swallow. The arrow we direct with our intentions is pointed at our own heart. When we gossip, when we belittle someone, when we lie, when we judge another, when we fight to be right we breathe life into our  words from this intention and we create our world from a place of fear. Then that is what we manifest in our reality.  We experience situations of division. We experience situations of separation. We experience strife, conflict, and discord.

But when we align our intent with our truth we come from love and then we breathe this intent into our words.  Then that is what we experience in the world.

So be silent for awhile for it is here our intentions speak the loudest.
"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.  God is the friend of silence.  See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.... We need silence to be able to touch souls".  ~Mother Teresa

 Listen to your own voice, your own words , and get clear about your intent. Think of your intent when you speak to others and perhaps more importantly think of your intent when you speak to yourself.  The words you say to yourself hold as much power to create your world as the words you say aloud. And we often believe ourselves without question. Much of what we say to ourselves is old, repetitive, and familiar but is it loving? What is the creative intent when we belittle ourselves, judge ourselves, and lie to ourselves. How does it change our health when our intent is animated from fear and we say
  • bad things always happen to me  
  • my neck is killing me
  •  I get every a cold every year
  • I’ll never get well
  • I’ll never lose weight
  • In two weeks I’ll have been sick a month
  • I’ll take a break, eat better, sleep more etc. when I ..( pay off my taxes, my kids grow up, I get a new job…)
  • It’s hereditary

What happens if our intent is based in fear? Our intention breathes life into a reality of separation from source and our world is created to be a reflection of the words we use.

“intention creates our reality.”~Wayne Dyer

But what happens when our intent breathes love into our internal dialog? When we connect with that part of us that is truth and we sing it's song? We infuse our words with the breath of  intention empowered with faith, hope, perseverance, and grace. We create a experience of inner and outer reality that reflects this. When we are in alignment with our soul and we are tapping into the innate part of us that allows an endless abundance of energy. This is the stuff of miracles.

 So with this intention breathe this into being

  • My body heals quickly and easily
  • Thank you
  • I release any desperation and allow love to find me
  • I am at peace
  • God is in everything I see.
  • There is nothing to fear.
  • Everyone and everything I see will lean toward me and bless me. I will recognize in everyone my dearest friend.
  • The power of decision is my own.
  • I will be still an instant and go home.
So I ask you. What is your intention?What kind of  world do you want to breath life into?
Then say the words that reflect that....
‘A mana (amen in Hawaiian meaning...)
“Let the words fly free”